Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008 has come & gone! Here are some 'hi-lites' and other fun notables:
* Anderson set out "reindeer food" on Christmas Eve in addition to the cookies for Jolly ole' St Nick
*To no-one's surprise, Anderson arrived in our room at 5:20 - UGH! We held him off til 6ish....
*Anderson was utterly delighted with the Hulk Hands he sooo desperately wanted for Christmas
*Carter moved quickly to his new 'Cozy Coupe' car and spent most of the morning in his new vehicle!
*I set fire to my mom's oven while baking my monkey bread - didn't think to put a pan underneath the tube pan! Oh well -live & learn (all was salvaged & quite yummy!)
*On the road to Charlotte by 9:30am - Anderson sat in the car for 45minutes or so - just waiting for us to get ready - he was sooooo excited to get to Charlotte to hang with his cousins!
*Christmas with the Judds was fun, as usual. Anderson spent most of his time wrestling with Benjamin
*My mom's side of the family had a reunion in Charlotte too - we got to spend Friday evening with them and most of Saturday. It was great to see everyone - it doesn't happen too often. My grandparents Nana & Poppa were there making it extra special. This was their 1st time meeting Carter....
*Carter became feverish on Saturday and we had to cut our visit with my Mom's side a bit short to get home for early bedtimes, etc. He's still not doing too great.... tis the season, I think!

All & all we had a great Christmas! I'm always so glad to see this joyous season come, but always ready to get back to routine after the cheer has worn off a bit! Here's to a wonderful New Years!!!!
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RaNdOm Christmas cHeEr!!!

RaNdOm Christmas cHeEr!!!

Yesterday Carter just sat in front of the Christmas tree and if he could speak he would have said 'take my picture please' - it was so funny - so of course, we obliged (with the barely dressed Rudolph)

Since yesterday was Rudolph day at school, Anderson decided he wanted to draw Rudolph. Before you get too excited - I drew Rudolph's body & antlers - but the face and name "Rudolph" are all courtesy of Anderson

Recently I've let Anderson start taking the occasional picture with my camera (what have I done?) - I thought this pic of the Christmas tree on his table at preschool turned out pretty good.....

At Anderson's Christmas party today we got to make Rudolph candy canes - here was our finished product 'tah-dah'!!!!
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A visit from Rudolph!

Look who I picked up from preschool today -I thought I was picking up Anderson - but instead this little red-nosed reindeer got in my car instead!!!!!

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Dress up time!

For years I've lamented that I never get to 'dress-up' or go anywhere I get to put on a dress- - the companies that Mark & I have worked for have not had the traditional Christmas party but more laidback personal get-togethers. Enter Mark's new company - his company rolled out the red-carpet - they had a cocktail party complete with a 12 person cover band (including dancing singers) - it was neat to be able to 'dress-up'. Some friends know that Mark is a great dancer, and yep - he got to break out some moves last nite!!

all dressed up with somewhere to go!
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Seeing Santa....

We were so excited to learn that Santa would be sneaking away from the crazy malls and would make himself available for a couple of hours at a local bank. It was a great way to see Santa -no line and Santa brought Mrs. Claus with him too - there were cookies and popcorn and lots of friendly elves nearby. Mommy hopes to see Santa here in future years too!

This was Anderson's 1st time approaching Santa without hesitation ... he was prepared with his 'wish list' - - Hulk Smash Hands and Lego Star Wars video game (hmm Katy, where did he get those ideas from? ; ) I've already had to educate Anderson that Santa is very aware of what Mommy & Daddy will allow him to give....

Carter was not interested (at all) in going to Santa - as long as I was holding him he was somewhat content, otherwise, very very afraid
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A busy "hump" day

Anderson had another "1st" day of preschool as he started at a preschool local to my parent's in ATL- he goes 3 days a week - Wed, Thur & Friday from only 9-12. He just walked right on in yesterday kinda like -come on, Mom- I've done this before!! He was happy as a clam and made himself right at home though would not oblige me with a photo with his new teachers. Oh well! I'm excited because I'm going to get fed too - next week I'll start in with the same church's MOPS program, and then in January I'm seriously considering joining in a Beth Moore study - Esther. I know that Beth Moore studies can be pretty rigorous (not from personal experience) but from many friends & family - but I think the timing is right and I think my Va Beach buddies will be doing the same study too - so it would be neat to do it together (kinda!)....

From Anderson's 1st day of school, we zipped home to eat a quick bite, I layed Carter down for a few minutes, then we headed to the doctor's office for Anderson's 4 year check-up. As I suspected, he checked out great. He's still a peanut - 10%ile for height, 25%ile for weight but the doctor was pleased with his health. Lord, thank you for the health of my boys!!!!

After we got home for a moment I decided I wanted to go to a class at the YMCA - mind you I'm still in mourning over the fact that they don't have Zumba, but I thought I would try a step class. Wow- I felt really uncoordinated! I had the stamina for the class, but hopefully the coordination will come later - I was really having a hard time keeping up with all the new steps! Hopefully Next time I'll get the swing a bit more!


Carter & William - a friendship in the making!

My friend Caren & I scheduled our 1st playdate with our boys - Caren is a dear friend from college - we spent a summer abroad together in France. After college we were roomies and we were both bridesmaids in each other's weddings. One of my 1st things I was exciting about doing in ATL upon our return was a playdate with our little guys. She has a 13month old - William - he's about 4months or so younger than Carter - so I know they will become really good friends -just like their mommies! This was their 1st real playdate and it went pretty well!!!

Here's Carter trying to give William a hug...

Here's Caren with our little ones - William & Carter

I'm also excited that I introduced Caren to one of my favorite things - Chai Tea Lattes at Starbucks - and she liked it!!! Yeah, another friend corrupted!!!
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an un-traditional Thanksgiving

Our last Thanksgiving in Va Beach started off at 6am - I headed downstairs and started whipping up my contributions to the day's feast - pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes & cranberry casserole, squash casserole. After I whipped those up, I proceeded to pack and clean non-stop until it was time to head to Paul & Rebekah's for Thanksgiving meal. The boys went on early to Paul & Rebekah's to have fun with family and also to give me and Mark some dedicated time to get the house in order. It's an interesting move when you only pack half of your home - - what's even more fun is making sure that the home still looks in 'showing' fashion. After stuffing ourselves with the feast, we got on the road. We stopped for the nite in Charlotte (thanks Brian & Monica) to rest and recharge, then drove the rest of the way to my parents' home in the ATL.

Here's the Judd caravan on Thanksgiving day - me & KatieBeth are driving (you can't see us), but there's Cathy driving the Infiniti, Scott driving their van, and Mark driving the good ole Penske! As you can see it was a great day for driving and the boys were great. (gotta love Kung Fu Panda!)

We were able to get settled in my parents home rather quickly, and suprisingly we're not as cramped as one would think! Anderson & Carter are sharing a room and that's going pretty well though we've had to do some major 'don't wake your brother' training in the mornings....

the boys "temporary" living situation

All in all, while it was a non-traditional turkey day, I was able to reflect during our drive about how thankful we are - for our health, our happiness, our friends & family - both near & far. The Lord has blessed us sooooo.....
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our last days in Va Beach

The week of Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind for the Judds...

I worked my last 2 days at NS on Monday and Tuesday - my colleagues took me out to lunch on Monday and presented me with a cake, card & Tiffany bracelet to say 'see ya later'. It was nice - I thought I was going to be a bit more tearful over the potential end of my career, but was instead excited about what the Lord will be doing in our lives! I finally became teary as I said goodbye to my dear friend Barb in the parking deck, but other than that - it was pretty anti-climatic. I think there was so much 'maybe' going on regarding my work situation that I didn't fully grasp it.

Wednesday was Anderson's "last day" at Greenbrier. They had a Thanksgiving dinner with the parents and we were able to bring Mark's parents & sister (Katie-Beth) with us. We were sad to part with Greenbrier Christian - we had an amazing experience there and we knew Anderson would miss his friends and teachers... Another goodbye out of the way...

Anderson "happy" as an indian - Mommy & Daddy fashioned his vest & hat - he liked them before getting to school....

Notice the scowl on his face - he was not happy that he had to wear his vest - notice his other friends not donning them.... aha - peer pressure. ugh

Ryan and Anderson - best buds

Our church had a Thanksgiving eve service on Wednesday nite so we made an affair out of it - we met our friends there for one last 'farewell' dinner and enjoyed fellowshipping one more time before the official goodbyes would get underway... After the awesome worship service, the tears began - actually they began mid-way thru the service when I turned around and saw Jen getting weepy - then it was all over for me. I tried to focus on how 'thankful' I was that the Lord had brought the Judds to Va Beach for a reason - and I believe that reason to be the amazing friendships that awaited us there.

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Goosebumps and the story of the prodigal croc

This will have to be a picture-less post as I can't yet use my laptop from my parents home and the batteries in my camera are dead. Have lots of pictures to post later, but first a few comical tidbits to share....

Anderson & I are just chatting when all of sudden Anderson tells me "Mommy, you have goosebumps!". I'm thinking 'no I don't' but I go ahead and ask him more - and then he points to my face to a couple of ahem, pimples I have!!!!!!!! Can you believe that! Now my 4year old is pointing out my blemishes! Too cute - I didn't bother to correct him - I mean who wants their 4year old to have 'pimples' or 'zits' in their vocabulary!!!! ; )

Many friends know that over the summer, my sweet little Carter adorned a pair of Crocs - I loved those things - so easy to take off and on, easy to wash off, etc. Well, after a trip to Charlotte back in late summer one of them went missing - it was during our roadtrip so we assumed it fell out at some random gas station and that we would never see it again. Mark & I searched the car hi & low and finally gave up hope. I was laughing with my friend Jen a couple weeks ago that I was still holding on to the orphaned croc - still hoping that somehow the other croc would somehow 'show up'. Lo & behold, as we're loading up our car for the big move, guess what shows up!!!!!!!!!! So silly how I excited I was over the silly shoe, but I guess it shows me to always hope!!!


Unchartered Territory here I come!

Since I announced our plan to move back to GA, I have been discussing my 'future' with NS. All along I knew there was the chance that I wouldn't be able to continue my 'reduced schedule' career with NS but I thought that surely I'd be able to stay on. However, once I declared our intentions with my boss - things didn't look good. Right off the bat Mark & I had to flesh out our plans again and determine if we were to stay the course. After much prayer & debate, we decided that no matter my 'career', Atlanta here we come. Then NS came back and indicated there were many reasons to be hopeful, then things didn't look good again, and so on and so forth. In the end, NS can't accomodate me in Atlanta - my 'reduced' schedule to blame - but going back to work full-time wasn't an option for me - not now and not in the foreseeable future, so it looks like for the time being, I'm going to be a stay-at-home-mom! The Lord has given me a complete peace in this change and I'm embracing this opportunity to stay at home with my boys - for I know that this is simply a new chapter in my life and it's time to turn the page.

""For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord"they are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.""
Jeremiah 29:11


Our "going home" party

My best friends Jen & Jamie hosted a 'going home' party for us Judds - it was quite surreal attending our 'going away' party. I was really scared about the evening worried that I would spend it tearful, but instead it was a happy occasion, a wonderful reminder of how blessed we have been to have lived here the last 5 years and the amazing friends the Lord has brought our way. I know that we were brought here to Va Beach with a purpose, and it is crystal clear to me, that the Lord brought us in fellowship with amazing families 'on the same page' with us. I know that because of these friendships, that I am better equipped to do 'life'. We have established many friendships that will last a lifetime - -of that I am certain. Here are some pics from the evening - unfortunately my picture taking started a bit late in the nite so I missed some snapshots with some dear friends....

my peeps - Jen, me & Jamie
the Jackson family - Jessica, Chris & Cody -expecting another little one in April!!!

Barb - a friend from work, spending some quiet time 'teaching' Carter. Barb is one of those special friends whom I just think the world of. I haven't known her more than 1year and a half, but love this woman! She is so wise, and she is amazing!
the 3 little friends - after the festivities, Mark was able to quickly capture a rare photo of these best buds!
me & Mark with Sue & Dave

the Judds & Schrodts - Katy & David have been a huge blessing to our family - not once, but twice, Katy has lovingly cared for my boys for extended periods of time -Anderson from 10months to 2years and Carter from 8months to 18months. We will never be able to fully express our gratitude for the blessing they've been to us!!!the Maggiores & Judds....

the 'other' Judds - Paul & Rebekah....

small group friends (and SEC comrades!) Elizabeth & Daniel with their girls Reagan & Bellawork friends Kristen & Barb (with curious Carter)

our dear friends the Liberatores - Mark met Mike at work and we've been friends ever since - their boys Niko & Tony are great buddies with Anderson & Carter. Niko and Anderson went to 'school' together for 1year.... They are precious friends with generous hearts!
Amy & Chris Purcell -small group friends we recently bonded with in Nags Head...

April, David & Kayla - April & I used to work out (or walk) together sometimes - this girl cracks me up!

the men.... (what Hunks!!)

the women... (what an amazing support network!!)

this is what Anderson & Ryan did all nite long -Wrestle!!!!!!!!

Believe it or not, Paul & Mark actually dressed alike - not on purpose, but I guess it's the twin thing!!!!!! For those of you who can't tell - Mark is left, Paul right....

an attempt at getting a family photo.... UGH!

Our friend Chris Jackson served as a live jungle gym for the kids all evening - kids climbed on him all night long!!!Judds & Saunders....... (Kevin - open your eyes!!!!!)


Greek- Italian Nite!

Our great friends, the Liberatores, invited us over to their home Saturday nite to let our 4 boys play and to have dinner. When they do dinner, we know we are in for a treat and that we are going to eat GOOD!!!! Mike is Greek and Roseann is Italian (I think I got that right) and so they always cook authentic italian food (such an awesome treat!!!). I wish I had taken a pic of the amazing antipasti platter Roseann had for us (I think I at 1lb of salami by myself!). We had a great time, as usual, and the 4 boys (and Avery) had a blast. We will miss our dear friends - we love you Mike, Roseann, Niko & Tony!!! Please come down South for many visits!!!

the best we could do to get the 4 boys together.....

toddler friends Carter & Tony
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