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{“…We.Thought.You.Was.A.Toad!…”  Quote from Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?}

A month ago, Zoe and her class from Kinhaven took their first field trip.  The field trip was to the Gulf Branch Nature Center in Arlington, VA.  It was so much fun watching the kids listen to the park ranger talk about frogs, toads, and tadpoles, enjoy finding “treasures” on the nature hike, and playing Tag after our picnic lunch.

Spring 2010 003 {Zoe poses with the turtles.  I really don’t think this looks like her very much; I mean, she looks sooo big and is totally giving me a fake smile!}

Spring 2010 002{Zoe waves “hello” to the turtles.  BTW, all the kids had to wear the bandana while on the trip; it had the school name and phone number.}

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{Some of Zoe’s classmates listening to the ranger talk about frogs.  I love how you can just “see” their brains soaking up the info.}

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{Everyone watching the ranger catch some tadpoles out of the pond.}

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{Mr. Serious.  Cole enjoyed hanging out with the big kids, but at this point, I think he just wanted to take a nap.}

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{Zoe and her teacher, Ms. Kayna, check out the tadpoles.}

Sara and Zoe

{Zoe and Sara.  Photo courtesy of Sara’s mom.}

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{The Tigers T/TH Class.  From L to R: Kai, Bryn, Zoe, Caleb, Tyler, Avery, Sara, Emmett (behind Sara, can’t be seen), Sophie.  Not pictured: Jake}

It was so fun to see Zoe in action with her classmates!  I never would’ve thought that Zoe would turn into a big kid overnight.  Granted, she still has her little kid meltdowns at times, but I loved watching her play tag, toss rocks in the creek, and really enjoy the museum displays.


The weekend after Mother’s Day, Kirk headed to Charlotte, and the kids, the dogs, and I headed to my visit my parents in Rocky Mount, NC.  Here are a few pics from the weekend.

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{Saturday: My mom, “Gramma Joanie”, and I took the kids to Target & Kmart to get a few things, and pick up a plastic pool.  Zoe and Cole had a blast playing in the water!}

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{Sunday:  Cole finds that the cooler makes for a great push toy.  Zoe helps Gramma Joanie fill the birdfeeders; she was VERY proud of herself!!}

Zoe, Cole, and I (and the dogs!) had a great and relaxing weekend with Gramma Joanie and Papa Joe (I really need to do better about taking pictures of him with the grandkids!)!  I hope to do it again, soon!!

Williamsburg Weekend

May 31, 2010


Once in a blue moon, you come across people with whom you just “click”.  Kirk and I have found that in our friends, Vince and Melissa Walker.  I’ve talked about the Walker family a few times here on the blog.  Both of our families moved into the Washington area last August, our girls are the same age, and since then we’ve become good friends. 

So, we (Kirk, Vince, Melissa, and I) had talked about going away together for a weekend – a real “test” of our friendship.  (You never know, we could’ve gone on a trip and realized, “Wow…we really don’t have a lot in common…”, but that didn’t happen.)  We all decided that Williamsburg would be the destination, and that Mother’s Day weekend was the best weekend.  So, we packed our bags, headed to a two-bedroom suite at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, and spent a really fun weekend taking in the sights at Williamsburg and enjoying each other’s company.

Here’s the lowdown on the weekend:

Friday night – arrived and unpacked

Saturday morning until naptime – toured Colonial Williamsburg

Saturday afternoon during naps – Melissa and I had “lomi lomi” massages at the Kings Mill Resort Spa (unbelievable and definitely one of the best massages I’ve had!)

Saturday afternoon after naps – Kirk, Vince, and the kids joined me and Melissa at the “Sports Club” for a little swimming before dinner

Sunday – packed up, had an amazing brunch at the resort’s restaurant, did a little sight-seeing at the College of William & Mary, and then headed home

Spring 2010 027{Cole checks out Zoe’s “bed” at the resort – Kirk’s sleeping bag unzipped with the duvet from our bed.  They both loved it!}

Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend:

Spring 2010 002{The Governor’s Palace.  This is where the Royal Governors and their families lived when Virginia was still an English colony.  It’s also where the first 3 governors of the State of Virginia lived (including Thomas Jefferson).} Spring 2010 011{One of the children’s beds in the palace.  This was for the 6-year-old little girl.  I loved Zoe’s reaction to it.  She saw it, and said, “Oooh, Mommy!  Look!  I love it!!!”}

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{I can’t remember what room this was in the palace, but the portrait is of Queen Charlotte, the namesake of Charlotte, NC.}

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{I love Zoe’s expression; to me, it says, “Really?!  Enough of the stupid pictures, already!!”}

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{A gentleman out for a ride.  It was really neat to see all the people working in Colonial Williamsburg while in “character”.}

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{Zoe shows off Margaret, a doll we picked up for her at an outdoor market in Williamsburg.}

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{Zoe and Catherine holding their matching “Margaret” dolls and having some sort of conversation while Melissa and I listen to a gentleman talk about the courthouse.}

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{Mr. Vince and the girls dancing in our suite at the Kingsmill Resort.}

So, there you have it…a little vacay with the Walker family…we saw some sights, we had a lot of fun, and we hope to do it again, soon!!  Thanks for the fantabulous time, Walker family!!

Long Lost Cousin

May 19, 2010

Spring 2010 082  {Front Row: L to R: Vikki, Jacob, Chance, Zoe, Cole, Amy.  Back Row: L to R: Mike, Jimmy, Nancy, Kirk}

Back in January of this year, Kirk’s family located a long lost family member via Facebook.  Vikki is our age and, surprisingly, lives in Charlotte.  Even more amazing, 2 months after Cole was born and spent time at the Presbyterian Hospital NICU, Vikki gave birth to Chance, who was born at Presbyterian and spent time in the NICU as well.  Chance weighed an unbelievable 1 pound, 1/2 ounce and spent 3 months in the NICU!  Chance is turning 1 this weekend, and I thought it fitting that I post about our first meeting.  Happy birthday Chance!

So, the first weekend in May, Kirk, the kids, and I made a spur of the moment trip to Charlotte.  It just so happened that Presbyterian Hospital was having their 28th annual NICU picnic, and Vikki and her family were planning on going also.  Kirk’s parents drove in from Asheville, and it was a nice little family reunion.   Spring 2010 007

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{Some pics before Vikki, Mike, Jacob, and Chance arrive.}


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{Chance and Cole meet for the 1st time.}

{Cole and Chance in cahoots already.}

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{Just some pictures of Zoe and Cole that I like.  Jacob, ever the thoughtful young man, gave Zoe her “flower” balloon.}

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{What a cutie!  It’s hard to believe that Chance spent 90 days in the NICU.  BTW, Chance started sitting by himself just a few days before we met, and he stood for the first time a few days later!}

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{Zoe going down the big slide at the NICU picnic.  We were all impressed that she climbed up by herself and then slid down by herself without any prodding.}

We had a great time meeting Kirk’s “new” cousin and playing.  It made the NICU picnic even more emotional for us.  I can’t really put into words how I felt while we were at the picnic – relieved, thankful, and oh so happy about our little Cole.  We’re really fortunate that Cole has done so well since his early arrival.  It was especially emotional for Kirk and I when Kirk took Cole to see Dr. Ganapathy Rama, one of the neonatologists who was at the picnic and who had taken such great care of Cole when he was in the NICU.  We were so proud to show off our boy to Dr. Rama. 

To Presby NICU, thanks for the fun picnic and a huge thank you for taking care of our “little man” and for taking care of Chance, too!!

And to Chance, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, big guy!!  Enjoy your cake and continue flashing that adorable smile!

Clemyjontri Park

May 17, 2010

Spring 2010 053{Zoe and Cole play in the airplane in the “Movin and Groovin’ Transportation Area” at Clemyjontri Park.} 

Continuing on my quest to catch up, towards the end of April, we had a fun day with the Walker family.  First, we had lunch at Elevation Burger, and then we headed over to McLean, VA to a really fun park.  Clemyjontri Park (AKA “Rainbow Park”, according to Zoe) is a 2-acre playground that was developed so that all children (abled and disabled) can play side by side.  The playground is set up with “4 rooms” surrounding a carousel.   

playground-aerial{Aerial view of Clemyjontri Park.}

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Spring 2010 014{Zoe and Cole swinging in the “Rainbow Room”.  Zoe’s swing is a swing that is actually for disabled children.  This is Cole’s 1st time riding on a “big kid” swing by himself.}

Spring 2010 020{Melissa, Zoe, Catherine, and Kirk pose before taking a ride on the carousel.}

Spring 2010 021{Amy and Cole on the carousel.  This is Cole’s first time riding the carousel.}

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Spring 2010 025{Zoe and Catherine have fun while riding the carousel.}

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Spring 2010 051 {Zoe, Catherine and Cole play on the airplane in the “Movin and Groovin’ Transportation Area”.}

Ok.  So, I’m still way behind on posting, and I have got to catch up before we head back to Charlotte in 4 very short weeks (whew, I have a LOT to do before then!!) 

Spring 2010 002 <Bust of George Washington>

Anyway…about a month ago, we took a day trip to Mount Vernon to see George Washington’s homestead with our friends, Vince and Melissa and their daughter, Catherine.  We had a lot of fun checking out the house, seeing the farm, and really, just enjoying the day and each other’s company.  (Isn’t that what day trips with friends are supposed to be about, anyway?)

Here are some of my more favorite photos:

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Spring 2010 010 <Cole checking out an interactive display in the children’s area of the museum.>

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<The Fams.  Top: The Walker Family.  Bottom: The Bradley Family.>



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 Spring 2010 115 <From top to bottom.  1: Kirk and Zoe goofing off.  2: Amy, Zoe, and Cole.  3: Thought this was kinda cool of Vince taking a pic of Melissa and cat with the cool shaped tree.  4:  Melissa with Catherine and Zoe.  5:  Amy and Zoe pet the sheep.  I was very proud of Zoe; up until these photos, Zoe wouldn’t get within 10 feet of a live animal that was larger than her.>

Solo Field Trip

May 9, 2010

Some early morning pics while hanging out around the house, before we left for the day’s excursion.

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I’m not really sure why, but up until recently, I didn’t venture too far outside of Arlington without Kirk.  So, about a month ago I put on a brave face, packed a picnic, and the kids and I headed to the US Botanic Garden to take in the spring blooms.  Here are some pictures – Zoe loved the flowers.

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Slowly, but surely…

April 25, 2010

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On the last day of Grandmommy’s visit back in March (We did A LOT of stuff the 5 days she was here!), we went to Great Falls National Park in McLean, VA.  Kirk and I took the kids there in the fall, and I thought it would be fun/neat/different to go again.  I didn’t realize how different the falls looked because of the snow melt and recent rains, so I’ve included a few pictures from the fall.

<Grandmommy and Cole>Spring 2010 027

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<Top: Spring 2010.  Cole LOOOVED the waterfalls.  I think he thought it was a great big bathtub, and I had to really hold him back from climbing over the railing to check it out.  Bottom:  Fall 2009.  Zoe checks out the falls.  Both pictures were taken in roughly the same spot.>

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<#1 and #2: View of the falls; #1 from Spring 2010; #2 from Fall 2009.  #3 & #4:  View of falls from a different viewing platform.  #3 from Spring 2010; #4 from Fall 2009.>

This year, the Chinese New Year was on Feb 14th.  Kirk, Zoe, Cole, and I decided to celebrate by inviting some friends to go to the New Year Parade in DC’s Chinatown on Sat, Feb 13th.  Unfortunately, we only caught the tail-end of the parade (Twice, I might add – it was the way the parade wrapped around Chinatown.), and we never even went completely into Chinatown (Well, we never went under the Friendship Gate that denotes the entrance into Chinatown).  We did have a ton of fun, and I look forward to having a great “Year of the Tiger.” Winter 2010 010

(Dragon.  Zoe thought the dragon and the lion were scary, and she didn’t want to get very close.  Personally, I think it was the combination of the lion and dragon moving as well as the drums that came behind them.)

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(Zoe and Kirk watch the parade.)

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(The Daddies and their girls.)

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(Amy and Cole.)

Fun in the Sun

June 20, 2009

IMG_2428Last weekend, we took our 1st family vacation as a 4-some to Aunt Melanie’s Mom’s condo in St. Simons, GA.  We had a total blast hanging out with Uncle Kyle, Aunt Melanie, and cousins Reese and Davis and getting a little salt air into our lungs.  Zoe didn’t completely love the beach; the sand was hot, and the ocean was way too big of a bathtub for her taste.  Of course, now that we’re back, it’s one of the two things she likes to talk about (the other being happy birthday).  On the other hand, Cole didn’t seem to mind the heat and did really well just laying on the beach on a blanket under an umbrella.

< One word for long, boring car rides: SUGAR!! in the form of a chocolate chip cookie.  Zoe was one happy camper until she got hungry for dinner.> 

  IMG_2540 Our umbrella city.  Notice Cole has his own private island.

Zoe and Daddy at the beach.IMG_2432

IMG_2487 Ahhh…is this what is meant by “sleep like a baby”?

IMG_2563 Reese holding Cole (the oldest and the youngest of the cousins).

IMG_2488 Zoe tries out Reese’s boogie board.

IMG_2546 Reese takes down Kirk using his karate moves.

IMG_2560 A VERY rare photo of all 4 cousins.

IMG_2571IMG_2577 Zoe and Kirk go for a bike ride.  Zoe had a blast on her first ride ever!!

IMG_2446 Zoe and Reese (her 1st crush).  One night, he gave her a good night kiss; she giggled and then ran away!