I always seem to post on weekends. Maybe because that’s the only time anything fun happens?

Friday was a sad day for Patrick. His childhood hero, Evel Knievel, died at age 69. He has resisted the urge to name our child Evel Knievel (thanks, Mary!) but I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

That night, I met him at his office for a little shindig and then we ventured out to witness the holiday illumination of Richmond. (“Didn’t Grant already light up Richmond once?” he asked. He loves history jokes.)

We walked up to the governor’s mansion, where there was a line around the block to go in and see, I don’t know, how they decorated their tree or something. From there we went to the capitol steps and watched the skyline light up.

(This is someone else’s photo from a completely different vantage point. But you get the idea.) 

Yesterday, Patrick got up early and went to take the GRE. He’s thinking about starting a master’s program at VCU next fall. (We’ll have a baby then — isn’t that weird?!) Then we went to get some garland and decorated the porch.

When it got dark, we drove around to look at tacky Christmas lights. There weren’t many, but the ones we found were legendary. Behold:

Today I had brunch with a friend in Carytown and Patrick went to see No Country for Old Men. I repotted some plants and worked on an article, and he is currently slaving away on our Christmas newsletter (which I have to say is shaping up to be the most entertaining yet!)

Christmas shopping gets into full swing this week — feel free to drop hints in the comments!

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!)

12-Week Ultrasound

Today was our 12 week ultrasound! The purpose of this scan was to measure the size of the nuchal translucency, a clear part of the back of the baby’s neck. A measurement of 2.5 mm or more may indicate Down syndrome or other complications. Champ’s was well within the normal range at 1.6 mm. Whew!

As soon as the ultrasound tech pushed the wand into my belly, Champ appeared on the screen and threw his (her?) arms and legs up in surprise. The tech moved the wand around a bit, trying to get the right angle to see what she needed to see. During all this, Champ is squirming and waving like crazy.

At one point, he (she?) lifted one hand up to the brow in a little “salute.” I asked if we could get a shot of that, but as the tech went for the button that little arm went right back down. Too bad — it was incredibly cute!

I’m amazed at how much movement is going on in there that I can’t even feel yet. Go baby go!

Checkup Number Two

Today was the second appointment for Champ and me. It was brief … the doctor listened for a heartbeat, answered a few questions and then we were done.

I remembered this time to bring my voice recorder so that I could get a recording of the heartbeat. I’ll figure out how to post that later.


This week, the baby is about the size of a peach.


In the meantime, here’s the hospital where Champ will most likely be born. Their OB brochure shows what the birthing suites look like. We’ll be touring the place one of these days … I’m eager to see if it looks as nice in person!

On Wednesday we’ll be having our second ultrasound. Champ should be looking a little more like a person and a little less like E.T. this time around.

Since 2008