Saturday, December 19, 2009

Breakfast with Santa !!!!

This morning we attended the annual Breakfast With Santa event that is put on by the Family Support Group. Last year, Sarah-Grace was one very upset little kid about sitting on Santa's lap. She was just fine until she turned around and realized who was holding her. This year, she didn't look thrilled about sitting on his lap but she didn't cry. Then, she got off of his lap a little too early before Aaron and I could get up there to have a family photo. When she got off his lap they prematurely gave her the gift that they have for each child and she promptly turned around, ran back to Santa and got back on his lap. She is a smart kid after all and probably thought huh if I sit on his lap I get a gift...sweet let's do it again !!! For your entertainment, I am posting last year's photo and this year's photo...what a difference a year makes !!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Christmas Dress !!!

Well in the mail today we received SG's holiday dress made with love by Aaron's Mom (Grandma). It is a beautiful dress and fits her just perfectly. So, after we put it on, I decided to try a little photo shoot. While no where near professional, I think we got some really good ones after I did a little editing !!!! Enjoy !!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Very Coooooold Trip !!!!

Last weekend, Aaron, Sarah-Grace, and I along with a couple of other families from Fayetteville took off to our nation's capital for a little sightseeing and some freezing cold weather. I have never in my life been so thankful for the raincover on our stroller. On Saturday, it was about 32 degrees and either snowed or rained all day. We still managed to have some fun in all the wonderful museums though. Sarah-Grace especially loved the museum of Natural History due to the large collection of animals and we also got to see a live butterfly exhibit which was really cool. I posted my favorite pic from the weekend to the left under the title "Monumental Girl" . I am posting some others pics below of us in front of the WWII memorial and Sarah-Grace playing in the kids section of the American History Museum. Although we had fun, I was definitely reminded that traveling with a small child is complicated !!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Miracle Photo !!!

Yesterday we headed out into the backyard with Aaron's camera and tripod to attempt some family photos. After getting some shots of just the three of us, I wanted to try the six of us...which means I wanted to include the 4 legged children as well. Aaron pretty much thought I was nuts but it worked and we got a pretty darn good photo considering the calamity that occurred trying to get everyone in position. Anyway, I posted the photo below which I will deem a miracle among miracles !!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween !!!

We had a very very busy Halloween this year. It all began on Thursday night with a party at a good friend's house. Friday involved the kids' Halloween party at Aaron's work and Saturday night was hotdogs and trick o treating at another friend's house .... WHEW !!! This year, SG was dressed as a cupcake thanks to the fantastic costume made by Aaron's Mom. She had a lot of fun trick o treating but after a while she just got kinda cranky ... I don't really blame her though because it was hot and sticky outside !!! Here are a few photos from the festivities and the last one is of SG tackling my friend's son during a sugar rush !!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Girls Trip !!!

Since the birth of Sarah-Grace the majority of my time has been consumed with baby stuff and more baby stuff. However, this past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to have a girls' weekend in Savannah with two of my favorite people in the whole world (Kara and Suzanna). Although I have made great friends in my adventures as a military spouse, I still long for those friendships that I left in Texas. After all, Texas is a part of my heart and soul.

Our weekend journey began in Charleston where Kara and I enjoyed a tour of the city via horse and carriage and then a wonderful Southern dinner at Hominy Grill. From there, we ventured on to Savannah where we picked up Suzanna at the airport and hit the ground running. We had great Southern food all weekend and took in as many sights and sounds as we possibly could pack into one weekend. Thanks girls for all the laughs and a great guys are the best and I love you both.

Below is my favorite photo of the three of us sitting outside of Lady & Sons !!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch !!!!

I really really love Fall. I love the weather, the smell of the air, turning trees, nice temperatures, and Halloween !!! Yesterday, we went to the small farmer's market about 10 minutes from our house. Around this time of year they have pumpkins, hay rides, and lots of fun stuff for the kids. We took Sarah-Grace last year also to take her picture in the pumpkins. We took a picture this year in the same spot and I can't believe how much this kid has grown in a year's time. She truly is our little pumpkin !!!

Baby Sarah-Grace one year ago !!

Toddler Sarah-Grace today !!!

So Glad to be Home !!!

I feel like I have been on the road for a month. We took off on Labor Day Weekend for a two week road trip to Texas, returned week before last, and then last weekend I took off with Sarah-Grace to San Antonio for my sister's 30th Birthday party. It has truly been a whirlwind and I have no idea where the month of September went. At any rate, we had a wonderful time visiting family and Aaron and I had an awesome trip to Vegas (child-free) !!! Sarah-Grace has a great time with Bebe and Papa as they spoiled her rotten or more so then she already was !!

Dining At The Top of the World for a belated 10th Anniversary Dinner !!!

Sarah-Grace with her Bebe and Papa !!!

Sarah-Grace with her cousins Maddie and Aubrey !!!

Tracee and I at her 30th Birthday party !!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monkey-ing Around

Over the weekend, Aaron and I took SG (i.e. our little monkey) to Monkey Joes. For anyone who might not know, Monkey Joes is an indoor play place that has a bunch of those big blow-up bounce houses and slides.

Now, Monkey Joes does have a toddler area that is especially designed for children 3 and under. We started out in this area but we were informed by the nice lady on the way in that SG could play on any of the slides and bounce houses. So, after about 10 minutes of playing in the toddler area we took her around to some of the bigger ones to see if she might be interested. Well, let me tell you, after that .... the toddler area was a thing of the past. Each of the slides has an employee available to help. So, we put her on one of the biggest slides there and with some help, she climbed all the way to the top, turned around of her belly and off she went. The child is fearless and that is SCARY !!!!

At any rate, she had a ball and I am sure we will go back in the near future !!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's Almost Over .... Yipppeeeee !!!

Well, the dreaded 4 month deployment will come to a close next Thursday when Aaron will finally arrive back in North Carolina. I am certainly no stranger to these deployments but this one will go down in history as the most challenging "adventure" yet.

This little gem of a deployment was veeeerrry different then the others because of one major factor (a factor that I love with all my heart), Ms. Sarah-Grace Lillian Ffrench. You see when Aaron left back before her first Birthday, she wasn't even fully walking yet. Now, she is a walking, talking, running, eating, mess-making, dog-ear pulling, full-on toddler. While Aaron has gotten to see her on the webcam almost everyday for the last 4 months, I think he is still in for a big surprise when he arrives home as the webcam only gives him a very small snip-it of what life is like here on a daily basis.

Really, I cannot believe all that has occurred in the last 4 months. We made two, yes two, plane trips to Texas and visited with friends and family, traveled to Charleston (and the ER) for the 4th of July, joined a parent/tot gymnastics class, learned more words then I ever thought a 16 mo old was capable of learning, watched lots of Dora the Explorer and Baby Einstein, used the word "No" so many times I lost track after the first one, attend storytime on a regular basis, had friends come to visit us here in NC, spent countless hours on the webcam with Daddy and the grandparents, and the list goes on and on. WHEW, I am one tired Momma and soooooo ready for my best friend to be home. I know he is so ready to spend time with the family and become reacquainted with the daughter he left as an infant and has blossomed into a smarty pants toddler !!!!

I often have people tell me that they admire me, that they find me to be strong, and that they don't know how I do it because they never could. Don't get me wrong, I find this extremely flattering but I could not have survived these last months without the undying and unconditional support of my husband, my family, and my friends. I am also very lucky to have one curly-headed blonde little girl that greets me each morning with a smile and a "hi" as I walk in her room. When you have such wonderful and loving people standing behind you and cheering you on, you can do anything no matter how painful, trying, or difficult.

So, next Thursday as we drive to the base to pick up Aaron, I am sure I will be reflecting on all that has happened in the last 4 months as I think ahead to how we will spend the next few months together as a family. For now though, I am just trying to make it through the longest part of any deployment....the days leading up to the homecoming and I think It's Almost Over...yipppppeeeeee !!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Always Part of the Family !!

People often told me when I was pregnant with SG that my dogs would become secondary to my child. This may have been true for those people but my three furry children are as much a part of our family as they ever were. Sarah-Grace loves all three of the dogs and knows each of their names and can identify them correctly ... which melts my heart !!! She gives each of them love equally and they are always around ... usually waiting for food to drop from the table.

Today, SG and I went outside to play and Marlee and Maisy found a lizard in the I took the opportunity to take some great photos of them waiting for this lizard to drop from the tree...much like they wait for the food to magically fall from the table. Annie was inside enjoying the AC and I captured a picture of her doing what she does best too !!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Little Nature Girl !!!

Whenever we go outside, little SG has an affinity for things like sticks, tree bark, rocks, and dirt. She will attempt to pick up all that she can at one time. Why she does this ... not sure??? However, I find it somewhat amusing. I am sure it is just her ever growing sense of curiosity and her desire to learn. There could be plenty of "real" toys within reach but she will inevitably choose the rocks and the sticks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Only One More Month !!!

Yippee....Yahooo....Hurrah !!!! Only about one more month and Aaron should be home. He will have been gone for a little over 4 months which is one of the longest deployments yet. We (or at least I) am soooooo ready for an extra set of hands and eyes. Although I love SG to pieces, this has certainly been eye opening and challenging.

Although Aaron has had a chance to see SG almost everyday her has been gone via Skype, I think he is in for a real surprise. When he left, she was not even a full-time walker. Now, not only does she walk, but she attempts to run, can do forward rolls, and has lots of real words. She is truly a walking talking little person. Via webcam, he only gets to see a small piece of the whole package. Sometimes she will interact with him and sometimes she is just too busy doing other things. So, it will be so very fun to see her interact with him and vice versa.

It will be an adjustment for all of us but one that I am soooooo ready for. She is truly a busy little girl and she wears me out with all her activity. I can hardly express my excitement about his homecoming in words.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friends and a Hand Back !!!

Over the weekend, SG and I had some visitors. A good friend of mine that I met in Florida came to visit with her two kiddos. Yesterday, we went to the Fayetteville children's museum and gave that a try. The kids had a blast and it was so fun to see them all play together !!!

On the burned hand front, we went to the doctor today and SG was cleared to be without her bandage. Yipppeeeee !!! It healed up so quickly and it looks very nice indeed. We were so very lucky to get and awesome PA at the hospital that took very good care of the little miss.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Charleston and Other Events !!

On July 3rd, SG and I set out to visit the city of Charleston, SC for the Fourth of July. We went along with our good friends the Barton's as their son was participating in a Cub Scout event. So, on Friday, the girls explored the downtown area and ate at a wonderful restaurant called Fleet Landing.

On the 4th, the girls headed out once again to downtown Charleston and decided to take a wonderful horse-drawn carriage ride through the city and learned all sorts of cool history. It was a terrific way to spend the birthday of this great nation. After the carriage ride, we headed over to the festival at Patriots Point where we met up with my friend's husband and son, ate typical fair food, listened to some live music, and sat in front on the USS Yorktown to watch a fantastic display of fireworks. All in all, not a bad way to spend the Fourth of July !!!!

Then, we got to the 5th of July. SG and I went down to the free breakfast a little ahead of our friends on Sunday morning. I grabbed a quick cup of coffee and things only went downhill from there. Before I knew what was happening, SG reached over and stuck her little left hand right in my coffee cup and from this received second degree burns on her fingers. Fortunately for us, we were able to find a pediatric ER and it would appear that her hand is going to heal just fine. It was a very long and traumatic day for all involved but I am so thankful that we had good friends to help us through the day.

While the 5th of July will forever go down in my memory, I am glad that SG will not recall the event. However, despite our little mishap, the trip was great and I can't wait to go back to Charleston. It is truly a neat place, rich in history and will always be a part of my history as a Mom for sure!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Park Day !

I decided to take SG to one of the base parks today despite the heat. I like this particular playground because there is lots of shade and it has a smaller play area for smaller kids. I was so proud because she managed to go down one of the slides all by herself. If only I had 12 hands so I could videotape and make sure she doesn't take a nosedive off the edge of the playset all at the same time. It is so fun to see her grow on a daily basis. She does so many new things and she is always chatter chatter chattering....I can't wait until she starts talking in full sentences...or maybe I can !!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cape Fear Botanical Garden !

SG and I went to the Cape Fear Botanical Garden today and man was it hot ! We even went early but that didn't help a whole lot. Anyway, the gardens are very nice and there is even a nice walk along the Cape Fear River. I chose not to go down that path by myself however because it is kind of creepy. It is very shady and there was no one else at the garden today other then us and one other couple. I am guessing the "others" were smart and chose to stay inside !

At any rate, it was a fun place to explore and I am definitely looking forward to going back when it gets a little bit cooler. There is a children's garden with tee pees and lots of sand and sand toys to play with. The little miss was very excited about this part. I did learn something, however. Note to self: Stop at the children's garden on the way out and not half way through. I had to pick her up and make sure the children's garden was out of sight before I could put her back into the stroller without a fuss !!! Lesson learned...hey I'm still new at this !!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mommy's Helper

For whatever reason, every time I buy a new box of diapers and try to refill the basket, SG gets very very excited about this process. So excited in fact that tonight she ended up sitting in the basket and the diapers that I loaded in were immediately thrown out. Hopefully, her "helping" skills will improve with time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 Years !!!

I truly cannot believe that 10 years ago this evening Aaron and I were getting ready to take the plunge...not into a pool...into marriage !!! We were a mere 23 years old, I was still in law school, and he was embarking on a career in the military. We truly had no idea where we were going or what life would bring. Well, it has truly been an adventure.

I would like to thank all of our family and friends who have shown us a lot of love and support along the way. We would not be where we are today without you !!!