Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: The Pilgrimage

Just in from our whirlwind week...some cold and wet days in Hilton Head with lots of friends, then back to Athens for less than 24 hours before we hit the road for a grand tour of North Carolina. Finally home and unwinding a bit with some Karate Kid II.

Hilton Head...went there with some Columbia friends and met up with some Miami kids too. It was lots of fun being social butterflies. Note in Ben's picture that he was fully-clothed and knee-deep in the didn't take the sniffles long to catch up with him.

Asheville...Team Hoffman treated us to a fabulous turkey. Greg (dressed here as a lumberjack) cooked one heck of a bird and the Graichen Nation voted all 47 of Ali's desserts as her Thanksgiving specialties. Ben mashed the potatoes, we listened to "Alice's Restaurant," toasted those in NJ, and ate way too much. A very happy Thanksgiving indeed.

And Durham...The World's Best Godchild (TWBG) celebrated her first birthday, Ben (in an attempt to have all eyes on him all the time) showed the full force of all two of his years, and we were surrounded by lots of NY and NJ extended family, none of which we're actually related to. Definitely good times. I fired my photographer for slacking on the job on this leg of our trip...would love some pics from our hosts (maybe of the finished-product-Minnie-cake and the Birthday Girl herself?!) so for now we have to settle for Todd's handiwork in crafting Minnie Mouse's bow for the birthday cake.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halfway Through November...Already???

The conversation accompanying the photographs:

Ben (who had run away): "Mommy!!!" (shrieking)
Jody: "Ben...this way!"
Ben: "Mommy!!!" (shrieking)
Jody: "Ben...this way!"
Ben: ""Mommy!!!!" (shrieking)
Jody: "Bye Ben...I'm going this way!"

Ben thinking he's being left alone at the park.
Run, run, run...
A fabulous family hike that did not result in us leaving Ben behind.

Mommy, 1. Independent Ben, 0.

Mr. Fix It

For Ben's birthday, his good friend Jen gave him some very impressive power tools. Since then he's fixed everything in Athens...and he's given Todd a hand here and there too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy Ben

Waiting for dinner to be ready...Ben's hard at work.

John & Melinda's Wedding

Absolute perfection!
The only comparison Teddy missed in his toast was to Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi...but Jeter and A-Rod was clever!

Photo credit, once again, the Fabulous Uncle Nick

Wedding Highlights

All of the good photo credit goes to Uncle Nick.

Ben's 2nd Birthday

Ben celebrated a full-fledged Birthday Weekend for the Big Elmo cupcake in Island Heights and Graichen Family Dinner in Toms River. Lots of sugar, so both birthday celebrations were successful! Ben now has more trucks than we can keep track of and some new DVDs to keep us entertained. Plus, a pirate hat from the World's Best Godparents. Happy Birthday Ben!

And in an attempt to stop the relentless demands for more video footage...more birthday magic. It took Ben awhile to realize that he could eat Elmo but once he did, poor Elmo didn't stand a chance.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween #2

We didn't trick or treat, but Ben dressed up as the Man of Steel...cape and all.

Impromptu Road Trip

Graichen Nation hit the pavement for an impromptu weekend road trip to Hilton Head over Halloween. The weather was perfect and the B's were well-behaved...totally worth the drive. Saturday morning was super foggy at Tower Beach but the afternoon was a 10...all photos here were taken on the same day at the same beach.

The water was cold, but Ben was still ready to go in all the way...surprise, surprise.
Plus, he became a hopscotch pro...with a little coaching.

For our next road trip adventure...NJ for The Wedding.