Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The SIXTH Week of Summer

Sixth Week of Summer!!!!
(July 1st - July 7th)
Wow- 6 weeks already??  This week was spent up in Illinois with my in-laws.  It was HOT y'all.  Hotter than Texas HOT.  We are talking' 103 with a heat index of 107.  Crazy HOT!!!   So we didn't do much all week.....
Except love on this sweet little guy.  My newest nephew.  Not quite 4 months old and the CUTEST baby you have ever seen.  I LOVED making him smile and holding him and feeding him a bottle...... Almost made me want another one....almost.  But then I remember the sleepless nights and how they grow up to be mobile and get into everything and I feel just as happy as can be with my 3.

But he is adorable.....

He was so cute! I loved it when he laughed.
Bubba got to soak up Grandma Illinois's love this week as she took him to Sheels' to pick out a toy.  He grabbed a set of Cars diving toys that didn't leave his hands all week.
Brody was spoiled too - Grandma makes him his favorite peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.  Only in the summer buddy!!

It is a pretty good sandwich.
Just a random pic but Sis found a t-shirt for Matt's high school at the local Walgreens.  We texted him a pic to see if he wanted it.  We got no response.
SUSHI!!  Who would have ever thought I would love this stuff?  Thanks to my #HB12 girls, I love it now - course I don't want to pick it - I let others order it.  So Matt's Sister & Brother in law and I went to a Sushi dinner in Central Illinois and it was GOOD!

Pretty, isn't it?
July 4th started with a yummy breakfast at PaPa Illinois' favorite, Cracker Barrel.

I beat PaPa a bunch of times!
got a remote control car that does flips and stunts and it was only $10. (this is the most animated I got him to be)
And ended with a fun front porch picture after a HOT day in the pool.
My gorgeous girl......

Yes, I am gorgeous!
Bubba giving the "baby" some love.

I took this picture!
And what do you do when it is blazing hot out?  Stay indoors and learn a new game.  We bought this game for Sis after trying it out at SXSW last March.  It is pretty fun!

We had the best game ever. 
I lost.
Friday night we hopped in the 96-degree pool at 9 pm and then ran for ice cream after our swim.  What a fun memory I will have sitting on the front porch eating ice cream at 10 pm.

I got a dipped cone. I never have been to get ice cream at 10 o'clock at night.
That's because it only happens at Grandma's.
Bubba attempted to take a nap in his car bed each afternoon, but ended up just making a mess!
While in Illinois, we took PaPa out to geocache around his area.  We went 5 for 5! Woo-hoo!!

My iTouch didn't work to geocache b/c I didn't have wifi.
On one geocache, we played around in the corn a bit - my children of the corn....the expression was lost on them....

I think the corn was very interesting.  Papa taught us about it.
On our last cache, this sweet lady and her pet goat came out to help us find it - it was pretty hard to find.
And that Saturday, we went to a 4th of July party - Bubba was ready to go!

He loved that flag.
The kids played around in the pool all day with the cousins.

I swam all day and only ate a rice krispie treat.
Bubba played so hard, he ended up in my lap asleep by 9 pm.

Sissy provided commentary in pink.
Brody provided commentary in blue.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

17 Years Passes in a Blur

1994 - We had a whirlwind romance filled with country dancing, Outback Steakhouse dinners and lots of heart flutters! Matt proposed to me in September, blindfolding me and taking me up to Mt. Charleston, where he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.  We were young and not looking to find our soulmate, but when you do, you grab on and don't let go.
 Our engagement photo - the photographer said we looked alike - said that was good luck, that we'd have beautiful children......he was right......
 1995 - Everyone said it was a hot night - that it was 113 degrees out.  I didn't feel it - I was so happy and in love.  It was a magical night and a beautiful setting.  I don't remember eating, I barely remember cutting the cake or dancing.  I do remember how very happy I was - how excited I was to be spending the rest of my life with Matt.
 1996 - We had moved to Springfield, Illinois and I had started at UIS.  We both worked minimum wages jobs and lived in a tiny (300 square feet) apartment.  I remember a "splurge" was getting pizza and renting a movie.  We were broke, but we were finding our way.
 1997 - More years of hard work - at this point we were both working multiple jobs and going to school.  I was a phlebotomist at a hospital (4:30 am -yikes) and a waitress at a steakhouse.  Matt was a loss prevention specialist at Lowe's- catching the bad guys - and looking to become a police officer.  We took one vacation out to Vegas to go to our friend's wedding, but for the most part - we dug down and worked.
 1998 - We experienced a big change this year, I graduated with my BA in Science and we moved to Dallas to find jobs.  By the end of the year, we were living in an apartment, had bought our first new car (a green Ford Explorer) and I had been hired on with Parke-Davis (which later became Pfizer) as a pharmaceutical rep.  We began attending church and had made some great friends.
 1999 - We fully entrenched ourselves and became Dallasites.  We attended Dallas Stars games, had fun with good friends, and worked hard.
 2000 - Another year of hard work, we bought a house, and got our first dog, Oz.  We traveled a bit, spending weekends at the lake and heading out to Colorado with family.
2001 - God blessed us with a baby girl......Morganne Elisabeth was an absolute joy (she still is).  It was such an incredible change for us to become parents - it was so heartwarming for me to see Matt become a father - to see the tenderness he had for his little girl.  This was such a wonderful year - we focused fully on our little girl - the world revolved around her.  
 2002 - Our blue-eyed, curly-haired little girl became a big sister, as Jack David joined us in October.  That summer, we moved into a bigger home and met some incredible friends.  I remember this year as being a tired momma, but so incredibly happy to have 2 fun & healthy children.
2003 - A year filled with diaper changes, running around after toddling children, and seeing the world through their eyes.  We went to children's parades, sang nursery rhymes, and played outside in the sandbox.  Every experience, no matter how mundane, was fun because we were enjoying it as new parents.  Late in the year, we were able to escape and go on a Caribbean Cruise - a wonderful vacation and a chance to enjoy each other's company.
2004 - The Wiggles, My Little Pony, Thomas the Train, chicken nuggets, potty training, wagon rides, train rides (including an Amtrak one!), and more.....we were full-blown parents and life flew by in a blur.  Between working full-time and parenting full-time, we barely had time for each other.  It was a season of our lives that we both can look back fondly upon.
2005 - We celebrated our 10 year anniversary in the Big Apple - a long stroll in Central Park, a climb to the top of the Empire State Building, a visit to the Museum of Modern Art and a play - can't remember the name..... - it was a fun trip.  We stayed in Times Square and the staff at the hotel treated us special with champagne and strawberries and other treats in our room.  It was a wonderful trip to celebrate 10 years together.  As for the rest of the year?  Hmmmmm......Chief came into our lives, we took Morganne to Disney World for her 4th birthday and we became really involved in our church children's ministry.
2006 - Gave us bike rides and soccer games, dance recitals and Thomas the Train rides.  Morganne started kindergarten and we took the kids to Disney World again for Jack's 4th birthday.  But the real highlight of the year was our trip to Costa Rica - a week fully immersed in the Costa Rican rain forests, where we zip-lined, and soaking in the beach, where we went deep-sea fishing.  We both caught a tuna and both ate it right there on the boat!
2007 - Our traveling got even better, with a Mediterranean cruise that took us to France and Italy.  It was an amazing trip - one we will never forget.  We had the privilege of seeing the Sistine Chapel in private - a moment I will never forget in my life.  Both kids played soccer, with Matt coaching, we were quite busy with that.  We also became season ticket holders to FC Dallas, so we really enjoyed some soccer that year.
2008 - HUGE changes took place this year.  I was promoted with my company and we moved to Austin - away from our friends and family - the kids were apprehensive, but we now all agree, it was one of the best things that happened to us.  We also took another amazing trip - this time to Ireland & England - 13 days - we saw some amazing sites and really loved soaking in the history of both of these countries.  We also took he kids to a Texas beach, where we built an incredible sand castle.  Jack began kindergarten and loved school.
2009 - This year followed the big changes of 2008, with even more surprises.  I was laid off and pregnant with out third!  In May, Ian Matthew completed our family - we never thought we would have a third child, but we are so richly blessed having him in our lives.  We had to all adjust to a completely new lifestyle with Mom at home.  And it has been incredible - as much as I thought I would work all the days of my life in a corporate job, I can't even begin to explain how much I love this. Matt became the sole provider, obtaining a new job - God opened new doors in our lives this year - it was amazing.
2010 - Adjusting with a new baby, I threw myself into being a stay-at-home mom, joining our school PTA, starting a little movie-making business, and becoming CEO of the household (cleaning ain't glamorous y'all!).  Both older kids continued to play soccer year round and both kids became really involved in scouts.  We spent a lot of time out at the lake on the boat and spent a few weeks in Illinois that summer. Matt & I also trained and ran a half-marathon together - that was a pretty amazing accomplishment to do!
2011 - Matt had been promoted at his job to branch manager, and I was PTA President at school.  Kids had a pretty routine schedule of school, practices, and games.  We took them to Florida for a week and all decided it was the best family vacation ever.  We also spent almost a month in Illinois that summer for Matt's sister's wedding.
2012 - Another year filled with school, soccer, PTA, and scouts.  It has been an incredible last few years, where I fell our relationship and marriage has grown stronger - I don't know if that has anything to do with me being home, where & how we live, or us simply maturing together.  No matter what it is, we both agree that we are happier now than we have ever been.

I look back over this and think how quickly it has all gone by, yet we can both pin point so many incredible memories that we have with each other.  I know we both feel so blessed to have met one another when we did, to have committed ourselves to each other when we did, and to have stayed together for so long.  I honestly can't imagine my life being any better.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The FIFTH Week of Summer

Fifth Week of Summer!!!!
(June 24th- June 30th)

The Fifth week of summer was spent on VACATION in sunny (or not-so) Florida!!  See what we were up to:
We woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful sunny day in Gulfport, MS.  Our hotel was conveniently located right next to a Krispy-Kreme.  This Bubba boy enjoyed his first KK donut, can ya tell?!!
On the way from Mississippi to Florida, we began seeing billboards for this restaurant famous for their "throwed rolls".  Matt had been to the Lambert's Cafe in Missouri a few times and loved it! So we thought, why not - we exited off the Interstate and went in search of this place.

The wait was only close to an hour- was it worth it?  Oh my goodness, yes!
They have so much fun at Lambert's Cafe - the waiters joke with you, pretending to spill a pitcher of tea in your lap or ketchup all over you- the kids really loved it. And the food was oh-so yummy!!

When they threw hot rolls at you it was pretty cool. 
The jokes were really funny.
After our HUGE meal, we traveled over to Pensacola and the Naval Air Station.  The National Naval Air Museum has every plane in the Navy's history and was completely free.  it was very cool to see all these planes, we only wish we had a little more time to see it.

We saw a lot of really cool airplanes.
I got a penny pressed coin.  I think it was cool when we got to fly a plane in the wind tunnel.
I was optimistic.  I had heard that Tropical Storm Debby might be heading our way...but I thought NOPE! I was wrong.  We were right in the way of one of the outer bands that just hung out on top of us all Sunday long. This were the skies we woke up to.

So we did what every crazy vacationer does...we headed to the beach to see the storm in person.  The waves were high, the water was almost up to the dunes, and it rained heavily on us.  It was pretty cool to see it in person.

Nobody was there but we got to "swim" in the water and we had a lot of fun.
The water got all the way up to the top of my pants. I was disappointed to see the storm when it was supposed to be sunny in Florida.
Even Bubba got out in the rain a bit before we hopped back in the car.

So what does the beach bound family do on a rainy day?  Lots of stuff! We had a dance party (Call Me Maybe?), read books, and went swimming in the rain for 3 hours.

Even though it was a tropical storm, we still had fun that day.
I didn't like swimming in the rain.
My friend and I enjoyed the afternoon on the patio of our house and played a few card games.  It actually turned out to be an awesome way to start our vacation - a day of complete down time.
On Monday, we ventured out, determined to find some sun and enjoy the beach.  The forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday, but we didn't let that stop us.

Boogie Boarding was awesome- especially with friends.
The sun FINALLY peeked out that afternoon and we enjoyed a day with BIG waves.

Bubba loved playing in the sand.
Last summer, Bubba ran from the surf.  We were hoping that he might be a little more excited about the beach this summer.  He took a wok with Matt and screamed as soon as the water came up to him.  That was ok - he loved playing in the sand and played non-stop all week.  He slept hard at night.

I was happy that it finally got sunny.
ANd on Tuesday, this was my view.  I put the phone down and read an entire book.  It was heaven!
Had to snap this promo shot!

On Thursday, we took a day off from the beach and went into Destin to play.  We took the kids to go and see Brave and rode some go-carts.  Bubba got to ride this year with his Dad and seemed to enjoy it.  Although he never really smiled.....

The go carts were fun because I raced against mom & Brody and almost beat them.
I finally got to drive my own car and won the race between my sister and my mom.
Last day at the beach - boo hoo!  We really love our time here - it is so relaxing and a great way to spend time as a family.
On the last day, there was a huge sand bar that you could walk out to in the water and suddenly only be ankle deep.  We took Bubba out and sat him down and he loved it - As long as one of us were holding him, he laughed at the kids (and adults) rolling in the surf.  With the fear knocked out of him, he spent the rest of the day running in and out of the surf.  It took him all week, but we finally got him to play in it!

We dug a tunnel in the sand that you could crawl through.  And I got stuck in it when they tried to collapse it.
We had fun buying each other all week - so Matt volunteered to be buried the last day. The kids enjoyed covering him with sand.

Sissy tried to make him look like a mermaid.
I didn't try to - he did also!
13 hours to Illinois on Saturday.  I swear it seemed like the LONGEST drive EVER!!  We tried reading, watching movies, and playing car games - like this one - all of us joined in to find over 25 state license plates on that drive.

We found a bajillion different states. 
I found the hardest state to find - Alaska!
Well, I found Maine!
And we made a quick potty break in Metropolis, Illinois, home of the world's largest Superman statue.  Matt wouldn't let us drive into town to see it, so we settled for this one at the rest stop.

I don't want to say anything about this.

Sissy provided commentary in pink.
Brody provided commentary in blue.

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