Archive for September, 2012

Happy Birthday to Zoe Kate!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Zoe Kate!  We celebrated Zoe Kate’s 2nd birthday on Sunday with all things “Dora the Explorer”.  We also kind of celebrated last week when my parents were in town.  And we’ll also kind of celebrate on her real birthday next week (September 29).  I’m fairly certain this is dangerous parenting.  I did catch her singing the birthday song to herself in the car and then asking for “chocolate treat” and then having a subsequent meltdown when I said “no ma’am”.  I guess we’re paying the consequences.  We just have a lot of birthday energy for her – can you blame us!?

Between the time when she woke-up from her nap on Sunday to the time when her first friend arrived, she was a hot mess.  “The decorations are set-up, the cupcakes are out, the balloons are floating…WHY CAN’T THE PARTY START NOW?!?!”

But her tears soon turned into squeals of absolute bliss.  You know how there are some people who understandably don’t enjoy being the center of attention?  Well, Zoe Kate isn’t one of those.  She was perfectly fine with the day being about her.  And when everyone sang the birthday song, you couldn’t find a bigger smile.

ZK’s friends Audrey, Sophie, Xander, Bryson and Elijah – about to go on a Dora-esque adventure

We love our dear friends who came to celebrate with us!  Bring it on, Terrible Two’s…we’re ready! (and frightened…mostly frightened).

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Catching Up


Ummm, hi.  Fans, I apologize that I have neglected you.  As many of you know, about a week after my last blog post in March, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby!  Then…I neglected you.  I also neglected many other things, so please don’t take it personally.  I will say this in the most extreme way possible: when I have a (beautiful, precious) parasite who drains all my energy plus a toddler who takes the rest, I have little left to apply to life.  Sound pathetic enough?  Although I am so so so grateful for our new little baby that we’re about to meet in early December, I don’t love pregnancy.  There.  I said it.

So, what’s been going on with the Howell’s at Painted Mountain?  Let me give you some bullets, peppered with some pictures to keep you interested.

– I went to DC in early April to join a handful of best friends from college to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the beautiful Jennifer Lalley Veatch (all 4 of us bridesmaids were pregnant that weekend…Jen was a champ, amongst our nausea and lethargy).

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me, Millie, Jen, Emily, Maury enjoying a picnic on the Potomac

– Matt and I went to Savannah, GA for a little getaway in April

– Matt took about 60 college students to Florida for the annual RUF Summer Conference

– Matt officiated Emily & Josh’s wedding in Raleigh

– I went to Memphis for dear friend Emily Walker Koelch’s wedding.  While there, I got QT with best friends from high school as well as pampered by mom & dad while I took afternoon naps.

– Those same best friends from high school came to Boone for our annual reunion together.  We picnicked, we went tubing down a lazy river, and we laughed a ton.

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Amanda, Lesley, me, Melissa, Emily (the new bride as of 2 weeks earlier…way to make it to Boone, Em!)

– Matt & I went to Baltimore for a long weekend, for Jen’s wedding.  The friends, the food, the festivities were all so fun and wonderful!  The 110 degree weather with no AC because of a freak storm the night before the wedding…we could have all done without that 🙂 BUT did it stress out Jen or sour her mood? Not at all!  She was as radiant as she could be! (all beauty, part sweat).

The Lalley’s hosted an amazing dinner on Thursday night for close friends. John Lalley’s chocolate-chip cookies were perfect.

The salty bride, Jen

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Millie, me, and Emily at the Bridesmaid’s luncheon

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Jen and Maury

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The Generals (W&L alum) at the Rehearsal Dinner

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I snapped this picture as they were saying goodnight to each other at the Rehearsal Dinner. Jen’s going to kill me for posting this pic. But that night was for roasting, so the pic’s are for roasting, too, right?

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John and John Lalley taking a break in the shade as they wonder how to re-plan an un-airconditioned wedding/reception. Well done, Lalley’s – it was wonderful!

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– We joined Matt’s family (Gagi, Pappaw, Amy, Todd, Sam & Lillie) for a few days in a comfy cabin in Gatlinburg, TN, where we relaxed, went out for day trips, and played in the stream going thru the backyard.  ZK was in the best mood, getting to play with her cousins.

Sam, Lillie and ZK

ZK loving being in Gagi’s lap

– Matt and I went to Atlanta for RUF training

– We all went to High Point, where Matt officiated Kaylor and Aaron’s wedding

– Then the RUF students returned to school from summer break!

ZK has grown-up quite a bit these past 6 months.  She whines less and less, and she communicates more and more.  Glory!  Although she’s a lot of work, she is so much fun to be around!  Constantly moving, her hobbies include patting Thena, sitting on Thena, terrorizing Thena, hugging Thena, kissing baby in Mommy’s belly, dancing on the bed to “Call Me Maybe,” starting sentences with “I want….,” sliding and swinging at the playground, and accidentally bumping into things (that might be her favorite).  In true toddler fashion, she makes us laugh a lot.

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ZK very seriously practicing her potty skills…not to be acquired, yet

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ZK and her cousin Dewey at the Memphis Zoo

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ZK on the plane returning to Boone from Memphis. I packed a bag of ANYTHING that could possibly entertain her for the 2 hour flight. These glasses did the trick for a little bit.

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Matt teaching ZK how to play guitar

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ZK and I enjoying a moment together at RUF’s Jorts & Sports

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ZK at her happy place (Tweetsie Railroad…a local amusement park)

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ZK after her 2nd haircut

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