Wednesday, May 28, 2014

9 Years

9 years ago today we were surrounded by our friends and family, repeating those sacred vows and pledging our lives and hearts to one another....

9 years ago, we were (as we know now but didn't realize then) so, so young...24 and 21. But we were growing together in the same direction....

9 years ago, we were dancing the night away as the rain literally poured and the thunder boomed..."it's good luck they all said"....

9 years ago, we had not even met those individuals who are today our dearest friends. (Isn't that strange?! Can we go back and do it again with those people there?)....

9 years ago we were just embarking on our happily ever after....and now here we are.

I wouldn't change a single moment of it.

Happy Anniversary, my love!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This & That

Orientation kicks off in just 4 days, so this is the most hectic time of year for me. Over the last week I have spent most weekend nap times and many evenings after the kids go to bed back at the office making sure everything gets done, so that hasn't left much time or energy to blog. 

I do have a few random thoughts from the last week but bullet points are as good as it's gonna get for now....
  • Andrew is obsessed with watching his daddy use the lawnmower or weedeater. He follows him from the windows facing the front yard to the windows facing the backyard and camps out there, just watching his daddy's every move. It's pretty precious.

  •  Finally, Jackson is starting to earn his keep around here! Actually, he thinks vacuuming is super fun. As it turns out though, he's still not very good at it. Let's just hope his enthusiasm keeps up with his skill level (hey, I can dream, right?)

  • Jackson's unit at school last week was about pets. On the first day of the new unit, he came home with this creation, with the message he dictated to his teacher about his know, the pet that passed away almost two years ago when he was only 2...and who he still talks about almost daily. Tear. What can I say...Sammy was a special dog!

Nevermind the cat and the fish who are alive and well who he sees on a daily basis..... 

  • The first week in May was Teacher Appreciation Week. I'm posting this here mostly so I can have it documented for myself what I did so I can easily refer to it in the future! And for anyone looking for ideas for next year. Between the two boys, they have 10 teachers, so I racked my brain to come up with something nice and thoughtful but that wouldn't cost a fortune. In the end, each teacher got a little goody bag with some super cute note cards, a pen, their favorite candy and some cute clothespins all tied up with a ribbon. They also each received a card the boys made with their handprints that declared each teacher "O-fish-ally a great teacher!"

  • This weekend, Jackson and Andrew were playing at the park and Jackson was climbing the jungle gym. Andrew was, of course, attempting to keep up with big brother and apparently tried to use his teeth to climb to the next rung...or something like that...I'm not totally sure as we saw the situation developing from behind. Whatever happened, it ended with Andrew chipping one of his front teeth. You know, one of those shiny, perfect baby teeth he's only had for about 9 months....that he would hopefully keep shiny and perfect for the next 5 or so years. =(  The good news is except for the initial accident, it doesn't seem to be bothering him in the least bit. We will probably still take him to the dentist because the jagged edge is super sharp and to see if there's anything that can be done to improve the cosmetic appearance. Womp womp.

  • This weekend the boys got a visit from their Nana and cousin Kyndra. They all had fun playing together, however, I think poor Kyndra decided after a couple of days being around Andrew the Tornado that having a younger sibling was not high on her wish list! 

That's all for now! Maybe I'll actually be able to muster full paragraphs next time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

We listen to a lot of Frozen in our house...almost every night during bath time Jackson asks to listen to the songs.

And we don't just listen...we SING!

I may be biased, but I think he sings pretty well for a 3 year old! We sure love our little entertainer!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend

We enjoyed a really wonderful Mother's Day Weekend. 

On Saturday morning, we made a trip to Target and bought a shelf and some bins to organize all of the toys that have taken over the back porch. It made my Type A heart very happy. That exciting errand was followed by a picnic at the park and a little play time for the boys. We left when Jackson said "I'm ready to go home for my nap now". =) 

During nap, Justin assembled the shelf and blew up the boys' slip and slide. The boys played outside for nearly 2 hours. While the boys played, I simultaneously responded to exclamations of "look at me mommy!" and read my book. It was lovely!

While we were outside, Justin cooked my favorite meal--chicken parmigiana. Soooo yummy. 

Everybody made happy plates (it's seriously that good), so we went for a little fro-yo after. Jackson ate all of his gummy worms out of the ice cream and was done. Andrew smiled and waved at everyone in the store, then ate Jackson's leftovers. They are a good pair. =)

On Sunday morning, I woke up to the sounds of Justin getting out of bed and Jackson nudging me awake and whispering in my ear "mommy, you have to stay asleep so we can make you breakfast in bed". Justin reported that he was a big help in the kitchen! They made me chocolate chip waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and loaded scrambled eggs. So good! Justin reports that Jackson was actually eager and helpful this year--at least as helpful as a not-quite-4-year-old can be in the kitchen!

And of course there were handmade gifts of all sorts! Here are Jackson's creations...I am so impressed by his stick figures (the first of their kind) and his self-written (albeit traced) name!

They also had the kids fill in an "All About Mom" questionnaire. Apparently I cook a mean grilled cheese and my viewing of "Center Stage" a few months ago had a lasting impact on him! Also, we really must work on his pronunciation of "th-" sounds because I am most definitely not 40, but that is how he pronounces 30!

And sweet Andrew melted mommy's heart with his creations as well! Precious hands and feet to treasure forever!

Later, we made our first trip to the splash pad of the season.

It really was a great weekend. These boys are such a blessing to me every day and I am so lucky to be their mommy!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fun with Friends

Our boys have great friends! 

If you ask Jackson who his best friend is, it will always be, without a doubt, Jillian. Conveniently and not at all coincidentally, her mommy is MY best friend so we get these two together as often as our busy schedules allow.

On this evening, it was a weeknight dinner and frozen yogurt.

And silly faces....

And sweet hugs....

While Jackson is seeing Jilly more these days since they now go to the same school, he's been missing his old school friends like crazy and had been begging for a play date. April was crazy, but the first weekend in May we made plans to make it happen and were delighted when all his friends could come!

So last Saturday morning, we found ourselves supervising 6 boys under age 4! It was actually really fun, but let's just say that we all needed a nap that afternoon!

Jackson is really into Frozen right now and especially loves the "Frozen Heart" song at the beginning where the ice workers are harvesting the ice. So when I saw this pin on Pinterest, I knew it would go over well with Jackson and his friends. I made two big blocks of ice with little plastic animals frozen inside. The boys loved it and it kept them occupied for at least 45 minutes! Play date win!

Rescuing all those animals out of the ice worked up quite an appetite, so the boys enjoyed a back porch picnic snack.

Most importantly, Jackson was a happy kid for getting to spend the morning with all of his buddies!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

A couple of funny Jackson stories for you from last weekend....

The night before my brother's wedding, my parents hosted a party for everyone who was already in town. My brother and his new bride have two little girls, therefore the friends of my brother and his new bride also have little girls. So there were LOTS of little girls--probably a dozen. My boys were terribly outnumbered but totally fine with it. The girls were running around pretending that they had various superpowers. With hands outstretched (think Elsa from Frozen), the girls would "claim" their power. "I have fire power!" "I have ice power!" "I have diamond power!" "I have flower power!" ...Jackson declares "I have KETCHUP power!"


My whole family was staying together in a big house. My sister walked out of the bathroom to see Jackson standing there right outside the door, mischievously giggling. Through his giggles, he admits to her "I caught a bug and put it under your door."


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy 19 Months Andrew!

Another month has gone by and sweet Andrew continues his fearless march to the big TWO!

And let me tell you, those terrible twos certainly don't seem far off. Don't let these happy, smiling pictures fool you...beware his wrath when he does not get his way!

Besides throwing some spectacular tantrums, Andrew has been quite busy this month! He got a new tooth and is working on three more, which certainly could be contributing to his irritability. He's also figured out how to turn doorknobs and open doors, which has led to more toddler-proofing. Of course the doorknob covers are also preschooler-proof, which frustrates Jackson.

Andrew's verbal comprehension is excellent. He points to the right picture in books when I ask him to, and he follows instructions very well. He really enjoys books now and we can read several longer books together before he loses interest. He is starting to say more and more including "Jack!", much to the delight of big brother. The cutest in the last few days is how instead of saying "Dada" as he's done for months he now fully enunciates the "Daddeee".

He's a friendly kid, waving hi and bye bye to people we pass on the sidewalk or strangers in the grocery store. He loves things that go and the sound of an airplane flying overheard gets his attention every time, even when it's far off in the distance and we can barely hear it. He also loves going outside and balls. He's got a strong arm and throws overhanded with impressive accuracy for a one year old!
I included this picture because his pose is totally me. My mom always called me spaghetti legs as a kid and I still have a tendency to sit in strange positions!
It's probably a growth spurt, but I love this boy lately because he's been sleeping in until 9 or later on the weekends! Jackson still wakes up early but is happy to watch cartoons for as long as we let him, so we've been enjoying getting to sleep in! Now if only we could have some free weekends to actually take advantage of this phenomenon....

Each month seems to go by faster than the last. Hopefully mom and dad can keep up with this boy! Happy 19 months precious Andrew!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hill Country Wedding

We got to participate in a joyous occasion last weekend! My brother Marc married his love Alison!

On Friday, we headed up to the Hill Country of Marble Falls to begin celebrating the happy couple. My parents had rented a big house with a gorgeous view for us all to stay at together, so we enjoyed some good family time. 

The next evening was the main event! Our boys were excited to be at their first wedding!

And are these not the happiest flower girls you have ever seen??

Ok, so I am not much of a crier at weddings, but I have to admit that I teared up. What a journey these two had to find each other and make it to this perfect moment!

Following the lovely ceremony was a delicious dinner, a few glasses of wine and finally the dance party!

Jackson was SOOOOOOOO excited when he noticed that Uncle Marc was wearing suspenders too!

We did (sorta) manage to get a family picture. For best results, please swap Jackson's head in the top picture with the one on the bottom....

Congratulations Marc and Ali and welcome (officially) to the family Ali! I am delighted to have another sister!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Back in the fall, I bought this butterfly habitat that came with a code you redeem for caterpillars. You then get to watch them grow, go through metamorphosis, and then release them when they become butterflies. Neat, right?

Shortly after Spring Break when the weather started to warm up we ordered our caterpillars. Over the next few days we watched our five caterpillars grow and grow and grow. This part was actually kind of boring because they didn't do much. As it turns out, caterpillars are pretty sedentary. Who knew? One morning we woke up and they had all formed their chrysalides. So, then more waiting. 

Finally they emerged as butterflies. I'm sad to say we missed the actual emerging. It happened one day when we were at work/school. For the next few days we fed them sugar water and watched them flit around the habitat. No one was more fascinated/tortured by the butterflies than our kitty, Gracie. She was absolutely obsessed. She would sit under the habitat, meow at them, and then lunge. They were securely out of her reach, but she kept trying! It's the most exercise she's gotten in a long time!

We decided to release them just before we left for our long Easter Weekend.

Before we released them, Andrew wanted to go in for a closer look...

One flew out right away but the others needed a little nudge. We all enjoyed getting to check out each one.

So long, butterflies! We enjoyed watching you grow!