Jersey Shore

We’ve been home from the beach & back at work for 2 weeks. Needless to say, we’ve been pretty busy since we’ve been home so enjoy this tardy recap of our vacation.

Most of our trip was similar to last year, so check there for any missing details 🙂

We packed up our new mini-van & hit the road around 6:00 am, the morning before we were planning to arrive on the beach. We wanted to take our time to get up there and enjoy the trip. By the way–having a mini-van is AWESOME for traveling.

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Van packed & ready to go @ 6:00 am

Since we had some extra time built into the trip, we were able to make plenty of stops. This kept Elodie & a 30-week pregger momma very happy 🙂

One stop was a drive-through zoo/safari somewhere along I-81 in VA. We bought a bucket of food, and drove around to see & feed animals. I didn’t love the animals coming right up to our car, but Elodie & Chris were having fun.. so that’s all that matters.

Stop in VA to feed some animals

Stop in VA to feed some animals

After our first long day of driving, we stopped  somewhere in Delaware for the evening. There’s a ferry that you can drive onto and it takes you from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ–Cape May, NJ is only about 20 minutes from our final destination in Stone Harbor, NJ. This saved us from having to drive too much the next day, and we thought it’d be a fun experience for Elodie.

DE-NJ Ferry

Driving our van onto the DE-NJ Ferry

On the Ferry

On the Ferry

I got a little sea-sick on the ferry, but Elodie enjoyed running around with Chris and looking for dolphins. We didn’t take it on the way home, but it was a fun thing to do once.

After the ferry docked, we had a short drive to meet up with our family and begin our lovely beach vacation.

Ahhh, finally at the beach

Ahhh, finally at the beach

The rest of the week consisted of beach, beach, seafood, ice cream, family, zoo, shopping & some more beach. Similarly to last year, the week were there happens to be around July 25, which is Christmas in July. Santa can be found all over town all week. This was an added bonus to our trip because we ran into him all over town. Between this & getting ice cream every night, Elodie was in heaven.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was AWESOME for Elodie.

Our lovely set-up. This tent was perfect for Elodie’s afternoon naps.

The biggest difference from last year & this year, aside from my giant belly, was Elodie is a whole year older. What a difference a year makes! Last year she was drinking bottles, wearing diapers, and was only a year and a half.

Trying to make our lives a little easier, since we knew we weren’t going to have to be running back & forth for bottles and diaper changes, we purchased this tent in hopes that Elodie could just take her afternoon naps right on the beach. It worked like a charm. She loved it and loved napping in it. We loved it because we could lounge around on the beach all day and not have to worry about messing Elodie’s schedule up. Best investment for kiddos ever. I STRONGLY recommend getting one if you’re planning a long beach vacay.

Elode + Grandma

Elode + Grandma

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

Our nightly trip to the ice cream place

❤ (30-week baby bump)

She loved digging in the sand

She loved digging in the sand

Santa!

Santa!

On one of the cloudier days, we took a day off from the beach to enjoy the (free!!) zoo. Elodie enjoyed the drive-through safari thing so much, we knew we had to take a day to visit the zoo. She is kind of obsessed with animals and had a blast.

Our day @ the zoo

Our day @ the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo

Daddy + Elodie at the zoo–don’t let her grumpy face fool you, she was having fun

As usual, vacation weeks always go by way too quickly, so we had to soak up every last ounce of sunshine and family time on our last day.

Enjoying the final day

Enjoying the final day

Family enjoying our last day

Family enjoying our last day

Another shot of that baby bump

Another shot of that baby bump

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Chris + Grandma + Elodie

Thanks everyone for a great week! Looking forward to having our new addition with us next year!

xoxo

Ash

More Summer Things

Here’s more of what we’ve been up to this summer.

After nearly 3 years of being married, Chris and I finally updated our bedroom furniture. We bought all new furniture including a king-sized bed, 2 night stands, a dresser/mirror & entertainment stand and a new mattress & bedding. We are loving it so far. I wish I was sleeping better, but at nearly 7 months preggo, this baby is already making me too uncomfortable to really enjoy it. Maybe one day 😉

The good news is, now that we have new bedroom furniture, our old stuff is in our guest room & ready for guests! If you haven’t come to visit us yet and see our new house, now is the time! You have a room to yourself!

New Bedding

New Bedding

Speaking of being nearly 7 months preggo, a few weeks ago I entered my third trimester. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to get much bigger than I am in this picture, but unfortunately it’s going to happen. I do not remember feeling this huge with Elodie, but the doc says he’s measuring right on time. Here’s to another 2 1/2 months of waiting!

3rd Trimester!

3rd Trimester!

While we wait for the baby boy, we finally got around to furnishing his nursery. I’m pretty sure that by the time I was 7 months with Elodie we had nearly everything done… but I guess that’s the joys of being be the oldest child.

We bought a dresser and crib and I think we decided on bedding, which we still need to order. Once we get the bedding, we can paint & etc. At least this is a start..

Baby boy crib

Baby boy crib

Baby Boy Dresser

Baby Boy Dresser

Elodie is beyond excited to meet her brother. Every day she tells me “I want my baby brother to come out now. I miss him.” I tell her that I feel the same way but he needs to get a little bigger & stronger before he can come out and meet us. She loves him so much already. She’s such a sweet baby girl.

2 going on 13

2 going on 13

I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this or not, but my sister, brother-in-law and nephew moved down here this summer from Nashville. They are both teachers and were able to get jobs in Chris’s school district. They stayed with us temporarily while they found a place to live & we enjoyed having a house full of family.

Hanging with Family

Hanging with Family

Josiah

Josiah

My mom also recently moved a little closer to our new house & now we’re all within 20-25 min of each other. It’ll be really nice to have everyone so close when the new baby arrives.

Seeing Monsters University--first movie in the movie theater

Seeing Monsters University–first movie in the movie theater

We took Elodie to see her first movie in the movie theater. We saw Monster’s University. Elodie loves Monster’s Inc., so we were really excited to take her to see the second one. She’s 2 and a half, and obviously didn’t sit through the whole thing, but she did have fun and enjoyed her popcorn. She was really well behaved and just jumped around from my lap, to Chris’s lap, to her seat & jumped around some more in between. I even took her to see Despicable Me 2 a few days ago by myself & she did even better! What a fun new phase in her life.

I can’t even express how thankful I am to have this summer to spend with Elodie, just the three of us, before our new addition arrives. We need to be sure to set aside Elodie time, without the baby.

Hubs Pre-Peachtree

Hubs Pre-Peachtree

Just like last year on July 4th, Chris ran the Peachtree Road Race again. I wished I would have been able to, but it didn’t seem too appealing being pregnant & all. I did sign up for it, but ended up transferring my number to someone else. The weather forecast was less than favorable, so Elodie and I didn’t go cheer everyone on, but Chris said the rain held off for the majority of the race. He pulled a muscle in his calf while he was running, and is still somewhat recovering. I guess it was a pretty eventful day. I hope to be back out there next year! I’ve been anxiously awaiting being able to start running again.

After the race, we spent some time celebrating the 4th with some good friends. Our friends Jessie & Ben live right in downtown Atlanta and their building has a perfect rooftop view of the Centennial Park fireworks–some of the only fireworks that didn’t cancel because of the weather.

July 4th Celebrations

July 4th Celebrations

Elodie loved watching the fireworks, so it ended up being a great evening.

We only have 2 1/2 weeks left of summer before we go back to school. During these remaining days we will celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary, make a trip up to the beach with Chris’s family, and Chris will finish up his summer semester of grad school. We’re staying busy, but we’ve been enjoying ourselves.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

xoxo

Ash

Summer Things

Even though we’ve only been out of school for a week, summer is in full swing here in the Watson household. We want to enjoy as much time together as possible before Chris starts his summer semester of classes & is in class 4 days/week. Ugh.

I snuck away for the weekend for a girls weekend beach trip while Chris and Elodie spent some quality time together.

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When I came home, the summer fun continued!

We went strawberry picking at a local Strawberry Farm. The weather has been crazy, so the strawberry season has been extended into the summer months. We weren’t complaining because we haven’t been able to fit it into our schedule this season.

Finding the best spot to pick

Finding the best spot to pick

Last time we did this was last April (2012). Elodie was 1 + a few months, and while she enjoyed picking (eating) the berries then, she LOVED it this year. She had her own little basket & she went to town. We told her to make sure she got the berries that were red all the way around, not green, and she kept saying that over and over while she picked. “Green berries make my tummy yucky. Red berries make my tummy feel good.”

So cute.

Elodie starting to pick

Elodie starting to pick

Elodie + Gigi

Elodie + Gigi

Family Picture

Family Picture

Elodie + Gigi

Elodie + Gigi

Once we got home from picking, the weather was starting to heat up. We have yet to utilize our lovely pool that comes with our HOA fees, and we decided to cool off by finally checking out the pool.

We rarely took Elodie to the pool last summer, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We bought her a little Puddle Jumper vest to wear in the pool over her bathing suit. It was perfect for her.

Our lovely pool

Our lovely pool

Chris and I were a bit cautious with her at first. She slowly started jumping in, climbing out by the stairs, running around to the side & jumping in again all on her own. She and Chris would swim around the pool and she would start all over again. She was having a BLAST!

Elodie and Daddy, swimming around

Elodie and Daddy, swimming around

Our pool also has this mushroom thing that sprays out water, meant for little kiddos. I thought Elodie would love this more than anything else, but she wasn’t that into it.

Pool

Since I’ll probably the one who takes her to the pool most often when Chris is in school, I’m glad the vest worked well & that she is pretty comfortable swimming around in the “big” pool.  I certainly can’t run around after her too much at 6-7 months pregnant, like I will be this summer. Staying cool in the pool while she can do her own thing will be fun for both of us!

Needless to say, this day wore Elodie out so we made some yummy strawberry jelly & pie from our goodies at the strawberry farm while she napped! It was a fun summer day! I look forward to many more this summer.

Hope you’re enjoying this warm weather.

xoxo

Ash

Lately: iPhone Photos

Here’s what we’ve been up to since coming home from our vacation.

I made 2 skirts using this tutorial. They were so easy & I made both skirts in less than 2 hours for about $10 each.

Shorter skirt #1

Longer skirt #2

Both skirts

Chris went back to work Wednesday, so I kept Elodie home with me one last day before we thought we needed to send her to her babysitters & get back in the groove. We had a fun day together.

Our usual hang out spot: the park

Elodie “taking a picture” of herself & saying ‘cheeese’

Being a little goof

When we sent Elodie back to her babysitters, I spent my last couple of days off getting a long a workout in, cleaning the house, running some errands and hanging out with my BFF for lunch and some shopping.

What I was planning on being a 3 mile run, turned into a 6.5 mile run/hike/walk because the trail I chose went on much longer than I was anticipating.. and then I had to turn around.

Elodie cuddling with mama after her first day back at her babysitters. We missed each other.

We spent some time with my mom. Chris and I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises (which was AMAZING, by the way–I was really skeptical & didn’t want to see it), while Elodie hung out with her Gigi.

My mom gave Elodie an empty make-up container & she loved “putting” make-up all over her face. Diva girl 🙂

Finally, this weekend we ran some last-minute errands as we prepare for our students to come back to school. I go back this week, FULL TIME, by the way (as opposed to my half-time status last year). Elodie and I had some fun this afternoon before my schedule goes crazy like daddy’s.

Master bowler

This was our delicious dinner tonight. Check back on Foody Friday for the recipe.

Summer is officially over for us! I can promise that our blog will not be updated nearly as often as it has been this summer. I’ll try and keep some updates going on a regular-once-a-week basis, but we’ll see. I love back to school time & I’m super excited to get back in my room & plan for my students. Brand new curriculum for both Chris and I this year, so it should be interesting.

xoxo

Ash

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 3–The Beach!

In case you missed this preview, we spent a week in Stone Harbor, New Jersey at the beach–this was the final destination of our summer road trip (check out part 1 and part 2).

Chris’ parents and one of his aunts & uncles rented a house a block away from the beach, as they do every year. Unfortunately, for the last several years, our school schedules interfered with the week of the trip.. until this year! Chris had been working hard during his first semester of grad school (which, by the way, he made all a’s this summer!) and I was home with Elodie for the majority of the summer–we were both SO ready for a vacation at the beach. Beach vacation meant golfing with family for Chris & getting a tan & reading for momma. What more could you want?

Beach House

A block away from the beach

Most days, we took Elodie down to the beach in the morning, then back to the house for lunch & a nap, and we hung out around the house in the afternoons. Mommy, daddy, grandma & grandpa all took turns watching her so everyone got to enjoy a little bit of what they wanted to.

All dressed in her beach gear

Enjoying a snack

Watson’s

Elodie + Grandma

She LOVED the water

Elodie in a baby pool we brought with us to keep her occupied

Flying a Kite

Spending the afternoons recovering from the beach by reading the paper

We were not only accompanied by Chris’ parents and one of his aunts & uncles, but 4 of his (adult) cousins as well. His cousins were there sporadically throughout the week, so we were glad we were able to see all 4 of them! We even managed to sneak away a couple of nights and hang out with them sans baby!

All the “kids”

Michelle + Jack, the newly weds!

Our beach set-up + spread out family

In addition to beach time, most nights we would walk to the downtown area where we did a lot of shopping and ice cream eating with the family.

Christmas in July @ the ice cream joint

Going on a walk

With Elodie in tow, we couldn’t have exiting outings every night, so there was even a little bit of the south brought up to New Jersey via low country boil one night.

Low Country Boil

One evening, Chris, his cousin Brandon and I made sure we went out to Atlantic City to try our hand at some gambling.

Caesar’s Palace + Trump Plaza in the background

Chris had been to Las Vegas before, but Brandon and I were definitely amateurs. We played blackjack with Chris for a while, but spent most of our time at the slots. Between Chris and I we ended up leaving with about $10 more than we started with! Not too bad, especially for my first time.

Our biggest win: put $5 in a slot machine and won this!

Unfortunately, our week had to come to an end & we headed home. It was a great vacation & we’re so thankful to have such a wonderful family to spend our vacation with. Thanks for everything, guys! We love ya & miss everyone already! It weeks like this that make us bummed that we live so far away from everyone.

Chris and I being lame before we left

We really hope to be able to join his family for future beach trips.

xoxo

Ash

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 2–New York

We’re back from our summer vacation! We are resting & getting ready to go back to work in a couple of days.

Now that I have more time on my hands, here’s part 2 of our summer vacation: spending a few days in NY with Chris’s family before we all headed to the beach. If you missed it, here’s part 1 in Nashville.

While we were in NY, we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary by going out to get hibachi, went to the not-so-awesome Binghamton Zoo, did a bit of shopping, and spent some family time with Elodie’s cousins.

Celebrating Anniversary

Shopping with Grandma

Riding the carousel at the Zoo

Riding with Grandma

Petting the Goats

Pretty smudged butterfly

Grandpa’s Little Girl

She insists on pushing her stroller all the time

Looking at animals with Grandma

Grandma playing with her baby girls

Ball pit

More Ball Pit Fun

We had a fun couple of days in NY, but check back soon the the final (& best) post about our summer trip: the beach!

xoxo

Ash

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Stone Harbor, New Jersey

We’re still away enjoying family & some sun! Here’s what our view looks like most days. That little pool is for Elodie, to keep her cool & preoccupied. The weather has been beautiful, the water chilly, the seafood delicious & the family time priceless. Be back in a few days with some longer updates!

Summer Road Trippin’: Part 1–Nashville

On our summer road trip up north, we left ATL on Monday afternoon to head to Nasvhille, TN to spend some time with my sister & her family. We were only in Nashville for 24 hours, but those 24 hours were jam-packed with fun! Here are some snapshots of our time in Nashville.

Tuesday was mine & Chris’ 2-year wedding anniversary, so we had a fun day celebrating our anniversary in Nashville.

Elodie reading + laptop for movies + Chris doing most of the drving = our road trippin’ set up

Once we got to Nashville, we unpacked and headed to the Adventure Science Center for some afternoon fun. This place was awesome! If you’re ever in Nashville with some kiddos, check this place out!

Adventure Science Center

Elodie playing with boats

Playing hockey with the guys

Tall Watson’s

Strong man Raef, lifting up a car!

Elodie checking out the fake body

Me and Elodie in front of the Earth

Elodie and Daddy in front of the dinos

Elodie at the top of the Science Center–check out that view behind her

The next day, unfortunately my sister had to work, so we spent the day with Raef & JoJo. We went to a local park and visited the Parthenon. Since it was also our anniversary, the day was extra special!

Me sitting on the floor with the guys in the front seat & the babies in the back in their carseats. We need a minivan!

Parking it up

Momma and Elodie conquered the rock wall

The Parthenon

The Watson’s at the Parthenon

GIANT Athena Statue

Raef showing the thickness of the several ton door

Then, we got lunch before we headed out of town.

Baby lovin’ at lunch

The Original Oscar the Grouch–only in Nashville

We hit the road that afternoon and drove until we got hungry/sleepy. We did manage to stop in Louisville, KY for a romantic anniversary dinner & some play time for Elodie.

Elodie going for a ride

We had a great 24 hours in Nashville! Thanks for the hospitality, Williams Family! Love ya and hope to see more of you next time!

I’ll be back sometime to update more of our summer trip.

In the meantime, we’re heading to the beach in the morning. Ready to get our fist pumping-Jersey Shoring on!
xoxo

Ash

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Our 2 year anniversary

While on our road trip from GA to Nashville, TN to NY, we stopped in Louisville, KY at a McCalister’s Deli for our romantic anniversary dinner. Hopefully we’ll do something a little fancier when we get to our destination! 🙂 Love ya, hubs! Happy anniversary!!