Tina Turner Howard

Monday, December 29th, we lost our 11-year old cat Tina.

Tina was a real trooper. We got her when she was just a tiny abandoned kitten, and we had to feed her milk through a syringe. She apparently took to that, because she ended up loving food....she weighed about 20 pounds. One time, she fell in between the attic floors, and we had to bust a hole in the ceiling to pull her out! About 7 years ago, she broke her back 2 days before Thanksgiving. We thought we'd lose her then, but she was a fighter! She was in a kitty wheelchair for awhile (completely as dumb as it sounds!). But eventually, she taught herself how to walk again, although she was never able to jump. She sure did know how to get around...quickly if necessary!

In the last few weeks, though, she had begun to shut down. She'd lost several pounds, and had stopped eating. Last week, we noticed that she could no longer pull herself up to stand. She had developed a cough and we could tell that she didn't feel good at all. So we decided to take her to the vet.

The vet said that her liver and kidneys were failing, and that she'd never be able to walk or stand again. That is no life for any animal. So we had to make the difficult decision to end her suffering.

We've never had a cat as loving or sweet as Tina.....we miss her greatly.

Christmas Holiday

We spent Christmas in TN this year, and a really good time was had by all! We made it to The Howard's house fairly late on Christmas Eve, and woke up to a yummy breakfast Christmas morning. We headed to Tanner's grandparent's house for brunch and hung out with the family there until we headed to Nashville to see our friends Sam & Sarah Neil. It made for a busy and fun day!
Bo and his dad at the Howard's house. So cute in their vests!
Katie and Bo discussing world events at Grandmother's house.

Ben catching up on the latest kitchen must-haves. Grandmother is known for her massive supply of top-notch catalogs!

Randi looking happy as a clam that she got the Scrabble game she wanted!

What's the day after Christmas without shopping, right? So we headed to Franklin to shop w/ Bo's parents. The malls were overstuffed with people, but we still had a great time. After that, we headed down to Madison, AL, where we met a big group for dinner at Red Robin, the home of Gourmet Hamburgers! Tanner's parents & grandparents came, as well as Bo's parents, Sam & Sarah Neil, and Sarah Neil's parents. It was a blast! It was so great seeing everyone, and this was one of the best holidays we've had in a long time!

Jeannie & Randi having a blast catching up.

Sam & Sarah Neil

Tanner's Grandparents

The Whole Gang!

Merry, Merry!

The bags are packed, the dogs are wired, and we're almost ready to head to TN for the holiday weekend. We're planning to laugh, sing loudly to our ipods, visit family & friends, eat too much, remember it's Jesus's birthday, and just mostly have a good time. Hope you all do the same! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Boat Parade

One of the most fun things about living on the coast is the annual Christmas Boat Parade and this year's did not disappoint. Held last Saturday night, the parade begins at Lulu's Restaurant and heads down the intracoastal canal toward The Wharf. It's such a blast to watch the boats...from huge multi-million dollar yachts to the smallest skiffs...all decked out in their holiday finest. You've got to get there early to watch the land-and-sea holiday revelers singing, yelling and living it up! Most of the pictures we took didn't exactly turn out, but check out the alligators pulling Santa on this boat!

Wolf Bay Lodge

Wolf Bay Lodge, a Southern Living "must-visit" restaurant, tragically burned almost 2 weeks ago. Around 3 in the morning, Tanner's parents (who live across the Bay from the eatery) were woken up by the glowing flames from the Lodge. The fire was thought to be an electrical fire, and the owners have jumped into action to try to get the famous establishment back open as quickly as possible. Until then, we'll all have to wait to enjoy the great food and laid-back atmosphere!


The fun begins!

This weekend, we started gearing up for the holidays. Saturday, we got a start on our Christmas shopping list, but we had to hurry since we HAD to be home in time for the SEC Championship game! Due to Bo's "lucky outfit", the FL Gators pulled out a win over Alabama. Sunday, we headed to the Eastern Shore to pick up more holiday cards, then we spent the afternoon baking cookies, addressing Christmas cards, decorating (photos below), and planning out our gift lists. Hopefully the early planning will help us keep enjoying the season!