Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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From our happy little family to yours.

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Love, the Robersons

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Go faster.

Lately, my life has been telling me to go faster, do more, and get it all done yesterday. But today I stopped. No laundry. No schoolwork. No straightening up. No painting for my etsy shop or prepping for my return to work. Today I just enjoyed being with my baby.

I woke up early to do a test run of my pre-work responsibilities. Apparently another human being is dependent on me, and that means I can’t roll out of bed 10 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for work and eat a waffle on the drive. I was hoping to be able to sneak him out of bed and into the carseat while remaining mostly asleep so that next week I’ll be able to get him to the sitters and they can give him his first bottle of the day. This morning my plan worked fairly well and although I didn’t need to take him anywhere, I figured we would drive down to the beach and whatayaknow? We got there just in time to watch the sunrise.

IMG_0202IMG_0207I strolled him out to the boardwalk and my little boy and I watched the sun rise together. He was probably hungry and fussy and still sleepy but he didn’t show it. He just stayed there in my arms, content as ever, watching that big light raise up over the ocean.

We sat on a bench nearby while I gave him a bottle, watching busy runners getting in their morning workout, old ladies taking their morning walks, and passersby who smiled at the precious little one in my arms. Brantley and me? We just relaxed.

This evening, he got hungry early so I ended up putting him in bed early. He obviously wasn’t ready to go to sleep so I just held him in my arms and rocked him in his nursery rocker. I spent probably 45 minutes in that same spot, watching his eyes scrunch while his smile lit up his face, making noises back and forth to each other,y tears streaming down my face.

In the midst of chaos I am learning to hold my precious child because soon he will not fit in my arms the way he does right now. Soon he will be all grown up and I’ll wonder whatever happened to that little baby I used to know.

So I will imprint this day in my memory.

37 Weeks

Albums 133Just a few more weeks until we meet our little man! This week was very productive in the realm of completing the nursery. We finally finished all of the painting in the room and also refinished the furniture. (Well, Blake finished the painting AND the furniture) and even though it was late at night, we just couldn’t wait to set up his crib.

My mom has also been working on custom linens for Brantley’s room including a crib sheet, changing pad cover, and bed skirt. We found the fabric weeks ago but we were waiting to get the rest of the room completed with the furniture in before committing to those fabrics. By the time we got the dresser, nightstand, and crib set up, we knew our fabrics would be perfect in the room so she went right to work and finished everything within 1 or 2 days! I don’t know how she does it, but she made all three items without anything resembling a pattern… she just starts sewing and somehow it works out perfectly.

Albums 134Albums 135Initially we planned to put the changing pad on top of the dresser, but after Blake finished the dresser with a dark wood stained top, we just didn’t have the heart to cover it up with a big changing pad. A few days searching on CraigsList, $30, and a can of paint later, we had a matching Jenny Lind changing table in the room. My aunt bought us turquoise jute baskets and they were a perfect fit for his diapers and wipes. Right now the burlap boxes at the bottom are empty but hey, they looked good and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of baby stuff to store in them before long.

On Saturday morning, my mom, Blake’s mom, and I loaded the van and headed for Williamsburg for a mother-daughter overnight trip. With a mother and mother-in-law who can buy whatever they want and have whatever they need, it’s always hard to come up with good gift ideas for them, so we figured an overnight trip with the three of us girls would be a fun Mother’s Day gift this year. We started the morning at the Merchant’s Square farmer’s market and I was in pregnant heaven! Gluten free baked goods, delicious cheese samples, homemade ice cream bars, and a pickle station… WOAH.

Next, we walked through Colonial Williamsburg and made reservations for dinner at the King Arm’s Tavern. (We didn’t end up actually going back for dinner because we were all so exhausted and not even close to hungry by the time our reservation rolled around.) Lunch was at Dog Street Pub on a recommendation from a friend and it was SOOOO GOOD. Next on the itinerary was the outlet mall!  I mean, when in Rome do as the Romans, right?  And how can you go to Williamsburg and not hit the outlets? Especially with Carter’s, Osh Kosh, and Children’s Place! We did some damage shopping but by 5:00 we were all pretty exhausted and ready to check into our condo.

In looking for a place to stay, I really wanted to find a suite with a living room area because I knew the three of us are all the types to just sit around and talk for hours rather than needing to be entertained the whole weekend. I stumbled upon the Historic Powhatan Resort and could not have been happier!  The condo was about as much as a suite but rather than just one bedroom and a living area with a pull-out couch, we had a two-bedroom two-bathroom condo with a big ktichen, dining table, living room with a fireplace, and an outdoor patio with a table and chairs. Score!

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It was so nice to be able to kick up my (very swollen) feet and relax after a long day of walking around, exploring, and shopping.  And just like I thought, we stayed up late talking about the baby, family traditions, and stories about Blake and me growing up. It was a precious time with my mom and mother-in-law and maybe it’ll be a new tradition we keep year after year!

The last picture cracks me up because my body is proportionate but it looks like I have a pillow shoved up under my tank top. 🙂

The finish off the weekend, we went back to the oceanfront to take our 37 weeks photo. We wanted to get the same photo we took at 19 weeks when Shadow was still such a small puppy but the new law about having animals not being allowed on the beach threatened to ruin it. We got up early in the morning hoping to beat any crowds and cops and ran down to the beach for a quick few shots. The lighting was different than our original photo because of the time of day, but you get the point, and it turned out to be a great shot!

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35 weeks

The week started with two showers on Sunday afternoon. At 11am I attended a friend’s bridal shower for her wedding coming up in August, then at 12:30 I drove out to Norfolk for a baby shower for little baby Braydon (Brantley’s soon-to-be best bud). Both showers were so wonderful and I got to eat brunch twice. Always a good day. 🙂

On Friday I had an appointment with at my doctor’s office and while I was there I asked the nurse practitioner if she could tell where Brantley was positioned. I always feel him pushing out on my right side and a hard object right in the middle of my stomach towards the top and I was just curious what I was feeling. She tried to tell where he was but was concerned that he might be transverse (sideways). That’s not good. So we did an ultrasound and it turns out, he’s in the perfect position for delivery already and based on what I’ve been feeling over the past couple months I think he’s been there a while. The hard bump I feel in the middle of my stomach is his butt and the little pushes I feel on my side are his feet! It was nice to be able to see him again and know that everything looks great.

The ultrasound tech also told me that he’ll be born with a full head of hair! I couldn’t even imagine it, since all of us kids were born bald and stayed that way for the first couple years of life. Blake, on the other hand, was born with hair so maybe he’ll even have his daddy’s curls!

On Saturday morning, I was honored with a family baby shower at my aunt’s house. It was SO well put together and my two aunts had done so much work preparing for the shower. Cindy’s house was a beautiful backdrop and had been prepared just for us, and Laurie had come up with so many adorable little details for the shower!

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The theme was “Buoy, Oh Boy!” and included nautical decor, buoy-decorated cupcakes, banner flags, and beautiful hydrangea table centerpieces set inside turquoise jute baskets (which were part of Laurie’s gift to us). There were mimosas and “Mom-osas”, a slew of brunch foods – my favorite – and blue nail polish favors with custom personalized tags for each guest.

IMG_7641IMG_7640It turned out to be a beautiful day and we took home so many things we really needed for Brantley’s nursery… crib, pack-n-play, carseat and base, stroller, clothes, toys, bath products, medical supplies, humidifier, books, a diaper “cake”, and a hand-crocheted firefighter outfit for his newborn photos!

We’re already feeling better about the nursery situation… even if all of the gifts are still sitting in our foyer while we finish the painting process. At least we know he’ll have somewhere to sleep!

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34 weeks

Your great aunt and uncle Chuck sent you a play gym this week and Daddy and I couldn’t WAIT to set it up!  We opened it up as soon as it arrived and started assembling it in the living room. Yes, we hopefully still have a few weeks before you even arrive and even longer before you can actually use this thing, but we just couldn’t wait! We also did some puppy training in the process, teaching Shadow not to touch your toys. We can’t have half-chewed pacifiers, drooled-on stuffed animals, and missing toys that are lost to the dog. So we’re starting him off early to make sure he knows which toys are his and which are not. So far, he’s doing pretty good! The other day his ball rolled onto your play gym and he just stood next to it and looked at us like “Hey guys, I need some help over here.” He’s the best.

IMG_7384Mommy and Daddy also had what may be our very last Mommy Dinner (with the Dads, too). We invited Heba, Brent, Blair, and Ty to enjoy a home cooked meal on our deck and celebrate the soon-to-be arrival of our babies with one last hurrah. Daddy cooked of course and dinner was delicious! It was also great to get together with the other couples and talk baby, as always.

In this photo: Heba with Braydon at 31 weeks, Mommy with you at 34 weeks, and Blair with Alexis at 39 weeks. And if you didn’t already know that Blair is usually stick-thin you would hardly even be able to tell she was pregnant in this photo.

On Friday, Daddy surprised with a whole date day planned from the start!  I had a prenatal massage scheduled for the morning, which was AMAZING as always. Then on my way home Blake kept texting me “Hurry up! Hurry up!” When I walked in the door he had our beach chairs out, a cooler packed full of food and drinks, the dog toys in the beach bag, and all of the essentials for a day at the beach. I raced upstairs to put my suit on and we were off to a day of fun at First Landing State Park. It was so nice to be able to take Shadow with us because he’s no longer allowed on the beach at the oceanfront and it’s been too cold to get him in the water since we brought him home in January, so we really haven’t had the chance to get him in water to swim.  Well, if we learned one thing during our beach day, we learned that our dog LOVES the water. We left him off his leash (shame on us) the entire day and he would just run back and forth from the ocean to our chairs all day. He dug in the sand – the only place he’s allowed to dig, and made friends with some of the other dogs nearby. And whenever people asked how old he was, we would tell him 6 months and they would always reply with how well trained he is. That’s cause we’re on him like white on rice. ALL THE TIME. People in the neighborhood probably think we’re terrible puppy parents. But hey, training pays off.

 

After our day in the sun, we went back to the house to get showered up and ready for dinner at Plaza Azteca… always a favorite. And then on our way home as Blake was telling me “ok, that’s all the surprises I have for the day” we were driving down Laskin Road toward the beach and all of a sudden  he yelled out “OH! I just forgot!” and made a sharp squealing right turn into Beach Movie Bistro movie theater. We were going to see The Fault In Our Stars on opening night!

Yes, there’s been a TON of buzz about this movie. People compare it to Titanic and Casablanca. Yes, I was excited to go see a sappy love story, but what most people may not know is that the director of this movie (Josh Boone) is someone I’ve known literally my ENTIRE LIFE.  His mom and my mom met when he and my older brother were still in the whom, so it’s safe to say that they’ve been life-long friends. Josh and his siblings, Carson and Chelsea, grew up down the street from us in Kempsville and the two older brothers (Josh and my brother Knate) were constantly running around the house and the neighborhood with our oversized video cameras shooting movies. And every family was cast as some role in their movies. We did Back to the Future, Batman, and Spiderman spin-offs, kidnappings, missing persons, psycho babysitter killers, and the list goes on and on. While most kids were reading books, coloring, and playing on the swing set, our brothers were drilling us on our lines while our moms were coming up with costumes for the latest thriller they were working on. Looking back, I didn’t realize that every other family didn’t have the same weekend fun that we did. It was just the norm for us.

So Josh and Knate remained best friends all the way through school and into adulthood and now they both live in LA and have been pursuing their dreams of writing scripts and directing movies. And funny enough, both of them have had the opportunities to do what they love this last year. Josh wrote and directed “Stuck in Love” which was released last year, directed “The Fault in our Stars”, and is also working on Steven King’s “The Stand” as his next project. In the meantime, my brother is in the editing process for his movie “Cardboard Boxer”. It’s crazy to think that life brought them both so far in this industry where so very few ever get the opportunity to run the show, and here they are both charging ahead as “Director”.

IMG_7473So not only did we get to see Josh’s movie this weekend but we actually also got to see Josh! After a whirlwind few weeks of touring, doing interviews, screenings, and premiers, he flew into Virginia Beach to attend his sister’s wedding on Saturday afternoon which we also attended. The wedding was very similar to ours in that it was at the same church, the same reception space, with the same band, and the same caterer (her mom apparently had so much fun at our wedding that she told Chelsea all about it and Chelsea was taking notes!) so it was fun to have that experience as a guest this time around.

We ended the weekend with some surprise visitors!  Cameron and Whitney surprised both sets of parents with an impromptu trip to Virginia so we got to see them on Sunday afternoon, went out on the boat for dinner, and really enjoyed getting to see them one last time before Brantley arrives… that is, if he actually shows up somewhere around his due date. If not, they’ll just have to come back to Virginia Beach for another visit. 🙂

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32 weeks

Busy, busy week in the life of Brantley Thomas! First, he accompanied me to a baby shower to celebrate the coming arrival of his first girlfriend, Alexis. (Ok, maybe not. I know Alexis’ mom is NOT going to allow her to date our crazy kid til he’s at least 20. And that’s ok.)

I was sick on the day of Blair’s shower hosted by friends so I hopped on the “family friends” shower… which ended up being all of her mom’s friends who’ve known Blair for years. You’ll never meet another group of ladies like this one (except for my own mom’s friends, of course). They’re loud and LOVE to laugh! It was a fun shower, that’s for sure. We also love to take bump photos together whenever we get the chance.

IMG_7383This week, Blake also started the process of refinishing Brantley’s nursery furniture.  The set was originally in our beach house and when we updated the house back in 2002, I got the dresser and nightstands for my college apartment. After graduation, I moved back home and they went into my parents’ attic, where they’ve been collecting dust for nearly 10 years. My dad was cleaning out the attic a few months ago and Blake was helping him move some of the bigger items and realized “Hey! We could use this!” So began the process of moving it to our house and into the shed and Blake’s lengthy job of refinishing the pieces to go with our nursery theme.

We both loved the look of white painted furniture with a dark-stained top, so Blake went to work on our dull and dingy pieces and I just LOVE how it looks so far!

Albums Albums 076Hanging out at the end of our street has become almost a nightly ritual. Shadow loves playing and running around in the empty lot that overlooks the water and our neighbors have a golden lab who is just a few weeks older than Shadow, so they’ve become playmates. They play for hours to the point of exhaustion running, jumping, tackling, and chasing each other around the lot. As soon as we walk to the end of our block, Shadow immediately starts turning the corner to go see Hattie. And if we get down there and she’s not outside or the family is out of town, he whines and whimpers staring at her house.

So Friday night, we walked down to the empty lot and hung out for a few hours with the neighbors while letting the dogs play. One thing turned into another and we ended up there until 10:00 at night eating pizza and making Oreo s’mores (life-changing!) around their fire pit. It was the perfect little block party… one of the many reasons we love living in Shadowlawn.

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Over Memorial Day weekend, I helped a friend run her booth at the Pungo Strawberry Festival. Surprisingly enough I didn’t stuff my face full of chocolate-covered strawberries although Brantley REALLY wanted them. We were just so busy that I didn’t even have a chance! The weekend ended with a Memorial Day pool party at Nanny and Papa’s house. Blake was working (womp womp) so Mom took my 32 weeks photo. Not a great photo of me… it was hot, my feet are starting to swell, and I just wasn’t feeling photo-ready. I’ve also decided that maxi skirts and dresses are just not that flattering to pregnant women.

But they’re OH SO COMFORTABLE.

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31 weeks

We started off the week with a date night to Rudee’s with Blair and Ty, whose little one Alexis is due in just 4 weeks!  We sat outside in the swinging cabana tables and enjoyed dinner overlooking the sunset. It’s fun to have another couple (we actually have a few!) who we can talk with about the experiences of being pregnant and having a baby on the way so soon. It’s been so fun to be able to walk through this part of life with them and now that all of our conversations are about babies and diapers, it’s nice to have people in our lives who don’t get annoyed by it.

We also enjoyed one of our last nights out on the beach with the puppy. New beach laws keep dogs off the beach and boardwalk from Memorial Day through Labor Day so we’re trying to get in puppy beach days and nights while we can! We took him down to the beach, played fetch a while, and he sat just in front of the wall while we ate dinner and listened to live music at Chix.

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And the biggest development of the week was painting the nursery!

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Albums 067Blake has been SUPER busy this week with shifts at the fire station and various landscaping jobs so my parents and I decided to surprise him by painting taking off one of the big items on his To Do List.  Mom and Dad came over one evening after I got off work, we ate a quick dinner, and immediately went to taping corners, laying plastic sheets, and prepping our paint supplies for a long night of painting. We chose a light turquoise color to go with our surf/wave theme. And thankfully it only took two coats of paint to cover up the dark teal!

It was fun to finally see Brantley’s room start to look more and more like the nursery we envision rather than the unused office/storage room it’s been for so long. Bringing new life to this old room!

 

Can’t wait to see it with furniture and baby toys!

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30 weeks

Albums 045Happy Mother’s Day to me!  A lot of people (young people mostly, those without kids) have been asking me if I celebrated Mother’s Day this year. Heck yes I did!  I’m already giving up my body for this kid! Just cause he’s not out here for the rest of you to see doesn’t mean he’s not currently taking and using me for all I’m worth. It counts.

Anyway, we spent Mother’s Day with as many mothers as we possibly could.  We started out the morning surprising Blake’s mom at church. She thought Blake was working that day so she was thrilled to see us sitting in their usual spot in the sanctuary. It was amazing to hear Pastor Ernie honor all of the mothers in the congregation from the pulpit and I got to stand up and be honored with them! It was also great to see him again since the last time we saw him he was marrying us just 7 months ago. He was very excited for Brantley’s arrival!

After church, we spent a couple hours hanging out at their house and taking some family photos before they had to head out to their next family gathering.


Next up was a trip to Nanny’s house for lunch and an afternoon with the Houck side of the family. And of course… family photos. 🙂

Nanny, Mom, me, and Brantley… four generations!

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Shadow hasn’t yet made total friends with water yet and since it’s been so cold ever since we brought him home we haven’t been able to get in the water anywhere with him. He’s still a little baby when it comes to water, to say the least.

Blake thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get him acclimated to his new best friend. First, he carried him into the pool and held him in the water while Shadow stared at me like “What the heck, Mom. I hate this right now.”

Shadow was clearly not very happy about the whole thing.

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Next, Blake tried to see if Shadow would come in on his own and attempted the drowning approach where he would act like he was drowning and see if Shadow came in after him. Usually his “Help Shadow! Help!” technique works well when Blake’s laying on the floor as Shadow will come running to him and do everything he can to get Blake to turn over and tell Shadow he’s ok. Unfortunately, this was not the case in Blake’s drowning experiment. Shadow just ran around the pool from one side to the other, staring back at me in a panic probably wondering why I wasn’t doing anything to help his daddy and why I was just laughing the whole time.

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Eventually, we gave up.

After a long day with both side of the family, we headed back home and took a walk down to our favorite little spot in the neighborhood.

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I was so happy to have some time together with our little family at the end of the perfect Mother’s Day.

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28 weeks

Baby Roberson,  You are quite the jet setter!

This weekend we flew to Tampa, Florida to visit your uncle Cameron and aunt Whitney. We left late Thursday night after a long work day (and a long work WEEK for Blake) and arrived in Tampa just after midnight. We were exhausted but so happy to be on vacation with the family. Friday morning we planned to sleep in late and stroll to the beach whenever we finally dragged ourselves out of bed, but seeing that we’ve gotten used to getting up early with the puppy, we were both up by 7am. I spent the morning hours doing my schoolwork while Blake tried to continue sleeping but really just tossed and turned for an hour or so. Even if it wasn’t restful, at least I was being productive!

Cameron and Whitney both had busy schedules on Friday so we didn’t see them until the afternoon, but spent the morning having a leisurely breakfast at the condo we were renting, made a quick trip to the grocery store for weekend snacks, and got down to the beach where Mom and Dad already had chairs and an umbrella waiting for us. Blake is a beachin’ genius and had the foresight to buy a cheap cooler at the grocery store so we stocked it with drinks and snacks then he dug a hole in the sand and buried the cooler in sand to hide it under his chair and keep it cool all day long. It was the best thing especially since the beach bar was so expensive. The cooler paid for itself after just 2 sodas.

Albums 017I spent most of the day reading Babywise and hoping beyond all hope that we can get Baby Brantley to sleep 12 hours a night like our friends have gotten their kids to do on this program. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see about that one. Meanwhile, Mom and Blake really loved my random “Brantley’s kicking!” updates. 🙂

That evening Cameron and Whitney drove over to stay for the night and we ate dinner at the Sunset Lounge on the property. They had a great band playing but the wait to sit outside was 2 hours so we settled at an inside table and had GREAT food.

Dinner was delicious and we went out to the Bay after dinner to take sunset photos before calling it a night and falling asleep early after our late night of traveling and long day in the sun.

The next morning, I woke up early again and got some school work done (womp! womp!) but at least I could get it done while everyone else slept and not have to spend my beach time studying and watching videos. Yuck.

For breakfast, Mom made our family’s famous sausage gravy! Then it was back out to the beach for another day in the sun. That night, we all went back to the condo to shower and go out to dinner. What we thought was going to be a nice dinner out turned out to be an outdoor hut with picnic tables under a tin roof. We may have been a little overdressed but we didn’t care. I tried my first soft shell crab (not my favorite) but everyone else seemed to love their food.

Our last full day in Tampa was Sunday so we started out the morning at Aletheia Tampa to catch up with our Aletheia friends and watch Cameron do his thing on stage. He’s been leading worship at Aletheia since his freshman year of college and continues leading at the church in Tampa now. It was wonderful to watch him lead worship again, as always, and Brantley kicked the WHOLE TIME. Apparently he likes church, too.

Albums 026We got to see Cameron and Whitney’s apartment after church (which was definitely an eye opener – my little brother keeping a MUCH cleaner house than me – and helped usher in my purging program). We still had a few hours left in the day so we hung out at the beach for a little while and went to a beautiful outdoor restaurant on the water for dinner. It was such a nice night to spend with Cameron and Whitney before they had to leave to go back home and prepare for another busy week at work.

Mom and Blake also enjoyed more baby kicking episodes, and our poor waiter probably thought we were crazy when he came over to take our food orders and Blake, Mom, and Dad all had their hands on my stomach waiting to feel kicks. Sorry for the awkward moment, waiter guy.

Our vacation, while short and lacking in sleep (even with hours to sleep in, neither Blake nor I were ever able to sleep past 7am and Blake ended up with renewed back pain after sleeping on the rather soft mattress for 4 nights), we still had a great time with family, relaxing on the beach, and spending time together.

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Happy 28 weeks, Baby Brantley!

 

27 weeks

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It’s our 27th week and the Robersons are prepping for Easter! We’ve had a VERY busy week… Blake has been working crazy hours and it never seems to let up but this weekend we did have some precious time off to dye Easter eggs! It may have been just the day before Easter but that counts, right?

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Blake was determined to do some serious egg dyeing, which included various color combinations, precise measurements, and more cooking utensils than are ever necessary when dyeing eggs. He was also determined to empty out one of the raw eggs so that he could dye it and keep it forever. Rather than just tapping a hole in each end he goes into the shed and pulls out his drill… I guess a man will use any excuse to use his power tools.

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It worked, but at the end of the day he hated to admit that my purple and yellow egg in honor of JMU was by far the best and most beautifully dyed egg of the bunch. Hehe…but my JMU egg was still the best. 😉

20140503-161117.jpgBlake was working on Easter morning so I went to church with the family at my grandparent’s church and had a delicious lunch at Nanny and Papa’s house after church. Unfortunately, I missed the infamous “kids” easter egg hunt (which usually includes eggs filled with a bunch of junk, some with candy, a few big bills, and a shopping trip with Nanny!) Although I missed my chance for a shopping trip, I did get to see my cousin Cricket who is also expecting!  She’s only a few months along but it was so fun to see her and “meet” Brantley’s new cousin.

Only a few more months and we’ll get to meet you, little guy!

 

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