Snugglebuddies

Snugglebuddies

Every now and then, especially when there’s a dog-, um, cat-pile on my couch, I like to remind myself why Brigham is in our family. When Tom and I first got married, our first home was near a lot of restaurants, so we had a few unwelcome cockroaches. We heard that cats could help with cockroaches,

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Memories

Memories

July was a huge month for my family. My sister was in the country, which doesn’t happen often, and my brother got married. We were making memories on top of memories, and with all the travel and early mornings, I barely got any sleep. That’s why I’ve been blogging so much about my visit with my

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Reacquainted

Reacquainted

I’ll be honest. As we were planning our summer visit with family, I was a bit apprehensive about how David would fit in with his cousins. The last time he saw them he was completely fascinated, but he was just 11 months old. He’s older now, and my nieces and nephews are, too. But they

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These cute cousins

These cute cousins

This is Gabby. She’s like, the sweetest little thing. Gabby is my niece, and I got to meet her for the first time a few weeks ago. She is cuddly and adorable and crawled right up in my lap to snuggle. Gabby and Mary Virginia have also never met. The last time my sister’s family visited,

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This occasion calls for personalized stationary

My little brother married Abby, his high school-turned-college-turned forever- sweetheart last Saturday. Abby married my brother and took his name, and her new initials are ASS. Pretty early into the relationship, she realized that sticking with him would mean getting stuck with those initials, and she decided my brother was worth it. What a gal.

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Berkley Grace the birthday girl

The other day David woke up and the first thing he said was, “Mommy, is today my birthday?” We talk a lot about birthdays in our house. We already had Mary Virginia’s birthday, then Berkley Grace’s birthday, next is David’s, then Mommy’s, then Uncle Jason, then Mimi, then Caleb…that’s how the birthday conversation goes until

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My amazing wife: 5 years in

My amazing wife: 5 years in

Guest post from Tom: When we were dating I used to write Amanda letters all the time. On our five-year anniversary, I wrote her a letter. She always writes blog posts encourage friends and family and tell them how much she appreciates them, so instead of just writing her a letter, I decided to write

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Setting him up for perennial heartbreak

Fanatics, the leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, invited me to be part of their Future Fanatics campaign to show how the super-fans of tomorrow are getting their start. Fanatics.com has everything from MLB hats to football jerseys from your favorite college team. Or if you still need a World Cup jersey, they’ve got those, too.

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Adding to our social circle

Adding to our social circle

Even though Mary Virginia is a freshly-minted one year old, I still think of her as an itty bitty baby. But nothing makes my itty bitty baby seem like a monster, more than seeing her next to an actual newborn. Welcome, Baby Rosie. Mary Virginia would love nothing more than to liberate you from that

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Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend

On Memorial Day we decided to take advantage of the three-day weekend and amazing weather and head to Franklin County. Franklin County is a three-hour drive from Richmond, and the whole week leading up to the trip Tom and I discussed strategy for the drive. Do we drive during nap time and hope they sleep?

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A fine day for a race

A fine day for a race

Tom and I have always predicted that our kids will either love running or hate it. That’s what happens when you spectate your first marathon as a three-month old. When it comes to your parents’ passions, there is no half way. We expect they’ll have similar opinions about Virginia Tech football, Java Chip Frappuccinos and Microsoft

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A merry little Christmas

A merry little Christmas

Our family is in a great phase, the phase where Christmas morning changes and is more and more delightful every year.    We spent Christmas day with Tom’s family. David played while we waited for everyone to arrive. He isn’t old enough to understand the anticipation part of Christmas. We didn’t really talk much about

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Saving you a trip to the mailbox

Saving you a trip to the mailbox

We didn’t send out Christmas cards this year. As soon as I decided to skip it, I started justifying myself. Not sending them will save money. And it’s better for the environment. But honestly, I love Christmas cards. I love getting mail this time of year, and I appreciate every card we receive. The truth

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O Krieger Tannenbaum

O Krieger Tannenbaum

Tom and I agree that our Christmas tree is…fine. It’s small, droopy, a little wonky, and full of mismatched ornaments. But it’s definitely better than last year when we didn’t have a tree at all. We started with good intentions. Tom brought the tree home on a Tuesday night and started stringing the lights. He

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Over the river and through the woods

Over the river and through the woods

Last year my mom and dad made the switch to an artificial tree. I ridiculed them for the anti-tradition, Grinch-like move. To drive the point home, I bought them a Balsam Fir scented candle to overcome the artificial tree smell. Then I had a bizarre, scratchy-throat allergic reaction to the candle. I guess we all know

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Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was great, one for the books, even. It was maybe even the best trip we’ve taken since adding kids to our family. There was coffee with whipped cream, and chocolate for breakfast, and Mary Virginia got to gnaw on her first ever turkey bone. But there was

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Coup d’état

Coup d’état

Brigham’s fan club has a very active, capable, creative, passionate president and founding member. His position as Brigham’s number one fan is pretty well-established, so I, personally, would never suggest a change in leadership. That’s not what I’m suggesting at all. I am suggesting, though, that someone else might be preparing to challenge his status as

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HALLOWEEN

Halloween was awesome. And how could it not be? We’ve got Berkley Grace toddling around in an elephant suit, a wagon ride through the neighborhood, staying up past bedtime, coming home with a bag of candy. Even when it rains all night, it’s hard to not enjoy Halloween. This is the first year David could

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Cousin time

Anytime I post photos that are this cute, I feel compelled to start by saying: these photos weren’t staged. Caleb has been obsessed with Mary Virginia since before she was even born. What’s the baby doing in your belly, Aunt Manda? I wanna see her. When’s she coming out? How’s she going to come out,

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Water sports

Every day at the lake revolved around the sweetheart of summer: water. Like the name suggests, Smith Mountain Lake is in the mountains, and it’s considerably cooler and less humid than it is in Richmond. Plus, the week we were there happened to be an unusually cool week. But that didn’t keep us from being

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I’m TWO!

I’m TWO!

Ladies and gentlemen, the birthday boy: Note: David’s diaper is hangin’ low because it’s full of water from the sprinklers. Video transcript: D: Oh, I fine. A: Are you ok, David? D: David the bicycle!…Riding the bike…Come on, Na-EE (Mommy). Nah-EE! Push David bike. A: Hey, David, how old are you? D: I’m two! A:

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Vacation

Last week Tom and I spent a week at Smith Mountain Lake with his family. We also got to hang out with my family, since they happen to live in the area. Our vacation included four children under age three. Even though the adults outnumber the kids (6:4) every day still felt like a series

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These two

A long time ago, before David (my little brother David) was even old enough to drive, he started dating a pretty girl who lived across town. They went to prom together, and kept dating even after high school graduation. They went to Virginia Tech together, and then after college graduation they both moved back to Franklin

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The hunt

You never realize how many holiday decorations revolve around balls until you have a ball-obsessed toddler. There are pumpkins at Halloween, ornaments at Christmas, and then there are Easter eggs. David calls them Easter balls. Our church hosted a huge Easter egg hunt, an event David has been training for his entire life. He treats

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Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer

Tom’s maternal grandfather gave Tom this wagon when he was little. I never got a chance to meet Tom’s Granddaddy; he passed away when Tom was still a boy. I was told he didn’t give gifts often, but he thought every little boy needed a wagon so he made sure Tom had one. A few

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Welcome

Welcome

When I used to work for a newspaper, the editorial staff would have a budget meeting the day after deadline. The budget meeting wasn’t about money, it was about planning the content for the next publication. We had to decide what stories we had room for, what would be on the front page, how many

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Let’s make this the best year ever

Let’s make this the best year ever

I’ve known Tom for 11 years, and this is the first year he hasn’t mentioned making New Year’s Resolutions (or, more appropriately, New Year’s Goals).  Tom and I haven’t talked about goals or why we are or aren’t going to set goals, but if I’m going to be completely honest, it’s hard to think about

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From our family, to yours…

I sort of forgot about sending a Christmas card, but as soon as they started arriving in my mailbox I was decided we wouldn’t sit out this year. So I combed my hair, put David in his Christmas sweater, and went down to the James Center. Tom’s brother generously took the photo. He took a hundred

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Happy birthday, babe

Happy birthday, babe

Today is Tom’s birthday. Tom would probably appreciate it if, instead of using David’s naptime to write this post, I cleaned my house and prepped dinner. Instead of a clean house and dinner simmering on the stove, Tom will come home to Cheerios all over the living room floor and his wife frantically cooking with

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Trick or treat

What does a dragon say? Rooooooaaaaaaar! Once Tom taught David what dragons say, he roared the entire time we trick-or-treated. Check out these two guys. It took a Halloween miracle to get them to sit still in that wagon and look at the camera. It’s amazing to see how much they’ve grown since last year.

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Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween, and I didn’t even have a chance to get excited because we all spent the past week preparing to get blown away by Hurricane Sandy (which didn’t happen, and my pansies are fine). This year we’re going trick-or-treating with David’s cousins Caleb and Berkley Grace. Since this is our second year, I

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Belated

Belated

My brother-in-law Jason’s birthday was like two weeks ago. We’re running a little behind here, ok? Next year Jason and my sister will celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. Really? TEN YEARS? It seems unbelievable, so I did the math over and over. I’m mentioning their upcoming anniversary just to show that Jason’s been around for

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My worst nightmare, battered and fried

Did you ever see the show Fear Factor? It was a reality show where bikini-clad women and shirtless men would “face their fears” by competing in icky and scary challenges for $50,000. Most of the challenges involved  eating, and some sort of swimming/underwater challenge. My brother and I really wanted to apply — most of

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An uncle and his cousin

One of the highlights of our vacation was watching David and Caleb play together. David is just now old enough that he notices Caleb and wants to hang with him. And Caleb is an amazing cousin; he is patient and gentle with David. Caleb is great at sharing, and since David doesn’t share yet, “sharing”

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