Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welcome to Raleigh!

It's official...we're Raleigh residents! We're all moved in and surrounded by boxes. :)

We had done the majority of the packing in the last few weeks so when it came time to load the moving truck all that really needed to be done was load the furniture and all the boxes and then we packed all the crazy random stuff that doesn't really all belong in the same box but would be ridiculous in a box by itself.

Brent came to help David load the furniture and all the heavy boxes last night. Jennifer came and helped move boxes, too. David and Brent were awesome! They had that truck loaded with all of the furniture and most of the boxes in about an hour. It was fantastic! We had lots of help this morning when Jordan, Becky & Jonathan came to help us finish loading the truck. The guys were great helping David finish the loading and Becky was AMAZING packing and cleaning up. We hit the road by 11:30 and were unloading the truck by 2. Some old friends from college, Scott & Emily, my Uncle Doug, my brothers and my Dad came to help us unload and we worked them to death!! Old apartment = no stairs. New apartment = TONS of stairs! I think my color coded system worked pretty well. Then again, I didn't do most of the unloading so maybe it didn't. ;) Either way, we were completely done unloading by 4 pm. Fabulous!!!! I want to send another HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us load or unload. You're all so appreciated!

We've made a bit of progress this evening. Joshua's bed is set up and ready for bedtime. He has a new lamp and is excited to be able to turn it on and off all by himself. I plan to unpack all of his clothes tomorrow (I guess I'll go ahead and unpack the fall/winter clothes while I'm at it) and hang a few of his decorations up. We'll sort his toys and his room will be completed!

The living room is just about done. I'm sure we'll tweak some things here and there. I'll probably work on getting the kitchen unpacked tomorrow, as well. I'm overwhelmed by it. There are so many more cabinets than we had before and it's a good thing, but I have no idea where to put everything.

Our expectations of the place were a little higher than reality. We were a little disappointed when we came in. But we're feeling a little better about it now that we have our stuff out and it looks like home. The bathrooms are lacking storage space so we'll need to come up with some solutions for that. Our room has a funky layout and one of the closets in there is filled with an A/C unit. The living room/dining room is long and skinny so the tv, couch, whatever is kinda tricky. I'm not crazy pleased with the way we have it now. We'll see how it goes.

We did get new carpet throughout the apartment and a new stove/oven. There are a few things that still need to be fixed or replaced and we'll put those on our list and turn it in to be taken care of. There are lots of pluses though: lots of big closets, a bigger kitchen with a good layout & a large pass-through window into the living room, a true laundry room with a great sized closet, a patio and deck, lots of natural light in the bedrooms and living room, it's quiet and close to lots of places around town. The biggest plus: it's close to my brother, Robert, sister-in-law, Kate, and (most importantly) my nephew, Holton! We're also right in town with my Uncle Doug, Aunt Bonnie and cousin, Tiffany and her husband Jeff. We're also an hour closer to my parents and other nephew, Jackson...and those people he lives with, Matt & Megan. ;)

We're excited to be here; and a little nervous, too. I'll feel better when we have everything put away and looking like home. For now, I'm going to snuggle with my guys and watch a movie. We're all home together again for good and I couldn't be happier about it. :-D

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My week with Josh

Josh and I have been at home alone since Monday night. David started his new job Monday and has been staying with my Aunt and Uncle in Raleigh. I planned a fun week for just the two of us and we enjoyed doing whatever we wanted all week. 

Tuesday we slept in, had a lunch date at "Chick-of-lay," took dinner to the Joneses, went to the park and visited with The Andersons. It was a good, relaxing day. 

Wednesday we visited the Accidental Artist and painted some pottery! I painted a platter to hang at our new home and Josh chose a jet to put in his new room. He loves all things art so he was in hog heaven! He chose his colors and went to town. He was so focused and intentional in his work. He saw that I was using purple and added that to his palette, too. When he was just about finished I asked if he wanted to paint the wheels black. He decided he did so we got the black paint out. He did a great job painting just the wheels and not getting any black paint on the rest of the plane. Then he decided he wanted the bottom of his plane to be black. So I told him he could paint it however he wanted to. He started painting and then decided he did NOT want the bottom to be black. So he repainted with the different colors. Before he was done the bottom was black again and the top is multicolored. Josh was finished way before I was so he picked out a tile to paint as well. They'll make it into a coaster for him and he's excited to have his own special place to put his cup. :) We'll be able to pick them up after 12 tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how they look all finished. We also got Josh some new kicks Wednesday. He says they're fast and he has worn them all day since he got them. They're a size 10 and look HUGE. Maybe that means he'll be tall. ;)

I am not artistic at all....I mean AT ALL. The most I can do is color. :) I was nervous about the writing and almost just did polka dots or something. I asked the artsy fartsy girl who works there about it and almost asked if she could just write it on for me. She said they had gotten a bunch of new fonts and asked if I wanted to pick one to trace onto the pottery. Yes!! Picking a font was the hardest part. There were way too many for an indecisive girl like me. I finally decided on one and she printed it out for me. We got it spaced like I wanted and I traced onto tissue paper. Then I traced over the tissue paper onto the platter. The sharpie bled through the tissue paper and onto the platter. Then I traced the sharpie with a paint pen. It took a while (which is why Josh got to paint 2 things...) but I really liked the end result. I cannot wait to see it completed!

"Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying." --Romans 12:12

Thursday was lazy day. We laid around, I did some laundry, we watched a movie or two. We went to dinner with our friend, Will. 

Friday was the busiest day. We headed to Raleigh to check out Pullen Park before our scheduled tour at Childtime and going to see David. We had never been to this park before and we were missing a lot! I think we'll be regular visitors when we move. Josh had a blast (and so did I!) and the lunch we had was delicious. We rode the carousel twice and the train once. Josh played on the swings, playground and sand pit. He roamed all over the park and was in constant motion the whole time we were there. We didn't spend much time on the pond side of the park but we can explore the whole park next time. 

And this is the latest favorite pose...

That lemonade was delicious!
Asking lots of questions about the train while we waited.

This is about the time we found out my cousins, Chris & Beth are having a BOY in Feb. :)

He was scoping out which animal he wanted to ride.


I wanted to ride this one but it was too far away from Josh. Maybe next time. :)

Waving to the train

He wasn't really impressed with the caboose.

"fixing" my house

His imagination is awesome.

Spiderman, spiderman...

"Look, I'm spiderman!"

When I told Joshua we could come back to this park every week after we move he smiled really big and gave me a fist bump. :) I can't wait to bring David and spend some time here as a family. It doesn't feel like you're in the middle of a city and it's nice and clean. The food from the cafe is delicious and reasonably priced. Josh said he wanted to bring Jackson and Holton next time. We'll have to talk to their Mamas and plan a play date! :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Here are a few more "Joshisms" from the past few weeks:

-- I put an ice cube in Josh's pants and he didn't react the way I had expected. He smiled really big and said "Look! I pooped ice cream!"

-- One of Josh's blessings at dinner: "Thank you for God, thank you for Jesus, thank you for our food, thank you for no bad guys get us, thank you for mommy and daddy, thank you for Justin (Thorn, who we had seen earlier that day), thank you amen." Then he followed up with "That was loooong one!"

-- Josh and I went over to visit with the Andersons one evening last week. After putting their dog, Gabe, in the kennel Josh said "I put Gabey in dat candle stick." Apparently he thought Exie was saying candle stick when she explained about the kennel earlier.

-- Josh has really been upset about having to go to the bathroom lately but only when it involves "number 2." I asked him if the was ready for lunch the other day and he said "Yes, I'm hungry, though but when I eat it makes me poop!" I had to explain that it was normal and you were supposed to use the bathroom after you eat. He's still not thrilled about the whole process. ;)

-- While watching Wall-E, Josh saw the scene where Wall-E is putting "treasures" in his cooler while cleaning up. He puts a bra over his eyes and then throws it away when he can't see. Josh laughed so hard and then said "Bras go on our nipples, not our eyes! But not boys nipples, though."

-- I was trying to get Josh to move a little more quickly (he is the slowest child I've ever met!) and said to him "Hurry up, boyfriend!" His reply? "I telled you, I'm Ms Evie's boyfriend!!" (Ms Evie was his teacher before we moved.)

-- Our friend, Will took us to dinner and we were spelling over Josh (to which he accused us of spelling bad words) and I asked Josh "What does i-c-e c-r-e-a-m spell?" He thought a second and said "Football season!"

-- I was teasing David and he said "No comments from you, lady." Josh quickly piped up and said "Hey, dat not lady, dat MY MOMMY!!" 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holton Gregory Joseph Hand

I'm a proud Auntie Hen once again! Holton was born last Sunday, the 9th at 5:50 pm! He weighed 7lb 2oz and was 20.5 inches long. He's perfect and beautiful and is quite the snuggler!

Kate called very early Saturday morning to ask a few questions about some "feelings" she was having. ;) I gave what little advice and suggestions I could and we began "Holton Watch, 2012." Things were relatively quiet all day and on Sunday morning Robert called to tell me they were being admitted after hours of walking and walking. They were exhausted from being up all night. Robert went from a 24 hr shift at the fire station to the house to walk with Kate and then to the hospital for a long day of laboring. He was a good partner for her and she was a trooper. She did an amazing job during delivery and Holton was a good boy and cooperated with his Mama. ;)

We headed to Raleigh after church and spent the day in the waiting room. We had to be in town to drop David off for his first day of work today and didn't mind waiting around to see our cutest North Carolina nephew. Josh did awesome with a long day of waiting. He was a good listener and even found a friend to play with while we waited. Daddy & Mama came up after church and made it in time for Holton's arrival. Matt, Megan and Jackson came up last night and all 11 of us were together at once. It was a sweet time.

Josh worked on some "homework" while we waited for Robert to come give us an update.

Robert and Kate's mom cleared the room to give Kate some time to rest. It was good to chat with him for a while.

Daddy and Josh played "football" with a piece of candy for a while. Then Josh ate the candy and the game was over. ;)

Holton has arrived! He and Kate were moved to a recovery room and we beat them there. Here are Josh and Poppa leading the way.

There's Holton! He's so handsome. He looks a lot like his He looked like Kate yesterday and Robert today.

The nurse from the nursery came to check him over. She said he looked great. She did his footprints and even redid them for the baby book. She was very nice and so tolerant of us being so close to watch and look at Holton.

He has long skinny feet. Just like his Dad.

Josh was very curious about what she was doing to Holton. He asked why she was putting paint on his feet. ;)

The baby book printing was a team effort. Holton kept curling his toes under and we had to tickle the top of his foot to get him to spread them open.

I finally got my hands on the boy! He was so snuggly and warm. He had already nursed a while by this point so he was content to snooze for a while.

Pay no attention to Josh's "look." He refused to smile and was being silly. He hadn't had a nap all day and it was about 9pm at this point. He was asleep about 15 minutes after this picture was taken.

Holton and Uncle D-Dub!

That is one happy Grammy! Jackson came a little while later and she held all three of them at once for the first time. She was beside herself with joy.

Josh wouldn't hold Holton last night. We went by today and he asked to hold him several times. He even gave Holton some kisses! He's a good big cousin and loves the babies. He's gentle and eager to help dress them or change diapers. He'll be an awesome big day. ;)

Welcome to the family, Holton! I already love you more than I ever thought possible. I pray you are blessed with your parent's thoughtful and tender hearts and their unwavering faith in our Lord. May you grow to serve Him and show His love to others. I love you, kiddo!  --Hen

Monday, September 10, 2012


Between now and the 22nd (our tentative moving date) we only have about 7 days to spend all together since David will already be working in Raleigh during the week starting Monday. We had some time this evening after we picked Josh up from school so we decided to stop by the bowling alley and see if it was busy or not. 

I had planned to take Josh bowling as one of our adventures for the day next week but I felt better about going with David (I'm a little nervous in places like that here in G-troit). ;) It wasn't crowded at all (it was about 5 o'clock) and I felt better about the lack of people there.

Josh had never been bowling before and he loved it! He asked if we could take the shoes and bowling balls home. He didn't get upset when he didn't knock all the pins down and did really well for his first time. I have a feeling he'll be like his Daddy. Mr Athletic, that's him. 

Mama...trying to help

Someone took bowling classes in college...showoff :)

Waiting for the ball to make it to the end of the lane

Check out that form!

More waiting... 
Final score!
I think bowling will definitely be added to our list of Family Fun Activities. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fun on Lake Gaston

We spent a few hours out on the lake last week. I was blessed to grow up close to the lake and spent a lot of time out on the water. We did a lot of swimming, tubing, knee boarding, skiing, and wake boarding.

Josh is a little water bug and loves to swim. He's getting more comfortable in the water and we caught him laying on his back a few times while we were at the lake. He's been too afraid to float on his back before now. I'm hoping to get him to some swim lessons soon and the apartment we're moving to has a pool so I'm sure we'll get lots of practice in next summer.

We went over to our friend's house for some playing around. Roy and Christy have two sons, Aaron and Ethan. Ethan was about 12 days old when I babysat him for the first time. They were crazy to leave him with me. I couldn't drive yet and I don't know what I would have done if something had happened. They didn't go far but still....I can't imagine leaving my 2 week old with a 14-15 year old. Crazy, I tell ya! Anyway, Ethan is who started calling me Hen and it stuck. They're good friends to our family and love the Lord like crazy. We spent a lot of time over at their dock growing up.

Running off of the dock

He's flying!!

He had to get a reaaalllly big head start

Believe it or not, this wasn't Josh's first time out on the tube. He just didn't remember having been out there before. It was the summer he turned one so he wasn't very big at all. We start 'em young out on LKG. :)

Talking to Christy about tubing

Daddy is hanging on for dear life!

There goes Daddy...

David's tube almost took Aaron out.

Josh was very concerned that Roy would drive as fast as he had when Aaron and David were out there. We promised him that he wouldn't try to throw him off like he did the big boys. (Roy promised he wouldn't because he was scared of Josh's Grammy!) :)

Looking a little nervous.
David held on to Josh's tube for a few minutes. After Josh had gotten used to being out there David let go.

Look Mom, no hands!
Then Josh got REALLY brave and started leaning out of the tube to splash David, who was splashing him. We cringed when he leaned over because we were afraid the tube would flip. He even asked Roy to go faster TWICE! He'll be an old pro next summer. 

He was so proud!

Thank you, Roy, Christy, Aaron and Ethan for letting us swim in your lake and for the boat ride! We love you guys!