Thursday, July 17, 2008

Emily's Photo Montage

Here's a blog-friendly version of the collage that I've been working on. Enjoy watching Emily grow up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some new pictures!

Emily surrounded herself with toys last week. She is getting very good at avoidance techniques when it's time to go to bed! "If you can't reach me, you can't make me go to bed!"

Emily and I attended the youth group pizza party at the church on Sunday to help welcome our visiting mission group from Indiana. As I was loading up our plate to head outside I noticed Em had snagged a chocolate covered cherry from the table. If you click on the picture, you can see an enlarged version of the damage. (No, I didn't pop her in the kisser!)

Later in the evening, Ryan and his friend, Dylan, played a few games of tackle football with some of the other kids. Here's the difference between a 16 year old and a 14 year old after a hot, sweaty game! Ryan will be thrilled this one!

That's it for now. I'm working on a collage to post later that I think you might enjoy!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Return to Life as We Know It

We ran away as a family last Wednesday to our favorite vacation destination in Tennessee and returned last night. It was relaxing, but it was an adventure to say the least.

Tom drives the first leg through Ohio. I drive the second leg from Cincinnati through Kentucky and a short bit of Tennessee and then Tom picks up the final stretch and drives us to our cabin.

We stopped in at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati for a bit to eat. Prior to ordering, Emily and I made a quick visit to the restroom for a quick pit stop and a diaper change (for Emily, not me!). While I was taking care of business, Emily found her reflection in the toilet paper dispenser and began to admire the little girl smiling back at her... a little too much! Before I knew it, Emily was laying a great big kiss on the little girl looking back her. Ok. That was a nice way to say she was smearing her lips all over the toilet paper dispenser... but she really was kissing it! And, what better place to kiss a toilet paper dispenser than Skyline... might as well have been a White Castle! Blech! Needless to say, she received a good disinfecting before returning to the table for lunch! And it was all just the beginning...

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Emily entertained herself in the back seat and took a couple of nice long naps. Ryan watched a movie in the back seat, kept Emily entertained when she dropped a book or a toy and listened to his iPod. Tom and I took turns driving and that was that.

The weather was beautiful for our trip down and once we landed and started to unpack, Emily was scooting around the cabin like a wind-up toy that had been wound up too long. She was running from room to room and leaving a trail of giggles and toys behind her.

We visited our favorite restaurants, stopped at the visitor's center, drove through the Cove, and we spent lots of time resting, reading and hanging out as a family. Ryan spent a lot of his spare time texting his girlfriend and Emily spend a lot of her spare time finding more places to admire herself. She found a mirror behind our bedroom door and slapped sloppy kisses all over the beautiful little girl that was smiling back at her. Thankfully, it WAS a clean mirror. However, later in the week, Emily found that a distorted version of that beautiful little girl was also reflected in the handle for the toilet (eww!), the glass on the oven door (yuck) and in a doorknob or two in the cabin (gross)... and yes, she kissed each and every one of them. Who knew she was that infatuated with herself! I had to be on super high guard duty around all shiny objects all week!

To keep her out of the house for a bit, we did spend a little time in the hot tub and Emily and I spent a couple of afternoons in her baby pool that we brought along for the trip. Not sure what Ryan's doing in the picture below... but it does appear that he might have gotten his new phone a bit damp.

We did have a beautiful view of the mountains from our cabin. You can't beat waking up in the morning to this view and watching the sunset over the same... we spent quite a bit of time on the porch relaxing.

During our stay, Tom wound up with a pinched nerve or something that caused him a great deal of pain and made even walking difficult for him. He wasn't sure if the bed at the cabin was causing the problem or what was really going on. We drove to Gatlinburg for lunch and after lunch Tom could barely walk back to the car. He rested at the cabin the rest of the evening and when he was up the following morning he made a pretty quick decision to have it checked out. Even though our insurance would have had a better co-pay rate at an Urgent Care, for some reason the only Urgent Care in the area was "accepting only established patients".... so what's the point of an Urgent Care? Tom was essentially forced to go to the ER in order to get checked out. After spending about 2/3 of the day out of town, he ended up with 3 different kinds of medicines and an interesting list of "possible" side effects... we thought the potential of being drowsy, hyperactive and irritable all at the same time might make for an interesting remainder of the vacation... (Fortunately, only drowsiness showed a bit of itself on the way home and I ended up driving most of the trip.)

We had a couple of incredible rain storms while we were in TN. It's really cool to hear it rain on the metal roof and then to run outside and see the rain rolling over the mountain ranges. Emily got to see a pretty awesome storm shortly before she had to go to bed.

After the dark storm, the sky lightened up immensely and there was a double rainbow in the sky. The rainbow on the left was probably the most incredible rainbow I've ever seen. All the colors were extremely bright and you could make out each and every one of them... well, most of us could. Poor Ryan is color blind and he could only see 2 of the colors. I forget what colors he said he could see but it seems like maybe it was blue and green? Poor kid. It really was gorgeous and I don't use that term often.

This is us still rainbow watching.

On Sunday, we went to church at The Church of The Cove. Emily and I spent most of the service in the nursery so we were pretty tired by the time we were done with church and lunch. Emily and I took a nap when we got home and Tom took Ryan to a nearby parking lot so he could get some skating in.

Here's Ryan... yet again texting the aforementioned girlfriend (while on his board). ;-)

I don't know what this trick is called... but it looks complicated.

Here's the stud taking a break while his dad is probably offering some very fatherly advice... yeah, right.

So that brings us to the end of the week and our trip home. Tom insisted that he was okay to drive and that he'd let me know if he started to get tired. He was conveniently wiped out after about an hour into our 8 hour drive. ;-) No, seriously, I didn't mind driving for the day and Emily travels really well so it wasn't a problem. She took a decent nap before lunch and then stayed awake until we got home around 7:30. Here is some video fun of Emily. No... I wasn't driving when I shot the videos!

Oh, Josh... She still won't say Mom, Dad or Ryan but she'll randomly say "Josh... Josh... Josh... Oh, Josh". Go figure!

She was getting very loopy when we were about 2 hours from home. We had stopped at the outlet malls so the guys could check for some shirts. Em and I opted to sit it out in the car because they were only "going to be gone for a few minutes".... riiiiight. We had snacks, we made faces and after I got tired of entertaining Emily started entertaining herself.

We all made it home safe and sound and slept very well last night. Tom was back to work this morning and I was back at home with Emily making phone calls to the insurance company and trying to figure out what we were going to have for lunch. So, as you can see, after our big adventure, we've now returned to life as we know it.

Have a great day and be blessed!
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