Friday, December 28, 2007

Snow Angel

In our new North Carolina home, snow is a rare occurance (so is rain it seems this year). While we were in Vermont, we received 3 inches of snow allowing Mae the opportunity to check out that wicked cold white stuff.

Mae plays with Cousin Rusty in the snow.
We would like to say it was a success. We would like to say she thought it was fantastic fun. We would like to say she is an all-weather girl. After the trauma of putting on the snow suit, it just kind of went downhill.

Making a snow angel with Mae's Daddy.

Mae's daddy "helped" her make a snow angel, thus inducing tears. She did, however, like sitting in the snow to watch her cousins play and she loved riding on the snow mobile with Uncle Roger.
Cousins Rusty, Curtis and Greg (with Curtis' awesome snowman in the background).

We'll try snow again next year (unless of course we are lucky enough to see it in Raleigh sometime soon)!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Collins Family in Vermont

The day after Christmas, we drove up to Vermont where most of Rich's family was gathered for the holidays. Mae was so excited to meet her cousins Rusty and Megan for the first time! We missed Aunt Cheryl, but hope she had a great holiday and hope to see her this May.

Cousin Megan opening her Christmas present of Grey's Anatomy Season Three!

In addition to exchanging presents, we also celebrated Uncle Russ' 50th birthday (which was in October) with the family. We presented him with our big family gift, a photomosiac made up of more than 4,500 pictures. It took a little time to put it all together, but it was well worth the effort!

Uncle Russ with his birthday portrait.

We all had a great visit, and were so happy to see both Frese's and Collins' families for the holidays. We hope to post more pictures of the family in our Picasa album soon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


For Mae's Nana this Christmas, we wanted to do something truly special. Being the HUGE Rachael Ray fan that she is, we were estatic to learn the television wonder cook would be appearing in Raleigh to sign her new book two weeks before Christmas!

We waited in line for four hours (beginning at 4 a.m.) to get a ticket to participate, and then waited another three hours for the actual signing that evening. No matter the time spent, it was completely worth the wait! Rachael Ray was incredibly nice and witty and patient (with more than 250 people waiting with their piles of books to be signed), a true pleasure to meet! And the present for our Mom was well-received.

Unfortunately, there were several rules surrounding the book signing, including no pictures taken at the book signing table with Rachael Ray -- so no pictures of our future chef. But, Rich managed to get a few interesting pictures to document our presence there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We had a lovely time sharing Christmas with Mae's Nana and Pop-pop (Kirsten's parents), Unkie Will and Aunt Lulu. We even got to see Aunt Dawn for a little bit that evening.
In the afternoon, we were very excited waiting for Robyn to arrive (she flew in from Florida that day) and had a second Christmas with her, her mom Miss Nancy, Mr. Lloyd (Robyn's soon-to-be-stepdad) and Gabby and Paige (Robyn's soon-to-be-stepsisters). More pictures of our festivities will be available in our photo album on Picasa soon.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Cards

Hello, friends and family! As usual, we are again keeping our own schedule in terms of sending holiday cards. It's not for a lack of trying, just an overscheduling of our lives (and not deciding on pictures until late December). Please know they are coming soon, but this year we faced a great dilemma. More and more we have been hearing negative comments about "letter cards" -- you know, the ones that include an update on what a family has been up to for the past year. We are huge fans of these, and encourage those who send them to us to please keep doing so. We enjoy reading what everyone has been doing, and had considered doing one ourselves. But again, we've been hearing and reading people more and more dislike them. So, we didn't include one this year.

We would love to hear from folks what they think. Do you like receiving the "letter cards" or should we people just stay in better contact throughout the year?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa Success!!!

We did it! Mae was a brave little cookie, and survived her first Santa pictures! Less than a minute after this picture was taken, the tears started. Thank goodness the photographer was quick!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Busy Holidays!

We are sorry we've been missing in action lately. A nasty stomach virus has been working its way through the family while we've been trying to finish graduate school, Christmas shopping, get ready for family trips, and the like. When everyone's feeling better (and looking better) we'll be back taking pictures and doing fun things. We hope everyone else is staying healthy and enjoying this fun time of year!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Surprise gifts for Nana!

Our family (including Pop-Pop, Aunt Lulu and Unkie Will) have been involved in a secret Christmas present for Mae's Nana. We are afraid she might be checking this blog so we can't say what it is all about yet, but we will post pictures soon! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Holidays at Williamsburg

While we were in town for the wedding, we took some time to wander town with Jennifer (who came down to help watch Mae for the weekend). Williamsburg was preparing for its Grand Illumination, but we were just trying to keep warm!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jason and Cheryl's Wedding

We spent a wonderful (and busy) weekend in Williamsburg for Cheryl and Jason Copper's wedding. Everything was just beautiful, and we were so happy to meet Cheryl, her daughter Lauren, and Cheryl's great family as well as catch up with the Coopers! We weren't able to get many pictures, but Jason is planning on posting more pictures on his website soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our first visit to Santa... not a success

At what age do children become fearful? Mae has shown no fear of strangers, strange things, men with beards, anything. That was until today, when we went to visit Santa. We where at the mall with some extra time and the Santa line was empty, so I wheeled Mae back to meet Jolly Old St. Nick. Never have I seen her apprehensive, but something about the long white beard, tiny glasses and white cloth gloves must have pushed her over the edge. We didn't have hysterics, but we weren't happy. No pictures, but hopefully in a few weeks we'll try again (with reinforcements).

If anyone has any advice on how to get a smiling baby with Santa, PLEASE let me know!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Golf Watching

The day after Thanksgiving, Rich and his Dad played 9 holes of golf at the Spanish Wells course while Mae and I tagged along. It was Mae's first exposure to golf (other than on television with her Daddy), and it seems she is a big fan. Towards the end, she insisted on having a "front row seat."

Mae helps her Daddy sink a shot on the 9th hole by holding the flag.

I guess she didn't like the cart parking section.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving on the Island

Mae in her Thanksgiving dress (already almost too small!)

We had so much fun celebrating Thanksgiving with Mae's Omi and Opi in South Carolina, on Hilton Head Island. We shared Thanksgiving dinner with some of their friends and had a lovely time. The weather was too cold and windy to play in the sand, but the rain held off so we could enjoy several walks around their plantation earlier in the day.

Mae, Rich and Opi looking for dolphins.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mae's First Day of School

Yesterday, Mae and I went to our first day of school. We are participating in the county's Ready To Learn program, sponsored by the public school system for kids under 5.

Our infant group, meets twice a month where we learn all kinds of fun activities and hang out with other mommies and babies from our town. In our first class, we played with a colorful beach ball to strengthen our crawling muscles and learn how to "push". We also did some baby stretches to help with future writing; we played with blocks and muffin tins to learn some fine motor skills; and we practiced picking up dolls from contact paper to practice fine motor skills and explore our senses.

We didn't get any pictures in class because we weren't sure we were allowed. But we will get some in the future so you can see all the fun Mae is having.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fall Foilage

Picture of the leaves and colors in our backyard. Mae really enjoyed the leaves, especially trying to eat them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Finding the Lost Colony

Today, Mae and I went in search of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, now on display at the NC State Museum of History. It was pretty cool, and they used some of the sets and costumes from the Lost Colony play, that's been running now for 75 years. Mae slept through most of it, but we did get excited to see the first English sketch of a diamondback terrapin.

Hanging out in a Croatan Indian Village.

Friday, November 9, 2007

First Cold of the Season

We are feeling the first cold of the season here in NC -- both with the temperature dropping and with little Mae. As a result, we haven't been as active as usual **but** we wanted to post something to let you know that we are still here and will post more soon.

In the meantime, I am posting this picture of Mae in "better" times.

Playing with Omi at Hilton Head.

Hanging out "South of the Border" with Dad (Rich) and Pedro.

Friday, November 2, 2007

More pictures

We've put up some pictures from the 2007 Inaugural in our Picasa album, and hope to add more as we get time. Please take a look!

If you are looking for more curling pictures, the great folks at Potomac have also posted several bonspiel pictures in their gallery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

First Halloween

Mae's first Halloween! My visions of seeing her as a little pumpkin almost didn't come true, as the costume was three times her size. But Rich again saved the day and dressed as her "pumpkin patch" -- thank goodness for engineers! While I manned the candy cauldron at the house, they visited the neighborhood and brought in a sizeable bag of treats (despite Rich's pleas that she was too young)! Guess Momma will just have to take one (or three) for the team.

Earlier today we tried to take pictures with our black cats. I bribed Lewis with treats, but Sabrina (not pictured) was not as easily fooled.

Not many trick-or-treaters came down our court, but we were happy to see the vampires, ghouls and Harry Potters that came our way.

In other news, today was our one-year anniversary in our new house. We haven't lived here the whole time, with the slow sale of the Maryland home, but still it's been a year!
We hope everyone else had a spook-tacular and safe Halloween!

Picking out a Pumpkin

The leaves have just started to change colors in NC, but we are making the most of autumn. Last weekend we visited a local farm where we found out way through a 6-acre corn maze. It was really a blast, but thank goodness Rich and Mae were leading the charge! I would still be looking for a way out!

After we finally found our way out, and compared Mae to a stalk of corn, we checked out the pumpkin patch and picked out the perfect little pumpkin.

Welcome to our Blog

Greetings from North Carolina! Like some of our friends, we are starting this blog as a way of letting friends and family know what the Collins family has been up to. We will try to keep our posts up-to-date, and we hope you will keep checking in. Drop us a note and let us know what you think as we get this on its feet.