In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Goodbye, 2016!

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Family,General,Hailey,Holidays,Home,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Love,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos,Trips — Rachel at 4:17 pm on Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wow! Time really flies. It’s hard to believe 2016 is already over. It’s been a pretty great year for me and my family. We’ve spent a lot of wonderful times together, accomplished some really big goals, and received some huge answers to prayer.

One of the biggest events of the year happened in March. We bought a new house and moved to Knoxville. It took several months for our house in Harriman to sell, but I know it was all in God’s timing. Everything worked out perfectly for us financially, and we moved into our new home the day after we had Elijah, Abby, and Logan’s birthday party . . . so we had a lot of helping hands. Our new home and neighborhood have been a perfect fit for us. The house is  two-and-a-half stories, five bedrooms, four bathrooms and has a big bonus room for the kids, an office for Matt, and a huge backyard. So, it’s perfect for our family of eight! As a bonus, we have great neighbors on both sides of us, and the neighborhood has a big pool and sidewalks on both sides of the street. There are lots of kids around us, both in our neighborhood and the one behind us. Hailey has friends from school that live in the neighborhood behind us who walk over to play with her. It’s been great. We are so very thankful for the home the Lord provided for us. It reduced Matt’s commute to work by about twenty-five minutes. Now, he drops the little kids off at school on his way to work, and he gets to come home and have lunch with me on most days.

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I mentioned we moved right after three of the kids’ birthdays. Elijah turned 12 on March 25, and Abby and Logan turned 7 on March 26.

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Kyra and Owen’s birthdays were in June, and we celebrated with a big pool party. Kyra turned 14, and Owen turned 10.

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Hailey celebrated her 9th birthday in October. (For some reason, I can’t find a picture of her with her cake.)

We were super blessed to be able to take the family on another beach vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida back at the end of July through the beginning of August. We took our first family vacation to the same place back in 2014 right after we got married. We enjoyed it so much we chose to go back. This time, we took Mammy, Grammy, and Aunt Whitney with us. We all had a wonderful time and returned just in time for the kids to start school the next day.

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Professionally, Matt got a new position with the Army Reserves and transferred from his old unit near Cincinnati, to his new unit in Washington, D.C. He is now working with the Army Corps of Engineers. It’s not any closer to home, but he at least gets to fly now instead of having to make that long drive to Northern Kentucky. I got to go with him back in August. It was my first visit to D.C., and I really enjoyed seeing everything, even if I did most of my sightseeing solo, since Matt was working. We’re hoping to take all the kids to D.C. in the coming year.

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I did well with my writing pursuits in 2016. I published Little River: Vol 2 in August, and I had multiple publications for my short fiction in literary journals. I had five or so book signings over the course of the year, as well as being accepted into the Author’s Guild of Tennessee. There’s other news to share on the writing front, but I’ll save that for a future date. No contracts have been signed yet. (Wink, wink!)

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In September, God answered our biggest prayer and gave us sole custody of Hailey and Logan. I won’t go into any details, but I just want to give God all the glory. He told us in no uncertain terms over and over and over throughout the course of the year that He was fighting that battle for us. It brought great peace to all of us, and the kids are happy, healthy, and thriving. God is so good!

We had a lovely holiday season and got to spend time with our families.

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Halloween

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Thanksgiving

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I could have inundated this post with photos, but these few will have to do. If you want to see more photos from our day to day lives and you are a friend of mine (either in real life or online), you should friend me on Facebook. That is where I am most active. I don’t add people I don’t know on Facebook, but I do have a public Twitter account where I occasionally post photos. Please feel free to follow me there.

I hope 2016 was as good to you and your family as it was to me and mine, and I hope 2017 is even better for all of us!

Happy New Year, Friends!

Our Honeymoon

Filed under: Family,Love,Marriage,Matthew,Me,Our Love Story,Photos,Trips — Rachel at 9:47 am on Sunday, August 2, 2015

Matthew and I got married on May 24 of last year, but didn’t go on a honeymoon then for several reasons. The biggest reason was Matt was gone for a month of our summer for the Army. The second biggest reason was financial. After paying for a wedding, we didn’t want to go into debt to take a honeymoon. So, we waited a year, saved some money, and, in July, we went on a belated honeymoon/one year anniversary trip. It was incredible!

We flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we boarded the Carnival Liberty and set sail for the islands of the Caribbean.

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Our first Port of Call was in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands! We had a really good time in St Thomas. We took an ocean kayaking and snorkeling tour. We kayaked through the mangroves, hiked around a protected island, and went snorkeling. On our hike, we got to see some really interesting things. I held a small sea urchin in my hand, and we raced hermit crabs. When we snorkeled, we saw several types of fish, including a barracuda.

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Our second day was an At Sea day. We spent most of our time lounging on the Serenity Deck, which is the 21 and over area. We had a hammock that we ended up on nearly ever day, and the best hot tubs were on that deck. We loved lying together on the hammock, reading our books and sipping our drinks.
It was also our first elegant night, and I enjoyed dressing up with my man!

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After our elegant dinner, we went to change before the comedy show and found this Towel Bat hanging in our room!

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Our second Port of Call on our third day was Barbados. We loved Barbados! We didn’t book an excursion, but had a beach day instead. Barbados has beautiful beaches with crystal clear water. It was so clear, in fact, I was standing neck deep in the water and noticed a huge starfish lying on the bottom about four feet away from me. We had a lot of fun snorkeling. We found two starfish, and took lots of pictures with Matt’s new GoPro camera he bought for the trip.

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Our fourth day brought us to our third Port of Call…St Lucia. I had been looking forward to St Lucia more than the other islands, because Matt told me he had a surprise planned for my birthday at St Lucia. I had no idea whatsoever about what we were doing. When we got off the boat, we took an hour and a half taxi ride to our destination. The ride itself was great, because it was like a tour of a large part of the island. We saw everything from banana plantations to fishing villages to the peaks of the Pitons on our ride.

Our destination was the Rainforest Spa, where Matt had booked a couples massage, lunch and a private plunge pool. It was incredible! The massage itself happened in a private hut in the rainforest. When our massages were finished, the masseuses opened up the back wall of our hut to reveal the private waterfall plunge pool. It was incredible. Our lunch was rice, vegetables and fish wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a bamboo bowl. The whole experience was amazing. Matt really outdid himself in the gifts and romance departments!

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Our fifth day’s Port of Call was St Kitts. We were excited about our excursion that day. We went ziplining in the forest above an old sugar plantation. It was lots of fun! I enjoyed going down a couple of the ziplines upside down! When we finished, a boy put a monkey on me. Later that day, we went to a little beach bar to get wifi and I sent the kids a picture of me and the monkey. I told them we had adopted a baby brother for them because it looked so much like Owen. The little ones thought I was funny, at least.

 

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This was also our second elegant night on the boat. I was so proud to walk around with my handsome husband!

 

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Our sixth day took us to our final Port of Call…St Maarten. We went on a powerboat and snorkeling tour. The powerboat was fun, but not much different than riding a jet ski through the water. The real fun was snorkeling. We snorkeled off of a European style (aka nude) beach. That was an experience–seeing people standing on the decks of their boats as naked as the day they were born! The snorkeling was really great. We saw huge sea urchins, a starfish, clown fish, and a host of other fish. The most exciting thing we saw was a huge eagle ray!

Unfortunately, our St Maarten day proved to be a day of bad luck. Matt slipped getting into the powerboat, and, when he grabbed the steering wheel to catch himself, it went between his fingers and hurt his hand really bad. Once we got home and had it x-rayed, it proved to be a bad spiral fracture of the second metacarpal. So, he’s in a cast for the next four weeks. On the same day, his wedding band slipped off his finger without him noticing. We retraced our steps on the ship, but couldn’t find it. We have no idea if he lost it on the ship or while we were on the island. A third less devastating thing that occurred on our bad luck day was his GoPro battery died shortly after we left the ship, even though it had been fully charged. So we don’t have any photos from our time on the island.

After all our adventures, I decided I was too tired to dress up for a fancy dinner. Instead, we spent the evening lounging on the Serenity Deck, sipping fruity frozen drinks, reading, and napping. It was wonderful! We ate dinner on the Lido deck, and then saw a couple comedy shows.

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The next morning, we arrived back in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We were sad to see our adventure come to an end, but we had six little people at home we were missing a lot. Grammy Alice picked us up at the airport, and Hailey and Logan nearly knocked us over with hugs. We got the other four kids back the next morning. This mama was very glad to have all six of her babies under the same roof again!

We may have had to wait a year for our honeymoon, but it was definitely worth the wait!


This Year So Far – The Highlights

Filed under: Abby Jo,Army,Birthdays,Elijah,Family,Hailey,Home,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos,School,Trips — Rachel at 11:46 am on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I don’t think I’ve ever let myself go so long without blogging here, and I’ve got a lot of ground to make up for. This post will be photo heavy, and just hit the highlights.

 

Celebrating the new year. January 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m.

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Our three little guys played basketball this year. It was the first time playing basketball for all three of them, and they really enjoyed it.

 

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Kyra played basketball on two different teams this year. This was after the game where she made her first ever 3 pointer!

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We had a tremendous snow in February, and we were iced in for several days. Our road was impassable. At one point, Matthew and I had to walk out to the highway with rucksacks to meet my dad so he could take us to the grocery store to restock. These children ate us out of house and home!

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They enjoyed the snow, though!

 

 

 

 

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Elijah turned 11 on March 25, and Logan and Abby turned 6 the next day, on March 26. We had a birthday party for them at our house.

 

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Owen, Abby, and Logan all played baseball this Spring, and they were on the same team. (It was a really wide age range.) It was Owen and Abby’s first time playing baseball. Owen played catcher, and he loved it. Abby wasn’t a huge fan. I’m not sure if she will play again next year.

 

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Enjoying the newly warm weather, I took the three boys out for ice cream one day after getting their hair cut.

 

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Because I’m mean, I sent the above picture to the girls who were at home, and they sent me the picture below in response.

 

 

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Because I’m not really a mean mama, when I took the girls for haircuts a few days later, they got ice cream, too. (We took a frappachino home to Kyra, who didn’t get her hair cut that day. No worries. I’m pretty fair.)

 

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I had a really lovely Mother’s Day, and was so glad that I got to spend it with all six of my kids. They made me feel very loved and special.

 

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Matt and I got to accompany the Wonder Twins on their Kindergarten field trip to the zoo. We had a blast! They loved the River Otters.

 

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I also got to go with Owen on his Farm Day field trip.

 

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Abby and Logan graduated from Kindergarten, both with special awards. We were so very proud of them. (The other kids all got special awards, too, but I’m sparing you pictures of all of them. This post is already getting so long!)

 

 

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Matt and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary on May 24th with several different (kid-free) activities, including my first ever game of golf…which I loved!

 

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Kyra had a piano recital in May, and she did a really great job playing “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movies.IMG_3632  IMG_3633

 

We went on a weekend camping trip in June that we really enjoyed. It was big on fun and short on pictures. We can’t wait to go again very soon!

 

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Matt spent nearly three weeks away from us in June. He had to go to a three day drill followed by two weeks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin to finish ILE (a school for the Army…the equivalent of a Master’s degree). We really missed him while he was gone, but we are all very proud of him.

 

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Kyra turned 13 on June 20th, and Owen turned 9 on June 26th. We had a party for them after Matt got home from Wisconsin. I thought it was sweet that they wanted to postpone their party until their stepdad could be there.

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Kyra had a Dr Who cake, and Owen had a Jurassic World cake. Unfortunately, I somehow missed getting a photo of Owen with his cake.

 

 

 

 

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The picture below is from my birthday, which was July 4th. I turned 27 again!

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I hope you enjoyed this jam packed highlight post. We did so many, many more cool things over the last seven months, and I could have shared hundreds of more photos. This post would have been a mile long, though. We are a very blessed family!

 

 

 

Abigail

Filed under: Abby Jo,Family,Kid Quote,Kids,Photos — Rachel at 2:47 pm on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I love my little “girly-girl tomboy”, as she recently dubbed herself. These pictures and quotes definitely capture her tomboy side more than her girly-girl side, though. I propose that she’s really just a completely fabulous, well-rounded girl, with all the many facets that girlhood encompasses.

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“My game I made is called, ‘You can always find an adventure.'”

 

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“I caught ten slugs!”

Hailey Grace is Seven!

Filed under: Birthdays,Family,Hailey,Kids,Photos — Rachel at 12:04 pm on Monday, October 6, 2014

Our middle girl had a birthday this weekend. Hailey Grace turned seven years old! She has been so very excited about her birthday. She wanted to have her party at a local park. We had a nice day, other than it was the only cold day we’ve had so far this year. It was a little chilly, but otherwise perfect.

Hailey wanted a panda bear birthday party theme. I managed to find some panda decorations online and ordered them for her, and then Matt and Mammy collaborated on her birthday cake. This was no small feat, as Matt and Mammy have been warring over who is the best birthday cake baker since March. It had split pretty much along bloodlines, with Logan and Hailey insisting Matt’s cakes were better and the other kids insisting that Mammy’s were better, until Hailey’s party. Hailey was torn, because, while she insisted her daddy’s cakes were better, she wanted Mammy’s decorating skills so she could have a panda cake. So, she asked for Mammy to make her cake, but Mammy was out of town for the days preceding her party. The compromise? Mammy made the rice paper panda and balloons for the cake, and Matt baked the actual cake and put the decorations on it. I thought the Great Baking War of 2014 was going to be laid to rest with this act of goodwill from both sides, but then Mammy started trash-talking Matt at the party, so…we’ll see. The end result, however, was a beautiful cake that Hailey loved!

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Our pretty girl with her birthday cake.

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Blowing out the candles!

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Hailey loves her 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Carter, and she was so happy that she was able to come to her party. In this photo, Mrs. Carter was singing to her.

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Birthday presents are always the best part! 

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I loved that this photo shows the braid I put in Hailey’s hair. I’ve never been able to french braid before, but I’ve taught myself on Hailey’s hair. I’m still not very good with Kyra or Abby’s hair, but the texture of Hailey’s is so different from theirs that it’s much easier for me. That’s all…just proud of a newly acquired mommy skill.

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Hailey was very happy to see almost all of her grandparents at her party. She’s got four grandmothers in this photo. (Isabelle managed to evade the camera somehow. I didn’t get her in any of the photos.)

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Favorite Uncle, Aunt Katie, Daddy, and Grandpa Don.

 

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One last shot of the birthday girl. She was giving her notorious dirty look to, I think, her Mammy. Classic Hailey. 🙂

Happy birthday, Hailey Grace! I hope your seventh year brings you so much joy! We love you so very much, and are so very proud of the beautiful, smart, sweet, and funny little girl you are!

Homecoming Princess

Filed under: Family,Kids,Kyra,Photos,School — Rachel at 11:29 am on Monday, October 6, 2014

Kyra ran for Homecoming Queen for her middle school this year. She didn’t win, but she did really well. Her classmates voted the girls into the homecoming court (three girls from each grade), and then the girl who raised the most money for the school was Homecoming Queen.

Kyra looked so pretty in her dress, and I loved how her personality shone through. She chose to wear Converse sneakers with her dress, and she looked fantastic. Everyone loved it. She’s definitely my daughter!

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Kyra’s hair looked really pretty!

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I can’t believe my baby girl is in 7th grade. Time really flies!

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Matt caught me and Kyra checking out our selfie. 🙂

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Kyra with her escort, Dillon.

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Kyra and her cousin, Mackeinzie.

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Kyra with her Daddy and her stepmom, Brianne.

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Kyra with Mammy and Papaw.

This is where I would have posted the photo of me and Matt with Kyra, but we asked someone else to take a photo of us with our camera and they didn’t actually take it. I was so disappointed! Oh, well. Maybe next time.

We are so proud of you, Kyra Joy! You are wonderful and beautiful and so very smart and kind. We could not ask for a better daughter!

First Day of School

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Owen,Photos,School — Rachel at 5:29 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2014

The kids started school again. I can’t believe summer vacation is already over. It went by so fast!

Kyra started 7th grade, Elijah is in 5th grade, Owen is in 3rd grade, Hailey is in 1st grade, and Abby and Logan are starting kindergarten. All but the wonder twins have had their first full day of school already. Logan and Abby’s first day of Kindergarten is Wednesday, and then they have a couple more days the following week, before starting a regular schedule.

The kids were all kind of excited about starting school again. Even the ones that didn’t particularly want to do school again were looking forward to seeing their friends. Abby Jo is definitely the most excited. She cannot wait to start Kindergarten. I was happy that she got Mrs. Suddeth, who was Owen’s Kindergarten teacher. We wanted Logan and Abby to be in the same class, but they put them in different ones. They said they don’t like putting siblings in the same class.

I’ll be starting school again soon, too, and then, boy, will our schedule be hectic. We are going to have a lot to get used to!

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Our First Family Vacation

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Family,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Matthew,Owen,Photos,Trips — Rachel at 5:14 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2014

We went on our first family vacation last week. We went to Panama City Beach, Florida. It was so great. The trip itself was a wedding gift from Matthew’s Uncle David and Aunt Jennifer. We were floored by their generosity. We had so much fun. Nothing went wrong. The weather was perfect. My mom went with us to help with the kids. It really couldn’t have been a better vacation.

We spent all of our time at the beach or the pool. The only different things we did were on two days we rented a pontoon boat and drove out to Shell Island. That was fabulous. It was the most  beautiful, pristine beach, and we had it all to ourselves. Along the way, we did a little fishing, dove for sand dollars, caught about a hundred hermit crabs, and even found a starfish. We swam, boogie boarded, snorkeled, sun bathed, built sand castles, caught jelly fish, and the kids procured a small fish that they put in little pools they made in the sand and connected with tunnels. Oh! I almost forgot. I took Kyra and Elijah parasailing, which they absolutely loved.

That’s our trip in a nutshell, and, now, for what everyone wants anyway…the photos! Enjoy.

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My Birthday Post

Filed under: Abby Jo,Birthdays,Family,Friends,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Love,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos — Rachel at 1:34 pm on Sunday, July 13, 2014

My birthday this year turned out to be the best ever. Matthew worked really hard to make it special for me.

On the 2nd, Matt arranged to have our small group meet at Roane County Park to celebrate my birthday. We grilled burgers and hot dogs. The kids played at the splash pad. Matt made me an absolutely delicious triple chocolate cake, and even had candles for me to blow out. Everyone sang to me. It really is the simple things in life that make you feel so loved. After we ate cake, we went swimming in the lake. I had so much fun swimming with Matt, and jumping off the dock with him and the kiddos. It was a great day.

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On the 4th, my actual birthday, Matt had arranged a surprise party for me at our house with our families. I found out about the party a couple days before, but Matt took care of everything. It was the first time that me, my parents, and all five of my brothers have been at the same place at the same time in a very long time. I even got to see my brother, Aaron, who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Matt invited everyone, grilled the burgers and hot dogs, asked my mom to make me a cake, and made sure everyone was happy. My mom asked me what kind of cake or pie I wanted, so I requested the cake that she used to make for me when I was a kid. It is so good, and was very nostalgic.

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One thing that was very fun for me was that my little brothers, Lucas and Seth, brought their guitar and drum set to play. We had learned the basics of “Don’t Stop Believing” in the couple of days before the party, and we played it together…Luke on guitar, Seth on drums, and me on piano. I’m pretty sure we drove everyone else crazy, but we had so much fun. Before everyone got there, we even sang a bunch of old hymns together. It was nice.

After a couple hours of hanging out and eating, we all loaded up and went to Kingston Park to watch the fireworks. This is my one family tradition that has been the same nearly every year since I was a young teenager. Last year, the fireworks got rained out, and we didn’t go. Every other year, though, we have been down at the lake to watch the show. It was exciting for me this year to share that experience with Matt, Hailey, and Logan, as well as Matt’s parents.

I don’t know if it was just that I am generally happier right now than I have ever been in my life or if it was because it was the first birthday with Matt and he worked so hard to make it special for me, but I can honestly say this was the best birthday I’ve ever had. I felt loved and celebrated, and I got to spend it with all the people that mean the most to me.

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Matt, Abby, and Alice (aka Grammy…Matt’s mom.)

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Mammy, Kyra, and Hailey waiting for the fireworks to start.

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This one is of Owen, Abby, and Logan climbing on Papaw John’s back.

 

Summer Break So Far

Filed under: General,Hailey,Kids,Logan,Photos — Rachel at 11:04 pm on Friday, June 20, 2014

We are having a pretty good summer break so far here at the Holbrook/Harmon household, if you don’t count the fact that we are missing a very important piece of the puzzle. Matt is currently away for the Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We all miss him way too much, but we are trying to keep busy to distract ourselves. Honestly, only the three people whose last names are Holbrook are really suffering too much with missing him, but I’m sure the other kids will be happy when he gets home.

We’ve spent several days already at the pool. We’ve been both to the Oak Ridge pool, which is really fabulous, and also to the pool at Matt’s apartment. His lease is not up until mid-July, so we are taking advantage of the pool while we can.

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(After several hours at the pool, this crew gets hungry.)

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(There wasn’t room for me at the table.)

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(This pic of Logan was just cute. He’s still wearing swim trunks, so it still fits the “swimming” theme.)

Besides all the swimming, we’ve spent some time at our local parks, and me, Hailey, and Logan spent the evening at my parent’s house on Father’s Day. They absolutely loved it, because they got to learn how to ride my nephew, Micah’s, fourwheeler. They were so cute, and had so much fun.

RachHailey HaileyFourwheeling HaileyFourwheeler LoganFourwheeling LoganFourwheeler

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(I decided to take it for a spin, too. I look a little skeptical here as Jason was explaining to me how to drive it.)

Before Matthew left, we got to do a few things. The first of which was Logan’s preschool graduation. He did so well in his program. It was a Mary Poppins theme, and he was so adorable dressed up in his little suit singing the classic Mary Poppins songs. We were very proud of him.

LoganGradCookie LoganGrad

 

Right after Logan’s graduation, me, Matt, Hailey, and Logan went to Cincinatti. Matt had drill, and we turned it into a weekend getaway. The kids spent the weekend with their Papaw, Nana, and their Aunt Jenn, and me and Matt got a nice hotel and enjoyed some kid-free time. He had to work during the day, of course, but we still got to spend some good time together. We went out on the town Saturday night. We had a fabulous dinner at a nice, Italian place, went for a walk on the levee, went to a piano bar (my favorite!), and even spent some time in Barnes & Noble (my other favorite). While he was working, I did a lot of reading. It was great. The hotel had a beautiful little courtyard, and the weather was gorgeous. I enjoyed myself immensely.

CinciTrip CinciKiss CinciReading

 

One of our favorite things to do is go to my Uncle Wendell’s diner near our house and get ice cream cones. The wonder twins go above and beyond in the mess-making department. Logan wore his, and Abby dropped not one but two ice cream cones on the ground on this particular day.

icecream icecreamtwins

 

Speaking of the wonder twins, they had kindergarten camp the first week of June. They were so cute. Abby was so excited, but Logan was kind of “ehh” about the whole thing.

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(The two of them in front of the school on the first day of kindergarten camp.)

We were surprised a couple of days later to see Abby’s picture in our local paper. We didn’t know about it, but, apparently, a reporter had went to the school during kindergarten camp and snapped a picture of Abby.

newspaper

 

The day before Matt left for New Jersey, we drove up to Lexington to see his family. His uncle who lives in Hawaii was in, and it was really nice for me to get to meet some Holbrooks that I hadn’t met yet and just to spend some time with all of them.

 

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Matt and I ended up getting around three hours of sleep that night, after the long drive home, and we had to get up at five to get Matt to the airport on time. By the time me, Hailey, and Logan got back, I was fighting sleep bad. So, I went back to bed while the kids watched tv. Around eleven, I think they had enough of my napping, because I woke up to them both in bed with me.

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A couple of days ago, I took the boys for much needed haircuts. I got Logan’s hair cut in the same style as my boys’. He had never had that particular haircut before, but I think it looks really good on him. Matt thought it made him look older.

BoysHaircut

 

(Kyra Joy made this edit for me.)

That brings us up to date to today, and, today, just so happens to be Kyra’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe my baby is almost a teenager. She is almost as tall as I am. I am maybe one or two inches taller than her still, but I expect that to change soon. She has grown up so much over the past year. She’s becoming such a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, talented young lady, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She was just here briefly this morning before her daddy picked them up, but I had her long enough to get a few birthday cuddles. I’m looking forward to taking her and her best friend to dinner and a movie to celebrate, and then we’re going to have a family party for her and Owen after Matt gets home.

KyraBirthday

 

(The birthday girl.)

After the kids left today, Hailey, Logan and I had a very lazy day. It stormed all day, so we really couldn’t do much. They get very clingy to me when the other kids are gone. I told Matt on the phone tonight that it’s like having toddlers. When I go to the bathroom, they wait outside the door for me. It’s kind of unnerving. They don’t stick their fingers under the door, though, so it’s not quite like toddlers. We spent most of today cuddling on the couch and watching a bajillion episodes of “Good Luck, Charlie” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place”. Hailey Grace was in a very cuddly mood today, which was just fine with me .

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