Monday, July 22, 2013

Hangin' with Riley

After we kicked off July with several days at Warner Hall, JB and his dad took off to Ireland for 9 days. It's been lonely and we are glad they are enjoying their trip but can't wait for them to finally be back home. It's lonely without my husband and J's dad around.  
I started my much-anticipated decrease in work schedule last week also. I went from working  10.5 hours on Tuesday and Thursday to 6 hours each of those days. I am so excited to make this change an think it will not only be good for me but will be really great for our family.  J was not too pleasant to be around that first Tuesday afternoon but I treasured the time we spent together. We snuggled up in a blanket and watched a show about dump trucks and cranes :) 

 J and I took a road trip from Thursday through Monday to break up the time away from Jonathan.  We got to see mom and dad, Aunt Karen and Riley and Aunt Janis and had a great time! 
Matt and Chase visited the week before (sad we missed you two!) and cleaned out Matt's childhood items to either get rid of or keep. J loved playing with "Matthew Bear", as he was called, and took Douglas the (stuffed) doberman home to stay with us!
Technically Riley is my cousin but she is so much closer in age to Jackson that we are also calling them cousins. She was so sweet with him, wanting to play with him, walking at his pace, sharing her toys with him.  Riley is going to be a great big sister in August! 
We visited Frying Pan Park up in Northern Virginia, where they have pigs, chickens, a playground and a carousel ride! The kids had a blast! 

J was drooling over this tractor. He wanted to sit on it so badly
Touching pigs
On J's first carousel ride. He was fussy when we got on and wanted to get off. Then, he loved being on and wanted to stay on when it was over! 
Pop Pop bought him a sponge bob ice cream cone with bubble gum eyes. After saving him from a potential choking experience and eating the gum myself, he savored the sticky yellow popsicle and did pretty well for his first one. 

And it wouldn't be a trip to grandparents without a little spoiling. We were so hot after a long day outside that we decided to visit McD's and get J his first ice cream cone, which, as you can tell, he enjoyed thoroughly. 
Then, we played in the pool and got a little dressed up...

Thanks, Grandmom and Pop Pop for a great visit. We loved seeing everyone and can't wait to see you all and baby Piper very soon! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

On the move

Life is good. Here is some of what we have been up to!

Kelly and I organized the Team Hoyt team for the CHKD 8K in June. She shouldered most of the work since I over-committed myself with a baby shower on the same day and Camp Jr starting the following Monday. We ran a strong 5 mile race with our Athlete Rider from West Neck. So glad to be part of this incredible organization! 

WOW! All of Team Hoyt at the CHD Run Walk for the Kids
baseball player
calm but not too excited about another hair cut
J is a little domestic: baked cookies and then vacuumed in his apron
JB with J's Beach Belly!
Jonathan's parents hosted a great cookout in honor of JB's graduation from residency. We enjoyed an afternoon at the beach and burgers back at the house. Thanks for a great party! We love seeing J grow up and start to have little friends who are so good at playing with him. Katie McNabb is one of his best buds. She is the only person he will say 'hi' to :)
Eli, Katie, J and Luke at the tool set
my future's so bright
another morning at the fire station!
We kept J up until 7:30 (wow!) to enjoy Monarch Music and time with friends. We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends who we love doing life with.  

Graduation Week

It's been too busy to post on the blog! The whole month of June was spent honoring JB as he graduated from his ED residency at EVMS.   Jackson and I spent a little time cleaning the house and playing in the car when we weren't off partying!

We have been so blessed to make so many good friends in the residency program over the past three years.  Right away, Jonathan knew that he was going to be good friends with the other Jonathan, but I was really nervous to hang out with his wife, Amber. She was so pretty, fashionable and sophisticated and I thought that she was going to find me dull and boring and I would have nothing to say.  I was completely wrong...well, I mean she is all of those things listed above but we were able to form a great friendship and there was nothing to be nervous about! Amber became our summer nanny for Jackson last year before she welcomed her own little precious girl, Cara! She and I have spent many Wednesday mornings at Women's Bible Study and the four of us started a fun weekly ritual of watching The Bachelor/Batchelorette (or "the game" as the guys labeled it in code). They even let us have the honor of being Cara's first non-family babysitter. We love this family and already miss them so much now that they are back in Tennessee.    
We celebrated graduation at a beautiful home on the water in Norfolk. We can't believe this day is finally here! 
Going into residency you hear that 80% of people stay where they do their residency. Only 2-3 of 10 wanted to stay but 6 ended up taking positions locally including Mike (Nessa's fiance), AJ (Laura's husband) and JB. We're excited to get a few more years with these great ladies! 
Nessa, Laura, Amber and Cara
The next week, our church hosted the Camp and Camp Jr for another year. The goal of this camp is to provide a high-quality arts and sport camp in a low-income neighborhood in Norfolk where we have a consistent relationship with the families through various weekly programs.  The Camp Jr is for kids 2-5 to experience the love of Christ through games, music, art and play.  I had the honor of co-leading the Camp Jr with Julie Malcolm and it was challenging, fun and rewarding for all.  

Then, a daddy-son date at the mall with lunch at Burger King, of course. 

J thinks he is so clever by stacking the spices. And finally, the fire hat which never comes off...good thing we got a second one last week!
We ended the month with a party to celebrate the residents, who were all done working! We had a great night relaxing at a gorgeous home in East Beach.  
Congrats Grads!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Warner Hall

Jonathan and I had the wonderful opportunity to get away for two nights to the Inn at Warner Hall. We first visited for Blake and Caroline's rehearsal dinner and wedding reception several years ago and fell in love with everything about this place. This time around, we extended our visit and actually stayed at the bed and breakfast, which was well worth it!

It feels like you take a step back in time as you slowly pull into the gravel lane, past the long white fence and arrive at the magnificent home, which has 11 rooms for guests.  We spent most of our time on the second story porch overlooking the front steps and driveway. It was a perfect place to read as the daily storm blew through. There's nothing like listening to rain on the tree leaves...and hearing nothing else.  
We stayed in the Queen's Suite, with the world's most comfortable bed and fluffy comforter, a steam shower (like a steam room and shower combined into one!), a sitting area and sweet little desk overlooking the grounds in back of the house.  
There was so much attention to detail in the whole weekend, from the welcome plate of fruit, homemade pistachio-topped chocolate bark and bottle of wine, fresh well water in the room, homemade cookies by the staircase, a little box full of accessories (night light, cards, match book) and the warm feeling created by all the staff members and owners of the Inn.  

view from our rear window in the room
Upon our departure, we told Troy, the innkeeper, that we loved our stay and did absolutely nothing and it felt so great! He replied, "Well you didn't really do nothing" and I guess he was right.  The first afternoon, we went canoeing around the lake/Mobjak bay and arrived home right before the storm started.  It was nice to see the mix of older lake homes and new construction.  The next morning I went for a 6 mile run around the Inn and JB ran later that morning (while I napped!). The roads were covered in gravel which makes the most peaceful sound and feels so good on the knees as well.  We biked the loop that afternoon and again, got in right before the flash floods arrived! 
But then we sat in rocking chairs and read, sat in the sunroom and read, sat outside in lawn chairs and read, sat in rockers and drank wine and watched the storm.  We lounged in bathrobes and watched the Batchelorette (missing Amber and Jonathan!!!). We ate a gourmet picnic overlooking the lake, snacked on a cheese and shrimp plate and most of all, rested and enjoyed each other's company.  

grand staircase in the entryway
I finished a new book, The End of your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe, which actually yielded a list of about 12 other books I can't wait to read. But I also came across this quote which I Just loved. Mom always stressed the importance of writing thank you notes. There have been times recently that I have been slacking on writing thank you's (like for the delicious meals we received after we had Jackson!), but I love writing and receiving a handwritten note and am going to pass along this important act to J.

"What I suddenly understood was that a thank you note isn't the price you pay for receiving a gift, as so many children think it is, a kind of minimum tribute or toll, but an opportunity to count your blessings. And gratitude isn't what you give in exchange for something, it's what you feel when you are blessed - blessed to have family and friends who care about you, and who want to see you happy. Hence the joy from Thanksgiving." 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Triple Baby Shower!

After I threw two back-to-back showers in my home last year, I promised myself that I wouldn't host another shower while I had little kids. It's a joy but it's a LOT of work! 
However, I couldn't say no to the opportunity to honor three of my dear friends who are all having babies in the same week! I first met Val and Kristi when we power walked around Norfolk, Kristi with her brand new son Eli and Val and I both significantly pregnant. They were responsible for the 7 mile sweat session that brought Jackson out on his due day! On our walks in Larchmont, Val used to talk about her friend Lael who lives 4 houses down from me and recently joined our Bible Study in the neighborhood. I have loved my days with these women and know that God placed them in my life at just the right time to walk through the first stages of motherhood together. 
Here are a few glimpses of our lovely morning together! 

Anna lovingly crafted tons of poofy-balls to hang around the house. I am sure they have a name, but I don't know it and you can see why I was not in charge of decorating. 
Cat spent hours, I'm sure, making three detailed banners to welcome guests to the shower. 
Lael, Val and Kristi

It's another season of babies. I love that I am surrounded by so many amazing mothers who all love Jesus and want to raise their kids with the same values that JB and I have. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to go through life with!
And finally the guests of honor with the hostesses. We love you and can't wait to meet your little ones soon!