Sunday, January 31, 2010

Digging out - January 2010

Well, we were able to start digging ourselves out after the second big snowfall of the season. This time we were lucky to only get about eight inches of the fluffy stuff, but it's still made getting down our street nearly impossible.
Pat came home this morning after spending the night at a hotel in Charlottesville (we're about to buy stock in that place since we've paid for five nights there in the last six weeks!) and promptly started shoveling the snow on our driveway. I helped him a little bit, but he did most of the work.
The only problem was that he wasn't able to get himself back up the road in order to work tonight... so he had to get someone else to cover his shift. He had to get our distant neighbors to help turn the car around on the sheet of ice that is our road and he made his way back to the driveway.
Less than an hour later, he was working on the driveway when two vehicles hit the guardrail after losing control while coming down the hill Pat couldn't get back up.
Savannah is still in Centreville with Kathy and Tom and we're hoping we can go get her tomorrow. I'm sure she's happy and content, but we miss having her around this little house on the hill.
Here are some pictures of our progress...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Julius in the snow (Take 2)...

I took Julius out in the snow this afternoon and he enjoyed it for the first five minutes... it was funny to watch him smile and play in the snow until he realized it was cold!
I'm hoping Savannah was able to get out and enjoy some of the snow while she's in West Virginia this weekend... although I do miss having her here so she can enjoy our snow (although I'm sure most of it will be here when she gets back)!

Snow, snow and more snow...

Well, Mother Nature seems to think we love the white stuff this year because she sent another eight to 10 inches our way today. Apparently it started snowing in the middle of the night and by the time I got up this morning our yard was covered in a white blanket.
I was just getting used to the brown grass of winter and now we have more snow... I certainly could have lived the rest of the winter without it!
Savannah is with Kathy and Tom this weekend and Pat has to work (he's actually spending the night in a motel because we're concerned he won't be able to get down our road tonight.
Here are a few pictures I took in the morning...

Friday, January 29, 2010

My wonderful husband...

This is now my new favorite picture of Pat... I took it as he played on the gym equipment.
He works hard to keep our family afloat and I don't appreciate him nearly enough.
We asked Kathy, Tom and Shannon if they would watch Julius for a little while last night so we could sneak off to dinner... and they were kind enough to do so.
We went to the Sweetwater Tavern, a great Tex-Mex restaurant that serve fabulous food. It is true what people say about knowing the sound of your own children and tuning other kids out. I saw several small children in the restaurant, but I didn't focus on any of them because our table was child-free!
We love the kiddies very much, but it was wonderful to have a few hours of adult conversation for a change.

Me and my babies...

I asked Pat to take some pictures of me with the kiddies because when you're behind the camera all of the time you don't get to actually see yourself. It was very windy and Savannah was being her usual uncooperative self.
Here is the best one of the bunch.

On his own...

Julius is gaining confidence in his ability to walk and it's amazing to me how fast he can go! He gets so tickled with himself as he gets to going and I think it actually causes him to topple over.
When we were at the park yesterday he did a little walking and actually fell over a couple of times... but he got back up and started walking again and then he realized he could pick up the wooden chips and tried to EAT THEM!
Here are a few of those pictures...

To the park...

We took the children to the park yesterday before going up to Centreville to take Savannah to her aunt and uncle's house for the weekend. It's been so cold here that there have been few opportunities to get out and enjoy any kind of play equipment... so when the temps were in the 50s we felt like it was a good chance to get out and enjoy part of the day.
I wanted to post a few of my favorite pictures from our visit to the church park.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Morgan Harrington...

I was buying a few groceries this afternoon when Pat called to see if I wanted to cover a press conference on Morgan Harrington, the Virginia Tech student who disappeared from a concert in October.
A farmer searching his fences for storm damages stumbled upon Morgan's skeletal remains Tuesday morning. Although police were almost certain that the remains were Morgan on Tuesday,they confirmed it Wednesday morning through dental records.
The story was for the Roanoke Times, the hometown paper for Dan and Gil Harrington, Morgan's parents. The couple, along with their son Alex, were in Charlottesville to speak to the media.
The Harringtons spoke about having some resolution and seeing their daughter's remains... Gil Harrington said that her daughter even had "lovely bones." They talked of being relieved to have a body to bury and said they are now focusing on finding Morgan's killer and a way to memorialize their daughter.
I admire their courage to hold a press conference so soon after discovering their daughter was dead. I'm not sure I would or could have done the same thing had I been in their shoes.
I spent 12 years covering courts and crime so I heard many parents talk about their dead children. All of those stories hold some memory in my mind and when I think about the most memorable cases, I think what those parents are still going through today.
Two of my former editors lost their own children to violence - both homicides - and their stories are clear in my memory. Morgan Harrington, like Mike Weaver and Micheal McQueen, were not what most people would consider candidates for meeting such violent ends.
It just goes to show you that we are all vulnerable to vioience.

Date Night Thursday...

Pat and I are hoping to get a date night tonight as my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Kathy and Tom (along with our niece Shannon), have agreed to watch both of the kiddies while we sneak away for a dinner by ourselves!
We're taking Savannah up for the weekend tomorrow afternoon and Pat has the day off so we thought we would try to squeeze in a little one-on-one time.
I was listening to a group of therapists on Dr. Phil last week talk about couples needing a date night at least once a month so they can reconnect with each other. Pat and I don't get nearly enough time with each other and it's nice to just think about having some free time to sit across the dinner table without a child throwing food on the floor or screaming for your drink!
We're not certain of our dinner destination, but we have gotten Kathy to generously agree to watch both kids for a few hours.
I've already got a few other people lined up for date night babysitting and plan to ask some of the mommies in my group if they can recommend an affordable babysitter who could watch the kids some so we can have some time to ourselves.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Old Farmer's Advice...

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It doesn't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about isn't gonna happen anyway.
Don't judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life.. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'. Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

(I found this on my Blogger friend, GrannyAnn's, blog and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you agree!)

Playtime at the Fitzgeralds...

I've been busy this week trying to finish up four freelance stories for the newspaper and have struggled to just keep my head afloat! I don't know why, but we haven't been sleeping well this week... and by we I mean no one in this house!
So I took a little down time for myself this afternoon and captured some pictures of the children playing by themselves and with each other. They really love each other (although these days it's hard to tell because Savannah attacks her brother throughout the day).
I have two healthy, beautiful children and I'm grateful for them every day... even when I find myself raising my voice more than I want to because one of them has got into something they shouldn't have.
Hope you're having a good week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Celebrating Baby Elizabeth...

We celebrated the upcoming arrival of the latest addition to the Fitzgerald clan, Baby Elizabeth.
Our niece, Shannon, and her boyfriend David are scheduled to officially meet their little girl in early March. So we gathered on Sunday afternoon to celebrate and ooh and ahh over little baby girl clothes.
Julius has a lot of cute clothes, but there is nothing that compares to little girl clothes... I guess that is why there are so many to choose from (because you want to buy them all!).
I brought my new camera along hoping to get some good shots to help mark Shannon's special day and wanted to share some of the images with you.

More photos from the baby shower...

Here are a few more pictures from the baby shower... I really enjoyed being the official photographer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Little Man Walking, Part 2...

I just realized that I didn't post a video we took over the weekend of Julius walking from the kitchen into the living room.
It's amazing to me that he's already walking as Savannah didn't really walk on her own until after her first birthday. I know that every child is different and Julius has an inspiration in his big sister, but it's scary to see how fast he's growing!

Julius at 11 months...

I can't believe that Julius is already 11 months old! Where has the time gone?
He's now up and walking on his own and I catch him walking from room to room with no trouble at all. It's scary to think how fast he's moving in the growth chart... he's now about half a head shorter than Savannah and just a few pounds lighter... it won't be long before he's bigger than she is.
Here are a few pictures I took of Julius as he sat on my lap yesterday... he's getting so big!

Visit to Pen Park...

Savannah and I joined some friends at Pen Park on Monday... the first day in a long time that we had decent weather. There were a lot of parents and children enjoying the nice day (temps were actually in the high 50s) and I was able to use my new camera to take some cool shots.
As you can see, Savannah wasn't having any part of smiling at the camera... she did ask me to take her picture when I put the camera away.
We had a nice time with our friends Jocelyn and Aidan (although Aidan wouldn't let me take a photo of him either).