Archive for the ‘Keith’ Category

We flew to Dallas on December 23rd.  We had originally planned to stay in Dallas overnight but sadly, our hosts had come down with the flu so we grabbed dinner and continued on to Austin.  We wound up staying in Austin the entire trip and only returning to Dallas to catch our flight out on the 28th due to a little stomach virus that Keith and Jacob caught.  Nothing says Christmas like a stomach virus!

Despite our change in plans we had a wonderful visit and enjoyed spending time with the rest of the family, though we missed the Hornes.

On Christmas day we headed over to Great Grandma Brunone’s (GGB) place and caroled for her and all of her neighbors.  This may have been my favorite part of the trip, seeing the joy on all of the residents faces, not to mention all of their caretakers that were spending Christmas working instead of with their families.

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Only a week and a half late…that’s not so bad!

We celebrated our family Christmas in Connecticut on the Sunday before we left for Texas and I didn’t get too many pictures because we were having so much fun!

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…from our apple picking superheroes!

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And in case you are wondering what we did with all of those apples, we made 9 quarts of applesauce for our freezer, with 12 apples to spare!

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I’ve had this post written for a couple of weeks, but due to technical difficulties with some of the pictures, was unable to post before now.

Last Friday we took a day trip to Mystic.  Since Keith didn’t get home until 1am on Friday and Lilian slept til after 9, we got a bit of a late start and arrived right before lunch time.  We decided to have lunch before we started exploring the aquarium, so we made our way over to Abbott’s for some lobster with a view.

Not a bad view...

Not a bad view…

We arrived a few minutes before they opened so we soaked in the gorgeous weather and lovely scenery.

Posing by the sea

Posing by the sea

Where is my lobster roll?!?!

Where is my lobster roll?!?!

Once we ordered and sat down, certain members of our family got rather impatient to eat!

IMG_7599After we all enjoyed a warm lobster roll (all except Jacob who opted for a PB&J – weird kid 🙂 ), we headed over to the aquarium.

Watching the beluga whales

Watching the beluga whales

Our first stop was to watch the whales.  Both of the kids loved them and we wound up going back to visit them several times!



We stopped to see some of the other large, outdoor animals eating lunch before heading inside to visit some of the smaller guys.

IMG_7575Checking out some little fish.

Look Mama, a giant fish!

Look Mama, a giant fish!

So many fish!

So many fish!

Jacob holding a starfish

Jacob holding a starfish

Jacob also picked up a starfish and held it.  We were really surprised he wanted to touch it, but he held it fearlessly and even gave Lilian the opportunity to pet it!

Lilian touching the starfish - brave girl!

Lilian touching the starfish – brave girl!

Lilian hamming it up for the camera!

Lilian hamming it up for the camera!

Jacob enjoyed the aquarium but Lilian LOVED it!  I think she could have sat and watched (and talked to, and tickled) the fish all day long.

We topped the day off with a trip to a local bakery (no pictures, I was too busy eating!) and the four of us split a few desserts before getting in the car and heading home.  What a fun way for our family to spend a gorgeous day together!

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Gentlemen, start your engines.

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Jacob has been chomping at the bit to get outside and help Keith take care of the yard.  Last Saturday they pulled the lawnmower out of the shed, replaced it with the snowblower and got to work!  Even Miss Lilian got in on the action!

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I have received several requests for pictures from the party, so…here goes! Sadly, my camera was on manual when I handed it off, so most of the pictures of our guests came out blurry, and I am still waiting on pictures from some friends who were playing photographer as well.

When we started planning Jacob’s third and Lilian’s first birthday party, I really wanted to do them separately. After giving it a bit more thought as much as I wanted to make each of their parties special and uniquely theirs, it didn’t make much sense to host two parties a week apart with the exact same guest list.  Once we decided to combine them I set out to find a theme that would work for both of them.  Jacob was very adamant about wanting a scoop party, but I of course wanted something a bit more girly for Lilian’s first birthday celebration.  I finally decided that flowers or ladybugs could tie-in nicely to the dirt in Jacob’s construction theme and found someone to create the invitations for me.  After some back-and-forth, this is what we came up with:


Our guests were greeted by a door sign as they arrived, and by lots of balloons as they entered the mudroom.  I failed to get a picture of the balloons…


Like we did for Jacob’s party, I wanted to display pictures of Lilian throughout her first year. Of course, if we were going to display pictures of Lilian, we had to do the same for Jacob, right?  So, I bought unfinished frames from Michael’s and painted them pink, green and yellow, and then added some white Ikea frames that I haven’t used yet to round out the displays.  Lilian’s display was set-up on the playroom mantle:


And Jacob’s in the family room:

IMG_6454Sadly, we ran out of time and didn’t get Jacob’s poms hung in time, so I just scattered them on top of his frames. I also made a few picture banners with shots we took of both kids together over the past year.


Thanks to my brilliant sister we settled on the idea of a build your own taco bar for food, playing on the construction theme. In addition to grilled chicken and pulled pork, we served black bean confetti salad, mango and pineapple salsa, chips with red and green salsas, guacamole, two kinds of cheese, lettuce and tomato.  The taco bar was complemented with mac and cheese bites, fruit skewers, a veggie tray with creamy jalepeno (a la Chuy’s),


and an idea that was much more successful in concept than in execution: turkey and cheese sandwiches cut in the shape of scoops and ladybugs.

IMG_6463The sweets table showcased two flavors of cupcakes – vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, cheesecake stuffed strawberries and oreo truffles.

IMG_6451I also added the cookie favors, to keep them from tempting little fingers before it was time to pass them out!

IMG_6594Flanking the dessert table were birthday banners for each of our guests of honor.



When it came time to sing Happy Birthday, Jacob may have been slightly excited for his cupcake…


Sweet, goofy little boy.


Lilian chilaxing while her guests sang to her…


When she figured out what we had put on her tray, I think she was worried we wouldn’t let her keep it and so she tried to shove the entire cupcake in her mouth at once!


Eventually she realized that we were going to let her keep it and began to eat at a more leisurely pace. And made a proper mess!


Lilian with Mom


And one with Dad, too.


Sadly, we didn’t get a picture of either Keith or me with the birthday boy because we couldn’t get him to hold still for that long, but we did manage a picture of all four of us.


We couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of Grammy (who helped with the food preparation and cleaned up almost single-handedly!), and my sweet friend Lori who put together the highchair banner and made lots of tissue poms.

We were so happy with the way everything turned out and very grateful to all of our sweet friends and family that came out to make Jacob and Lilian feel so loved!

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A few pictures of our family today. As a special treat, Jacob enlightens us on the true meaning of Easter.

Clearly, I didn’t explain it correctly 🙂

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter!

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On Wednesday while we were in Florida we all packed up and headed to the beach.  Naples was experiencing Red Tide conditions so we weren’t able to swim but we couldn’t visit Florida without at least setting eyes on the sand and ocean!


Jacob and Auntie Kendra built sandcastles (more accurately, Auntie Kendra built them and Jacob knocked them over!).


Grandma and Grandad showed Jacob how to collect and clean seashells so he could bring them home as souvenirs.


Even Lilian got in on the action!


And they held still long enough to pose for a picture!


Speaking of Lilian, I think she very much enjoyed her first views of the ocean!






It’s hard to believe that we were at the beach two weeks ago as I look out on our backyard which is still covered in snow and we await another storm today…I wish we could go back!

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I bet you thought the Christmas posts were over, right?  Wrong.  [I think] This will be the last one.

We had a wonderful time in Richmond – especially seeing all of the cousins together – but on the 27th we packed up the car and drove back to Connecticut.  We arrived in town just in time to unload the car to make room to pick up Bailey.  When we woke up on Friday morning, we had our immediate family Christmas celebration.

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