Monday, March 31, 2014

Living the Aunt and Uncle Life

Continuing in my efforts to catch up:
The next weekend Michael and I were off to California for a wedding,
but we made it into a little vacation, and its going to take much more than one post.
So, I will move on to the next weekend when we had family come and visit.
It means so much to us anytime that friends and family come and stay with us,
but this visit was extra special because it was the first time Josh and Krista purposely came to visit us.
They arrived late Thursday evening, and we started the visit off with ice cream sundaes and games.
^^Kayley was most excited for the ice cream
 The next day as soon as every one woke up, we packed lunches and hit the road to Galveston.
The girls were so excited to be going to the beach. 
They talked about seashells, and Ariel, and all things ocean the entire way.
We also sang Disney songs during the drive.
It took a little longer than expected to find a good beach where we could eat, so by the time we got there we were all starving.
It didn't matter how hungry the girls were though, because as soon as we got there, 
they were in the water!
^^Kayley was covered in sand the minute she got out of the car.
They had such a blast, and I had so much fun watching them run and play in the water.
After lunch we let the girls play and search for seashells a little longer.
Well, except for Kayley, we were just trying to keep her warm.
Baby girl made a beeline for the water anytime we put her down, and with the water being so cold, she was freezing!
I love this picture of her and her uncle Michael though.
I also love this video of the older running through the water.
I might have told them to do it.
And then they both fell in, and then they got in trouble.
After the beach, we had to make a quick Walmart run to get the girls some dry clothes, 
and then we went to ride the Bolivar ferry.
I brought the bread that was left over after making sandwiches so the girls could feed the seagulls.
 ^^They loved it!
They thought it was especially when one of the birds pooped right on the back of Michael's neck.
We ended the day with dinner at one of our Galveston favorites, the Spot.

Saturday, Michael started the day by making pancakes for everyone,
then we went to a trampoline/inflatable place called Cosmic Jump.
The girls had so much fun jumping, and sliding, and before long they were worn out.
We came back to the house to cook out hamburgers and hotdogs,
and then while Kayley slept, Michael and I took Ashley and Emily out to walk Buster.
They said it was the first time they have ever walked a dog.
The rest of the day was spent at the outlet mall, and then the drive-in to see the new Muppet movie.
We did squeeze in a short stop at Buc ee's though.
You can't come to Houston and not go to Buc ee's.
At least according to my family.
Michael and I decided to get the girls a little souvenir to remember there trip, 
and they were so happy with their little Buc ee dolls.
We had so much fun with these girls, and we were sad to see them go.
I just can't believe how quickly the time goes and how fast they have grown.
One thing is for sure though, they know their aunt and uncle love them SO much!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

College Visit at OC

Another weekend, another trip.
This time it was a college visit with some teens to Oklahoma Christian.
This is the 4th time we have taken kids from the youth group to visit our alma mater.
We skipped last year and watched Spring Sing online,
and it just about killed us, so we knew we had to take the kids this year.
We left on Thursday and got to OC late that night.
We spent all of Friday on campus going to chapel, taking a tour, hanging out in the student center, and going to the academic fair to learn about the degrees there.
Well, the kids did all those things.
Michael and I took time with some of our best friends to go to lunch and catch up.
^^Just handing out in the rented church van.
It was so great to have time with them while we were in Oklahoma.
We always just wish it was more.
That night, we took the kids to the Spring Sing show. 
I'm not sure what happens to me when the lights go out and that first blurb comes on,
but something just takes over and I can't be held responsible for how excited I get,
and how much I scream (for Gamma)
Adding to my excitement was watching some of our old Memorial youth kids on stage.
 ^^These were some of the first kids we ever brought to OC,
and now they are students and have mastered the art of the Spring Sing face!
I couldn't be more proud!
Saturday was a day to be off campus, seeing what OKC has to offer.
Of course, we were in Oklahoma, so the weather had changed drastically from the day before.
It was freezing!
Our first stop was the Animal Sanctuary to play with cats.
For a group who really doesn't love cats (we were hoping to play with the pups)
we spent a good amount of time with them.
Next stop was CVS for a lint roll, and then Ted's for lunch!
The kids were shocked that each person got their own salsa, queso, and tortillas.
Plus, the food is just delicious.
Next we went to Bricktown, and made a super quick stop at the OKC Bombing Memorial.
It was so cold.
No matter how cold you are, you can't walk through this place and not be touched.
We spent some more time in Bricktown,
mostly because my family was there and I wanted to see them,
and then we ended the day with dinner at Hideaway Pizza.
The low point of the weekend came on Sunday, when only 1 of the 5 teens made it to church with us.
None of the others were up or ready or answering their phones when we came to pick them up,
so they got left.
It was sad. And I was disappointed.
I think that through it all, the kids were able to gain a better understanding of the importance of not only attending church, but partaking in communion each week.
I think it also helped them to see how much we care about them, and their spirituality,
while also teaching them that Michael and I are adults and to be respected.
We love these kids, and all the kids in the youth group so much, 
and we really do want them to succeed in all aspects of life, especially spiritually.
*Sidenote: The kids told us that we will be great parents because we are really good at making people feel bad. 
I'll call that a compliment, and a success.
All considered it was a great weekend at OC.
I'm so thankful to have called that place home for 4 years, and to be able to go back and connect with old friends so easily!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Celebrating Claire

The next weekend was all about Claire and Trey, 
and was full of celebrations for them and their upcoming wedding.
This time, we were in Longview, TX.
I have heard so much about Longview from different people that have lived there, 
especially Claire's Mom, Laurie, and I was so excited to experience it!
The weekend started with a girls car ride out to Longview with Claire, her mom, and sister-in-law.
There was lots of chatting, laughing, and talk of wedding plans,
all of which are among my favorite things!
Once in Longview, we went straight to Trey's parents house,
spent time with his family, and getting to know everyone,
and then it was off to the neighbor's house for us girls to get some sleep before all of the parties.
 At least, that was the idea.
But when you are in a house with some of your best friends, sleep is the last thing on your mind.
Again, there was lots of chatting, laughing, and talk of wedding plans!
Saturday came early, but after a little coffee we were ready for the first wedding shower.
This was a different kind of shower than I had ever been to.
It was a Pampered Chef shower, where the guests come and go, and purchase the couple gifts from the PC catalog, along with a wishlist made by the couple.
It was so much fun, and made easy because you don't have to bring a gift!
They did have one gift to open from the hostesses, as well as several cards and recipes from guests.
^^Aren't they just the cutest?!
^^Us girls at the shower
The rest of the day was spent with Claire's family celebrating baby Luke's birthday, 
eating delicious Pizza King and Kern's Bakery,
and getting to know Trey's extended family through fun family games!
I have know Trey's immediate family for awhile now, but spending time with his extended family just confirmed for me what a wonderful family Claire is marrying into.
Sunday brought with it another wedding shower, and some much colder temperatures.
By the time the shower started in the afternoon, the temperatures had dropped 20-30 degrees, and severe rain/ice/snow was headed our way.
During the shower though, we were warm and cozy surrounded by the most adorable decorations.
^^Bridesmaids at the shower
^^Again, they're precious!
^^Best friends or sisters??
Yeah, we're not quite sure either.
I'm so happy that I was able to be there to celebrate this beautiful friend all weekend.
It is so wonderful to see how many people love them, and will be supporting them as they begin their lives as husband and wife.
Like I mentioned earlier, the weather was quickly getting worse.
Luckily we were able to get out before it got too bad, and it didn't follow us for long,
but our dear friend Sarah was all alone, and had one of the worst drives of her life.
She was headed to Dallas, straight through all the sleet and ice and snow.
We were extremely worried, and after several phone calls we got her a room at a cozy bed and breakfast, allowing her to stop and relax.
Then we were all allowed to breath out a sign of relief.
It was a very exciting weekend, and I was honored to be included!
Can't wait for many more fabulous celebrations leading up to the big day for the incredible couple!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blushing Bride

It has been way too long since my last post. 
The good news is that we have been spending time celebrating weddings with friends, 
catching up with best friends and family, and traveling.
The bad news is that its going to take me at least 9 posts to catch up!
I guess there's no better place to start than the beginning.

A great friend of mine got married 2 weekends ago.
Unfortunately, we already had plans to be in California for a wedding that same weekend.
Since I was going to miss the ceremony (I was so devastated!) 
it was very important for me to have some way to celebrate with her.
Another friend and I put a little dinner and dessert shower together for her and we had a BLAST!
Helen is the essence of sweet and simple, so that is what we planned for her party.
We started the night with dinner at Hungry's and it was delicious!!
Next, it was off to Sweet Paris Creperie for some dessert and gifts.
 ^^ The beautiful bride-to-be
^^Our group at dinner
^^Happy to have this sweet friend
^^I am so thankful for this beautiful friend!
By now, she is already happily married and living the Mrs life!
I couldn't be happier for her and her new husband.
If anyone deserves a life of happiness and love, it is this girl.
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