Sunday, June 26, 2016

may friends

After coming back from our California vacation we had a jam packed schedule of visitors. I love being busy, especially when it is fun stuff (and not errands and chores bleh). First up was Meredith and Parker! Aligning our two schedules can sometimes be a bit tough, especially as summer approaches, but we did it!  The girls drove up to our place on Friday and spent two nights with us. 

what a good looking group of girls! 

best friend hug

soaking up our brief amount of sunshine

checking out the hot tub. They look like they approve

Sadly it decided to rain all day Saturday, our only full day together. We managed to keep the kiddos busy with a few indoor activities: baking and decorating cookies, and making a mask craft. 
The Green girls

the Clute girls

all smiles as she eats more than she decorates. :)

And of course there was plenty of wine and some time in the hot tub to keep the grown ups happy!
best. photobomb. ever.

silly girls

Charlotte was sitting less than lady like. What a great smile from Parker!
I wish we lived closer so we could hang out more often, like everyday, but if we manage to spend a weekend together every month that is definitely a win!

Over Memorial Day weekend the Burgess crew flew all the way from Cali to see us!! Talk about knowing how to make a girl feel special (and Matt too)! We picked them up and somehow managed to squeeze us all into our Acura. Thank you third row seats!! 4 adults and 3 car seats (two of them rear facing infant). Oh and we can’t forget the two suitcases and umbrella stroller. Bam. Get down with your bad self Miss Acura.

that is one good looking crew!

We immediately headed deep into Southern Maryland for some delicious crab at Captain Leonards. It was all our first time there and boy were we impressed. It is a very laid back restaurant...."divey" but in a good way. Crab sandwich, win! Shrimp, win! We will definitely be taking future visitors to this place.

car seat besties! Jack is not too sure about me taking his photo. Or what exactly I'm doing back there anyways.

On Sunday we went into the city to see a National’s game. Joe had never been and needed to cross it off his stadium list. It was also Norah’s first time to a MLB game! 
silly guy in our background. 

It was a hot day but we had shaded seats and cool drinks. We watched the game, ate some food, and explored the stadium. The babies did great and Charlotte had a wonderful time. She was so excited to watch the game and clapped at all the appropriate times. She even yelled at me and told me to pay attention when I was chatting with Jessica. I loved her enthusiasm, but I needed bestie time!  

give me that paci!

getting a spray down from the mister!
During the 8th inning, as the Nats were ahead, and the rain started to set in, we took that as our cue to head home.

We spent the next day just hanging out around the house. We, of course, got a little more rain. Ugh. But we did get a chance to have a super awesome dance party and a little time in the hot tub. And lots and lots of bestie catch up time!
"playing together"

I am so glad our littles got to finally meet. I just loved seeing Jack's adorable personality and getting the chance to snuggle him. I still can’t decide who he looks like, which means he is a perfect mix of both Mom and Dad!
you must always wear a proper hat!!
besties and their kiddos. My right arm is working over time!

one year apart. 

I think it might be our turn to come out and visit next. Can you handle the travelling Clute circus??!

Monday, June 20, 2016

another nephew to love on!

Just over a month ago I became an Auntie (again) to an adorable little boy! My sister in law Nicole and her husband Mike welcomed Ryan James Kaylan on May 13.

napping on mama, the best spot in the whole world

relaxing with Dad

He arrived a few days early and very quickly (lucky for Mama!). We made it back from California in the nick of time and were able to make it to the hospital the day after Ryan was born. I was in heaven holding this little guy! Ever since Norah was born I have had a bit of baby fever. Perhaps it is because I know we won’t be having any more littles of our own. And maybe because time is flying, Norah and Charlotte are growing up too fast! So I was beyond thrilled to get my hands on such an itty bitty baby. It is hard to believe my kiddos were ever that small. He weighed just over 6lbs, and was already looking around, soaking up life, and making lots of funny faces.

contemplating life on the outside

meeting Uncle Jim, Aunt Jenny and Grandma!

snoozing with Grandpa

Our hospital visit was brief. Mama and Daddy needed lots of rest and our kiddos decided it was the perfect place to have potty accidents and diaper blow outs. Convenient. Haha. But we came to visit again when he was about 2 weeks old. I think it is a little easier to visit once they are home and have had a chance to get settled. Plus we can stay longer. Charlotte was so excited to meet Ryan. She LOVED being able to hold him all by herself! I still remember the first time she held Norah. Brought back all sorts of memories and melted my heart. Cousin love!

sooo excited to be holding baby Ryan!!

cousins meeting the newest cousin

Charlotte and Jack to the rescue!

checking out Uncle Matt

Norah was very curious once she saw him. She kept reaching out and trying to touch him (mostly in the face). They are all fairly close in age and I know will be great playmates.

I'm holding him in this photo. love his puckered lips. 

Here I come Ryan!!

Great job Nicole on bringing such a handsome little guy into our family. We can’t wait to watch him grow and his personality to start shining. Love you all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The newest "addition" to the house

This spring we completed a pretty big project at the house.....we put in a patio and hot tub! Matt had been petitioning for a hot tub for a while, and since our yard made it virtually impossible to put in a pool, a hot tub was the next best thing. It will, obviously, be perfect in the winter time.....putting the kids down for bed, climbing into the nice warm hot tub while it's quietly snowing....heaven!! The summer won't be too shabby either, we could turn down the heat and splash around in it with the kiddos. Charlotte was beyond thrilled and couldn't wait for it to be finished so she could swim. She curiously watched the crew every single day from the windows, asking to go out to see exactly what they were doing. 

We had a few good nursery/hardscape companies in our area and after a few quotes chose Stepping Stone. They executed Matt's vision to perfection. I advised and approved, but left most of the choices up to him. It definitely didn't happen overnight, but those guys worked hard and did an amazing job! 

Here is the before photo....

Digging and leveling out the ground. They had to jack hammer those concrete blocks before being able to lay down the stone. They also had quite a few drainage issues that needed to be addressed. It was the hardest and longest part of the job. I know because I watched, it looked exhausting! I could not do that job every day. Big props to these guys. 

this was fun to watch! A truck spewing gravel. 

getting it all level

The walls are done!! Look how beautiful those look wrapped around the posts of the deck. That was a little more expensive but totally worth it. And it was all Matt's idea - great job babe!

Sand is down, time to lay the stone!! 

trying to figure out the curve

All done!! WOW!!
why hello there gorgeous patio

And surprisingly a few days after they completed the patio the hot tub was ready for delivery!!! Someone is excited!!!

security, watching the guys work from the deck. 

Norah keeping an eye on H, keeping an eye on the hot tub.

it's in! yay!!

time to read that manual from cover to cover!!

After getting the electrical completed we were able to fill her up and enjoy it as a family!! The girls loved splashing around in it. Every time we have a visitor we take the opportunity to spend some time in the spa with some adult beverages. It's not too shabby. We also have complete privacy......skinny dipping time! haha. j/k (or am I?) Who is ready to come over and enjoy this with us?!!

first time in!!

It definitely completes the backyard. Not having any hardscape off the basement slider was less than ideal, we were constantly bringing in dirt and mud, and now that problem is solved! And since the completion Matt has been working hard on getting that grass to grow in and has done a wonderful job!

the official "after" photo, taken today

so you don't have to scroll all the way up....