Friday, December 2, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. Emily had the entire week off and it was so nice to turn off our alarms and "sleep in." I use that term loosely, but the girls actually did sleep in until 8am and it was glorious!

Emily had a Thanksgiving Feast at school the week before and Mark and I got to go visit during lunch. Each class made a different dessert in kitchen class and they served a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The kids made cute decorations and decorated their table and they were so proud.

Sunday night we had our first "Friendsgiving" with Ben & Samantha and Alex & Emily. This was their first Thanksgiving together, so both boys were going to spend Thanksgiving with the girl's families. We wanted to make sure we spent time together since we wouldn't be seeing each other on Thanksgiving Day. The plan was to make paella at our house, but since we had such a busy weekend, we decided to go out. It was a much needed kid-free night for us! We stuck with the theme and went out for paella and tapas at Casa Rubia in Trinity Groves. It was so good and we all loved it. We'll definitely be back.

On Monday we took the girls to Purple Glaze to paint pottery, and even Harper and Ali enjoyed it and didn't destroy the place! Tuesday morning I took the girls to Whole Foods to get everything we needed for the week. Grocery shopping with them two days before Thanksgiving was either very brave or very foolish of me, but they had an absolute blast pushing their own carts around and we all survived. ;)

Our official Thanksgiving festivities began Wednesday evening at the Gilmore's. The girls played with the puppies, watched movies, painted jewelry boxes, and of course served as our waiters for the big meal! It's always one of my favorite meals of the entire year and this year didn't disappoint.

Ali couldn't get enough of the pumpkin cake I made!
After a late night, we headed home to get a much-needed good night's sleep because we still had more celebrating to do!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hadley's Birthday

Hadley celebrated her 6th birthday the weekend before Thanksgiving and she had such a cute party at the American Girl Bistro. Cousin Lillian even got to come in town from Oklahoma to celebrate too!

We walked around the store before lunch and the girls "ooohed and aaahed" at all of the dolls and accessories. And they added many things to their Christmas lists!

We sat down for lunch and each girl had a booster seat for their doll and cute party favors from the store. They really go all out and the girls had an absolute blast. Lunch was delicious and then they presented Hadley with a beautiful cake and we all sang Happy Birthday. She was on cloud nine the entire time. Lizzy made a scavenger hunt for all of the girls and they had a blast exploring the store after lunch.

We had a family dinner at the Johnsons Saturday evening and there were more presents to open and more cake to be eaten! In other words, it was a dream day for all of the girls. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear"

Ali has been reciting the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See" by heart when I pick her up from school and Emily recorded her reading it to us last night! I love the way she's holding the book out like she's reading it to her class at school. She is just the sweetest. :)

To see the cuteness, you'll have to go to the blog!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hot Springs

We had a great trip to Hot Springs Village a couple weeks ago to visit Birdie and Dodo. It's such a beautiful time of year to visit and Arkansas is gorgeous in the fall! We packed in lots of fun while we were there.

The first morning we went up to the Tower in downtown Hot Springs and Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo. They had so many alligators that were in hibernation so they all laid perfectly still and on top of each other. It was so freaky!! The petting zoo had the normal goats and deer to feed, but they also had arctic wolves and a huge mountain lion. It was pretty sad to see those animals in such a small place, but it was unreal to see them up close. Needless to say, both girls loved it.

The only near disaster was when we were feeding bread to the goats and a few of the rams were getting aggressive. They were behind a chain-link fence and the fence already had an indention from the ram running into it. Ali was feeding them and all of a sudden one reared up on his hind legs and rammed into the fence right where she was standing! Thankfully, she was a few inches back and it didn't make contact, but she still flew backwards. We were all completely shocked and speechless and I expected her to freak out. We all stood back and waited for her reaction, but she just hopped up, dusted off her pants and tried to feed it again! We decided it was time to go, ha!

During nap time on Friday, we took a ride in the boat and Emily helped Birdie make homemade chicken enchiladas. And of course, she set the table. ;)

Saturday morning we went to the "rock store," (Emily's favorite!) Science Museum and had an amazing lunch at a famous BBQ joint, McClard's. Emily came home with a beautiful geode, and she has it proudly displayed in her room. The museum was so awesome, and great for kids and adults. Everything was very interactive and we all had a fantastic time.

Saturday afternoon we relaxed, watched football, took naps, had drinks on the porch overlooking the lake, ate dinner, and finished the evening with more football. In other words, it was a perfect day. Emily and Ali love playing at their house, and Emily's favorite spot is the basement. She found all kinds of goodies and set up a tea party for everyone. She and Ali could have played down their by themselves for hours! We headed home early Sunday morning in time for the Cowboys game. It was a great end to a really fun weekend. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Few Things Right Now

A lot of bloggers do this and I think it's a great way to remember the cute and quirky things your kids are doing so you don't forget as time goes by!


You love school. I hope this never changes, but I have a feeling once homework, projects, and tests start ramping up this may change. For now, we're going to enjoy this phase and the fact that you come home everyday beaming and excited to tell us about your day and everything that you've learned.

Your favorite subjects are Math and STEM. In STEM you had to make up a game out of recycled trash. The game has a lot of details (and you're very specific about the rules!). In a nut shell, you toss packing peanuts into a hole created with all kinds of fun things. It's so fun to see your creativity come to life.

You're obsessed with your fort. She has created a "fort" behind the shed in the corner of the backyard. It's where you would assume bugs and critters are, but she considers it her secret place and loves hanging out back there. I pretty much refuse to go back there, but Bapa is a good sport and even had dinner back there with her and Ali!

At home, you love playing games. You definitely didn't get this from me, ha! You love board games and chess and will play them all day long. Thankfully daddy enjoys (or tolerates them), because I'm not what you would call a "gamer!"

You also LOVE setting the table and being the waiter. No joke, this is one of her favorite things to do at dinner every night. Most of the time, she's very helpful. ;)

You love the show American Ninja Warrior. She loves the show and is one tough cookie and loves bringing it to life!


You still love puppies. Your favorite stuffed animal, purse, and toys are all puppies. You love to feed them, put them down for a naps, and give them a check up. Basically, anything a little girl would do with a baby doll, she does with her puppies! I love the random assortment I'll find in her bed.

Reading to her puppies

You ask to go see animals everyday. Both of my kids are "doers" and each morning love asking what's on the agenda for the day. Ali knows she either goes to school or we go to the Y in the mornings during the week, but bless her heart, she asks to see animals everyday. Going to the zoo, pet store, or a petting zoo is her dream day.

You wear your emotions on your sleeve. If Ali is excited to see you, I promise you will know. She still prefers men and, unfortunately for my sister (the baby whisperer) and my mom, she gives them the stink eye half of the time. She keeps you on your toes and it's hilarious. We say you gotta have thick skin and a high self esteem, ha! And, if Bapa is in the room, don't even try to get any love from her. ;) Most of the time she's wearing a big smile on her face, but when she's in a mood, there's no trying to convince her otherwise!

Your favorite thing to play with daddy is "tickle chase." The second Mark walks in the door from work, the girls start squealing and running for him to chase them. It truly makes my heart happy. Apparently mommy isn't cool enough to play. ;)

Monday, November 14, 2016


Emily's teacher is on Twitter and will tweet updates and pictures throughout the week. It's so fun to get a glimpse into what they do on a daily basis. I actually had to create a Twitter account, because I've never been on it before! The school's faculty is all very active, and it's amazing to get a sneak peek of what will Emily will be experiencing in the upcoming years. Here are a few pictures from Emily's first couple months in Primer!

A visit from Dave Monaco, the head of the school!

Fun in P.E. class with Mr. Doole

Blessing of the Animals Day

Cookie Fries at the State Fair!

Dads Day

Studying Dinosaurs
Rachel, their Blair Fellow, who visits the class from the Upper Campus once a week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Halloween 2016

We got home from Austin Sunday afternoon, and it was time to get ready for Halloween! Emily had a costume parade and sing along Monday morning, so we all went to watch her. Mark dressed up as Peter Pan this year (his team at work did Disney characters), so Emily went as Wendy Darling and Ali was Tinkerbell. Mark went in costume to Parish, and it was hilarious to see all the other moms chuckle and wave at him. Go big or go home is definitely his motto. ;)

The kids sang "spooky" songs and then paraded (I use that term loosely, lol) across the stage with their class. It was so cute to see all of the kids costumes, and the teachers went all out too!

To see the videos, visit the blog. 

Unfortunately, we couldn't make it work logistically to visit Southwest on Halloween. It's hard when it's on a Monday! Thankfully, we saw lots of pictures of George Washington and his gang.

We usually go to Plano for Trick or Treating, but traffic has been horrible the last couple years when Halloween is on a weekday. I got word of a street in my neighborhood that goes all out, so we decided to do our house this year. It was weird going in the daylight because Halloween was before Daylight Savings, and Emily told me afterwards that she "only likes to Trick or Treat in the dark." ;)

We had a great time and it was so cute to see Harper and Ali get in on the action this year. We saw lots of friendly faces, front yard parties, and lots of moms and dads drinking wine on the go. I didn't get any pictures of the big girls in action, because the second we got to the street with the candy, they were off! Mark was in charge of them, and the rest of us hung back with the little girls. They were much easier to manage, lol.

After the girls were satisfied with the amount of candy in their buckets, we walked back to eat dinner and to count their loot. I laugh because my girls are way more into looking at and counting their candy than eating it! We let them pick a few to eat that night, and they still like to look at it, but they haven't asked to eat any since that night. For my girls, it's all about the experience of going Trick or Treating, not the candy!

The girls had a wonderful Halloween, but lets just say no one in our house was on their A-Game Tuesday morning! I felt sorry for all the teachers that had to deal with the Halloween Hangover. ;)

I went as Peter Pan's shadow ;)

Ali's new trick: closing her eyes when you try and take her picture. NOT my favorite trick. ;)

Their favorite part of the night!