Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Married Into


Click on image to see the expressions... they're priceless!

Hilarious photos by Pam Saxon

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time!

I hope everyone has had as wonderful of a Christmas as we have! We've had four different family Christmas parties and have really enjoyed the time we've had to spend with them all. It was fun to celebrate Christmas with Charlotte this year since last year she was just five weeks old at the time, but she still didn't quite get into all the excitement of opening presents. We made the mistake of bringing muffins over for Jared and I to eat while we were opening presents on Christmas day, so Charlotte couldn't have cared less about the presents in front of her. She just kept pointing towards the muffins and grunting for more. (She had already eaten breakfast.) So she didn't get into all the hype of presents, but she did love that there was almost an endless supply of food for her. At each of the family parties, she would go from person to person, getting a little bite from each one. And whenever anyone picked her up, she would point to the counter where all the food was. The child acts like we never feed her!

She racked up on gifts as well. She got a little shopping cart and some toy food that she's had a great time playing with. And her Grammy (my mom) made the cutest little purse for her, and it was the most adorable thing ever watching her push her shopping cart around with the purse on her arm! She's my mini-me!


We went to the park the day before Christmas Eve and let her play for a little while. If she fell down while walking on the mulch, grass, or dirt, she would keep her hands up and look down and try to figure out how she could stand back up without putting her hands down on the ground and getting them dirty. Such the little Priss!
Playing on the swings

Chasing Daddy


Charlotte usually seems to prefer women over men, but every now and then, she will find a man that she just latches onto. On Christmas Eve she was having fun playing with my cousin, Ryan, and he was brave enough to let her play with his glasses.

And yesterday Charlotte couldn't get enough attention from her Uncle Chad. It was so sweet seeing her cuddle with him!


Oh, and the conclusion of the Christmas tree saga... You might remember that we had issues with it falling down twice within a few days of putting it up. Well a week or so before Christmas, the tree was looking pretty pathetic. The needles were falling off with the slightest bump to a limb and it wasn't the nice deep green color that it was when we bought it. After reading Melissa's story of putting up her tree, I started to wonder if we ever cut some off the bottom of the tree so it would soak up the water when we put it in the stand. I asked Jared if he happened to do it when I wasn't looking, but he couldn't remember doing it either. So I am hoping that is the reason for the Charlie Brown looking tree that we had on Christmas day! Since it was so ip

On Saturday after celebrating (a.k.a. eating) with the Rollins family, Pam Saxon came over to take some family pictures for us. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I am so excited to see how the pictures turned out, especially the "jumping shots" of the siblings and wives. We had a great time and Pam, thank you again for doing that for us. I'm blog-stalking you until I see a few teaser shots!

Since this post is already so long, I will save my rant about our aggravations with the retail stores and political correctness of this country. But we hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and remembers why we celebrate this wonderful holyday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Little Girls In Mamma's Pearls

This past Saturday we had the first of four family Christmas parties, which, of course, gives me an excuse to put Charlotte in adorable Christmas dresses for each one! She has been given several dresses and outfits and, between the family get-togethers and church, I think she'll be able to wear each and every one. The pictures below are from right before we left for the party with Bobbie's, my stepmom's, family. Charlotte loves playing with my jewelry, especially the long strand of pearls. If I do let her play with my jewelry (only the fake stuff), she knows exactly what to do with it. She tries to put the necklaces around her neck and the bracelets on her wrist. She even puts my pony tail holders on her wrist because she's seen me wear them like that.

Uncle Chad & Auntie Amber bought her this little red dress. Isn't she just adorable in it!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

We're Back, Ya'll!

Jared and I got back home yesterday afternoon from our weekend getaway to Savannah! We had a great time and really enjoyed getting away with just the two of us (the first time since Charlotte was born!). Jared took off work on Friday so we headed up around noon. We stayed at the Kehoe House, upon the recommendation of Shannon and my cousin, Mandy, who had each booked rooms there for their trips to Savannah. It's a Bed & Breakfast (the food was delicious!) and is right in the middle of the historical downtown part of the city.

We didn't have anything on our schedule or to-do list other than eating at The Lady & Sons restaurant on Saturday. For those who haven't heard of that place, where have you been? :) Paula Deen has two shows on the Food Network but started out with just a catering business that turned into a restaurant that is now a Savannah staple. It's like the Johnny's of Keystone... times ten! They only take reservations for groups of ten or more, so we were at the restaurant around 9:00 on Saturday morning to get our names on the list for lunch. We thought with Christmas coming up that this would be their busy season and the line would be miles long, but we were pleasantly surprised that we didn't have a long line to wait in. And we were so grateful for that because Saturday had a high in the 50s- quite chilly for us folk in the South! We both had the buffet and it was quite delicious.

We did lots of walking around the city and looked in some antique shops but we also had plenty of time to relax. We, of course, missed Charlotte and her sweet smiles, but it was nice to just be with each other and not have to worry about the stroller and diapers and making sure she's bundled up enough with the cold wind...

It's hard to tell, but that's us standing in front of the Kehoe House. Isn't it just gorgeous!


And here I am with Paula... the cardboard version. My cousin, Becky, has actually met her and was on her show, 'Paula's Best Dishes'! She made biscuits and gravy with the Queen of the Butter :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

After All These Years...

I started and saved this post from last Tuesday but forgot to actually publish it. Whoops! Anyway, almost one week late, but oh well...


Today is my and Jared's second anniversary! God has been so good and I'm so grateful that He has blessed us with each other. I get to spend each and every day with my best friend. It is such an amazing comfort to know that I will always have him by my side and that He'll be here for me no matter what. Thinking back to almost four years ago when we went on that ski trip, I knew almost right away that there would be something special with Jared. I called my mom while on the trip and asked, "How would you feel about having a Rollins in the family?" Her response was, "Well, not tomorrow..." (Side note: She thought I was referring to Gavin, Jared's brother who is much closer to my age and a friend of mine who she knew from us going to school and church together [Gavin and I ended up going to our Senior Prom together! A story for the grandkids...]).

This weekend we'll be going away on our first trip together since Charlotte was born! Her Toto and Grammy (his mom and mine) will be tag-teaming over the weekend so we can have a nice little escape to Savannah. We are both so excited to get away!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Saturday

Today has been quite an exciting day for us! We woke up to find that our Christmas tree had fallen over. Completely. On the ground. Splat. I heard a noise during the middle of the night that woke me up with a jolt. But Jared didn't move at all so I convinced myself that it must have just been a dream. When we woke up this morning I put two and two together. Yesterday Jared asked me, "Does the tree look like it's leaning over a bit?" Perhaps out of laziness, we convinced ourselves no, or at least that it wasn't leaning badly enough to warrant a change in positioning. What is funny is that yesterday I shampooed the carpet in the living room... everywhere except right behind the couch. There's hardly ever any foot traffic back there and I was tired from holding Charlotte on my hip while pushing the heavy steam vac (the noise of it scares her so I have to hold her while I do it). So this morning I pulled it back out and did the area I hadn't done yesterday to get any sap up. And the stand was pretty close to empty of any water because I hadn't put in any since we initially put it up last Friday, so it could have been an even bigger mess. After getting it as straight as we could I went to redecorating. About half of the ornaments had fallen off, and through it all we only had two ornament casualties - not from the tree actually falling. From me dropping one ceramic ornament onto a glass ornament while putting them back on. Go figure.

Fallen tree...

I put some of Charlotte's birthday presents around the tree to make it look not so empty :)


This afternoon we went to the house of some friends from church. They are fellow Gator alumni and as fanatic about football as we are. Another couple who are fans as well joined us and we had a great time watching the Gators roll right on over that Crimson Tide. It was an exciting game that had us quite nervous throughout most of it, and we are thrilled that the Gators will be playing in the second National Championship game in three years! It's great to be a Florida Gator! Timmy Tebow may not know it yet, but he is my future son-in-law. He can begin courting Charlotte as soon as she turns 18 :)

Charlotte and Andi each playing with the other one's barn. Most of the game they were discussing Tebow's chances of winning the Heisman again, but they took a breather to play with the animals in the barns for a few minutes


And then... After the game we went to Borders to see Mike Huckabee at his book signing! They had the line moving quickly and we didn't have time to get a posed picture with him, so Jared graciously let me go up while he got as good of a shot as he could with so many people in his way. Governor Huckabee was as sweet in person as he seems on TV. He shook my hand and asked if that was a Gator shirt I was wearing. I confirmed and he said that people must have gone straight home to put it on before coming to the bookstore. Then he gave a little wave and a smile to Charlotte and told me to enjoy the night. He's the biggest "celebrity" that I've ever met so I'm still a bit awestruck. Huckabee/Jindal (or vice-versa) for 2012! (I totally wanted to say, "Hello, Govnah!" in a British accent. I can't remember where that line is from but I thought it would be hilarious!)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charlotte's Giggles

I found this video from a month ago while I was clearing the memory card of the camera. Jared got an email with a link to this bowling game and Charlotte thought it was hilarious. I can't hear her giggle without laughing myself!

video

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pass the Pepto

This Thanksgiving was not quite the dream of a holiday that you plan for all year. Jared had a nice long weekend since he got off work early on Wednesday and didn't need to go back in until Monday, but unfortunately, the entire time he was off, one of us was sick. We had some sort of stomach bug that made its way to each of us. On Thursday and Friday it was me, which meant that I couldn't enjoy any of the meal on Thanksgiving with my dad's family and I had to skip out on the meal with my mom's family because I didn't want to get the other baby who would be there sick. By Saturday I was feeling better, but Charlotte and Jared were not. We had some friends over to watch the Florida/Florida State game, and while they were popping Vitamin C drops throughout the night they had a front row view of both Charlotte and Jared throw up. Sorry about that Ryan and Anette! By Monday everyone was healthier and I sanitized the house with bleach and Lysol. Hopefully we have rid the home of all the germs!

On Friday afternoon I was feeling well enough to go pick out our Christmas tree though. Last year Charlotte was born the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving evening we ended up at WalMart getting one (my mom and stepdad came up and they had driven their truck. We figured it would be easier to fit the tree in there than the Camry or Thunderbird we had at the time). This year we wanted to start a tradition of going to cut our own from a tree farm. We left at 3:00, got halfway there and realized we forgot to bring a blanket to put underneath the tree so it would not scratch the roof of the van. We went home and got the blankets, turned around and headed back to the farm. We drove up and were a little hesitant by the trees we were seeing. Although some were very nice, they were not the kind of trees that we had in mind. It was a "Mom and Pop" type of place with an older couple running it and there was only one other customer there. We walked around for a bit, debating on if it would be possible to leave without a tree and not offend them. Earlier in the day we had talked about one year buying a potted tree that we could plant in the yard when Christmas was over. So Jared came up with the great idea of asking if they had any potted trees. We asked, but they didn't have any. Apparantly you need a nursery license for that and they were strictly a "choose and cut" type of place. So we were able to leave without buying a tree without offending them for us not liking their stuff :)

On the way back to the house we decided we wouldn't need to tie the tree on top of the van. We could just take the seats out and it should fit inside. So when we got home Jared took care of that and I called the WalMart we bought the tree from last year to make sure they had them again this year. The answer I got was, "Yeah, I would think so." Sounds really confident, right? Well we went there, and thankfully, they did have them. We had a few other things to pick up and by the time we left WalMart with our tree, it was well past 6:00. Three hours to get the tree... not too bad [insert a smiley rolling its eyes here]. We found out after all of this that the pretty fir trees that we think of when we hear "Christmas tree" don't grow down here. So the Christmas tree farms are only good for the bushier pines that aren't as pretty :/

The rest of Friday evening was spent watching Elf and decorating the tree. I started with the lights, then Jared laughed at me for how long I was taking. So I told him if he wanted to, he could do it. He said he would but that he wouldn't take as much time and the top half of the tree wouldn't match the bottom. I said I didn't care so he took over. When I realized how right he was, I quickly took the reigns back. :) And then a few minutes later, the tree came toppling down.



After a few hours, we had the tree up, securely in the stand, lights all on (in such a way that met my standards:), and the decorations on! So it wasn't quite the perfect day we had planned and the tradition of getting the tree from WalMart just doesn't have the same cozy feel as traipsing through the woods to find that perfect tree, but at least it's much more convenient.



On a side note, last year we bought our tree on Thanksgiving day and this year on Black Friday. Both times we went to WalMart in the evening and the store was practically empty. Much nicer than fighting the crowds that come along with this time of year!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving! I know a few ladies who will be out and about shopping tomorrow so I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this deal over at Bed, Bath & Beyond. For all of your back hair shaving needs... the Mangroomer!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fall Fun

After raking some leaves yesterday, I decided that the front yard with the few piles would make a cute spot for some pictures. So I put Charlotte in a cute dress and she humored me so I could get some cute shots of her.






Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthdays, Fires, and Gator Games

Charlotte seemed to really enjoy all of her birthday festivities. On her actual birthday, she ate her first cookie! I didn't get all of the crumbs cleaned out of her high chair, so the next day she had a great time finding all the little pieces left behind.



Last week there were record lows for this time of year, and we had the first fire in our fireplace to cozy things up a bit. Charlotte loved it and wanted to offer lots of help.



(Yes, that is paint on her butt. These were the jeans she was wearing when she was "helping" me paint the trim on the house. The paint is finally out from underneath her fingernails!)


On Saturday we went to the Gator game to watch them put a beating on The Citadel. We knew it wasn't going to be a nail biter, but it was the only game we could get affordable tickets for. It was fun to watch them score touchdown after touchdown after touchdown. We were four rows from the top so when they did the flyover we reached up and gave the pilots a high five :)

Chad, Abby, Megan, Gavin, me, Jared, and Dad



And then on Sunday afternoon, the real party festivities began! The first few birthday parties are more for the parents and grandparents rather than the kids themselves, so we didn't want it to be a big to-do, but just inviting the local family and close friends made it a party of 15 adults and 2 babies. Quite the crowd! Charlotte had a great time and ate up all the attention... and the cake! She racked up on sweet gifts as well - a few very cute outfits and several new toys that she's been having a ball playing with. Of course, after a while of going from one toy to another, I noticed that she was entertaining herself with a spoon. Go figure.

The beautiful cake that Amber made! It was delicious!!!


The cake that I made for her... I'm no Melissa, but I think it turned out pretty good for someone with no cake decorating experience.


She seemed to thoroughly enjoy her first cake!







And a cute shot of Charlotte playing with her Pop's hat

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

It is hard for me to believe, but Charlotte is one year old today! Everyone told me that the first year would fly by, and I believed them, I just did not expect it to fly by quite this fast. It seemed like I was pregnant with her forever. But then I blinked and she was smiling. Another blink and she was sitting up. Once more and somehow she's now walking around all over the place, showing all kinds of personality, and turning into a "little girl" rather than my "baby girl".

At this time last year, I was in the hospital bed in some serious pain, contemplating asking for some serious painkillers, but was able to push my way through the pain, literally and figuratively! I felt my first contractions while we were at the movies, but they were more uncomfortable than painful so I thought they were Braxton-Hicks and didn't think anything of them. When we got home we decided to finish getting her her room ready. We moved all the furniture around and ended up with it exactly as it had started, then we hung her pictures on the wall. When we finished, I patted my belly and told her, "Okay, we're ready for you. You can come any time you'd like!" My painful contractions started thirty minutes later.

After eleven and a half hours of painful contractions, the doctor considering sending me home because I hadn't dilated quite quickly enough, me refusing to go anywhere because of how uncomfortable and in pain I was, Jared developing carpal tunnel syndrome from rubbing my back for so long, and pushing for twenty minutes... Jared caught Charlotte Michelle Rollins as she entered this world at 10:50 a.m.

Our whole world has changed, but it has all been for the better. It has been such fun for us to get to know Charlotte and watch her grow and develop. She brings a joy to our lives and keeps a smile on our faces. She has a strong personality and I am so excited about the woman she will become. I know God can do great things with her strong personality and strong will and I'm excited for all the future holds for her.

And I might be going into picture overload here, but with a baby so cute, how could I not!

Charlotte and her Daddy, just a few minutes old

The first family photo

Getting ready to go home

Our gift from God

A little over one month old, Her first smiles on Christmas day

Two months, Sweet smiles to her Daddy, and an amazing photo by Pam Saxon


Three months

Four months

Five months, At the Grand Canyon Skywalk and San Diego Zoo


Six months

Seven months

Eight months

Nine months

Ten months

Eleven months

One Year, photo by Pam Saxon