Category Archives: Family

Mending Fences

We had a full day of really high winds last weekend, and came home from the grocery store to find that the privacy fence on one side of our yard had blown down! We never did figure out whether the fence belonged to us or the rental property next door but it came down to this: If it was theirs, the landlord wasn’t going to fix or replace it, and if it was ours, we’d have to pay a $1,000 deductible to repair it under our homeowners policy. Patrick figured he could do it himself for less than half that, so that was his weekend project.

As you can see, the whole thing was pretty gross and rotted, so he kicked it all into the neighbors’ yard and started from scratch. Look at the finished product, a day and a half later!

(Please excuse the messy yard. Between water restrictions and pregnancy, it’s been pretty neglected for the past few months!)

Lola is so happy to have her fence back. She was on the leash for a while there, and not happy about it.

We did get down to Fayetteville for a day to celebrate Dixon’s 3rd birthday. He had a party at Jumping Time, which is a big warehouse full of those inflatable bouncy house things. Patrick had as much fun as anyone — we might have to do his birthday there as well …

In other news, Joe has been a little kickin’ chicken for the past few days! He may be developing into a morning person (God help us) — yesterday morning he did a whole dance routine in there, complete with high kicks. It never ceases to amaze me. Some days I sit on the couch with my shirt pulled up, just watching these little pokes pop up all over my belly.

We started our confident childbirth class last week. We learned about stages of labor and various positions for dealing with the pain. At the end of the class, we all had to lie on the floor and do this guided imagery thing where we were supposed to imagine ourselves on a beach with the waves crashing and just relaaaaax … It didn’t work. We got the giggles so bad that I thought we might be asked to leave! We have three classes to go, including a tour of the birthing center. Fun!

Patrick has started a blog on Joe’s behalf. ( He’s only got a few posts up, but you may want to bookmark it for future reference. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

We went to Fayetteville for a couple of days to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my mom’s mother and stepfather. Mumsey and Grandy came from Arkansas for the occasion and “Aint Naincy” (my mom’s sister) came up from Florida.

At dinner, Grandy (who is 94 and sharp as a tack) shared lots of stories with us about everything from World War II to the various animals he has bottle-fed to adulthood.

We also got lots of time with the niece and nephew, who make us all the more eager to meet this little person we’re waiting for. Seriously, how cute is this:

We came back to Virginia on New Years Eve, just in time for a visit from my friend Mike. The three of us stayed awake long enough to say “Happy New Year” and then promptly fell asleep. Lola was unnerved by the sound of fireworks outside and had a harder time settling down, poor thing. It just breaks your heart to see her shivering with fear.

So today we started another year. It’s going to be a big one for us — stay tuned!

Post-Christmas Post

We are back safe and sound from NY, where I saw my first white Christmas in who knows how long. We had a nice time with Patrick’s folks, racked up some great gifts, ate our weight in candy and just relaxed for a few days.

We also saw I Am Legend, which was scary as all get-out and incredibly sad at one point. That’s all the details you’re getting out of me — go see it!

I’m happy to report that I am finally starting to feel Champ move! What a weird, amazing feeling. It usually happens at bedtime — just when I’m nodding off, this little tumbly sensation pops up in my belly. Tonight I took a long bath and that inspired some acrobatics, too! I can’t wait until Patrick can feel all that movement going on. It makes Champ more of a current presence to me instead of just someone I’ll meet eventually.

This weekend we’ll go to my parents’ house to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my mom’s mom and stepdad, known to us as Mumsey and Grandy.

After that, New Year’s!

Back at home

We had such a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving. We all packed up and went to West Virginia, where we stayed in a cottage at the Greenbrier. We ate a lot of food, walked around the grounds, toured a giant old Cold War bunker (from 1962-1992 it was prepared to shelter both houses of Congress in case of a nuclear attack!) and had lots of fun with the children. Oh, and Patrick and I discovered a love of checkers, which I let him win once or twice.

I got a miserable cold while we were there, so I didn’t take a whole lot of photos. We did get some nice shots of ourselves and the extended family for Christmas cards, though!

This weekend we’ll be decking the halls for Christmas. (Every other house on our street is already lit up like the Eiffel Tower!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off to spend a few days with my parents, my sister and her family. I spent all day making pies, which I guess I will have to share with them …

We’re going to New York for Christmas this year! I hope that Champ will be kicking good and hard by then, so that Patrick’s parents can “feel” their grandbaby.

In the meantime, Mike and Mary (Michele too!), here’s a little gift for you. (It takes a minute to load, but it’s worth it!)