Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Pictures

Mary did some more pictures of Brenna about a month ago at Smithfield Plantation on the Virginia Tech campus. Brenna was in a really grumpy mood, but I still think we got a few great ones. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

#9 - Virginia

I've never had a driver's license from any state other than Virginia. I lived in Tennessee one summer after college (reminder - I lived in Bristol, which is on the VA/TN border, so this is SO not a big deal). I lived in NC for about 9 months (one school year) after college but never changed my residency (is that illegal?). But, the time has come to actually ADMIT that I will be a resident of another state. For some reason, this is hard for me to come to grips with.

Virginia is a pretty great state. It has great colleges and universities. It has great places to visit and beautiful scenery. It was the home state of EIGHT American presidents, which is more than any other state. It gave up part of itself for our nation's capital, for crying out loud! And if you've never been to the Shenendoah Valley or Abingdon, Virginia - add them to your list!

NC is a close drive to all these places. And I'm sure North Carolina has some great places to visit, too. But for now I'm grieving the loss of my residency in the state that I think is pretty darn great!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#10 - Virginia Tech Campus

I don't think many people would believe that neither Jonathan nor I went to Virginia Tech for any of our degrees! We're Hokie fans without a doubt. When I first moved here, I was pretty indifferent to all things Hokie. I grew up kind of liking Tennessee football, but never hating the Hokies like most Vol fans do! But, it didn't take long for me to get hooked on the Hokies! Some of the most times we've had since we started dating involve Virginia Tech. We've been to lots of football games (including one that I'm pretty sure it snowed at!), the big concert (oh, Dave Matthews) after the Virginia Tech shootings, several Spring games (including Brenna's first one at about a month old!), a wedding at War Memorial Chapel, concerts at Burruss and Squires, walks around the farms when Jonathan still lived in Blacksburg, photo shoots at the Duck Pond (along with many walks!), lots and lots of trips to the Dog Park with Maggie, and visits to the April 16th Memorial.

feeding the donkey near campus

a cold football game

"the boys"

not on campus - but still Hokie fans! Chick-fil-a bowl 2009 (7 months pregnant!)

Brenna's first Spring game

"date day" this past October

On April 16, 2007, all the residents of the NRV suddenly became more loyal to Virginia Tech. It was a hard day to be a teacher in this area. I had several students with parents who worked there and a couple more with law enforcement parents. It was hard knowing how much to tell them, and I couldn't answer their questions because I had so many questions myself. It was the saddest day I've ever experienced in the classroom. But, it made me love this place even more as I saw how everyone rallied and came together to heal. I'm not sure Blacksburg will ever be the same.
memorial on campus
So, I'm not a Hokie "by degree", but I'm a Hokie nonetheless. Quite honestly, I hate Carolina blue, so I think I'll stick with my maroon and orange. 'Cause you know what they say - God must be a Hokie because why else would he turn the leaves maroon and orange every fall?
War Memorial Chapel
weirdos on campus - You never know what you might see!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I hope you cry

Dear Brenna,

I cry a lot. I cry when I'm happy. I cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm scared. I cry when I'm confused. I cry when I'm frustrated. I cry when I'm excited. It's just who I am.

Take today for example. I watched Oprah's last show. I have probably watched 20 total Oprah shows ever. But, today I watched the end. And I cried. A lot. You looked at me like I was crazy and you gave me a kiss. I explained to you that I wasn't sad - it was just emotional for her, so it became emotional for me.

Yesterday I cried after I talked to the realtor. Our house isn't selling when I want it to. Daddy and I have faith that God will help it sell in his time, but I'm worried about our next step. I cried and cried.

About two weeks ago I sat down in the front of my classroom and cried (with students in there!). They wouldn't listen to me and I wanted them to learn so badly. So, I cried because they hurt my feelings and made me frustrated at the same time.

So, you see, sometimes I wish I didn't cry so easily. I cry at commercials, I cry at books, I cry EVERY YEAR when Charlotte dies in Charlotte's Web. I cry anytime I watch A Baby Story on TV. I cried while April was in labor with Tinley. It's embarassing at times and I sometimes try to hide it.

All this to say - I hope you cry like me. Even though it's awkward (I'm NOT a pretty crier!) and sometimes embarassing, I feel like it's how I live life. I'm passionate about things. I care deeply about issues, and people, and causes. I cry because I feel things strongly. I hope you do, too. And just know my shoulder is always here for you to cry on - and I'll probably cry right along with you.

Love, Mommy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

#11 - 7-Eleven

Here goes! The list I've been trying to write for weeks now. I'm mourning the loss of our life here in Virginia. I'm excited about our new adventure, I'm thrilled to be able to stay at home, I'm proud of Jonathan and his new job. But, I'm sad. I finally feel like Christiansburg is our home, instead of just where we're living for a season. But, instead of rambling on and on about that - I'm going to list some of the things I'm going to miss the most about this area. I'm sure I'll be able to make a list longer than this after we learn to call NC home, but for now, here's where my mind and my heart is!
#11 - 7-Eleven!

Ok, so I admit we hardly ever go to 7-Eleven any more. But, it'd kind of like part of our "story" here. When Jonathan and I were just dating, we would go pick up a slurpie from 7-Eleven and go to the park just to hang out and/or read. It's a really special memory for me. I'd sometimes pick up one when I lived in Radford, too. It was one of my favorite ways to surprise Jonathan when I'd go visit him at his home in Blacksburg. And, um, they are GOOD! We haven't been in ages, mainly because there aren't any in Christiansburg. We'll definitely have to get one before we move! Maybe Brenna should even get a sip (but we'll warn her about the brain freeze!). I know this seems like a lame start to the list, but it's special to me and it's MY list. Now, I'm going to google 7-Eleven and North Carolina. :) Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Camera + Play date with London = Picture Heavy Blog Post

I'm in absolute love with our new dSLR camera. I've taken a ridiculous amount of pictures over the past week! Here are a few of the best ones from Kristen's graduation party today - which, unfortunately, has no pictures of Kristen. Brenna and London had a great time playing (minus one little bloody nose on our girl - sooo sad!). Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

14 Months Old!

Dear Brenna,

You are 14 months old! It seems like you've changed so, so much this month. You are a big talked and have learned lots of new words - Nanie, Nana, Nini (banana), wawa (water), turtle, moo, meow, JoJo, peeee (please), cha cho (thank you), shh (shoe), milk, and PawPaw. You try to mimic what we say a lot more now, and you understand many, many more words that you can't say yet. Your voice is the cutest thing - along with your giggle. You like to make us laugh by playing peekaboo or making us chase or tickle you. You're super playful. You'll also run to me and give me a hug when I stoop down and hold out my arms. I'm also happy to report that you'll actually kiss ME when I ask now instead of the air! I love it!

We had to go to the doctor again this month because you had a really bad diaper rash. We got it cleared up though, and all is well. You weighed in at 20 pounds, 11 ounces - so you had a little growth spurt! You're still wearing 12 month clothes almost all the time. You're wearing sizes 3 or 4 shoes and you have to wear them a lot now because we've been playing outside a lot. I've taken you to the playground near our house several times and we've had a blast. You're quite a daredevil (Mrs. Kate agrees!) and also love to slide!

You spent another night away with Nana and Papa Bill this time. They loved having you and Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a date night while you were gone. We also went back to Pine Mountain for Easter Sunday, after spending 2 days in Bristol with Nanie, Aunt Mal, Uncle Josh, Grandma Abel, and Sissy. You looked adorable on Easter Sunday and were such a good girl. You sure got a lot of attention that weekend!

You have slowed down on your eating quite a bit. You're not really into meat right now, but I'm hoping it's temporary. You've tried out grilled cheese, which you really like. And your favorite is definitely bananas! You had your first restaurant meal (a grilled cheese with ham from Macado's) and have made a huge mess of many restaurants. I've never cleaned up so many messes! Luckily you're cute so people don't seem to mind too much. You still eat oatmeal or eggs for breakfast, and drink at least 18 or more ounces of milk each day. You got your third and fourth teeth on the top, and so you have quite a strong (and painful) bite.

Daddy started his job with Apple in Maiden, North Carolina this week. He'll be coming home as often as he can, and we miss him like crazy. We're working hard to sell our townhouse so we can finalize our house in Newton and move as soon as I'm finished with school. I think we're going to have so much fun this summer together. I enjoy having you as my "buddy" and I look forward to our bond continuing to grow.

Oh, and you wore your first pigtails. Cutest.thing.ever. Since you won't wear bows anymore, I tricked you into pigtails. Sorry, but it's a girl thing! You'll understand one day.

I love you, my little Sprout!
Love, Mommy

*This post was written on May 4, I promise. Just took me this long to get the pictures taken. Luckily, I got to take them with my new camera! WOOHOO!