Friday, July 30, 2010

The race to the blocks

Henry gets so excited when he sees his blocks stacked up. All he wants to do is knock them down. As soon as he sees them, he begins to pant with excitement. It's hilarious. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Greenville Day 2

Our time in Greenville has come to an end. It was magical. I can't believe I've been gone from there for over THREE years! But you know how it is with real don't miss a beat.

We spent the morning of our second day downtown. It was HOT, but we just had to take Henry. We walked through the market (which is about 4 times bigger than when I lived there) and ended up making a stop to get some of the greatest grits of all time. If you think you don't like grits, you have never had these. Amazing!

From there, we wondered down Main Street to enjoy the park. They have a kid's fountain there where, on a day when the temperature topped out over 100, it turns into a kid's and adult's fountain. Poor Henry was so hot that we dipped his toes in and poured some on his head in a effort to cool him off long enough to get him to the car.

From there we quickly visited our friends, the Stricklers (not to be confused with the Stricklands). Rebecca was out of town; but we got to see Jeremy and their precious son Caedman. What a doll!

After a nap and some much-needed a/c, we got to hang out with our hosts, and dear friends, the Herrings.

Our trip ended with a visit with our friends the Zwolinskis, otherwise known as the couple trying for FOUR YEARS to adopt 3 siblings from Peru. Well, the adoption came through and we got to meet all 3 of the kiddos. They are doing awesome. It was wonderful to catch up with Tina and John.

We are happy to be home and get Henry back into his crib. But a big part of my heart will always be in South Carolina.

Thank you friends for a wonderful visit!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Greenville, thus far

Yesterday was one of those days that I wish I could re-live a hundred times. It was so amazing. Full of amazing friends, fond places, lots of memories and love!

We woke up yesterday morning and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with the Herrings. Henry managed to conk out before we could get any photos. But we're hoping to remedy that today.

Here is Henry enjoying his temporary digs:

After our breakfast, we headed out for one of the greatest little corners of the world, Furman. We met Chrissy, Jamie and the girls there. It was wonderful to be there and to connect, but this was a very special gathering. It was the big introduction of Brooke and Henry. Now, no pressure or anything...but I think Chrissy's older two figured out the importance of this moment and prior to it were encouraging Brooke to behave. HA! She did, of course, and I do believe Henry was a bit overwhelmed by her beauty and charm.

I mean come on...who doesn't see the magic in this moment...

Jamie was there, too. But somehow I missed him with the camera. Here is Anna Beth and Sarah. Love those girls!

First family photo at Furman.
Chrissy & Henry.

Henry, Chrissy, me and Brooke.

Our evening was spent at Cat & Erik's with the Fab Four. It was the first time me, Tobi, Brooke & Cat were all together since our wedding a couple of years ago. Walking in to Cat's house and seeing those beautiful faces of my friends sent tears streaming down a few faces. It was one of those really sweet moments in life.

And to celebrate, Tobi popped open a bottle of champagne that she had been saving for a special occassion. It was indeed special!

I love this photo of Tobi & Henry!

I also got to meet sweet Halle for the first time and, let me just say, I am in love. She is the most amazing baby girl. It was precious to get to hold her and sing to her. (I don't want to brag or anything...but I think she liked me!)

Here are Henry and Halle hanging out together. The two Hs!! What a moment!

I'm so thankful we caught them on video. I tried about 6 times to take a photo and both of these little ones are so darn wiggly that there was one limb or head or something that ended up blurry in the pic. Here is the least blurry--where Henry is trying to steal Halle's paci. You know what they say, they only pick you on you when they like you. Just remember that, Halle!

As we begin Greenville Day 2, I can only imagine what is in store today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We have a crawler!!!

Henry and I were playing with his basket of stuffed animals in his bedroom yesterday afternoon. I was chatting with my mom on the phone when I started screaming in her ear. HENRY!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! ARE YOU CRAWLING??? OHMYGOSH!!

He never once did the typical rocking thing. He just pushed up on all 4s and started crawling. So adorable!

He is a little sleepy tonight. So he wasn't interested in doing too much for the video camera. But we caught a glimpse of it for you!

Becca and Gram! I can't believe you missed this by one week!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Henry's Photo Shoot with Baxton

Some of you know our friend John Baxton. He, his wife Margaret and their adorable son John are dear friends. They are part of the AVP / UVa family and were the family I stayed with for 2 weeks when I moved to Charlottesville before our apartment was ready. John has discovered a hidden talent with the camera and has begun to invest a lot of time in honing it. We were VERY happy to be subjects for his practice. He is incredibly gifted. Enjoy this wonderful photos!

(This one is pretty darn funny!)

Charles Stanton is HERE!!

Charles Stanton Dodson arrived on Monday, July 12th at 11:55 pm. He was 21" long and weighed 8 lb 6 oz. If anyone is keeping track, those are Henry's exact same statistics! How funny.

Krista delivered him at home beautifully! She is absolutely amazing. We headed over to Richmond first thing on Tuesday morning to meet our nephew (it is going to take some time to get used to saying that).

It is amazing to see exactly how much Henry has grown. He looked SO BIG next to his little cousin. And as Andrew said, "Henry was never this small." It really is hard to remember him being so tiny.

The beautiful Dodson clan...there are the "four." Greg and Krista have been saying they'd have four kids forever. And here they are--our four precious nieces and nephew. I love this photo!

Gwenny with her little brother:

Addie and Kesiah looking like total pros with Baby Charlie.

Charlie and Henry--may the craziness commence!

Uncles and Nephews: Greg & Henry and Andrew & Charlie!

Great-Mema, Grandaddy & Doug

Last weekend, we also have a special visit from my grandparents. They were staying with my uncle Doug in Blacksburg and stopped by on their way back to Virginia Beach. It is always wonderful to see them with their 10th great-grandchild...and their first great-grandson.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Playing catch up

We've had an eventful week or so. Last Friday evening we went to Richmond to celebrate Tina and Steve's betrothal. No photographic evidence, so you'll have to take my word that it was lovely and that "betrothal" is a real word. Linda and David were kind enough to to come to Charlottesville and watch Henry for us that night so that we could get away.

On Saturday, little Henry finally got to meet his Aunt Becca. She and Gram flew in from Texas and got to spend a few days with everybody's favorite tiny Breen-shaped person. Although the iffy weather prevented us from going swimming like we wanted to, there was plenty of fun to be had in the great indoors.

Becca won the award for Least Messy Henry-Feeder

Mom brought Henry this cute little outfit that, sadly, is just a liiiiiiiittle too small. Henry was totally at ease here on Becca's lap, but his ready-to-bust-out belly button sort of dominates the action.

We loved having them visit. Henry told me he doesn't want to wait until December to see Aunt Becca again. Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Special Thank You

As you know, my mom did one of those amazing things for us that only moms do. She commuted for 7 consecutive weeks--up on Monday nights, home on Thursday nights--to keep Henry until our day care started for him when I went back to work. I had been thinking for weeks how to do something special for her that would try to express how grateful we were to her.

I had the idea of commissioning a painting from our friend Juli Kalbaugh. Not only is she an awesome artist, she is a fantastic listener and I knew that she would hear my heart and create something really wonderful for mom. So a couple of months ago, she and I sat over coffee to discuss the project. I shared with her how much I'd learned about my own mom after having become a mother, myself. I knew...I mean, I really knew what it meant to love your child and be willing to do anything for them.

My mom has a long history of doing extraordinarily unselfish things for me and Greg (my brother) and our families. But now, I really understood the motivation behind them--that unconditional, heaven-sent, maternal love. It is a wondrous thing.

So, I told Juli that my hope for the painting for mom was that it would express that wondrous, maternal love.

Mom came up last night and I was able to present her with the painting. Thankfully, she loved it. Not that I had any is absolutely perfect:

Thank you so much, Juli. What a gift you have been to me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Somehow we managed to not take any pictures of Henry on the 4th. Rest assured, he was cute in his little American Flag onesie and American Flag bib (both made in China.) Our little patriot was a trooper in the brutal heat, and enjoyed yet another dip in Mike & Barb's pool.

My Dad went to visit his mother ("Nana," to me) on her 93rd birthday. She oohs and ahhs over Henry, and pictures of him decorate her room. Here, Dad delivers on his promise to get a picture of Nana looking at one of our favorite photos of Henry. Her dementia is such that she doesn't understand the nature of her relationship to her only great-grandchild, but she does know, like the rest of us do, that Henry is a special little dude, and that's enough. We hope that we're able to introduce him to his "great-Nana" when we visit Texas at Christmastime.

Gram (Judy) comes to visit this weekend, and she's bringing Aunt Becca with her!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

I'm sure we'll have more pictures of today's festivities. But we'd like to begin the day with a few of our favorite renditions of our National Anthem: