Saturday, November 10, 2018

Henry, eight.

My sweet Henry- how on EARTH are you eight years old? The older you get the faster the days fly by, it seems. In the last few months you and I have been watching a lot of old "Amazing Race" episodes, so it was no big surprise when I got a resounding YES when I asked what you thought about that being the theme for your birthday party. We sent out invites to your favorite pals and then I got busy planning clues, detours and roadblocks!

The threat of rain hovered over us all week for the day of your party, but in the end it was clear and nearly 70 degrees (phew!). Just a perfect day for a birthday party! Once everyone arrived and got settled we went over the general concept of the Amazing Race, drew names for parters, got you guys to the starting line and then the racing chaos began.

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

Jack and Ava were the proud winners of the Amazing Race grand prize and each got a $10 gift card to Target! The race seemed like it was over SO fast (because you guys were racing maniacs!) but was so much fun! Afterwards we all ate pizza and guacamole and followed it up with some singing & chocolate birthday cake in the driveway.

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

As is the yearly tradition, I presented you with a list of questions to answer. Minimal changes this year and still some questionable spelling, ha.

-What is your favorite color? Red
-What is your favorite toy? Legos
-What is your favorite animal? cat
-What is your favorite breakfast? muffen
-What is your favorite dinner? suiche
-What is your favorite holiday? beach
-What is your favorite place to visit? ohioh
-What do you want to be when you grow up? ???
-What are you best at? Bilding legos
-Who is your best friend? Jack

Henry, as always you continue to amaze us. You're still as lego crazy as ever. You're doing SO well on the piano these days- Mrs. Judy is so proud (as are we!). You were absolutely amazing during Fall baseball. During the last game you got so many outs playing first base and hit a home run! You and Charlie definitely bicker more than last year, but for the most part you are such an awesome big brother. You're as big of a bookworm as last year. You always have your nose stuck in a Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. With that said, you still love to be read to, especially if it's Daddy reading Harry Potter. You're doing so well at homeschooling (most days) and are loving your two days a week at Montessori. You've learned to play chess there (although some of your rules are a little sketchy) and were so excited when you got a chess set for your birthday. You regularly try to take me down in a game! Don't worry though, I'll still get you in MarioKart.

We are so so proud to be your parents, buddy. Now stop growing up so fast. We love you!

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

Friday, November 2, 2018

October hustle.

I don't think there's a month of the year that seems busier than October. One minute it has suddenly arrived, and it's always full to the brim of activities- parties, Halloween prep and a plethora of other things. The next minute it's slipped away and you're staring November right in it's chilly wet face. Here in Tennessee we get about two weeks of what I'd consider to be true "Fall" weather, with temps in the 70s. You're not sweating but you don't quite yet need a coat either. That's the kind of Fall weather we love, and knowing how short lived it usually is we tend to take full advantage of it!

One thing always on our October agenda is a trip down the road to Lucky Ladd Farms. This is honestly such a wonderful place to spend a day, with acres of things to entertain kids (and adults!). This was Charlie's second or maybe even third trip, but the first one that really got her attention. We went with our favorite neighbors (and friends), the Reeses, and what a really great day it was.

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

Will surprised Henry and me with another seriously fun day in Nashville. He asked me to arrange a sitter for Charlie but would not tell us where we were off to. Henry and were both so excited when we pulled up to Nashville Adventure Park! Henry was absolutely amazing, he caught on so quickly and was flying through the obstacle courses. What a fun couple of hours in the treetops (and a great workout too!). We can't wait to go back!

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

The zoo has also been a frequent destination. One of the huge benefits of homeschooling is that if we happen to look at the forecast and the weather is going to be perfect- field trip! Even better when we can spend the day there with our best friends!

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

Not all of October has been spent outside. We spent our usual amount of time being entertained by a certain toddler, and also managed to squeeze in some wonderful time with Gaga and Pappy.

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

As with all things in life, the good sometimes comes with some bad. At the end of September we had to say goodbye to our friend Preston. At 14, he had certainly lived a long and happy life but it was still so hard to see him go. We planted a dogwood tree with Preston in the backyard so we will always be reminded. I told Will I hope the tree comes in a bit scruffy so that it will be authentically Preston.

Angela Zuill Photography: October &emdash;

A couple of weeks ago we had Henry's party to celebrate him turning EIGHT (!!) so more on that soon! Happy Fall!


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Rebellion against Pumpkin Spice.

As soon as September hits you can't throw a rock around these parts without hitting a store selling Pumpkin Spice something-or-other. I'm not a staunch fall hater, per se, but I am extremely reluctant to let go of our summer days. My interest in wearing boots and sweaters is remarkably low. Give me chaco tan lines, outside entertainment, long visits with friends, and summer birthday parties any day.

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

A couple of weekends ago had such a great day exploring at Radnor Lake State Park. Both of the kids were on critter patrol and Charlie must have picked up a hundred leaves. A whole crew of wild turkeys crossed the path just feet away from us and Henry snapped photos the whole time with his little hand-me-down point & shoot. It never fails though, that the last half mile of the hike ends up with someone being carried and everyone needs to pee and they're starving half to death don't you know.

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

Mr. Zuill and I went on another little outdoor adventure last month. Well, maybe not so little.

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

With the kids happily tucked away at Camp Gaga & Pappy for a few days, Will and I flew to Denver for a few days of exploring. I think this was our first parents-only trip since we went to Peru five years ago and we were really excited! The photos above were from our day of hiking at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was so beautiful. After a few hours there we spent some time in Manitou Springs- now that is a unique place! We played in open air video game arcades and literally got caught in the rain eating ice cream. We also spent a day at Denver Botanical gardens. I must have said to Will fifty times, "My Mom would LOVE this!". But the main attraction of Denver for Mr. Zuill was that on our last night there he was sitting just a few rows back from this scene-

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

Once we got back to Tennessee it was time to get back to business. Home school business. I can't tell you how intimidated by this I had myself worked up to be. Honestly I'm still not sure I'm doing it completely right, but so far its gone a lot smoother than I expected. Henry has really impressed me. He gets up, has some breakfast and dives right in. As you might guess, our tiny little helper can be the biggest challenge some days, but she's right there tagging along for the ride and is so glad to have her Henry home with us.

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

Charlie had some business to take care of when we all got home as well- ditching her diapers! She potty trained SO much easier than we expected and I think only had 3 or 4 accidents. The first couple of days she was on the potty alllll day, milking us for every m&m we had. She's no fool.

Angela Zuill Photography: September &emdash;

Thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 27, 2018

keeping it local.

So far, this summer hasn't found us traveling very far from home. The furthest we've been so far was when Henry and I took a quick trip north to see our favorite Ohioans and hit up King's Island with them. So much fun! Henry is a dream to take a road trip with.

Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;

But for the most part we've kept ourselves plenty busy inside a 50 mile radius.

Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;

The biggest adventure for me lately turned out to be an hour or so away! Skydiving is such a predictable thing to have on a bucket list, but there are so many reasons for it to be there! What an unbelievable experience. The photo of my face as I'm standing in the door of the plane, as I realize Ben is counting down to jump and he is on number 2, makes me laugh! I went to Tullahoma on my own that day, but obviously immediately made friends with the family that made up the rest of my group (Jane, Grimes, Nicole & Madison)- such great folks!

Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;

To my sweet husband's delight, the opportunity for him to skydive with me didn't quite pan out. It didn't hurt his feelings that he got to do this instead- a sweet sail plane ride in Eagleville for his birthday!

Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;

As always, the best summer days are the ones simply spent with some of our favorite people and doing our favorite summer things. We love these days. And of course, photos so we never forget-

Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;
Angela Zuill Photography: July &emdash;

Thanks for checking in!