Thursday, December 20, 2012


Henry Zuill is waiting right now. If you ask him "Henry- who is coming to your house next week?", he immedietly replies with "Santa comin' my 'ouse!". He keeps a daily watch out for this guy (who made Henry's A-list when he left him a plate of donuts for breakfast).

It is so much fun to see him getting excited about Christmas. The excitement really began for him on one particular day.

{photos by karen halbert photography}

Luckily we've had some notably mild temperatures for this time of year, so we've been able occupy ourselves outside some while we wait for Santa.

That thing that Henry is doing in the last photo- that's what he calls "doing his eyes". He moves his eyes from right to left and back again, and thinks he's the funniest thing in Tennessee.

(why are you sitting in the middle of the street Henry?)

He's obsessed with one specific hat these days. He loves his "fire hat". He has also developed an affinity for checking the mail. {Like father like son on that one.}

Henry adores painting and asks nearly every day "Can I paint now?".

These days he likes his baths extra long- until all the toes get nice and wrinkly.

And again, he thinks he is hilarious. (He kind of is.) He's also becoming more independent by the minute- "No help me mommy!".

Henry is definitely a steady stream of entertainment a lot of the time these days. Over the last couple of months he's really turned into such a chilled out little guy.

{exercising with mommy, being retro, group hugs, tiny shoppers (watch your ankles), artist, and hide and go seek- his favorite right now}

We're gearing up for what I think will be our best Christmas yet and we're so thankful. I hope you're getting ready for celebrations and time with loved ones, and Merry Christmas from the Zuill family!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Nanny.

Just a little over a week from the time I posted one of the sweetest photos I've ever taken, something happened.

Our family lost my grandmother. And while I know what I'm writing now is not the typical upbeat material you usually see here- years from now, when Henry is (hopefully) reading through the Our Cheeky Life blog books, he'll read this and it will help him to know his Nanny through my memories.

We always lived just down the road from my Nanny. As kids my brother and I would ride our bicycles from our house down the dusty dirt road past the barn and to our Nanny's house. We were always welcome there. Always.

She always had cold Coca-Colas on the back porch of her house. And a big stash of Little Debbie swiss cake rolls in a green tupperware container. She let us play with playdough (much to my Mom's delight- it meant it wasn't all over her house). Nanny's house had the most awesome banister to slide down. Her house was always where we went for every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nanny's hair was always perfect and she was always dressed to impress.

I've learned a lot more about my Nanny over the last week. Although I've discovered that she didn't have an easy life as a child, there's no doubt that she certainly grew into a highly respected woman. She helped to raise a good family (and raised an amazing mother for me). She worked hard. And she was well loved. And man, wasn't she beautiful?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It always seems like the holiday season officially begins on Thanksgiving. A day full of good food and time with family, and stopping, for a minute, to really take a look at how fortunate most of us are in comparison to some.

Just looking through the photos for this blog entry reminds me that I truly have much to be thankful for. Like a sweet boy loving on his Nanny, or bedtime stories with a clean smelling baby.

(thanks to my friend Sarah Gilliam for the above photo)

Thankful for a little boy full of a rapidly growing imagination, who lines all his pals up to watch him eat his dinner, and for the sweet boy who sits down when we get home from the store and says "Doggies, I miss you!".

Thankful that there still are nice people in the world- like the guy at the pizza place who gave Henry a ball of pizza dough and tried to teach him how to toss it. And thankful that Henry shares my love of ice cream. I'm not so thankful, however, that he seems to have inherited my naughty gene as well.

We have an amazing group of family members and friends, and are lucky enough for all of our kids to create memories like these together.

One thing to be very thankful for this month in the Zuill household is how much interest our little guy has taken in this activity.

He's growing so fast, and getting sillier by the day.

Henry has been sick with an ear infection the last couple of days. Today he seemed just slightly perkier than yesterday. Today he was an artist and a pecan pie making assistant. I was so happy to see him feeling better.

Tomorrow my family comes to our home for our Thanksgiving dinner together. I look forward to this every year. I truly enjoy spending time with my family- and the sweet potato casserole. It's hard to believe it's already Thanksgiving! And before we know it, Christmas will be here. The Zuills got a little overeager and have already put up our decorations.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of delicious food and good company- and...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The good kind of busy.

My poor blog has been neglected. There has been so much fall activity going on all around, and we've been soaking it in and staying busy. The last month really has held some fun times for our little family.

Clearly, this was one of the highlights of October. The party was smaller this year than last year, but twice as much fun. Our family and closest friends, in our home, celebrating our boy. He kept a look of pure joy on his face for the majority of the night.

I made little goodie bags for Henry's guests, and one of the items in it was a flashing LED bracelet. I figured the kids would love them plus they were actually practical since Halloween was quickly approaching. About 10 minutes after they received the bags, Henry's room looked like he had a full fledged rave going on in there.

The next day we took Henry to Gentry Farms. They have an amazing setup there, especially for the kids. Corn troughs, mazes, tire swings, hay rides--good stuff! And Henry seemed to think so too!

We played until we heard them announce overhead that closing time was in fifteen minutes. We quickly headed towards the huge boxes of pumpkins. And after picking out and paying for his pumpkin, Henry held his trophy the whole way home.

Also, one weekend in October I met up with my friends Karen and Sarah for a 5k in Nashville.

But this race was a departure from the run of the mill 5k. If you've never done this, and you get the chance to- do it. It is an amazing amount of fun. The Color Run.

Henry enjoyed watching the race but was a little distracted by phone calls and his two best buddies.

So that's just a little of what we've been into lately. The good kind of busy. Thanks for coming by!