The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

New Blog Theme!

Yes, this is still the ATL Connolly’s blog. I finally updated the layout of the blog, so now it works nicely on mobile devices as well as your desktop. Unfortunately, the new layout also does not automatically create new content, that responsibility is still on us. We owe you several years of pictures, although we have posted most of our interesting adventures to Facebook along the way.

Shannon’s Playstructure Adventure

“I wonder if I could hang upside down from the bar?”

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“Maybe if I go around to the other side and try to bend my leg into an extremely unnatural position…?”

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“If you can’t laugh at yourself…”

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Paige is starting to grow genuinely concerned.  With good reason.

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“There’s nothing that the ‘tongue-of-great-concentration’ can’t fix.  Right?”

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“Errr…laughter is the best medicine…?”

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Persistence.

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“Weeeeellllll, shoot.”

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The best part of this picture is the fact that Paige can’t stop watching and Liam doesn’t think/know/realize there’s anything to watch.  And also that face/body position of mine.

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Quitters never win.

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And winners never quit.

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But even winners show their hineys to the world from time to time.

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This is about the point at which I realized I had no exit strategy…

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Even Liam wondered how I was going to get out of this one…

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Childhood is so much fun.  Even when you’re 33.  Maybe *especially* when you’re 33.

Liam’s First Soccer Game

These were all taken surrounding Liam’s first Spring Season game on March 10th.

Getting ready to head out:

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Gran was on hand to watch Liam and wrangle Paige — which is the only reason I was able to take pictures at all.

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Getting suited up:

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Are these two related, or what?

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Paige was *not* in the mood to sit still (or do any one thing for more than 2 consecutive seconds…):

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She almost looks like she’s in one of those superimposed pictures of a person in front of a backdrop.

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Showing off his new jersey.  Go Team Holland!

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Looking out for Baby Sister:

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Warming up:

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I think this is the most enthusiasm I’ve seen out of him all season:

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Too bad the game hadn’t started yet…

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Huddling up with Coach Matt:

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Wrangling Paige:

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Gooooooo Holland!

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Lining up (and getting a little last minute instruction…most notably which direction to run):

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Aaaaaaannnnnnnd cue Liam completely shutting down during the game.

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This is the point at which Liam ended up going back to the car in the middle of the game with Gran and Paige.  This is Paige expressing her feelings about that turn of events:

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Things have gotten progressively better with every game this season (in terms of Liam not giving up, that is).  We have told Liam many, many times that all we expect of him is that he give it his best and have a good attitude.  Some days are better than others.  I’m not sure we’ll be doing this again come Fall…

Mid-February Roundup

Matt made the Valentines for Liam to take to his class party this year.  They said: “I Choo-choo-choose you!” and featured Liam “holding” a train lollipop that was attached to the card.  Apparently this idea was all the rage this year as I found multiple variations on blogs that I read regularly (as well as Walker and Olivia’s class Valentines).  Here are a few of the shots he took of our little engineer:

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It took a few shots for Liam to understand what we were asking him to do…but he was still adorable in the process:

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Here’s the one Matt used:

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Paige continues her mission to snatch the camera right out of my hands…

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“Oh, Mama, you may be faster than I am for the time being, but I’d watch out if I were you!”

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Some days Paige refuses to wear pants.

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“My goodness, Gran!  It’s Yoda!”

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Getting down to business:

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He went over to the Dark Side for the tasting…

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“Dark Mater!”

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Paige stuck with Yoda:

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She approved.

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I knew I couldn’t waste the opportunity to take the kids to the Gardens when it was 65 degrees in February.  Unfortunately, taking two kids to the Gardens by yourself and taking pictures at the same time isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done…

Most of the pictures were variations on this theme:

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“Bye, bye Mama!”

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When Paige runs away, Liam responds by saying “I won’t run away like Paige, Mama.  I’ll sit right here and smile for you so you can take a picture of me.”  The result is the Lifetouch-circa-1993 shot you see here:

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Paige is unaffected by Liam’s unintended attempt at reverse psychology:

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“Mama.  Why is the water not in my mouth?”

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“I couldn’t figure out how to work the water fountain and am therefore making my I’m-disgruntled-because-there’s-no-water-in-my-mouth face.”

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Without assistance this was as close as I could get to a brother-sister shot, thus ending my photography attempts for the day:

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“WOW!  A plane!”

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“Who?  Me?”

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As much cooperation as my mom was able to get…

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This picture (while not in focus) is for Grammie:

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73 degrees in February and a swing in her backyard.  What more could a girl ask for?

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My sweet, wild, wonderful girl with her sweet, wild, wonderful hair:

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Lounging in the sun with her new shoes (that match her brother’s!):

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“Look, Ma!  No hands!”

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“Why would I go around when I could go over instead?”

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“Uh, Mom?  Are you getting a load of Paige right now?”

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Short sleeves.  Bare feet.  Daffodils.  February?

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My own little Tom Sawyer.

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Oh, this girl…

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“Hi, Mama!”

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The day when we have to cut these curls is the day I die a little bit inside…

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Bath:

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Kisses for big brother:

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Impish:

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Those eyes.

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And just like that I was caught up!

Post-Birthday Roundup

Here are a bunch of random shots I found on the camera card from after Liam’s birthday through late January.

“What’s that, Mama?  You say you want me to smile and stand still long enough for you to focus?  Okay…but remember that I do things my way or no way at all.  Always.”

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Liam has started picking out his own outfits.  On this particular day it was about 50 degrees outside.  He was very proud of himself.

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The big day finally arrived!

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Try explaining to a 4 year old how not-yet-dry cement footings mean that yes, you have your playstructure, but no, you may not play on it…then ask him to smile.  You’ll get something like this:

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Paige however (for the time being, anyway) is content with t-ball:

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Curls and a pinafore…ahhh.

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“YOU MEAN I GET TO PLAY OUTSIDE ON A REGULAR BASIS NOW?!?!?!?!”

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“I’m down with that.”

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Slam dunk!

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“Yayyyyy!”

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Lest you think Liam wasn’t enjoying himself, too…

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Paige prepares for a future in sword-eating.  You gotta start somewhere…

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Teeing it up:

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Getting a lesson from Liam:

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Once again, Paige plays by her own rules:

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Rinse and repeat…

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“If Liam can do it, so can I!”

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Swinging:

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Sliding:

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Paige rocks the pigtails:

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Now I’m only four weeks behind.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Liam’s Birthday

Liam turned 4(!) in late December.  Here are some pictures from the celebration.

Go Wagaloo!

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Paige reads with Greatmama:

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I Dream of Trains:

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I told Paige to blow on the whistle…

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…she sniffed instead.

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The birthday boy eagerly awaits the pizza and cake he knows is coming:

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Liam wants a train cake?  Gran makes him a train cake.

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The Monkey and the Engineer, performed live in our living room:

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Paige checks out the banjo:

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Liam checks out the mandolin:

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Paige bounces with Aunt G:

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You didn’t think Liam was stepping away from his chance to play a stringed instrument that quickly, did you?

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Of course not.

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I’ve gotta learn how to play the guitar that’s hanging on the wall downstairs…

Christmas (In February)

For some reason we didn’t get too many pictures of the (5!) Christmas celebrations this year.  At least it doesn’t feel to me like we got too many but the basis for comparison is the 3,000 we took last year so my viewpoint is probably a bit skewed.  Anyway, here’s what we got.

Paige rocks out:

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Liam is excited about his new baking set:

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Legos!

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Greatmama & Greatddaddy check out their great-grands photo book:

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Iggy Peck:

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I Dream of Trains:

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Paige meets Paige:

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Liam tries to process the fact that Gran & Granddaddy just gave him (& Paige) a playstructure:

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“Is this for real, Gran?”

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Christmas morning (waiting patiently to go downstairs to see if Santa came) :

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Paige isn’t quite awake yet (and wonders why Daddy refuses to share his magic morning elixir with her…):

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“Mama!  Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk!”

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Checking out the goods:

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What on earth possessed Santa to bring Paige a microphone?

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She was thrilled:

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Microphone?  Recorder?  So much noise to make, so little time!

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(It’s easier for her to play when I make this face.)

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Digging deep:

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Liam made us a picture frame at school:

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The Polar Express:

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Paige does everything in her own special way.

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Teamwork:

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Paige & Pok:

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Weebles!

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Mutual adoration society:

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Buzz Lightyear CD player:

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Initial reaction (to the music):

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Secondary reaction (to the lights):

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P is for Paige! (and peacock):

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By the end of the day, Paige had the hang of the whole present-opening thing:

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Paige tests out her new tube:

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(I think she approves.)

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(So does he.)

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(So does Matt.)

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The End.

Post-Thanksgiving Roundup

Let’s just dive right in.

Although we were basically in a holiday-induced frenzy from the beginning of November through mid-January we knew we had to make time to get to the Gardens for the Holiday Train Show.

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Of course Liam had to take his turn on the ride-on train:

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(Matt enjoyed himself, too.)

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Paige and I took a short stroll together:

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Ahhhhhh.

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We went back for a second round of train-watching.  Predictably, Liam could have stayed here all day.

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“Mom.  Why are you making me look at you when I could be looking at trains?”

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Both of my babies love this fountain:

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One of the major highlights of Christmas for Liam is when we bring out the “trolley” to put around the bottom of the tree.  Shocker.

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Here are the “Christmas Card Pictures.”  Which would make more sense if we actually sent out Christmas cards.  Still — here they are.

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“Hey, Liam:  How do you feel about that train?”

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Hold on, the cuteness ahead is almost unbearable…

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Ahhhhhhhh.  (Again.)

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We had a birthday celebration for me and Greatmama at my parents’ house.  Here are a few shots from that day:

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Paige makes eyes at Greatdaddy:

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Liam helps me unwrap:

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Anyone who knows me knows I love a one-dish meal.  Now if only I can find something in here that both children will eat…

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Paige cannot keep herself from climbing in and out (and on top of) this rocking chair.

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Case in point:

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Ahhhhhhhh.  (Once more.)

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I have no idea what was happening here, but I couldn’t leave this one out.  Obviously.

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Making wishes:

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Next up?  Christmas!

Thanksgiving 2011

We spent Thanksgiving Day in Decatur, starting out at Grammie & Pop’s house and moving on for the meal at Gran & Granddaddy’s house.  We must have been really hungry because apparently we didn’t take a single picture during the meal portion of our trip.  Oops.

Here are the pictures from the first part of the day.

Liam reads with GG Dad:

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Paige was a little stunned to wake up from her nap to a houseful of people.  GG Mom did her best to warm her up a bit:

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“Um…excuse me GG Dad…I think that belongs to me.”

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L.O.V.E.

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Drummer girl:

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Piano Man (& Piano Ladies):

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“Hey GG Dad, would you care for a head tickle?”

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Paige takes it from the top:

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One:

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Two:

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Three:

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Four:

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The End.

Pre-Thanksgiving Roundup

As it turns out, life as a stay-at-home mom of two children who only take one nap per day between the two of them isn’t exactly a cakewalk.  This results in basically no time to update here unless I’m prepared to give up hours of sleep (hint: at this point I’m not).

However?  Having a playable backyard with a playstructure in it will keep a 4 year old happy for hours.  HOURS. Hence, I have finally had time to work on catching up here (yay for wifi 20 feet away!).  On the (other) upside?  I also don’t have much time to take pictures so I’m not as far behind as you might think.  That’s an upside, right?

Here are some pictures from before Thanksgiving:

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This girl’s definitely got personality!

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Paige in pigtails:

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Everyone loves it when Daddy gets home!

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Liam and I made turkey cupcakes for Thanksgiving.  He was *very* excited.

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I’ll keep trying to catch up.  Until it rains or actually gets cold outside…

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