Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Weekend with old neighbor friends

 Last weekend, we made the 3 hour drive down to Temple to spend the weekend with our old neighbors Ryan and Casey Holler.  Holler's lived next door to us at our old house and we became the best of friends.  We were so sad when they made the move down to Temple, but after spending time there, we realize that is absolutely where they belong!
It was also fun to see the Ott's.  We met Adam and Jessica through Ryan and Casey and we always had such a great time together.  We all have kids the same age so it was the perfect set-up.  
Friday night, we all just hung out and let all the kids play.  After the kids went to bed, the adults played a game and it was so hilarious, such a good time!

Saturday morning, we headed out on the boat.  We kept Finley and Kaylee back home with a sitter because it would have been too long of a day for them.  
 Cole and Lexie...sure miss this girl!
 Reese and Carter

It's funny because it took Cole a couple hours to really warm up to the water.  I'm pretty sure this was his first time being in lake water and he wasn't a big fan of walking on the sand.  After spending the first couple hours on the boat and thoroughly annoying me for not being adventurous with the other kids, he finally got in and loved it!  Otherwise, it would've been a looooong day! 

Ryan, me and Casey
 Adam had to add to the mix
We were all pretty wiped out that evening so we all went to bed pretty early.  Overall, awesome weekend with some great friends who we miss dearly!  Hopefully the Holler's will be able to come up here for a visit in September. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Trip back Home

 A couple weeks ago, the kids and I made our first solo flight to Colorado to spend some time with my family.  Normally, I go to Colorado to get away from the nasty Texas heat....but really, I cannot complain one bit about the weather so far this summer.  We have maybe had a few days that have reached 100.  It's been delightful! 
Nick was able to come out for 4 nights over the long weekend, but the rest of the time it was just me and kiddos.
Anyway, it's always good to get home and spend some time with the family and the cousins always have such a great time playing together.  Thank the Lord the flight there is only 1.5 hours!!! Cole is a gem, just sits there and will watch a little bit of the iPad.  My daughter....if you've met her, I'm sure you have an idea :)  I do have to give her credit, she actually was pretty good, as long as I kept her face stuffed with suckers :)  Mom of the year!

As soon as we got to my parents house, Cameron and Sydney were already there and ready to play.  It was just nonstop play.
Sydney and Finley...these two were inseparable!
 My parents have this little stream in their backyard.  The kids love it, but it also made me a bit nervous because there were lots of wasps flying around the water.  Cole actually did get his first wasp sting that night :(  Right behind his ear.

One of the mornings we took the kids to the library for Story time.  Cole enjoyed some computer games while we waited.

 Even though it was pretty warm out in the evenings, Cole still really wanted my dad to start a fire.  They even roasted some marshmallows. 

 It's so funny, because like normal kids, mine are always a bit timid around people they don't know too well or people they don't see often....totally normal.  What amazes me is that my kids only see Uncle Ross a few times a year, but it's like Finley just knows he's family and someone special.  Right away she gets so excited to see "Winkle Woss" (Uncle Ross).  She always wanted him when he was around and loved to go snuggle with him in his bed....adorable!!!

 The kids loved it when my dad would read them some bedtime stories...especially a funny Honeybee song that made them hysterically laugh.

 Over the last couple years, my dad has really gotten into motorcycles.  Whenever he would have some down-time, he would always hit up the golf course....he still is an avid golfer but has now found  a love for motorcycles.  Now, whenever he has a few moments to spare, he goes for ride.  
He even took me for a ride one evening and even though I was a little nervous that I was going to orphan my children, I can totally see why my dad loves it!  It was a great time!

Speaking of golf.....we took the kids to the driving range one evening.  It was hilarious

The Saturday morning I was there, Longmont had a fun race in town and I got sucked into participating.  Unfortunately I was not feeling 100% because I guess the dry air in Colorado really affected me and I had some major sinus stuff going on.  I knew I'd probably die if I actually ran, so I offered to walk with the girls in the Bob.  That way Ryan and Rachel could really run and not have to push that massive thing.  I really had a great time and walked with one of my dad's employees.

We took all the kids down to the Denver Zoo one morning.  It was so great because my great friend Courtney, who was also one of my college roommates, met us there and it was so great seeing her and her kids.  Neither of us had even met our youngest kids yet!!
All the kids had a blast, but I think I'd have to say Finley was the most into it.  She has such a love for animals so everything she saw was, "ohhhhhhh!!!!  Ahhhhhhh!!!". 



Rachel and I took the kids to a fun wadding pool.  This is a pretty new pool/park area, I didn't even know it was there.  It's so nice to see them update some of these parks from when I was little.  This little pool was absolutely perfect for our age kids.

Sassy-pants girls :)


Rachel and I even got to take Cole and Cameron on a little movie date.  My mom was so nice and stayed back with the little girls.  We took them to see Despicable Me 2 and then to Red Robbin for dinner.  It was so nice to spend some time with the big kids, it was really special.

I forgot to mention, that on top of all the fun we had...it really was a bit of a rough trip health-wise.  When we got there, Cole got pink eye.  Then I got my nasty sinus stuff that gave me a throat infection.  Finley then woke up with a double pink eye, then a couple days later, I got the pink eye.
Then, the day of the race (when I pushed the girls), I dropped my phone and cracked the screen.  In the last 6 months, I have dropped my phone in the toilet, cracked that screen, sold that phone, and now cracked my current phone.  I give up.......
I have 1.5 years left on my contract so I have to keep my old iphone in working condition so we had to get the screen fixed.  $92 later, it is fixed....however, now the actual PHONE part of my phone doesn't work.  So if you try calling me and it doesn't work, that is why.
 
 THEN, one morning we were at the park with the kids and I took this picture as Finley busted her lip open.  I totally didn't mean to take the picture as she was hurting herself :)  It just happened that way.  She did a little face-plant....
 And after lots of blood and crying, this was the end result.

While we were in Colorado, the kids had late nights, almost every night.  It was hard to make them go to bed because they were having so much fun.  One of the evenings, I guess it caught up with Finley.  My mom and I were sitting at the counter looking at something on the iPad and next thing we know, Finley lays her head down and just passes out on the counter.
 This is the last shot of the cousins that we got.  They are all just the cutest!!!
We all had such a great time and it's always so nice to be home and make some great memories.  It's always hard and sad to leave.  I'm so thankful to my parents for hosting us for that long and my mom cooking for us all week.....the best!!!  We are so blessed to have such a great family and we miss them terribly when we aren't with them.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 4 Weekend

 It was SO nice having Nick off for the long weekend, it truly was such a fun weekend.  We absolutely love our new neighborhood!  It's pretty small, about 200 homes, so everyone looks out for each other and we have become great friends with some!  When Nick and I started thinking about moving last year, I told him....I wanted a smaller neighborhood community so that everyone knew each other, I wanted to walk my kids to school, not have any thru-streets so my kids can actually play outside, have a nice walking trail, park, pool....I mean, that's not too much to ask, is it??  Ok yes, maybe I am a little high maintenance, but you know what?  We found that neighborhood!  We couldn't be more thrilled.
So for the 4th, we did a little neighborhood parade and then everyone gathered at the park area for hot dogs, snacks, drinks and fun stuff for the kids to do.
Our little family is kind of on the top left corner of this picture.  Nick is pulling the wagon and I'm behind the wagon.

 Even though Cole is the slowest bike rider known to man, he still did a great job and kept up pretty well.  Isn't he the cutest?  And yes, his bike is way small for him...maybe his next birthday present?

 All the kids even had a big water balloon fight, it was adorable!
After everyone headed home, we headed to the pool with a bunch of neighbors.  Nick was nice enough to take the kids back for naps so I could stay and hang out with a bunch of the girls.  It was so nice to just hang out and not have to worry about the kids and chat it up with the girls.  However, I may or may not have forgotten to put sunscreen on and possibly fried my stomach...oops!

Later that day, we headed over to Pete and Katie's for a BBQ.  We couldn't have asked for better weather last week, very unseasonably cool, so we were able to spend lots of time outside.
Finley with her boyfriend James....eating dinner together
 Sparklers!!
 We thought about letting the kids watch fireworks, but the fireworks that we could see from our house didn't start till 10:15 and the kids were pretty worn out from the days festivities.  Maybe next year.  After we put the kids to bed, Nick and I sat on our back patio and had a great view of the fireworks...that's what's nice about living on the green space.

The next day, Nick was actually able to come to Cole's last swim lesson.  He actually will have one more week later in July but this was the last one he will have for awhile.  Cole has gotten so brave and is now jumping off the board.  This is the kid that HATED getting his head wet and refused to put his head under the water.  He still prefers to keep his head above water but has definitely come a long way.

Also that weekend, us and Pete and Katie took the kids to a new splash park here in Frisco.  It was pretty cool and the kids were hilarious.  After the splash park we headed for burgers at Jake's.
Again....Finley and James on a date.  One of many!
 He looks thrilled :)

 We ended the long weekend with Beau and Stacey coming over.  We asked Beau to shave our dogs because it's starting to get very warm and they were long and shaggy.  Beau and Nick spent quite awhile outside grooming the dogs while Stacey and I chatted it up, and sipped on wine :)  The kids stayed up super late but had a great time together.  We are so blessed with their friendship!

Overall, it was such a great weekend and now I'm getting ready to head to Colorado for awhile.  Cannot wait to see everyone there!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Girls weekend with the Lifers

 Many many months ago, all the guys in our life group went down to Austin for a weekend to just be guys.  So it was only fair that the mom's got to do the same.  Out of all the weekends this summer, this past weekend was the only weekend that worked for most of the girls.  I did feel a little guilty that we JUST got back from Cabo and then a week later got another little mini vacation again.  
Originally we had decided to go to San Antonio but after realizing that with it being the start of summer and that everyone on the planet would be traveling I-35 and we didn't feel like being in the car for 8 hours, we decided to stay closer to home.
Shelly's husband, Mark, got us some awesome deals at the Four Seasons Resort and it definitely was nice being a quick 30 minute drive away.

Patsy and Katie were not with us this day...boo!!! :(
 It was nice just laying by the pool and chatting with the girls, we pretty much solved all the world problems in those two days!

Me and Jen modeling in the bathroom

 Both nights after dinner, we'd sit out on our patio and chit chat till late.  I love those kind of nights!
 Shelly and Jen our first night at Via Real
 The girls are so blessed to have the best husbands, that will stay home with all the kiddos and let the girls have some girl time :)  The first night, all the husbands and kids got together at Bridgham's and I sure would have loved to have been a fly on the wall!  Nick would text me during the weekend and ask, "Does Finley always follow you around and have to be in the middle of everything you do??"  Yes, Nick.....yes she does!!!! 

I was impressed that Nick took them to Market Street all by himself!  I avoid that place, even if it's the only place to get our milk.....but it's the only place that has these little carts and Finley insists on pushing her own and it's a disaster.  A good friend of mine saw Nick and the kids at the store that night and she let me know that Nick had everything under control...ha!


 When I got home Sunday afternoon, Finley wanted nothing to do with me.  She was definitely a daddy's girl that day.  And as you can see by this picture, Nick was exhausted!!!

 Oh yeah...forgot to mention....while I was away, Nick decided to break Finley of the paci.  We had kind of talked about it but honestly, I wasn't quite ready.  She has been the best sleeper (13-14 hrs at night) and she never had the paci except in bed and it's so nice to just throw her in bed and she would put herself to sleep.
Nick informed me that she only cried for about 5 minutes the first night and slept till 8:30am.  Same thing with her nap the next day, just a little fussing.  However, when mom got home, things definitely changed.  This has been a pretty rough week.  Our routine now goes like this now.... read 45 books, then read about 15 more, rock, lay down in bed with me laying next to her.  Then I lie to her and tell her I have to go put Cole to bed and I'll come back.  Well, I don't usually come back and then she cries for about 10-15 minutes.  Yeah, it totally sucks and there is nothing worse than letting your child cry themselves to sleep. 
 As much as I LOVE rocking and snuggling with her, I'm afraid that the easy days of putting her to bed are long gone.  Soon she will be in her toddler bed, then she will have free reign of her room and then she will be letting the little neighbor boys in her window, I just know it.  Oh Finley, what are we going to do with you??  I sure love this girl more than words though!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cabo 2013

 As soon as school was out, we headed out for our big trip of the summer.  About a year ago, we started talking about going to Cabo with Pete and Katie.  That is where they got married 4 years ago and they were itching to go back so we asked if we could tag along.  Then a few months ago, Jen and Chris Bridgham joined in and we were all set to go.  We could not wait!!!  Of course I was sad to leave the kids for 5 nights, especially being in a different country and not able to just pick up the phone any time and check in....but being completely disconnected from our phones for the week was such a great feeling.
When we got to the airport in Cabo, this lovely thing was there waiting for us.  Katie sure knows how to spoil us! 
 The boys did not waste any time jumping in the ocean.  I was so pleasantly surprised that the water was as blue as it was.  I always thought that side of Mexico didn't have as nice of beaches but I was very wrong.  It was a little unseasonably cool (high of 92) that week so the water was a little chilly, but the guys didn't care.
 While the guys played in the water, the girls took advantage of happy hour and took pictures on the beach :) 
 Most of the days consisted of laying by the pool, swimming, having pina coladas and catching some sun.  Not a bad view huh??

 The view from our resort....we took many many walks down that beach!

One of the afternoons, we rented some kayaks and paddled our way out to Lovers Beach.  Most people recognize the famous arch when they see pictures of Cabo 

 From the beach, it took us about 20 minutes to paddle out to Lovers Beach.  It was a little scary because there were so many boats and jet skies, and we were definitely not bigger than any of those.  We spent some time out at Lovers Beach and saw the arch, unfortunately we couldn't take our camera out there since we kayaked.

 What was nice about Pete and Katie being familiar with Cabo, is that they knew the good places to eat.  Some places that looked like complete hole-in-the-walls, but had some of the best shrimp/seafood.
This little girl wanted to borrow (and not give back) Nick's sunglasses while we waited for dinner one night.
 One of the nights before we headed out for dinner.  Love these girls!!!


 One of the mornings, the three guys and Jen went fishing.  They tried to get me and Katie to go, but Annie and boats don't mix so well.  I get motion sick swinging at the park!!!  Instead, Katie and I had to endure the Spa....it's a tough job, someone's gotta do it. :)  It was exactly what I needed and so relaxing.
Luckily, Pete did catch our dinner that night.  They have a guy that will prepare whatever is caught and eat it for dinner.  The guys said the fishing was pretty bad because it had been so cool there that there wasn't a lot of fish around.  Luckily, this thing fed all of us.
This is a Rooster fish
 And this is what it looked like after....prepared 7 different ways and was very good.  It was a darker, meatier fish, but very yummy!!!


 That same night, we wanted to get some good pictures of all of us....trying to get this group to be serious and take good pictures...not an easy task!!  I think I had to take about 50 shots of Chris and Jen because they had a hard time being serious...dorks :)  Out of ALL the pictures we took, here are a few that look normal :)


Yep...here we go.  Outtakes!!!



 Hey, at least the guys can act kinda normal...right???
Yeah, that's what I thought.....

It's always interesting traveling with new people, there are definitely friends that you can travel with and ones that you can't.  I wouldn't hesitate for a second to take more trips with these people...seriously one of the best trips we've had!  So blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives who we can share these memories with.
We were all very sad to leave and get back to the real world, but I think all of us were ready to see the kiddos.

It was so nice that we didn't have to worry one bit about the kids.  Gigi and Granddad took great care of them and I know they had a blast.  I mean, does this look like kids that missed their parents??

One night, Gigi and Granddad got together with Katie's parents so James could play with Cole and Finley.  They swam at their pool and ordered pizza. 
Cole and James being silly in his bed

We are so thankful that we have family to care for our kids and know they are being watched over.  As much as we missed the kids, it was definitely good for Nick and I to get away and have some time with friends.  Like we kept saying while we were there.....it was nice to sit down and drink a cup of coffee without having to reheat it 34 times :)
Cheers to Cabo and the best of friends!!!!