Sunday, November 1, 2015

John Pack & Edna Colton Sargent Family Reunion 2015

Thus summer, at the beginning of August, we had our bi-annual family reunion on my Sargent side. We've done this now for 3 consecutive times....and I'm oh-so proud of the family for making an effort to come! 
This year, my Aunt Kathy was in charge. And since she lives in Colorado, we held the reunion there. She chose a place up in the mountains, Jellystone of Estes Park. It was so beautiful there! The cool weather, the scenery! 

The crazy kids so excited to spend time together again! It's always been my hope that my kids and their cousins would grow up as close as my cousin's and I.  I had a very blessed childhood in that respect...we spent alot of time together at Grandma & Grandpa Sargent's house. I think from that beginning we have all felt the importance of keeping the reunion tradition going! 
One of my cousins had gotten back from his mission the day before the reunion! So my aunt picked him up, packed his clothes and then they drove up the next day! He served in Brazil, which is where James served his mission. Different areas, but they both can speak Portuguese.....or porkageeze, as Aube would say it. James was a little rusty, but it was cool to see them sitting and chatting all about Brazil.
Being up in the mountains,  the nights cooled off very nicely. We were able to have a campfire, s'mores and hot chocolate each night.
After the kids would go to bed, some of us adults would sit around the campfire talking story. We have some great memories!
One of the activities was horseback riding. 
I couldn't go because I was pregnant at the time, Bella didn't get to go bc she and James had gotten back from the dr too late (turned out Bella had strep, poor girl!!) Jax was too small to ridentify the big horses with Aubree and the rest of tears group, so we took him on a fun little pony ride. 
I think his pony's name was Pedro? 
They gave us the reigns and said 'just don't let him wander or eat anything' and off we went. They were right to warn us, Pedro had a mind of his own....he knew where he wanted and did not want to we had to show him who was boss a time or two. 
Such a cute little cowboy. 
Aubree had a blast on the hour long trail ride with Gramma, Grampa, John, Emily, Laura and a few others. 
I took this picture as we were waiting to show the reunion tshirt. I copied the design from my friend Stacie, she had just had her family reunion the month before. I switched it up a bit, but I loved the saying! The mustache was added to remember Grampa Sargent and his very well-groomed handlebar 'stache. 
Each family got their own color. The big family picture we took later in the day was just awesome.
The weather in Colorado was fantastic. Mainly because it wasn't blazing hot! It's so nice to get away from the heat of Texas! 
Friday was a little overcast and chilly, but that didn't keep the kids from swimming and playing outside. Jellystone was a cool place to have a reunion...they offer a ton of stuff to keep the kiddos occupied. 
Hannah wasn't with us at the reunion, unfortunately! She was touring the country with her drum and buglet corp, the Crossmen. 
We missed her immensely! But this was such a great opportunity for her to stretch her talent in color guard. She's so extremely talented. 
So, since she couldn't make printed off a couple pictures of her and we made sure to include 'her' in all our activities.
Thru out the reunion, I kept thinking about how one day my sisters and I would be 'older' and we would be having our own reunion with our kids and grandkids. How cool will that be? got to eat s'mores, go swimming, horseback riding, hiking....what an adventure ;) we take care of you!!!
I'm so glad we make the effort to go to every's totally worth it. I love that my kids get to be around cousins and forge life-long bonds. I love that I get to be around my cousins and start up where we left off. 
And then there's this awesome couple...
The ones who have raised us to love family and to make time with family important.
Who aren't perfect, but they've done their best to love us ea chance unconditionally, no matter how exhausting we may have been!!
My dad grew up with 4 sisters....then he had 5 girls before he had a son. Can you imagine living your life around that much estrogen?? Poor fella! No wonder he treats my mother so well...and he always expected us kids to treat her well, too. 
I love my aunts and their great examples...3 are nurses, one worked in special education. But not only that, but their love for their children and their love for their Savior. Truly women to respect and model a life after. 
On out last day in Estes Park, we took some time to do some of the things Jellystone minature golf and panning for gold. We also took a trip into the town of Estes Park. They have a bunch of cute shops and places to eat. That will take a whole other post!
The one thing that was hard about Jellystone (for me and others like me with limited lung capacity) was that it's set on a hill/mountain/incline. Our cabin was at the bottom of the hill and the campsites were halfway up! We did most of our congregating at the if you forgot something in the cabin you were SOL....outta luck, kid. 
We started getting creative....thanks to dad and his Texas truck!
I didn't want to do one long post to cover our trip to Colorado...this one just covers the main reunion. I think we've decided to make it a 4 day reunion instead of 3 next's just to short! Especially in these gorgeous places where there's so much to see. 
There's talk of the next reunion being on Current River in Arkansas....a place we visited alot as youth. My Aunt Michele is in charge in 2017!

Sometimes I don't know how to feel.

I am 2 weeks 3 day post-D&C. 2 weeks and 4 day since my appointment. It's hard to say "I had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago" like I did at CareNow this morning (I have strep...yay! Cause I haven't had a hard enough time!). Going thru the questionnaire with the nurse and I had to tell her that and it just made me tear up, like I almost couldn't hold back the dam of tears! It was so odd bc I usually mention the miscarriage to people here and there once a day. 

Anyways....just proves that it's hard getting to where it is easier. The feeling is never going to be gone....but I know that it will be easier one day. 

Last Friday, a week ago, the doctor called with the results from the tissue samples from the baby.
It was a boy.
And there wasn't anything wrong with him. They don't have a reason for his demise. That was a little hard to hear. Cause the 'blame' is since he was in MY womb, I must have done something wrong. Everyone says "oh no no no, you can't say that, we just don't know" but no amount of words takes the pain and guilt away.

So we want to give him a name. Which is so so hard. Picking out names is difficult to begin with...but what name do you give a child that just needs to be remembered? 

James and I started to talk about it. I like the name Michael, which is James' middle name...I like it because it means something and the name is a part of us. We even asked the kids the question...we told them it was a boy and asked what they thought a good name would be. Jax suggested Jack. Ha. Aubree said Thomas and Bella agreed with her. 

So I'm thinking we may name him Thomas Michael. But then what....there's no naming birth blessing. We just declare to the universe, like Michael Scott... "I declare my baby's name is Thomas Michael!!" Shout it to the heavens!

It amazes me how many women have gone thru a miscarriage. 1 in 4. That's crazy odds. Even in my circle of friends, I didn't know it had happened to them or I did, but we never chatted about it. But I've had the chance to do that now and it feels SO good to talk to someone who has gone thru all these feelings I'm experiencing.  I feel like it makes the 3 in 4 very very uncomfortable and sad. And we don't want to live sad lives! I know I don't...I truly don't want to be sad. So it's lovely to talk with someone who doesn't feel the uncomfortable sadness....but weeps the same heartbroken, yet strong sadness. That doesn't make much sense....but there's nothing like weeping with a friend who gets it.

I think about this child alot. 
I think alot about the child in its spiritual sense.
Like the feeling he was welcomed to Heaven by grandparents and loved ones passed. 

A few weeks back (taking a look back at the calendar, this happened during my 12th week of pregnancy, so just before the baby stopped growing) I went with some Relief Society Sisters to the temple. During the session, I had a thought about something I'd never thought of before. And as soon as it entered my mind, then it was gone and I spent two weeks trying to figure out what that thought had been! a sacrament meeting,  the week before they didn't find the heartbeat,  it clicked and I remembered. The oddest thing.
The thought was about what our loved ones are doing after they die, waiting for us in Heaven. 
I go to this scripture in Alma often.
Alma 40:11-12

So I know that when someone dies, especially an innocent child, they are in that state of happiness. 
But the thought I had in the temple was about what they're doing while in this state of happiness...and it came to me that they are doing missionary work....working with all those who didn't get a chance to hear the Gospel on earth or maybe passed up that chance. We do their work on our side in the temple- baptisms for the dead, endowments, sealings...all the necessary, saving ordinances....but on the other side someone has to be working with them, helping them understand, guiding them.
My grandparents, my uncle, my cousin's children, now my unborn child-who did indeed have a body- that is what they're doing. They're needed for this task. 
I don't know why I've gotten so obsessed with this...why I need to know where he is, what he's doing...maybe because I'm a hover mother, maybe because I want a reason for not being able to be mother to this child on earth. This child that I prayed for, that I wanted so desperately!
Then I got to thinking about the 1 in 4 women who lose a baby....that's SO many children not on our side of the veil. Where do they go after they've gotten their body here on earth. Why so many? In my mind, it helps me to think that they and my son were needed, whether for missionary work beyond the veil or for some other task. That it's not a senseless thing that has happened.
 This gives my heart some comfort. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

I carry your heart with me. I carry your heart in my heart. -e.e. cummings

Not quite sure why...but I feel the need to purge these thoughts and events. I've written in my journal, but I feel like I need more. It's hard to focus on what to do next.

Wednesday the 14th was my OB appointment, I was at 16 weeks -so I figured it would be like every other appointment....heartbeat check, etc....I was excited bc I knew the dr would talk about setting up the appointment to find out boy or girl.
I made the appointment for 1pm because Jax had a dentist appt that morning. After he was done, I went to the school and did some volunteer work in the teachers workroom. I finished there at noon, stopped by Sonic for a Coke Zero to try to ease my aching headache.
I got to my appt 15 mins early, the nurse took me back and as I was stepping on the scale and feeling proud for only gaining 2lbs, the nurse asked if I had been feeling the baby move and I had to pause and think when the last time was, so I answered "not too much".
She put me in the exam room and came back a few minutes later with the doppler to check for the heartbeat.

Poor lady....she tried and tried but couldn't get a she said not to worry, she'd be right back, the doctor will be much better at finding a heartbeat, at this far along the baby likes to find places to hide and it makes it hard to find the heartbeat.

A second nurse came in, she searched and searched with no luck...she even pressed in deep trying to find it. The doctor came in and gave it a try, too. With no luck. So she went next door to borrow an ultrasound machine (the office I go to appointments at isn't her big office,  so they don't have their own US machine).  She brought in a machine that looked like it was from 1985. It showed images but had no sound....and she couldn't find what would likely be the heartbeat.  So she stopped, told me to not worry yet but to head over to their big office in Ft Worth and see the Sonograper with the good machine.  

So I did. I cried the whole way there, it's a miracle I even found my way.

I called James and he met me there. 

We were quickly called back, put into a room. The sono tech came and got us and performed the quickest, quietest ultrasound I've ever experienced. I was watching the screen and could tell she wasn't finding any good news for us. The baby was curled up with its back to us. That beautiful heartbeat sound never touched our ears. She quickly finished up and sent us back to the other room.

We waited for an eternity. I knew the answer already and found it hard to breathe. And right as I was sure I would pass out, another Dr came in, Dr Neville. What a hard thing to do. She came in and said "I'm sorry" and we finally knew for certain. 

She let us know that our 16 week old baby was only measuring 13 weeks. And that usually something chromosomal caused the fetal demise. We could find that out if we sent the baby to the lab after being removed from my body. 

Dr Neville mumbled our choices at us.  My biggest regret to the point is not asking her to repeat these choices and explain each one again for us. How do you even make the decision? I needed more information but couldn't wrap my head around anything that was happening. I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what was best. 

One option was to have surgery - a D&C, which I later realized would be a suction D&C (queue that horrible abortion expla nation video playing in my head). 

Option number two was to induce labor and birth the baby.

If I was given the chance to redo this whole thing, which I'm glad I can't, what's done is done....I would have chosen option #2. I didn't initially choose it because I wanted to avoid the pain of labor. Even tho either choice would cause pain...I thought that actually giving birth would just be unbearable.

But do you know what's unbearable? Not being able to see or touch or hold your sweet baby. Not knowing where thay baby is...or worse, knowing that parts of my baby are in a plastic bag somewhere, waiting to be analyzed. That. That is unbearable.

I didn't even know it was an option to be able to spend a few moments with the body of my child, until I got home and was reading about another mothers unfortunate experience. 

I do realize that the body is just a body....the spirit of my child is safely in Heaven. The first thing my child saw was our brother, Jesus Christ. And that at this very moment, my child is being held and loved by Grandma's and Grandpa's and family members waiting in paradise. 

I'm thankful for my testimony of the Gospel. The Gospel that has taught me my whole life about the Plan of Salvation. A Gospel with living Prophets who have taught about what happens when our children are taken from us too early....that life begins at conception and even tho we never held our baby outside of the womb, we will one day be able to raise that child in the eternities to come. 

This knowledge has lifted me out of the despair that has come, especially when making the decision to have surgery and not getting that first last glimpse.  

Wednesday afternoon & night were spent in a daze. Having to tell the kids was more than I could handle, so James took over that task. Thank heavens for a man like him.

A friend from church came and got the kids and took them swimming. Such sad faces they had after being told the baby was gone. 

We all got up on Thursday the 15th bright and early to get ready for school.  Together, James and I took them to school and stayed for a bit to watch the spelling bee being held that morning.  Both Aubree and Bella participated. Bella even won for her grade and will be moving on to compete in the district spelling bee. A bright spot on a dreary day.

We got to the hospital,  Harris Southwest, at our checkin time, 930. The surgery was scheduled for 1130.

They got me all ready....gown, funky socks, wrapped my legs in these circulator things,  started my IV -first with saline, then after meeting the anesthesiologist, they added in a relaxer that kicked in nice and fast. We spoke with Dr Butler, she told us about what the surgery would entail and answered our questions about being able to see the baby after the procedure. She was a little vague as to how the suctioning part of the procedure would bring the baby out. So, I'm choosing to stop my thought process there. 

It's amazing how fast surgery minute your there on the table, the next you're waking up,  thinking you're still on the first table. 

When I was waking up I had the overwhelming feeling to thank Dr Bulter for holding and kissing our baby goodbye for us. I had an image in my mind of her leaning down to kiss my baby on the head. But as I thought about that more, I just know that it wasn't her....that it was my Grandpa Jones holding my precious child, welcoming my child into their loving presence. I feel like I was allowed a little glimpse past the veil.

I gradually woke up. James was brought back to the recovery area. I spent some time sipping water and gagging on saltines and graham crackers. After I peed and woke up enough, they gave me percocet and a ride to the front of the hospital in a wheelchair. 

I was advised to only eat simple things like crackers, broth and soup for the rest of the we got Jason's Deli to take home. We got home just in the nick of time, where I promptly threw up all of the water, saltines, graham crackers and percocet. Fun times.

I was able to sleep the rest of the day away. Wonderful sleep.

And wonderful friends who took care of my kids after school and wonderful friends who brought us dinner. Wonderful family who sent flowers from afar. It's amazing how when horrible things happen, your support system steps up and helps. I'm so grateful for every one of them!

It's gonna take time, but we will heal. It's hard not to spend the day sad and crying. 

In about a month we will find out whether it was a boy or girl and if it was a chromosomal issue that cause the demise. I look forward to that day so that we can give our child a name....a way to properly remember. 

I'm afraid I'll forget. I don't want to forget. 


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.