Thursday, December 31, 2009

a walk down memory lane

What a difference a year makes. 2009 has probably been the best year on record for myself and I can probably speak for Jason, too. I thought about doing a review of 2009, but I figured that Bryce was the highlight of 2009 and you all have kept up with him all year on the blog. You can look back through the archives if you want to know how he changed from month to month. I decided to look back at the entire DECADE and share some of our memories.

2000 - 2009

I graduated from high school in June 2000.

I cringe when I look at myself. Working at William's Bakery my senior year didn't help my figure one bit, ha!

High School Sweethearts

We graduated and went away to college together!

Go Hokies!

Freshman year at Virginia Tech

I don't have any pictures, but Jason and I also got engaged on Christmas Eve 2000! (We waited a few years to do our pictures and announcement.)


2001 was a hard year for our country. I started my sophomore year at Tech, but the events of September 11 left me very homesick. I came back home and worked the rest of the semester.


I transferred to VCU and FINALLY got accepted into the program of my dreams!

Jason and I celebrated 5 years of dating. We got dressed up and went to dinner at the Tobacco Company. It just so happened it was Super Bowl Sunday that year. Jason must really love me to give up that game!


No pictures again, but Jason and I bought our house and started fixing it up.

I turned 21

My birthday was on a Monday and then on Saturday......
.....we got married!


We had our first snow at our house.

We bought our first new car together!


I graduated from VCU with my Master's

My dream of becoming a teacher was finally coming true.

I spent all summer calling the school board office in Hanover and I finally landed a job. Here I am on my first day of school with my mentor (and Jason's 4th grade teacher).

My first class

I even got the beginning teacher of the year award. WOW!


We got Macy. She weighed about 2 pounds when we got her.

Our first child. We have just as many pictures of her as we do Bryce.

We went out to Wyoming to visit our friends, Matt and Krissy. The Grand Tetons in the background are just gorgeous.

Standing on snow in June!


2007 brought on a healthy year as we prepared for the Monument Avenue 10K. I enjoyed training for it and running it, but Jason did NOT. I wish I had the time or dedication to do it again. I was proud of myself for running the whole thing and completing with a time right at an hour.


Jason and I have always been planners. And this vacation to Bermuda was just another part of the plan. We had always said we would celebrate 5 years of marriage in Bermuda before starting a family. Here we are in Bermuda and I was 10 weeks pregnant!


Bryce Charles Whitlock

This precious baby boy entered our lives on February 25, 2009.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I can't complain about any of the years in the past, but I can absolutely say that this past year has been the BEST year of my life. I never imagined how much joy a baby could bring. I love Bryce with every part of my being and I can only imagine how he will contribute to all the memories to be made in the next decade.

I'm sure I left out some monumental event in our lives, but this is all I could find pictures for (either on the computer or old photo albums). I can't believe I'll be blogging about my 10 year high school reunion in 2010 (if we have one). Hope you all have had a wonderful year and decade. Good luck and best wishes for the new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

10 months

What is Bryce up to now?
Bryce is such a great baby and we are enjoying the routine we are in.
  • Bryce goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 and we usually wake him up around 6:45 so we can get him ready so we can go to work. He sleeps until about 7:30 on the weekends.
  • He takes two naps a day (usually 1.5-2 hours each)
  • He drinks 4 bottles a day (20 oz over the course of the day)
  • He L.O.V.E.S to eat and he has 3 meals a day and some snacks in between. He is trying to say more. He knows what it means, but he can't make out the word yet.
  • Bryce can pull up on things and cruise around furniture. He can also walk behind his toys.
  • He is a speedy crawler on his hands and knees
  • We are trying to get him to stand on his own, but he usually doesn't last more than 5 seconds.
  • We think he is starting to say a few words. He can definitely say ball and book, discriminately. He says ma ma, da da, na na, but not discriminately. We also think he has said duck and truck, but who knows.
  • He finally has a tooth (see picture below)
  • We are getting new car seats because he is TOO heavy for the carrier
  • He plays pat-a-cake. He can clap and roll 'em up, but he can't throw 'em in the pan yet, ha!
  • Bryce loves to play ball. Bryce has started throwing his toys so we got him a big bouncy ball and he loves to sit on the floor and throw it back and forth.

I can't believe Bryce has been in our lives for 10 months. He was the perfect addition to our family and we love him more than you can imagine. We look forward to the milestones the next month(s) bring.

Can you see that pearly white tooth?

I just had to post this picture because I thought he looked too cute wrapped up drinking his bottle. Very cozy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas

This little boy had a fantastic first Christmas!
Bryce is 10 months old today. I will do a post just for that tomorrow!

Here is Bryce opening his present from us this morning. It must have been too early or I was blaming things on not having my contacts in, because I totally didn't realize the camera was on manual focus, NOT automatic focus. So I finally got a picture of Bryce opening a gift, and it's blurry. Oh well.

Checking out all the bath toys in his stocking.

We always go over to Jason's parents' house for breakfast and gifts on Christmas morning. This was the best shot we had considering there were 5 cameras going off at once.

After bringing home another round of gifts today, we realize even more how much we need a new house. We are hoping the new year brings more interest in our house and we will be able to move to the original house we had our eye on! Then Bryce will have his own play room.

We had a wonderful first Christmas with Bryce. Bryce has brought so much joy to our lives and we are so proud to be his parents. I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph felt when Jesus was born. I hope everyone has found time to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season. So from our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas as we say, Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has always been the start of Christmas festivities in my family. As a kid, we always opened gifts on Christmas Eve and then I got Santa gifts on Christmas Day. Jason was very excited when we started dating because he had never opened gifts before Christmas!

I got up this morning and made sweet potato casserole to take to lunch. I don't know why I can never remember to take pictures of dishes I make, but oh well. I got this recipe from Jason's mom and it is just delish! My mom wanted the recipe so I figured I would share it here for everyone.


3 c. mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 beaten eggs
1/2 stick margarine (melted or softened)
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix and pour into a shallow greased dish


1/3 stick margarine (melted)
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. chopped pecans
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Blend all topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of casserole.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


We went to my parents' house for lunch this year instead of dinner since Bryce goes to bed before 8 and we normally didn't eat until after the Christmas Eve service. Here is Bryce before lunch. My mom just couldn't wait a second longer to give him a gift so he got this one before lunch.

It's a rocking reindeer that sings "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"

Testing it out

Bryce enjoyed tasting the yummy food. Cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes were his favorites. I always look forward to Christmas dinner with my parents because it's all of my favorite Thanksgiving food. We never have Thanksgiving together so I have to wait until Christmas to get all of my favorites. It's a good thing Bryce only has one first Christmas because I think he ruined the bib!

After lunch we opened presents and more presents! I just thought Bryce's face was too cute in this picture as he peered into the bag.

Mama Pat (a.k.a. Miss Mickey) gave Bryce this Mickey mobile that you can ride on or push like a walker. He really enjoyed riding on it, but he also liked watching the propeller spin and light up!

Here he was later tonight using it as a walker.

Bryce got tired mid presents and laid down for a second. I didn't get the camera fast enough to get a picture from the front. He had the biggest grin on his face.

He got a toy train with blocks

Can you believe all the fun stuff he got? He got some fun snacks in his stocking and lots of learning toys like books, puzzles, and a block stacking train. Bryce is one lucky little boy. His Nana and Pappy had fun shopping. And Mama Pat, too.

Macy also loves Christmas. She is actually better at opening presents than Bryce. Here is one of her toys she started opening.

She really doesn't care who the present is for, she still wants to help!

Serious business!

My parents got me a new trashcan for the kitchen that I really wanted. Bryce enjoyed the box that it came in.

The box is always the best part.

Jason and his dad were the narrators at the Christmas Eve service this year. Bryce and I joined Jason on stage at one point and I read some verses. Bryce stole the show when he grabbed the microphone from me. He helped ease my nerves because I knew no one was paying attention to me at that point! (Sorry, no pictures of the event).
"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...."
Jason and I used to have matching stockings. Since we didn't buy extras, we needed to solve our stocking dilemma. I decided this year that we should each get a stocking that matched our personality. I got Bryce's stocking from Pottery Barn Kids. I wanted something simple so he wouldn't grow out of the pattern or design as he got older. Could there be a more perfect stocking for Jason than camo? I found my stocking online at and I just love it! It has been a full day so I am off to bed......"in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be here".