The Big Day

What a difference a year makes! One year ago, we had no idea what we were getting into. All we knew was we had this cute little baby that was going to need our attention 24/7. We had tried to prepare ourselves, thinking we were entering some sort of bleary-eyed boot camp from which we'd never return!

Luckily, it was nothing like we thought it would be! This year has been the most wonderful of our lives, filled with all sorts of firsts and emotions. There have been some stressful parts, sure, but mostly just happiness and fun. We are so blessed to have a happy baby who loves to smile, laugh, and give lots of hugs. He is sweeter than we could have ever hoped for, and every stage is more fun than the last.

Even though we no longer have a "baby", we can't wait to see what this year holds for us as we watch Hampton's personality blossom as he grows into a little boy. We are so thankful that he is ours, and he'll always be that little baby pumpkin who arrived on Halloween day. We could not love you more, Hampton. Happy Birthday!

....May the Good Lord be with you down every road you roam....

....and may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home...

....may you grow to be proud, dignified, and true......

....and do unto others as you'd have done to you.... courageous and be brave.....

....and in my heart, you'll always stay forever young....


Birthday Party!!!

Today's the Big Day! Hampton's 1st Birthday party is today and we're looking forward to it. It's going to be low-key but really fun. The Grandparents are all here, the decorations are out, and we're looking forward to taking LOTS of photos. Check back next week for the recap!


Friday Photos


Hampton 12 Month Photos

We commemorated Hampton's birthday by having some photos taken. We think they turned out great! Here are just a few of our favorites, but you can see the rest HERE. We have a few more to share tomorrow, so stay tuned!


Story Time

Last week, we headed to story time at the library with our friends Kelly & Conner. Freddie the Firetruck was there to tell the story, and there were about 40 kids there to hear him! All the kids got fireman helmets and had their pictures taken. Hamp and Conner loved it, so we'll probably be making this a regular outing!


Boo At The Zoo

Thursday night, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo had it's annual Boo at the Zoo, and we had a blast! There were all sorts of booths set up by local businesses & groups, and there were lots of animals out to be petted and played with. We got to hold a monkey, pet a wolf, and be terrified by snakes (that was mainly Bo!). We also had great fun just wandering the zoo and taking in all the animals, since it was our first time visiting. Hampton absolutely adored watching all the animals, and we thought he looked absolutely adorable in his costume!

Hampton riding around on his Granddaddy's shoulders to get the best view

our little family

Hampton and his good buddy, Conner


getting all dressed up for the zoo


Weekend Update

We had fun this weekend but didn't get near enough done for Hampton's birthday party next weekend! Here's a few things we squeezed in amongst the prep work....

  • ate yummy made-from-scratch pizzas
  • tested out Hampton's Bounce House
  • headed to the Pumpkin Patch to pick up some pumpkins
  • visited the park
  • played hard in the Grandparents' yard
  • baked cookies for the church cupcake walk
  • picked up our Halloween cards and addressed them
  • had fun at Family Fun Day before it started raining!

Hampton taking in all the action at Family Fun Day

the coolest Bounce House ever......Hampton's is NOT this big!


Friday Photo


11 Months

Well, this is it! The last month of photos before Hampton turns ONE (..sniffle, sniffle...). Of course, leave it to us to post it the week before he turns one, but whatever! He's a mile-a-minute now, running and babbling nonstop. At least he naps in his crib now...yea!!! Here's what he's in to this month....

Current Likes:

using the base of the dining table as a jungle gym
saying "Ah-Ga" and "Ah-Ba" constantly
dragging his sippy cup around everywhere
playing outside
Sinclair, Bob & Randi's cat

Current Dislikes:
eating Cheerios in his highchair, when he'd much rather eat them off the floor
when the Little Einstein DVDs are over
not being allowed to play in the dog bowl (what is the deal with that thing?)
when bath time is over
strolling or being carried when he'd much rather be walking


Party Crasher

While Tanner is hard at work on Hampton's BirthdayPalooza, Hampton is busy playing with all the ribbon, plates, cups, napkins, paper, and everything else he can get his hands on! There may be no decorations left if he has his way!


Going Shopping

Hampton has his mommy's wallet ready to go shopping.
From the look of him, we need Kleenex and stain remover!


Weekend Update

Well, this weekend went from busy to blah very quickly!

Friday we had a lot of fun. We headed to Mobile for the Kidz Klozet sale, where we found Hamp a few items including a cute new pair of shoes. We ate lunch at the River Shack, picked up Hamp's photos, and Tanner got a few new things for fall. We made it home just in time for Grandi & Grandaddy to come over for chili and help us get the last of our preparations ready for the yard sale on Saturday. Since we were working on the sale until after 9, we didn't make it to the Bon Jovi concert, which was okay since we're not huge fans, anyway.

Saturday started early but okay for the yard sale. Even though the sale didn't start until 7, our first customer was at 6:09! It was definitely worth the effort, though, as we sold a lot and donated the rest. What wasn't good, though, was how all of us kept feeling progressively worse as the day wore on. By the afternoon, all 3 of us were sick! Needless to say, we cancelled the rest of our weekend plans as we recuperated. That meant we had to back out of Supper Club, cancel our plans to watch Thunder on the Gulf, and not get to use our tickets to see Brad Paisley!

It was quite a bummer to miss out on all the fun things we had planned, but it's more important that we all get feeling better. Especially since there are lots of other fun things to do just around the corner!

lunch on the water

Hamp's new shoes. Don't they look just like something Bo would wear?


Friday Photo & Week In Review

This week has been even wilder than most! It's fall break in TN, and that means lots of folks we know have headed down to enjoy our beaches. We love that our friends & family take time out of their vacations to see us! So here's how our week went......
  • Monday morning we played with P&J awhile before they went home, and that night we enjoyed dinner at Wentzell's Oyster House with TN friends
  • Tuesday night we caught up with Tanner's family over dinner at Mikee's Seafood. It was great to see Uncle David, Aunt Melissa, cousin Katie, Jeff & Kay!
  • Wednesday, Bo's car went into the shop and we ran some errands. We were all ready to head to church when Hamp came down with a nasty cold! He was running a fever and feeling terrible. Now he just has a very runny nose. Thank goodness for Boogie Wipes!
  • Thursday was all about the neighborhood yard sale that's on Saturday. Tanner was in charge of planning it and didn't do a very good job, so let's cross our fingers that it turns out ok! We also made huge batches of chili and homemade soup, since the weather is getting cooler, and we enjoyed some after our walk around the neighborhood!
  • Friday is going to involve picking up Hamp's photos, running to the Kidz Klozet sale, and hopefully, lunch on the water! We also have tickets to the Bon Jovi concert, but doubt we'll make it since we've got to put the last of the items out for the sale tomorrow. We're gearing up for a wild & crazy weekend with more things to do than days to do it all!
playing in Grandi & Granddaddy's backyard


Just As We Promised....

As we mentioned last week, we recently saw the coolest thing ever. This is not just a house...not just a house on water....but a house ON A BARGE. That's right! The owners are duck hunters, and this is their hunting camp. Every year, they float down the waterways toward Louisiana, duck hunting while enjoying all the comforts of home (ok, maybe MORE than the comforts of home)! They've loved it so much that they're building a second one. Bo is working with the builders on them and has been promised an inside tour. Tanner will be tagging along for that one! Who needs a beach house when you can park your home on any water you want?


Fall Photos

While we were in Birmingham for Jack's birthday party, we snapped some pictures of Hampton for our Thanksgiving cards. We took several cute ones, and the card turned out adorably. We only used 1 photo, so here are some of the others that didn't quite make the cut. And don't worry....we'll show you the card closer to the holiday!


Happy Birthday

We wish a Happy, Happy Birthday to Boba & Grannie Rains!
We hope you both have a great day!

Pensacola Beach

On Wednesday of last week, Bo took the day off and we headed to Pensacola Beach. We needed to run some errands and Bo had a few work things to take care of (yes...we still managed to do work stuff on his day off!). In between those to-dos, we stopped and played at the beach and squeezed in a great lunch on the deck at Hemingways. We stayed and played for as long as we could, but since it was church night, we had to get home. Otherwise, we might still be there!

on the deck at Hemingways

The crazy spaceship house. You can't see it in the picture, but in the front door, there is a little green alien!


Weekend Update

This weekend was jam-packed! It was the annual Shrimp Festival, and since today is Columbus Day (meaning Jan doesn't have to work), Paul & Jan decided to come down and see what the festival was all about. We ran over to Pensacola early Saturday to get some errands done, then met up with Grandpa & Grannie in the afternoon. We played for a bit, then headed down to the festival. We weren't the only ones that had that idea! There were people everywhere! We had fun listening to the live music, browsing the booths, playing on the beach, and sharing a treat we hadn't had in years....funnel cake.

On Sunday, we decided to head back over to Fairhope to feed the ducks. We made a fun picnic of it and enjoyed the wonderful weather. The ducks weren't too interested in our bread, however, because their bellies were full since lots of other families had thought of coming to the park, too! Hampton didn't care, since he was way more interested in all the friendly dogs, the pine cones, and the leaves. Plus, he had his Grandpa to chase him around the park!

We had a great time with the grandparents, and we're looking forward to seeing them at the end of the month for Hampton's BirthdayPalooza!


Our Little Book Worm

When you think of favorite toys, you usually think of a stuffed animal or some other fun thing. In our house, though, things are different. Hamp's favorite toys are books! He has 3 favorites...."1,2,3 Count with Me" featuring Elmo & Ernie, "Peek-a-Boo, I Love You", and "Alligator Pie".... that we can pretty much recite. Hampton doesn't need us to read them to him, though, since he drags them everywhere and "reads" aloud to himself! We love to watch him sitting in the hall flipping through a book and jabbering up a storm while he points at the pictures. As you'll see below, though, we don't discriminate. Any book is a good book!

This isn't the beloved counting book, but a small take-anywhere version that's perfect for reading during your lunch break

We know he's a Howard......reading in the bathroom! :)


Weekend Update

We had so much fun this weekend, and we took over 600 photos to prove it! First, we were thrilled that Hampton recuperated nicely from the head-banging incident. For those of you who didn't hear about our little fiasco, let's just say that a tired, hungry baby with a huge bump on his head, 2 worried parents, and 2 hours at the Urgent Care clinic getting head x-rays don't mix! All is well with Hampton now, though, and we're VERY glad about that!

So, on to the fun stuff! Friday morning, Tanner's parents volunteered to keep Hamp while she got some much-needed chores done, including a long-overdue hairdo. While at the salon, Tanner got all the scoop, including the directions to a hidden fabric store! Yay! She picked Hamp up and he napped until time to go out for a fun dinner to celebrate the weekend.

Saturday was filled with fun as we headed over to Fairhope's bayfront park to watch the ducks. Hampton was amazed at the birds and just kept saying "duck, duck" over and over. It was so cute! We had just enough time for our scheduled photography session (more on that later) and to grab some lunch before heading to the birthday party of little Addison. We pretty much had to drag him away from the ducks, but we're planning to head back soon with a loaf of bread!

Addison had her party at The Little Gym, and from Hamp's reaction, there's no wonder they were rated the #1 place for children's birthday parties by Parents' magazine. He had a blast! He got to walk on the balance beam, "jump" on the inflatable, play with balls, climb on all the equipment, and pop bubbles, which may have been the most fun of all! He was amazed by them, and had no idea what to do since he'd never seen them before. We're definitely putting bubbles on the Santa list.

Sunday was filled with a little this-and-that, but we had lunch & played outside with Bob & Randi and got to see one of the coolest things ever....a hunting camp on a barge. We took photos that we'll post soon, as you've got to see it to believe it!

We're hoping this weather will stay forever, so we can squeeze all the fun out of birthday month that we can. If this weekend was any indication, it's going to be a blast!

playing on the obstacles
Hamp on the balance beam. A future gymnast, perhaps?