Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wedding Weekend

 This past weekend was Nick's cousin Diane's wedding.  We were so lucky because even though everyone is from up North, they decided to have the wedding here in Dallas!  Diane is in her Psychiatric residency at UT Southwestern so I guess to make it easy on her, she decided to do it here and we loved it!!  I think all our northern family members were so ready to get out of the winter weather too!
We had so many wedding festivities over the course of 4 days and we were definitely exhausted in the end, but it was such a special time and I think everyone had the best time.  It never gets old being around family that you don't get to see very often.

Friday late afternoon, I drove to Downtown Dallas to the hotel that Granddad and Gigi and the rest of the family were staying at.  We were attending the rehearsal dinner that evening so I went down a little early with the kiddos so they could hang out some.  The kids thought it was the coolest thing being in that big hotel and being waaayyyy high up.  They would just sit at the window and look out, it was adorable!
Looking back, we totally should have stayed the night at the hotel that Friday night because the kids were having so much fun going up and down the elevator, running around and just being in that environment.  I remember when we were kids, my parents took us to Denver to stay at a hotel one night and to us kids, that was such a big deal and something I will always remember.  It wasn't a fancy vacation and my parents probably spent minimal cash but that just shows that to little kids, you don't need all the fancy stuff....just some elevators, escalators, water fountains and family!

These are pictures of the kids in Gigi and Granddad's hotel room


What was so nice is that the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception were all walking distance from the hotel.  We all walked to the Red Museum Friday evening and had such a great time at the rehearsal dinner.  Since nobody is originally from Dallas, they decided to have a "cowboy" theme and it was definitely fun to break out the boots.  I haven't worn my boots in probably 4-5 years and it felt good to break 'em out.
Me and Emily showing off our boots :)
We always tell Cole to say "cheese" when we take pictures, so now all his pictures are of him saying "cheese" but not really smiling :)
Love this guy...smokin hottt!!
 
Granddad decided to make us all look like Aunt Jamima with the bandanas :)
 
They even had this big circular room in the corner and it was the perfect place for all the kdis to play and run around.  We had a great view of the city and it was nice to just throw the kids in there and let them run wild.


We decided that for the actual wedding on Saturday evening, that we would not bring the kids.  I know they would have had so much fun but Nick and I really wanted to enjoy ourselves and we knew that having the kids there would have been tough.  It was such a fancy wedding and I just knew it would be my kid that grabbed the table cloth and drug it across the room, breaking everything in the process :)  So, our wonderful friend Meagan came to our house and stayed the night with the kids. 
This was the first time someone other than grandparents stayed the night with the kids but it went so well.  Meagan is the best and probably more motherly than I am so we felt so comfortable with her there.
As we were sitting in the ceremony, I leaned over to Nick and said "can you even imagine having Finley here right now?"  We both just laughed because as adorable and fun as she is, it would have been a disaster! :)  ha!
We really did have the best time and had so much fun visiting with family, having cocktails and eating amazing food!
Nick and Blake
 
The wedding/ceremony was at Union Station and was absolutely gorgeous.  Seriously, when they had us walk into the room were the reception was, it was like something out of a movie!
This is my type of night.....some white wine, champagne and a red velvet cupcake :)  Bliss!!!

The only hard part about the night is that we stayed up till 2:00am and I told Meagan I would be home by 8:00am to pick up the kids to take them back for the wedding brunch on Sunday morning.  7:00am sure came around pretty quickly....whew!  And of course, the kids slept in till 8:00 (seriously, why don't they do that for us?!?).  I quickly got them dressed, fed and threw them into the car and headed back downtown for brunch.  I swear we spent $40 in tolls that day!
 
Once we got back to the hotel we let the kids roam around a bit and as usual, they had so much fun.
Cole and Nick watching the elevators going up and down :)
We finished off the weekend with a big dinner with more family and then once we got home, we hit the sack!  We were exhausted!  But again, it was so worth it to spend time with family for such a wonderful occassion.  We had such a great weekend and hope to see everyone real soon!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friends as good as Family

To say we have some of the best friends a family could ask for is an understatement.  I realize daily that we have the best group of people surrounding our family and we couldn't be blessed more.  We have people that help take care of our children, no questions asked, makes us meals, support me and cheer me on with my lame diet and share recipes (thanks Katie!).  We have people around us that challenge us, pray for us and are those people you immediately go to when things suck.  My children even prefer being at certain friends houses more than our own home.  Cole:  "mom, shouldn't we go to Pete and Katie's house?" or "Mom, don't you think we should go see Beau and Stacey?"
All of our friends are so special to us and we really appreciate all they do for us.

I am so grateful to friends that helped out so much with watching our kids last week.  We had some state testing at school last week and my schedule got messed up and I had to work some weird hours.  Plus our sitter took a couple personal days and trying to find childcare is sometimes tricky.
So grateful to Shelly for letting the kiddos crash there and play with Owen and Aiden.  Poor Shelly had to carry Finley around for 4 hours, Finley wouldn't let her put her down.....:(

Cole had so much fun playing with Aiden and Owen, he crashed about 2 seconds after we got into the car :)
And because I worked some funny hours last week and was unable to pick up Cole from school, Jen and Reece let Cole play at their house till I could pick him up.  These two boys crack me up, they can play for hours and Cole still cries every time he has to leave their house.  
Jen sent me these pictures during the week.
Besties!!!

Friday evening we spent some more time with friends celebrating Josiah's birthday.  Unfortunately I didn't even get a picture of Josiah but I have these to prove what a good time the kids had!!
Finley loved the carrots and dip....."cheeeeese"!!!
Evan and Cole always have the best time together, these are kids that I think will always be good friends, such characters!
Finley was hilarious, she kept getting into this bubble and waving to everyone.  It was a total Miss America wave too!

Saturday afternoon, we wanted to check out Beau and Stacey's new kitchen so we packed up the kids and headed over there.  It had also been awhile since we had seen Mr. Walker and I needed my baby fix. :)
Finley was so interested in baby Walker, she kept trying to give him his paci and surprisingly was pretty gentle with him.  Or, maybe she was interested in the fact that this sweet boy was laying in her PINK nap nanny :)
The kids had a blast doing there normal "Cole-Grayson pillow fights" or wrestling and even getting Beau to twirl them around in the air.  Poor Beau got quite the workout throwing these three kids all over the place!
Cole's turn....
Finley's turn....

So many things packed into one weekend but had the best time with everyone.  AND, we have a four-day week this week at school.  We have a random Friday off because we didn't use any of our weather days so now I need to figure out what to do with our day off. Hmmmm...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter and Family

Last Wednesday, Ryan and Rachel and their two girls flew into Dallas to stay with us for Easter.  It was so nice to just hang out and not have much on the agenda the first few days and to just relax.  We spent quite a bit of time at the park and how funny are these kiddos??
The kids got dirty almost every day, so dirty it required a bath...but they had a blast!  Aunt Rachel would take the kids on little "adventures" and Cole and Cameron especially loved finding fun treasures near the water.
Saturday night, we had some family in town from Wisconsin and all the adults went out for the night.  We went to Nobu, which is the BEST sushi around, seriously my mouth waters with each bite!
I've been doing pretty well with my special diet lately but I definitely splurged and had some excellent food that night...yum!!
The main reason we went was to celebrate Charlie's birthday.
Happy Birthday Charlie and we are so glad we got to help you celebrate!
It was so nice to have a night out and be with just the adults.  I think Ryan and Rachel enjoyed a real date night too!  We got a couple sitters and I think all the kids did great with them.
Here is our whole group at Pepper Smash after we had sushi.  What a fun group!!!

Sunday morning, we had plans to have the kids wake up and have a little egg hunt outside but when we woke up, the clouds looked like this....
We had quite the downpour for awhile, which made our egg hunt not possible.  Oh well, we improvised and did it inside and the kids had so much fun.  They had some fun goodies in their baskets and then trying to pry all that candy out of their hands was interesting.
Gigi supplied us with the best candy from Williams Sonoma and even the adults couldn't keep their paws off the candy!
All four kids posing with all the goodies
Finley, Sydney, Cameron and Cole
After breakfast, we headed to church for Easter service and took some family pictures after we got the kids all checked into their classes.  As expected, there were a ton of people attending church so we made sure we got their early to avoid the mad rush.
Ryan and his sweet family....love them!
Yeah....um, this was the best picture we got!!  Ryan's family is all sweet and everyone is looking and being cooperative...then there is us!!! :)
Sunday evening, some friends in our life group put on an egg hunt.  Here are all the kids after the hunt was over.  We had such a fun time at this party and the kids had even more fun!  Their was a bounce house, awesome food, awesome house....it was just fun!!!
We have one more night with Ryan and Rachel and then they have to return home, we will be so sad to have them leave but we definitely had so much fun with them around.  The kids had a blast and I know Cole will be so sad when Cameron leaves.  We will be making a trip back to Colorado sometime in July, but that is still too long to wait.
So thankful to have such wonderful family members and we are so blessed!