Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Nolan Annual Christmas Letter

Each year Ryan writes a wonderful Christmas letter recapping our year and this year is no different.  I love reading about our year through my husband's perspective!  He's a great writer and sees things in a different light than I do, so I hope you enjoy reading this letter as much as I do!

Photo by Jami Thompson Photography

Happy Holidays from the Nolan’s!

Hello Friends and Family, another year has passed and as usual, it’s been a crazy one for this little family.  Much has changed, and more changes are coming fast.  Biggest and most important thing first – we’ll be welcoming a baby boy soon, due in the first week of January.  Maxwell Joseph Nolan, or Max, is healthy and growing normally and we’re hoping for an on-time arrival.  Christmas will have to be a smaller affair this year, no traveling for Sarah when she’s close to nine months pregnant, so we’ll be staying home for the first time in several years.  Speaking of home, we made the leap and moved farther south into Virginia Beach.  Our house is larger and in a much better school district so we’re quite happy.  My job moved to a smaller, closer Navy base just up the street so my commute is much shorter.  We’ve been able to squeeze a little bit of travel into our busy year, including several trips to PA, a couple trips to Charlottesville VA, and an awesome trip that Sarah and I took to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL to watch the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May.  It was my first actual PGA Tour event, believe it or not, and I was in hog heaven.  We got to spend time with Sarah’s oldest brother and his family who live in St. Augustine, as well as relax some on the beach, so it was an awesome trip.  I went on my annual trip to Fortuna for the Southern Humboldt Masters over Father’s Day with dad (finished 2nd), and went by myself this time because all three of us flew back out West a month later to attend my cousin Cameron’s wedding in Napa.  Unfortunately that trip was also a sad occaision; we lost my Grandma Arlet (mom’s mom) in early July.  Grandma was almost 97 and she lived a wonderfully full and happy life so we’re happy she’s with Grandpa now.  Luckily I was able to see her for a little bit during my June trip and I’m very glad that I did.  With Sarah and baby growing our last travel of the year was to PA for Thanksgiving, and included a beautiful baby shower arranged by Sarah’s mom with all of her best friends and family.  The last bit of major family news is that we sprung for a new car, and got Sarah a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder.  It’s just right for a growing family, very safe, so far so good.
Photo by Jami Thompson Photography

Sarah has a lot going on, as those of you that follow Sarah Nolan Photography know.  In March she quit her corporate job for good; she had been working part-time to help the transition for her replacements at the company.  Apparently working in a corporate environment was not good for trying to have a baby, because we were pregnant the month after she quit.  Lol.  The photography business is going very well!  She’s in a constant cycle of booking, packing props, organizing, shooting, editing, and keeping the social media piece going.  Her client base continues to grow as people see the great work she does, and I’m very proud of her.  Sarah also gives back to the community through a series of volunteer efforts, including photographing events for special needs families and offering her services as one of a series of gifts that a friend’s charity gives to families of newly-born babies with Trisomy-21 (Down Syndrome).  She continues to tutor a couple select clients in math, which she enjoys and she says helps her stay sharp.  Sarah was the real rock star of our move back in August, and she had this house 90% put together inside of a week.  Now the baby’s room has become a focus, and we’re most of the way there – Pop Pop Joe came down and painted, the crib and dresser are up, baby clothes are washed and hung, and we even have our hospital bag packed.  Not bad for a busy family!
Photo by Jami Thompson Photography

My work situation is still a bit strange.  I’ve now been at this shore duty job for nearly four years, and I have over 17 years of total service.  Because I’m retiring at my 20-year mark, the Navy has no appetite to send me back out for more sea tours.  My command has me doing quite a bit of high-level work and wants to keep me so there’s a decent chance I’ll finish out my career right where I’m at.  That would be just fine with me, and now we’re just waiting on confirmation to make it all official.  The Navy is a large organization and moves very slowly sometimes.  Work is the boring part though, it just gets in the way of my golf schedule.  I started early in the winter playing our Golfweek Amateur Tour Winter Tour, a series of two-man events, where my partner and I won the overall gross championship this year.  I played my second full year on the regular Golfweek Amateur Tour and had a great time.  No individual wins this year, but only finished out of the top-five in the Championship Flight twice.  My game is improving, I just need to work on closing out tournaments next year.  I had some other successes – won the Military Invitational up in Williamsburg, qualified for and competed in the Virginia State Amateur up in Charlottesville, and finished 12th in a field of over 100 Championship Flight players at the Golfweek Amateur Tour National Championships in Hilton Head in October.  I have a great group of guys that I play with regularly at the Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, and my calendar always seems to be full of good tournaments to play.   I’m looking forward to continuing this year’s Winter Tour, which started in November, and All-Navy Golf tryouts in the spring.  Outside of golf I still cook regularly for the family, and between moving, having Jared back, and the baby coming we always seem to be slammed busy.  Life is good at 35 and I have my health (mostly), although not much hair left on my head!
Photo by Jami Thompson Photography

Jared’s back!  He attended 6th and 7th grade with his mom in Iowa, and we’ve had him back here since mid-July.  Now 13 and an 8th grader, Jared is adjusting to a new house, new friends, new school, and a new baby brother on the way (FINALLY, he says).  There are always bumps and bruises with adjustments but he’s doing well overall.  Some may recall that he wrestled for his middle school in Iowa, and we got him involved right away with a local wrestling club called Mat Rats.  He practices twice a week in the evenings, and the club is run by his middle school and future high school coaches.  He’s getting great experience and great visibility.  We’ve just started getting him into local AAU tournaments, giving him some important “mat time” and exposure to the coaches.  Jared likes golf as well, but hasn’t quite gotten the “bug” like I did at his age.  I play a regular Sunday round with him and a couple work friends, so he’s still swinging away.  I imagine that his interest level will increase when the school golf season comes around.  Like most teenage boys Jared loves video games, and he’s become our resident technology expert.  He’s a fun and interesting kid and we love watching him grow up.  He’ll be 14 in March (yikes)!

Little Lira is doing very well!  She adjusted quickly to her new digs and new walking routes, and she’s pretty much as awesome as ever.  I’ve been quite entertained by how aware she is of Sarah being pregnant, and she is not happy when her momma is not in her sights.  When Sarah’s editing or resting you can often find Lira sprawled on her belly, although she likes that less and less, because her little brother-to-be is getting good at punching his puppy through the belly.  One funny event from earlier this year – Lira dug up a bunny nest in a bush at our old house, and managed to catch and kill two baby bunnies.  It was sad for the bunnies (although they are incredibly overpopulated here), but kind of funny to us because our spoiled, lazy, indoor dog who sleeps on the bed showed signs of being a “real dog”. 

We hope you enjoy hearing about us and we love to hear about you! 

We moved, so if you want to send Christmas cards to us, please let us know and we will send you our new address!  Thanks!
Photo by Jami Thompson Photography

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Maternity Pictures at 32 Weeks | Red Wing Park | Photo Credit "Simply Be-you-tiful Photography"

A couple weeks ago we had family pictures scheduled, but poor Jared got sick, so they turned into maternity pictures with Ryan and Lira!  I felt beautiful and sexy which was such a welcomed feeling because I don't always feel that way these days.  It was also really nice to snuggle with Ryan and just be sweet and silly while friends photographed us.  Thank you for being such a good sport babe!  I am really happy we have these pictures!  Muah!  

At week 32, I felt amazing and was measuring about 1-2 weeks behind.  Baby boy was extremely active and I was eating a protein shake each night before bed to help him grow a bit.  He's a tiny guy, but he's healthy and active!  

All photo credit goes to the amazing husband wife team, Jenn & John of Simply Be-you-tiful Photography!

One of my favorites!

The laughing one on the right is another favorite of mine!!  It's so "us"!  I love him!

I laugh a lot!

My pumps were definitely sinking into the ground and Ryan was basically holding me up!

I love this one too!
A little portrait session of just me and my baby bump allowed Ryan to chase Lira around as she sniffed all the awesome new smells!  I definitely need to take her to the park especially since it's so close to home!

I LOVE this picture of myself!  I felt super sexy and beautiful here!!

Ryan loves the one on the left.  

Oh Lir Lir!  She's so good at looking at the camera!  As long as she is in our arms, she's a happy pup!
Outfit change for me!  This happened in the back of my little car!  It was definitely an experience navigating this belly in a tiny backseat, but it was worth it for a completely different look!
Loving on our Lir Lir puppy!

I feel like I look calmer here than normal :)

Love both of these pictures!!

Thank you so much Jenn & John for capturing such a special time in our lives!  We cannot wait to meet our baby boy in 7+ weeks!!  

Much love,
Sarah & Ryan

Sunday, October 25, 2015

30 Weeks Down, Hopefully 11 More To Go!

Yes, I am 30 weeks pregnant and kinda hoping to be pregnant for another 11 weeks.  Rarely do you hear that someone wants to be pregnant for longer, but I am carrying a little guy and wouldn't mind if he decided to incubate a little longer than what my "Due Date Is."  

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster for me.  First I was told I wasn't gaining enough weight, then I was told I gained too much weight in a two week span, then I was told my belly was measuring big, then I only gained a pound, had an ultrasound to make sure I wasn't carrying a massive baby.  It turns out that our baby boy is actually quite tiny, but perfectly healthy and my weigh gain is on the lower end and I am measuring about a week behind (which all makes perfect sense to me because I know my body).  I have been instructed to eat more protein and to relax more.  Anyone who knows me knows that eating more isn't an issue (especially when it's doctor's orders), but the relaxing more thing is definitely a challenge.  Don't worry, I will listen to doctor's orders, but I'm going to be productive while lounging. 

So where are we with getting things ready for baby?  Well, the nursery is very close to done!  I painted the dresser, Jared and I put the bookshelf together, Ryan and Jared built the crib, I've washed all his baby clothing through 6 months that we have so far, and I am working on accents!  My sister is drawing some little animals for me to frame, I ordered 50 origami cranes for string and hang from the ceiling, the mattress has been ordered and will arrive this week.  So far, we have made a lot of progress in the past two weeks and I am quite happy!!  Now I need to craft and sew to get everything ready for this weekend so I can show it off to some girlfriends!  

Baby boy has been super active lately and really showing off some moves!  His movements are far less jerky and much more purposeful if that makes any sense.  He really loves to hang out down low, like really low, and on my right side.  I'm pretty sure my belly is lopsided 90% of the time.  Oh and he is super cute!!!

Ryan had a golf dinner, so I threw on some pumps and had Jared take a picture of us.  He's looking great and slimming down.  I'm packing on the pounds he is dropping.  

Oh and of course a little update on Lira and how she's adjusting.  She's just fine and thinks this stroller is quite comfy!

Much love. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hospital Bag List

Yesterday was 29 weeks and I started to think about the very real possibility of our baby boy arriving soon and how I have absolutely nothing packed for the hospital and nothing properly washed in baby detergent, so I promptly went to Target to get Dreft so that I can wash all his clothing this week (just in case) and I started our Hospital Bag List.  Since this is my first baby, I am going off of what family, friends, and the good ol' internet are telling me I need.  I've read several lists and think I am slowly getting to a place I need to be at.  I definitely still have too much (I think), but it's easier for me to cut things from my list or have an "extras" bag in the car than it is for me to handle forgetting something. Here goes nothing...

Hospital Bag List...updated

Baby Boy's Bag
 Carseat & Cover
Baby blankets (2) - Swaddle & Warm
Boppy & cover
Outfits (3) - Gowns (1), Sleepers (2), Going Home Outfit (1)
Onesies (3)
 Hat, Mittens, Socks (3)
Paci (?)
Burp Cloths

Mom's Bag
Underwear (4)
Nursing Bra OR Nursing Cami (target)
PJs or Sweatpants (2)
        Going Home Clothing (loose pants, boots, sweater)
Slippers & Socks
Flipflops (to trash)
Belly Band (?)
Robe (cute one & warm one)
Nursing Cover (just in case)
Brush, Hair tie & bobby pins
 Toiletries: Flat Iron, Make up, Shampoo & Conditioner, 
Body wash, toothbrush, Brush, Hair tie & bobby pins
Prenatal Vitamins
Nursing Pads
Boobie Cream
 Stool Softerner (100mg) - Does the hospital provide this?
Music Playlist - in the works, but suggestions are welcome!
Extra Bag for all the hospital goodies
(Mesh undies, Dermaplast, Witch Hazel Pads, Tucks, Pads)
Sitz Bath

Dad's Bag
Blanket & Pillow
Change of Clothing
Pjs/comfy clothing
List of people to call/text
 Snacks - Fruity Lifesavers
Camera & lenses
Gift for Big Brother from Little Brother
Copy of Birth Plan

Am I missing anything vital?  Is anything absolutely ridiculous? Let me know!! I'm a first timer here.


Monday, October 5, 2015

I Chose You.

"I Chose You" is a very simple phrase that was said to me by my husband last night and will stay with my for a lifetime.  The timing was perfect without even knowing it. Feeling "chosen" is am amazing feeling and while I know wholeheartedly that we chose each other to share our lives with, there are moments that are made much easier when you are gently and innocently reminded of that. An entire weekend of no sessions, no golf, sleeping in until 10am, working together on the nursery, and lots of family time was what this heart of mine needed more than anything! And hearing "I Chose You" Sunday evening while walking our pup in the crazy wind was the cherry on top.  

Since I will be very pregnant, this Christmas will be the first holiday (aside from Thanksgiving when I was studying abroad in Ireland and one Christmas that we stayed in California and spent with Ryan's family) since I was born, that I am not headed home and celebrating with immediate and extended family. It was a logical, safe, and doctor recommended decision, but it was also a very hard one.  What does a child of 6 do on Christmas Eve without her gramma, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews around her do?!?!  I like...ok, I love traditions and breaking this one has been weighing on my mind.  Luckily my parents are the most understanding and loving parents I could ask for and while I am sure they are upset to not have the three of us there on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning with their other children, they understand 100% and cannot wait to meet their grandson! Thanksgiving will be extra special for me this year, so family, you all better be there! I understand if you can't be there, but please try your hardest!   

This Christmas we are staying in our home and making memories of our own with our little family. I have grand plans of matching PJs, Hot Cocoa & Beer (for Ryan), Christmas treats, a Christmas Movie and hopefully a little Grinch performance by my main squeeze!  He's really really good at it and I cry happy tears thinking of kids gathered on his lap giggling in years to come while he imitates the Grinch voice!  Other traditions will be started this year, but we will decide them as a family over the next month or so!  Hearing "I Chose You" made staying home for Christmas and making our own memories a good thing, a happy thing, an exciting thing.  It's a change for sure and no doubt we will be calling and facetiming/skyping with family and I am sure there will be some tears shed by yours truly, but we will be making memories, surrounded by love, and we will have our first Christmas in Virginia Beach as a family of three...maybe four.  Who knows when our little New Years Bundle will decide to debut?!    

Ryan has no idea how much that meant and means to me (well until he reads this blog post), but baby, it means the world!!  I love you and am so glad we chose each other to make memories, share hardships and joys, create a family, and brave this crazy world!  You are my best friend and my lover, my shoulder to cry on and the one I run to with an insane amount of excitement.  You are my rock. Let's make some memorable and super awesome traditions to share with our kidlets for years to come!

Oh and Baby, I still Choose you!!!
"I Choose You" by Sarah Bareilles

Much love. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Last Week of my 2nd Trimester

We are in shock that it's the last week of my 2nd trimester.  Where has the time gone?!  We still need to work on the nursery a lot, but at least it's painted and the dresser is getting its third coat of paint.  I know that all of the sudden it will come together, but right now I look at it and I feel like I am so behind.  I still need to get the crib, a bookshelf, the rocker (which is on my registry), artwork, and possibly a rug.  Yikes!  Luckily, we have a house full of love, tons of clothing, and a rock n play for his to use in the meantime!  Oh and stroller to get this mama back in shape!  

So, this second trimester has been interesting and is only getting better.  I was hit with insomnia around 20 weeks to the point where if I got more than 2 hours of sleep it was a miracle and when I had a random evening of 5 hours of sleep, I was over the moon excited!  Over the past few days I have sleeping much better though, so let's hope and pray that I am exiting the insomnia phase for at least a little while.  I really do love sleep and so does this growing body of mine.  

My glucose test was around 25 weeks and I passed which I was certain I was going to because I definitely enjoy sweets from time to time, but I always have, so that's nothing new!  I'm also not anemic, so that's good because I have been in my past.  Oh and the orange drink was not bad at all in my opinion.  I was prepared for the worst sweet drink possible, but was pleasantly surprised with the taste and was really happy that it was ice cold.  I actually started to get a brain freeze while chugging it.  While the glucose test went just fine, my doctor's appointment wasn't the best.  Doc told me I was gaining too much weight.  I was shocked because I literally have only gained weight in my belly and boobs and I have been working out on a fairly consistent basis.  But for real, my boobs have doubled in size.  That has to count for some of the weight gain.  Plus little dude has grown big time over the past five weeks.  I started "showing" around 17 weeks and I started really showing between 20 and 25 weeks.  I am carrying low and out.  Little boy loves to be really really low to the point that I can't even sit at times.  Now that he is much bigger, I can feel him nuzzle himself into his cozy spot and I just recline and get comfy for a little bit until he moves north.  

Movements have been much more frequent!  I feel him move pretty consistently and when I don't feel him for an hour, if I drink cold milk or eat a little something, he starts bouncing away!  I say bouncing because I generally feel him bounce from my bladder and poke me in my upper stomach!  Ryan feels him a lot and I love it!  There is something so sweet about Ryan putting his hand on my belly and little boy nudging at him!  

Lira has become insanely protective of me.  He growls at other dogs that come near me, sleeps curled up next to her "bump", and follows me from room to room all day long.  When Ryan and Jared are home, she is less protective, but during the day she checks up on me constantly.  It's pretty adorable and has become much more prevalent recently.  I definitely have to make her a dog bed to match the nursery because I have a feeling she is going to be spending a lot of time in there guarding her little brother!  

Oh and Lira approves of the ergo baby carrier that we purchased!

Still absolutely no cravings and no heartburn!  I'm quite happy about both of these because I hear heartburn can be crazy painful and cravings can just be flat out annoying.  I don't really want to be the  wife who asks her husband to get something at 2am although Harris Teeter is open 24 hours, so if I do have crazy cravings, they could be satisfied. hehe!  Don't worry babe, I don't plan on this one happening and I think I will be totally fine without a 2am run to the grocery store.  As for the  lack of heartburn, I guess we are going to have a bald little dude!  

All in all, this pregnancy has been pretty easy on me, compared to the stories I have heard from others and I feel great!  Having a husband that thinks you are gorgeous, a stepson who wants to please you, a mom to bounce everything off of, and a dad to provide some comic relief have all been added bonus'!  Love you all!!
13 weeks plus a few days to go (ish)! We can't wait to meet you baby boy, but mommy and daddy want you to stay in there for another 13 weeks to make sure you are all ready to meet this crazy awesome family of yours!!  Love you!!

Much love!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Nursery Edition: The Walls & Best Pop Pop Ever!

Over Labor Day Weekend, my parents and sister came down to visit, see the new house, and paint baby boy's nursery!  My dad is a professional painting and papering contractor who does amazing work, so I wasn't going to refuse his offer to paint his grandson's nursery!  I had in my head that I wanted a grayish color for the walls, but once I started looking at paint swatches, none of them were really popping out to me.  Every color I looked at was either too gray, too dirty (brownish), too orange, too I decided to go with a more pure blue. I chose BEHR Sky Light View MQ3-53 in Satin. It was really speaking to me and when paired with white trim and white furniture, I loved it!!  Accent colors and woodland animals will be added to the nursery, but the first order of business was to get rid of the LAVENDER WALLS and DOLL DRESS WALLPAPER BOARDER...

Luckily the boarder came down extremely easily because if you've ever taken wallpaper down, you know it can be  nightmare and very time consuming.  I've spent several summer days peeling wallpaper for my dad during middle school and high school...I know, but more than that, I really wanted this to be a smooth and easy job for my dad.  Thankfully it was!  

Painting the trim extra white!!

Old Guys Rule!
I'm pretty sure I gave him this shirt for Christmas a few years ago :)

Bye Bye Lavender! 

He brush painted near the trim and has such a steady hand that he doesn't need to use tape.  If it were me, this entire room would have been taped up a storm.  It was amazing watching him paint in perfect lines while holding a conversation with his nosey daughter i.e. ME! 

I was super giddy to have this room painted!  I literally look in it multiple times a day and dream! It also changes colors depending on the light. Sometimes it seems a little more green or a little more gray and sometimes it's super blue!  I love it all the time! 

Thank you Daddy for such an amazing gift!  I absolutely LOVE that you painted your grandson's nursery!  I've dreamed of you painting our home and this being the first room is extremely special to me!  You are amazing!  Love you!  

Next phases are DIY: repaint $40 dresser, repaint crib we got from a friend for free

Friday, September 11, 2015

TMI Warning: Week 23 Pregnancy Symptoms

OH EMM GEE.  THE GAS PAINS ARE TERRIBLE.  So, we are on our daily evening walk and all of the sudden I started getting pains on my lower right side.  I've gotten round ligament before and I thought it was the same thing so I stretched.  Bad Move.  Things got way worse to the point that I couldn't take steps larger than a couple inches.  I started to panic because that's what first time pregnant women do when they feel a pain they've never felt before and they were pummeled in the ocean earlier that day.  Let the googling of possible causes commence.  Placenta Abrasion, Miscarriage, Appendicitis, not once was Gas Bubbles or the like mentioned...only worst case scenarios.  Let the water works start.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and then I started farting and burning and I felt much better.  I had never been so happy to fart in my life...well, until a couple nights later when the exact same thing happened except even more painful.  I actually sent my amazing husband running home for the truck because I literally was going to go to the bathroom right then and there. Thank God we were in our neighborhood or I would have been popping a squat in the woods. Oh the things people don't tell you about being pregnant!  So my savior came flying back in the truck, I hopped in the backseat because that was the side closest to me, I hobbled inside and I heard the neighbors ask if everything was ok.  Ryan chatted with them, so I'm pretty sure they know I have gas pains now too :)  Just keeping it real! Welcome to the neighborhood!  haha! Needless to say, after some quality time on the porcelain throne, I felt worlds better.  I think it was the pasta...I don't know though. 

Here's a little pregnancy buzzfeed video that made me laugh so hard! 
"Crazy Things Pregnant Couples Do"
For the record, I have no cravings and still hate fast food!

Second thing that's been happening to me...waking up at 3am starving and then not falling back asleep until after Jared is on the bus.  Thank God I am not working a traditional 8-5 job at the moment. God Bless all you hard working corporate mamas out there.  I admire you tremendously, especially when I am crawling back in bed and you are putting on your stilettos. 

Baby, I am so sorry pregnancy isn't all big boobs and amazing sex drive.  At least you don't have to actually deal with the pains of gas and the insomnia. And I'm sorry for the times I wake you when I get up to go to the bathroom for the 10th time a night.  I am really trying to be as quiet as can be and I never turn the light on.  I've pretty much mastered peeing in the dark!  Love you!

Much love. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Jared's an 8th Grader!

We are shocked that Jared is in 8th more year of middle school and this cool dude is going to be in High School!  It's crazy how time flies, but he is set up for a strong year!  He's taking Advanced Science (high school credit) and Spanish I (high school credit) along with core 8th grade Math, Literature, Social Studies, and PE/Health.  I'm excited for him to meet lots of friends, get into a good routine, join wrestling club and the middle school team, join clubs he's interested in, and to experience a large school that's ranked extremely high.  This year isn't going to be easy, but I'm confident it will be great!  Ryan and I are here to guide him, encourage him, be his sounding board if he wants us to be, and constantly support him!  Oh love him like crazy even when he cringes!!

We started off the morning with pancakes and OJ, some Lira snuggles, then pictures and one last review of his schedule and any questions he still had.  He seemed much calmer this morning than I had anticipated, so that was a huge relief!  

It's a new school for him, but when we toured the school, there were tons of new 8th graders which was a huge relief for all of us. There are definitely lots of advantages of going to a big school, but there will be a fair amount of adjustments that will have to happen and we are ready.  Luckily if the first few weeks are a bit stressful we have the beach to run to for an hour of swimming and escaping from reality!  

I tried not to embarrass him too much this morning with pictures, so I made sure we took some out back and then a couple out front, but I didn't go down to the bus stop to take pictures although other moms did who are obviously way less cool than I am!  Joking!  Poor kid had enough to worry about with a new school, block scheduling, and the list goes on, that I wasn't about to make him any more nervous.  Lira did a great job at comforting him this morning!  She's such a sweet puppy and really knows when someone needs an extra dose of her love!  

Off to the bus he went and Lira and I waited on the front porch as the bus went by.  I want her to get into a routine of knowing when the yellow bus goes by it's walk time! She will learn real quick!

I'm sure this year will be great, but I'll be sure to keep you updated! In honor of Jared's first day of 8th grade and all the children starting the 2015-2016 year off, I will leave you with a quote from one of Jared's favorite authors:


Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
      Listen to the DON'TS
      Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
      Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
      Anything can happen, child,
* * *
"Listen to the Mustn'ts" from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Copyright © 1974 by Evil Eye Music, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of HaperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Much love.