Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome Home YaYa & GaGa

Olivia's Art Work for YaYa

The girls at YaYa & GaGa's house, waiting for their much anticipated arrival

Flowers Olivia insisted I pick up for YaYa

Welcome to your "Second Home" YaYa & GaGa, we've all missed you

Sob-Day...I mean Sunday

It has been a day full of tears. The people next to me at Church must have thought I was a crazy person, I just couldn't hold them in. My heart is physically aching for the Mudgett Family. Lisa delivered Elliott Daniel this evening (est) and he weighed in at 11lbs 10oz, the cord and placenta appear normal, so they are going to have to wait for further tests to be done before they get some answers...not that answers will take the pain away, or even begin to answer the real questions they have...starting with, why our sweet boy?

(I feel like someone has knocked me down too)

Olivia, my Mom and I went to Target this afternoon after Church and managed to pick up a few things, including Red Sparkly Shoes for the girls, I hope they go well with all of their Christmas Outfits...I think it might be a little much when paired with their red dress options, but when paired correctly they are going to MAKE the outfit.

I take off in the morning on a quick trip across the globe. I will be back Thursday Night. I can't wait to touch down in Richmond on Thursday Evening, I wish I could say it will be my last flight of the year, but not so much, I will be spending a week in Idaho beginning on December 13th, and to think I thought my last Manila trip would be the last trip of the year...oh how wrong I was.

Brad managed to get some of the outside lights up, and my wreath is up, I will have to take a photo for you so you can see the masterpiece he has put together outside, don't hold your breath, it likely won't be until I get back.

And after the lights were hung we spent the evening inside, just being the crazy family that we are.

Can't you just hear "Cheeeeeeseee"

Who am I to argue with comfy?

Get cozy with Dad

Everyone pile on..

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face thinking about how unfair life can be. One of my dear friends Lisa, lost her sweet baby boy this evening, she was 38 Weeks Pregnant. She is being induced and the hope is that she can deliver him naturally so that she can go home, rather than stay in the hospital for 3-4 days after a C-Section. Her first born, Owen is about the same age as Avery, so we bonded during her first pregnancy and have been friends ever since, you might remember me blogging about her thoughtfulness last Christmas Eve when she sent me a Weight Watchers Cookbook, all the way from Seattle.

I am so angry and sad for her, I can't even imagine the emotions running through her body, I so badly wish I lived closer and could do something nice for her, take care of Owen and give her some time to herself to grieve. This has been such a tough year for loss...I am even having a hard time organizing my prayers, what to pray for first...strength, peace, energy, clarity, etc. I just wish I knew the words...scratch that, I wish there were words to help her through this, but I can't imagine that any would bring much comfort right now.

Tragic, this news is just simply tragic. I just want to get on a plane and hold her hand. Please send your prayers up to Lisa, Dan and Big Brother they mourn the loss of Sweet Elliott.

The Sing Off

I can't wait. It starts on December 6 on NBC. I loved Clash of the Choirs and it was similar, its a voices-only competition, and I just love, love, love the sound. The previews show "Hey, Soul Sister" and "Use Somebody" and they are awesome. I can't wait for the show to start!!! And heck, I happen to think that Nick Lachey is a cutie patutie, just sayin'.

Buddy the Elf

I am just going to put it out there, not that I can really do much about it for the next few weeks, but these days I am feeling a little like Buddy the Elf. I was sitting in Brad's lap at his Parents house and I felt like Buddy the Elf sitting in his Father's lap, not that Brad was my Father, of course, but more that I was a GIANT living in an Elf World...I need to do something about this extra person I am carrying around on my backside...It impacts so many parts of my life, and more than the emotional stuff, I need to be healthy for my girls, I need to have more energy and I know if I lose some of this weight, the energy will come back. I need to get my large and in charge behind to the gym. I was watching The Biggest Loser on Wednesday Night with Brad's Family and it hit me like a ton of bricks, I need to get moving, get active, I continue to use "Lack of Time" as an excuse, but at the end of the day, I need to make the time. I am going to start blocking my calendar at work beginning in January and I am going to make this a priority. WARNING: I made the same declaration last year and I went to the gym, count them....two times. Pathetic. I am determined to turn it around and make the gym a part of my weekly routine as best I can.

Friday, November 26, 2010


It was her idea, she kept saying "Potty, Potty" and she grabbed Brad's Hand and led him into the bathroom, they enjoyed some Mountain Bike Action Magazines together while she tried out the potty. She didn't go, but it was still an adorable photo op.

To decorate or not, that is the question...

So I started pulling out the Christmas Decorations the other day, but today was the real deal, I planned to get almost everything out and be done decorating by the time I tucked myself into bed tonight, but with two little helpers, I am not sure that goal is all that feasible. 

Me: Avery, where are the blocks that belong in Santa's Tummy?

Avery: Ta-Da, here Mommy

For those of you that can't tell where that block was was clearly dirty and in need of a wash, because it was in the dishwasher. At least she took me to it...its the least she could do, the good little helper that she is.

I braved the crowds at TRU this morning with Molly. We left around 10am or so, and were in the car on the way home by 11am, it was a quick trip and the crowds weren't nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I brought Avery with me, while Olivia and Campbell went to the Bike Shop with Brian and Brad. I love that I brought Avery with me to pick up one of her Christmas Presents, but she clearly had no idea what was going on.

We enjoyed lunch back at our house with the Harris Family and then Molly and I set out to get our toes did and to hit up the Costco. My Holiday Cards were ready, so look out folks, they might be in the mail this week, that might be a record for me, last year I didn't order them until December 15th.

The exciting news of the day is that my Parents will be here tonight, the girls are VERY excited to see them. They probably won't be here until close to bed-time so we are going to get the girls all cleaned up and in their PJ's before we head over there to surprise my parents. I picked up some flowers, some cinnamon buns and I had their house cleaned earlier this week, so I hope they feel at home when they arrive.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll

Thanksgiving Dinner - Turner Style

Shannon fixing a plate for Heath

Cousins - November 2010
(Leah, Heath, Ellie, Olivia & Avery)

Our nieces and nephew
(Leah, Heath and Ellie)

I still think of Leah as a little girl, but she is rocking the Miley Cyrus look these days and she can totally pull it off...she is growing up.

I had a rough Thanksgiving. I haven't felt this bad in long time, between my head, throat and chest, I was in pain and I couldn't stop coughing, not to mention I didn't have a voice. I spent the majority of the morning in bed. So for that, I am thankful for everyone that helped supervise my children while I slept.

We enjoyed a delicious meal with Brad's Family and got on the road around 7pm, we pulled in around 10:15 and while we wish we could have stayed a little longer, with me getting on a plane on Monday morning and my Parents arriving today, not to mention us all feeling a little icky, it was great to be in our own beds.

This year I am thankful first and foremost for my loved ones and second to that, I am thankful that my loved ones are healthy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

I never really got to experience the always talked about Thanksgiving Eve Bar Scene...during College I think I might have been home for Thanksgiving once, and I don't think I have been home for Thanksgiving since...For the last 8 years I have spent Thanksgiving in Bassett with Brad's Family and tonight is no different. Here I am, blogging from the Turner Family Basement, watching the girls (Leah, Ellie, Olivia and Avery) play with the LiteBrite (they should totally bring this back if they haven't).  I am so thankful that the girls get some cousin time in this Thanksgiving, Olivia loves that Leah and Ellie want to play Barbies with her and she loves it even more than Bina's House is Barbie Mecca.

Day 24: I am thankful for many things, and today I am thankful for safe travels...we made it safe and sound and are happy to be here, even if it will be a short visit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost There...

It is almost Turkey Day, I can't believe it. I am slightly frightened that time seems to be passing more quickly year over year. Sometimes I am tempted to rush time along and then other days I would love to freeze time, too bad you can't have your cake and eat it too huh?

Brad and I both seem to be getting a little worse on the health front. I have been working long hours and put in a 12 hour day today and lost my voice, my children are probably loving the fact that I can't raise my voice at them...not that I would do that of course...Mom of the Year over here.

Day 23: I am thankful for a very talented friend that created a fabulous Holiday Card that makes me smile, I hope you all love it as much as I do.

On a side note, I ordered a Photo Poster from Costco, it turned out amazing and was $8.99, what a great deal. Once I frame it and put it up I will share it with you all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

Let the Holiday Season begin...

We are earlier this year than ever before...
With two little ones around...
The Christmas Spirit is contagious...
You can't help but get excited and dig in

I can only hope their excitement continues and the little things about the Holidays remain front and center, not all the commercial hoop-la about toys, etc.
I want to keep this memory in my memory bank for years to come

How can you not be thankful for that view from the hallway looking in... 

Day 22: I am thankful for the small joys we experience everyday, and the feelings we get when we look back into our childhood memory bank the second we pick up one of our favorite ornaments, and wonder if our daughters are going to have the same nostalgic feeling when they are decorating their Christmas Tree 30 years from now. For me its my 1980 Mickey Mouse Christmas Ornament, I remember putting it on our Christmas Tree every year growing up and I still have my 1979 Baby's First Christmas Ball...every year my Mom would take me to Yetter's to pick out a new ornament, I think its about time we restored that Family Tradition, maybe I can convince through lots of arm twisting, my Mom to come along for the ride when she gets here next weekend.

And so in the spirit of the Holidays, I am going to jump the gun and change over my blog background to be a little bit merrier...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Finally the cold I have been fighting for over a week now caught up to me, and won. I am feeling less than stellar right about now. I am however feeling very lucky to have a husband that would change his riding plans at the very last minute to stay home and stand guard for when the girls woke up from their naps so I could rest.  I have had a killer headache all day and it just won't quit.

We are all looking forward to a quick visit to Bassett, some quality time with the Turner Family and then its back to Richmond to get this house ready for the Tacky Sweater Party. I leave for Manila on the 29th and land back in Richmond late on the 2nd, so it will be a bit hectic getting everything ready for the party on the 4th, but I am already excited. I love hosting parties, and I love getting everyone together.  This year looks to be a bit smaller than most, seems as though a lot of people have conflicts with other parties, etc, but regardless, a good time will be had by all.

Day 21: I am thankful for my husband, who gave up his ride today to watch over the girls while I took a much needed nap.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One Big Girl...One Big Girl Bed

There you have it...

Someone is OVER THE MOON...

And can't wait to sleep in her Big Girl Bed...

And another someone is just as thrilled...he has another bed to visit when we cramp his style

We picked up the mattress this morning and tonight it all came together. (Thanks Brian for helping Brad with the mattress). Olivia was so excited, she asked to help Brad about 42 times.  Avery was a big helper too, as you can probably imagine. Olivia couldn't stop talking about her Big Girl Bed, and then when it was all put together she started talking about Riley sleeping with her and how she would let him have one of her stuffed animals and how she would make room for him...we'll see how that goes. I can just imagine hearing "Riley stepped on my face" over the monitor...

I forgot how hard it is to make a bed against the wall...and with flannel sheets to boot, those things are sticky.

Hurry Hurry Drive the Fire Truck

Olivia driving the Fire Truck 

Olivia has been obsessed with Fire Safety and Firemen since they "studied it" at school early in September. So today, we packed up the girls after nap time and went on a Surprise Field Trip with our neighbor and friend Rachel and her two sons Derek and Damon. 

Derek and Olivia

The Field Trip was to a Chesterfield County Fire Station to visit Derek and Damon's Daddy, Wayland.

Derek driving the Fire Truck

In case you were wondering...Avery came along too...Avery being Avery

They got an Ambulance Call while we were there so it was cool to watch them load up and take off, Olivia thought the lights were pretty cool.  She was bummed they didn't have a huge ladder on their truck, but the nice men showed her where they store the normal sized ladders in a "drawer" on the back of the truck and that seemed to bring her spirits back up.

Olivia acting out a scene from Ladder 49

Olivia can be quite shy and in general she did a pretty good job at the Station, but got a little frightened when Wayland dressed up in his gear and put the mask on, but I explained that his gear is there to protect him when he has to fight the fires.

Derek sporting Waylands mask

I explained that his outfit is like a full body pot holder, so that when he goes into the fire, like when Mom gets something out of the hot stove he is protected. The Firemen were impressed with my example and said they plan to use that going forward with tours - HA.

Rachel and her Boys (Derek and Damon)

Olivia was sitting in the drivers seat singing "Hurry Hurry Drive the Fire Truck" and one of the guys said next time he drives he plans on singing that song...I can see it now.  All the guys were really cool and great with the girls.

Turner Family - November 2010

Day 20: I am thankful for the men and woman who protect and serve, the firemen/firewomen and the police officers.

Friday, November 19, 2010


What a week! I am TGIF'ing big time. I am so very excited for a weekend at home with the Family. It has been a long work week and I am looking forward to thinking about everything under the sun EXCEPT work for a solid 2 days...too bad my brain doesn't work like that.

Avery seems to be feeling better, the meds are already doing the trick, and despite Olivia claiming to be sick, it doesn't appear to be materializing into anything just yet. I wish I could say the same for me. I was up until midnight working last night and up at 5am this morning with Avery and I woke up with the sore throat and just icky feeling.

Day 19: I am thankful for Nick Jr. I was never the Mom that said "I won't let my kids watch TV", but I never wanted to just plop them in front of it either, my girls cannot sit through movies yet, so I am thankful for the quick hit shows on Nick Jr, like Dora, The Fresh Beat Band and Ya Gabba Gabba, that keep their attention for short periods of time so I can make dinner or shower in peace (showering in peace with Avery has yet to happen, but it works for Olivia)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sick Schmick

Our Sweet Avery is a sick little girl.  She woke up at 2am coughing her chubby little cheeks off and Brad got up with her, the poor thing (Brad, not Avery) was up with her for 2 hours, she finally calmed down and everyone went back to bed until about 7am.  I took her to see Dr. Lauren this morning, her ears were getting red, but weren't yet infected, she was fever free, lungs sounded good but her cough was nasty and she was very congested. Avery was in a great mood at the Doctor and kept talking about going to school, so Brad took her to school, shame on us I know...I got a call around 3pm that she was running a low grade fever and had been coughing a lot and couldn't sleep...poor thing (this time, Avery, not Brad). So we are home, resting, she's had her meds and we are going to take it easy tonight and hope that she is fever free in the morning and gets a good night sleep. 

Day 17: I am thankful for the roof over our head. I love our home and I love decorating the house for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Little Indians...

Thank you for our Thanksgiving Cards and $ YaYa

I just love the way Avery is looking at Olivia in this photo

One Little, Two Little...Three Little Indians...

Precious, aren't they? Mac n Cheese stained clothes and all...

Day 17: I couldn't be more thankful for my two healthy, precious little darlings. Their health, despite the recent case of snots Avery has developed means the world to me. I am so thankful that Avery has put the Pediatric Cardiologist and Pediatric Neurologist behind her.  I am thankful for the Doctors that watch over my little ones and all the other little ones in the world. Those that care for "Tiny Humans" have a special place in my heart, I can't imagine the ups and downs of their day to day, but I am thankful for their wisdom and patience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peace & Quiet

Day 16: I am thankful for weekends at home and quiet time with family and friends. A chance to smell the roses if you will. With all the hustle and bustle of our lives, I love downtime, to just be able to sit down and enjoy the girls, or relax with Brad.  We don't do it often enough, I am always trying to make memories for the girls and I schedule, schedule, schedule and plan until I am blue in the face, but when I stop to think about it, memories are made everyday, and last night, with nothing scheduled we had a great time. Olivia is learning about Pilgrims and Indians at school, and is having a Thanksgiving Feast where they act it out today at school, she is so excited. So last night we were running around the house acting like Native Americans. Speaking of that, I find it odd that her school is teaching her about "Indians" instead of "Native Americans", what do you all think?

The Girls, Riley, Brad and his Parents

And did you guys know that you don't need to put two spaces after a period anymore? Who knew!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy 33rd Birthday Husband

Brad and I - Northfield, December 2004 

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Brad, Happy Birthday to you. How OLD are you? How OLD are you?....older than me. HA.

33 Things I love about Brad:

1) He is Fashionable - long story....he had to take a survey type test for a job interview several years ago and one characteristic he checked about himself was "fashionable" and I am NEVER going to let him forget it.

Brad & Olivia - July 2007

2) He is a great father to our beautiful girls

Brad & Avery - February 2009

3) He loves his Momma, and would get off the phone with me to talk to her
4) He got teary eyed yesterday at Church when we were giving a round of applause to the Veterans. His Dad was there with us, and was standing being honored.
5) He coached soccer to tiny tots when he was a big bad College guy, cute right?
6) He and I have always agreed on what to name our children
7) He makes the best ice cream sundaes
8) When he makes Popcorn, he dumps it into a bowl and brings a kitchen towel over to the couch with him while he eats it, because he knows his hands will be greasy and dirty, and that is how he cleans them off
9) He has full blown conversations with Riley about how bad his breath is

Brad & Riley - June 2005

10) He is charming and thinks he has game
11) He likes the way I cook and even if he didn't he would never tell me
12) He is always game to pick up the girls from school so I can finish up at the office and don't have to rush to get them
13) He does his part and lets me sleep in one day on the weekend
14) He lets me make up funny names for his ex-girlfriends and the best part is, he uses the funny names when he talks about them
15) His favorite # is 15, its the day he was born and its his old soccer number, cute...
16) He's handsome
17) He has no shame in his game and loves to wrap himself in my Leopard Print Snuggie when it gets chilly.
18) He is passionate about his job and he is great at it

Brad & I in Aruba - March 2007

19) He loves to travel just as much as I do
20) When he realizes that the Crystal Light container in the fridge is almost empty he makes more...and I am the only one in the house that drinks it, sweet huh?
21) He indulges my desire to decorate the house non-stop, and will always agree to hang frames for me despite how much he dislikes it (this one was added just to butter him up because I have a new frame that needs to be hung)
22) He and I enjoy the same TV shows and love watching them curled up on the couch together
23) You can dress him up and take him out
24) He is very protective of the girls, its adorable
25) When sometimes "toots" or gets kicked in the "junk" on America's Funniest Home Videos he laughs so hard he cries, like a middle school aged boy
26) He rocks a "Where the Wild Things Are" T-Shirt that he bought himself at Urban Outfitters...the best part about it is, its the ONLY article of clothing he has purchased on his own in the 8 years we have been together...and its a T-Shirt Olivia should be wearing - HA.
27) He was so excited to propose he couldn't wait, he had to propose when I was rocking a side pony straight out of the shower

HUGE Flowers...

28) He surprises me with flowers, and they are always perfect, and never the same twice
29) He is a professional kitchen cleaner, seriously, the man can clean a kitchen
30) When he gets up off the couch to get himself something, he always asks if he can get me anything, and if he is coming into the family room from the kitchen he does the same, always asks if I need anything.
31) He doesn't sweat the small stuff
32) He gets his pop culture and gossip from Diane (on Elliott in the Morning) and repeats it to me like he heard it on CNN

33) He loves me...and works hard to be a great husband to me and father to our girls.

The girls and I love you very much and we hope you have a fabulous 33rd birthday.

Day 15: I am very thankful that I married a man who loves me more everyday, despite my flaws, my stretch marks and the extra pounds he still thinks I am, I have no idea, but he does and that is all that matters.