Sunday, December 27, 2009
Gosh….finally an update. The season seemed to fly in quickly! Christmas was lovely. All four girls and their spouses/boyfriends were all here. Didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked, but will share a few.
I loved this Fisher Price Nativity set. It is adorable and was well received.
The entire family will be traveling this weekend for the wedding of Bob’s daughter, Catherine. She and her fiancée, Trone will be getting married at Kanuga, which is a conference center in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
(disclaimer: I did not take the above 2 photographs. They were taken by Josh Malahy
I hope that I will be able to take some really great photos while there and we are so excited to celebrate with them!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We were off to the IMAX to see Polar Express (in 3-D). As we rounded the corner in the car we were met with school busses. LOTS of school busses. We already had our tickets so we parked and trudge ahead, wondering what this would be like. The IMAX had us sit on the top row BEHIND all the elementary kids. Thank you IMAX! From the beginning of the movie, Mady was mesmerized. She tried to wear her 3-D glasses, but they were much too big and kept falling down. She was able to see some of the 3-D action. She only got fidgety around the last 2-3 minutes. What a great movie! We will definitely visit again. We were off to Taco Mamacita for lunch. After we ate, we revisited the days events. Wow Mady, you have had a BIG day. You tinkled in the potty and you sat through a whole big girl movie. (clap, clap, clap) Then Mady followed with a Thank you, Thank you, Thank you while nodding her head. It was as if she were accepting an Emmy! Too funny!
Friday, December 11, 2009
We approached Santa cautiously (outside the fenced-in area). There weren’t any children around and Santa was conversing with another adult. Mady was pretty excited and said uppee (up-please in Mady language). I picked her up and the entire look on her face changed. I saw that bottom lip turn down and poke out. Before the big tears began to roll our conversation started:
Lulu: now don’t cry...just look at that Santa. Tell me what he has on...what do you see?
Mady: [reluctantly] a red hat
Lulu: yep, and what else?
Mady: a beard
Lulu: what does he have on his feet?
Mady: [looking him up and down] black boots
At this point the Santa looked over waved his hand and said, HI. Mady wove back and said loudly HI. The conversation continues:
Lulu: See, he is so friendly and sweet. Would you like to go over there and see him?
Mady: [emphatically] NO
Lulu: That’s okay, we don’t have to. You know, we could just stand right there [pointing to inside the fenced area] and I could hold you. You don’t have to sit on his lap, I'll just hold you and you can say hi to him.
Mady: [thoughtful pause] no
Again, Santa looked over and said, hi there. Mady also said hi back to Santa, again without any hesitation. So, we talked a bit more about Santa, his outfit, his face, his chair.
Lulu: Are you sure you don’t want to just go stand over there? I promise I will hold you and you do not have to sit on his lap.
After about a 15 second pause to really consider the situation, eyes moving around, looking at that jolly man once again, she said with eyes big and a quick nodding and tilt of the head:
Go see doggies now! See Santa later.
So, she said her goodbye to Santa and we went to see the doggies.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Looks to be a cold and rainy day. Stayed in the hotel room for the morning the dashed off to lunch over on Sullivan’s Island at Jack’s Cosmic Dog! Mady had a plain dog, I had the Kypto Krout and sweet Bob had the Morph Slaw Dog and Planet Dog. After these yummielicious dogs we had some ice cream with chocolate syrup. It was delicious!
After lunch we paid a visit to Fort Moultrie.
We both (or rather the three of us) love to visit forts and this one is pretty cool. It is right across from Fort Sumter (it was too windy for a boat ride and visit to Ft. Sumter). There was a really cool room call the Red Room. I think it housed gunpowder, but I’m sure it wasn’t red back in civil war days.
Following a little rest time we watched the town Christmas tree lighting from our hotel window. They must have put on quite a production because we saw real camels being led in front of the people attending and that was following by Santa, himself. Once the crowd dispersed, we strolled out to look at the tree and then down to Hank’s Seafood Restaurant for dinner. I had the special fish dinner for the evening. When the fish arrived Mady asked what it was and I said, fish. With an inquisitive look she said, where’s it’s face? Hmmm. We strolled back to the room and settled in for the evening. No carriage rides this time around and it was much too cold/windy to view the Boat Parade. Maybe next year.
Friday, December 4, 2009
So a little of today's adventures in Charleston. Light breakfast at the hotel then off with child and stroller to ride the DASH Trolley around town. There are several stops along the roadways with signage indicating such. After waiting approximately 15-20 minutes as one such stop we saw it....the TROLLEY. Yay! Stroller folded. Child in hand....wait....where is it going? Yes, it passed us...didn't even look our way. Great.
Found a lady handing out parking tickets and thought, okay, she'll know why. She was flabbergasted. What do you mean they didn't stop? Well, try the next one and be more persistent. More persistent? Okay, well, what more can one do besides stand in the street with a stroller and a child! Onward. Next stop. Another 15 minute wait and here it comes....and yes....it is stopping! Nice clean trolley, unfriendly driver. So, out of 2 different trolley rides, we were the only passengers. Wonder why? Could it be the unfriendliness? Maybe. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt and think they were just having a bad day.
Overall though it was a great ride through the city and the little munchkin loved it. She even told the trolley thank you after it drove away. Lunch and nap back at the hotel. Great nap. We both fell asleep in minutes. After my sweet husband's conference ended we head to James Island for the 20th Annual Festival of Lights. What an awesome show (even in the light rain). It is a 3 mile drive-through of magical lights. Truly wonderful. I remember many years ago, Callaway Gardens Fantasy In Lights (which they still have) and it being amazing. I was so glad that we could share this with Mady. She loved it and oood and awwwd over all the different light sculptures. We were able to ride the small train through some of the exhibits as well. She keep saying, "Choo-choo-choo-choo." Lovely!
Dinner back at the hotel. Yummielicious! A bit of pork loin, grilled squash and this wonderful concocation of eggplant, goat cheese and tomato sauce on a light layer of puffed pastry. WOW! It was sooooo good. Piano player was offering tunes from the Beatles (at Mady's request) and she went with our server to tip the gentleman. So sweet.
Up to the room for some reading time then lights out. Tomorrow should bring a day of carriage rides, Ft. Sumter, Christmas tree lighting and the Christmas Parade of Boats along the Cooper River through Charleston Harbor. What fun!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
After a good 3 hour walk we pointed the car toward our final destination, Charleston. Lunch and quick car naps (for all but the driver - me) we arrived in Charleston at the Francis Marion Hotel. This hotel was built in 1924 and according to it's website was "meticulously restored in 1996 with a $12 million National Trust for Historic Preservation." It is beautiful hotel with a lovely Christmas tree in the lobby, but there are a few downsides. The rooms (at least ours) are rather on the small side and the bathroom, well, you just would not believe it. I'll let the pictures speak for me. Our room, on the 8th floor, overlooks Marion Park and in the distance the Atlantic Ocean and Arthur Ravenel Bridge. The moonrise was spectacular tonight (my photos don't do it justice).
After a quick bite to eat, at a location not worthy of mentioning, we are back in the room and looking forward to a wonderful day tomorrow. Cinderella is playing in the background as well as a guitar. Lights out soon!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
With today being Tuesday, I was keeping Mady for 1/2 day while her mama worked. Around 9ish I received my usual "I'm at work" phone call from my sweet husband. To my SHOCK and AMAZEMENT he informed me that our trip to Charleston, South Carolina, which I thought was next week, was TOMORROW. Oh my goodness, gracious! Well actually my words here, "Oh crap-ola!" I had to set the gears in motion fast for this one. Since Mady was making the journey with us, that meant extra preparations. So, washed her clothes while at her house then packed them. Called the vet to board the doggies, stopped the mail, paid a late traffic light violation (no details needed on this one) then started my packing list.
After my daughter arrived home, we decided to head out to lunch and Big Lots. Soup and sandwich at Paneras, which was yummielicious (my new made-up word). Found a great deal at Big Lots. We both saw this cute bookshelf that was in the shape of a doll house (similar to the one below).
I knew my daughter was on the lookout for a larger dollhouse for Mady and I thought that bookshelf would be the perfect dollhouse. You can add your own wallpaper, furniture and it would grow with her. Of course they were sold out so my daughter asked the worker if they would sell the floor model. He said, "Oh you don't want that. We put it together wrong." He told us were the mistakes were made but you couldn't see them. We said we wanted it anyway, so what would the discount be. After much thought and consideration he said $40. The original price was $60 (I have priced similar ones starting at $100 up to $400). WHAT A DEAL!!!! It is well made and cute and perfect. We were so excited we almost did the chest bump (well I would have but someone else would have been embarrassed). Got a few other things then headed home.
Brought Mady home with me. While she napped I caught up on email and sorted laundry. Once hubby arrived I headed to CVS for a few last minute things, picked up dinner then started the washing/packing process. One forgets what it's like to pack for little ones. Pretty easy to pack for 2 adults but add a little munchkin in the mix and you DOUBLE your time. She is so excited in her two year old way. She is excited about "hakin" (hiking).
We will head to Columbia, South Carolina tomorrow for an overnight stay then will visit Congaree National Park on Thursday. This is the most recently established National Park. What a gem this place is! It's like walking on the water through a swamp. Simply amazing. We will head to Charleston after our swamp visit. We will be staying at the Francis Marion Hotel. Plans are to visit Fort Sumter, view the annual holiday parade of boats and eat at Jack's Cosmic Dog (you really need to eat there) and who-knows-what-else!
Quick story from Big Lots. After getting the final okay on the dollhouse/bookshelf we browsed around then started to make our way back to the furniture section. My daughter said, "Okay, let's go find that old guy now." Once we arrived at the furniture section, old guy was helping another customer so we patiently waited. After about 5+ minutes sweet little Mady said, "Where is the old guy?" I laughed so hard! Then I watched the wonderful mother of Mady blush from the tip of her toes to the top of her head! My sweet little cupcake! She makes me laugh!
Looking forward to tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Yes, 39 days. A few weeks ago I received a several notifications for some online holiday classes. Two of the blogs I routinely visit by Kayla Aimee and Wilna are teaching a class called A DIY Holiday. They are offering new and beautiful, imaginative, artistic and inspiring projects to make every day for almost a month. Thus far we have instructions for a tutu, paper stars and a tree made from old books (very cool). These projects are beautiful and I look forward to finishing several (especially the stars). The other class I am taking is from Jessica Sprague and it is called Holidays in Hand. This is to be a great project to help tell the stories of holidays, past and present. We have just begun this series and I look forward to the daily emails with prompts for thought provoking holiday ideas. Over on Ali Edwards website we will be starting a December Daily soon. This will be an opportunity to record moments and events during the holiday season. All of these projects are related and I don’t know that I will actuallycomplete everything, but the goal is to reflect, observe, meditate and record as much a possible during this holiday season.
aving a two-year old granddaughter will no doubt transform this season into something childlike and amazing. Today we went to the mall for an hour or so and as with most retailers, Christmas decorations are already displayed (even Santa is at one of our local malls---hey, I think someone forgot to tell them they have to wait until the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING). Mady took notice of things being slightly different. While her mom was in customer service, I took Mady to the Christmas tree/decoration section. Her little eyes sparkled with delight. The beautiful white tree with the pink, lime green and turquoise ribbons (I’ll post a picture of this tree later) and the green fir tree with red and gold decorations. She carefully touched the branches and said in her little squeaky voice, “Peatee.” Then we looked at some holiday home decorations and she loved the snowman pillow shaped like a star.
I just feel it in my bones….this is going to be a great child-like Christmas. By the way, I can’t wait until this gift arrives!!
A Little People® Nativity Set by Fisher-Price. It is so adorable!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
All of the pictures were taken from inside the car!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Took a trip up to Jonesborough this weekend. Spent Saturday tooling around town, browsing a few of the craft/antique shops and definitely taking some pictures. Jonesborough is full of old homes, inns and churches. It amazes me how so many of these structures have survived.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I still have some tweeking, but overall I am please. Feel free to comment!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sometimes folks say....anything for a photograph. I do hope to return one day when there is a full moon to try to capture the moonbow. I must be absolutely amazing!
Following meditative time at the waterfall and surrounding area, we headed out toward our next destination - Blacksburg (home of Virginia Tech). Once again, we took the scenic route (US 25, US 58, and Virginia State Highway 61 - along with a few others). What a drive! Foliage was colorful and crisp, but still wet. Several of the pictures in the link were taken from the car. Even the two tunnel trips were photographed from the car.
You know, when you take the highways, state roads and back alley ways, you see a very different part of the country. You also see unique names of towns and local streets. We drove through Mossy Gap, Sally Gap, Snowflake, several other "gap" towns and "ville" towns. As we drove through Snowflake we noticed the street names were labels, Bobsled Drive, Icicle Drive, Blizzard Drive, Glacier Drive, Reindeer Drive, etc.....you get the jest of it. We drove through a town call Dot....yes.....Dot. Just zoom in on Google Map sometime, it is crazy what some towns are called!
Another unique feature to traveling the backroads are the church signs. Okay, so here are some of the sayings that we encountered:
1. Under the same management for 2,000 years.
2. Is that your final answer?
3. How would Jesus vote?
Interesting! We also drove by a church called Hanging Rock Community Church. I think I would have picked another name for that one!
Highlights for the day:
1. Breakfast with the critters.
2. Cumberland Falls
3. Driving through 2 tunnels.
4. Driving parallel to New River as we drove through Narrows, Virginia.
5. All the colors that are springing forth (even though its fall).
What's up tomorrow? We will head up Interstates 81 and 66 to D.C. Should be about a 5 hour drive. Looking forward to staying at the JW Marriott and seeing Reb and Josh!
Here is the LINK to the pictures from today!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Up early to deliver doggies to their hotel, remaining garbage to waste center (we always called it the dump) and Vandy vs Georgia tickets to son-in-law (which he much appreciated). After a quick run through Chick-fil-A (yum) we were on the road. Weather? You guessed it! Rain.
Took Highway 127 north (very scenic drive I must say) and cut over to journey through Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (located around Oneida, Tennessee). The area encompasses about 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau. It has miles of scenic gorges and natural/historic features. It truly is a beautiful area - even in the rain! We saw several wild turkeys and deer. The leaves are beginning to peak and the shades of yellow, orange and red were amazing.
Once through Big South Fork we head east/southeast to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This area is known as the "first gateway to the West." There was a great Visitor's Center which offered a road leading to the Pinnacle Overlook. Part of this gap is located in Virginia and part is in Kentucky. Not many folks visiting today. Hmmm......could it be the weather? Anyway, made it up to the overlook. Wow! Have a look at this at the following pictures. The first one is what we should have seen and the second one is what we actually saw. I know you can barely see anything but, that was our view. I found it rather humorous.
Onward we go. Headed west, then north for our final destination at Dupont Lodge located at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. The lodge overlooks the Cumberland River winding through the hillside. Cumberland Falls is known for its magical moonbow which is visible on a clear night under a full moon. There are only 2 known naturally occurring moonbows and one is right here. The full moon isn't until next week, so we will not be able to partake of this wonderful scene. Dinner was buffet style and we had some raccoon critters outside the dining room windows. They were probably about 2 feet away and paid no attention to the dining guests. They were quite adorable (will have to upload the camera phone picture later).
Highlights of the day:
Chick-fil-A breakfast (for me especially)
Winding backroads (with some interesing housing facilities)
Beautiful leaves beginning to peak
Wild turkey critters
East Rim view in Big South Fork
Sort of seeing the Cumberland Gap (through the fog)
Both visitor centers we visited
So, I am attaching a link (here) of the remaining pictures that I took today. Since our internet connection is a bit slow here at the lodge, I decided to link instead of posting a slideshow.
Tomorrow? Well, more rain is projected, but I will be up early to see if the sunrise will peek through the clouds and then we will attempt to trek out to Cumberland Falls. Will then make our way to Blacksburg, Virginia for the second night and reach Washington D.C. on Friday. So, tomorrow holds another grand adventure for Lulu and Bob! Enjoy the pictures (see link above).
Monday, September 7, 2009
One of the many blogs (this blog) that I follow posed a simple question to readers...."What little things make you happy?" That really sent my thought process into overdrive. At the end of the day, when you play back your events of the day, what made you happy? What made you smile or laugh?
When I think back to my early years, I believe I have somewhat always noticed certain "little things." Little things that make me smile. One that comes to mind, in which my daughters can attest to, is what I call "birds on a wire." When you are driving down the road or stopped at a traffic light, take a moment to look up at the telephone/cable wires around you. See the birds? Notice how most of the time they are also spaced equally apart. Pretty amazing I think and this makes me smile.
Clouds. Clouds also make me happy. Always changing. Sometimes fluffy, sometime dark and looming. Little clouds, big clouds. Never ending clouds. I have talked about clouds so much over the past 5 or so years, my older daughter now takes pictures of them with her cell phone!
Here is a list of some of the little things that made me happy today (in no particular order):
waking up to the little voice and pacy smile of Mady
early morning sunshine on the porch
my cell phone ringing and seeing it's my college daughter
the sound of Mady singing Rock-A-Bye-Baby to her little rock
the smell grills cooking BBQ at the park
the quiet and darkness in the house right before the storm hit then the afternoon sun that followed
hearing my husband play the guitar while I blog
my cozy bed, all messed up and waiting for its nightly inhabitants (us)
Now, maybe today or tomorrow, before you lay your head down on your pillow, think about the little things that make you happy. Then, smile. It really is the little things!