Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm so excited!!!!

We here at the Eckley household are so excited for so many reasons!!! First off we made it home from the beach and had a wonderful trip. Believe me that is something to be excited about after our last trip!

The second reason we are so excited is because of John McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin for his running mate!!! I had done some research on her several months back and was so impressed. My dad spends lots of time up in Alaska and has sung her praises for about a year. He has been on commercial flights on several occasions with her. She only flies coach to save the state money!!! She seemed to be exactly what our country needed. I had heard her name mentioned a couple of times in the last few months but had pretty much given up hope of her being picked. On Friday morning, when her name started coming up we started to get so excited. I just couldn't believe it!!! We were really in truely jumping up and down when McCain announced her!! I admire her so much for the work she has done and how she has balanced it with her family. It is great to see a woman exhibit leadership qualities in such a strong but humble manner. Matt and I couldn't be happier about the choice. The ticket has our vote for sure and we plan on doing our part to help them get elected (which we weren't planning on doing before this choice!) Needless to say, we haven't stopped smiling or talking about her since Friday.

The last thing to get excited about... FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!! This truely is our favorite time of the year!! We so look forward to football season. There is nothing better than sitting around all day Saturday watching games - any games we love them all!! Auburn did pretty well last night. We enjoyed going over to our friends Kyle and Candace's house to watch the game. They have a brand new baby girl, Kylie who is just 13 days old. We had lots of fun. I am sure I will talk lots more about football in the coming weeks!

So much to be excited about!! God continues to be good!! Here are a few pictures from the beach and from the Auburn game.

Ben chilling on the beach!! He hated the sand. Don't let the pictures fool you!

He loved the pool!

War Eagle!

Ben & Kylie - Young Auburn fans

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beach Adventures

Well, we made it!!! We had a great trip down. Ben is such a great little traveler. It rained the whole way down due to Fay but we survived. When we got here it was actually nice and sunny but really windy. It has been very very windy the whole time. Fay really didn't end up being too bad other than the wind (and when I say wind I mean wind - it is constantly blowing 15-25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph). Today it was rainy most of the day but not too bad. We made it down to the beach once but due to the wind we can't enjoy it very much. We are still having lots of fun...

Ben is ready for the trip
This is what a tropical storm looks like blowing in. It was really interesting to watch because the clouds are really swirling. We sat out on the balcony and watched the storm.
Due to the rain and wind, we have been doing a lot of relaxing. It has been wonderful!!! We have played lots of Wii, read lots of books and watched lots of movies. Ben is loving all the relaxing (and so are we!!)
We went over to the bay side of Gulf Shores and checked it out yesterday.

We found a great playground yesterday and had lots of fun playing!

Today we went shopping at the outlet mall since it was raining. We got lots of good deals. We ate lunch at Lambert's (Home of the Throwed Rolls). Ben loved all the excitement and ate his weight in fried okra.

I think we have a future Michael Phelps on our hands!!! Ben has always been afraid of the water but not this trip. He is loving the pool. He wants to swim, swim, swim. We think he has great potential.

Our swimmer!

Ben has no fear! He has started jumping off the side of the pool like a big boy!
My guys at the beach. Aren't they so cute!
Ben does not know what to think of the ocean at all. He is not a big fan of the beach. And right now I don't blame him. With the wind, the sand is blowing very hard! But he did check out the ocean.
The ocean right after Fay came through - it was a double red flag day so the surf was really up.

This is the trip so far. More to come later....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beach Bound

So we are headed to the beach tomorrow. If you read my post "Summer Fun" you noticed I mentioned a previous beach trip this summer that was not quite so fun (we don't talk about it). We had a good attitude about the trip this week and were very excited. Then along comes Fay!!! It looks like tropical storm Fay is going to hit Gulf Shores right about the time that we get there tomorrow. JOY!!! We are headed down anyway. We are determined to have a better trip, although I am not so sure about it now! Ben didn't like the beach last time so now I guess we have an excuse not to actually go down to the beach! I am taking my work laptop with me so hopefully I can update the blog with some pictures and information from the beach!!

A quick Happy Birthday to Matt!! He turns the big 29 tomorrow! I love you!! Hope you have a great birthday (nothing like spending it driving through a tropical storm!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Opera Baby

Yes, I know it is strange but we have found a new thing that Ben likes - opera. Really! Monday night Matt and Ben were flipping channels and stumbled upon an opera on the ARTS channel. Ben sat mesmerized for a good 30 minutes (and that is good for him). He loved all the singing and music I guess. I think it is sort of crazy! Matt has always been a huge fan of any music including opera. He played in some operas in high school. I went and saw them and thought they were the most boring things ever. Why do you want to watch a bunch of people sing really loud in a foreign language. Oh well, I guess we want Ben to be cultured so it is a good thing. I now know what to turn on if he is ever in a bad mood! I guess this means I get to go to more operas!! Here is Ben watching an opera with his daddy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Fun

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over! We are getting back into our normal routine these days... Ben started back to school last week and our weekly Bible study starts back this week. My work has really picked up in the last couple of weeks so that is also keeping us busy. It is nice to be back on a schedule (and believe me we are on a schedule - we stay really busy)! With all this going on, I thought I would post some pictures and thoughts from some of the fun that we had this summer before I started blogging. Hope you enjoy what else happened with the Eckley's this summer.

We went down to Auburn for Uncle Andrew's graduation for pharmacy school! It was lots of fun to hang out in Auburn for a couple of days. We were really proud of Uncle Andrew.

This summer Ben developed an obsession with crayons. I don't mean an obsession with coloring I just mean an obsession with playing with crayons. He loves to just pull them out and play with them. It is one of the few things he will sit still and do.

We went to the zoo!!! We met up with some of our friends from Birmingham and went to the zoo down there. It was great to see our friends. Ben loved the zoo. He loved watching the animals and just kept pointing at them. He was really fascinated by the monkeys in this picture.

We have played outside ALOT!!! I am not the biggest fan of being outside but Ben loves it. He will just stand at the door and cry to go outside. I have spent more time outside this summer than I can ever remember spending outside. He loves to just walk around and check things out. He plays with his sand table and all his riding toys. And of course he loves to play with all the kids in the neighborhood. Here he is playing with our neighbor's dog Shiloh. It is a really big dog but Ben loves him. He will go right up to him and pet him. Shiloh licks on Ben but is really gentle with him.

More outside fun! Have I mentioned I don't like the hot and bugs! Oh well. One of the joys of being a mom. Ben is not the biggest fan of the water. He really doesn't like baths so he really doesn't enjoy the baby pool but we tried. He will tolerate it for a little while but he would rather be running around. We did go swimming at big pools with some of our friends. He would hold on to Matt or I for dear life. Oh well... maybe he will like it next summer.

Vacation Bible School!! What fun... It was my first experience directing a class. I was in charge of 4 teachers and 15 kids. It went great. My helpers were wonderful. I think the kids had lots of fun and seemed to really learn alot. Ben went to his class all week and loved it!

First haircut!! I can't believe I finally did it. I said I was never going to cut his beautiful hair but it just got to be too much for me. He looked like a sheep dog. So I took him to my hairdresser and had her give him the slightest trim. She barely took any hair off. I was trying to save some for his baby book and there was almost none to save. But it made it look so much better. And it is still curly which was my biggest worry! We actually went back last week for a second haircut.

Here is Ben showing off his haircut. So cute! And he still looks like a baby! By the way yes he is in a box with packing peanuts. He was at Granna's house where he gets to do whatever he wants.

The day at the lake... what can I say. It was a day of accidents! We went to Kelly's family's lake house before the wedding to have some fun. It was a great day but we had some interesting experiences. We took Ben out on the jet ski. Matt was going so slow to try not to tip it that he actually did tip it. So the three of us took an unexpected swim in the lake. Ben was not amused! After that he was a little afraid of any motorized vehicle. You would think that would have been enough excitement for one day but no... Matt and I decide to go tubing. It was lots of fun until we went flying and hit the water at 30 mph. And I hit face first. Lots of blood and swelling (and a broken nose we are pretty sure). But it was lots of fun anyways!

First trip to the movies... or it actually could have been Ben's first date. We went with Ben's little friend Anna to see the Veggie Tails movie. Ben loved it! He sat and watched the entire thing. We need to go back soon.

Our 4th of July trip to the beach. So it didn't go quite as planned. Actually everything that could go wrong did. We really just don't like to mention it. Ben hated the beach so this is one of about three pictures that we took. We are going back next week for the entire week. Pray that it goes better (and it has to because it can't get much worse!)

So there it is our summer in review... Sorry it was a little long but it was a busy summer!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School!!

Today was Ben's first day back at "school". He goes 1 day each week for 5 hours to Mother's Day Out. It is great because it gives me some free time and some time to work. Ben loves school!! He got so excited this morning when I said we were going to school. When we got there he went running in the door. He didn't even look back at me. I was like "Thanks buddy, I love you too!!" But that is what we want isn't it. He had a great time. He has 2 teachers and 6 kids in his class. I packed his lunch and everything (he ate it all). He got a new backpack that has monkeys on it and he was so excited this morning. He was making his monkey sound (which is just him sticking out his tongue and panting - we haven't figured out why he does that for monkey - STRANGE!) He wanted to wear his backpack into school. It was so cute. It got me thinking about how much he has changed from this time last year. I can't believe what a big boy he is.

First day of school last year - 5 months old (notice the big smile)

First day of school this year - 17 months (notice the crazy face - He was mad because I had turned off the Disney channel to take the picture)

Showing off his new monkey backpack!

Let's go Mom!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend in the Mountains

We had so much fun this weekend up in the mountains!!! It was a great time of relaxing with family. We drove up on Friday night with my parents. Ben was a great traveler all weekend long. The drive got interesting towards the end when it was dark and we were trying to find the cabin on the side of a mountain. And when I say side of a mountain I mean side of a mountain. It was a little dicey at times but we made it. Friday night we met up with Andrew and Kelly and celebrated my mom's birthday. Ben had helped to make the cupcakes (he really did help!!). That was a lot of fun. We were all tired and slept really good at this point!

Saturday started with the beautiful view. We really couldn't see it on Friday night. It was amazing! Ben loved looking out and seeing so many neat things. We enjoyed seeing Kelly and Andrew open wedding gifts on Saturday morning. Then we drove over to Cades Cove to do a little exploring. And no one really felt like doing much (2 people claimed they had "heart conditions") so we didn't do any hiking. Then came one of the greatest experiences of my life (ok not really but it was an interesting experience) - eating fried oreos!! We stopped at this little roadside stand and enjoyed some hot fried oreos! The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the cabin. We played pool and cards. I discovered that my dad is a bit of a pool shark and the rest of us are pretty bad! We relaxed in the hot tub and enjoyed a nice campfire (thanks to my pyromaniac brother). It was so much fun. The best part was getting to hang out with the family. Ben loved getting to see his aunt and uncle. He got so excited when he saw them.

Sunday we just relaxed some more in the morning and then went and did a little putt putt. It was fun. Ben loves to "play golf" and he enjoyed hitting his ball. Most of the time he just picked it up and put it in the hole. We then headed home. It was a great weekend!!

Enjoy some of the pictures from the fun time!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Granna!!

Happy Birthday to my mom!! We have a lot of August birthdays in our family (& our friends). My mom is the best mom in the whole world. I am so glad that we moved back closer to home so that we could be near our families. My mom has always been one of my best friends. She is always there for me and helps me whenever I need it!! Thanks mom!! We are actually headed out this afternoon with my parents to meet up with my brother and Kelly in the mountians for the weekend. It will be a fun birthday trip for my mom and we get to see the newlyweds for the first time! I love you mom and hope you have a great day!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mema

Happy Birthday Mema!!! It is Matt's mom's birthday today. Last night we went over to Matt's brother and sister-in-law's house to celebrate a day early. Joanna is a great cook and made some wonderful lasagna. Ben had lots of fun playing. You can see him attacking his Uncle Brett in the picture below! Anyways, we just wanted to say Happy Birthday Mema! Hope you have a great day. We love you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Closet Fest '08 UPDATE!!

It is finished!!!! (Well almost - just a few more little things to do but it is really close). We spent the entire weekend working on the closet. It was a lot of work. Matt did a fantastic job designing it and putting it together. He did it all by himself (with just a little help from me). I am so proud of all the work he did!! Here are a few pictures of it in progress and the finished product. I am so excited to have a closet that is neat and is going to stay that way. Now that we are finished with this huge project I will get back to writing about more exciting things on the blog but this was all consuming for the last week.