Sunday, January 6, 2019

February 2018!

David's last day to wear his 'Mr. ONEderful' t-shirt, I had enjoy it to the last!! We love 'Shark Tank' at our house, so I got a really good laugh out of this funny shirt.  But to be honest, this child really was 'mr. ONEderful'!  His second year of life (but really all of it!) was really just the sweetest.  So much personality & endless excitement! I'm so thankful to have this boy.

To celebrate, we decided to have a Baby Beluga birthday party! When David was a baby, that was his 'baby song' the boys would sing to him.  James had learned it in Kindergarten that year, and we changed the lyric to 'Davy Beluga'... well, it's a special song for him! It was a super fun theme, I just found a baby shower invitation (which NEVER came, but who cares. Thanks Amazon third party), and decided to use it because the inside was blank & I could fill it in with the birthday info.  I liked the simple whale & found the table cloth in the same print.  The rice krispies were so fun to make, and the popcorn was a big hit!

Ok, this giant blue 'happy birthday' air balloons may be my favorite banner ever! It is such a great eye catcher, and takes up the perfect space in the room. Loved how the colors for this party were so soft.

My boys had really be into Bingo around this time, and I found the adorable Bingo cards, again for a baby shower, but decided to cover the 'shower' word on the card with a sticker! We played with gold fish crackers (which, lets be honest, was a stroke of pure genius!) and the older boys really enjoyed it.  David really like the crackers, haha!

The little 'thank you's were actually valentines cards!  We attached whoopee cushions to them and used for Valentines Day as well; it was too good to pass up for my boys who love a good whoopee cushion! The whales were really cute, and their little hearts said, 'I whaley like you' and 'you're a whaley good friend!'  You just can't beat that.

We got David a little trike for the back driveway because this boy loves to be outside more than anything else.  And his sweet number 2 t shirt!  Mimi did an amazing job on his cake, as always, and I loved the little crackers on the side!

We kept the bounce house tradition for David for the second year, and this time he actually jumped off the ground for the first time ever! He had trouble afterwards because he didn't know how to not land on his bottom, haha! Bounce house problems. But he hasn't stopped jumping since; all day, everyday.

Happy 2nd Birthday sweet baby David!  We love you so much!!

Post-party state of the dining room: there is always something peaceful that I just LOVE about a room that has served such a lovely celebration. I get this way during holidays and parties, when it is decorated special, and set with such purpose, I just love seeing how it looks at the end.  As if it carries little remnants of memory- the picture is better & fuller than the 'clean slate' ones at the beginning of a party.  May the Lord bless the excessive celebration that is a birthday party; that we may show our children a little taste of the Lord's abundant and extravagant love for them.

This smile on David's face: classic.

My Japanese Magnolia seemed to bloom even earlier than usual this year, but it was absolutely just as glorious.  I love these flowers!

Hayden's 100th day of school in 1st grade & he needed a special t-shirt with 100 of something on it.  He asked me if I could make the '100' like I do for their birthday shirts, so I said sure! and He wanted google eyes; I loved how it turned out! It made the coolest noise as he would move around, haha! Happy 100 days!

Reality shot: how we spend a lot of our time.  David is attached to his blankets and lovies.  It can be problematic.

James and David went for their 'well checks' together this year, because why not when you celebrate birthdays three calendar weeks apart?? I'm looking for my stats from this visit... and I found none! :-( Sadly, I have no idea how big these guys were at their 8yr and 2yr old check-ups, but that's ok.

Hayden was generous enough to share his fun '100 days' shirt with Calvin for his 100th day of preschool, which falls just behind the elementary. He was super proud of it. It actually fit him way better than it did Hayden!

One of my former students, Clara, came to town to visit her parents and stopped over! It was such a treat to meet her son for the first time; he and David are only a few months apart in age. He was so quiet and shy, but just the sweetest.  Such a treat to get to know them better.

Valentine's Day came, and Hayden needed to make a creature card holder thing for school, and he chose this fantastic dragon thing.  We gave him a nice Valentine's crown, and the milk jug character was officially awesome.

David had a good time dressing up for the occasion. We had a candle light dinner, and the boys really liked the steak and potatoes! That's one way to the boys' hearts I think: good food.

David's giggles are awesome. I can hear them in my mind as I look at this picture of him laughing.  He really does have an adorable face.

Calvin geared up for riding his bike with a little extra protection including the shin guards.  You never know I guess! But what a beautiful day; sunshine and short sleeves in February.

We took a family ski trip up the NC, and on our way we met up with Michelle & Brendan for breakfast. We stopped for the night and then finished our drive that day. It was so nice to get to see them for an hour or so, it was really nice to meet him for the first time!

We made it up to Cashiers, NC and went to the sweetest little toy store and fantastic spot for lunch. Unfortunately, our transmission went out as we pulled into town, but fortunately, it was in a place that we weren't stranded and could find a mechanic to fix it and could get a ride to pick up a rental van and could finish our day without a whole lot of headache.  It was miraculous! Thank the Lord; his timing and provision were really evident that day.

Our first excitement was to see our friends Zac&Hannah and their daughter Zara! They showed us their house and we got to explore their cute town. It was a super fun time, and we ended it with snow tubing! I thought it would be great, and for the most part it was. Poor calvin sat on his knees, and his tube was too small for his size or something. In the worst way, poor guy turned backwards (probably mercifully) and flipped on his head at the bottom of the hill.  We were sure he had to be hurt, but he seemed to recover really well, and didn't have any signs of concussion.  We were really so thankful for his safety. Again, praise the Lord for his protection.

My buddy recovering with a hot chocolate.  Apparently, he's the only kid to ever have flipped over on his head. It was a shock to everybody, and the little tube was retired.

Despite our incident, we still have a blast. The boys loved tubing and got into a snowball fight on the edge of the slope. It was lovely weather, and we loved being there with friends. We missed the outhouse races by one day; they had run the morning before maybe? Now that would be a site!!

We drove from Cashiers to Boone where we ate at one of our favorite BBQ spots, Woodlands. There is something special about local restaurants that just know how to make some awesome food. My favorite places are always little local spots. That reminds me of where this pic of David is from! haha, It was a local coffee shop in Cashiers.

We got settled in for the night and tried to sleep because they were so excited about going skiing!! The first time the three older boys slept in a king size bed together, and despite my worry about them keeping each other up, they did great. :-)

The boys were SO EXCITED about going skiing! Calvin was just the cutest thing all ready to go and waiting for the rest of us.  We loaded up & drove over to Appalachian for their ski school lessons, and getting all their gear together was a chore.  Luckily, David was ready to pick up our slack and grab as much gear as he could get his hands on. haha, poor buddy really wanted his own helmet and skis! He looked so cute though, I asked the boys to humor him and let him hold their stuff or a few minutes while we waited. So adorably funny!

James decided he wanted to snowboard, and luckily, he was old enough for that class! It was a blast seeing him go for it and be like Dad (and mom). The middle boys were happy as clams to have their skis, and they really went for it! These kiddos never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm & it was super fun to watch them really get the hang of it.

I mean, these are some super cool dudes. It doesn't get a whole lot better- until #4 gets in this photo!

The day did get a little long for my wild man D. By the end, he's stripping of his clothes and running around with his t-shirt over his head.! hahaha, but he was a super god sport just hanging out with momma for the day while brothers & daddy were on the mountain. I took him for a drive to grab his nap and got a coffee for myself, and it kept us sane. Maybe next time he can ski!

This is our before and after photo of their day! Before: clean, ready, excited!! After: beat, sweaty, dirty, totally worn out, and thrilled. :-)

Our last morning of our short NC winter trip! I absolutely love how our family looks with them all standing beside us; it is really fun to see how tall they are getting and how much they've continued to grow.

We finished our trip by going back to pick up our fixed suburban&drop off our rental mini van. Matt must have been really tired from the vacation, because he began saying things like, "the mini van wasn't so bad" and "I actually kinda like it." :-) We were just so thankful for the safety the Lord granted us and provision to pay for all the work needed. I will always be grateful for how He protected us from being stranded; it was an incredible blessing.

I got home just in time to take a very special trip with one of my best friends, Hannah, to celebrate her 40th birthday! We drove to Orlando & flew to Dallas and went to.... MAGNOLIA! This is Hannah, bringing back planking. This is why I love you Hannah!

It was really the best girls' trip ever; my only girls trip ever! But it really was like grown up woman disney world. Everything was delicious and beautiful, and being with my dear friend was an absolute blast. We got in line for cupcakes first thing, and I even bought a little cupcake stand to give Hannah her birthday cupcake. We went into the store and scouted all the things we wanted to buy, and stayed up late deciding what we could actually take home in our suitcases. We made them kick us our on Friday night, but luckily we had all day Saturday to take our time!

We got a great Hilton hotel in Waco, went to a local coffee shop with a famous 'cowboy coffee' drink, met up with a precious group of friends of Hannah's from her time in Tanzania, and ate lots of good food.  The food trucks at Magnolia were really great, again, we had breakfast at the Magnolia bakery because why not? We had dinner at a really nice steakhouse & Hannah got this melting chocolate ball dessert/entertainment. We drove to see some of the local houses that Chip&JoJo had done. We went by Clint Harp's shop which was super cute. We drove out to the new Magnolia Table restaurant and WE WERE ONE DAY from the soft opening. What a bummer!! But we peeked in the windows & felt like at least we saw it.

Hannah's friend Melanie stayed with us at the hotel & we got to spend a little more time with her. We didn't tour the Doctor Pepper factory, but managed to get an original drink which was really the best Dr. Pepper ever. All in all, we had an absolute blast, and we brought home a suitcase full of treasures! Hannah even found the most quintessential gag gift: everything's bigger in Texas!

I am so thankful for the ways my memories have been able to come flooding back to me in photos. I am so grateful for the ways in which the Lord safeguarded my family and gives us more than we can we can even begin to realize. Thank you Lord, thank you for our beautiful 2 year old son. Thank you for valentines day & school projects. Thank you for family vacations and the absolute gift of a vacation with a friend who encourages me & challenges me & makes everything an adventure. Thank you Jesus for the abundant life you give to me; it is more than I could ask for. Amen.