we’re back.

Jack and I got home yesterday afternoon after a week at the beach with my family.  Unfortunately, Tommy wasn’t able to get away from work, so he couldn’t go with us.  We missed having him there – and apparently, Jack really missed the structure and balance of our normal routines.  There was little sleeping and a lot of “terrible twos” on this trip.  But we had a great time with family and completely loved getting to spend the week with them. It was my first time going to Hilton Head Island.  Jack and I both loved it.  


I don’t have a lot of good pictures because I don’t have a real camera right now, so here are some I took with my phone. 


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This boy loves to swim.  By the end of the week he was swimming all by himself, or “Jack self” as he would say. 



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We played on the massive, never-ending-fun, playground.  It was probably the coolest playground we’ve ever seen.  Jack was way too busy having fun to look at me. 



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Dinner at the Salty Dog. 



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There was a spider web by the elevator that caught “biiiiiggg bugs”.  Jack wanted to take his favorite trucks to the beach with him.  They won’t be his favorites for long now that they’re covered in sand and are salt water rusty. 


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Walking back from an evening swim at the pool.  Jack was so proud of himself for holding his own towel around him just like everyone else. 



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Bike rides.  Jack’s favorite thing ever. 



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Pictures 498 The deck the alligators lived under.  We saw one going swimming one day.  Jack didn’t pay too much attention to it.  Thank goodness because he usually wants to pet all animals. 


Jack and I [and I’m sure our family, too] were pretty wiped out  from vacation.  After a week of short sleep, it was nice to get home and sleep in our own beds for a long time.  It was a great trip!  Thanks for the fun trip, Nan and Pops! 


On Friday, Jack and I got decked out in our cow gear and headed to Chickfila for cow appreciation day.  And by decked out in our cow gear, I mean we had the most pitiful cow costumes possible.  A couple of hours before we were supposed to meet our friends there, I realized that I didn’t even have construction paper to make our spots.  So I went digging through our closets looking for a black garment to cut up.  Due to a lack of resources, Jack and I were brown cows.  But I was definitely willing to cut up an old brown pillowcase and safety pin it to our shirts for some free chicken.  We had a great time eating and playing with our friends.





The cutest little cows!





cow day

the great outdoors.

I have not always been an outdoors person.  I like fresh air and I have liked being outside at certain times of the year in particular, but a day in and day out outdoor person, I have never really been.  Tommy is an outdoors guy — how could you not be being from Colorado?  After we started dating, I spent more time doing things outside with him than I ever had before and really liked it.  But Jack, Jack has changed me.   I now love to be outside with him.   He is crazy about the great outdoors.  He is obsessed with it and doesn’t want to come inside ever.  There is usually lots of screaming involved when we do have to go in.


Lately the weather has been perfectly spring.  It felt like we had to wait forever for spring to get here and now it feels like it was worth the wait because it is perfect.  It’s been in the 60s, 70s, and is now hitting 80 this week.  Sunshine for the past several days.  It’s perfect.  So we’ve been spending lots of time outdoors — going to the park, playing outside at our house and at the grandparents’ houses.  Our little family has been enjoying lots of good time outdoors.












































We hope you are enjoying this beautiful Spring wherever you are, too!

the fisheeees.

Jack loves fish.  Or as he refers to them — fisheeees.  We had been wanting to take him to the aquarium, so when my mom mentioned that we should go, we got the adventure going.  And you know now I count fun things we do as “Gabriel’s firsts” too, so Jack and Gabriel got to visit the aquarium for the first time.  It might have been one of Jack’s greatest days.  He walked around looking at cool fish for a couple of hours with some of his favorite people.






Lesson learned — if you can’t find Tommy, look for the control room.





And the valves and stuff.  He’ll be there.









I love this one.  I ordered it blown up to put in Jack’s room.  He’ll love it.










He just wanted to chill in this space.  You can see all of us just watching him in the reflection.  Happy kid.  Oh, and I should mention that he did start the day with matching clothes, but had peed through his pants by the time we got to the aquarium.  Probably thanks to the 20 ounces of orange juice he had on the way up.  You gotta do what you gotta do on a long car ride.












Jack with my brother, mom, and sister.  We were missing Pops on this trip and Jack asked about him a lot.  Work just gets in the way of fun.  That’s what I’m always telling Tommy.





Family picture.





The penguins were a big hit with Jack Jack.  They seemed to like him, too.  They kind of gravitated towards him.





This turned out blurry and not great, but it was actually a pretty backdrop at the aquarium and you can really see how big I’m getting.





After the aquarium we went to the Apple Barn, which is probably one of my favorite places ever.  Solely for the purpose of apple dumplings and apple julep.  I seriously think next time I will have a meal of just those things.  I don’t care about the other food.



We had a great trip, missed a nap, but it was totally worth it.  Jack’s been talking about seeing the fisheees ever since.  It’s really fun to watch him truly enjoy something.  1

one year ago.

One year and one week ago we closed on our house in Maryland.  It was brutal.  It exhausted us emotionally, physically, and financially.  We learned a lot in the aftermath — like it’s OK to say no to an offer or you don’t have to work with a certain realtor just because you feel like you have to.  Especially when they aren’t working in your best interest.  And I beat myself up for awhile after the sale about whether we did the right thing and handled things right.  I would frequently ask Tommy “what if we’d done this or this or this”.  And he told me I had to let it go.  It was over and we were glad not to have to keep up with a house over 10 hours away.  And he was right.  In the last year I have let go of it.  It took some time, and I’m still a bit bitter about the whole house selling/buying/real estate agent/negotiating thing.  But it’s long over, and we have to look at the experience  and learn from it.


So in a last look of sorts at our first home — the one where we poured sweat, blood, and tears, I’m taking a walk down memory lane.  Seriously, if anyone ever pulls up that kitchen flooring they will be disturbed at the amount of Tommy blood on the floor boards.  Lots of work done there [I wrote about here, here, and here].  That whole house was full of lessons.  From the day we started looking for it, to the day we sold it.  And it will always be a house that makes me smile when I remember it.  We brought Jack home to that house after wondering if we’d ever get to bring him home.  We had the best neighbors there. We raised 2 puppies there.  We had some sweet times with dear friends there.  It was where our marriage started.  Lots of sweet memories that I hope I never forget.  So to commemorate it, I’m filling this post with lots of pictures.  Some are before/during/after pics.  Most are just of every day things that I love to remember looking back through pictures.



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Our first DIY headboard.  An easy, cheap, fun project.








The guest bedroom…


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From this after we moved in…



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To this after some painting and sprucing up…




To this…




To this [getting better]…




To this!


And this!


With a sweet, new little bundle in place.




The back door entry way…


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From this…




To this!  [ignore the paint on the floor.  it came right up]




The kitchen…



From this…



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To this!





















The time when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant and needed IVs to help me get fluids and keep things down.












Tiny patch of a front yard made it look like mowing was easy, but the almost half-acre backyard made up for it.












The view I so often had of the dogs out the kitchen window.  They loved that yard, had plenty of room to roam, plenty of animals to hunt and chase, and plenty of shady trees to keep them cool in the summer.  It was pretty much a perfect backyard, except for the 35 dead animals buried back there — but that’s a story for another day.




So many pretty things popped up in the spring.  I loved the colors and surprise of not knowing what was going to come up after 60+ years of things being planted there.











The time we chopped down the holly tree because it was ugly and poked Tommy every time he got out of his truck.  The two of us tackled that thing and hauled it off bit by bit.  Then we put this lovely little garden there instead.






Our dining room.



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Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, and milestones.



tommy shoveling

Shoveling.  Lots of shoveling.  I thought when I married Tommy that I would never have to shovel snow since he’s done plenty of it having grown up in Colorado.  And then he traveled.  And we got 3 blizzards our first Maryland winter.  So I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled.  For this little snow, I left it for him to do when he got home from a business trip.  Tennessee girls are not made for shoveling.  Lesson learned.




This was Lady’s perch where she could see the street.  That bay window was her territory, and this scene of Tommy plus dogs was a common one.




My favorite kitchen floor which Tommy worked so hard to install.  And my favorite golden lab lounging in one of his many spots in the old house.



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Tommy, remember when we used to have breakable things around and actually did this on a Saturday?  Yeah, me either.





The house where we brought Jack home.

















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Waiting out our first hurricane — for all 3 of us.  Jack was scared but we only got a tropical storm after all.



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Tommy used to spend many hours out on the front porch with Jack.  Whenever Jack was fussy, the fresh air, sunshine, and Daddy would always do the trick.



Thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me.  Now that it’s been a year since we sold the Maryland house, I really feel like time has moved forward so much.  We are so settled in our lives in Tennessee and have grown and changed so much in that time.  But I love to remember.  I love looking back and seeing where we were and where we are now.  So I would tell you this will probably be one of my last recaps of Maryland, but in all honesty, it probably isn’t.  But for now, while I enjoyed the memories, I’m turning back around to be very much in the present.  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Happy week ahead to you!













morgan family fun day.

This post has details of our day Monday.  Consider yourself warned that it’s probably over-the-top-obnoxious.


I think any time Tommy has an extra day off, I call it Morgan Family Fun Day.  We love a good day of family fun, and being a stay-at-home mom I really love having him around for any extra days.  So yesterday we took full advantage of his day off for President’s Day and lived it up.


First off, Jack was up at 6 am.  This is probably normal for a lot of moms and a lot of toddlers, but it is not for us.  I’ve done my up-early time, my up-all-night time, and I know I’ll do it again some day — God willing.  But as long as Jack has tubes in his ears, the kid is a good sleeper, and I can’t remember the last time he woke up before 8 am.  Hate me, moms, but it’s true.  Tommy took care of that, and I stayed in bed until after 8.  Me – 1, Tommy – 0.


In need of adventure, we braved the mall on a day when kids were out of school.  After a little food court action, mall walking, and mostly elevator riding, we headed home for a nap.  The boys napped while I scoured the internet for toddler bedding.  Not liking my options.


As soon as Jack woke up we took off for the zoo.  It was a sunny, high-50’s day, and we’re all in need of a little Vitamin D.  Although apparently me the most, based on my recent lab work.  Nurses think it’s funny when a dietitian has a vitamin deficiency.  So I’ve learned.  So we thought we were awesome zoo-goers getting there later in the day, getting a great parking spot, and watching most of the crowd leave.  Turns out they were leaving because the zoo was closing in 20 minutes.  So we walked as fast as we could to get as far into the zoo as we could and then took our time walking back out when they kicked us out.  It was a parent fail, but I would do it again.  We got to see some animals and Jack loves any adventure where Dada and Mama are involved.  Win-win.  We topped the day off with pizza for me and Jack [and Gabriel] and Fuji for Tommy.




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I thoroughly enjoyed my President’s Day.  Hope you did, too!

snow day.

Thursday we got a bit of snow here — a lot by Knoxville standards.  I think we had a whopping inch or inch and a half at our house, and I was so thankful for it.  We had the best time getting out in it and playing.  It was a nice break… a change of pace.


This was not the first time Jack’s seen snow, but it’s been over a year since he has, so big difference this time.  Watching him play in the snow was so much fun.  It was like he was discovering a whole new aspect of life, and I loved getting to watch.  At first he was excited, but cautious as he took it in– which is totally his personality.  Before long he was running and yelling, wanting to play with all the big kids on the street.


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The round cheeks with the red nose… ohh it gets me.




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There was a lot of water from all the rain we’ve had.  As soon as Jack discovered these puddles, it was all fun splashing.  He couldn’t have cared less how wet and cold he was.  Boys are so fun!  Thankful I’m having another.




wrapping up 2012.

Can you believe this year only has 3 days left?  It has gone by so fast.  All of the people who told us that life moves faster when you have kids, really weren’t kidding.  I cannot believe our little man is 19 months.  I cannot believe how quickly Christmas came and went.  And I cannot believe in just a few days we will be ringing in 2013.  I still remember spending my first New Year’s Eve with Tommy in 2005.  That was nearly 10 years ago!


Here is my brief, or not so brief, recap of 2012 from the Morgan’s perspective.




1.  We started off the year with one chunky, just started crawling babe on our hands.  We haven’t sat down since 🙂

2.  We got an offer on our house and after agonizing negotiations we were under contract.  The selling of our house proved to be exhausting, taking a toll on us physically, emotionally, and financially.  We learned a lot from it and know next time we’ll use a good realtor, we’ll wait on the best offer for us, and we certainly won’t be afraid to say no.

3.  We made a trip back to Maryland to move out of our house and close on it.  Worst closing ever.  Great to see our friends who we dearly missed though.

4.  Last look at our first house.






1. The first half of the year was pretty full of teething.  Always working on teeth, that little one was.

2.  We tried a lot of new foods this year.  Most went over really well.  Some did not.

3.  We bought a house!  And it was painless and smooth and oh so refreshing, especially after being scarred from the last experience.

4.  We were so blessed that Tommy’s new work moved us down here.  I didn’t lift a box.  Just got the fun job of unpacking, which I tackled as quickly as possible with a 10 month old.






1. Celebrating Easter for the first time with our darling little man.  He’s a looker, especially in that bow tie.

2. We turned a work trip into a beach vacation in sunny Florida.  Jack’s 2nd plane ride.  Jack’s 2nd plane ride with a double ear infection.  But it was all worth it for some fun in the ocean.

3.  Jack had his first surgery getting tubes put in his ears.

4.  Jack turned 1!!!!  We had a wonderful party with our family and celebrated the little guy like crazy.










1. 4th of July celebrations at mom and dad’s, including an intense game of croquet.

2. Family beach trip to Wild Dunes, South Carolina.  Our favorite place.  Jack had a blast with his family around him all week, and we had so much fun getting to hang out with everyone.

3.  We had lots of fun adventures this fall — we all love the fall season!

4.  The pumpkin patch was a huge hit for our little man.  He couldn’t have been happier to be surrounded by pumpkins as big as him.





1.  Found out and shared our news that we were expecting baby #2!  Earlier that day we got to see our sweet little bean on the ultrasound screen and experience the miracle of hearing the baby’s heart beat.

2.  We got to celebrate Thanksgiving day with both of our families this year.

3.  After 8 straight weeks of sickness Jack had his 2nd surgery– adenoidectomy and they put tubes back in his ears.  2 weeks of recovery and a virus later, he was back to himself!  And life has been wonderful since!  He is truly the happiest child I’ve ever known.  So thankful he is back to himself.

4.  We celebrated Jack’s 2nd Christmas and spent lots of time with our families.  It was a wonderful holiday season.



God continues to pour blessings on us.  This year has brought more and many different things than I’d imagined.  God has blessed us in ways that I never could have dreamed up or ever thought to ask of!  He is truly so good.  In the hard and the easy.  In the ups and the downs.  Thankful for a year where my eyes were more open to this.  Thankful for a year of more feeling and experiencing and living.  So looking forward to 2013 and what it will look like for our family.

sleeping with a toddler.

I mentioned before that we shared our bed with Jack for the past 7 weeks while he’s been sick/had the never ending ear infections.  Then I shared that the day after surgery he happily went back to his own bed.  He’s been there most nights, except for 2 when he destroyed his bed for the night by eliminating all solids and liquids from his GI tract right in his bed — if you know what I mean.


Anyway, I found this post the other day, and I was cracking up reading it.  I couldn’t wait to share it with Tommy, and then we laughed and laughed about which ones were the worst.  What parent wouldn’t appreciate this?


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1.  Jack gets us both with the roundhouse kick.  I hate getting kicked in the neck or face during the night.  Call me crazy.

2.  The neck scarf really just happens to Tommy.  I’ve woken up during the night several times to see them like that, and I have no clue how Tommy’s sleeping.  And then I fall back asleep thankful Jack’s on his side.

3.  Snow angels, jazz hands, and I’m not speaking to you all make for a fit full night’s sleep, but I’d take them over getting kicked in the face any day.

4.  The H one makes me laugh so hard because this is what we get a lot of.  I wake up in the morning and am like I had 2 inches of bed and Tommy says the same thing.  What makes a toddler think it’s ok to sleep horizontally when sharing a bed with 2 other people??  Come on!

5.  The booby trap and the dog house have gotten Tommy many a night.  I actually think he finds it relieving though, because then he gets the couch or guest bed all to himself.

6.  And last but not least the stalker.  I woke up one time with Jack sitting there staring at me.  Freaked me out so much.  I had no idea what he was planning but I was on my toes all day long.

*There are some sweet, sweet moments getting to sleep with our little man.  I love those.  But I also love a good night’s sleep and this chart is just all too true.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep!

the tree.

I shared about our trees and how Jack was so into decorating them.  He cracks me up because he is fine with ornaments being on the tree upstairs.  He does rearrange them, and he does add his own.  Why can’t blocks and alphabet letters be tree ornaments?  But on the downstairs tree he has picked off every ornament he can reach.  Since that tree is 5 feet tall, it really doesn’t leave much room for decorating.  I saw this diagram and immediately thought of Jack.  So true.


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