Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I've always wanted to pick out my own Christmas tree and then of course have someone else cut it down.  I googled "Christmas tree farms" and found one not too far away - about 45 minutes - in Conway.  It was a perfect day weather wise - no cloud in the sky, a slight chill in the air - perfect for tree hunting in my opinion.

We didn't realize we would also experience a hayride and have acres and acres of various types of Christmas trees to choose from - bonus.  We eventually settled on a Leland Cyprus.  They have softer needles and they appear to have more texture than some of the other trees.

Evan loved being outside as usual and really liked being involved in picking out our tree.

I really enjoyed the surroundings and took advantage of having my camera in tow.  I edited these photos with various PS actions.

A perfect day in South Carolina.

Gobble Gobble

We heard "gobble gobble" all the way down to Jupiter, Fl on Tuesday.  Clearly Evan learned a new animal noise just in time for Thanksgiving.

We spent the holiday at my grandparents with my Uncle Terry and my two cousins, Mom, Todd and Aunt Franny.  It was a full house condo to say the very least so we had to be creative in what to do not to be right on top of each other the whole time.  We made a trip to the beach while others went to the Navy Seal Museum.  Some of us went shopping while others went out to lunch - it was a constant shift to prevent sitting in a hotel room or overcrowding my grandparent's home.

We dined at the Jupiter Golf Club and filled our bellies with all the usual Thanksgiving goodies.  I have to admit that I was disappointed they did not have sweet potato casserole.  That is my all-time fav Thanksgiving dish and I was bummed that I missed out.  But Mom has volunteered to throw together a secondary meal for us next week that includes a few favorites that the club did not serve.  Do I sound like a brat? :)  Probably more like a pig.  Oink, Oink - that's what I was saying the whole way home from Florida.

In addition to the holiday, we also celebrated my Grandma's 80th birthday which is actually today (Happy Birthday, Grandma - Great Mimi)  I hope I'm playing 18 holes of golf 4-5 days a week when I'm that age.  And Grandpa just turned 94 and still as sharp as ever.  Talk about longevity... 

We had a wonderful trip, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I am SO glad to be home.  Ten hours on the road felt like two days.  But Evan was awesome so that made it a bit more tolerable.  We also spent some time rattling off things we're thankful for and family was at the very top of the list - along with some other superficial items like Dunkin Donuts coffee, pacifiers and college football - but our list was long!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

School Pictures

Like I need to spend money to add to my massive picture collection of Evan - but there's something about school pictures, no matter how they turn out, that screams "memories" or, better yet, "blackmail" and entices parents to write that check.  Parents do it year after year.  My parents purchased all of our horrendous shots and Robert's parents did the same.

In many of my earlier school pictures I'm sporting what my mom referred to as the "Dorothy Hamill" hairdo.  How exactly a five year old was supposed to pull that look off still baffles me - which is why many people thought my parents had four sons rather than three. And of course there's at least six years worth of school pictures to prove it.  Like this one:

Not only is this hairdo lacking all feminine qualities (note the pseudo rat tail in the back), but I believe the Polo shirt was a hand me down from an older brother.  So much for ribbons and bows I guess.  And this picture is actually cute compared to the following five years.  My mom did make a point to throw a little make -up on my face.

Even with years of embarrassing pictures on hand I understand why parents buy school pictures.  The backdrops may be ugly, the lighting dreadful and the poses outrageously lame - but these are pictures unlike any others and they become a time line of sorts.  Not only is the change in age captured, but culture and fashion as well.  There always seems to be a great story behind each picture taken and that now rings true for Evan too.

How many parents forget that it's picture day?  Well, you can add the Stinnetts to that pool of losers.  We sent Evan to school in his closet's finest with his hair neatly combed and styled - quite the opposite actually.  Mom called him Farmer Fred when she saw the picture.  It may not be the greatest picture, but it's the first of many to come and I absolutely LOVE it - the brown, cloudy background and all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Smiley Face

Monday, November 15, 2010

MJ Turns One...Month That Is

Inspired by a photo project I saw on Young House Love, I've decided to take a picture of MJ on the 15th of every month to illustrate how she's changing month to month.  The authors of YHL have been taking pictures of their little one on a weekly basis, but I knew that would be way too ambitious for me.  Every month is more my speed and her changes will be less subtle that way.

The idea is to capture various faces and gestures, a different one each month, and dress the photo up with a background using a fun fabric.  And by putting Mattie in the same white onesie every month will provide consistency and the contrast needed to turn this project into art - maybe a photobook or calendar when completed? 

 Happy 1 Month Birthday!


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Murphy Mouth

Many of you have heard my mom or myself refer to our mouths as the "Murphy Mouth."  The Murphy Mouth is a physical characteristic that literally dominates the gene pool in our family.  It comes from my mom's side of the family - the Murphys - and is now strongly represented in the Evans' (me and my brothers), the Stinnetts (Evan and Mattie) and the newest Evans' (my brother's family - baby TJ).

I can only describe this mouth as plump.  The lips have a specific arch and are fuller than your average lips.  I've had others refer to them as Betty Boop lips.  But the appearance of the lips is not the only quality one must possess to be credited with the Murphy Mouth.  There is a certain lip trick, if you will, that the Murphy Mouth is best known for.  One must be able to arch one side of their top lip while the other side remains normal.  It doesn't matter which side as some of us are right-lipped while others are left-lipped.  For example, my mom is right-lipped and I am left-lipped.  We will be visiting the Murphy side of the family over Thanksgiving and I will be sure to document the various members who are a part of this elite group - but until then, here is an example of three generations of the Murphy Mouth.  And notice, as we age the arch becomes more pronounced.

This is the family's claim to fame.  May not be very attractive, but DAMN, that's talent!  And because Mattie is 4 weeks old today here are a few more photos.

Monday, November 8, 2010


We've had visitors every weekend since MJ's birth and, no offense to those peeps, but what was I thinking??  I was beyond exhausted and struggling just fine on my own the first few days home from the hospital, but I guess I wasn't feeling sufficiently tortured.  With that being said, after my brothers' visit this weekend I would've kept torturing myself just to have them both here a few more days.

Todd and Tim both came into town this weekend to meet Mattie J for the first time and to hang out with me, mom and the fam.  Originally, Tim's whole family was supposed to make the trip, but due to unforeseen circumstances Ruth and TJ were not able to come along.  Boo.  We were all really disappointed.  Isabel came along though and completely stole the show with her ridiculously cute personality.  It was actually quite funny watching Tim play Mr. Mom.  I was impressed how comfortable he seemed in that role.  Maybe pigs can fly after all. Just kidding, Tim.  I knew you had it in you.

With only two short days to spend we crammed in college football, seafood, the beach, the zipline and more football.   Again, tiring, but totally worth it.  And the weather turned out to be beautiful.  A tad bit chilly, but sunny as can be.

I've managed to get my mom to move here - now I need to work on Todd and Tim.  I miss my family.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Well Visit

I took Mattie to the pediatrician today for her very first well visit.  At two weeks she is giving her brother a run for his money in the percentile categories.   Not only is my big girl back to her birth weight, but she has gained an additional 1.9 lbs putting her current weight at 10.1 lbs.  She weighs more than 90% of babies her own age and gender (90th percentile).  As far as height, she's sprouting like a weed.  She has gone from 21.25 " to 22.10" catapulting her into the 95th percentile.  And then of course the head - not off the charts like Evan, thank goodness, but still in the "rather large" department.  She is in the 90th percentile at 39 cm.

Nothing but good things to report which always makes for a nice visit.  In addition to that Mattie is feeding well  (obviously ) and her demeanor is nothing like her bro so far.  For those of you that don't know, that is a very good thing.  She is very sweet and completely content unless of course there's a dirty diaper to report or a feeding that needs to happen.  No sweat.

So far - happy mama!