Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jon's 33rd Birthday!

Husband turned 33 years old on the 7th of April...he's still so young, (especially compared to me!) :) He had gone out of town for work-related training and returned on the evening of his birthday. The kids and I discussed his birthday and they decided to throw him a party. Grace wanted to throw him a "Princess" party, and Walker voted on a "Cars" theme... Unbeknownst to him, we put together a make-shift shin-dig at the very last minute.
We opted to go with some of his favorites...Things to eat: my homemade manicotti, steamed green beans, rice krispie treats topped with mini chocolate chips, cookie monsters with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, (a humongous chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.) We strung up a make-shift birthday banner and a bunch of his favorite family photos from over the years for decoration. I even made coordinating party hats.
The kids gave him some of his personal favorite types of candy - If you know Jon very well, you know that he can put away some sugar! He got chocolate covered cherries, Reeses peanut butter cups, (the mini ones, of course,) black Red Vines licorice, and Peeps. He got a few personal items, and we hooked him up with a Scrabble since he's presently hooked on playing Words With Friends on his iPhone.
...Austin even "borrowed" some of our neighbor's flowers for the event :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dallas Arboretum Outing

Yesterday, the kids and I met up with a few of their cousins at the Dallas Arboretum to see their Dallas Blooms Exhibit. There were more than half a million bulbs planted this year, and that's not counting the rest of the seasonal blooms and trees already there. It was breathtakingly beautiful and the air was sweet and fragrant. The day was overcast and humid, which as far as I'm concerned, is better than scorching hot and sunny... Altogether, between the seven cousins and three moms in our group, I took over 400 photos - with that many, I'm bound to snap at least a handful of good shots! :) I love taking natural pictures of the children - they're just more realistic and less posed - you know, just like they are in "real life." I also tend to take close-ups of their faces, just the way I see them in my head... up close, expressive, and perfect. Here are a few pics from the day - there are more of Grace & Walker posted on their blogs. Just click on their names in the sidebar to view them.
The firey orange tulips were probably my favorite of the day - they were so rich in color.

The "money shot" of the kids - the only actual photo of the day where they are both sitting still and looking at the camera. Seriously... the only photo.

Here is Adam, the Camera Shy...

Walker. This is a new, never-before seen look on his face - glad I captured the moment.

Levi, the Quiet One...

Cooper, the Tulip Crusher...

Walker, the Innocent... (innocent only until he picked the flower.)

Greta, the Secretly Sweet One...

And Lincoln, the Charmer.

Did I happen to mention how much I love my camera?) Then there's Gracen, the Lovely.. She is so tender and sweet... And here are my two little monkies, being silly, as usual :) We will definately be going back next year - maybe by that time, my children won't mind holding a pose for more than 3 seconds.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

ER and the Easter Egg Hunt

Easter, or the novelty of Easter rather, was very low-key in our home today. The weather has been overcast and humid, and everyone here has been feeling a bit sluggish... I'm quite certain that sitting in the emergency room at the hospital until 1 a.m. this morning might have had something to do with our somberness, too.

Last night, after baths, the twins were jumping on our bed and wrestling around..nothing uncommon for these two monkies. The next thing I know, Walker is flying off the bed! He landed on his back, but the back of his little head made solid contact with the floor... Screaming and inconsolable crying immediately insued. Grace, "the Aggressive One," had literally shoved him off of the bed backwards, unknowing that it might hurt him... She knew instantly that she had made a mistake after his wailing began. Poor babies! Walker was hurt - one of his pupils was twice the size of the other one and he was gagging. I immediately became concerned that he might have a concussion. Grace dug herself under the pillows and covers, trying to hide her humility. The next thing I know, both are crying and clinging to me. And there I sat, trying to contact Jon on the phone, (he was at a Priesthood meeting at church,) a bit overwhelmed and concerned for my little ones.

It's moments like those that are a wake up call for me. I catch myself gazing and admiring my children often...they are a feast for my eyes and for my soul. My children are literally the loves of my life, my bouy when I'm destitute, my reason for wanting to be a better person than I feel capable of being. It seems like we live in our own little world most of the time...our safe, secure, fun, own little world. We rarely have any physical injuries in our home, aside from the occasional bumped head or scraped knee. I have always prided myself in that I stay calm in a crisis least on the outside, but I think my heart broke just a little bit at that moment. As a mother, I want to protect my loved ones from harm..It was upsetting to be so helpless...

I sometimes take for granted how blessed my family is. Just like any human family, we have our own set of trials, we have bills to pay, a home to maintain, responsibilities, scheduling conflicts, and the pressures that come along with having small children in the house - it seems like Jon and I never have actual down-time. Alone time. That's something I've forgotten how to even enjoy when I find a glimpse of it from time to time. There was a time, not so long ago, in our lives before the twins came to be, when our home was empty that the silence was deafening. Austin's sweet spirit kept me alive...gave me the courage to keep following my path. I love our children beyond all imagination. I wouldn't trade the world for them...

Jon rushed home and we loaded the babies up, jammies and all, and made a b-line for the Children's Hospital down the road. (Austin is away for the weekend.) After sitting in the ER for an hour, we saw the doctor on-call. She confirmed our concerns that he might have a tiny concussion. Jon was smart, as usual, and brought our laptop with some of their favorite movies on it to watch. We stayed at the hospital, keeping him under observation, praying for no further signs of trauma, until he was released at 1 a.m. Talk about a long night... Needless to say, neither of the toddlers were thrilled to be the any point in the evening.

Nights like those are my wake up calls...reminders that life is fragile. That no matter how cautious and overprotective we are of our babies, fate still has her hand in our lives. Jon and I both have hearts full of gratitude and thankfulness today.

Anywho... On to Easter. I was a total slacker today and only took a few candid shots of the kids gathering their eggs. They weren't even dressed in their Sunday Best. They had a busy day - played in their sand box, visited 2 local parks, fed the ducks at the park our old stale bread, ran amuck and climbed all over their "Aunt Melli," took tiny naps, played rugby in the front yard, had a wagon ride around the neighborhood, went on a bike ride with their daddy, and alas, hunted their Easter eggs.

Here they are, running toward the front door, on their way out to collect thier eggies.
I thought this next photo was so sweet and tender - there was an egg hidden in the bushes that they were both reaching for at the same time. Walker graciously allowed Gracen to pick it up after he had jiggled it free from it's resting place. In return, Gracen handed the egg to Walker and said, "Here, Walker can have it..." So sweet.
Grace has proven to be an egg-cellent egg hunter and gatherer. She can spot one from across the yard...
And here is my little man, pupils intact and almost back to normal. :)

I have the feeling that next year will not be so relaxed and easy for me. By that time, the kids will have a very good understanding of who Jesus is, of what the Easter Bunny is... I might even have to cook an actual sit-down meal next time!

Friday, February 12, 2010

We Are The World...

This chokes me up inside, each and every time I watch it...

Friday, January 1, 2010

...It's No Secret

OK. So it's no secret that keeping up my blog is pretty low on my very long list of to-do's and priorities. I enjoy checking our friend's and family's blogs, and blog surfing is a favorite past-time of mine, assuming that I ever have any time to pass! Jon and I both stay incredibly busy keeping up with the family and with one another, so actually sitting down and being still long enough to upload a photo or two alongside a quick blurb of our most recent holiday or happening is a rarity. It shouldn't be that difficult to do, but somehow, it is....

Life with Austin and the twins is like being in a 24/7 cage-match...Jon and I just tag one another in when we need a break! I'm very thankful that he's so hands-on and incredible with the kids. It turns out that this parenting gig is waaay more challenging than the pamphlet made it out to be!

This year, I make a solemn resolve to TRY to post once a week, (or so..) For now, I leave you with this recent picture of my little stinkers:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hoping this Gets you in a Goulish Mood...

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Like Trying to Herd Cats...

Grace & Walk's cousin, Adam, came over to play for a few hours yesterday. He's a cool kid.

They totally ransacked two bedrooms and the entire upstairs living area in a matter of minutes! Walker and Gracen usually don't do too shabby of a job on their own, but with Adam's help, I think a new house record was set...

They even found the time to practice being cool - it's a must for every pre-2 year old, you know...

Walk even pulled it off while wearing a diaper.

They had such a fun time playing...but for me, it was a little like trying to herd cats...