Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Totally Cool With 31!

If you asked me 15 years ago what I would think of being 31, I would have most definitely gasped and talked about how OLD that was and gone on about how I couldn't imagine how old I would feel.

Many people say they loved high school or college and would go back to that care free time in an instant given the chance and although my adolescents and young adulthood were cool, there isn't a chance in hell, I'd want to go back. The last 5 years are where it is at for me so far in this life. This weekend, I was reflecting, why I feel that way and what would I tell Addie now about looking forward to her 30's when she is 16! I believe it's a combination of a few things...

1. Foremost, I KNOW much more who I am and who I want to be and I am confident in my choices that I make to get there everyday.

2. My children have added such a needed balance in my life to remind me that the BIG things that stressed me out 5-10 years aren't even on my radar screen now.

3. I try hard to surround myself with genuinely good people that love me and want me to be my best and everyone else that doesn't, I have learned to easily separate them from my everyday life. I really related to Oprah's recommendation, "surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." That was the easiest big change in the last 10 years that made the biggest positive impact on loving where I am now.

4. I like being responsible for myself and not having to answer to anyone for things I want or don't want. That is a big difference to being 16!!!! ;)

5. The relationship with my husband that has continued to grow and develop over the past 7.5 years where I truly for the first time in life have a partner that is there with me in every aspect of life and for me during the bad weeks and the good weeks.I was lucky enough to find this man who works hard with me everyday to continue to seek to understand each other more and more.

Speaking of 7.5 years ago - April of 2003. That is the beginning of this whole new chapter I love in my life. I met Blake when I had just moved back from a 10 month stint working as a computer programmer for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas right out of college. My new Lilly partner, Amy Hernandez, had told me to meet up with a fellow overlap partner, Blake, in some random HEB parking lot.

Who knew what scene that parking lot would set in our plot of life. On our way to Tyler this Thanksgiving weekend, we took a detour and found that very parking lot for the first time since laying eyes on each other. Although Bealls had taken over the HEB, we quickly recalled how Blake's dark gray Ford Taurus was parked when I jumped into his car for the very first time!
Who'd of known 7.5 years ago, we would have our own personal photographer traveling with us full-time?!?!
So here's to 31 years old and my mother-in-law, Diane, remembering (when I had even forgotten) how much I LOVE rum cake! I wouldn't change one thing at 31... well except a few of the gray hairs trying to make their rude and early entrance.
The other thing I would love to remember to tell Addie about 31 is how my desires in gifts have SO TOTALLY changed! I am ecstatic about my automatic labeler, couture 36 traveling cupcake holder and first chemical peel! How old does that trio of gifts make me look?!??! But I wanted EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another Converted Fan!

That's what happens when 2 Longhorns leave their oldest child with 2 Aggies to babysit. Nearly 6 months ago, Ella was left at our house unsupervised by her die hard Longhorn parents.  Not knowing what the 2010 Longhorn season would hold a few months down the road, Ella was perceptive when she insisted on putting on the maroon and white and showing her true spirit back in June! Next year we will be working on GIG 'EM!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hot Dogs and Apple Pie to Celebrate 2 1/2!

It's a big tradition to celebrate Addie and Ella's "half" birthdays and this weekend couldn't have been better. It had been several weeks since all four of the kids had been together and they were anxiously awaiting Friday night to come! Although we completely forgot about doing their annual 1/2 birthday hat pictures, we were able to snap some great ones from a great night.
Carter and Ella with evidence of apple pie and ice cream.
Carter was very attached to Mike and very affectionate wanting to just hang on him. So sweet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bribery Works!

School pictures were last week and the entire 2 minute drive to school that morning, the three of us made a pact that if on the day picture proofs were delivered AND there were smiles on the paper, then they got a piece of candy.....
I am so proud of their forced smiles and I SMILE each time I look at them. I may just have to order these for the memory. Any chance they will smile like this on the day they see Santa!??!?
O... and YES, they got their candy. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick! How Do You Describe Addie at 2 1/2?

That is what I asked her 2 teachers at school this week. Their responses were 1/2 expected, had some surprises and several funny stories about Addie and her strong personality.

Michelle: "Addie is our leader, inquisitive and unique. She is such her own little person. She is nosey!! If anything at all interesting or new is going on in the room, she is the first one to find out what is going on. She is always asking in her little voice, What are you doing? She wants to be where everyone is."

Lindsey: "Addie is strong willed and cracks us up constantly with wanting to put a baby in her tummy. As soon as she does it, she gets all the other girls to do it in her class and before we know it everyone is walking around with a baby in their tummy. She makes sure to discuss the baby in Jayla's mommy's tummy every single day when she comes in."

I do a big Top 10 list each year on their birthdays, but wanted to do a mini-one to remember Addie at 2.5 in no particular order

1. Her brother - "Bubba."
2. Playing with her mommy's hair she is very persistent and doesn't give up until she gets it sometimes after 10 minutes of working on it. She will not accept help until the very end.
3. Asking questions and talking - so clear now. Just yesterday in the back of the car, she said, "When you are done with it Bubba will you give it to me?" I flipped around so fast because I couldn't believe my ears.
4. Baby Marcie
5. Her doggies
6. Folding anything and everything she can find!

7. PINK! The funny story about this picture is once she had Carter's medal on, I was talking to her about playing a sport and getting a medal of her own. She was all excited so I asked her what was her favorite sport that she wanted to play and she yelled "PINK!" She is conditioned to say PINK anytime she hears the words, "What is your Favorite...." Too funny!
8. Nursery Rhymes like Baa Baa Black Sheep
9. Doing anything and everything by herself. Last night with Blake she insisted on going to the bathroom, pulling up undies, washing her hands, putting on pull up to go to bed and putting on pajamas without Blake's assistance at all.
10. Her friends - Ella Perkins, Ella Madrid and Jack Putnicki, that she talks about ALL the time!

Her routine: She is sleeping in her big girl bed and wakes up around 7AM now. She will eat anything for breakfast and right now loves lucky charms and rice crispies. She sits at the table in the mornings and just talks back and forth with Carter. She doesn't care what she wears in the mornings still and runs into her class at school so happy to be there each morning. Blake said she even went around and hugged each individual friend this past Monday morning to say hello. In the afternoons, she loves to be outside or anywhere her brother is and usually Marcie is right by her side. She knows she has allergies to foods and usually is the first person to point out what she can't have. We do bedtime routine starting just before 7 with a bath, medicine including 2 puffs of her Advair inhaler and 2.5 mg of Zyrtec, reading LOTS of books and in bed at 8. Addie likes to be pat to sleep for a  minute and then usually flips over to her back and talks and sings loudly to Marcie for 10-15 minutes before she passes out for the night.

Her quirks: Little things can set her off into a meltdown.

Fun things to remember about her at this age: Her smile and how much she talks. She is very opinionated.
Bad habits: Her occasional meltdowns when things don't go exactly her way.

Over all personality: Super sharp little girl who is pretty tough and rarely cries when pushed by her older brother!
If you have made it through this long post and know Miss Addie, we would LOVE to have you comment on what you think of Miss Addie at 2.5 years old so we can keep your comments for her to have.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Celebrating in Cabo!

Celebrating great friends and and a lot accomplished in 5 years since our last trip to Mexico together. Our health, 4 amazing kids, 4 successful careers are among some just some of the toasts that were made over the long weekend. We were thrilled when our friends - Krista and Scott decided to come and play with us!
After an amazing first evening filled with dining at Hacienda Concina y Catina overlooking the bay to Lover's Beach and the famous Arch, we started off our first whole day at Baja Buggy's touring the Pacific Coast Line.
Everything was amazing from the ceviche and guacamole to the pan grilled sea bass. I loved how Cabo San Lucas has no humidy, so dining outside on a terrace is breathtaking and comfortable.

Now back to the incredibly fun dune buggy's we took out for the day! We had a good time exploring Migrino sandy river bed and the very cool TreeRock (pictured below.) We continued up a steep mountain to La Candelaria; a 300 year old aboriginal village. Then we stepped on the gas and enjoyed a thrilling ride to the Pacific Ocean.

Some where in between, Blake and I came off a little jump and seemed to loose an entire wheel when we landed. We didn't know the entire wheel was gone until we saw it fly 100 yards away heading straight for a lone cow! We have never been happier to have spent  $35 for "buggy insurance" and without a bat of an eye, a new buggy appeared and we were off again! 
We had quite the comedian for the tour guide and he insisted on getting the perfect group shot just in the right spot. The 6 of us, over whelmed with the sheer beauty followed his directions and smiled for the camera in front of us.
Wondering if he was having some camera issues, we patiently waited for him to learn how to work a point and shoot camera, never knowing what was coming directly behind us...
After that exhilarating experience, it was back to The Hilton for a little R&R in the pool. The guys contemplating the next 5 years or probably the next vacation. We absolutely LOVED the Hilton in Cabo and would go back in a heart beat. It was exceptionally clean, the staff was incredibly nice and food we ate there (breakfasts and the 1 dinner was delicious.) The only thing to remember was it was one of the farthest resorts outside of town (closer to airport than others which meant we had to take a taxi into town 2X or so a day(around $14 per couple each way.)
The guys snuck in a game of tennis and a few games of ping pong.
The hotel had a turtle rescue program and one afternoon they were digging up a couple of batches of turtle eggs to see if they had hatched.  Sure enough, there were 147 new baby turtles ready to be released. We each got to hold them and say welcome to the world!
That night we ate at the heavenly La Dolce. Those Mexicans sure know how to make some Italian food. We couldn't have been happier with the fun laid back environment and tasty pizzas and lasagna. You could tell it was a town favorite. We finished off the night at the Happy Ending Catina where Blake and Mike had a good time playing their first ever round of beer pong. (pictures purposely omitted! ;))
The sunrises and sunsets... all I can say is WOW! The sky was pink.
Our final full day, we took what we had just thought was a sailing trip out of the busy Cabo marina with Day Sail Cabo and the memorable "Captain Bob," our famous bachelor/ex- ASU quarterback/ex-financial planner turned Captain.
The famous arch at the absolute farthest southern point of the Baja Peninsula.
Before long, our sailing trip turned into a fishing adventure. The guys loved it and after that the fishing lines were out the entire trip.
Soon after that excitement, the captain turned our attention the other direction and we were suddenly sailing with a few 65 foot Humpback Whales. Watching them come up for air and dive back down was a very cool and an unexpected experience.
We passed Oprah's and Michael Jordon's homes on our way to a little snorkeling.
The very last morning, Blake and I happened to wake up at 5:30 AM and got to explore the beach at sunrise. We were beat there by dozens of fisherman already fishing the bay by our hotel.
Blake exploring the rocks and the thousands of crabs covering them at sunrise.
I can't speak for Blake, but Cabo... you are my NEW FAVORITE spot in MEXICO by far. I think I will have a hard time ever returning to Cancun and not thinking of you!
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