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Ava Elisabeth: June 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

50th Birthday Party


Adam’s mom turned 50 this year, so his dad came to me about having her a surprise party at our house. So of course, being the type of person I am, immediately began planning a party and of course, everything had to be the same theme. I begin working on Ava’s party details 6 months before her actual party, a lot of that has to do with July and August being so busy for me, but a big reason is that I like for all the little details to be in sync and that can’t happen with my schedule and personality if I wait until the last minute.


I decided to do a pink lemonade theme and everything be all about pink lemonade. We had cupcakes from Cami Cakes and they were delicious as always. I also made these pink lemondade cakes in a jar. They were so easy and I made the cakes part the night before and covered them so I didn’t have to worry with it on the day of the party. The whipped topping had melted down a little by the time I took this picture, but they did turn out cute. We also had pink lemonade to drink. Of course we had our master griller (Adam) grill hamburgers and hot dogs and coleslaw, baked beans, chips and dip. Your typical backyard bar-b-q food.


Kids swam (or played in girly toddler toys :) ) while all the adults socialized. I love having a pool. It makes it nice for everyone to be able to get together and an easy thing for the kids to do without any clean-up. Plus it allows the adults to have adult conversation and the kids end up going home tired from all the swimming.

We had asked Adam’s parents to “come eat” that night. Using the excuse that it was an early celebration for Father’s day and their birthdays since they are the 21st and 24th of June. (*Side note- We have Father’s day usually around the 20th of June- this year the 18th, Mrs. Karen’s birthday on the 21st, my dad’s birthday on the 22nd, and Mr. Mickey’s birthday on the 24th- geesh!) We have a wedding on Father’s day weekend and are pretty busy that following week- thru the weekend so we thought it really was a legit reason, apparently she bought it :)


Of course Ava had to help open the gifts- that’s her favorite thing to do- she doesn’t even care if it isn’t for her (although I know she would prefer it to be – haha!)


Adam, Myself, Ava, Brian, and Kristin all went in together and gave them a night away at a resort. We thought it was something they would enjoy, plus, I always view gifts as something you give someone they wouldn’t normally do for themselves, but would like to do and I thought this was perfect.


Before it was over, we decided to break out the Wii and Just Dance. Caroline had never done it before, so we had a lot of fun with it. Adam and I danced and then I took on Marty and Caroline and then Adam danced against Caroline. We all had a great time laughing, especially at Adam who makes the moves look like they hurt- haha!


I love how Ava is in the corner of the picture dancing away. She loves the dance games and does a pretty good job. She doesn’t hold the remote, but she tries her hardest to copy the moves. It’s so cute. She is usually a second or two behind the moves, but she’s doing them!


I love these kiddos- they are all growing up way to fast!

The party turned out nice and she was surprised, which we all thought prior to her arriving she already knew. Adam’s dad cannot keep secrets. Adam and Brian were actually taking bets before they arrived on whether or not she already knew. Everyone seemed to have a good time and the boys entertained Ava with their acrobatic flips into the pool :) Of course, this mama was thinking ‘I hope she doesn’t try to do any of those anytime soon!’ haha!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jazz Fest


Sunday, after Adam spent the day unloading the moving truck, he came home and said he still wanted to go and try to catch the last little bit of the Jazz Fest. For the past 3 years now, we have been to the jazz fest. This year was the first time we took Ava. Chris Botti, who is my all time favorite jazz fest musician wasn’t going to be there this year, so I could take it or leave it. We had been so busy and we were still very tired, I’m surprised Adam still wanted to go.


We loaded up with chairs and headed downtown. It ended up being a nice evening. It wasn’t hot at all and Ava danced all around us as they played. It probably ended up being a good thing we went since it was too early to go to bed and expect Ava to sleep until the next morning, meaning I would have been up before the sun came up, being at the jazz fest we just kind of chilled and listened to the music. We went and saw 3 jazz guitarists, so I know Adam was in heaven. Since it was Sunday, the jazz fest was over at like 8:00/8:30 so we left at 8:00, grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed home- all of us were worn out!


It was a good test to see how Ava acted at the jazz fest since I mentioned last year about how I thought she would enjoy it- turns out I was right and she did! I’m sure this will become a annual event for her- if nothing else but for the opportunity to dance. :)

Adam was off on Memorial Day (the next day), I had to work, but he was able to catch up on some sleep and just hang out around the house so it ended up all working out perfectly!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moving + American Girl Doll Store


While many families were taking it easy and relaxing over Memorial weekend, we were doing the exact opposite. Mom, Mrs. Dot, Ava, and myself headed up to Atlanta to move Aunt Ro Ro back to Jacksonville. We, being the girls that we are, stopped just south of Atlanta to visit the outlet malls and then continued on our way. We made it to Aunt Ro Ro’s about 11:00 and seeing how much was still left to be done got started packing. We eventually quit about 2:00 and went to bed.


Ava “baking cookies” with her Melissa & Doug cookie set that she got use in her little kitchen

Ava was such a trooper the entire trip. We woke up the next morning and started packing again. Fortunately, a guy from a local charity came by to pick up some things Aunt Robin was giving him and offered to help us. We were so grateful because we were beginning to wonder how we were going to do it all. The guys (my dad and Adam) drove up Friday evening, but even with their help factored in we were concerned.


Ava wearing her Uncle Jim’s Atlanta Braves hat.

We ended up getting quite a bit done with Mr. Jones’ help and decided to take a break that evening and take Ava over to the American Girl doll store. There aren’t many AG stores and the closest one to us is in Atlanta, so I was excited to take her. If you are or ever have been an AG doll fan, this is a must do. It had everything you could think of in this store, all the dolls and accessories. Ava was a little overwhelmed at first (being exhausted from all the packing and moving didn’t help) and she had a breakdown because I told her she couldn’t get a stroller that she wanted. She and mommy had a little cool down moment outside where she received the “If you EVER do that again….” speech and she wiped her tears and we went back in. I tried to cut her a little slack since I know she was tired.


We walked through and saw everything. They even have a doll salon where you can take your doll  and pay to have the ‘stylists’ style their hair. Most of the 18” dolls were in cases with all of their accessories, but the Bitty Baby items were placed at kid level and kept telling Ava, becareful, becareful… and one of the sweet workers came up to me and said to let her play with them, that’s why they leave them out at their level, which is how we came to fall in love with the stroller- she pushed it all over the store with a baby in it.


Taking a picture with Kanani, the 2011 AG of the year.


They have this cute bistro in the back of the store where you can dine with your girl and her girl ;)  I can’t wait to be able to take Ava.


Ava got to pick out a new doll to bring home with her. She picked out Kit which is good since has short hair and Ava has really gotten into doing her dolls hair, but the longer hair on the other dolls she has is a little too much to manager for her. Plus, she and I can watch the Kit movie together and she will have the doll :)

She also got a guitar for her dolls to play, a puppy, and a dress (complete with a headband) for herself and a matching one for her baby.


I’m a little partial to AG since I had the dolls growing up and now I have passed them down to Ava. Between the 2 of us, she now has Kit, Felicity, Kirsten, Look-alike Ava, Look-alike Stef, and the Bitty Baby. Her collection is growing quite a bit. I actually found out while we were at the store, Mattel bought out the American Girl company and now manages it.

I’m excited to take her back again of course my wallet has to recoup first ;)


Adam and Dad made it to the house about 30 minutes after we made it back home and we all went to bed shortly after that. We knew the next day was going to be fierce. The next morning Dad and Aunt Robin left to pick up the moving truck and came back and we started to load the truck. Our new friend, Mr. Jones came to help us again and brought his son. He and his son were a gift from God. I don’t know how we would have ever made it if they hadn’t been there to help. While they were loading the truck, Ava and I headed down to the playground in Aunt Ro Ro’s neighborhood to play. I thought it would give Ava a chance to run around and play before we had to drive back and it would keep her out of the way while they were moving a lot of the heavy stuff. The neighborhood has the coolest park, complete with a playground, pool (and kiddie water park), community garden, basketball courts, tennis courts, and clubhouse. Its really a nice area. We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we had some errands to run and had to get back to helping, but Ava did enjoy playing around for a little while.

We ended up needed to get two 27’ trucks, plus piling stuff in her car that we were pulling and everyone else’s vehicles. We put Aunt Robin on restriction from buying anything else –haha! After working all day packing and loading, we were finally on our way around 7:00 that evening. We drove all night and pulled into our driveway at 4:00 in the morning on Sunday morning. We all agreed, we didn’t think we could make it another hour if our lives depended on it. Plus, all the stuff was still on the trucks! Aunt Robin is staying at my grandparents house until she decides what she wants to do, so fortunately all that was left (except for the things she was taking to my grandparents) was to unload the trucks into storage. At least we didn’t have to unload AND unpack :)

Sunday morning, a group of people met to unload the trucks. Ava and I stayed home since there wouldn’t be a whole lot for us to do and Ava would have been in the way of all the moving. Adam went and helped so she and I slept and played until he made it back home.

To say we were exhausted would be an understatement- Moving is hard work, moving when you aren’t able to go back for another load- unbelievably hard! Aunt Robin said the next time she moved it would be 1. cooler and 2. with a lot less stuff! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ava’s Dedication


As if our week/weekend had been busy enough, Sunday, after our town’s celebration, we had Ava’s dedication. We had missed the last one and decided we needed to do this one no matter what since she was already 2 years old!


It was really a sweet dedication and a plus that Ava’s friend Jane was being dedicated that same day- so we had to get pictures of the girls dressed so pretty.


I had three different pictures and of the four of us and not a single one were both girls looking at the camera! I just love Jane’s look on this one though :)


Afterwards, our families all went to eat together at Bahama Breeze. We love that place and knew it would a great place for all of us to be able to sit together. We had a great time!


Ava and Luke stayed occupied by Aunt Stacey’s phone. Luckily she has added several games that both Ava and Luke enjoy. When we asked Luke to smile he did this funny look with his eye and kept raising his eyebrows like he was trying to get just the right look for the picture- we all busted out laughing- it was so cute! Its hard to believe that there is 2 years between the two of them!

It was a great day and Ava is very blessed to have so many people who care enough about her to be apart of her life and commit along with her Mama and Daddy to raise her up the way God wants her to be raised, which is the true emphasis behind the dedication service.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Callahan Centennial Celebration


Our town celebrated it’s 100th birthday on May 27th. Adam and I were elected to put together a float for the store, so we spent pretty much every evening the week prior working on the float. It’s times like these I wish I wasn’t such a perfectionist- I wanted everything to look perfect, measurements had to be exact, bows had to look a certain way… when realistically, at the distance most people would see this cake you wouldn’t be able to tell- but it would bother me- so I probably spent more time than I should have make it ‘perfect’.


While we worked, Ava took a spin on the dolly. 20 years ago, this would have been me- I loved riding on these things!


The morning of the parade we spent a few hours (yes I said hours) blowing up balloons. We blew up over 200 balloons.


Adam and Kirsten carried some of the balloons around back to the float- this wasn’t even half of them- I didn’t want anything to do with balloons after we were done! haha!


We took our cousin Michael’s old car and had a sign made to look like the original delivery truck for the store. The big cake float followed the old car.


We asked Raeleigh if she wanted to ride with us on the float (with her mama’s permission of course ;) ) She and Ava looked so cute in their tutus. The certainly were ready for a party!


All of our hard work paid off and the float looked good- definitely fit for a birthday celebration. I didn’t want to see them tear it apart after the celebration was over!

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Ava and I rode on the back of the truck with Raeleigh and Kirsten. We threw out candy to the parade viewers while Stacey and Maxx walked (or ran) behind the truck to hand out balloons to kids along the parade route.


Fortunately we had plenty of candy at our disposal to keep Raeleigh occupied if she started to get fussy or want to get down!


Both she and Ava were so cute sitting up there on the float. Growing up I was always on either the dance float or the store’s Christmas float for the town’s Christmas parade. There were a couple years I was event the jack-in-the-box that popped out with candy. I was so excited for Ava to be able to ride in the parade. Now, I just have to talk dad into bring the jack-in-the-box back for the Christmas parade.


After the parade, they kept the streets closed until 10:00 that night. It was really neat, they had a old car show at one end of the street and several vendors had booths set up and there was live music playing at the other end of the street. We met up with Marty and Neal and chatted with them for a little while. 


We ran into the Singley’s and the Cruce’s and Ava immediately talked them into riding the McDonald’s train with her! They hopped on and rode around the dirt circle track for a couple times.


The parade was at 4:00 in the afternoon and the fireworks didn’t start until 9:00, so we had plenty of time to do whatever we wanted. The kids ended up dancing in the streets for a large majority of that time.


Ava and Baylie and Brody- I’m not quite sure what Brody is doing in the picture- haha! :)


They danced and danced and danced. Trevor was there as well, but every picture I had of him was blurry (imagine that, right Jenny?!) Brody and Baylie are so funny together- you can tell they spend a lot of time with each other. You can read here and here about Brody “proposing to Baylie”


It ended up being a nice celebration and we were able to talk and visit with a lot of people we knew. When the fireworks began, we were actually in Wendy’s with Tracy and Baylie getting something to drink and apparently neither Baylie or Ava are big fans of the fireworks (or rather, the noise that comes along with the fireworks) We walked outside Wendy’s and immediately turned around and headed back inside, Ava was just too scared- luckily, Baylie and Tracy were inside as well and we were all able to watch them through the windows.


By the time it was over and we had all made it home we were all exhausted, especially one little girl in a pink tutu :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kirsten & Ava


Kirsten came and 'moved in’ with us over the weekend. She sent me and Adam on a date while she and Ava stayed home. We had been working on the Centennial float all week and we were determined to finish it that Friday night so we spent a majority of our date night working on the float- fun fun! ;0

We finished and decided we would at least drive over to Starbucks for a coffee, it helped that Kirsten was going to be spending the night, so we didn’t have to rush home.


When we left the house, both Kirsten and Ava were dressed in their pj’s and ready for bed, sometime between the time we left and came home a princess party went on. I found a few pictures of Ava in her princess dress :)

Ava loves Kirsten and I’m so thankful she is a super cousin and loves Ava just as much!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Players

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For the past 4 years we have had the opportunity to go to The Players (thanks to our dear friends the Mahans). The first year I was 5 almost 6 months pregnant and Adam drug me around the course! I was sick as a dog and I was in a lot of pain from what I guess was my stomach stretching?! Needless to say I was miserable! (Adam now feels bad he made me walk the course with him…haha)

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This year, after getting there and walking about 3-4 holes I started to feel sick- I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I didn’t feel great, so I leaned over to Adam and told him I was going to grab me something to drink and I would meet up with him on the next hole. Well, as I was standing in line I started to feel very faint. I started to sway and everything started to close in on me. There has only been one other time I felt this way and it was right after I had my c-section and I was in my room with the nurse and I started to blackout- everything happens in slow motion… Anyway, I knew from the feeling that any second I might be on the ground. I managed to text ‘help’ to Adam and slowly make my way to a shaded spot to sit down. I didn’t know if I was going  to make it- it has to be the worst feeling ever!  Adam came running over and got me something to drink and sat with me until I started feeling better. We still don’t know what exactly happened, because while I was hot, I wasn’t the hottest I had ever been and I had eaten breakfast, so it was really weird. I told Adam to head on back and I would meet him at the turn and walk with him the rest of the way. I headed over to an area that was airconditioned and wanted to sit and make sure I felt good enough to start walking the course again before I actually did it. On the way, Adam texted me and said bad weather was headed our way, so I found a chair and table and made myself comfortable. The bad weather came and it FLOODED! it came hard and fast! Adam had just made it under the covered area when it let loose and since he hadn’t made it inside, when the wind blew, which was so hard the rain went horizontal, Adam got soaked! He finally made it inside and we just hung around for the next couple of hours. We eventually decided to call it a day and not wait around to see if and when they would start playing again. Luckily for us, the PGA tour allowed all Saturday tickets eligible for entry on Sunday.

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After church on Sunday all 3 of us, including Ava, headed out to Sawgrass. We drove in a back way and it didn’t take us long to get there. Once we were in, we set up camp on the 17th hole. We had decided not to take the stroller in and Ava and I would hang out at the 17th hole while Adam walked around. I figured that Ava could be just about as loud as she wanted  as long as we were at the 17th and it would also allow us to have a good seats for the next to last hole. 

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In the years past we haven’t been allowed to take our cell phones in, of course- you weren’t about to separate me from my child, so I always snuck mine in, but you definitely couldn’t get caught with it. This year, the PGA changed the rule and said you could take cell phones in as long as you kept them on silent, they even had designated cell phone areas that you were allowed to use them. Ours served the purpose of a camera (sssshhhh!!!)

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Adam walked around most of the afternoon, but he would occasionally come and check back in with us. I had brought in a coloring book and some crayons so we could color, but we really just enjoyed watching more than anything. Especially people watching. There was a group in front of us that were definitely there for the party aspect of the game and they were having the best time (likewise we were enjoying laughing at them).

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As awful as the weather had been on Saturday- Sunday was the exact opposite- it was absolutely beautiful and Ava had a good time just being outside.

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If Ava did get so shy around new people (which I’m okay with, the less likely it would be for her to walk off with a stranger), she would have made tons of friends. Everyone would say hey to her and comment about how good she had been.

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At one point during the day, she and I were both thirsty and I made the mistake of mentioning that as soon as daddy got back we would get something to drink. I didn’t want to risk losing our spot nor did I want to carry all of our stuff around, so after a few minutes and he still hadn’t made it back she put her shoes on (I had let her take them off while we were sitting on the hill) and stood up, looked at me and said with every ounce of confidence, “I’ll be right back” lol! I busted out laughing and asked her where she was going, she looked at me and said “to find daddy”  and when I asked her where she said- looked around and then pointed to her right and said over there. I tried to keep a straight face because this child has never wandered off or come close to it when she is around a large group of people. I just looked at her as she walked a little further away and then turned around again and said, “I’ll be right back”. I guess she was looking for some sort of approval from me (which she wasn’t getting) so eventually I talked her out of it *wink wink and she sat back down. Luckily Adam arrived a few minutes later.

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Adam nor I have ever been to the final round, so Adam was pretty excited. Little did we know we would have front row seats for a playoff! We met some interesting characters throughout the weekend. People from England, Canada, South Carolina, and New York….I would have never guessed that so many people from all over came to the tournament. I knew there was probably some, never would have guessed there were that many, I was especially surprised at the ones who would travel so far, but who wouldn’t want to come spend time in Florida in May, especially those from up north where its still cold. haha!

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After the final group tee’d off on 17, Adam ran over to 18 to get a good view so he could watch them hit the last hole. Ava and I stayed put and when everyone else left the 17th hole, we gathered our stuff and moved closer to the walkway. I was pointing everything out to Ava from a little closer distance. Adam made his way back to us and said he wasn’t going to follow them thru the last hole, but we decided to make sure there wasn’t going to be a playoff before we headed out- well, imagine our surprise when there was and they were coming back to the 17th hole. We had been standing right next to the rope so we knew we had a great view. The golfers would ride and then walk right past us.

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On our way out after the playoff, we received several texts and phone calls about people seeing us on tv- lol! We had made national tv! When the golfers walked by us on their way from the tee to the green they walked right in front of us and the cameras caught us as they walked by- we watched it and you can clearly see it was the 3 of us. I told Adam that Ava can now add TV star to her resume- haha!

We had such a good time, even though it was a little hot. Adam and I would love it if Ava enjoyed golf, and I think she is well on her way ;)

Ava Elisabeth: June 2011

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