Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blood. Sweat. Tears.

This is it.

This is the photograph that took me four hours to capture completely ... brought tears to my eyes ... and made me bite my lip in frustration (to the point of actually drawling blood).

Blood. Sweat. Tears.

Yet ... I am immensely proud of my first photograph taken with my DSLR camera, in "manual" mode (meaning I controlled aperture, shutter speed, and ISO), and without a flash.  If you visit my house sometime ... you might just happen to see it hanging on our wall.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Santa came, Santa came!!!

Today was that magical day that comes only once a year -- Christmas!  I think we celebrated in style . . . all while remembering in our hearts its true meaning . . . the birth of our Savior.

Happy Birthday, Jesus (and my dad)!  And Merry Christmas to All!

*     *     *

This morning Jackson awoke to an exciting array of presents left by the Big Man -- Santa!  His "big gift" this year?  A 1950's Diner playset!

With which he loved scooping ice cream, pouring coffee, and dancing to the working juke box!

There were also many more presents to be had!

Like a giant, working, 18-wheeler milk truck (gotta love boys!).

A book to read with Mommy at bedtime.

A Toy Story "action figure" of Jesse (which Daddy will not allow to be called a "doll").

And a "Count N' Crunch" Cookie Monster (which took the cake as this year's favorite) just to name a few!

Mommy and Daddy even got in on the Santa action once Jackson was busy playing with his goodies . . . but not before exchanging these Christmas cards:

If that's not a testimony to our love for one another, then I don't know what is!  It was also probably the best moment of laughter of the entire morning.

(insert insane screaming here)

And, naturally, Maggie Mae was not forgotten this Christmas either.

*     *     *

We ended our morning (at least phase one before my folks arrived) with cinnamon buns fresh from the oven.

Jackson approved of those as well!

He had to wonder "what in the world was today?  I got lots of new toys and I had dessert for breakfast . . . this is the life!"

May the last few remaining hours of your Christmas be merry and bright . . . and may all your wishes come true!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

'Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .

And Jackson was trying with all of his might . . . to land himself on Santa'a naughty list.

Somehow, I doubt he succeeded . . . but he did manage to take some of the relaxation out of our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Red Lobster.

Just keeping us on our toes, I guess!

But . . . with a face like this:

I'll bet Santa still comes to visit tonight with more than just coal.

Merry Christmas to All . . . And to All a Good Night!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Double Trouble

Today I had my 20-week, level two ultrasound, and it looks like it's going to be double trouble!

It's another BOY!!!

Now that we know the gender of Baby Heath #2 (who can now be safely referred to as Oliver Cage Heath) ... I can admit how very much I wanted him to be another boy.  For as long as I have been dreaming of a big family of my own, I have always described my "perfect family" as having three boys, so we are well on our way!  Now ... I just have to convince Justin that "two is not enough."  Wish me luck on that one!  But, in truth, Justin and I both were longing to have another boy this time around.  Apart from just loving baby boys (and mischievous toddler boys) ... it was just logistically so. much. easier.  Think about it:  Jackson was born May 5th, 2010 ... and my due date is May 11th, 2012.  So, these two boys will be going through the seasons at practically identical times.  That translates to a lot less clothes to buy!  Also, Jackson will probably be more likely to enjoy playing with the same toys and interacting in the same way with another boy!  I think Jax would be very happy we are having another boy too ... if he only knew what was going on in the first place.  Ha!

Something I don't get:  why almost everyone who knew I was pregnant this time around (even strangers who scoped out my belly) said:  "I hope you have a girl!"  I guess that's just the common perception: that most people ideally want one child of each gender ... then they can announce they are "done" and "complete."  Not the case here!  We are just ecstatic to be having another little fella!

And, for those medical professionals out there who are wondering: we feel incredibly blessed to announce that all of Oliver's (I love saying that) anatomy looked healthy today!  He weighs an estimated 11 ounces ... and seems to be measuring very slightly ahead of dates.  I am 19 weeks, 6 days pregnant ... and he measured 21 weeks gestation.  That's not really a huge surprise to me ... as my doctor originally moved my due date back one week from where it feel according to my cycle.  We are keeping my due date at May 11th, 2012 ... but I would not be shocked it he arrives a wee bit early.  Please continue to pray for Oliver and I as we continue the journey of this pregnancy.

And ... because our sonographer was nice enough to turn her machine on "4D" for a moment ...

He looks a little skinny because it is earlier that when most 4D images are seen ... but it's still neat to see his little face.

We love you, Oliver!  And we can't wait to meet you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Only the Beginning

This weekend we traveled ... a lot ... all for the sake of Christmas!

It was time for our yearly Christmas trip to Roanoke, Virginia ... and then down to Chilhowie, Virginia to visit family and celebrate our favorite holiday.  Although I know he still won't really "remember" this year's Christmas festivities, it is so much fun to watch Jackson get excited about opening gifts and seeing decorations all around him.

After spending Thursday in Roanoke, we left early Friday morning for the trek down to Chilhowie to visit Justin's sweet, sweet Mammaw and his dad.  Mammaw fixed her famous sausage balls, rolls, and pickles as part of our Christmas luncheon.  We exchanged gifts and just enjoyed the quiet of the "simple life" in the country and one another.

Mammaw posing with her famous (like ... literally) homemade rolls.

We had planned to celebrate Christmas with Justin's mom and sister (and her family) on Saturday night, but on Saturday morning, Justin surprised me with an a.m.a.z.i.n.g early Christmas present!


Naturally, he scored major brownie points for this spectacular gift.  Seriously ... how can you top that?  I have been just giddy the last two days whenever I get ready to drive it ... who would have thought a girl who once drove a 1970 Chevrolet Nova would be so thrilled with a total "mommy ride"?  But I am!

The on Saturday night, we enjoyed an awesome dinner prepared by Justin's mom and sister, Marney and opened boo coos of presents.  It was so much fun!  I have to say ... Justin's family goes "all out" for the Christmas holiday!

Jax scored a Harley Davidson!

After dinner, our gift exchange, dessert, and a movie ... it was time to turn in ... late!

But not before saying "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
(sorry ... couldn't resist)

And to think ... this is only the beginning!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tot Time

This morning, Jackson and his best buddy, Ben, went to Tot Time at the Sportsplex in Winchester.  This "free for all" for little ones happens only twice a month, so this is the very first time that it has fit into our schedule since I realized that it existed.  Jax had an absolute blast ... so, I think we may patronize again tomorrow.  It was such a wonderful way to let the boys safely wonder around on a huge turf area and play with kids their own age.  It was also a great way to ensure a good afternoon nap!

Our Taco amazed everyone toward the end when he picked up this tennis ball, placed it on the "T," then picked up the baseball bat, and hit the ball.  Humm ... Mommy likes the thought of him being a baseball player!  Seems much less dangerous than football ... haha!  We shall see.

Our Tot Time was followed by a quick lunch at Chickfila with Ben and his mommy, Katie.  The boys were fading fast ... but we still managed to eat and chat a little bit before the total meltdowns began.  Sure enough, Jax was fast asleep before we even pulling into our garage.  What a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday morning with friends!