Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Busch Gardens!

We took Abigail to Busch Gardens for the first time yesterday. Matt and I haven't been in NINE years - neither of us can really believe it's be nine years, but it has.

Abigail had fun with her cousins (Mason, Melina, Marisa & Alyssa), Great-Aunt Sharon and friends (Lilly, Rachel & Sheila - Aunt Sharon's family). The weather was quite chilly by Tampa standards but there were still a ton of people enjoying time 'outdoors' at BG.

While there Abigail rode the carousel and she didn't scream like she did a few months back at the zoo! Abigail pet some birds, and even rode on two other "big-kid" rides. She also watch Tigers roam...both real Tigers and also several Auburn Tigers, who are in town to play in the Outback Bowl. Matt was all giddy hoping to ride a few roller-coasters with some of his fave players or even Coach Chizik, but they seemed to be dispersed all throughout the park and ended up riding only one roller-coaster anyways. Oh well, we now have an annual pass, so we will make a few more visits to the park in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Catchup!

The long holiday vacation continues for us as we now work into our last week in Tampa, as well as the final days of 2009. First off, let me just say how nice it has been to have some time off and distance myself from my normal hectic schedule. As Jill has explained in multiple postings, I have been putting in some long hours lately for a consulting project at work. It's a good gig to have, and should really help my future career, which makes it hard to complain. However, I can't say that I have been pleased with spending less time at home and being away from Jill & Abigail as much. That's why this vacation away from home has been so nice. I'm getting to spend time with my girls and the 3 of us are spending a lot of time with family here in Tampa during Christmas. If anything, I'd say it's giving us time to recharge our batteries before 2010 arrives. And we've still got plenty planned for our remaining time here, but before I go into that I figured I would catch everyone up on how the last several days have went.

Christmas Day - 12/25
Abigail's 2nd Christmas was an absolute blast. We know she doesn't understand Santa or even Christmas morning yet, but there was no mistaken her smiles when she was opening up her gifts. And so we got up early Friday morning and made our way to the living room so Abigail could see what Santa had brought her. Since she's walking, Jill put her down outside of the couches and from there she walked in to find a shiny new slide. With pointing finger extended, she let all us know there was a new toy there. It wasn't long before she was climbing all over it, and with the help of her Nano, she was sliding down over and over again. Later after Abuela and Wesley arrived, we all swapped gifts with Abigail definitely getting some great new toys and clothes. Even Toby enjoyed a few gifts including a new dog snuggie.

A little while later we headed over to Grandma & Grandpa's for the big family Christmas where we first ate lunch and later opened more gifts. This time Abby got to open gifts with her cousins, Mason & Melina. With those 3 at the center of the living room, we all watched their faces light up as every box was unwrapped. Of course, Abigail racked up again with gifts including more clothes, a toy camera (to take photos like daddy), and a Radio Flyer rocket car. We received an ornament for our tree, a wine making kit and a couple restaurant gift cards. Matt received what's become the traditional stocking stuffer items of meat (beef jerky & a huge pepperoni stick). And might I also add, I got two vintage toy wooden airplanes. I honestly don't remember when the last time I played with one of these, but on Christmas afternoon all the 'boys' opened their planes and went outside to throw them around.

RJ & Alana's Engagement Party - 12/26
Back in October, our good friend RJ finally popped the question to his girlfriend, Alana....obviously she said yes since we helped host an Engagement honoring the two of them. It was a small group of RJ's family and close friends. We enjoyed great conversation, delicious food and lots of wine! The wedding is set for next December. (sorry no photos...Matt took the night off)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our animated family Christmas card. Enjoy!

Meeting Santa

I took Abigail to sit with Santa on Thursday, December 17th. We have a little Santa doll and she now relates HOHO with Santa. She watched all the other children sit with Santa but when it was Abigail's turn, she was not happy. I think she was more upset that mommy walked away than actually upset or scared at Santa. Honestly, Santa seemed more bothered and scared of the crying baby than Abigail of Santa.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


(Think Frank Caliendo's Bush impersonation of PAUSE.)

Where is the pause button? Okay, if there isn't a pause button (or even a slow-mo), can I settle for no more fast forward? Matt and I always seem to stay busy, I usually have a running calendar of events and upcoming travel plans. This has never changed, even back when we dated there was always a ton of stuff happening. While this year has had it's share of family gatherings, weddings, births and travel, I think 2009 has managed to disappear quicker than the rest. Abigail has been such an amazing blessing to us. We have loved every second, every stinky diaper and I cannot believe how fast she has been growing and changing before our eyes each and every day.

November was a whirlwind of heres and theres and December is almost over. It's been a very busy month... (Sorry for the lack of blogging.)

Matt + Work = Overtime
Since November, Matt's been putting a lot of hours working on a huge project for a huge client. While it's a great opportunity (and possible portfolio piece), and Matt seems to enjoy the project, the long hours at work means less time at home with his girls.

The First First Birthday Party
Pictures were posted from Abigail's home party and everyone had a great time. This party was also our first large gathering of this sorts at our house. We still are amazed (and some were disappointed) at how docile Abigail treated her smash cake. Abigail received lots of new toys, puzzles and books, our house is slowly becoming a toy store. She is a huge fan of balloons and can actually say 'balloon' now, in her own motorboat sounding way.

The night before Abigail's Atlanta pary, PawPaw Crenshaw was admitted to the hospital and, as most of you are aware, has since had open heart surgery (on the 14th). It's been a crazy time for all the family, not to mention an insane roller-coaster ride of emotions full of highs and lows. Currently, PawPaw is still in ICU and we are patiently waiting the healing process. The cardiac doctor is optimistic of his recovery. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Early Christmas
Even though PawPaw was/is in the hospital, we were still able to have early Christmas family gathering with both the Barnes and Crenshaw families. It gets more and more difficult to get everyone's schedule align each year as 'the kids' (Matt's generation) get older but it's great that we are still able to get everyone (or most of everyone) together when we celebrate holidays.

The Second First Birthday Party

The second party was more of an adult gathering, with minimal children. (Some people need to hurry up and create some more friends and cousins for Abigail - you know who you are.) Abigail was even more docile with her smash cake, barely touched this one at all! She played and played with everyone in the bouncer and had fun in her new swing from Nina and Nano.

Hello Toddler
Slowly over this last month, we're seeing less and less baby and more toddler. While she is so much fun and seems to surprise us with something new each day, I almost don't want to think too much about it because as a first time mom I am still in a bit of denial. Not only has Abigail become a walker, but she can reverse and turn and almost run as if she didn't just learn this new talent barely a little over a month ago. Abigail signs 'more', 'hungry' and 'all done' with ease and now that her two top teeth are dropping fast her menu is expanding with more textured foods. Just last night, I saw that her two top incisors have broken through the gums. If she sees someone eating she'll let you know she wants some by signing 'more' or 'hungry', she's becoming a little moocher. Upon seeing a Santa decoration she will say HoHo (only two, not three HoHoHo's). My current favorite is her spontaneous kisses, because she wont always give a kiss when we request one. She can blow kisses and can do an Indian chant. She will try to put her clothes on by herself and can say shoes, but it's more of a 'shush' or 'shosh' sound. I could go on and on...we are so in love with our little girl.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fun in the Waiting Room

Abigail and I drove down to LaGrange today because Matt's grandfather is in the hospital. We bought PawPaw Crenshaw a Feel Better balloon, and Abigail had lots of fun with the balloon. I'm glad she could bring out some smiles. Please add PawPaw Crenshaw to your prayer list, he'll be having heart surgery soon. We'll try to add more information as we know it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Post Birthday Party Fun

After all the festivities on Saturday, we decided to keep Sunday nice and mellow. We had a wonderful lazy day and played in the bouncer with Abigail.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Abigail's First First Birthday Party

Abigail had a wonderful first First Birthday Party! Lots of friends and family came to celebrate with us. She was very dainty with her cake, enjoyed opening presents and loved walking around with the balloons.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

We'll be spending Christmas in Tampa this year, and will be gone about half the month. For that reason, we have minimal decorations this year. (And because we have a walking, almost one year old!) Our tree is up and lit, but no ornaments - didn't want Abigail to be tempted with the pretty ornaments. The singing Santa is out (he sings Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and shakes his hips) as is the reindeer that sings Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer. Abigail enjoys the music and we've been teaching her to say "Ho Ho Ho."