Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Claire Bear!

Today is my niece's 2nd birthday. Claire Bear, I love you a ton. You make me smile when you run to the door so excitedly every time I come to visit you at your house (although it is almost always because of the cousins that I have in tow), and you melt my heart when I hear your little voice utter the word MiMi. I am so thankful that I get to be your aunt, and I love you!

Claire - 2 years
Claire - 1 year
Claire - Newborn
You've always been a pretty girl.  I am so happy that I have been able to see you grow from the beginning!  May God bless you in this 3rd year of life.  Happy Birthday!  XOXOX - MiMi

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Have You Heard This Song?!?!

Last night my sisters and Emily's mother-in-law, Sweet Gig, went to see Mamma Mia at the movie theatre.  I have not seen the Broadway play and had never heard the song Slipping Through My Fingers.  OH MY GOSH!!!  Speaking of crying during songs...  I did.  Sara and I just sat there and sobbed.  I mean, it was the full blown "ugly cry".  The get-your-cheeks-wet kind of cry.  It could have partially been from the hormone overload and exhaustion, but truly - it is on my top ten of makes-me-cry-songs.  (Which I love, by the way!)  Click here to hear it for yourself... but wait!  You better go get a Kleenex first!

Makes Me Laugh Monday (a day late)

My darling husband brought it to my attention that I have not recorded a "Makes Me Laugh Monday" moment in a while... So, today as I was laughing at my kids, I decided to record it as a MMLM entry... just a little late.  

This evening, Allie was preparing to watch the Hannah Montana 3-D concert that she has recorded, and Cooper wanted to join the fun.  One problem, though - his head is not big enough for the high-quality, free, paper, 3-D glasses from Wal-Mart.  He was quite frustrated.  UNTIL... Mommy came to the rescue!  I got one of Allie's headbands and secured the glasses (if you can call them that) to his head.  

All is well in Cooper-Land now.  

And can I just say, Miley's song Ready, Set, Don't Go that she sings with her dad - the one and only Achy-Breaky Billy Ray - is just about the sweetest thing ever.  Makes me cry.  Really!

So This Is What A Mid-Nap Potty Break Looks Like...

Okay, so I really debated about whether or not to take a picture of this... and then I really debated about whether or not I should blog about it and actually show the picture... but I just decided that I had to.  It is too funny not to. 

This afternoon I was not feeling very well, and the thought of a hot bath and a book seemed like the perfect "medicine".  I put Cooper down for a nap, got the big kids settled with a TV show, ran my bath, and began my "Calgon moment".  After several minutes, I heard Cooper cry in an unusual sounding way then I heard Allie's voice as she was talking to him.  Thankfully, she is old enough and responsible enough and kind enough to field a few things for me when I don't feel well.  I called out to Allie to ask what was going on, and she said that Cooper was okay - he had had to go potty during his nap - and all seemed to be fine now.  So... I resumed my mindless reading for several more minutes.  When I got out of the tub, I went to check on the baby boy.  His bedroom door was open, so I assumed that he had not returned to his bed for the remainder of his nap.  I was almost certain that I would find him sitting on the couch watching iCarly with his big brother and sister.  I checked.  He wasn't.  So, I started looking around, and here is what I found....

He had totally fallen back to sleep - a deep sleep - on the bathroom floor after his mid-nap potty break.  I just couldn't bear to wake him, so this is how he spent the next several minutes of his nap.  

(And yes, he does have quite a tan!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Because Every Baby Needs A Party...

Yesterday we had a baby shower for my sister, Sara, to celebrate her and her baby girl, Ainsley Grace. It was a fun time with family and friends. Sara is already a super-great mommy to Asher and has been a wonderful aunt for almost 12 years. I am so glad that she is about to get to experience the joy that it is to be the mommy to a little girl! There is just something special about it!

~my mom and her girls... with their girls~
Now all 3 of my siblings and I have baby girls! (some more "baby" than others) Little Miss Skyler is missing from this girly-photo-shoot. She stayed back with the daddies and the boys... just to keep an eye on things. ;)
~me and my baby girl~
~the oldest cousin & the youngest cousin~
~more of our family's girls~
We were happy that our Aunt Stella and cousins Kasi & Krysla could make it to the shower!
~Asher & Sara~
Someone had to keep an eye on the girls... Asher was the man for the job.
I love you Sara!
I can't wait to meet your little one!

My Favorite Quote Of The Day...

... make that the middle of the night

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
~Dinah Craik

I have a problem... 

I either keep everything I am thinking inside and mull it over endlessly, or I spew it out at someone that I love and trust... and someone that loves me in spite of my spew-ful self.  

I don't like that about me.  

Sometimes I hate it.

I am working on that.  

But for now, I am thankful for you... my spew-accepting friend... for loving me in spite of my shortcomings.  There are not many people that I am brave enough to show my ugliness to, and I am thankful for you.

Thank you for "blowing the rest away".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bathing Beauty

I'm sorry, but there is pretty much nothing cuter than a baby in a bathing suit...

My 2-month-old niece, Chloe Grace, was here this past weekend and we went for a swim.  I couldn't resist taking a few shots of the little bathing beauty before we left for the pool.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Those "Angry Eyebrows"...

Cooper's "Angry Eyebrows"
(Check out the last post if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
He wasn't really angry though... 
He was actually really enjoying entertaining us.

The "S Word"

Last night we were eating dinner and Cooper said to me - 

"Mommy, I won't say stupid."
"I'm not gonna say stupid."
"I won't say stupid, Mommy."

I said, "Good, Cooper."

"But Mommy, I will say 'that bad word' when I am angry'."

"Oh, no Cooper... don't say bad words when you are angry."

Then, he said, "Mommy, I will say 'that bad word' if the bad guys shoot me'."

Surprised, I said, "Cooper!  The bad guys are not going to shoot you!"

"But, Mom... I will say 'that bad word' when I have angry eyebrows like this."  (and he shows me)

"No, Cooper.  Don't say that word when you are angry."

Then he said, "But Mawwwwm... I will say 'that bad word' when the bad guys shoot me with their swords and the paint-ball guns!!!"

(I realize that this conversation may go on forever...)

"Okay, Cooper...", I concede.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Last Leg of Vacation

My Family Reunion is held outside of Pagosa Springs, CO, so the day that it was over we stopped for lunch and walked around a little bit "Pagrossa Springs" - as my kids called it.  It does have a rather distinct - and gross - smell... which is what creates the hot springs.  It was a neat town, and I'd actually like to go back and visit the springs some day.  (I think I'd get used to the smell.)
After Pagosa, we were off to Durango again.  This time with my parents, sister, and niece.  The first night we just strolled downtown (and Allie got a "cup of chocolate happiness" - as she likes to call it).
~the train depot in Durango~

The next day, my family all went up to the ski mountain to do all of the fun things that my little family done together a few days before.
~Cooper & I on the ski lift~ 
~Corey & Allie on the ski lift~
(Jack - aka Mr. Brave - was always on a lift chair up ahead of us.) 
~My Parents~
~Jack speeding down the slide~
~Corey & Cooper~
(I happened to be going up the lift when they were coming down the slide, and I got these shots.)
~Allie getting ready to blast off~
~Emily & Claire at the end of their slide ride~
~the bungee trampoline jumpers~
(the brave one)


~Little Bitty Claire Bear~
Jack impressed us with his rock climbing skills again.
I have always wanted to have one of those old-fashioned-kind-of-silly-family-photos taken.  We found a place in Durango, dressed up, and ... finally... got a good shot.

Claire & Emily had a picture taken too.
After a couple of days in Durango it was time to head back home.  That is always a sad day for me... I always cry when we are headed down the road to Texas as I watch the mountains turn to hills then to plains.  

I am so thankful that my family had the opportunity to get away.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Great Post

Today I checked in on a blog that I love to frequent... a lot of times I go there to look at her photography (this girl's got talent) and sometimes it is for insight into her perspectives on motherhood (she is a great and inspiring mom) and other times it is for her insight into deep and thought provoking things. Today's post was the latter. I am so sad for this sweet lady as she is making sense of the loss of her little one, and I am inspired by the clarity with which she sees the purpose in it all.

You should take a look at her post entitled "Real Life Monday" written on July 21, 2008.

FR - Part 2

~the road to FR~

~3 of the favorite men in my life~
~Emmie & Allie~
~Cooper & Claire~
(gotta love the overalls!)
~Jack, Claire, & Allie~

Every year it is the goal of many that attend FR to climb Hennigh Mountain.  This year, I was so excited to take my family on the hike that I remember doing as a child.  In my memories, the mountain was huge... but not necessarily steep.  Well, you know the way that things from your childhood seem to have shrunk when you see them as an adult... the mountain kind of did that.  It was not quite as enormous as I had remembered.  HOWEVER... I think it grew in steepness.  Honestly!  My big kids took off up the mountain like little goats.  They did great!  I had Cooper with me, so I was lagging behind with him a bit.  Then, it happened.... we could not handle the hike any longer. We would not have made it another step if it had not been for a team of help - with my dad being the leader of that team!  He and my mom and my cousin, Justin, and I took turns pushing, pulling, encouraging, and carrying Cooper along on the way up.  The very long and steep way up.  Every once in a while Cooper would say, "I don't think that I can make it."  And we would encourage him... "Yes you can!  You can do it!"  And he did!  I was really proud of him - and of us - for making it to the top!  Now to get down...  That is another story.

It is our family's tradition that when you make it to the top of the mountain, you place a rock on the pile at the top.  The kids and I all made it!  

~Poppie & Jack at the top~
Another tradition that we have is for those that climb the mountain to yell from the top that they have, in fact made it...
... and those at the bottom wave back.
~Me & My Girl~
~The Hiking Crew~
This is my parents, my sister Emily & her little girl Claire, my cousin Justin & his family, my cousins Kasi & Krysla, and my kids & me.
~the view from the top~

If going up the mountain was hard... coming down was super, duper hard!  Especially for my dad who relieved my aching arms of my Cooper and carried him almost all the way down.  (except when they slid - like the photo below)  My cousin, Justin, helped us again at the end.  It was a team effort, and I am so thankful to have these memories with my family!
After the hike, we took a swim in the river to cool off. 
~Gibbie & Allie~
One of the things I love most about the mountains is how my kids find a way to make a playground out of nature.  Jack used these rocks as his water slide.

Jack loved playing with his cousin Lukas!

~Claire Bear~
~my sister & me~
~Happy Birthday Grandad!~

~Grandma & Great Aunt Fern~
(I love these women!)
The last night at FR was spent catching crawdad's.

~Claire Alyse looking pretty at the river~

~the best picture that I have of my Grandad & Grandma's family that was at FR~
(group pictures are nearly impossible!)

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