Monday, July 28, 2008

The fence is done!!!!

I am glad to report that Karsten and I finished the fence last evening exactly 5 minutes before company was to arrive! I know most of you don't care that we have a fenced in back yard now but I wanted to show you all his handy work. We live on a corner so it was necessary for the privacy fence and I really don't want a couple of flat dogs - or a child for that matter!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our New Home.....and what we've been up to

Wow! It's been a long time since I have posted anything new! Sorry about that. June and July have been very busy thus far. In late May we closed on our new house in Newburgh, IN. Since then, we have been working on the house and are currently undergoing fence construction.

I cannot wait until our fence is done so I can lock Kellen outide!! Just kidding. Although he would not mind. We have been blessed with great friends that have been helping Karsten and of course Kellen thinks he is Bob the Builder or Handy Manny (one or the other). My parents also came up this weekend and helped us out.

We have been trying to stay cool this summer but it's been really hard without Grandma and Grandad Dudley's pool! So Nana and Pa bought Kellen a pool. Too bad I don't have the pictures with pa sitting in the pool with Kellen. Although Kellen would rather dump the water out cup by cup than stay in it.

Hmmm.....what else have we been up to since May?

Kellen finally grew some hair - so we had to get it cut!!

We've been to two weddings.

We have been to a carnival and the zoo.

And mostly we've just been hanging out around home. Kellen's favorite things to do right now are to put on shoes that aren't his and to line all his trucks, tractors, trains and cars all in a line. Most of the time they are in a certain order that you CANNOT mess with. Also I'm not sure how much longer I can watch Thomas the Tank Engine and Veggie Tale DVDs. I hope they accidently get "lost." Just kidding - they do occupy his time if I need a moments rest.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Graduation Day May 24, 2008

Karsten Slater M.D.
(that's so crazy!!!)
Check out these robes!! Oh yeah!! Karsten's good friend Chris - or call him "Slick" or "Smooth" or whatever other name you can come up with - will be doing his residency with Karsten.

We are so fortunate to have such a supportive group of friends and family. Both sets of parents were here and even Karsten's uncle Dan drove up all the way from Alabama to see him graduate. Nate and Betsy Oldham were here too to help us celebrate; and we all know that Grandma and Grandad Dudley wouldn't miss this for anything.

We celebrated Karsten's graduation by having an open house later that evening. We were so thankful for all the friends and family who came to wish Karsten and I good luck on our new journey. Kellen and Hallie Kate celebrated by eating a lot of junk food, not taking naps, and painting the fence with mud!!

Match Day '08

We've moving to.......

Karsten and I had been waiting a long time for this day. After many hard and grueling years in medical school, we were ready for the next step. National match day is the day when the majority of 4th year medical students find out where they will be doing their residency. On March 19th, the SIU School of Medicine provided a very nice lunceon in Springfield. What is so exciting about this day is the fact that everyone receives an "envelope" with the secret to their future inside. Then, all at once everyone opens their envelope at record-breaking speed and the place where they will be doing residency is revealed. Karsten will be doing his Family Medicine residency at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN. It is a very nerve-racking day indeed.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our Lives Changed Forever

August 29, 2006

Since we have just started this blog, we wanted to go back in time - to the day Kellen was born - when our lives changed forever. We thought that this would be good for family and friends who haven't been able to see him grow up. But to tell you the truth, it's been nice to reminisce over the last year and a half and see how much he has changed.

On Aug. 29th 2006 (wow - it's almost been 2 years already!!) we were blessed with a 7lb. 6 oz baby boy named Kellen Mitchell.

Here are some of our favorite pictures of Kellen over the last year and a half.

World's cutest elf! Christmas '06, 4 months

The cutest puppy ever! Lovin' the bathrobe. 5 months

Born to swim! First swimming lessons. 7 months

Crawlin' around the bases. Summer '07, 10 months

Our little scarecrow trundling thru the pumpkin patch. AWWW! Fall '07, 14 months

Bundle up! Polar bear cub. Winter '07, 16 months

Cool Runnings! (make that cold, "ooooh") Jan '08, 17 months

Check out the hot wheels! Spring '08, 20 months
Hangin' with his best girl-pal Hallie Kate.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Humble Beginnings - Brooke's version

RRRRRRRR! Stop right there. I would agree with most of what my hubby had to say about our first encouters. However, I don't think he had already decided to move up to Springfield prior to us meeting. I think I remember MANY phone calls until wee hours of the morning (and I think my mom would attest to that) discussing his transferring to Illinois. Yes, it did happen quite fast, so maybe I don't remember it all because I was so sleep deprived!! Anyway, I would like to think that I did have SOME part in his deciding to move to Illinois. Well, the rest of his story is quite accurate - so I won't bore you with any more details.

Humble Beginings -- Karsten's version

I first met the Dudley family one fall morning at Hope Church while visiting my brother and his family on Thanksgiving break 1998. Actually, it wasn't any more than a "hi, nice to meet you" and a handshake. However, 4 months later I was again in Springfield, IL visiting my new little niece Kaylee on my spring break when an encounter with the Dudley family caused my life to take a new turn. An innocent dinner invitation extended to me (because I happen to be in town the week my brother and his family were to be guests of the Dudleys) soon gave me the impression of a set-up. It dawned on me why my brother and sister-in-law were asking so many questions as to my impression of the Dudley girls, especially the oldest. Needless to say it was an interesting evening at the Dudley house. There were a lot of laughs and despite the nagging feeling of an unwanted set-up, I was pretty comfortable.

To keep from writing a novel, I will just say that I took the evening and analyzed it a bit. My conclusions were: nice family, cute girls, but age could be a problem. (Brooke was a senior in high school.) Never-the-less, I decided to keep in touch via email. I had already decided to move to Illinois from Georgia so I could be close to my new niece. It would be nice to have someone other than my family to talk to. So Brooke and I started chatting via email and IM. We hit it off quickly and thought that this new friendship could go somewhere.

I was being transferred to Peoria with Circuit City, so while I was apartment hunting, I would stop by the Dudley house for a visit. The first visit is a story unto itself, but let's just say that Brooke was a bit surprised! We had our first date on May 12, 1999. I even surprised her by driving up from Georgia to attend her graduation. I moved up shortly afterward and spent most of my summer driving from Peoria to Springfield to see her whenever I could.

As fairytale as it may seem, Brooke and I both knew this new relationship would lead to marriage. It was even discussed openly after only dating for 2 weeks. I look back know and think "how weird was that!"

After 4 long years of dating, we were married on July 19, 2003 in the backyard of the Dudley residence. (pretty much where it all began) Oh, by-the-way, by brother and Brooke's mom later confessed that that fateful dinner was indeed a set-up!