Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Preschool Christmas artwork by Noah and Brenton
I think if Noah and Eric had it their way, it would be Christmas all year round! We put decorations up the week of Thanksgiving and got our tree the first weekend in December. Noah loved all the decorations and was sad to see Eric take them down after the New Year.
We got to celebrate Christmas Eve with Gigi, Papa Dave, Alyssa, Jared and four doggies (Gabi, Pearl, Buddy and Maggie). We opened gifts that morning, put the boys down for a nap and then went to the Chidren's Christmas Eve service at our church. Both boys enjoyed the show, but Noah stood (and sometimes layed down on his belly) in the aisle so he could see and hear better. Since it was a children's service, it was loud and there were tons of families there which was GREAT for us. Noah enjoyed the theatrical part of the program the best and thought it was so cool to see an angel in the play.
Sweet Gabi sitting on Santa's lap. This was her 13th Christmas with us.
After the service we had dinner, put the boys in PJs, made hot chocolate and drove around different neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights.

Noah went right to bed and couldn't wait for Santa to get to our house. He kept telling us that Santa was going to tip toe into his room, put a Spiderman costume on him and give him magic. Since that would have been tricky for Santa to do, we helped Santa out and surprised Noah with Spiderman jammies on Christmas Eve. As you can tell by the picture, he loved them.
Finally, Christmas morning! Look, Santa and the reindeer ate their goodies! Santa also left a silver jingle bell (a la Polar Express style) on the stairs for the boys to find on their way downstairs Christmas morning
Opening stockings and checking out each other's goodies.

Here's Noah's beyond-happy-silly face thrilled that he got all three things on his list: Spiderman toy, Spiderman costume and Polar Express train set. He told everyone he could that Santa was for sure going to bring him these things. The kid's got confidence.
Brenton loved on his new Backyardigans friends all morning and carried them all around the house. The boys also got a mini trampoline.
After presents, Eric made a delicious breakfast -- cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs and Benton's bacon. It was fantastic!
Daddy and his boys.
I just love my little guys! Christmas just keeps getting better and better! We are so blessed. Of course, the pictures you don't see are the ones of the meltdowns that occured later that day due to no naps, too much sugar and present overload! Ah, the ups and downs of parenting :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Express at UT Gardens

Last year, I took Noah to the Holiday Express at UT Gardens. Noah had a blast and was very excited to go back again this year.
There's always a bonfire going, plus you can buy hot chocolate and a s'mores kit.
Inside the tent is a beautiful little train city. I can't even imagine how long it take to set everything up.
Of course, we always want a brother picture whenever we do something fun. We don't always get one, but this one certainly melts my heart each time I see it. I know we always say how close they are and how much they love each other, but they have truly been blessed with a loving relationship that we hope gets stronger and stronger as they get older. That doesn't mean they don't get on each other's nerves every now and then or get too rough playing, but for the most part, they are best buds.
Now, for the celebrity sighting...I felt like a girly little 8-year-old when I spotted the beautiful Mary Costa across the room. For those of you who don't know, Mary is the original voice of Sleeping Beauty! Yep, I got to meet Princess Aurora / Briar Rose. At first, I stalked her a bit trying to make sure it was really her. Thankfully, Brenton decided to make eyes at her and then she told me how cute he was. I then said, "Are you Mary?" She said yes and I seriously got butterflies in my stomach. I know it's cheesy, but Sleeping Beauty is my all-time favorite Disney movie, plus Mary has performed all around the world with her amazing soprano voice. I told her how much I loved Sleeping Beauty and she kept telling me that I was pretty enough to be a princess myself -- well, that made my day and I'm sure she says that to most giddy girls (or 30 year olds) she meets! She was kind enough to take a picture with me.
After explaining to Eric who I just met (he was across the room guarding the entrance to the tent to make sure Noah didn't escape and could run around enjoying the trains), we made our way outside to the UT Gardens. The boys loved watching the Koi fish in the ponds and chatting with Santa Claus who was hanging out in the Gazebo.

This is one Christmas tradition we hope to keep every year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Noah and Asher

Noah and Asher. These two have been best buddies since they met in the fall of 2009. Their birthdays are only three weeks apart and their build is nearly identical -- solid! Even though Asher is the "little brother" in his family and Noah is the "older brother," they have a strong friendship and always have a great time at school together.

Asher's mom is quite talented and does photography as a hobby. She actually took our first family photo last month (we'll post those pictures later). The one above is from their recent Thanksgiving program at school. Their class dressed in PJs, mouse ears and a mouse tail and sang, "We Think Mick Are Nice" (to the tune of the "Farmer in the Dell.)

The boys hammed it up for sure during the program and I'm thankful Asher's mom took these sweet photos.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tees and Trees

We enjoyed getting our Christmas tree this weekend. The boys liked smelling the fragrant fraser firs.

Brenton's super creative teacher made this cute foot print snowman shirt. She's always coming up with neat crafts for the kids to do. Brenton really loves art time with her.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet November

The holiday season is so much more fun with these little guys. Here's Noah helping Eric put goodies in a laundry basket for our church's annual Thanksgiving basket drive.
Brenton provided tunes while Noah and Eric got things organized.
Thanksgiving was even more fun this year since Brenton actually joined us! Last year, he slept through the whole meal.
Grand Don getting a T'Day meal picture with the boys.
Noah loved it when Andrew pretended that he was a baby.
Aunt Alyssa with sweet Pearl. Noah enjoyed playing fetch with her.
Lastly, on Nov. 28, I officially turned THIRTY! I still can't believe it, but what can ya do? Eric surprised me with a weekend getaway to downtown. We stayed at the historic Oliver Hotel, had lunch at Lattitude 35, dinner at Oodles Uncorked and dessert at Cafe 4. We did a little shopping in Market Square and capped off the night with drinks at Sapphire. It was such a fun, restful and relaxing weekend.
I just love our downtown, especially when the Tennessee Theatre marquee is lit up. On my actual birthday, the boys treated me to a Sullivan's dinner and cupcakes. Noah really enjoyed the birthday decorations around the house that Eric put up while I was still sleeping. I took the day off from work and had some much appreciated down time!

Monday, November 21, 2011

We're ready for Christmas already!

We typically wait until the day after Thanksgiving to decorate our house for Christmas and start watching Christmas movies, but not this year. The boys have been watching "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown," "Elf," and "Home Alone" already this month, and we decorated the house yesterday.

Needless to say, both boys are gung-ho, and Noah's been singing this song off and on for the past few days...Tyra got this clip on the way to take them to school this's show and tell day today, and Noah insisted on taking his santa hat and musical bear to school. So what if it's November 21, right?!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Family Photo Shoot

One of Noah's best buds from preschool has a mom who does amazing photography for a hobby. We've never had a family photo shoot before and thought it was about time to have some moments frozen in time while the boys are still little. For the location, we opted for the historic train depot downtown. We really love all the shots she captured. Noah really hammed it up. Brenton wasn't quite into it and preferred to run around instead of stay still (as most 18 month olds would). Here are a few of our favorites from the session. We used them for our 2011 Christmas card and finally updated the frames in our living room with recent family pictures instead of ones with Noah as a baby!

Thank you for our beautiful family pictures, Teresa!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homecoming on Rocky Top

The fall is by far Eric's busiest time of year work-wise. On the upside, we get to enjoy visiting daddy at work on Rocky Top. Last year, we participated in the Little Vol Walk as part of the annual Homecoming Parade. The boys enjoyed it so much that we did it again this year, plus getting to walk in the same parade as Smokey is right up Noah's ally.
After the parade, some of Eric's co-workers put together a craft area outside Neyland Stadium at Gate 21. The boys poured orange and white sand into small plastic footballs as a keepsake. They also got Smokey coloring books and crayons.

I guess Noah's legs were a bit tired after walking in the parade and running around Gate 21 after craft time, so he hopped in Brenton's little stroller. Brenton thought is was fun to get to push Noah in the stroller for once instead of the other way around!
The next day was UT's homecoming vs. MTSU. Eric had to get to campus really early to help set up the alumni tailgate in Circle Park, so I met him there later with the boys. The first thing Noah noticed was the giant inflatable Smokey.

The boys enjoyed kid games, a bounce house and yummy food from Buddy's. We love living on Rocky Top!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Brenton's favorite song

One of Brenton's favorite songs is "The Shark Song." Once he learned the motions, he'd go around to his teachers and try to get them to sing it for him...all the time! Miss Beth caught him in the action and sent this video to us. It's such a cute video and captures his personality perfectly. I can't believe he's 17 months old already!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween with The Toy Story Boys

With two boys, it was pretty easy to guess what they wanted to be for halloween -- Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody!
Thanks to Gigi, Noah got two halloween costumes this year -- one Buzz and one Woody. He's been enjoying them both and has already started wearing out the Buzz costume.
Brenton made the cutest little Sheriff in town, don't you think? He refused to wear the cowboy hat though. They both had halloween parties and school and showed off their costumes.

Noah couldn't wait to go Trick-or-Treating.
Here they are at their first stop, the Harsheys. Brenton didn't say anything and followed Noah's lead. It was a treat to see Noah "get it" this year. He knocked on the doors, said "Trick or Treat" and always said thank you after getting candy. He enjoyed getting to eat candy and walk door to door. He probably would've eaten the whole bucket if we'd let him!
With two little guys that go to bed by 8 p.m. every night, we were the first trick or treaters out in the neighborhood. We tried to get a brother picture, but as you can tell by the paci, Brenton was ready to hit the sack.
Both boys with their matching pumpkins :)
Buzz gave an official thumbs up after browsing all the sugary loot!
Happy Halloween!