This fall we ended up trying out the YMCA soccer program here in Wilmington, with mixed results. Regardless of how we felt as parents, the boys had a blast.

Bryant’s “team” got together every Saturday morning for some exercises and games and he thought it was “awesome”…




See it on YouTube here.

This year Curtis realized how much he loves playing goalie. And we realized it is now super-hard to capture the fast moving player on camera (for some reason, no team picture yet – but if I get one I will add it!).



See it on YouTube here.

Who knows what sports they will choose for themselves someday but for now, we love watching them run so hard and learn team building skills.

There was a lot of preparation at our house as we got ready for the big day. Bryant had a hard time deciding what to be (it was a toss up between Thomas, a Space Bear, and SpiderMan) but, happily, he picked something we already had in our closet.

He seemed content as he wore the costume for hours and days before Halloween even happened (although he refused to put the mask on for trick or treating)…

View on YouTube here

Curtis was excited to be Chris Kratt when he turned into the Green Cheetah in his Creature Power Suit (thank you Internet that this costume actually exists!). He took the role quite seriously, as demonstrated at the Boy Scouts Halloween celebration, and also practiced for hours before the big night…

View on YouTube here

When Halloween arrived we got ready quite early, invited the neighbors over for a potluck, and were honored to have my mom here to celebrate with us. The excitement made if far too hard to get a picture of the boys, they couldn’t sit still, but we tried our best…

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Halloween 2


One of our neighbors hooked a wagon to his tractor and the kids got to ride from house to house…while shouting “We want candy!”…it was beautiful…

Halloween 3

Halloween 5



They worked hard for their candy and Curtis was slightly upset that we limited the number of houses he could visit, but all ended well…


Happy Halloween!

My Mud Run




DURING! (in no particular order)


Yes, I lost a shoe in the mud – quite early on, too!

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I had bruises for days and was sore in all new places. But totally worth it.

I will be sharing my thoughts and all my words on this over on my public website, but all the embarassing and infamous pictures will live on here!


One of the coolest things about living in Wilmington is that we pass an Honest-to-God Battleship (the USS North Carolina) every day, multiple times a day. It is now a museum and historical site. John and I visited this spot PK (Pre-Kids) but it had been years…and YEARS…since then. Then, after listening to our kids ask to go on the Battleship (every day, multiple times a day), we were able to find a beautiful morning while Mom and Dad were visiting to take them…


Inside the entrance museum kids are encouraged to write postcards to be mailed out to soldiers…IMG_3262

Curtis wrote one to Grandpa, thanking him for his service, and it made us all tear up…kids…IMG_3265

I have NO IDEA why I am so unphotogenic (God didn’t grant me that gene) but I stayed in the picture…


Then I got behind the camera and enjoyed taking the pictures…

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We had to try our luck at using the guns…


EVERYONE had to try, of course…


Then we were free to roam this fantastic exhibit and ship…

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We were all really enjoying ourselves, even though Bryant kept whining to go in the exact opposite direction we were headed in the entire time. This ship is so well preserved, labelled, and enjoyable. It was amazing to envision what life at sea for our soldiers is really like.

We were about halfway through the self-guided tour, give or take, when this happened…


Our area had been the spot of torrential downpours for days, with coastal flooding. And while this Saturday was gorgeous, the tide started to come in, drowning out the little island the ship sits on. Which is fine since it is a boat EXCEPT, you PARK YOUR CAR NEXT TO THE BOAT.

So this started to happen (and this is just the beginning)…


We were concerned we wouldn’t make it off the island in time for John to catch his flight to Brazil, so we decided to bail.

To get to our cars by the time we retrieved the entire gaggle of Carters and Barretts, the Battleship crew were ferrying people…


And we sloshed our way off the island as the water continued to rise…


We can’t wait to go back someday, hopefully soon, and check out the other half.

Don’t worry, I am sure there will be just as many pictures in Part 2.

After a long wait (in 3yo time anyhow), it was finally Bryant’s turn.

We were a little worried because this boy always takes a moment to warm up to a room. He clings to my thigh, burying his head in my shirt, and can have a hard time separating. How would he do in a brand new school, completely unfamiliar to him?

Turns out, no problems…IMG_1166 editIMG_1172 edit

He walked in to school and was immediately greeted by his buddy, Gus, who had not only done VBS with him but also his YMCA Superhero camp. No issues whatsoever.

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It was a fun day of excitement. We’re so proud of the little man he is, and also so grateful he let Dad dress him on this day after trying hard to get into his favorite outfit.

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Here’s to a great year, Bug!

First Day Preschool Favorites

Aug 3 final

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3 Aug – moving out day; 4 Aug – ah, home sweet home; 5 Aug – a picture we sent back to our boys after a full day’s work; 6 Aug – progress! (believe it or not); 7 Aug – driving home from getting the boys, stopped in traffic, the most stunning views of downtown Wilmington; 8 Aug – our family all together at last, in our brand new home, so we celebrated with poolside cocktails; 9 Aug – because the master bedroom should look like a retreat, amiright?

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10 Aug – Children’s Museum visit; 11 Aug – playground visit;  12 Aug – an early morning beach visit ; 13 Aug – that’s my baby!!; 14 Aug – waiting for the pirate ship to sail by the beach in Southport; 15 Aug – boxes, more importantly: EMPTY BOXES!; 16 Aug – surfing on Daddy

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17 Aug – oh the toys in ATL; 18 Aug – Legoland rides; 19 Aug – playing with Legoland goods on Aunt Saundra’s and Aunt Brittany’s table; 20 Aug – somewhere behind that door are burritos; 21 Aug – open house for Curtis; 22 Aug – after watching it sail by, we get to go on board the pirate ship; 23 Aug – last day of summer vacation, and, of course, we have to be here

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24 Aug – first day of first grade; 25 Aug – when the “hot” sign is lit you go in; 26 Aug – lots of days looking at that sign in carpool line; 27 Aug – Bryant and Mommy date to the Cape Fear Museum, looking at pirates; 28 Aug – afterschool beach visit to Kure Beach; 29 Aug – cousins in a hole on Oak Island; 30 Aug – despite a dreary day, the kids are excited to show our Chapel Hill best friends how we do the pool when they come to visit

Special note: I really do want to complete this project and now that 1) we are comfortably moved into our new forever home and 2) I figured out how to move my photos from my iPhone to my computer, I am good to roll. I am planning to whip our family “scrapbook” into shape and get organized again. For those of you who subscribe via email (THANK YOU THANK YOU) I will try to lump these posts and photos together so it, hopefully, won’t be too burdensome for your inbox. Now onward…
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13 Jul – waiting out the rain storm at swim lessons; 14 Jul – summer reading; 15 Jul – sandcastles, seashells & waves; 16 Jul – killing time in a carpet store with binoculars and Curious George; 17 Jul – the view out of the front of our rental onto the street and bike trail; 18 Jul – afternoon kayaking in our new waters; 19 Jul – brothers reading in the waning summer light

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20 Jul – leaving the ground to get a geocache; 21 Jul – bounce house mayhem; 22 Jul – YAHTZEE!; 23 Jul – Curtis photobombs every picture I take of the house; 24 Jul – tranquil; 25 Jul – date night that went “BEYOND” (get it?); 26 Jul – sandy toes again

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27 Jul – Bryant starts superhero camp; 28 Jul – Curtis & Mom “date” at Starbucks for cake pops; 29 Jul – Curtis & Mom “date” playing mini golf (which was way easier without a 3-year-old, for the record); 30 Jul – Bryant gets a new bike (which was John’s Father’s Day gift);  31 Jul – more time at the new house; 1 Aug – then back to this life and this house; 2 Aug – ready to get the work done


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