Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vacation Rides

We just returned from a fabulous 4 night, 5 night adventure in Orlando, Florida with Opa, Mae, Cousin Tori, Aunt Kristal and Uncle Chris. We steered clear of most things Disney this time down but still had a blast at Sea World, which was walking distance from our hotel. I have much to write about the trip, but I'm starting with one of the most pleasant surprises for me which was the rides at Sea World. In Shamu's Happy Harbor there were several kiddie rides that both of the girls could go on as long as Erik or I went with them. I was quite impressed with the girls! Maddie even cried whenever she had to get off and would start chanting "ride ride". Here are a few pictures:

This happy crab went up in the air and then dropped us down:


Maddie and I spun ourselves silly:


Yeah, A successful trip on the carousel!:


Erik and I even got to do a little roller coaster riding of our own on Kraken and the new coaster, Manta. Much fun!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In all of the hustle and bustle, may we remember the true meaning of Christmas, happy birthday Jesus!

Anna and her homemade nativity

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Parties Abound

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and to have many opportunities to celebrate with them this Christmas season. Here are a few of the pics of the girls in their Christmas outfits.

Off to a Christmas brunch Redecorating the tree

Maddie Anna

Let it Snow Let it Snow

...And the rest of 2009

July scrapbook page

August scrapbook page

Sept/Oct Scrapbook page

October scrapbook page

November scrapbook pagea

November scrapbook pageb

Sunday, December 20, 2009

June 2009

In June we went on our annual trip to Virginia Beach with my dad and family. Maddie had a great time digging in the sand under her tent and Anna loved playing in the waves (when they weren't trying to knock her over). Every morning we enjoyed taking a stroll up to the boardwalk; one day we rented a big bike with cousin Jamie. I was so surprised that Maddie didn't try to jump out :).

June scrapbook pagea

We also started a garden in June of peppers and tomatoes. Our garden spot didn't get enough sunlight and so it was August before we were able to get something large enough to take off the vine. I still had green peppers in November!

Oma also came to visit. We had a fun-filled weekend of taking the girls to a Durham Bulls Game and attending Adelaide's second birthday party at Marbles Kids Museum.

June scrapbook pageb

Thursday, December 17, 2009

May 2009

The month started with Erik heading to Las Vegas for a week to attend/speak at IBM Impact. The girls and I were invited to tag along but the plane ride alone scared me off :).

Erik and John also went to the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals where the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes. The Penguins then went on to win the Stanley Cup. It has been a good year for Pittsburgh fans.

The Saturday after Erik's 30th birthday we had a party at our house to celebrate this new decade. Keeping with tradition, we had banana splits rather than birthday cake.

May scrapbook pagea

Writing long thoughts in my scrapbook has never been my strong suit and so much of this page sits empty. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. The pictures are from Mother's Day.

May scrapbook pageb

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

April 2009

Happy First Birthday, Madelyn! The first year of Maddie's life went by so quick as I tried to keep up with Anna as well. We celebrated Maddie with a family party and a trip to the Marbles Children's Museum. Maddie loved her cupcake and dove right in. It is so funny to look back to when Maddie had only a little bit of hair.

April Scrapbook Page

During Easter, it has been my family's long-standing tradition to go to Ponte Vedra, Florida. We enjoyed playing on the beach and looking for Easter eggs.

Mimi joined us for our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Anna had fun with her friends and rode a pony.

April Scrapbook Page

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

March 2009

In March we drove up to Columbia, Maryland where we stayed with Opa to celebrate his 60th birthday. We also got to spend time with Cousin Tori, Aunt Kristal and Uncle Chris who drove down from Connecticut. The girls always love playing with their cousin.

We also welcomed a new cousin into the family with the birth of Rainey Amelia Pratt on March 13th.

March 2009 scrapbook page

Our picture tradition has become getting the girls pictures taken before Easter. This worked out perfect to get pictures for Maddie's first birthday as well. While the pictures are cute, there was some behind the scenes madness to get them both smiling and cooperating for the picture :).

March Scrapbook Page

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking Back

FEBRUARY: This month started off well as Erik and John headed to Tampa, Florida to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers win Superbowl XLIII. Anna has a Steeler cheerleading outfit and a toddler terrible towel given to her by Uncle John - she was ready for the game.

For Valentine's Day, the girls painted a mug for me at Klaystation. It sits on my desk holding my pens and I love seeing how small their hands are. Erik and I must have been on the same page, for the girls made him a card with their hand/footprints.

February 2009a

February 2009b

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From the Beginning..2009

I have set a new goal for myself and that is to have a scrapbook of the year ready each Christmas as a "present" to our family. I have always enjoyed scrapbooking (my collection starts in 1988 when I glued a bunch of pictures and memorabilia on white sheets of paper from a trip) but I wouldn't call scrapbooking a hobby for me - my hobby is more of creating family memories. This year I chose to do my scrapbook with a page or two per month rather than focus on each occasion as I normally do.
Last night my husband and I sat down to look at this year's scrapbook and what a joy it was to do it together and remember what this past year has held for us. We also have lots of family and friends in and out of our house during the Christmas season and I think it will be fun for them as well. So here it starts (pardon my lack of photography skills to put the pages on here and envision them side by side :))...

JANUARY: We rang in the New Year in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with Oma (Erik's mom), Uncle Chris, Aunt Kristal and Cousin Tori. It was so cute watching Anna with her apple juice saying "cheers" (of course she celebrated the New Year around 8pm on New Years Eve). We had just finished up a wonderful week celebrating Christmas, going to the Ripley's Aquarium, outlet shopping, building sandcastles on the beach and floating in the lazy river (brrrrrrr!)

After a great experience with Anna sleeping in a big girl bed on vacation, we came home and bought Anna a new big girl bed (or two as in the case of the bunk beds). I was very reluctant to get bunk beds because of the stunts my brother and I use to do on his but these were adorable and a great price. The ladder has never come out of the closet so I'm not even sure that the girls know someone is allowed to sleep on the top; eventually we will separate the two beds so that Maddie will have a big girl bed of her own.

January 2009a

Over MLK weekend two of my girl cousins came to visit with their little ones. Despite our 10 years in age gap, combined we have 5 little ones under the age of 5 so it is so much fun to see them play together.

We also had a couple rounds of snow this past January. It is nice being home with the girls and not feeling the pressure of having to get to the office when there is snow and ice on the ground. Anna had a few short trips outside to walk around and play with Daddy. I loved seeing the trail of little shoeprints as she walked around the yard. Maddie didn't make it out to play in the snow this year, but there's always hope for next year.

January 2009b

More adventures to come...