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The one with the redneck sushi

Sunday, June 30, 2013
Yesterday Perry and I got to go and spend the day in the country...and by the country I mean Union Grove, Alabama. We went and picked up Aunt T and headed out to Daddy's house where the family was gathering for lunch and a "Team Gary" photo op. 

Perry loves his aunts and his Papaw. 

Then we went to eat some lunch at this little place in Arab called Mt Fugi. Who knew you could get sushi in Arab, Alabama...and seriously it is in a strip mall in front of the walmart (because that is the best landmark in the rural south). The food was quite good. I have a personal policy of not eating raw meat...but the avocado and cucumber rolls were yummy. Perry meanwhile enjoyed his apple juice and puffs. 

It was such a fun day! And we got to come home with some fresh picked produce from the garden...hmmm homemade baby food?!?

The one about the t-shirts

Saturday, June 29, 2013

One of Gary's co-workers, Tracey, has been working hard helping us get Team Gary shirts designed and ordered. We got the initial shirt order in and distributed and are thrilled with how they turned out. Gary and Ann decided to go with a green color because of the army connection and just the simple fact that green is Gary's favorite color. 

The back of the shirt has Isaiah 41:10 written out.

It is our hope that the shirts will be a continual reminder to pray for healing and that they will be an encouragement to Gary as he sees people around him wearing them. 

That said, if you would like to have a Team Gary shirt of your own, here are the details:
Send me an email at with how many and what size shirts you want. We will be putting in orders every 2 weeks until we stop getting requests. The shirts come in unisex adult and youth sizes. The screen printing company has been incredibly generous to us in waiving their fees and making the shirts only $8 each. Let me know if you have any questions!


The one with the chevron sign

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Now for the rest of our fun-filled Saturday. I mentioned before that we met up with our good friends Adrienne and Chad for some ice cream at the Cozy Cow. It was yummy and the perfect treat on a very hot summer day. 

Then we enlisted their help in taking our family's "Team Gary" sign photo. We have no plans to travel to exotic places anytime soon, so we had to get a little creative here in Huntsville. I had some fun with foam board, my cricut and chevron scrapbook paper and we went up to one of our favorite places in all of Huntsville - the covered bridge at the Nature Trail on Green Mountain - the place that Andrew proposed.

The pictures turned out awesome! We couldn't wait to get home and get them posted on the "Where in the World is Team Gary" blog ( 

We love you Gary/Dad/Granddaddy!

Team Gary...I mean Team Granddaddy

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Team Gary shirts are in and look awesome. Huge thanks to Gary's co-worker Tracey for doing the lion's share of the work in getting them made.

We were so happy to find out they could make pint sized Team Gary t-shirts for the littlest members of Team Gary...or more accurately Team Granddaddy. Perry was excited to wear his shirt today in honor of the start of Granddaddy's second round of chemotherapy.

Granddaddy's three biggest supporters!

The one with the cows, goats and a domestic cat?!?

Saturday morning Perry woke up obnoxiously early...5:30 I think. Andrew went upstairs and got him and brought him back to our bed where he coaxed him back to sleep for another hour. Still we were up early and starving so after giving Perry his breakfast bottle we went out to the Blue Plate Cafe for some food ourselves. Perry is getting to be such a big boy in restaurants...sitting in highchairs, eating puffs and smiling at all the people around him.

After breakfast we went up to Burritt on the Mountain to walk around for a little while. It was beautiful outside and not too hot yet (since it was still only 9 am).

We had fun showing Perry all the animals - cows, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens...

...and the resident domestic cat

There was absolutely no one up on Monte Sano that early in the morning, so to get a picture of the whole family we had to resort to a selfie...and this was probably attempt number 10.

Meanwhile Andrew did a fantastic job with the iphone camera taking these jewels of Perry and me. 

We had a busy Saturday, but it was full of impromptu fun and visits with friends. After Burritt we went home and all took naps. Then we met up with our friends Adrienne and Chad for icecream at the cozy cow and went on a little photo adventure on another Huntsville mountain. Then we met up with our friends the Thomas' for dinner and dessert before they leave for a mission trip to Poland later this week.

The one with the sippy cup success

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Gary/Granddaddy was feeling good this weekend so we took full advantage. Emily had the great idea for the family to get together Sunday afternoon at the pool so we could hang out and see Ben's new swimming skills. It was such fun.     

Two peas in a pod      



Somebody loves his granddaddy!

Our friends the Brewsters and Wrights just so happened to be at the pool too.


We have learned our lesson...sun = hat + rash guard + spf 50 for Perry


The other big accomplishment from our Sunday afternoon at the pool is Perry figured out how to drink from a sippy cup! We had been giving him some (seriously diluted) apple juice in a sippy cup for a couple of days and he just kind of chewed on it like a teething toy. But finally Sunday evening he learned how to suck and get juice out of it...and he loved it! Next step - get him to learn to hold the cup himself. : )

The one with the 20 questions

Monday, June 24, 2013
We had an awesome weekend of doing nothing but a lot of hanging out with family and friends. It was awesome. We actually had time to draw things out of the date jar. One of the things we drew out told us to play 20 questions - i.e. make up a list of questions to ask each other. After 5 years of marriage and a few more of dating we know each other pretty darn well...but it is still nice to take time to sit and talk about things (both serious and totally random) and see how we are the same and different.

I figured we would document the little exercise here on the blog for posterity sake. Here you go Perry - a look at mom and dad in their 20's. 

When and where were you born?
Andrew: May 2, 1984 in Fairhope, AL
Kelly: December 29, 1985 in Huntsville, AL

President when you were born?
Andrew: Ronald Reagan
Kelly: Ronald Reagan

Dog or cat?
Andrew: Cat
Kelly: Cat

Favorite food?
Andrew: Steak
Kelly: Pasta

Least favorite food?
Andrew: Onions
Kelly: Turnip Greens

Favorite place you have travelled?
Andrew: New York City
Kelly: Alaska

Where do you want to travel most?
Andrew: Europe
Kelly: Europe

How old were you when you first flew on an airplane?
Andrew: 6ish
Kelly: 4ish

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Andrew: Mint cookies and cream
Kelly: Anything home-made

Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Andrew: EXTRA Crunchy
Kelly: Smooth

Diamonds or Pearls (girls) / Ties or Bow Ties (boys)?
Andrew: Ties
Kelly: Both

Favorite color?
Andrew: Green
Kelly: Blue

Can you roll your tongue?
Andrew: Yes
Kelly: No

Middle name?
Andrew: Ryan
Kelly: Elizabeth

Favorite type of movie?
Andrew: Action
Kelly: Romantic comedy

Morning or night?
Andrew: Night
Kelly: Night

Favorite car you have ever had?
Andrew: 2005 Ford Mustang
Kelly: 2012 Honda Pilot

Favorite Season?
Andrew: Summer
Kelly: Autumn

Favorite Actor/Actress?
Andrew: Jimmy Stewart
Kelly: Jennifer Aniston

If you could have any job other than the one you have, what would it be?
Andrew: Pilot
Kelly: Teacher

The one with the carrots

Sunday, June 23, 2013
Mmmmm... carrots!
I think he definitely likes orange veggies better than green. He scarfed down an entire bowl of cereal and a whole container of carrots Friday night over at Granna and Granddaddy's. By the end of it his face and chest and diaper were the color of his hair. : )

The one with the stroll around the square

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Thursday night (almost) the whole family got together and went downtown for a little stroll around the square and the Greene Street market. It was great to see Gary feel well enough to get out of the house for a little while. We took it slow and just enjoyed being out together as a family. 

This is one of my new all time favorite photos (although it would have been better if Andrew were in it)...I mean even Kate gave out a smile. : )

The one while I was at work

Friday, June 21, 2013
When you have a baby you automatically get accepted into one of two sororities...the stay-at-home-moms (SAHM to use the proper lingo) and the working moms (I don't think we have an abbreviation...because who has the time to come up with one). Every mom makes the decision of what to do about working and childcare that is right for her family and I know there is some level of internal angst regardless of what path you choose...thats just part of motherhood.

I like to think I have the best of both worlds, working 4 days and being home 1 day each week. I absolutely love my job and find it hard to imagine not getting up and going to work and being a part of HudsonAlpha. It also makes me savor my precious day off with Perry each week. There are definite down-sides of trying to straddle the fence between SAHM and working mom. It is a giant balancing act and an act that I all too often don't do perfectly...times when I bring work home when I should be fully engaged with my family...and other times I too frequently check my phone (or blog) while I am at work. But most of the time it all balances out in the end. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

We are incredibly blessed to have family and friends help take care of Perry the day or two each week that neither Andrew nor I am home. One of the best parts of that (other than the constant TLC and reduction in germ exposure) is that I can get text, photo and video updates throughout the day. did we function before iphones...I digress.

Perry got loved on by lots of people on Wednesday. He spent the morning at Granna and Granddaddy's house and the afternoon at the Eckley house. Here is a little glimpse of his day through the lens of my (working mom) iphone text message stream:

Morning at Granna and Granddaddy's
"Interesting position to feed Perry"

"Dessert - rice pudding - sort of, kind of..."

"Boys hanging together"

Afternoon at Aunt Emily's
"Aunt Em gave me Cheerios"
"He really likes them"
"He didn't know quite what to think. But I'm really impressed with how good he did"

"They are bonding"

"Junk mail has kept him occupied for 30 minutes"

This is all to say "Thank You!" Gary, Ann and Emily for all the updates while I am at makes this whole working mom thing a million times easier!

The one with the breadsticks

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Monday night we met up with my dad and Krista for dinner and a day belated Fathers day celebration at Olive Garden. It had been a long time since I had been to the OG and the pasta, salad and breadsticks were yummy as always. It was great to catch up with family and Perry was an angel through the whole meal. The waiter kept commenting about how good and happy he was. 

Perry with (one of) his awesome grandfathers

I love this picture of me, dad and Perry

Happy Father's Day Dad! We love you!

The one in granddaddy's chair

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Friday afternoon Perry and I had the pleasure of making a quick trip out to Gary's/Granddaddy's work to pass off some money to a co-worker for Team Gary t-shirts. Tracey brought us inside and let us see where he works and meet many of the people he works with, who are so incredibly nice. They all said how much Perry looks like his Granddaddy...for which Perry said "thank you."

We also took the opportunity to have a little photo op of Perry in Granddaddy's office. I think he looks ready for the working world...what do you think? : )

"You know, just getting caught up on my emails..."

Friday was a full day. After Granddaddy's work, P and I went out to our photographer's studio to do some picture ordering and then on to HudsonAlpha for our company family picnic. I did a pretty terrible job of remembering to take pictures, but here is one of P and my co-worker Madelene at the picnic. 

Where in the world is Team Gary?!?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Emily and I are excited to formally announce a Team Gary project that has until today been going on in stealth mode.

One of Gary's co-workers initiated the fantastic idea to surprise Ann and Gary with photos of family, friends and co-workers showing support with "Team Gary" signs during their travels or from their homes. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of support over the past few weeks and we would love to capture that support in a visual way. People are praying for Gary across the country and globe.

We have secretly collected a starter set of photos which have been used to begin populating the blog Our goal is to gather photos of as many people and places as possible. If you know Ann and Gary, you know how much they love to travel. We hope this will allow them to see and visit places through the pictures.

Here are some of the initial "Team Gary" photos:

Here is what you need to do:
1. Make a "Team Gary" sign, snap a photo and send your submissions to or Emily and I will be posting the photos to the blog as we get them. Travel to exotic destinations is not required. Pictures from your own hometown or backyard are great too. Although we have considered embedding some competitions for most creative, furthest away, etc.

2. Subscribe to the blog ( so you can keep up with the project status and see all the photo submissions.

It is our hope and prayer that the photos will be an encouragement to our sweet parents. In addition to the blog, we are planning to create a photobook for Gary and Ann with these pictures. So we want EVERYONE included (and if you travel a lot, keep the pictures coming).

We can't wait to see "Where in the world is Team Gary?"

Kelly and Emily

The one at the GTAC kick-off

Monday, June 17, 2013
Sunday afternoon our sweet friends Adrienne and Chad came to watch P for a few hours while I went in to work. One of the highlights of our summer at HudsonAlpha is our GTAC Teacher Academy (Genetic Technologies for Alabama Classrooms). 20+ educators from across the state of Alabama come to Huntsville to live in the UAH dorms for two weeks and spend almost every waking moment with us at HudsonAlpha. It is inevitably a busy, but amazing, couple of weeks. I apologize in advance for any lags in blog posting (ahem...Emily : )) due to long hours and an otherwise boring social calendar.

GTAC class of 2013

The one on Daddy's Day

Sunday, June 16, 2013
Happy 1st Fathers Day Andrew! Sorry you have to work, but I hope we make you feel loved and special nonetheless. I love you and am so proud that you are my husband and our baby's daddy. If Perry could talk, I know he would wish you a Happy Fathers Day too!

Perry and I did a little surprise Fathers Day photo project on my day off this week.

The one covered in green beans

Friday, June 14, 2013
Despite the boy is so not a fan of pureed green beans. Can't say we blame you sweet boy...they look and smell gross. I am pretty sure 80% of what went in your mouth came back out. You were a green bean hot mess...but still so stinking cute.

The one with the new ride

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Perry has got a new ride. He is pretty excited about his new big boy carseat.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The one where Perry went swimming

Sunday afternoon we took Perry in the neighborhood pool for the very first time. We hosted a party for our big lifegroup family (all three young married lifegroups that "multiplied" a while back) to catch up. We thought the weather was going to be terrible when it was gray and cloudy when we left church and the weather forecast had a 70% chance of storms all day. Well...once again it proved that our weather forecasts are no where near accurate and the sun came out for most of the afternoon. We got to play in the pool for a couple of hours and when it started to rain, pizza was being delivered and we ate, talked and played corn hole under the pavilion. It was so fun to spend an afternoon with our friends.

Our sweet boy had a ball. He didn't seem to mind or really even notice when he was half submerged in salt water. We will be spending a lot more time at the pool this summer.


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