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The Noble Family

Updated: 2017-09-14T09:45:04.670-05:00


Happy 6th Ethan!


I can't believe my baby boy is 6 years old! We celebrated all weekend long - trips to favorite restaurants, yogurt places, Monster Jam and a party at The Children's Museum. It was a fun weekend! Nina and friend Maddy before the party starts Ethan and some of his guests - waiting for everyone else to arrive Cookie Cake!!! Yes, there are trick candles! We love FedEx! Miss Cathy and the kids - she's always so sweet to come to their parties. Ethan and his girls Ethan with sweet friends! The 2 Ethan's Mark's FedEx winging ceremony Downtown Memphis with the Birthday Boy Sunday Brunch at The Majestic Monster Jam with Daddy! A football birthday! Gracie and Sydney came to Ethan's Kindergarten Rocks program and Open House Can leave Nina out....[...]

Traditions that will be hard to end...


I know things change constantly in life...but some times those changes are just really hard. There are 2 things that I have a feeling might change for me in 2011 that I will have a hard time stomaching. 4th of July and Santa. My dearest, best friend in the whole wide world is moving across the whole wide world (or just the US) to California. Chris, her husband, is actually already there and Melanie is moving with the girls at the end of January. We've done so much together in the past and 4th of July and our yearly visit with Santa are 2 of those things that I look forward to so much each year. This year they might be different.Here are some pictures from 2010 4th of July and our Santa visit. Some precious memories! Getting ready for the parade The kids having fun playing before the fireworks Nona with Ethan and Nina Walk across the golf cart bridge All 5 kiddos Ethan and Nina talking with SC This year we were able to get all the kids with Santa and I love it! Ashton was NOT happy - but that's what makes it even better! I love Santa! Melanie and I always stop in the main area of Phipps to get pics of the kids - usually hoping to get our xmas card pic - it's generally the most chaotic time I've ever experience and I love every second of it. We usually end up breaking a sweat before it's all said and done. I think this picture is hilarious because of Nina, Avery and Ashton...hilarious! And then there's sweet and somewhat grown up Allie and Ethan who are FINALLY doing what they are told to do - look at the camera and smile! Sweet life long friends!!! Standing in line to ride The Pink Pig Riding The Pink Pig!2011 will be an interesting year - maybe the 4th of July and Santa tradition will be able to continue...but if not, we've had the best time in the past years doing this together and I will never forget these memories we made!!![...]

Beach 2010


I have been HORRIBLE with I'm trying to get caught up. We enjoyed 2 trips to the beach this past summer. The end of June we went to Grayton Beach (inbetween Destin and Seaside) with my Mom. We stayed in a charming cottage right behind our dear friends the Hallfords. It was during the oil spill, but we didn't see any tar on the beach at Grayton. The weather was awful, due to the tropical storm that went to TX, but it was still an incredible week with great food, great company and we were at the beach....nothing could be better than that! Then in September we went to Hilton Head with Mark's family and had another fabulous week at the beach. As I'm writing this, it's January (obviously) and my hands are freezing....the beach sounds fabulous! Nina and her favorite Mr. Norman! Swimming in the Hallfords pool I think that's Nina on top of this huge sand hill on the beach - supposed to guard the washout Mr. Norman's beach truck The Red Bar - one of our favorite places to eat! Nona and Nina dancing in The Red Bar Partners in crime Sydney and Gracie were also at the beach that week - we met up with them for shaved ice in Seaside Hilton Head - much different beach.... The kids with RoRo Before dinner at one of our favorite places to eat - The Black Marlin Ethan and his zoo One of the many perks of going to the beach during September - NO ONE else is there. Ahhh, it's incredible! Nina sharing a daquri with RoRo Ok, I'm one caught up blog down, now how many more to go....?[...]

Nina is Pinkalicious


Nina is all pinked out for soccer! We went yesterday to Dick's to buy pink cleats, shin guards, ball and of course, pink Umbros. The guy that helped us didn't have shin guards (or shinneth guardings as Nina calls them) that fit her and asked if she would wear blue instead. I kid you not, she looked at him, put her hand on her hip and said, "no, I want pink." So her shin guards are a little big, but it saved quite a bit of drama, and of course made for a matching outfit. Now, game day is going to be a different story, especially if the uniforms end up being Tennessee orange, or something like that, but oh well, for now she's completely happy being all pinked out to play! So what if she doesn't score a goal, she's so dang cute, what does it matter??? Ethan isn't playing this season, but he went to her first practice last night and they played monster in the middle, and guess who was the monster? Yep, Ethan. He loved that! If you will notice here, even the Umbros are a little big...ok, a lot big...but they didn't have her size and to save from a LOT of drama, I just bought big ones and pulled them as tight as they would go and roll the waistband. Didn't we used to roll our waste bands on our Umbros anyways? Oh wait, that was 1989, so never mind![...]

First Day...


Today was the BIG day - Ethan started Kindergarten and Nina started preschool. There is nothing to prepare you for leaving your 5 year old across town all day long. That was the worst feeling. Thank you Melanie and Sonic for being there for me ;-). I wasn't sure we had left the house in plenty of time, but we did. The conversation on the way was quite amusing. Ethan was full of questions. His main concern was tomorrow's was only a phase in day and his next day isn't until Thursday, so Wednesday he's able to sleep in! He's already talking about that, not good! I was able to walk Ethan into his classroom today. Miss Debbie, the Kindergarten principal was there to greet us with a smile. She's such a lovely lady and obviously loves what she does! Miss Claire was at the door waiting for Ethan to arrive. As soon as he got to her, he informed her of his trip to the beach in a few weeks. Great, so we're already talking about sleeping in and when he's going to be beach. We snapped a picture and in he went. He did hug and kiss me, but by that point, I was fighting back the tears, so I got out of there. I was able to get home in time to take Nina to her first day. She was more than ready and I don't know if she knew I even left. She's going to love going to preschool and I suppose I'll get used to the peace and quiet everyone keeps talking about. However, today, I did not get to enjoy that peace and quiet because Mark thought it was funny to "check on me" throughout the morning. Oh, and he did go on a bike ride and while he was gone, someone had to go get Nina. After getting back in the car to come home, I checked my phone and he had called several times. I had this panic feeling thinking that Harding had called and there was a problem. I quickly called Mark back only to have him answer in this really ticky tone and ask me where I was. "Um, honey, someone had to pick our daughter up from preschool." His tone changed drastically at that point. Tonight I had to make the trek back to Harding (only 11 miles, but at least 20 minutes) for parent orientation. It was nice and very comforting to know that these people will be with my baby everyday all day. Once I ran an errand and got home, I went to check on Ethan. He was passed OUT and had only been in bed a few minutes. I leaned over to kiss him and he finally jumped a little and opened his eyes. He looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I just can't hold my eyes open anymore, I'll talk to you in the morning." Bless his sweet little heart! I'm surprised he actually ate breakfast - 2 pieces of bacon and cereal Let's go! Ethan and Miss Claire - by the way, I found out tonight that she started at Harding when she was in 1st grade. She graduated from there, went to Harding University. Went back to Harding Academy for her student teaching, graduated from Harding University and went back to Harding Academy to teach and has been there ever since - 21 years teaching there. She's going to be perfect for Ethan and us this year! And Muddy's strawberry cupcakes are her favorite - mine too, so we're already on the same page - and I know how to get on her good side!! Nina ready to go! Oh me - drama! Out of order, but this little one got a gift from RoRo today - a pink backpack! When Ethan's new backpack came, I didn't order Nina one and RoRo felt sorry for her....Nina was thrilled to get this today! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />When I went to pick Nina up this morning, the director asked her if she was going to go home and play with Ethan's toys while he was in school. She said no and I said, let's go home and jump on his bed while he's gone. Well, it wasn't 3 minutes after walking through [...]

Meet the Teacher


Ethan exploring his classroom There are 16 kids - 8 girls and 8 boys - 2 Ethans....Ethan finds his desk ON THE FRONT ROW.....Mr. Wendel's class was the only class I ever sat on the front row - all the other classes I'd sit towards the back so I could get away with chewing gum. I could never get away with chewing gum in Mr. Wendel's class. E won't be chewing gum, but I still chuckle thinking of him on the front row! Ethan finds his locker See you Tuesday! Nina and Daddy at dinner Ethan was done eating, so he played. Nina showing off her new haircut!Summer is over, well, for us, it's the last weekend of summer. We've had a good last week. Unfortunately we couldn't do much outside because it's been ridiculously hot - temps in the high 90s-100 and heat index has been up to 125 lately. Yes, it's been that hot. But we've had a great week of fun before reality sets in! Tonight was meet the teacher night at school. Miss Claire is his teacher and seemed like the perfect teacher. Ethan will be in kindergarten, first day is Tuesday. Nina starts preschool, also on Tuesday. I now have a new appreciation for those that have birthdays in August and I now realize why I received items like my white Guess jeans and new shoes for my August birthday. Back to school is worse than Christmas on a wallet. I've been bleeding money right and left!I have so many pictures from the summer to post, including our really cool (and by cool, I mean temperature) week at the beach with my Mom. Oh to have those temperatures and to be at Grayton Beach right now....sigh....enjoy these pics and hopefully this weekend I can post a catch-up post.[...]



Mark is the deacon at church in charge of the kids 5th grade and under, and VBS is one of the things he's responsible for. Last summer it seemed like it was no big deal. Even late last Fall and early this year as we finalized the theme and started planning, it seemed like it wasn't too bad...WELL, WE WERE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! We started many weeks ago having work nights up at church to start getting things drawn, cut, colored, painted, laminated, etc....then this past week we pretty much lived up at church getting everything decorated. Our theme this year is "Galactic Blast" and Mark put our dear friend Cathy (although she might not be our dear friend anymore after these past 2 weeks) in charge of decorations. She had an incredible vision and with lots of help we were able to pull off incredible decorations! Tonight was the first night. We had 92 kids and they all had such a great time! Everyone has done such an amazing job and we are blessed to have talented members that are willing to help and get their hands dirty! Beginning to hang all the black sheeting down the halls and getting the sun in place Just a cute picture of my cutie patootie! One of our members owns a steel company and Cathy went to him to ask him to make a world... he made this steel frame and 2 of our other talented members covered it in a tarp and cut out the land masses. This is the entrance to Great Oaks Galactic Blast! Pretty cool, huh? Yet another talented member made this control panel. Everything turns off and on and the kids love playing on it!! Cathy just asked him to make something and this is what he came up with. Ethan trying on Mark Baker's gorilla mask....he's part of the assembly team for VBS and last year he was Perry the Polar Bear. This year he's a green gorilla. Saturday when we were all up at the church working, Mark got his costume and put it on and we literally had several crying kids. Sooooooo, he cut the face out of the mask and put several coats of green spray paint on his costume. See pictures below - I don't think we had any crying kids tonight, except his daughter Gracie kept going around telling everyone that she didn't like her Daddy! Baker is always a huge hit at VBS!! Karen hanging the last few planets in the usher hall. Ethan playing with the control panel The breezeway was completely blacked out as well and one wall had the sun and Cathy hung 3 bright lights with yellow bulbs. Mrs. Pattye getting the glow in the dark tshirts ready for the kiddos Inside the gym at the craft area looking out at the dining area. The lady that heads up the preschool at church was in charge of food for VBS. She and her crew cook dinner and serve it every night for everyone and it's just so nice not to have to worry about dinner! They do an amazing job and this year they went all out decorating the gym. This is where the kids eat - and they put black lights inside the tent. It's so cool! The hall from the sun to the gym was completely blacked out from floor to ceiling and we hung glow in the dark astronauts, planets, stars, etc....all the way down the hall and ceiling and replaced the bulbs with black lights. The kids love this! Our moon and moon rover! The rocket that Jeff made - while the kids were coming in and out of the auditorium, he put dry ice under it so it looked like it was about to blast off. Ethan and his friends Charlie and Nathan at crafts Nina's class ended up with 17 kids - it was a disaster getting them from the auditorium to the gym, so we got a rope for them to hold onto and it was much easier. They were so cute! Les (our Involvement Minister) and Jason hanging out in the lobby Mark the green gorilla Baker Mark and Les reviewing their lines for the assembly time Nina enjoying her first night of VBS! The rocket that was constructed this afternoon in just a couple of hours for the front of the stage - many people pulled together at the last m[...]

Nina turns 3!!


So after I uploaded all these pictures, I realized that they are out of order. Oh well. Nina turned 3 on May 8th. We drove to my Mom's house and spent the weekend. It was a packed weekend full of dentist visits, haircuts, pedicure, 5 year and 3 year pictures of the kids, tractor rides, playing outside, birthday cake, presents, yummy food and Mary Poppins. Ro Ro flew down from Maryland to spend the weekend with us. It's just so hard to believe that our little Nina is 3! She seriously is a complete MESS, a huge riot and just a blessing to us! With the "real" Mary Poppins after the fabulous show! Nina enjoying her birthday brownie and ice cream at Papasittos Ethan in the birthday sombrero Nina loved having the servers sing to her! Obviously Ethan did not want to have his picture taken....silly boys! Ro Ro and Nina Nona and Ethan Ethan always goes and gets a ball of dough before it goes into the tortilla maker - this entertains him for HOURS!! Nina ready to open presents! For Ethan's 4th birthday, Nona and RoRo were in charge of buying candles....they "accidentally" purchased trick candles, therefore making it a tradition for both of the kid's birthdays. So Nina is waiting for the candles to re-lite, again. Getting a little help from Bubba Oh yea, Mommy remembered to get trick candles.... Happy Birthday, Nina!![...]

Recent Happenings


Easter has come and gone and Spring is here! My Mom was in town for her Spring Break and that was nice. Mark and I celebrated 8 years of marriage and since Mom was in town, we spent the evening downtown Memphis. I've always wanted to stay at The Peabody, so I booked a room there and we went to dinner downtown and had a nice evening. It's hard to believe we've been married for 8 years and have 2 kids!The kids have been busy playing outside and just enjoying this nice weather. Ethan and Nina both keep talking about the beach though - we're all looking forward to that! Nina is almost 3 and has been potty was so much easier with a boy! She's been doing well though. When my Mom came a couple of weeks ago, she brought my old "big girl bed" (I called it "antique old bed") and we're having it fixed for Nina. Today, I got the big idea to go ahead and put her in the toddler bed. So Ethan and I moved it into her room and she loves it. Now, we're only one day into it, but so far she took a great nap in it this afternoon and tonight she went to bed just fine. There are lots of changes going on for her....panties, big girl bed, about to get rid of pappy (just has it at nap and bed)....and she's finally down to 1 nap a day. Yes, my child is almost 3 and would still take 2 naps a day if I would let her. I love this child!Ethan is down to his last 4 weeks of preschool and I'm a little upset about it. We've made some great friends and it's just hard to believe that his 2 years of preschool are over and in August he'll be going every day, all day. We're all looking forward to the summer break!Enjoy the pictures! Ethan and Nina on Easter morning I thought this was funny - Nina is just a ham in front of the camera sometimes! The EB brought MORE stuffed animals....just what we needed.... Miss Drama Queen....loving my sunglasses! It's just hard to believe this one will be leaving me everyday next year! He's so sweet (when he wants to be!) And I should brag on him here....I took him for his 5 year old check up 2 weeks ago. I had been dreading this one - shots, finger pricked, peeing in a cup, eye and hearing just wasn't going to be pretty. And I knew it. So I told him I scheduled the appointment and sure enough he started getting antsy....he said that if he didn't cry at all during shots I would take him to the toy store and get him a toy. "Absolutely, yes, Ethan!"...was my response. He said, "2 toys" ....."Yes, Ethan!" ....he said, "3 BIG toys"...."of course, Ethan!"....Mark was ticked at me for doing this. But I KNEW that there was NO WAY Ethan wouldn't cry at his shots. Well, we went to the dr. He was a little apprehensive, but no tears. The nurse came and pricked his finger. He did everything they needed him to do. The dr. came and went and all was fine. Oh, he's over 97% in height and weight and was perfect in everything else. The nurse came in with 4 shots and he started getting squirmy.....she asked him to lie down and he didn't want to. So he sat UP and NEVER flinched during all 4 shots. Not only was I impressed, but the nurse said she had never had a 5 year old sit up for kindergarten shots. Sooooooooo, we had to go shopping......I followed through on my word and I learned a valuable lesson. Here's our little drama queen!! After the storms came through this past weekend, it was like a completely different day. The kids loved jumping in the puddles in the cul de sac.A rare moment when they weren't fighting or screaming at each other.... You know how when you put your kid's pacifier in their mouths for the first time and they are HUGE...and then all of a sudden they grow into it? Well, same thing with their Big Wheels, or as Nina calls it, her "wheel." Both my kids looked hilarious when they got their Big Wheels. My Daddy bought Ethan his 2 years ago at Christmas - Ethan was almost 3. He looked r[...]

Trip to Maryland


For Ethan's Spring Break we flew to Maryland. The weather was perfect - warm and sunny and Spring was in the air! We had such a great week and did a lot of fun things! We have a friend here at church that is a Secret Service agent and a few months ago he sent of request for us for a White House tour and a Capitol tour. It's great to have some connections! Our Capitol tour was with our Senator Bob Corker's office. One of his assistants gave us the tour. His office building is across the street from the Capitol, so we actually got to ride the underground subway from the Senate office building into the Capitol. It was neat and there was a lot of positive and negative buzz around the buildings with the health care vote about to happen. We did get to meet our Senator and he was very nice. The new visitor's center inside the Capitol was very nice! Ethan, of course, just wanted to go back to the Air and Space Museum....Friday was our White House tour. We were all really excited! I hadn't been inside since the 3rd grade. Of course the kids were thrilled and kept their eyes out for the First Dog, Bo. Once inside, Ethan asked one of the agents in the Green Room where Bo was....she told him that we had just missed seeing him outside for his walk. The kids were so heartbroken! It was really gorgeous inside and was just neat to be in the house where so many important people had also been. We walked down the hall and stood in the exact spot that the President and Vice President stood just 2 days later speaking about the health care bill. We really enjoyed seeing people coming in and out of the White House again and we were thrilled to have that experience ourselves. After leaving The White House, we walked over to the American History Museum - my favorite. It has recently been overhauled and the changes were very nice. It was a perfect day to be in the city!Enjoy the pictures of our wonderful visit! Nina and RoRo at the Science Center in Baltimore, MD Ethan and Mark playing at the Science Center Astronauts RoRo and Ethan Mark and the kids at The Inner Harbor in Baltimore Air and Space Museum We were a week early for the Cherry Blossom festival....but there were several that were already in full bloom in the city and they were gorgeous. This is one through a window at Air and Space Making our way to the Capitol Ethan outside Senator Bob Corker's office Standing in the heart of DC for good luck - inside the crypt room in the Capitol. The Rotunda Outside The White House RoRo didn't plan on matching us....but of course, I planned it! I had asked Mark to wear his pink shirt...but didn't tell him what we were wearing. He didn't put it together until we were already in the city, thank goodness! I thought it made for a good picture and that's what mattered! Having lunch at The White HouseYes, they still fight in front of The White House After our tour - we couldn't take cameras inside, so this is from my phone Reward for behaving inside The White House - they were both so well behaved! This is not my picture - taken from the American History website. This is the new Star Spangled Banner exhibit. It was very moving! It's very dark and all that is lit are the lights on the floor. The flag has been in renovation for almost 7 years and last year was placed in this display. Worth going to see! As soon as we started walking to the museum, Nina passed out First Lady Obama's inaugural gown - my favorite exhibit at the museum! I don't know if I had a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, if I would have given them up - although I'm sure this isn't her only pair! Ethan had gotten a few new airplanes at the Air and Space, so I took Nina into the gift shop at American History to pick something out. Of course she spotted a stuffed animal that was First Dog Bo and wanted it immediately. Well, [...]

5 Years Ago...



(image) We love you Ethan Justice Noble!!! Happy 5th Birthday!

Ice 2010


Friday morning we started getting freezing rain/sleet/ice/snow...and it continued through Saturday morning. It was gorgeous, but when we went outside to walk over to Cathy and Donnie's, we quickly realized it was ice and not snow. It looked like snow, but it was like walking on a frozen pond - it kept cracking and finally our feet would fall through. It was crazy and the kids had an extremely difficult time walking through it. They did, however, have an absolute blast riding on Donnie's 4-wheeler and then sledding on a golf course nearby. Church was cancelled today but by the afternoon the sun came out and started melting the ice quickly off the roads. However, school is still cancelled again tomorrow.....ugh! Cathy giving Nina a ride Nina's first ride...she didn't know what in the world to think! Nina and Daddy riding again! Taylor, Cathy's nephew, through the sandtrap Nina and Daddy walking back up the hill Mark giving us a big push Mommy and Nina walking back up the hill Ethan being fearless! Ethan was literally he is jumping a sandtrap on the golf course. He loved it the higher and faster he went! Daddy and Nina riding again Nap time[...]

Magic Kingdom...late night


After Animal Kingdom, we had dinner and took Nona and Nina back to the condo. Mark, Ethan and I headed out to the Magic Kingdom. They were open til 2am...I think we made it til almost 1am and just were exhasted. We had so much fun and Ethan loved every second. On the tram heading into the park. Just a little excited.. 2nd time in 1 day seeing Mickey and how times have changed! Late night visit with Mickey and Minnie Mouse Ethan taking Daddy for a ride Riding the Astro Orbiter - SO glad we did this at night when there was very little wait. I would have been ticked if we had waited in the ridiculously long line during the day for this 30 second ride. Ethan enjoyed it though. Riding It's a Small World - we were literally the only ones in our boat. So gorgeous at night! Snow on Main Street as we left the park that night (or morning) We weren't even out of the parking lot and Ethan was already passed out! Mickey Mouse rice krispie treat...$5, Ethan's ticket to Disney World...$275, Not having to put your child to bed because he's so worn out after a full day at the park...PRICELESS! [...]

Animal Kingdom


Our first day at Disney was at Animal Kingdom. I don't think it was the wisest of choices....the kids were both kind of sick (colds) and weren't in the best of moods and they didn't understand why Dumbo wasn't there and kept asking when they'd see Cinderella's castle. It was a gorgeous day and we still had fun. The kids loved the Nemo and Lion King show and of course the Safari ride. Nina felt horrible! But she was a trooper and we kept going! We finished the Lion King show and were back at the character greet area. We stood in line for Donald Duck and were in line for Minnie Mouse. Ethan saw Mickey in the area next to us and wanted to go, but it was close to park closing time and they had already shut his line down. Ethan was not happy....the cast member you see standing behind Ethan came up to him and asked him what was wrong. He told her he wanted to see Mickey. So she took Ethan and Mark and walked them right up to Mickey Mouse and fulfilled one little boy's dream! A very happy Ethan![...]

Santa, the real Santa


Those of you that know me, know that I love Santa...the real Santa...he lives at Phipps Plaza from mid November through Christmas Eve. Now, growing up, he lived at Perimeter Mall and then moved to Phipps years later. We would get all dressed up and go to the mall and stand in line for HOURS to see Santa. Hours! Then he moved to Phipps and I seem to remember getting a number and then you'd come back when it was time for your number to be called. Still waited in line though. It was a Justice family tradition to go see Santa and ride The Pink Pig. It was a day that I looked most forward to growing up and a day that holds some of my fondest childhood memories. When I had Ethan, I was thrilled that I would get to take him to see the same Santa that I had grown up seeing myself. You don't stand in line anymore, this year you called to make an appointment. It literally took me 3 hours to get through - and that was using 4 different phones. I was that serious about making sure Ethan saw my Santa, the real Santa. As I put Ethan on his lap, I hugged his neck and I know he knew who I was. He may not have remembered my name, but I know he knew me. He just had that twinkle in his eyes. Even when I went to pick up Ethan's pictures, he made eye contact with me and gave me that same twinkle, smiled and waved at me. It thrilled me! Ethan was able to see my Santa the first year - that next March he died. I was crushed! The article about Santa Ray is in Ethan's baby book. I said, if you know me you know how magical I thought this Santa was. His best friend replaced him as the famous Santa. He's good, but not as good as my Santa. Now I go online in October at midnight to get the coveted appointment. Now we make our appointment with Melanie and her girls. It's become our tradition to do this and as long as I'm able, I will continue to bring my kids to go to Santa. I hope that when they are 32, they look at Santa the way I do and see the magic! I believe in the magic! Merry Christmas!!![...]

Halloween 2009


October has been quite the busy month for us (no surprise there). We went back to Atlanta the first of the month for the U2 concert. I was planning on staying there with the kids until Melanie had her baby on the 13th. Well, she ended up having Ashton earlier, on the we stayed through that weekend and headed back to Memphis. Ashton is the perfect little one and I was thrilled to have gotten to see her! Makes me want another one...RoRo and Nona came to town for Halloween. We've known for awhile that RoRo was coming, but then Nona decided to use a last minute buddy pass and come too - so we had 4 extra hands in the house. It was so nice! The kids of course loved having them here and enjoyed some alone time with RoRo on the front end and some alone time with Nona on the back end of their visit. Their visits are never long enough (hint hint)!!!I love it when the kids get great use out of their costumes. This year Ethan really got great use out of his costume. I purchased it while on vacation and he wore it at the get bagels @ Panera, to the fire station for a visit, wanted to wear it to putt putt....then he got to wear it Trunk or Treating at church, preschool and Halloween. I would say that I got my full value out of this one! 2 days after Nona left, Nina started running a fever and ended up with H1N1. I had already been feeling some sinus stuff starting and it hit me hard. Ethan got the flu mist when we took Nina to the dr -so he started running a fever because of that. Mark got a little cold too. So we were all out of commission and NO RoRo and NO you want grandparents in town to help when you're healthy and can do whatever you want or do you want them in town when you're sick and need help? Luckily I have the best husband and Mark really stepped up and nursed us all back to health. Saturday night I went to bed around midnight and woke up around noon on 2pm I was back asleep until almost 6pm. During that afternoon nap, he took a picture of me sprawled out on the floor in the family room with my iPhone and then posted it on facebook for everyone to see. What irritated me more than the picture of me is that you can see all of my ironing piled up on the love seat above me....he knew I would be furious! He also posted a picture we had taken of Nina the day before. They had been playing outside and she came inside, took her shoes off and walked in front of me and said she was going to get her pappy and take a nap. I was like, ok, whatever. Ethan and Mark came inside and Ethan went upstairs to play a little before his nap. Finally Mark went up to put them both down for naps and couldn't find Nina anywhere. She's gotten quite good at hiding quietly, unlike her Bubba, so he just thought she was hiding. She had gone in her room and turned her music on, gotten her blanket and pappy out of her crib and went in the corner....behind her crib....curled up and fell asleep. We picked her up and put her in her bed and she still slept another 4 hours! All that being said....we are finally coming out of this yuck. Nina did have H1N1, but less than 12 hours after medication was a completely different child. The dr couldn't believe that our kids have only had 1 antibiotic a piece - we have been blessed with healthy children...but when we get sick, we get sick! I finally went to the dr today and 3 hours later....just a bad sinus infection, luckily. I guess I'll post the 2 pictures here too so everyone that isn't on facebook knows what my husband did to me....payback will be fun (or expensive)! Nina, a couple of weeks ago, Sunday after church....chunkier, before the flu Birthday outfit I made for [...]

Hilton Head 2009


We met Mark's parents, Carl and Jaime in Hilton Head a few weeks ago for our annual beach trip. Every year it gets better and better....but I think this year topped them all. The kids being a little older was a plus for sure! This year we were in a house that was huge and had our own pool. That was so nice! The weather was fabulous - no rain and still very warm temps, but not July/August hot. The kids absolutely loved the ocean - the rougher the better! September was just the best time to go to the beach! Ethan and Nina had breakfast out by the pool every morning with Ro Ro. Oh the life! Happy Birthday Pa! Ro Ro took the kids up to the fire station at the front of Palmetto Dunes one morning. They were there for a long time and the kids loved it. Then Ethan had to go back later in the week for one more visit. Ethan and Nina with Uncle Carl and Aunt Jaime before leaving for dinner and putt putt [...]



So, once we left Paris, each little town we toured became an instant favorite. The Normandy region was incredible and full of quaint little towns that I long to visit again. This afternoon, Eric took us to a cheese factory....we could have done without this part of the tour. But, it was a means to an end. We endured the arrogant French cheese maker for awhile, and then took off on our next adventure. Eric had us walking through this field (pictures below) and we had no idea where we were going....kind of thought at one point Eric didn't know where we were going either. Anyways, all of a sudden we popped out on this path walking along the cliffs of Etretat and they were breathtaking. This was an intense walk up and down this path - with cliffs on one side and fields and a gorgeous golf course on the other. The water was gorgeous, the sky was gorgeous and it was just an incredible afternoon. The pictures just don't even come close to showing how beautiful this area was - you must go and see for yourself! The cheese maker's house Faye Roberts with the goats Starting our walk to the cliffs And we're still walking... And we finally made it! Cleo (my roomie) in front of one of the famous natural made arches Finally the town is in view! Notice the church on top of the hill - if you go back up to the picture of Faye with the goats, you'll notice the same church...and you can get a little idea of how far we walked that afternoon [...]






There's so much to catch up on....I still have TONS of France pictures to share, as well as many other things we did this summer and our recent beach trip. Anyways, here are a few pictures from the cemetary in Normandy. It was an incredible experience to be there - just days after the 65th anniversary of the invasion. I am so thankful that this area of France was on our trip and that we were able to go and experience this place. You must go!

Move Over David Beckham...


Ethan had his first soccer practice tonight. He loved it! There are 10 kids total on his team (only 3 girls).... Gracie, Macie and Nathan (from preschool) are all on the team too. They all seemed to have a blast tonight and they, of course, were all so cute!
(image) Gracie is standing in front hugging her pink ball and Macie is in the back with her pink bow
(image) Ethan ready to show Coach Baker his mad skills
(image) Ethan and Nathan goofing off while Coach Baker is getting the rest of the team ready to see if they can pass a ball around the boys
(image) A much needed drink break
(image) I love Macie and Gracie's expressions!

What your Mom doesn't know, when it happens, won't hurt her...


As some of you know, we have friends here in Memphis that have airplanes. Mark goes out to the airport every chance he gets to hang out, fly, help out, etc....Well, since my birthday was this past week, Dave told Mark to bring me out so he could take me flying in his little aerobatic airplane. I have never done anything like this, but knew I'd love it. I, of course, was not prepared....I kind of remember Mark telling me to change shoes, but was thinking sippy cup, snack, diaper (for Nina, not me), so didn't change shoes. I had on flip flops! I ended up wearing Mark's tennis shoes - my feet are big, but not man size I felt like a clown! Regardless of the shoes, it was a fabulous ride! Dave is an amazing pilot! As soon as we took off, he had us in tight turns and a low, high speed fly by over the taxi way (right over Amy). The airport is close to downtown Memphis and right off the Mississippi River, so he took me over the River and over creeks - below the tree line low. It was so cool! Then he climbed up to altitude and started doing barrel rolls and all this totally cool stuff - taking the plane straight up and then turning and coming straight down....I know my Mom is cringing right now.....thus the title of this blog! She, up until this point, didn't know that I went up! But, I came back down....had a fabulous time....and want to go back!!! Thanks, Dave for a great ride!!! Heading out to meet Dave at the fuel pump....old school style! Jay getting me in the parachute Ok, I've got my parachute and clown shoes on....ready to go! HOT shoes! Ok, hurry up before I change my mind! As we were sitting at the fuel pump, he came in to refuel....Ethan and Nina loved this! Ok, we're in and ready to roll! And we're off! Jay, Amy, Rocket and Nina waiting for us to come back We're back - and I didn't lose any contents of my stomach! Where are my flip flops?! One of the coolest, most generous guys I know - and a great person to be friends with ;-)!!! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />[...]

Ethan's First Day of Preschool


Ethan started preschool this past Wednesday. There are 16 little kiddos in his class this year and 2 great teachers. He is also playing soccer and has informed us multiple times that he will play soccer, but he can't go to preschool too - like his social calendar is full or something?! Anytime we even spoke the word "preschool" he started giving us fits and I thought to myself, "oh no, it's going to be horrible!" So, we had been talking it up with him for several days. I had recently made a tshirt for one of his good friends in Georgia, so he requested I make one just like it for him to wear on his first day. Our power went out Tuesday night after I had done the alligator but before I had done his name - luckily it came back on and I was able to finish it. Wednesday morning he woke up and we did our thing, got him ready and I took him to preschool. As soon as you walk through the double doors, the director, Kim, is standing there to greet every kid and parent. If you remember, Ethan became fast friends with Mrs. Whiteside last year because she would come and get him every day to let him call me just to "check in" at home. That stopped within a month or so, but I thought that we might be heading that direction again this year. She immediately dropped to her knees and threw her arms open for Ethan to come running into them for a huge back to school hug. He just stood there and looked at her and then slowly inched into her arms - had this look like, "I'm too cool to hug you Mrs. Whiteside, but I'll do it anyways." It was hysterical. I walked him to his classroom and he looked inside, kind of hung on me but then walked in and never looked back. Whew! Let's hope this Monday when he goes back, will be that easy, or easier! As a first day of school treat, we took him bowling. That was so much fun! Even Nina had fun just running around and eating Skittles. So we're back into the swing of the routine around here - that is, until we go to the beach!!! Ethan ready to go to school! Mark picked him up that day and I asked him to take a picture - he let Ethan choose his favorite spot in the room and this is what he wanted. They had to bring a stuffed animal to meet the class mascots - Darcy the Dog and Kasey the Koala. It should be an interesting year! Nina and her Skittles at the bowling alley Bowling was a hit and he says he wants to go bowling everyday after preschool... He was actually pretty good! Uh, I think it might be time to go home... I turned 32 on the 20th - man it stinks when you get older...birthdays just aren't as fun as they used to be. But I still had a very nice day - slept in a little, went to aerobics, ran some errands and had dinner and dessert cooked for me. Mark is fabulous in this department - always asks what cake I want and always delivers with an incredibly yummy cake! This year was the fail safe in our house...the Boston Creme Pie!! Here's to another year![...]

2 year old with a tude!


Nina has quite a little attitude on her....don't know where she got that from... Ethan hasn't had any swimming lessons and is swimming all over the pool by himself. He loves swimming at Cathy's pool! Miss Nina loves the pool too! Miss Attitude in her "choo choo train" as she calls it Ethan and Nina today after church Nina did something funny this afternoon and I said, "Nina, you are so cute!" She then replied, "No, Mommy, I'm not cute yet....I'm not cute til I have my watermelon dress on...." Yes, it's pure drama around our house!!! [...]



Mark and I went to Las Vegas at the end of June for Amy and Dave's wedding. Mark and I went to Auburn with Amy and she ended up here in Memphis and met and fell in love with Dave...and they got engaged last Christmas and started planning their wedding in Vegas. Dave is a doctor but loves to fly and loves airplanes - and owns several. Mark spends some of his free time out at the airport hanging out with the guys - it's just a fun group of people that have expensive toys! About 55 met out in Vegas to hang out for several days around this wedding. Mark and I made it out there Saturday morning, the day of the wedding, and stayed through Monday night. It was a great trip and a gorgeous wedding! Saturday night we stayed at Planet Hollywood which is right across the street from The Bellagio - where the wedding was. Planet Hollywood was really nice, very modern and chic....loud and young. Our private cabana for the day - everyone hung out here through the day before the wedding The flowers in the garden area off the lobby at The Bellagio were gorgeous! The lobby of The Bellagio The area to the right of the picture is where the wedding took place Amy and Dave getting married - and if you notice, we were right off the water where the fountain show soon as they were pronounced husband and wife, there was a special fountain show for them. It was really cool! View of Vegas from Amy and Dave's suite When Mark and I got back to our room....this was down the hall....I guess he had a little too much of Vegas? Mark was in Civil Air Patrol in Maryland with Alisha and she now lives in Vegas with her husband, Mike and their 2 kids (and one on the way). We met them for dinner at Paris and sat outside and enjoyed the wonderful food and had a front row seat to watch the fountain show across the street and people watch - Vegas is the best place to people watch! The coolest thing in Vegas - they go off every 20 minutes and dance to a different song each time. The last show is midnight and it's always to the Star Spangled Banner Sunday we moved down the strip to The Venetian - very nice!!! The rooms were incredible - 3 flat screen tvs and very plush furniture and comfy bed. I could have stayed here for a long time! Madame Tussuad's was museum was connected to The Venetian and they brought MJ outside - he died just a couple of days before we were there. People were lined up to take pics of his wax body - when we walked by, no one was there, so we stopped for a quick pic Our trip is over...heading back to the airport and back to reality! Mark left about 6 hours before I I got to watch them taxi and takeoff[...]

Honfleur...a perfect and quaint little town!


We spent the entire morning and afternoon in this quaint little fishing port called Honfleur. It was perfect! The weather was wonderful - very nice and cool and a gorgeous day to walk around and experience this perfect town in the Normandy region. Many painters have captured this town on canvas and is familiar in art galleries around the world. After Eric (our tour guide) showed us some of the highlights of Honfleur, we were on our own the rest of the day. Many of us took our time walking in and out of the little shops and found some great things to bring home with us. It was a perfect day! Pont de Normandie - cable-stayed bridge that was opened in 1995 to connect Honfleur with Le Havre. One of the little shops that sold Calvados - an apple brandy that is made from apples from the Normandy region. Eric arranged for us to go inside and the owner had a sample for anyone that wanted to try....I have pictures of some of those that tasted, but I won't incriminate them just yet. Mark and I have a pork chop and apple recipe and we might try adding some of this while the apples are sauteing - yes, I bought a bottle. Carousel built in 1900 - it was lovely! This hotel was right at the edge of town and had a gorgeous view of the town - I could have stayed there several days! Cathy and Mandy in Honfleur This church was built at the end of the 15th century by shipbuilders. It still remains France's largest wooden church. Mom, Cleo and Faye enjoyed their seafood lunch here This shop was incredible - filled with lovely linens and china, light fixtures and door knobs. It kind of reminded me on Anthropologie - which is why I probably loved it so much. Another gorgeous day in France![...]