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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Owen at 18 months.

I'm a bit behind as our little guy is now officially 19 months, but I can't miss the opportunity to reminisce about Owen at the fun age of 18 months.

Owen now weighs 25 lbs & 11 oz. (68%) and is 33 & 3/8 inches tall (75%). You wear mostly 24 month/2T clothes.


  • To say that you are busy is the world's greatest understatement. You stop only to read, eat & sleep. You love to walk, run, jump, bounce, and most recently climb (my worst nightmare!). 
  • You no longer enjoy riding around in the 'buggy' on our shopping trips and evening walks & instead insist on 'walking'. Fortunately, you've learned that this comes with the requirement of holding mommy or daddy's hand & you do that pretty well.
  • You love books. We read so much & that makes your mommy so happy. Some of your favorite books are 'Is Your Mama a Llama? (you call it 'llama')', 'See & Spy Shapes' (you call it "circle'), 'All About Tractors' (which you say perfectly!), & 'The Brave Cowboy' (you call it 'cooboy). Some of my favorite moments each day are the ones when you come bringing a book to me to read. 
  • You love to go to church on Sundays. You get very excited to see your teacher "Miss Erin" and your friends Elliott, Lorna, Caroline, Max, & Maggie.
  • You love to open & close things...doors, drawers, cabinets, straps, zippers.
  • Your favorite word seems to be 'NO', but you're quite polite because usually you say 'no m'am' although you haven't quite caught on to 'no sir', so for now everyone is a m'am. 
  • You still love to eat. You love 'noodles', 'brocci' (broccoli), 'matoes' (tomatoes), 'berries', 'nanies' (bananas), 'cheese', & of course 'cookies'.
  • You love music...your "Hoy" c.d. (Kindermusik) & Daddy's The Doors Greatest Hits Albums are your favorites. You've got some pretty good dance moves too!
  • You have soooo many words. I feel like you pick up several new words every day. Some of your newest words are "microwave", "motorcycle", "lawnmower", "highchair" (your favorite seat in the house!), and "quiet" (you love to tell Sadie this all the time).
  • You love your Little Bear & binky. You know that you can only have them in bed for naps & at night, so you're pretty good about putting them back in bed when you wake up but you sure do love to snuggle up with them when it's time to sleep. (Don't know how we're going to begin to part with your binky...oh my!)
Dear Owen,

My sweet, sweet boy...You are such a delight to daddy & I. Mommy has been so blessed to stay home with you for the last three months. We have had so much fun together and made so many sweet memories. I am so amazed by how much you are learning and how intelligent God has made you. 
You are definitely all boy...You are completely captivated by anything with wheels, anything related to dirt, and anything that involves running. Your love for books and music is precious to me. 

We love you more & more every day little man.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Date night chicken.

I was recently in Publix while they were sampling one of their new delicious recipes.
It smelled heavenly & I couldn't resist the chance to taste it.
One bite later, I knew that it was a winner!
I bought the few ingredients that we didn't have at home & made it the very next week.
Without further ado...Date Night Chicken!

8–10 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 oz Deli goat cheese, crumbled
3 slices bacon
1 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic/herb seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup white wine (or chicken broth) 


  • Chop dates (1 cup). Slice shallots.
  • Crumble cheese.
  • Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
  1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season chicken with herb seasoning and pepper (wash hands). Place oil in pan, then add chicken; cook 2–3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add bacon; cook 3–4 minutes or until crisp. Add shallots and dates; cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Add wine and return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer 10–12 minutes or until chicken is 165°F.
  4. Remove chicken from pan and cut into slices. Spoon date mixture on top of chicken; top with cheese. Serve.

P.S. Don't let the dates scare you...they pair amazingly with the bacon & feta! You can find the recipe for the Baked Tomatoes here too...also delicious!


Owen & I enrolled in Kindermusik classes at preschool on Tuesdays over the summer. If you're not familiar with Kindermusik, it's a wonderful program to engage children of all ages in music and movement.

This summer's theme was Creatures at the Ocean so we had a great time singing about seashells, seagulls, sand, sandcastles, boats, and crabs.

It took Owen a couple of weeks to pick up on it, but when he got it-he got it! The first song on our c.d is called "Ahoy There, Mates" and it was our welcome song every week in class. Owen calls the song "Hoy" & asks to listen to the "hoy music multiple times a day. He has learned so many new words & sounds. He remembers the names of some of his friends from class, and it was so fun to watch him interacting with other children.

Here's my sweet little Kindermusik Mate...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

18 month photo shoot.

I turned 30 this past Monday. My parents were in town last weekend to celebrate with us. They surprised me with the most wonderful birthday gifts...a photo book highlighting Owen's visit with them this summer & 47 of the most beautiful pictures taken by the talented Morgan Corbett. My job is to pick my favorites and pick the frames so my parents can arrange for them to adorn our dining room wall. It's proving to be a tough job! I love all of the pictures & narrowing it down is nothing short of challenging.

Morgan did an amazing job of capturing Owen's many expressions & his personality.
Here are just a few of my favorites (credit to Morgan Corbett)...how will I ever choose???

Owen's summer vacation.

While we were vacationing in California, Owen was enjoying a vacation of his own in Georgia with his grandparents.

He had a wonderful time & Grammy, Grampy, Auntie Ree, PaPa, Grandma, & Aunt Erin had lots of fun as well. They spent lots of time playing outside in the pool, blowing bubbles, riding in the wagon, and playing in the sprinkler. Owen got to visit with some special friends like Miss Kay and also got to visit with Big Nana. Of course Owen got some special treats like new trucks, ice cream snacks, and a couple of Chick-fil-A lunches. We know that Owen won't remember everything that they shared during their time together, but our families definitely will!

These are some pictures of Owen having fun at PaPa & Grandma's...

Friday, August 16, 2013


Chris & I traveled to California in several weeks ago for a business/pleasure trip. Chris presented at a chemistry conference in the Napa Valley & we decided to make a little vacation out of it while he was there.

Owen had the privilege of staying with his grandparents (both sets!) while we were away. We had never left him for a night, so leaving him for almost 2 weeks was definitely not easy. However, I think it's possible that he and his Grammy & Grampy and his PaPa & Grandma had more fun that we did! Owen seemed completely comfortable being away from us & we got reports that he was on his best behavior.

To quickly summarize our trip, we arrived in San Francisco late afternoon on Tuesday and spent our evening exploring Chinatown, North Beach, & checking out the views from Coit Tower. We had a delicious dinner at an Italian bistro in North Beach on our walk back to the hotel.

Wednesday morning we found breakfast at a delicious bakery (Eppler's became our go-to spot for breakfast on our mornings in San Francisco) & headed to pick up our rental car. We drove to Napa & then had a lovely picnic lunch at Clos Du Val vineyards. It was lovely! We spent some time driving along the Silverado Trail to take in more of the scenery. We drove north to Calistoga & then headed back to check in at the Silverado Resort.

We spent Wednesday evening-Saturday morning enjoying the resort. I enjoyed having some time to read for pleasure, soak up some sun by the pool, and explore the beautiful valley. I explored out during the day while Chris was conferencing & checked out the town of Yountville and a local artist gallery. We also enjoyed an afternoon hike on the Skyline Trail & a couple of vineyard tours.

We left Napa on Saturday afternoon & drove to the Muir Woods to see the beautiful Redwood trees. It impossible to describe the grandeur of these amazing trees. No pictures do them justice or provide the scale needed to understand their immense size.

After our amazing experience in the Muir Woods, we drove south into Sausalito and had dinner at The Spinnaker. I fell in love with Sausalito & I probably could have eaten at The Spinnaker every night (amazing food!). We then drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in some heavy fog which was more scary than fun! We settled in at our hotel in Union Square & plotted out the rest of our adventures.

Sunday we drove south on Highway 1 along the coastline from San Francisco to Carmel. It was amazingly scenic & we stopped at many places to walk on the beach, spot seals, & take pictures. It amazed us how much farmland there is along the coast and made us wished we where you can stop along the roadside & buy avocados 10/$1 & artichokes for $1, & the loveliest strawberries I've ever seen! We also drove the 17 mile drive and saw Seal Rock & the infamous Lone Cypress. It was a full day of scenery.

Monday we explored Golden Gate Park, the Japanese Tea Garden, & the beach and then we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a fun experience & I was able to cross that off of my bucket list!

 Tuesday we took a cable car ride & spent the day exploring Lombard Street, Gihardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, The Ferry Building, Hyde Street Pier, & Alcatraz. We enjoyed sampling chocolates, exploring historic boats, checking out the Pier 39 sea lions, and having fresh seafood for lunch. We had a delicious dinner at the historic Sears' Fine Food. 

Wednesday we spend our final few hours in the city in Union Square and checking out the Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown. Then we began our long trip home to see our little man!

We had a great trip...The weather was amazing, we dined on the most wonderful food, and made some wonderful memories together!