Monday, January 30, 2012

happy 8th birthday douglas

how is Douglas 8 years old? I remember when he was born like it was yesterday. We hadn't had a new baby in our family for about 5-6 years so he was a breath of fresh baby air. And 8 years later, I couldn't think of a sweeter picture than seeing him with his Papa driving his racing boat on the lake.
Douglas is smart as a whip and has such a zest for life and such a soft heart for everyone around him. I hope grady is like him 7 years from now when he's 8. And as handsome as a fox!

opening up one of his big presents and of course it didn't come easy. A scavenger hunt created by Grandpa to sweeten the deal that much more.

Grace holds Grady like it's effortless and Grady doesn't ever know what to think. He doesn't cry and he doesn't smile. Just flops around awkwardly with the deer in the headlights look. ADORABLE!!!!

"Hey, I think I really love you because you always make me feel included." -Grady Wayne, Age 1

bday girl wanna be...

i seriously want this framed 16x20 for Papa for father's day.

or this one.

these pictures are totally priceless (lol on lily's face checking him out trying to figure out how she feels about Papa she doesn't see very often)

deep thoughts by Lily Grace...
this was the fastest racing boat I've ever seen. it took off and I think it even left a wake.

Happy Birthday Douglas. We were so happy seeing you opening all of your presents and the joy on your face, but in reality you are such a gift to all of us!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


We've been pretty spoiled with visitors and upcoming planned visits from family and friends to soften the fall of moving far away from loved ones. Time together was something we used to take for granted and there was an intense comfort in knowing we were always around the corner for a play date, a quick trip to see the sunset or meet for a drink just because.

We were lucky to have a visit from Aunt Jennifer and I thought she was going to swallow L&G up whole with the quality time they had together. Sometimes I felt like the 4th wheel when I was with them because they were off in their own little world. And I couldn't be happier seeing them feed off each other in the love fest. As soon as Lily and Grady woke up, they headed straight to Aunt Jennifer's room for some kisses, hugs and snuggles.
And books.

and more books...

seriously who looks happier here? I call a tie.

and we kept busy as usual. A visit to Chuck is always in order...

hugs all around...(lily insisted on the boots and I happily obliged)

and kisses too...

and for some reason the amazing zoo here has a merry-go-round in it too....not sure I see the connection between the natural habitats of zoo life and a merry go round, but Lily isn't asking any questions. Grady wasn't a fan of the ride, but felt safer in grandma's lap.

and pizza dates trying to find our favorite pizza joint in town is becoming harder than expected because we're a fan of every place...

Lily is turning into a little nerd practicing her letters, tracing, coloring, and doing dot to dots around the clock. We still think she might be ambidextrous because she'll alternate between left and right hand freely. (note use of right hand)

and a trip to Chili's is our default watering hole where someone always cries....most happy tears, but sometimes the sharing your deepest heart thoughts tears too.(mom was standing on chair taking this)

and here's 2 pictures from christmas that got lost in the shuffle of the move 4 days after the big holiday. Love this picture of her writing a letter to Santa at Flesher farms...(note use of left hand)

and this of us dancing under the moonlight. I remember both of us missing David so much on this night because we were creating memories without him, but pushing through knowing we'd be reunited soon enough and also feeling lucky enough to have dad and jen go with me to share the experience. I promised Lily in just few more days and daddy would be home every night. That was all she needed to hear. And that she got to come back with just daddy that weekend.

life is good.

Friday, January 13, 2012


They say "Home is Where the Heart Is" and i wanna spray paint that on our garage door because the hutchesons are all collectively exhaling a sigh of relief that we're back together under one roof. the kids are happier and in turn so are we because as my dad/dr. phil says you're only as happy as your saddest child and I'm gonna spray paint that on our roof. Our weekends used to be cluttered with catching up from the week, decompressing, cleaning, packing, squeezing in quality time with the few hours we had together and now we can take that time together a little bit more for granted and fill it with quality time doing fun normal stuff that families do together. Normal is overused because there's nothing normal about our family, but relief and exhaling are emotions we're all feeling. I just mean normal things like trips to target with one child for some bonding time and forgetting the seatbelt.

or trips to chuck-e-cheese which is around the corner from us and the cheapest date with kids I can ever imagine. I always assumed Chuck-e-Cheese was overpriced, but boy was I wrong. Lily asks to go almost everyday. I try to mix up our outings , but she'd go there 7 days a week if she could.

G would do anything on any given day. he's just happy to be around people. he's suuuuch a social butterfly!

he makes friends wherever we go and he's never known a stranger in his life. everyone is his friend and his life is just one big party. no idea who this boy is, but g wanted to be his friend (excuse the no shoes. he was 'supposed' to stay in the stroller for our quick trip that wasn't quick)

and he's as sweeet as he looks. blows kisses non stop, is always on a mission of exploring, but will stop spontaneously and give random kisses, hugs and says "ha" for "hi" 43x a day.

and our little diva who has to have more necklaces on than Mr. t before she leaves the house. i've seen such a cosmic shift in her's a combination of growing and being back to the routine of having daddy come home every night for dinner. she still asks everyday if he's coming home even though she already knows the answer; it's like she's looking for that reassurance so she can exhale too.

having douglas and grace down the street has been awesome for everyone.

moving day playing a few more hours on our fun patio....

and kids at the park playing with their aunties while mom and dad huffed and puffed packing the moving truck.

the libraries here are off the's like a quiet amusement park

with centers and stations setup like a classroom.

and a place for snack breaks...

and feels normal to have show and tell in our backyard...

and nothing better than visitors from naples to make our new house into a our favorite watering hole we can't go to unless we're all together under the same jalepeno.

have i mentioned how crazy g is? i'm talking wild with no fear for anything and a little daredevil. You'd think this was chocolate pudding on his face or maybe some veggies, but no, it's a dirt pile he went face first into during one of his adventures. Dirt doesn't stop him.

or stop the smiling...

lily's reaction to grady's daredevil-ness cracks me up...she's always been such a safe, rule following kid who talks about the "manger" ("manager") at every store we go to making sure she doesn't do the wrong thing so she is horrified and aghast by his behavior.

such a cute picture of molly's 3 kids. (yes dan is one of them)

for some reason lily had the serious munchies at the zoo and ate more that day than she does in a week....digging for gold.

love this shot and i know grady wanted to be up there too - he loves to climb and im terrified when he perfects this more than he does now. he'll scale that wall in a minute once he figures it out.

although i hate the cold weather (im such a wimp) kids somehow look cuter in warm clothes...i see a lot of the back of grady as he's running off into the crowds with no care in the world where his mom or dad is...

while lily is always closeby amazed by his independence...

she used to wail at the sight of furry characters, but now she can't keep her hands off of them.

oh how we love me some monkey joes. google them. find one closeby and go. it's the cleanest bounce house place i've ever been to and bounce houses as big as the moon. we just bought a frequent swinging card so we'll be there weekly for sure!

Although I dont know what "normal" is, i just feel a sense of normalcy doing normal family things and knowing there's support here for our family and knowing our family and friends we so dearly love are only 2 hours away which feels like a hop skip and a jump these days! I wanna always remember how hard it was to be a fragmented family so I can appreciate the family time even when there's normal frustrations of daily life; i'll hold onto that feeling to help me on those put those pull my hair out moments and help put everything into perspective.
life is good.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

feeling settled...

our lives were turned upside down 6 months ago and we've been fighting for firm footing ever since.

it's been a rocky road for sure and a long one to get there. packing up our beloved house with a 1 and 3 year old and david away was nearly impossible, but somehow it all was finished at the 11th hour. Since then we've been unpacking like crazy people trying to attain that feeling of settled and contentment within and as a family.

i've been hyperorganized labeling everything from my jeans to my underwear and working morning noon and night to get every last box empty, piece of furniture in place and wall hanging hung. Other than a few wall hangings, we're FINALLY all moved in and feeling settled. (cue nerd chanting with the labels).

moving at the new year is great timing because you can hit the top 3 resolutions at once...1. spend less money because you find clothes and goodies you never knew you had, 2. lose weight because of the stress of moving and 3. purge and be more organized because you unearth every belonging and have to make decisions about where everything will go again and giving it away is sometimes faster than finding another spot for the crap.

lunch break from the madness using lily's tiny art table chairs.

our house was torn apart from all the packing and we lost our dining room table for a couple of days...lily was a trooper through it all and improvised mixing it up.

and grady? he just keeps running and smiling through anything.

they were so exhausted, this tasted like a gourmet meal...

our poor garbage collector at our new house as we ransacked through every box and with every pickup, we look a little more trashy

previous to our moving day, david and family would take over a load of c....r....a....p with each trip over to the east coast. we estimated about 15 trips with different SUVs, we rented the biggest truck that uhaul made

aaaaaaaaaaaand we still didn't have enough room for it all. so we had to rent a trailer to trail behind the uhaul and we still have some stuff left in naples. Not much left, but it's still unreal how much crapola we have! (man, do i wanna curse the word the rhymes with mitt)

please stop the madness...

blech.....i was disgusted with all the stuff that just didn't stop coming...

neverending schmitt everywhere....

my car jam packed to the gills with just hanging clothes. there's nothing worse that moving hanging clothes because the clothes always fall off the hangers, they all get tangled up and it's neverending....

seeing the movers gently manhandle our precious belongings left a lump in my throat....

and this sight about swallowed me whole...

when the lump and tears flowed, i'd just chant to myself, 'this is best for our family. for david. for lily. for grady. for me." knowing it was wholeheartedly.

and now we're working like mad to make our new house a home

and finding our way exploring around a new town. (my dad mailed me this handmade ruler drawn map when I told him how lost i keep getting on routine errands)

and settling into our new normal; attaining our footing again; feeling secure, settled, a sense of wholeness, content and at peace being reunited as a family of 4 under the same roof with no work trips to pack for, no goodbyes to daddy, and no counting the days until he returns. replacing those yucky feelings with dancing, family dinners, handheld prayers, bike rides, and neverending play time mixed with lots of storytime....(jen turned our energizer bunny grady into a true bookworm suddenly)

life is good.