Halloween 2013

Halloween was fun this year, definitely not my favorite holiday but the kids enjoy dressing up and getting candy.  We started the day of with Reagan’s preschool party (Lincoln’s school doesn’t allow dressing up- they get a pajama day instead).  Reagan had a Halloween Fiesta to close out her school’s geography unit on Mexico.
IMG_5992IMG_5994Madison was so excited about the plastic play food!

Happy girl with her Halloween cookieIMG_6004The whole class waiting for the pinata
IMG_6008When did she get so old?
IMG_6023Grabbing the candy
IMG_6031Best Friends Evie and Leighton
IMG_6034Our house before the big night, decorating didn’t really happen this year
IMG_6038Batman, a Pumpkin, and Sofia the First- my gosh I love these cute kids!
IMG_6045Reagan’s pumpkin- it’s supposed to be Sofia the first

Lincoln’s Pumpkin- an Angry BirdIMG_6047We took our cute neighbor Austin with us, Maddie wasn’t so sure about his mask
IMG_6050The only picture of them actually trick or treating (super blurry)

We had a fun time and the kids got WAY too much candy but we are rationing it, at the pace we are going they might have some left by the time Easter rolls around!  Another fun holiday, now to prep for our simple family Thanksgiving and then the slippery slope to Christmas…


We went to Disney World!!  My dream finally came true and we loved every second of it!  The idea started a few months ago when we realized we wouldn’t be taking a vacation this summer due to many scheduling challenges.  We get itchy feet very easily and I told Nathan I wanted to get out of town this fall for a few days.  In Nathan’s mind he was thinking this meant a camping trip to the mountains or a few days in Savannah.  Little did he know I was thinking about a trip to Disney World.  When we first learned we would be transferring to Atlanta I immediately researched how far the drive to Disney would be (a mere seven hours) and began dreaming of our yearly trip to the World!  So we planned and planned and somehow our trip became a reality last week when we spent three days in Orlando (only one of which was spent at the Magic Kingdom but there is always next year).  Anyone who knows us knows that when we do a Disney trip we REALLY do a Disney trip.  I am not a fan of standing in lines all day or really waiting of any kind so we use the Ridemax software which maps out which ride you should ride when so you don’t have to wait.  This is our third time using Ridemax and we have always had wonderful results.  This time was no different, our longest wait for a ride was four minutes.  Our longest wait of the day was standing in line to order lunch!  We saw 24 different attractions and even had time to ride Dumbo and Buzz Lightyear twice!  The kids were total troopers considering we arrived at the park about 7am and didn’t leave until 10pm- Reagan fell asleep before fireworks and Maddie was a little grouchy at the end but they hung in there!  The whole day was magical and during the drive home we looked at homes to buy in Orlando- if only we could go everyday!  We are hoping to go again next fall, it can’t get here soon enough.  A very special thank you to Aunty Carroll who made our entire family cute shirts so we could match inside the park!  We took very few photos since we were so busy but here are a few of our adventures at the Happiest Place on Earth…IMG_5849

The first day we rode the monorail around the parks- the kids thought it was a ride!IMG_5856We stopped at the Grand Floridian and let the kids play at the beach…they were in heaven!

This pretty much sums me up for the entire trip- texting mom, trying to keep Maddie away from the water, and grabbing something for Lincoln out of my hiking pack (not a fanny pack!!)IMG_5859 IMG_5897

Maddie wasn’t big enough for the cars so we used rider swap and the other two got to ride twice!IMG_5904Reagan and I after our ride

On the teacupsIMG_5911

Look at the joy, they all looked like this most of the day!IMG_5913 IMG_5914

Happy to be on Small WorldIMG_5915

Maddie LOVED Small World- this was her face the entire ride.  She kept pointing to the dolls and saying “ohhhh”IMG_5918Reagan met the princesses- she was too shy to say a word to them but she stared at them a lot
IMG_5920This Cinderella was too cute
IMG_5921More staring and adoration
IMG_5923Snow White was beautiful as well
IMG_5925Waiting for the afternoon parade- the two strollers worked perfectly!
IMG_5927 IMG_5930Waiting for the stage show to being, Reagan got to see all the princesses up close and personal
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One picture with the Mickey Ears…can you see how excited Maddie was about those things?  Our day was winding down (Reagan pooped out about 5 minutes after we took this picture) and they were all a little done taking pictures!IMG_5959

The next day we hit up Downtown Disney, Lincoln would take up residence at the Lego store if he couldIMG_5965 IMG_5971

The Disney Store there has an entire room devoted to Princesses, Reagan LOVED it!IMG_5974 IMG_5978Nate and I loved every second, especially the food- who doesn’t love a Mickey ice cream bar?

Lincoln’s 6th Birthday

Our five months of family birthdays came to an end on Sept. 27th when our baby boy turned six…where did the time go?  Lincoln enjoyed a day of celebrating that included lunch at school with mom (and little sisters in tow) and birthday treats for his whole class.  He refused to let us celebrate until after 5:00p since he wasn’t born until then.  But when 5:00 finally rolled around he was so excited to open his presents and eat his cake he was jumping all over the house!  Since mom had to go to work that night, we did cake as soon as dad walked in the door (even though we hadn’t had dinner yet!)  All Lincoln wanted was Legos so we splurged on the BIG set- the Star Wars Rancor pit.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember that part- the Rancor is the name of the animal at Jabba’s palace that almost eats Luke (who actually knew that thing had a name?)  IMG_5828 IMG_5831

Do you see that little face down there?IMG_5837

She couldn’t wait to get her hands on some cake!

Reagan’s First Day of School

Reagan started school about four weeks after Lincoln, probably the longest four weeks of her life!  Everyday we would take Linc to the bus and Reagan would say- “Mom, is it my turn to go to school?”  It seemed like her day would never come but eventually September rolled around and off to school she went.  I was nervous about how Reagan would do, she is definitely our shy child, but she walked right in and sat down, ready to start class.  It helped that she has the same teachers that Lincoln had last year so they already knew all about Reagan.  We LOVE Ms Debbie and Ms Jennifer and they have loved having Reagan, everyday is a new story about how sweet she is and the cute things she says in class.  We sure got lucky with our beautiful little girl.  IMG_5784 IMG_5791 IMG_5803 IMG_5809

Lincoln’s First Day of School

Lincoln started Kindergarten this year and boy was he ready to go…a summer spent doing nothing was a little too boring for Linc.  His bus comes at 7:10 every morning and that first morning was a little rough for me (Lincoln and Reagan are always up at 6:30 anyway) but I am adjusting to being a morning person.  He loves school and his teacher loves him so we are happy- let’s hope he keeps it up for the next 20 years or so.  IMG_5707 IMG_5685

His bus driver, Ms Carol- she’s awesomeIMG_5657

“MOM, it’s still dark outside”IMG_5660

Should anyone really be awake when the street lamps are still  on?IMG_5661

Waiting patiently in lineIMG_5664 IMG_5666I may have started crying at this point…at least I kept it together until he got on the bus

A Night at Town Center

One of the best parts of living in Suwanee is all the beautiful parks and greenways that they have in town.  One Sunday evening this summer (in between rainstorms) we took the family to Suwanee Town Center to run around and play.  We all enjoyed the beautiful weather and having a little free space to run around.IMG_5558 IMG_5568 IMG_5578 IMG_5585 IMG_5622 IMG_5647The city displayed a piece of the Berlin Wall this summer and we did our best to explain to the kids what that wall represented

Losing Teeth

Lincoln is now at the age where he is losing teeth and, I won’t lie, it kind of grosses me out a little.  He was super excited about the whole process and was REALLY happy when he lost his first two teeth on the same day!  He saved them in a little baggie and the tooth fairy brought him a couple quarters that night.  I realize pinterest has about 500 cute tooth fairy ideas but this mom went old school- he put the tooth under his pillow and in the morning there was money.  We did not write any tiny notes, sprinkle any magic fairy dust, or leave a glass of water for the tooth fairy to take a bath in- nada zip zero (it’s how we roll around here).  But Lincoln was excited just the same and is now constantly checking his other teeth for any “wiggling” so he can earn more money to put towards his ever expanding lego collection.

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Reagan’s 4th Birthday

My baby girl went and turned four last month even though I told her I wanted her to stay three forever.  She would have happily obliged but that birthday came and went and now we have another four year old in our house!  Reagan is an awesome little person, she brings so much joy into our home.  I refer to her as our “peacemaker” because she is so easy going that she is often the one to smooth things over when the stubborn elements of our family (me and lincoln) start to butt heads.  She will willingly give Lincoln what he wants when she can see him building up to a melt down and their relationship seems to work well because they are such opposites.  Don’t let that fool you though because that girl can certainly throw a massive fit when she doesn’t get what she REALLY wants…whining seems to be an issue that we need to work on!  But we do love her sweet spirit and how much she loves everyone around her.  She reminds me daily how much she loves all her friends and family and spends most of her time writing “love cards” for me to mail around the country to all her loved ones (one day I will get around to that…).  We always tell people that Reagan was our surprise baby but I don’t know where we would be without our little princess.  A few things I don’t want to forget about Reagan…

- She LOVES princesses and pink and dolls and most every girly thing she can get her hands on

- She might be a girly girl but she can also name every Marvel superhero, watches Animaniacs, and can’t wait to play soccer

- We all call her Ray Ray which Nate thinks is a nickname for an NFL running back but I like it and it has stuck now

- She is the only one of us that still calls Lincoln “Bubba” but she loves him so much and the name seems to fit for them

- Reagan is a VERY cautious little girl, she is always warning me of impending danger and is reluctant to try anything adventurous.  I may have created a monster!

We celebrated Reagan’s birthday twice, with a family party on her actual birthday and a friend party a few days later…


Her birthday haul- we are trying to push her out of her comfort zone with the scooter and so far she likes it but doesn’t quite love it!IMG_5212

She decided to sleep through dinner and we had to wake her up to eat cake and open presentsIMG_5214

My seminary teacher used to bring us a big cookie on our birthdays and I loved the idea so this year I made Reagan a big cookie (so easy- why didn’t I do this before?) that was so yummy!IMG_5216

A little while later we had the big friend party which I purposely kept really simple (I still had minor panic attacks leading up to it).  Reagan decided she wanted a Pirates and Princesses party so she could invite her boy and girl friends.  Never again will I do a double themed party but the kids seemed to have fun.IMG_5239IMG_5240IMG_5242IMG_5244IMG_5247

We played a bunch of games and had a treasure hunt at the end but the kids enjoyed playing with the balloons the most.IMG_5255IMG_5266IMG_5268

IMG_5288Me and my (not for much longer) baby…love this girl!

4th of July

I LOVE 4th of July- more than Christmas, Thanksgiving, and my birthday- and every summer I eagerly anticipate that great day of parades, bbq, and fireworks.  Last year we were in Utah so this was our first 4th of July in Atlanta and it was a bit of a bummer.  I had to work the night of 4th of July so I had planned for us to watch fireworks the night before at a local park.  Unfortunately, as has been the case a lot this summer, everything was rained out.  Thunderstorms rolled in and there went any hope of me seeing fireworks.  The day of the Fourth we woke up early and went to the parade in Dunwoody which was fun and very patriotic and then walked around the Perimeter mall, which we had never been to, before going home to a giant 4th of July BBQ that we made for ourselves.  I had to go into work early so Nate and the kids watched the fireworks on tv before going to bed early.  I think we have decided that every summer from now on we are driving out to Utah to spend 4th of July with our family there.  Nate convinced me when he told me all about the gigantic Provo Parade- I do love a good parade!  So Jennifer, Christa, and Kim- look forward to us crashing with you guys next summer!IMG_5173

Maddie’s seat for the paradeIMG_5176 IMG_5180 IMG_5183 IMG_5184 They got star rings, along with a ton of candy, during the paradeIMG_5187 IMG_5188 IMG_5189 IMG_5196 IMG_5201 IMG_5202 IMG_5203 IMG_5205Heading back home before the rain started again

Sunday Afternoon at the Fountains

With me working every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night we don’t get a lot of time to spend together on the weekends so we have tried to do something fun (and free!) and Sunday evenings.  A few weeks ago we decided to drive over to the mall to walk around and window shop.  I think we are the only people in Gwinnett county who didn’t know that the mall has an outdoor fountain/splash area!  The kids were in heaven when we let them run through it in their clothes…they got soaked and had a blast.  We will make a trip there again as soon as it stops raining long enough for us to go outside.  IMG_5044 IMG_5048 IMG_5081 IMG_5088 IMG_5098 IMG_5105 IMG_5112 IMG_5117 IMG_5123 IMG_5142 IMG_5154


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