Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Sydney enjoys helping in the kitchen, and I love these photos of her helping with some pumpkin muffins. These are actually the last photos we took inside our old house, a couple of days before the movers showed up to pack. :)  A nice, yummy note to go out on!

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Fall Day

Yesterday, we spent several hours at a nearby pumpkin farm! We had a great time. I think this will be our annual spot for pumpkin picking, pony rides and hay rides. The weather was perfect, and we have two lovely pumpkins on our porch now.

Sydney most enjoyed her pony ride! I loved seeing her in the helmet - she seemed so big!

It was a really nice family day. We decided the remaining of the work that needs to be done at the house can wait; we were finally together again under one roof and we wanted to spend some time doing something fun. :)

Oh, I forgot to mention the bouncy house and farm animals. This place really did have everything. A good find for sure. Thanks, Google! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Carolina on my mind...

This is the big weekend. We are loading up and making the big move back East. When I say these past several weeks have been full of mixed emotions (and a major lack of sleep!), that could very well be the understatement of the year!

We are so sad to leave our dear friends and our wonderful life, but we are also very excited to be closer to our families and our friends in that neck of the woods. We will both be starting new jobs that will bring new challenges, new lessons and a new life for our family. A very wise mentor of mine said recently "Transition is hard. Transition is necessary." I hope I always remember that, because there will undoubtedly be bumps along this road.

I am thankful for technology during times like this. Thanks to Facebook and blogs and email, it's much easier to keep up with old friends as life takes you to new places.

The day I moved "out west" I was so sad, even though deep down, I was sure it was for the best. I was leaving the life I was comfortable living. That day seems like 100 years ago. This has become our home, and it's where we have roots. It's where our babies were born. So, one thing I know for sure. As tough as this transition may be, I know it will seem like no time before we feel at home once again with new roots starting to grow.

I hope to be back to blogging as soon as we are set up in the new house, and I plan to do a little blog home tour once we are somewhat settled. :) For now, here's a peek at the place we will call home in just a few days!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pony tails & Papaw

Saturday was a busy day for all the Stricklands. Randall took Collin out to visit our friend Juston and his family. Juston's grandfather, Papaw, has always loved Randall, and since he had never met Collin, Randall wanted to take him for a visit before we move next week. I love these photos of them together. From all the reports I got, Collin was perfect the whole time and let everyone hold him and love on him.

While the boys were off getting in their kisses and hugs, Sydney and I went to a birthday party for one of her classmates, Henley. She was so excited to bring the present we bought.

Henley lives in a neighborhood but there was a great space between houses to do pony rides. The kids were in heaven. Sydney was the first to ride and she even helped the birthday girl warm up to the idea. Things have definitely changed! Sydney used to be our super shy little girl, and we have recently seen her come completely out of her shell. We are thrilled because we don't want her to miss out on things. :)

Here's our sweet girl enjoying the horses. She only stopped riding if someone was waiting in line or if it started to rain. She had a long-sleeve shirt on under that yellow sweater, and eventually had to put her coat on, too. It was COLD.
Henley also has a trampoline, and it confirmed our thoughts that this would be a perfect Christmas present for Sydney! These girls had a ball. (Side note: All the moms at the party were ooh-ing and aah-ing over Sydney's curls. I know they probably won't be there forever, but it's just so cute right now!)

In the middle of the party, we got a call that a realtor wanted to show our house (of course, right?!). We hurried home to get everything perfect and then had to be gone for a bit, so Sydney and I went to lunch and then for our final trip to the library! I love this picture because Sydney always talks to this bronze sculpture when we are leaving the library. She shows them our books, etc. This was the first time we only returned books and didn't check any out, but I assured her we would find a great library near our new home as soon as we get settled. 

It was a great day, which ended with date night! Our friends Erin & Aaron hung out with the kids so we could celebrate our five-year anniversary a week early at our favorite restaurant. That was another example of Sydney moving out of her shyness. She happily waved to us as we drove away, and she went about her business. Six months ago, she would have been a mess. Yay for progress!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Biker babies

This past weekend, our town welcomed one of the biggest bike rallies in the nation: Bikes, Blues & BBQ. It isn't my favorite weekend for a few reasons. Primarily, I don't love it because driving around town makes me nervous when bikes are everywhere. We had such a busy weekend, we didn't get down to visit all the excitement, and I hate that because the kids would have loved it.

Collin caught a glimpse of the excitement when the friend of one of his school's teachers brought a pretty cool Harley to his building for all the little ones to see and sit on. As adorable as this is, I really hope this isn't a picture I see throughout his life! Motorcycles make me nervous. Period.

Sydney also had some biking experience of her own, but not in the motorcycle sense. In the past, she has only been interested in pedaling if she didn't really have to work at it. The route had to be very flat, and she was even happier if it was slightly downhill. Can you say lazy? Well, some time had passed since we last tried (mainly because I had to cool down because I was so irritated by this!), and what do you know?! It has clicked! She will actually use her leg muscles to pedal! And she was so excited --- perhaps because I was screaming from joy. She will pedal up and down our sidewalk, even in the parts where it is slightly uphill. I am so proud! Clearly, she is, too.(And clearly, our next door neighbors need to edge their lawn. Geez, make it hard on people tryin' to sell their house!)

In other news, Collin decided to get his first two teeth - bottom, center - during our Charlotte house hunting trip a few weeks ago. They are coming in slowly but surely, and I think you can kind of see them in this picture. I also took this video over the weekend where you can see his favorite "word" Dada. So stinkin' sweet!