Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Retreat

This weekend Wesley, Jackson, and I traveled to Douglasville, GA to join the church youth group for a Spring Break Get Away. Wesley had been asked by our youth minister, Rocky, to be the weekend speaker and he was so excited (he really misses that part of youth ministry).

Rocky also asked Jackson and me to join the group. His wife Ashley and their two little ones, Camp and Shepherd, would be there. Also our friends Brad and Cory were going with their two, Carter and Cammie.

Wesley stayed busy with the teens and Jackson and I enjoyed time with Ashley, Cory and the kids. We had a great time playing outside and even ventured out in the paddle boats.

Since it wasn't easy sleeping Friday night with three women and five kids in one cabin, Cory and Ashley left Saturday afternoon and traded in cabin life for comfy beds in Cumming. Jackson and I stayed around and enjoyed the evening activities.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to hear Wesley speak since Jackson wasn't one to sit down and listen, but I heard he did a great job (as I knew he would!)

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Since Jackson's skin is fair just like mine, I didn't want to take any chances with the sun. He wore his UT hat all weekend. Since he was in the shade, I let him wear it backwards - I think he looks so cute!
Cammie, Camp and Jackson waiting their turn for the paddle boat.
Carter and Cory
Jackson and Leanne

Such a big boy sitting in chairs in the Mess Hall
Let me set up the story below. I had to run inside for something so I asked Cory and Ashley to keep an eye on Jackson for me. When I returned, Jackson was sitting down as calm as can be, eating a bag of DORITOS! He had found Carter's stash and just started to enjoy. I think he ate the entire bag!!!
Of course, nothing goes better with Doritos than a Star Wars sippy cup full of milk :-)

Even when posing for pictures, he wouldn't put that bag down!

The weekend sure did make one tired little boy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wesley's idea of a relaxing weekend

A few weeks ago, I invited our friends Erin, Daniel, and Baby Elizabeth to come visit. We worked it out where they would come the weekend after Wesley got back from India and Jackson and I returned from Tennessee.
Once I got to Nashville, I took a good look at our calendar and realized a weekend visit after all the traveling to India, Nashville, and Augusta was just too much. I sadly asked Erin if we could reschedule. She was very understanding and agreed we had a little too much on our plate and needed some down time.

So this weekend was going to be our "get-back-into-the-swing-of-things", relaxing weekend. All I can say is that if the past two days are what Wesley calls relaxing, he needs serious help!

As soon as Wesley heard that I had postponed with Erin and Daniel, he decided to take Jackson to the Men's Campout at church. I argued with him for a brief minute: "Wesley, you are just returning to the US, why don't you spend the weekend at home."

His reply: "A camping trip with a 21-month old will be relaxing!"


They went and had a great time. Though most of the campers were older, two of Jackson's little buddies, Camp and Tucker, were there so Jackson had a blast! Wesley even took Flash with him.

Breakfast of Champions: Sorry the picture's so small but Jackson is enjoying a Rice Krispy Treat covered in blue icing for breakfast! I really did pack him something healthy!

Jackson, Camp and Tucker: In a few years, this could be trouble!

Flash loved playing with all the kids. Here he is with Tucker.

For dinner, they grilled out hot dogs for the men and the boys enjoyed PB&Js

With all three of the men away, I was able to relax all by myself. Friday night I caught up on e-mails and watched a little TV. Saturday morning, I went and got my hair cut (and highlighted for the first time!!) and did some shopping.

When I returned from my morning activities, I found Wesley mowing the back yard - does he ever stop! All afternoon he either worked in the yard or played with Jackson. We took dinner over to our neighbors who just had a baby and only after that did he actually slow down. I think he feel asleep at 9:00 on the couch. Good for him.

Today, proved to be no more relaxing -- it was Mission's Sunday at church. We dressed in authentic Indian clothes for the presentation at Grace Chapel. After worship at GC, we headed over to John's Creek Baptist where they were also having a Mission's service. Since several of their members were on the recent India trip, Wesley wanted to go support them as well.

Wesley picked up a little outfit for Jackson this trip - doesn't he look so handsome.

After both services, we headed over for a Celebration lunch with the India Team. We stayed over there until 2:00 playing, eating, and listening to stories of the trip. Finally, after lunch, Wesley really decided to slow down and he took a Sunday nap. He and Jackson slept for almost three hours!
Tonight ended with a relaxing evening at home with Jackson and his friend, Sam. Right before Wesley headed to India, Sam's parents Kate and Ben offered to watch Jackson so we could have a kidless dinner before we would be apart for two weeks. We graciously took them up on the offer with the promise that we could watch Sam for them soon.

Kate and Ben are about to go separate ways for two weeks (Ben on business/Kate to see family) so we were able return the favor and watch Sam while they went out for dinner tonight.

For some, the idea of watching another toddler might not sound relaxing, but Sam is a perfect angel! He is so calm and helps Jackson settle down as well. They played ball, ate a great dinner, and just enjoyed being around each other. We had a great time with Sam and look forward to seeing him when he gets back to Georgia.

This is how we found Sam most of the night - with the blue ball in his hands!

All in all it was a great weekend. I just wish Wesley would learn how to really relax and not pile so much stuff on his plate! Oh well at least he has fun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The 2009 Masters

It all started Spring Break 1997.

Though I don't recall what I did the beginning of that week, I vividly remember Thursday – Sunday. I was glued to the television as a young Tiger Woods mesmerized the world with his record breaking performance at the Masters.

I was captivated. Tiger electrified the crowds and made this seemingly slow game fun and exciting. After that weekend of cheering Tiger to victory, I was hooked.

I was hooked as a Tiger Woods fan. Even now I am embarrassed to admit all the things I collected with Tiger's face on it. I also became hooked on the game. I started playing and my parents gave me my first set of clubs for High School graduation. I played in church scrambles and even won one. Granted that was because I was on a team with David Allen Sciortino, but still a win is a win! During my last year at Lipscomb, Wesley and I even took a golf course for PE credit.

Sadly, the final exam for that course was the last time I picked up a club. I devoted my time to other things and left the golf playing to the professionals. Though I haven’t been found on a course recently, one thing is certain. Since 1997, I can always be found watching the Masters each April. Never did I think I would actually get to see the tournament in person.

Fast forward to March 2009. I am in the office catching up on some work when Wesley casually says, “I think I am going to get some tickets for the Masters this year. Wanna go?”


Three weeks later, my dream day started as my dad, Wesley and I headed over to Augusta. We arrived early Sunday morning and decided on our game plan. We were going to walk the entire course. The first grouping had already started so we walked the course backwards beginning at the 18th Hole. This allowed us time to see some of the holes before we met up with the players.

Augusta is gorgeous! The day was beautiful and the colors of the course were brilliant. I was most excited about seeing Amen Corner. I have always loved these three holes and they did not disappoint. It truly is a spectacular sight.

Though I enjoyed looking at the beauty of the course, I was getting anxious about seeing Tiger. I finally convinced my dad and Wesley to stop at the 7th green. We found a front row spot and waited patiently until Tiger's red shirt was visible in the fairway. His body language showed that he wasn’t too happy with his approach shot, but I didn’t really care. I was watching Tiger! WOW! It was so much fun to yell "Go Tiger!" as he headed by us on the way to putt.

As the crowds followed Tiger to the 8th tee, we kept walking. We caught up with the leaders, Perry and Cabrera, and followed them for a few holes. We finally decided to settle in one spot. We found a place on the 17th Green and watched as the players made one of their final attempts at the Green Jacket.

What an exciting day it turned out to be! Tiger turned it around and he and Phil Mickelson were in the running for the title. Though we couldn’t see what was developing on the course, we could hear the crowds erupt every time something exciting happened. By the time Woods got to us, he and Mickelson had almost caught the leaders. Unfortunately, at the 17th, they both lost their momentum and quickly fell out of contention.

When Kenny Perry emerged in the fairway, we thought we were seeing the eventual winner. Instead the 17th Green was too much for him as well, and he stumbled.

Oh well!

Though the day didn’t end as we had hoped, I loved every minute of it. I got to see Tiger play; see Augusta in person; and witness an intense afternoon of golf. It was a day filled with excitement that was made even better because I got to share it with with my dad and Wesley.

In front of the Sunday Leader Board at Augusta National

Members Only Entrance

We entered at Gate Six

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ready, Set, Run!

I am big on making New Year's Resolutions but not very good on following through with them. Seems like every year, I want to lose the same 15 pounds.

This year, I decided I was going to set specific goals and I was going to work hard to make them happen. My first resolution was to run a 5 K with Emily and Ryan in April.

I am a loyal YMCA-goer, but I avoid running at all cost. I get so bored on the treadmill , but having a goal and knowing Emily and Ryan were training with me gave me so much motivation. Every week, I would put in some time on the treadmill. I worked until I could run one mile, then two, and then finally three!

This morning was the day of the big race. We arrived an hour early to get our shirts, number and chips. It was a chilly morning but I was so excited about the race. We had a goal - complete the race without walking in under 36 minutes - and I really knew we were going to do it!

When the gun went off, Ryan took off and Emily and I set our pace. We were doing really well and all of the sudden were past Mile One. Up the hill and we passed Mile Two! Back down the hill and around the curve, and we saw Mile Three! I had my stopwatch running and was telling Emily - we are going to do this and we are going to beat our goal!

As we neared the finish line, we saw my Dad, Ryan, and Jackson cheering for us. Ryan finished in 27 minutes and was now holding Jackson. He came onto the course and handed Jackson off. I carried Jackson as Emily and I crossed the finish line. We did it!

I couldn't be prouder of all three of us. We set out to do something, and did it.

Running doesn't come easily for Emily and me. We had to push ourselves and training was challenging. On January 1 neither one of us could run one mile straight and today, we ran 3.1 miles in 34 1/2 minutes! Way to go us!

Pre-race - It was a chilly start.
Pre-race: Getting our numbers
Post Race - Emily and Ryan did a great job of encouraging each other throughout their training
Post-Race: We did it! Next year - the 10K!!!

Even Jackson was so proud!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nashville: Day Seven

I slept better last night knowing that Jackson was going to be okay. It has been a rough week of sleeping for me because every time Jackson coughed I would go in there and check on him. Knowing that the doctor said his lungs were okay, gave me a little peace of mind and I was able to get some sleep.

Today’s schedule was lunch with Jackson, my mom, Abigail and her mom at Puffy Muffin. It was so great to catch up with them. Abba and I have been friends for 25 years!! WOW! It is always good to see her and hear what’s going on. Right now, her husband Seth is working in Ohio so they are apart for the next three months :( Luckily, she keeps busy teaching but I know she misses him.

We had a nice visit talking about travel - Mr. and Mrs. Thweatt just returned from a month long cruise - friends, and old times. It was a great lunch and I really enjoyed being with both Abba and Mrs. Thweatt!

As we were leaving Puffy Muffin, we heard the tornado sirens going off. Scary! Jackson and I headed home and Mom headed to take my grandmother to the beauty shop (Good hair trumps tornado sirens I guess!)

It was a nasty afternoon. I put Jackson down and watched the coverage to see if we were in danger. Thankfully, it stayed away from Brentwood so we both were able to get a good afternoon nap! The worst of the storm hit Murfreesboro. Ryan works out there and actually saw a funnel cloud!

Emily and Ryan came over for dinner and then Emily and I headed out for some shopping. We had to load up on some new green clothing for me.

Why green?? Because Sunday, my dad, Wesley and I are HEADING TO THE MASTERS!!!!!!!!! AHH!! Wesley was able to get tickets through work and I am on cloud nine! In High School, I was a huge Tiger Woods fan and have followed his career since. I am so excited to see him play!

My dad and I are heading to Georgia tomorrow afternoon and then Wesley (who arrives home from India tomorrow night), Dad, and I will head to Augusta on Sunday. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nashville: Day Six

Seems like all I have been doing this week is canceling and changing plans. This morning was no exception. I had planned on hooking up with Erin and Elizabeth this morning since we had to cancel Monday, but after another rough night of coughs for Jackson I canceled on them.

Instead of a play date, we headed over to Lipscomb to visit Emily at work. Since there are no babies at the college of Pharmacy, I didn’t think he was at a risk of spreading what ever it is that he has!

We had a great lunch in the conference room and then Jackson put on a show for the ladies in her office! He was just flirting with each of them – it was so cute to watch! After lunch, he came home with Mimi so I could do some shopping. When I got home, I realized it was time to go to the doctor!

I guess I should have done that Monday!! Turns out he has a double ear infection! I was shocked! I really thought the doctor would just say he had a bad cough not that both ear’s are infected! I hate that I let it go so long but the doctor said not to second guess myself. He was fine! And his lungs sounded great so who knows why he is coughing!

He put him on a strong antibiotic and hopefully Jackson will be good as new before long!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nashville: Day Five

Jackson didn’t sleep well last night. That cough just seems to be getting worse. I was really worried about him so I (again) changed plans. We were supposed to head to Susan’s to watch the kids but instead she brought them over to Mom’s while she went to the doctor. Jackson seemed to perk up after playing with Rebekah, Caleb and Joshua so after Susan’s appointment, we all headed to Cool Springs to take “Cousin Pictures!”

This is the fourth time we have taken all four for pictures. I keep thinking it will get easier – so far, that hasn’t happened! We were able to get a few really cute pictures though!

After the photo session, we went to the food court for lunch where we noticed Caleb’s eye was not looking so great. Susan left the mall and headed for the doctor – Pink Eye! Yuck :( So far none of the other kids have had any symptoms of an eye infection but Jackson’s cough still is lingering. It isn’t getting any better, and I am starting to think it is time to head to the doctor.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nashville: Day Four

Jackson woke up in a better mood this morning. He didn’t have a fever but we decided to take it easy anyways. Instead of a play date, we just went out to lunch my friend Laura and her son, Ford. Thanks to Williamson County Spring Break, we joined dozens of other youngsters at the Brentwood Chick-fil-a for lunch.

Though our lunch was short, we were able to catch up. It is always great to see Laura and Ford. Hopefully next time, Ford and Jackson will be able to play!

Laura and Ford

Tonight, Susan, Emily, and I took my mom out for a belated Birthday Dinner. Mom wanted to go to McAllister’s. The restaurant was not crowded we we were able to have a great dinner and talk. After dinner, Susan and Emily came over to watch Marley and Me with me. Unfortunately, Jackson’s cough worsened and I had to take care of him instead. We postponed our movie watching until later.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nashville: Day Three

Today didn't start off so hot.

Jackson was up last night from 10:30 to 2:30. When I finally got him to settle down, he only slept until 8. I took his temp and he had a low grade fever. We cancelled our morning plans with Erin (and Elizabeth) and Pauline (and Rachel), and by 9:00, Jackson was back upstairs for a morning nap. Two and a half hours later, he woke up for lunch. Shortly after lunch, he was back in bed for another two hours. Needless to say, he was one tired little boy!

His fever broke this morning, but it was back up again before dinner. I thought the fever might have to do with teething, but he is coughing a lot. If tomorrow starts out like today, we will be heading to the doctor in the morning.

Though his little illness put a damper in our morning plans, it didn't hinder our evening! Net, Drubby, and Uncle Melvin came over to play. They were all going to help my mom watch Jackson while I went out to dinner with Ashley. It was great seeing them for a few minutes until I headed out to meet Ash.

We changed our original plans to meet up in Green Hills so I could be closer to home in case Jackson got worse. We tried a little Mexican place up the street from my parents. It was quiet which was nice and the food was pretty good as well.

I had a wonderful time with Ashley. We talked wedding, jobs, family, friends and old times - My favorite topics! I love being with her and miss nights like this so much! I am glad we made time to spend some quality time together! Next time we see each other we will be heading to the beach for her bachelorette party – Whoo Hoo!

I promised my mom I would be home by 8 to get Jackson to bed. I was so surprised to see that Net and Drubby had stayed the entire evening. Evidently, Jackson and Drubby entertained each other all night long!

Big D and Little D (and Tigger!)

Playing blocks

Old friends deep in conversation

I just finished giving Jackson a bath and putting him down to bed. He's still coughing, but hopefully, he will be able to get a good night sleep and wake up better than ever tomorrow!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nashville: Day Two

The beginning of Day Two came early this morning. Jackson woke up around 6, and I let him play in his crib for while. My dad must have heard him playing and came in and got him so I could sleep a little longer! Thanks, Dad!

As I was catching a few extra Zs, my mom and dad fed Jackson and got him all ready for church. Since it was in the 70s today, he was able to wear the new shorts that my mom made for him. Aren't they cute!

Church was great. It is always nice going back to my "old" church and seeing everyone. I love catching up with people, and letting all my mom's friends see Jackson. He has figured out how to flirt in church :)

This afternoon was party time! Erin, Erin, Shannon and I threw a bridal shower for Ashley at Erin's new house. It was so much fun. Erin did a great job hosting. Everything looked beautiful and it was a fabulous afternoon celebrating Ashley.

My sister Susan made the cake for the shower.
She started taking cake decorating classes earlier in the year and is doing a great job.

The beautiful bride-to-be and her mom, Julia

Shannon, Erin , Ashley, Leanne, and Erin

So we haven't taken a picture like this since the Mother/Daughter Tea at High School graduation.
Since all of our mothers were at the shower to celebrate we got this great picture.

After the shower festivities, Emily came over to watch the ACM awards with me. The first number was a collaboration of a few different singers: Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Brook and Dunn. Jackson loved that and showed off a few of his signature dance moves for everyone.
I really enjoyed watching the awards with Emily and my mom. They both appreciate country music so had fun talking about all the artists and songs!

Jackson grooving to the music!

Jackson loved dancing with his Aunt Emmie

Even though Wesley is miles away, he still has Internet. Jackson wanted to play with the camera last night so we took this picture of the two of us for Daddy.

We love you and miss you!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nashville: Day One

Once the final dates were set for Wesley's India trip, I decided that Jackson and I needed to take a trip to Mimi's!

We got Wesley off on Thursday, and yesterday we took off. After a brief stop in Chattanooga - Thank you to my brother-in-law and sister in-law for watching Flash again for us - we arrived in Nashville around dinner time. We had a nice relaxing dinner and prepared for the week ahead. Since it has been awhile since Jackson and I have been up here, we have a busy week scheduled with play dates, dinners/lunches with friends, and major family time!

We started off our jam-packed week bright and early today with an Easter Egg hunt at my parents' church. Susan and her family joined us as well. It really was a great time.

Mommy and Jackson at Hillsboro's Egg Hunt

Before the hunt, all the kids played around on the playground.

I have mentioned this before, but Rebekah is not one for the smiles :-) Here she is enjoying herself on the playground.

Jackson found the fun slide!

Around 11, they started the hunt. It was great because there was a special area designated for those 2 and under. The big kids were kept out so the little ones could take their time figuring out what was going on. It didn't take long for Rebekah to figure out there was something special in each egg!

While she was going to town on some chocolate, Jackson enjoyed the hunt.

After the hunt, Susan and Tim left Joshua, Caleb, and Rebekah to stay the afternoon with us! It was so fun! Jackson and Rebekah became big buds! Here they are strolling to the car together. How precious!

We were headed off to Costco where they enjoyed some time with Mimi!

After Costco, all four kids played outside.

Here's Jackson helping Rebekah up the hill
Look how big Joshua and Caleb are! They had so much fun outside with Pop-Pop!

It was a fun day, but boy, am I tired...and it's only day one!!