Monday, October 29, 2012

Cake Smash

 Jackson is our little monkey, amongst many other names we have for him so it was fitting that I made him some monkey cupcakes for his first birthday. Thanks to pinterest, we had these cute and delicious creations to celebrate his first year of life! He was hesitant at first but then he dove-in, in typical Jackson fashion; taking a huge handful with both hands and eating what smooshes out through his fingers.

Then, we opened some presents but like a typical toddler, jackson was more interested in climbing on his presents than opening them. We were shocked that he didn't even really want to tear the paper! He has loved the gifts from his grandparents, including a little red wagon, matchbox cars, car ramps, boat bath toys and the Little People zoo.  Now it's time to have some friends come over and share his new toys! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rodanthe Vacation

 As if it wasn't fabulous enough to spend a week in the Bahamas, we followed it up with a trip to Rodanthe, NC the day we came home from the cruise. Our friends were gracious enough to let us use their beach house and we invited our parents to come along as a 'thank you' for taking such good care of Jackson while we were away. Rodanthe is the most relaxing place for us and we always have such  good time there! The weather was perfect for walking on the beach, watching sunsets on the porch and taking many trips to Oregon Inlet to see the fishermen throw their catch on the dock.  We celebrated Jackson's first birthday with all four grandparents, so there was an abundance of laughter and toys!
This is how we get J dressed...teamwork
birthday boy in his birthday suit :)
family walk on the beach
Grandmother Beth
with the birthday boy
love his daddy
my boys
hanging out on the dock
watching the tuna and wahoo on the dock

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Jackson

Happy Birthday sweet little guy. To say we have loved this past year would be an understatement. We are constantly in awe that you are ours and that we get to be your parents. We love watching you grow, explore, laugh and show more of your personality each day. I love starting each morning with you, snuggling on the couch as you drink your bottle. I love singing to you and having you clap for me! I love watching you stack things and figure out shapes and cause-and-effect.  You are on the verge of walking all over the place, taking about 8 steps by yourself now. You have the strength to do it but you are still a cautious child. Thankfully, there have been no big injuries in learning to stand, cruise or walk (hopefully you aren't saving them for when you learn to run!).  Your new thing is getting up on your tiptoes and pulling yourself up onto high surfaces to see what goodies are waiting for you to play with. I guess we have to baby proof the entire house! 

You have such a sweet spirit and are happy most every day! You self-soothe yourself when you are tired by grabbing your front locks of hair and rubbing them through your fingers. We can't bring ourselves to give you your first hair cut and get rid of those gorgeous curls. You have sailed past your short separation anxiety phase, doing beautifully when we dropped you off with Grandmom and Pop Pop for a week. You didn't even think twice when we left which was good and bad for us. You go happily to new people and have never met a dog you didn't like. Your first sound was 'ah ah', directed at dogs but now we have realized that you use it towards all animals, but with a little more animation towards dogs.
You have changed from a hungry man to a picky eater, refusing anything green and most proteins aside from cheese. You still put up a strong anti-cup protest so we have decided to continue on with a bottle since you successfully transitioned to whole milk.  The kitchen is a wreck after each meal, especially when Lincoln is not around to be our dust buster. You are an amazing night sleeper, continuing to go to bed at 6 (or earlier on no-nap days!) and sleep until 6:30 or 7 recently. I find myself wishing you got up earlier so we could keep our running dates with the De Egg group, but I guess I should enjoy your awesome sleep habits while I can! This totally makes up for your 30 minute nap phase.
You have so much personality and love to entertain us. You look at us to make sure we are watching you before you do something you think is funny or impressive, like stacking several blocks. You now laugh when we laugh and sometimes on your own to get us to start laughing at you. You are a nut. You love your daddy so much and I can see so much of him in you. I hope you grow up to be just like him. We thank God for you, little J.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cocktails in a Coco

We just got back from an amazing, relaxing week-long cruise to the Bahamas in honor of Dan Mazzio's 30th birthday. Cheers to Lisa for organizing such a great birthday party! We set sail on Sunday, spending a day at sea, two days in Nassau, one in Freeport and another sea day as we returned home to Norfolk. It was eight adults and no kids, so we all enjoyed much-needed time doing nothing. Most days were spent on a deck called 'Serenity', and it truly was. Read 5 pages, sleep for 30 minutes, have a cool drink. Repeat. 

On Tuesday we hailed a cab to take us to a public beach where the waves were incredible! They were selling cocktails in a coconut, so we all settled down on our towels and slept on the beach after getting pummeled by the waves.  Later that evening the guys accidentally discovered some of the more sketchy parts of Bahamian culture but everyone made it back to the cruise in one piece and now have great stories to tell because of it. Whew! 

Arriving in Nassau
Lisa, Bonnie and Heather enjoying cocktails in a coconut
the water was unreal! 

On Wednesday we went to Sandy Toes on Rose Island. Bonnie found this gem of a retreat which included a 45 minute boat ride to a private island. We snagged sun chairs, a welcome-drink and passed out in the sweet Bahama sun until it was time for lunch (in a tree house) and snorkeling! I was fairly terrified to try snorkeling. I prefer not to go in the water, and if I do, I don't want to touch anything or know what I am touching! However, this was an incredible experience. We donned our fins and snorkels and dove off the dock into 10-foot deep water where we saw neon-colored coral, hundreds of different types of fish and a sting ray! We agreed that we would snorkel again if the chance presents itself.  Guess we'll have to schedule a tropical vacation again sometime soon :) 
lunch in a tree house overlooking the ocean

We are so grateful that our parents were able to watch Jackson for a week while we enjoyed our first vacation since his birth, almost one year ago. It was a great time to strengthen our marriage and have fun together as Jonathan and Heather, not just mom and dad. We're hoping to make this a yearly tradition (maybe not with a week-long vacation) of getting away from the stresses of every-day life really enjoy each other. Jackson had a great time and we are sure that he would rather be back with his grandparents who completely spoil him!  
with my handsome husband on formal night #1
1st cruise, 2006 for our Honeymoon
6 years later, on our second cruise
The weather was pretty great all week and on the last sea day we got to see a water spout! Look at the water and also at the sky on the left. 

Finally, Jonathan provided our entertainment all week in the Karaoke bar and was chosen to perform in the show on the final night as Garth Brooks. He had a dress rehearsal, costume and professional escort. Jonathan completely stole the show with his bass voice singing "Friends in Low Places".  People came up to him after the show to get pictures with him! I could enjoy being the wife of a famous person :) but I would have to get him a professional stylist 
Garth's fan club
All in all, a high-five worthy week! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Extra pictures from the first few weeks of October

Here are some more pictures from last week, taken by Val which is why they are so good!
baby blues

best buds, Jackson and Sofi play with Legos for the first time

we love to look at flags

Children's museum in Portsmouth

not a hat guy anymore

Sofi, Ellie and Jackson

my little pumpkin

Mary and Ellie, Jackson and me, Val and Sofi