Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Birthday Fun, part two

Five days after Daniel turned 17, Mary Lane had her turn. As she approached her second birthday, she had finally gotten what the excitement was all about, but she didn't quite understand that other people have birthdays, too, like her cousin. Jeanette and Russell tried to get Mary Lane to participate in a video birthday greeting for Daniel, but everytime Erica would say "Happy Birthday, Daniel," Mary Lane would say, "Mine birthday!"

Daniel said he was going to have a little talk with Mary Lane. :-)

Mary Lane finally got her special day and we celebrated in style. She has a love for purses, so Jeanette came up with the idea to have purses be the theme of the party. I got some help from my fellow crafting friend, Barbara, and made a banner for Mary Lane and decorated the living room while Mary Lane napped.

I also made some cupcake toppers and other simple decorations. Jeanette took care of the sandwich supper.

Mary Lane definitely knew that the party was for her when she got up from her nap. She was excited about the presents and the cupcakes and we all had fun celebrating her sweet life.

At one point we were getting things ready for supper and Jeanette got the cupcakes out of the fridge and sat the tray on top of the stove. A minute later, Grandma said, "Where is she going with that?"

Mary Lane had seen the cupcakes and ran to get the stool and was heading to the stove to help herself! We held her off for a little while, but then she got to enjoy her birthday treat!

We ended the evening by watching the videos from when Mary Lane was born and her first birthday. It was poignant when we realized that Grandpa was in the videos. We are so thankful that he got to see all of his grandchildren and that Mary Lane can have pictures and video of her Grandpa who loved her very much!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July Birthday Fun, part one

Ok, I guess I better post something about our July Birthdays before the month gets away from me. The birthday "babies" were actually born in the first week of the month, but we don't have to mention that right now, do we?

First off, the birthday "boy" (um, "man" is probably more accurate). You already saw his big present (although I need to say that while we gave him the car, he gets to learn the responsibility of taking care of it and paying for his own insurance).

Daniel and I had just returned from the youth mission trip the night before his birthday, so we had a low-key day and family dinner that night. The next day a friend of ours who owns a boat took Daniel and some of his buddies out on the lake to do some tubing. I don't have any pics of that, but here are some of the family dinner:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Daniel's New Ride

The day finally arrived. Daniel is now the proud owner of a 2000 Nissan Maxima (most recently owned by his dad). It's been in the works for a few weeks, and we told Daniel about the deal on his birthday, but we finally got everything finalized today. Unfortunately it was not without a couple of hiccups.

It was a "linear" transfer of title, meaning that no money was exchanging hands and his dad could transfer the title to him without tax implications. That part went off fine. In fact, most of the experience went off without a hitch. We had the all of the paperwork (or so we thought . . . hiccup) and got to the at the Davidson County Clerk's office soon after they opened at 8:00 in the morning. We waited a couple of minutes for the clerk to call us up to the desk and handed her the paperwork and Daniel told her what we were needing. She commenced to marking the papers, stamping things, getting the new licence plate ready and asked me for payment.

As I was writing the check, she said, "This emissions test is expired."

I had handed her the latest one done last year (but not a full calendar year) and told her I knew that it was old, but that we didn't have a form to take to the testing site (like you get in the mail when you get the annual registration renewal).

"Oh, you just take the title to the testing site and they take care of it."

Um . . . maybe you could make that clear on your website or when someone calls to ask what we need to do for a linear transfer (of course I didn't say that out loud). Hiccup!

And the car was several miles away in Bellevue and Daniel's key was at our house in south Nashville. Hiccup!

Thankfully, we were able to connect with Daniel's dad and went to get the car and then Cary and Daniel took it from there. The rest of the experience went smoothly and Daniel called me to say that he was officially the owner of the car. Whew!

Here are some pics from when we told him about the car on his birthday and from Daniel's photo shoot with his new car (I didn't have to twist his arm like I'd thought I might have to do)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Real men work at VBS!

This is a rare photo of Daniel and Russell together (thanks to Rebecca S.), not because they don't like each other, but because other younger, female members of the family are usually being photographed (ahem, just can't help it sometimes).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Favorites: The Beach

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Being born and raised in states on the Atlantic coast, I have a love for the beach and the ocean. A lot of times that love has to lie dormant, since I now live in a land-locked state, but whenever I get a chance to get to the coast, it all comes back to me.

A couple of weeks ago when I was on the youth mission trip to North Carolina, we had the opportunity to have a beach day and it was one of the highlights of my week (and probably my summer). There was a heat advisory that day for most of the country, and the temperature that day at the beach was near 100. But even just a few yards closer to the water from where we set up our pavilion and towels, the breeze and the water made it feel 10 degrees cooler.

The most refreshing part was being in the ocean, jumping the waves. In the northeast, the water stays cooler until later in the summer, but in North Carolina that day, the water was perfect. I quickly remembered the days of being at the beach with my family when I was growing up and had sweet memories of my dad teaching me to jump the waves and swimming for hours with me and my sister in the ocean.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to be honest and say that while I love the beach and the ocean, I'm not a big fan of sand. I know that sounds crazy, but for me, the whole beach/ocean experience is worth a little (OK, sometimes a lot) of discomfort from having sand in your towel, walking on hot sand and finding sand in your bag when you get back to your land-locked state.

I am hoping to get some extended time at the beach in the next year or so. I really want to have the fun of watching Erica and Mary Lane experience the beach and the ocean for the first time and I'd love to have a big family vacation to celebrate Daniel's high school graduation year. We'll see . . .

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Favorites: Fireworks, Friends & Fourth of July

 We have a tradition of getting together with friends to celebrate the 4th of July. Most years we end up at Crockett Park in Brentwood and stake our claim to a piece of the hill in the ampitheater to listen to the music. The view of the fireworks is great there, too! It's so fun to have these memories through the years!