Monday, May 31, 2010

Boot Scootin' Boogie

For J's birthday in March, I got tickets for us to see Brooks & Dunn's final concert in Dallas. I've loved their music since I was a little girl & am sad they're breaking up, but we had a great time getting to see them perform on Saturday. The Center was just a wee bit packed, with a crowd that broke the record for that amphitheater. We were very glad that we had actual seats instead of being in the lawn section.
Our good friends, Garrett & Amy, came with us. Here's me & Amy (with Garrett jumping into our pic) before we were too hot & sweaty.
Me & the (belated) birthday boy. Can you tell it's the end of May in Texas?
Our seats were pretty good
Here's a snippet of them performing "Red Dirt Road." Jason Aldean opened & was great, too.

So long, B&D!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

As Good As It Gets

For two almost two-year-olds, getting to go swimming & then eating PB&J outside in just your swim diapers is a really good day.

Here's a little peek at the fun. Mal is constantly dancing & singing to herself, which cracks me up.

These were taken on Wednesday, & we decided that it was such a good plan for our day that we repeated it on Thursday. You've got to love a season that allows you to forgo clothing your children!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Most of the time, I think Mal looks like me, but I love this pic of her "helping" him work because they have the same expression on their faces.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Six Years' Hard Labor

You may recall that J's favorite joke last year about this time was to tell people "five LONG years" when asked how long we'd been married. He's revised it to "six years' hard labor" as of Saturday, which was our anniversary. What a funny guy!

My anniversary began with roses that J picked up while on his donut run Saturday morning, continued with a gorgeous bracelet & earrings I'd been admiring & finished with a wonderful dinner at Ocean Prime that night. That was our first time to eat there, & I would definitely recommend it. The black truffle mac 'n cheese is to die for!

We've come a long way since being the tanned, well rested couple in the picture below, & it's been a blast! J, I love you more than words can say & am so thankful that God picked me to be your wife. Here's to lots more anniversaries to come!

Friday, May 21, 2010

While You Were Away

Dear Daddy & Mommy,
While you were away last weekend, we had a blast at Nana & Papa's house! We discovered all kinds of great toys in Nana's toy box...
chowed down on some cheeseburgers...

enjoyed life in the country...
worked on some old puzzles that were new to us...
vegged out with some Veggie Tales...
& made lots of messes while cooking.
We even found new forms of entertainment that we didn't know existed, like letting the fan blow your hair all over the place!
We may have been pantsless half the time...
but we did get dressed for church on Sunday.
We can't wait to go see Nana & Papa again!Love,
Jake & Mallory

Little Cabin in the Woods

For my fellow CDR alum, you'll know the classic silly song to which my title refers. Everyone else, just move right along. :)

Justin & I spent last weekend relaxing, just the two of us, in a cabin in southeast Oklahoma, just outside Beaver's Bend State Park. I grew up going to Beaver's Bend for our church's annual family retreat, so I'm very familiar with the area, but this was my first time to stay in a cabin there instead of an RV. We dropped Jake & Mal off in Paris with my parents & then arrived late Thursday night to our cozy little abode.
The cabin was one big room, serving as bedroom, kitchen & living room, plus a bathroom. It wouldn't have been ideal if we'd brought the kids, but it was perfect for us.

A major plus was the hot tub on a covered deck outside, which we got to enjoy even when it was pouring rain.
The little creek that ran behind our cabin
Although our accommodations were equipped with kitchen supplies so you could prepare meals, we opted to eat out & just be lazy. We did get some outdoor exercise, though! On Friday, we rented a canoe & took a four mile trip down the Mountain Fork river. Justin, being the optimistic guy he is, insisted on taking his phone so we'd have a way to take pictures. Because, you know, there's no way we were going to turn the canoe over. Wrong! Most of the trip was pretty mild, but there was one area with a little waterfall that had a 3-foot drop. One minute, we were navigating nicely & the next minute, I found myself in icy cold water. It was very shallow, so I stood with my feet planted as firmly as possible on the slippery river rocks, holding J's phone high above my head as he maneuvered our canoe, now full of water, over to the shore. J worked diligently the rest of the weekend to revive his phone, & it did start working again but several buttons remained on the fritz, so he had to get a new one this week.

The first part of the river had tons of rocks sticking up out of the water, & we saw lots of turtles sunbathing.

This is our only action shot. I didn't manage to get a picture of J before the waterfall incident.
On Saturday, we took a short hike in Beaver's Bend & then just hung out around our cabin that afternoon.After going out for pizza that night, J beat me by only two strokes at putt-putt. Playing mini golf has become sort of a random tradition for us on some of our lower-key vacations.Sunday we were sad to end our relaxing weekend but excited to get back to our kiddos.
Thanks, sweetie, for a fun trip!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pool Party

As mentioned in an earlier post, I won the Mom of the Year award from Jake & Mal last week for buying them a super cool, albeit very cheap, pool. My cool points went up even further when I actually put water in it & let them swim. It was a little chilly (by Texas standards) in the shade the day I took these, so there's not a whole lot of water, but they had a blast.

Checking out this new treat
Yep, it's water!
A bit shocked that it's cold
Who cares? It's fun!
I got this little clip of them playing, & the fun only got wilder from there. Jake figured out how to slide down into the water & go "boom!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome Back to Reality

Justin & I spent a relaxing long weekend away from our normal daily responsibilities, but that's not the topic of my post. I'll get to that stuff later, but it's been crowded out of my recent memory due to my last two days at home.

Jake had yucky diapers all weekend & apparently passed what we now know was a stomach bug along to his sister. So sweet to share! Mal absolutely drenched me in puke yesterday afternoon & left two lovely, giant red stains on our playroom carpet, thanks to the red Gatorade she'd been drinking. Yes, I realize now that red wasn't a great choice, but I was trying to rehydrate her after a day's worth of diaper issues. This occurrence was only the second (third, fourth & fifth) time she's ever thrown up, so we usually just don't even think about that with Mal. Point taken for the future.

I'm very thankful that J had come home early yesterday to see the kids before heading to the airport & that he was here when that happened. It was at least a two man job! (He might not be quite as thankful as I am, but he was a trooper!) Our night went well, & she seemed to be her normal self this morning except for being a little extra clingy. Silly me to breathe a sigh of relief too early! She had what we'll just call an "explosive situation" with her diaper while in the car today, so I've been scrubbing, wiping & disinfecting all afternoon & evening.

Times like these, when my life is dominated by the two P's of motherhood, pooping & puking, I need to remember that most of our days are more like what's in the following pictures than recent events. As disgusting as this job can be, I'm still very grateful for it!

Lounging at the Arboretum with Daddy
Excited boy!
Sweet girl concentrating hard on getting down without help
Watching the fish in the pond

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Tone, Mal-Mal!"

Both of my kids can move rather quickly when it's important to them to do so, but in general, Mallory is the biggest dawdler on the planet! J says she gets it from her mother, to which I take offense. Jake has learned that his sister is usually lagging behind him when I'm trying to gather them to either go up or down the stairs. In an effort to remedy this, when he reaches the stairs, he looks back over his shoulder & yells, "Tone, Mal-Mal!" in a very exasperated voice. (Translation: "Come on, Mal-Mal!") It cracks me up every time.

Showing off their big kid skills of being able to climb up in the kitchen chairs by themselves
Sharing a snack & good conversation

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crafty Creatures

Last week, Caroline joined us one morning while her mommy went to an appointment. The kids were so excited to see their friend & enjoyed a morning snack together. They're both getting better at saying Caroline's name, especially Mal.
After snack we had a little craft time & made these cute butterflies out of gauze pads, band-aids & pipe cleaners. Thanks, Kim, for the idea! Jake & Mal were very excited to show Daddy when he got home.
If anyone else has fun, easy craft ideas for toddlers, please send them my way!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mommy Day!

Today I want to take a moment to recognize some special ladies in my life. From childhood birthday parties to my wedding day to learning how to raise my children, I have so many wonderful memories with my mom. We still talk on the phone pretty much daily & have lots of laughs when we're together. Looking back at my younger years, I now realize that she was totally Superwoman. She worked full time, attended every event I was ever involved in, ironed everyone's clothes for the coming day & somehow even managed to gather her family around the table for a hot breakfast each morning at 6:30 am. Mom, my hat's off to you!

Upon joining Justin's family, I gained another amazing mom. Karen & I talk like girlfriends on the phone or when we're together, & she is one of the greatest prayer warriors I know. I am so blessed to have her in my life.I've also been fortunate enough to get to call the lady on the right of this picture Grandma. My own grandparents are gone, but Justin's welcomed me with open arms & have doted on me as one of their crew.These ladies are such a huge part of my life, & I'm so glad that I get to love them & learn from them.
As I celebrate my second year as a mother, my cup is filled to overflowing with joy. Thank you, Lord, for these blessings!Justin taught the kids last weekend to say "Happy Mommy Day," which Jake has mastered quite nicely. Music to my ears!