Sunday, February 17, 2008

Monster Jam

Braden and I both had our first experience at a 'Monster Truck' rally this Saturday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. 'Monster Jam' was very loud and entertaining and we both had a great time.
After seeing the trucks crush a couple of cars, Braden decided he wanted to become a 'Monster Truck' driver. Understandable. Who wouldn't want to crush cars in an enormous truck for a living. I can definitely see the appeal.

Braden's favorite truck was also the crowd favorite, Grave Digger. It was definitely the coolest looking truck in the show. He also liked the Donkey Kong and Taz trucks (they were pretty cool too).
Couple of pics of Grave Digger for you fans out there (you know who you are - Uncle Philip).

Braden recreating the 'Monster Jam' in our living room.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Braden has been looking forward to Valentines Day for a while. This year, he chose Pirates of the Caribbean valentines for all his school friends and addressed them and signed them all himself! It took a little coaching from Roger and myself, but he did a good job.

Madeline has no idea that today is anything special, but the giant heart balloon is freaking her out a little bit!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Braden's First Ski Trip - Devils Head, WI - Jan. 2008

Braden and I made a drive up to Devils Head, WI in Jan 2008 for his first ski trip. We met up with our friends, the San Juan's and their son Ryan, so that he and Braden could both experience their first time skiing together. It was great. Both did very well and should be eclipsing their parents skill levels in no time.
We all picked a great weekend to go weatherwise. The high temp for the days we were skiing was around 0-5 degrees with some nice wind blowing. Despite the cold, we braved the elements and had a great weekend together. Both of us are eager to make another trip!
Braden and Dad getting ready to hit the slopes.

Braden at the end of a solo run down the 'Bunny Hill' - That's right solo. He did not fall once on his trip down. I was actually running behind him, but he started going so fast I could not catch him and had to meet him at the bottom of the hill.

Another 'action shot' of Braden

Braden and Ryan back in the lodge after a couple of runs.

How's It Going?

Lately, whenever someone starts a conversation with me, they lead with, "How's it going with Madeline?" Here's the short answer:

For the first several weeks, most of our day was spent like this:

But lately, each day has a little more of this:

Not a great picture, I know, but you get the point!
Yesterday we had Madeline's 2-month check up. She now weighs 11 lbs. and is 23 1/4 in. long. A very healthy girl! The shirt from the top picture (taken in December) will be too small in a couple of weeks! Her personality is showing more, she's smiling at us and cooing, and yes, her hair is looking more red every day! We'll see how it ends up when it starts filling in!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pictures of 'Little Maddie'


Probably sticking her tongue out at her brother

Some Braden Pics

Being cool with his bandana and a cookie...

Homework Already????

After a tough game of football

About Our Family

Well, I am completely new to the blog scene here, but thought it would be a good way to keep family and friends posted on the happenings in the Hale family.

We have recently welcomed our newest addition to the family, Madeline Jane Hale. She was born on Dec. 4, 2007. We also have a son, Braden, who is now 4 and he is really adjusting well to life as a 'big brother.' He is already talking about beating up other boys who mess with his sister. He is a good boy! Knows his job like the back of his hand already.

A little background on the Hale Family (since Harding)....

After graduation Heather and I moved to Baton Rouge, LA where we lived for about 3 years. It was great to get out of Razorback country and back down to 'Tiger Town.' We enjoyed our time in B.R. and I believe for both of us it will kind of always feel like home.

From Baton Rouge, Heather, Braden and I made a big move to Chicago, IL for my work. We have been in Chicago now for about 3 years and have really been enjoying our time here. Once we moved from the South, we made a decision to try and take in the experience of living in a big city, so we decided to purchase a condo in Chicago proper rather than moving the 'burbs.' As you can probably imagine, this was a huge adjustment for us initially. However, after a couple of months, Chicago began to feel like home and we have been enoying life in the city. There is so much to do here, that if we ever complain about being bored, it is because we are just to lazy to get up and get downtown.

We currently live in the northern most lakefront community in Chicago, aptly named 'Roger's Park.' The location is great because we are boardered by a suburb called Evanston (home of Northwestern University) and have the best of both worlds. We can get away to some suburban shopping and entertainment in about a 5 minute drive or we can take the train or bus and be in downtown Chicago in about 20 minutes.

I recently took Braden to Devils Head, WI a few weeks ago for his first ski trip. Heather and 'Little Maddie' stayed back in the city for a 'baby boot camp' weekend. Not really sure what that entailed....Anyway, Braden did AWESOME on his first trip. The kid wants nothing but speed and has no regard for his safety or the safety of others on the mountain. He just wants to go fast. In ski school they tried...and I mean tried, to teach the kids to do 'pizza' which means to plow in order to slow down and then to do 'french fries' with his skis in order to speed up. When I was working with him and would tell him to do 'pizza', he would just look at me like I was crazy and would take off down the bunny hill. Kid is fearless and loves it. I really need to take him back a few more times this season, so that we can make a trip out the Rockies together next year.