Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween costumes...

I have to thank Aunt Debbie for these beautiful costumes she made for Savannah and Julius. Debbie made Savannah's costume last year and took on the task again even though her costume list tripled with the introduction this year of Julius and Elias (who happens to be Debbie's Grandson).
We picked the costumes up today and Savannah couldn't wait to get home and put her pretty dress on - her words, not mine.
We have a Halloween party and trick-o-treating at the University of Virginia's The Lawn on Friday so there will be plenty of other photos to show off these beautiful costumes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

I used some of my Pamper points to buy these Halloween cards - which have become an annual tradition in the Fitzgerald house.
I only received a dozen cards so I didn't get to send them to everyone, but I scanned it in so I could share it with all of you online.
I hope you all have a very Happy Halloween... we're going to have a busy one here as we have a Halloween party on Friday and then trick-0-treating at the university.
Then it's more trick-o-treating on Saturday and Savannah and I will have some Mommy-and-Me time at Disney on Ice's Finding Nemo (I won tickets from Albemarle Family Magazine)!
Happy Halloween everyone... more pictures will follow as we get Aunt Debbie's great Halloween costumes tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More pictures from our day...

I had to share a few more pictures from our time on the farm. I'm trying to get better at documenting pictures of the kids with family members, but sometimes I relish in putting down the camera and letting life just happen.

Pumpkin time...

We took the children to Belvedere Farm on Sunday to spend some time with family and enjoy the fall weather.
There was 13 of us in all... our four; my sister-in-law, Debbie; niece and nephew, Erin and Joe; their son, Elias; our niece, Samantha; and their family friends, Damian, Mona, Ana and Dominick.
We had a great day and I wanted to share a few photos from our time on the farm.

The best advice I never took...

We came home from the pumpkin patch last night to discover my former editor, Mike McQueen, had passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. He was just 52.
Mike and I worked together at the Telegraph in Macon and he was a great editor. Mike was very personable and someone you could go to when you had a question or concern. He certainly had a lot of closed door meetings with many of us and I'm sure he calmed a lot of nerves and cooled attitudes because he had that way about him.
I wanted to share a story that I have of Mike and one that has become a defining moment in my life... and every time I think of him I remember this conversation.
I had announced to the editors that I was interviewing in Arkansas for a job at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to work a partial cops and courts beat with some time as a computer-assisted reporter.
I can't remember if I had this conversation with Mike before or after my interview in Arkansas, but he was blunt with me when he said he felt like I was making a mistake by taking the job. He told me he had never heard of the ADG and didn't think I would spend much time as a computer-assisted reporter as they promised I would.
Mike thought my best career choice was to stay in Macon and work my way up in Knight Ridder as he thought I had the talent to go places.
Alas, I didn't listen to Mike and it was the best advice I never took. Although he was spot on about the paper, I would never have met and married Pat and had our beautiful children had I not taken that job.
While I was making changes in my life, Mike had some majors changes of his own. He left Macon after Hurricane Katrina to take a job in New Orleans and his son, Michael Jr., was killed in 2006 by his roommate after returning home from Afghanistan.
In 2007, I reached out to Mike after opening up the Washington Post and seeing a story about his son. Mike was on the front page seeking answers to what happened and wanting justice.
During a later email exchange we talked about my life as a wife and mother and how things had changed since our last closed door meeting. But I don't remember if I told him how much I appreciated his honest advice and how right he was.
Mike was a special man... he could be funny and serious in the same five minutes. He was one of the best damn editors I've had... and I know he would take that as a compliment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It won't be long...

I took this picture a few days ago when I caught Savannah and Julius watching the feral cats outside. Savannah has taken to running around the house in nothing but her pull-up and I'm hoping that means she'll be using the potty sooner than later.
It also won't be long before Julius is walking... he's already standing and moving around the furniture.
Scary indeed!

A view from our front door...

I took these photos this morning as I wait to wake up the rest of the family for our trip to the Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg. We're meeting up with our niece and nephew, Erin and Joe, and their little boy, Elias as well as my sister-in-law, Debbie, and other niece, Samantha.
I'm looking forward to having a little family time today and can't wait to take some pictures of the three little ones. We went to the farm last year and Savannah enjoyed herself... think she will enjoy herself even more today.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

R.I.P. Charles Nickolson

My aunt's husband, Charles Nickolson, passed away Thursday morning after a short battle with lung cancer. I didn't know Charles very well, but I know how much he loved my Aunt Linda and her daughter, Lindsay.
Several months ago Charles started having breathing problems and when he went to the doctor for tests, they discovered he had Stage 4 Lung cancer.
Like Lindsay said on her MySpace page earlier this week, this disease shows no mercy and is scary for everyone, but especially smokers. She is hoping to give up smoking and has asked others to do the same for the sake of their health.
I'm not able to be with Linda and Lindsay in their time of need, but my thoughts and prayers are certainly with them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome to the world Thomas Shane...

My cousin, Mandy, and her husband Shane welcomed their son, Thomas Shane, into the world on Wednesday. He weighed in at 7 pounds and 3.3 ounces and he and his Mama are doing well the last time I heard.
I'm so excited for Mandy and Shane as well as for Cathy and Raymond, Mandy's parents. This is their first grand baby and they've been waiting a long time for him... but the big surprise is they're getting a double dose of baby as their son, Jason, and his wife prepare for the birth of their son next month.
There will be lots of diaper changing going on at Granny Rea's house as the number of great-grandbabies keep growing!
Here are a few pictures I borrowed from Misty's Facebook page to share with you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seeing Grandpa...

Savannah and I were sitting in the van yesterday in front of Harris Teeter when I heard her say "Grandpa, Grandpa." I look behind me and saw an elderly couple going into the store - a woman pushing her husband in a wheelchair.
Although I briefly thought about Dad Fitzgerald, who Savannah calls "Papa", I quickly realized she was thinking about my Daddy. The man was much smaller than Daddy, but with the way he sat in his chair I was reminded of my own father.
Savannah only saw Daddy a few times, but when we get on YouTube and look at her birthday video she sees him sitting in his wheelchair telling her how much he loves her and will miss her.
It's amazing to me that she can still have any memory of Daddy as she was just a year old when he died. Although I'm sure she's remembering the video, it still brought tears to my eyes that she thought of him when she saw that man in the wheelchair.
Daddy certainly wasn't perfect, but he loved us the best way he knew how and I know he loved Savannah. It was nice to smile while thinking of him in that moment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Eight Months Julius...

Julius is officially eight months old today! In some ways it seems like yesterday and other times it seems like he's been with us forever.
Julius is such a happy child and very laid back. Unlike his sister, who sometimes has an overactive sense of fear, Julius has no fear at all and thrust himself head first into everything.
We have to keep our hands right behind him in the tub because he's all over the place. When he slips and slides, he's right back up for the next time.
He's crawling faster and faster and is now able to pull himself into a stand. I know it won't be long before he's taking his first steps and then running after his sister.
Happy Eighth Month birthday to my little guy who melts my heart every day... I love ya little fella.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thought for today...

I have spent the last week trying to come to terms with some family drama and have finally decided to just let it go and move forward. I think this quote and a beautiful picture I took a the farm on Friday sums up my thoughts for the day.

"Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be." - Anonymous

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Little Red Riding Hood...

Here are a few pictures of Savannah modeling the beautiful red coat Grammy and Aunt Debbie picked out for her last week on their shopping adventure. It's beautiful and I can't wait to pair the coat up with one of the beautiful dresses Savannah and Grammy bought on one of their previous shopping trips.
I swear I have two of the best dressed kids in town!

Mama and her Little Man...

I took a few pictures of Julius and I as we watched Savannah and Pat play in the park... here is my favorite one.
I can't believe Julius is growing so fast... he's already crawling faster than you can catch him and he wants to walk and chase after his sister.

Pat's 43rd birthday weekend...

We celebrated Pat's 43rd birthday this weekend in Virginia Beach and had a nice time with Mom and Dad Fitzgerald. It was fun to get away from home although I know it wears everyone out.. Dad, Mom, Pat, Savannah, Julius and myself.
This weekend we went shopping with Grammy (Savannah's favorite phrase now), a fall festival and a trip to the park. We also had wonderful steamed shrimp and ice cream cake to celebrate Pat's big day.
Here are a few pictures to highlight our weekend...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Going to the farm...

I took Savannah and Julius to Greenfield Farm in Ruckersville today and we met up with our friends, Melissa and Jayden. She also had two of the children she nannies, Austin and Troy.
We had a great time playing in the corral filled with toys and walking around visiting the farm animals... chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, a donkey and a pony. We then took a hayride through the farm and every walking child got a small pumpkin to take home.
Here are some pictures from our day... all of the kids had a great time.
You'll notice Savannah found herself a little boyfriend on the hayride... his name is George and he's very sweet. He kept his arm around her shoulder through the latter part of the trip.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mr. Mashed Potato Man...

I don't want to put too many pictures of Julius eating on the blog, but I loved watching him dive into the homemade mashed potatoes I made on Sunday. He really seems to be loving the idea of eating what we're able to eat.
I think he's almost ready to say goodbye to baby food and although that's great, it's going to be interesting to once again make friendly food for a little one.
Here are some photos of Julius eating his mashed potatoes...

Morning snuggles...

I captured these pictures over the weekend after Julius slept in late to allow Savannah and I to have some Mommy and Me time. Julius is the early bird and he usually gets up before Savannah, but on this morning Savannah woke up early and had some time to sit with me and eat some jelly toast.
She was just finished with her toast when Julius woke up and I sat him down with her in the recliner while I went to get something to clean her up. Before I could get her face cleaned and miss the moment I took a few pictures.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Birthday Cake...

Pat baked me a wonderful birthday cake for my special day... I asked him to do that instead of spending a lot of money on one from our favorite bakery.
Savannah was eyeing my cake from the moment Pat put it into the cake plate. So it's no surprise that she wanted to come home and dive into my cake now that it was my official birthday (it didn't help that we had a preview of cake with the brownie and ice cream at Cracker Barrel.
Here are a few pictures from our adventure... needless to say Julius went straight from his chair to the bathtub!
The cake was YUMMY!!!!
Hours later, I was taking a nap and Savannah sort of destroyed my cake by taking the candles and sticking them in and out of the cake so she could eat the frosting off the bottom.