Saturday, September 23, 2017


Summer is almost over that means Labor day weekend is here and Cora is ONE!

We had such a fun weekend! Haley, Denver and Townes came to stay with us and Shelly and Rob and the kids were here visiting Christie. A good time was had by all. Sunday afternoon the adults and the big kids went to the end of the road to play on the lake.

And because I rarely talk about besties! I couldn't live without them (and the not-pictured)!

Cora is one! We broke tradition and celebrated a day early because so many family members were in town. Lily and I made the cakes and inflated the balloons. Cora wore the same hat and bloomers as Lily but my mom made her the most adorable top to go with it! She was the cutest!

She started off conservative with the cake, then she got a taste and she was all in!

Lily and the big cousins helped open her gifts and finally she crashed.

On her actual birthday (the 5th) we spent most of the day relaxing, cleaning and recouping from the big weekend. Lily found a token for the carousel at the mall in her piggy bank so we went for the afternoon. Finishing off the day with dinner and leftover cake!

I know I'm supposed to say I can't believe she is one, but I can. I've kinda gotten used to time flying by. The sting of this major milestone has been less than expected. I think it is because I realize that age is only a number and just because she's one doesn't mean she isn't my baby anymore! She is, more than ever, my teeny, tiny, cuddly baby!

Sunday, September 3, 2017


I decided to keep the original title of this post because that is where I left off -- dance camp!

Not just any dance camp, princess dance camp! I made the mistake of telling Lily about it a few weeks in advance and she bugged me about going nearly everyday until it finally started! She slept in her dance shoes that night and woke up at 5 am that morning, she was definitely excited! But her excitement was overshadowed by mine on the day we were to watch their performance. I wasn't expecting to feel so emotional. She was just so cute and sooo into it. I managed to keep my emotions in tack and left the studio feeling a little like a crazy dance mom. Fall classes here we come!

Cousin Summer

I dont think I can even explain how great it was to have so many of the cousins together this summer! I love that Lily and Cora were able to grow over the last few months with their cousins right there with them. 

I learned things about each of the children that I didn't know before. I feel like I know them better and that's the best feeling! Now, any time we do anything Lily always asks if her cousins are going to be there.

Most of the time the chaos of having so many children together would overshadow the sadness we are all feeling but when the sorrow would set in it was nice to have each other. Watching Shelly and Jenny work together and care for Christie was amazing. It's not easy but they make it seem that way. I know their constant support of each other made the tough times a little easier.

Speaking of Christie, she is doing quite well! I think she has adjusted to living life with this disease. Her voice continues to weaken so Shelly and Jenny came up with a great way for each child to have a special recording from her. They bought voice recorders from build a bear and we took the kids to pick out their animals. Lily loves hers! She wanted to take it with her everywhere and show it to everyone.

And Ryan and Haley welcomed Townsend, Baby Townes!

Jet skis

It's the summer of jet skis. We all have one now! Pat so graciously bought me one too! Hahaha! Lily has been out on it many times but I have yet to step on it. Next weekend maybe?! Pat has his crew of jet ski friends (who are all in their late 40's, early 50's which I think is kinda funny but you wouldn't know it to look at them!), racers actually. One weekend we planned a getaway which included a jet ski race. Pat didn't participate but I'm afraid it got the wheels turning in his head. 


We have spent a few wonderful weekends at the mountains. "The far away place" Lily tells everyone. She gets super excited about road trips! The first trip was to the Biltmore. On our way we made a pit stop at Dupont State Forest for our first family "hike" since Cora arrived (although it's been a few years for all of us). We chose a very easy trail but it was rather long so we were pleasantly surprised that Lily as much of a hiker as she ballerina. She walked almost the whole time, there and back with minimal whining! The girls loved splashing in the water and Lily collected tons of river rocks. Years ago when we went to the mountains regularly I (more than once) made the wrong shoe choice and end up with blisters, this time it was Pat! This makes me laugh because he used to give me such grief over it. I also sympathized with him because blisters completely ruin a hike so I refrained from rubbing it in and picked up the extra slack on the home stretch when Lily's little legs needed a break. (I was actually quite proud of myself too! I've been known to do my fair share of whining on hikes.)

I bought these adorable overalls for Lily last year and was so excited for her to wear them. We compromised, she wore them on the trip and to this one over look then promptly asked for a dress. Ugh!

No matter how many times we go, I'm still amazed by the beauty of the Biltmore.

Now back to the time spent in the mountains I mentioned earlier, we stayed near Lake Hartwell in Georgia (for the races) but spent our Saturday traveling the surrounding areas. We started off in Helen, GA. We mined for gems and had lunch on the river before traveling to Clevland, GA to Babyland General Hospital; the birthplace of cabbage patch dolls! 

Pat planned this entire trip, being sure that there was something for each of us (to balance out the day we spent at the races). It just so happened that the "hospital" was hosting a tea party that weekend so he signed us up, himself included. Another thing I love about him! He was one of probably 3 men in the room and he didn't mind at all. He took tea, made conversation with all of the other women and children at our table and was careful to use proper etiquette. Next we headed into the hospital (/store). We were able to see a cabbage patch birth (which is equal parts weird and cute), Lily helped pick out a doll for Cora and got a new outfit for Lola, her CPD we adopted when we took her there four years ago. Pat entertained himself by putting Cora in different beds and cribs made for the dolls waiting for people to notice. He really got some people!

 This was not a mannequin, there was person in there! and it moved! Creepy!

Next we went to Yonah Mountain Vineyard. We have visited in the past and it is by far one of our favorites. The building a scenery are beautiful! They also have the most luscious grass for corn hole, croquet or just running and playing. Oh, and live music on the weekends!


Have you heard about the total eclipse?! Haha! Christie wanted to have a full, wide open view, suggesting the lake. We talked to our neighbors that own the house on the point near the end of our rode so we were able to have a nice view as well as swim, fish and jet ski. It was amazing to watch!

Helicopter Ride

Lily and Pat went on a helicopter tour of Lake Murray. Complete with a view of Grammie and Paw's!

11 months

What?! Cora is 11 months old! the last few have been tough though. She had ear infections for almost 3 weeks, then 3 weeks of diarrhea (due to 3 weeks worth of antibiotics), now teething! 2 of the 4 top teeth have made their way through. I'm hoping the others will hurry up, then a little teething break would be nice. Through it all she continues to thrive. She "talks" on the phone and says "Hi!" when she hears one ring. She waves hi and bye, identifies 'head' and 'eyes' and says "eyes". She says "mama" and "dada" in reference to us and as crazy as it seems it really sounds like sometimes she says "Lily". She has been taking steps, walking around a room but crawling is still her main means of getting around. She LOVES to swing! Whining every time she catches a glimpse of it when I let the dogs in/out. She also loves babies, hugging and patting them. It's the cutest!! She is still tiny. A whole 4 pounds less than Lily at this age. 6 months clothes fit her best and she is in a size 2 diaper. Speaking of diapers, last month I had to buy my first box. Thanks again to all of my friends and family for the stockpile! *Edit she is now a full time walker!


I am amazed that even at Cora's young age we can already tell a huge difference in the girls personalities. Cora gets so angry. Really angry, pulling her clothes or hair or the carpet. I am already dreading the temper tantrums. Lily has never once thrown herself on the floor, kicking and screaming. She gets frustrated and whines or cries but it has always been pretty easy for me to manage her mood swings. She has begun to get a little bit of an attitude. Saying things like, "You're not going to be my best friend anymore" and one time even, "I'm going to punch you in the face." What?!?!!! I was floored! (I almost laugh though, I mean, really?!) That comment came out of the blue, she wasn't even upset at the time but immediate action was taken! (Weeks later I heard her ask Pat what he would do if we had a bear in our house; his response, "I would punch him in the face!". That explained it! It's so true, if you don't want them to say it, then you better not!) She will cross her arms and turn her back when she gets mad. Is she really grown up enough to act like that? Anyway, aside from a few attitude changes she is just as sweet as ever. She has developed a terrible fear of the dark and she seems to have very vivid dreams that wake her up at night. So Cora started sleeping and Lily quit! I tried music, multiple night lights, leaving her door open - everything I could think of. So far, nothing is working. One day I will sleep again....right?!

Nap time for Cora is play time for me and Lily!

"Mommy wear this beautiful dress!"

Unicorn snow cone!

Movie night is her favorite!....or maybe it's the movie popcorn?!

I can't believe summer is almost over! I am so thankful that my kids are still little. Watching friends send their children off to school makes me sad. Shelly and I talked about the sadness of children starting school and losing some of their innocence. The other day Lily asked if I was happy Cora was growing up. I quickly said, "NO!" Then she hung her head and (fake) cried, "I don't want to grown up." Music to my ears! Why can't they still little forever?!