Its that time of year again!

Well, another December has rolled up on us. We’re now 4 days until Christmas and though the house is a glow with lights and decorations, it really doesn’t FEEL like Christmas. I blame it primarily on the weather. Current forecast for Friday is 73°/62° with a 40% chance of rain. What’s up with that?! Its supposed to be cold on Christmas. But then again we live in Georgia and I’ve somewhat come to expect that. You really never know what its going to be from one week to the next.

Weather aside, things are still just not quite Christmasy. Its somewhat hard to get into the holiday spirit when you have sick kids, work schedules that are hectic and crazy, and no Christmas Story on the TV! Jack has been sick with RSV for the better part of a week now which is just wreaking havoc on Jess and I. He’s not sleeping well at night, been throwing up due to a persistent cough and is just fussy, all the time. Its hard to get a full night sleep any night these days. No matter what time he goes to bed, chances are he’ll be up between 3 and 4:30. Granted, he’ll usually go back to bed, that’s just not an hour when anyone WANTS to be up. But thems the breaks. That comes with the territory when you have young kids. At any give time, one or more will be sick or hurt or needing something. And we, as parents have to provide that. Not always easy when you don’t know what they need or want, but we always figure it out.

Another thing thats rough is finding time for ourselves. Either Jess and I together without cleaning up toys/food/socks/sippy cups/puke and yelling at one of them to be quiet or stop running or calm down, or one of us being solo at the the gym or shopping or just being quiet for a minute. Its hard to find the time despite being off work. I have two weeks of vacation, but that just means I’m not working, doesn’t mean I have oodles of free time. On the flip side, it does mean that we get more time with our boys. We have time to reconnect with the kids. Time that’s been lost over the past few months due to work. We have an opportunity to just be at home, take our kids out to play or shop or on walk. We don’t have to send our sick baby to a “school” that has given him RSV, HFM, and 5ths over the past 3 months. We can be home with them and get back to being the best parents we can. On that note, we don’t have to take Jack back to his “school” at all! We have not been happy with his schooling for quite some time and now we don’t have to take him back. He will be home and in better care over the next several months. He will be away from the germs, he’ll be able to get more sleep and more one-on-one attention. All thanks to my mom who has retired (again).

So there’s just a big bag of mixed emotions right now. It doesn’t feel like Christmas, but it feels like family. I get frustrated at my boys for being crazy and waking us up at all hours of the day and running around the house and not eating, but I love spending more time with them. I finally get to see my wife more than 2-3 hours a day. I get to spend time with her and reconnect, but that comes with no less than 2 kids running around the house demanding our attention at all times they are awake. Its just a season. Seasons change and it takes some easing into it. Unlike the weather in Georgia things don’t just change overnight. We’ll ease into this vacation and by Friday, it’ll feel like Christmas. The boys will come down the stairs and be in awe at the wonder that’s under the tree. We’ll have our homemade cinnamon rolls, just like every year.

Haphazard post thrown together while the family sleeps. Just some thoughts I wanted to get out there. I keep meaning to post more, but that just doesn’t seem to pan out. As we always say in this house “Start fresh on Monday!”

Next level productivity

Whether it was the fact that we hadn’t done shit all week or it was some sort of voodoo magic in the air, but man we knocked it out today! This morning BLT was all trying to kick things off as if it were any other day by waking up at 5am. No one wants to be up at that hour on a Saturday. We quickly squashed that by taking him over to my mom’s house. She agreed to watch him for the morning so we could get some stuff done around the house for a change. The goal was lofty, but we were up for a challenge.

Ever since moving in we haven’t had the time or energy or care level to move the rest of the stuff from the basement/garage to the attic. After all, we now live in the equivalent of a three story house. Factor in the trip up the ladder in to the attic and that was not something we wanted to get all up on. Today, however was different and we got everything that was to be stored moved up and that was that. Granted it took a trip to Home Depot for some boards to put down for flooring, but that was a minor setback.

After all that was done, we proceeded to do some more organizing the basement in preparation for the gym equipment that was going in down there. Have I mentioned that we’re doing Tough Mudder in like 4 months?! Eek! We were all getting pretty hungry so we decided to go grab some food and pick up the youngin’ from Grammy’s.

Back at the house and Lane went to bed so we could start in on decorating the rest of the outside of the house. Nothing quite like having the family outside decorating and just having a grand time. Most of it we were able to get knocked out before BLT woke up, but the last piece was a huge ass wreath for the upper middle window on the house. Luckily it was a simple hang out the window two stories in the air and put a nail in the window frame kinda procedure.

Someone had to get out there and hang this wreath!

The day got a little crazy after that and JT kinda went rogue, but we found her.

Mom went crazy

The rest of the day was spent finishing up some other chores like installing the second IP Camera, a trip to Hobby Lobby for some supplies to make Chase’s school play outfit, dishes, etc. Basically, we got shit done.

Oh, and two other things. First off our gas oven can die for all I care at this point. I mean, I love cooking with a gas top range and all but that oven is bajank. Its too small and always burns shit. We’ve tried adjusting the temp and time and all manner of things but no matter what everything we cook is always either burned or not done at all. I miss my electric oven. Secondly, a carpenter I am not, and I am also not the handiest of mans on the planet. But despite that fact, I’ll give it my all. Those boards in the attic are most likely not up to any sort of code or whatnot, but hey, they’ll hold our stuff. And the ice maker line that I installed tonight, despite me doing it exactly correct the damn thing still leaks. Not from anywhere that I connected, but from the actual shut off valve bit. So I’m now going to have to call a plumber and get them to tell me its going to cost a bajillion dollars or tell me that I f’d up and did it wrong… which I’m fairly confident that I didn’t.

Ok, that’s all I had. I’ll most likely post something again tomorrow or at the very least in the next few days. For now I’m gonna go get in the bed with my beautiful and amazing wife. Bam!

A Very Sniper Christmas

Look what Santa left for Christmas!

Christmas has come and gone, though not by much. The tree is still up, there’s still remnants of wrapping paper, bows, and tape lying around. The ‘new car’ smell on all the toys is still there, but the actual day has passed. That by no means, indicates that all the joy and happiness of the season has moved on as well.

Chase is off at his dad’s, playing with his toys there while his other pile awaits him here. Jess and I both are enjoying each other’s company and all the wonderful things ‘Santa’ has brought us. We had a very modest Christmas this year, especially when compared to years past. No extravagant over the top, out-doing each other. We kept it simple, because stirring around in Jess’ belly is the greatest gift we could have possibly gotten this season. With Lane on the way we knew it would be a whirlwind of going here and there, doctors appointments, late nights, early mornings, feeding, pooping, and all the things that come with having a newborn in the house. We have done everything we can to get ready, and now that Christmas has come and gone we are ready.

This house has been filled with the highest of highs, and some of the lowest of lows the past few weeks. The stress of the season plus the preparations to get things ready for Lane has certainly taken its toll on this family, but we have weathered through it. We have grown stronger and closer with each passing day. Lane doesn’t know it yet, but he has made this family stronger. Chase and I are now closer than we’ve ever been. Jess and I are a lot more understanding and patient with one another, and we, as a family are generally a lot more open and happy with each other. In a few short weeks we will have a little one to care for. A baby that was born from two people who love each other more than they ever thought possible.

This Christmas I have received the greatest gift of all, my family. It is growing in size and happiness and love, and what more could I possibly ask for. Well a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time would be nice. But then again, I’d probably shoot my eye out.

And just like that…

Christmas is over! This time of year always seems to fly by so quickly. This has been the best holiday I’ve had in a few years…I had genuine holiday spirit! The house was crazy decorated, I shopped early, I listened to Christmas songs, and drove around looking for lights. Everyone was spoiled with presents and we got to spend some great time with family.

Speaking of family…I am SO proud of my side this year! I have silently proclaimed myself as the new matriarch of this family and hosted dinner/presents at our house this year. We had a delicious meal, talked nicely, opened gifts, and ate brownies. ALL without the first smart ass comment or sarcasm from ANYone.  Those who know us…know this was truly a Christmas miracle. I hope this is a sign of more peace and understanding to come with all of us.

Then, of course, there’s Santa! Chase woke up to everything he wanted and then some. I heard him wake up (way too early) and walk into the living room and whisper “Haaaaaaah!”. Then promptly walk his bare feet back to his room. A few minutes later he was in our bedroom talking about how Santa left a basketball goal and he ate his cookies and drank his milk.  I soaked up the excitement in his voice and listened to the quiet voice in my head that told me this may be our last “Santa” Christmas we get to have with him. It made me sad to know that my little boy is getting so big and will soon face the realities of the world, but I saved that for another day and ran into the living room to scope out the loot! Santa spoiled us, and SB did too.  He followed my Amazon wish list closely and I was thrilled.

Christmas lunch started at SB’s parent’s house.  As soon as we walked in we were greeted with hugs, presents, and the most delicious smell of a home cooked meal. Gah…I really do love these people! So different from my family, and appreciated more than I’m sure they know.  SB’s mom surprised me with a sewing machine and all the necessities that go along with it! I had forgotten I even threw one of those on my Azon wish list, but was so excited to see it! She’s going to be my sewing mentor, and I can’t wait to get a sewing table set up in the bonus room. Hand made presents galore this year!! Just as the last gift was opened, we got another surprise: a white Christmas!! The huge snowflakes were beautiful and the fact that it was Christmas just made it all the more magical. We ate amazing food (I mean really…Sandy showed out) while the snow fell and demanded took leftovers for dinner. Chase went to his dad’s to play in the snow, and SB and I came home to hibernate and rest. Deliciously beautiful holiday.

Sounds perfect huh? Well…not even 24 hours after Christmas and we grinched this place up. Tree: gone. Decorations: gone. Level 5 cleaning job in the house and we’re almost back to normal! As awesome as it was….it’s nice to have it all packed up and ready for next year also.

It’s been an awesome and interesting few weeks. I have a blog in the works about commitment and love and how in the real world – sometimes shit sucks. But until then…let’s revel in the Christmas hangover and the warm fuzzies that came along with this year’s holiday. OH! And Santa had another (large) surprise up his sleeve. He brought us a new addition. Our ‘graceful’ great dane. She deserves a post all on her own. It’ll be coming soon!

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It’s begining to look a lot like Christmas

Sniper Christmas Tree 2010

Well, Thanksgiving has already come and past. We loaded our bewldys with all manner of foodstuffs. SJ rocked our faces off with a stellar turkey and we had a great time with family and friends. With turkey day, comes black Friday. Knowing we had to get a few things for lil’ Snipes, we headed out for some midnight sales. To our surprise the stores weren’t all that bad when we got there. There were some lines here and there, but for the most part it wasn’t as cray cray as we thought it would be. However, as the night went on and it drew closer to midnight, the crowds increased in size and insanity. The doors opened finally, we rushed in, got all we were looking for and were out of there in under an hour! We certainly had our game faces on and got some really good deals. That adventure was totally worthwhile.
The rest of Friday was spent laying around the house catching up on some much needed sleep and trying to fend off the desire to eat all the leftovers in one sitting. I made my way back into the masses and found a few more good deals, but for the most part it was a very low key kinda day. The next day however…

We knew we wanted a real tree, so we headed out to our local tree farm and after a little looking around, Chase picked out the perfect one. Since this was like a straight up field of trees, we got to actually cut the thing down. I would love to have had some sort of electric device for the actual cutting, but it all worked out. In a short while, we had the thing down, bagged, and on the car. Our next stop was the Home Depot for some last minute decoration additions. Since it is impossible to enter a Home Depot and leave w/o spending less than $100, we chose our decorations carefully…even though we eventually went back and loaded up on even more.

So back to the crib we got the tree up and let it air out while we set our sights on the exterior of the house. We knew what all we wanted to do, and from a distance, it didn’t look that bad. Our plan was to hang lights on the windows and around the roof of the house. We were both all kinds of gutsy and ready to just jump on the roof and knock that out, yeah… that didn’t happen. After about an hour or so of trying to figure out if a) it was possible using the ladder I had and b) mustering the nerve to actually climb up on this K2-esque steep ass roof, I got myself up there (thanks to a roll of duct tape, a 100ft rope, and Jess holding the other end for dear life). It was a daunting task to get all the hooks around the edge of the roof and then hoist the lights up w/o breaking them. Due to the steepness of the roof, I couldn’t really get all the way down each side, so I had to shimmy around. After an hour or so I was DONE with being up there. Luckily, once I got up on the roof, we had the smart idea of nailing some temporary steps so that I could get back down. In the end, the house looked great and it was totally worth it.

Back inside, we got clean and fed and then went to town on the Christmas tree. It had time to settle and all the branches and limbs were ripe for the decorate-a-thon that was about to happen. It was pretty straight forward, lights, then ornaments, then more ornaments, then clean-up, then delirium. This year, I decided to to a time lapse of the whole process. In reality it took about two or so hours to get everything done, but you can watch it all happen in about three minutes!

So that was that. In one fell swoop we managed to get the inside and outside all decorated up. Jess’ Thanksgiving break was coming to a close, but we had gotten so much done. I’m sure she had a lot more she would have liked to do, but there’s only so much you can get done in a week. Over the next few weeks I’m sure we’ll be adding more decorations to the house, plus we gotta do some more shopping and wrapping and all manner of things. This time of the year tends to fly by. Before we know it, we’ll be walking down the aisle. As much as I can’t wait for that day to be here, I don’t want to miss any of the days between now and then, either.

The Pics:
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What a Winter Break!

I have had the last week off of work and it’s been B.L.I.S.S. With a sick day AND a snow day prefacing it…it feels like Christmas Break all over again. There is SO much to blog about! SB took care of our Vday weekend with his previous post. It really was a magical weekend for us. It was our first Vday that counts, but I truly hope we continue to have weekends like that for a long, long time. 🙂
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Christmas…and craziness!

I never uploaded Christmas pics! whassupwidat? Well…it’s been a crazy few weeks. We made it through Christmas with flying colors and everyone was spoiled with lots and lots of goodies. New Year’s was lots of fun and we are slammin’ through January. We’ve moved SO much, and we’re finally feeling settled in the new place. We have a few more things to hang, and a ‘to buy’ list…but it feels like home already. 🙂 Regretfully…we didn’t snap many pics during the movapaloosa, and additionally, I had the WORST virus for the better part of it. What I do hope to do is get a few pics of the place once everything is complete. For now, I want to make sure I post our Xmas pics. Hope everyone is having a Happy New Year so far!
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On top of Stone Mountain

It was totally snowing that day
Our family adventure begins

A few weeks ago Jess and I decided it would be nice to take Chase to Stone Mountain to see all the Christmas decorations, the laser show, the Atlanta skyline at sunset, and the building of the Snow Mountain area. Despite living in Georgia my entire life, I have never been on top of Stone Mountain. I know…it is a shock to me too! We packed up the camera, got bundled up, made a quick stop to get a snack, and we were on our way.
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Thanksgiving break-2009: Sniper Style Part 3 (The next day…)

Not just 1 or 2, but 3 dancing machines!

Our week of thanksgiving bliss was trucking right along. I had good food and traditions with the Turner’s and lots of rest and cooking in Dwood with the boys, so the only thing left was turkey time with the Birney’s (Sniperjess’ family). For those of you that know us…the Birney house is always an interesting experience. It’s untraditional, and slightly unorthodox…but it’s always a good time with genuine intentions from all. My growing time in Dwood lately lead to what I would call a “catch up” session when we got there. The adult beverages were poured and we chatted about the previous week and just life in general. SniperBen had leftovers, but I was somewhat tired of turkey so I passed (which I would later regret…aLOT). SniperBen got yet another look into the life I grew up in. Our holidays are about celebration and believe me…we celebrate. There was laughing and jump roping and Madonna tunes blaring and dancing. I won’t sugar coat it…things get a lil crazy. It’s a lot for a person to take in if they are not accustomed to the Birney house, but SniperBen held his own. (and later held my own….blegghh). I will admit I may have over done the turkey day festivities, but I was still very thankful to have my guy there to load us up and take us home at the end of the night. (Sorry you had to tomtom your way back to my apartment babe…I owe you one! ..or two.)
Continue reading “Thanksgiving break-2009: Sniper Style Part 3 (The next day…)”