Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday Walker!

Every year Walker's birthday sneaks up on us, and we forget to plan a birthday party.  Last year was probably the worst one with Steve, Bennett and Preston home recovering from surgeries.  I vowed to make this year's birthday better.  However, with the big day just 5 days after Christmas, I found myself unmotivated and tired.  We did ask him what he wanted to do though, and tried to make his day special.  Thankfully he is young, with little expectations.

This December 30th, we started our morning by Walker tearing into all of his birthday presents.  Then we sang "Happy Birthday" to him, and allowed him to have chocolate cake for breakfast (because that is what he wanted).  Walker didn't want to share any of his cake, so he was the only lucky one to start off the day with a plate of sugar (which actually made it a little more special)!

Swinging on trapeze

Then we all got dressed and headed to Surge Trampoline Park to get out some of that energy!  The place was dead for the first hour, and the big kids did a great job entertaining him.  He did the trapeze, and jumped and dove off of multiple trampolines.  Walker had a ball!
Diving like a champ!
After Surge, we went to lunch at Chick-fil-A and then came home for a short nap.  That afternoon Miller came over to play with him, and then we headed to Leah & Fletcher Smith's house for a fun dinner!  Even though there wasn't a big party, Walker received calls from those who love him, and he was with friends and family all day.....which to him is all that mattered.  I promised him there will be a party, perhaps this summer when his Christmas presents are old and the weather is warm!  We love our little guy, and he know it.  Here's to an awesome year Walker!  We all love your spunky personality.  You definitely think you are the boss of the family, and your love for sharpie markers and anything art is still going strong!  So glad you received everything to make your office complete!  Happy 4th Birthday big guy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

Uncle Dan with all grandkids
Like previous years, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve with the Mizeranys.  We went over and ate dinner, and then we all gathered around the tree and began tearing into all of the presents once Maria got off work.  Walker racked up, with a ridiculous amount of presents (because everything was individually wrapped).  He loved opening them, almost more than the contents.  Bennett got a new American Girl doll, the first boy doll, and all of the accessories for him, and cash from Mimi and Papa.  Preston got more baseball and football cards, games for his xbox and Nintendo ds, a Tom Brady jersey and cash.  Walker got a couple of Star Wars costumes, with all of the accessories, a nerf gun (so he can fight Preston), a variety of markers and cash. 

Of course, Uncle Dan was more than generous with all us, and Michelle and Goo spoiled all of our kids.  Our children had a great first round of Christmas, and had to open their gifts there!  Here are some of our favorite pictures.
Dr Mizerany giving Maria a shot

Once we got home, the children dispersed their reindeer food, and hit the bed.  
Christmas morning started nice and early like every year.  As we always do, we make the children all wait together until everyone is awake and we are ready.  Around 8am, my parents, Steve and I went into the living room and recorded the kids opening their gifts.  They all seemed genuinely excited with what Santa brought them. 
autographed Derrick Henry football card
super excited with her new chromebook!
What was Santa thinking, a trumpet?!
We didn't give them much under the tree, since we are taking them skiing in Park City in February.  However, we did send them on a little scavenger hunt...

They were SUPER excited to learn they are going to Disney for a couple of days, and then a Disney cruise with the Bantas next Thanksgiving.  A long way away, but they get to get passports and now have two trips to look forward to in 2018.  Christmas, part 2, was a success!

"Captain Underpants" wasn't naked, though it appears that way.
Our final Christmas, with my side of the family, started when Brian and his family all arrived shortly before lunch.  Having all of the kids together is always fun.  My parents really wanted each child to take turns opening presents so they could see everything they were receiving, but that went out the window after Walker opened his first present.  Being so young, he has no patience, and wants to keep opening all presents once he get started.  We were all in a sea of wrapping paper, and everything was opened within 20 minutes!  It was very hard to get pictures because it all happened so fast, and I was trying to see what our kids were receiving too.  Once again, they were spoiled by my parents and the Banta family.  Walker received more costumes, light sabers, more art supplies, a new bike helmet, sled and cash.  Bennett received a children's cookbook, a monogrammed apron, a Starbucks gift card (she loves their frappuccinos), some clothes, a sled and cash!  Preston received more games for his xbox and ds, another football jersey, a basketball, sled and cash.  The Bantas gave each child a special date....Pres is going to the lake for the weekend to learn how to wakeboard with an instructor and all, Bennett is going to lunch and getting a pedicure with Aunt Shannon, and Walker gets to show off his mad art skills at Do it Yourself Crafts!  They will all have a blast, I know....and they will have memories to last them a lifetime. 

how cute are they?  hiding from the big kids during nerf gun fight.
laughing while dancing to "Just Dance"
enjoying their electronics!
We enjoyed a lovely dinner (beef tenderloin, mac and cheese and a salad).  The day was so nice.  We are so incredibly lucky to have all of our family with us over Christmas!  We all had a blast, and the kids have so many new items to enjoy for months, and sweet memories of spending time with their grandparents and cousins.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Came Early in Birmingham

One weekend it was 70 degrees, and five days later it snowed 3 inches in Birmingham!  You have to love the weather in the south.  The weatherman said there was a chance, so the schools cancelled school the night before (just in case).  There was lots of excitement from the kids knowing they now had a three day weekend (even if it didn't snow).

Friday morning, Steve and I were still in bed when the kids came running into our room at 7am saying it snowing.  The snowflakes were huge, and it was beautiful.  We watched it start to accumulate from inside, and after a couple of hours there was enough for the kids to really play with, and they were dying to go outside.  Thankfully we have a basement full of ski clothes, so everyone bundled up and headed out.

The kids beloved PE Coach even came over to play with them outside.  All of the neighbor kids were out too.  The group had a blast sledding on a neighbor's small hill, building snowmen, making snow angels, throwing snowballs and eating lots of snow.  The kids went in and out a couple of times, warming up with hot chocolate and sitting by fires, but sadly all of the fun only lasted one day.  Saturday the temperatures rose and the snow melted.  However, we all had fun and are already looking forward to our next unexpected "snow storm."

Beckham loved the snow too!

Pretty impressive for Alabama
Pitiful hill, I know, but the kids had a ball
Leyton and Bennett
Girls with Coach Christian

I loved the snow on the tree branches

Beck catching a snowball

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fairytale Wedding - Part 2 (Greenwich)

Friday afternoon, Dec 1st, we arrived in Greenwich and checked into our hotel.  We all showered and got ready for the cocktail hour and rehearsal dinner.  Alex joined a country club there, and the festivities were held there.  Steve and I finally met Avery, and that night during all of the toasts, we felt like we even got to know her some.  As it turns out, they seem to be more opposites, but yet the perfect match.  It was a fun evening, but we totally forgot to snap pictures.

Before the wedding in the lobby
Saturday morning, we slept in a little before hitting downtown Greenwich to shop.  It was a darling little area, with a long road of boutiques and a huge Saks, kind of similar to Homewood (minus the Saks).  Steve fell in love with a new men's clothing store there, and we both enjoyed a great deli lunch.  Since the buses to the church left fairly early, we came home and got ready for the long night of fun.  Wedding at 5pm, Cocktails at 6pm, Dinner at 8pm, and the After Party at Midnight!  The night was clearly for the that is A LOT of potential drinking!

The church was small and quaint, and their huge bridal party was packed in like sardines on the pulpit.  They had a friend sing, and she did a wonderful job.  It was personal, and kind of wedding!  Since they took photos before the ceremony, everyone was able to head straight to Avery's family home for the rest of the night.

They opened up their home, and had several tents put up to accomodate the crowd and keep everyone moving.  The rest of the night was just A.Mazing!!  The decorations and flowers were gorgeous, creating just a dreamy ambience.

The original Bantas
Cocktail Party
Hard to do this HUGE tent justice....stunning!

Loved my cousin time!
The crowd moved into the largest tent I have ever seen put up (outside of a circus tent) with a clear top around 8pm.  It was a sit down dinner, but they had the crowd up and dancing in between courses, so dinner lasted a few hours.  Rumor is that the band played at Serena Williams' wedding a couple of weeks beforehand.  In addition to the great band, they had two human disco balls out dancing, offering photo ops and putting on a show of their own.

We had a blast catching up with family, meeting new people, dancing and just having a fabulous time.  The majority of the older adults departed around midnight when the reception ended. However, Steve and I were ready to see what the after party was all about.  So we meandered back into the original tent, which now had a DJ spinning fun music.  Again, the alcohol was flowing, and we were still standing and dancing.  It was close to 1:30am before we made it to the bus and back to the hotel.

LOVED all of the candles!
The early morning departure was not fun, but wow....what a weekend!  We were thrilled to be included in all of the fun.  We couldn't be happier for Alex and Avery, and look forward to getting to know her.  Cheers to them and many, many years of health and happiness!
Mr. & Mrs. John Alexander Forrey