Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005 - Florida Vacation

We went "home" to Florida for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law always has her Thanksgiving get together the Sunday before Thanksgiving. She has a huge bash, inviting family, friends & neighbors. There's so much food .... it's crazy! The best part about Thanksgiving is of course my husband's fried turkey. Yum!

It was Griffin's first Thanksgiving and many of our family and friends met him for the first time. He had his first taste of mashed potatoes and his Uncle Jerome insisted he have a taste of chocolate cake. You guessed it ... loved that too!

Griffin experienced alot of "firsts" on this trip. It was so much fun to have him discover new things while his Grandma Bett & PaPaw Joe were around.

We went to Lowry Park Zoo on Monday. We saw many animals ... emus, kangaroos, elephants, giraffes, camels, rhinos, fish, meerkats, manatees, alligators, bison, deer, eagles, turtles, fox, leopards, flamingos, birds ... I can't remember all of them. Griffin and I got to feed the giraffe ... I was in heaven. He thought it was pretty funny too.

While in Florida, there are our "favorite" places to go of course.

One place that's a must visit each time we go home is Nell's Country Diner. I love this place! When we lived in Florida, my mother-in-law and I would go there once a week for lunch. It's one of those places that focuses more on the food than the "look" of the diner. They have some GREAT food! Oh my gosh ... I had hamburger steak (with onions), fried green tomatoes, collard greens, mashed potatos and corn bread. They have the absolute BEST broccoli bread in the entire universe ... but they only have that on Thursday. Unfortunately we went on a Wednesday. It's the first time my husband has actually been to the restaurant. Many times I've brought him meals home ... but this was his first visit to the diner. They have the best ice tea around. What's really great about this place is how intimate it is. When the lady comes around to refill your tea glass, you feel like you are someone's house and not at a restaurant. Southern Hospitality at it's finest. I wish there was a Nell's Country iner here in Virginia! Sadly while we were there, we found out Nell has passed away. I believe her daughter is running the place now ... and she's doing a fine job.

Tuesday was Pop Ray's & Nana Jeri's day as they were going to the Bahama's for Thanksgiving. We decided a trip to Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World in Orlando would be fun. My husband's had a gift certificate for 3 years now ... so it was time to use it. I always enjoy going to Outdoor World.

Thanksgiving was spent with my mother-in-law's best friend Mary Belle and her family. She is so warm and kind. It means alot to us that we are always invited to her house on Thanksgiving. She and her husband Ken live on a lake ... perfect photo opportunity. I got some great ones!

Friday Griffin met Santa for the first time. It was extra special because it was actually his "Uncle Santa". My brother plays Santa each year at various functions. This year he was Santa at The Festival Of Trees. Griffin was absolutely mesmerized by Santa. It was soooo cute!

After our visit with Uncle Santa we headed north to Lake George to meet my mother-in-law and father-in-law in Lake George. We visited family and they met Griffin for the first time.

Saturday we head home! Woo Hoo! We thought we were going to get home more quickly because we had already driven to Lake George and it's 3 hours north of Central Florida. The traffic was horrendous! It normally takes us 14 hours to drive home to Central Florida, and it took us over 14 hours to drive home from Lake George. That's a long day to be in a car ... especially for a dog and very active baby! Anyway ... we drove into the driveway about 9:30 pm. Boy it was good to be home!

Thanksgiving 2005 was a great mixture of family, friends and traditions ...

It is one we will always remember.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Coughing + Sneezing = Fun

Who knew coughing and sneezing could be so much fun? Yesterday I mentioned I had a cold ... still have it today. Everytime I cough, sneeze or blow my nose our 9 month old giggles and laughs hysterically. It's so funny ... it's almost worth being sick to see his cute little face get this surprised look on it and then start giggling.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Uggghhhh ... I have a cold ...

I woke up this morning with a cold ... sore throat and all. Where I "caught" this cold is anyone's guess. My life consists of trips to the post office and grocery store. Guess it was one of those two places. Mommy's aren't supposed to get sick. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our 9 month old doesn't catch my cold ... wish us luck with that. My body is aching, my head and throat hurts ... but I can't lay down because I have Mommy duty.

You know ... I never knew how hard being a parent was until February 7th of this year.

I have nieces and a nephew and they would often stay with us ... but then at the end of the day, they were someone else's kids.

Reality quickly set in when Griffin was born.

Don't get me wrong ... being a parent is the greatest thing in the world ... I love my son with all of my "Mommy Heart" ... but in reality ... there is no longer much "me" time.

Okay ... so I'm going to go sit in my husband's chair and snuggle with our son ... all the while keeping enough distance between us so hopefully he will not catch my cold.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Warm Weekend & Shrimp Pasta

Wow ... it was down right warm this weekend ... it was up to 79 degrees! Mike, the boys and I went and got two loads of fire wood, stacked it up ... we are all ready for winter. I love having the fire place lit ... it's so warm and toasty.

On Saturday afternoon Mike suggested we drive to the Blueridge Parkway to look at fall foliage as this is probably the last weekend before the leaves fall. The mountains are only about 30 -40 minutes from our house ... so this was a nice treat. The colors were absolutely glorious! Reds, Golds, Yellows, even Browns. I took lots and lots of pictures to share with our Florida families.

We went to Lowe's Sunday morning to get 40 more blocks to finish our block wall. Wouldn't you know it? They have discontinued the block we have chosen. They told us two more stores in the area had some in stock, so we decided we would go to the one with the most on inventory. So, we get there ... and the only ones they had left were used in a display. After going back and forth with the department manager, it was decided they would dismantle the display and let us purchase the blocks. In addition to the blocks we purchased, the department manager gave us the remaining 20 blocks left as well!

Last night Mike made dinner and it was delicious! Shrimp Pasta!! Wow ... that man can cook. I can hardly believe we've had all of these ingredients in our house for months and we just had it last night. He sauteed shrimp in garlic, sundried tomatoes, rosemary, and butter. He then added it to a jar of Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan. Served over twisted rotini and topped with parmesan cheese and cracked pepper .... yum!!!! I nominate Mike to cook every night!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Griffin is crawling!

Oh my goodness ... Griffin crawled for the first time today! He's been scooting and rolling where he wants to go ... but today ... he crawled!! I am such a proud Mommy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Griffin's First Halloween

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Now that I'm a parent ... I can tell you ... it still is! We had so much fun last night! My neighbor and I took our boys Trick Or Treating around the neighborhood and then attended a local church sponsored event. Dressed in his cute little pumpkin costume, Griffin had so much fun looking at the lights and watching the other kids. He is far too young to eat candy, so that part of Halloween will have to wait until next year. The church event was really fun. It was called "Trunk Or Treat". The members of the church baked all kinds of goodies, offered hot dogs, games, a hay ride, and "Trick Or Treating" from the trunk of cars. What a neat idea! Many of the vehicle trunks were decorated, as were the folks handing out candy. There was so much activity ... Griffin didn't know what to look at first. It was darling! There are so many "firsts" for Griffin to experience ... I can truthfully say ... his first Halloween was very fun and memorable!