Sunday, May 25, 2014

Week Twenty-One

Early this week, Nora got to visit with her friend Kaitlyn when we had her come over for dinner and to play while her Mom was working late. Kaitlyn came straight from dance class, as you can see from her sweet outfit. Nora was excited all day about her play date, and the only thing that would have made it better for her would have been if Kaitlyn slept over.

Bubbles and smiles! 

This week at the gym, we wrapped up the season with a little award presentation. Nora had so much fun playing.

Running with the parachute
Hands up to get ready for her forward roll
Balance beam
Nora kept telling Brad she could do it herself, but he wouldn't let go.
Getting her medal
Running off the podium, refusing to smile for the camera

Near the end of the class, she turned into a grumpy pants. She refused to pose with her medal, and she refused to sit with her classmates for a group picture.

Her mood perked up afterwards, though, when we headed with Allison and Amelia to Penelope's birthday party at Ijams. I was surprised that Nora was really into the animals and creatures-- she got just close enough to admire them, but not close enough to touch.

She made up for her lack of smiles at her awards ceremony with plenty of silly smiles while we were on our nature hike.

Nora chatting with the birthday girl, Penelope, in the purple skirt
Nora and Amelia enjoying the trail, hand-in-hand
Sweet friends
Striking a pose
Silly, silly girls

Today, after lunch at Dede and Grandpa's, we visited the grave site of Lt. Benjamin Spottswood Preston, also known as "Uncle Spott", with a flag to honor him this Memorial Day weekend. This is something that Brad did with his mother as a child, and it is a tradition that he continues now. It is both a privilege and a responsibility that may someday be passed on to Nora.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week Twenty

This week, Nora got her first real hair cut. I think I've said that before, but this one was for real and not just a trim. Her long, wild curls? Gone. I'm hoping that her hair maintains some wave as it grows back, but I'm not holding my breath.

Here she is just after getting it cut. She wanted me to play with her princess castle and was telling me, "No pictures!"

It's cute. I'm not sure if I love it yet, but she needed something shorter and neater since she absolutely refuses to let me do anything with her hair other than brush it and pop a headband on her head.

This week was high school graduation week. I attended Austin-East's grad, obviously. Then I stuck around for Fulton's ceremony since I taught many of those graduating senioros. Most important, though, we celebrated Brad's niece Mary's high school graduation.

Bo and Lea hosted a party at their house, and family traveled in from out of town and out of state! I took a ton of pictures of all of the little kids playing together at the party, but I actually walked out the door without taking a picture of Mary! I managed to find one of the graduate and the whole Bo Lyle family (minus Matt) on their way to her graduation. Here is the fine looking crew.

And here she is at her actual graduation.

When I first moved to Tennessee, Mary was about 7 years old. I asked her recently, and she says she doesn't remember meeting me for the first time, nor does she really remember Brad without me. That's hard for me to believe! She's grown into a lovely young woman that her little cousin Nora can look up to. We're pretty proud of her as she starts her college career.

While at the party, the little kids (Nora, Adelle, Matthew, and Jack) had fun playing together both inside and out.

Two monkeys up in a tree.
Got the ball!
The brothers were too busy "being boys" to play catch with Nora.
Nora took a break from playing dollhouse with Adelle to smile for the camera.
Nora and Adelle admiring Naomi.
Now, while Nora and Naomi are first cousins, Nora and Adelle are "first cousins once removed" meaning Adelle's mother, Katy, and Nora are first cousins, even though Katy is 25ish years older than Nora while Adelle and Nora are just 5 months apart.  We love to get pictures of Grandpa holding Nora, his grand daughter and Adelle, his great-grand daughter at the same time.

Mark this in the record books. For the first time in my almost 11 years as a member of the Lyle family, I got a picture of Sam cheesin' for the camera. I mean, how could you not smile with these 2 silly little girls on your lap?

And speaking of the wide gap between first cousins, Nora is no longer the baby, so here I present you the oldest and youngest of the Lyle first cousins to date!

Katy age 28ish (?) and Naomi almost 9 months

Other highlights of the evening?


Bonding time between the littlest of the cousins.

I thought for sure Nora would crash early last night after all of the festivities, but she didn't. And then today she was a-rarin' to go. This resulted in her crashing at 5 p.m. and sleeping for 4 hours. I tried to wake her multiple times, but when this kid sleeps, she sleeps.

It is now almost 10 p.m. and she is sitting next to me on the couch not sure what she wants to do with herself. I'm going to try to get her back into bed very soon so hopefully her schedule tomorrow isn't too off kilter.

Speaking of tomorrow, tomorrow is the first day of my last week of the 2013-2014 school year! I can't believe another one is in the books.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week Nineteen

This week, we got to celebrate 2 things in one when Naomi was baptized on Mother's Day.  Instead of going to our own church, we attended Redeemer where the baptism was taking place. Since Nora doesn't know anyone there, I kept her with me, and she did so well for more than an hour in the sanctuary during the service. She sat mostly quiet, though we did make 2 trips to the potty. She bounced back a bit between Brad and me, but overall, she did incredibly well for a 3 year old in church.

We went back to Dede and Grandpa's house for a special Mother's Day/baptism celebration lunch, and we had a few extra people join us since it was such a big day. On top of the regular crew, Bo, Lea, Mary, and Sam were there. Rachel Hambright was there. Also, Patrick's mother, sister, and soon-to-be-brother-in-law also  joined us.

Future partners-in-crime
Big smiles!
Back to that favorite tree for a photo op with Daddy.
A picture with a very tired looking Mom on Mother's Day.
Snuggles with a very happy and blessed Momma.
Something else we did this past week was looking at more houses and finding a new #1 house for our list. It has all of our "must haves", including a huge fenced-in yard for our dogs! I really hope it is still on the market when our house finally sells.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Weeks Seventeen and Eighteen

We have celebrated birthdays these past 2 weekends.

Last weekend, we went to Ella's 3rd birthday party. We have a connection with Ella's parents because Dad, Robert, went through much of the immigration process at the same time as I did. Then, we ended up having our girls within just a few weeks of each other. Ella had a birthday party fit for a princess, which seemed to suit both her and Nora perfectly.

The party was on the hottest afternoon of this year so far. I wasn't feeling 100%, so I had to duck into the shade and into the house for most of the time we were there, but Nora has a blast driving around in Ella's Barbie car and eating cupcakes.

This week, we celebrated Brad's birthday! Nora and I let him sleep late this morning. For a gift, he chose to buy tickets to a concert in June. We splurged on the "good" seats since it is Sir Paul McCartney, after all. So, his birthday celebration is a bit delayed, but I have a feeling it will be worth it.

We went to church and then to Dede and Grandpa's house, as we do most Sundays. Dede got a chocolate cake, and Nora was front and center as we sang Happy Birthday to her Daddy.

She stayed front and center for cake and ice cream.

While we were there, Nora has fun playing with her cousin, Naomi. These 2 little girls are becoming pretty enamored with one another, which I love.

Next Sunday is Naomi's christening! We're pretty excited to celebrate such a wonderful milestone and on Mother's Day at that.

Some other things that Nora likes to do on Sunday at Dede and Grandpa's house:

Search under the beds for Kitty Cat Dozier.

And pose for the camera by her favorite tree. Today she cheesed it up a little extra and insisted that Brad and I get in on the fun.

Other things we did today: Decided to drop the price on our house because we've been on the market for 2 months now with some interest but no offers. Also, I went wedding dress shopping with my friend, Jessica, and it was more fun than I anticipated! She's going to be a beautiful bride in June 2015.