Family

It’s cold outside!

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I know it’s not as cold here in Tennessee as it is in, say, Minnesota, but I have to say- IT’S SO COLD!! It was about 18 degrees or so this morning when we got up and now it’s about 8 degrees. We have the heaters on and a fire going in the fireplace, and I still have a chill! There’s no mistaking that winter is here! It’s nice, though. I like cold winters. Now if we just had a decent snow, it would be perfect!

My awesome brother came up to see me this weekend. We had so much fun! (Of course, when do we not? Ha ha!) We gorged on a ton of sushi for lunch. It’s funny because we both like really spicy food, so we ordered the spiciest sushi on the menu. Nothing! It wasn’t even close to spicy for us! Of course, this is coming from someone who orders her food extra spicy- meaning pile on the hot peppers! So after that, we went ice skating in Knoxville. I hadn’t been ice skating since I was somewhere around the age of 6 years old… so about 25ish years. It was hilarious because when I first got out on the ice, the best I could do was hold onto the rail for dear life as my legs scissored and I didn’t go anywhere. After a while though, I started getting the hang of it, so by the time we left, I got to the point to where I was skating more towards the middle of the rink, away from the rail! And get this- I only fell once. Not too shabby, huh? The funny thing was once I fell, I couldn’t get back up!  My skates kept sliding out from under me, so I had to wait for my brother to make it back around so he could help me up. It was awesome! He, of course, was a great skater-  mostly, he said, because he used to rollerblade a lot when he was younger. So he pretty much taught me how to skate.

One of the biggest tips I can give anyone trying to ice skate is to make sure you get your laces as TIGHT as you can. You need that ankle support to keep your ankles from turning in. In fact, I got my first pair of skates so tight that the laces snapped in half. Then I had my brother lace up the second pair as tight as he could, and from then on out, I was great.

The only irritating thing was the tweens/teens who would congregate in groups on the ice along the rail. When I was first trying to figure out how to skate, I had to stop multiple times because they were apparently so self-absorbed that they were completely oblivious that they were causing a traffic jam. Small kids and adults alike had to stop and wait on those fools. I finally got to the point to where I just barged right through the groups. I got a few dirty looks, but hey, not my problem!

So after a couple hours of cold hands, sweat, and sore ankles from the tight skates, we decided to head out. We headed over to the mall because he wanted to get the boys some gifts. We sat in those massage chairs and laughed at ourselves for hanging out at the mall. And then? For dinner, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. If you’ve never eaten at one, GO! And get a slice of cheesecake while you’re at it- it’s heaven on a plate. Seriously! It was fabulous! Our server was lousy, but we just focused instead of how much fun we were having.

I’m always so sad when our days together are over and he has to head back home. I only get to see him a few times a year, so we really make sure to make the time count. We’re loud and obnoxiously immature when we get together, but it’s our stress release. And besides, I have to admit, it’s pretty funny watching other people’s reactions. Hey, you only live once, and it keeps us young! And who cares what other people think anyway!

I’m working on a Christmas post to put on here at some point. I’m almost done writing it, now I just need to put the pictures up. I miss having a smartphone! It really makes writing posts and uploading pictures so much easier! Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and happy New Year; we sure did! Stay warm out there, everybody!

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Family gathering

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Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to indroduce my grandpa to my littlest, John. Grandpa was driving through Tennessee on his way home from Georgia to Michigan after visiting with some of his friends. I couldn’t bring Nathan, sadly. He was having what I call an “off day,” where he can’t handle the sensory overloads of being out in public. The bustling activity, noise, lights, etc send him into a sensory jam where his brain just can’t process anything more, and it leads to meltdowns and misbehavior (although it’s a neurological problem, not a behavior problem.)

So at any rate, I met my Grandpa and my parents at a Mexican restaurant and he got to meet his youngest great grandson!! It was so nice to have dinner with them and catch up on things. I hope that next time, Nathan can come too. Grandpa hasn’t seen him since he was 2 1/2.

I have such a great family. My immediate family and my extended family. I am truly blessed to be a part of it!

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Summertime!

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I love summer. And I love almost everything about summer. Almost. Definitely not the prolific number of bees. Or sweat stains. Or sunburn. Oh, and let’s not forget the humidity!

Summertime is filled with super awesome fun, however, like swimming and pretty blue skies. Some of the other really awesome things about summer are all the festivities going on. It seems like there’s something fun to attend every weekend with fairs and carnivals and festivals. We’re loving it!

So our most recent venture was to a festival in a neighboring city. It was awesome… there were stunt bicycle shows, laser tag games, all kinds of booths and vendors and games and food galore! We took both of the kids. Of course, Jonathan slept most of the time, but Nathan had a complete blast.

The first thing we did was watch a stunt bicycle show. Nathan loved it, especially the air stunts! Everytime one of the guys did an a jump or a flip in the air on his bicycle, Nathan would shout “YEAH!” with his arms raised triumphantly over his head. He and Paul stood right up front, and I loved seeing them with each other. Such a sweet sight.

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I loved watching Nathan’s reaction more than I enjoyed the show, haha. I just love seeing him have fun.

So after the stunt show, we walked around for a bit. Nathan played t-ball a few times at one of the booths and let’s just say the kid definitely needs some practice! After that, we made our way over to the concession stand and gorged ourselves on some delicious food. (What is it about festival/fair/carnival food? It’s so-o-o good!) I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible because I’m so fair-skinned that I tend to burn really bad, really fast.

After our lunch, Nathan spied this jumper thingy. They put you in a harness that attaches to some sort of pole above you, and you jump on these giant air pads. You can really get going, too. Some people were even doing flips. So anyway, Nathan saw it and begged to jump, even after being told he’d have to wait in that long line.

I made my way over to a shaded area to change the baby’s diaper and feed him, and Paul stood with Nathan in line. By the time I was done, Nathan had successfully stood in line with his daddy (about half an hour) and did the jumping thing. He never went as high as the other kids, but he had a blast regardless! He did great for his first time!

By the time he was done, we’d already been there a couple hours and needed to head home because it was really HOT outside. On our way out, Nathan begged to play in the playground. After that, as we walked to the car, we passed some vendors who had put some sidewalk chalk out, so Nathan and I drew some smiley faces before trekking back to the car. He grabbed my hand and held it, and my heart may have swelled to near-explosion size because of all the love it holds. So he had so much fun that day! We all did!

I, on the other hand, got burned. Figures! (The picture is my shoulder and the white stripe you see is where my shirt was.) I hate sunburn! I’m kicking myself for forgetting sunscreen. Nathan and Paul got a little sun, but barely… nothing like mine!

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I’m so excited about all the things we’ll be doing this summer. Especially since we’ll be living in a house that’s near parks, museums, restaurants, you name it!

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Father’s Day love

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I hope all the dads out there had a wonderful Father’s Day yesterday! Ours was pretty mellow since we have this itty bitty yet awfully demanding newborn to look after. We finally decided to go ahead and venture out into public for a nice Father’s Day dinner, and let me tell you, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Well except towards the end when John started getting fussy. I scarfed the rest of my food in anticipation of having to take care of him… apparently, I didn’t chew enough and ended up with an upset stomach last night. But that’s ok. It was nice going out as a family and watching Paul and Nathan enjoy themselves. (Of course, I enjoyed myself as well but its kinda hard to watch myself!)

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