Our Daily (G)races

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Our first month of summer

This is already the third full week of summer.  The past few weeks have been almost overwhelmingly busy, but we have managed to fit in lots of fun as well.  Our busyness is the result of crazy gymnastic schedules and camps.  Samuel attended three camps.  Jonah went to one camp.  Only Elena has been leisurely and carefree!

School officially ended on June 4th, but we all know that week was filled with nothing.  They all had successful 1st, 3rd, and 6th grade years.

Our first outing of the summer was going to the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center or the lazy river as call it. The kids love it and with Elena being little everyone has something to keep them happy.  I feel like Splashtown is on our radar, but I am delaying that as long as I can!

I ran my first really long run in over a year.  Actually the last time I ran longer than 17 miles was April 6, 2014 so to be able to finally have a really good long run felt awesome!

We love to go to the pool and probably go 4 times a week.  There are two pools in our neighborhood.  One has a diving board and the other has two slides.  Elena was so nervous to go down the slides, but now she thinks it is so fun!
This boy!

Sitting on water!
Samuel went to a football camp for three days and had a really great time.  He loved the tackle dummy and thinks we need to purchase one immediately.  Next he and Jonah went to Scout Day Camp.  Tropical Storm Bill cancelled one full day and half of another, but they still had a fun week!  Lastly, Samuel went to a baseball camp with his friend Jackson.  He loved every second of this camp!
Football camp with two coaches from Klein Oak
Buckets are ready to go for Scout Camp
Samuel and Jackson at Baseball USA

We had a small birthday party for Emma.  She had two of her best friends sleep over after dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  Emma was a champion and ate her entire piece of cheesecake.  She then declared being full for the next three days!  I can't believe she is 12!

Maddy, Ashlynn, Emma, and Elean

Jonah and I jetted off to Vegas for three days for a gymnastics competition.  Then I took Emma the next day to LSU for a gymnastics camp.  Besides both those activities Emma workouts four days a week as does Jonah.  I am pretty positive my van could drive to both gyms on autopilot!

Last weekend we went to A Day in the Country concert.  It rained during the daytime part of the concert so we skipped the first four acts.  Thankfully the sun came out in time for the best part....A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osbourne, Brett Eldridge, and Darius Rucker.  I was so excited to see the last two perform and super thrilled that Darius played several Hootie songs too!  Total bonus for our $15 tickets.  The only bummer was missing Emma because she was still at LSU.

Late night, but these kiddos are troopers!
Aunt Lara, Kristen, and Miriam visited us this week.  It was super fun week jammed packed with fun!  We went to Top Golf, the pool, and to the lazy river.  They also got to experience our nuttiness with baseball and gymnastic activities. 

These two were so sweet together all week!

Drew and I celebrated our 18th anniversary when I was in Vegas.  It was a bummer to be apart, but that is life with four active kids.  It is our life and we love it.

July is going to be just a nutty and busy, but I don't think we could "do" a summer any other way!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday Emma

Emma's 12th birthday was yesterday.  The girl who made me a momma is growing up really fast!  We had a fun day celebrating Emma and it was extra special because two of her cousins happen to be visiting this week.  As is tradition we started the day singing "Happy Birthday" and letting Emma indulge in the wonderfulness that is ice cream for breakfast.  As a little side note, pint selection is a little slim because of the Blue Bell issue so we had to go with Ben & Jerry's...one lucky girl!

After spending the morning at the pool (total picture fail on my part) we headed to Top Golf in the afternoon.  This activity is on our summer bucket list and we were all very excited to go.  Miriam and Kristen have some golf skills, but we don't.  Either way it was a silly, fun hour of hitting golf balls.  It just proved that my kids need to stick to gymnastics, baseball, football, and whatever Elena picks.

As you can see from this video, Emma is way better at gymnastics....

Kristen, Lara, and Miriam

Getting a ride back to the van
Life goes on despite it being a birthday so Emma had gymnastics from 4-8pm.  She ate her birthday dinner of bacon wrapped steak, cheesy mashed potatoes, and roasted broccoli and mushrooms in the car. But, we saved dessert and presents for 9pm because that makes sense, right?

So, Emma on her 12th birthday loves many things....elephants, fushia and lime green, bacon, watching shows and reading on her Kindle, hanging out with her bestie Ashlynn, fixing Elena's hair, baking, avoiding cello practice, playing school with Samuel and Elena, annoying Jonah in any way possible, sleeping late, and of all things the tv show Sophia the First!

Emma is still a little girl at heart. Things that the world thinks is cool for almost teenage girls, Emma does not.  Emma is excited about going to Youth Group. She works hard at school so she can continue gymnastics.  We may annoy her at times, but Emma likes doing things with all of us. She knows her family is awesome and loves her.

Emma is starting to spread her wings.  She asks for little bits more of independence.  I can see the teenager coming out in her in good and no so good ways.  She is okay with being away from us, but she likes coming back.  As a friend told me, "roots and wings".  Give them the roots to be the person God intends for them to be and let them fly.  They will come back to the roots....the home...their family.  I see Emma doing this.  While scary and hard for me and Drew, it is wonderful to watch at the same time.

Emma has made some big changes in her life in the past few months.  I am so excited to see how she carries herself through this time of transition and growth.  Her wings are stretching and getting stronger all the time.  Each year with Emma is a gift.  She is a gift to us.  I know this next year will be great.

Happy Birthday Emma!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Yesterday was Drew's day and the kid's day to celebrate him being their daddy.  They are lucky to have him!  Drew is way more patient than me.  Drew gives them the extra couple of minutes when I want everyone to get ready for bed.  Drew lets them get dirtier when I am sighing at the mess.  But, he makes them respect and obey me too.  He gives in ways that I don't and that is why we make a great team!

Drew had a wonderful dad...a great role model....a great leader to watch...a great man to strive to be.  Drew would make his dad beyond proud of who is he and the daddy that he is!  Peepaw shines through Drew's parenting all the time.

Drew and all his mini-me people....

Drew is dedicated to our family.  He is dedicated to Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena without question.  He is always present for them.  He leads them, teaches them, and loves them unconditionally.
Happy Father's Day!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

What happens in Vegas....

Vegas isn't somewhere I ever thought I would take Jonah or any child, but that is exactly what I did this past weekend.  Jonah had an AAU gymnastics meet there on Sunday morning.  It is an optional meet.  However, Drew and I decided to take Jonah since his entire first Level 6 season was a no go because of his broken ankle.  Nine boys from his team went so it was a fun weekend of hanging out with teammates, their families, and seeing the sights in Vegas.

Our seats were on the right side of the plane so we had great views of the Grand Canyon.  So, so, so amazing.  God's earth can leave me speechless at times.

Love these clouds

Lake Mead

Hello Vegas!
We left really early Saturday morning and with the time change we arrived early!  The meet was at the Westgate Resort.  This hotel is located north of The Strip and isn't the fanciest hotel, but it was fine. We had all day Saturday to play tourists and Sunday after the meet.  Not wanting to tire out Jonah we did not do much on Saturday.  We went to the pool.  It was crazy packed because when it is 100+ degrees that is the best place to be.  We did spend some time on The Strip, but it was a quick trip.

Saturday night we walked through the MGM which Jonah thought was pretty cool.  All the smoking in public places was disgusting and bothersome to both of us.  I don't know how people work in the hotels and casinos. 

Some teammates across the street from New York

We visited the M&M store on Saturday.  That was the best bad idea of the weekend.  I am now the proud owner of a LARGE bag of peanut M&M's and they are a huge weakness for me.  It is a 4 level store and just lots of fun to explore.  I think we were in the store for about 30-40 minutes....seriously!

Sunday morning was meet day!  After a great sleep Jonah was ready to compete.  He was excited and did okay.  Overall, he did way better than he did in January.  Can he do better?  Without a doubt and Jonah even said it was not his best effort.  I told him I was proud of all his work to come back from his broken ankle.  It has been a long spring for him!  Having some success was good for him.  For me personally, I am ready for him to have his breakout meet.

We celebrated after the meet with a team pizza party at the pool.  So, you know it never rains in Vegas.  Well, it rained on us.  In fact there was a thunderstorm and the pool closed.  It was all for the best because it gave Jonah time to rest before we went to dinner. 
What the heck Vegas?
We arrived on The Strip just after 5pm.  We bought some souvenirs and went to dinner at Serendipity.  I was so excited to eat there.  I had wanted to eat there in New York, but Drew and I couldn't get a reservation.  Jonah and I had a super light and small dinner so we could over-indulgence in dessert.  Really that is why you go to Serendipity.  We ordered the Frozen Hot Chocolate....no words for how good it was...and the Death by Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream Sundae....again no words for the cake.  It was so much chocolate and excessive sweetness, but it was GOOOOOD!  I would eat it all again!

I was most excited about the Frozen Hot Chocolate
Jonah was most excited about the Chocolate Cake Sundae

We did a pretty good job!
We both felt a little sick after eating all that yumminess and were thankful for a few hours to walk on The Strip.  We took all the stairs we could and literally walked from one end of The Strip to the other end.  It was a tiring, but fun 4 hours.  We spent some of it with friends and some time just the two of us.

Caesars Palace
Statue of Liberty out of jelly beans
All chocolate

Jonah liked this little fountain (I forget what hotel it was nearby)
Hello Paris!
The Bellagio waiting for the water show which we saw twice

When we arrived on The Strip it was HOT and when we left it was still HOT...how do people live there??  Jonah was exhausted, but he said he had tons of fun.  He did enjoy seeing all the craziness that is Vegas with as much PG sights as I could provide!
Hi to The Strip
 Good-bye Strip and getting ready to head to the monorail and call it a night!
It was a whirlwind trip.  It was lots of fun.  It was busy and tiring.  It was filled with adventure.  Jonah's top four moments were the meet, the M&M store, Serendipity, and the Bellagio light show.

Love this sweet boy and I am so thankful for the memories we made this weekend!