Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Daydreamin': A Texas National Park

Did you know that it is National Parks week and you can get into any of the National Parks free this week?  So I used my handy google to see how many National Parks are in Texas.

Ready for this?

Thirteen!!  A ton more than I thought - I need to start working on this!

Lucky for us, we visited our first Texas National Park as a family over Spring Break - Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall, Texas.  
Lyndon B Johnson's family has ranched in the Central Texas area for years.  Once he became President, LBJ continued to come to Texas, to the Texas White House.  We toured the ranch, which included his boyhood school house, a replica of his childhood home, the barns where cattle are still raised today, and his wonderful home.  

This picture is the view he hd looking out the front windows on his home - looking out onto the Pedernales River.  It was such a calm and peaceful view.  

Do you have a picture of a visit to a National Park you'd like to share?  Post it and link up over at R We There Yet Mom?  We love spending our Friday morning doing a little daydreamin'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yes Son, it's time

We are ready to potty train.


I am ready to potty train. My little bubba is not.

Back in February, it started with excitement.

Let's pick out some awesome big boy panties (yes, I call them panties despite my hubby insisting I call them underwear- that's so boring.....)!!!

And grab a bag of M&Ms- you get one each time you go potty!!! Woo-Hoo!!

Based on this picture, who do you think was more excited?
We were ready & fired up- who can resist a Cars potty seat, M&Ms, & Toy Story AND Cars 2 panties?????
So we sat........

And we sat......

And lo & behold, this boy can "tee-tee" on command!!  Every hour we'd sit on the potty - it was great- we got it down!

We even had a few poopies on the potty (who care if it was a race to the potty when the urge started at the dinner table or in the bathtub- they still count!)!!

But could he ever tell me when he needed to go??

Nope.  So we did a lot of washing.  And I put it on hold a few months - what good does it do to tee-tee in the potty on command but not when you have to actually go?  Momma isn't gonna be taking you to the potty every hour on the hour for the rest of your life......

And now we are back in denial.

Bubba, want to go tee-tee on the potty??


Want to get an M&M??


Yesterday, while at the HEB, I let him pick out Cars 2 Pull-ups "So cool! Look Bubba - these have Cars 2 on them that disappear when they get wet-I guess that means we don't ever want them to get wet, right?"


Let's put them in the cart and you can wear one when we get home!


Y'all - he climbed up my cart and yanked them out and threw them on the floor when I was grabbing something else! I put them back in.


He then proceeded to do the same thing but this time, took them back down the aisle to the end cap and placed them back on the shelf where we got them.


Am I ever going to hear a YES!! in this process????


Thanks, that's what I thought.

Linking up with my ladies, Impulsive Addict & Seriously Shawn - who I get to personally hang with again in less than 8 days!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

What Does it Take to Make a 9 Year Old Boy Smile?

Anyone else have this problem?  No matter how many pictures I take, I can't get my middle son to smile for me.
Come on Brody - give a REAL smile...... looks painful, right?

Last month, at his award ceremony at school - I get these set of lovely pictures -
 The bored look
The yep-just-give-me-my-award look
The I-won't-look-up-because-I-know-mom-is-taking-my-picture look
Just-get-this-over look
OK-I'll-throw-you-a-fake-one look

No matter what I did, I could not get a REAL smile out of him.

Until I asked him to take a picture with his teacher.........
There we go - Brody has a thing for Brunettes!

For remembrance sake - I snapped a picture of this essay he wrote - totally made Matt's day (you know, since he's the big "hunter" now).

Ah, my boy - no matter how old he gets, he will always still be fascinated with the trains.....

I am so excited to be a part of a FUN giveaway that YOU must sign up for!!  Go over to R We There Yet Mom? (my sister blog) to sign up to win YOU or a SIGNIFICANT MOMMA in your life $250 CASH in the Mother's Day Giveaway sponsored by 26 amazing blogs.  It is super easy to enter via a rafflecopter located here.  I would LOVE to see one of my followers win the cash! Click here to learn more!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday Daydreamin': I Need a Vacation with my Hubby!

Happy Friday! Whew! We have a busy weekend with the School Spring Carnival tonight (my last as PTA President - bittersweet? nah), 2 Soccer games, and 2 Scout commitments.  So before all that fun starts, I thought I'd do a little daydreamin.....

I am missing one-on-one time with my honey today.  We haven’t been very purposeful and gone on vacation together without kids in a long, long time.  Excuses? We got 'um: We want to do vacations with the kids, it's too expensive, we don't have anyone to watch them, or my favorite - we just end up thinking about how much the kids would like where we are and what we are doing.  Blah...blah..blah.... I'm not gonna whine anymore.
Just remember.  

We had an amazing Mediterranean Cruise in 2007 and this was our favorite stop.  Portofino, Italy.  We loved sitting on the patio with a glass of red wine.  Life slowed down a bit and we relaxed and enjoyed each others company.

We will do this again.  Soon.

Check out what everyone else is daydreamin' about over at R We There Yet Mom?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Hated Running...Until I Tried It

I hated running.  Always did - Dreaded it in P.E. in school and as an adult, just jogging to the end of the driveway would wear me out.
 I always envied those "runners".  Such discipline, such endurance, such nice, skinny bodies....
 In January 2010, I was fed up with being out of shape and filled with "mommy-pudge".
 So I downloaded the Couch to 5K iPhone app and started running each morning with Bubba in the stroller.
 It sucked.  Big time.  Run for longer than 90 seconds straight? Are you kidding me?
 But the more I did it, the more it grew on me.  The more weight I lost and started to enjoy the results.
 My first "race" was in November 2010 - I did a half-marathon.  Forget a 5K - let's just shoot for the moon! It was exhilarating.
 Last weekend, I ran my second half-marathon and shaved 3 minutes off my previous run.  What made that a big deal?  This course was 10-times harder than the first race - hills, endless, grueling hills....
 We didn't have any hills around here to train on, so we knew it would be a tough course.  And the hills are at the beginning of the course, so they really took a lot out of you.  But I stuck with the 2:20 pace team and pushed myself hard.  And by mile 12, I was hurting like never before. Please Lord, give me the endurance to last this last mile......
The race was held out at the Lost Pines Resort, so we made a girls weekend out of it.  The race was over by 11, so we sat by the pool the rest of the day - heaven - and enjoyed wine, cheese, grapes, and other lovely snacks on our patio.   Great girl time. A perfect reward for a job well done.
 I can't say that I LOVE to run - especially while I am doing it.  I love the camaraderie of running with my friends. I love the calories I can burn.  And I love the powerful feeling it gives me. 

I get asked a lot what my "tips" are for running. Here are a few that have worked for me:

1. Start slow - like with the Couch to 5K app - and do it everyday.  NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU HATE IT - the more you do it, the easier it becomes - I promise.

2. Get a nice pair of shoes - your knees will thank you!  My hubby told me to go into the store, try on the nicest shoes until I found a pair that felt like I was walking on a cloud.  And then buy them without looking at the price tag - again, your knees will thank you.  If you want to, go to a special running shoes store and have them evaluate your stride and get you into the perfect shoe right for you.

3. Get a nice Heart Rate Monitor that will count calories - I use a Polar - there is nothing better than being able to see the hard work pay off in calorie burn.  Take it a step further and use an app (My Fitness Pal or Lose It are great) to track your calorie intake and burn - worked for me to lose 60 lbs!

4. Run with a friend - you will hold each other accountable to get out,  you will have great conversation (sometimes it is therapy for us), and you will make a dear friend in the process.

5. Set a goal - run a race (sign up for one!) - lose 10 pounds (start today) - or make it through the C25K app.  Whatever your goal may be, it will help you concentrate and get out there to see an end in site.

Are you a runner?  What tips have worked for you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Friday Daydreamin'

Happy Friday y'all! It's my favorite time of the bloggy week - I love looking at vacation & travel photos - I grab a big cup of coffee and dream away!  

This week, my Big Girl turned 11, so I wanted to honor her and her love of adventure (or she says she loves it as I'm dragging her along...) by highlighting a few of my favorite travel photos with her:
Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, Texas in 2010
Tubing on Lake LBJ in 2007
Disney World when she turned 4 in 2005
Port Aransas, Texas in 2008
Another Pic of the Happiest Place on Earth in 2005
Biloxi, MS in 2005

What are you daydreaming about today?  Link up over at R We There Yet Mom, Delicious Baby, and Budget Traveler's Sandbox for their Travel Photo Memes. 

She's 11???

My babygirl turns 11 today......

Has 11 years really gone by that quickly?

Where did my precious baby girl go?  Where did my dancing toddler go?  Where did my rambunctious kindergartner go?  Where did my passionate 3rd grader go?

Ugh.  Why does it go so fast?  Days like this make you want to put the brakes on.  I am so very proud of the young woman she becoming, yet so regretful of the time that is gone.  Did I hug her enough?  Did I tell her she is amazing enough?  Did I play with her enough?  Did I teach her enough?

Did I spend enough time with her? never.....

It's moments like these that motherhood is hard - you want them to become strong, independent people, yet you want to hold them and protect them forever....

All you have to do is be thankful for the precious gift that God gave to you and you will know that you did the best you could.

Happy 11th Birthday to my Sweet Girl.  I love you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How NOT to Get a Picture of a Celebrity

Last fall, I received a call from my husband after my daughter's soccer game.  I was out of town and had missed it.  After the normal "how'd she do conversation", he mentions, "oh yeah, one of the dads from the other team was some guy from Friday Night Lights."


Which one??? "I dunno."

AHH! I love loved that show- seriously, which one?

"It's the guy who was in Super 8."

KYLE CHANDLER???  You mean the guy who just won an Emmy for his role?  

"um. yeah.  I guess so. He's just a dad, watching his daughter play soccer."

I was so bummed to have missed that game.

A few weeks later they played them again and guess who was out of town...again!

So this Spring I made sure I was going to be at their game.  Even planned weeks ahead on what I should do.  

Do I play it cool and act like I don't know him? Nope.  I'd regret not talking to him.

Do I go up to him right away and tell him I think he's a fantastic actor? Nope.  I will get all tongue-tied and act like a stupid girl.

Hubby thought I was ridiculous - thought I needed to just leave him alone.  He's just trying to watch his daughter play.  Nope. Not me.  If he chooses to be an actor as a profession, he needs to understand that people are going to want to meet him.  Besides, he's Coach Taylor for goodness sakes - he's awesome!

Sunday came - I had my camera and all my lenses ready.  And I became a stupid girl. 

I was overcome with butterflies as I snuck shots of him.

Walking by me.... What? Can't you tell that's him?
 Sitting down next to us...
 He was chatting with everyone about how great the weather was - my friend, Dolly (in the pink hat) talked with him for a long while....all the time knowing I was dying to talk to him!
 I even used my son (I know!) to try to take his picture.... it's a terrific shot of his legs.....
 This one is so much better.....
 So then I started to get braver.  Sis was about to take a corner shot so I scooted down on the other end of the field to take her pic and quickly snapped a few.

Now he's looking like Coach Taylor!

 All the while, I am texting Connie (since she was the only other person who cared that I was at a soccer game with Coach Taylor) and even recorded him yelling, since it sounded so "Coach Taylor-y":

 So yes, I did watch my kids' soccer games - I wasn't totally obsessing the whole game.  Brody was actually playing on the field right behind Sis, so it was really easy for me to turn back & forth to watch them both.  After about 10 mins of freaking out inside, I started to do what I was there for - be a mom taking pics of my kids.....

At one point I was taking pics of Brody's game when HE started to watch the boys' game and asked if I had a son playing too?

(don't freak out...don't freak out)

"Yep - it figures they are at the same time"

"Man these boys are good...etc...."

And we talked about soccer and kids and coaching and being proud of your kids and rugby (don't ask- he brought it up?).  It was then that I realized, I was talking to a dad who was watching his daughter playing soccer - not an Emmy-award winning actor from one of my favorite tv shows.  He was just a regular guy.  And that was pretty cool.

Of course, did I get my shot? - absolutely - at the end of the conversation I told him, "look, I know who you are and I think your a terrific actor.  Would you mind if I got a picture with you to show my friends?"

He smiled real big, said "of course, here, let me show you how the pros do it....."

And he took our picture.

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