Fake Slumber Party

July 6, 2012

For Zoe’s birthday, she decided she wanted a slumber party.  I decided that having a handful of 4 and 5 year old little girls on their first sleepover was not my cup of tea.  So, as a compromise, we decided on a “pajama party” – Zoe invited 5 of her friends to come over in their pajamas to eat pizza, watch a movie, make a craft, and have some good ol’ fashioned girlie fun.  In other words, all the festivities without the sleeping part! 

While the girls were waiting for the pizza to cook, they made their craft/party favor.  We wrote each girl’s name in tape and then let them paint over it.  DSC_0063_edited-1

I found the idea on Pinterest and converted it from an art canvas to a pillow case.


Once the paint dried, we removed the tape – leaving their names in white with a colorful mosaic around it!  Here are their crafts right before we removed the tape:


We then had birthday cake.  Zoe blew out all of the candles in one try…



< Cake time! >



< For some reason, I feel like this picture is a look into the future – it reminds me of pictures that I have of bridal & baby showers.  I can’t believe these cuties are 5! >


< Zoe with 2 of her favorite presents – a “practice” American Girl doll (from Target) (she pretends it’s a “for real” one) and a stuffed Pegasus. >


< All snuggled up and ready to watch Peter Pan. >



< Aaaand….we’re out.  The girls did pretty good lasting about an hour watching the movie. >

One of the girls spent the night (a 1st for both girls).  After a rocky start and a few tears from both, they settled down around 11 pm and slept in to a big ol’ whopping 7 am. Smile


< The next morning at breakfast – cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and fruit. >

Thanks to all the awesome girls who made Zoe’s birthday a complete success!


Big boy haircut

June 13, 2012

So, I’ve had a dilemma with Cole’s hair. I prefer a longer/shaggy look, but after Christmas, Cole has been wanting his hair “up” like a mohawk. I had his hair cut short in March, and it was okay, but not great. He was getting rather shaggy looking in a bad way, so today, we went and had his haircut. I think we may have hit upon his “big boy” hairstyle for awhile (at least until he decides he wants to change it!) FYI, Cole looks totally goofy in these pics taken with my phone, but this is his “Cole, smile please!” look.



CrossFit for Hope

June 9, 2012

In January, Kirk started working out at a CrossFit gym.  Fast forward five months, and the kids and I went to watch Kirk participate in a workout called “CrossFit for Hope” – a fundraising workout where the money collected goes to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital.  The workout had 5 exercises: burpees, 75 pound power snatch, 24” box jumps, 75 pound thrusters, and chest to bar pull-ups.  For each exercise, you do as many reps as you can in 1 minute, and then you immediately move to the next exercise, and so on until you’ve done all 5.  And then you do it all again, and then a third time, with just 1 minute of rest between the 3 rounds. 


<About to start… Game-face on. >

I have to tell you – I was so proud of Kirk.  Not only did he raise money for a fabulous childrens hospital, but he performed the workout “Rx” (meaning he used the prescribed weights, etc., rather than scaling to lighter weights), performed the number of reps he was hoping to get (180), and the kids were able to see what Kirk does when he goes off to “exercise” in the mornings.


< Chest to bar pull-ups. >

This was the first annual CrossFit for Hope workout, and collectively over $1.2 million was raised (nationwide).  I was really happy that we were able to participate (even though my participation was from the sidelines!)  Maybe I’ll join Kirk in doing this next year!

Zoe and Cole have been taking swim lessons at Charlotte Aquatics since the Fall, and I finally got around to taking some pictures during their most recent round of lessons.

Cole is currently in Level 2A and can do the following: retrieve submerged objects with his eyes open, bob 5 times, front float with face in the water for 3 seconds, front glide for 1 body length, back float independently for 3 seconds, turn over from front to back and back to front, demonstrate treading water, and perform a seated dive and then return to the wall unassisted. They also teach basic jump safety and pool safety.


< Cole works on his back float with Ms. Gigi. >

Zoe just passed Level 2B, meaning she can do the following: front float for 5 seconds with recovery, front glide for 2 body lengths, independent flutter kick for 10 feet, front crawl for 25 feet, back crawl for 25 feet, demonstrate pop up breath control during the front crawl, back float for 5 seconds with recovery, back glide for 2 body lengths, independent flutter kick on back for 25 feet, safety swim, reverse directions while swimming, tread water for 10 seconds, flutter kick with support on side, swim in deep water, bob to safety, understand life jacket safety and H.E.L.P./Huddle positions.


< Zoe finishing a breath while swimming the front crawl/freestyle. >


< Zoe works on her back stroke with Ms. Gigi. >


< Zoe and long time friend, Kate, passed Level 2!  So excited!  On to Level 3! >

The “Kids”

February 23, 2012

A couple of weekends ago it was super nice outside, and I finally managed to pull out the camera and take a couple of shots of the “kids”.  Nothing special, but the pics turned out kinda cute.


<One of our original “babies” – Zeke >


<Yes, this picture was taken the beginning of February, and yes, Zoe is wearing a t-shirt and skort without a jacket or tights/leggings! It’s been a crazy warm winter.>


<My little Cole is growing up way too fast! (I know, not a great pic, but had to include it.  See below for explanation.)>

Thanksgiving 2010 057

<This is a pic of my nephew, Davis, from last Thanksgiving.  I’ve included it because when I saw the above picture, I immediately thought, “Wow. Cole looks JUST like Davis; it’s scary!”   What do you think? >

Moving Right Along Then…

January 29, 2012


After several well intentioned attempts at catching up, I’ve decided to move along. The fam had a great Fall – complete with Clemson football games, pumpkin picking, trick or treating, lots of yummy Thanksgiving food, and a funtabulous Christmas, but it’s time to move on and cut our losses.

I thought I would kickoff my return to blogging with a shout out. Back in November, the fam finally had a professional photographer take some photos of us. Becca came highly recommended to us by my friend, Anne. Becca did an incredible job capturing our little family. In fact, she did so well that the local magazine, Little Ones, decided to use one of her pictures of Zoe as the cover of the Feb/Mar 2012 issue. You can check it out here.  And, because I kind of feel that a post is incomplete without pics, here are a few of my favs from our photo shoot.

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

Charlotte NC Children's Photographer Baby Newborn Family Portrait Photography

After spending some time in Hilton Head, we headed south to St. Augustine, FL for the 36th Annual Bradley Family Reunion.  It’s always a low-key, casual sort of thing filled with lots of hugs, good times, and good memories.

Here’s a very short slideshow of all of our fun.



Here’s a few of my favorite pics:





< From top to bottom: Zoe with her cousin, Julia.  Uncle Kyle.  Cousin Susan.  Cole and cousin, Will, play Angry Birds. >

Summer Vacation, part 1

December 4, 2011

Now that it’s cold and Christmas time, I thought it would be appropriate to finally try and get up to date.  So, I’m starting off with our summer vacation (yes, you read that correctly; I’m that far behind).  Our family vacation was spent with Kirk’s parents and his brother’s family at Hilton Head followed by the Bradley Family Reunion in St. Augustine, Florida. 


<My handsome brother-in-law Open-mouthed smile>


<Cole with Aunt Melanie>


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<Zoe discovered that she loves.the.beach.  I love how she’s obviously posing for the picture, but that her smile is completely genuine and not a “smile for the camera” smile. >

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<Brother-in-law, Kyle, and Davis horsing around.>

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< Nephew, Reese, playing in the ocean.  Even though you can’t see his face, I kind of feel that you can tell he’s grinning from ear to ear. >

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< Nephew, Davis, plays a little soccer. >

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<Kirk and Cole play soccer.  I like how Cole decided that he needed a stick to help him play. >


<Cole and Kirk playing on the beach. >

Four and Fabulous, Part 1

September 28, 2011

DSC_0312_edited-1Awhile ago, Zoe turned 4 (I’m embarrassed to say when.), and it was like there was a switch that was flipped on.  One day, she was a little preschooler, and the next day, she became this little “big” girl with all the sass that a 4-year-old is capable of.  Here are the highlights of her birthday party, “A Fancy Nancy tea pool party” and all the things she’s up to these days.

First up, Zoe’s birthday party.  It was held at the Morrison YMCA pool (Known as the “whale” pool to Zoe because of the giant whale slide in the kiddie pool).  Everyone had fun playing at the pool, eating teacup cupcakes, and drinking fizzy lemonade complete with a miniature umbrella.DSC_0314_edited-1

< “Fizzy lemonade” – cherry 7-Up with a maraschino cherry speared with an umbrella.  >


< A flock of butterfly teacup cupcakes.  I so cannot take credit for this idea at all.  I found it here.  Carolyn’s cupcakes look so perfect and dainty, but I kind of felt like ours were perfect for the preschool crowd. >




< Let’s eat!  From top, Ainsley and Caleb, middle – Kirk talks to Zoe and Morgan, bottom – Cole sports the “after cupcake” ‘stache. >






< Playtime! From top: Chance playing in the splash park; Cole jumps over a fountain; Zoe gets a piggy back ride from Kirk, Stella slides with a little help from Mama Mary; bottom – Kate deciding what to play next. >







< The party crew.  Top to bottom: Zoe and Kate; Zoe and Ainsley; Zoe and Connor; Zoe, Maisie, and Liza; Zoe, Aston, and Stellyn; Zoe, Cole, Lauren, Chance, and Sean.  Not shown – Morgan, Lily, and Stella > 

After the birthday party, Zoe, Cole, my mom, Ms. Alicia, Morgan, and me headed to Red Robin for Zoe’s birthday dinner.  Here are some a few pics from dinner.  DSC_0452-2_edited-1




Thank you everyone for making Zoe’s 4th birthday party such a success!  She loved every minute of it, and we are very thankful for such wonderful friends and family!!

Spring Dance Recital

August 27, 2011

A week after the “big reveal” of Zoe’s dance costume, we headed uptown to the Knight Theater for her dance recital.  Zoe did great; she had a huge smile on her face the whole time and did pretty well with the steps. 


<Beginning her ballet dance.  The elbow in the foreground is one Zoe’s teachers.>



<No fake smiles here!  Zoe is completely happy! >


< Check out her “tendu right”! >



< Tap time! >

1 side story about the recital weekend.  Zoe loved her costume; however, there was one problem – the tutu didn’t stick “straight out”, AKA Balanchine style, and she was very unhappy and pouted about it the whole day before the recital.  So, after talking to my mom (I figured she had to have some knowledge because she had to deal with it when I went through dance), I sprayed hairspray through the whole tutu, stuffed it with tissue paper, and then hung it upside down until it was time for Zoe to change.  By showtime, I had one happy little dancer who wasn’t picking at her tutu with a very sorrowful look on her face.  Needless to say, the next time Zoe is doing dance, I’m buying a can of heavy spray starch! Open-mouthed smile