Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Major catch-up post

I have totally let the blog slide.  But then the other day Brady wanted to see some pictures of himself when he was little.  So I pulled up the blog.  And he started reading.  At one point, he read one of the posts that was written as a letter to him and it brought tears to my eyes remembering writing it with him one day reading it in my mind. That day had come! And how fast!   So I vowed to blog more.  It has taken me two weeks to get this post done and I'm sure future posts will be sporadic and wide-spaced, but I'll do my best.

The last time I posted was Avery's birthday - November - and how much has happened since then!

Let's see...Christmas, a National Championship game, a Super Bowl, Brady turned SIX, vacations, hockey, soccer, swim lessons, dance classes, tennis, piano, early school mornings,
laughter, tears, and doughnuts, lots of doughnuts.  I'll try to hit the highlights but more importantly share some highlights of our kids' wild and fun personalities.


We had a LOT of fun this Football season, especially with the Tigers beating the Gamecocks and going to the National Championship!!  But one of the best parts was getting Piper to shout "Go Tigers!"  Our kids are ALL IN, Brady's favorite color is Orange and he won't even cheer for those Gamecocks anymore (okay, okay, maybe I went a little overboard with the brainwashing).


 Christmas was a special time.  All Avery wanted from Santa Claus was "spoons for my baby" and Brady wanted a Marker Maker, and Santa did not disappoint.
We went ice skating in downtown Charlotte.  Avery met the Claus family and really was only interested in Mrs. Claus and the cat!
Christmas Morning!  Santa brought the much desired "Marker Maker"!
Christmas afternoon at Bucky's house with our twinsies!

Snow White worn out from Christmas fun
 
 We took our annual ski trip with Ben's family this year to Beaver Creek, Colorado which was beautiful and super snowy.  Brady and Avery spent each day in ski school while the adults skied, but we were always sure to pick them up in time for the free hot cookies at 3pm and a fun afternoon activity such as hot tubs or snowman building.   Brady continued his stellar skiing and on the last day we picked him up early to ski with us - he skiied with us from the very top of the mountain all the way down in a blizzard! It was tough but so was he.  Avery also did awesome, learning to pizza and french fry. 


 
Returning back to Charlotte, it was time to celebrate our little boy!  Turning SIX (WHAT?! WHERE DID THE TIME GO?)  He is so kind, loving, smiles and hugs easily and has a huge love of learning.  If he is ever bored, all I have to do is start quizzing him or create a thinking game (name all body parts you can think of).  He is reading like a champ.  It is amazing the improvement he has made since he started kindergarten and the best part is that he loves books like his mama!  He also got some art talent from his daddy as he loves to draw and create. 

Here is two particular pieces of art I was proud of:

Pinch Pot
 

Brady's 6 year old birthday party with two of his favorite girls - Tyler and Layla


Birthday Fun!  Adventure Landing
 One of my favorite things is to go have lunch with Brady at school.  Once in a while I will take Avery with me and boy does she love that!  She loves being around Brady's friends, feeling like she fits right in, and getting a hug (stealing a kiss?) from Tuck.

While Brady has been enjoying Kindergarten, Avery is running the 3s classroom.   She is a firecracker, constant entertainment, and has a strong sense of her own style.  But she is also extremely loving - mothering her babies with vigor and reminding us regularly that she loves us "so, so, so, so, so, so much" (my heart could burst).
Dressed and made herself up - I can't keep her out of my makeup!

This girl LOVES taking care of her baby dolls, changing their diapers and clothes, feeding them, putting them down for naps and taking them (and her diaper bag) everywhere she goes.

Besties Avery and Hattie
Post Soccer Lunch Date

Easter was celebrated at the Gillespie's house in Columbia.  It featured all the Easter favorites - egg dying, egg hunting, coloring on cookies with edible markers, a golf cart ride, and a ridiculous amount of yummy food.  Can't wait to have Finn join us next year.

 


 Our first official family Spring Break took us to the Bahamas with the Speckman family.  It was just the right amount of family fun and adult fun.  We had long days at the pool, waterslides, beach activities, and swimming with the dolphins.  And the nights were for the adults (oh, except for that one night the kids stayed at Kids Club until 10pm eating candy and thought it was the coolest night ever)

On our way!


At Kids Club pickup = they don't even look that tired! 

Swimming with the dolphins was a highlight of the trip.  We started with a young rambunctious dolphin named Palmer who did not want to behave, so Sasha came over and gave us kisses. The kids were not afraid at all and we were all in awe of these amazing creatures.






Cabana time with Gma, Gpa and a cute boy on the last day there!  We didn't want to leave!
 One Spring Weekend, we enjoyed a mountain getaway to Lake Lure with friends where the older kids went "camping" (in the driveway of our friend's mountain house) and then we went Gem Mining.  Now that was a hit with the kids!  They were amazed at the treasures they could find and loved figuring out what each gem was - we will definitely be back for that.
So proud of themselves!
Mommy's birthday came next and it was a special treat weekend to the Ritz-Carleton in Naples, FL with Birdie and Bucky.  We relaxed so much - 8 hours on the beach in one day - it was glorious!  Birdie and I even went parasailing.  Thank you Daddy for keeping the kids - best birthday present a mom can get!

  May brought the Wells Fargo Championship to Charlotte and Ben & I got out there Friday, Saturday AND Sunday!  It really is one of our favorite events every year in Charlotte and we thoroughly enjoyed our day dates. The kids and Speckmans joined us on Sunday, which was a fun experience once they figured out they had to be quiet every time a player was close by.



May is also our annual fun trip to Birdfest.  This year Mommy & Daddy had a wedding to attend, so the Birdie and Bogey took all 3 grandkids by themselves - man, they are brave!!  Not sure how Birdie & Bogey fared, but the kids had a blast as usual.  Avery is pretty much nonstop happy when Piper is around.
Every Thursday morning this Spring, Avery and I have had special time going to her swim lessons with Miss Kelly and then often getting a treat after:
Swim lesson diva! 


I'll leave you with a last few fun pictures highlighting the fun we have daily:
Princess Friends!

Swim Team - Go Sharks - Summer is almost here!

Preview of 15 years from now?  AH!
Mommy's first school field trip!
       
The Red Tornadoes!   
 
     
 
  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday Avery!

Hello long lost blog readers.  It is I, Ashley, the one who used to blog weekly, and then monthly, and now apparently bi-monthly - who knows maybe soon it will be semi-annually!

Halloween, and more importantly, my sweet girl's turning THREE definitely deserve a blog post!

This Halloween, Avery & Brady picked their costumes and then proceeded to assign costumes to Mommy & Daddy.  Avery chose to be Anna when she found an Anna dress she just had to have while we were in the mountains for Labor Day weekend and it fit her perfectly so how could I say no.  Brady then announced he would be Elsa! Say what?! After a lot of "no, no, no, no" from Mommy & Daddy, Brady agreed to that Christof would be a much better selection (especially when Daddy agreed to be Sven and pull the sleigh).  All in all the costumes turned out to be a success and it was fun to get into the spirit of Halloween through the eyes of children.

First we had a Halloween party at Avery's school which is combined with our church Halloween carnival.   Mommy did NOT dress up for that :)

Anna & Anna aka Elle & Avery
I guess Avery hasn't heard what they say about picking your friends...
Allstar Picture

Anna & Christof

Anna & a Poodle aka Avery & Hattie
Red Carpet Costume Walk at school:

video
Dance party at school/church carnival:
video


And finally on Halloween night, the big reveal - the Frozen family:



Pull that Sleigh Sven!

After Halloween our attention immediately turned to the BIRTHDAY GIRL!
 
On her actual Birthday, Mommy & Daddy took her for a special birthday breakfast at the House of Pancakes.  Then she got the joy of a 3 year old check up with a flu shot.  Cupcakes at school for snack were another special treat.  But the night of her birthday really took the cake - I can't even count the number of cheek kisses she got from two of Brady's best friends  Tuck & McNair. She was in heaven.  And it was cute until I had flash forwards of when she will be 14 - ahhh! stay away from her!
 



For Avery's birthday party, we did a joint party with one of her best friends Hattie. It was a gymnastics party and they had a blast jumping, playing and getting all of their energy out. 



 A few notes about our sweet now three year old:
 - She continues to live up to her Tornado nickname.  She is a ball of fire, knows what she wants and how to get it.  She is a mommy's girl right now, she has me wrapped around her finger, and even though I can see through her sneaky little grins, I have a hard time saying no to her.   She loves fiercely, hugs tightly, kisses sweetly, rarely throws a fit, but has a mean streak that we need to work on!

- She is smart as a whip.  I guess she gets it from her brother. She is really good at puzzles & the memory game,  knows how to spell her name, is writing some letters (A and H are favorites) and can name all the baby animals. 

- She gets up in the morning, takes off her pull-up and comes downstairs on her own and climbs into our bed for snuggles.  But she doesn't sit still long, then she is ready for breakfast and always wants to ride to take B to school.  At night, she loves a bath and reading, and then asks for "stories" when its lights out. 

She is my baby and I reeally don't want her to grow up, but I know it is inevitable and plan to enjoy every moment along the way.