Baby J – 21 weeks

21weeks

 

No real update this week.  Just getting bigger and enjoying feeling Baby J move around.

I’ve also just been feeling so blessed lately.  With this pregnancy and lots of other things going on in our lives.  How lucky I am to know where my blessings come from!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Hope everyone enjoys this three day weekend!  We have plans to get working on the basement!!

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Baby J – 19 weeks!

19weeksWOW!!  I’m basically half-way there!  (Since I’ll have to have an early C-section).  It seems like in comparison to my pregnancy with Clark, this one is flying by!

Big news!!  I can feel Baby J moving around in there!!  Only when I’m lying down and being pretty still.  Or after I’ve had something sweet to eat or drink.  It’s such a cool feeling that reminds me how special this time is.

I’ve got a sonogram on Tuesday so next week I’ll share a picture.

We are off to a wedding this weekend and Clark is going to stay with Bob’s parents the night of so we’ll get some adult time.  Love this bugger, but I’m looking forward to a kid-free night.clark-highchairHope everyone has a great weekend!  Enjoy this beautiful weather!!!

 

 

Color Me Rad

 

This past weekend we were in Pittsburgh to see family, celebrate a graduation, attend a bridal shower, AND…

 

RUN A 5K!!!

Anyone who knows me is probably like, “WHAAAAT?!?!?”  I am not a runner.  And I go through what I call, “workout phases”.  I really WANT to be a person that enjoys some form of workout, but I have yet to find something I don’t just resent.

Anyway, Bob’s entire family from his mom’s side, lives in Pittsburgh so all the cousins (and their spouses, children, etc.) are very close.  A few months ago, one of the cousins decided to organize a team for the Color Me Rad 5K. I figured if I signed up (and paid for it!), that would motivate me to “train” for it, therefore having to exercise!

I did pretty well with keeping a running schedule, but was still pretty nervous come race day.  My goal was to not walk.

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Let me clarify that it’s not really a race because there’s no times or places or anything.  It’s really more of a fun run.  You can read about it on the website here.  Basically along the course, there are color stations that throw different colored powder or squirt colored corn syrup at you so that by the end of the race you are tie-dyed.  It was fun!

I did run the whole thing (with my 24 week pregnant sister-in-law) so I was pretty proud of myself.  But I used an app on my phone to sorta time myself and track the distance and found out it wasn’t a full 5K.  It was really more like 2.5 miles.  But hey!  I’m still patting myself on the back!!

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It was so fun to do it with other people, especially family!  So…Color Me Rad 2014???  Who’s with me?!

5 Generations

My older sister, Sally and niece, Jo visited last week from Memphis.  (I’ll write a separate post about their stay here at our house.)  While she was in town, we decided to take a trip to State College, PA with our parents and grandparents to take a 5 generation picture with my 106 year old great-grandmother.

106 and 8 months actually.  We call her Grandma Ruth.  She’s an incredible woman.  She is my dad’s dad’s mother.  She has lived in State College for pretty much her entire life.  She drove until the age of 100!  The greatest thing about her is her memory.  She doesn’t forget things!  It’s so fun to listen to her tell stories from when she first met Pappy Bruce (her husband) to when my brother was a toddler and basically told her that she was sitting in his chair.  She remembers all of her grandkids’ birthdays too.  That’s not even an exaggeration!!  She’s got 5 children, about 20 grandchildren, and…let’s just say we have a huge family!!  (I’m not going to try to count the great-grands and so on.)  We have been so incredibly blessed to have her around for so long with such a sharp mind.  You can read a little more about her in this article from her last birthday (which she celebrated AT a Penn State game!!)  1-DSC03223Me, Clark, Grandma Ruth, my dad – Don, and my grandpa – Jack (Ruth’s oldest of 5).

1-DSC03228With my sister – Sally and her daughter – Jo.

My dad’s aunt, June was there with her husband, John and we all visited for a while and watched the kiddos wrestle around.1-jo.hugAfter an hour or so, we knew Grandma was getting tired so we headed to my grandpa’s hunting camp just outside State College for some lunch.  It was Clark’s first time there and Jo hadn’t been there since she was about 3 months old.  1-jackscamp 1-clark.jo.woodGE DIGITAL CAMERA

I am so so thankful we did this!  I mean, not many families are able to have 5 generations all in the same room together.  I am so blessed to be part of this huge, amazing, loving family!  And I’m so lucky to actually know my GREAT-grandmother!  Love you Grandma Ruth! 1-May 26, 2013

 

2nd Annual Clark Jackson Invitational

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About a year ago, right after we had Clark, Bob’s brother Brian was coming to visit (and meet Clark for the first time) from Florida.  He went to Virginia Tech also, so we have a lot of mutual friends that live in the Baltimore/DC area.  As he and Bob were discussing his upcoming visit, they decided to get some guys together to play golf.

One thing led to another and the Clark Jackson Invitational was born!

Last year they played 2-man scramble with about 12 guys and while the men were on the course, the ladies came to hang out with me and Clark and get ready for the BBQ after!  Some pictures from last year:

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Original CJI golfers

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Bob’s cousin Paul and brother Brian with Clark

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Receiving the winning cash

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Winners! Jeff and Bob’s cousin, Dave

Because everyone had such a great time last year, we decided to do it again this year.  And we weren’t messin’ around!  I mean, Bob even got a trophy made with the winners of last year engraved on it!DSC03182But we’ll get to that…

This year there were 16 guys and they played 4-man scramble, with some other challenges like longest drive, etc.  We have a really good friend who works as a golf pro in Florida.  He wasn’t able to make it last year or this year, but he has officially been name the commissioner of the CJI and he made awesome score cards again this year using photos of Clark and all the guys playing.  nonameThe girlfriends/fiancés/wives came to our house to hang out with me.  We basically had a baby/dog play date with margaritas!  Seriously, there were 4 girls (and one who came a little later), 4 dogs, and 2 babies.  And we lost count of the margaritas :-)!

We could not have asked for a better day for the guys to golf.  It was just gorgeous!  When they got back, the winners were announced for each of the categories and the 4-some that took it all.DSC03172 DSC03169DSC03174 DSC03179

Oh the winners?  Yea, it just so happens that both my hubs and my little brother were on the winning team.  The 4-some from back left: Andrew Atman, Ben Grossman, Sam (my bro), and Bob.  We’ll get the winners’ names engraved on the trophy each year, but keep it at our house for safe-keeping.

Then we ate!!  DSC03166We had all kinds of BBQ foods, and one girl even brought Georgetown Cupcakes from DC!!!  Those were obviously a hit!

Once the BBQ started and the keg was tapped, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures.  We had an awesome time hanging out in the beautiful weather, watching babies and dogs play together, and catching up with old friends.  Not to mention eating large quantities of food.

In the end we had 26 adults, 4 babies, and 9 dogs who made appearances at our house at some point on Saturday.  It was a blast!  Let’s just say we were exhausted on Sunday, but we can’t wait till next April for the 3rd Annual Clark Jackson Invitational!

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Easter

Two weeks late, but finally…the Easter post!

We spent Easter in Pittsburgh with Bob’s family.  It was a really special weekend since our niece was baptized AND Bob’s sister shared some exciting news!!

However, it was an exhausting couple of days!!  We stayed with Bob’s sister, Leslie and her husband, Kev and because of traffic issues on Friday night, we didn’t get in until a little after midnight.  Clark slept the whole drive and must have thought it was morning when we finally got there because he refused to go back to sleep until we brought him in to bed with us!  Not fun!

Saturday we woke up pretty early to take care of Bruno and then went to Bob’s parents’ house for breakfast with a bunch of the family.  Which also included our sister-in-law’s family (her sister and brother-in-law and their 2 kids).  Bob got to spend most of the rest of Saturday at a Penguins hockey game while I was on baby duty with a kid too exhausted to take a nap!!  At least I was in good company!

Saturday night, Bob and I got some adult time with some high school friends of his for a couple hours while grandma and grandpa put Clark to bed on the dining room floor.  (not joking, he passed out on a blanket and was more than comfortable there until we brought him back to Leslie and Kev’s house)

Sunday came with so much to celebrate!!

The Julius family has an easter egg hunt tradition.  This was the first year that I’ve experienced it AT the Julius house.  Here’s how it goes:

  • Each kid gets assigned a color egg to look for.  You only collect your color! 
  • Once all the eggs are collected, we open the eggs to find numbers inside.
  • The numbers coincide with our gifts.  For example, if your egg has number 3 inside, you open the gift marked #3!
  • There’s also special multi-colored eggs that have candy or some other kind of treat inside.  Those eggs are anyone’s game!

It’s really a TON of fun!!  Plus, I was lucky to participate after an unfortunate incident of accidentally posting pictures on Facebook of my mother-in-law that she had not pre-approved.  :-/

After the hunt, we all had breakfast, took some pictures and got ready to head to church.  (Bob, Clark, and I headed back to Les and Kev’s to let Bruno out first and Clark took that opportunity to catch some ZZZ’s)DSC03110After the church service, our niece, Taylor Rose, was baptized.  I can’t think of a more perfect day to perform this sacrament than the day we celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation!!  And it was so sweet to have so many family members there to witness it.

We headed back to Leslie and Kev’s to pack our things and pick up Bruno, then went to Bob’s parents’ house again for a huge Easter lunch with most of Bob’s extended family.

When the aunts/uncles/cousins/etc. had left, I insisted we get a Julius family picture.  This was the first time all of us were together since Taylor and Clark were born.  There were a few complaints, but I think everyone is glad we did it!  Right?!?

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Back: Kevin, Leslie, Earl, Mary, Brian, Jason, Taylor
Front: Bob (with Clark), Kara, Lauren

 

We drove home that evening with full bellies, full hearts and REALLY tired eyes!!  It was a wonderful weekend!

…And who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.  Romans 1:4-5 (NIV)

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Port Discovery via Hipstamatic

I know I still owe a couple of posts but I haven’t been in the blogging mood lately.  We got some bad news last week, so my mind has been on other things.  To cheer us up, on Sunday after church, we took Clark to Port Discovery.  My mom got us a family membership for Christmas and this was the first time we’ve been able to use it. We will definitely be going back.  Clark is still a little too young for some of the exhibits, but he had a great time exploring all the hands-on activities they had to offer.

I’ve been loving my new IPhone since I got it back in November!  My brother-in-law introduced me to the “way better than Instagram” Hipstamatic app and I used it all day on Sunday to capture the experience.image_1image_2image_3image_4image_5image_6image_7image_8image

Surprise Weekend for Moi

We threw our annual Christmas party this weekend and it was so much fun!  But before I get to that, let’s go back to last weekend.

A couple weeks ago, Bob called me from work and said,

Don’t make any plans for the weekend of Dec. 1.

When I asked him why, he said,

I have a whole surprise weekend planned for you.

Every day until the surprise weekend, he tried to throw me off course.  A few of the fake hints he gave me were:

  • We are flying there
  • He signed me up for a 10K (anyone who knows me, knows that that would NOT have been a good surprise)
  • Aruba

By the time I was supposed to be ready on Friday, I was thoroughly confused.  On his way home from work, Bob stopped to get us dinner at Corner Bakery and after scarfing it down, we loaded the car and left.

I assumed we were driving to our destination, but that wasn’t the case.  I was SO excited when we arrived at the train station!photo-23

 I just LOVE the train!  It feels so urban and old fashioned.

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Clark’s first train ride!

We were headed to…DC!  Other than the final destination, I was still in the dark.

We arrived at Union Station (which is beautifully decorated this time of year) and walked just a few blocks to our hotel.  This kid was so excited that he didn’t fall asleep until 11pm!!! photo-24(I have to admit, I was just as excited to find out what else Bob had planned for me/us!)

Saturday morning, we all woke up Clark woke us up around 7:00am.  That was okay, because Bob said we needed to leave pretty early for my next surprise.  photo-25

On our way to my next surprise!

We arrived at The Willard Hotel where Bob had booked me a hot stone massage at the Red Door Spa!!photo-26

It…was…amazing!!!

After my massage, I used the steam room, showered, and pocketed some of their complimentary toiletries until Bob and Clark made their way back to pick me up.

Then we headed to the spy museum just a few blocks away.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures there because technically they are not allowed.  It was really cool but Clark was tired, hungry, and cranky so we ended up breezing through most of the place.  We will have to go back when he is old enough to enjoy it also!

By this time, Bob and I were pretty hungry ourselves so we went to Matchbox Pizza in Chinatown for a late lunch.  SO YUMMY!!!DSC02599

photo-27We were all getting pretty tired, so after a quick stop into Urban Outfitters to take some silly pictures, we walked back to the hotel to squeeze in a nap before my night-time surprise.photo-28We had to take the Metro to get there: another first for Clark.photo-30At this point, I had NO IDEA where we were going.  Since we had a late lunch, I didn’t think we were going to dinner, but Bob seemed to be in a hurry so I wasn’t sure.  I wasn’t expecting this:DSC02600

From the end of November till the end of December, the National Zoo puts up more than 500,000 lights of animal silhouettes and musical light displays.  It’s so pretty and…FREE!!!  They even have these warming stations throughout with refreshments you can buy like cookies and hot cocoa, or coffee with Bailey’s for the adults!

It was pretty cold this evening so I used our Moby wrap to keep Clark warm (and I think it kept me warmer too!)DSC02612Here’s a video we took of one of the animated musical displays:

This was probably my most favorite part of the weekend.  Just because it was something different and we could do it as a family.

But the weekend wasn’t even over yet!!  In fact, after ZooLights, we hopped on the Metro and headed to Bethesda to meet my little sister for drinks and apps after she got off work.  I’m glad she got to be part of my weekend.  It’s been so fun having her live so close.  Clark was so tired by this point, though, so this was the best picture I got.photo-33He looks like he’s smiling, but in reality, he was probably screaming in this picture.  Good thing it was pretty loud in the restaurant and we sat next to a couple who had kids, so they were totally understanding!  Sorry we kept you out so late, Clarky!!

Sunday morning, we meant to get up for early service, but it started at 9:00am and we all slept in until 8:45am.  Bob looked up another service for us to go to and we headed to the 11:00am at Capitol Hill Presbyterian.

After, we walked around for a bit.  It was pretty cool because the weather was gorgeous and hardly anyone was outside.  photo-29I was in desperate need of some coffee, so we found a Starbucks, and then Bob said we had plans for lunch.  He took me back to Union Station, so I asked if we were taking the metro again or something.  He said no, and started looking around the train station.  Apparently, he couldn’t find the restaurant.  I have to admit that at this point I was pretty hungry so I started complaining a bit.  As we passed by a Ben and Jerry’s, I even said

Bob, I would take ice cream!!  I’m soooo hungry!

He refused and we finally found B. Smith’s!  And…SURPRISE AGAIN!!!  There were 4 of my friends waiting there to eat with us!  (And way more of them to come!)  We had an incredible all you can eat buffet of breakfast and lunch foods AND bottomless mimosas.DSC02625Because there were so many of us, they gave us our own room.  It turned into a 3 hour lunch!!  Clark of course was the center of attention and absolutely loved it!

After lunch, Bob said our train didn’t head back to Baltimore until 7:00pm so we had some time to kill and thought we would check out the monuments.  Unfortunately it started to rain a little so we decided to change our tickets to the earlier train.

It was only sprinkling on our walk to Union Station, but I didn’t want Clark to get wet/sick so I covered the stroller with a blanket.  Apparently, he didn’t like that he couldn’t see (or maybe that people couldn’t see him).photo-34He’s so funny!

Overall, it was such an awesome weekend and I feel so lucky to have these two boys in cahoots with each other to give me such precious memories!photo-36

Pool Day

This past Saturday we made a trip down to Alexandria where our friends live to hang out with them by the pool.  Jen was my roommate and sorority sister in college. Her husband, Justin, is hilarious!  He most definitely coined the term “pinteresting”.  It can be used as a verb, (ex. What have you been doing all day?  Oh…just pinteresting some new dinner ideas.) or an adjective (ex. That camera float strap that you DIYed is so pinteresting!)  

Our other friends, Tori and Stephen, were there too.  Tori was also my roommate and sorority sister in college.

She and Stephen got married in June.  He’s from Ireland so Bob had a pale buddy :-).We got there a little after noon so we had lunch by the pool.  Subs from Harris Teeter with some vitamin water.  And by “vitamin water” I mean some highly frowned upon Sangria.  We actually got busted by the pool nazi.  Whoops.

Clark had a great time swimming.

Me and my buddy.

Justin had an underwater camera that was SO FUN to use.

Underwater Tea Party is always a good one.

Then there’s the sea monster sneak attack.

Tori snagged a great family photo for us.

After a couple hours pool side, we decided to move the party inside where we could legally consume a few adult beverages.  It was great timing, we just missed the rain.

Inside we pretty much just oogled the baby hangin’ with his new friend, Penny…

…and showin’ some Hokie Spirit.

Justin also introduced us to the hilarious Comedy Central show, Workaholics.  So we watched a couple episodes.

It was a fantastic day!  I can not believe I have known these girls for almost 10 years!!

Love you guys!

Thanks for a fun day!!  We can’t wait to get together again soon!!

 

 

 

 

Epic Week

Last week was kind of crazy.  In a good way though.

At the beginning of the week we really didn’t have much planned.  (as usual)  It was just going to be a dinner on Wednesday night.  But…plans changed…

On Wednesday morning my mom surprised us with a visit on her way home from visiting my sister in Bethesda.  On Wednesday evening we got together with some new friends from church for dinner at their house.  It was so much fun!

On Thursday night we got together with more friends (and Clark’s baby girlfriend, Ainsley) for drinks and dessert at Nautilus Diner.  Yum and fun!

Friday Clark and I made a trip down to Bethesda to visit Aunt Ellen.  She’s a nurse so she often has days off during the week.  It’s so nice that she’s so close.  We just chilled at her condo and hung some frames and skyped my older sister and niece in Memphis.

Saturday we saw more friends and had dinner at their place.  Ben and Melissa are dear friends.  Clark was the first baby that Ben has ever held!  Those boys get along great.  Both of them are big fans of TV!

Sunday after church we got a knock on the door.  My brother and his friend had also visited my sister in Bethesda (she must have had an epic week too!) and stopped by for a quick visit on their way home.  Clark was so excited to see his Uncle Sam that he pooped on him.  literally.  oops 🙂

All the time spent with friends and family made the week fly by.  We were all exhausted by Sunday night but feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives!  What a great week!!!