Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Ten years ago today, we started on a wonderful adventure that has taken us to places that we never thought we'd see and led us to things we never thought we'd do. It has been an awesome decade, and each day has been better than the last. We've hit some curves and bumpy patches along the way, but our relationship just gets stronger on our journey. We are so blessed to be best friends and to have laughed together and loved each other more & more every step of the way. Here's to the next 10 years.......may they be as amazing as the last!


Christmas Eve

Traveling on Christmas Eve was an adventure to say the least! The weather was terrible, and we had a couple of laugh-worthy experiences changing Hampton (note to self--bring a cellphone with you when you change him)!

We finally made it to Tennessee, though, and after dropping Hampton off with his excited Grandparents, we went to Nashville to meet Sarah Neil & Sam. We met them at this cute little place in Franklin called the Cool Springs Brewery. They had great pizza, and we had fun listening to the musician sing holiday songs and several Adam Sandler selections.

We had a great time catching up with Sarah Neil & Sam, and we're already planning a get-together sometime in the spring.


From Our Home to Yours.....

Merry Christmas from Bo, Tanner, Hampton, Josie, and Ike (who refused to pose for know how teenaged cats can be!). Have a wonderfully festive day celebrating Jesus's birthday!


On the Road Again

Today we're headed to TN for our quick Christmas trip. It's supposed to rain all the way there, so we're getting an early start of it by heading out right after meeting Tanner''s parents for breakfast. We hope to spend some time with Bo's parents, Tanner's extended family, and our friends the Webbs before heading back on Saturday. We've got to hurry back home, since all of Bo's family start arriving on Sunday for our big get-together!

Here's to safe travels for everyone!

getting cold weather inspiration in our outfit from Grandma & Grandpa


Christmas Brunch

Sunday, we had Christmas brunch with Grandi & Grandaddy. Since they also head north to TN for the holiday, we wanted to make sure that we were able to celebrate with them minus the madness that is Christmas Day in Tennessee!

Brunch was delicious, and included all of our favorites like hash brown casserole and biscuits with gravy. Of course, we couldn't do without the traditional monkey bread, so we had it, too!

We had a great time opening gifts, playing with Hampton, and dancing to "Step into Christmas" (don't ask!). Christmas celebrations may have changed a bit since we were kids, but if you ask us, they couldn't be better!

the family

frolicking among the Santas

Bo's bow

enjoying the dance routine

2 good-looking guys!


Christmas Traditions

Since we go to TN for Christmas day, we do our little family Christmas early. So Saturday night, we celebrated our first Christmas with Hampton. We have a lot of holiday traditions that we're continuing, including getting an ornament each year, pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve, and reading the Christmas story from the Bible first thing Christmas morning.

We also have some new traditions that we're starting. Since we do go out of town for the big day, we want our early Christmas celebration to be a special "just us" time. So, each year we're going to order pizza and watch a Christmas movie together. This year, we attempted "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", since neither of us have ever seen it. However, we fell asleep before it even got interesting!

We've also decided to only give our children 3 gifts from us, to represent the gifts the 3 Wise Men brought Jesus. Santa will come on Christmas morning with small trinkets, but we don't want the focus of the holiday to be on material things. We'd much rather impart the importance of spending time with family and friends, counting our blessings, and making memories that will last way after all the toys are outgrown.

Hampton posing with his gifts

in our pjs ready to watch the movie


Christmas Fun at The Wharf

On Saturday, we headed down to The Wharf for their annual Christmas parade. We got there early, so we had our pictures taken with Santa outside in front of the yachts, which was really fun. We wandered around the shops, grabbed a yummy chicken salad wrap at the new Nibbles market, and just enjoyed ourselves until the parade started. The parade was very low-key and fun, with the floats not only throwing candy, but also t-shirts, stuffed animals, cups, beads, koozies, and the cutest rubber duckies. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and get in the holiday spirit!

View from Main Street at The Wharf

Family Photo with Santa

Happy Hampton Watching the Parade
(it was getting chilly, which explains the burp cloth over his head!)


Elves At Work

Our holiday festivities begin on Saturday and don't really let up until after New Year's, so we're scrambling to get everything ready. We're wrapping, mailing, crafting, cooking, cleaning and running last-minute errands. It's been very hectic this week, but it's worth it to be able to just relax and enjoy our first holiday together!

headed out to spread some holiday cheer


Doctor Visit

Yesterday we took Hampton to the pediatrician because he's been very congested. We arrived at the office a little after 8am, but we didn't realize that our doctor doesn't see patients until 9am. So, we spent the spare time riding down to Fort Morgan, where we were able to see the Blue Angels on a morning practice run. It's such a neat experience to see them just randomly flying by!

Once back at the doctor's office, we found out that Hampton does have a cold, but since he's still so little, there isn't any medicine to give him. Our doctor told us not to worry, so that made us feel a lot better. We also found out that Hampton has gained 4 pounds in a month! He now weighs 12 pounds, 4 ounces, so no wonder he's growing out of his clothes! He also had to have his follow-up Hepatitis B shot, which was no fun. Luckily, he got over it quickly and enjoyed showing off his band-aid for the rest of the day.


1 Sentiment, 2 Ways

This year, we decided to make our Christmas cards also be Hampton's birth announcement. We ordered them, and then realized that we didn't order enough! To make a long story short, we ended up with 2 different card designs. It's kind of like when magazines offer different don't know which one you'll get!

the 2 designs.......

.... and...

Either way, we hope you all have Happy Holidays!


Going Green

It's never too early to be earth-conscious!


Then I Saw The Paste, Now I'm A Believer...

This may be a little TMI, but we've been fighting a nasty case of diaper rash at the Howard house. We were using diaper cream like it was going out of style, but the rash STILL wouldn't clear up! That is, until we switched to Dr. Boudreaux's Butt Paste. This is a miracle product! Within 3 days of switching creams, the rash was completely gone. Charlie, our pharmacist friend, even told Bo that it's the best product available outside of a prescription cream. It's not cheap by any means, but we will never use any thing else!the miracle product

our much happier baby


Happy Hanukkah!

We want to wish a Happy Hanukkah to the Slaters, the Nachods, and everyone else, too! Have a wonderfully festive holiday!

Hi, cousin Mira and cousin Ben! If you want, you can play with my bear when you come visit!


Just A Swingin'

Hampton loves being "on the move", so we were thrilled when our swing arrived this week! Grandma & Grandpa gave him this swing right after he was born, but unfortunately, a couple of parts were M.I.A. We contacted the company, though, and instead of just sending replacement parts, they sent us a whole new swing for free! We were totally right....Hampton LOVES it. But since it is letting us get chores done, we might love it more!

all wrapped up with no place to go but back & forth, back & forth.......


Holiday Hustle & Bustle

We've been so busy lately with holiday preparations, and we're a little bit exhausted! We've been holiday shopping, wrapping gifts, addressing Christmas cards, and preparing for our big New Years family get-together. Every room in our house looks like Santa's elves quit mid-project! Hopefully, we'll finish up our to-do list and get to relax before the holidays actually arrive!

grabbing a power nap


Play Mat Time

Hampton loves playing on the activity mat that his Aunt Linda & Aunt Renee sent him. It is so cute, and he has started pulling on the animals that dangle from it. We love putting him in the floor to play on's so fun to watch him stare at himself in the attached mirror. We'd lie down on the mat, too, but we'd probably fall asleep!


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.....

Decorating was a speedy process this year! We usually take several days putting up multiple trees and such, but this year the decorations were on a time limit.....specifically Hampton's nap schedule! So we put up just one tree and decorated the rest of the house with garland, wreaths, and accessories. It's so nice to have our house decorated for the holidays, especially since it's our first one in our new home, but it's so much more fun playing with Hampton!


Happy 1 Month Birthday!!!

We can hardly believe that Hampton is 1 month old! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. It has been such a whirlwind month full of firsts.......meeting all of the grandparents, taking a bath, traveling, and many more wonderful moments. We can't imagine our lives without him and we're looking forward to all the months to come.


Thanksgiving Travels

On Wednesday afternoon, we headed to TN for the Thanksgiving holiday. Although the trip included several extra stops, it was very pleasant traveling with Hampton since he slept the entire way!

On Thursday, we headed over to Tanner's Grandparents' house early so they could meet their new great-grandson. It is extremely important to us that Hampton gets every chance to visit with his great-grandparents and extended family, since family is really everything! We spent most of the day eating and catching up with everyone before heading to Charlie & Jeannie's house for dinner. It was fun seeing them and introducing Hampton to his "Aunt Sarah" & "Uncle Sam". We really enjoyed visiting with them and getting inspired by all of Jeannie's awesome sewing gadgets!

We decided to spend Friday spending more time with Tanner's Grandparents and the Tillmans and Webbs. We loved catching up without the hustle and bustle of the holiday, and we're really glad we spent the extra day with some of our closest friends and family.

As we headed home, we were exhausted by all the running around, but so glad that we had the opportunity to spend time with everyone. It was a great first Thanksgiving as our little family, and we're looking forward to seeing everyone again at Christmas!

Josie in the car seat. One day she may realize she's not a baby!

Tanner's Grandparents with Hampton

Uncle Richard & Liz playing with Hampton

Aunt Melissa and Uncle David, who was making some great faces!

Hampton & his Grandaddy

Katie, who absolutely fascinated Hampton


Happy Thanksgiving

This year, we hope everyone stops and remembers that even in this difficult year, there is so much for us all to be thankful for. Among many other things, we are so thankful for our family, our friends, our home, and that we are healthy. Our blessings may seem small, but they are all so worthy of our gratitude. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

our smallest & biggest blessing


Comings & Goings

We're headed to Tennessee today for the Thanksgiving holiday. Our car is going to be full with us, Hampton, tons of baby gear, our luggage, and Josie the dog. We're super-excited for Tanner's family to meet Hampton for the first time and also to eat her Grandmother's amazing food!

We hate that Paul & Jan won't be home, since they're in FL visiting some of Bo's family, but they made a stop by this past weekend to see Hampton on their way down. It was just overnight, but it was great to see them again so soon, and Bo especially loved that Grandpa saved him from an early morning feeding!



Sadly, this past weekend we had to put down our dog Oscar. He was starting to fall apart....he had horrible skin allergies, advanced diabetes that required twice daily insulin shots, an enlarged spleen, arthritis, and his liver was starting to fail. As heartbreaking as it was, we have known since he was a puppy that his health issues would eventually lead to this.

We feel so lucky that we got to be part of his life. Most people would have never put up with his ailments, but his sweet disposition made all of our sacrifices well worth it. We couldn't have asked for a better protector or a more affectionate dog. He loved tennis balls, treats (especially Josie's!), and his guilty pleasure was lounging on the couch when he thought we weren't looking. He was an important part of our family, and he'll be greatly missed.


Maxing and Relaxing

Just a few photos of how we spend most of our time now days!


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.....

When Boba & Andy were here, we decided to move Hampton's changing pad into our bathroom for the middle of the night changings (trust us, no one wants to hear a meltdown at 2am!). Hampton loved looking in the mirror at himself, and stayed occupied during all of his diaper changes. Wonder what he thought of the cute baby looking back at him?


Hampton's First Bath

Hampton does NOT like having his clothes taken off, so we were really concerned about bath time. It turns out we shouldn't have been! So far, Hampton LOVES taking a bath. He just relaxes and really seems to enjoy it. The only thing we have to do is keep sliding him back up, since he likes to "sink" into his soaking tub. He actually enjoys it so much that he's going to be getting bath toys for Christmas!

The washcloth is almost as big as he is!
"No pictures, please! Can't you see I'm relaxing?"


A First Time for Everything....

We've been so busy since Hampton has arrived! We feel like we've just run constantly, but it's been so fun experiencing all of the "firsts" with him.

We've had our first Doctor's appointment with our pediatrician, and it went very well. Everyone was super-nice and the nurses fawned all over him. We were also lucky enough to get H1N1 vaccines at the office. We went on our first walk with our stroller, and Hampton seems to love it so far! While we were out, we met some of our new neighbors that are expecting a boy in December, so that was fun, too. Hampton has also been out to eat a few times, so he's becoming a restaurant regular. He has also been shopping, so he's really just a little busy-body!

Here are some pictures of his latest adventures......
snoozing away at O'Charleys
our first attempt at a "photo shoot" using his handmade blanket from
Grannie Rains
leaving our driveway on Hampton's first trip in his stroller


Here Comes Boba!

Susie & Andy (Bo's parents) came up from south Florida this past weekend to meet their new grandson. Boba (Susie's grandmother name) and Andy (he hasn't settled on a "name" yet) arrived on Thursday and were able to play with us for a couple of days. While they were here, we hung out at the house, ate with Tanner's parents, and went on our first shopping excursion to the outlets. It was a great few days with them, and we are already planning our holiday itinerary!