Monday, August 9, 2010

It's a Big Week

Monday - Noah's First Day of 1st Grade
Tuesday- Our Family grows by one, as Emily will join us
Wednesday - Luke's first day of Pre-K at Trinity

It's a big week in the Mauldin household. We appreciate all of your prayers. We started off with Noah's first day of school today. My little man is growing up so fast. Below are some pictures from this morning, compared to Kindergarten and Pre-K the last two years.
Leaving for 1st Grade
1st Grade Pic by the TCA Sign - 8-9-2010

First Day of Kindergarten (our door had not been stained yet)

Kindergarten Pic by the TCA Sign, 8-11-2009

First Day of Pre-K
Pre-K by the TCA Sign, 8-13-2008

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Erica - The Running Woman

All smiles...before the race
Myself & Erica at 5:15 A.M. -- a truly unholy hour

I chose to make my triumphant return to blogging by bragging on my wonderful wife. On Friday, April 24, we drove to Nashville so that Erica could run the Country Music ½ Marathon. Several months ago, Erica announced to me that she was going to “start running” and that she was setting a goal to run this marathon. If there is one thing you should know about Erica, it is when she sets her mind to doing something—nothing will stop her (not even her inflamed knee which she can hardly walk on now).

We drove up on Friday and attended the Expo, where the race participants register get their numbers and walk through various vendors’ tents, etc. There were over 30,000 people registered for the race, so needless to say, this event resembled a cattle-call.

We then went to Ted’s Montana Grill for dinner, where Erica had her first Bison Burger (and really liked it) and I had a Bison steak. Then we set out for our “hotel.” If you know us (and if you are reading this, I am assuming you do--or are VERY bored), then you know that we tend to be a little frugal. Because all of the downtown hotels jack up their rates for this weekend, Erica booked us at a Comfort Inn about 3 miles from the Titans Stadium (which is where the race concluded). The last thing I felt at this establishment was comfort. The picture below of the “pool” that I took as we were checking out this afternoon is just one example of the quality of this fine establishment. Needless to say, the only negative for Erica in this whole trip is that she has now lost all future “Booking of Hotel” privileges for the rest of our marriage.

The Comfort Inn --How Comfortable do you feel about this?

Because of traffic issues the morning of the race, I decided that I would drive Erica to the stadium at 5:00 this morning and just stay there until she was finished. (She finished at 10:00—that is A LOT of time to kill without a TV or someone to talk to, in case you are wondering. Although, if you didn't know, you can rent movies on Itunes and download them to your laptop and watch without an internet signal).

Erica’s group started the half marathon (13.1 miles) over by Vanderbilt University. Because the race has grown to a record amount of entries, they had to change the route of the course this year. What Erica did not know going in is that this meant climbing hill after hill after hill after hill…you get my point. Plus, it was about 85-90 degrees and HOT all day long. In the days leading up to the race, I was concerned about her knee as she had actually admitted that she was in pain. Because she never admits when she is in pain, I knew that it was truly bothering her. However, she was not going to miss the race for anything…and I knew that. So, with a bum knee, a sore throat and a goal, my wife fought through and finished her first half-marathon in (officially) 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. I am so proud of Erica for her dedication and determination to accomplish this goal that she set for herself – this is one of her personality traits that I love most about her. I am so thankful that my children will get to grow up seeing an example in their mother of a woman who sets goals and then follows through to the end to accomplish those goals that she set. I am so proud of you Erica and I love you!

13.1 miles later--for her, not me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A 5 year old's perspective on today

Ok, so it has been an embarrassingly long time since I last blogged. I noticed that it was since Halloween....I'll justify it and say since I started growing a beard, I have not blogged. I have many things to catch up on, but wanted to start with something my wife called me to tell me about this afternoon.

When my5 year-old, Noah, got home from school this afternoon, the news was on and was showing the festivities from the inauguration today. He looked at them and asked Erica why they were having a party. She told him that today we had a new president. He asked her (in his very unique dialect) "For President Barack Obama?" She said "yes." And Noah, who is an AVID Nascar fan, responded "Ohhhh. I liked that Kyle Busch. He was a good president...Kyle Busch." That's's less than a month from the Daytona 500 and Noah is in FULL Nascar mode already.

Seriously though, it amazes me the perspective that a 5 year-old can provide to you sometimes. Comedically, I am somewhat in awe that he can also take any subject or event and within 5 seconds, directly draw an analogy to Nascar or Star Wars.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

As you can see from the photos, this year Noah was his favorite Nascar driver (and possibly his second favorite person in the world) Jimmie Johnson. I loved this suit because it was EXACTLY like Jimmie's real firesuit, down to every detail. And needless to say, Noah loved it. Luke was Shrek, which was just a natural fit since that is the only thing he ever wants to watch on TV.
As we have done the each year, we went over to Wright's Mill Subdivision with our friends, Michael and Heather and their boys, as well as Ben and Sarah Chattin (thank you Sarah for not going into labor during our walk of the neighborhood). The boys had a great time, and they loaded up on candy like never before. Of course, this candy is subject to the "Daddy Tax." Since it unfortunately looks like Obama is going to be our next president, it was time the boys learned the hard way that taxes increase, so I took a little more this year like Barack will do for the next 4 years. But, I digress.....
Afterwards, we stopped by Chad and Sarah's to see them and Harrison. We were very fortunate to have Mom come up and go trick-or-treating with us this year. We always have such a great time. Each year, Halloween reminds me how big my kids are getting.

Noah has the strangest look on his face

Mom with the Boys

Sarah, Chad, Erica, the boys and me

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Noah's First Soccer Game

Saturday, Noah had his first soccer game. It was a battle for the ages, as Noah's team--the Aces-- took on the Tarheels in Upwards Soccer (ok, not really--they don't even keep score, but we really had a blast). Noah had a blast--he scored two goals--one goal on his opponent's goal and one on his own goal :) I have been helping out the coach the last few practices and games, and I have had a great time myself. Nanna came up to join Erica and Luke in cheering Noah on. He'll have a game each Saturday morning for the 5 weeks.
A halftime "pep" talk

Noah coming off the field for a break

Enlightening Noah will some of my "soccer wisdom." Yeah, right!!

A postgame family picture (how spaced out is Luke here??)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our Labor Day Weekend

It is hard to believe that the weekend has already passed. Saturday, I went with Donald and Jon (two guys I work with) to Oxford for the Memphis-Ole Miss football game. We loaded up the mini-van (travelling in style) with food, drinks, and tailgating equipment and found a nice shady spot to spend the afternoon. We had a good time, became the envy of some young Memphis frat guys (I guess we're pretty cool for some old dudes), and almost got into it with some Rebel fans in the stadium who were apparently offended we were cheering for the Tigers and not the Rebels. Personally, I think it's a bad idea to engage in verbal assalts with three attorneys...but what do I know? :) Even though the game didn't turn out how I'd like (not that I expected it to), I got some good stories from the day.

I got back very early Sunday morning and that night, we took the boys to Outback for a nice dinner. (Thanks Liz and Zach). We had a great time and just enojoyed being together as a family. Strangely, Luke was actually a better behaved at a restaurant than Noah.
Luke and Mommy
Noah and Daddy
After we returned from the restaurant, we watched the race (which Noah had been looking forward to all weekend). All week he has been saying that Jimmie Johnson (which if you've been living on another planet and did not know, is his favorite driver) would be the fastest car and would win the race. **Alert--he says this EVERY week** Well, he was actually correct in his prediction this week, as Jimmie led the entire 4 hour race for all but about 10 laps or so. Noah was very excited (he had to watch the last hour of the race this morning on Tivo because it didn't end until about 11 PM last night). It was the first thing he asked about this morning, so I was lucky I didn't delete it after the race. He wanted a picture to commemorate the win.

Noah was very proud of Jimmie

He even allowed Luke to join in the celebration

Today, we've had a lazy day and I am about to cook out pork chops. Everyone needs these kinds of days though. It has been fun, and I have been blessed, to spend alot of time with the family, given all the work, stress and school that has occupied our time recently.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boy's Night

Noah, Clayton and Optimus Prime
Jack and Luke

Tonight, Fred and Jennifer had a dinner here in Jackson and we were fortunate to get to spend the evening hanging out with Clayton and Jack. Noah and Clayton started out by watching cartoons and talking about Transformers. Luke and Jack passed the time by having their own version of the Olympics, as they took turns doing flips in the floor.

We then went outside for over an hour to play soccer and football, ride bikes and hang out. We had a really fun time with them and the boys were so happy hanging out with their buddies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Day of Firsts

Today was Noah's first day at big-boy school. As you can see from below, he was very excited about starting school. So much so that he was indifferent that we were there for about 5-10 minutes to drop him off. He was immediately ready to get to work--and by work, I mean playing with the Transformer car toy from a McDonald's Happy Meal that was in the toy bin. As you'll also see, the only person to cry about Noah going to school was Luke. As we dropped Noah off and left, Luke cried and was screaming "I want my bubba!! I don't want to leave bubba!!" It was very cute, and of course I had to take a picture (obviously to hold this one over his head one day when he is older). Noah had a very good day though. He enjoyed his class, his teacher, and he got to paint (which he loves to do).
And in closing, it was not only a day of firsts for Noah but also for me. On my way to taking Noah to school this morning, I got my first-ever ticket for allegedly speeding. After 15 years of driving, I guess it had to come at some point. I don't guess I'll ever forget it though.

Noah getting ready to walk out the door. Noah is very proud of his L.L. Bean "Big Blue Pap Pack" with his initials on it.

Noah and Luke before Noah's first day at school.

Noah on his first day at Trinity. Can't you tell I'm really going to embarrass him one day?

Noah and his teacher, Mrs. Presley

Me, Noah, Erica and Luke before leaving on Day 1

My big boy

Luke outside of school after having to "leave Bubba." I checked with Erica too. It's a tank top :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Erica's Fish Story

Billy has graciously decided that he would let me be a contributor to his blog. I decided my first post would be about something most people don't know about me. One of my favorite things to do is fishing with my dad. It is so peaceful to be out on the water and dad and I get a chance to really catch up in between catching fish. Some of my fondest memories growing up are when my dad took Chad and I out crappie fishing together. We really had a great time.

Thankfully now, mom and dad have a pond outside their front door which allows me the opportunity to fish everytime I go home to Paris. Now before I go any further, let me answer some questions that I am sure many people have. Yes, I do bait my own hook (worms included). Yes, I do take off my own fish and no, I do not have on makeup. Last week I got a chance to go home and fish a little. Right before we called it a day I caught this huge bass. It was great. We were actually fishing for catfish. Noah and Luke were impressed also.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I think Luke likes Oreos

Every time Luke wakes up, he always wants to eat. When Luke woke up from his nap this afternoon and we didn't have any "Tinkies" (that's Twinkins to you and I), he got some Oreos instead. As you can see, I think they were a hit. If you look closely too, Luke had a fall at Pappy and Grammy's the other day, and scratched up his face. He is now "Rocky" to me.