Monday, June 25, 2012

House Full of Memories

For those of you who may not have gone back and gotten caught up on the blog, let me catch you up on the situation with my Nana.  In February it become evident that she could no longer live on her own with her dementia progressing.  She unwillingly moved into an assisted living.  She now loves it, but still doesn't really admit it to us, but does to others.  Anyway, she left behind a large home FULL of items each containing memories for all of us.  There was just too much for us to take between us, so we had an estate sale.  My mom, her aunt, and sister all worked for about three weeks around the clock to prepare and they did a great job!  Nana made enough money to pay her rent for a few months, which takes a lot of stress off of my mom.  Just an example of how much STUFF was in this house, I'll show my two favorite rooms of "stuff" to sell (these were all taken on my phone, so not the best quality)...
The living room was FULL of china and cut glassware (if I still had a basement, this ALL would have gone home with me)

This was the Christmas room (it became very clear in a matter of minutes where my extensive love of Christmas decorations came from! Ha!) 
Nana did always tell me I could have a few things and one of those was her large collection of Pfaltzgraff Heritage dishes.  I LOVE them and I think they look FABULOUS in my cabinet!

I did manage to take a few other things.  The two that have several memories to me were these two small things:
This turkey held cranberry sauce every single Thanksgiving of my life.  How could I have Thanksgiving without him???
 This spoon hung in her kitchen as long as I can remember.  It now hangs on the side of my refrigerator where I see it every time I cook.  LOVE IT!
I also have a few things that she made when she was in her pottery phase in the early 1980s.  She made a gorgeous stone/stained glass church to display at Christmas, an egg plate, and a jack o lantern that I always loved as a Child.  The most coveted thing I have from her house is this special Christmas decoration that I had to fight to save when she wanted to get rid of it when I was high school.  She sat on Nana's Christmas tree for about 40 years! Love her!!!  She made me want to put my tree up now! Ha!

Yes, it was very hard to organize and to sell so many of her things.  Especially considering she did not know we were having the sale (she still wants to think she can come home, even though her doctor says no way).  When I pulled up as the sale was beginning on the first day I had a little mini meltdown and I literally had to MAKE myself go inside.  After that I felt much better and it wasn't so hard.  The most important thing to remember was that it was to help her stay in her new house and that we had already gotten the few things that meant something to each of us.  I really regret not taking any pictures as we worked the sale, but we were so busy, no one remembered to take any.  However, I will say that we made an awesome team!  We proved that the Kelley family sure can work well together!  My mom, her sister, aunt and her family, and several of their cousins helped us.  Words cannot tell you how much we appreciated all of their help.  We never could have done it without them.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Little Fish

My child has become quite the little fish! I can't even believe how fearless he is and how well he swims with his puddle jumper on. This afternoon we spent a couple hours at the pool to show Daddy some of N's new skills!

I made a little video on my iPhone to show the Grandparents his skills...
When we got home, he STILL wasn't done!  He spent another hour playing with his pirate ship water table.  This kid seriously loves some water!
He skipped his nap today because he would rather be outside and after laying down for almost an hour, he got up and came back out.  He ate an early dinner of fish sticks, corn on the cob, and veggies.  He also seems to really love corn on the cob!
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  We sure did!  I am a little sad because tomorrow our little man starts his transition to the TWO YEAR OLD room at school.  This room will be a change for him because they start potty training and drinking from milk cartons!  I'll update you this week how the first days are going.

Playroom Makeover

In the past few months since Christmas I have been overwhelmed and beyond frustrated with the amount of toys and clutter in our playroom.  There were several "baby" toys and things that he NEVER played with anymore and I knew it was time to purge.  Knowing that we have 60 people coming to little man's birthday in two weeks, I knew I better do something about the room I call our own personal Toys 'R Us!  There is no way I would let anyone see it in the shape it was in. Ha!

This was the "before", but not really.  This is the picked up, slightly organized before, not the can't even open the door without heart failure before (just imagine everything thrown all over everywhere, including my Cricut stuff)...
And the much improved after...
It took my mom and I about 3 hours during naptime to move everything and organize it all.  Michael put the new bookshelves together while we were out finishing buying party supplies.  I am LOVING the blue and red drawers and I think I'm going to be going back to Target for some more blue to go with the green on the other side rather than the ivory drawers.  My next project is to make labels with pictures to help him know what is in each drawer. 
 As soon as he woke up he immediately went into the playroom and started looking around and pulled out his cars, pirate ship, and a few blocks!
Of course, I'm sure it won't stay neatly organized all the time, but I love that I at least have an option now versus before when it was just pushed against the wall.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ticket To Paradise (Literally I'm Afraid)

Surprise!  A 3rd post in one day!!!

Warning...lots of pictures in this post, but I want to "scrapbook" a lot about our trip, so bear with me.  Back in April we got a phone call from one of Michael's BFFs, Micah and his wife, Chancey asking us to join them for a week at his grandparent's condo in New Smyrna YES!!!  We all felt like we needed a week away, just us without our kids (they have a 4 year old boy).  We had not been away from Nicholas other than a night here or there since he was born and even then, maybe 5 or 6 nights at most, and only about 20 hours at the very most then!  I was nervous about leaving him, but none of us shed any tears when he rode off with Pawpaw and Gigi on Saturday morning.  Yay for the nervous Mommy! Ha!  Anyway, back to the trip... 

We left around noon on Saturday and about 4 hours into our trip right outside of Valdosta, GA, Michael and Micah got what can only be described as matching tickets to paradise... :-)
We quickly got back on our way and got to our condo around 9:00 that night.  Paradise is really the only way to describe this place!  The condo was huge, right on the beach, and this was the view from OUR PATIO!!!  
We spent the day Sunday just lying by the pool drinking various adult beverages and just enjoying the fun in the sun!  It was an amazing afternoon of laziness! Ha!
That night we got dressed and went to a fabulous restaurant, JB's Fish Camp, recommended to me by my friend, Lauren.  We ate our weight in oysters and I had the stuffed mahi.  TO DIE FOR!

Monday was our "beach day".  With our condo literally being two steps from the pool, we spent 90% of our days there, but Monday we agreed to spend some time watching the boys build an enormous sand castle and boogie boarding.
Monday night Michael busted out his boiler pot set up that traveled with us and boiled a low country boil.  SO TASTY!

 Monday night we just had a lazy, relaxing day by the pool and patio.  It was great to just have a few days of nothing to do or any worries.  I love this picture of Michael.
 Micah and Chancey.  We are blessed with wonderful friends and I prayed for years that one of Michael's close friends would marry a girl I would love and become friends with.  God answered that prayer when these two got married and I am so thankful for my friendship with Chancey.

 The view from our pool area.  This is from the chair my big butt sat in for most of our vacation. :-)
Tuesday brought another full day at the pool, but we decided to just have a good, fun night out that night.  We bar/restaurant hopped for a few hours and had so much fun.
However, the best fun was hands down our trip the taxi! Ha!  You haven't really had a fun night out until it ends up with a 30 minute taxi ride with an awesome cabbie! 
Wednesday was a cloudy, rainy day, but we stayed by the patio and just read, talked, and enjoyed our last day at the beach.
Wednesday night Chef Michael whipped up yet another amazing meal.  He grilled swordfish for the boys and mahi mahi for Chancey and I.  He definitely outdid himself on this one!
I just thought this picture was funny and completely summed up our trip in five words: Sunscreen, Margaritas, and Chocolate Vodka Shots!
This was the best thing I saw all day yesterday until we were home...our exit!  I couldn't wait to get home to my sweet boy!
And...just in case you were starting to worry that poor little Nicholas that got left behind was sad or missing his parents.  Stop now...
Worry no longer!  Nicholas had the time of his life and played with his new water table, t-ball set, and tricycle while we were gone.  He loved the undivided attention he was given and actually woke up this morning asking for his Gigi! Ha!

As soon as we got back home with him, Michael and Nicholas spent some time swinging, sliding, and just enjoying our time back together as a family.  I missed my sweet boy more than anything and I told Michael several times over the 5 days we were away that I will don't plan to leave him again anytime soon! As a matter of fact between the four of us, I'm pretty sure we won't be leaving our boys again next year.  Someone needs to buy a Suburban ASAP for that trip! (HINT HINT Michael) I have never, ever missed anyone that much!

Fort Nicholas

The weekend of April 20 became hereby known around our house as the weekend from hell. Ha! No really it was the weekend Michael and my dad built Nicholas a fort and swing set in about 17 hours.   We ordered our swing set from Sam's and it came in about 5,000 pieces.  NOTHING and I mean NOTHING was preassembled.  They got started around 11:00 on Saturday morning with several piles of lumber...
By noon they had the base of the fort built

By 2:00, the fort was beginning to look like a fort
By 5:30 the roof was completely on and my dad went home for the night
Michael quit at 8:00 and this was the progress from day 1...

Day 2 started at 8:30am and was mostly finishing the rails and the little picnic area
My dad came back after church and they built the rock wall (every single board and piece), the ladders, and finally started assembling the swing section.

My mom and Nicholas were getting excited after naptime!  Here they were the last few minutes before the slide went up.
As soon as they declared it ready to slide around 4:30, someone climbed right on in! 
AND ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!!!!!  I thought my mom and I would die right there. Ha!
 The first slide!  The pure happiness on his little face made it all worth it.
 And because he did spent 17 hours putting the darn thing together, Michael went down the slide next! 
 Nicholas always loved his Little Tikes slide, but he got a little upgrade that day...
 Nicholas was so excited and his daddy was super excited for him to play on his new swing set.

 The finished product a couple weeks later...complete with Daddy's golf net and a bubble mower! Ha!