Thursday, February 26, 2009

Music Time

Yesterday was Marlie's last Music Time class. They are once a week for a month and she won't be taking it next month. Since she will be 18 months on Saturday, she will start gymnastics next week! She has really enjoyed music, but I think she'll love gymnastics! It will offer a great release for all of her energy.
Here are some pictures I took yesterday.
Shaking the "eggs".


The "instrument" for She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain


Marlie wasn't too sure about these at first, but she eventually thought they were lots of fun.


Showing off her musical skills at home. If Bryan tries to play rock band, she wants to participate!


This is unrelated to music but I thought it was just a cute picture of her.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bryan!

Yesterday was Bryan's 28th birthday! He was able to slip out of work a little early and had the opportunity to relax at home a little bit. Since he was in Afghanistan on his birthday last year, I hoped he would have a really happy one this year. He bought himself a new grill shortly after we moved here and said that was his birthday present. For dinner, he just wanted to grill some steaks so that's what we did. Bryan did request my Nana's coconut cake as his birthday cake though. Here's a picture he took of Marlie and I making the cake.


Here is Chef Bryan hard at work


When we mentioned food, Marlie came running to jump in Daddy's lap. Here they are with his birthday cake. She enjoyed helping Bryan eat his piece!


Even though I agreed to the grill being Bryan's gift, I decided to get him one more thing. He loves his coffee and has wanted a new coffemaker. He was so excited to get the one he wanted.


Marlie even got a surprise! Hint: It's not the book she's reading!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Fun Weekend

Our fun weekend started on Friday, when I hosted a playdate at our house. We brought all Marlie's toys down to our living room so we could have one central play area. Including Marlie and myself, there were 6 small children here and 5 moms. It's been too cold to go outside and play, so this was perfect for the kids to get together and have fun. There were toys everywhere by lunchtime, but it was a lot of fun and totally worth it.
On Saturday, Bryan & I decided to take another quick family trip over to Nashville. We wanted to check out the Farmers Market and visit Whole Foods. Bryan & I both love to cook, so shopping for food is fun for us! The Farmers Market was a little slow, but I think once the weather warms up it's going to be a great place to go.
After the market, we went to one of the popular shopping areas in Nashville. We've never been to a Whole Foods so we were looking forward to seeing what it was like. They sell mostly organic foods and foods with no artificial ingredients. We only left there with a few things, but Bryan was in heaven with the huge meat and seafood selection.
Sunday was more of a relaxing day for us. We just went to church in the morning and had dinner at Ruby Tuesday at night. That was the first time we've eaten there, but it's great for a toddler! We just got the Garden Bar for Marlie and she loved eating the different types of salads and toppings.
Now I've got to start working on getting ready for Bryan's birthday dinner...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Day Weekend

This past weekend was a 4 day for Bryan so we decided to head down to Georgia. We left when Bryan got off work on Thursday. After driving for a couple of hours, we stopped to eat and let Marlie move around a little. By the time we got back in the car it was Marlie's normal bedtime, so luckily she slept most of the rest of the way. We finally got to my parents' house a little before 1am.

On Saturday, Bryan & I went to Atlanta to celebrate Valentine's Day. That afternoon we had the chance to meet up with a couple of my friends from college that I hadn't seen in a while. We had dinner at Aria which is supposed to be one of the most romantic restaurants in Atlanta. We stayed at The Mansion on Peachtree which also gets rave reviews. Here is a picture I took of our room when we got back from dinner.


Here is a close up of the champagne and chocolate cupid that were waiting on us.


On Sunday morning we did a little more shopping before leaving Atlanta. We went back to my parents for one more night and left on Monday. Overall, Marlie did very well on the drive. She's not a fan of riding in the car but hopefully she'll continue to adjust to it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

First Trip to the Zoo!

On Saturday we took Marlie to the zoo for the first time. The Nashville Zoo is smaller than Atlanta, but it was still plenty for M. We ended up getting a family membership for only $45, so now we can go as much as we want for free over the next year.
Marlie wanted "up" on the bench.


Checking out the big fish


She loved running around everywhere


Walking through the bamboo


Petting the goats


Trying to kiss the goat


Looking at the elephants...


...and the giraffes!


Playing at the Jungle Gym


Eating lunch on the way home and making a huge mess!


This was taken after her nap later that afternoon. She got a hold of my slush from Sonic and wanted it all for herself!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Soldier's Parents vs. HOA

I saw this story on TV yesterday and was intrigued by it. Your initial reaction is to be appalled that this family in Colorado can't fly their flag. However, I'm not sure the whole story is being told. I think they are able to display their flag on their home, just not by a pole. What are your thoughts?

LOVELAND - When they planted it in their front yard, they knew they were breaking the rules.

"But we thought it would be better to ask forgiveness than permission," said Terry Lewton.

Lewton and his wife Sue live in the new Garden Gates subdivision in Loveland.

In October of last year, one of their two sons left for his second tour of Iraq.

As a tribute, they set up a 20-foot flagpole in their front yard. They then hoisted the American and Army flags.

"I think about my soldier that's in harm's way," Lewton said as he looked up at the flags.

The couple never thought the display would ruffle any feathers, but some in the development objected.

It's unclear whether the company that enforces the HOA rules, Vintage Corp., acted on those complaints or their own monitoring, but last month, the Lewtons received a letter from Vintage that told them what the two already knew, that they could display the flag, just not on a flagpole.

"We don't plan on taking it down," said Lewton. "It's part of what we do."

Those with Vintage said they're just doing their job, which is to enforce the covenants given to them by, in this case, the developer.

With that in mind, the Lewtons aren't taking issue with Vintage. Rather, they want to change the rule regarding flagpoles.

They'll have the opportunity to do so soon. There's an HOA meeting scheduled for later this month.

The Lewtons plan on attending so they can make their desire for a rule change known.

Friday, February 06, 2009

What's Goin' On


This picture is of Marlie showing off her new wool pants I had made for her.

On Monday Bryan had a post Superbowl "holiday". He made an appointment for early that morning to get our car checked out in Nashville. He thought he'd be in and out fairly quickly, but instead spent most of the day there. So much for a holiday!
On Tuesday Marlie had her first visit to the pediatric clinic here. This trip was just for a routine physical and check up though. To participate in children's programs here on post, she is required to have a physical. Since we were already there, they decided to make it her 18 month check up one month early. Everything went well but of course Marlie didn't enjoy getting her vaccinations.
Wednesday morning we attended Marlie's first Music Time class. There were only 2 other children there and they were a little younger than Marlie. We sang songs and the kids got to use a different instrument/noise maker for each song. Marlie was a little more low key than usual but I have no doubt she'll be showing out very soon!
Today we just had a morning of running errands, so there's nothing interesting to report from that. It's been really cold here but we're looking forward to warmer weather over the next few days so we can get outside and play!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Boy Unwraps Soldier Dad for Birthday

I came across this story earlier today. It's one of those things that you love to read.


DAYTON, Nev. (Jan. 31) - Gabriel Hurles' sixth birthday party wasn't a surprise, but his present sure was. The kindergartner was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class on Wednesday that he didn't notice the enormous wrapped box off to the side.
"That's one big, giant present," a 6-year-old classmate told him. "See what you got, Gabriel."
Gabriel peeled back the wrapping paper to find the surprise of his young life — his father, an Army mechanic back in Nevada on leave from his second tour in Iraq.
"It's my dad!" he announced to his classmates at Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, a few miles northeast of Carson City. "Hi, Daddy."
Army Spc. Casey Hurles, 23, hadn't seen his son since he left in June. When he learned his leave would coincide with his son's birthday, he hatched a plan to hide out in the 4-foot-tall box.
"It was such a rush of emotion," said Hurles, who said he got butterflies in his stomach while waiting in the box.
After Hurles sat down and ate a cupcake with the birthday boy, teacher Dawn VanSickle presented him with a banner from the class that read, "Welcome Home. Thank you for your service."
VanSickle said she was happy to arrange the reunion in her classroom.
"One of the first things (Gabriel) shared about himself was that his dad was in Iraq and that he was waiting for his dad to come home," she said. "He talks about his dad all the time."
Hurles, who joined the Army four years ago, is a mechanic in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He completed one tour in Iraq and is seven months into his second tour. He expects to finish sometime this summer.
Gabriel said he looks forward to playing with his dad over the next two weeks but understands why he has to leave again.
"He has to work," Gabriel said. "He works in the war."