Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cade's Summer League Basketball

Tonight Cade had his second-to-last summer league basketball game. Sam, Carson, and I went to cheer Cade on while the little girls stayed with Nana. Cade did great, and I had a fun time taking pictures with my new camera! Here is Cade before his game began.

Here is Cade after a great steal! I had my camera on the "action mode" which I am not quite sure how to use yet!

Carson and I enjoying the game on the uncomfy junior high bleachers

I took this picture to capture Carson's socialization skills. He amazes me. We can walk into anywhere, and within 2 minutes he has made a new friend. I am so opposite. I am reserved until I really feel comfortable in the situation. It's not a bad way to be, but I admire the people that just socially "dive in"...and that is definitely how Mr. Carson is!! His 2 new friends entertained him the entire game until he decided to slip out of an interior door with the one in the blue shirt. He was in time-out for the remainder of the game!

Carson "in jail" at the basketball game!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Sam is finally home from his work trip in Williamsburg, Virginia! He was gone for an entire week, and I survived only due to the support of a few people I love! We really missed him!
When he walked into the baggage claim today the kids reaction was priceless the girls squealed DADDY at the top of their lungs and ran as fast as they could to get into his arms. The joy was written all over his face when he saw them, I wish I would have had my video camera! I did bring along my new camera that I absolutely love so I snapped a few pictures of us reuniting with Sam!

Walking into the airport to get Daddy. Emma Claire is holding "raffi-paci" as she calls the combination of security objects. I usually don't let them walk around with these items, but by the time Sam's flight got in at 2:50 the kids were napless and VERY tired.

Watching travelers walk through the airport while we waited for Sam. Carson is wearing his new Batman wing contraption that Grandad bought for him on their night out last night. We got quite a few interesting stares as he walked through with his wings!


Carson in his batsuit. He would have posed for pictures forever in this contraption! He is SO proud of it!

My 30th Birthday...A Big Surprise and A TATTOO!!!

Saying that I had an awesome 3oth birthday is an understatement! I spent the early part of the day working out and taking a trip to the mall with the little ones. I then got ready and headed to meet Chels, Brenda, and Karri at North Park. It took me almost 2 hours to get there due to some major traffic on 75. We strolled around North Park for a little bit. As we were strolling Chels kept saying how hungry she was, and how badly she wanted a strawberry margarita from Chuy's. I thought that it was a little unlike her to be in a big hurry, but I really didn't think much of it. I had no idea what she had up her sleeve! When we finally got to Chuy's there was a table full of my favorite people waiting to celebrate with me! What a surprise!! They had all been waiting for an hour due to my traffic problems and stroll at North Park, but they didn't seem to mind. ; ) My mom, Robin, Julie, Madonna, Sabrina, and Sandy were there to meet our group. We had a great time eating yummy food from Chuy's and delicious cookie cake! Chels and Julie went way out of their way to plan such a fun evening for me!
After dinner Chels, Brenda, Karri, and I headed to Deep Ellum for one more drink and a tattoo for me!! I have been wanting a tatoo for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure why it was something I desired, but I have almost gotten one on numerous occassions. All the other times I either chickened out or different circumstances came up. However on such a monumental occasion...MY 30th B-DAY...I was getting a tattoo no matter what! We headed down to Deep Ellum to find "Elm Street Tattoos" which came highly recommended. We found the tattoo parlor, then went to the bar next door to have one last drink. Upon entering the tattoo parlor I knew that I wanted a tattoo to honor my 4 sweet babies, but I wasn't sure exactly what. I wanted it to be simple, and I wanted it to be on top of my foot. I wound up deciding that I wanted four little hearts in a row...one for each of the little ones that I will love forever and always. My tattoo artist Joe was so patient with me. I was very obviously a rookie in that place. They said that I was the only person that they had ever seen read the waiver before signing it!! With lots of butterflies in my tummy I hopped on the tattoo table and the less than 5 minute process began. It hurt, but not near as bad as I thought it would! I am happy that I went through with it! I can't wait for someone to ask me what the four hearts stand for! The picture below is one that I took this morning right after removing the bandage. Sadly, I was too scared to bring my new camera to document the whole experience, but Chelsi documented the whole thing! Check out her blog for a play by play of the evening!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

30 Memories From 30 Years

I can hardly believe that I am 30 years old today. That number has seemed so distant to me for so many years, and it has always seemed so old. Today I feel pretty much the same as I did yesterday, my last day in my 20's. : ) So much has happened in these past 30 years! I have so many great memories, and I can only hope to spend my next 30 years making memories just as wonderful. In honor of turning the big 3-0 here are some things that have stuck with me for all of these years...most good memories, but a couple that are not particularly bright and sunny. In no particular order....here goes!

1. I remember the day that I felt Caden (baby #1) move inside my tummy for the very first time. It was more like a flutter, but a movement just the same. We were in a movie with Sam's parents. I loved that feeling.

2. I met Sam at Blue Planet (a nightclub on lower Greenville in Dallas). I was with Shawna. We were meeting a guy that she was dating and his friend (Sam). We walked up to Sam's black Mitsubishi Eclipse. I still remember his smile and exactly what I was wearing.

3. The day that my parents told me that they were getting divorced will forever be etched in my memories. We were in the formal living room of our house in Texarkana. I thought that drawing a picture would make it all better. I remember the print on the couch and the way that the lighting looked. I was six years old.

4. My first day of teaching was a monumental one. I wore a black dress and high heels. I was thrilled, yet terrified. I was teaching third grade at Hill Elementary in Arlington. My first classroom was Sam's classroom when he was in 5th grade. I had turned 23 the month before I started teaching.

5. My 16th birthday was awesome! I was already convinced that I wouldn't be getting a car. My mom had said that we couldn't afford it. Since the car was not happening I told her that I wanted a watch. I spent the morning of my birthday teaching swimming lessons, and then we went back home to celebrate. My mom ordered a pizza and I began opening my gifts. I picked up what was obviously a watch box, opened it, and there inside were the keys to my 1987 champagne colored Ford Escort. I was beyond thrilled. I was jumping and screaming all when the pizza man came to the door. I remember my brother running up the stairs when the pizza man was at the door because he was so embarrassed. My brother and I took a spin around the block by ourselves.

6. The day that I found out that I would be having twins was an unforgettable one. I went to the Dr. by myself for my first ob appointment and early ultrasound. Sam didn't come. It was our 3rd pregnancy, and we both knew that we wouldn't be seeing much more than a little blob on the screen. I can still see the look on the sonographers face when she asked if twins run in my family. What a total shock. I must have appeared that I was going to pass out. The sonographer made me lay there for quite awhile after the sonogram was over. I drove to Sam's work and called him to come out to my car. I showed him the picture of the two little "blobs". The words "hi Daddy we're twins" was typed on the sonogram picture. We sat in silence forever...we were in shock until our sweet girls arrived.

7. When I was 7 I fell in a fountain at Valley View Mall. My mom was getting my brother and I a cookie, and I was trying to steal coins out of the fountain. I reached too far and fell in. I remember being soaked, and my mom was not happy. She had to go into a store and buy me an entire outfit. There are days that I know my 4 are paying me back for things like this! My poor mom!

8. Burying my Pa is a memory that I will have forever. He was my great grandpa, and one of the most loving people that I have ever met. I never remember him being mad at me. He loved unconditionally. I miss him so much.

9. I remember September 11, 2001. I was driving into the teacher's parking lot at Hill. It was my first year to teach. I was listening to 106.1 Kiss FM and I heard Kelly Raspberry say that a plane had struck the World Trade Center in NYC. For some reason I thought she was joking. However when I got into the school I discovered it was not a joke. Throughout the day we had parents picking up their children. By the end of that school day I had less than 5 kids left in my classroom.

10. I delivered all of my children via c-section. With Cade it was an emergency c-section, and the others were scheduled c-sections. I remember the operating room very vividly in each of the births. The sterile white walls, the frigid air, Sam in scrubs, and the sweet cries of my new babies. Such happy times!

11. My first real concert was a George Strait concert at Texas Stadium. My dear friend Brenda took Chels, Charity, and I to the concert. We all wore matching denim jumpers from Old Navy. I think that it was the summer after 9th grade. I remember it was hotter than heck and a TOTAL blast!

12. Sam and I got married on a beautiful day in May over 10 years ago. We were married in the Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth. We had lots of special people there. Chels even flew in from Austin last minute. Mo and Wiss were there which is huge because they hate city traffic. We had a nice brunch at a restaurant in the Botanic Gardens, and Madonna made us a beautiful cake. I vividly remember driving away from the Botanic Gardens in Sam's Eclipse thinking "What now?". I was all of 19 years old, and I really had no clue what it meant to be married. Oh how far we have come!

13. I remember Cade's first day of Kindergarten. He started school at Key where I teach. I saw him walking into the cafeteria with his little lunch box, and I lost it. He seemed so big. I was 8 months pregnant with Carson and an emotional basket case. My whole class of 4th graders watched as I bawled like a baby! It's hard to believe that he will be in 4th grade with me next year!

14. The day that I found out that the twins might have Twin-to-Twin-Transfusion was October 11, 2005 (Carson's 1st b-day). It was also the day that I found out that they were girls. I was so thrilled yet so very scared. I had to wait for a week to go back and get a second check. That week was the slowest week of my entire life. Thank God we got the news that they did not have TTTS at the end of this week!

15. My first kiss was in the front yard of my house on Branch Hollow. I was in 7th grade and Beth and I were playing "Spin the Bottle" with some neighborhood boys. I wound up kissing a guy named Drew Lentz...my very first kiss. My mom found out about our game and called Beth's mom!

16. I remember the first day of 1st grade. I was in a wheel chair because I had been hit by a truck as I was crossing the street only weeks before. I was very lucky that a very broken leg was the only injury that I had.

17. I remember the day that I was baptized at First Baptist Carrollton. I remember the white robe that I wore, the preachers hands, and the warm water. I was in 5th grade.

18. I remember going to church camp in Bridgeport with Chels. I loved it! We wore matching shirts some of the days, and we had such good times singing and worshipping. I am so grateful that she invited me to come with her.

19. The day that Carson got lost at Super Target last fall was a terrifying one. That little guy has a mind of his own, and he just walked away. Sam thought that I had him, and I thought that Sam had him...lesson learned. Target turned off all of the automatic doors, and put employees to guard all of the exits. All the employees were talking on their walkie-talkies about a little boy in blue-jeans and a red shirt that was lost. He was missing for more than 15 terrifying minutes. When one of the Target employees found him he was in the lingerie department sorting through bras! Little stinker! We were scared out of our wits! Sam couldn't hold a conversation for an hour after that!

20. As a child Hostess Cupcakes were one of my favorite treats. I remember eating them in the backseat of my mom's old Monte Carlo. The seats were red vinyl, and I am pretty certain that the air conditioner didn't work!

21. Anyone who knows my mom knows about her love of being at the pool. She had my brother and I in the water when we were only months old. I still vividly remember being at the YMCA in Dallas with my swim cap on. I loved our swims together.

22. I remember when I peed in my pants in second grade. I am not sure why I didn't just go to the restroom, but I can still see the big puddle on the white tile floor. I think that this was the same year that an Arby's employee mistaked me for being a boy. My mom kept my hair cut like a boy's hair because she says that I was a terror when she tried to brush it. So, when I requested a pink balloon at Arby's and the employee promptly said "boys don't like pink" I was traumatized.

23. The sweetness of all 4 of my kids beginning to talk is such a happy memory of mine. Their sweet voices saying new words each day. I didn't record near enough of those sweet voices.

24. The first night that I spent at Chelsi's house is a very happy memory. I thought that she had the perfect family (and she really does)...a sweet mom, a dad that grilled us hamburgers, a nice brother, a baby brother that I got to hold, and a sweet dog (Brandy) that we got to take on a walk.

25. Shawna and I rang in the year1990 together!! We drank sparkling grape juice on the stairs at my townhouse in Carrollton. We thought that we were so big! : )

26. My first true heartbreak was when Chris Kurtz broke up with me. I thought the world of him. I was at Shawna's house when he broke up with me over the phone. I thought that I would never recover.

27. My first trip to Mexico was so much fun. Sam and I went to Hualtulco. We played in the waves, ate at many little quaint places, and soaked up being a new couple. I loved that vacation.

28. My first day as a checker at Minyards. It was my first real job, and I loved scanning things (the fun of the scanner didn't last much longer than the first day). I also remember my first day as a hostess at Tia's, I was excited that I got to have all I could eat free tortillas...not good for the waistline!

29. The day that I graduated from TWU. I was very proud of myself for finishing college. When I found out that I was pregnant with Cade I wasn't sure that I would be able to finish. With the help and support of family (especially Dolly who babysat Cade the whole time) I was able to graduate Magna Cum Lade, an accomplishment that I will always hold dear!

30. The night that Princess Diana died Chels and I were leaving a George Strait concert in San Antonio. We heard it on the radio as we were sitting in the concert traffic. We were both in a state of shock. I remember what the little side street that we were driving on looked like.

So in no particular order there are 30 memories for my big 3-0. Can't wait to blog about my b-day fun that I am going to have this evening. I love all of you who have helped me make memories over the last 30 years!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Feel VERY Special!

Wow! What an awesome day today was! In exactly one week I will be 30 years old, and today the celebrating began. ; ) The day started with a fun play date with Brenda, Chels, Carter, and Colt at "Going Bonkers" in Lewisville. I don't have any pictures because when I was leaving the house to meet my friends I couldn't find my camera (I'll explain later). Check out Chelsi's blog for lots of pictures from our adventure.
After we had a late lunch at Jason's Deli we headed back home to pick up Sam and meet my mom, Robin, and Caleb for my b-day dinner. We did it a week early because Sam is about to leave for a business trip to Virginia, and he will be gone on my b-day. We met at Saltgrass (a favorite of mine). The kiddos knew we were celebrating something big because all 4 of them were absolutely PERFECT!! I opened my gifts and cards right away. My bro gave me a sweet card and a gift card to Old Navy...yea! My mom, Robin, Sam, and the kiddos went in together and got me a new camera!!! They got me the Canon Rebel XSI. I knew nothing about this camera. The only nice camera that I know anything about is the Nikon D80 that my BFF Chels has. However, Sam has been doing alot of research and he assures me that this is the camera for me! I am so excited and thankful that I can retire my old camera! Sam knew how happy this gift was going to make me! He was dying for me to open it. The whole afternoon he tricked me by saying "don't get your hopes up", "I got creative on this gift", and "I stayed in budget" ; )...he just loves surprises! Oh...the reason that I couldn't find my old camera to take pictures of my morning play date is because my thrifty hubby tried to sell it to the camera shop. Needless to say they didn't want the poor old camera who has been through a whole lot in its 4 years in my possession! I will never forget how special my family made me feel on my 30th b-day celebration! I love all of you!!
Mom, Sam, me, Caleb, Cade, Carson, Ella Cate, and Emma Claire after dinner at Saltgrass...courtesy of the "old camera"

My new camera without the lens. I have promised myself that I will read the manual on this camera, cover to cover. In August I am going to take a class at the store where Sam bought the camera...I have lots of learning to do!

all that is left of the yummy cookie cake that Mom and Robin brought for me...I ate most of it!

Carson shopped for groceries with me after dinner this evening and he picked out the Batman tank and boxer brief set

Cade came shopping with me too...he picked out this shirt that he is VERY proud of...oh the taste of a boy approaching 10...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Naps are Overrated!!

So...I am having a BIG problem getting the girls to take their naps lately! For the past 2 years and 5 months they have both been superb nappers, but the last 3 days have been anything but superb. They are both climbing out of their cribs (another major problem) and squeezing themselves into the small place between Emma's crib and the wall. As you can see here the space is so small that they are practically on top of each other. They are very quiet as they "hide" so that I do not discover them. I only hear them over the monitor when they happen to giggle. It really is cute to walk into the room and see them huddled on top of each other, but today (day 3 of getting out of the cribs) it is getting frustrating. Yesterday they got no nap because they got out so many times, and I am fearing today (it is already 2:30 and they are still not asleep) they will be missing their nap as well. This is not happening at bedtime...yet. By the way the "Naps are Overrated" title is from the girls perspective, not mine!! Nap time is a very coveted part of our daily routine for me!
I'll take this moment to brag on Carson...he has been taking 2 hour naps all summer, praise the Lord! He is 3 years and 9 months old and still taking awesome naps, so the poor girls have no hope in coaxing me into letting them give up naps anytime soon!!

Emma came out from hiding!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Batman...and Props to My Batman's Daddy

Here is my very own Batman a.k.a. Carson. He has always loved Batman, but with the release of the new Batman this Friday he has had even more exposure to the superhero. Every commercial, store, etc... has something Batman related right now! He wears this costume constantly, and I had to buy 3 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch to get the Batman figure that he just HAD to have!
Here is a picture of 3 little rag muffin kiddos of mine...I'll explain. This was taken last night at 10:00 pm...way late for these 3!! Last night just happened to be my night to host Bunco at my house...no kids allowed! Sam, being the brave one that he is, took all the little ones (Cade is living it up at Colt's house) to Colter's to eat and to Target to pick out prizes. He let them each get a $5.00 movie and a puppy cake to share (pictured above). He never once complained, and he had a smile on his face when he arrived back at the house. I know after an outing of this sort, often times I am not that pleasant....it is just plain hard to take a 3 year old and two 2 year olds to do much of anything! I really admire Sam's patience and willingness to have fun with our gang. He loves them to pieces!! I'm really not sure what I would do without his support and love for us all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Weekend Trip to Broken Bow Lake-Day 3 (last day)

Sunday 7/6 was our last day in Oklahoma. We had originally planned to stay through Monday, but we decided to spend Sam's last day off work as a family of 6. We wound up taking everyone to Hurricane Harbor on Monday, and we had a great time! Sadly I forgot my camera that day!

Back to our last day in Oklahoma...we spent the morning doing some more sightseeing. We toured a small winery/gift shop called "Girls Gone Wine", we shopped at a cute little candy shop that Cade claimed had "the best fudge ever", and we stopped at a roadside sign to get Carson's picture in front of his name in giant letters (below). We headed back home, and we arrived just in time for the girls to wake up from their naps. They were just as excited to see us as we were to see them! We look forward to taking them on a Broken Bow Lake vacation in the future! We had fun!
Carson's sign

One last picture of our cabin

The boys on the cabin's deck on our last morning there

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weekend Trip to Broken Bow Lake-Day 2

Our second day at Broken Bow Lake was action packed! Since this was our only full day at the lake we tried to fit in as much as possible! We started the day with a really fun canoe excursion! A van took us 4 miles down a river that fed the lake, dropped us off, and we canoed back to the place that we started. It took us a little over 2 hours. Carson and Cade had their moments(Carson was a bit whiny at first because he thought everything in the water was a snake- Cade would not give up control of his paddle and the rest of us were suffering as he learned to paddle correctly : )) , but overall everyone had a really fun time! I especially enjoyed this experience! Sam had many canoeing experiences growing up, but I have never had one! I loved the gorgeous scenery, the quietness, and the cool river water. Sam even spotted a fawn in the brush coming to the river for a drink! Many memories were made on our little red canoe in these 2 short hours!
Sam took this picture of us piled in the van driving to the drop off point.

Carson and Sam paddling along

Cade a.k.a. "Animal with the Canoe Paddle" : ) ...by the end of the trip he was a canoe paddling pro!

Cade and I soaking up the scenery

After our canoe trip we drove around the lake and did a little sightseeing. The views of the gorgeous scenery were absolutely breathtaking. Who knew that a place this beautiful could be nestled in southeast Oklahoma!? Sam and I must have said "I wish we had a boat." 1,000 times each! We missed so many cool parts of this area because we were not able to access them without a boat or jet ski!

Sightseeing made everyone hungry, so we headed to the local Broken Bow McDonald's for a quick lunch. This truly was the highlight of Carson's trip because as soon as we arrived he noticed that the Kung Fu Panda Happy Meal toys had been changed to Transformers! He squealed with delight as he told me (and everyone else in McDonald's) that he would be walking away with a supercool Transformer. And that he did, he must have thanked Sam and I 100 times for getting his this Transformer, and the toy stayed by his side for the next 24 hours.

After we ate we decided to tour the little town of Broken Bow. It is probably one of the tiniest towns that I have ever been in. Their Wal-Mart is still not a super Wal-Mart, and they have only a family owned grocery store. The only elementary school that we could find was no bigger than a small wing of any school around here. Since I was curious I peeked in the school windows and found that their library and cafeteria were the size of a standard classroom! I couldn't help but to think how different it would be to work at a school that small. We then ventured over to the high school football stadium (pictured above). It looked like it held alot of history, and if the kids wouldn't have been so antsy to head back to the lake swim beach Sam and I would have kept exploring!

On our way back to the swim beach we stopped at a couple of museums (we are in front of one above) and a souvenir shop inside the state park. Cade got an arrow head as a souvenir, and Carson didn't ask for anything since he had his trusty Transformer. So 75 cents later we headed out of the old souvenir shop!

Carson absorbed in play with his McDonald's Transformer

Our family in front of one of the museums

The boys next to a Beaver inside one of the museums

In this picture the boys were getting ready to swim at the lake's swim beach. They both had alot of fun swimming and playing in the sand making mud pies. The swim beach had the cutest little concession stand where I got the most delicious Tiger's Blood snocone that I have ever eaten. I have been craving one every day since!

The boys and I ready to take a swim.

After swimming we headed back to the cabin for showers and a little rest time. Mr. Carson fell asleep on the way back. This is the first trip that he really didn't require full naps. He did fine each day having a 10-15 minute catnap in the car.

For our second dinner in Broken Bow we ate at a really good restaurant called Abendigo's. Sam was convinced that our waiter was faking an accent to set the mood, but a little while into our meal we found out that he was a foreign exchange student from Russia. : ) It was good for us to be away from all of our usual restaurants that we frequent so often. Without all of the choices that we're used to we were forced to eat at different places. We have come to the conclusion that we should venture away from Jason's Deli, Spaghetti Warehouse, and Chik-fil-A more often!

Sam and Carson at dinner

The fam at dinner

After dinner we headed to do some go-cart racing. Cade drove his own go-cart, and Carson and Sam rode together. I sat on the sidelines with plans to take pictures, but sadly my camera battery went dead after a full day of snapping away!

Sweet brothers had so much fun together on our trip. Day 3 coming soon! : )

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend Trip to Broken Bow Lake-Day 1

Sam and I took the boys for a long weekend trip to Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma this past weekend. Sam had a VERY limited number of vacation days since he recently started a new job, so this little weekend road trip proved to be the perfect get-away for us. Nana graciously volunteered to keep the little girls since I was still not brave enough to take them on a trip. I know that it would have been doable for Sam and I, I just think it will be alot easier next year when they are 3! The boys soaked up the one on one time with us, and we all had a great time!
We left around 10:00 on Friday, July 4th, and we arrived in Broken Bow around 2:00. We drove around the cute little town, bought some fireworks, and settled into our cabin. Our cabin was perfect! Sam's friend Ron owns the cabin, and he let us use it for the weekend. It was immaculately clean, and decorated just as a cabin in the woods should be! After we had explored the cabin we headed into Broken Bow for a late lunch. We ate at a fun little Mexican restaurant called Papa Poblano's, and we headed to watch the town's firework display. When we were back at the cabin Sam and the boys gathered wood to make a fire, and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. The boys did sparklers, and Sam shot a few small fireworks. It was really fun to spend the 4th of July in a cozy cabin in the woods nestled in a tiny Oklahoma town! Day 2 to come!! Our cute cabin

The boys in our cabin

Me and the guys

The stairs to the garage in our cabin

The boys in front of a funny giraffe at Papa Poblano's

Cade roasting his hot dog

Starting the fire

Carson and his sparkler


Carson ready to roast marshmallows