Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Turkey Meatballs!

Baby Turkey Meatballs

Start with 1 lb ground Turkey, then add what you have on hand. Using up some leftover veggies in my parents' fridge last night, we used 1/2 onion, 1/4 green bell pepper, 1/2 apple, 1 handful of grated carrots, 1 egg, and 5 crackers (no breadcrumbs available).

Finely dice all of the veggies, crush the crackers, break the egg, add to the turkey and mix until combined. I shaped small meatballs out of them, put in a pan and added 1 cup of water and covered letting them steam for 10 min. Then I removed the lid, added some EVOO and gently stirred to brown the outsides.

Cool, cut, and serve to baby.

Then be prepared to wipe them from her nose, hair and ears.

On another note, I'm about to iron my one-year-old child's dress. What is this world coming to?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sophie: a love story

A couple of tired balloons danced across our front porch this morning as we filled out a collective neighborhood police report. And for the record: it's still breaking and entering even if the door was unlocked. But that's another story because you are here to read about my little stink's first birthday! During which, I died and went to cheese heaven. Get ready to live.

These are the most adorable invites I had designed by this store at Etsy. There of course was a theme, and it, of course, was giraffes. Ever since Sophie got her little mitts on a Sophie the Giraffe, it's sort of been our mascot. I found that party planning is easier when you have a theme anyhow.

My alarm went off at 6:30am to start the oven schedule (first time for everything - I don't bake and I don't make lists). To back up a step, I realized Friday night that the drawer below my oven is... another oven. So I didn't have to walk food to the neighbor's house to bake!

With the exception of our missing family that all live miles away, we had great representation of our closest friends which we've adopted as our Charlotte family - and Sophie's extended family. Words cannot express our gratitude for these people taking time to come share a toast and a cupcake to celebrate one of Sophie's monumental 'firsts.' Let me just say that the mood inside was way more cheery than the weather outside. Right before we did the whole Happy Birthday routine, giant fluffy snowflakes began to fall. It was such a beautiful and perfect moment I'll never forget (click - sound of mental picture taking). So I've painted the atmosphere, right? Let's get down to business of photos. Here Sophie is with Aunt Heidi taking in her first snowfall.

Bryan made a short and sweet little toast (that I didn't know he was thinking of doing) and we lit one candle and sang Happy Birthday to our sweet baby (this is where I thought I might lose it). She did not cry one tear, so I decided I probably shouldn't either. She took everything in stride, typical Sophie fashion, and then poked at her cupcake for a few minutes. I fed her a bite and the game was on. I think she sucked every sugar morsel from her little fingers and then she and I shared a second cupcake a little later.

Happy Birthday, So-so!

I think she likes cupcakes.

I wanted to get a picture of Sophie and some of her friends that came to celebrate.
This was one of the funniest.

Sophie and Whitney - mutual adoration!

Let's talk about food. My sweet friend Cassie helped me plan the menu for the big day - she is good at this, I am not. I whipped up everything from scratch except for the rolls and the gingerbread. Phew. We had Parmesan thyme crackers, baked ham with rolls, macaroni and cheese, caramelized onion dip, gingerbread cookies with frosting, a champagne bar and some amazing cupcakes. The cupcake batter was from a box, but with the help of dear Helen, I made the icing from scratch.
The spread.

Off the hook cupcakes and toppers.

Champagne bar.

About to start on cupcake #2.

I was worried that I would tear up and cry all day (happy/sad tears) over my baby growing up, but I held it together. One of the sweetest moments for me was when Bryan brought Sophie down from her nap all dressed up for her party. She was wearing the dress I had made for her which I hadn't even tried on her yet. He even had the barrette in her hair that I had set aside for the day. What a proud Papa, he seriously melted my heart (for the thousandth time).

Birthday giraffe dress and table runner: Made with love by Sophie's mama.
Birthday giraffe hat: from this Etsy store.
Birthday invites: designed by this Etsy store and printed at Costco.
Giraffe 1st birthday cupcake toppers: from this Etsy store.
Damask napkins, pink plates, champagne flutes etc: Party City.
Cupcake icing recipe, courtesy Helen Mundy: whip 1 box of cream cheese until creamy, add 3 cups confectioner sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and combine. add 2 tubs cool whip and keep mixing. add 1/2 of your favorite candy bar crushed, grated or pulsed in food processor (I used a Symphony bar) and use the other 1/2 to top cupcakes. It was seriously ridiculous.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Walkin', for your love, I'm walkin'

On the eve of her first birthday...

Sophie took two steps today in the kitchen. Was it the excitement of much anticipated access to the Tupperware cabinet? Was it watching her friend walk earlier this morning? Who knows. What I do know is that I'm the only witness, I didn't catch it on film and I couldn't get her to do it again all day.

Bryan and I just got home from dinner and drinks with our adopted Charlotte family, and I can't help but let the faucet of motherly emotions trickle a little here to our faithful followers.

I'll catch up to date on what started here: on being a mom.

Months eight and nine

Watching you watching me watching you... she changes and learns something new every day. Even though I don't want to drag myself out of bed in the mornings, she makes it easier. Her sweet smiling face and her expressions over her morning bottle just melt away the sleepiness. I love our morning walks through the neighborhood and they set the pace for the day (2 2-hour naps!). On her nine month mark, she noticed her shadow for the first time. Being a mom is patience, really good sleep and picking out really adorable summer outfits.

Months ten, eleven, twelve

Summer turned to fall turned to winter very quickly and Sophie is just as busy as can be. Trips to Florida and Kentucky, a few more colds, the croup, a tummy virus, standing up on her own, and her very first baby doll. The more things change, the more they stay the same; I still get sad to put Sophie to bed at night. She loves pointing out Christmas decorations every.where.we.go. Elf on the Shelf is swiftly found and pointed out each morning, too. One day prior to her first birthday she takes two steps to me in the kitchen... a whole new world. Being a mom is never the same two days in a row. One day we have needy baby, one day we have miss independent.

As far as what's to come, only the future can tell. I'm almost to my free Fitness Magazine subscription thanks to my Pampers Points and somewhere around Thanksgiving I realized that I fit in my regular clothes (11 months... really about time).

Happy almost birthday, sweet baby girl. xoxo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Got jokes

Sophie's got jokes, just so you know. She has this new forced fake laugh that she does at the most random times. It also accompanies her throwing clothes or toys across the room. Hysterical. I die.

Other things that made me smile today:

1. I bought a pair of skinny jeans (insert Sophie's fake laugh that sounds more like Count Dracula).

2. I caught a glimpse of myself in a window at SP mall and realized I'd look a lot better if I had taken 4 minutes to iron out the fold marks of my pants (that have been folded in a Tupperware bin since, oh, March 2009).

3. Cooper was flat WIPED out after a day at doggy day care yesterday. He was a funny sweet boy today.

4. I was making fun of the lady in front of me in the mall (in my head) for not cutting the strings that held the nice pressed box pleat in the back of her new jacket. Then I got in the car and took off MY new jacket, and I found said strings. Ha!

5. Sophie devoured a cup of lima beans tonight. Lima beans. She never ceases to amaze.

6. My kitchen is being taken over by pink. It started in the corner by the fridge. It's spreading. Rapidly. And it will be gone after her party this weekend!

Thanksgiving at Gmom and Gdad's.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: Charlotte's VanLandingham Estate

Mom and Dad's December date day review.

Picture perfect and tucked in the heart of Plaza Midwood, the VanLandingham Estate is (in my opinion) Midwood's best kept secret! I say that it's a secret because Bryan and I lived down the street from the VL for 3 collective years and never stepped foot inside until last weekend.

We were supposed to have a picnic lunch, but it's so flipping cold here in Charlotte that they opened the house to picnickers. We were given a private suite upstairs complete with a lit fire, a picnic basket of BBQ, fresh lemonade, a bottle of wine, and among other things - a book of love poems. It was fun, quiet, romantic and just a nice change from the usual. Truth be told, I purchased our surprise date day through Groupon.com so we got it for a steal. If you purchase directly through VanLandingham, they have several different menus to select from (none of which include BBQ!).

Anyone in Charlotte looking for a last minute Christmas gift - I HIGHLY recommend!

We giggled our way through some poetry:

But mainly relished in the fact that we were warm and alone in a 100 year old B&B:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sophie lately

Just a little Saturday morning cuteness.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree:
Playing with empty film cannisters.

Sophie meets the Christmas tree.

Pointing is her NEW thing, and she does it oh-so-well.
She starts pointing as we come down the stairs in the morning
before we even round the corner and she actually
sees the tree (or Elf on the Shelf).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Magic beads

"Cute necklace! What is it?"

Sophie has been sporting her Baltic Amber beaded necklace off an on (more 'on' than 'off' the last few days because I'm convinced that her top teeth are coming in) and people ask about it all the time! I heard about the amber necklace through a local mommy network and wanted to give it a shot. Baltic Amber is said to provide natural pain relief and soothing analgesic support during teething, and some people swear by it.

My most recent experience: Sophie only napped 1.5 out of her usual 4 hours of daily naps the other day and she was really grumpy. I put her necklace on her for bedtime and she slept 14 hours peacefully. (**Wearing at night is not recommended or endorsed by any of us at Sophie en Sophie.)

Baltic Amber contains the highest concentration of succinic acid in nature and has been used around the world for centuries to reduce inflammation. In wearing the amber close to the skin, the wear-er absorbs the acid that is released from the beads. Supposedly the lighter the beads in color, the more succinic acid it contains. With so many recalls of products these days, a lot of parents are in search of a homeopathic remedy for the effects of teething. Baltic amber calms the babes without resorting to drugs!

The string is knotted between each bead - should one come loose, they will not scatter. The proper length for your child is loose, but they should not be able to put the necklace in their mouth. Amber necklaces are for wearing; not for chewing!

Have you tried it?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tether me

Things I wish I could have tethered to me at all times:

Baby finger nail clippers

Baby wipe (one endless wipe that goes on forever)

Amber necklace (where is that darn thing when I need it)

Lavender lotion

Baby monitor

Car keys

Sophie the giraffe (given)

Hylands Teething Gel


Sippy cup

And maybe a wine glass (again, an endless one that goes on forever)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Obsess much

I sort of have a new obsession. Let's call it shopping for Sophie. Better yet, let's call it finding bargains for Sophie.

First up is Smocked Auctions. That is where I found her adorable Thanksgiving turkey smock. They don't have a website or pictures you can browse. I literally had to stay up on the computer one night to "bid." This dress would have cost $75 full retail. I got it for $30! Smocked Auctions does not let you name your price, you simply have to the be the first to comment on the photo posted with "sold, email, and size." I was SO stoked I won this one!

Next up is Zulily. I snatched up an adorable Castles and Crowns jacket for next year. Retail would have been over $50. I got it for under $30. No picture of that one, it's hanging in her closet already though!

Another Facebook favorite is Lolly Wolly Doodle. They have great sales and some really adorable clothes. Then **sigh** there is Etsy. You know you can find almost ANYTHING on Etsy? I've gotten lots of cute birthday things from this website... another longer post after the big day!

Now these weren't a bargain, but who can resist Tiny Prints? Merry Christmas and happy shopping from the Barbers!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Is she always this happy?

"Is she always this happy?" Heard that lots of times over the last year. I also feel like I've spent a lot of time this past year apologizing to friends and family. One last major "I'm sorry" going out to all of you now, and then I hope you understand where I'm coming from after reading this. I think Dr. Weissbluth was on to something when he started his ped practice, raised four kids and wrote this book:

I am VERY protective of Sophie's sleep schedule. So I'm sorry for the missed playdates, rescheduled or unscheduled events, being late, leaving early... but baby girl is going to nap, and she is going to go to bed when she is ready, and if I have any control over the situation (which, I do, as the mom), she's going to do both of these activities in a crib.

Since about 7 weeks old, Sophie stopped sleeping on the go. Her car seat used to work like a dream, and then one day, it didn't any longer. On our recent drive to/from Kentucky (8hours) she slept for a whopping 20 minutes each way. Her normal naps are about 4 hours every day.

Her brain is developing at such a rapid pace and outside of love, affection and nourishment, the amount and the quality of sleep is vital to her growth. I'm very protective over this - and in my opinion, for good reason. I may not always be a stay at home mom, and we may add another peanut or two to the Barber brood. So, I realize that I won't always be able to control Sophie's or our other childrens' sleep patterns.... but for now I can. And I will.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On feeding baby

All this talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas meals has got not only my stomach rumbling, but has also got me thinking about what my little Sophie will be indulging in on her first holidays. It's only now that I realized I haven't spelled out any of my favorite baby food recipes to share. My blender has never felt so loved (previous life only knew margarita mix and Tequila). I know I don't have to say it again, but all of the food I've ever made for Sophie has been organic. We use Absolute Organics delivery of fruit and vegetables to the house, and I buy organic chicken and ground beef from Costco. I even found organic turkey lunch meat at The Home Economist. I would say that in the past that I made 95% of the food she ate. Lately I'd have to change that to 75% thanks to Cheerios, Gerber puffs, and these yummy things that a friend told me about:

They are uber convenient, organic, and they make some really great flavor combinations. There are other brands that are also organic and come in these little Capri Sun-like pouches - Plum Tots is one of them. But back to cooking. The mere thought of making my own baby food made me nervous. How could I possibly make anything better than money could buy? Now, now, new mommy, what you can make at home is 100x better than store bought. Reasons to make your own baby food include but are not limited to:
  • it's more fresh
  • it has more nutrients
  • it's less expensive
  • you are in control!
  • make your own combinations
  • you ensure the quality of ingredients
If you are on the fence, just try it. If you feel it takes too long or the mess too big, or you just don't find it rewarding at all, then you tried. I happen to love cooking to begin with, so making Sophie's food was just as fulfilling to me as breast feeding her. There is a lot to know as far as what foods are gassy, what foods are constipating, and how to balance them all out in your baby's little belly. Sometimes it comes by trial and error. Or, you could just read a book or two for some hints! It is best to try one food at a time, waiting about three days before introducing another (you want to keep any eye out for reactions and it's easier to pin-point if they've only eaten one thing the last day or so). Once you've introduced foods on their own - get to mixing - the combinations are endless.

Without further ado, here goes some of our tried and true baby meals.
No cook purees:


All of the above easily peel, mash with a fork, thin with breastmilk, formula or water until the consistency was so that it slid off the back of the spoon. (If using breastmilk or formula, serve immediately, do not store). Sophie hated avocado - still does. I know it's a popular one for most babies though.

Now we get cookin':

Green beans
Sweet potato
Butternut squash

All of the above were easily washed/peeled/chopped, then steamed/simmered/boiled until tender, and then pureed in the blender until smooth. Sometimes the consistency was too thick with just the fruit or vegetable which I then used the water from the bottom of the pan to thin (with the exception of carrots - too many nitrates build up in the water when steaming carrots). I would then pour the puree into my baby food cube tray and freeze. Once frozen solid, I would pop out the cubes and store in a labeled gallon Ziploc bag (inside the gallon bag I would use smaller quart bags to keep the flavors separate). Good in the fridge for about 48 hours, good in the freezer for about 6 weeks. I use these KidCo BPA free storage trays:

Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 apple (any kind), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup chicken stock

Heath the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft. Add chicken and saute until opaque. Add the sweet potato and apple, and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into blender and puree until smooth.

Her First Ground Beef

1 red pepper
2 tomatoes, peel and seeded
1/2 zucchini
1/2 lb ground beef

Roast the red pepper (or use jarred pre-roasted) over gas top flame until charred, set in a bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap for 20 minutes. Remove from bowl and peel the skin and de-seed. Steam the 1/2 zucchini and chop. Puree roasted red peppers, peeled tomatoes and steamed zucchini. While browning the ground beef, break into tiny tiny bits. Mix the vegetable puree with the ground beef and serve alone or with tiny whole wheat pasta.

Cheesy Chicken and Carrot Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

Heat olive oil in pan, add chicken, cooking until opaque. Add carrots and chicken stock then bring to a slow boil. Add rice and simmer until all liquid is absorbed. In a separate pan, warm tomatoes and cheese. Remove chopped chicken from the rice and carrot mixture and puree with the tomato and cheese mixture. Stir puree back into cooked brown rice and carrots.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Look at this little turkey making her best elephant sound. Happy 11months baby girl! She is on a food strike, sort of, after the croup, an ear infection and a tummy bug, so I don't have any new baby recipes to share but I'll soon be spelling out some of our old favorites. Her new tricks include letting go of things and standing, cruising like mad around the coffee table, crawling up the stairs by herself (supervised, of course), climbing on top of anything actually, and closing doors.

Well, mommy turned 30, baby turned 11 months, Maddox turned 5. If there is something we don't skimp on around here, it is birthdays. My new birthday camera has been hard at work, (new pictures above and below), and Bryan took me out for an amazing dinner over the weekend at Zebra which touts itself for carrying local sustainable food (obv the seafood isn't local). We had Blue Point Oysters, Lobster, Duck Duet, Creme Bruele and Chocolate Cake (oh, and it took me like four samples to pick out a bottle of wine - two weeks of not drinking from being sick and it was as if I had forgotten what wine we like!). We hired a legit babysitter for the evening who is really sweet! Once we hit the open road with baby under watchful eye at home, the conversation went a little like this:

Bryan: I kind of feel like we should paint the town tonight!
Bryan: But that will fade as soon as I get food in my belly.
Amy: Um, I wore my standing shoes, not my walking shoes. And besides, I'm going to need a RedBull just to get through dinner.

Are we old as dirt, or what?! We did have a lot of laughter, reflected on our lives together, I shed a few tears (what's a 30th birthday without some sentimental tears), and really lovely conversation all evening. Believe it or not, we only talked about baby a few times!

Sophie's birthday invitations are in the mail, Christmas cards have been ordered, and I am almost done Christmas shopping this year thanks to my forward thinking and some really great websites like Etsy, Amazon, Zulily and The Mini Social. How can it be that another year is almost over? I just haven't bought much for baby girl because between her birthday and Christmas and her four grandparents that love her to pieces, I think she will spoiled enough.

A little photo update from my new camera!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 in 30

My 30th birthday is right around the corner. I've recruited some really really special women in my life to help me come up with a reading list for part of my birthday challenge (first mentioned here if you haven't been keeping up). I am going to attempt to read 30 books to celebrate my 30th year and I'm really excited. here is a list of some of my future evening companions:

Good Morning, Merry Sunshine by Bob Greene, Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, Water For Elephants, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Feel the Fear... and Do It Anyway... I know some of you wanted the full list and once it's compiled, I will share!

Bryan came home recently with my early birthday gift and I've put it to work already. The Canon Rebel T2i with a 18-135mm lens (came recommended by two of our favorite photographers, John Bentham and The Dottens (woop woop!)) has been shutter-bugging all around this house the last few weeks. As soon as I get the software and the photos downloaded just watch out - you thought I took a lot of pictures before?!

Picking out the camera was no easy fete. I went from once photo-excellent to more recently: housewife who wants a fancy camera to take pictures of birthday parties and pets. Sad face. I couldn't exactly explain to the sales guy who I used to be; how I used to get paid to take great pictures. Oh well, gives me more to prove ;)

30 is going to be lovely, I can feel it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday? Saturday or Sunday?

Doesn't feel like Friday around here, not sure why! And the debate is on: will you be trick-or-treating Saturday (my preference) or Sunday?

We've got a great Halloween weekend coming up. A little neighborhood get-together, my mother in law is coming into town, possibly a music class, a baby shower and it's not a weekend around here without good food and good wine. I've got a couple meals planned: my famous seared ahi tuna steak salad with a wasabi vinaigrette and we'll be trying Bombay Sloppy Joe's - a recipe from one of the doctors that Bryan works with (she's from India, this is the real deal y'all).

With that, our family is wishing yours a Happy Halloween! (Hope your babies don't do this when you dress them up.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Croup

Can we just call it what it is? How about the Crap instead of the Croup, because honestly, it's just crap all around.

Sophie had what I thought was an extreme case of teething until the fever got higher, the nose runnier, and the moaning went on all.night.long. When we had two wakeful nights in a row, off to the doctor we went. The RSV test took 10 minutes to process (longest 10 minutes in recent memory), and when it was negative I was so relieved. Steroids for the Croup, and surprise! Our first ear infection - antibiotics as well.

So last night's pillow talk consisted of me relaying to Bryan everything the doc said about Sophie being sick. I had no idea that Croup could get really severe really quick, especially in small children. Bryan said, "So, are you going to sleep in her room or am I?" I gathered minimal bedding for minimal disturbance and snuck in as quiet as my old-lady-half-marathon-knees and my grumbling stomach would let me. I lay on the floor in the nursery all night carefully dissecting every sneeze, cough and whisper she made. Safe to say not much sleep was had, but, thank God for modern medicine as she is already feeling much better.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taking back my kitchen

A few weeks ago, a herd of fruit flies descended on my kitchen. Gross. I tried catching them with vinegar, leftover wine in a bottle with a paper funnel, a banana peel in a bowl wrapped tightly with saran wrap... nothing seemed to help. Finally, we left town for a solid three days. I cleaned the kitchen, fridge, microwave, dishwasher and sink from top to bottom, and I'm happy to say that I've reclaimed my kitchen from the grody fruit flies.

I've also resumed cooking for Bryan and I, and making Sophie some yummy yummy baby food. She loved my butternut squash soup that I modified from this recipe. I actually roasted the butternut squash for another meal a few days prior and I added about 1/4 cup of cream cheese to the finished product. Delicious.

I entered Sophie in the Baby Gap casting call. The babies were supposed to be wearing denim, here she is in her cuteness, and in one photo: her jeggings.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have recently given up on trying to play show tunes and classical cds - things that I like to sing along with to Sophie - and I've caved to the ditties of Leap Frog and Fisher Price. The bright side is, as Bryan pointed out to me this morning, that my mental song library should be doubling at this point (he caught me jamming out with Sophie to her Leap Frog fridge DJ: five little birdies, sittin way up high...). She has taken to bouncing and waving her arms to music, which is pretty cute in my opinion.

Yaya bought her a music table (and a hundred other things!) that sings a song about being busy and having so much to do. It made me laugh because I always say how busy Sophie is scooting around the house. She loves to crawl with toys in her hands (we call them her snow shoes) and, honestly, I could just go on and on gushing about baby girl and her tricks. Sophie gets more fun every day, we just love her so much. She still sleeps like a dream, tries new food, doesn't protest about the stroller or the car seat and I try to thank my lucky stars for having such an agreeable, loving baby girl!

I've been working to expand Sophie's ever-changing palette, and some new items she has taken to (all organic, of course!) include green peas (as puree and as finger food), ground beef with roasted red pepper, tomato and zucchini puree, and cheesy chicken and carrot risotto.

In addition to Sophie's daily busy-ness, our family has been on the go as well! I took a weekend trip with my sister-in-law to Gatlinburg sans kids, Bryan and I stayed the night in Asheville for a beautiful Biltmore wedding, we did some pumpkin hunting at a local farm, and the previous post features our trip to Florida and Alabama. Other than that, we've been enjoying wonderful Carolina weather, taking long walks, doing a little advance Christmas shopping and just enjoying life ;)

Mom and Dad's big night out, Biltmore wedding style!

Family fun on Hodges Farm in Charlotte.

Little stink, 10 months old and showing off
her two pearly whites.

Up 'da rivah

There's nothing like coming home from a very relaxing trip and stepping in a new pile of dog doo-doo. Oh, wait. Not eating all day because you are flying with a 10 month old, realizing at 3pm that last week's cereal is about the only food in the house - then drowning it in sour milk. Home, sweet home!

We had a lovely visit to FL and to the family river house in AL over the weekend. It's an annual trip we take to celebrate my mom and my brother's birthdays. The food, the wine and the sunshine were copious. We had a perfect bonfire complete with s'mores, and there was plenty of football and fishing.

Sophie was toted around by Grandpa and Yaya, she had her first chocolate chip cookie and she woke Matt and Aarica up before sunrise every day. She played hard and slept like a rock!

A very happy birthday to Mom and Matthew!

Sophie and Grandpa at the bait shop/store.

Uncle Matt, Aarica and Sophie gettin' some smiles.

Playing in the grass, and loving it!

A trip down memory road - past river house weekends:

First annual river weekend, 2006!

River trip 2007.

River trip, October 2008.

**2009 not pictured because I was big as a house and
not able to fly. Sophie was on her way!**

Our annual family picture, October 2010.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Namesake, Sophie en Sophie

My first day with Sophie the Giraffe. Already love gumming up her hooves!

A sweet nap with Sophie on the way to see my friend Brayden.

Sharing my green beans with Sophie!

Sharing my Sophie with Papa at our house on Isle of Palms.

On a 6am beach walk with Papa at Isle of Palms.