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Sunday, February 27, 2011


Trying to type the way Reese sounds is tough some times but that's supposed to say OUTSIDE. Reese's favorite place right now and her favorite word.

This weekend was a nice preview of spring - albeit a little too warm in February for my tastes - I know I'll catch grief for that but February is still should feel like it to a degree. 75 degrees is not winter time weather and it really isn't spring when you think about it. I'd like some 60's for a change and a nice breeze to go with was just a little too warm a little too soon but it was still nicer than 30's. I guess I want perfect and its hard to find here in North GA.

So, updates. I ran the Guns and Hoses 5k this Saturday and did ok. I ran a 32.30 and I was pleased with that since I haven't really ran outside in a long time and on top of that, I haven't run a complete 5k distance in a while. I need to get back on the horse and this was the first step. Kim walked/ran the Towne Lake Loop which is about 4+ miles when I got back and then we proceeded to spread about 60 bales of pine straw in the afternoon. All of that = whipped Kimmy and Adam on Saturday.

Sunday had us going to Cartersville for a lunch with Kim's cousin who is back from Afghanistan on leave or break...not sure the technical term. Reese did very well today and I learned how to sew a button on a shirt from Kim's Aunt Nina......Kim couldn't sew something together if you put a gun to her head and any attempt at a button looks like FOP when I do it so I learned from a pro today. Pretty easy and that's one thing off my bucket list.

I've got alot of worthy photos to post from this weekend but just please accept apologies for the blue hue to the outside pics....Adam was playing with the white balance earlier in the day and it screwed up the pics and I've 'fixed" them as best I could.


See that blue hint? It was horrible until I dorked around it the pics in are pics from this evening with Pooks playing with us in the floor and one from the car ride to Nina's....seepy baby.

That's the run down folks. Nothing crazy but just a great weekend with the little girl. ON top of is her 23rd month with us. One more month and Reese will be TWO!!!!!!! Where the hell has the time gone? Happy 23rd month sweetie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 guess what?

I can't hear again. Completely gone....nothing....nada. Even laying upside down is useless this time. I attempted a few days ago and Reese joined in of course but relief.

Even more concerning this time is the complete lack of any significant hearing in my left ear vs. last time when I could hear something...faintly. So, this makes life interesting with a little girl that is learning to talk. Two year old jibberish becomes non-identifiable mumbles quickly. I'm sure Reese is tired of me saying, "what sweetie?" or "Huh?", "Say again...". Yeah, I'm tired of this mess. The Netti doesn't really provide relief and I take a cocktail of meds to clear my head to no avail. I think I need to jam something in there to stir things about but then I'd have to pick Kim up off the floor from the sight of something jobbed into my ear.

On to different things.....Reese updates.
This little girl is the copycat queen now. Everything you do....she'll do. If you say it with any amount of inflection....she'll catch it and repeat it. Having her say Hippopotamus back to you is hilarious. HIP-PPATOMOSAMUSES.....SES. It's good for hours of fun.

It's so much fun to communicate with her now. We don't just talk to her...she finally talks back and it's in context to the conversation which is amazing. She's pretty demanding though. I'm not sure where the bossi-ness comes from but she is a take charge kind of girl and wants things a certain way. We give her some leash with that to a degree but we make sure to reign her in before she gets too much attitude. We don't want a diva on our hands.

I think the best things that she's said is "I love you Mommy, or Daddy". Yeah, she may be repeating something but its the best thing in the world to have her say those words. Being a father seems more real right now. She needs me for things but she wants me to do things for her as well. She needs me to prep dinner for her but she wants me to rub her feet or scratch her back (believe me...she loves both). She needs Mommy to keep her safe but she wants Mommy to hold her when she's scared. Those needs are more real than ever but the fact that she wants to be near us or that she wants to spend time with priceless. You can't get that from a dog or a cat. You can't find that kind of love just almost has to come from a child and what a gratifying feeling it is. I know it won't be like this forever and part of me wants to bottle this time to keep for a lifetime because she changes so much day to day.....but I guess each age or situation has it's rewards or pitfalls so we'll just keep moving forward.

She's growing up on us....she's not even two but it'll be four and then eight, and then sixteen......ugh. I wish she could stay small forever.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts from the dentist's chair.....

Today is a holiday for me....lucky yes....somewhat of a yuck day...yes again.

I didn't start my holiday with a biscuit from Family Tradition or a donut from the local bakery. I didn't sleep in and I haven't been watching Regis and Kelly. Nope, I went to the dentist and for my troubles, I can't feel my face.

I'm difficult to numb and on my last visit to the dentist, they tried for almost an hour to deaden my jaw for a simple filling but my body was hopped up on Caffeine and that is a no-no when trying to deaden your smile. Today, I went in only armed with a chocolate milk from this a.m. and no food. They popped me three times and now, I can barely blink my right eye. My lip feels as if it is swollen from a fight, my tongue feels like its not part of my body and like a left over piece of flank steak that I've been chewing for the past two hours. I want to enjoy a lunch but it would appear that I may be sipping a milk shake for lunch today.

I need to be doing things around the house but I think Novacaine has an adverse affect on my desire to do anything as well. I think my "want to" is numb as well. I think I'll head for the couch and rest for a bit....and maybe swallow my tongue.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Been a while.....

Yes....I'm delinquent on posting but I have good reasons. Since we've been back from the ski trip, I've been dead tired every night. Then, I traveled to Miami this week for the Miami International Boat show and I've just been behind on posting anything. But mostly tired....those mountains just pulled the life out of me!

ANNNNNND yet again....I'm borderline sick. Again.

This has been the worst winter and a few days in Miami just made it harder to absorb that February is still here. I'm actually ready for heat again. Sweltering, unbearable heat. I hope this summer is one to write the records for heat waves because this winter has absolutely killed me with sickness and general yuck.

The semi break in weather has put me on the Egg again cooking burgers, Pork butts, ribbies, and Italian sausages. I just love my egg and I can honestly say that this is one of the best investments that we've made in a long while...Kim even likes it and loves that food that we're cooking on it. Nuff said, the CFO approves of the capital expenditure therefore future projects "could" be approved. I'm thinking blender now....Blendtec baby.

The pic above is from last weekend and the 18 hour slow cooking Boston Butts. Slow cooked pork is the best!

So a few updates on Reese. The kiddo loves to sing. She is singing Twinkle Little Star, Old McDonald, One Two Buckle My Shoe, Happy Birthday, The ABC song, Ring Around the Rosie, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Little Ducks Out to Play, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row Your Boat.....I mean seriously, this is out of no where. One afternoon she just started belting out a tune and it was pretty much spot on. Sure, she mumbles some of her words but all in all, I'm so impressed with all that she has memorized. Her vocabulary is really exploding now and she is having miniature conversations with us. It's hilarious to hear her bark orders at us like, "MOMMY sit!" or "Daddy! Play bocks"....(blocks). She is so demanding but she does it in such a nice way. You can't help but laugh at her.

We haven't been video people but Dad gave me this little webbie camera that actually takes pretty good video and we've just started to use it more and more. Today we were looking back at video that Dad took around her baptism when she was around 8 months old and the changes are so dramatic. It's funny to see her sitting there sort of yelling something but having no idea what she wants but look at her now and she is telling us what she wants. It's so amazing how time just escapes us and now a baby that whimpered is a toddler that talks.

She's such a happy little girl right now and we're just so lucky to have her. I've got some planned updates for later this week so I'll hit the creative vein then....Right now, I'm tired again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vail....part 2

So I was talking about dropping into a Bowl and regretting it.....well. This is what a Bowl looks like.

Does it sort of make sense that Bowls are big and deep and steep and and and .......Get a little perspective with me. Look at the last picture. There is a natural center to the mountain and it forms a V...right above that V are two specs.....those are skiers. Oh and this is midway through the run on this particular Bowl. Vail has four bowls on the backside so you can understand where the vast terrain comes in.

Here are some more pics from this beautiful side of the mountain.

Lance at the top of China Bowl
Looking into part of Sun Up Bowl
Me in the middle of China Bowl

This is me taking a break in the Siberia Bowl on Bolshoi Ballroom....a long steep, powder run...Black Diamond baby...that's how Lance and I roll.

I've sort of been telling this tale with pics to accurately portray the times but now I've gone and mixed days with me in the bowls so here is the deal. I'll tell the tale and then put up pics that tend to correspond to the day or area as close as I can.

Day 1 in the bowls....Sun Up Bowl specifically....a disaster.

Day 2 in the bowls...China Bowl is groomed.....ah...the sun is out, I can see better...we ski better.

Day 3 in the bowls....Siberia bowl is powder and steep....and we're better at handling things.

That's sort of the tale for the bowls with Lance and I. I think the real story in all of this is how well the girls did but on top of that....the cold. Wednesday the high never got into positive digits. Thursday morning the low was -30 F. I mean really? Is that necessary?
I'll end this relatively short post with a series of front side pictures and then espouse about the cold and the experiences on the front side of the mountain on Vail part 3.


Tons of fun folks.....

I'll hit the high spots of the slopes on the front side and have a little fun with the pains of skiing later this week.

Hope you enjoy the pics.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Big Honking Update......

It's been a while since I updated the goings on with the Hall Clan. Well it just so happens that we've returned from an EPIC trip (not sure why folks use the word EPIC so much lately and why its always in caps but I didn't want to be left out) Vail, Colorado. Story and pics in abundance follow!

This trip was planned back in the fall and the idea all along was that little Reese would spend the week here with Nana - either at our house or hers. That little fact alone caused some unrest with Kim and I....not that we don't trust Nana with Reese but there is a sense of - Will Reese behave? Will she be ok away from both of us for so many days? Will she go bonkers on Nana and drive her up a wall? I was going to be ok with the process because I travel all the time anyway but when I leave, Kim is there and Reese is at the house with familiar things. This time would be different though...even I was uneasy. So we packed up the world on Sunday night and took Reese to Calhoun....

This is for five nights. The entire back of my truck was full. Pack and play, high chair, food, sippies, clothes, toys, lovies (Puppa and Elmo), POTTY....I mean everything we could think of, we sent. I'm fairly certain that being removed from familiar things was not going to be an issue once we took a look at the situation.

We had a great meal with PawPaw and Nana and then put Reese to bed Sunday night. We left our little girl for a week long trip for the first time since she was born and this Daddy found it to be harder than I had imagined. Kim was strong...I was sort of weak. Oh well....

When we arrived in didn't look like this. (although we did get this amazing day later in the week...keep reading)

It looked like this.....
Cloudy. Gray. Cold...ish 33 degrees. Light winds. But still different than home. I think we were all expecting mountains and snow but what we got at Vail put this little pic to shame. The flight was non-eventful...sometimes you get those horrible flights that are packed out and other times you get half empty flights. This was a half empty flight where Kim and I were able to sit in a three seat row and sort of spread out. We were jipped the Westbound movie from our friends at Delta but that was ok. I listened to some old school iPod tunes courtesy of my very first iPod coming back to life recently. I digress....

We take our shuttle into Vail, CO which was about 45 minutes from Eagle County Airport....better than riding two hours from Denver but probably some missed scenery as well. We were the last stop and we were a little skeptical about our accommodations. They dropped us off but we couldn't really find a check in place. Oh, and it's a little colder in Vail than at the airport. Probably around 20-ish degrees and we're looking around for a check in desk.....nothing.

We FINALLY find the place to check in...tucked into a building we thought we'd never find and came back to a very reasonable place!

Lance liked the bear ottoman. I think he took it home.

Our view from the room was nice as well...
The first pic is from the balcony....where we had plenty of fire wood. The other pic is from a bedroom window looking into a portion of Lionshead Village and behind the buildings in the pic are the slopes. From this vantage point, things look steep and it also makes the mountain seem somewhat small in terms of trails. Um, no. Bad guess.

The next pics sort of drive home that steep mentality...the girls were trying not to soil themselves looking at this mountain before us.

You essentially see only three to five runs from here. That was just a portion of what was available to us. We decide to eat, chill, and prep for Tuesday morning...skiing at Vail baby!

Kim bundles up in the room....a process that deserves it's own post and will likely earn one. Not just her but all of us....what a task.

This is our first views at the top of the Eagle Bahn gondola. It was cloudy and cold and the view was borderline impressive. We had no idea what was hidden behind clouds but we felt sure we would get to experience it later.

We spent most of the morning getting our feet underneath us. We were just trying to remember what to do and how to do it....we've not been on a mountain in four years and on top of that, this is Colorado and not West Virginia! We needed to take baby steps. We hit a few beginner slopes that gradually turned into intermediates. We stayed with the girls for several hours and then stopped for a break. We asked this nice lady about how to navigate to some additional intermediate slopes and we essentially got lost. Things aren't mapped out all that well when you have no idea where you're going and we ended up "mushing", walking, dying, whatever you want to call it over this ridge that was not meant to be climbed with our equipment. It sucked. The first opportunity we had to bail onto a track....we did. I went first and sunk into soft powder immediately. I just cut a swath across the hill and turned to see where the others were......
This isn't a highly traveled section of the mountain and so it isn't easy to navigate. At this point, it looks like Kim is the only one successfully making it down the hill.

Somehow, Lance had gotten around Kim but she was resilient.....plowing the whole way down the hill. Celeste is in the background struggling to get her skis back on....she ended up walking down.

Same little road, same time basically....Lance is tired and I'm wondering where the wives went?

Later in this series of events, I dive off into the bowl that would be to the right side of this left. I thought the girls could do it. This road seemed to not have enough drop and we were all tired of I dropped in. Surely the girls could do it. I have never been so glad that they didn't in all my life. The vertical drop was terrifying. The steep grade was compounded by the deep powder that I just simply have not skied in much at all. That made for a cocktail of scared Adam going down this bowl....Kim and Celeste would have killed me had they dropped into this mess. Lance and I both tested ourselves that afternoon and decided that we needed to get a little more practice before we dive off into another steep bowl again.......

Part Two on Tuesday!