Sunday, July 22, 2012

A beginning and an end

My heart is full tonight. Full of emotion. Happy and sad. Overwhelming emotion at all the changes around us right now. You see, our family is moving. We are moving. My in-laws are moving. My kids are growing. My business is growing. Things are changing. And it feels like they are changing at a rapid pace right now.

I will get into our family's move in another post. There is a lot to talk about there and this post is going to be long enough on its own:)

First the happy news. Emerson. Is. Finally. Swimming!!!! In typical Emerson fashion, she had to wait until she was ready and then it is like a switched was flipped on overnight and here we are with a little girl who LOVES to swim. LOVES IT. Tonight at the pool she would jump and swim to daddy and demand to do it over and over and over and over again. Just like I did when I was a kid. And the pride in my heart just overflowed. It makes me teary just thinking about it. I was truly worried that her fear of the water could turn into a life long fear. But now I know it won't. Instead she is just beginning her life long love affair with water. And my heart is happy.

Her brother on the other hand, he already loves the water and seems to think he can swim. Looks like I need to get that boy in some swim lessons:)

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Just jumping right in to swim to daddy.
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Love how proud Steve is of her.
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Ashton jumping in and "swimming" to Steve.
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And she is so proud of herself too!
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And my heart is sad tonight too. My in-laws have sold their house here in Fort Worth. They will have another one someday but for now we are back to being on our own. We have always been on our own but with them having a home here it always felt like a little part of them was here with us. And when they would come visit it was almost always an extended stay. My kids always felt like it was their second home. They had their own room and beds there. To nap or spend the night.

We have so many memories in that home. They originally bought it for Emerson. "Emy's Digs" they nicknamed it. And Emy did fill it with so much love and laughter. We had Steve's 30th birthday bash there, TCU tailgates and Ashton's baby shower there too. We watched TCU win the Rose Bowl there. We swam in the pool countless times. Emy got her first bike and learned to ride there. We hunted for Easter eggs inside and out. Emerson learned to swim there.

Ashton always loved it there just as much as his sister. He loved to sit on the swing out front and watch the cars go by. Whenever we pulled up to their house he would shout "GaGa" (his name for Karen). And as soon as I got him out of the car he would run for the door...Normally to be greeted by someone waiting there with open arms.

Tonight when we went to swim the house was empty. The movers have already come and gone. The kids bolted in the front door only to stop in their tracks. Emy said, "It looks funny in here". They then proceeded to run around screaming and making sounds echo in the emptiness.

We swam and had a blast and my heart was full of pride for Emerson's accomplishments but was also heavy. This is probably the last night we do this as a family here. As we were leaving, I could not help but take a picture of the (now) blue door. It is the end of an era. But, as Karen said, "the beginning of something better. With God, the next chapter is always better." And I know she is right.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Family River Trip 2012

For the past few years, every summer we have taken an annual beach trip with friends. We look forward to it so much each year. There are normally at least 14 adults and 6 kids there (but often times many more). It is mass chaos but a lot of fun.

This summer we just could not justify going for so many reasons. We had so much on our plate and then we decided to add moving to our summer. That sealed the deal. No beach trip in 2012.

Knowing that we still wanted to get out of town at some point with the kids, we opted to take a weekend away at the River Ranch (Steve's parents place) in Johnson City. Steve's parents do not live there so it would just be our family, the river, nature and a little R&R.

The kids were super excited about the trip and having a "family adventure" and it turned out to be a fantastic weekend. The weather totally cooperated and was a little cooler than normal (only 89!!). Everyone slept great. And the kids really loved spending so much time outside.

As soon as we got there, Ashton wanted to stretch out on the couch while daddy unloaded the car. River edit low res-2 

I have this dream of finding a fantastic nature-filled, overgrown, grassy are to shoot at sunset with clients. It just dawned on me that the river ranch is the perfect spot. Too bad it is 3 hours from DFW. River edit low res-2-3 River edit low res-2-2 
 Waterfront sunset on Friday night.
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 Saturday morning we took the kids on a nature scavenger hunt (thank you pinterest!). They had a
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  We wore boots on the scavenger hunt because mommy was worried about snakes:)
Ashton showing off the rock he found for his scavenger bag. 
After the hunt we took a break and rode on the tire swing. 
 We made sure to take lots of gator rides.
 Ash riding the gator in daddy's lap. Not a perfect picture but considering we were traveling fast and I was holding Emy in my lap, I love it:)
Emerson still had plenty of time to ham it up. 
Changed into bathing suits and still hamming it up. 
The one picture I am in to prove that I was there:) 
    Cooling off and watching a few cartoons before naptime.
 Emy treating the rock wall like a balance beam. 
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River edit low res-2-18 Ashton had a blast jumping off the bottom step into the grass. Over and over.

All boy. Could not get enough of walking around outside.

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 After dinner swim with daddy. 
 All ready for bed.
I could not resist a few sunset shots with Emerson. I really should have done these Friday night because Saturday was pretty overcast, but they are better than nothing:)
 The key to Emy giving me a real laugh in photos? Saying the word "poop" in as many ways as possible. Don't worry, she knows that she is only allowed to say this word when we take pictures:)
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  And Sunday I put away the camera. It was truly a wonderful weekend. I know the kids are already wanting to go back.