Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First day of School 2013

I feel like the last school year just ended. Nope. That was an entire summer ago. Before summer school, swim lessons, China and surgery. And lots of other things. Yes those things will all be updated on the blog. In time.

Anyways, Emerson started kindergarten last week and Ashton started his preschool class today. So, the school year is officially underway. Kindergarten is amazing. Emy loves it. She is excited to go in the morning and happy when she comes home. At least for the first hour or so. And then we are in the meltdown/exhaustion phase. We are definitely still in a transitional phase getting used to the early mornings and long days. Bless her heart, some days she just cries for no reason. Okay, not some days, every day. Since school started. She is just so excited, exhausted and overwhelmed all at the same time. I know that, "this too shall pass."

Ashton started preschool today. This is his third year at UCC. We love that place. The extra sweet thing about this year is that he has Miss Joy. She is the same teacher Emerson had when I was very pregnant with Ash. So, Joy has known him since before he was born:) He is an old pro at school. He is comfortable with UCC and Miss Joy already. So when I dropped him off this morning amongst the first day jitters of others, he just gave me a hug and yelled, "Bye Mommy" in his most exaggerated tone. And when I picked him up this afternoon we weren't even out of the building before he said, "today was awesome, mommy".

So, now to the pictures...This is Emerson and Jaylee the night before they both started kindergarten. We celebrated these big girls with dinner out and a barbie cake, of course. And we sang, "Happy kindergarten to you" before eating cake. It was precious when the other tables around us clapped:) Unfortunately these two are at different schools. They always have been but this year is different. They don't have afternoons or a couple days a week off. So, we will have to work extra hard to get them together to play!

On Monday morning, we got out of the car to walk Emy into school. All morning there had been lots of excitement. Daddy came with us for the big day. We park the car a few blocks away to walk (it is a neighborhood school and everyone walks). First things first, Ashton trips on the sidewalk and busts his lip and nose. Bleeding. Screaming. Perfect. As if I wasn't emotional enough this morning, now I am totally frazzled too. Ugh, this (briefly) changed Emy's tone. Fear popped up for just a split second. And then she quickly moved back to excited. Thank goodness!

Ash still pouty with a busted lip.

Mrs. Barrett! Emy's classroom and desk. And hugs with daddy!

An Iphone dump from first day pictures. Emy next to her locker. The art she brought home from the first day. Ashton and I having donuts at the "Boohoo/Yahoo" party after drop off. Emy walking to the pickup line with her class. And the sweet flowers that daddy brought home from Emy to commemorate her big day. Such a sweet daddy.

And this week was Ashton's turn. We take Emy to school first so the first few pics are actually outside her school:) 

Outside the UCC doors. Same picture I have taken of the kids for the past 5 years. 

Playing in his class. Standing by his cubby and being silly outside school. And yes, we brought Miss Joy a Starbucks treat on the first day. It isn't homemade, but it is something:)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The night before

I haven't posted in almost 9 months. That is practically a year. And completely shameful. And I have no pictures to share in this post. Also shameful.

However, there are too many thoughts swirling in my head that I feel like need to be captured. Too much about this moment right now that I don't want to forget. So, here I am to document.

Tonight the house is quiet. By the backdoor, a new backpack and lunchbox await. A new school uniform is laid out next to new school shoes (that tie!). We have a bag full of school supplies to deliver and a packet of forms to turn in. We celebrated with food, friends and cake.

Tomorrow morning Emerson starts a new chapter for our family. Tonight I have a pit in my stomach.

Tomorrow morning everything as we know it will change. Tonight I am emotional and sentimental all bundled into one crazy mess.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will walk Emerson into a huge building and leave her in a room full of strangers under the supervision of someone I met for 2 minutes. Tonight I may not sleep.

Tomorrow morning my firstborn starts kindergarten. Tonight I reminisce about the last 5 (almost 6) years with my girl.

"The days are long but the years are short". I don't know who said that first, but they are a genius. And most definitely a parent.

This day has been long approaching. I think it is the day that all mothers fear from the moment their tiny baby is born. At least I have. Tomorrow is the day that I can only pray I have prepared her for. Did my year's as a stay-at-home mom pay off? Is she ready? Mentally? Physically? Socially? And most importantly, Spritually?

Does my sweet girl know that I love her no matter what? That she can stand up to her peers? To walk away when someone is mean to her? That it is okay that she won't get everything on the first try? That somedays will be better than others? That when she comes home she can tell me everything? That Jesus will be with her all day long? Will all the things I have taught her "stick"?

This is it. Here we go. My turn is over. I am turning her out into the world for
7 hours a day to be molded, shaped, guided and taught by others. I pray that the foundation she has is enough. I pray that she will not only stand-up to pressures but that she will stand out as a light to those around her. You see, I don't want her to just succeed, I want her to thrive. I want her to be a vessel for Christ to those around her. I want her to be a beacon to so many lost souls that she will encounter.

My sweet girl, I love you more than words. I spent the greater part of this summer falling more in love with you than I already was. I soaked you up. I stared into your eyes. I was intentional in our talks. I adored all those moments and you.

I know how unbelievably excited you are about your big day tomorrow. I pray that your excitement and enthusiasm for school will stay with you always. Even on the hard days. I will miss you tomorrow. I will certainly be counting the minutes until I can pick you up. But I know that in all likelihood, you will be having too much fun to miss me all that much.

The day you have been waiting for all summer is finally here. You are ready. I will be too. I promise.

Love,  Mommy


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012 was fantastic. And flew by. Seriously, I feel like one second it was late October and we were celebrating Emy's birthday and then I blink and Christmas is over. How does that happen every year???

This year we had lots of family in town and our kids adored all the attention. Poor Ashton picked up a cold or something right before everyone arrived and then with all the excitement he lost so much sleep that he just couldn't kick it. The day our last guest left, he took TWO naps and slept 13 hours that night. And guess who was almost 100% better the next morning? Amazing what sleep can do for you:)

I really tried to get a Christmas tree pic with the kids this year. Did. Not. Happen. This is the best I got. And it is not even technically correct. 2013-01-03_0008 One of my favorite memories from Christmas this year is the party hosted on the 21st. It was a completely last minute affair but it worked out that almost everyone on the guest list could attend. Of course there were last minute issues and some had to bail but we had about 25 adults and 20 kids under 6 that came. It was a full house but so fun!

We had a bounce house set up outside for kids, a Christmas craft area to entertain them inside and then when it was time to eat, we piled the kids on a blanket in the living room and turned on Polar Express and it worked like magic. They all ate. They all stayed put. It was amazing. Of the entire fun party, those were really the only pictures I took. Shame on me. But to my defense I was just having too much fun:) 2013-01-03_0001 Fast forward to Christmas Eve. Yes, three whole days later. I didn't take one single picture for three days. Awful, I know. Anyways, here are the kids before Christmas Eve service at church. Ashton was obviously being a complete goof:) 2013-01-03_0002 After church we raced home and had a lot to accomplish before the kids went to bed. We had birthday cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus. We read the last of the advent stories. We said goodbye to our elf, Clifford. We put out cookies and milk for Santa and reindeer food for Rudolph and his friends. The kids opened their traditional gifts from their grandparents- pjs:) And my most cherished Christmas Eve tradition is when my grandmother reads The Night Before Christmas to the kids. 2013-01-03_0021 2013-01-03_0020 2013-01-03_0019 On their way to bed:) 2013-01-03_0003 After the kids were in bed Santa's helpers went to work... 2013-01-03_0007 Christmas morning tradition of opening stockings in mommy and daddy's room. This is a sweet tradition but it was established as a necessity...The kids wake up so early and are ready to roll. Normally our house guests are not up yet nor are those who are staying in hotels. So, this tradition buys us a little time while everyone gets up and over to our house. The kids never seem to notice the delay:) 2013-01-03_0009 Everyone finally arrived and breakfast was ready and it was time to go see what Santa had brought. We make our way into the living room and I pause. It was a super stormy morning. Stormy, as in thunder and lightning and pouring rain. We started opening gifts at about 8:30 and it was still pitch black outside. It was weird. And it didn't feel like Christmas. And it made for HORRIBLE lighting. And I am a lighting snob and refuse to use a flash. So, here is Christmas morning in black and white:)

Santa does not wrap gifts at our house. So, the kids always go to them first and play for a few minutes before we dive into everything else. Yes, Emerson is holding a real camera. Santa took a big chance this year because she did not ask for anything specific. Luckily, Santa made a good choice and she LOVES it. And she has been very responsible with it as Santa had hoped:) 2013-01-03_0016 2013-01-03_0015 2013-01-03_0014
 This was right before the "grand finale's", a.k.a. things too big to wrap. We told the kids to cover their eyes while daddy brought them in. I couldn't help but laugh at Ashton... 2013-01-03_0013
 A new scooter for Ash and a big girl bike for Emy. 2013-01-03_0012
 The rain finally subsided and gave way to snow. This made for much better lighting:) But also led to practicing new outdoor toys indoors! 2013-01-03_0006

After gifts, the kids played and played. Mommy got the table set for Christmas dinner. We had 9 for dinner. I love hosting in our new home. 2013-01-03_0010
 The kids enjoying some of their new books. And yes, they stayed in their pj's all day. 2013-01-03_0004
 When the snow finally stopped, the kids went out for about 3 minutes to play. They didn't last long because it was so cold! 2013-01-03_0005 2013-01-03_0017
 We were all blessed this Christmas but the most cherished gift to me was the collection of snowflakes that my grandmother gave me. They are made of shells and reflect the light so beautifully. They were hers and have always adorned the windows in her home since I was a little girl. They were always my favorite in her home growing up. They ARE Christmas to me. They make me smile and my heart warm. When she got up to DFW a couple days before Christmas she gave them to me and I immediately put them up. There are 7 of them and they look just perfect in the many windows in our living spaces. I absolutely cannot wait to get them out next year! 2013-01-03_0018
 The day after Christmas it warmed up slightly and some of the snow melted and the kids FINALLY got to test out their new rides outside. 2013-01-03_0011 Photobucket

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Ashton

What happens when your baby's birthday falls right at the beginning of your busiest time of year? His 2-year pictures get put off for 3 months. Sorry buddy.

I knew I didn't want to do anything super formal for Ashton's 2-year pictures. It was more important for me to capture the essence of who he is now. And he is all boy.

So, while Emerson was at art class this afternoon, Ashton and I set out to explore an empty field that I have been wanting to check out. It was the perfect setting for boy pictures. He could run and play. Find sticks and rocks. Get dirty and be rowdy. We had fun. He had my full attention, which is rare, and he soaked it up. And I soaked him up.

The amount of love I have for this little man is absolutely overwhelming. Literally. Sometimes I am gasping for breath at the thought of his preciousness.

Anyways, there were way too many from this afternoon that I loved, so I threw most into collages in hopes of telling a story. This is Ashton at 2 (and 3 months).


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Family day at the arboretum

I finally had a weekend off. It has been 7 weeks since I had a full weekend off (and that was when Steve and Emy were out of town- so even longer since the 4 of us were together AND I had a weekend off). Anyways, this weekend the opportunity presented itself for me to have the entire weekend off. No shoots. No editing. Nothing.

I jumped at the chance. The weather was great. The kids were great. Steve was great. It was blissful.

Saturday morning we headed to the Dallas Arboretum. I am there fairly frequently but Steve and the kids have never been. The timing was perfect since the always beautiful arboretum still had two special exhibits going on- the pumpkin village and the Chihuly glass exhibit.

The kids (and Steve and I) had a blast! It wasn't that crowded and it was the perfect amount of exploration and playing for everyone.

Everything was perfect until we decided to stop at the outdoor cafe on our way out for a quick bit of lunch. I guess the birds around the cafe are used to getting fed because they kept landing on our chairs and table looking for scraps and it was scaring the daylights out of Emy and Ash. Literally, blood curdling screams every time  bird landed near. Steve and I were cracking up though. Bad parents:)2012-11-10_001 2012-11-10_002 2012-11-10_011 2012-11-10_003 2012-11-10_004 2012-11-10_005 2012-11-10_006 2012-11-10_007 2012-11-10_008 2012-11-10_009 2012-11-10_010