Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In a state of chaos...

...more so than normal. Ha. :) So, Andy is off all this week from work and originally we had planned to head back to Disney but then we decided to surprise the kids at Christmas...so, this week we are home and we are busy, busy, busy around the house. Things are being painted, I'm organizing and throwing stuff out/donating like crazy, spring cleaning, etc. I don't have time to do details, yet, but here are a few pictures of Avi-Kate in her room right before Andy and AG started painting it moments ago. She's excited about her new big girl room. 

Can't believe that she'll be a year old one week from today! This year has flown by. Oh, and she started walking yesterday! Andy was really excited to be home to see it. More updates soon...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking to the second half of the year...

I always enjoy looking forward to big events that we have coming up and being a planner always have things planned/mapped out. I can't believe we are nearing the halfway point in the year and I really can't believe that Avi-Cakes is about to be one! Here's what we are looking forward to this summer and into the rest of 2012. 

JUNE--The biggest thing happening this month is celebrating Avi-Kate's birthday. Party planning is in full swing and I have to hammer down some final details this weekend. 

JULY--We are planning to spend some time at the farm for the fourth. This photo was from the fourth a few years back...that's corn in the field behind Andy's mom's house. (It rotates from year to year) The corn always comes in around the fourth and we are looking forward to bringing some back with us. :)
We also have a week at the beach planned with all of my family. Thankfully, this year we will be traveling with a 13 month old instead of a 5 week old. Last year was really hard since she was so little and hated, HATED her carseat. Thankfully, we are over that hurdle.

AUGUST--Students return and AG starts preschool at Berry! August is going to be full with us trying to adjust to AG's new routine and students returning over several weeks before classes start at the end of the month. 
We'll have a huge welcome back dinner when school starts. This photo was from our end of the year dinner and we ended up having tables stretching from one end of the house to the other. :)
August will also hold several birthday parties and a baby shower for my sister. It's going to be busy, busy.

SEPTEMBER--We'll be spending almost every Saturday in Athens between the hedges due to the way UGA's schedule falls this year. AG will also get to go to his first game at Sanford. I'm going to stay home with Avi-Kate and let the boys have a special trip. 

OCTOBER--Mountain Day Weekend is always a great way to kick off October.

We'll also a huge family dinner to eat and carve pumpkins together with all of our students. Last year was so much fun...I think we have a new tradition on our hands. 
We'll trick-or-treat around the neighborhood and visit with GrandMary at the end of the night. This year Avi-Kate will get to run around and join the fun. This picture from last year still cracks me up.

NOVEMBER--We'll head to ATL to see Santa at Phipps Plaza and beat the holiday rush that comes after Thanksgiving.
We'll have a huge family dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving with our college family before they leave for the holidays. Last year, I cooked a 25lb turkey! We'll spend Thanksgiving this year at the farm with all of Andy's family.
I'm sure Andy will be participating in Movember again...although I'm hoping he might shave it before we go to Disney. I'm not crazy about the thought that all of our Disney pictures will have the 'stache in them. ;)
Bernard will rejoin the family for the holiday season...we'll see what kind of mischief he starts. I'm betting AG will be really excited to see him. He really enjoyed finding him last year and I see it becoming a fun tradition over the years.
We'll spend a few days enjoying this lovely sight. We are really, really excited about our surprise trip for the kids. 

DECEMBER--Brings the end of the semester and some holiday fun with our students. And speaking of students we'll get to see these two get hitched in the middle of the month. We are so excited to help them celebrate their big day.
Christmas in the mountains with all of the Gettis side of the family. This year AG and Avi-Kate will have a new little cousin. Baby Pate will only be about two months old...next year he'll be chasing them around.
Christmas with the Edwards clan will be in Rome this year! We are excited about hosting all of Andy's family since we haven't done it since before AG was born.
Here's Nanny's tree and all of the stockings from this past year. She's working on finishing up all of the grandkids stockings.
Lastly, I'm really hoping and praying for some snow this next year. We didn't have a winter at ALL this year and the last few years we've had several bouts of winter weather. Here's hoping! I love a good snow day at home.

So, there you have it. Some of the high points of the second half of our year. In addition to all of this we have lots of birthdays, reunions, family activities, etc planned. Plus, lots of fun stuff to do around the house. (More on that over this next week.) Andy and I will also start training for our first half marathon this fall with the plan to run them this winter at...Disney. :) Anyone else have big plans for the rest of the year?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Words for Wednesday...Professional Dog Walker Edition.

AG likes to 'walk' Samson around the house and Samson will happily trot around with him. He's a great dog and we are fortunate he has adapted so well to our growing family. :) Enjoy these quick pics I snapped the other day. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shhhhh...can you keep a secret?

From our children that is. We are planning to surprise the kids with a trip to Disney for part of their Christmas. We knew we wanted to take a trip with the kids later this year and the debate was Fall or Christmas season. Christmas won out just because on our last trip AG was particular about certain things and claiming they 'scared' him. (Which Andy found really annoying since these things were previously some of his favorite things...like riding Pirates of the Caribbean.) In the fall they have Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween and while the title claims to not be scary we decided to skip it this year. And AG really, really loves all things Christmas. The plan was to hope for a bounceback offer when we were there for our long weekend and book it then. If there wasn't one available we'd wait for the annual pass discounts to be released for that season and book then. For those that don't know what a bounceback offer is it is Disney's way off getting you to plan your next trip before you leave your current one. The perk of a bounceback offer is that you can get a great rate on your room, usually 35-40% off the rack rate, you just have to be willing to travel during certain weeks.

Well, sure enough there was a bounceback offer in our room and the week we were interested in was available to book. Then the question was what resort do we want and what are our goals for this trip. (When planning a Disney trip, especially with small children, it helps to have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish. This frees you up so that you don't feel pressure to try and do everything...reality is you could never see and do it all in one trip! Period.) So, our goal for this trip is to enjoy all the special things Disney does just for the Christmas season. Our plan is to go for a Sunday-Thursday so we need to be able to maximize our time in the parks. With that in mind we also wanted to splurge on where we stayed. We spend so much time in the parks that Value/Moderate resorts suit our needs just fine. I really wanted to stay somewhere that is known for being decked out in their Christmas decorations. After discussing it at length we decided to see if there was availability at the Wilderness Lodge. (Which my friend Evan has raved about!) Sure enough they had availability but it was limited. Thankfully, what we were interested in was available. We were able to book a bunk bed room as a surprise for the kids. We requested bedrails for the bottom bunk for Avi-Kate and the top bunk has rails already on it for AG. (We'll leave the pack'n'play at home this trip.)

There you have it...the beginnings of our next family Disney trip. I've already got lots of plans in the works and will be posting about them as they come together officially. Next milestone will be in ten days or so...at that point we'll be at our 180 day booking window and I can book our dining reservations. More to come and here are a few pictures from our last Christmas trip we took in 2010.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ginger Shenanigans...

It's been a while since I've done a random picture post. So, here's some pictures from the last few weeks around the house. Now that we are approaching Avi-Kate's first birthday she has begun to play independently. She has her own little agenda and enjoys motoring around the house in constant exploration of her surroundings. She's enjoying the play area in the den and playing with all the things she can reach. The kitchen is fun because she can open all the doors to pull items out. When she's done she loves to put stuff back where it goes and claps. For example we have several trays of Melissa and Doug food...she'll pull everything out of the tray and then put everything back on it. AG is always a source of much entertainment for her and vice versa. AG's taught her how to blow rasberries with her lips and they will sit facing each other as if in competition with each other. It's really fun to watch their relationship develop...AG adores her and she adores him. We are very blessed. 

 AG wearing Avi-Cakes sound muffs. 

Avi-Kate loves sitting in AG's chair. 
 Here she is trying to keep him out of the chair and squealing her frustration at him. 
 Wishing he would leave her alone...but he is quite loving. :)

She's figured out how to climb on to the ottoman via the little red chair. We have a monkey in the making on our hands. 
 She stood up on the ottoman and was quite pleased with herself. She's also figured out how to turn herself around backwards to get down all on her own.

Really loving playing with all the Weebles these days. She's figured out how to drop them in and out of the house. 

Lastly, we are close to walking! She pushes things all over the house. She's really close to walking independently she just needs to go for it. She loves pushing the shopping cart and the lion around. AG enjoys loading up the shopping cart with goodies for her.