Veni, Vidi, Ricci

I wish I could say I promise more words later, but alas, that would make me a liar. So photos will have to do – and let’s be serious, that’s all anyone really wants to peruse on this here blog. Chris and I trekked to Jacksonville a few weeks back for a family wedding/anniversary/hang out with good people. Per usual, we went and hung out with this funky bunch and a few of our faves, the Riccis. I may adore them a little… or a lot.

Asher
Avery
Noah

Tanner

So, Ricci’s, ya’ll ready to head west so we can do this every day? 🙂

Judah, not pictured here, is the oldest. He had important business of school to tend to for such backyard shenaniganizing.

Dita

Noah has a friendgirl.

He “calls” her on the phone frequently.

“hi dita. it’s noah.”

what you doing? i’m working.”

“bye bye dita. wuv you.”

Sweet, two year old Noah. Guard your heart, my boy.

And please, stay away from the cougars – no matter how cool they are.

 

Carolina On My Mind

It’s wild to think that it’s been four years since I was packing the car to head to Ridgecrest for my last summer on the mountain. It’s even harder to believe that it’s been ten summers since my first on staff – and eighteen since my first summer as a camper.  Man, time flies.

But I sure am thankful for the friends that I didn’t have to leave on the mountain.

Four short (or long?) years – weddings, births, adventures, moves cross country – later and here we are, still the best of friends:

…enjoying being a newlywed…
…having, holding, & loving babies…

 

Can’t wait to see ya’ll on the other side of the mountain… hopefully soon.

One.Three

 

The Murphys + The Fords
Beth, Chris, Noah, Lee, Benjamin, & Daniel – and Heloise is in the photo above.

 

Who knew when I moved to Tallahassee seven years ago and got involved at the FSU Reservation that I would:

  1. Meet my Outdoor Adventure TA. Fall in love. Get Married. Start a family. Oh, and the teacher of the class? Mr. Lee Murphy.
  2. Discover and rediscover things I am passionate in a way that I never would have imagined – camp, kids, Jesus, the mountains, climbing, Chris, adventure, ministry.
  3. Change my major three times until I finally found Rec & Leisure, mostly to the credit of Mr. Murphy (pictured above).
  4. Begin and nurture a friendship that wasn’t at all likely or usual – but has grown and developed over the past seven years, continues to encourage and bring us joy, and will surely last a lifetime.

The Fords are so thankful to have been able to spend the day over in Ft. Walton with the Murphy fam when we were home for Christmas. Noah met and played with Daniel and Benjamin, two of the most sweet-spirited and fun-loving little fellas I know. Lee took us on a tour of Eglin, his new horizon of outdoor bliss, grubbed real good at Five Guys, played in little boy heaven full of trucks and legos and blocks at the Murphy casa, and had great conversation.

These folks mean a great deal to us – as individuals and as a family. We’ve learned in our short marriage that it’s not about age, location, or much else other than a common thread that binds two (or four or six or….) people together. It doesn’t really matter what that thread is – ours happens to be a love for Jesus and hippies. And Jesus loving hippies… think about that one for a minute.

We’re proud to call them friends, family. We look forward to many more adventures and chances to get outside and play on life’s long journey…

One.One

In the spirit of the monthly blogs I used to do way back when Noah was still a baby, I thought I would continue on the tradition with a little twist. As it is December already (Father Time, slow your role) I am clearly way behind, but better late than never, right?

So here’s how it will go – on the 2nd of each month (or darn near close) I will post a photo or two of my favorite moment of that previous month. I am sure everyone is scratching their noggins trying to figure how in the world I will choose just one, and believe me, it will be tough, but I will search deep within to come up with something grand.

And THEN, it’s your job to come up with a fun caption for the photo – and leave it here in a comment.

So let’s start with October, shall we?

 

Lumberjack & Monkey

And because rules are meant to be broken, here’s one more:

The daddy & his boy...

That’s a whole lot of cuteness in one place.

And there’s plenty more where that came from…

Twelve: Round Two

Alright. It’s kind of fun having a “toddler”, I’ll admit – even if he doesn’t toddle (that’s a real word – no red squiggly line) real well and is starting to practice for the Troublesome/Terrific/Terrible/Transformative Atti-Twos. I love him to pieces – sometimes so much my heart aches. I love to watch him play and discover, figure things out, test his limits (he is quite fond of this one), and wonder what is going on in that little brain of his. His imagination already runs wild, I can see it in his eyes. Most days are filled with laughs and games and looks of mutual adoration, often started off with a good morning smooch from the little guy – but I will confess we are entering the phase where the discipline part is kicking into gear, and I am not sure yet how good we are going to be at this part. More to come on that at a later date…

I love being a mama, especially to this little guy:


Noah’s Birthday Invite that never got printed or sent…whatever.

…and even if he does call me “Beb”, here are a few (or twelve) reasons why, in no particular order:

1. He loves Florida State football – not so much the arena in which it is played, just the team itself. He loves them so much that he had an anal volcano ALL over his seat, shorts, hands, and Grammy Nan just as we were pulling into our parking spot for the game. Perfect. I recently heard that the “adventure only begins when everything else has gone to s#*t” – wise, wise sensei.


Exhausted much? It’s hard work being a Nole.
Sidenote: He’s worn this jersey every game day except Oklahoma.
We aren’t superstitious.

2. Clap on – (clap-clap). Clap off – (clap-clap). Noah has the clap down to a patty cake. I even fed him pancakes the other morning and when I was telling him what it was he started clapping. And the part where you “throw it in the pan” he starts to duck for cover from tickling fingers.

3. Wagging. Taking a walk with a wagon – wagging. This kid loves all things wagon – riding, snacking, pushing, throwing – if he can do it in/to a wagon, count him in.

Wagging is whoa-some for the wandering wagger.

Look closely – it was chicken pox season.

He is riding in his Quarantine Wagon.

4. White boy can dance – well, as rhythmically as his genes allow. The best is that once he starts flailing his arms to the beat he expects everyone else to do the same. And we do. The other day Chris said, “Why does he think that just moving his arms is dancing?” – to which I responded by showing him, in close proximity to his face, the flailing about that we’ve been inherently teaching for the past 12 months when anything resembling a tune is played. And to that all he could say was, “Oh…”.

Go Pack – only when in the presence of Uncle D…
5. Noah plays peek-a-boo now – where he is the “peeker”. He will play with most anyone anytime he has something to hide behind – sometimes even himself in the mirror (obviously my favorite to watch). Fair warning: if the object is mobile, watch your face. You’ve been warned.

Peek--a-boo!

6. We have had enough parties to get us through until he’s three. Yep, three celebrations of Noah’s first year of life: Fairhope, Clyde, and Ten Mile. Each one full of love, laughs, friends, family, food, and fun. The Fairhope party is where we gave him his very own chocolate cake – I have been told since the day he was born that his first cake MUST be chocolate so it shows up in the pictures. And show up it did:

‘Scuse me, sir. It is not your birthday.
Please step away from the cake.
I think he liked it.
Finger-lickin’ good.Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere.
Clean up, clean up, get the chocolate out of your hair.
(Pay no mind to the green gob-lin doing the spraying.)
“diss?”Party numero dos at the Giusti casa. He’s not very excited about it.Noah and GiuGiu – she knows how to get down.Mason’s face says it all – ha! Love it.

We are thankful for everyone who helped us welcome Noah Matthew into the world a year ago and for everyone who has grown to love him since. We are beyond blessed with the family-by-blood and the family-by-love that surround us.

7. Noah took his second trip to Boone, NC to hang out with Aunt KD & Uncle Dan – and he let us come along, too. Sleeping in the closet went better than before, the little doggies were slightly more tolerant of the other four-legged creature in their midst, wedding things were accomplished, autumn weather was enjoyed, Florida State football was watched, and Green Bay shirts were worn.

Football & snacks with daddy –
sounds like a good Saturday afternoon combo to me.
I love the mountains…I love the rolling hills…I love the Noah and all his simple thrills…

8. Noah has always been a great sleeper – I mean, phenomenal. During his twelfth month he decided that not only is he going to be a great sleeper, but he think he likes being a night owl as well. Down between eight and nine (usually), wakes between eight and nine. Yes, please. Sign me up. AND he still takes a beast of a nap or two during the day – two plus hours per nap. So for those of you (Aunt Meg) who said that “all babies wake between 6:30am and 7am because they are babies and that is what they do and I should just go on and forget about not being a morning person” – you are welcome to sleep in at my house any day. Knock on a big ole piece of wood…

Sleepy McGeeface

9. For the first time in his life Noah got to have all four grandparents all to himself for a whole weekend! We went down to Pensacola/Tallahassee/Fairhope over Labor Day weekend to go to a football game, John Mayer concert, and to celebrate Noah’s first year with all of our FL/AL family. While ‘beb’ and daddy were with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Paul, Noah was hamming it up with his four grand parental units. Scary thought, I know. The amount of sugary love in that room must have been stifling.

A whole lot of this was happening…
while chaos ensued.We look pretty wild, eh?Prom Pose
Watch out – that’s how babies happen.

(On prom night? What exactly does that mean?
This post must be running way too long.
Almost over, I promise.)
10. Sippy cups are old news, we have moved on to the straw in this house. Blessing and a curse: 1) He wants to get his grubby little hands on everything with a straw – my drink, your drink, the people at the next table’s drink. 2) He has “forgotten” how to tip his sippy cup and drink on his own. Convenient. 3) Meltdown will occur when straw-drinker does not immediately surrender said-drink to the boy. Public spectacle = Slightly embarrassing.

11. I mentioned this before, though I feel it is worth listing here as well. We are ween-ers here in the Fab Ford Fam. No more boob for the little one. He decided it was for babies and very easily and naturally moo-ved on. Amen? Amen.

Any suggestions of how to get him to drink this instead-
without putting chocolate in it?


12. And last, but certainly not least, as this one is probably the biggest milestone of all – for all parties involved: Noah spent his first night away from us and his bed. BIG step – more for us than him. It was very strange not having him with us and felt like we were being irresponsible at times – like we had left him somewhere on accident. Mama Bo and Papa Bo took him with them over to the Giusti house for a few days so that Chris and I could get the house together for Noah’s party and spend a little bit of time just the two of us. We went to the climbing gym, to a movie, dinner, and just relaxed. It was wonderful to have the together time, but it felt even better to have Noah home.

That’s a whole lot of little boy lovin’ right there.


Wow. Big month for our not-so-little guy. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year (plus) since he changed our lives and hearts forever. Our love for him is worldly and imperfect, yet mighty and unconditional. I would easily give my life for his, my tears for his pain, my joy for his sadness. If knowing that I could protect him from hard lessons and uphill battles would provide for him the best possible outcome, I would – but I know better than to think I know what’s best. We love him more than there are stars in the sky, but only his Maker knows that count…

The next update is just around the corner… but here are a few blogs to be looking for: 180 South, 3 Cords, Etsy (gulp)…

Fall Friskies

Orange. Red. Yellow. Crunching. Leaves. Chai Tea. Thanksgiving. Hammocks. All Things Pumpkin. Cool Breeze. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Socks with Chacos. Long Sleeves. Festivals. Halloween (OK- really just the candy). Harvest. Change. Fireplace. Crisp Air.

I. Love. All. Things. Autumn.

I think I am not going to call it Fall anymore. Typically when something falls it breaks, shatters, hurts itself – all not-so-very-fun things. And Autumn is so very fun.

I have decided to make a list – a list of projects I want to take on this Autumn for no other reason than they will bring me joy:

  • Dig up hosta plants that have taken over my yard. They are pretty and apparently expensive but I don’t have a desire for 9,374 of them in my yard. I would like to plant other things – like tulips or carrots.
Hosta la vistaHello, pretty spring time flowers!
  • Build chicken coop (I originally spelled this “coup” – and then laughed at the image of a bunch of chickens living in a rag-top hatchback) with my dad. Yes, it’s happening. This spring we will get chickens. I haven’t decided yet if we will try to hatch them or try to acquire them post-brooding, depends on how in touch with my roots I am willing to go. Chicken pox, you don’t scare me.
Welcome home, chickens.
  • Hang our hammock. Sadly we have moved two hammocks to three houses and have yet to put either one of them up to enjoy since Kansas City where it’s a frozen tundra three-fourths of the year. (I’m not bitter.) Operation: Hammock may happen this afternoon – I have to check with my boss. The little boss.
I need a lot more of this in my life… just up off the ground.
  • Sew. Sew. Sew. My goal is to make a stockpile of hand-grown goodness to sell on (deep breath) Etsy and then the Market Square Farmers Market next season. I also have Christmas gift dreams to fulfill as well. I think I will need to tune up my machine to prepare it for the storm – anyone know how to do that? Cinderelly, Cinderelly…
The dress I made for a little one who is loving life in the womb.
Come on out and meet the world, sweet girl.

  • Research and plan a year-round garden based on the Vegetannual starting in the spring to further our attempt at becoming locavores (Folks who eat local, in-season food as best they can). I gladly welcome any pointers. I am not trying to feed Roane County, just our little family and enough to can/freeze for the cold months.
Yummy – now when do I plant y’all in East Tennessee?
  • Paint our dreary living area. I say “living area” because it is just that – our kitchen, living room, dining room, entry way, sewing nook are all one big room. And the color on the wall is about as exciting as a root canal.
I am digging this color or something similar – bright and inviting.
I also like the green of the next room.

  • Create a business card. (Listen, I know I am nothing fancy, but a girl can dream.) Tell me what you think.
  • Throw my almost-one-year-old the most incredible birthday celebration this side of the Mississippi. I know, I am running behind, but this chicken pox stuff has thrown me for a loop – and now I am rethinking the original theme. This is what happens when I have too much time to think…
Celebrating a little early with Uncle Matt & Aunt Heather.
We are working on the whole “thank you” thing…
  • Carve pumpkins and reminisce on previous pumpkin carving parties. Do they have pumpkins in the northwest?
We’ve got mad pumpkin-carving skills in this neck of the woods.
Too bad half of our neck has run off…

  • Take a trip or two to the mountains. It’s always good to go home.
Back porch view from HiZi – such is life.

Whew. I better stop while I’m way already way behind. Three days, folks, until the Autumn equinox. I’ve got a lot of goodness on my plate – how about you? What are your favorite things about the season formerly known as Fall?

Spread the K-Love

I am not sure who started this little dance, between the two of them, but I think it is fair to say that they are both equally entertained. Monkey see, monkey do – at it’s best. Noah will have him jumping through hoops by the end of the second visit.

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

I love this fella. The little one and the big one.
Thank God for strong, amazing friends who weather the storms, bring the sunshine, and make you laugh regardless of the forecast.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Meet my fellow mama-friend, Liz, creative and artsy as all get out. We go way back to Crestridge where she and I, along with two other wonderful gals, shared a 700 square foot cabin, surely built at least 50 years ago. And I may be generous with the 700…oh, if only walls could talk. She was the Crafts Director that summer – very fitting, you’ll see – and promised to spend her life with a sailor as well. Big summer all around for that little cabin.

Liz is wildly creative, in words and craft, and keeps me well entertained on her blog with her hilarious stories of motherhood, wifedom, and her candid thoughts on religion and politics. Mostly, I love to see what handmade good she comes up with next… and lucky for me (and you!) she opened up shop on Etsy to sell her amazingly precious skirts for little ladies and eventually these awesome little superhero capes for the little dudes. I highly recommend checking her out, you won’t be disappointed.


In celebration of the shop opening, and because she’s cool like that, Liz ran a contest on her blog to win either one of her skirts or capes. Though Noah could definitely pull off the skirt because he is that cute, I opted to enter for the cape (to keep peace in the house)…
AND WE WON!

This is not the actual cape, though it does don an “N” – Noah’s will be some combination of green, blue, and yellow because those are his favorite colors, he told me last week.

So in the spirit of Labor Day (what does this holiday actually celebrate, anyone?) go check out Liz’s labors of love and creativity… and her kid is pretty terrific as well. It’s well worth the time – and what’s better than handmade loveliness?