Weekend in Savannah

After a week off work hanging around the house because of the cold & rainy weather, and another one  to look forward to, Chris and I needed a change of scenery. We decided (well, I decided and Chris graciously agreed) to go to Savannah for the weekend. I’m from Savannah and miss it almost every day of my life. It’s beautiful, especially around this time of year. I honestly don’t remember the last time we were down there, so we left Saturday afternoon and returned this morning.

We packed up the babe, the car and picked up my mom to head down to Savannah. I’m pretty sure we picked the coldest weekend Savannah has seen this winter, because around this time of year, everyone is usually still rockin’ short-sleeved shirts. Unfortunately, it was in the 40’s and windy for the better part of the weekend. We tried to not let that ruin our fun.

When we got there, we went out to eat and it was just to cold to enjoy anything outdoors. My mom suggested bowling, which was a great idea! Elodie had never been, so it was even more fun 🙂

Cutie waiting to bowl

Cutie waiting to bowl

Mommy & Gigi helping Elodie

Mommy & Gigi helping Elodie

Looking for the ball

Looking for the ball

There it is!

There it is!

The next day, we wanted to walk around downtown Savannah and meet up with our friends the Finnegan’s. The first thing that got Chris’s attention was a ship that was docked & available to tour. I didn’t hear much information on the ship other than its name, The Peacemaker. Chris loved this stuff, so it was fun to walk around.

Savannah Trip 2012

The steering wheel

The steering wheel

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Savannah Trip 2012

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After we enjoyed the sights on River Street, we met up with our friends at one of Chris’s favorite restaurant, Tubby’s Tankhouse.

Lunch with the Finnegan's

Lunch with the Finnegan’s

Outside of Tubby's

Outside of Tubby’s

On River Street

On River Street

The men + babies

The men + babies

All of us

All of us

Silly Ezra inside the Savannah Bee Company

Silly Ezra inside the Savannah Bee Company

After we ate, we went to the Savannah Children’s Museum. It was an all outdoor museum and was really fun for the kids!

At the Savannah Children's Museum

At the Savannah Children’s Museum

Elodie + Ezra

Elodie + Ezra

Savannah Trip 2012

The guys building stuff

The guys building stuff

A giant maze

A giant maze

The parents.. we are having more fun than we look, I promise

The parents.. we are having more fun than we look, I promise

Making her way through the maze

Making her way through the maze

A silly book we found at the museum

A silly book we found at the museum

That evening we had dinner with my aunt & uncle at a delicious hibachi restaurant and loved catching up with them! It was a great short weekend trip!

We came back into to town early this morning so we could be with friends celebrating the New Year!

Have a safe evening & a great 2013!

xoxo

Ash

Christmas 2012

We had a small Christmas this year. It was just us, my mom, and the Williams (my sister, bro-in-law and nephew, Josiah.) We loved spending time together and watching the kiddos interact. Elodie was filled with pure joy for days as she opened up and played with all of her new goodies. Experiencing Christmas through a child’s eyes is so much more magical and exciting than I ever remember experiencing myself. I can only imagine that it will get better and better as she grows up!

Christmas started a few days before when presents arrived from Grandma & Grandpa. We couldn’t help but let her open (most) of them early.

Leap Pad from Grandma & Grandpa. Apparently these are a hot commodity among the kiddos. Lucky girl.

Leap Pad from Grandma & Grandpa. Apparently these are a hot commodity among the kiddos. Lucky girl.

Elodie showing off a present. We opened up presents from Grandma & Grandpa a few days early :)

Elodie showing off a present.

Then, the Williams’ came into town & we enjoyed their company for a few days leading up to Christmas. I know my mom was so happy to have both her daughters, sons-in-law and grandbabies under one roof for several days!

These kids are hard to get still enough to take a picture of them together

These kids are hard to get still enough to take a picture of them together

Sweet baby Josiah, 8 months

Sweet baby Josiah, 8 months

He was loving our kitties

He was loving our kitties

Aunt Ashley & Josiah

Aunt Ashley & Josiah

Uncle Chris, Josiah & Elodie. Chris is cutting fingernails.

Uncle Chris, Josiah & Elodie. Chris is cutting fingernails.

In the middle of preparing for Christmas, we took the front off of Elodie’s crib to turn it into her “big girl bed”

Elodie in her big girl bed

Elodie in her big girl bed

Sleeping in her big girl bed. She looks so grown up

Sleeping in her big girl bed. She looks so grown up

Santa came & went and we enjoyed Christmas morning together too.

Thanks Santa

Thanks Santa

Dora DVD, her fave :)

Dora DVD, her fave 🙂

Aunt Allison & Josiah opening his first present

Aunt Allison & Josiah opening his first present

Trampoline! The "big" Santa present this year

Trampoline! The “big” Santa present this year

A doll, stroller, crib & car seat from Gigi.

A doll, stroller, crib & car seat from Gigi.

She was in heaven opening e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g, including all of my & Chris's presents

She was in heaven opening e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g, including all of my & Chris’s presents

New Minnie Mouse slippers

New Minnie Mouse slippers

Helping Uncle Raef open Josiah's present: a drum full of musical instruments

Helping Uncle Raef open Josiah’s present: a drum full of musical instruments

Pushing her baby around

Pushing her baby around

She loves this thing

Just checking it out..

There she goes again!

She just can’t get enough of this thing

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

Merry Christmas to mommy

Merry Christmas to mommy

Elodie in her dress up dress with her matching doll.

Elodie in her dress up dress with her matching doll.

And just for fun.. here are some videos we got. Notice Elodie is hanging out with her trampoline in both of them. I think Santa picked out a great gift for her this year.

This was one was hilarious. For some reason she used her “wand” to make the magic tissues jump around. This kept us entertained for far longer than it should have. Thanks for being a good sport, Uncle Raef, who invented this game.

We had a great holiday!

Thanks for everyone who sent love to us here in GA, both in cards & gifts! We love you and hope you all had a great Christmas as well!

I can’t believe it’s all over until next year. Here’s to a great 2013!

xoxo

Ashley 🙂

My 25th Birthday: how we celebrated the world not ending.

My 25th birthday was last Friday, December 21st, 2012. This was the day that people had been talking about for years. You know, that day that the Mayan calendar predicted would be the “end of the world.” Well, that day came & went and we are all still around. So birthday celebrations were in order.

My sweet hubby planned a fun-filled evening just for my big 2-5. He secretly contacted all of our friends & made plans. We all gathered at our place around 5 for the big event. The first surprise on deck: a scavenger hunt. The 8 of us broke into 2 groups of 4 and had our 5 clues in hand to head out around town, to ultimately figure out where we were going to eat dinner. The clues led us to places around town where we spend a lot of time.

The clues for the 2 teams were in a different order, but here they are in the order our team received them. In case our friends didn’t know the answer to a clue, Chris was sure to include a QR code that you can scan with a smart phone, and it will tell you the answer. Luckily, my team had me & I knew all the answers to the clues 🙂

Clue 1:

My baby loves this department store more than Wal-Mart,

You may get caught but please don’t worry.

Take the money and hurry!

With the snack that she loves, it’s red, long and chewy

Spell the name of my love in an aisle,

Take a picture of it and save the receipt and no this is not FOOEY.

The answer was Target. Of course, 3 days before Christmas, this was probably the most difficult clue. Target was crazy busy, but we got it done!

Our Twizzlers in Target

Our Twizzlers in Target

Our Twizzlers in Target

Our Twizzlers in Target

Clue 2:

Tis a clue that might get you a ticket.

You will each need to take a picture with it.

Not to fast now, you hear.

You must find a sign with the age of my dear.

25 mph sign

25 mph sign

25th birthday scavenger hunt

25th birthday scavenger hunt

25th birthday scavenger hunt

Clue 3:

Rumble, Rumble, Rumble,

This one can make you tumble.

Find the place where Elodie rolls, bounces and tumbles.

Make a human pyramid of three,

Do this and you shall make Ashley very happy.

~*Take a picture of the sign and pyramid*~

The answer to this one was the place where Elodie does gymnastics: GAA. This was one of those clues where it was handy to have me around because nobody, other than Chris and I, knew the answer to this one, and Chris wasn’t giving answers. You’re welcome, team 🙂

3 Person pyramid

3 Person pyramid

Clue 4:

Ashley has school spirit,

She wants everyone to hear it.

Go to the place where Ashley molds young minds,

Be creative in a cheer of any kind,

Points will be awarded to the video that is the best.

Hurry now there are only a few more clues left.

Another one where it was nice to have me around. This answer was the school where I work. While our team was quick, they weren’t the best cheerleaders. The second team won this one 🙂 (These videos were taken on cell phone cameras at night, so they are hard to see… but the words are funny if you feel like watching. The 2nd team uses bad words, so don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂)

And Clue 5:

Hurricane Katrina may have been bad,

But you should not be sad.

For this clue lead you to the feast

Its Acworth’s yummy New Orleans Cajun eats.

We knew the answer to this one immediately, one of our favorite restaurants: Henry’s.

Since our team won, and we had some time to kill before our reservation, we hung out & took some pictures.

25th birthday scavenger hunt

The winners! (plus Ben taking the pic)

Jessie + Me

Jessie + Me

Riding in the sleigh

Riding in the sleigh

Santa, Mrs. Claus & and elf

Santa, Mrs. Claus & and elf

Once everyone else got there, we walked down the street to the Oak Barrel & had some wine while we waited.

Drinking some wine

Drinking some wine

And then we went over to the restaurant and hung out a little while longer.

25th birthday scavenger hunt

We met the owner of the restaurant. One of the reasons we love this place is because he walks around & chats with everyone.

Photo Dec 22, 8 38 44 PM

And finally we ate.

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During dinner, Chris had some flowers delivered to the restaurant. They also gave me a birthday shot and a free dessert!

My pretty flowers

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Free bread pudding

It was a great night! Thanks to everyone who came out & to my sweet husband for planning everything!

I’ll be back soon to write about Christmas!

xoxo

Ash

Last Weekend

Last weekend, because of everything going on in Connecticut, was an important weekend to spend lots of time with our loved ones. While our hearts were hurting, eyes crying, and our heads praying, we tried to enjoy ourselves.

Jessie, Katie O. and I went and saw the Atlanta Ballet perform The Nutcracker and the Fabulous Fox.

Photo Dec 14, 7 27 45 PM

I had not seen The Nutcracker, probably since I was in elementary school and we would go on field trips. It was a beautiful performance. The dancers make everything look so effortless and graceful, and of course, the music was amazing. Watching the ballet definitely made me want to put Elodie in dance, at least for a couple of years.

This was quite the treat, as we even splurged a little bit on our tickets and had really good seats. I’m definitely not going to let that much time pass before I see it again. I will also be taking Elodie to experience the beautiful Christmas Magic that is The Nutcracker.

Saturday morning is always fun, family time.

Elodie painting sans shirt. She knows if she wants to paint, that shirt comes off... She's going to have to learn not to do that before she starts school

Elodie painting sans shirt. She knows if she wants to paint, that shirt comes off… She’s going to have to learn not to do that before she starts school

Saturday night, we wanted to do a White Elephant/Dirty Santa gift exchange, so we had some friends come over with a present & food to share. I didn’t get a ton of pictures of the food or gifts, but it was a fun evening.

We made some cranberry holiday sangria, recipe here.

Cranberry Holiday Sangria

Cranberry Holiday Sangria

I made some tomato caprese skewers: grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil & drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette.

Photo Dec 15, 6 45 34 PM

And we ate, listened to Christmas music and exchanged gifts. Some people brought silly things like an Obama Chia pet, an ant farm, a toilet bowl coffee mug, Nerf gun & etc.

Ben modeling the ugly sweater coozie he got as a gift.

Ben modeling the ugly sweater coozie he got as a gift.

Fun times with great friends 🙂

On Sunday, we had a birthday party to attend. With 6 babies at Elodie’s babysitters + lots of other friends with kids, it seems like we are going birthday parties all the time lately.

This particular party was at a place called, Catch Air. It is an awesome place for kids, and I’d say it is geared towards those 5 and under. Parents are allowed to get on all the equipment with the kids, so I think Chris and I had just as much fun as Elodie.

A panorama shot of all the place

A panorama shot of the place

Dance party + light-up floor

Dance party + light-up floor

Mommy + Elodie posing while making our way through the GIANT play tower

Mommy + Elodie posing while making our way through the GIANT play tower

Some of the cute babies at the party

Some of the cute (blurry) babies spinning around at the party

Dora even stopped by!

Dora even stopped by!

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The birthday girl!

Action Shot

Action Shot

Catch Air

Little cutie on a big chair

Little cutie on a big chair

Two cuties on a big chair "hey.. whatcha lookin' at there?!"

Two cuties on a big chair “hey.. whatcha lookin’ at there?!”

So as you can see, that place was pretty awesome! It will probably become our favorite hangout over the summer to escape those dreadfully hot temperatures.

Fun weekend in spite of everything going on around us. Please spend some extra time with your loved ones this Holiday Season!

xoxo

Ash

PS: if you’ve not seen this video from The Voice the other night, please watch. It’s a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Newtown tragedy. All the coaches & contestants sing “Halleluiah,” and hold up signs with the names of the victims & their ages. Mascara alert is high for this one!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-SeKsVm7YE 

Videos

3 more days of school & we can breathe and enjoy some holiday time with our family! Until then.. I haven’t had time to write about anything exciting. I have lots of posts I need to write, so check back over Christmas break!

In the meantime, I’ll post a ton of videos we’ve taken & I haven’t shared.

From her birthday: everyone singing to the birthday girl

Elodie using a “magic wand” & saying “abracadabra!” I really don’t know where she learned this from, but my guess is an episode of her favorite show, Bubble Guppies

Elodie and Grandma being silly a couple of weeks ago when she was in town

Elodie hates the vacuum, and a few mornings ago we needed to clean, but Elodie had other plans.

And the most recent: this evening we received a package in the mail from Grandma & Grandpa which contained Christmas presents. Elodie couldn’t resist opening a couple of them, so we let her have some fun. Here’s a little video of her opening a few. Thanks Grandma & Grandpa. Don’t worry, we didn’t open them all, so she still has some for Christmas morning!

Hopefully these will hold ya over until I have some free time to write some more updates!

xoxo

Ash

Happy Birthday, hubs!

Happy 28th birthday to my sweet hubs!

Elodie + Daddy ready to go!

Elodie + Daddy ready to go!

Elodie is a lucky little girl to have you as her father, as am I to have you as my husband!

This was our 2nd choice for the card

I love our little family and am so excited to see what your 28th year has in store for us!

I love you Christopher. Have a great birthday!

xoxo

Mommy & Elodie

Christmas Card Extras

Hopefully most of the Christmas cards we mailed out have reached their destinations, so since I wanted the pictures on the cards to be new & fresh, I didn’t want to share them until [most of] the cards were received.

A few weeks ago, while our house was bustling with visitors, we got Chris’s mom & my mom to help us out by taking some family pictures of us at the local Marietta Square.

Let’s be honest.. I’ve been dying to share some of the pictures we [did and] didn’t end up using.

So here’s what our Christmas Card looked like:

Christmas Card Outtakes

These are the pictures we used for the card:

The family picture we chose

The family picture we chose

Our sweet girl is looking mighty grown-up here...

Our sweet girl is looking mighty grown-up here…

A perfectly festive picture of Chris and me

A perfectly festive picture of Chris and me

Some other close contenders:

This was our 2nd choice for the card

This was our 2nd choice for the card

Another family photo option

Another family photo option

And then just some other fun pictures we got that day:

You know.. just hanging out at the fountain in the middle of November

You know.. just hanging out at the fountain in the middle of November

Christmas Card Outtakes

Thoughtful little girl

Thoughtful little girl

Christmas Card Outtakes

Elodie + Grandma

Elodie + Grandma

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Wrangling up the babe

Wrangling up the babe

Elodie + Gigi

Elodie + Gigi

"Let's get one on the train" says Chris. "Let's go 'choo-choo'" says Ash

“Let’s get one on the train” says Chris. “Let’s go ‘choo-choo'” says Ash

Elodie was so great while we were taking pictures, so we had to treat her to some ice cream

Elodie was so great while we were taking pictures, so we had to treat her to some ice cream

Christmas Card Outtakes

It was a beautiful day & I’m so glad everyone was cooperating to get some great pictures!

Hope you all are having a Happy Holiday Season so far!

xoxo

Ash

The Past Two Weeks….

…have been crazy busy! Here’s just a little bit of what we’ve been up to lately in addition to Elodie’s party, running a race & visiting Santa. 

We spent lots of time enjoying the beautiful weather at the park with the grandparents.

Elodie + Grandpa at the park

Elodie + Grandpa at the park

Elodie + Daddy at the park

Elodie + Daddy at the park

Elodie + Grandma at the park

Elodie + Grandma at the park

Elodie collecting acorns with her grandparents

Elodie collecting acorns with her grandparents

We celebrated Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

We squeezed in some down time.

Elodie + her friends napping on the ottoman

Elodie + her friends “napping” on the ottoman

Diva Girl

Diva Girl

Cutie sitting on the counter

Cutie sitting on the counter

"Really, mom?"

“Really, mom?”

We decorated for Christmas.

Decorating for Chrismas

Decorating for Christmas

We shopped & hung out at the mall.

Elodie + Grandma on the train at the mall

Elodie + Grandma on the train at the mall

We went to the Children’s Museum.

At the Children's Museum: If only I could be half the teacher that Ms. Frizzle was...

If only I could be half the teacher that Ms. Frizzle is…

Children's Museum with Grandma

Children’s Museum with Grandma

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Dreaming of being like Ms. Frizzle

Chris's creation at the Children's Museum

Chris’s creation at the Children’s Museum

We adopted a new kitty. It’s been hanging around where we live for a couple of weeks, and after we fed it for a couple of days, we decided to bring it in. It seems like it once belonged to someone, because it’s de-clawed, but we don’t know much about it other than that. Hopefully we’ll find out more about it once we take it to the vet this week. In the meantime, it’s name is Fergie. I’ll explain more later…

Our new kitty... we've yet to find out if it's a boy or girl, but we've been calling it "Fergie"

Our new kitty… we’ve yet to find out if it’s a boy or girl, but we’ve been calling it “Fergie”

We hung out with some great friends. Chris’s cousin, Michelle & her new husband, Jack, came to visit us from Boston. We don’t see them often, but we always have a great time when we do get together. In addition to catching up & taking it easy, we took them on a tour of a local brewery, Sweetwater Brewery, and out to eat at an AMAZING Tapas Restaurant/Wine Bar, Barcelona. Fun times!

Hanging out with some fun ladies at Sweetwater Brewery (Jess, me, Katie & Michelle)

Hanging out with some fun ladies at Sweetwater Brewery (Jess, me, Katie & Michelle)

Chris, Jack & Me

Chris, Jack & Me

So that’s been the last couple of weeks.

We’ve had a great time catching up & spending time with family & friends. The next couple of weeks are going to be just as busy, but this time of year is the best so we’re looking forward to it!

xoxo

Ash