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Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Grief!!

SO much has happened since my last post! I have honestly had a hard time keeping up with the necessities of life, much less finding the extra time to write a blog post. Here's a quick update. We have had some major transitions going on in our house.

Since February, Ryan has worked six weekends in a row, including two conferences where he was out of town - Barrett battled the vomit monster ( and FINALLY won - Ryan is in the process of interviewing for a fellowship - we took a trip home to Oklahoma and Texas for a vacation - celebrated Easter - Barrett turned sixteen and now seventeen months old - and WHEW! Here we are!!

Needless to say, I have LOTS of catching up to do! I'll try to do it bits at a time with just a few pictures in between. The purpose of my blog is to keep our loved ones updated, so I'll do my best to get back on track. Here are a few pictures to share just what we've been up to the past few months.

In March, I found a listing on Craigslist for a swing set. It was EXACTLY what I had been looking for at a great price! The only problem - it was located 2.5 hours away! However, my sweet, precious husband volunteered on his post call day to drive all the way to the middle of nowhere Virginia to pick up this toy for our sweet boy! Let's just say it has already been the source of many, many hours of fun.

Nothing better than swinging with Dad


Hello there friends!

This is AWESOME! (Notice the dirt on the pant legs)

We have had some beautiful spring weather and have enjoyed many evenings out playing on Barrett's new toy. It has a slide with a "fort" underneath and two swings - just perfect for an adventurous little boy! Thanks so much to my sweet, sweet husband for making the long journey to Nowhere, Virginia to get such a great deal!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A visit from the family

A few weeks ago (okay, more like a month ago) we had some very special visitors!! Grammy, Pops, Dustin and Nance came to Tennessee for a visit. This was especially exciting since we haven't seen them in several months, except for our FaceTime chats.

They drove all night from Texas and made it to see us for a a long weekend. We didn't do much that was exciting, but we sure enjoyed being together! Here are a few pics to remember their visit. After driving all night, they were a little tired (to say the least.) I had planned to work that day, but Barrett was a little sick (more to come on the sickness issue later), so I got permission to work from home. It worked out nicely because everyone slept so I could get things accomplished!

Barrett was SO excited and loved all of the attention and all of the new playmates that stayed for a few days.

Are they really here?

Storytime with Pops - melt my heart!!

Grammy - wake up!! I said wake up!!

Aaaah, that's better!

Show me your cute face!

Hi guys!

Aunt Nance is the BEST!

Silly, silly boy!

One of my favorite shots of all time!

Dancing in the Belk bathroom - explanation to come

Eat that graham cracker!

Let me check you out, Pops

Our other big activity was assembing a vinyl tree in Barrett's room that I have had since before he was born! It was supposed to go in the nursery over a year ago, but we just haven't had the time to do it ourselves. Thankfully, Dustin and Nancy saved the day!! They are such troopers and did a fantastic job!

My hired hands for the day

Expert tree builders

Finished product!

Saying goodnight...

So, that's it for the exciting pictures. Just being together was the most fun of all. Can't wait to see you again soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fifteen Months

Fifteen Months? Is this real? You need to slow down sweet boy!! We want to just enjoy every little minute with you, so don't grow so fast okay?

This month has been another wonderful whirlwind. Here are a few stats for your fifteenth month:

- You weigh 21 lb.12oz. (15%) and are 30.25" tall (25%) - you are growing so big!
- You wear a size 4 diaper, size 12-18 month clothing, and a size 5 shoe
- You are still sleeping great - almost every night is from 8 p.m. - 6:30 a.m., unless you are teething or have a cold. We have had a few nights that you just needed some extra love, but we will take it. :)
- Naptime is pretty regular with a short nap in the morning and a longer one hour nap in the afternoon
- You are still loving to eat - usually oatmeal for breakfast, blueberries any time of day, fruit, meatballs, and the Gerber meat sticks (gross) are your favorites
- You have been drinking milk a little more and seem to like it better this month!
- You can sign "more", "all done", and "eat" - Mommy needs to learn more signs to teach you!
- Books are still some of your favorite things. Llama Llama has returned as a favorite, along with Happy Valentine's Day Mouse! You try to convince us to read many, many books at bedtime - to prolong going to sleep. :)
- A new friend has emerged this month - your "sassy" or pacifier. I'm not sure where the affection for this little thing has come from, but I sure hope it is short lived.
- You have added the words oatmeal "oat-ma" and lots of others to your vocab this month, a really fun new trick is saying "Di-di-di-di" or ding-ding-ding for your firetruck. As in "Hurry hurry drive the firetruck, ding, ding, ding, ding ding!" (That's a song for those of you who don't know)
- You can now identify most of your body parts - eyes, ears, nose, mouth, belly, toes
- You still LOVE dogs - Doc and Daisy, Raider (Grammy and Pops' dog) and Pearl (Logan's dog)
- Elmo is one of your favorites! You call him "Melmo" and love to watch him on the iPad, iPhone or the TV. You definitely like to choose which Elmo video that you want and will quickly let us know if we have chosen the wrong one. :) It's good that you are a man who knows what he wants.
- You say "HOT" and run to the oven when it beeps
- Talking on the phone (and saying hello), playing with balls, and drawing and writing are some of your favorite activities. It is SO much fun to watch you grow!!
- Your teachers at school are some of your favorite people. You also love your little friends - Ellie Moss, Maddie, Jon Michael, Zach, Caitlyn, and Maddie!

I didn't get a good monthly picture this time, so I'll just have to use one of my others.... Happy 15 MONTHS!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Valerie's Birthday

This post should have been written yesterday, so let's just pretend it was, okay?

I want to take a minute to celebrate someone very special to all of us today. Our baby sister Valerie. In her 20 years, Valerie has accomplished more than some people do in 40 years. She is strong, confident, independent, sweet, thoughtful, caring, brilliant, and FUN!! Valerie is the baby of the three of us, but sometimes can be the voice of reason for all of us. She has always had a natural spark that attracts everyone. She is known and LOVED by so many people for one reason - she is just VALERIE!!

Valerie started off as our little sidekick. She is 10 years younger than me and 8 years younger than Nancy, so she was our little baby. We cared for her, picked on her, dressed her up, babied her, but most of all, we LOVED her. Babied from day one by her big sisters, Valerie was always super special to us and to everyone else too. She sang songs at rodeos for tips, asked Mom and Dad the questions that we didn't want to ask (so they would say yes), and had to endure many mischevious little schemes that her big sisters put her up to.

She has grown from that little sidekick into a beautiful, charming young lady with an extremely bright future. I am so proud of the woman you have become Valerie. Your strength and independence are something that I admire.

Valerie is often the life of the party! She is fun, exciting, and full of life. There's never a dull moment when she is around!! She is Mom's baby, Daddy's Little Cowgirl, my baby sister, and Nancy's sidekick.

Her thoughtfulness and caring heart are evident with everything she does. She is a SUPER auntie to Barrett and he loves her so much!! He loves to see his Val-Val on Facetime and can't wait to hug her neck in just over a month. She sends the sweetest gifts for all of us and always remembers us on holidays and birthdays, which is so very special and always such a wonderful surprise.

Valerie has a gift with children and is one of the most sought after babysitters in Mabank. She loves kiddos and they LOVE her! I tried to arrange a deal with her many years ago that she could live with me for free and be our nanny, but that didn't work out so well for her career path. Aside from the fact that she lives in Lubbock and we live on the other side of the country, I just don't think that a long distance nanny would work out.

So today, Valerie, we celebrate YOU and the awesome young lady that you are. We love you with all of our hearts and miss you so much. We are proud of all of your accomplishments, but most of all, we are proud of you for just being you. It is so fun to watch you grow and develop into such a beautiful person. While we wish we could see you every day, we know that God has GREAT plans for your life and we can't wait to see each one unfold!! I want you to know what an inspiration you are to so many people and what a great gal you are!

I'm so proud to be your big sister.

Happy Birthday Little Sass!!! We love you!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fourteen Months...

This post is almost two months late, but I had to put these things in writing so I wouldn't forget.

Sweet Barrett,

You are now 14 Months Old!! How did the time pass so quickly? You are growing so fast that we can hardly keep up. We think you are the sweetest, funniest, smartest, most handsome little guy we know! Your personality is very inquisitive, loving, and outgoing - and you are just so much fun. Watching you grow is such a wonderful experience. We love to see you discover new things and learn more about this big world that you live in. Here is what you've been up to this month:

- You wear a size 4 diaper, size 12-18 month clothing, and a size 4 or 4.5 shoe.
- You sleep from around 8:00 p.m. - 6:30 a.m. We have a few rough mornings every now and then due to teething or runny noses, but you are getting the hang of things. Way to go big boy!!
- Napping has improved as you've grown too. You take a short 35-40 minute morning nap and then a longer 1 hour nap in the afternoon. Yeah Barrett!
- You LOVE to eat. The first thing you want when you wake up is to go downstairs to eat breakfast! Some of your favorite foods are bananas, BLUEBERRIES (balls), Spaghettios and meatballs (balls), oranges, peas, Nilla wafers, FRUIT SNACKS, and any type of fruit that we can find. You are such a great little eater!
- Milk is not really your favorite right now, but you seem to like it a little more each day.
- You can sign "more" and "all done"
- Books are some of your favorite things too! This month, you have really loved From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Llama Llama Red Pajama, and of course anything by Sandra Boynton
- Two more molars have made themselves known this month, although it hasn't always been pleasant for you. poor guy. Your upper right and left molars and lower left molars are coming right through!
- Your personality and vocabulary has really developed this month, with lots of new words, motions, and understanding.
- You have added the words, hot, "nak-nak" (snack), "bu-ba" (bubble), Boo!, "ha-buda" (Happy Birthday, or something like it :)  "wow", and "pop-pop" (for your ball popper)
- You can shake your head yes and no, make the animal motions with your Eric Carle book (the gorilla thumping his chest is a favorite), and love to nod yes and say hu (uh-huh) - SO CUTE!!
- Some of your favorite activities are reading books, being outside, playing with Doc and Daisy, and being anywhere with your Daddy
- When you are playing, you like to carry things around - your tractor, baskets, etc. and just show us how strong you are!
- One of your favorite new activities is sitting in chairs. We do have to remind you to sit on your bottom, but you LOVE your new blue chair and your rocking chair too. It is so fun to see you becoming a big boy and doing these things all by yourself.
- You have so many favorite toys that I will just list a few notables - Your Hide N' Squeak Eggs are always a big hit, any sort of ball, your new fire truck, the dancing dog, and ALL of your stuffed animals. They seem to get lots of sweet Barrett kisses!

There are just so many things we love about you that it's hard to list them all. We are so blessed to be your Mommy and Daddy and can't wait to watch you learn and grow even more!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fun with Friends!!

As I have said before, we have some really fantastic friends that are our resident family. We get together for birthdays, holidays, and any day in between that we need a little fun! It has been wonderful to have a group like this that can walk through this challenging time of life together.

Not only do the adults enjoy each other, but our kiddos are all very close in age and LOVE to play with each other. They seem to have found their first little best friends and are just so darn cute! I just had to share a few shots of these little friends playing together.

Happy Weekend!

Cooking up a little something for ya

Sweet sweet boys


Sweet silly girls

Super Bowl party!

Who says boys can't cook?


Three little monkeys all in a bed...

He did this all on his own!

So blessed to have such wonderful friends!

Friday, February 17, 2012


As you know, Thursday was Ryan's 30th Birthday. I had planned a low-key dinner and a couple of gifts for his actual birthday, but had much bigger plans in store to really celebrate! We gathered a few of our closest friends on Friday night to celebrate his big 3-0!! I coordinated with all of the girls to have a surprise dinner at Bonefish Grill. We arranged babysitters for all of the little ones (which NEVER happens) and had a wonderful night out celebrating one of our favorite guys!!

I told Ryan that we had a dinner date planned and Amanda would be here to watch Barrett and we would eat dinner at 7:00. Everything went according to plan and we were out the door ON TIME!! It was a shock to me that we actually had it together and were out of the house without incident.

We drove a little down the road when the girls started texting me to STALL because our table was not ready! I had no idea how I could accomplish this since we were already gone. I tried slowing down Ryan's driving and asking lots of questions when I finally came up with a plan. I asked him if he had any gum. Gum? Yes, I know it was lame, but I was desperate. We have four giant containers of gum in the pantry, but none in the car! He agreed to stop at Walgreen's, where I was trying my best to make sure we had enough time so the group could at least hide near the table. I asked for lipgloss, debated on gum flavors and also had the sales girl assist in my plans to stall. Great job, salesgirl!

When we arrived at the restaurant, the table still wasn't ready, so I had Ryan drop me at the door. The gang squeezed into a corner and I arranged with the hostess to play along. She escorted us to the table and SURPRISE!! Ryan saw the group and was on to the fact that we pulled one over on him!

Our dinner was delicious and the company was even better! We had a wonderful time together celebrating Ryan's big day. I couldn't have done it without the help of the girls - from picking up the cupcakes to making toppers and a gift to helping come up with our group gift, everyone was tremendous! Our gift to Ryan was a compilation of the Top 10 Things We Love About Ryan. Allyson helped me put this together to make it pretty and it was such a perfect gift!!

Thanks to all of our friends for helping to make this guy's birthday so special. We love you all!

The birthday boy

My girls - love you all!!!

They think they are just sooo cute.

Much better

The whole gang, minus Didi

My man. Happy Birthday!!