Monday, August 31, 2009

MDO Bound

Y'all, Ella Grace starts Mother's Day Out at our church this week. I'm sad. I'm real sad. It's bittersweet watching your children grow up! I don't really want her to. I've actually been thinking this weekend I was going to change my mind, but Derek says she needs to go. I know it will so good for her. She is incredibly shy, and I think being around her same-aged peers two days a week will help her come out of her shell a little. We went to her open house last week, and she loved her classroom, although she kept asking me, "Are you going to stay wif me?" I told her I would stay that night. I'm hoping she doesn't think I'll be staying when I drop her off this week. She'll probably do fine. I, on the other hand, probably will not. Ha!

At open house, she wasted no time grabbing a baby and going sailing! =)

Her classroom is SO cute! It has a beach theme. Cute murals with huts, lobsters and fish are painted on the walls. This is the same classroom she should be in during service time, but she has yet to stay and just goes to "big church" with Derek and me. We are hoping MDO will help with this as well. She is perfect when we take her into the service, but she would have so much fun learning about Jesus in her class with little friends if she would give it a chance.

Oh, and have I mentioned how much of a Daddy's girl she is, and that I LOVE it!!! I took these pictures the other night when I saw EG and Derek were "swimming" together. She gets on the sun ledge and moves her arms to "swim". It was just the cutest.

My sweet baby girl. All this growing up is hard on a Momma!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Things

There have been some new things going on at our house.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I have been able to keep certain play areas and play places a secret...until now. My children just found out several months ago that Chik-fil-a has a play area. It wasn't that I didn't want them play there (it's probably the cleanest one of all fast food places), we just always sat on the other side of the restaurant where the play area wasn't visible. They were happy just getting their kids' meals, and I was happy not to fight to get them to leave, so why change it right? Well, they have since found me out. Leaving actually wasn't bad at all, which was a nice surprise. Now, one place I really didn't want to introduce them to was Chuck E. Cheese. I had heard it was always terribly crowded, horror stories about ball pits, and that it was dirty. Well, the kids were invited to a birthday party there. We took them and I was pleasantly surprised. It seemed clean, wasn't overly crowded (we were there at 10:00 a.m. so that probably helped), and the pizza wasn't bad either. Evan and Ella Grace LOVED it!

Evan and me trying to convince EG that Barney wasn't scary. Ha!

EG checking Barney out from a distance.

Another BIG new thing is Evan started back to school. He is now at his new school and loving it. He started last Wednesday. He has the sweetest teachers!

Mrs. Hodge and Evan. He was saying, "Cheeeeese." I annoy him by taking pictures I think.

He checked out every inch of his classroom at open house. Here he is nosing around his teachers cubicle! Ha!

I held up the "car rider" line to take this picture. He was walking down the sidewalk with Mrs. Hodge. I informed another teacher that I was sorry but I had to take this picture and that I was "THAT" mom. Ha!

Since Evan was having a big day, I took Ella Grace somewhere new. She went to the WonderPlace for the first time. We invited some friends along and she had a BLAST! It is the cutest little place that really encourages imaginative play, which is what EG is all about these days. I love to hear her say, "Just pretend."

Her favorite part was the play vet station. Soooo cute!

Ella Grace and her friend Emily playing in the sand. EG had a tight grip on that cat. I didn't thing we would be able to leave without it!

I love pictures of my kids from the back!

On another note, this was the first chance we have had all summer to have our entire families over to swim (right here at the end of summer). I just love this picture. Big and little kids are swimming it up. It's a pool full of boys! Ella Grace and my niece, Sarah, were the only girls swimming. That is until my darling husband threw me in! Then, we threw my sister in. Good times!

I don't want summer to end!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Clogs & a Nice Surprise

Are you a "shoe person"? I remember liking cute shoes growing up, but I don't recall ever being obsessed with shoes or having to have the most trendy style. As an adult, I have always bought shoes in a classic style that could be worn more than one season. I fear it is happening to me though. I think I'm becoming a "shoe person". I blame a lot of you, you know (in a good way). It all started with your cute Yellowbox flip flops you introduce me to. I'm hooked! I LOVE them! I am loving shoes and shoe shopping. We just got a new DSW shoe store, and I'm looking forward to picking out some new fall shoes. I've especially been thinking about boots!!!

I think it is already pretty much established that Ella Grace, on the other hand, has been into shoes since she was about six months old. She LOVES them! I have been seeing all over the place that clogs are really in for little girls this Fall. I broke down and bought her a pair at Gymboree. I was going to hold onto them until the Fall, but she was busy trying on all kinds of shoes one night, so I went ahead and gave them to her. Derek happened to have the camera in his hand and caught these pictures. Her expressions are so funny. Please do not look at the mess that is Ella Grace's room. These were taken the day after I got home from my cruise and Daddy had been in charge for a week. Ha!

"Daddy, look!"

"Oh my goodness!" I love it when she says that!

Taking a minute to check them out.

I got the sweetest card in the mail from my friend, Abby, last week. With it was a gift card to Copeland's and a note for Derek and I to go celebrate our 15th anniversary since Derek was gone during the actual day. HOW SWEET! We went Saturday night and had the best meal that included a cheesecake called Ice Cream Sundae. Yum! We had a great time reminiscing about the last 15 years and talking about exciting things ahead. We even got to go to a movie afterward. What a sweet, unexpected treat! I am so blessed to have such sweet friends (and a very sweet husband, too)!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I had a great time with four of my oldest friends cruising to Cozumel! We were gone for six days. We flew first to New Orleans, which was where we were to board our ship. We didn't want to worry about travel trouble and missing our cruise, so we went down a day early. I've never been to New Orleans, and let's just say the evening time in New Orleans is not my scene AT ALL! I felt like I should have been wearing a steel suit. LOL! However, I loved the next morning when we went down to the French Quarter and had coffee and beignets at Cafe' Du Monde. I can now say I have been to the French Quarter!

This is Abby and me on the flight to New Orleans (loving that lady sacked out in the seat behind us). She is the bride-to-be and the whole reason for the trip. She is getting married in November to a very handsome doctor. =) We were roomies on the ship, and I can honestly say we laughed the entire time. I haven't laughed that hard in a loooong time!

Abby, Michelle, me, and Michelle at Cafe' Du Monde. Noticing a theme with the names...two Abby's and two Michelle's. Oh, and it was SO hot in New Orleans. Oh my word!

We set sail on Thursday. We had a day at sea, a day in Cozumel, another day at sea, and then we were home. It went by SO fast! I think my favorite part of the trip was when we went into Cozumel. Abby, Abby and I went to a beach and had THE best time. We got chairs right by the water, soaked up the sun, went snorkeling, ate the best guacamole I have EVER had, and laughed until I cried and Abby sprayed water out of her nose. Good times!

Our ship - The Carnival Fantasy

Abby, Abby and me on our way to the beach in Cozumel. Those Abby's. They are cute as buttons!

Abby took a picture of me snorkeling. LOL! The water in Mexico is GORGEOUS!

I think my camera was still in underwater mode, but this is the guacamole and pico we had beachside. YUMMO!

I took a ton of pictures, but these next two pictures are probably two of my most favorite from the entire trip. Locals came up playing guitar and singing. They got Abby and Abby in on the action. Hilarious!

This one makes me laugh so hard. Abby was not enjoying the dreadlocks wig they put on her head!

Abby was rockin' out some turtle shells.

Every evening at dinner was really fun, too. We had the best waiters. I found out they work for nine months, six or seven (I can't remember which) days a week, 10 hour days and then go home for two months. I'm just amazed by that! They were so cute and made dinner so much fun.

All of us with our waiters, Sushi (his name was something else but he went by "Sushi") and Jaiboon.

The gang on the lido deck

My vantage point on days we were at sea. We sat in chairs on the back of the boat looking at the bluest water!

Every night I had the same dessert...Melting Chocolate Cake. Yum! It's basically brownie batter with a light crust on top served with ice cream. It was GOOD!

Me being classy on formal night. Ha! Note the chocolate melting cake in front of me.

I even tried sushi. I don't know if it really counts though because it was a California Roll and just had crab in it, but it was still a big step for me since I'm not a big seafood girl and said I would never go near a sushi bar. I actually really enjoyed it!

I had a GREAT time. It was relaxing and fun, and I'm so glad I got to go with good friends. We got separated on the way back to the airport, but other than that, we had safe, uneventful travels. It is always fun to get away, but I think even more fun to come home! When we got to the Little Rock airport, Derek, Evan and Ella Grace greeted me at the escalator. I thought EG was going to cry as she ran up to me and put her little hands around my neck. SO sweet! I'm so thankful for a wonderful husband that was SO excited for me to get to do this trip and that took his vacation time to watch our children so I could go. He is just a great husband and is SO good to me all . the . time! I can't wait to go on another cruise and take him with me! =)

Oh, and speaking of time at the beach, I LOVE this picture of my Mamaw! She and I share a birthday. She was 50 when I was born. She is now 86 and went for the first time to the beach with my aunt and her family. My cousin, Jara, shot this picture (she is a fantastic photographer in Dallas), and I ADORE it! Everyone should see the ocean at least once!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Life is Good

I have recently fallen in love with the "Life is good" brand. They have the cutest shirts, hats, bags, etc. I had seen a rather large selection at a local sporting good store and thought to myself if I came across one with a man (or stick figure...ha) with a guitar, I would get it for Derek. I just love the upbeat theme they have going. When coming back from my cruise (I will post about that eventually when I get Derek to give me the cord to my new camera so I can download the pics), there was a "Life is good" kiosk in the Houston airport. I could not pass up a shirt that fit my little boy perfectly. Evan LOVES peanut butter and jelly (preferably his GiGi's homemade strawberry) sandwiches, and I mean LOVES them. He can put the hurt on two PB & J's in about five minutes. I took some pics of him in his new shirt. Some of them you can't see the graphic, but I just thought they all were so cute! It has a jar of peanut butter, some bread and a jar of jelly and says "Life is good" underneath. That is just SO Evan!

To me, even a PB & J isn't as delicious as this toothless grin.
I could just eat him up!

Oh, and I think I just found one for Derek. This is hilarious and SO Derek!
LOVE it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Worn Out!

Today we have been hanging at the pool all afternoon. This is the first day this summer where NOTHING was on the agenda. Ahhhh! My kidlets are WORN OUT! This is what they look like right at this very minute...

They are O U T ! The problem with this is that it is 5:20 in the afternoon. It will be a long night. Sigh!