Stephen has some great co-workers who love to dress up for the holidays. This year was no different so when St. Patrick's Day rolled around, Stephen pulled out all of his green goodies and everyone got to dress up. I told him that they look like they're about to drop the album of the summer! We decided that the name of their group was Ms. B + the Blarney Boyz. They may not have a lot of musical talent, but at least they look good! :)
Happy St. Patrick's DayMar 22, 2021
Happy (almost) 1st birthday, Millie!Mar 22, 2021
Stephen and I traveled down to Georgia this past weekend to celebrate Millie's first birthday! *hooray!* Stephen's brother (Millie's dad), Alex, plays Rugby and he coincidentally had a game while we were in town, which meant that we were lucky enough to go to the game as a family and cheer him on - and they won! It's always fun when we're all able to get together and make some fun family memories. At Millie's party, we got to spend time with some of Alex & Kellie's friends and also got to hang out with Kellie's family, which is always a treat. Her mom & dad have always been so kind and welcoming to us, treating us just like family. Millie had a special birthday cake and Kellie even had a cupcake with a candle in it for me since Millie and I have the same birthday! :) It was a quick, one-night trip but we love a road trip, especially when it's for something as special as a first birthday party!
May your days be merry + bright!Mar 10, 2021
Nothing says Christmas like everyone in matching jammies! This year, since Alex’s family was fortunate enough to be together at Christmas, the girls decided to get matching jammies because why not? I bet memaw was watching down on us and giggling. She always thought us girls were so silly - and she wasn’t wrong! :)
We need more lights!Mar 10, 2021
One of our favorite things to do each year is decorate our house with Christmas lights. Alex usually hangs the lights while Stephen assists :) We always say we need more lights and Stephen has vowed that next year, he’s going to muster up the courage to get on a ladder to string some lights on the top of our house. Wouldn’t that be the best?! The more lights, the better!
Emily comes to town!Mar 10, 2021
Shortly after Erin moved to Charlotte, her sister, Emily, came down for a quick weekend visit in October. Since the 3 of us love a haunted house, we decided to check out a haunted trail called Scarrigan Farms while she was here. The trail lasted for about 45 minutes and afterwards, we all agreed that it was one of the best haunted houses any of us had ever been to! Eek!
May the Force be with YouMar 10, 2021
Since Alex took her cousin Emily to Magic Kingdom in March of 2020, it was only fair that she take Erin there too at some point. In October, Alex & Erin spontaneously decided to drive down for a long (and safe) weekend in Orlando! They went to Universal Studios, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios with Alex’s friend, Cameron, who lives down there - and actually works at Animal Kingdom, too. This was taken at Hollywood Studios in the Star Wars area of the park - which was BEYOND cool!
Stephen (kind of) goes back to school!Mar 10, 2021
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, Stephen was allowed to go back into school and see what it would look like with kids/other adults in the building, too. This was what it originally was supposed to look like! He looked more like a surgeon than a high school special education teacher - haha! He never expected to be wearing anything like this while being a teacher, that’s for sure. He still uses the plexiglass and mask (of course) but the gown is no longer required :)
Family vaca!Mar 10, 2021
We were lucky enough to (safely) get away for a family beach weekend at the end of the summer with Alex’s family. We ate, drank, laughed, cried because we missed memaw, and had such a fun time! And no one got too sunburnt! :)
Stephen’s StudentsMar 10, 2021
Stephen coordinated a “drive by” over the summer where his students could drive by and say hello to him since he hadn’t seen a lot of them in person due to remote learning. He was able to see and talk to so many of his students! Each of his students was so excited to see him, and Stephen was just as excited to see them!
Alex’s MemawMar 10, 2021
We’re very sad to say that Alex’s memaw passed away in June of 2020. She was truly an angel on earth & we all miss her very much. Memaw was so excited & encouraging to talk about our adoption journey with. I think that because she was adopted as a child, this journey held an extra special place in her heart. I was (and still am) heartbroken at the thought of memaw not being around to see Stephen & I eventually become parents. Luckily, we have more than enough stories & pictures to help keep her memory alive. So even though memaw won’t get the chance to meet our future child, our future child will know all about her. We miss memaw every day but I know she’s still here with us. And when the day eventually comes that we are fortunate enough to bring a little one home, I know memaw will be there with us, too :)
Hello, Millie :)May 20, 2020
We *finally* were able to meet our new niece, Millie, last weekend! She was born back in March (coincidentally on Alex's birthday) and we've been so patient in waiting to meet her. We had a lazy weekend full of snuggles and laughs. Her parents are doing great and it was so fun to see them in their new roles as parents. Millie is one lucky lady and we're so thankful she's here and that we can love all over her now!
Happy Birthday, Stephen!May 19, 2020
We celebrated Stephen's birthday last week *hooray!* Things looked a little different this year but it was still a fun and special day - complete with kitchen decorations & a Texas donut from a local bakery :)
Emily & Erin graduate!May 11, 2020
Emily and Erin both went to college at James Madison University. They were scheduled to graduate this past weekend with a big commencement ceremony at JMU and we all planned to travel up there to be a part of it and celebrate them, but with school life changing due to the corona virus, graduation was postponed until August 2020. Emily & Erin planned on spending the weekend at home, with their mom for Mother's Day, but we wanted to make the weekend special for them since they were missing out on such a special time in any college grad's life so my mom and I drove to VA to surprise them! We got into town before them and helped their mom, Georgia, decorate their house with balloons and homemade signs. When Emily & Erin arrived, my mom and I hid in a laundry closet and hopped out to surprise them when they came inside :) We spent the weekend all together, at home, laughing, telling stories, and celebrating the girls. Coincidentally, Georgia and her boyfriend, Michael, got engaged a few weeks ago (hooray!) so we also celebrated them this weekend. It wasn't anything fancy and I think we were all in our comfy clothes all weekend but it was so special for us all to be together, making memories.
Fun TraditionsFeb 19, 2020
I (Alex) will find any excuse to dress up and luckily, Stephen is a willing participant I love to make our costumes for Halloween, dress up for tacky Christmas parties, or help Stephen plan an outfit for Spirit Days at his school. Birthdays are a big deal in our family, too. I usually decorate our kitchen and dining room the night before Stephen's birthday so he's "surprised" when he wakes up. Last year for my birthday, my mom and dad had a local company who makes giant yard signs/phrases decorate our front yard as a surprise for me when I woke up. I returned the favor for their 6th wedding anniversary, except as a joke, I told the sign company that it was their 36th anniversary. That made for some funny conversation with their neighbors. We look forward to visiting Stephen's family in Northern England when we can. We always stay with Stephen's Aunt Pam when we visit. Christmas is Stephen's favorite time of the year, so we have a tradition of watching one Christmas movie every day from December 1st until December 25th. He also starts listening to Christmas music in his car nonstop as soon as Thanksgiving is over. We love to drive around and look at Christmas lights in different neighborhoods in our area. My favorite part of Christmas at our house is decorating for the holiday. I love hanging the lights outside, putting up our 2 Christmas trees and reminiscing about ornaments as we put them on the tree. Another fun Christmas tradition we have is when my mom, my stepsisters, and I have a Christmas cookie baking contest where the winner gets a necklace decorated with cookie cutters. I'm the current reigning champ
This Is HomeFeb 19, 2020
We live in a two story home on a cul-de-sac in a clean, family friendly neighborhood that's in the suburbs. Our house has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. We have a screened in porch that we (us our cats) really enjoy spending time on. We have a large backyard that backs up to a small creek. Our home is 15 minutes away from the school Stephen teaches at and we're about the same distance away from family. The neighborhood we live in has a big park that offers a playground, basketball court, walking trails, and large open play area. We have a mixture of diverse young families and empty-nesters that live in our neighborhood - some of which have lived here since the neighborhood was established in the early 80's. We live in an area of town that's made up of other suburban neighborhoods, full of young working professionals and families, as well as being surrounded by up and coming areas that are being revitalized with new retail and food options. We're close to schools, hospitals, a library, a few family farms, and have two Targets within miles of us! We're 20 minutes away from downtown, about 3.5 hours from the beach, and about 2 hours away from the mountains.
This Is Our WhyFeb 19, 2020
My (Alex) maternal grandmother was adopted as a child, so adoption has always been a 'normal' part of my family. I've always had a desire to adopt at some point and was so thankful that when I met Stephen and mentioned this to him, he was instantly on board. We envisioned our family being a mixture of biological and adopted children. After trying for a while and not getting pregnant, we found out in 2017 that both of my fallopian tubes are blocked - so the only way for me to possibly carry a child is through in vitro. After going through all of the emotions that come with hearing that news, Stephen and I had some honest conversations about how we wanted to spend our time, money, and resources moving forward. Since we already knew that we wanted to adopt, we felt like hearing this information moved adoption front and center, and it became clear that this was the route we were going to pursue to grow our family.