Saturday, December 26, 2009
Grandma Walker was able to come for a brief visit. What a treat!
One of the funniest nativity stories I have ever seen...note the kitty ears on Marc. Need I say more.
There is nothing quite like Christmas to make you feel like a kid again! I just love Christmas with kids. I love the excitement and anticipation of every part of the holiday season. We really try to limit the "stuff" part and focus as much on the real goodness of Christmas as possible. It probably helps that our TV doesn't really get channels and they are unable to pipe in cable...so we are not bombarded with all the crazy commercials.
I was pretty proud of my boys this year. They did extra chores to earn money to buy gifts for other children (Sub for Santa kind of things). They had so much fun picking out all the toys...maybe they thought they might get to keep them, I am not sure. But I would like to think that they "got" it a little bit. Hopefully we can keep up the tradition and it will be something they will remember with fondness.
We got to spend Christmas with Marc's family in Dallas. It was very fun to be with all the cousins at one time. The boys couldn't get enough...plus their cousins have a WII, so they pretty much didn't want to come home. To top it all off, we got a white Christmas. It was kind of crazy...but we were in Dallas afterall! LOL
Saturday, December 12, 2009
M loves to run. He always wants to race. When he was younger and we had preschool at our house, he'd beg his friends to race him over and over and over. Usually kids are happy to do a few loops around the couch or the backyard, but this is different. Four or five laps later, most are ready for a rest and/or don't want to race anymore. But not M...he could go on forever.
Since he started school, on our way home from school he asks to be dropped off at the end of the street by the mailbox because he wants to run home.
Don't get me wrong, we LOVE that he likes to run and totally encourage it, so I was really excited when I got a notice from school that there was a district-wide cross country race. The race was broken up by ages and gender and was 1 kilometer. I know that doesn't seem that far...but to a 5 year old used to running home from the mailbox, I knew it might be a little daunting. So, I mentioned the race (almost in passing) and said that he could do it if he wanted. He thought for a moment and said that he would think about it (totally his father's child...analyzing already). After about a week, he decided that he wanted to do it and even chose the race over going to Sea World.
On "race day" I was totally nervous. I felt the same as I feel before one of my races. I tried to act calm and not project my feelings on him. He was so cute. Before the race, he got into the holding area with all the other 5 yr old boys and "warmed up" by doing jumping jacks and some stretches (maybe they do that in PE at school...I wasn't sure what he would do when the announcer told them to warm up). Then, the gun sounded and he was off. He did such a good job and ran the whole way. I couldn't have been more proud if he was in the Olympics. Who knows if he will continue to run...but it doesn't really matter. It was fun to see him doing something that he loves!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
FOOD...it's everywhere...especially at this time of year. Some people have self-control and limit themselves, but for what? Is it weird that holidays mean something to me...and by something I mean that I think about food almost non-stop. Is it just me? Did something happen in my childhood that made me so obsessed with eating and cooking and tasting? I just don't know but I kind of don't care. There are things in life that are for pure enjoyment, and I think food is one of those things.
One of my sisters-in-law is able to cook an entire meal and never, ever taste it along the way. I asked her how she would know if the meal was ok and she told me that they would find out when they started eating. I think that is awesome but for many reasons, I don't think I can do it. I feel like tasting along the way is part of my cooking process (whether for peace of mind or just enjoyment...I'm not sure).
At any rate, this is my ode to food, I guess. I love everything about food and am so happy to live in such a prosperous time and place that I can fully enjoy and savor every tasty bite.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
SO, E has gotten her fair share of (what I thought were) colds this past few months (starting to think it is more allergy related, we ARE in Austin afterall!!). Poor thing just cringes when she sees a kleenex coming her direction. The things is...even when she looks awful and like she must feel cruddy, she is still remarkably pleasant and sweet. It's like she feels bad for feeling bad and so she tries to smile and "act" like everything is ok...how thoughtful of her, right!?
Saturday, October 31, 2009
My sister hosted an awesome Halloween party and we couldn't resist driving down to Houston to participate. I can't believe I don't have pictures of it to prove how awesome she is. The invitation was a work of art...seriously...I kept it out to show friends for weeks. She had the whole place decked out from the entry to the bathroom. There were devilishly delectable things to eat (and eat and eat) and fun games too. Plus, my sister dresses up as the most amazing witch ever...green face and all(hopefully I can get her to send a pic so i can show you).
So, we had tons of fun and witnessed a miracle...my dad dressed up for the first time ever! I am not sure if it is the grand kids...but he is getting "soft" in his old age I guess. It was great. He even won the costume contest by a landslide. (As an aside...face paint as part of a costume for kids...not so much a big hit in my house as you might be able to see.)
On Halloween night we went out to a party at my parent's house. It was fun and entertaining for the kiddos. But possibly its most redeeming quality as a party was that when the kids were "done" and started asking for sleep...we just had to walk in the house and put them in bed. Ahhh....good times.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Some things never go away...a good friendship is one of those things. A true friend can still be your friend even when you haven't talked for months...or even years. You can pick up the relationship where it was "left" without any weirdness.
The first week of OctoberI experienced this firsthand. I spent a weekend in California to attend the wedding of my dear friend, Amy. Amy and I met in 7th grade and became best friends. We were thick as thieves throughout middle school and high school and remain close as adults. Amy was always kind and sensitive as a friend and always sacrificed to be part of my life. She even came all the way to Utah to visit me in college and then to LA for my wedding. Her family is wonderful and her house was like a second home for me growing up. I will always love her and am soooo happy she found Spencer. From our brief meeting I saw that he is handsome, generous and kind and that, most importantly, he loves Amy. Their wedding was very nice and Amy was one of the most beautiful brides ever. I am so glad that I was able to participate. (I couldn't find my camera on the day of the wedding...big bummer...so here are pics from the rehearsal).
AND...as if that was not wonderful enough...I got to stay with one of my most wonderful friends, Lizzie. Lizzie was one of my first "married friends" (we were even married days apart). Her husband and mine got their first jobs out of college at Merrill Lynch (back in its hay day). Lizzie is one of those friends that I feel was my other half...irreplaceable. We lived a few doors down from each other and did almost everything together. We cooked together, sewed together, grocery shopped together, ate together, worked out together...you name it. She was there when times were tough and I will never forget her even when we are states apart....
Anyway, it was amazing to be able to see her after more than 5 years. I got to meet her children whom I had never seen in person and reconnect with her and Shad. I tried my first fish tacos with her this trip and am in love (I can't believe I have never had them...yum!). Thanks for your generosity and for letting me spend a few days with you Liz! (We didn't really take pictures together...big bummer...and the one that I DO have is pretty awful...so I will just let the good times live on in my mind).
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This weekend has been wonderful. Not only did we have both sets of parents here, but we also had some of our siblings to share in the experience of E's blessing at church. I made E's little dress...so of course, it was even more fun to show her off...but we just think she is a doll (dress or no dress). She is such a pleasant and happy baby. She is a joy to have in our home.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I cannot believe that M is old enough to start kindergarten. He has been ready for it for a year or two but maybe I am not ready for it. This is actually the first time I think I have felt like an adult, EVER. I mean, anyone can manage to be married, have a job...even have a few kids...but adults have children in school. Adults get up early every morning and drag sleeping children from their beds (at 6:40 am) and dress them while still sleeping. Adults urge each and every bite into that same sleeping child's mouth and "encourage" them to brush faster and get into the car. Only adults pretend to be awake and happy to take their child to school at such an early hour so that their child will know they too are pumped for a day of fun and learning...
M loves school as we hoped he would. On the first day, he didn't even look back. No, no, he was not one of the crying children clinging to his parent's leg or sitting on his teacher's lap for comfort. He just gave a big smile, found his spot on the carpet and turned his beautiful blue eyes to the front of the room, with sponge-like enthusiasm, ready to learn all that his teacher could throw at him.
He is so smart and capable and pure. I think that has been our biggest concern about this school year. We knew that starting school meant letting go and relinquishing the control of the "bubble" we have created for the past 5 years. He is such a good boy...just a genuinely good boy. He does not think about breaking the rules, he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, he wants to please others and be helpful. So, all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed and be there to hear all of his excitement and know that he knows what's right and he will continue to be the boy we know he is.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
So, B turned 3...I can't believe it. He requested a bug party. It was lots of fun. We played all kinds of bug games like cocoon (where you form teams and see who can wrap their caterpillar in a cocoon/aka toilet paper, the fastest), exterminator (like freeze tag but the it person sprays kids with a spray bottle of water), bug memory, hot spider (ok, so basically hot potato), beat the bug (pinata), blah blah blah. It was lots of fun and ended with yummy spider cupcakes (as a friendly aside - NO ONE likes black licorice...so don't bother going to multiple stores to locate black licorice laces just to give your spider black legs...just make them red).
Also, (this is only for my memory) B has a thing for older women. When we talked about his birthday party...beginning in May when we were planing M's party...he wanted to make his guest list. The only problem was that all of the invitees were girls ages 5-10. I had to strongly encourage him to invite boys his own age and he eventually agreed that it might be fun to have them along with the girls.
As most 3 year olds, he was most happy about the presents. I am working on this with him, but let's be honest...everyone loves the presents...we just learn not to say it out loud at some point.
B is a wonderful little boy. He is as charismatic as anyone I know already and can work a crowd if he feels like it. He rivals me in ability to eat unusually large quantities of food and requests food in a semi-conscious state around 7 am EVERY morning of the week. He is my little cuddle bug and almost always agrees to snuggle with me on the couch or give me a big squeeze when I need one. He is a great brother and playmate for M and E. He is surprisingly gentle and attentive with E and has really won her over quickly. He is the biggest toughie in the room until any kind of dog or cat arrives on the scene and then he claws his way up the nearest adult. He can be the sweetest thing around and the biggest stinker all in one day. We love him so much and are happy to have him in our family.
Monday, August 10, 2009
So normally I focus on my own family and how wonderful, handsome/beautiful and talented they are. In this case...I just wanted to share a pic of my friend's daughter (disregard the slight boogie-nose...cold season, ya know). Can you even believe how adorable she is? Ok, that's all...just wanted to post her cuteness (and don't worry, I asked her mom already).
Saturday, August 1, 2009
SO, I started blogging thinking that I would be mediocre at best at doing it but better than I am at journaling. I guess I was being optimistic. SO, I going to try to get current in the near future starting today...I mean, starting from the beach post you have been looking at for the past 6 months (not that anyone is even bothering to check the blog anymore because it is never updated).
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I am now convinced that Pensacola, Florida is heaven on earth! My Dad sent all the girls there for a week of pure relaxation and beauty...with no kids (except for Eme...but she doesn't really count). I am quite convinced that all are deserving of such a treat...and I feel lucky to have experienced it firsthand. We arrived on a Sunday night and basked in the glorious sun for a whole week...sugary white sand, the perfect temperature water...truly refreshing, hot, but not too hot, just enough estrogen and no boys (don't get me wrong...I do love men, Marc in particular, but it is nice to have an "appreciation" week once in awhile). Unfortunately for Eme, she will now haunted by the gorgeous beach in Pensacola...so she is not likely to take too kindly to the reality of beaches in TX.
We mostly just relaxed...slept when we wanted, ate when and what we wanted (including a 3 lb bag of snickers and twix, yum), watched chick flicks and reality tv, got massages, worked out, and went on a little shopping expedition. So now you understand...a little piece of heaven just for me. THANKS DAD!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The boys headed to Dallas for a week of fun in the sun with the cousins while Eme and I went on our very own girls' trip. They had tons of fun thanks to their Aunts and cousins there. They did lots of playing, swam, went to Marc's bike race, and apparently...played dress up with some very freaky wigs. Ahh, the memories. So thanks Amy and Carin for taking care of my boys...all 3 of them!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
My love of watermelons is no secret. Let the record now show that this love does not extend to any watermelon festival...especially those held in Texas in any month that has an average temperature of 100 degrees.
Unsuspecting as I was, I packed up my three little watermelon eaters and we drove down to my parents' house as it is only 1/2 hour away from said watermelon festival. Some of our Austin friends came along for the joyous experience. We awoke early and had a hurried breakfast so as not to miss all of the festivities. We arrived around 10 and the temperature was no less than 95 degrees (unless you happened to be in the shade in front of one of those huge outdoor fans...which we weren't). So, we went for the opening ceremonies (were we found a shade tree)...which really means that they are going to let the scouts put up the flags and then we'll watch to see who would be crowned 2009/2010 Watermelon Little Miss, Watermelon Junior Miss, Watermelon Court, Watermelon Little Prince, Watermelon Queen, etc...you get the picture. (I don't get pageants...although highly entertaining...and I certainly don't get these things)
So then we ventured out into the blistering heat to find the petting zoo. Now, this town is not quaint with tree-lined streets...so we were walking in temps. well over 100. I felt frantic and wasn't sure we would make it alive (not to mention the fact that I had Eme stripped down like a white trash baby in just her diaper, convinced that her insides were turning into smoked sausages). After petting many cute little animals (including a couple kangaroos...impressive, even to me) we headed for the only place we could see that promised relief...McDonalds! Yes, I have NEVER been so happy to see the Golden Arches in my life.
I believe this was the first time my Dad has ever eaten at McDonalds...they are right up there on his list with WalMart...so you know the situation must have been dire. We stayed in Micky D's for over an hour, savoring every moment of air-conditioned bliss and decided we needed to hurry if we were going to make the Watermelon judging and auction.
Now, I'm pretty much finished with the story except to say that we had to confiscate my Dad's paddle after he dropped over $300 on watermelons (he did get a couple of the first-in-class watermelons, including the beauty of a black diamond pictured above).
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Although Jim and Kim were not able to be in town when Eme was born, we were fortunate enough to take a trip out to Kentucky to visit and introduce them to the newest member of our family. It was a fabulous trip...the kids traveled like old pros. A few passengers admitted (at the end of the flight) that they had been a little nervous when they saw that they were seated in our area of the plane (could it have been that they saw the boys racing up and down the terminal and playing squirrel underneath the seats at the gate area???)...but they were pleasantly surprised at what great travelers they all were. Lesson learned: If you bring enough movies, fruit snacks and M&Ms...all things are possible.
It all seems like a blur...but we pretty much had a great week. Lots of playing and good food. The boys raided grandma's toy closet and developed a quick love for all things star wars (she had all of Marc's S.W. figures from his childhood). We went out on the boat and even got to stop at a restaurant. It is like a drive thru...but way more glamorous and you actually park and go in. The boys worked on their slip n' slide skills, raced around the pond and played chef in the hot tub (LOL...isn't that what everyone does in the hot tub?).
The other huge development of the week was that B decided he wanted to wear big boy underwear and go pee pee in the potty. I thought I would wait until M started kindergarten to tackle that beast...but when your 2 yr old says he wants to, you just don't argue. So, he did pretty well...much better than I thought and we rushed out and got him his very own underwear...of which he was VERY proud!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The 4th ended up being a regular ole' party around our house this year. We had Amy, Eric and their kids and my parents, Julie and Jimmy and Adam all over for the weekend. It was great fun. We had dinner the night they arrived followed by cousin fun to last a lifetime. The kids also gave Uncle Adam his fair share of "love" and I am sure he was happy to be back at his bachelor pad by the time they were all done with him.
The morning of the 4th, I sent everyone to Hamilton Pool...it is pretty much the coolest swimming hole in Texas (that's what they tell me anyway). They all enjoyed it and avoided death by drowning and water moccasins, too...so that is always a plus.
That night we had a BBQ and did some mediocre (at best) fireworks...but the kiddos didn't seem disappointed at all.
I am so glad that everyone decided to spend the holiday weekend with us and it just confirms how great it is to live so close to family!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
It is even more wonderful than I imagined. These three little kids are such great buddies and are so cute. I love watching them with each other. The two big brothers are so eager to help and talk to their sis. If I need anything for the baby, they race to help. I feel so blessed!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Emersen Marie was born at 2:22 pm on Tuesday, June 9th and it was definitely love at first sight. She is so sweet and a perfect baby so far. The boys love her and always ask where "baby" is. I am feeling ok...as well as can be expected for 5 days after a c-section. So, I am just riding the baby euphoria wave and loving it.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The other day I was walking out in the yard, watering the garden when I looked down and saw the most beautiful sight in the world. Most anyone who might read this post knows my first love, as far as food goes, is watermelon. I planted watermelon with a warning from all local gardeners that I wasn't likely to have much luck. Well, I might not have as much luck in getting babies to come out...but I am extremely proud and excited to announce that I am the proud momma of 4 baby watermelons. I just can't wait until they are big enough to cut open and eat every delightful bite of goodness within.
(pictures to follow soon)
Friday, June 5, 2009
someone knocks over two cups of Easter egg dye. This was possibly one of the funniest "traumatic" events that I have witnessed. We were at my parent's house for Easter along with my older bro and his fam and my younger bro. We were having a great time, dying eggs...a few dye drips here and there...but I had a feeling it was only a matter of time. When the cups went over, all of the adults jumped into action. We quickly ran out of paper towels so I decided to go grab more. When I got back to the scene I decided that 2 seconds to snap a commemorative shot would be well worth it. So, I am happy to have documented the drama...and with the help of comet and bleach products, all of the dye came out of my mom's grout (thank goodness!!).
We had such a great time and were relieved that the Easter bunny found us out in the sticks. Thanks for the good times Dad and Mom!!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I have reached that point in the pregnancy where I would no longer consider myself a cute pregnant lady. You know what I mean...I am officially retaining water, getting puffy, tripling my chins and getting the nose spread (and I am not posting the picture to have everyone comment that it isn't true...). I'm okay with it. It is somehow a way to say that the end is near. The important thing is that I still feel good and I love being prego. Sure, it would be sweet to be one of "those girls" who looks tiny and so cute and stylish the whole time...but that is not in the cards for me and...let's be real honest...I am not sure they make that cute of clothes for the size I am and I definitely don't want to go buy more clothes that might make me depressed to look at next time I get prego (if there is a next time...because they will be a reminder of the largeness to come).
SO I am embracing the waddle and the acrobatics going on inside my big ole belly and just marvel that a real person is in there just waiting for her debut. So, stay tuned...hopefully we will have some good news in the next month or so!
Monday, April 27, 2009
On Saturday, M and I celebrated 9 years of wedded bliss. Wow...that is pure craziness. It somehow makes me feel older than having an almost-5-yr old.
So, I am sure that neither he nor I would say that every moment has been easy...but I was just thinking that that means that we are a marriage success story. I appreciate him for all of the things he has taught me and all of the ways he has helped me grow. I am certainly a different woman than I was nine years ago. I was thinking about the change in my feelings of love for him...it definitely went from a naive, giddy 21 year old kind of love to a love full of respect and thankfulness for all he does for me and our family and the sacrifices that are so hard for many men to make...plus it helps that he is still hot!
I am sure that no one else needs to hear this...but thanks for all you do babe! I love you!
So my sister-in-law and her hubby got to go on a sweet cruise over the past week...and we got to watch their two adorable kiddos. They pulled into town on Saturday and then Amy and Eric flew out on Sunday. I am pretty sure this is the formula for heaven as far as my kids are concerned...a week with built-in playmates 24/7.
We spent the week just living it up and fitting in as much play time as you can imagine. We went to free scoop day at Ben and Jerry's (probably the highlight of the week for me...lol), went to the park, played at a friends' house, watched some other kids, went to the pool and many more super great things. I think we wore out poor H and A. By Wednesday H was asking me if we could go back to the house and then proceeded to fall soundly asleep on the couch with her brother practically on top of her.
After a couple days into the experience I thought, "Wow, I'm pretty tired...maybe I couldn't handle four kids". H kept saying "Is it a lot of work to take care of 4 kids?" It made me smile and think "YES!!" I admire all the mothers out there who do it all the time...but I also realized that it was like having two sets of twins since the kids are only months apart. So, I came away from the week feeling like I was an okay parent because I didn't make anyone cry (well okay, I think I make my kids cry every day...but it is because I only let them have one gogurt or something equally traumatizing) AND there was no physical abuse or blood/emergency room runs...not even a single band aid!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Something is in the air...call it Spring, call it baby countdown...but lately, I just want to make things. From baking to scrapbooking/cardmaking and sewing I can't seem to find enough time to satiate the creative cravings I have. Now mind you, I am not saying that all (or any) of these projects are noteworthy...but they are satisfying to me.
My latest project began when my dear friend gave me a thoughtful birthday gift. I have been wanting to make a car seat cover for my infant carrier (not that it is necessary, but because I just felt like it would be fun) but haven't been able to find a pattern. Now, I'm not necesarily saying that I am lazy...but I might not have ever gotten around to this project if she had not lit a fire under me by getting me a pattern and some fabric. So, about a month ago I finished the actual seat cover. The only problem was that the pattern did not come with a pattern to cover the hood.
I would not call myself a skilled seamstress...so the thought of making my own hood cover with no pattern almost made me feel nauseous; but, I finally picked out some fabric, got out my seam ripper and got to work.
I am pleasantly pleased with the finished product and I actually feel like the hood turned out better than the cover. So there...I am finished tooting my own horn...but it sure did feel good.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Oh how we love cousins! Marc's sis, Carin, and family came down to spent part of their spring break with us. They have not been to visit us in Austin yet, so we were excited to show them around and play. We packed in as much fun as we can and hope that it was enough to entice them back to visit sometime in the near future.
The night they got here we ventured to Congress Bridge to watch the nightly exodus of over 1.5 million bats on their quest for insect paradise. It is a little early in the season, but we did see tons of bats.
The next day everyone headed down to LBJ lake to canoe and picnic at the park. We then hiked up over a hundred steps to the top of Mt. Bonnell to check out the views. We hit a favorite restaurant and had lots of fun play time at home. It is so nice to be able to see our cousins more than once a year...yet one more of the many benefits of living in Austin!!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
So, I am not sure that I've noticed the skin on any of my appendages tinged green...but I have to say that my new pride and joy is our garden. My parents, the gardening EXPERTS, came down for one of M's soccer games and we spent Saturday morning putting in our first real garden. There is just something so gratifying when you plant the seed and water and just hope that something will survive...and then you see those first little buds popping out of the soil (sounds kind of like a parenthood parable).
It has been so fun to do with the boys. Throughout the whole process they were right in there, making the boxes, mixing the soil and fertilizer and planting the seeds. Every day M and B want to help water the garden and every day M runs out to see if anything new is coming up. We should start chowing on some of the goods in another month. SO, if you have a hankering for a delicious salad...come on over!
Friday, March 6, 2009
We took the opportunity to take Grandma and Grandpa to Sea World during their weekend visit. B has been telling everyone for weeks that we were going; so of course, the grandparents did not want to disappoint (plus we like to use our season passes whenever we can). It was everything the boys could have hoped for. From the Shamu show to the 4D movie and popcorn...the day was perfect.
I take special pleasure in going to a public place that isn't totally packed. I know that our days of having the park to ourselves are numbered and that, with the opening of the water park section next month, we will have to share with all the crazy Texans trying to get some reprieve from the heat...but we will just enjoy it while we can!!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Here's the scenario...I am in the kitchen...ready to begin some kind of baking adventure. When suddenly I hear the crash of toys being dropped and the pitter patter of little feet...running to the kitchen...a chair being dragged across the tile floor and "I want to cook!" coming from my littlest chef. Usually this happens when I turn on the mixer...but often, as though using a 6th sense, B runs in to find me assembling the ingredients. I love it!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
So, I just turned 30...and I'm here to say that it's really not bad. I wasn't worried about it but it seems like most people are really doom and gloom about the big 3-0. I started the morning off at the gym and then headed in for a quick eye brow wax...got home for breakfast and then over to coach a soccer game. When we got home, we just did the normal lunch, B nap, afternoon things and then got ready for my date with Marc. We planned to go to this Italian restaurant I have been wanting to try.
So, we took the kids over to my good friend's house and Marc thought it would be good for me to help him "deposit" the kids because they "are better for me". Clueless as I am, I walked right into the middle of a well-planned surprise party. Marc worked on it for weeks, sending emails to coordinate hidden parking, food, good friends, pinata, a slide show and the perfect gift (I've been drooling over a Cricut Expression for months). Thanks to everyone for making it great!