Thursday, May 29, 2014

I used to be cool.

So, this happened over the weekend. We totally traded in our cool cards. We are now officially losers.

 I always swore I would never own one. Don't you hate it when you eat your words? Ugh. But it's what is most practical for our family right now so we sucked it up. Trust me, it took a lot of sucking.

And to make it even more painful, we bought it from a Mercedes Benz dealership. Nothing like pulling into a swanky Mercedes parking lot and driving out with a used minivan, right? We did consider the sweet SUV we saw in the showroom for a nice $130K. But alas, the Toyota Sienna won us over.

I do have to say that I could get used to shopping at Mercedes. The people there were all very friendly and accommodating. Our salesman couldn't have been nicer and didn't seem to mind that we took up the majority of his day buying a used minivan instead of a new sports car at 5x the cost. He even sent us this handwritten note and a lottery ticket -- I guess he knew we wouldn't be able to come back unless we win some big cash. Sadly, we didn't win any big cash. But I still appreciated his personal note.  It's refreshing to find good customer service like this these days.

I think I need to buy one of these to put on my back window:

But I have to confess -- after driving it around for a few days it has totally won me over. That thing is decked out. Every bell and whistle you could think up, it's got. Me and The Van? We've bonded. I'm 90% sure I'm going to name her Vanna White but I'm not fully committed yet. Here are a few others we're considering...tell me what you think.

Swagger Wagon?
Gus the Party Bus?
Minion Mobile?
Van-Gina? (when you open the door kids fall out?)

Clearly you can see we've embraced our loser status. I like to think of it more as we're growing our character. You know, not caring about what other people think of us. Sacrificing ego for the overall benefit of our family. Roll your eyes all you want, peeps! We will be too busy cruising around in the luxury that is our new van to notice your smug sneers.

Harrison did cry a little because he missed our old car. They both gave it a hug goodbye. But then a couple of hours later he told Rick, Daddy, when I am a teenager will you drive my mommy around so I can have the van? I love it! While I appreciated the compliment on my new wheels as well as his concern for my future transportation needs, OVER MY DEAD BODY, KID. No teenager of mine will be driving a van. Nope, the shaggin' wagon privileges are for mom and dad only.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

I'm pretty sure 90% of what I've blogged about this year has been medical/health related. It has definitely not been our year. Relatively speaking though, all of our ailments and injuries have been mild compared to what so many people are facing so I've really tried hard to laugh about it all and count my blessings knowing that it could be much worse.

I especially had to laugh when a sweet friend on staff at our church approached us and suggested having our pastor and elders come over to our house to pray over us. This was the morning that Harper cut her lip and it was huge and swollen, which of course had followed almost a weekly incident of some sort for going on a couple of months now. She meant it with kindness and sincerity and I truly appreciated the offer -- but it made me feel like people must think we have some sort of voodoo hex curse on our family or something.  It really is comical, right?

But then two hours later, Rick had an incident with a citronella candle blowing up in his face. It burned his lips and nose and singed all of his eyelashes, even though he had his glasses on. He, of course, was a man about it and even though I could tell he was in pain he made it seem like no big deal. But a candle literally blew up in his face!!! Ummm, freaky.

And then 4 days after that, we were back at the doctor with an ear infection, upper respiratory infection, another rash, and lots of complaints of stomach pain (his scope is next week).

And then 3 days after that, Harper tripped walking into church and caught her fall with her head instead of her hands. The thud of a child's head hitting a tile floor is one of the most sickening sounds for a momma to hear. Thankfully, after a bunch of tears and ice she was fine other than a nice little (big) goose egg and bruise:

And now I'm thinking I might need to call my friend up and take her up on her kind offer of prayers after all! I joke about it but of course I know we're not actually cursed. Instead I feel like God is testing us and using this season to stretch and strengthen us and I hope we aren't wasting the opportunity for growth. I won't lie and say I'm not ready to rest my muscles and sit out on the bench for a while but I am encouraged by James 1:2 - consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of all kinds. I just need a little help with the "joy" part. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Well, we are officially on summer break around these parts. I'm both looking forward to and dreading the lack of schedule, but mostly looking forward to it. This is going to be a huge summer for us and I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

(How do you like that little teaser? I'll be sharing some big news soon!)

The kids' last day of school was on Thursday. Look at how much they've grown and changed over the last 9 months:

They had an ice cream social to celebrate the end of the year. And it's at this point I feel the need to make a little confession.

That certain creepy truck with a pervy driver who passes by our house every day playing music to lure kids outside? My kids wholeheartedly believe that it's a Vegetable Truck. Some people might think it's a cruel lie but I personally think it's genius! We stole the idea from some good friends of ours and it all started out as a joke. But then our kids actually believed us and it got even funnier. Every time they hear it they yell, the Vegetable Truck!  I always ask them if they want to go outside and buy some vegetables but for some reason they are never interested. Ha! I'm a little nervous that the jig is up now that they've actually gotten ice cream out of one, but I guess we'll see soon enough. :)

Hanging out with Baby Cooper

Later that night they had their End of Year Program.

Harper was a hoot. She is the 7th from the right. Check out her classic Elaine Benes dance moves. And she kept lifting her dress all the way up...thankfully it had 2 layers. That silly girl!

And this is the first year Harrison didn't cry when he was up on stage! He was still a little timid but I was so proud of him. Never before have I seen such an avid performer who changes personalities so drastically when he gets up in front of an audience. But even though he was reserved he still sang and did the gestures. And he even improvised with a little crotch scratch. Yep, nothing like scratching your balls in front of hundreds people. He is 2nd from the right:

Mrs. Brittney, Mrs. Dana, & Mrs. Sucema

Harper was not in the mood for pictures so here is just one of her teachers: Mrs. Vickie

Afterward they guilt-tripped my mom into joining us for dinner.

And now I'm craving Five Guys...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend

Harper had her ballet pictures on Friday and I was on the fence about whether I actually wanted her to wear makeup for them or not. It was encouraged but not required and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. That afternoon as I was getting her dressed I whispered, would you like to wear a little bit of makeup? And I'm telling you, her eyes lit up and she was grinning ear to ear. Sitting in the bathroom putting it on her was definitely a special moment between us and I'm glad I lightened up about it. She had so much fun playing dress up, and so did I.

She sat completely still and I put one swipe of mascara on her lashes and HOLY MOLY. Talk about lash envy.

Can you tell she was excited to be all dolled up?

 I took zero pictures but my brother and Mom & Tim came over for dinner that night to celebrate Mother's Day. I cooked pulled pork tacos with all the fixings and it was quite delicious if I do say so myself.

On Saturday we had a birthday party to go to in the morning and then we were off to an annual crawfish boil that our business sponsors. It's to benefit cystic fibrosis research and even though I can't stand the sight or smell of crawfish, I always have great time hanging out with friends and employees and watching the kids run around and dance.

She clearly doesn't have enough accessories on

She fell asleep in the car so I got to enjoy a sweet snuggle session. Nothing like your baby napping on your chest.

This kid. Within 30 seconds he bamboozled these teenagers into giving him their phone. Total strangers, mind you.

Later that night, we had our first date night since I can't even remember. February, maybe? Either way, it was much needed and appreciated. We went to a local music festival and carnival and got ourselves wristbands to ride all of the rides! At a carnival. Because we are apparently delusional about our ages.

2 naive 30-somethings who don't know what they're about to get themselves into

Yes, folks. We voluntarily rode the zipper.

A very flattering in-motion selfie of me stuck to him and drooling all over his shoulder.

The night came to an abrupt halt when I actually had to barf after getting off one of the rides. I know what you're thinking. SE.XY! I have never in my life gotten sick from riding a ride. I tried my best to hide how awful I felt because I didn't want to spoil Rick's night since there was a band playing that he really likes. But he confessed that one of the rides gave him a migraine so we were both relieved to ditch out of there early. What can I say? We are lame. But lame and still madly in love, and that's what counts.

Sunday morning I was woken up by the sweetest little voice saying, happy mudder's day, mommy. Then she brought me some lotion and rubbed it all over my feet and legs.

Rick fixed us breakfast and that was when the Mouth Busting Event #2 occurred, which kept the kids and I home from church while Rick went since it was his weekend to serve.

He got home and they gave me my present. Hand drawn cards and some cash...can't go wrong with that. Rick told me that it was to pay for an appointment he made for me to get a manicure and a pedicure. Sweet!

And then when I got there, look who else was there:

even sweeter!
Our hubbies conspired together to surprise us with not only manis/pedis with great friends, but afterward we drove to Trina's house and they had all cooked us a delicious steak dinner AND managed all 8 kids by themselves. Can you say brownie points? We have us some good men, that's for sure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ballerina Birthday Party

The day Harper has been talking about and counting down to for months arrived last Saturday. Every night when I tucked her in bed she would say, Mommy, I want to "nuggle" with you and talk about my pink and gold ballerina birthday party. I think she just might grow up to be an event planner because that girl loves to discuss every little detail and boy does she have an opinion. But it made planning out her party that much more fun for her momma. She had a ball shopping for the supplies and telling me specifically what she wanted and didn't want. And I think her favorite part was going over the guest list and she got so excited every time I told her another friend had RSVP'd.

After searching etsy I ended up just designing and printing the invitations myself. I swore that I was going to outsource a lot more for this party but I'm either a) too cheap; b) too competitive (but I can SO make that myself!); c) too stubborn; or d) all of the above. So I ended up making it all myself but I promised I would scale back this year and not stress myself out since we have a lot on our plate right now. And then I decided I would make 11 tutus as party favors so clearly I'm a liar. Ha! I really do enjoy crafts and baking I just wish I wasn't such a procrastinator.

It did help having it outside of our house and having it from 2-4 meant I didn't feel like I needed to serve as much food. And not having to clean up my house afterwards was definitely an added bonus. I scored big because right after I booked the party, I found someone selling a gift certificate that they had bought at a charity auction for a free birthday party at the dance studio. Oh yeah, baby. I'm always excited to find a good deal. See option a) above. ;)

It was a pink and gold theme and so much fun to prepare. I don't think you can tell from the pictures but the banner is made out of the prettiest sparkly gold glitter card stock. I wish I had a reason to hang it somewhere in my house. The other decorations on the tables came out of her room.


On the menu was strawberry cream cheese heart sandwiches, fruit cups (with the cutest tiny gold sparkly forks I found on clearance at walmart), cookies, marshmallow princess wands, cupcakes, and pink lemonade to drink. Sugar overload. 

 The first 45 minutes of the party was a little ballet lesson from a dance instructor. It was beyond adorable watching 10 little girls plus Harrison dance and twirl around.

Here are a few video excerpts from the class. At first Harrison was not happy being the only boy or doing ballet, but as you'll see he quickly warmed up to the idea and capitalized on being the only boy in a room full of girls. Ha!

 And now for the rest of the picture dump.

Everybody getting started. Hollyn was not feeling it.

Harper is stretching...meanwhile, could Harrison look any more miserable? Ha!

She kept looking at me and smiling. Made my heart so happy.

Checking to make sure I'm watching :)

I was so excited to see Ann! We used to work together at the bank.

We tried to get a group picture...but you can guess how that went. :) Love the outtakes!

After the dance class it was time to eat.


And when it came time to sing to the birthday girl, this was her reaction:

UM, why are all of these people staring at me and singing??

I'm out!

If I can't see them they can't see me, right?

 I still chuckle when I think about her hiding under that table cloth. She is such her mother's daughter.

We finished singing to her and coaxed her back up to make a wish and blow out her candles.

She told me she wished to be a princess. I have a feeling her telling me what she wished for won't affect the outcome. She's already a princess as far as I'm concerned.


Here are a few more pictures from the party:

Hollyn has a huge crush on Harrison...can you tell? :)

Mamaw & Papaw came to celebrate

I love this goofy girl. Such a sweet friend!

Amy with Savannah, who took on that cupcake like a champ

Harper had a smile on her face the entire day, and so did I. I love that precious ballerina more than I could ever put into words. I'm thankful for everyone who came to celebrate her on her special day.

And I have just a few more pictures I wanted to share to document the rest of her birthday.

Rick buys her a bouquet of flowers on her birthday every year. So sweet.

pink donut for breakfast!

opening her gifts from us

Her bubba picked this out for her
the Minnie Mouse chair was a hit :)

And after the party, we had a few close friends come over for dinner. I wanted to fix her her favorite and offered to cook her any meal she wanted. She turned down every meal suggestion I had. Instead she asked for salad and Pizza Hut. Works for me, kid! The Hurst family came over along with Jon and Ashleigh and we had fun hanging out in the backyard til way past everybody's bed time.

What a great day.

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