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First trip to the movies

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Yesterday was a big first for our little guy. He got to go to the movies for the very first time. Ok, maybe it depends on what you call big...but I think it is a big deal for his little life. We have not been to the movies but maybe 1-2 times since Perry was born and have been looking forward to the days when he is big enough to enjoy going to the movies as a family.

Aunt Emily invited us to go see Rio 2 with Ben and Kate and her yesterday. It was playing as the $1 movie at Hollywood 18. Actually Perry was free since he is so it was $1 for both of us. Talk about a cheap date.

I figured even if things went terribly wrong and we didn't stay the whole time, it wasn't a big investment. But he did great. He sat in our lap and watched most of the movie and would get up and walk around and play a little too. Snacks and drinks from home also helped keep him sitting and occupied. He got just a little squirlley right at the end and we left for a few minutes for a diaper change and to run around just a little, and then went back in for the last couple minutes. But overall he really enjoyed watching the movie and all the songs and was right up his alley.

P is quickly transitioning from baby to little kid and it is opening up opportunities for so many fun things to do. After the movies we had a fun lunch at Jason's Deli with the Eckleys before naptime and a much needed haircut for Perry. I am happy to report that he now looks much more boy and can see out of his eyes.

Funny story. Later in the day he was playing in the living room and pulled this wicker tray off the coffee table, sat in it, and declared it to be a boat. It made my laugh so hard. I love seeing him use his imagination.

Easiest modeling gig ever

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Our church is growing and expanding at a crazy exciting rate. This Sunday we are simultaneously moving from two to three Sunday morning services and opening a brand new children's wing. We are so happy and blessed to be a part of a dynamic church that does so much to serve and equip families.

Along the current children's hallway, sweet black and white photos of children in the church are used as artwork. The photos are precious and so fun to look at as we walk the halls to drop off and pick up P from his nursery class.

With the new building came the need for some new faces and photos. And since they didn't have many pictures of the 1 year old demographic, Perry was asked to be outside between services in the grass for a little mini photo shoot. Liz Wessel did an awesome job capturing him and his sweet personality.

It was a fun adventure trying to get a bunch of little ones to sit or stand and smile. Much like herding cats I would imagine. Perry did awesome. He literally walked over, sat down in the grass and started smiling. You would think he was used to getting his picture taken or something. lol.

An awesome byproduct of the experience is that we now have some really cute photos of P for our frames at home. Here are a few of my favorites. Thanks Liz!

Choo Choo

Monday, July 28, 2014
Saturday morning saw another fun mommy-son adventure out at the North Alabama Railroad Museum. Perry has been learning about trains and choo choos (and mistakingly also will tell you that trucks say "choo choo" as well...but we are working on that). I thought it would be fun to go on a little train ride together. It was the patriotic express so the train was all dressed up in it's red white and blue.

As soon as we pulled up and saw the trains, Perry started saying "Choo Choo!" We got our tickets from will call and snapped some photos before boarding.

Perry loved exploring the train and was totally enthralled by the conductor who came around and stamped everyones tickets. He was still young enough that he didn't have to have a seat, but I knew he would be a much happier camper in his own seat so I went ahead and got him a child's ticket. The car we sat in was a passenger car from 1939.

I am not sure that Perry really appreciated the fact that the train we were on was moving at all, but he looked out the window some. It was great because it was totally a-ok to get up and move around and walk between the train cars during the ride so we went and explored the baggage car and dining car and Perry waved at all the people staring at him as we walked by.

After the 10 mile ride, to nowhere, because you finish exactly where you started, we played some more and had lunch from the food trucks that had arrived on site.

Perry was actually given a conductors hat by this other sweet but random family sitting in our car. As they were leaving they came and handed it to us and said they had an extra and that the cute red-head needed to have it. It was a nice surprise. I tried my best to get some pictures of him in the hat, but his affinity for them has not changed and it stayed on for all of 30 seconds. I do love this picture looks like he is actually "working on the railroad." Maybe he has an engineering career in his future.

This is what he actually thinks of hats though...

It was a fun mommy and Perry morning. We were both good and tired by the time we left (chasing a toddler is hard work), and came home and took much needed naps. I love finding fun things to do with my boy.


Friday, July 25, 2014
I have to say that 18 months is such an awesome age. Perry is learning so many new words and skills every day and it is just so cool to watch it happen and be amazed when he knows something that I didn't know he knew.

Today I learned that he can speak rooster. It was my day off so we had a mommy-son playdate up at Burritt on the Mountain. We are members so it is a free place to go walk and explore. Perry had an awesome time running around, playing and visiting with the animals. I dusted the "good camera" off the shelf and worked on my amateur photo skills.

He has been an animal lover for as long as I can remember and we have been working on animal sounds for ages. But I was a bit surprised when the rooster crowed this morning and Perry responded with a proper infected "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh." It was so precious. Apparently he has been working on "what the rooster says" with his grandparents.

We went and found that rooster and let them meet and chat for a little while, in rooster speak.

Perry also loved the cow, goat, horses and sheep.

And they had these cute little log cabins that were just his size to play in. He loved being able to open and shut the doors and windows. I think he could have stayed right there all day.

It was a super fun morning that wrapped up with some errands and lunch and back home for naptime. Tonight since Daddy was at work, P and I had a movie night at home with a bowl of popcorn and Cars on the TV. P still doesn't have quite the attention span for the movie but he watched for a while and then played in the living room with his toys the rest of the movie. It is super cute when he has had his fill of popcorn, he resorts to picking it up and feeding it to me. Love that boy.

Throwback Thursday: Stuff the Bug

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Today we are going to throwback about seven years to my senior year at Auburn and the night we successfully stuffed 16 people inside a Volkswagon bug..with the windows rolled up.

You can't see me...I am curled up into a human ball down in the driver floorboard cuddling with the gas and break pedals.

It is a COSAM Leader tradition, at our spring dinner over at Dr. Wit (and Mrs. Nancy's) house, to see how many people you could get inside his car. If my memory serves me correctly, we were the first group to get everyone in with the windows up (the previous class had many arms and legs hanging out the windows). Though I hear we got showed up the next year when the group not only got everyone in and the windows up, but added a small stuffed animal just to beat us. Leaders tend to be a competitive bunch of people.

Being a COSAM Leader was such a highlight of my college career. The Leaders are the student ambassadors for the college of sciences and mathematics. It allowed me to get to know a bunch of amazing fellow students and faculty and staff really well and serve the college I loved and had poured so much into me.

I found this photo the other day as I was looking through old college pictures and it just makes me smile every time I see it.

Random phone photos

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I was scrolling back through my iphone camera roll recently and found a smattering of pictures that never made it onto the blog. Just little snapshots of life that didn't warrant their own blog post, so I figured I would let them collectively have their own post.

Sunday evenings at the pool have become a weekly tradition for us this summer. I love this selfie of me and my boy poolside.

Snuggles before bed

P loves his Jake and the Neverland Pirates PJs

Post bath crazy hair

Popsicles at the Greene street market. Yummy.

We have started learning to brush our teeth. Perry thinks the process is hilarious and so fun. At night we will ask him if he wants to go brush his teeth and he gets the biggest smile as he rushes up the stairs chanting "teeth, teeth."

What life (group) is all about

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
We say all the time that lifegroups "do life" together. We love the precious group of people we get to do life with week in and week out and they have become some of our closest friends. When big things happen in any of our lives, it is all hands on deck to lend a helping hand.

Jay and Reagan moved into a new (and bigger) house last weekend. It is good timing considering their little family is growing from 2 to 3 in just a couple months. Friday night we all got together to help them get unloaded into their new home. It was pouring down rain all day and all evening, but that didn't stop them. Granna and Granddaddy graciously offered for P to have a sleepover so we could both stay late and have our hands free to help out. The boys got everything inside the house and then turned to the most important thing to get set up...the TV and electronics. Meanwhile the girls discussed decorating and cleaned bathrooms, cabinets and base boards.

Then on Saturday morning Andrew and I got to have breakfast with our friends Ashlyn and Jonathan who we do not get to see near enough of since they live in Florida. It was great to catch up on life with them over some good southern breakfast at Blue Plate. And I totally failed at taking a picture. We were too busy talking and enjoying an adult breakfast since P was still visiting with Granna and Granddaddy.

Life is so much better with friends (and family) by your side.

If you've got ears, say cheers

Monday, July 21, 2014
This weekend we had the Eckleys over for dinner and to do some planning and preparation for our upcoming big family disney trip later on this year. There are so many facets of a trip to think about and plan, from where to stay and eat, how to get there, what parks to visit each day, what to wear, touring plans and ways to add little bits of extra magic.

The fall trip is really starting to take shape, and it will soon be the magical 60 day mark which means it is time to book those fast passes (hello Elsa and Anna). So we needed an evening to get our collective ducks in a row about what big attractions to see each day.

It was an impromptu dinner so we kept it easy and simple with a yummy Mexican buffet. But when you are having a dinner party to talk about disney, some of your food should absolutely be in the shape of Mickey Mouse right? Can you find the hidden mickeys?

Cookie cutters get repurposed all the time in our house, this time to make Mickey watermelon slices. I think the Mickey Mouse cupcakes turned out super cute. The ears are just mini oreos. So simple and so cute. The kids loved them (who am I kidding, the adults did too).

It was a successful night and we are one step closer to an awesome family vacation to the mouse house.

Trick or Treat

Sunday, July 20, 2014
I know it is July and we are a couple months from actually trick or treating, but one of my weekend projects was DIY-ing Perry's trick or treat bucket for the fall.

Our little guy is going to make a darling Donald Duck at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World. I wanted him to have a matching treat bucket to match.

The whole project cost $1 (plus tax) because the bucket is from the dollar section at target (with the summer beach stuff, and it even came with a bonus shovel). I already had yellow and red paint on hand to add the stripes and bowtie like Donald Duck's shirt. While it is not perfect, and don't look too closely at the freehanded bow, I am pretty smitten with how it turned out. I can't wait to let P use it to collect his halloween loot this fall.

Throwback Thursday, Spelunking edition

Thursday, July 17, 2014
When I think back to my childhood, I am so thankful for all the unique adventures my family allowed me to have and experience alongside them. Largely due to my grandfather and his adventurous spirit I learned to ski, camp and get muddy crawling around in dark caves as a preschooler.

Although my grandfather passed way when I was young, I have so many amazing memories of being with him. Most of those memories are specific moments. Eating his blueberry pancakes before a day on the ski slopes in Colorado, cracking open coconuts for milk at Christmas in the Cayman Islands, sitting in his lap learning how to draw a tree stump with pencil and paper, and celebrating Christmas early december each year in a cave in southern Tennessee. I am so thankful for these memories and moments that are etched in my mind.

I am also thankful for documentation and the fact that I can continue to learn more about my granddad through pictures and stories told by people who knew him, explored with him. My granddad was a spelunker and member of the Huntsville grotto who helped discover Fern Cave.

I love that picture of me, grandma and granddad in Cumberland Caverns.

This week the National Speleological Society has had their annual meeting in Huntsville, with lots of events and special things to honor cavers that have contributed to the field. There is a banquet on Friday night that Aunt Karen is flying in and taking grandma to, but this afternoon Perry and I got to take Grandma up to the conference to pick up a copy of, and sign copies of, a book about Fern Cave. She got to be reunited with several old and new friends that have been a big part of the Fern Cave history.

It was fun getting to see some familiar faces and names. Perry had fun running the halls of Lee High School and being his usual friendly self. Afterwards we went downtown for some some pizza and gelato downtown with Grandma. What a fun way to spend a day off of work. One day, I can't wait for Perry to read about Fern Cave and the amazing man that his great granddaddy was.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A little more anniversary

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
In an effort to stretch out our anniversary celebration a little more, and because Andrew worked all weekend but was off yesterday and today, we got to go out on a date last night. Ann, aka Granna, came over after I got home from work to keep P for the evening so we could have a nice dinner out sans toddler.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants in town, Cotton Row. We have eaten there before for an anniversary, but like it so much we didn't care that it wasn't new and exotic. Andrew got the filet and I had the alaskan halibut with truffled mashed potatoes which was amazing. One of the best meals I have eaten in a while. For dessert Andrew had the apple pie and I had the peanut butter and jelly phyllo which was also seriously good. It was a perfect dinner.

Afterwards we strolled around Big Spring Park where they have concerts on Monday nights. I don't know who was playing, and whoever it was did not overly impress us, but it was nice to walk off dinner, listen to music and people watch. For a while we just sat and watched people hula hoop, juggle and do yoga in the park.

I think we are officially done celebrating anniversary number 6. It has been a fun long weekend of celebration.

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