Saturday, March 31, 2012

for your viewing pleasure

it is an annual event around here, and this year, it happened SO much earlier than normal!

our daffodil pictures, which we had to do the last week of february this year. crazy, i know! the week after we did valentine's day pictures, we were out at the daffodil field on a 70 degree afternoon. with all of our traveling, i didn't get back out there until two weeks ago (middle of march) and the daffodils were almost gone. but as always, they were worth it. and because we did a mid-week evening, we didn't have too many people in the background to work around!
i couldn't pass up this turquoise and plaid outfit from kohl's. love my boy in bright, blue colors!
he was so much happier than last year's photos :) i'll have to add one at the bottom just to remind you of how much he's grown in a year! (and can we say bokeh? i'm such a fan of those blurry backgrounds and my 35 mm portrait lens)
as much as he looks like a little boy, he still has that pudgy belly...
and of course, in to everything. had to touch the daffodils as he was roaming about.
this picture has been my lock screen picture on my phone for at least a month. that pose--i couldn't get him to do it again if i tried a hundred times. but he threw his hands up in the air in excitement, and then brought them back down to his cheeks. and click--we have the cutest photo ever.
and just a reminder of how much he's changed, here's last year's daffodil photo....blowing raspberries and barely able to sit up :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

on the road again...

as i mentioned in my last post, we have been traveling a ton through the end of february and first couple of weekends in march. this boy got very comfortable in his car seat...

but it was so worth it! we got to see lots of friends and family and experience some cool things. davis is finally to the age where he can appreciate some of the kids activities out there, so we make it worth our while when we travel to expose him to all that life has to offer :)

we traveled to raleigh a couple of times, one time meeting up with my friend ashley and her daughter cameron. ashley and i went to college together and cameron and davis are about 10 weeks apart. we met at moe's for lunch and then went for a walk around one of the greenways nearby. here they are getting ready to head out on the walk.
it was a two mile loop around a lake, and we had to stop and check out the ducks at one point. 

ashley and i loved talking as we walked and got all caught up. we found a grassy spot at the end of the walk to let the kiddos run around and burn off some energy (before i had to put davis back in the carseat for the ride home.) davis was determined to push his stroller around or climb in the bottom rack of cameron's stroller. 
i am so grateful for friends that you can easily pick up with, even if it's been months since you've seen each other! we hope to arrange more play dates in the future for these two (and the mommies!)

another weekend we were back in raleigh again, this time to meet up with my aunts and cousins. we met at the park close to brier creek elementary, which was just perfect for davis.  it had a huge soccer field to run on, as well as a cute play set that was very toddler friendly. we had planned on going out to lunch afterward, but it was such a gorgeous day that we ended up staying there and just brought in pizza to eat at the picnic tables. so much fun!
cousin maria showing him how it's done on the soccer field...
exploring the train playset....

he was a happy boy!
i love this smile of his. so genuine and content.
playing with aunt nancy. she's always happy to get some one-on-one time with davis, and we had a great time catching up with them as well. we walked around the park for a while after lunch, and davis ended up falling asleep in his stroller. we hoped we could make the transition back to the carseat without him waking up, but no luck. he was awake for the whole trip we stopped at trader joe's and picked up a few things :)

AND THEN we did a weekend trip to fayetteville. we hadn't been there since Christmas, so we were due for a trip there. davis always does well there, and we spent that rainy saturday exploring the children's museum downtown, fascinate-u. he was a fan of the pretend trucks and ambulances that he could "drive"
every other weekend, they open the top floor of the building up for children and families to check out the local group that does model train set-ups. davis is all about things that go--boats, trucks, buses, and now trains--so he was in his element. if only he could touch them!
he wasn't the only little one that was enthralled...
they had a thomas train that was featured on one of the sets. we haven't watched a whole lot of thomas (we get more exposure to "chuggington" on disney jr.) but he was the obvious star for other children. 

our last major trip was the big one--we had been planning for a while to do a trip up to asheville to visit justin's sister, heather, who moved up there about a year or two ago. we worked out a weekend where we were hoping we might get to see justin's dad and stepmom as well, but they weren't able to make it. so justin's mom came with us, which was a huge help for watching davis, and we all enjoyed getting to spend some time together in the mountains. 
 we drove across the state on thursday night--a 5 1/2 hour drive, which actually went smoothly all things considered. davis fell asleep for the last two hours or so of it, and then he was wide awake when we got there around 10:45 and checked into our hotel around 11. we let him stay up as we unpacked the car and got ready for bed, and then we all went to sleep around 11:45. the joys of sharing a room with your toddler :)

the next day, we spent time with heather and when davis went down for his nap, justin, heather and i headed out to explore some of the downtown shops in asheville. such a neat place! they have a couple of truffle/chocolate shops that are just AMAZING, and we also enjoyed a tea and spices shop, as well as a gourmet potato chip place. 
we headed back out in the afternoon to explore biltmore village, the shops and restaurants just outside of the biltmore house, and that included a quick peek inside the "grand bohemian hotel." gorgeous lobby, but definitely not kid friendly! 

we finished the night at heather's apartment, helping her carb-load for her trail run race the next morning. thankfully, davis went to sleep easily back at the hotel and didn't mind us having the TV on in the background once he was out. 

the next morning, we loaded up the car and headed into the pisgah national forest to meet heather at the end of her 8k trail run. she ended up placing in the top 3 of her age group, which was awesome! we drove further into the forest and stopped to do a quick 2 mile hike. justin and i had borrowed a backpack carrier from our friends brent and emelie, and davis seemed pretty happy in it. we found out later that we could have raised him up a little bit, but he did fine nonetheless. 

here we are mid-hike. note that the sweatshirt was off at that point--it got warm once we got moving! and carrying an extra 25 pounds on your back will do that, too :) pepper's in the foreground--she made this trip with us, too (though she stayed at heather's apartment rather than with us at the hotel.) 

the end result of the hike--a beautiful waterfall! i forget which one this is...but it was worth the trek!

then we stopped at a great picnic area for lunch and to let davis run around. it was the most gorgeous day, and we probably stayed here about an hour and a half, just enjoying the mountain air and sunshine!
me and davis playing in the field by the picnic tables
that weekend, he started doing his "thoughtful old man" walk--clutching his hands behind his back as he moseyed around. cute, but impractical for catching yourself before you fall!
the mountains were definitely agreeing with him!
we finished out the day with a quick drive on the blue ridge parkway, stopping at some of the overlooks for pictures. 

here's one of the collages i made for the hike with diptec and instagram. again, i am an instagram fanatic and post most of those pictures to my twitter account. though i don't tweet much else, it's a good way of keeping up with us if you're on twitter :) as you can see, davis conked out at the end of the trip and slept for a couple of hours as we drove back to asheville (and once we got there--we had to take turns sitting with him in the car until he woke up.)

debbie and heather promised us a night out on saturday night, so we left davis at heather's place and drove into town for dinner. i loved capturing the sunset over the mountains from the top of our parking garage...
 and you could just see a sliver of mountain range on the other side in between the buildings.
we had delicious mexican food that night and walked all around downtown asheville, getting a drink here or there and browsing some of the fun shops. asheville definitely has its quirks, with many "characters" out and about--but it's so fun and has a great appreciation for good food and drinks.

the next morning, we were dealing with the change in daylight savings, but still made it up in time to check out of the hotel and get brunch at tupelo honey, a well-known brunch spot in asheville. i had the best sweet potato pancake with toasted pecans and cinnamon... mmm... and after stuffing ourselves, we were back on the road. davis slept for a couple of hours in the car, waking up just as we were approaching durham and the streets at southpoint mall. i remembered seeing a toddler play area in there before, so we stopped for a late lunch and let him run around for a while before doing the last hour and a half or so home. (notice a theme here? travel with a toddler, be prepared to stop and let him run around.)

and then we've been home for the past two weekends. and it's been FABULOUS. as much as we love traveling, we needed some time at home to catch up! we're already starting to plan our next trips for late spring/early summer... can't wait to see where life takes us :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

where i've been

i don't have any awesome excuses about why i took a month (plus) hiatus from blogging. i mean, i guess it's the middle of the semester and life on campus has gotten a little hectic.
we were on the road for about four of the last five or six weekends, and when that happens, it feels like it takes forever to get caught up on chores at home.
photo season is in full swing, which means evenings get spent editing and burning cds. plus i'm finishing up the custom letter sets from jonah's auction, and that has taken a good deal of my time for the last week or so. and i'm less than a month away from running my first 5k, so getting in those runs is becoming more and more important. 

but mainly, i guess it's the feeling of falling a week behind, then two weeks, then a month, then it's like, "oh crap, how do i even get caught up on everything we've done over the past six weeks?"

so i won't  blog about it all of it, but i'll try to get caught up with some fun stories of our adventures as a little family and the wonderful trips we've taken across the state to see the people that we love.

and next time, i'll try to be a little more consistent. thanks for sticking around :)