Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank You

As many of you "post" today your thanks for what families like ours sacrifice for the freedoms you enjoy, I am humbled.  It is comforting to know that there are people who appreciate and understand the sacrifices we make to support and protect the freedoms that all of us enjoy and love so much.  I have had no greater honor in my life then to know someone who is as devoted to serving our country as Nate is.  So, today I thought I would share with you what he lives by, believes in, and holds true in his heart.  He is our Airman and we love him.

The Airman's Creed

This is the Airman's promise to country and colleagues.




To all of the families who have served before us, thank you.  To all of the men and women who have given you life for ours, thank you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guess Who Turned 30????

Well, let me just say that I wish I was announcing that this was me, BUT I have to pass this honor off to Nate.  Yes, my sweet husband reached a BIG milestone that I was not going to let pass without a little celebration.  Since the girls, especially Olivia, has gotten older we have thrown Nate "theme" birthdays.  The best part is how much the girls love this!  I am serious...Olivia is already asking about his birthday next year.  Well this year we added a little extra umph, out of necessity, of course...we went to a Rangers game!  Very MAN and lots of family fun!  So off we went, on the actual day - S.C.O.R.E (no pun intended)!  
 We had a blast!  We ate, and ate, and ate....I couldn't even face the scale the next morning.  Really, I pretended like we didn't own one...for two days (but who's counting?).  Because, you see, we had to have our party day too!  We spent Saturday decorating the kitchen table and making the cake.  Our theme this year was camping!
 The feast!  Ok, so you couldn't exactly cook all of this over a campfire...ok, maybe I couldn't...but you get the point.
So proud of the campfire cake!
And then there was the gift...a tent...of course.  He has been talking about this since the camping trip where I ordered up a camping trailer.  So, he got one.  For him and his girls...5 and under that is.  The best part was that we bought this gift about two weeks ago.  Addison promptly asked him at dinner that same night when we could set up his tent.  It was hilarious.  We laughed and laughed, BUT note to self...Addison is not allowed on the gift buying trips anymore.  I must say, it has to be the best gift I ever bought myself Nate.  I am happily sitting here in the A/C typing and watching Tori and Dean Storibook Weddings....and I don't.hear.a.peep.  Heaven! 
I highly recommend the tent as a gift!
I can't believe we have celebrated 10 birthdays together!  WOW!  Ok, does reflecting like that make me sound old?  Oh, nevermind...Happy 30th Babe!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Olivia Graduates from Preschool

We have had so many milestones in the past couple of weeks, so hang in here with me while I get them all uploaded.  It all began, for me, when I dropped her off for her first day of preschool this year.  I actually remembered to document this day because I knew we were turning a corner that leads us down a fast winding road...
It poured rain that day, so we had to take our photos inside.  We had FUN! - Sept. 2010
 Then, I must say I amaze myself sometimes, I remembered to take a photo on the last day of school!  I see major changes to her face and how could we overlook the ponytail?
I would have preferred to deny this moment and pretend this was for fun...but it was all in the name of creating history.  -May 2011
I chose to post these photos in black and white for a specific reason.  There are things in life that fall into the "grey" area of life and then there are things in life that are very "black and white".  What I have come to realize, with children, is that the most "black and white" part of their lives is time.  Meaning, it is going to come and then go, it doesn't slow down, and you can't stop it.  So, if you don't capture those fleeting moments, quickly, you can't get them back BUT you can remember them...exactly as they were.

On to the GRADUATION!!!
So our time came and we had Nate arrive when the doors opened (a benefit of having him work nights) to get front row seats.  And, we had front row seats...  It was awesome.  She marched in and flashed her smile.

or maybe that was more like a grin???  It was cute and she was proud!

Then she "pledged"...

and then she sang...her favorite thing to do!

Don't you love how they are all doing something different?  Adorable!

And then the BIG moment came....(drum roll please)

I have to admit that as I watched this there were flashes in my mind that rolled forward 12 years and imagined how short that was...and how I could never imagine her doing this to me surviving this with her at 18...and what was I going to do...and then I stopped myself...and I looked at her...and I smiled back.

Of course we had to capture a moment with her best friend Rylie...Oh I don't know how these two are going to make it next year without each other.

And then there was our final moment together...

Let our next ADVENTURE begin!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Olivia's First Hunt

Since Olivia was born just 5 and a half short years ago, Man has been planning their first hunt.  I am like, "You are taking MY baby hunting?"  He, has in fact, confirmed this to me many times over during these past years.  It all started when the two of them would take off into the woods together to look at tracks, put the corn out, and check the camera.  Yeah, a camera.  Isn't that cheating?  I don't know but it was so fun for her and the pictures were really cool too!  He would explain everything to her, to the point that one of the first animals she recognized and called by name was "deer".  It was sweet...but she was a girl.  I needed this warming up period for sure!

Olivia learning about a "blind" and the right way to "call".  Age - 2 and a half

We moved to Texas after she turned three and just months after Addison was born.  Now that she was nature girl she came to her daddy wanting to know what the little pellets all over our new yard were.  I jump in, of course, to tell her to put it down it is some kind of animal food.  Hunter Man tells her that she does need to put it down, but it is the droppings of rabbits.  Well, you should have seen the gleam in his eyes.  Let's just say he had been hunting deprived for quite some time and as he put it, these rabbits were a nuisance.  *WARNING* Scroll fast past the next picture if blood makes you queezy!*
I really wish I had video of him doing this and then her running so excitedly to see it. I realized then my little girl might be slipping away.  Maybe we needed more dance classes?  Age - 3 and a half

The first big Texas hunt was planned...for turkeys.  I am like, "I thought we hunted deer?"  Oh how I did not understand how the hunting world works.  Apparently you are supposed to adapt to where you are and it is, apparently, a wonderful thing to get to hunt other animals, oh and did we mention it is like BIG bucks (no pun intended) to hunt deer in Texas.  Clearly they are not the road hazard that South Carolina deemed them to be.  So off to turkey hunt he went.  Opening day, of course, and he got one, of course.  See, I say of course, because if you don't know much about this world....killing anything costs money.  And let's just say I am yet to be convinced about the value of anything dead being on my walls.
She was excited until she saw how big it was!  Age - 4 and a half
You know what this meant?  Her first trip to the taxidermist.

Well, her turn to go out finally came.  Nate breaks it to me that it is time for her to go out on a real hunt to see how she will do.  First, I give my whole "spill" on patience and the mom stuff and then I agree.  He gives her the great news and they make a list of what they need to take.  Everything on her list is food related or entertainment.  Such a girl!  He goes along with her and packs her little bag and the morning came....EARLY!

Then there is the living proof why...

Or maybe Daddy wasn't quick enough???

Folks, I don't smile that big at 8 A.M.--I don'

They made it safely to their spot and she sat I hear.  Apparently is was quite chilly....

And the turkeys didn't show their faces on this morning...but Daddy and Olivia did and it looked like a great time was had!

I must say that for the hard time I like to give him about taking my girls hunting, I am so thankful that he is willing to involve them and loves to spend the quality time with them teaching them things I never could!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Day With Addison

Well, I decided after Addison endured two long days of appointments and errands that I would treat her to a full day of fun this week.  I planned it all out...right down to the very last detail.  The part that was not in my plan, however, was that she would appear at my bedside at 6:00 a.m. on our day of fun.

Of course I pretended to not hear her.  That did not work.  Two inches from my face she says, "Mommy, where is Daddy?"  I sleepily respond, "He is at work honey.  Go back to bed."  She proceeds to climb in my bed with me.  I roll over and pretend she is not there...until she says, "Mommy, mommy I want Lulu hair today."  I don't respond.  I don't.even.move.  She gets still.  Too still.  In complete silence she decides to practice her ABC's.  "A,B,C,D,E,F,G..."  I calmly say, "Addison, you are being rude, Mommy is trying to sleep.  If you can't be quiet then go to your room."  She says, "Ok Mommy."  There is silence.  No movement.  Could she be going off to sleep I wonder?... but I dare not look.  Moments later, "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way....woof, woof, woof (to the same tune)."  What can I do at this point but laugh?  Addison asks, "Mommy, can I have some juice?"  So, at 6:00 a..m. my day with Addison began.

We started off our day by dropping Olivia at pre-school and then we were off to the library.  We do this every week together and she loves it.  So do I. 
Then we hopped in the car and had a snack.  We always have snack after the the car.  But, today was special so she got a juice box instead of her sippy cup!
Then I tell her we are going to the Butterfly Museum...really known as the Riverbend Nature Center.  She tells me, "Oh Mommy, that is a good idea!"  We were off!  For three blocks.  Only to arrive to a parking lot with school buses.  I got worried but we were pressing on...and I am so glad we did!
We got to see so many things up close, with the extra attention the big kids were getting.  Like the BIG salamander.  
Then we went into the glass atrium that used to have butterflies everywhere...but they got a special new spot we got to see them in for the first time.  But first we had to practice our jumping.
There are really cool animals just "livin'" in there, like this lazy turtle that Addison found.
After we checked out the bugs, bones, birds, plants, and made a butterfly ring and a pinwheel, we entered the newly enclosed butterfly area.  It was magnificent! 
When we were done and went out to look at the turtle aquarium, the "turtle dude" told us the Dallas Zoo was there that day and we should go check it out.  So, out we went.
Just a couple of the animals we saw up close..with the BIG kids!  See, BIG kids are great!
This is when Addison decided she needed to go potty....
Then she decided we should go on our walk down the nature trail...
See that bench?  Yeah, she needed a rest...
We made our way F.A.R. down the trail only to feel sprinkles of rain.  We had a little "race" to get back to shelter.  But of course the sprinkles we could have our picnic lunch!
To finish up we took a stroll in the children's garden and visited the painted horse and posed a few times and took a self-portrait to capture our day. 
P.S. Lulu, The Ladybug Girl, plays dress up.  She pretends to be an astronaut and she wears her hair in buns, with a clear globe stuck on her head.  Please pretend she is an astronaut every time you see her with this hair...just don't mention the globe part!  Please and thank you.

P.P.S.  Dear, GGMom and GGDad (givers of the Jingle Bell Dog)...She will be singing this to you this summer, at 6:00 a.m., at your bedside, two inches from your face.  Don't worry, I will let myself in.  I wouldn't want you to miss out on the F.U.L.L effect.  :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Cutesy" Clipboard

So it is that time of year when we are all searching for that gift that no one has ever given a teacher, dance instructor, etc...  Well, in my quest for something I could make in those last five minutes of my day, I came across a great idea that was very simple to execute...mostly because of that closet that hides my treasures of scrapbooking and sewing stuff!

Here we GO!


1.) Buy the clipboard, scrapbooking paper, ribbon, and glue.  I suggest Elmers Spray Adhesive Glue (comes in a can and keeps it nice and neat!).  NOTE: If you choose to buy the smaller sheets of paper make sure they will fit on the board, especially if they are a patterned specific design.
2.) Next you will take a scrap piece of paper, or you can use the intended sheet if you are brave, and you will cut the template for the top half of the clipboard.  **I suggest you do all of your cutting at the same time and then do all of the gluing, if you are making multiples.
3.) Make sure the fit is precise.  My piece slid tightly under the handle part of the board.
4.) Next you will cut the bottom portion.  It doesn't matter if they meet in the middle unless your writing on it will be bumpy...if you choose to write anything.
5.) Now we will cover the "gap".
6.) So far nothing has been glued down.  That is a major rule!  Make sure everything fits like you want it to before gluing ANYTHING down.  Then when you do glue down, and you are using the spray adhesive, I suggest wearing a glove (I used an old dishwashing glove).  It will get on your hands!  Make sure to step outside for this part, unless you prefer the glue "high".  It can get strong after multiple uses and strongly stuck to everything around where you are spraying.
7.) If you choose to do some type of wording, that part is next.  I chose to buy some rub-on letters and then I decided to add to them and had to do some hand writing, so you will see a combo on mine.
8.) Again, lay it out before you apply!  I can highly recommend these rub-on letters.  They were very easy to use.
  9.) Next you will sit down to a favorite tv show (TIVO'd of course), at some awful hour (last five minutes of the day remember), and you will cut ribbon, ric-rac, etc...until you can't stand it!  And then you will tie them in double knots to the handle.  And then you will marvel at them and take pictures of them at midnight because you are so excited!  


P.S. Another tool that makes this easier and a lot more precise and neat is an exacto knife.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  Mommy WARNING:  It is dangerous to leave out around small hands so use lots of caution, unless you have a "fast pass" to the ER!

P.P.S Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them for a better view!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It Seems Like Yesterday

So I think back on my life a lot and there were so many things I wished away.  I think all of us do that to some degree, in our younger years.  We never can really appreciate where we are because we are trying to gain our independence at NASCAR speed.  However, there was one thing I did not wish away not one minute first pregnancy.  Maybe for all of the reasons you my biggest reason was sleep...I NEED sleep and I knew it was on the brink of disappearing forever!  My due date came and went and people were shocked I was not standing over the doctor demanding the baby come out.  See, that is the other thing about me.  I am timely...on time...don't want to be late and this baby was L.A.T.E. 

Olivia made her grand entrance at 4:15 A.M. in October and she was supposed to come in September ;)

I hate to say at this point that I definitely wished some of Olivia's life away.  She was my first and I just wanted her to walk to me and talk to me and all of the things parents want to reverse once their kids "do" those things. 

Over the last few years though I have not wished one second away because I knew this day was coming.  The one where I enter the doors of the elementary school and prove she is 5 and has all of her shots and that I really do live in this district, blah..blah..blah.  Well, I started my research several weeks ago and found out that my sign-up time started May 2 and I had a week to do so, with a parent orientation May 5th.  Normal Lindsey would have been standing there on Monday morning at 8AM when they opened the doors.  But I really can't explain it.  My car just could not drive that path until the last the last minute.  Yep, I signed her up on the same night as parent orientation.

I walked in and waited, with all of the other wide-eyed parents, in the lobby for eternity 10 or so minutes until this loud voice announces to follow her to the cafeteria.  I don't know what happened to me.  I turned the corner and made my first step down this L.O.N.G hall and the flood gates were about to open and I was losing control and what was I going to do?  I felt so many emotions.  I couldn't believe we were finally at this point.  I felt so proud of her, happy for her, excited for her.  I knew she was going to love it when she saw it.  But I felt sorry for myself, sadness, sort of a mourning feeling because I know.  I know this is a door opening in her life that she has to walk through alone and while I can guide her I can't hold her hand everyday and I can't do this for her.  I know there is no turning back and that time will be set at warp speed and I will be one of those "old" people telling her, "it seems like just yesterday..."  

So, Olivia, I love you and I want the very best for you in everything you do and I will cry and I will seem old and you will roll your eyes at me...and I won't care...because I LOVE YOU and I am so thankful I get to go on this journey with you! 

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