Friday, May 29, 2009

The Great Smokey Mountains

May 15- May 19 2009
Matt was very lucky his freshman year in college to find his male soul mates. He had a lot of freshman buddies that he was very close to, but two of them have literally been his soul mates. They are as thick as brothers. Through the years we have tried to stay close through vacations and this year we decided to meet Joe and family from Florida at a halfway point and go to the Smokey Mountain National Park. Justin and family flew in from Canada.

Here is a view from our cabin showing just how the Great Smokies got their name. They are gorgeous!! Here are some more pictures of our cabin:The view from the hot tub.

The back "wall" was pure windows showing off the view from above.

The kitchen where many delicious meals were made.

The porch where I loved to sit in the morning and read my scriptures and take in the morning fog.

The back of the cabin.

The Scottish Festival:
On our first full day there we decided to hit up a local Scottish festival. It actually ended up being kind of a bust, but we were still able to get some laughs in.

A real live yak. I personally have never come into contact with a yak before. They seem to only be in Carter's books for "Y is for Yak."

The manly axe throw. Justin actually got his axe to stay on his first throw, what a man!!
Laurel Falls:
Our first hike of the trip.
Double Trouble: Carter HATES to wear his shoes! In fact his right big toe is a never-ending bloody mess because he refuses to wear shoes and scraps it up every day. So here Milly is helping Carter get ready for the big hike by taking his shoes off for him.

The water was really cold but still intriguing to the boys who wanted to put their feet in.

Evan was the bravest of the boys, I believe he got completely soaked in the waterfall.

The soul mates showing off how tough and good looking they are.
Matt far right, Joe middle, Justin left.

I know this looks like some team building exercise but no it's just Justin and Matt being themselves.
Justin has this affect on Matt, whenever Justin is around Matt is always doing crazy things. Though let's be honest it doesn't take a lot of pushing. And believe me, that water was Freezing!

The Boys

On Sunday we went for a drive to hit the tallest point in the park. It was freezing and I was the only one prepared. What can I say scouting was always a part of my family's life even though I wasn't officially involved.

The Squirrels, I mean Girls.
And can I say , Woo Woo!!
Action shot of how these boys are 24-7 when they are with each other.

This was our second hike we took in Cade's Cove to another waterfall. Carter loved hiking and was doing a fantastic job. I think he went for at least a mile. I was pretty proud of him and wished my family could see him. Hiking is a big deal in my family and it is almost a rite of passage when you start hiking on your own.

For the rest of it, he got to ride in his comfy backpack. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Again, Craziness! Matt and I were both wishing my brothers could have been here for this one. This is right up their alley!


Go Carts:
For the last day, the boys decided to go go-carting. It was really fun for them until Matt had a serious allergic reaction afterwards and his face swelled up and he had hives all over.

The best action shot I could get. Carter was a little nervous.
They had some kiddie rides there as well, so we took advantage. And of course Carter always loves a good Choo Choo train.
Matt and I are so blessed to have had some once in a lifetime friendships with some exceptional people. Family is very important, but there is something so crucial as well to friends that are as close as family. We are so grateful to those friends who we love so dearly!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No Longer a Binky Baby...

Now he is a Big Boy Bike Rider!!

So this last Monday we were at Walmart doing the dreaded grocery shopping and while back in the dairy section, Carter messing around took his binky out and threw it. It landed in a grated area where we could see it but not get to it. Previous to this, I had been getting my fill of little old ladies telling me that my son was too old for a binky (one of these actually made him cry last weekend) and people dropping "hints" to me on "this is how I got my child off of his binky." I really did appreciate everyone's great and creative ideas and I even asked for a few of them, but I was just fed up. So I saw this imprisonment of Carter's binky as divine intervention. I think Heavenly Father knew Matt and I didn't have the guts to take it away. So back to the story. After seeing our predicament with the binky I knew we needed to act fast. I told Carter to wave and say goodbye to his binky. His eyes welled up with tears and you could see in his little face that his heart was broken. In between sobs he said goodbye to his binky and waved as well. In the past, I had poorly attempted to limit the binky but after not receiving a lot of support from Matt all of my attempts were thwarted. Thus, I knew I needed to get Matt on board so I called him right away. I explained the situation and told him what I wanted to do. Matt got emotional (yes he cried) and said that he couldn't do that to his boy. This comes from a guy who has a major oral fixation problem himself. But he finally agreed when I told him that Carter really understood that this was it, there was no more binky. Matt was afraid we might traumatize him so we agreed to give Carter a choice. I asked Carter if he wanted a Carter's Bink (that is Carter's name for it to differentiate it from a Baby's binky, yes we tried the shame tactic) or a Big Boy Bike. He chose the bike and stopped crying. Matt wanted to be there with us when we picked out the bike and I thought that it was good to wait to make sure Carter was serious about this. So everytime he asked for his Carter's Bink I gave him the choice and again everytime he would stop whining and say in a big boy voice that he wanted a Big Boy Bike. He went about two days, a nap and a night without his binky and he stayed true the whole time to his bike so last night we went to Target and got his Big Boy Bike. Our little boy is growing on to potty training.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Evolution of "Mine"

That's Mine
I had it first!
Then yesterday he pulled this one out as Matt was trying to put Carter's toliet seat cover on, "Hey, I had it my turn!"
It is so funny to hear how kid's internalize certain phrases as "Who had it first?" or "We need to take turns." Ultimately, to Carter it all means one thing: "MINE!"