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When I turned two years old, someone gave me a snowsuit.

I have no idea where someone found a snowsuit in the beginning of May, or why they thought a snowsuit was a good gift for a child who lived where snow had not been seen in well over a decade.

But, two years later, I put that snowsuit to good use.

I woke up on a Sunday morning to the largest recorded snowfall my hometown has ever seen. A whopping four inches of snow meant this day would go down in history as “The Great Blizzard of 1989.”

I remember being very concerned that my parents had decided not to take us to church that morning, mostly because we wouldn’t see our friends. But my mom assured me no one would make it to church that morning. After all, four inches of snow is enough to grind a community to a standstill; if you don’t have snowplows, you have no choice but to wait for the snow to melt.

So, instead of going to church, we did what any child who’d never seen snow before would do – went outside! I wore my snowsuit, now two and half years old, and barely able to fit over me. The mittens and boots were far too small, so my brother wore them, even though they were purple. I remember wearing two pairs of socks, the top pair with lace ruffles around the cuffs, and being surprised to see ice forming around them.

We laid in our blizzard snowfall, making snow angels, until we hit dirt. We made the world’s smallest snowman, which was also just a tad dirty. Later in the day, my mom and I managed to fight our way out to Main Street, where we built another, larger snowman, and waved to the three cars that passed us by.

The quintessential snow day activity is sledding. But, if your house at 14 feet above sea level is one of the highest points around, how do you go sledding? And how do you sled without a sled? Your dad grabs a shingle sample board, ties a rope to it, and pulls you around the block, of course!

Where I live now, it’s unusual for a child of 4 and a half to have never seen snow. But, I’m glad my hometown let me have a glimpse of the fun snow can bring. I love being able to truly remember my first snow, and having limited snow experience made last winter’s snow-pocalypse a lot more fun.

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You know those moms who say, “isn’t this this the cutest baby in the world? That’s MY baby!” like no one has ever had a baby to compare with the cuteness of theirs? Yeah, they always got on my nerves. I mean, everyone thinks their baby is cute, its just the right thing to do. But I like to think I’m not deluded by my love for my kid to think he’s really the cutest kid to ever walk the face of this earth.

So on that note, check out the cutest picture (so far) of the cutest kid to come out of womb (so far)!

And okay, even I am loathe to call this the cutest picture of him, but it is one of my favorites. My yard sale basket, his hand crocheted blanket and a white onesie make an excellent combination. And I just love how it looks like he’s contemplating some mystery of the universe.

If you read Colton’s blog, you’ve seen this picture already, and I do try to use that as an outlet to share his adorableness, but this one, I just couldn’t resist.

He may not be the world’s most adorable baby, but he’s my baby, and I think he’s pretty darn cute.

And that’s enough for me.

We’re not sending out Christmas cards this year (I could barely get myself together and must enough energy to get my Christmas shopping done!), but if we were, the following photos would certainly not make the cut.

Way to look at the camera everyone!

Don’t bother asking what’s going on, I have no idea.

At least we look happy, but dog butt is not really something you want to look at in a Christmas card.

Dead dog = Christmas cheer, right?

Cousins.

Cousins with their grandma (my grandma is her identical twin).

With two of my cousins.

With Dad.

Day  After Thanksgiving Shoot-Out

Hubs.

momMy mom, in the mid-seventies, as either a junior or senior in high school. In just two or three years, she would meet my Dad for the first time. Three years later, they would be engaged; four years later, they married. Time flies!

So my great friends Beth and Elliott have been married for just over a month, and they just back their professional wedding photos! They’re such a cute couple and I loved their photos so much, I just had to share some of my favorites with you!

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Our bouquets and fabulously colored shoes!
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I look a tad bit crazed, but I just love this picture!

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The entire Bridal Party.

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This is my favorite of all their photos! Too cute!
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And the groom’s favorite. :o) I loved all the plays on their well-over a foot high difference!

So long weekends throw me out of wack. I love the extra relaxation, but I have a hard time getting back in the swing of things afterwards. Hence, the super-late update on what we did with the holiday weekend.

Friday night, we babysat for some friends of ours with an 11 month-old. They had only been out once since they had Baby, so we offered to babysit so they could spend some time together. Alone. With quiet. It was fun having a baby in the house, but we are so not baby-proof! We did have some fun toys; Baby especially enjoyed playing with our magazines, dog and stairs. Hubby did stair duty:

DSC04503I did diaper changes, feeding, and everything else. For only being away from the parents once before, Baby did surprisingly well. He didn’t cry when they left, but after about 2 1/2 hours, Baby had enough and had a small meltdown. But we lived, and our friends had a great night out!

Sunday I did yard work and managed to afflict myself with poison ivy again. Hopefully I caught it early enough that I won’t have to suffer with it for over a month like last time.

On Labor Day, we drove two hours south to ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail. We took a shuttle to the top of the mountain, and road the 17 miles down.

DSC04506What? You didn’t really think I would ride that far UPHILL, did you?

DSC04514Hubby was surprised at how fast I rode, because despite going downhill, I decided I needed to peddle most of the way.

DSC04509Thanks to my bullet-like speed, we made it down in just over 2 hours. I’ve only ever ridden on paved roads, and this was dirt and gravel, so it was quite a different sensation. My bike doesn’t have shocks, so I bumped along quite a bit. My “real” mountain bike experience made me feel very adventurous!

DSC04511The scenery was fabulous as well! This was a fun ride, and one I would definitely recommend to anyone in the Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia area.

Granddaddy45This is my grandfather, circa 1945, in what we think was his High School Senior photo. I love the paisley tie, tucked into his button-down? I also love that, even though he’s just a senior in high school, he looks just like I remember him looking in the early 90’s, but maybe just a little thinner.

My grandfather died of cancer a decade ago, and started chemo in the early 90’s, when I was in the third grade. I remember visiting him when the chemo made him loose all his hair, well, all but one, and being afraid of him. And being simultaneously ashamed I was afraid. In my senior year creative writing class, we were to write a poem describing a feeling or emotion, without naming it, and I knew I wanted to write about that feeling.

Christmas 1992

They told me you were sick
before our visit that Christmas.
You answered the door, your head
shimmering like the gold ornaments
hidden in your tree’s inner branches. The forest
of your hair had been suddenly bulldozed,
and one lone, proud hair stood erect
                     clinging to life.
When you stooped down to hug me, my heart
dropped out of my eyes, sharp pin pricks beating.

n26000830_31250186_1741My childhood best friend, Lauren, and I at our Kindergarten graduation. I don’t remember graduation at all, but we have some hysterical pictures of me playing with my diploma like its a telescope. I think that’s a rite of passage for all Kindergarten grads.

I don’t see much of Lauren any more, but one of my favorite memories growing up with her is hoping her neighbor’s fence to use their trampoline whenever we were at her house.

Oh, and High School graduation outfits didn’t look much different. This was the south, so girls wore white dresses and boys wore white shorts and blue shirts. The only high school difference was that the boys wore dark pants instead of light.

I grew up on an island whose climate can only be described as “sub-tropical.” In high school, we thought 70 degree weather ment it was too cold to go outside and run for P.E.

But, in 1989, it snowed.

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Our 3-4 inch snowfall lives in infamy as “The Great Blizzard of  ’89.” It is the first and only recorded snowfall for our area. I was 4, a few months away from being five when it snowed and remember trying to make snow angels but hitting dirt. It was not a lot of snow, but it was enough to make a little snowman and for me to wear the entirely too-short snowsuit someone had given me for Christmas two years ago. Really, who gives a kid living in a sub-tropical climate a SNOW SUIT!? I remember we couldn’t drive anywhere because our area didn’t have any snow machines, nor did many people know how to drive in the snow. I also remember wearing two pairs of socks, the kind with the lace around the ankles, and being suprised to see ice forming around them! Because we didn’t have hills or sleds, my dad pulled my brother and I around the neighborhood on a set of roof-shingle samples.

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.