Friday, November 8, 2013

The longest blog EVER!

It's been a while. Suffice it to say that it's been a busy season, and so the blogging waters have been still and quiet. Bloggers know that in this place, the question of where to start can be overwhelming. Do you skip the unblogged months and jump with two feet back into the present-hide Halloween under the rug? Perhaps a photo update(a personal favorite)? Or, do you attempt to tackle the past and get it all out for posterity's sake? In this moment, I have many words to share and an abundance of pictures to sprinkle them with. In keeping with my intentions here to capture these special memories, I've decided it just wouldn't be right to skip over the Whilrlygig festival and our 7th annual visit to the State Fair. So here we go, on a tritp to the longest blog post EVER. Get excited!
I left off my last post with our annual end of summer vacay to Myrtle beach. We bid adieu to Summer and have since embraced Fall with open arms.

Chris' countdown to the fair ended in late October. This year we went on a Friday afternoon, and afterwards decided we like the weekday mornings much better. Chris' reasoning was for the crowds, mine for the pictures-I just hated losing the light so fast! Anywho, our fair food this year consisted of deep fried oreos, corn on the cob(my must have), a turkey leg(for Chris, obviously), and cotton candy. And we let Evan pick out a ride-spinning dragons it was!  Ahh, the state fair. What can I say except-it's tradition. 
 
Speaking of the fair, we celebrated Wilson's local version this past weekend at the Whirlygig festival. This year our church had a booth and gave out f-r-e-e coffee.
Moving onto Halloween... Now that I have two small kiddos to dress up, it's become a holiday favorite. It was so much fun this year. Between costume party playdates, Evan's Halloween parade at preschool, and several trunk or treats on the big night, we got great mileage out of our costumes this year. By fervent request, Evan was a teenage mutant ninja turtle this year-Raphael- and Bennett took the Tigger costume for another spin. They were beyond adorable. It was really just fun-plain and simple, sugar coated fun.
In other news, Fall is in full swing and man, is it a breath of fresh air. Daylight savings time I could do without, but otherwise I am loving Fall up and down all day long. The crisp air, the colorful leaves, smells of cinnamon and the warmth of coffee when you're actually cold, cozy socks...yes please! Light sweater, no jacket weather is officially in and I'm taking in every moment. Note to self, must get some more long sleeve tees!
Enjoying Wilson's Dean's farm(above) and s'mores with dear friends from church(below).
Evan is 3 and a half now and I've gotta say- not my favorite age. I used to think every age and stage my children hit was my favorite...not so much 3 and a half. In full disclosure, it may be the day talking. Today was a difficult day to be 3 years old! Thankfully though, most days are full of sillies and learning new things. I love that he is loving his preschool so much. Each week they review a new letter of the alphabet and we've had a ton of fun picking out show and tell items and hanging up all of his new artwork and backpack goodies. He is really into superhero's and ninja turtles lately, and is finally fitting into his 3T sized clothes. Almost daily I have moments of "I can't believe what a big boy I have." With big boy hair to boot. Underneath all of these new teachable moments, I am so thankful for my sweet boo who loves his mommy much, who is so friendly, tender hearted, kind and compassionate. Now, I may need a looking glass to find these qualities on days like today, when sharing is hard and sitting still unthinkable-but rest assured, they are there.
(Forts are his new thing)

Bennett will be my baby forever. He is getting so big and I'm in denial. True to his "B Bear" nickname, he has the appetite-and if occasion calls for it the attitude- of a bear. He is always on the go and is a feisty little guy-a Denice the menace in the making I think. If he's not being engaged almost constantly, he's getting into trouble. Silence.is.deadly. But oh do those blonde curls make up for a multitude of sins! That smile? I melt. He has us all under his spell and we are in big trouble. In other news, his vocabulary is exploding by the day, and he's finally packin on the pounds and catching up with the growth chart. He loves bathtime, books, and his big brother(whose name he can say fairly well). The biggest thing I'd like to point out about Bennett now is that he is almost 21 months, that is to say the same age Evan was when he came home from the hospital. Wow, talk about full circle! It's a milestone of sorts.
A few other circles on our calendar over the last month or so was a trip to Hillridge farms for pumpkin picking, hayrides, popcorn pools and more with my MOPS mamas, a fun getaway to Greenville with a girlfriend for a first homeshool conference(complete with lunch at Panera-yum!), and more recently gathering with our church to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Whew, I feel mostly caught up, lighter. It's a small victory, but like conquering that leaning load of laundry, it feels good to cross it off of my mental to do. Write longest blog EVER
-check!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

First annual "Brother's Day"

Dear blog, I'm excited to share with you a new holiday in the Scott house. Without any further to do, I present our first annual "Brother's Day." From this day onward, Brother's Day shall be celebrated on September 17 with much colorful pomp and circumstance-and cookie cake.
On Brother's day, we thank God for the gift of being a big/little brother. We share and love and adore each other just because we're brothers, with plenty of hugs and balloons to boot.
We had a great day, starting fresh at the breakfast table with a special song and cake and a few other surprises. Later in the morning we enjoyed a good couple of hours at the beach. (More beach blogs and pictures to come!)
We attempted a sand castle, walked along the shoreline and splashed in the sea foam.  It was extra special to celebrate at the beach this year and with Grandma! The boys both enjoy playing in the sand, and Evan even turned a few cartwheels in the water. So far Bennett has not stumbled upon any fear of the ocean, and loved the water and the waves(a gift from Poppy I think).

After lunch and naps we stopped by the outlets for "pretend" ice cream...
  and then Barefoot Landing, where we took the boys to see real life Tigers!!!
OK so the tigers we're exactly within reach but the boys LOVED seeing them romp and play together. We topped off the night with a cheeseburger from paradise, and thus wrapped up our first annual brother's day.

I do love having boys, and am so thankful to see them learn and walk together. My prayer is that this will be a special day to look forward to every year and that it would be source of fresh water to their growing relationship. I hope it becomes a family tradition they look back on with crooked smiles and fond memories as they move away and plant families of their own. Happy first "Brother's Day" to my sweet boys!

"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero" -Marc Brown
(and don't you forget it!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On the library card...

One of the things I love about Wilson is our local library. Namely, it has a great, colorful kiddo section with a bounty of good books. And as often as our schedule allows, we love taking advantage of the storytime programs. In committing to fill more of my time with books over television, here's a look at what's on our reading list this month...
When I get a chance to explore the adult section of the library(admittedly rare), I often pick up a random cookbook to peruse. This time I picked a Paula. Looking through the pages at home though, I don't think this book won't get much use in our kitchen. The recipes are a bit too Southern for my taste(ie "Michelle's Collards with Cornmeal Dumplins"). However, not for nothing, I did find a new and interesting recipe for homemade strawberry-banana ice pops. She uses milk and an instant pudding for the banana portion, and something in my gut tells me this small difference would make a big impact. And who knows, they may become a staple around here and all thanks to this book. Two hundred plus pages of recipes and just a handful of winners is in my opinion, no waste of time at all. Totally worth it.
I've oogled the above book for a while, I guess one could call it the cornerstone go-to book for homeschooling with the "classical" method. I know I'm a few years early, but the start of preschool has stirred all kinds of excitement around here. We're a good 1-2 years out from k/1st grade, but I'm all too aware that the day will come sooner than later! And, since this book is a beast I figure it may take me a few years to wrap my mind around it. I can't put it down. I am a nerd.
The above book is straight from our own bookshelves, but I've found myself visiting it's pages often lately as I've become more involved with the women's ministry in our church. Aside-I'm so excited to start studying 1st and 2nd Thessalonians with our grace group! Back to the book, this is certainly a helpful and encouraging resource and worth re-reading. There is so much value in "re-reading" but I often lazily shortchange my own dusty books. Note to self-rediscover your own bookshelves!

Moving on to Evan's reading...how young is too young for star wars? Oy.
A few weeks back Evan very excitedly came walking-ahem inappropriately running-to me with this book in hand. After unsuccessfully trying to convince him that we were just not ready for Star Wars in this house, we left the library with said "Watch out for Jabba the Hutt!" book. So, ready or not, Star Wars here we go...somebody please write me a cheat sheet!

Bennett is a bookworm. He also loves to take every last book off of his bookshelf and leave it in a messy pile on the floor-several times a day. I'm currently crafting a more creative and efficient way to keep his books neat and orderly, and also to remove the safety hazard that has become his bookshelf. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Labor Day Rewind

Last weekend we drove to Durham to have a fun labor day lunch with family. My cousin Gara's house is so colorful and fun for many reasons, but mostly(in Evan's eyes), for the chickens! Evan enjoyed feeding the hens and collecting fresh eggs, and I enjoyed watching-from a short distance. ;-)
He also got some quality cousin time with miss Vive. Fast friends and partners in crime I think...
http://distilleryimage1.ak.instagram.com/e4752860126711e3825822000ae803d7_7.jpg
  
 Above:The boys and yellow doors. Below: The gals-Aunt Kathy, cousin Gara, myself and madre. :-)
 
Many special thanks to this fantastic blueberry tart,  I'll need to add this one to my recipe book Gara! 
After a lovely lunch our little family headed off for some Raleigh errands. On the to do list- townhouse duties, Trader Joe's, and Triangle Town Center(loving the unintentional alliteration of it all!). Needless to say we were exhausted from our mini day trip and happy to pull into our driveway later that night. In my opinion, that always a sign of a good day!

Disclaimer-This all took place on Saturday by the way. Our actual labor day(Monday) was spent enjoying the blissful ordinary of home life, plus or minus a trip to Lowes and a Target run for diapers.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On the first day of pre-school, my mommy said to me...

1. Be a good friend
2. Listen to your teacher
3. For the love, don't please pee in your pants.
 
This morning I dropped my first baby boy off at pre-school for the very first time. It was surprisingly, simply great! I'm not sure what I had anticipated-tears, separation anxiety, new-ness overload? I'm happy to say the whole thing was swimmingly easy, happy, exciting, welcoming, and just plain awesome. Evan was a rockstar! Truly, the director even said to me that he was so comfortable and at home there, like he'd been going for years. Just the right thing to say to this anxious, first time mom I think. In short, God answered our prayer for a good first day and gave us a great one.

It all started with some pancakes, syrup, and a song.
video
After the new morning scramble, we took our very first "first day of school" pictures. How handsome and grown up is he?
Drop-off was smooth and bittersweet. I was that mom, you know the one who stayed 5 minutes too long and took way to many pictures of inanimate(but important!) objects like backpacks and bulletin boards. Details people, details. Evan was a champ and after giving me a big bear hug said "bye mommy" and then coolly strolled over to play with new friends. And me? I was happy to see all of his preschool imaginings come true-no tears from this peanut gallery. A small part of me hoped he'd be upset to see me leave, but I quickly got over that and decided I liked it much better this way!

He was all smiles at pickup. What a great memory seeing his eyes light up as he spotted his little family waiting for him outside the school doors-and boy was I glad to see him too! As best as I can tell from the words of a 3 year old, it sounded like he had a pretty awesome first day. We celebrated with happy meals for lunch-the icing on this boys cake for sure!
I am so thankful for the opportunity to send Evan to preschool this year, and am glad we made this decision way back in December. I can't believe how fast September has come around, and look forward to all the fun preschool memories in the making! As I hashtaged my instagram pictures...#Day1Down #RockedIt

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Feeling Nostalgic

Nostalgia
: a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition;
A few weeks ago I was struck with a sweet bite of nostalgia at Gigi's cupcakes. My mom and I stopped into this favorite cupcake shop of mine on our special birthday shopping trip. And, even though it was indeed our birthday trip, I opted to get the "wedding cake" cupcake. It's a beautiful white cake topped with a small, swirly mountain of rich vanilla butter cream and sprinkled with elegant pearls. It's understated and extravagant still. Anywho, you may wonder why I went for the wedding cake cupcake on my birthday...

Three and a half years ago I had my first bite of this amazing and delicious cupcake. It was perfectly sweet and delightful in every way-those petite pearls, oh my. It should be noted that there is so much icing on this cupcake you need a fork to eat it with. My husband bought it for me from a lady selling them in the hospital cafeteria, and smiled to surprise me with it in our quaint, new mother-baby room. Boy, was it a sweet sight-almost as sweet as our squishy newborn Evan. I loved those first few hospital days with my first boy-it was such a special time and I cherish those memories dearly. First diaper changes, white onesies, daddy snuggles, matching bracelets...wedding cake cupcakes. I didn't love a lot about our time in the hospital; our long laboring and unexpected delivery were not moments I remember with ease. But by God's grace-and Gigi's cupcakes-those more difficult times seem to me now so small in comparison to the absolute joy of new babies and buttercream. They say scent memories are especially powerful, I say cupcake memories are better-wistful even.

Now, the dawn of preschool days is upon us. Hair gel, 3T jeans and new seating arrangements at the dining room table are the new nostalgia in the making. I love this place in life. I loved that place in life. Looking at the above definition of nostalgia, I'm encouraged to embrace these moments before they turn "irrecoverable." Even then, I'm happy for a cupcake to whisk me back every now and again. :-)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Superhero's don't chew on their fingers....

...but they do lurk mysteriously around crooked corners. ;-)