We just got back from….

camping at my home away from home, Dale Hollow Lake-Willow Grove campground. I mean, REALLY, I feel as comfortable and safe there as I do in my own house. And I guess I should-I haven’t missed even one year in 27 of going! It’s a tradition we are keeping with Josie and Jack, too-this was Josie’s fourth year (she went first when she was only 3 weeks old!), and Jack’s first, of course. 

Warning: the rest of this post is going to be a long, rambly, recap of our trip, so skip it if you would like, it really won’t bother me! 🙂

I am going to recap in bullet points, in an effort to keep this post at a manageable length! 🙂

-Packing with an infant is….challenging. Luckily, Mama Judy dropped by and helped out, or we might have never got to leave! 🙂

-We managed to make it ALL THE WAY THERE without stopping! 2 sleeping kiddos=awesome travel time

-It rained the entire first 2 days of our trip. In fact, it rained a little every single day we were there. We didn’t let it get in the way of having fun, though :). 

-The first day we were actually able to get on the water, Jack got stung by a bumblebee. He was okay at first, but when we got back to our campsite, he started vomiting and acting lethargic. So we had to take him to the Livingston ER. Two hours into our five hour ER stay, he was perfectly fine. 

-Josie completely mastered riding her bike in about 3 days. She went from slowly pedaling and us having to give lots of helping pushes and steering guidance, to three days later pedaling so fast by herself that we have to jog to keep up, turning circles at will, and even being able to stand up to pedal up hills! We officially have a bike rider. 🙂 And she begged to ride her bike all the time-we made at least a couple trips around the whole campground every day! 

-Jack has learned to yell. Loudly.

-Speaking of Jack, he did great in the boat. He didn’t care much for his lifejacket, but as soon as the boat was underway, he was fine-either he slept, or just chilled-he loves the sound the boat makes. 

-Josie swam the entire time we were at the water. If we were on the boat, she was swimming. She even got in some practice time with her ring and kickboard, and did great! 

-Mrs. Laurie brought a tie-dye kit and all the kids got to tie-dye shirts. They had a blast, and the shirts turned out great!

-Speaking of kids, Josie loved every minute of getting to hang out with her “tids.” (Claire, Morghan, Bryce, Tyler, Sydney, Ella, Isabelle, and her cousins-Beth, Alec, Wyatt, and Katie Ann) She was so sad when they had to go home! They played in the water together, played on the playground, rode bikes together (Josie was so proud that she could ride with them! And Bryce was actually the one to teach her to stand to pedal!), ate smores, painted rocks, tie dyed shirts, and just played. 🙂

-I gave Jack some water out of a cup and a water bottle, and now he is very interested in all drinks. 

-I slalomed for the first time in over a year-last year I was pregnant with Jack, so I didn’t get to. I was able to get up just fine, and I didn’t crash…but MAN am I sore!

-Daddy and I were able to run almost every day of our trip. Mom even ran some with us! I love getting to run with my Dad. It is so much more fun than running by myself, and I love that we have something we can share. 

-Josie is completely obsessed with the color purple…..she bought a purple hat, she painted all of her rocks purple, she tie-dyed her shirt purple, if you ask her anything about color she says purple, she will only color with purple crayons, etc.

-Jack is getting more and more interested in toys-which is a good thing! 

-Oh, and the whole cereal thing? Jack has rebelled. I still have never gotten him to finish a whole tablespoon….just as he was getting the hang of actually swallowing the cereal, he decided it wasn’t for him. Now if I try to give him cereal, he just screams and cry. So we are taking a cereal sabbatical for a few days. I think he will eat it if I flavored it (that’s what I had to do with Josie), so I am going to ask Dr. Eidson about that. 

-The first part of the week, Jack did.not.sleep. very well in the camper at all. Like, one day he was up for the day at 3:45…bleh. I finally discovered that he slept better in his carseat than the Moses basket. So guess where he slept the rest of the week? You got it, in his carseat! We were both much happier after that :).

-I discovered that getting TWO kids ready to go to the lake take much longer than just getting one kid ready to go on the lake-especially when one wants to be fed every hour and half or so! :). 

-It takes a village to raise a kid, and I was so thankful our “village” was at the campground with us :). It made the trip a lot more enjoyable for Jake and I-we were actually able to ride bikes together! I actually got to swim! We even got to eat a few meals kid-free! 🙂 (and I actually got to finish a few meals without feeding or holding Jack!)

All in all, we had a wonderful, relaxing trip, and we were all sad to see it end (just like always!). Josie is already asking when we can go back. (me too!) We will definitely be going back before summer’s over, even if it is just for a weekend :). We are so blessed to get to take such an awesome family vacation.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures in the next post…..

Happy Birthday Josie!!

I cannot believe my little girl is three years old! And she is definitely a little girl-there is nothing baby about her anymore! 

Dear Josie, 

You are THREE years old today!! Your Daddy and I are so very proud of you-you are becoming such a sweet, responsible, polite, sensitive, and funny little girl. You are full of life, and every day with you is such an adventure. You have such a bright personality-you can make people smile just by walking into the room. We have absolutely loved watching you grow from “baby” to “toddler” to “preschooler.” What a fun transition! I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us! 

Here is what you were up to in your very last month as a two year old:

-You went to the dentist for the first time and did an AWESOME job!

-Mommy learned that your hair is long enough to do a halo braid-and it looks so cute!

-You played on a slip and slide for the first time-but you had more fun playing in puddles than sliding :).

-You tried on flower girl dresses with Casey for her wedding. 

-We went to watch Pappy at the dog trials. You loved seeing all the dogs. 

-You went to your very first VBS at Hillcrest. You LOVED your teacher and your class and the songs ya’lll sang. You did NOT love the guy that was dressed up as a different Bible character every night-especially when he was wearing a skeleton mask! You don’t like anyone wearing masks!

-You had your very first swimming lessons with Mrs. Pam. This is the first time you have taken any kind of lessons, and you have done wonderful! You went from the first day barely being able to balance on the kickboard even with help from Mrs. Pam, to yesterday, swimming the whole length of the pool AND back, on your kickboard, completely by yourself!! We are SO PROUD of you for swimming so well! 

-You had your birthday party, complete with a pink princess puppy cake. 

-Some funny sayings: “okey dokey little chokey!” (because Mommy says “okey dokey artichokey”); “they have a play section!”

-Some of your favorite toys: Peeper, your stuffed cat; Ella, your crazy-haired baby doll; your new princess tent; your new dollhouse toys; your new art easel

-I would love to name some of your favorite foods, but I can’t, because I never know what you are going to eat/not eat-you are at a definite picky stage of your life! You still have a sweet tooth, though-you will ALWAYS eat sweets! 

-You also have a new found love for your pink blanket with your name on it-you sleep with it every night. 

-You started taking showers with Mommy on a consistent basis- I wash your hair, but you wash your body all by yourself, and you do a great job! 

-You love “Angelina Ballerina” and you can’t wait to start taking ballet lessons yourself! You dance around the house all the time! 

We love you so much, baby girl! We can’t wait to see you grow up, even though we would also love to keep you little forever :). 

one year…

2 years….

3 years!

Josie’s Birthday Party

On Sunday afternoon we had Josie’s third birthday party. I cannot believe I have a three year old…but that’s a whole ‘nother post. Anyways, Josie was SO excited about her party. She couldn’t even eat she was so pumped! We just invited family (because with just family, we had well over 30 people there!) and had cake and ice cream. The weather was beautiful-absolutely perfect for our outdoor party. I LOVE when Josie’s birthday is, because we can always just have her party outside on our patio. 🙂 So here goes the picture barrage:

Pink party balloons…she was SO excited about these!

Swinging on her new swing Nana got her….

Opening her presents only took about three hours…..Josie is a very meticulous present-opener-there cannot be even a piece of tape  left-or she won’t even look at the present!

Josie asked for two things for her birthday: a big girl swing and a princess castle. Nana took care of the swing, so we took care of the castle :). She was SO excited when I brought it out!

For months now, Josie has been telling Becca (my sister in law) that she wanted a “pink princess puppy cake.” She came up with that all on her own, and this is what Becca came up with-isn’t it the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?! The cupcakes had either a “3,” a crown, or a bone on them. The head was chocolate, the body was pink-colored vanilla, and the cupcakes were strawberry. Thanks SO much, Becca!

Blowing out the candles (or at least trying to…I think the wind got them before she could!

Enjoying her birthday cake at her new (antique) chairs and table that Grammy and Pappy got her!

The kiddos…

Playing in her new tent with Carley

Jack slept for about half of the party…but he woke up in SUCH a good mood!

Pepper, Josh’s dog, came to the party, too. Josie LOVES Pepper, so she was super pumped that Pepper got to come!

The girls, trying out Josie’s new easel that Josh and Jackie got her :). 

Jack’s 4 month stats:

11 lbs 6 oz- 2nd percentile

24 inches-16th percentile

So yes, he is still a very tiny squirt BUT he is still following his growth curve, so all is good :). Dr. E does want us to go ahead with cereal, though, to give him the extra calories. Everything else looked great, so we go back at 6 months :).

4 Months Old

My little munchkin is FOUR months old today! Time is truly flying-I want it to slow down!

Dear Jack,

You are 4 months old today. You have changed so much in the last month. You went from being just a little lump that laid there all day long, to being an active little munchkin with a voice and definite personality. You are full of smiles and laughs, and we just can’t get enough of your dimples. 🙂 Here’s what you’ve been up to this month:

-You stayed with Grammy and Pappy again and took a FIVE ounce bottle! 

-You had a weight check with Dr. E, and you were 10 lbs, 7 oz-just a tiny little squirt! You go on Monday for your 4 month well-baby check up-then we can see how much you’ve grown!

-You slept HORRIBLY for most of the month-like, you were up every single hour for a LOT of nights. Now that the month is drawing to a close, you are finally getting back on a normal sleep schedule, only getting up a couple a times a night-and Mommy is SO grateful. 

-You are finally out of newborn clothes, and are wearing 0-3 months. You can fit in a few 3 months outfits, but they are still pretty big. You still wear a size 0/1 shoe, and size 1 diaper. 

-You still eat at least every two hours (most of the time more than that!), pretty much around the clock, except for a long stretch at the beginning of the night. You are a hungry boy! You tried rice cereal for the very first time today, though, so maybe that will help when you get the hang of it. 

-You are SUCH a happy, chill little boy. You smile pretty much at the drop of a hat-you love people (anybody!) to talk to you. You coo sometimes-not very often, but it is super sweet when it happens. You cough when you get excited, and your giggle melts my heart. You ALWAYS laugh when Mommy changes your diaper-you think it is hilarious!

-You chew on your hands all.of.the.time. We definitely think you are trying to cut your bottom teeth!

-You are also beginning to like sucking on 2 of your fingers-it is SO very cute. And Mommy doesn’t mind, because you refuse to take your paci now, except if you are in your carseat. In fact, your paci makes you mad-it is like it offends you that we are even trying to give it to you!

-You are getting much better with your hands-you can hold onto lots of toys now, and you even try to grab things now. You love your toys! Some of your favorites are linky-doos, your meshy-ball, crab rattle, cymbal soft toy, and your rabbit lovey. 

-You are getting MUCH better at sitting in your Bumbo. In fact, you would rather be there than the bouncy seat any day! 

-You got to try lots of new things-the (outdoor) swing, the walker at Nana’s, the Johnny Jump-up-and you liked them all! I think you just like to be sitting up now. 

-Speaking of that, you LOVE to stand in our laps now-you stay that way most of the time someone is holding you! 

-You went camping at Dale Hollow Dam for the first time. You love sleeping in the camper!

-You love to play peek-a-boo.

-Your favorite way to fall asleep is with a blanket on your head. 

-You really don’t require much sleep. 

-You finally like tummy-time, especially up on the bed/couch so that you can see what’s going on. 

-You REALLY do NOT like your carseat. At all.

-You stayed with Nana for the first time-because Mommy had inservice. You did great!

-You got to go swimming in Mrs. Pam’s outdoor swimming pool-you really liked getting your feet wet. 

-You LOVE being outside-hands down, your favorite place ever. 

You are SO sweet, and I cannot believe you are not a “newborn” anymore. But, honestly, as much as I want you to stay little forever, it’s pretty fun watching you grow and change every day, too. 🙂



My happy boy, hanging out on the couch for some tummy time.

Eating cereal for the first time-you are already trying to grab the spoon!

Officially 4 months old, and smiling at your Daddy. 

Family time

Last night we went over to Jake’s Aunt Susan’s for a cookout with the whole family. It was a great time-wonderful food, the kids had a blast playing in the yard, and the adults hd a fun time looking at old pictures :).

Josie playing with her second cousin, Molly

Caroline, Josie, and Molly

Andrew and Jake playing basketball


Jack, hanging out with his Mee Maw

Susan, Jack and Mama Judy

Jake’s cousin, Dave, with his girls

Crackin up at some old pictures…


Cousin picture

Liz and Jake 🙂


Yesterday after Josie’s swim lessons, Mrs. Pam invited us all to stay swim. It was a beautiful day-perfect for picnicking and swimming. Jack even got to join in on the fun and get in the pool. This was the first time he had been in an outdoor (not heated!) pool. At first he was NOT loving getting the water on his belly, but soon he got used to it and ended up loving it. He let Mrs. Pam hold him forever, just chilling in her lap :). 

Thanks, Mrs. Pam, for a fun day!

Hanging out on the porch during Josie’s lesson

Josie playing “ring around the rosies” with her class

Getting ready to swim!

Lunch break with Greyson 🙂

Smiling at Mrs. Pam 🙂