Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best Moments of 2014 according to me

I have been thinking a lot recently about what a fun year 2014 was for my family.  We did all our normal daily stuff and visited some of the same places this summer.  Some new things happened and places were seen.  Not every moment, day, or week was great.  But overall, when I think about 2014 and look at all my pictures the good definitely existed and we had an awesome year. 

In January I took the girls on a surprise trip to visit Kelsey, Scott, and the girls. The little girls were so excited to see one another!

One week later I ran the Houston Marathon.  I had my fastest time yet and I really did enjoy just about every second of the race.  I was prepared, felt mostly good about my effort, and was happy with my time.  And, seeing these guys on the course and at the end is always special to me.

Then, believe it or not, we had "snow" in February.  I think it also happened in January too.  Either way the kids missed two days of school because of the "snow".  I use the word snow loosely because it wasn't quite snow, but the kids did not care at all.  They jumped on the trampoline and enjoyed every second of an unexpected day off of school.

In May I ran another marathon and FINALLY met Susan of blog fame here.  She is my too far away friend and I was so excited to share this experience with her.  I ran a personal best in Houston, but this marathon was special and rewarding in a totally different way.  I really hope we get to do this again some day.  I also got a space blanket.  It is sad how happy I was about that too!

We started going to Rice Baseball games in April.  It was something that everyone really enjoyed and all asked to go to more games.  So, we went to the Regional games in June which was a weekend full of games. It was so fun despite the lengthy rain delays, late nights, and Rice ultimately losing.  We all enjoyed it so much that we now have season tickets to the games. 

During our summer trip the kids and I hiked around Grubb Lake in Lancaster near my parents house.  It was such a silly thing to do, but we had a fun morning.  I took some of my favorite pictures of the kids from the year on this hike.  I think we will have to revisit this park yearly.

Drew joined us on our summer trip two weeks after the kids and I had left home.  We were all happy to have him with us.  This is my favorite picture of us from the year.

New Bern is one of my favorite little towns.  It is beautiful and quaint.  I am thankful we get to explore different parts of it every summer.

In August, on our way back home we stopped to visit my friend Susan and her family.  Finally, our family's could meet.  Susan planned a fun jam packed two days.  One of our adventures was going to a Pirates game.  Drew...hint!!!!

To end our summer I took the kids to the Houston Zoo.  It was an unbelievably hot day, but we made the best of it and still had fun.

We went to Galveston again over Labor Day.  The weather was yucky, but we managed to still get in lots of beach time.  The kids don't mind no sun and it made it less stressful for me worrying about sunburns.  Just being together before all the craziness of the fall began was wonderful. 

Samuel played football this fall.  It was a fun season for him.  Samuel turned into a running back touchdown scoring machine.  I loved watching his games. It is so much less stressful for me than watching Emma and Jonah do gymnastics!

In October the girls and I again headed to Bowie to meet Jack!  It was awesome to meet my sweet nephew. It was also great to experience a real fall!

At the end of October we went to a Parmalee and Jana Kramer concert.  It was such a fun day.  I am so glad my kids love music!  Meeting the band was a nice bonus!

Emma qualified for the level four state gymnastics meet.  That was her goal for the season and I am so proud of her for achieving her goal.  She worked hard!

In November my cousin Meghan visited us and Texas for the first time.  We played tourists a lot including a trip to Bucees!

Finally (just kidding Kelsey) the Hayes family came to Texas.  They were here during Thanksgiving break and it was a kid and fun filled house!!

At the end of September, I got a stress fracture.  That meant no running for what ended up being almost 8 weeks.  It was a long 8 weeks and definitely one of my personal bummers of the year.  My first week back to running happened to be when Scott was here.  That was a true joy because he is my favorite running partner.  I now have a renewed joy of running.  I am even thankful for the windy cold runs!

This is something I hope not to see in 2015.  It was definitely not a good moment for me as a mom and for Jonah as the competitor.  I hate seeing my kids struggle.  But, this was a good moment in that the coaches realized Jonah needs to be a level 6 gymnast this year.  Thank goodness!!! Jonah is happy to be in the gym again and that makes both of us happy!

The girls and I went to see The Rockettes in December.  Oh my was I excited to share this with them.

My 3rd annual My Favorite Things party was fun, fun, and more fun!  I already am thinking about 2015!

My sweet Elena turned 5 in December.  She is going to kindergarten in the fall so I have tried to really enjoy each moment with her. 

Christmas was awesome as always.  I love my family! I am thankful that we had many days together to hang out, prepare for Christmas, and enjoy each other.

Finally, there was the Texans game.  I said so much about that here...my Christmas present.  Man what a day!!!

2014 was quite the year!  I choose to remember the good.  We learned from the other and moved on to better moments.  I can't wait to see what moments we want to remember in 2015!  And, now I have a wonderful new camera to document all those moments. Thanks to our family and friends who made this year better and brighter for us!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Texans game....my super awesome Christmas present

In October Emma went to a Texans game with Drew.  In November Drew went with the boys and then with Scott.  I really wanted to go to a game so I asked Drew to get me tickets for Christmas.  That is all I wanted.  Drew gave me tickets and to say I was surprised by the gift is an understatement.  I expected to get tickets if I am being honest.  Drew is a great gift giver.  What I didn't expect was our seats.  We were on the 50 yard line 11 rows from the field.  Shocked, excited, and giddy about going to the game.

We met friends for breakfast because the weather was awful.  We had a parking pass and would have tailgated because we love to do that.  But, I don't do rain for anything so we ate breakfast in a restaurant.  I totally forgot to take a picture...big fail! 
It was so cold (40's) made worse by the rain.  It really was so gross.  Bonus was I decided to wear Emma's cute Texans hat because I knew it would be a horrible hair day!

You know you are in Texas when there are statues like this outside the stadium.
So, field level tickets...yeah I was a little bit excited.  Really I am so thankful Drew loves me because I was a smiling fool all day long.  I wanted to take pictures everywhere and with everything!

These guys were so gracious taking pictures with anyone who asked
As everyone knows, I adore JJ Watt.  What is not to love?  He is an amazing football player...simply amazing!  As a person he is even more amazing.  Read about him if you don't know about JJ.  He should be every child's football sports hero in my opinion.

When he came on the field for pre-pre game goofing around and warming up I literally told Drew to get out of my way so I could take a picture.  Then I kind of shoved Drew out of my way.  I really mean it when I say it is a good thing Drew loves me and knows I love him.
Pre game stuff on the field
and there is the man himself....JJ
Pre-game selfie
I was a total nerd and wanted to be in the stadium when the gates opened at 10:30.  I did not want to miss a thing.  Again, Drew totally did whatever I wanted so we saw everything.  Some of the players come out early and mess around with the people on the sidelines.  JJ did and so did other players.  It was fun to watch.  We took lots of selfies.  I couldn't resist. 

Good thing I gave Drew that sweatshirt for Christmas. It was so cold in the stadium
I think Drew was happy when the game finally started because I put my phone away.  NRG stadium has beyond horrible cell reception and I really love football.  As much as I wanted to see JJ in person I was super excited to see the game.  I mean a win could have meant a trip to the playoffs (totally blaming Johnny Manziel for no playoffs by the way).  

Super cool way to enter the field
JJ as part of some pregame video to get the fans hyped...hilarious!
Coin toss with Kasey Musgraves...so cool!

This was the opening kickoff and it is my favorite part of the game.  I know that is probably totally silly to some, but not to me.  It means that the game has finally started and the best parts are about to happen.  I just loved loved loved watching this game so up close and personal.  There are so many things that you don't see on television.  For instance, during every offensive third down the same 4 players got off the bench, put on their helmets, and got ready to enter the game on punt duty. They were like little ants and it was funny.  The offense and the defense do not co-mingle like at all.  Everyone sits in the same seats on the bench.  The guy that kept answering the phone was so funny.  How he heard anything is beyond me.  Coach O'Brien does not do much obvious coaching during the game.  It probably happens...who knows.  But he mostly keeps to himself and talked with Keenum when he came off the field.  We were close enough to hear the defensive coaches talking to the players...so awesome!  Just some very cool stuff to observe for this football loving girl!

Offense about to score....just wait for it....
And there it is...Andre Johnson #80 leaving the field after he caught a TD
And then there is the defense which is my personal favorite.  The stadium is so silent during offensive series.  But, the defense is another story. It is crazy loud.  People stand and cheer like mad and that included me.
Defense on the field
JJ was a little happy after getting a safety and his 20.5th sack of the season
The Texans allowed the game to be interesting until the very end.  Phew...it was close and so exciting, but the Texans prevailed 23-17. 

post game selfie
I was so excited to see JJ.
Yeah I took a lot of pictures of JJ
I was so happy to go to the game with Drew.  I was just so happy all day long! 

It is amazing how empty the field looks after a game...kind of sad.

It was still cold and gross after the game.  We still walked around some, but did not stick around for much of the 5th quarter party.  I was just too cold and it was still raining.  I wish we had because JJ and Keenum came out to talk with the fans.  Oh well...another game.

Thank you for an amazing day Drew. It was awesome and I love you for giving me the memories of up close football, seeing JJ play in person, and spending the day with you. I just love you!