Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 was a good one...

As I reflect on the last day of 2008 I realize what a wonderful year it has been. Dan and I both achieved our resolutions for 2008 by (me) running my first marathon and (Dan) getting a new job. On top of that I managed to start a photography business with my friend Blakely. I lost all and more of my baby weight and am now in the best shape I've ever been in. I feel great about where I am in my life and I have a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful little boys to boot. The best decision we ever made was moving to Charleston, SC. Seriously it doesn't get any better to live on the edge of the map. I think the salt air has done wonders for me emotionally, physically and spiritually!

Tonight we are celebrating the New Year at my friend M's house. We're bringing the kids with us and putting them down to sleep there and then celebrating a little more. I love fondue on New Year's Eve, but what I love more is Champagne. It's really my favorite libation. Can't wait to indulge in a little tonight!!! It should be fun! There are going to be 5 couples celebrating and all of their kids as well. Hopefully the kids will crash from the excitement.

We may bring our Rock Band Wii game over is awesome! I love the singing vocals. So much fun...that's what Dan got from me for Christmas. He got me a great gift as well. I have officially joined the 21st century and am now mobile...with the Photography business I felt as though I needed to have access to emails while on the road. Since I spend so much time in the minivan in the carpool lane, this is what he gave me.....The Blackberry Storm I love it, but now I know why they call the Blackberry a "crackberry"'s almost as addictive as Facebook!

Happy New Year...may 2009 bring health, happiness and prosperity!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas wrap-up...

We had a wonderful Christmas here in the Magnolia household. It's been hard to adjust somewhat to reality today as Daddy went back to work this morning. The house is so quiet now as all three boys are taking naps (including Harrison).

I must have spent 5 straight days in the kitchen. I loved every minute of it! For Christmas eve, I decided to make risotto, green beans with garlic and shallots and seared bay scallops. If you have not had jumbo bay scallops before, you must try them. I got them from Whole Foods and they were some of the freshest scallops I had ever eaten. I just added salt, pepper and olive oil and seared them for just a few minutes on each side....YUM! For dessert, I made a cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

Christmas morning I made Barefoot Contessa's Challah french toast...with orange zest-YUMMY! For Christmas dinner I did a Boneless Leg of Lamb with a rosemary-garlic crust...delicious!

The boys had a great Christmas. It was really fun to see it through their eyes again. Brady and Jack are also starting to really get into it...I imagine next year they will all really be into it. I haven't gone through my camera yet, but will post some pictures when I do. I had a really good time just hanging out with my family and enjoying the Christmas season. I'm sad to see it end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An unforgettable experience....

AHHHHH...the marathon! I've been mulling over in my head what I was going to say about the whole marathon experience on Saturday. These words come to mind....unforgettable. magical. extremely difficult. long. amazing. grueling...I took every minute of the race in as I ran it. From the starting line to the finish...I took it mile by mile.

As soon as I crossed the starting line the tears started streaming. I was here. I was running a marathon. I couldn't believe it. It was almost magical. The run started off extremely well. It was 26 degrees at the start, but I felt good. I seem to run better in the cold. The sun was out and there was no wind. I started running with the 4 hour pace group. Well, after enduring hill after hill after hill...I knew I wasn't going to finish in 4 hours, so I met up with the 4.5 hour group and settled in with them. I ran with a man for a while that was running his 70th marathon. He was amazing and very uplifting to run with. There were so many inspiring people running next to me. I heard someone say "Look at all of us. Running towards nowhere." I have to say I disagree, we all had somewhere to go or something to run for.

The first half of the race (which we were told was the most hilly, ended up not being so) was awesome. There were about 1000 marathoners and 2500 half-marathoners and we were all running together. At mile 12 we split from the halfs and that's where it got a little harder, mainly because there were now far less people and spectators. Also, I felt there were far more hills in the second half. It could have been that I was tired. Extremely tired. Every hill was a challenge going up. You could see several hills ahead and that made it worse. I have to say...I wanted to stop several times but I didn't....I didn't stop running the entire 26.3 miles...the course was actually 26.3, not cruel and unusual...because believe me...that .10 of a mile hurt because it was all uphill! I kept telling myself to 'keep going, dig deep'. Crossing the finish line with my family watching, my arms in the air symbolizing victory, the medal going around my neck...I'll never, ever forget that!! My garmin time was 4:23:26...not too bad for my first marathon and a very hilly one at that! Did I also mention over 3000 calories burned? You better believe I had a great post-race meal with no guilt!

I'm feeling great's day 4 post-marathon. I actually feel like I could go for a run. I'm not, I'm going to give my body a week to recover. Running is now in my blood. Do I want to run another? Yes I do! I've now got the fever. I found out on Saturday that Charleston is going to have a marathon in Jan 2010...The Lowcountry Marathon! I'm super excited because it should be a nice, flat course which is what I trained on.

I set a goal, set my mind to it and did it. Trust can do anything you set your mind too. It also feels good to say that I am a Marathon Mommy!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

T minus 8 days...

until this marathon gets here. For those of you just tuning in, I am running the Charlotte Marathon next Saturday!! It gives me goosebumps just to write this. I have been planning this race all year. In fact, it was my New Year's Resolution for 2008, so it's been a long time coming. I am 30 miles to making my goal of running 1000 miles in 2008. With the marathon and a few runs between then, I'm well on my way. Right now I'm at 971.5..think of where I could have run if I would have run that straight...ha! ha!

Some people have asked me WHY I am doing this? Why not? I'm young (sort of), healthy and in good shape. When my sister's life was suddenly taken from us 10 years changed my thinking on lots of things...don't put off tomorrow, what you can do today. She was a runner and track athlete and I'd like to think that she would be a runner today. So when I run sometimes I think how nice it would have been for us to do something like this together. She is with me in spirit every step I take on those runs...I'm running for her and all of the other family members I've lost.

Dan lost his grandmother earlier in the week and I can't help to think of her while I run too.

In other very sad news, this family lost their wife, mother, sister, daughter yesterday and I am truly saddened by this. One minute she was taking her kids to the park and the next day she was in a hospital fighting for her life...Life is precious, fleeting, fragile.

I'm not trying to be a downer today...just brutally honest. I've said it before and I'll say it again...please, please squeeze your husband, wife, children tight and extra tight and tell them that you love them over....and over again!

I've been trying to think of something to wear on race day next Saturday...something that sums up this whole experience. I found the PERFECT running tech (dri fit) tee and I think it fits the it is....

because...well...LIFE IS GOOD! So.very.good...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the season...

I just love this time of year. Now that I have children I love it even more. I love living Christmas through their eyes. Every year I vow to enjoy it and I'm proud to say that I do! My shopping is completely 100% done. Now I have the rest of the month to make gingerbread houses, look at lights, bake cookies and spend time with my family. Life is good...

A few years ago, both sides of the family made an agreement to buy only for the kids and I have to's been easier. Really, is there anything that we need? If so, we'll just buy it ourselves. Harrison really doesn't NEED anything and all he says he wants is a "black Polar Express train". Well, he's not getting the $250 dollar one, but a much, much, much cheaper one that is indeed black. Will he know the difference?

Brady and Jack love the tree. Everytime they see it they just smile the biggest smiles. They actually don't bother it...just stand there looking at each other and smiling. It's the sweetest thing! They are becoming fast friends, actually all of 3 of them.

I'm just sitting in my quiet house right now, with the tree lit, Christmas music playing, fireplace going and my cookie candle...and am enjoying every minute. As we all know, live the life you want to be living right now....Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving....

We are headed to my parent's house tomorrow morning for Thanksgiving. I am contributing pie, rolls, cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole. I can't wait to dig in to all the good food!

I actually have 2 photo shoots while I am up there...should be interesting to shoot in a new place! I also have my 15 year high school reunion on Saturday night. I will hopefully have some good stories from that...

The 20 miler is behind me now...tapering has begun. The big marathon is in 2 weeks. 20 miles in 25 degree weather was brutal...the wind was against me most of the time. I hope the marathon isn't that cold.
Here is a picture of my "Brave Little Bear" at his Thanksgiving Feast at school. Have a Happy Thanksgiving...I know we have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Help a girlfriend out!!

My dear friend Jessica has been chosen as a finalist in a "Comfort Food Cooking Contest". Please, please help her out by going here. Jessica is a good friend that now lives in Columbus, OH. She also writes the blog Sweet Peas & Pumpkins, which is where I get a lot of my recipes! We lived in Northern VA at the same time and her and Dan once worked together on Capitol Hill.

She has a very good shot at winning. As of today she was in the lead!! Voting ends on Sunday, so go cast your vote now...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Throwing caution to the wind...

This past Friday we decided last minute to head to Clemson for the game. Imagine that, we were spontaneous!!! We dropped the twins off at my parents in Columbia on Friday, spent the night there and woke up early on Saturday to go to the game. We took Harrison with us and he had a blast!! Our friends from NC were also going along with their children. The kids range in age from 3 to 6-total 5 kids in all. Dan, Harrison and I walked around Clemson a little while, ate lunch downtown, went to the game and met our friends around the 3rd quarter on their side of the stadium. Our side was in the shade and it was pretty chilly! Harrison LOVES Clemson football. I loved being up there. I know I'm biased but it has to be one of the prettiest places around...GO TIGERS! After the game we all went to dinner in downtown Greenville. The kids sat together at one end of the table and the adults at the other. I was so proud of how well-behaved they all were!! It was nice to actually have adult conversation and enjoy dinner with the kids at the same time. One day Brady and Jack will get to participate...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wholly Guacamole!

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE guacamole. Love it!! I love the fresh, authentic, homemade variety. Sometimes however, I just don't have the time to make it. I've been enjoying having mashed avocados on a grilled havarti, turkey and tomato sandwiches lately for lunch. Imagine my excitement when I was in Super Walmart of all places the other day and found these. They are 100 calorie snack packs of guacamole! And they cost 1.88 for a pack of 3. I think that's great considering the time it takes to mash an avocado, not to mention the browning that occurs-GROSS! Granted it doesn't taste so much like guac, more like mashed avocado. Sometimes that's just what I'm looking for. When the pack is gone, then I'm done too. No more overindulging in guacamole. Seriously, sometimes my friends have to tell me to "step away from the guac". I can't get enough! Anyway, go to your nearest grocery store and see if they have this stuff. Sadly, so far I have only found it at Super Walmart-weird, huh?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Miles and miles to go before I sleep...

I haven't talked about the "Training" in a couple of days...mainly because I am ready to get it done. In the last couple of weeks I've done 12, 15, and 16 mile runs. Well, this weekend is my 18 miler and I'm dreading it. It's only 2 more miles than the 16 miler, but I'm doing it alone. The 16 miler alone was long enough, but I don't know how I'm going to get through this 18 miler. Anyone out there have any suggestions to make it go faster? I have about 5 weeks until the actual marathon. My thinking is that by now if I can run 16 miles solo then I can run 26.2 with several hundred people-piece of cake, right?

I seriously could not do this without the unending support of my wonderful husband. Every Saturday while I'm out there pounding the pavement, he's getting the kids dressed and fed, not to mention when I have my runs during the week. He is the most important piece of the puzzle to all of this marathon training.

I get several questions from people about what I'm going to do to celebrate once I'm done...not sure yet, but I'll have to think of something special!?!

Who knows if I'll want to do another marathon after this. My goal has always been to do one, but we'll see if I catch that bug I hear so much about. I wouldn't mind doing Marine Corp one day, since we lived up there for 9 years...most of my adult life so far.

Anyway, been super busy with our photo sessions as of late. It's great, very great...I don't think Blakely and I ever expected to be this busy. We are having a lot of fun with it! Once again, I don't think either of us could do it without our husbands. Which is why they will be having fun at "man day" in our neighborhood this coming Saturday...I'll post about that later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008!

We had a blast trick or treating last night! I just love our neighborhood-everyone was out on their porches and the atmosphere was so much fun. I made a big batch of chili with the fixins and several of the adults had drinks to share with the parents and candy for the kids. I LOVED Halloween being on a Friday night too. By 9:00 pm everyone was in bed and Dan and I caught up on Entourage. I decided to switch my run to Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning so we could all sleep in...and we all did...until 8:00 am. However, that meant rushing to get out the door in time for Harrison's soccer game. Here are a few pictures from last night. Brady and Jack LOVED getting dressed up. It was so cute to watch them in Harrison's costumes from previous years...Harrison kept yelling "I AM SUPERMAN! I can fly. I'll save you!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweets for my sweets!

Too cute not to share....I'll update more later.

Can you tell my boys love sweets? I wonder where that comes from....?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We are family...

Harrison had a blast with his cousins this past weekend. We were out to lunch on Saturday and all of the older cousins (by older I mean 6, 6, and 4) were sitting together and I made a comment on their similarities. It's amazing how much they look alike. Want to see....

Look how cute they all are? Also, Harrison's 'new thing' to do when I take a picture is to make a funny's pretty difficult to get good shots of him. Here's of them was taken when he didn't realize I was snapping....
I guess you could say he has his 'Halloween pose' all ready to go! Onnika, me niece, made some silly ones as well. Here's one of her...
The hardest part was trying to get a group shot of everyone on our front porch. Here is the best of the bunch...notice the 'cousins'. I can't wait to see how much fun they have together this Christmas!
Dan and his parents, sisters and their kids, along with Harrison. Brady and Jack were napping and I'm behind the camera (as usual)!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Last night's Halloween party was a lot of fun. It was nice that we could just walk on over to our neighbor's house. I was a 20's flapper girl and Dan was a prisoner from Prohibition. He looked pretty cute, but I haven't loaded the picture yet. My neighbor already loaded hers onto her Facebook page, so here is one from last night's festivities. My neighbors were dressed as 'rednecks'! Of course, morning came pretty early when I realized I had to run the 15 miles I was supposed to run the day before (it rained the day before). It was a LONG run! But I did it and will be paying tomorrow I guess. There were so many times I wanted to stop, but I pushed myself. I realized afterwards that if I can run 15 miles on little sleep then I can surely do this marathon in December.

We had a nice visit with Dan's family this weekend! It was great to see them and watch all the kids together, all 5 of them played their little hearts out. Harrison loves having visitors. When they all left, he said, "who's coming next?"

We took the boys to a Children's festival in our neighborhood and then I hit the beach for a photo shoot! The weather has finally cooled off, which makes it feel more like fall.

After a very busy weekend, I'm off to bed....

Friday, October 17, 2008

15 miles...

is the amount I'm running in the morning! It's all I can think about today. Guess what will be waiting for me when I get back....?
That's right! I'll have time to think about solving the world's financial crisis, who will be the better President, etc. But this, my friends, will be on my mind to get me through it!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

If Slacker Mama's gonna do it....

then I'm doing it too. My friend, (yes, she is really my friend and I miss her) Slacker Mama, posted a high school picture of her from Facebook. Freshmen year of me was all I could find. So tell me friends, was I a 'hottie' freshmen year at Clemson or what? Gotta love the '90's. I'm the red-head in the middle...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bend it like Beckham...

Is there anything cuter than a 4 year old in shin guards, long socks and cleats? Makes my heart feel so full....

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Once again, where did the week go? Dan and I had a wonderful evening last week for our anniversary dinner! It was just so nice to be out all dressed up and feel like a grown-up again.

Friday we had a 'neighborhood block party'! It was so much fun, but A LOT of work. Now that the twins are both walking, they are in two different directions. Dan and I were busy chasing after them and talked and socialized when we could. After being there for a little while, we made our way back home where we met our good friends from North Carolina that were visiting us for the weekend.

It was so good to see Jason, Salley and the boys! Her boys are 3 and 5 and got along with Harrison very well. They played the entire weekend. It was just great to catch up with them too! Salley and I have been friends for years and whenever we get together, it's like we never left. I love that about our friendship.

Saturday morning I was hating that I had to run 13 miles, but once I got into went by fast-all 2 hours and 53 seconds of it. A little slower than last week, but hey, not too bad considering I ran it solo this time! I even treated myself to not one, but two Dunkin Donuts when I got back.

I had to work the Fall Bazaar at Harrison's school, but not before we squeezed in lunch over at Red's on Shem Creek. Later that evening I did a photo shoot of Jason and Salley and the boys over at the beach and can't wait for them to see the finished product. I thought they turned out well.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday and I had two shoots at the beach-one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. Where else can you be barefoot, at the beach and make a little money too? I have to say...I am loving it!

All in all, last weekend was busy, but fun! I've spent the last couple of days editing photos and hanging with the boys! Not too shabby....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

9 wonderful years...

It seems like yesterday that we were getting married. Hard to believe all the incredible things that have happened these past 9 years....Let's see, 2 states, 5 cities, 1 apartment, 1 townhouse, 3 houses, 1 dog and 3 beautiful children! I'd say it's been a blessing for sure! I love you more and more as each day passes. You are a wonderful husband and amazing father and I could not ask for anything more. Here's to many, many more wonderful years together! Looking forward to our dinner out here tonight!

Happy 9th Anniversary sweetheart and love of my life! It has and continues to be an amazing ride...I love you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

12 easy miles...

I ran 12 miles yesterday morning with my neighbor Jen. We left our houses at 5:30 am and arrived back by 7:15 am-so 12 miles in 1 hour, 45 minutes isn't too bad, huh? Then I quickly stretched, refueled and showered and we were in the car for church by 8:55 am! Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a little Mellow Mushroom downtown, which hit the spot! Eating pizza after running 12 miles = no guilt! It was a beautiful day downtown. We even managed to fit in a family bike ride that afternoon. This morning I was up to do my strength training and didn't even feel like I ran 12 miles the day before. It was awesome running with Jen...we talked the entire time! She's going to do 13 with me next Saturday and she's not even training for a marathon. Can you believe I'm actually looking forward to running 13? I think I'm officially 'addicted' to running! She's done two at 3:45, so I think she knows a thing or two about it :) This weekend is busy, but fun! I'm hosting Bunco on Wednesday, our 9th anniversary is on Thursday and we have good friends coming in town from NC for the weekend! I also have two photo shoots and tons of errands to do. I got called to jury duty and need to get out of of the perks of being a stay at home mom I guess.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"When I grow up...

I want to be Batman!" This is what Harrison told me this afternoon. I think he may be getting his future "career" confused with his Halloween costume. His choice of costume changes daily...from Superman. Well, at least we have the same 'super-hero' theme? Although, wouldn't it be nice if we really could be 'super-heroes' when we grow up?

We are all doing well. I've been super busy editing photos from shoots that I rarely have time to blog anymore. Ask my business partner...or my husband, editing is quite time consuming. I try do it at night or naptime...really, there is no other time to do it. I'd rather be hanging out with my boys than be on the computer, but I started this blog to talk about them and our lives.

Brady is walking up a storm. He gets better and better every day. Brady and Jack's language has really taken off. Brady will see Jack across the room and shout "DACK! DACK!?!" until his brother acknowledges him. Yesterday Jack said "I won wa-wa!" and walked over to the refridgerator. He was so excited that I understood him and granted his request. He must have been grinning from ear to ear! They, like their big brother, are really, really, really into cars and anything with wheels. As one of three girls I am learning all there is to know about raising boys and what they like.

Just lovin' this awesome weather. We all went for a walk this morning and we're getting ready for another one right now!!

My future 'super-hero'

Future Clemson Tigers

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The time is NOW...

I don't know why I've been so sentimental these days. Maybe it's because I've heard some stories about children losing their parents or parents losing their children or it could be that I'm reading The Last Lecture but I feel like doing all of these things that I say I will do "someday". I admit I'm a pretty busy woman but I when I feel the urge to tell my children I love them, I do. Most of you know that I lost my sister 10 years ago in a tragic car accident and because of that I realize how short and precious life is. It can be gone in an instant. Sometimes I find myself worried about what my house looks like or what I look like or what the boys are wearing and I stop myself and realize that IT SIMPLY DOES NOT MATTER. I'm not dying or anything but I want to live my days as if they were my last. I want my boys to see me as a happy person who had no regrets. I want to be nice to people and I want to have fun! Spending time with the people you love is so much better than decorating your house or obsessing over material things. I recently read a blog that my friend Slacker Mama shared on her blog. This mom lived right down the street from where we once lived in Northern Virginia. I could have seen her at church, the grocery store, Target, the park, etc and now she is in the hospital fighting for her life with a husband and two little girls-2 1/2 and 6 months old-at home. Her husband wrote something on his blog that sent chills up my spine and had me in tears...
First, life is very tenuous - very fragile - and very fleeting. I would give anything to be able to interact with Hyatt again... to hold her, talk with her, smile and laugh with her - and share the joy of life with her. Please do this with your family right now. Stop what you are doing - stop all the busyness of life and go spend some time with your loved ones.
So true, so very, very true...everyone please go tell your children that you love them. Go. Right now!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lady Luck

I believe that I am one lucky lady. I have three beautiful (or handsome) little boys and an amazing husband! Tonight I took Harrison to see the Backyardigans. He liked it, but what I truly liked was watching him watch hit. Seeing it through his eyes made the whole thing worth my time. I love having one on one time with each child and as Brady and Jack get older we will be doing it more often with them too. I feel so blessed everytime I look at Dan and the boys. I am so thankful for all that I have been given. As I type this the rest of the house is sleeping and I should be too. I put a load of cloth diapers in the wash a little too late, but at the time time I am enjoying this time of reflection. I just checked on all three of them and they all looked like sleeping angels. I could literally have stood there for hours staring at them. Don't you just love them when they're asleep? Even Harrison still looks like he did as a baby when he's sleeping. However, my 6:00 am run will be here before I know it, so I better get to sleep. Night-night!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He walks...

Two days before he turns 19 months, Brady took his first steps! We were in therapy when it happened. He walked for a long time between me and his therapist. He was so happy and proud of himself!!! I'm so excited and proud of him...Jennifer (his therapist) may discharge him completely after next week. She thinks there is nothing wrong with him at all. As a matter of fact, she just felt he needed his time to walk and he is not even tight in his heels anymore. I could literally jump for joy right now. I have prayed and prayed for this day to happen and it finally did!!! Prayers really do get answered. Thank you so much for all of your nice thoughts and prayers! I'll try to post some video if I can.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Alive and Well!

Of course Saturday turned out to be a perfect day weather-wise! Oh well, we decided to drive over to the beach and eat at a restaurant right on the beach with great views. After lunch, Dan and Harrison went to the movies. We wanted to treat him to special things, since his party was canceled!! They saw "Space Chimp". Dan's opinion was "not that great". I think Harrison just enjoyed watching it on the big screen.

Hanna did not end up being quite the storm they thought, but that's OK! I've been through Hurricane Hugo 19 years ago and I will never, ever forget that storm. I'll take a wimpy storm like Hanna anyday over a hurricane.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hanna, Hanna go away!

Tomorrow was supposed to be a super busy day for our family. Harrison had a soccer game at 10:00, his party was at 1:00, and I had a photo shoot on the beach at 6:00 pm. Guess what? It looks as though TS Hanna is going to make an appearance in the Lowcountry and now none of these events will be happening. Oh, and I was supposed to run 10 miles tomorrow morning. I'm a little bummed...but I know it's out of safety that these events had to be cancelled. We hadn't even mentioned Harrison's party to him at all this week because I had 'that feeling' that it may be cancelled. I was going to reschedule but the place couldn't do it until the 20th anyway. We'll just treat him to something extra special. Besides, he's 4, plenty of time for parties! We did a family party last Friday (his actual birthday), treated him to Five Guy's (his restaurant of choice) and had another little party at my parent's house last Saturday. So, we've done a lot of celebrating his birthday.

Jen and I did a 'semi-long run' this morning, 7 instead of 10. It's already looking grey and cloudy out there, so no running for me in the morning. The rocking chairs and hammock are off the porch, the flag is down and the wreath is off the door. We have our 70 bottles of water, flashlights, batteries, candles and plenty of snack food-because when it's storming, there's nothing like eating trail mix and oreos!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Get into the groove...

Whew! It's been hard to get back into the swing of things now that Harrison is going to 4K everyday. It really keeps us busy and me in the car! He had a great 1st day of school and birthday on Friday! We headed to my parents on Saturday after his first soccer game that morning. I think he's really just trying to take everything in and is adjusting...although slowly. I guess it will prepare him for next year when he goes everyday, all day to Kindergarten.

With Hanna on the horizon...there's a possibility that we may be evacuating on Thursday. That puts a big ? for his party on Saturday. I also have a photo shoot that day and he has a soccer game that morning. It may be a busy day that doesn't end up happening at all. My biggest concern about moving back to S.C. was the whole hurricane thing and now we may be 2 days away from evacuation. People were buying water like crazy at the grocery store today. I sent Dan over to Costco after work to buy 2 big things of it...YIKES! We'll see and I'll keep updating our status. In the meantime, I am writing down all of the things we should take with us in case of evacuation.

Signed up for my Half-marathon in October in Columbia. The Governor's Cup Road Race...ummm, that's in less than 2 months. The marathon is in December...where has the time gone? My training is going well but it is still hot, sticky and hot in the morning. Looking forward to those Oct, Nov, Dec mornings again. Bring on the cold (cooler) weather...and Hanna, if you're listening-Please don't come visit us! My 4 year old will not be happy! Oh, if only it was that easy...

Friday, August 29, 2008

4 years ago today....

you blessed us with your entrance into this world. WOW, how long we waited to hold you and meet you. You have brought us so much happiness sweet boy! You are the family comedian, always trying to make us and your brothers laugh. Your laugh and smile are infectious! You have taught me a big lesson in your life so far...just wait and give things time. You are always doing things on your terms and now I know that is just your personality. You took a bottle when you were finally ready...even though you were 9 months old! You talked when you were's so hard to believe I was actually concerned about your language. Now you talk all the time and have so many questions about this world we live in. Your daddy and I love you to the moon and back and wish you the best 4th birthday ever....and also wish you the best first day of 4K! Love you forever, Mommy and Daddy, Brady and Jack too! Here you are through the years....1....2....3....4!!! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last few days of summer...

I can't believe the last few days of summer are here. It really did fly by. We had a great summer playing with friends, going to the pool, parks, etc...just hanging out! Now in a few days Harrison will turn 4 and school starts on Thursday! Pretty soon we'll be back in the grind with Harrison going to school every day. We've been busy just getting ready for the big 4th birthday. His party is actually the first weekend in September since the place we are having it was booked for this coming weekend. He will be having a pirate-themed party with mostly all boys! All he's asking for his birthday is a scooter. We decided to get the Razor one, but it seems so big-boyish. How did my baby become a big boy in front of my eyes? We had to be creative in telling the grandparents what to get him because all he'll say is a scooter. He will be playing soccer this fall, so we'll get him some things to go with that. I can't wait to see him in his cleats, shin guards and uniform. It's so hard to believe that 4 years ago this week I was 55 lbs heavier, extremely swollen and about to give birth to one of the sweetest boys I know. Now 4 years later I have 3 sweet little boys. Here are some pictures from our latest excursion to the park. This park is one of Harrison's favorites because it's a big pirate ship...Ahoy matey!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crescent Moon Photography is open for business!

If you are in the Charleston, SC area Crescent Moon Photography is officially open for business. My partner and friend Blakely and I have been busy working on it to get it launched and are pleased with it. For those of you who don't know, the S.C. flag has a crescent moon on it, hence the name of the business. We South Carolinians have a lot of state pride (as do the Texans) and are proud of our state look around and let me know your thoughts. I'd love any feedback. We're hoping to be starting a business blog that will attach to our site as well. So check back often! If you're in the area or visiting, we'd love to take photos of your family.

So, in case you're wondering this is what I've been up to..between this, facebook (it's so addictive), Dan's birthday, him being off, planning Harrison's party, getting ready for preschool, soccer, Brady's physical therapy,'s been a zoo. Then again, I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I've been MIA...

I know it's been a while...we were so busy last week with Dan being home on his 'staycation' all week. It was nice having him home. We had a great date night out at the Hootie & the Blowfish concert on Friday night. I still love me some Hootie! They did not disappoint!!! I have so much to share, but I'll leave with you with our latest family picture and report back soon...

Friday, August 8, 2008

New kicks and a new biz...

Last month I was in severe calf pain from running. I pretty much cut my running in half last month because it was too difficult to run. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I kept stretching, icing, resting...I even took up biking. I like biking, but it doesn't burn near the calories that running does. My last ditch effort was to get new shoes....well, guess what? It was the shoes. My calf is now completely better. My shoes were near the end of their life at 300 miles, so I didn't even think that they could actually cause pain. My calf is so much better and I have "OFFICIALLY" started training for the marathon. I am so excited, nervous, scared wrapped up in one!! Here are the shoes I got: the ASICS 2310's

On other notes...I've been super busy this week getting ready to get the photography business running with my partner. We are meeting next week and will hopefully get started on the website, pricing and various other things. I will keep you posted when the website launches. If any of you are planning on being in the Charleston area anytime, please look us up if you are interested in doing a shoot!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Girl time in the 'Ville '08

The girls and I had such a great weekend. It's always a great time when it seems like you never left each other. We also got to meet J's baby girl for the first time....she is so adorable. We went out to lunch, we walked around, we drank wine, I ran 3 miles with C after drinking 2 glasses of wine...wouldn't recommend that one! We did Chinese take-out and talked and talked and talked. On Sunday I did a photo shoot of R in Falls Park downtown Greenville, which ended up being a beautiful location. We also went to Blue Ridge Brewing Co. for brunch (which is my all time favorite meal) and get this, complimentary mimosa's. That's right, FREE! The crab benedict was incredible! Greenville is the cutest city. They have done so much to the downtown area, it makes me ALMOST want to live there....except I'd miss the beach. Next year, the girls will head to A's house in Athens, GA because her little boy will be around 9 months old this time next year...she's due in Dec. Here is a pic of me, A, and J with her little one (C had already gone back to Richmond, VA) and a sweet pic of R from the shoot. It went by way too fast...can't wait for next year!!!

A, J and baby R, me

Friday, August 1, 2008

Girls Weekend!

I can't wait for my girls weekend! I leave tomorrow morning for Greenville where my friend J lives. Rumor has it we are eating lunch in Clemson!!! It will be nice to catch up with A, J and C. A is pregnant with her first child (a boy!!!) so she is the lucky recipient of boy clothes. I've been cleaning out closets...I can't wait to meet J's sweet little girl Riley for the first time. She was born in Feb. Here's a picture of us from last year's girl's weekend at my house (we meet every year during the summer). Wow! I've lost 15 pounds since this pic was taken and my hair is A LOT shorter. I'll be sure to take some of us over the weekend. I'm doing a photo shoot of Baby Riley as well.

J, me, A, and C this time last year

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mad about "Mad Men"

I am LOVING the show Mad Men. Actually, Dan and I both LOVE it and I honestly can't remember being excited about TV in a long time. How did I not know about this until recently? We caught up with Season 1 on our On Demand and Season 2 just started this past Sunday. It's on AMC (I know, how random) on Sunday at 10:00 pm, so set up your DVR's. It's witty, clever, creative, very well written and very classy. It's set in the early 60's, so it definitely let's me feel as a woman how far we've come. There's just something about that period in time that intriques me. Go on, watch it, you'll see what I mean. Dan and I by all means don't watch all that much TV, but this show is definitely one we don't miss.
Took the boys to the free summer movie this morning. It's the last one for the summer, which means that summer is actually winding down. How can this be? School starts in less than a month down here. So hard to believe my little boy will be in school every day this year...
Brady had PT yesterday and he did really well. The PT doesn't seem to think it's really that bad. She assures me how strong he is, how social he is and that it is just a gross motor delay. She also made another observation. She was demonstrating a stretch on Harrison and said, "Wow, he's pretty tight too?" I asked what she meant. She said his muscles even at a relaxed state were tight. I told her that Dan and I are both pretty tight ourselves and she actually believes that Brady's issues may be genetic and his "tight" muscles are keeping him from walking at this point. In my mind, I know he will walk but for some reason this made me feel SO much better. We are taking everything day by day here and that's about all I can do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Shoot" for the stars....

Last week I had two photo shoots with two different families. The first one was on the beach at Wild Dunes....they were so much fun to be around and I felt that I got some cute ones. Wild Dunes was a gorgeous area to do a photo shoot. The other family was taken in my neighborhood, which is a beautiful spot to take photos. My friend/neighbor/future business partner B and I are starting to talk names, websites, etc about the business so I'm getting super excited. Both families gave me permission to share the images on my blog, so here are a few that I captured.