Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lunch with Daddy!

Yesterday, the girls, Mom & I were fortunate enough to drive down to Alexandria to meet Craig for lunch and see where is office is and meet some of his co-workers. The drive was great and we got to see some sights along the way! We drove past the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Pentagon, & the Capitol Building!

We made it down to SPA just before lunchtime and were able to see Craig's office & meet Chuck, his peer sponsor, Allison, Krystin, & Rick, who has the office right next to Craig's. Being the corny picture taker that I am, I couldn't help taking pictures of him sitting at his desk and by the name plate by his door. We are so proud of him!! He has a great office that he is slowly adding personal touches to & even has a window with a view! It was great to see him happy, genuinely happy at his job!

Daddy & his girls sitting at his desk in HIS office!

The cheesy picture with Craig next to his name plate!

After the short tour of his office, we headed across the way to Quizno's for a good lunch. We weren't rushed at all and were able to enjoy some quality time with Daddy! The girls were sad to leave him, but ran into his arms as soon as he got home! We are so proud of you, Craig & we LOVE you so very much!!!

Hangin' with Haley

This past weekend, Kylie & Jillian got to hang out with their cousin, Haley for three days straight! Kylie talked about Haley everyday and couldn't wait to spend more time with her! Just like Haley's Mom & I, Kylie & Haley are only 17 months apart and loved playing with each other!
The first night the girls had fun playing in the bathtub over Mom Mom's house and then snuggled on the couch & then Haley's Dora bed with some yummy chocolate milk to watch Veggie Tales!

In a trance watching the movie...

Haley asked Kylie if she wanted to share her bed with sweet!!

The next time we all went to the Hazelwood Inn and met up with Haley's Mommy & Daddy for a yummy lunch. Before we left, we tried to take a picture of the girls together, but they kept jumping around and none of them could stand still! This is the best shot...

Trying so hard to stand still.....

Needless to say, the girls, especially Kylie, LOVE their cousin, Haley! Now that we are back living in MD, they can spend lots more time together and growing up together just like their Mommies did!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Fun

With a bit more free time now, we are doing more things as a family, which is FANTASTIC!! There is a park a few blocks away from the house and the other night after dinner we all walked down to the park for some exercise and fun! A fun fact: Colgate Park is the same park I played at when I was Kylie's age! In fact, on the way home from the park we walked right by the house where I lived till I was 8 years old! It was a cool feeling watching my daughter play on the same playground I did. Life is amazing!!

The girls loved playing at the park and Jillian even climbed up and went down the slide all by herself!! We were so surprised & proud of her! Kylie & Daddy took turns climbing along the rope wall and Kylie's favorite spot was the curvy slide, which she kept sliding down. It was a great night and the girls can't wait to go back!

The girls playing at Colgate Park!

Daddy & Jillian climbing on the rope wall.

Jillian coming down the slide all by herself!!

Kylie peeking out of the ropes - having a great time!!

To help beat the heat, we recently bought the girls a blowup pool to play in during the hot summer days! It even has a canopy with a sprinkler effect - we haven't tried that yet, but next time I'm sure! It was pretty warm today, but with a bit of a breeze and since Kylie has been bugging me about it since we bought it, I decided to let them splash around in it for awhile......they were in it only 15 minutes before we headed back inside! I think I spent more time blowing it up then they were in it! But, I did get a chance to snap a few pictures of them splashing around before they were too cold and we headed back in the house.

Splashing around....

I think we'll try the pool again tonight once the water has a chance to warm up a bit and it's not so hot outside. They did have fun, even though they were only in there for a short time!

We are definitely having fun this summer and we are finding new ways to have fun and spend quality time as a family! We could definitely get used to this life!!

Check back soon for more fun summer updates!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

There's No Place Like Home....

We've had a wonderful first few weeks in MD! Kim & the girls are keeping busy everyday and Craig absolutely LOVES his new job! The commute still stinks, but we keep praying that our house will sell soon so that we can move to a new home closer to work.
Since being back home, Kim & the girls, along with Mom-Mom went to visit Kim's best friends, Natalie & Nicole and their new additions, Connor & Gavin! It was so great to be back with them and to have all our children playing together! My mom even said that 15 years ago, she never imagined she'd be standing there looking at us with our own children! We have been best friends for over 20 years and at times it feels like we're still 10 years old and giggling till we cry!! I love them so much and now their children and words cannot describe how great it is to know that we will be closer now so our kids can play just like we did!

Big blue-eyed Connor - just love that face!!

Gavin smiling big - how adorable is he?!?!!

Jillian just loved playing on Connor's jungle playmat!

Natalie & Connor, Kim & girls, Nicole & Gavin - Best Friends Forever!

Thank you Natalie & Nicole for such a wonderful afternoon! We will definitely be doing that more often!! I love you!!

This past Sunday Daddy blew up Kylie's Castle Ball pit that Aunt Jen & Uncle Jason gave her for her birthday! She was so excited and could not wait for both Mommy & Daddy to finish blowing up the castle and filling it with the balls! Because of lack of space, we can't keep it up all the time, but Daddy said every Sunday if the girls are good, we can blow it up to play in! They LOVED every minute of playing in it!! Here are the pictures to prove it:

Kylie posing in her castle!

Thank you, Aunt Jen, Uncle Jason, & Haley - she LOVES it!!

A summer in Baltimore would not be complete without a parade! Since we didn't want to rise incredibly early to go to the annual Dundalk 4th of July parade, we took the girls to the Rosedale Parade during St. Clement's Carnival! The girls loved watching all the fire trucks go by and even started dancing when all the Marching Units & bands marched down the road! After watching the parade, we headed over to the carnival so Kylie could ride some rides! Jillian is still a little young, but next year she'll definitely be riding on some! Kylie had a blast and even won a Playdoh set at the Games stand! She was so excited....Mom not so much because she chose the Playdoh and not the less messy Chutes & Ladders :) Here are a few shots we took:

The parade judging stand.

Baltimore County's finest!!

An old Rosedale Volunteer Fire TruckState Senator Norman Stone

Even Kit from Knight Rider made an appearance in the parade!

This picture is for Grandma - The Red Hat Ladies of Baltimore!!

The "New Edition" Marching Unit dancers.The band leader

Dream Nation Marching Unit

Check out those dancers!

Kylie riding the pony carts loving every minute!

Kylie riding the motorcycles - can you tell she's having fun?

And finally, the speedboats! I think this one was her favorite!

As the title says, "There's no place like home!" and these past few weeks we have found that to be so true! We are still slowly adjusting to life and praying we'll be in our own house soon, but we are immensely grateful to be surrounded by family and friends!

It's just the middle of the summer, so hopefully we'll be even busier in the days ahead and possibly even busy moving! We can pray!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Craig's First Day at SPA!

Yesterday was a big day for Craig! He had his first day at his new civilian job at Systems Planning & Analysis, Inc. (SPA) in Alexandria, VA. Since we are living with Kim's Dad in Baltimore, MD, he had quite a commute (about an hour & a half) ahead of him. He got there early and had about a half a day of orientation before a good lunch with his new boss & coworkers. When he got home last night, he had a HUGE smile on his face and kept raving about how wonderful his day was!
It's a definite change from life in the military, but a good change! He has his own office with a window that he gets to decorate and his own office line. It's a little frustrating right now with such a long commute, but that will change once we are able to move to an area on the other side of the tunnel cutting his drive down about 30 minutes or so. When he got home last night, the girls ran out onto the porch yelling "Daddy! Daddy!" His smile just got wider! We are so proud of him!! We know that he will do GREAT & that SPA is very lucky to have him!! We love you, Daddy!!!

Craig being greeted by the girls when he arrived home!

The new Professional Military Operations Analyst!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Kylie's 4th Birthday Party!!

As we were celebrating our nation's birthday today, we also finally celebrated Kylie's 4th Birthday with family now that we are back in MD! Pop & Nana opened their home to us all and we chowed down on pizza & ice cream cake! Mom-Mom & Aunt Linda decorated the house with lots of "Scooby-Doo" decorations and Mommy decorated the cake with Scooby sugar decorations! Kylie loved every minute & every detail!

The birthday girl & all her loot!!

Kylie's Scooby-Doo 4th Birthday Cake

All the party loot at Pop & Nana's house.

She got tons of presents and lots of new toys & clothes! Her favorites were the new movies, especially "Sharkboy & Lavagirl", her new keyboard (Thanks, Aunt Linda!), & her dolly from Mommy & Daddy! We all sang "Happy Birthday!" to her and then she dug into her own #4 cake that Aunt Linda made for her! The girls played with all the toys (& fought over the new baby stroller for the doll) & we all got to catch up and enjoy being with family! A great day for all!! Thank you to everyone for making Kylie's birthday a day for her to remember!! We love you all!!

Kylie opening her many presents - THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

And here comes the cake......

Getting ready to blow out the candles.....

Almost time....

YEAH!! Time to dig in!!!

After the party was over at Pop & Nana's, we headed over to Coici's (that's aunt in Polish) house to watch the fireworks in Kingsville! We got a great view of a few different displays and the girls loved it! Jillian wasn't sure at first, but it wasn't long until she was clapping away when everyone would appear!

It was a long day & night, but a fun one!! The girls are now tucked tightly into bed while we listen to the neighbors set off their final fireworks. All in all, a great Independence Day!! Happy 4th of July to everyone and we hope yours was as fun as ours!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mark & Mindy's Wedding!

On June 28, 2008 we welcomed a new member to the Thayer Family, Mindy! Mark & Mindy were married at John XXIII Catholic Church in Albuquerque, NM surrounded by all of their family & friends! It was a beautiful day and wondeful wedding!! We were so proud to not only share in their special day with them, but also to be a part of the wedding ceremony! Craig stood up with Mark as his best man, Kylie was a beautiful flowergirl, & Kim read the second reading during Mass. We loved every minute and most especially, welcoming Mindy into the family!

We arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday, the 25th, and got to hang out with the rest of the family for a few days before the actual wedding. Our hotel was fantastic and Kylie & Jillian both loved the pools!! Kylie never wanted to get out! Jillian even got really comfortable being in the water...almost too comfortable! She wanted to let go of us and go off on her own, not realizing that she couldn't touch the bottom or swim on her own! :)

A view of Kylie in the pool from our balcony on the 9th floor - don't worry, Craig was down there with her!

On Thursday, Kim & Kylie went to get their nails done & have lunch with the other ladies. Kylie opted not to get her nails done, but Kim got a pedicure, which was fantastic!!! Lunch was delicious and the desserts were to die for! Meanwhile, Craig & Jillian joined the guys for tux pickup & lunch. A very fun day for all!!

Friday was the rehearsal at the church and dinner at El Pinto. Kylie did a great job practicing her flowergirl duties! She absolutely loved her partner & ring bearer, Ryan, who is Mindy's nephew. She wanted to be by his side the entire time! They also had a great time playing on the patio at the restaurant after dinner!

Kylie & Ryan practicing their duties during the rehearsal!

The Mandagaran Family

The Thayer Family

Thayer Siblings - Craig, Anna, & Mark

Kim & Anna - "Sisters" by marriage & in heart!

Kylie & Ryan playing on the patio at El Pinto!

Saturday was the big day!! Excitement was building as soon as we woke up in the morning! We started off with a yummy breakfast at the Frontier Restaurant! Then it a little bit of rest before getting ready for the wedding! We were all nervous that Kylie wouldn't walk down the aisle or would be all jumpy on the altar during the ceremony, but she surprised us all and did a fantastic job!! She did run a bit down the aisle at the end and was insistent on holding onto Ryan walking back up the aisle, but all in all did a great job!! And Craig looked very handsome in his tux standing up on the altar next to Mark. He is so proud of his little brother & of being able to be such a special part of Mark & Mindy's day! And, Mindy was such a beautiful bride!! She just glowed with happiness, as did, Mark! You could definitely see how in love the two of them are and will always be!

The beautiful altar before the ceremony!

Craig - Best Man & Mark, Mindy's brother & groomsman.

Anna - beautiful bridesmaid!

Shy flowergirl, Kylie - notice Ryan in the background when Kylie ran off down the aisle.

Mindy & her parents walking down the aisle - what a beautiful bride!!

Jillian with Grandpa while Mommy did the second reading - such a good girl!

Mark & Mindy making their vows to each other before God.

Kylie standing with Auntie Anna during the exchange of rings.

Ryan & Kylie during the ceremony.

Fr. Ark giving the final blessing over the couple.

The first kiss as husband & wife!

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Thayer!

After the ceremony, we headed over to the University of New Mexico campus to take group photos in front of the President's House. They were gorgeous and the weather was perfect! The girls loved playing in the grass and under the trees!

Jillian following her big sister along the sidewalk.

Girls playing under the tree at the President's House - it's always fun to play in the dirt!

After the pictures were taken, we headed over to the Albuquerque Hilton Hotel for the reception!! We all had a GREAT time!! The music, the food, the fun was great! The girls & Kim only partied till 10pm before heading up to bed, but Craig partied till midnight! Kylie could've stayed all night if we would've let her!! She loves her Uncle Mark & Aunt Mindy and followed them all over the banquet room all night! She also loved dancing with the other children that were there and stealing M&Ms from the dessert table.....:) Mark even taught Kim how to two-step before she had to head upstairs with the girls! Craig also made a wonderful toast to the happy couple, even though he mispronounced Mindy's maiden name..., but all was forgiven and lots of laughs were had! What a GREAT time!!!

The new Mr. & Mrs. Thayer!

Craig making a toast to Mark & Mindy!

Kylie doing her crazy dances with the other children on the dance floor.

Kylie & Auntie Anna - Picture Perfect!!

Mark & Mindy cutting their cake - YUMMY!!

Daddy & Jillian take a moment to pose for a picture!!

So In Love....

Jillian taking a quick look at a photo the photographer just took of her.

Craig & Kim stealing a moment for a kiss - can't believe we've been together for almost 12 years!

What a good looking trio!!

Jillian discovered how yummy ketchup is on her chicken fingers!

What handsome men!!

Congratulations, Mark & Mindy!! We are so happy that we could be a part of your special day! We love you both very much and wish you many, many years of happiness together! May God bless your marriage now & always! We'll start saving now for our flight for the pressure! We love you & miss you already!!