Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Fabulous Weekend and the Week Ahead

I think my Monday posts could really just be a repeat of each other because each week, I write about our great weekends.  It's true though.  Our weekends are great and our family is so special and blessed!

We had some storms and hail decide to visit us Friday night, so we didn't have t-ball.  Instead, we went to the Town House for supper and played at home.  

Saturday was packed full of fun!  I went out for a run and ended up doing a 10K faster than my race last weekend.  I was proud of myself and worked hard at not psyching myself out.  I have a long way to go on that, but I did better.  KT made us the best omelet I've ever had and I officially declare him the omelet making king.  They were so good!  Ham, onions, pepperoni, and cheese.  I'm wondering why he's been hiding this skill from me!  After breakfast, we played and got ready to go over to Meredith's after our Chickfila lunch.  (We almost always eat Chickfila on Saturdays so we don't crave it on Sunday!)

We spent Saturday afternoon at Meredith and Scott's.  The boys had fun playing with their cousins.  I enjoyed watching them play around the pool while sitting with my KT and the rest of the family just talking.  I'm so glad that we are all close and get along so well.  I know we're lucky/blessed!

After playing, we went fishing again with Brian.  This time, the boat worked, and we spent a few hours on the water.  Unfortunately for us, we didn't catch any fish, but I think we'd all agree we had a good time being outside together.  I just love to be outside especially when I'm with my family and the weather is as good as it was.  

We had fun yesterday, too.  The boys were so good going into their class at church and said they had fun!  After church, we went to Red Bowl and then to Kevin's parents for the boys to play with Michaela who they each call their best friend!

Yesterday afternoon and last night, KT and I just enjoyed relaxing together.  We got to level four on Mario World, ate at Five Guys with our Chickfila sauce for the Cajun fries, walked around the neighborhood, and relaxed together.  It was great!  I love being able to unwind with him and just walk and talk and relax.  When we were talking about his upcoming softball season last night, we realized this is our first season of this league.  He said something like it feels like I've always been there, and I have to agree, it does.  

This week is full of fun:
  • KT starts softball practice tonight.  I'm excited for him because I know how long he's been wanting to play!
  • Madeline turns 13 tomorrow and we're celebrating!
  • K.C.'s first t-ball game is Friday night!  We are so proud of him and can't wait to see him play!
  • Date night!  We are always doing things, going out, and having fun, but we're going to see The Lucky One when I finish the book.  Every day is special and I think we both show that to each other every day, but it's fun to have special dates, too!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lists Seem to be This Week's Theme

  • I had the most delicious, not at all burnt Eggos for breakfast!  :)
  • I am obsessed with Instagram: 
  • I'm really enjoying reading again.  It's been a long time since I've read like I've been reading lately (and no, I don't mean the Berenstain Bear books we read every night!).
  • I love the beach.  Have I said before how I can't wait to spend two weeks there this summer?

  • I am full of energy and excitement today!  
  • I've almost met all of my April goals!  
  • I fully realize that those last two statements make me sound like a big nerd.  I do have goals though.  At the beginning of each month, I write down my goals.  I don't usually cross them all off (or even half of them).  I really should call it my monthly "to do" list because that's really what it is: big things I want to get done outside of the everyday things we have to do.  
  • We need a butter dish.  A cute one.  Beware, TJ Maxx.
  • Speaking of TJ Maxx, I am obsessed with their kitchen things (or anywhere else's for that matter).  Put me on an aisle of kitchen knick knacks, appliances, and china and I will happily browse.
  • I feel like decorating something.
  • It made me smile earlier today when I opened PowerPoint on my computer and saw the file for the Valentine's Day treat KT made.  So sweet!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

  • A gorgeous double rainbow leaving last night's t-ball practice.  How can anyone believe there's not a God with this beauty?
  • I am in dire need of a haircut and color. 
  • I also need some new makeup, specifically powder.  I'm trying to hold out until the new Ulta opens.
  • Sometimes, I feel like I'm the Energizer Bunny.  I keep going and going and going.  It's ok though.  I don't want to miss anything.  I do need to stop making myself feel bad for wanting to relax some though or take a day off from running or working out.  I feel like I (and I'm sure KT feels this way, too) go full speed from the moment my eyes open in the morning until they close at night.  I'm not complaining, just saying that some days, like today, I feel tired.
  • I want to speed up my 10K time.  I've been looking online for articles on how to do it.  It looks like I'm doing to have to start running intervals and upping my weekly mileage.  
  • I'm still reading The Lucky One.  I'm ready to finish it so I can start 50 Shades of Grey
  • I feel like I'm a broken record when I say this, but I feel so unbelievably happy and blessed in my life.
  • Prayer is important.  I don't always take the time or make the time to pray, but it makes such a difference in my life when I do.  I worry less and feel freer.  I really feel convicted to pray more.  
  • It's only Wednesday, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.  The weekend is my favorite time with my sweet family.  I feel so different on Friday nights than I do on other week nights.  We don't have to worry about homework, getting fed (on time), and getting to bed by 9.  We don't go crazy, but it's nice to have uninterrupted time with my family to enjoy being together without things hanging over our heads.
  • Speaking of which, I am glad that I'm this way, but sometimes, I'd like to be able to chill without worrying about getting things done.  I can't relax when I know there are things we need to do around the house.  Lucky for me, KT likes to get things done, too, so we get things done relatively quickly.
  • Speaking of (that's two "speaking ofs" in a row) KT, he's just so sweet, handsome, and loving.  I won the lottery and hit the jackpot with him.
  • I don't really like coffee unless it's in the latte variety, but lately, I find myself pouring a cup every afternoon.  Work has been extremely stressful lately and got more so today, and having a cup of coffee to sip on somehow makes the afternoon better.
  • I bought and ate a mango for the first time (not the first time, but the first time I cut one up from the grocery store) last week.  It was delicious!  K.C. and I were talking about them, so I bought some more for him to try.
  • The boys are so sweet.  I know I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I am so blessed to have them in my life.  Lately, Kaden has just about made me cry so many times when we're laying down with them to go to sleep.  He'll say so sweetly, "I'm so glad I'm with my family."  It brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart swell with (more) love and joy.  His family.  My family.  Our family.  It's the best family.
  • KT has a softball meeting tomorrow night.  I'm excited for him!  I know he's been dying to get out and play ball and I think it's great he's able to have that time.  I enjoy watching him doing something he loves so much.
  • I'm looking forward to a massage with KT in a few weeks.  I might have given him a couples massage for Valentine's Day.  We were talking about it last night and I think we might use it after a run I'm doing in a few weeks and make it a Date Day!  I love dates with KT!  We have great days everyday, but there's something about wanting to get dressed up and have a nice date with my KT that makes me smile bigger.  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Running, Fishing, and Good Family Time Makes for a Great Weekend!

We had a great weekend!  Friday night, K.C. had his second t ball practice of the year.  He hit the ball so far and was great fielding, too!  I'm so proud of him!  Kaden couldn't let him have all the action by himself and ran out on the field to catch some, too.  It will be fun to see them play a sport on the same team!

On Saturday, I ran the first Race for Brighter Days 10K.  It was a trail race for a good cause.  It was my first 10K "race" (I'm not including the Bridge Run).  I knew with it being a trail, I'd have a slower time that my practice runs, and set a goal to finish in the top 5 and under 50 minutes.  I finished the race as the 3rd female overall and in 49:13!

I ran the first two miles at just over 7 minutes and slowed down from there.  I have this problem pysching myself out by mile 3.  There's no question that I can run 6.2 miles and I'm not even tired after a race which tells me I can run harder and faster, but I pysch myself out.  For the next 10K, I'm planning to wear my iPod and make a great playlist to motivate myself. 

Brian ran the 5K and finished first in his age group.  He got a medal and I got a gift certificate to Dick's!  KT deserves a medal, too!  He's so encouraging and is always right there with me when I do a race.  It's nice.  :)

On Saturday afternoon, we went fishing.  We didn't catch any fish although Kevin almost caught a huge bass four or five times!  K.C. did catch a turtle!  I think Kaden's favorite part was the snacks.  We had lots of goodies and boiled peanuts.

After fishing, we went out to get Mexican with Stephanie, Courtney, and Brian, capping off our fun Saturday!

Yesterday, Stephanie's youth group led the service at her church.  I went to it and was so proud of her!  She is such a great sister and person and I couldn't be more proud of the young woman she's becoming!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday; Together

I'm linking up with the Gypsy Mama today for Five Minute Friday.  We write for five minutes flat without proofing or spellchecking.  This week's theme: together.

Together.  Together is my favorite place.  There's no where I'd rather be than together.  Together is full of fun, love, laughter, and good times.  Together with my favorite man and two precious little boys.  Together is what I was made for.

Together brings me unimaginable joy and great peace.  Together, I am complete.  My life used to feel full, but now, all together, it's bursting to the seam and I can't imagine what used to occupy my time, thoughts, and prayers, because here, together, life feels complete.

Together we walk hand in hand.  We share life, share stories, share love.  Together we share laughs, build things, and go on adventures.  Together we are the best we can be.  We are the best because of He who pulled us together in the most special way and for that, I am forever thankful.  Together.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

  • K.C. had his first t-ball practice this week.  He did so good and we were so proud of him!  I think he'll be a great baseball player.  Kaden had fun at practice, too.  We raced up and down the field and picked flowers.
  • Have you seen it?  The male version of Pinterest: Manteresting. I'm intrigued!
  • Earlier this week, I decided I would start doing 500 situps a day.  So far, so good.  It's Thursday and I've done 2,000!  My abs are sore!
  • I'm running a 10K this weekend and looking forward to it!  
  • I downloaded a Nicholas Sparks book.  While I haven't read any of his books before (I've tried, but they all seem to be so sad), I did watch The Notebook and thought it was depressing.  I asked KT if he was going to tell me our stories when I get old one day and he said he didn't think so, that's a perk of him being eight years older - he won't have to worry about it.  Ha!  Back on track, the reviews of this book don't sound depressing and I think it'd be a good movie to see.
  • I am not a fan of peeling on apples, and unfortunately for me, I forgot to pack a knife to peel my apple at lunch.  I'm trying to be a big girl and eat it with the peeling.
  • We had Five Guys for supper last night and it was good.  
  • You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to two weeks at the beach this summer.  Our lives are so full and busy (and I wouldn't want it any other way), but it will be nice to get away and enjoy time together, with our boys, and our families.  
  • I'm addicted to Lep's World on my iPhone.  It's like Mario.
  • Speaking of Mario, when we were in TJ Maxx the other night, KT found a Mario shirt and bought it to wear for the boys.  Last night, he put it on while we played Mario.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Beach Getaway

This past weekend, we took the boys, along with KT's parents, to Garden City for the weekend.  It was a great getaway!

We decided to go on the spur of the moment last Tuesday night.  We were able to rent a condo at Inlet Pointe where we stayed for a long weekend last summer.  We enjoyed it and I'd recommend it for a short stay.  It's right on the inlet in Garden City, so we were able to take KT's dad's boat, which we all enjoyed.

I had some things going on at work Thursday and a board meeting on Friday which happened to conveniently be at the beach, so I was able to head down a little early Thursday and not miss too much time with my sweet family Friday.

Thursday night, we met up with Bill, Linda, Sara, and sweet Lola for some dinner at Chicago Pizza.  It was great getting to see everyone and I think the boys enjoyed seeing Lola.

On Friday, as I went to work, everyone went on the beach.  That afternoon, KT and I took the boys to play putt putt at Tupelo Bay.  They had fun "winning" every hole!  KT and I tied, but I did get a hole in one on the mystery hole of the day.  My prize was a batch of coupons for more golf and free appetizers at some local restaurants.

Friday night, we went to one of our very favorite places, Texas Roadhouse.  K.C. and Kaden loved opening the peanuts and eating them.  Personally, I liked the rolls, specifically the honey cinnamon butter with them.  (I have to find a way to make it at home!)  When I say that our side of the table ate almost two baskets of rolls, I'm not kidding.  Most of those found their way to K.C. and me.

A trip to the beach is not complete without going to Sam's Corner.  On the way back to the condo Friday night, we stopped in for the boys to play some games.  Kaden liked skee ball and the game where you hit the alligators.  K.C. enjoyed playing the old baseball games and air hockey.

We spent most of the day Saturday on the boat.  The weather was gorgeous!  We stopped at the Pointe to look for shells and saw a ton of jellyfish.  We had fun walking around there and found some pretty things, too.  We had a picnic lunch in the boat before it was time to do some fishing.  Unfortunately, we didn't catch anything (unless you want to count the sun I got!), but the boys sure had fun trying.

We cashed in our free appetizer at California Dreaming Saturday night and then went to Family Kingdom at Mimi's suggestion.  It was a great idea and the boys were so excited to ride rides.  They rode their first roller coaster and had a ball.

It was a great spur of the moment trip and started beach season just right.  Now if only June and July would hurry up and get here so we can spend some more time in Garden City!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In the Face

Have you ever had something hit you in the face?  Like right smack dab in the middle of the face?

It just happened to me and I want to write it down to remember.

Last week, KT and I were talking about patience.  Wouldn't you know that the very next day, I opened up this month's Homelife and the weekly memory verses were all about patience!  I wrote them down in my planner with the intention of memorizing them and wrote this week's verse on a sticky note and stuck it to my computer screen.

A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick tempered one promotes foolishness.
Proverbs 14:29

This verse can be applied to so many areas of my life.

There are several things in my life that I am being patient for now, and trust me, it's not that easy.  Things for the future, but sometimes all the time I WANT THEM NOW.  I WANT TO KNOW!  As I was saying my prayers earlier today, I was praying about these things that cause me to have to have patience.  Praying for wisdom, guidance, and for the ability to not worry about them.

That's when it happened.  That's when I logged onto Facebook and saw the following two verses.  That's when that simple prayer of "Lord, please continue to help me and give me affirmations" hit me right in the middle of the face.  That's when God said, "I've got this.  Stop worrying.  I've given you what you've needed and will continue to.  Trust me."

"If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that!"
James 4:15

"She laughs with no fear of the future for her hope is in Me."
Proverbs 31:25

God has richly blessed me with a great, full life.  There have been dark days, worried days, scared days, but He has given me abundantly more than I ever hoped and imagined and I thank Him everyday for those people, those things.  He's blessed me and reassured me already today with the sight of those two verses within minutes of talking to Him about life.  Our God is good!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Arrr, Matey!

On Sunday, we celebrated Kaden's third birthday with a fun-filled pirate treasure hunt party!  I think he had a blast and even told KT and me last night that he wanted to have another pirate party!

I had fun (maybe too much... I will be the first to admit that I do have the tendency to go overboard sometimes and I'm working on that) planning his party and getting everything together.  We decorated with red, blue, and black pom poms made out of tissue paper, pirate banners, and lots of balloons!


We started the party with a treasure hunt.  The kids searched for buried treasure in the flower beds and in the crab sandbox.  I think they loved it!  They found gold coins, pirate footballs and yo-yo's, and all sorts of jewels.

As it was Easter, we also had an Easter egg hunt.  Brian came over and hid eggs all over the backyard.  Some were filled with treats, while others were empty.  I wish I had a video of Kaden every time he opened an empty egg.  He would say, "there's nothing in it" with the saddest little face.

KT's dad cooked a delicious meal of barbecue chicken, green beans, potato salad, and rolls and my mom made a sausage and cheese dip for an appetizer.  We found the cutest cupcake papers and toppers at TJ Maxx that I used with funfetti cupcakes iced with red and blue icing.  Kaden asked for a chocolate cake with white icing, so that's what we had.

After we ate, Kaden was ready to open his gifts.  After opening about two, he was ready for cake!

Finally, we hung our treasure chest pinata and let the kids burst it open.  K.C. and Kaden were both determined to get it open and finally, they did - with Daddy's help!

It was a great night celebrating our favorite little 3 year old!

Monday, April 9, 2012

You're Three!

My Sweet Kaden,

I can't believe you're three years old today!  You are becoming such a big boy!  Though I wasn't there when you were born, I love you like I was.  It amazes me how much you've grown and changed in the time I've been in your life.  You are a blessing from God and I'm so glad that I get to experience you growing up.

You are the sweetest, gentlest little boy with the greatest, biggest heart.  You give so much to us everyday.  Your big brown eyes and smile light up the room and you have the best giggle!  You love to play trains and cars and go to Tickle Island!  

In the last few months, you've become a daredevil!  You aren't scared of anything.  I'm glad you are fearless, but I have to admit that it scares me sometimes.  You no longer want to swing slow, but beg us to push you faster and faster as you look up at the chocolate and vanilla clouds.  

You've learned to ride your bike, but you still let K.C. drive you in the Gator.  You love candy and anything sweet, and like to help me in the kitchen.  (I love this by the way!)  You are a Daddy's boy through and through and love your K.C. more than anything.  

You are so smart.  You are eager to learn and ask us if you can have homework, too.  You'll be starting 3K this year and I just know you will love it.  You have such a good time playing with the other children on the playground at church on Wednesday nights, so I have no fears that you won't have friends to play with.  You are the life of the party.  

Daddy and I love to hear you say the word "girl."  (You like girls, too!)  You say it like "gruls."  It made me so sad a few weeks ago when you said it normally.  I want to bottle up your little voice!

Kaden, you are getting so big!  You are a big boy!  I know we can't keep you small forever, and we wouldn't want to, but I can't believe how fast you're growing up.

You are so independent, which is a great thing, and full of confidence like your Daddy.  You are also the biggest encourager.  You build us all up.  You tell Daddy how sweet he is and what good train tracks he makes, you cheer for K.C.'s accomplishments, and you tell me I'm pretty.  You melt my heart, sweet boy.  

I hope these sweet qualities, energetic personality, and encouraging heart stay with you forever.  You are a huge blessing to K.C., Daddy, and me.  We love you!  Happy Birthday!

Anna Belle

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's a Good Day

Good Friday is a good day.  Yes, it was a sad day many years ago when Jesus was crucified, but it is a good day for those of us who are Christians because we know it was not the end; in fact, it was the beginning.

Earlier this week, we were reading the "Resurrection Butterfly" book to the boys that K.C. got from his teacher. We read it twice and then talked some about Easter.  We've talked with the boys about Easter and we've read the Easter story in the Berenstein Bears' book we have about it, but Wednesday night, we actually told it.  As we were sitting there telling them about Good Friday, I was constantly thinking "how can we explain this to a four year old and an almost three year old in a way that it doesn't scare them?"  I chose my words carefully as I shared what went on that dark day.  We talked about sin, what it is and what it means.  We talked about Jesus and how He is God's Son.  We talked about forgiveness and how God gave His Son to save us from all this yuckiness if we trust in Him.

After we finished sharing the real Easter story, we said our prayers and as KT told a real beach story, I said a silent prayer that Jesus would imprint His story on their lives, that something we said would stick and make an impression, that their little hearts would yearn to know and love Him.

You see, sometimes I think we get caught up in the grown up aspect of it all.  We know the story, we know what happened, but we don't always look with wonder as we're listening.  We don't always take the time to think about what it really means.  I know I don't.  So today, as you go about your life, remember the sacrifice that was made on this day so many long years ago.  The sacrifice that was made to cover all the world's sins for forever if only we trust Him.

Monday, April 2, 2012

So Long, 25.

Today is my last day as a 25 year old.  I'm pretty excited!  My twenty-fifth year has been filled with more love and more fun than years past.  I've learned a lot, I've grown a lot, and I've loved a lot.

My birthday week :) started off great this weekend!  On Saturday, we celebrated my birthday with our family.  It was so much fun!  We had dinner at Stefano's and then visited outside and had Brewster's ice cream pies and opened gifts at home.  I was showered with some great new clothes, shoes, a pocket book, earrings, and even a Mario game for the Wii, but more importantly, I was showered with love, surrounded by those I love most, with the exception of my sister who I'm sure was having fun on Spring Break!

KT was so sweet picking out a birthday banner, plates, and balloons!  The boys were a great help blowing out the cute swirly candles and opening presents!  I wish I had pictures on my computer to include, but I don't.

Yesterday was perfect, too.  We went for a jog around the neighborhood and I finished up with a longer run, then we played outside.  I love being outside with KT and the boys.  It's just plain fun to play with them.  I also should document that I beat KT in ladder ball a few times because it might not happen again.  :)  We're both competitive, so it's fun to play games.

My birthday celebration was more special this year.  It was more special this year because of my sweet family.  It was more special this year because it was complete.  Thank you, KT, for making this the most special birthday!

I can honestly say this was the best year.  I was given so much this year.

It was in my twenty fifth year that I fell hard for a hazel eyed, brown haired man who has changed my world completely for the better.  It was in this year that I was abundantly blessed when we met.  My world is richer, brighter, happier, and more fulfilling that I could have imagined.  I am reminded on a daily basis of the love he has for me and I hope that he can say the same.  These reminders cause me to silently reflect and say "thank you" to the One responsible for this.  This beauty.  This love.  I think we'd both agree that our lives have taken twists and turns we wouldn't have planned and we didn't expect, but we, our love and our family, I think, is stronger for those detours.  I don't take a second with my sweet family for granted and they are always in the top of my mind and the driving force behind the things I do.

He is my partner, my best friend, and the one I love whole-heartedly and without condition.  He makes me smile, feel giddy, and laugh... because he's a funny guy.  We can do everything and nothing, and still, it's the best feeling in the world.  We are building our life together and that is the sweetest thing.  He makes me a better me.

It was also this year that I became Anna Belle to the sweetest, most perfect almost three and four year old little boys on the planet.  I've always heard it said that when you have a child, your heart bursts with the love you feel.  Though I didn't birth K.C. and Kaden, I feel that love and that joy and see the miracles that their sweet lives are.  It is my daily prayer that they always know and feel the love I have for them.  They are a blessing.  It's amazing how children change your life.  The new things you find to worry about that you wouldn't have thought before.  The deeper joy, laughter, and love you feel in everything.  I am so blessed to have them in my life.  Their well-being and happiness is more important to me than my own.  Being their Anna Belle is a blessing and has changed so much, for forever, for the better.

So, thank you, twenty-five.  We've had a nice ride.  I have a slight suspicion that twenty six will be even better.  I want to make this the best year yet!