So this is Christmas…

It’s a different kind of Christmas this year. Our first ever a married couple not in Illinois and Alex’s first ever ever not in Illinois. A B&B and small children will do that to you I guess. Lots of coming and going over the past few weeks still trying to figure out our new roles and responsibilities but here are a few images of the merriment that surrounds us and the sliver of life that we’re in. Praying for peace and joy for all those near and dear to us…Merry Christmas from Williamsburg!

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2 (cakes) for 2 (years)

You know how you thought you did something and then it turns out you didn’t? Yeah. That happened with this post.

Little J’s 2nd birthday was a few weeks ago and since it was his golden birthday and he’ll have to remember it with pictures only, I decided to make a special gold cake. We actually ate it on the 1st after we unwrapped a few golden wrapped presents (play food for his kitchen and an Elmo doll) because we ate dinner at the Richmond airport on his actually birthday so we could hop on a plane to Chicago for the weekend.

On the actual cake consumption, he asked for a spoon and only ate a little. This kid!

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Chicago held a family birthday celebration with more cake and a few thoughtful gifts from family. And yes, his face is very close to those candles. He does still have both eyebrows.

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After his nap, we headed to Sunny Acres with our families for a little fall fun.

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The rest of the weekend held our 10 year high school reunion and a birthday celebration for my mom.

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All in all, we were in Illinois for 44 hours but they were special hours! WHEW!

Summer Vingettes

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IMG_2232 IMG_0903 IMG_0891 IMG_0888IMG_2231Summer, summer, summer! My favorite season is here and it’s glorious.

A morning play-date at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and then showing my brothers a “pretty-good-it-was-alright-except-for-the-heat-and-then-everyone-got-the-stomach-flu-and-you-got-stuck-in-Richmond-on-the-way-home” kind of time. CW (it’s it gorgeous?), Jamestown Beach, and more blueberry picking (and pie making) were on the agenda for the extended weekend.

And then the whole Kelley Fam (mom and dad too, just not pictured) was here for Father’s Day 2015 so we got some pictures taken (hence the matchy-mathcy). Other fun first’s for little J this month – his first baseball game (he was terrified of the mascots!) and his first round of golf.

Oh summer, won’t you stay forever??

Homegrowing

Have you heard that newer Zac Brown Band song called “Homegrown“?

It’s been in my head a lot recently as a way to describe my life right now. Lyrics include the following…

I got some good friends that live down the street
Got a good looking woman with her arms ‘round me
Here in a small town where it feels like home
I got everything I need and nothing that I don’t
Homegrown, Homegrown

Williamsburg may not be a small town to everyone but it’s the perfect kind of small for me. It takes 10-15 minutes to get everywhere and has enough things to occupy one’s time with if you’re up for a simple life. Take our Memorial Day as my proof.

In between little J’s naps we took a two hour excursion to the James River beach that’s three minutes from our house and then crossed the street to Jamestown and briefly toured the museum and let J climb through one of the ships. {total cost: free! residency perks!)

Needless to say, he’s happy he’s homegrowing in Williamsburg. {and yes, in case you’re wondering he had a wardrobe change…he somehow couldn’t manage to keep himself dry with the waves calling his name 🙂 }
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IMG_2061[1]Our day ended with friends, a grill, a fire in our new fire pit. s’mores and the confirmation that yep, this small town sure feels like a wonderful place to call home.

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

IMG_1735this song is just lovely – the view out my window could be titled the same. The sky is gray, the temperature is cold, and we have about an inch of snow on the ground.

It’s been a while since I wrote. Lack of inspiration and lots of feeling of transition in my heart have been the root causes. Like many others in the blog-sphere, the turning of a new calendar page makes me pause to think through the big W’s of writing (why, what, when). This space is my journal, my memories, my musings. I’ve decided on a new “header phrase” for it and it very much encapsulates how I want to move forward with this space – 2015 and beyond.

“the goings on of our house and the people who call it home”

I mentioned transitions in my heart. Though I don’t have fully formed thoughts to share yet, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the idea of “putting down roots” and “home” and “raising little J”. The longer I live in this town, the more it grows on me. The more I learn about what’s here, the more adventures I want to have here. There are very few house projects left on my list that don’t require buckets of money and I feel settled. Content. Organized. At peace. At peace enough to enjoy the Duplo cars under my kitchen table and the little arms wrapped around my legs while I do the dishes and stalking birds and squirrels in the front yard.

A Long Goodbye to the White Whale

It started a little over 10 months ago and escalated to the nuclear option this week and though I always said that it’d be an incredibly sad day when it had to happen, on Friday I found myself ready, oh so ready to let it go.

The White Whale was of course, my first car – a white 2002 Toyota RAV4 that my dad and I bought over Thanksgiving break of my freshman year of college. I was walking to lunch one afternoon with my dear friend Elizabeth on our college campus and I saw it across the parking lot and named it as such.

Despite it’s weak engine, it was a workhorse of a car that moved me in and out of college 4 times and moved Alex and I to D.C. five years ago this coming week. It’s held almost the entirety of my early belongings in the 8 3/4 years that I owned it. It turned 100,000 miles on 495 in Maryland. And we were one when I drove it. But it lived outside the entire time that I owned it and…it got old and feeble (if cars can even get feeble). The shocks went bad, the breaks were going, and  a check engine sensor busted but I held onto it knowing it was my around town, errand car. We did start to talk about getting a new one and knew that our deadline was October 1 per the state inspection (if you’re not from Virginia, it’s too long of story so just don’t worry about it). Before we left town, the sunroof started leaking so it donned a tarp but we found out upon our return that in this lovely humid climate this meant that the upholstery was subject to molding. Hence my earlier reference to the nuclear option – once I knew that it had mold it waas boy voyage, adios, get this thing out of my driveway.

And so, after 10 months of holding onto a car that I loved and appreciated and had so many good memories in, we parted ways and we’ve got a new car for new memories – a 2012 gold/tan Ford Escape. And Alex already told SBJ that this is that car that will be taking him to his first t-ball game. Oh happy day.

{re}Unions

In my opinion, summer are best when they involve lots of time with family and reunions with friends. and it’s ok if they’re punctuated with work as long as they include lots of pancakes and pool time and walks and snuggles.

SBJ’s first summer has been near on perfect and we’ve been so blessed to be able to see so much of extended family despite the miles that separate us most of the year.

a brief trip to Michigan allowed us to spend time with my mom’s side of the family…

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and while we were in D.C. for Constitutional Academy, the stars aligned and we were able to get together with our D.C. married small group despite being separated by 100’s of miles and an ocean for a sweet time of fellowship…

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and a family wedding allowed us to spend time with Alex’s dad’s side

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and time with our Illinois besties

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Summer is by far my favorite season and this one has been wonderful.