Sunday, September 27, 2015

Five Families Beach Vacation

We have a group of friends...five families all together. We love these friends...we are as close as family! We love hanging out with these friends...our kids all get along, which is a miracle basically. There's 17 kids when we all get's a madhouse, but they like each other and look forward to being around each other.
So for awhile we've talked about going to the beach all together....then the Eldredges moved to Houston and we had even more reason to go!
So we loaded up the car and headed to Houston! We stayed Friday thru Sunday. 
On Friday, we girlies took Stacie out for her birthday. It's tradition to celebrate birthdays!
Saturday we spent the day at the beach. The kids were all in sunburnt heaven.
And then after hanging out for lunch on Sunday, we headed back home.

I hope we make this a tradition, cause what a fun time was had by all!!

Something worth recording, yeah?

Mid-summer, about July 22nd, we found out we are gonna add another seat at the table.
A new baby, can you believe it?!
We thought we were easy thought for me, Jax was a little rough and made it easy to throw up our hands and say "Done!"
Then that feeling came....the not-done feeling. At one point, I had 3 people in one week say to me "I thought you had 4 kids". I started to look for that 4th kid. 
That was about 10 months prior to the positive test...when the feeling started. Month after month we were disappointed. Looking back now, tho, of course Heavenly Father's timing worked out just like it should have. Those 10 months were probably some of the most stressful I'd ever been thru....deciding to move, signing on the new house, getting the old house in order, moving into the yucky townhouse, deciding to do day camp- then deciding not to do day camp, bring released from primary and trying to do a smooth transition with that, driving to the old house 2-3 days a week, mowing and sweating at the old house - lifting the day mower in and out of the van. All of these things....duh! Stress is so harmful and I kept myself in a balled up, stressful state for so many months. 

So, even with tears every month, the end result finally came, when all was calm. 

It's been an ok pregnancy so far.  I'll be 14 weeks this week on Weds. And I won't be sad to kiss that 1st trimester goodbye! Lots of icky, achy days....I basically wasted the whole summer laying in bed, poor kiddos. 

I've had a few appointments so far, including one with a specialty OB because I am considered "advanced maternal age" since I'm turning 35 in December. At the appointment with them, I met with a genetic counselor who went into lots of detail about chromosomes and genetics and all sorts of things that were super cool, but gave me a raging headache. 
I have another appointment at 18 weeks with them, when they will do another in-depth ultrasound. 
I have a new OB this's just to far to drive to my old one. I was wanting to see a different doctor anyways, so it worked out!
Dr Butler is great so far....she has me watching my blood pressure, it was a little high at my last visit. So I've been tracking it for about a week now and it fluctuates so much! Hopefully I can learn to chill out. 

This is the sono from my first ultrasound. I get two with this to check the heart beat and one to check the sex. At the specialty OB, the baby was measuring a week ahead of schedule. Yay for big babies! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Garth Brooks World Tour

To make posting easier...I downloaded the Blogger app....but learned that you have to HAVE TO hit save when you venture away from the app to check that text that keeps buzzing (which I just did again 2 seconds ago and am now writing this for the 3rd time) or you lose evrrrything. Whoops.
I'm sure I wrote something quite witty and insanely introspective that first and second time.

James was quick with this clicking finger and got us tickets to the Saturday 1030pm show. We learned when we got there that the 1030pm meant that's when the door opened, the actual show didn't start until 1130pm! A lil past these old fogies bedtime! Ha!
Garth sold out so quickly, so he opened a few extra showtime, with double headers on Friday and Saturday.  The man is a beast! You could tell his voice was super scratchy from the show before ours...but man alive, the show was so fabulous you barely noticed. 
When Garth first came out on stage, he straight up told us that he would be playing his oldies...cause that's what we came for! He did start his set with Man against Machine, from his newest album in 2014. 
Every song he played was complete nostalgia. 'The River' is one of my favorites...tho its hard to pick because they're all my fave.
We lit up that arena and I bawled like a baby...from the song, but more just from the awe of being there, ya know? It's been a dream of mine to see him in concert...ever since I was 10 years old! 
He puts everything into his shows! His stage was a 360* even tho our seats were basically behind the stage, we still got a great show...he was constantly running around, riding the big drumset ball...he had the FEVER!
AND he's 53! How in the world?!
The Thunder Rolls
Trisha Yearwood was his 'opener'...tho he started and ended the show...she came out in the middle and sang a few of her songs and a couple duets with him. It was her birthday, so we got to sing happy birthday to her! 
I felt like the night went by way too fast!! Doesn't it always, tho, when you're that excited about something. We were exhausted when we finally got back to our car. We are much too young to feel this damn old. Or maybe one should be awake at 2am! 
We spent the night at The Fairmont, just down the street (but far enough not to walk!)...this kids were so excited to spend the night at Grandma's and Grandpa's. 
Such an awesome night. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend getaway!

A Request

When the love of your life says "you should start your blog up again" you basically have to comply!
Why did I let it go so long?? Time. Oh that wicked thing called Time. Never enough in the day!
When I started this blog it was 2007...I worked from home on the computer and had alot of time to sit and write, I also only used a blackberry phone, which took lame pictures. Thinking of it, my digital camera was pretty lame too! Plus the use of Facebook and my love for Instagram made blogging feel redundant!
Nowadays, I've got plenty of time...just alot more lazy. I've got a portable tablet and this awesome Samsung Note phone that is so ginormous and easy to type on! I also have a little older children who are involved in I spend a lot of time sitting and waiting!
Why not dust off this old blog and catch up?
I've got so many cute recorded things of the girls....but hardly anything of Jax! So it's time to remedy that! So I'm going to do my best to keep it up....and record some events that have happened in the past, too!!

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Piano Recital

The girls participated in their second piano recital on December 15th.
Bella has been taking piano lessons for .....3 years now (?) and her progress has been amazing. Sister Bell only has good things to say about how she is playing. After almost every lesson, she tells me she's awesome. She even made mention of it before Bella played at the recital. One thing she's mentioned specifically is that when they are practicing flash cards, Bella can't necessarily tell her the name of the note... but she can look at the note and then go right to it on the piano. I guess that's a really good thing. I've noticed she can sight read really well and will practice the song a ton and will get where she plays it really well.
So, we are very proud of her as always!
 Aubree has been taking lessons for about a year and a half. And she definitely has an knack for playing, too. She's like her momma, tho... doesn't like to practice all that much. But we are working on that! Aubree is a very musical child... she loves to sing and can remember lyrics and tunes very well. She got a guitar for her birthday and keeps asking for lessons to learn how to play it!
Love that girl.
I especially love that they love music so much... music is so important, it's calming, it brings the Spirit into our home, and lesson taking helps them learn the beauty of practicing and how practicing really does make perfect.
Now, this kid...
We should put him in lessons soon..., maybe it will help him sit still.
We are very thankful for our piano teacher, Sister Bell.
She's kind and encouraging. I couldn't ask for a better person to teach them!   
Bella played The Ukrainian Carol of the Bells and Silent Night
Aubree played Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Angels We Have Heard on High
Hopefully I can post the videos soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Aubree goes to State

This summer, Aubree qualified to go to a Regional A swim meet. At that meet, she swam 3 events. Out of those 3 events, she was DQ'd (not Dairy Queened...tho that would be nice... disqualified) for 2 of them because of a kick issue... but she qualified in her 50 free to move on to STATE.
So, we drove down to the State games in College Station. What a fun experience for our lil Aube!
It was overcast, thank goodness... if the sun would have been out, we would have been toast!
College Station is just a few hours drive... Grandma and Grandpa joined us for Aube's big day.
And San Antonio was only a few hours drive, so Emily, Jed & Ollie came to see her swim, too!!
It's crazy awesome having family so close!
Since she was only swimming one event (there she is in the green suit, right in the middle!) we were there for maybe an hour! And her swim time was less that 40 seconds! But hey, we were so proud of her, we would have been there to watch her swim for 1 second.
You could tell she was nervous... but she did such a great job.
Her final standing was 22 out of 45.
She's the 22nd fastest girl in the state of Texas. How cool is that??
Especially since this is the girl who didn't want to be on swim team. Go Aubree, go!
Afterwards, we spent some time exploring a nearby park. Uncle Jed disappeared for a good chunk of time and came back with this beautiful flower crown for Aube. So sweet!
After the kids played for a bit, we found a fun little pizza place that had all different kinds of pizza and was super yummy!
Then we said goodbye to family... and kept driving south to Galveston Island.
We got to our hotel on the beach after dark.... just in time to see some fireworks in the distance.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fitz & the Tantrums

James has a weird (but awesome) knack of winning things. Over the years of our marriage, he's won random things, including Cowboys tickets and concert tickets. This summer, on July 24th, we headed to the House of Blues in Dallas to enjoy a concert with tickets he had won.
We went early to get some dinner at the restaurant part of House of Blues.
The waiter suggested we try this shrimp diablo yumminess from heaven. It was truly divine. The picture, as always, doesn't do it justice.
Since we were so early, we were able to take our time and enjoy our meal. It's always nice to have time to just hang out with your spouse.
I had only vaguely heard of Fitz & the Tantrums. A few days before the concert, I downloaded an album of theirs so I'd be familiar with their music.
I love that album. It's catchy, fun music... not the regular ole stuff you hear on the radio. If you want something upbeat and fun to listen to ....go take a listen to More Than Just a Dream.
You're welcome.
Our tickets allowed us to line up early and get a good spot. They were general admission... which meant we stood the ENTIRE night. I'm a little too old for that, but the music was so great that it was worth it! We stood RIGHT in front tho.... like at the barrier in front of the stage.
There's something magical about being so close to the artists at a concert... seeing their facial expressions, their mannerisms.... their sweat, holy gross. It makes it so fun and so real.
The opening act was Matt (or Max?? idk) Stone.
He was showing off some mad skills... playing 2 guitars at a time.
Fitz did not disappoint. I didn't know what exactly to expect going into this concert. But I don't know when I've had so much fun. It wasn't just good music and the lights and whatever... it was FUN. Seriously... their music is so upbeat....Fitz & Noelle, the leads, put on a fantastic, high-energy show.
It's safe to say this was, by far, my most favorite concert I've been to.

Fitz....Michael Fitzpatrick is the lead... he's just fantastic with that white stripe in his hair and his hipster jeans. He started the band in 38 years old. For some reason this is so crazy to me.... in my mind, bands are started by teenagers in their garage. But this dude was older than James when he purchased an old electronic organ and wrote a song, then formed a band. What luck, right? Made me think that our "dream" to have a family band isn't so far-fetched because we're so "old". heh.
Such a fun, memorable night. So so glad James won these tickets!
Now I'll forever be singing in my head....
Give me a sledgehammer and give me strength
Watch the world come crumbling down
Cut me loose I seek the truth
I bet the freedom, the freedom will carry me
Hey! Break the walls!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Grammy and Papa visit.

When Aubree made Regionals, Papa and Grammy booked a flight to come see her (and possibly Bella) swim. They said they invited themselves... but of course we were SO happy to have them come spend time with us! It had been awhile since we had seen them, and we were all SO excited! Since the girls are in school, swim, and so many other things.... we don't make it up to Minnesota as often as we have in the past.
We all still fit in one car!
The night they arrived, we went to dinner at Benihana....seems to be a tradition (nice and expensive tradition, ahem). We went there the last time they visited.
On the way home, someone noticed this place of business.....CHIN hair design (not just year regular ole hair design!!!) I've driven this road hundreds of times.... and have never seen it, tho you know it's been there for ages!

On Saturday, we all got up super early.... some earlier than others ;). And went to watch Aubrey swim in McKinney. She was in the very first session.... started at 8am and so she was done by 1130! It's custom for the swimmer who shaves the most time off her swim to pick the place to eat. But either way... both of our swimmers ALWAYS pick Golden Corral. I keep hoping they move on to somewhere like Olive Garden or Texas Roadhouse.... or even Chili's! Ha! Buffet's are great.... but then not so great at the same time. Swimmer's choice, tho..... James says if I beat them in a race, I can pick the food.... so since that will never happen..... Golden Corral it is!
Later that day, we went to see Maleficent. Daddy, Grammy & Papa hadn't seen it, and the girls & I were more than happy to see it for a 2nd time. We love that movie!
Jax, however, either had too much excitement that day.... or just doesn't think Angelina Jolie all that interesting. Or maybe Papa's lap is just that comfortable!
We spent Sunday afternoon/evening playing games... the kids joined in this time, which is a first. It's odd having older kids who can actually COUNT and keep up with the game. The girls just love being included, too. I hope we can instill our love for games in our children and that they'll pass on their love to their kids!
Jax joined in on our Yahtzee game.... he had a blast throwing those dice! Or maybe it was the "YAY!!!!" he got after each roll. heh.
We played a grueling game of Racko (my fave game.... tho I always lose!)
The competitive crew:
Monday..... Grammy & Papa's flight didn't leave till later that day... so we decided to take advantage of a discount ticket day and take them to Six Flags.
Probably not the best idea to take 1 Minnesotans out on a humid, hot Texas day! They melt!! (I kid, y'all were great troopers.... tho I did think you might die a few times, just pass out right there!)
The weekend before had been SO NICE. The weather had definitely shifted by Monday tho.... hot with a kickin' side of humid.
But we made the best of it...

A morning routine....I may have brought out my ittybitty surface just to take this picture. I mean.... do "work" like them. James' face totally looks like he's "working". I don't see any stapling going on, m'dear!

After Six Flags, we made a quick stop at our favorite Sno Cone place....Steph's Chillville. When I say favorite, I mean FAVORITE (the other day we were looking around some neighborhoods in Aledo- 45 mins away from home- and I tried to convince the girls we should stop at this other sno cone place, and they refused! Wanted to wait for our favorite one! Crazy kids....I digress....)
The kids wanted to show Grammy & Papa their fave place.

The morning after Grammy & Papa left, Jax brought me the photo book with Papa on the back corner.... he had already asked 5 times if we were driving to their house that day.
Then he says to me: Papa has to wear floaties like me, that's ok, he can swim with me.
His little voice gave away that he was a little sad they weren't here anymore.... it's hard to not have everyone you love around you at all times.... it's so hard to understand WHY that can't happen.
At times like these, even tho there's only 16 hours separating us.... it's good to know we are a forever family. Such a small moment, made eternal with the knowledge we have and covenants we've made. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Practically perfect in every way

I love downtown Ft Worth. I'm so glad James works there and not in Dallas anymore. I feel like Dallas is sleek and shiny but busy and crazy complicated. But Ft Worth feels more down-to-earth. And I can actually navigate there and get where I need to go with only a little help from James.
At Sundance square, they are having a Summer Movie Night every Wednesday. You bring your chairs and blankets and settle in for a fun movie projected on a big screen.
We were scared we'd get rained out on this particular Wednesday, but it passed us by and we were able to enjoy unseasonably cool weather! At one time the girls even said they were cold. Which is absolutely unheard of in July in Texas! Cold, ha!
The only downside to our excursion is that Jax's fever came back. He's had a virus... Took him to the doctor on Tuesday and she said there's nothing that could be done... just Tylenol and wait it out. It was the weirdest virus, too. He'd be fine all day, even without a dose of medicine... then the next moment, he'd be down for the count, high fever and lethargic.
We left for Sundance square and he was feeling just fine... but by the time we got there, 30 mins max... he was burning up and just wanted to sleep. And of course, I had forgotten the Tylenol. MOTY award goes to *this gal* right here... cause what did I do? Turn the crazy bus around, no. Make James go find a Walgreens, no. I took a picture and propped him up in a chair with a blanket and let him sleep. Of course, when you have a sick kiddo... all you can think about is them... it's hard to enjoy anything when you're worried.
Before the movie started, Leroy and the Jubilettes from the Jubilee Theater in Downtown performed some fun songs for us. They had the crowd up and dancing, doing the twist... such a fun way to pass the time, waiting for it to get dark!

They started the movie right at 9...the sun had finally gone down.
Every time I watch this movie, it brings the feels. The happy feels.
So many lines.... spit spot.... You are the father of Jane and Michael Banks, are you not?
Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way.
She really is, isn't she?
I wish we would have been going to these every week. Of course, we have to skip swim practice, but the girls don't mind. We would be going tonight to see The Muppets. But Bella has Activity Days...and I promised myself, in all the things we have to do, we'd put church first. But next week! They're showing Back To The Future, another classic! Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Let's go Rangers, let's go.

James switched jobs semi-recently.....his new boss is part owner of the Rangers. Actually, ever since he's worked at XTO, he's had a boss that has been an owner of the Rangers. But this new company is smaller, so the good ballpark seats are easier to come by! When he has the chance... he scoops them up! That chance came a few weeks ago and we were more than happy to take them!
Especially when they are 2 rows back from home base. SO CLOSE!
We were so close.... yet right in front of the 1st row there was a monitor with ESPN's coverage of the game. And every once in awhile, we'd see a glimpse of ourselves on TV! I got a few texts that night "I think I just saw you on TV" Faux-lebrities.
Speaking of REAL celebrities.
Hey there Jason Whitten.
Hey Dirk Nowitzki, one section over sitting between the dudes with the blue hats.
*star struck*
OH and HI cranky Aubree .... heaven forbid you don't get a pretzel. Or whatever it was.

No complaints from the parents!
It's such a different experience watching baseball closer than the nosebleed section. I love baseball, always have.... along with basketball, it's the sport I actually know what's going on. When you're sitting so close, you actually feel like you're a part of the game. Cause Beltre is totally going to turn to me and say "hey girl.... my shoulder hurts, want to bat this one for me?" Heh.
You never know.
We only had 4 tickets.... so Jax spent the evening with Gramma.
The girls ended up having a great time, just a few little hiccups. 
The Rangers may not be having the best season... but we love them anyways!!