Pre-Christmas Festivities

December 28, 2009

<L to R: Amy, Kirk, Zoe, Aunt Melanie, Davis, Uncle Kyle, Reese, Grand-daddy, Grandmommy, Cole>

Kirk, Zoe, Cole, and I headed to Nashville, TN last Wednesday to celebrate Christmas with Kirk’s family.  We had a blast hanging out with Grandmommy, Grand-daddy, Uncle Kyle, Aunt Melanie, Reese, and Davis.  To help the kids pass Christmas Eve a little faster, we headed over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to check out the decorations.  Here are some pics.  Enjoy!!

<Cole’s 1st airplane flight.  I have to brag a little – the flight attendant told Kirk that Cole was the best baby ever – of course, he slept through most of the flight, and he ate during the descent…>


< Gaylord Opryland Hotel – Garden Conservatory>


<Reese, Zoe, and Davis checking out the fish at the garden conservatory.>


<Zoe taking a break to do a little modeling.>

 <Go Tigers!!  It just so happened that Clemson played in the Gaylord Music City Bowl last night against Kentucky (and won, I might add!).  The football team was staying at the hotel; we saw several of the players and Coach Swinney as well.>

<Grandmommy and Zoe ride the train.>

<Just a fun picture of Zoe and Cole with Grand-daddy and Grandmommy.> 

Christmas pictures will be up soon!  Merry Christmas, everyone!!


Let It Snow!!

December 21, 2009

So, this past weekend, the Washington, DC area got hammered with a lot of snow.  In the Arlington, VA area (where we’re living), the official total was 20.5 inches.  That’s a heck of a lot of snow, and it isn’t the icy stuff; it’s nice, fluffy powder!!  (It’s too bad we don’t live in the moutains; it’s really good skiing snow…)

On Sat, it was too cold and windy to go out and play, so we waited until yesterday.  Here are some pictures…

 Here’s what 20″ of snow on a car…  …and on patio furniture look like.

 Zoe playing in the snow.  And yes, that is Cole in the background in the stroller.  I have not bought him any snow apparel, so he was just bundled up in a really warm fuzzy bunting type thing and watched us play.  (He didn’t really like missing out on the fun.  I think I may have to get him some snow apparel as well…) 

It’s amazing what a year makes (you can check out the last snow from the Feb 2009 entries)!  Last year, when it snowed, Zoe liked looking at it from inside, but she really did not enjoy being outside.  This year, she’s really enjoyed playing in the snow (stomping on and in it, throwing it, eating it, digging, and climbing), and I suspect, she would play all day if we let her!! 

 Last year’s snow.  Yes, it’s the same jacket; it was huge last year, and this year, the sleeves are a little short, but perfectly wearable!!

This morning, the family spent a few fun-filled hours at Zoe’s school having breakfast (well, snack for Zoe), making Christmas crafts, and hanging out with the man of the hour, Santa Claus.  We were able to get the kids’ picture taken with Santa, and they both did remarkably well – Zoe refused to sit on Santa’s lap last year, and it was past Cole’s naptime.

Also, Kirk and I bought an early Christmas present to each other – a brand new camera.  A few of my friends (AnneKate, and Denise) have an SLR camera, and we both have been a little disappointed in the pictures using our compact point-and-shoot camera, plus, we figured we’re just going to be taking more pictures in the future.  So, after a lot of research and talking with each other and with friends, we decided on the Nikon D90.  We have a lot to learn, but I think we’re going to enjoy taking a pictures a bit more now.  (Just an FYI…all the pics on this post were taken using the “auto” setting.  We’ve got a lot to learn before we start using the manual settings.)

Pre-breakfast with Santa and waiting for Mommy to get dressed.  Kirk spent a few minutes goofing around with the camera.


Waiting for her turn to see Santa.  Zoe was super excited to see Santa – so excited that she could barely wait her turn.

Zoe and Cole with the Big Man.  Cole loved Santa’s beard…

(1) Zoe and a classmate having a snack. (2) Not crazy about this picture, but Zoe is scooping “reindeer food” into plastic baggies.  Thought it was really cute and super easy – oats with glitter.  (3 & 4) Decorating a bag to put her goodies in.  

(1 & 2) Zoe watching and listening to the musicians (duet guitars) play Christmas music. (3) Cole finally decided enough was enough and crashed, while Zoe (in the background) continued being mesmerized by Santa. 

After our trip to see Santa, Zoe decided to chill in our bed and draw a picture.

As if our day couldn’t have been more fun, we had our first snow of the year!!  It came down hard all day, but didn’t stick too much.  It was really pretty – lots of “oohs” and “aahs” by Zoe.

The day after Thanksgiving officially begins the Christmas holidays in my family’s house – growing up, my mom would pull out her Christmas sweatshirts on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we would go tree shopping (a several hour outing to different tree lots in town only to decide on the tree at the 1st lot).  This year was no different.  The morning after Thanksgiving, Zoe and Cole received early Christmas presents – cute Christmas outfits, and this year, Zoe received a gift from Santa – our family elf, Foddle (Zoe picked the name out from the names in the book that came with him.)  Then, it was on to the tree.  My parents bought an artificial one a few years ago (yeah! no more marathon tree outings!).  My Dad and Kirk strung the lights, and then Zoe spent the rest of the weekend helping Papa Joe decorate.  (I don’t know who had more fun – Zoe or Dad/Papa Joe!)

 Zoe and Papa Joe decorate the Christmas tree.