Sunday, March 18, 2012

15 weeks?!

I'm not one who takes weekly belly shots or anything, but come on! I guess this is what happens when you are on pregnancy #4. Oh my...

(Please ignore the outfit and hair. Adele and I were about to head out for a big walk.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another birthday!!!

So today was our little Lu's 5th birthday. 5...can you believe that?! Of course, she is still the teeniest kiddo in her class...

The thing about turning 5 is that there is this shift that happens about this time when the little preschool baby begins to change. All three of the girls went through it. All of a sudden, the way they talk, their sense of humor, what they care about all points to the inevitable...kindergarten is coming.

We've been trying to convince Lucy to stay 4 so that we wouldn't have to send her to kindergarten this fall, because, frankly, the thought of putting her on a bus and sending that little bitty thing on her way just seems so wrong. But this kid is stubborn, and despite my pleading, she turned 5 anyway.

So, today we celebrated our Lu with hamburgers and presents (including a grown-up, non-play, purse), balloons, the birthday book and treats, and I would say that she had a pretty sweet day. It's always a little tough to tell with this one. Her happiness shows itself in different ways...squinty head-bobs and bursts of talking from this quiet peanut...and we saw them both, so I think it was good.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures from today of my still little, but not so baby, Lucy...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break!

Last year we took our first family vacation...a trip to Omaha. Wahoo! In truth, we had the absolute best time and promised ourselves that we would make little family trips like that one an annual thing. So, a couple of months ago we started talking about it and chose our destination...NW Arkansas.

Growing up, my family didn't really take very many vacations if you think about stays in hotels at beaches and such, but we did spend a good two weeks every summer in NW Arkansas visiting my grandparents. And I have to say, many of the best memories of my life were during those glorious weeks. So, the idea of taking all of my kiddos to some of my favorite spots was just too much to resist.

This week the kids are on Spring Break, so after Anthony finished class on Monday we loaded up the car and set our Garmin for...

Now, only those who have been there can understand why setting our destination as AQ made me smile ear to ear. I didn't take any food pictures while we were gone, but let me tell you, if I had, the Original Panfried Chicken at AQ is AMAZING. (As is the Chocolate Mess at the MarketPlace and the Cappuccino Chip ice-cream from Braums that were my other must haves that we indulged on.) It was as good as I remembered and I made sure to save my third piece to eat cold after the kids went to bed...I always saved my third piece. = )

After the chicken we headed for the hotel where we quickly threw on our suits and headed down to the activity we repeated every day. Then it was showers, jammies, and bed for all six of us.

Tuesday we decided to try something new. We drove about 40 mins. to a small town with a HUGE drive-thru safari. That's right, in Arkansas. It was such a blast. We spent over an hour just driving down the roads that took us through herds of zebras and camels and past the cages of lions and tigers. It was really fun to have them come right up to the car, staring at us as hard as we were staring at them. I should have taken pictures, but there is always this tension between recording what happened and just enjoying it and I chose to enjoy it.

After the drive thru part we had a picnic and then walked through the petting zoo portion. I took a couple pictures of that...

Getting to hang with the kangaroos was definitely a favorite for all of us. The kids were just thrilled that they were actually able to pet a couple of them (they are so soft)...

...and I was fascinated by this one (she's stretching)...

See that lump in her belly? That's a little joey that we could see squirming all around. It was really fun for all of us to see that and the kids just kept saying, "that's like our baby in you mama!" Just another month or two and my belly is going to be squirming around just like that...we are all so excited!!

We fed animals, looked in cages and basked in the incredible 80 degree weather...what a day!

After the "safari", our plan was to go to a family fun center with go-carts and mini golf, unfortunately, when we got there it was closed much to Nate's disappointment (he was so excited to "race cars"). But after a phone call with my dad, we headed to a beloved mini golf course of my brothers and mine...

We've never played mini golf as a whole family before and we just had so much fun. I particularly had fun because I beat Anthony by one stroke...glory! The kids had fun too.

See how Nate and I are both holding little yellow cards in this pic? That's because he and I both got hole-in-ones on the last hole and won free games! Nate got a hole-in-one!!!!! It was amazing and he was so proud. And since we had two free games, we hung around a little longer on Wednesday to get another round in. Good thing we did too because Adele got her first hole-in-one and I beat Anthony by 4 strokes and won another free game!! Guess we'll just have to head back there one of these days. = )

To cap off our trip we stopped at my favorite place in NW Arkansas...

This is the first home my grandparents lived in there and just speaks to my soul. We loved this place. They had another home that they moved into when I was in high school and it was great, but it wasn't the same. This is the place in the woods on the lake. The place that we would walk into and be on vacation and at home all at the same time. This is one of my favorite places in the world...and I'm dying because it is for SALE!!

Anyway, no one was home, but we went ahead and walked down to the lake, threw some rocks in the water off the old fishing dock, and I may have shed some tears. (Not only am I sentimental, but pregnant...what a combination!)

We even took a picture of the kids in front of the tree house that my grandpa, Drew and I built. (I'm sure I was a huge help.)

So that was our trip. We got in the car, and drove home. It was amazing and we are already talking about where we will go next year...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Adele (FINALLY!)

So our sweet Adele had a birthday on Thursday. She turned 8...can you believe that?! We wanted to make sure that she had a special birthday particularly because Anthony was going to be gone the whole day at a conference and all the kids were home with Spring Break having started.

So, we started things on Wednesday by having a couple of Adele's buddies come home from school with her. They jumped on the trampoline, played Legos, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner. The weather held off perfectly and it was a great start to our celebration.

On Thursday we started the morning with birthday balloons and the opening of presents before Dad had to run off at 7:30. Her gifts included two new books for her collection and some fake frames that she is loving...hopefully that will mean no more popping out the lenses of her sunglasses!

We continued the day just playing at home until we ran over to the movies to watch The Lorax with Nana and Papa after lunch...and that's when things started to go downhill. Everyone enjoyed the movie, but Adele's mood had clearly gone quiet and when we got home she decided to go up to her room and actually fell asleep. (And this girl quit napping at 2!) She seemed even more off when she came downstairs and we debated as to whether or not we should still go meet Dad for dinner (Ethiopian...yummm). We went ahead, but before the food even reached the table, she needed to head home and went straight to bed. No cake, no birthday book tradition. It was so sad as the rest of us sat eating dinner, while the birthday girl was in bed upstairs.

The next morning it was clear that she was quite sick. Luckily, I was able to get her into the doctor first thing and found out that she had the flu. You know, the one you get a shot for...and the one none of us had gotten a shot for. So, to make a long story short, we are all now on medication to keep the rest of us from getting it (I think we are in the clear now) and Adele is finally feeling better which means that we were FINALLY able to finish celebrating our sweet girl tonight...

Happy Birthday my big 8 year old!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Loving us some 2012.

So, basically 2011 was a super crappy year. I mean, really really crappy. And as much as I believe that every day is a new beginning, there was something about seeing that year end that was just such a relief.

And now we are in the third month of 2012 and I have to say this year has already given us so much to hope for. Anthony has been loving (and really succeeding in) school, we are slowly healing from all the church crap, our kids are doing amazing, and well, what more tangible hope can you find in life than a new baby!?

That's right, I'm pregnant! And we are all just absolutely thrilled. Our kids are so excited and our hearts are so at peace. Our journey to this has been unexpected (I'll explain more on my adoption blog soon), but already it just feels so right for our family.

Anyway, so yeah for 2012!!! And a double yeah for the new beginnings that each day can bring!!