Wednesday, June 29, 2011

David Gray

If you ever get the chance to see David Gray in concert, GO! I went last night with some girlfriends and it was awesome! And, he's quite the hottie too, which was an added bonus. He's an extremely talented musician and never stopped the entire show/concert. He would go straight from the piano back to the guitar and all of his back up musicians were equally talented. I'm always impressed with people that can play an instrument of any type. I don't even think I could play a recorder if I tried. His opening act was a little strange to say the least. We called her "Phoebe Von Trap" because she reminded us of Phoebe from Friends and she was dressed like she belonged to the Von Trap family. She was pretty funny and her music was unlike anything I had ever heard. We only caught the tail end of her performance. It was such a fun night and hopefully another concert is in the near future.

As a side note to my previous post, yes, David was out drinking beer with his friends last Saturday afternoon. But he had good reason. He was partaking in a cooking class that we got for him as part of his Father's Day gift. Yes, he made me write this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pool Time


We've been spending lots of time at the pool lately. Due to Ella's camp at her preschool for the past 2 weeks, our time there has been limited to the weekends, but now that it's over, we'll be making more trips during the week. In all our previous trips, there has always been another adult with me, whether it was David, grandparents, or one of Ella's neighborhood friends and her mom. The more eyes at the pool the better. I knew the day would come when it would just be me and the girls at the pool. That day was Saturday and I have to admit, it was not as crazy as I thought it would be. Prior to this trip, when I would talk with David about taking both girls to the pool, he would say "what's the big deal?" or "you just make it work". I then asked him what it was like to have the luxury of being the "laid back parent" since it's easy to talk the talk.

So, to sum it up, I was really nervous about taking both of them by myself on Saturday while David went and drank beer with his friends. But, it could not have been a better experience and both girls were angels and we all had a great time. And it went so well, that I took them again today by myself. It's so fun! But, I could not do this without some props. We bought Ella a life jacket that is awesome. Luckily, she loves to wear it and she knows she can't go in without it. She steps into it and off she goes. Finley has a float with a shade that she loves too. She's good in there for about 45 minutes or so and then she wants out. She does great when I hold her and she loves to splash and kick around. So, I at least feel like I have control over things and not have a panic attack every 3 seconds.

Here is a picture of Ella in her life jacket. It's amazing and makes life so easy!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Father's Day

We had a great Father's Day and had the pleasure of having DeeDee and Gaga (Ella for Granddad) spend the weekend with us. They were in Florida for a meeting last week and extended their travels to stay with us for a few days. David and I had a birthday party (Happy 30th Birthday Kasey!) on Friday night so Deedee and Gaga were happy to watch the girls for us. And Ella and Finley were excited to stop hearing the word "no" now that mom and dad, really just me though, were out of sight. We spent Saturday morning and early afternoon at the pool with the girls. Finley had her music class with Daddy and Gaga and she loved it. They came to the pool once it was over and poor thing was so tired when she got there that she promptly fell asleep in her stroller. We just had an easy afternoon and evening and made a delish dinner of fish with a cherry salsa. It sounds strange, but it was so yummy! We all went to church Sunday morning and then went to Horseradish Grill, one of our favorites, for brunch. It did not disappoint.

It was a great day and we are truly blessed to have such amazing and supportive families. Our dads have played such an important role in our lives and it's so much fun to watch Gaga and Grandpa play the role of "grandfather" to our babies. We appreciate all that you have done, continue to do, and will do for all of us. We love both of you! And David, thank you for being the kind of daddy you are to our babies. You are such an amazing father and I love watching them light up whenever you are around. Thanks for all you do for all of your girls!

Is it just me or is it almost impossible to get a mutually good picture of 2 small chillren? And I'm not referring to David and Gaga.

David and Finley.

Gaga, Ella, David, Finley.


David and his girls.


Gaga, Ella, David, Finley again.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Tech Support

Ok Friends, I'm experiencing technical difficulties. So, I've already downloaded pictures from this past weekend into Iphoto. The album/event is in Iphoto and I can see all the pictures, scroll though them, etc. However, when I want to upload pictures from the album/event onto the blog, the album/event is not in Iphoto. Thus, I can't post any pictures. And I know all of you are dying to see pictures from this past weekend. Any suggestions or explanations for what's going on? John, are you reading this?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Exciting News!

No, I'm not pregnant. But, one of my college best friends is! With TRIPLETS!! How crazy and exciting is that? Sage, my friend, and her husband, Jack are expecting 3 little miracles later this fall. Her due date is early December, but will probably be around the late October/early November time frame. At first they were told they were having twins. Then a few weeks later, twins turned into triplets! I get real nervous and super excited every time I think about that. So, two of the little babes are identical and the other one is just hanging out. That's the one that was hiding during their initial sonogram when they were told it was twins. I'm thinking the solo one is going to be a bit naughty when he gets older. And, I'm also thinking that it's two identical girls and a solo boy. Luckily, they are finding out what they are and we should know soon. To say that I'm excited for them is a slight understatement and they are going to make the best parents. Both Jack and Sage are super smart, super laid back, and probably two of of the funniest people you will ever meet. All things that will come in handy with their bambinos. And Sage looks beautiful as always and makes the cutest pregnant person ever! So congratulations to Jack and Sage! I am over the moon excited for y'all! And, Malia makes a good name for a girl. No pressure, I'm just saying.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Recipe Ever

My mother in law gave me this recipe a while back and it quickly became one of our favorites. It's really easy and it has a vegetable in it so it has to be healthy right? Are tomatoes a vegetable or fruit? I think they are a fruit in fact, but I always refer to them as vegetables. Anyways, I don't think it's that bad for you though and even if it was, I would still eat it like it like a mad woman. And the best part about it, it's so easy!! Here goes:

Tomato Pie:

1 pie crust (I always make mine from scratch, but you can use already made. Kidding, who has time to make them from scratch?).
2 cups of mozzarella cheese (1 bag of the already shredded stuff)
About 3 tomatoes, sliced (I usually get the tomatoes on the vine)
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Set oven to 400. Unfold the pie crust and lay it in a tart pan (if you don't have one, I'm sure a pie pan would work just as well), and mold it around the corners. Add the mozzarella cheese, chopped basil, and sliced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and then drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes. You will thank me later. It's nothing short of spectacular.

Here's a picture of the one I just took out of the oven. This sure beats a Lean Cuisine anytime.


Ok all readers out there (all 4 of you I think), let me know of some of your favorite and easy recipes!!





Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Prayers

Hi Friends! I should have posted this a long time ago, but please pray for my friend's, Camila, sister, Caroline. She's been in the hospital for a long time with some problems with her kidneys. You can read all about on Camila's blog: www.mattornetylife.blogspot.com. (You can also link over to it by clicking on "The Knowles Family" link under "Blogs We Like to Read". Caroline seems to be doing better, but I'm sure prayers are always welcome. Good health is an amazing and fortunate thing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had a fun and laid back weekend. We went to dinner at Twisted Taco on Friday night with the Kellys and we had a fab time. And so did the kids, especially Ella and Lands. They took full advantage of the horsey rides offered up by Uncle BJ. They laughed, giggled and screamed so loud and it was hilarious. Thankfully, the restaurant was very loud so all of their loudness just blended into the background. Saturday was pretty much a pool day, which is always fun. Finley started her music class and she loves it!! After her class, we met up with big sister and David at the pool for a couple of hours. We headed back there later in the day for a Low Country Boil and for some more pool time. It was lots of fun, but the crazy weather had other plans. So, we headed home, put Finley to sleep, and popped in "Tangled" for Ella. We went to church on Sunday and then went to the pool again once we got home. We wrapped up the weekend with dinner and ice cream with Alison and Dylan Chiock. We went to a hibachi restaurant, complete with a Koi pond out front. It was a big hit with Ella and Dylan.

I tried to upload some pictures, but I can't seem to find the album in iphoto. Oh well, just imagine the following: Ella and Lands sitting on BJ's lap, Finley with a yellow scarf over her head during music class, and Ella and Dylan laying on the ground fascinated with a Koi pond.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

3 Year Check Up

We had Ella's 3 year check up on Monday morning. We love our pediatrician and always look forward to visits with him. And, we talk about him everyday, at least 3 or 4 times. One of Ella's favorite phrases is "my tummy hurts". It usually comes out when she's bored, in the car, eating or really doing anything. This has been going on for at least 6 months. Of course, it doesn't really hurt, but after hearing this phrase 82,000 times, we finally came up with a response of "well, let's call Dr. Reisman then". So, we pretend to call him on our phone and have a fake conversation with him about what she needs to do in order to feel better, which consists of things we expect/want her to do that day. For example, we say, "Hi Dr. Reisman, this is Ella's mommy/daddy. Yes, it's her tummy again. Ok, so she needs to go home, play, wash her hands, eat lunch, potty, take a nap and then play some more?". Ella always attentively listens to what we say. We've called him so many times that she's said on numerous times that "Dr. Reisman is a good man" after we finished our "conversation" with him. So, Ella was very excited to see him and she did great during her appointment. She weighs 38 pounds (92nd percentile) and is 38 inches tall (75th percentile). The nurse brought us back to the exam room and started asking us all the standard questions. She asked how many stools Ella has a day. Before we could respond, Ella quickly replied, "I have 2 stools-1 upstairs and 1 downstairs", referring to the stools we keep in the bathroom to help her get on the potty. Don't you just love the minds of 3 year olds?

Another thing we've done lately is look at picture albums from when Ella was a baby. Back in the day, I was good about ordering pictures and actually putting them in albums, but I think actual, physical albums have gone the way of the phone book. I think while Miss Lindsay was here last week, they started looking a couple of these albums. So we've been going over these and looking at all the pictures before naps and bedtime. These albums contain pictures of us on the way to the hospital to have Ella, while we were at the hospital, and up until she's about 18 months or so. It's so fun to explain the pictures to her and see her reaction. There is one of both me and David before we left for the hospital and I'm obviously 9 months pregnant. I told Ella she was in my tummy. I asked her if she remembered being in my tummy and she said "yes, I was having a party". I asked her what kind of party and she said a "tea party mommy". I'm glad to know that's what she was doing in there. She also told me today that she "wants to go back in my tummy". I told her I don't think that's going to happen. There's also another picture of our beach trip in 2009 with me and David, Gammy & Grandpa, DeeDee& Granddad, Uncle John and his girlfriend at the time, Anna. Ella looked at the picture and asked "Where's Finley"? How sweet is that?

Ok, so I know I said a few weeks ago that Finley is close to crawling. Well, she's a black belt in the art of the army crawl. I'm telling you, she's crazy fast and gets where she wants to go and gets into everything. I mean everything. This is a game changer and having 2 very mobile kids means that I'm even more appreciative of the exersaucer and high chair. Now, if someone could just invent a high chair that cleaned itself, life would be perfect.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Aruba

As I mentioned in my previous post, David and I just got back from Aruba on Sunday night. This was David's award trip for work and it was probably one of the best trips we've been on in a long time. We highly suggest Aruba to anyone that's interested in taking a beach vacation. We left early Wednesday morning and arrived to a beautiful day in Aruba. David and I laughed in the airport on the way there because we kept commenting to each other that we knew we were forgetting something. We didn't have diaper bags, sippy cups, snacks, toys, etc. It felt so strange not carrying all that stuff. Upon arrival, we immediately hit the pool and the swim up bar. What is it about swim up bars? There's something almost magical about them. I don't know of anyone not able to have a good time when a swim up bar is involved. I've decided that if we ever get a swimming pool, I want it to have a swim up bar.

So, the trip was great. We spent lots of time in the pool, lots of time on the beach, and lots of time doing nothing. It was perfect. We got a massage one morning, took naps, slept in as much as we could, which wasn't really that much, and we ordered room service every night after we got in. I have to admit, I miss my 4th meal of the day now that we're back. We also took a banana boat ride with some of the other couples that were down and it was the best. We all laughed so hard the whole time. The resort where we stayed, the Hyatt, conveniently had a casino in the lobby. We gambled every night and were up until the very last night. That's when the wheels came off. Oh well, what can you do? We also discovered a new drink. It's called a Strawberry Diamond Collins. If you ever see it on a menu, order it. You will not be disappointed as it will be the best drink you've ever had. It's strawberry mix, pineapple juice, gin, 7up and little bit of lemon juice. Sounds weird, but it's the best. The food was amazing too. We had a group dinner one night out on this pier and they cooked everything out in the kitchen in the middle of the pier. It was delish. We lived off fish tacos for lunch every day and they were excellent. David's company negotiated the "all inclusive" option for the group and we became big fans of that whole concept. It's just so easy and as someone down there said, if you can't decide between a cheeseburger or a quesadilla, order both. And as much as we missed the girls, it was nice to have a couple of days with David and kind of do things at our own pace.

But, we did miss the girls like crazy and talked about them all the time. However, we didn't call once when we were down there. We didn't want to confuse Ella or make her sad, so we just stayed in touch with their babysitter, Miss Lindsay, via email and text. Miss Lindsay (www.sweetlifeofbakers.blogspot.com), who was Ella's preschool teacher this past year, did an absolutely amazing job of taking care of our girls. They did all sorts of fun things and they were worn out at the end of every day. We came home to welcome home signs from Ella. They are so cute. We never worried about them once and knew they were in the best of hands. It took her a minute to figure out who we were when we got home, but after realizing it, she started screaming "mommy, daddy" and came running out to us. Finley was happy to see us too and had a huge grin on her face and she showed off her 2 top teeth that finally popped through.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:





Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rewind

Ok friends, it's been a while since my last update. I know all of you have lost sleep not knowing what we've been up to, so here's an update for the past 2 weeks. I've blogged about Ella's birthday party and her last day of preschool. Her party was on Saturday, May 21st. All of our parents were in town for the big event and then Granddad left on Monday, the 23rd to head back to Jackson because Baptist was calling his name. So, that left Gammy and Grandpa and DeeDee in Atlanta. We had a fun couple of days. We tried to go to the Botanical Gardens on Monday, but after packing everything up and driving down there, it was closed. Ooops. So, we walked around Piedmont Park for a while and Ella had a blast. And lucky for her, the sprinklers were going on the big soccer fields. True to form, she stripped right down to her "pahn-ties" and took off. She had a great time running around. Tuesday night was the Jimmy Buffett concert. If y'all have ever been to a Jimmy Buffett concert, you know how much fun and how crazy it is. If you haven't, you need to add it to your bucket list. He puts on a great show and there are sooo many hilarious and crazy fans and the people watching is amazing. The show was great and it totally got me geared up for our trip to Aruba (more on that later). David, unfortunately, was out of town for this and missed all the craziness, but someone has to "bring home the bacon" as Ella likes to say. Wednesday, everyone left to go back home to Jackson and it was Ella's last day of preschool, which I've already blogged about.

So, that leads us to Memorial Day weekend and one of my best friends, her husband and 2 kids were supposed to come in town, but Ashley (said friend) broke her toe prior to the trip. After discussing it, we all agreed that it probably wasn't the best thing for her to come to town and chase after 4 kids for the weekend so they had to cancel their trip. I was super bummed. But, I think we might get to see them later this summer. So, we had an open weekend all of a sudden. Friday night, we went over the Kelly's house with the Chiocks for an awesome dinner and a movie. We had lots of fun with them and the kids (and parents too) enjoyed Kung Fu Panda. Saturday, we went to the pool and little Miss Ella has absolutely no fear of the water or diving boards or slides. We love that she's so comfortable there. On Saturday night, we went over to the Knowles house for another delicious dinner of fajitas. We had a fun time over there and took a long walk to an awesome park by their house and no one could figure out where we were in relation to anything in Atlanta. It was driving us all crazy. Sunday morning, we headed to the Aquarium to see the new dolphin show with the Chiocks. This is a must see if you have little kids. It's really good, but just a tad on the theatrical side. Ella and Dylan loved it and it even kept Finley entertained. It was so fun. We went to lunch with them afterwards and then that night, David's buddy Bryce, or "Uncle Byce" as Ella likes to call him and his fiance, Terra came over. It had been a while since we had seen them we had fun with them. And, they asked Ella if she would be a flower girl in their wedding. How sweet is that? We were so honored, but I told them I can make no promises as to how Miss Ella will act. If they fill her basket with Reece's Pieces, I think she will be alright. So, Monday we just ran around and got some things done to get ready for our Aruba trip. We went over to "Bobby Pencer's" house on Monday night for yet another delicious dinner of shrimp and crab cakes. It was a grand time and Ella and Bobby played well together. Tuesday we just ran some last minute errands because we left this past Wednesday for Aruba and got back late Sunday night. I intended to blog about our trip but I obviously got distracted big time.

But, I do have one more thing that is muy importante. My cousin, Jennifer Hill, is now a doctor! She's such a smarty pants. She got her PhD marine biology. If you ever have any question about anything relating to crabs, she is the expert. She's been in Georgia Tech for the past 4+ years working on her research and spending long, hot summers in Savannah working with crabs. My parents and I had the pleasure of attending her defense of her work and I was beyond impressed. She's wicked smart and sounded like she knew what she was talking about. Her professors thought so too and she passed. We are so proud of you Jennifer and everything you accomplished!! She's now taken a job in Mobile, AL and is leaving Atlanta at the end of the month. We will miss you dearly, but we are so happy for you and know this will be a fun time in your life. Don't forget about us here in Atlanta. Her parents and brothers came in town for her defense and we got to spend some time with them and we all went to the Jimmy Buffet concert together. So fun. Ok, I'm done now. Here are some pictures on reverse order. If anyone knows of an easy way to load pictures to a blog, please let me know. It takes me forever.

Ella and Dylan taking it all in at the Aquarium.


Finley loves the fish!


Ready to go inside and see the Nemos.


The park is too much for baby Speight.


Finley at the park.


Ella and Winlon and their daddies feeding the ducks at the park.


Jimmy Buffett.


DeeDee having a great time.


Me and the PhD.


Ella at the Piedmont Park sprinklers.