Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday Matt Darling

My guy turns 40 today.

And can you believe this adorable picture I found of him??  Ugh.  I think Brody looks just like him.  

So in honor of the big 4-0.  Here are 40 things I dig about him:

He's funny

He is passionate about his kids

He digs soccer

He looks hot driving a truck

He loves Orange Slices

He has salt & pepper hair at his temples

He gets up at 2 am to put Bubba back to bed

He looks good in a uniform

He loves to drive a boat

He loves Jesus
 He likes country music

He loves Mexican food

He coaches encourages Sis to do her best in soccer 

He runs

He likes to watching Love Actually every Christmas

He has borderline OCD

He takes Brody to school each day

He will play a game with his kids

He loves my lasagna

He prays for his family 

He's from the Midwest

He thinks I'm the best looking woman he ever saw 

He gave George Strait a high five

He gave me 3 amazing kiddos

He does the laundry (each week!)

He really knows his history

He loves Texas

He makes a mean apple pie

He changes poopy diapers

He loves to read
He loved watching Downton Abbey

He looks good in red

He got all of us out in the rain this morning to see an owl

He reads stories to Bubba

He makes friends easily

He wears cowboy boots

He works hard

He will drive cross-country and never make me drive

He will dance with me

He's fun

I think there is truth in the adage that you get better with age.  I met Matt when he was 21 years old and I find more and more things to love about him year after year. 

Happy Birthday to the man I love!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The THIRTEENTH Week of Summer

Thirteenth Week of Summer!!!!
aka - the LAST WEEK of Summer!
(Aug 19th - Aug 26th)


It is so hard for me to believe that the summer is really over.  You know when it starts and you look ahead at the MANY weeks of sleeping in, fun times planned, and no school??? And then it all seems to fly by in a blur, and you are suddenly facing the beginning of a new school year??? 

Crazy fast - but we had an amazing summer, as you can see if you have been following along (see the links below).
We started off with BIG PLANS and a full bucket list for our summer.  We accomplished over 70% of of original list and added a lot of things that came up along the way.  I really liked brainstorming with the kids what they wanted to do and working in the fun.  We didn't finish watching all the Star Trek movies or get to 4 new splash pads, but now we have ideas of fun things to do when we find ourselves with a free weekend!
On the last week, we took a look at our list and I asked the kids - what are the things you want to do the most........
The first was to Explore UT - the University of Texas.  With school out for the summer, it was the perfect time.  We first visited the Texas Memorial Museum on campus.
And took a walk by the Alumni Center - Here sis is imitating the "student of the future".....
And we had to walk by the tower - we wanted to go up in it but tours are only allowed on the weekend. So it stays on our list for next summer......
UT is a gorgeous campus - and I loved showing the kids at such an early age what a University looks like...... 
Day 2 we did a little geocaching in our area.  We found 7 out of 9 - not bad.  And we enjoyed posing on the rock that "Round Rock" was named for.
The crazy group of kids did a ton together this summer, so it was only fitting that we spent the last week before school starting doing some fun things.
Day 3 took us skating - both my kids LOVE to skate and we have a great indoor rink that is pretty fun! Even Bubba enjoyed it!
Day 4 took us to an indoor trampoline park - so much fun!
And we created a backyard water park - complete with your sister bopping you on the head!!
That evening, we met our teachers on our annual "Welcome Walk" - since Sis is going into Middle School, 2 teachers from her school came by to officially welcome her and brought her a FUN sign! She was so excited!
And Brody got our FAVORITE teacher for 4th grade!!!!!!!  Mrs. H was Sis's teacher and she had the best experience she has had with school yet.  I know every child's experience is different, but I adore Mrs. H and love the way she teaches, so I couldn't be happier!!
 And on Friday, we had "Camp Wildcat" - a great introduction to Middle School for 6th graders.  They got a LONG tour, parents got to buy shirts, gym clothes, etc, and they got to decorate their lockers.  The new thing now is to have a locker chandelier and carpets!!!  I remember having to make my own signs and hand pictures of cute boys from Teen Beat!!  Luckily, Sis wasn't into light fixtures and shaggy rugs, but we did decorate it pretty cute!
 With the move to middle school, it was time to say goodbye to an era - the sticker MUST come off Sis!!

Thanks for keeping up with us all summer - I have really enjoyed capturing all our fun through Instagram!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

The TWELFTH Week of Summer

Twelfth Week of Summer!!!!
(Aug 12th - Aug 18th)

The twelfth week of summer was a quiet one as we had spent the beginning of it in VEGAS!!!  My wonderful mom stayed with the kiddos while Matt & I were able to enjoy some one-on-one time.  it was Awesome.
But we did a few fun things when we got home.  I took the older kids to Ian's favorite park.... 
And Sis went shopping with her "big sister" and Ian's favorite babysitter.   She offered to take us back to school shopping to check out some of the older stores - no more Children's Place with too small hats for us anymore.......
And to say it was a successful trip is a bit of an understatement.......
This girl shopped hard at some new stores - Hollister, delia's, and Aeropostle were her new favs - no more Gymboree for this momma!!!
Over the weekend we were excited to travel to our first soccer tournament with her new club.  We drove over to Houston on Friday and were set to play at 8 am on Saturday.
Sis had an amazing game - scored 3 goals all with her left foot within the first minute - we were floored!!!
And they won easily.

We were all ready to play our 2nd game - but a HUGE rainstorm came in that afternoon and the game ended up canceled.  So we took the girls to eat, and then bowling, and then eating again, and then hanging out at the hotel.....
And then eating again......our little man was a little bit tired from the day....
Unfortunately, it rained so much all night, they cancelled the rest of the tourney.  We were disappointed but chose to look on the bright side - Sis got tons of great bonding time with her new teammates.  So we hopped in the car and headed home!! It's where we wanted to be anyway.....

One more week of summer left!!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vegas BABY!

So the Hubby turns 40 in September.  The only thing he wanted to do was to take a trip with his friends. Our friends, Dave & Mel were going to celebrate Dave's 40th too.  After months of trying to figure out where to go (England is too far; Napa is all about wine; we already went to the beach with the kids) we determined the perfect little get away was VEGAS!!!
Lucky to have such a quick flight on MY favorite airlines - LOVE Southwest - seriously - they have so much fun on their flights.  The flight attendants tell jokes, talk to people - just make it enjoyable.  And for 4 people who had been up since 4 am, we needed "fun".
Love flying over the Southwest - doesn't it look hand-carved by God??
We stayed at the oh-so-lovely Encore on the Strip - it was a gorgeous hotel - most of the places in Vegas are now - but we really loved the room - the pool - the location - all of it.
First pic of the two of us in Vegas......
And our first meal - at Hash House-a-Go-Go at The Imperial Palace.  Many Many people recommended this place to us and as we got in at 9 am on Sunday, we were hungry for a great brunch. I enjoyed the chicken & waffles - bacon was actually cooked inside the waffles.  To eat this, you have to have a bit of everything- chicken, waffles, bacon  AND syrup - so amazing!
For Dave's birthday, Mel had bought him & Matt a "digging experience" on these huge excavators.  They moved dirt, piled tires and then played basketball.
They LOVED it!
But we hadn't even gambled yet!!  And I am not much of a big gambler, so to be honest, that was not a goal of mine for the trip.  However, the boys wanted to play some tables.  So we walked the Strip on Day 2 and ended up playing for a few hours on a roulette table and had so much FUN!  I won big (by total accident- had a big bet on a line that paid well when it hit "1" - still don't quite understand how I did it) which is why I think I enjoyed it so much!!
And we enjoyed lunch at another recommendation - Serendipity at Caesar's Palace.  This is the Frozen Hot Chocolate.  Yes - I go on vacation for the food...sometimes.....
Night Number 2 - Big Plans!! Dinner at Battistia's Hole in the Wall (good, rich Italian) and then Tickets to see Beatles' LOVE!!!!
And we finally caught a water show at The Bellagio - those are so fun to watch.
But on to the show I have wanted to watch for over 5 years!!!  I have the cd, being a HUGE Beatles fan and this was the highlight of the trip.
It was an amazing experience to see all the songs you love being "acted/danced/flown/displayed" in front of you.  It was beautiful and breath-taking and precious and brought tears to my eyes.  I think it meant so much to me because I have loved the Beatles for so long - this is as close to a "concert" as I will ever get.
Day number three - got to Skype with the kiddos for a bit - love modern technology!!
ANd then a drink of the gorgeous lakeside patio at The Wynn.
Happy Birthday Honey!!!
Dinner was at N9NE at The Palms.  It was an amazing steakhouse that treated the Birthday Boys like kings.....
While we were there, we had to make a quick stop up at the Ghost Bar to see the city all lite up.
Day 4 - have to head home - boo.  Our room had a ceiling-to-floor window - here's our view!

It was really a fantastic trip with our friends - we had tons of laughs, had fun, and made great memories. Happy 40th Birthday to the boys!!

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