Category Archives: Friends

New Years Eve – 2012

New Years Eve – 2012

This year we headed over to Wade and Wendi’s house for a little NYE get together with some good friends.  We had tons of delicious snack foods, played games, and watched the ball drop at midnight with our champagne and/or sparkling grape juice.

Parker enjoyed his own NYE supper at the Holmes’ house

I promise our evening was more eventful than this picture would lead you to believe ;)

Ben & Becky – so cute!

Thanks again to the Holmes’ for hosting such a fun evening!  What’s even better is that Parker let us all sleep in until almost 9 AM the next morning!  Happy New Year!

Parker’s 2nd Christmas

Parker’s 2nd Christmas

Even though this was actually Parker’s 2nd Christmas, it felt more like his first because he was so tiny for Christmas last year.  He was only 3 1/2 weeks old at Christmas last year and most of that is lost in the fog that those early sleepless nights bring :).

This year was a lot of fun.  I love Christmas and it was always a big deal in our family to decorate for Christmas, buy gifts for all of our family, see Santa, make cookies, etc.  My family has such great memories of Christmas when we were little and I am determined for Parker to have that as well.  For some reason, this year was really stressful for me.  School went longer into December than it usually does and I found it to be very difficult to shop after school with a tired and fussy baby.  Amazon and the UPS man were definitely my friend again this year!  On top of all of that, Parker was sick with ear infections in both ears for almost 2 weeks before Christmas – whew, no wonder I was stressed!  In the end though, it all worked out – just like it always does.

We took him to Bass Pro Shop to sit on Santa’s lap – call me cheap or whatever you want, but I just couldn’t pay for him to sit on Santa’s lap for 5 seconds.  Bass Pro is free and we got 2 prints for free too!

Matt snapped this with our camera while they were taking their shot – he didn’t cry as long as I didn’t leave his side, but he wasn’t thrilled with being there either.

Parker LOVED the Christmas tree.  He got super excited when we would turn the lights on and would stand there oohing and aahing at the tree.  We have a small collection of plush, stuffed Christmas ornaments and I hung all of those and others that weren’t breakable all along the bottom branches so he could play with them.  He would pull them all off several times a day and carry them all over the house.  I felt like I redecorated the tree a hundred times a day!  He’s really into blowing on things that are hot right now and apparently the Christmas lights look alot like candles because he would stand at the tree and blow the lights out :).  Sweet, precious baby.

We started our Christmas celebrations with Matt’s mom, Kevin, Danielle, Julio, & Daniel.  They came to our house on Christmas Eve for lunch and presents and we all had a really good time.

annual family picture

Of all the toys he received that day, this box and the wrapping paper in it proved to be MUCH more fun ;)

Christmas Eve night, we had dinner with my parents, Jillie, Jake, & Christopher.  It was the first Christmas Eve night we’d spent with my parents in a long time and it was alot of fun.  After Parker went to bed we put out all of the presents under the tree and got all of his “Santa” stuff set out.  Because I wanted him to really see and play with his new toys Christmas morning, I moved all of his other toys out of the living room and it really worked well.  Not to mention…it gave us alot more space Christmas morning.

We finally got everything wrapped, the stockings filled, and the toys put together and snapped this last picture before we went to bed.

We had a blast playing Santa this year.  I don’t know how we’ll always do things or how much Santa will bring, but this year it was all just out for him to play with.  He got an alphabet train, a rocking horse (made especially by Daddy), cars that zoom on the tile, wooden blocks, a See-N-Say, books, and a penguin that pops back up when you knock it over.  He’s had lots of fun with all of his new toys!

My parents gave him this precious rocking chair & he loves to climb up in with a book and sit and read :)

After we all opened presents and dug into our stockings, we got dressed and loaded the cars to spend the day in Winnie at Nana and Papa’s house.

Parker and Adley Ann in her new Barbie Jeep!  They sat in this thing forever and just had the best time.

Opening presents from cousins and Nana & Papa – new blocks!

This pretty much sums up his attitude toward his 2nd Christmas!  Like I said, he loved every second of the day and was absolutely exhausted by the time it was all over with.  We are beyond blessed with such wonderful and generous family and we are so thankful for their love.


Happy 1st Birthday Parker!

Happy 1st Birthday Parker!

How is it possible that my sweet baby boy is already ONE?  It just doesn’t even seem real.

Let me start by saying that I LOVE to plan and throw parties.  I am that crazy mother that started planning my child’s first birthday party when he was about 4 months old.  Not that it took me 8 months to do everything, but I was just so excited that I couldn’t wait to start thinking about it.

We decided very early on that we would have a zoo animal theme and then  I began brainstorming and planning…

wooden animal cut-outs for the yard – Matt cut them out of plywood and then we painted them & added the details

the front of the house

monkey cut-out with balloons

birthday banner – not a great picture, but we cut the pennants out of cedar fence pickets and then stenciled the letters on each one, connected them with thick twine and hung :)

birthday wreath made by my super talented sister

Parker’s “Month Pictures” banner inside the house

the food table – Matt built the crates and stenciled the “Animal Feed” sign

the cake :) – my mom is so incredibly talented!

friends & family :)

sweet boy LOVED his cake!

I just love this sweet face :)

our little birthday boy had a blast!

Parker’s birthday party was so much fun!  It was exactly what I had been envisioning for so long, but I most definitely could not have pulled it all together without the help of Matt, my mom, and sister…they were amazing!  and Parker had a great time playing with all of his friends and cousins who came to celebrate.  He had so much fun, in fact, that he took a 3 hour nap after it was all over :).  We can’t wait to see what this next year holds for our Parker-man and our family!

First Family Thanksgiving Feast

First Family Thanksgiving Feast

Saturday evening our first family got together to celebrate Thanksgiving a little early.  We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal where everyone brought their favorite dish to share.  We’ve done this a couple of times before and everything always turns out to be downright tasty and lots of fun, but this year might just take the cake!  Matt and I decided that our contribution would be the turkey(s) and we decided to treat everyone to the delicacy that is fried turkey.  My family has been frying turkeys for Thanksgiving for several years now and we pretty much won’t eat it any other way.  We were so excited to do this now for all of our friends!

We headed over to Landon and Aja’s house early that afternoon to get everything set up and start heating the oil and in the mean time, hung out, watched football, cooked other food, and played with sweet little Aedan.  All in all, it was a great “First Family Thanksgiving Day” !

We were missing a few people from our group for the feast, but we literally ate at one LONG table, family style and had an absolute blast!  Everything turned out to be super tasty and we are truly so thankful to have such a great “small” group to be a part of.  We have a blast everytime we get together and some of these people have really grown to become our very best friends.

Becky and me…probably up to no good!

Halloween – First Family Style

Halloween – First Family Style

We got together with our small group the night before Halloween to have dinner and an “Iron Pumpkin Challenge” to see which couple could carve the best pumpkin.

Brittnie & Brandon hosted and as always, everything was great!

the guys digging in…not so shockingly, this “couples” event turned into “guys do all the dirty work, girls stand around & chat”

David, Cynthia, & Jack…definitely had the biggest pumpkin

Ben with that mischievous grin…probably up to no good!

Matt’s Snoopy pumpkin – great job!

the finished products!  The guys did such a great job!

We had a blast hanging out with everybody and carving pumpkins!  Hopefully this will become an annual event!

Church Baby Shower

Church Baby Shower

Last Sunday afternoon, our friends at church threw a great shower for us.  My mom, sister, and Houston family were able to attend, in addition to Matt’s mom, grandma, and Michelle.  There was a great turnout of people from church and it was just a great afternoon!  The girls did a great job with everything – even though I know it was a bit stressful keeping everything gender neutral ;).

sign-in table complete with diaper cake, “I wish” cards for guests to fill out  to baby, and baby pictures of Matt and me.

Tricia gave the most beautiful blessing as the shower was getting started. Lovely picture of me trying not to cry…

mingling and chatting

a sweet blanket my cousin Amanda made for baby M

basket of goodies from the hostesses

Matt & me after the shower…he came to say hi to everyone and load up all the gifts :)

the wonderful hostesses (missing Becky & Sheila)…y’all did an awesome job with everything!

Aja and me with sweet, little Aedan…thanks for taking pictures during the shower!

After 2 showers in one weekend, I was exhausted!  But it was so much fun to come home and go through all the gifts to show Matt what we got and think about baby M using all of the cute stuff.

Four Corners Softball Day

Four Corners Softball Day

A few weeks ago, I helped a group from church put on a softball day for a low socio-economic neighborhood just a few miles from our church called, Four Corners.  We’ve put a few activities out there before, and the kids are just great!  It was a very busy day checking in volunteers, kids to play, setting up coaching stations, softball/tee-ball fields, organizing tshirts, getting snacks ready, and eventually sitting down for supper.  Luckily we had a huge turn out of volunteers from the church and there was plenty of work to go around.

I was in charge of organizing the volunteers and keeping everybody busy.

it’s obvious that Aja and I were solving the problems of the world!

W split the kids into 3 different age groups and they started the day by rotating through coaching stations so they could learn how to play the game of softball or tee-ball.  We made sure everybody had a glove that fit reasonably well and they were taught the basics of running the bases, batting, and throwing/catching.  After the station rotations it was time to split into teams and come up with team names and colors.  Next they all made team tshirts and had snacks…and then…it was GAME TIME!  We had 3 games going at once so everybody was playing other kids close to their age and a bunch of the parents even came back to watch their kids new softball skills!

Rotating through the coaching stations

making tshirts and enjoying some snacks!

Game Time!

After the games were over, it was time to eat!  The dinner crew got the burgers grilled, all the fixins’ and sides set out and the kids (and volunteers) were able to relax and chow down!  The thing I was most excited about was not the food, but the time to just sit and relax!  It was a BUSY day!

After cleaning everything up, we ignored our aching feet and sunburns and grabbed some yogurt at Swirll with some friends.  Showering and climbing in bed at the end of the day was pure bliss!  We had a blast and so did the kids…can’t wait to do it again…sometime in the very distant future…haha!

All pictures taken from Aja’s blog…

Catching up on March

Catching up on March

March seems like it has absolutely flown by.  It seems as I get older, the years go by faster and faster.  Oh well…such is the life.  The week before spring break both of us had the flu.  I felt awful the first part of the week and Matt started feeling bad on Thursday, the first day I went back to work.  Needless to say, we didn’t do much that week.

The next week was my spring break, so I took off Monday morning to spend the week with my parents in Abilene.  We had a fabulous week together!  I helped my mom plant some Indian Hawthorn and rose bushes in their yard and then we also worked on a new stone patio for one side of their house/yard.  We worked for 2 full days and then they finished it the day that I had to leave to come home.  It was alot of work, but it was a blast getting to work with and spend time with my parents.

I think the patio turned out great!

After I got home from spring break in Abilene, we went to a BBQ party at Drew & MaryAnn’s house to celebrate Drew’s truck turning 10!  Haha…yes, you read that correctly, we were having a birthday party for a truck named ‘Blue’.  Kinda strange, I know, but any excuse to get together and have good BBQ is ok by us!

This past week I’ve been super busy helping Landon & Aja plan an event put on by our church for a neighborhood of kids called Four Corners.  Its a very low income neighborhood not far from our church and we enjoy planning events for the kids that hang out at the community center there.  It was decided that we would put on a softball clinic for the kids to learn how to play the game and then at the end of the day, they would get to play an “exhibition game”.  We had about 60 kids from the neighborhood & the church show up and close to 75 volunteers from the church.  It was a long week and a VERY busy Saturday, but the kids and the adults had a BLAST!  Landon & Aja did a great job organizing everything and I had a great time helping them with everything.

As we’ve looked at the calendar for the next couple of months, we realize that we don’t have a free weekend until the end of May…YIKES!  Between bridal showers, baby showers, Matt’s exam, a quick get-away to the ranch, my birthday, our anniversary, & college graduations, summer is going to be here before we know it.  I’ve decided my strategy for the next couple of months is to just take every thing one week/one event at a time.  If I try to think about everything…I get completely overwhelmed!

Ski Trip!

Ski Trip!

The first weekend of February, we crossed another thing off of our list of things to do and places to go.  We flew to Denver for 5 very frigid days of skiing in Breckenridge.   I was really excited to go to Colorado and spend a few days in the mountains and snow…2 things I had never really seen before.  Since I had never skied before, I signed up for ski school the first day we were there and then skied the 2nd day with Matt.  Skiing was pretty good…though I wouldn’t say its my favorite thing in the world.  I think if/when we go back, I will probably stick to the spas and shopping…hahah!

We had a blast hanging out with our friends, cooking meals, and watching the superbowl.  Breckenridge got about 2 feet of snow while we were there…which was so cool to see.  The snow is pretty and fun to see, but I’m so glad it doesn’t snow in Houston.  I couldn’t handle all that.  And seriously…I have NEVER been so cold in all my life.  O.M.G…it was awful.  I think the warmest it got while we were there was 21 and the day we left, it was -9!  Not only was it freezing cold, but it snowed pretty much the whole time we were there and it was so, so windy.  Needless to say, these spring-like temps the last few days in Houston have been very welcomed in our house.

The only downside to the ski trip was the lovely stomach bug that most of our ski caught and passed around while we were in CO.  The worst part of the bug only lasted about 24 hours, but it took most of us a few days to really feel 100% again.

at the base of the mountain, about to get back on the chair lift…lovely bank robber mask, huh?

yup…I fell…several times…haha!

the girls…Becky, Brittnie, me

the boys…Matt, Ben, & Brandon

We had a blast and can’t wait for our next trip!  After the winter we’ve had and the crazy cold in Breckenridge, we are most definitely going somewhere WARM & SUNNY!