Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Words for Wednesday...Avi-Cakes Bear Cub Edition.

My mom calls Avi-Kate by the nickname Babycakes. AG then combined it to make the nickname Avi-Cakes. Then at some point she started making little growling noises and we started calling her Avi-Cakes Bear Cub. Ha. This spring I stumbled upon this adorable suit at the Gap in Macon complete with Bear Cub ears! I had to have it mainly because it was a long sleeve one piece suit. (Which are an all out necessity when you have fair skinned gingers! And almost impossible to find!) Anyways, the little ears were a nice added bonus. As you can see she loves wearing the hood. 

This weekend was her first real trip in to the pool and I was curious to see how she would do. Oh my goodness! She LOVED it. Loved being in the water but can I just say that in the last week or so we have seen her little personality begin to really come out. She's going to be a force to be reckoned with and she is FEARLESS. Pool, heights, new things, it doesn't matter or phase her. Notice in these pictures that she's standing in the pool. We tried the babyfloat and she tolerated it for a bit. We then held her for a bit and then she wanted nothing to do with us but wanted to do the pool all by herself! Really? Andy and I looked at each other thinking you're nuts...12months old and wants to swim by herself. I'm now trying to find something that she can wear that won't hinder her mobility. I need to figure it out before next month when we head to the beach. She also saw AG jumping to Andy in the she had to do it also. She 'jumped' off the top step in to Andy's arms. She's going to be a swimmer just like her Momma. :) Like I said she's fearless in the water...which is great but we are going to have to really watch her as she's growing!

Oh, sweet Avi-Cakes, our little Bear Cub, how we love you so! You are a sweet and sassy mess. Daddy and I can already see you being a monkey with the way you climb things. You'll be the kid that jumps out of her crib, I'm sure of it. You love to do things all by yourself and we can't wait to see how you grow and change over the next year. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

And the week is... and running! Whew. It's Monday and things are ramping up to be busy, busy. Lots to post this week. I'm hoping that I can sit down some in the next day or two to upload pics and get my posts together. We spent the weekend at the farm and got back last night. It was wonderful as always. As we were leaving Andy commented that one day we'll have a farm house down there and how nice that will be to visit and then pull in to our own driveway down there instead of driving 3.5 hours home. Yes, a farm house sounds just about perfect. One day we'd love to build a second family home down there. It's nice to dream, right? :) We swam, saw the cows, and ate lots of fresh food. AG and Avi-Kate played hard and slept even harder. It was a fun weekend with family.

I'm off to throw on some clothes and get things together to get out the door to pick up groceries with the kids. Plus, a stop at Home De-Hepo if your AG aka Home Depot to the rest of us to pick up some flowers. Like I said, busy day and week ahead. I'll be back with more soon. Happy Monday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Details sneak peek of Avi-Kate's room...

A few details...full pictures once I get everything on the walls the way I want it. I must say that it's coming along and I really love how it's turning out. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane....

...we've got lots in the works for the next year or so. Some things are tentative and others are firmly in the books. Here's what we'll be up to:

-My family takes a week to the FL panhandle every year so we'll be at the gulf the last week of July.

-November we'll head to Disney for the kids surprise Christmas trip. We return on a Thursday and the plan is for us to get back in time to cut down our Christmas tree that evening. Why cram that all in one day you might be asking? There is a method to my madness I promise.

-December holds a quick girls trip for me, Andy's sisters and mom. We are heading to my beloved Williamsburg for The Grand Illumination Weekend. It's Williamsburg's big kick off to the Christmas season. I'm really excited about it because while I have been during the Christmas season before I have not been during Grand Illumination Weekend for all the festivities. We'll be staying at Marriott's Manor Club and just minutes from the historic district. This happens to be Andy's mom's home base for her timeshare. We love staying here. This trip is the day after we return from Disney. Since we use a local tree farm to cut down our tree every year we like to cut it as soon as possible for best selection. Hence, the reason for wanting to do it before my Williamsburg trip. We'll see if that comes to pass but it's the plan for the moment. I'm sad that this year we will be cutting our tree down alone for the first time. The Hornsbys will be settled in Macon and I'm betting they won't be traveling to Rome to cut down their tree.

-Half Marathons at Disney for both Andy and I this winter. Once we get closer I'll post info on where we'll be staying. At this point we haven't gotten that far. I've got my hands full planning other things and these types of trips don't require much planning since we have been so many times we are quite good planning a short trip in a little time. (Our Everest 5k trip this year was planned in about two hours 8 weeks before.)

-May is shaping up to be busy. We would like to run the Expedition Everest 5K again this year since it was so much fun this past year. At the moment this is tentative and loosely on the books. At the end of the month we'll be taking a week long Edwards family vacation with the family timeshare. This year we'll be off to St. Thomas for a week. Should be an adventure traveling with four kids under the age of five. Most likely this will be Avi-Kate and Delia's first plane rides. I've already started keeping an eye on the airfare and am just waiting for the right deal to come along for us to buy our tickets. Since we are doing this trip we aren't exactly sure yet about the Everest 5K. I'm sure we'll decide later this year what our plans are.  

-As far as Disney in 2013 we will for sure be there this winter for both of our half marathons. Our current annual passes expire the first of March. At this point we are planning to let them expire then and then get a new set in May if we do Everest again. Now the biggest decision concerning our annuals for 2013 is that Andy and I are seriously looking at doing the Premier Annual Passport for ourselves this time instead of the regular annual pass we've bought the last few years. This pass allows you to do admission on both coasts. Why would we need access to both parks? Well, we have given serious thought and consideration to doing what Disney calls the Coast to Coast Challenge. (Basically, if you complete a half in both parks in the same calendar year you receive a special medal.) We figure if we are planning to already do one half in one of the parks we might as well do one in California. We are both turning 30 in 2013 and we'd like to do this as a way to commemorate the end of our 20s and start of our 30s.  If we do run in CA we'll most likely do the Disneyland race which is usually around Labor Day weekend. (It works best with Andy's work schedule.) The plan would be that we would make it a long weekend and have a belated anniversary celebration since we'll be doing lots around our anniversary in the spring. Tentative but looking like a real strong possibility. I'm in the process of mapping out what it would cost. I've also been working on what Disney trips we'll be doing in 2013 with the kids. Avi-Kate will still be free but we'll have to buy AG's admission this next year and so I'm trying to map out our plans to figure out if he'll need a ten day no expiration ticket or an annual pass. 

So, that's what we are looking forward to this next year. Lots of family fun in the works. Andy and I are also starting to look at where we want to go in 2016 for our ten year anniversary. We want to take a big trip somewhere and we've been discussing what that looks like. My hope is to have that nailed down for sure soon so that we can begin to figure out a budget so that we can start saving accordingly. If you can't tell I love planning trips. :)

Wordless Wednesday...BFFs just like their mamas...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Avi-Kate's 1st Birthday Party

I can't believe this first year has come and gone. Whew! It has been a whirl wind. We had a low key party at our church's new building downtown on Broad Street. We had lunch with all of Avi-Kate's favorite things and then a sweet treat table. It was fun to put out pictures of Avi-Kate everywhere along with some Olivia the Pig items I have had for years. (The perks of being an elementary school teacher in my former life!) I also bought a new copy of OLIVIA and we had people sign the book as a keepsake for her. I wish I had thought to do it with AG's first birthday with one of his Mo Willems books. (Oh, and learn!) Here are a few pictures from our afternoon of fun. And poor Avi-Kate refused to nap that day so by the end of the party she was dragging. :) I promise she had fun and enjoyed herself. She also took a long nap afterwards. Happy, happy birthday sweet girl! We can't wait to see how much you grow and change over this next year. You are such a joy and ray of sunshine. We love you dearly!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012...

This year for Father's Day we didn't do a whole lot because we were busy with lots of company. Avi, Meghan, and Lauren came 'home' for a wedding that we all went to Saturday night. Joy and Abby arrived in Rome for Abby's two week session at camp at Berry. It was a fun low key day and Andy got to do whatever he wanted. Next year he has put in a request for a family day at the Braves game with the kids and I think we can make that happen. AG also enjoyed picking out cards for Andy and G-Daddy at Kroger a few days before. He was quite proud of himself for picking out his cards all by himself. I'm so grateful for Andy and the husband/father that he is. He is an incredible man who works extremely hard all day and comes home every night ready to help with the kids. We are very blessed and very grateful for him. Here are a few pictures of him and Andy practicing their baseball in the backyard a few weeks back. Just another reason why I love him...he loves teaching AG. 

Andy's Dad would have been 70 years old this Father's Day. Hard to believe that he has been gone for six years this August. I know he would be extremely proud of the father that Andy has turned in to and the man that AG is becoming. It's fitting that AG is the first grandson on both sides of the family and he is named after both of his wonderful grandfathers. He truly is an 'AG Austin Gary Edwards' as he likes to call himself. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pulled the trigger...can't believe we did it...

We have been planning to do some changes around the house this summer. And some of those things I've been planning for probably close to two years. Seriously. We've really gotten on the bandwagon of paying cash for things including big items. Well, that requires saving, patience, and lots of research to make sure when you do spend the money it is well spent.

Last night was a big night in the Edwards household! Andy came home with a new tv for the den AND a new tv arrived via Amazon for our bedroom AND we ordered a new couch that we've been eyeing for YEARS! Not going to lie it was really weird because we've been working towards all of this for a couple years so to pull the trigger and do it was very surreal. Here's how it all went down:

-Our big tv started having problems two years ago around the time Andy switched companies. And it was not really in the budget to replace it so we lived with it, quirks and all, for a year. Last summer it died completely. We tried fixing it but no dice. And after lots of research Andy found that the problem we had was quite common with this tv. Which is ironic because we have the same tv in a smaller size for our living room and haven't had an issue with it. (Knock on wood!) We bought the big one because we liked the little one so much. Funny. Anyways, we just made do with the little tv which is still big at 32". It has been floating between the living room and the den this last year depending on what we are doing. Well, yesterday Andy bought his new 'big man replacement tv' and he and AG were happy to test it out last night. AG was in awe of the 3D! Ha. He wore his Ron Potter glasses last night over the ones the tv came with. :) The biggest lesson learned? It's probably a great thing we waited two years to buy it. We got a really good deal on a 3D tv that would have been way more expensive two years ago. And as Andy likes to remind me the 3D technology has improved greatly over the last few years. Big success. We both looked at each other last night and said I can't wait for football season! Ha.

-Sofa, sofa, we need a sofa. Well, we have been eyeing sofas from Pottery Barn since we got married but they have been out of our price range. Plus, there were other things that took precedent in remodeling our house. If you've ever been in our den you know that it is deep but very narrow. Think long skinny rectangle. Due to how narrow it is I never even entertained the idea of a sleeper sofa. I really just assumed it was too narrow. Enter this past winter when we entertained a large group of people and I decided we really needed more bed space. Sofa bed is a short term solution and the long term solution is moving. We are hoping to begin looking in the near future but for now this helps. (More on moving in another post for another day!) Well, I decided to measure and see if it would be possible to put a sleeper sofa in our den and you know what?!?!? We can. It'll take up the whole space but we can do it. So, guess what? I bought a sofa last night with a sofa bed. AND I got 15% off my entire order thanks to a sale that was ending last night. WAHOO! The only downside, which really isn't a downside because it is a good thing, is that it will take 6-8 weeks to get to us because each piece is custom made. My hope is that it will be in before the students return at the end of August. Next up is for me to decide on the fabric for the chair that I'm having recovered. Best get on that now that I've bought the sofa. When I get it all put together in the next few months I'll post pictures. I kept measuring and remeasuring last night to make sure before I placed the order. (Even though I've measured countless times and we sit on the sofa every time we go in a PB.) Again, it was weird to actually do all of this.

-We've had my small, old box style, tv from college in our bedroom. I told Andy that for Father's Day we'd gift him a new tv for our room. Notice, I said gift him. Yes, my husband ordered his own present because I knew that if I bought something there was a high probability that it would have to be returned. Ha. So, we have a new tv for our bedroom. Nothing fancy but it works perfect for what we want it to do. I can't get over the difference in size! It's actually two inches bigger in the screen than the old one but due to how slim it is it seems really, really small! So, we set it up yesterday as well.

-A few weeks back, when we cleaned out my Grandmother's estate, we came home with a new to us entertainment cabinet. At the time the 32" tv was residing in the den and so the cabinet sat empty. Well, due to the arrival of the new tv for the den Andy was able to move the 32" back in to the living room. AG has been ecstatic about this decision because he can now play the Wii and his Disneyland Kinect game. The tv fits the cabinet perfectly. I'm quite pleased with how it looks.

So, there you have it. Changing things up. I can't wait till the end of the summer when the couch arrives! :) Happy Wednesday. I'll be back soon with more comings and goings.

Words for Wednesday...Sweet Friends in the Making Edition.

Just call them BFFs. 
 Enjoying animal crackers together.
 Samson trying to figure out the snack cup. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We survived...

...another first birthday done. Whew. I'm exhausted and quite sleep deprived. Tomorrow I'll be in Atlanta for an appointment all day but I'm hoping to get some blogging done by mid week. Lots to blog about:

-birthday party
-house updates
-life in general
-Avi-Kate's 1 year check-up

And I'm sure there is something else I'm forgetting in there but my brain is fried. Literally. So, till later this week. I'm off to put my feet up and be a vegetable on the couch with my husband. The only thing that would make this rainy Sunday night in GA better was if Downton Abbey was showing a new episode. (sigh) I'm looking forward to January. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Croquet...add it to the list...

If you know my husband you know that he loves sports and is a wealth of sports knowledge. (And his knowledge is not limited to one or two sports...we love it all at the Edwards household.) Well, AG is quickly following in his father's footsteps. At three and a half we enjoy any of the following on a daily basis: baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, bowling, golf, and now croquet. Yes, you read that right croquet. A few months back AG went on an Alice In Wonderland kick and discovered croquet. For weeks he kept telling us he needed to play croquet and that we needed to go to Kroger to pick up his croquet set. (Logical place to find a croquet set, right? Ha.) Andy promised him we would get him a set and here's what we ended up with...

...we didn't really want to spend an arm and a leg for a set outside because our current yard is tiny and slopes. Not ideal for a good game of croquet. Besides I wanted something more geared to his age and that could be played inside. He was elated when it arrived via Amazon. So, add croquet to our list of hobbies. He loves it and currently has it out since he saw the photos of him while I'm typing this post.

Monday, June 4, 2012

ADRs for Christmas...

Advance Dining Reservations aka ADRs to those who frequent Disney Parks. Disney allows you to book reservations 180 days in advanced. If you are staying on property you can book up to 10 days of a vacation from the 180 day mark of your checking in. This can be slightly confusing...for example when we booked everything for our March trip last fall I had to make ADRs every day for a week since we were staying off property and you can book each day up to 180 days out. However, since we are staying on property at Christmas I can book all of our ADRs at the same time I just have to log in and type in my confirmation number for our hotel reservation.

Well, last week we hit the 180 day mark for our expected check in and I got up early to book our reservations. Andy and I had mapped out our plans for the week and where we were planning to go each day. Once I had set our tentative schedule we discussed the different places we wanted to eat at. The perk of being this organized and planning this far out is that you can get every reservation you want. Which I was able to do. Hooray!

So, here's where we will be eating at this trip:

-Whispering Canyon Cafe...located at our resort. (Dinner)
-Tusker House...located at Animal Kingdom. (Breakfast and a character meal)
-Liberty Tree Tavern...located at the Magic Kingdom. (Dinner)
-50's Prime Time...located at Hollywood Studios. (Lunch)

I really like this arrangement because it gives us two new places for us to try (Whispering Canyon and Tusker House) and two of our favorites. The only thing at this point that could change all of this is if the new Be Our Guest Restaurant opens up. It is in the New Fantasyland expansion and currently slated to open during the holidays. (Which could mean anytime in mid-November to Christmas.) If it does open and they do start allowing people to book an ADR then we'll switch out the Liberty Tree for it instead. If they don't allow people to make an ADR we'll probably skip it only because it will probably be crazy wait times to be seated/served. Andy and I are both really hoping that the next wave of Fantasyland attractions are open. We were able to get a preview of how amazing it is going to be when we were walking around the first wave of stuff to open...Storybook Circus. The details in everything were phenomenal and it made us really excited about what is to come. All the crazy construction will be worth it.

 Now that we have those plans in motion I can put my notebook together. Every trip we take I put together all of our important info together in a small notebook. When we return from the trip I clean out the notebook and file away that trip. I also like to take a picture of all of our confirmation numbers for our ADRs with my iPhone. That way I have them while in the park if I need them. It came in quite handy during our March trip when we had to shuffle some things while we were there.

I'm sure it'll be awhile before I do another Disney post since everything is done for now planning wise and I won't have much left to do till right before we leave. We are so excited about this's going to be a lot of fun. If you have questions about Disney planning feel free to send me an email. I love answering questions. :)

Chaos settling and a busy week ahead...

Well, this last week we stayed home and did projects around the house. It was wonderful to have Andy home for a whole week. The kids loved having Daddy home all week long...

We were able to tackle several projects around the house and I'll photograph everything this week as we tie up the loose ends. On tap for this week:

Monday--It's a rainy day in Georgia and I'm working around the house. Blogging, cleaning up, and trying to get a handle on all that we have to do this week. Dinner from the freezer tonight to make my life easier...Chicken Pastina. 

Tuesday--Avi-Kate's FIRST birthday. I can't believe she'll be one tomorrow. :) We'll be home tomorrow working on stuff for her party this weekend. We are planning to do dinner at Chick-fil-A for some nuggets, her favorite, and a sweet birthday treat.

Wednesday--I'm taking the kids to meet my sister, Misty, and she's going to take AG for the second half of the week. AG's been in serious Aunt Mis withdrawals and asks daily when he gets to go visit again. So, he'll be spending the rest of his week at the farm...they'll bring him back Saturday for the birthday party. A big thanks to Aunt Mis for will actually work out great for me to be able to do several things around the house without having the redheaded 3yr old tornado coming behind me. Like a much needed deep cleaning/organizing of his room.

Thursday--Avi-Kate's one year check-up. And some work around the house finalizing everything.

Friday--We've got tickets to go to the Braves game...they are retiring John Smoltz' number before the game. We'll truck it back to Rome after the game. 

Saturday--Everyone arrives for Avi-Cakes birthday party. I decided to have the party at our church's new building. Our church meets in the historic DeSoto Theatre downtown on Broad Street. This last year we bought the building next door to the theatre and renovated it to suit our needs. It's absolutely beautiful. Here are a few pictures from a party I helped with a few weeks back to celebrate our church. 

I'm excited about us being able to celebrate her first year with those we love in this space. I'm really looking forward to this weekend. 

Sunday--The guys are talking about a golf outing and I'm sure us ladies will do something. We'll see. 

Like I said, it's shaping up to be a very busy week here. Happy Monday, I'm off to be productive. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jesse Tree...

I realize we are months away from the holiday season but there is something to be said for planning ahead, right? :) A couple months back my sweet friend, Amy, sent out an email seeing if anyone in our church was interested in doing a Jesse Tree ornament swap. (For those who don't know what a Jesse Tree's a set of daily devotions for the month of December. Each day focuses on a different aspect of the bible and telling the history of Jesus' family tree leading up to his birth.) There is a symbol that represents each day and this is what people turn in to an ornament to hang on their tree. So, each day you do the devotion and then hang a new ornament. 

Well, Amy decided that since the fall is always so chaotic leading in to the holiday season that we should prep our ornaments now. Instead of having to create 25 different ornaments each person created 25 of the same ornaments for a particular day. I had Day 20-The Exile and my symbol was the Fiery Furnace. We had several weeks to work on our ornaments before we all got together to swap them out and build our collection. It was wonderful to sit and hear the stories behind each ornament. One of the ladies in our swap has teenagers and they have been doing the Jesse Tree since her children were little. She has several sets of ornaments and she plans to give a set to each child one day. I loved that idea...maybe one day I'll have multiple sets but for now we are going to look forward to using this set in  a few short months. I plan to post pictures of my collection this Christmas. 

 Some of the ladies from our swap in our new church building...we are having Avi-Kate's birthday party in this space next weekend.
 A sneak peak at some of my ornaments labeled in baggies and ready to go this Christmas. Amy also created a card that had who made what for each day. It fits inside our devotion book perfectly.

If you have questions about how we organized this let me know. It really was a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to having this already to go starting December 1st. I've also found Jesse Tree activity ideas, printables, etc. that I'm hoping to use with the kids to tie everything together. More to come once we hit the holiday season but I had to go ahead and at least share what I've been working on the last few weeks.