52 Weeks

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This post brings an end to the weekly “Bear Picture” series.  I realized that some of the weeks pictures haven’t been posted to the blog just yet, but I did take them and I’m planning to get them posted soon.  I have been so glad that I decided to take the pictures and I only missed one week when Kaelen wasn’t feeling well for pretty much a whole week (week 43).  The plan is to continue to take a monthly picture with bear since Kaelen has outgrown the laundry basket.  I may not attempt to post as frequently as I did (attempt) to post this first year, but my goal is to actually get my posts up in a more timely manner going forward than actually happened the last part of this year 🙂

So with fanfare ::drumroll please:: and a little tear in my eyes here is the final weekly bear picture:

Kaelen 52 Weeks17


Since it was the last week I couldn’t only post one picture so here’s a few more.


Kaelen 52 Weeks29Kaelen Loves to Hug Bear or Knock Him Over When We Take Pictures.
(This happened pretty much every week since he was able to move Bear)

And since this was Kaelen’s First Christmas earlier in the week and we were given this cute Santa hat (thank you Aunt Nicole!) here are a couple festive pictures of Kaelen and Bear.

Kaelen 52 Weeks42 Kaelen 52 Weeks48

~ Erica

Mother’s Day 2013

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What an adventure becoming a mother has been and I know it has just begun!  Thinking about Mother’s day coming I was only too aware of how much I appreciate my Mama (Kaelen’s Nana) and Doug’s mother (Kaelen’s Grandma) for all they did raising us and all they do now as mothers and grandmothers.  Just the thought of how much I treasure my little one is enough to get my eyes misting…  Oh well I’m a softy!

After we all slept in, I spent some time playing with and snuggling Kaelen.  When he got up from his morning nap, we left to spend time with Doug’s family for the afternoon.  Nicole & I went to a really great yoga class and then joined the rest of the family for dinner.  It is fun to have three generations of mothers in the family and special to all be together.  Grandma Race really LOVES talking to Kaelen, holding him, and getting him to smile and laugh.  I love seeing the joy he brings… such a sweet and happy little boy!

Doug surprised me with roses, one red one from him, and a second orange one from Kaelen.  He also wrote me a very sweet card (that made me cry- happy tears though!).  The cards I received from my parents and my in-laws were really special to… Its nice to hear their reflections on my “becoming” as a mother.  (Thank you all – your words mean so much).

I was also blessed by many friends who took time to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day…  It is special to be remembered by all of you and I appreciate the calls, texts, and posts.  A real treat at the end of the day was a surprise visit from my best friend!  I didn’t expect to get to see Lauren until sometime in June so I was delighted to see her arrive at the top of the steps with two pints of Ben & Jerry’s – oh she knows me so well!  Lots of great “mom” conversation haha!   I can’t wait to see you and spend a few days together (I hope!)

Here are a few pictures to document my first Mother’s Day with Kaelen.  Thanks to Doug for taking these!

MothersDay201318 MothersDay201308 MothersDay201313 ~ Erica

Florida Trip

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The weekend that Kaelen turned 6 weeks old Grandpa (or as the great-grandchildren call him “Grandpa Magic”) turned 90.  So all of the Charlotte clan headed south to Palm Harbor, Florida to celebrate with him.  The Charlotte crew rented a large vacation home that had a pool out back and was a fantastic setup for all four couples and the 3 grandchildren.

The first day we went to see Grandpa Magic at his house where he held Kaelen for the first time.



We decided to take Kaelen swimming since it was warm even though it was the beginning of February!  The pool was a little cool for Kaelen so he didn’t stay in long, even after he adjusted to the temperature.  The rest of the clan joined in the fun either poolside or swimming/horsing around in the pool.


KaelensFirstSwim34Daddy, Mama, & Kaelen


KaelensFirstSwim58Getting in the Water with Mama

“Daddy I’m COLD!”

KaelensFirstSwim77Warm again with Grandma!

Caleb playing on the whale

 KaelensFirstSwim114   KaelensFirstSwim97
 Mark & Doug throwing the whale…  Boys will be boys…


KaelensFirstSwim121I’m laughing at the boys playing

KaelensFirstSwim91Josh glaring at the camera.  (Thank you Sarah for taking these pictures for me!)

KaelensFirstSwim118Connor practicing with the snorkel


Sunday was the big celebration with Grandpa Magic and everyone in his community.  There was of course a magic show, singing, and alot of yummy cake!  We got a few family pictures that turned out great!


The whole family surrounding Grandpa Magic
From Left-Back Row: Nancy, John, Jay, Susan, Doug, Sarah, JoshFront Row: Sara, Scott, Michelle, Grandpa Magic, Me (Erica), Kaelen, Caleb, Connor, Nicole, & Mark


Four Generations: Doug, Kaelen, Dad(Jay), & Grandpa Magic

There were a few other highlights of the trip that I don’t have pictures of.  We had a few big breakfasts with the whole family (Sourdough Waffles- YUM!).  Fabulous dinners at The Lucky Dill and Spoto’s Steak Joint.  A few of us went shopping in Tarpon Springs and we ordered an entire flat of Baklava that we demolished throughout the rest of the trip.  Thanks for the idea Mark!  A special closing note (no pun intended) of the trip was coffee on Monday morning before we got on the road to come home.  Grandpa Magic plays violin in a band with several other members of his community and they played several valentines classics for everyone in the community! It was a wonderful trip and we especially enjoyed Kaelen getting to meet Grandpa Magic and our extended family for the first time.

~ Erica