Friday, December 30, 2011


We have a lot to catch up on! We're back from two weeks of Christmas celebrations, which started with Molly's last day of preschool for 2011 and the Christmas party at her school. Santa doesn't appear too interested in Molly's Christmas list!

We spent the first week of Christmas break in Charlotte before heading to Chicago, and Chris and the kids went with me to interview the owners of the animals that participate in live nativity scenes around Charlotte. 
We celebrated an early Christmas morning at our house and opened gifts from my parents and from us.

Then we had Christmas morning with Chris' family. Missy and Tyler graciously hosted us for a whole week!

 Josh and Molly goofing off at a post-Christmas family party in Chicago
Rhys, Ethan, Molly, Josh and some of their cousins

 We spent one day at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Yesterday Chris, Rob and I took Molly, Ethan and Josh on the commuter train into downtown Chicago. We planned to take the elevator to the top of the Sears (now Willis) Tower, but a huge line and $17/per person fee made us change our minds. We went for ice cream instead.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Parent Observations

Last week was parent observation week for Molly's dance and gymnastics classes, so I joined the parent paparazzi and cringed as Molly received presents and medals for... attending class. So much for the good old days when you actually had to win something to get a prize!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dave's Wedding

Our good friend Dave, who we first met in Wilmington and who now lives in Charlotte, got married in early December, and as you can see the kids had a great time playing on our phones while we enjoyed catching up with old friends. I first met Dave in the late 90s, and we have enjoyed reconnecting with him in Charlotte. Molly is especially fond of Dave!

 We first met Dave's wife, Roseann, at dinner a few months ago, and we love her!

We were so happy to see Karen and her husband Dean at the wedding -- longtime Wilmington friends who got married last year. It was an unexpected reunion with some great friends, some of whom had never met Molly and hadn't seen Josh since he was three months old.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lukewarm Santa

After such a wonderful Santa experience last year, I took the kids back to the children's library last week in hopes of a repeat visit. Unfortunately, the kindly Santa has been replaced with the unsmiling Santa. While not the best for pictures, at least he didn't telling us we were traumatizing him.

No hope of getting all four kids to look at the camera at the same time


We spent most of Thanksgiving week in Florida again this year, starting with a few days at the farm in the Florida panhandle. The weather was great, and the kids were somewhat cooperative for pictures before leaving for Thanksgiving brunch in Panama City Beach. We are happy to report that Molly did not fall into the decorative pond at the hotel this year.

Chris and I took Josh, Molly, Abbey and Elizabeth for a walk/run on the pier after brunch, and one man, who thought all of the kids were mine, offered to buy me a drink out of pity!

 Mom, Dad and Emily

Mom pushing the kids on the porch swing at the farm. Dad bought a fire pit this year, so we all spent two nights roasting marshmallows and hotdogs over it and looking at the stars. Too bad we didn't think of this years ago!

We went back to Gainesville on Friday, and that night we went to a Florida basketball game, which Josh thoroughly enjoyed. The Gators won by over 50 points, so Josh was thrilled. He was not so happy the next night when he attended the Florida-Florida State football game, where Chris said Josh was in tears because Florida lost. I don't think he was the only member of my family who wanted to cry that night!