Thursday, November 29, 2007

10 Things I love about Atlanta

It has been brought to my attention by my sweet in-laws that at times my blog sounds like I need a stiff drink. : ) So, I thought that in light of our up coming move, I would reflect on a few of the things that I love and have gained from my time here in the ATL.

1. Wheat germ and flax seed: I'm pretty sure that I would have NEVER thought that they would become a regular part of my food preparation and lifestyle. That's one of the advantages of becoming friends with crunchy people. : ) Now, both of those items are staples in our diet.

2. Tofu: Okay, I'm actually scared for myself about how crunchy I sound but yes, we have added tofu to our diet and I'm proud of it!

3. CFLs: Not only do I love them for their effect on the environment but I love that they aide my frugality!

4: Going Green: So, this is definitely something that has come about from our time in Atlanta. I don't think that I ever really thought much about environmental issues before that. (I hate to admit that) But we attended a series of talks called "God is Green" and I learned so much that I was really motivated to change as many "un-green" habits as I could.

5. Fun things to do in Atlanta: Jessica Hutson told me before we moved here that there was a ton of fun stuff to do and she was right. We LOVE all of the fun options there are for us as a family. Even apart from the things like the Aquarium, ZooAtlanta, and Stone Mountain, it's nice to be a couple of hours from the beach and a couple of hours from the mountains. We LOVE to be outside and it's been so nice to have all of those things nearby.

6. The Adamsons: I could write a whole post on what a gift the Adamsons are to us. But I won't. I'll just say that I am so thankful for their friendship and that they have enough kids that they aren't scared off by our crazy family. They are the hardest thing to leave here!

7. Dekalb Farmers Market: Okay, this is neck in neck with the Adamsons for the hardest thing to leave. I can't even begin to describe how amazing this place is. You just have to experience it for yourself.

8. My new kitchen: I love it and I will be so sad to leave it. Especially my super fancy oven that chris bought. I wanted to put that into the house sale negotiations but he wouldn't go for it. Oh, well. At least I'll have a few more months with it.

9. North Georgia Premium Outlets: I'm sure that Emily is crying right now just thinking about them. Even though I'm not a huge shopper, there's just something nice about knowing that there's a Pottery Barn Outlet here if you need it. : )

10. My new headband: Shallow I know, but this is one of my latest favorite things about Atlanta. Super cute!!!

Well, there they are. Just the first things off the top of my head. We have loved our time here and will be so sad to leave. I have no doubt that there will be more emoting to come!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jumpin' on the Grateful Train...

I took that title from my friend Trisha. I really liked it! I decided just now as I was reading some of my friends blogs that it would be good for me to sit down and think about some of the things that I'm thankful for. Now, these are not premeditated so read at your own risk. I just know that I am at a place where I'm trying to embrace the idea of "not blinking" (thanks Kenny Chesney). I just want to enjoy every detail of this sweet yet challenging stage in life. So, here's my brainstorm of things that I'm thankful for... (reminder, these will not be in order of importance)

1. Kenny Chesney's song "Don't Blink"

2. I'm thankful that my shy, timid daughter stood up on stage today, held up her drawing of the 1st thanksgiving feast and said (slowly and loudly) "The first Thanksgiving, called a harvest feast, was eaten outside". That was her designated part as her class retold the story of the First Thanksgiving. I cried. Not because the Thanksgiving feast was such a moving thing but because I understand what a triumph that was for her and I was so proud!

3. I'm thankful that Chris was able to sneak away from all of the craziness at work today and that he didn't miss her! It was a great surprise!

4. I'm thankful that Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper tend to rotate being on sale from week to week.

5. I'm thankful that I have been blessed with some very sweet, special and deep friendships.

6. I'm thankful that Chris and I have made it through 8 years of marriage and he hasn't once tried to send me back. : ) (Not that he hasn't thought about it!)

7. I'm thankful that God hand-picked the perfect house for us here in Atlanta. There could not be a more perfect place to raise children.

8. I'm thankful that Caleb is actually taking a nap today and it is happening simultaneously with the kids' tv time!!!

9. I'm thankful that I have a mom who has set a fabulous example of how to be a mom.

10. I'm thankful for my three children and all of the ways that they challenge and enrich my life!

11. I'm thankful for the internet. Just have to be honest. I would probably be nutso if I didn't have a way to escape this craziness for a while!

Okay, so those are the first few things that come to my mind. I can only pray that my heart will become more and more thankful. And, hopefully at times other than Thanksgiving!

Here are just a couple of supplemental pictures. Luke and I made cookies the other day and he and Caleb were fascinated with watching them bake.

Here are Kate and Luke having team spirit even though, let's be honest, do the Razorbacks really deserve our team spirit? (please don't leave me any nasty comments about that statement)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Perfect Picture

On Sunday morning, Chris and I realized that it would be the perfect day to try to take our family Christmas card picture. The boys were already wearing matching sweaters (the curse of not having two girls) and Kate, Chris and I were miraculously all coordinated.
As is the ususal case with trying to photograph three children 5 and under, it was a struggle to get cooperation. I will say that the big kids were doing fairly well considering that we had bribed them. Caleb is our wildman at this point, though. He loves to be free and, as all Larsen children, possesses an incredible will and stubbornness. I spent most of my time chasing him from spot to spot and then having him kick the crap out of me as I tried to get him to at least look in the general vicintity of the camera.
Unfortunately, I didn't include those pictures.

This is a sweet picture of Luke as he is the "guinea pig of placement" while Chris sets up the tripod

This is Kate swinging from a lamp post. Typical Kate. : )
The next picture is of me holding Caleb after he fell face first down the brick steps, ruining our chances of actually getting a picture that would work for the Christmas card. I'm actually holding a dirty sock on his nose to stop the bleeding. NICE!!!

As frustrating as it was to lugg everyone over there and spend all of that time and energy trying to get just one picture to work, I guess this is just life. And as Jon and Kate plus 8 says, "It might be a crazy life, but it's our life". lol

So here it is up that's not marker or ketchup. It's his first losing fight with a set of brick steps. I'm sure it won't be the last.
By the time THAT heals, we will probably be sending out New Year's cards!
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Friday, November 2, 2007

What a fun Halloween!!

Okay, I will apologize on the front end for the lack luster pictures of the kids. I am constantly reminded that it is virtually impossible to photograph children, especially when one of them is a 1 year old.

This year Kate decided to go as a fairy. I was so proud that she actually kept all of her fairy garb on so that people could somewhat recognize what she was wanting to be. The first couple of Halloween outings we had she would shed her gear at the beginning as to not draw attention to herself, which then made it look like she was trying to be a ballerina and that was of course traumatizing. Hmmm...the life of mothering a shy child.

Luke on the other hand had picked out three great superhero costumes and was rotating between them. So, of course, on Halloween I set out his choices: Batman, Superman, Mr. Incredible (my personal favorite). Instead, he dug to the bottom of the dress-up tub and found the 99 cent Buzz Lightyear costume that looks like 12 kids have worn it before him. I tried to convince him that there were better options, mostly to save my own mommy reputation. I finally gave up the fight, humbled myself and allow him the freedom of choice and of course he was thrilled all night with his decision.

As you can see, Caleb was Batman. My nephew Wilson had these Batman pjs when he was little and so they were perfect for Caleb this year. Plus they were free which helped my tightwad nature!

These pictures are all kind of funny, I think. You can see that Luke LOVES to bother Caleb (poke him, rub his head, and any sort of general pestering)! Caleb is a pretty good sport for the most part but I have a feeling that Luke's time will come before too long!

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! For us, it becomes more and more
fun every year! And for all of those who were concerned...Chris was able to
convince the kids to choose dark chocolate as often as possible during our trick or treating adventure, which is his ultimate goal each year. It was a productive Halloween for all!
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