Wow! What a weekend!! I love being busy but would really love to be busy in warm weather which this weekend was not :(
On Friday night, Pa, Gamma, and Nama arrived from Cleveland. We haven't seen them since February so the kids were anxiously awaiting their arrival. Our plans of grilling out quickly changed when the rain started pelting the house. I knew it was definitely a casserole kind of night! The highlight of our night? When Pa whipped out his Red Rider bbgun and nailed the crazy bird that's been waking Kelsey at 6am for the past 4 weeks! Seriously, Pa hit it in one shot! No worries. . .bird is fine. Maybe lost a leg but he got the message!
On Saturday morning, we all woke up early to go watch Ellie, Scott, and Mimi run in the Girls On The Run 5K downtown. Not the best weather but at least the rain held off long enough for us to cheer them on. . .
Pre-race. . .
At the race after making crowns. . .
Thanks Mimi for making Kelsey's crown :)
Ellie and her friends. . .
Ellie's amazing coach, Kara, and her family. . .
Now, my pictures aren't the best quality because I was trying to shout and shoot pictures but you get the idea of how excited they were :) By the way, is the guy in front going to pass out?!
I think it was about this time that Gamma started shouting, "Go, Girls on the Go!" After I realized what she was shouting, I whispered, "It's Girls on the Run!" We laughed for a good 30 minutes about that one! LOL :)
I luckily spotted them heading toward the finish line. . .
She wasn't happy that she didn't beat her 23 minute goal but I'd say this time was still good :)
And within minutes, Aunt Mimi came speeding by. . .you rocked it, Mimi!
The medal. . .such a fun day!
After the race, we came home and got a few more pictures before everyone left for home. . .
Memories for many years to come!
Thanks so much, Pa, Gamma, Nama, and Mimi for coming and supporting Ellie this weekend :)
As I sit here and type in my jammies on Brady's last day of school (yes, I took him through car pool in my jammies!), I'm reflecting on how far this little boy has come. . .
First day biting nervously on his finger. . .
Last day, feeling so confident and happy!
He started the year in tears every day for 6 weeks. I had a pit in my stomach most days but I knew in my gut he would be fine. Today, he adores school and can't wait to go. He talks about his sweet little friends and his favorite friend, Becca. When I finally had the chance to meet Becca, my heart was happy. Becca has Down Syndrome. Brady's teachers told me that he plays with Becca every day and is so sweet and gentle with her. He doesn't see her with special needs. He sees her as the only girl who will wash baby dolls with him in the sink without her judging him that he's a dude that likes to play house :)
I felt the need to make a special gift for these awesome teachers. Their patience with Brady and hugs daily not only were appreciated by him but by me! I just wish I had another year with them because I'm not ready for him to leave their class :(
As much as I wanted to run to Kroger and purchase 2 gift cards and call it a day, I knew I had to make an extra special gift that came from the heart yet had some fun stuff that the teachers would like.
So, where do you find the perfect teacher gift?
So what's in the beach bag?
* beach towel
* flip flops
* cup/lemonade packets
* nail polish
* sun screen
And my favorite. . .
Teachers like to imbibe, people!
And the best part about this gift?
I bought it all at Walmart for under $25!
As much as I need to start making my grocery list for tomorrow, I feel like my sweet little blog has taken the back seat to what's called my crazy life! Ellie and I flew to Austin last Thursday to visit friends and got back on Sunday afternoon. We then went in to "Oh my gosh, there's only 4 weeks left of school" mode! Teacher gifts, projects coming out of the woodwork for Ellie, Brady having only 2 more days of school left and Kelsey telling me she has a boyfriend named Quin. That last one can wait but I'm hoping she's not serious!!
Austin was so much fun! Ellie has been begging me to tag along so she can visit her BFF, Sydney. I knew this was probably the last year I could take her out of school so off we went. . .
This was taken on the tram heading to our flight. She was beyond excited! After an uneventful 2 flights, we made it to Austin and we were ready to party! Ellie got a good taste of Austin the minute we got off the plane. . .country bands playing live music in the terminal! Doesn't get more "Austin" than that. Anne and the kids greeted us at the bottom of the escalator which was so fun! I cried, more for Ellie because this trip was so special to her. As I looked around, I noticed our friend Kim wasn't there. She was supposed to land before us. Come to find out she was stuck in Houston after some crazy man decided to shoot a gun in the air at the security check point which shut the entire airport down and cancelled her flight! She was in terminal B and the shooting was in terminal B. . .CRAZY! Long story short, Kim arrived Thursday night after hitching a ride with 3 girls who were heading to Austin for their 10 year class reunion. They too were supposed to be on Kim's flight. Crazy how plans can change in the blink of an eye but we were so glad to see Kim safe and sound!
Ellie and Sydney (and Jake) ran the town! Putt Putt, paddleboarding, pizza, Gourdough's Doughnuts, swimming, and hiking. Ted, Syd's dad, was a rock star and entertained the kids while us "girls" could get away and catch up! I think Ellie's favorite place to eat was the doughnut place. . .who doesn't like a doughnut covered in bacon and syrup?! No, we didn't try that one but the "Miss Shortcake" one?
Rudy's bbq was also a favorite! Who doesn't like bbq at the gas station?
"The Stephens Resort" was by far Ellie's favorite because of the awesome pool and hot tub :)
Jake. . .you so can pull off this pose!
BFF's. . .
Kim and Ted. . .
Anne and Izzy. . .
We pretty much fell in love with her from the moment we met her :)
And while the kids played, the girls drank Margaritas and Bloody Marys. . .
And then we walked around and discovered why the saying "Keep Austin Weird" lives up to it's name. . .
Once again, a fantastic trip to my new favorite city!! I just wish I could take more pictures and drink margaritas all at the same time :)
Thanks, Stephens family. . .miss you guys and can't wait to see you this summer!!
This letter is for you, sweet Kelsey. Lately, I've been having some "middle" child guilt. Being the middle child isn't easy and I'm learning that. I was a "third" or "baby" in the family. To me, that's the easiest place to be. You, though, have the toughest spot in the family. The oldest (Ellie) seems to get all the attention and "firsts" and the youngest (Brady) gets the "He's so cute!" comments. I'm learning that the middle kids try so hard to find their place in the family and do things to try and stand out. Sometimes those things are misconstrued as bad behavior or the "wild" one in the family. You test the waters often but that is your way of making it known you are still here and part of the family. We love you beyond words and want you to know how special you are! Your sassiness cracks us up, your smile makes us melt, and your laugh is so very contagious :) Ellie sometimes lives vicariously through you. You are a free spirit and love life. You are social and have many friends who adore you. . .boys and girls :) Your teachers love you and think you are so precious. I couldn't have asked or wished for a better person to be in the middle of our family! You have kept me on my toes since you were in the womb and I love that! You also have such a quick wit about you that makes me really think of what I'm going to say next! Sometimes your too quick and you do get the last word!!
Today, I had so much fun with you and only you on your class field trip. I know we don't get to do that very often but the excitement and pure joy in your eyes when you saw me was all I needed to realize how important this day was for you. I loved holding your hand through the museum and giving you the one on one attention you love! So much fun!! I love you with all my heart and thank God he put you right smack in the middle of our crazy family :)
Our brown-eyed girl!
And my all time favorite that really displays your one of a kind personality. . .
This picture might come back to haunt you, my dear child!