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After our Royal Wedding watch party followed by brunch on Saturday morning, I had to book it to the tee-ball field for Stokes and William's last game of the season. I was literally changing out of my dress and fascinator in the car in to something a little more appropriate (and comfortable) in which to watch tee-ball. I was late, of course, but the important thing was that I was there for most of the game and got to see some great plays (and lots of playing in the dirt) from my two very favorite tee-ballers!

Both William and Stokes had fun playing this season and really loved their team and Coach Kyle.

Leaving the dug-out for the last time

Snack time!

Pic with Coach Kyle!

Family pic at the ball field
After we left the game, we immediately went to Brewery 85 with the team for a post-season celebration. We all had pizza, the grown-ups had a few beers, the kids got their trophies and it was super fun!

Cute kiddos
Cubs team picture!
Ryan had fun at the tee-ball party, too!

How super cool is this team picture?

During the trophy ceremony, Coach Kyle called each of them up and had a few words. Here are the videos for Stokes and William!

William tee ball trophy speech w/Coach Kyle 5.19.18 - YouTube


Stokes tee ball trophy speech w/Coach Kyle 5.19.18 - YouTube

This team was a lot of fun and Thomas and I both enjoyed our first parental venture into baseball. It was great meeting the other parents and getting to know these awesome boys. I really, really liked this team. Unfortunately, since our boys were the youngest on the team, all the other kids are moving up to coach's pitch next year and ours will still be in tee-ball, so we won't get to stay with all the same kids. I'm sure we'll get to meet some others that are awesome too though. 

So long, 2018 spring tee-ball season. We will miss you, but will also be glad to not have so many games during the week! Ha!
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The Royals are my fave (see here and here) so I was really, really excited for the Royal Wedding over the weekend! I think Meghan Markle and Price Harry make a fantastic couple!

There are some more similarities between (ahem) myself and the royals - Meghan was a Kappa Kappa Gamma, just like me. I'm still wondering why I wasn't invited to the wedding! Also, she is older than Prince Harry by a few years, and I'm older than Thomas by about 4 months. She is a great actress and I can type really fast. So, as you see, I think I would get along great with Meghan. I'm ready to be friends with her.

So anyway, I wasn't really planning on getting up super early to watch (coverage began at 4 AM!), but I found myself awake and wondering what was going on across the pond at around 5:30. Instead of staying in bed and tossing and turning and thinking about the royal wedding, I just threw in the towel and headed downstairs to turn on the tv and make some coffee. Not too long after that, Stokes and Ryan joined me and then eventually Thomas joined the royal wedding watch party in our family room! William spent the night at MaSha's so he wasn't there with us...otherwise he'd have been watching, too.

Stokes watching Meghan
(still dark outside - super early!)

Both boys were into it!

Royal fans!
Look who joined!

So beautiful!

Wooooooooooo!

That was a beautiful wedding! I loved Meghan's dress and the music for the ceremony was amazing. I missed most of the sermon because I was cooking breakfast and doing stuff around the house, but I can say that I loved the wedding parts that I got to watch. I loved when William and Harry walked in together, watching the celebs arrive, when Meghan got out of the car and when Prince Charles walked her down the aisle...it was all so magical. I teared up several times. Beautiful occasions and timeless music will do that to a girl! Plus, I just really love weddings.

I kid you not, Stokes asked me to specifically make heart shaped pancakes! Yes, sir!!!

Love was in the air!

After the actual wedding was over, I was in a rush to get ready because I had brunch plans with some very special ladies! We decided several weeks back that we wanted to do a Royal Wedding brunch - and we needed to look the part. We all managed to get fascinators and showed up to Passerelle on Saturday morning to toast the new couple! It was the perfect ending to a fairy tale morning for me.

Selfie with Ryan before I left
Passerelle Bistro
Heather brought her Walker's Shortbread
cookies with Will & Kate's picture on it
for the occasion. Perfect!!!!
L to R: Lesley, Wendy, Connie, Heather, me
A picture in the park
The Royal Wedding was just the perfect opportunity to get together with these ladies. We're always looking for a fun excuse to get dressed up and go do something. We got lots of comments and compliments while we were downtown and brunching. It's not every day that you see fascinators being worn in Greenville, SC! ;)

Cheers to Meghan and Harry! And many blessings for a joyful and love-filled life together!

p.s. Kate is still my fave! 
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We had given some consideration to doing a little weekend getaway to Chateau Elan or Asheville to celebrate our anniversary this year, but we MOVED. So our plans changed! Instead, Thomas took a 1/2 day off work and we got to spend some time together during the afternoon and then got a babysitter so we could go out on a date night.

Beautiful roses Thomas brought home
for me!


We went to the pool for a hot minute - no one was there (it was raining) - so we had the place to ourselves to just chat. We didn't end up getting in the water because it was too cold from all the rain we've been getting! We just sat along the edge, put our feet in and talked.



We picked up the boys from school to get them ready for their sitter to come!


First stop: Hall's Chophouse for a quick drink before dinner.



Then we had dinner reservations at Jianna and had a delicious meal there!


Traditional 9th anniversary gifts are pottery and willow. Hmm...that's a tough one. Thomas was great and got me a new wicker basket (wicker/willow - very similar!). I was so impressed that he looked it up and then made a thoughtful effort to follow tradition! I skirted traditional all together and got Thomas a guided waterfall kayak tour on Lake Jocassee. We'll just have to pick a day and make a reservation. I'm excited about it! 

Next year is the big TEN! The years are flying by and I could not have found a better partner than Thomas. He's a fantastic husband and we work well together! Here's to many, many more years!
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I had a fantastic Mother's Day again this year. Thomas and the boys spoiled me!

I got to stay in bed and "sleep in" kinda/sorta...you know how that goes...but didn't have to get up super early. I got breakfast in bed and the boys brought me a flower each, and I didn't have to get any kids ready for church. All I had to do was take a super long, hot shower and get myself ready without rushing around checking on everyone else. #Heaven

My sweet sons

So happy to be their Mama

My boys!
They were dressed as "quads" LOL!

We went to church and heard a great message about pouring our time and energy into the kids, not just our own, but all the kids in our congregation, so that they have meaningful adult relationships that bring them back to worship after high school.

When we left church, we went out to go lunch as a family and got comments about how coordinated we were (thanks to Thomas) and another Mom and I got to exchange Mother's Day pleasantries and laughs about kids eating habits and such. HA!

That afternoon, I got to lay down and take a NAP! Yes, that happened. It was awesome. Then we went to the pool for a quick dip. Our pool just opened on Saturday and we were excited to check it out in our new neighborhood.

Sunday evening, MaSha joined us for dinner so that we could celebrate her! Thomas grilled us a delicious dinner and we got to eat outside and enjoy this gorgeous spring weather. It was a fun evening!

YumO!

I made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!

FaceTiming with Leece and Madison

Silly boy


MaSha and Ryan

Mother's Day always makes me miss my own Mom terribly. This year we didn't go out to the garth, but she was on my mind. I can't even describe how much she would completely adore my boys. If only she was here to be with us. Her memory will continue to live on. 

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Last Friday, the last school day before Mother's Day weekend, the preschool hosted a Muffins for Moms breakfast. Coincidentally, there was also a Doughnuts for Dads breakfast planned at Ryan's special needs school, which Thomas and Ryan were planning to attend, but Ryan ended up getting sick and they missed their special breakfast. Ryan's been fighting a little cough/congestion issue. Poor guy.

Anyway, Stokes, William and I had a nice little breakfast at their school and we got to hang out with some friends and their parents. It was a sweet way to kick off Mother's Day weekend.

Stokes, Mama and William

With their cute friend, Emerson

My Mother's Day treats from school that I picked up
on Friday
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We celebrated Cinco de Mayo last weekend, and it coincidentally fell on the same day as the Kentucky Derby. We started a tradition of hosting a small derby party last year and the "annual" event didn't happen this year. Oops. That didn't last long. However, we are just planning to take one year off and hope to host again next year.

With the new house and a conflict with a Cinco de Mayo social commitment, we couldn't make it work. We actually pretty much ignored the derby and focused on Cinco de Mayo. We had a great time at an party while the boys stayed with a babysitter! It was so fun.

Hope you had fun celebrating the Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo or both!

I'm going to continue making them wear sombreros on Cinco de Mayo
as long as they will fit their heads!

Picture outtakes:





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Last weekend Matt, Tara, Leece and Madison came up from Charleston for a visit. They stayed at MaSha's house but met us at tee-ball in the morning and then came and spent the afternoon at our new house. All the kids had so much fun playing together and we pulled out the bounce house for an enhanced entertainment experience!

All the kids in the bounce house

Dance party time!


After a fun afternoon, the crew headed back to MaSha's house and we all got ready for the evening. MaSha BRAVELY agreed to watch ALL the kids at her house so that the parents of littles could go out to dinner. I think this was a first....and she crushed it. We tried to help out as much as possible by getting everyone bathed and in pj's ahead of time and then took the boys over the MaSha's house. We fed them dinner there before we headed out. 

Dinner at MaSha's with all the kiddos

Right before we were leaving, MaSha put on a movie and everyone piled in on her bed to watch it. Five little monkeys on the bed (hopefully not jumping though!). While we were gone, MaSha managed it all and took everything in stride. She did tell us that they were using "potty humor" to make each other laugh and that they were all just in stitches the whole time. 



MaSha with 5 of 7 grands

We had a great time at dinner and then stopped by a brewery out in TR after we ate. It was such a fun night! It worked out really well - we didn't get any worried or stressed texts from MaSha while we were gone - and just had fun. The 4 of us used to go out to dinner and have a blast on a regular basis pre-kids and it has seriously been YEARS since we've gotten to do that. Felt kind of like old times! 


The phrase of the night was flim flam, coined by Tara, who didn't realize we were going all the way to TR for dinner and was only partially on-board with getting another drink after dinner. Her brother has a way of working the angles. We're very thankful for time spent with family and for the kids's amazing grandmother, MaSha, for being willing to take on 5 littles for a night! 
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Last week Ryan had 2 follow-up appointments - Neurology and then Ophthalmology. Sweet boy was a trooper, as always. You may remember reading about the last eye appointment he had (spoiler alert: it wasn't pretty). This time was much better, re: no vom. WIN!

Neurology came first and it was just a check-up. Nothing major to report here. Meds all seem to be doing their job, and no changes are needed at this time. We did talk about Ryan seeming to be at a little bit of a plateau for development. And actually, plateau is not the right word, because he's not done with his progress, but the curve has changed some and his progress seems to have slowed down. That said, he's still moving in the right direction.

During his ophthalmology appointment, we followed back up with what the doctor had told us last time and I gave her a progress report of trying to get Ryan set up with orientation and mobility therapy, which is easier said than done. I've been calling all over and getting referred to other places to call. It's been a wild goose chase, but I'm plugging away. I think we will get there sooner rather than later. The doctor was also able to give me more reference material about CVI so I can continue to learn about it. I need to make this a priority so that I can provide help to Ryan's therapists and so I can be more intentional at home by doing day to day things in a way that will help him or assist him. This appointment was still pretty long, and the doctor is very thorough, which I really appreciate. They didn't have to dilate his eyes, which explains why there was no throw up. Yay. I did have a change of clothes for each of us, just in case! I can't handle what happened last time so I will come prepared to all eye appointments from now on. ;)

Do you like his duck face?
He's been doing this with his lips lately.
Maybe it's a precursor to talking?!?!?!



In other health news, Ryan's been relatively well, as have his brothers, so we've had very few trips to the pediatrician. This mama likes that!
Stay healthy, everyone! 
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Yep, THE MOVE deserves to be in all caps because it was kind of a big deal for us.

Move out day happened on Thursday, 4/19/18. We had been packing and preparing for weeks and the actual move out was relatively low stress. Our movers were wonderful and when I saw our trucks, The Tajh and The Deshaun, pull up, I felt like it was a good omen! We cleaned and did last minute prep while the movers filled up the trucks. We had one whole truck full of boxes and then one whole truck full of furniture. Then we had to go get a small U-Haul for a few things that wouldn't fit on the 2 trucks. Oops!

This is getting REAL

The Deshaun

The Tajh

Serious business - from bottom to top

Not one inch to spare!

Last time with our sweet neighbor, Janice

Empty house

Dining room 

Kitchen and den

Estimated move out time was 4 hours and it ended up taking 6 hours with 4 guys, so I guess we have a lot of stuff! Anyway, everything went really smoothly!

After the movers loaded everything, we had a professional cleaning crew come in to get the house spotless and they did a fantastic job. It was so strange to walk through the house totally empty! We then had to go over to our new house for a walk through to check on the repairs. Let's just say that we were there for about 2.5 hours (had planned on 30 minutes or so) and eventually had to leave to pick the boys up from school. My plan was that we would get them early, check in to the hotel (we stayed at Embassy Suites for the night to make it fun for the boys!), let them swim, grab some dinner somewhere and get into bed at a reasonable time. Instead, we picked the boys up at 6 pm, ate a speedy dinner at Wendy's, went to the hotel, unloaded our stuff, and then had a rushed swim session because it was so late at that point! Even though it was rushed, late, and not as planned, the boys had fun! Ryan stayed out with me watching while Stokes, William and Thomas swam in the pool.

So excited!

Swim time

Ryan and I watched!

William and Thomas

Happy boys
It was about 9 PM (past bed time!) by the time we got everyone bathed and in bed. It was a really long day!

Ryan slept in our bed


Stokes and William were on the sleeper sofa

Angel baby sleeping

We knew that it was a big transition and weren't sure how the boys would handle the changes and whether they'd be nervous about the moving trucks and seeing a different house. We figured that doing something fun, like staying in a hotel with an indoor pool, would make it a fun and exciting time instead of a scary and uneasy time. I think they really enjoyed the hotel! The next morning, we had to eat breakfast in a hurry because we had to meet people at the houses first thing. Side note: Embassy Suites has an amazing breakfast selection! It was great!




Closing day on both houses was Friday, 4/20/18. The movers held all of our stuff on the trucks overnight and we had closing on our old house at noon, and our new house was supposed to close at 3. The movers were going to show up at 4:00 and the move in could begin.

On Friday morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we took the boys to school, and Thomas went to our new house to meet some repair guys there for some estimates while I went by our old house to do a final walk through. I wanted to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything and just to really confirm that everything was clean and ready for our buyer. The house really looked fantastic. It was so bittersweet and emotional. After Thomas met the guys at the new house, he came back by for our final goodbye to our old house. 

Thomas and me at our old house

Last pic here

We're doing to really miss this house!!!!!

That was the house where the boys came home from the hospital, where they learned to do so many firsts, where we had therapies, and lots of visitors! It was time to move on, but this was a fantastic place for us and will always be in our hearts. 

We left the house and went to the closing and signed away our old house and left the lawyer's office with just our memories. *tear

In the meantime, we had a few hours to kill before closing on our new house. We met up with Carole and went over what all was happening. Suffice it to say that it was a stressful day and did not go nearly as smoothly as everything with our old house. Our move out and closing on our old house was a breeze, but we weren't sure IF we were going to close on our new house, due to some repair issues and crazy things that popped up at the last minute. Carole even said that in over 30 years of doing real estate, she hadn't ever experienced what happened with us that day! Also, Carole was a ROCK STAR and basically took care of everything needed from our side and from the buyers side. She was working so hard all day long.

After being up in the air ALL DAY about whether we would close on our new house, it did finally end up happening. After closing, we went to our new house where the moving trucks had met MaSha to begin unloading.

Time to move in!

So many trucks!

Boys coming to their new house for the
FIRST TIME

They loved the moving trucks and wanted
to "help"

Beautiful new house

Lots of work to unload

The movers stayed until close to 9 pm unloading all of our stuff. Our incredible realtor (superhero of the day), Carole, got take out and brought it over to feed us - as if she hadn't already done enough! MaSha was clutch, too, with helping to unpack and keeping track of the kids so that Thomas and I could help direct furniture to the correct rooms.

Dinner time, courtesy of Carole

So many boxes!

Stuff was everywhere and boxes were piled high in every room, but we managed to get beds made and slept at our new house all together as a family that night. The boys were so excited to explore everything and see all the rooms. I wasn't sure if sleeping in a new place would scare them, but they did great! 

That weekend was full of unpacking, organizing, sorting, etc. That was several weeks ago and while we are functional now, we still have A LOT of work to do! Major shout out goes out to MaSha, for essentially camping out over the weekend and unpacking the entire kitchen (!!!) and Carole, who continued to assist with unpacking and feeding us. 

We met several of our new neighbors that first weekend and had some friends from the neighborhood that we already knew stop by for visits. It was such a warm welcome and we could feel the hospitality from the get go, which is such a great feeling!

sweet friend, Ginny Lynn, and family
stopped by and brought gifts!

After a busy and full weekend,  had to take a picture of the boys before school on their first school day in the new house. p.s. it was raining that day. :(

First school day in the new house

Different set of stairs to take all our pics on now

As I mentioned, we have a lot of work to do and some updates that are going to be on our list, but we're so happy with our new house and pray that we'll have lots of great memories here, too!

Friends and family, if you're reading this, feel free to come by and visit! We'd love to show you our new place!
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As I'm typing this, it has been a ridiculously cold day here today. This morning was in the low 30's. It's April 17th, people! Mother Nature needs to figure this out stat. At least it's sunny.

We have had some really, really beautiful weather recently though. It's such a great time of year when we can get home from school and play outside a little before coming in for dinner. We had such gorgeous weather this past Saturday to celebrate our last weekend in this house. The boys spent some time outside while it was so pleasant and we ended up grilling with our neighbors, Brecht, Megan and their boys. We will really miss our neighbors here!

A few pictures of recent outdoor fun!

William playing in the irises

Stokes at his "struction" zone

Ryan wearing Mama's shades

cartwheel....kinda sorta!

Selfie time!
Just look at that sweet little face!

It's fun to be outside!

Blueberries on the porch



Cool guy with his shades on
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