Archive for October, 2013

“I’m Starting to Turn 3!”

Zoe Kate turned 3 on September 29.  More than any other time in her life, she seems so grown-up these days.  We have actual conversations.  She’s expressing more complex emotions.  She’s constantly using her imagination.  I find myself truly enjoying her more often.  She’s so great.

We had some good friends over to celebrate her birthday.  Party hats, friends, balloons, cupcakes, dogs: these are a few of her favorite things.  Needless to say, she loved every minute of it and is still talking about it today.  As we were saying goodbye to our last guest in the front yard, we returned to the backyard to find ZK scavenging the yard for all of the half-eaten cupcakes.  The kid loves a cupcake.


One of ZK’s first friends here was Precious (the Stone’s dog). So, naturally, Precious was invited.


I have so many pics of ZK chasing these boys and/or the soccer ball.




It was a “bubble” themed party.



She went inside to go potty by herself and then emerged looking like this. No shame in her game.


I love her reaction when we’re all singing to her. I hope she always knows how delighted-in she is.



Opening presents was probably the most stressful part of the party. “Wait – who gave you that? WHO GAVE YOU THAT? Did you thank them? Hey – let’s let Zoe Kate open that one. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO GAVE HER THAT??”


Sweet birthday girl


Claiming Grace, Part 2

In August, we also celebrated the beautiful privilege of Reid being baptized.  When ZK was baptized, we had a lot more space in our schedule to plan a bigger celebration.  My parents were able to come in town for Reid’s baptism, but we never planned a brunch.  I chalk it up to the whole second-kid thing (plus, remember how August was nuts?).  BUT!  It was no less important and exciting.  We’re so grateful we have a God who gives so graciously.


Funny but cute picture, in my opinion.


The August Train

I remember at RUF training a few years ago, they compared the school year to a train that leaves the station in August at 100 mph.  The analogy is not all that original, but it’s accurate.  In August this year, we met many of our sweet UT-RUF students as the school year began.  Then Zoe Kate and Reid started school, too.  I don’t know if it’s because we’re new to Knoxville/UT/kid’s school or if it’s because we still have an infant (more or less), but August was indeed a splash of cold water in the face: shocking but also invigorating.  I do love a schedule!

Zoe Kate goes to school 2 days/week, while Reid goes once/week, from 9-1:30.  It’s d’lovely.  Love my kids.  Love love love them.  But I don’t feel guilty about enjoying a break from them.  And they love school.  Win-win.  I think the teachers think I’m kray-kray, though, because I’m constantly forgetting something and I rarely brush my hair before I drop them off.  I am an outward advertisement that parenting does not make you prettier, and I like to think I make other moms feel better about their scruff.


The obligatory first-day-of-school picture.

We hosted our church’s back-to-school cookout for the students.  200 of them.  But truly, the church hosted it (food, set-up, etc).  We just had it at our house.  I loved getting to meet so many of our UT students!  I don’t remember most of their names, yet, but doggonit, I’ll keep trying.  Thanks for your patience, students – we’re so glad to be here!


I can’t find our pics of the actual party, but I snapped these pics right before the students got there.


Matt teaching ZK how to be weird.

Autumn Activity

This past Fall, we enjoyed getting outside.  I don’t do hot (or cold) weather all that well.  I wish I did, because I love being outside.  So it’s carpe diem in the Fall and Spring!  We got season tickets to the zoo, which Zoe Kate loves!  We usually go with my good friend Lesley and her 2 boys, Abe and Henry.  The last time we were there as a family, we saw a giraffe drinking urine straight from the “stream” of the giraffe in front of him.  It was a cultural moment for all of us.



ZK got a kick out of riding one of the “animals” at the zoo.


ZK & her good buddy, Abe

This past Fall, ZK also took dance for the first time.  There’s not much cuter than a 3-yr-old in a leotard, I don’t care where you’re from.  She had a lot of fun!  Too bad her trusty ol’ parents forgot to sign her up for the next semester.  Woops.

ZK, ready to go to dance class

ZK, ready to go to dance class

And look at the adorableness in the sleeping Reid below!  Can you tell that the kids are napping while I’m writing this post?  I’m can’t stop talking about how cute and adorable and squishy and huggable they are.  It’s because they’re not screaming, whining, arguing, or disobeying right now.  They’re sleeping.  Holy goodness, I love them…but they’re so much cuter when they’re sleeping.


I love how droopy his face is. I’ll be so sad when he loses his baby fat!