Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

As we head off for a week at home, here's a look at what our holidays consisted of leading up to today:

Christmas tree up and decorated

Andrew risking his life to put up icicle lights

Prom-Pose before a Tacky Sweater Party

The pups checking out their stockings

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Posting every 10-14 days... not a good habit to be in.  Sorry about that.  I'd blame it on the madness that is the holidays, but really the sunroom has been cold enough to act as a walk-in refrigerator and I'm not interested in computering with chills.  So instead I've spent my evenings crafting in my ugly-but-cozy chair by the Christmas tree, bending wire this way and that trying to make a different kind of gift tag.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, so what have we been up to?  Andrew is trucking it through work... lots of long days but he's getting through it.  We have our eyes on the prize: a WHOLE WEEK at home with our families after Christmas.  3 nights with my family and 3 nights with his.  This is my favorite Christmas EVER!  (Until next year when Baby Candler is here and I get to snuggle her and hog her!) 

Last Friday, we went to Andrew's work Christmas party in Savannah.  Highlight of the night: sneaking out during the middle of the party to hop on the ferry, cross the river, and do some speedy shopping at the Savannah Candy Kitchen (aka Heaven on Earth) with Mike & Kimberly (Andrew's coworker and his wife).  Andrew tried to lecture me for spending too much, but then realize he was the one that bought a $20+ bag of Jelly Bellys.  ($2.75 per QUARTER pound, not per pound, Buddy!)  We got to stay in the big Westin I've always just looked at from my perch on the deck at Tubby's.  Savannah is one of my favorite places to go (even more special since Andrew proposed there), and we always have a great time.

Little Morgan and I joined a gym together.  It's really close to home (about a 5 minute drive for each of us), and it is a small women-only gym (kind of like our college!).  So I have been busting a gut running on the treadmill and watching America's Funniest Home Videos every day after work... it's a special kind of workout: run, run, laugh, choke, run, laugh, choke.  But I think I'm doing better than Andrew: raise arm, change channel, lower arm, rest 1 hour.  Haha, kidding.  Well, not really... but its funny.

The pups are doing well.  Penny absolutely hates cold weather and breaks my heart every morning by shivering next to her food bowl.  Luckily, Copper keeps her warm and snuggly in the doghouse until the day warms up a bit.  We had to board them when we were in Savannah, and Copper lived up to his reputation of distrustful reclusive dog.  The vet tech said that she would dangle a treat through the bars of the cage and he would just turn his back on her and snuggle with Penny.  (Penny, of course, ate her share AND his share of treats... and spent her first 3 hours back at home regretting it.  Poor baby.)  I'm sure Copper was having flashbacks to his puppyhood at PetSmart: people buying all of his siblings and leaving him alone in a cage for weeks.  What kind of a pup-momma am I letting him relive this?!  Andrew wanted me to wait outside while the vet techs got the pups, but I told him it would be way worse on me to wait in the car.  Sure enough, when the door opened and Copper came into view, his low wag and tongue-lolling smile erased the worries.  He just needed us.  Those two snugglers rule my world.

Kitty Bug has been her same sassy self.  We have one of those feeder bowls for her and I can put a week's worth of food in it at a time so she can just nibble at her leisure.  Usually, she finds it empty in the middle of the night and will come sit on my chest, meow at and pat my face until I get up and scoop some food for her. Well, the other night she decided to get creative.  Since she was hungry, she ate a leaf off of a plant, sat on the bed next to my knees and barfed that leaf back up on me.  At 3:30am, I wake up to the certain gurgly yacking that can only come from a cat.  Thanks a lot, Bug.  Andrew slept through the entire ordeal and I used my booklight to clean up. 

So that's been Life with the Rays the past couple of weeks.  I have been sporadically taking some pictures, so I'll post them as I get them uploaded.  See you tomorrow or in 10-14 days.  (I kid, I kid.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to Da Budd!

My (not so) little Copper Budd is 2 years old today!  Time to take him on a PetSmart date.

Copper, Early 2009
Copper and Momma, Fall 2010

Happy Birthday, Buddrow!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Tart'nTiny!

Guess who I saw a picture of yesterday...

Baby Candler, 1st Ultrasound, 12-2-2010

My sweet future niece/nephew!  So IN LOVE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


So, I mentioned before that my sister made some adorable personalized bibs to break her pregnancy news to everybody.  She got crafty and borrowed my Cricut to cut out stencils with freezer paper, and then used fabric paint.  Everybody was so excited and I know we are going to be fighting to put these bibs on the baby when s/he's born!

My favorite was the night before Thanksgiving when Ma & Pa opened their bibs.  Ma was just chattering away as she took her sweet time unwrapping the gift.  When she looked down at what she opened, she froze and said:  "This is a bib." (pause- then turns to look at Shannon)  "You're pregnant?"  (Shannon nods)  "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" (dives at Shannon for a hug).  Pa's reaction was much more subtle, but he made an adorable face when he realized what he was holding in his hands.  Ma's bib said, "Shmimi's Sweetums" (she calls us Sweetums sometimes), and Pa's said, "PePaw makes me giggle!"  (Because Pa is always cracking us up.)

Dan was out of town for Turkey Day, so Shannon called him and said we'd send a picture of his gift.  We sent him a series of pictures: one of the wrapped present, one of the present being opened, and one of the bib itself.  Dan (who was known to call himself the "Master of Getting What I Want" growing up) got a bib that said, "Uncle Dan lets me do what I want!"

Jake & Allie opened theirs on Thanksgiving night at dinner.  Shannon put their gifts on their plates, and they opened them as soon as they arrived.  Allie, bless her, has never gotten used to just how loud my sister is.  So Allie's bib said, "Aunt Allie loves me loud!"  Jake's bib said the ever-appropriate, "Uncle Jake makes me Google!"  Shannon even painted the "Google" in the correct colors.  So cute!

Thanksgiving Surprises!
Ma's & Pa's
Andrew's and mine
Jake & Allie opening theirs

Uncle Jake :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We're on the highway to Helen...

As I mentioned before I went on my secret-keeping hiatus, we planned a trip to Helen, GA for Ma & Pa's 30th anniversary. The weekend was amazing! We had a great time hanging out together and enjoying the little German town. We were all there on Friday night, and then Jake & Allie had to leave Saturday afternoon. We spent Friday night hanging out by the fire pit, and Saturday afternoon, we went into the town and enjoyed Oktoberfest. Us young'uns left on Sunday, and Ma & Pa enjoyed a night out on the town. It was so much fun (and it's not often we all go somewhere together!), so I think we might try to do this annually if we can swing it. Here are some photos from the weekend:

Shannon & Matt (photo by Allie)
Pa, Ma and me (photo by Allie)

The Cake!  Made by Allie (photo by Allie)

Andrew and his trout

Our cabin

The fire pit by the creek

Wilbur Curtis Candler

Trying to get everyone organized for a family photo

Our family... love them!

Ja, ja!

Bruder and das boot

Sisters <3

Matt cheesing with his big gulps

Pa & Ma, the Love Birds

Sister and Hey PA

Dancing family

Love Birds

Prepping for the walk back

I'm baaaaaack...

Well, hey.  Sorry it has been about 18 million years, but I became a secret-keeper.  And the only way to avoid spilling the beans was to avoid the blog all together.  (I'm not so good with surprises... I used to show my little brother his Christmas present from me almost as soon as it was purchased.)

So what is the big secret?  Well, I'm not ready to say.

Ok, I kid. I kid.  The big news is...
My beautiful sister is having a baby! 
We're going to be Aunt Chels and Uncle Aray!

We are over the moon happy.  This was such unexpected and exciting news!  Shannon found out on November 1st (the day after we got back from Helen).  We planned for her to watch the pups for us the next weekend while Andrew and I went to Statesboro for GSU's homecoming, so I drove the pups up to her house the night of 11/4.  She gave me a little gift, and I took my sweet time opening it, not expecting that it would contain the best news ever.  (Thinking back on it... she was shifting from foot to foot pretty anxiously and Matt did have the flip video camera going "to record the pups".)  When I saw that precious little bib, I just couldn't believe it!  She is due July 10th, and I am hoping that little Tart'nTiny can hold out just one extra day so we can share birthdays.

When I got home that night (pretty sure I squealed the whole drive home), I woke Andrew up and showed him the bib.  He said, "You are the Aunt, right?"  Duh, yes love.  And once he was sure it wasn't me who was pregnant, he was excited, too.  Shannon gave me permission to tell only Andrew and Little Morgan, since I see them all the time and there is no way I could keep this from them.  The rest of our families found out Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day.  I'll do a separate post on this, because I need to upload pictures of the adorable personalized bibs she made.

So, in short, I am now allowed to shout this news from the rooftops.  So that means, I'm baaaaaaack!