so far behind!
I have a lot of respect for bloggers who have their act so together that nearly every day they can write a post. So not our style—I see we’ve not updated in over a month!
It’s been a busy month. In rapid succession, we had my birthday, a big school supply giveaway Abby helped organize, an email from the CFA Institute informing me I passed their final test, the third anniversary of our last day with “Sweet Baby” James on earth, and now we’re about to have a 2-year old on our hands! Abby has really pulled out all the stops to create a really amazing “Tractor themed” birthday party for Valor tomorrow, but… silly us, this is what’s actually going to happen:
That orange dot is the forecasted center of Hurricane Irene at 2pm on Saturday afternoon, as of the 5am National Weather Service update. Their model has shifted slightly to the east in the past six hours. But New Bern, about 40 miles to the west, is still well within the cone of forecast error (the faint grey line running through Falling Creek) for the category 3 system to make a direct hit.
Abby was like, “Again?” because seven years ago she pulled out all the stops for a surprise 30th birthday party for me, a horror movie theme complete with a Jell-O brain made by our now-famous friend Jen; but the whole thing took on its own horror when Hurricane Charley stormed through our neighborhood in Central Florida and the fancy cake melted after we lost power. This time she held out hope until yesterday when she finally postponed Valor’s Tractor Party until next weekend, assuming we have electricity restored by then.
Anyhow, we will write more after Valor’s big birthday, but right now I just wanted to get caught up through the end of July!
In late July, we took a vacation to Townsend, Tennessee with our friends the Lis from Houston. Valor had a great time with Michelle’s two children, Nathan and Anna, who are growing up into big kids so fast. We stayed in a cabin right next to the Little River, which included free passes to a tube rental place, which was a lot of fun for those of us over 5. We didn’t get any photos or video of that, but we did shoot some of Valor on our vacation, including his favorite activity of throwing rocks into the river:
Almost ten years ago, we vacationed with the Lis in the Smokies while Michelle was big with Nathan in her tummy. We picked blueberries, played card games, and filled our rental cabin with smoke from Xiao’s authentic Peking Duck. This time, we picked blueberries, played some challenges Nathan concocted based on the Minute to Win It TV show, saw some deer and bears on a hayride around Cades Cove, cooked simpler fare, and talked about Xiao and James. It felt like a brush with heaven.