Ethan started playing the Cello at the beginning of the school year and has really taken to it and enjoys playing. We have enjoyed watching him learn to play from plucking, to actually using a bow. He was super excited about his first concert, but I won’t lie, I think we were more excited then he was. They had  dress rehearsal for the school that day and I was there with tears in my eyes (I’m such a dork) and enjoyed every second of it.
This is a picture from the dress rehearsal. He was so hard to see as they have the advanced strings sitting in front of the beginning strings and that made it even harder.

That night I insisted on a few picture before the concert.

So blurry, but I still love it!

My parents met us at the house so we could head to the concert together.

And after a few more pictures it was time to go.

Mike had won the silent auction for a  reserved parking space and front row seats and I am so glad he did, because the place was packed!

Judy met us there and we were fortunate to find seats together for everyone.

We were so excited when they started filing in.

There he is, my little cello player all ready to go!

The concert was fantastic! You could just barely see him while they were playing. Below is a short video clip, and you can see him stand up and bow at the end.

Ethan with Nana after the concert!

And much to my surprise Uncle Patrick and Aunt Tina showed up, and while there were no seats they were able to enjoy the concert from door entry. It meant so much that they came!

We are so proud of Ethan and all of the hard work and time he puts into practicing. I can’t wait till the Spring Concert!

Cookie Decorating

Growing up we always had cookie baking day sometime around Christmas. I love sugar cookies, and was thrilled when we got to my parents house last weekend and my parents were listening to Christmas music and cutting out sugar cookies. They were even using the cookie cutters we used when I was little. Funny how some old cookie cutters can bring back such wonderful childhood memories. When the cookies were finished baking and we had made some icing it was time to decorate.

The boys had fun, but honestly I think me and Mom enjoyed it the most.

I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

It’s hard to believe there is less then one week until Christmas! The year has flown by! Mike, Me, and the boys found ourselves at the mall later in the day on Black Friday, and what to our wondering eyes did we see? No line for Santa and an opportunity. I ran into Gap and bought the kids shirts (50% off) we changed them in the hall and enjoyed walking right up to Santa. With no line it meant he took more time with boys and spent a few minutes talking with them. It was adorable and so nice that we didn’t have to wait in line!

Last weekend after everyone was done recovering from their virus we headed to Macy’s so the boys could write their letters to Santa and drop them in the big Red Mail Box.

Jax did such a great job writing his letter.

Ethan being in 3rd grade did not need any help at all. He’s so cute!

Once they were complete it was time to mail the letters in the Big Red Magical Mailbox

I swear they write the letters just so they can drop them in the big mailbox.

Jax’s turn

I love the traditions that the four of us have and look forward to them every year!

Last Friday I got a text from Mike that he wasn’t feeling well. About an hour later I called to check on him and his secretary said he had left and looked awful. Mike never leaves work sick, not to mention they had their holiday party scheduled for later that day. I knew it was bad. About 20 minutes after Mike was home, and throwing up, I got the dreaded call from the school nurse. Yep, Jax had thrown up in class and felt awful! I flew to the school (it still took 40 min) and picked him up. We live a mile from the school, literally, and Jax didn’t even make it home before he puked in the car. UGGHHHH!!!!  He passed out almost instantly after getting home, and I was able to tend to Mike. He was running a 101.4 and looking pretty bad. To his credit he worked from bed the entire day.  Now the question is why was he on my side of the bed!!! I was able to get a few errands run while Jax was passed out. The two of them spent a good part of the afternoon in bed.

Florence was a diligent nurse!

Jax came downstairs later that day and had several more vomiting episodes.
Florence was so sweet and stayed with him the entire time!

My poor baby was so sick! He threw up 6 times, but never ran a fever.

Good thing it was a very quick moving bug and everyone felt better in the morning. Or so we thought… Ethan ended up with it and presented more like Mike,  high fever and not as much vomiting. He ended up laying around all day and I took him to Patient First that night just to be sure he didm’t have strep, and he didn’t.  By Sunday everyone was fine and I was fortunate not to get it!

My Birthday Fun!

This year my birthday happen to be on a Wednesday and while that wasn’t all that great, the fact that we celebrated the weekend before, on my birthday, and the weekend after made it extra special. The Saturday before my birthday we went down in to Annapolis to celebrate with my parents. We started at the Red, Red, Wine bar, which had a fantastic Champagne Flight.

From there we headed to dinner at O’Learys. It was fantastic!! If you are looking for  super nice cozy seafood dinner this is the place to go. It was fantastic!

Thanks Mom and Dad for a great night!!

The morning of my Birthday started out with Michelle bringing me my coffee, it was awesome! Then after our morning routine and me dropping the boys off at school I met Pam and we enjoyed a lovely coffee break. I headed to work and my boss took me out to lunch and then I headed home for the more fun part of my day. When I got home Pam practially scared me to death as she jumped out and handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. When I walked into the house There were more flowers on the table, along with a few gifts and Mike had my favorite Christmas songs playing. It was wonderful! He was home early from a deposition and we decided to go for a quick run before the kids got home.

Later that evening my parents, Pam, Michelle and their kids joined us for a nice little birthday party.

Me and Mom

Me with my Parents and Sven from Frozen

I received many very, very nice gifts, but the greatest other then having everyone there to celebrate was my Frye boots!

The girls and I were showing off our Frye Boots.

I would be lost without these girls!

And of course a picture with my baby. He kept trying to photo bomb us!

And lets not forget my girl Florence. She has to have a picture with Mommy.

After presents and photos we headed to the kitchen for cake.

I really am the luckiest girl in the world and love these three boys so much!

My little loves.

And I had to get a picture with my Ethan.

I had requested carrot cake and Mike made the cake and frosting from scratch. It was delicious!

The girls and I had a slumber party planned for the next weekend, but given all three of my boys got sick our plans changed and we enjoyed a great girls night that started with these fun drinks!

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so very special I really didn’t deserve it.

Look it’s Snowing!

Considering it never snowed last winter the fact that we have had snow twice this early in December is pretty exciting!! The first snow ended up being less snow more ice, but exciting none the less.
Mike had to be on the Eastern Shore for work so the boys and I hunkered down for a fun day. We watched the Redskins together.

And when we could no longer handle watching them play so horribly the boys painted some ceramic houses they had picked out.

While we didn’t get a ton of snow there was enough for Ethan to munch on.  Kind of gross if you ask me, but whatever.

That afternoon the snow turned to rain and it was just nasty and muddy! The kids had a two hour delay Monday and then on Tuesday they had no school as we were expecting more snow. The boys were so excited we went for a walk that morning.

We didn’t get as much as we had hoped, but it was enough to go sledding and that’s all they cared about.

Florence, well she wasn’t as excited as the boys.

We walked over to the big hill to meet some of our friends for some real sledding!

Rachel and Ethan

Kaitlyn and Jax

The hill was super crowded with tons of excited kids.

After about an hour and a half I couldn’t feel my toes and it was getting muddy again so we walked home and warmed up with some hot cocoa! Here’s to hoping its a snowy, snowy winter!

Festival of Trees

The weekend of Thanksgiving lead us right into December. It was such a short season this year with Thanksgiving being so late! That Saturday we turned on Christmas music and the four of us spent the day inside decorating the house for Christmas. I am not sure if we can squeak another year out of our tree as many of the lights are out, but after three trips to Ace, thanks Mike, and a few breaks to play football outside with the boys. We finally got the tree up and the house decorated!

Sunday Mike decided he needed to do some Christmas shopping so the boys and I joined my parents for the Festival of Trees at the State Fairgrounds. I had no idea what a huge display it was! They had trees, a huge kid area with animals, trains, games etc… Great auctions, vendors and hundreds of decorated trees. Some were much better decorated than others. But we had a great time walking around enjoying all of the Christmas Trees!

My Dad in front of the Orioles Tree.

On this tree all of the ornaments were hand painted crabs shells.
The boys enjoyed petting several snakes in the small animal area.

The wine bottle tree was super cool!

There were trees decorated in everything and every theme you could imagine. I personally Loved it! From there we went to another huge Christmas shop and purchased a few ornaments. It was a great day spent with my parents.
When I got home, Mike had completed his shopping, wrapped the gifts he had purchased, gone to the store and made a delicious pot roast from Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook for us to enjoy as a family.
It was a great way to wrap up Thanksgiving weekend and welcome in the Christmas Season!

Thanksgiving 2013

Mike’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!!

We had gone to the movies with the boys the day before and seen Frozen, which was incredible, and the night before had prepped and were all set for the big day. Mike even picked out beautiful flowers for the  table.

Our turkey cooked a bit faster then expected, we ran out of eggs and I had to make a quick run out. But as always it was a fantastic dinner filled with family. Mike and I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner and we greatly appreciate everyone who joins us.

Ethan had a bit too much fun with the black olives.

Ok I really am getting old you can see my eye wrinkles. But nothing beats a hug or a cuddle from one of my boys.

After we stuffed our selves silly, we cleaned up and then everyone just chilled and snoozed for a bit. I passed out a bit longer then expected, but was still fighting my upper respiratory and sinus infection. My Dad and Jeremy had tickets for the Ravens Steelers game so they left , Patrick, Tina, and Corey had another Thanksgiving to attend. So the house had quieted down quite a bit. Judy joined us for dessert and we just sat around watching the football game and entertaining the boys.

It was a great Thanksgiving and while I could never list all the people and things in my life that I am thankful for, I am so very thankful for my boys!

Silly, crazy, and loud as they may be!

Hope your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Fun in the Leaves!

My parents had the kids one afternoon while Mike and I did something, can’t remember at the moment, but they raked their leaves all up and let the kids destroy the pile. It looks like they had a blast. I  am just sad I wasn’t there to enjoy it with them.

My Mom, the boys, and their neighbor’s daughter.

It appears Ethan really enjoyed being buried under the leaves.

After having snow and ice twice this week, that nice warmish looking fall day looks awfully inviting.

I travel twice a year for work and this past November my conference happen to be in Orlando. After mentioning this to my Mom and Aunt Pennie, we all found ourselves with a weekend in Disneyworld together. I felt more guilty about being in Disney without Mike then I did without the boys, but man did we have a great time!
We met up in the airport, stopped at the hotel for a quick change, and then headed off to pick up our tickets and explore our first park. Animal Kingdom!

The parks were all set up for Christmas which made it that much  more magical!

We had all gotten up super, super early and by the time we made it to the parks, we were a bit tired, but quickly perked up!

The safari ride was great!

I love the Everest Roller Coaster. It might be my favorite ride anywhere and we did it twice:)

The first time my Mom and Aunt were in the front row and I am behind them with some random guy and I have my hands up. You can sort of see us in the picture.

The second time around Aunt Pennie didn’t go, but me and Mom both have our hands up!

I love the bats at Animal Kingdom. I just think they are super cool!

Just a neat picture of one of the walkways into the India area.

After walking around for hours and taking in all we could we headed back to the hotel to settle in. We of course had happy hour in one of the hotel restaurants.

Then we hopped a bus to Epcot! We learned that night that the buses take forever!! So we had to adjust our plans as it took us over an hour to get there!

The trees in Epcot were beautiful!

Due to timing we ended up eating delicious nachos while watching the incredible light show and then headed back to the hotel with plans to come back first thing the next morning to ride Soarin. And that’s just what we did, in the rain!

The transportation to, from and around the parks was an absolute fail this trip, but man we just kept laughing! Even when we walked for ever to the wrong place in the rain just to have to turn around. I am ashamed to admit how many times we did this. Good thing none of us cared and well we just kept laughing.

After our stop at Epcot we headed to Hollywood Studios. Still looks a little rainy doesn’t it?

Long hilarious story short. Mom washed dried and packed three ponchos, Aunt Pennie brought two raincoats, and heck I think I’m waterproof and the three of us headed out for the day with the forecast of rain and no, ponchos or raincoats. Well 20 mins after being in Hollywood Studios, it was pouring, and I do mean pouring and this was after we had gotten pretty wet at Epcot that morning. Well I hate ponchos and it seemed like a waste to buy more, but it was pouring buckets so I decided to buy an Umbrella. Mom and Aunt Pennie did too and from now on we are Poncho, Raincoat and Umbrella! Oh the fun we did have!

Lunch with light up drinks was fantastic!

Hollywood Studios was a blast!! We met tons of characters!!

Snow White!
She’s my Mom’s favorite! It was adorable seeing how cute my Mom was!

Mickey Mouse!

And for me my first time meeting Minnie!!! I won’t lie I was pretty darn excited!

We stood in line the longest to meet Sophia the First!

Frozen hadn’t come out yet, but I was already obsessed!

We had a great time shopping. Saw this hat for Mike, he loves Donald.

Aunt Pennie found this adorable hat and ears!!!

Loved these Christmas Decorations in the window!

It was a stormy but great day!!

I like the Cheshire Cat and had fun!

Look now its a full tea party!! Did I mention how fun and silly we were?

After a wonderful and wet day we headed back to the Hotel to get ready for dinner. We had dinner reservations at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge. We started with drinks in the bar, Mom just loved her light up drinks!

Poncho and Raincoat looking lovely for the evening!

Cool totem pole in the lobby!

After a delicious dinner we headed to Downtown Disney. Cause well you can never shop too much!
Look we found Olaf!

Mom found Mrs. Snoman

After another great night we headed back to the  hotel. I had to work the next morning but Poncho and Raincoat enjoyed some time at the pool.

Of course the first beautiful day and I had to work.

We did enjoy lunch poolside together.

No light up drinks today,but they were super tasty!

That night we had tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It was our last night and we were spending it at Magic Kingdom!

There is something so breathtakingly magical about seeing the castle. Sorry if you are not a Disney person.

Everything was decked out for Christmas!!

We enjoyed a few rides, but mostly walked around taking everything in.

Love the Cinderella fountain

There was a full schedule of activities and special shows for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party so we headed back toward main street for a light dinner and to find seats for the show.

In this one you can see the fake snow. It was sooooo magical!!

Me and Mom:)

Thanks to Mom aka Poncho we had great seats for the show in front of the castle. Oh she also got us seats for dinner!

We didn’t have much time to find seats for the upcoming parade and after doing one of our classic walk around for 20min just to not be in the right place moves, we ended up finding perfect seats for the parade!

Following the parade we were all starting to wear down. So we figured out where our free hot cocoa and cookies were and settled down for an evening snack.
No cool lights in tonights drinks,but they sure hit the spot!

To Poncho

and Raincoat

From Umbrella

Thanks for an incredible weekend I love you both and can’t wait for another adventure!!