Monday, January 31, 2011

Photos by Carl, Part Deaux

Because my brain hasn't really engaged yet this week, I thought maybe we could try Wordless Monday instead of Wednesday?

Because, really, these pictures kind of speak for themselves...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photos by Carl

Last Friday evening we went on a bit of an unplanned scavenger hunt. We have been planning to purchase a "big kid" camera for quite some time now and my grandmother and parents gave us gift cards for Christmas (for which we're VERY thankful) to put toward this major purchase.

We hit Best Buy in Waco only to find out they were out of the camera we wanted and took a quick trip to Temple. While the trip itself was quick and painless, I can assure you the experience in the store was not. The important thing, though, is that we made it out in one piece. And with the new family member. :-)

We stopped at Chuy's (hello, creamy jalapeno!) on the way home for dinner and, while walking inside, I looked at Taylor - who names everything in our life, including my car whose name is Bob - and said, "it needs a name."

She immediately replied with, "That's exactly what I was thinking!"

I'm sure you've guessed by now that we take a lot of pictures so, of course, we'll need a way to beckon the chief picture taker by name. And the winner was....


So, may I now present to you the very first installment of Photos by Carl?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo Shoot!

Last Monday when Taylor and I went to the zoo, something rather expected happened. And it was glorious, y'all.

I mean the animals all being out and bringing untold delight was magnificent. Particularly the elephant to whom we said "hello," as he answered back by swinging his trunk directly at us and spitting. Awesome!

And the giraffe - I do believe it was Geoffrey - standing right outside of the door to his indoor habitat. And refusing to move. It was like he was saying, "you can make me stand out here in the cold but I don't have to perform or enjoy it."

The most amazing thing, though, was that my daughter headed over to the playground on our way out and said, "want some pictures?"

This has never happened before, y'all. Not once has this child ever played in this area and I can assure you she's never allowed me to take silly pictures like this...

...or this...

...and DEFINITELY not this...

...nope, never...

...and my personal favorite...

She has absolutely no idea how happy this little photo shoot made me and, no, I would not like for anyone to share that with her. Why? Because if she knew, she would probably refuse to ever do it again.

Such is the life of a 'tween, I suppose.

So I shall continue to sneak photos here and there and my soul shall continue to do jumping jacks when she willingly participates. I wouldn't change a minute of it for anything in the world.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sleepy Boy

In order to terrorize his sisters...

...stalk toilet paper rolls with an increasing obsession... us out of house and home...

...beg for bites of everyone's snacks with reckless abandon...

...learn to eat from a fork, which he's already mastered...

...explore every single inch of the back and side yards... with his friends at Dogtopia every Wednesday...

...continue his quest to render Tay's giant stuffed horse maneless...

...make us laugh hysterically walking around the house with said mane dangling from his mouth like a goatee...

...keep his dad entertained...

...and make us fall more in love with him every day...

...a growing boy must get some sleep!

And if he looks absolutely adorable - and INNOCENT - while doing so - perhaps his parents will forget about his wild shenanigans before he wakes up.

This seems to be Rambo's philosophy and, quite frankly, it appears to be working handily.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I Learned From My Daughter

My daughter has repeatedly proven that she's more hip than her mother. More creative. More boho chic. Has more concern for her fellow man. Loves animals like they are human. And on and on and on...

I know this sounds like a mother just tooting the horn of her child and, to be frank, I'm sure some of it is; however, she continues to teach me lessons about life each and every day.

Some fun.

Some not.

Some eye-opening.

Some just silly.

Last week was no exception.

You see, I checked her lunch account one day last week and saw that even though I had replenished her funds when school began again and had been packing her lunch every day (with the exception of one), entire meals were being purchased. One each day.

And I was confused.

And immediately jumped to the worst (and wrong) conclusions: a) she was asking me to make her lunch and just choosing to eat something else or b) she was loading up on carbs and calories for the entire day during the noon hour.

Neither were true.

I texted my man. 

His first words, "Casi, she's helping a friend. I just know it."

So I waited until I knew she was on the bus after school and, as it turns out, one of her friends was staying with her grandparents while her parents were out of town and she had no lunch money. No sack lunch.

Taylor insisted on bringing her lunch every day that week so that she would have enough money to purchase food and drink for her pal. 


She's cool, fresh, funky and - most of the time - fancy free.

But she also loves unconditionally. Isn't afraid of a little sacrificial giving. (Let's be honest, she probably would have preferred school lunch over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at least once or twice.) And she is more compassionate at age 11 than I am at 32. Sad but true...

She inspires me. And I am ever so grateful God chose me to be her mommy.

(Note: we had just dried her hair in this picture. That's why her shirt is wet...)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cameron Park Zoo - A Photo Essay

Our trip to the zoo last Monday was delightful because it was so cool that all of the animals were out and about.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Puppy Love

Last weekend was one of those that could be classified as both "the best of times and the worst of times." Not because anything major was going on but because Tay and I had a three-day weekend while Tonto was beginning a six-day stretch of 12-hour shifts.

That's 72 hours if my math is correct, which is a lot, friends.

Particularly when you have a bunch of rodeo injuries that flare up when the weather is cold and/or wet. Last weekend (and most of this week) presented us with both. :-(

The girl and I cleaned house most of the day Saturday but took a quick break for some silly photos because, well, it was a three-day weekend and what good is the extra day if you don't have some random photos to show for it on your blog.


Prissy apparently decided turn about was fair play because she decided to use Tay as a pillow. Ironic because the girl has used sweet Priss as a place to lay her head for as long as I can remember. Now Rambo has decided it's a comfy place for his noggin' as well.

The ever elusive Perkie was kicking up dust around the house while running from the camera so, alas, I can't share her sweet self though I can tell you she's lost some weight recently and is lookin' good. Prissy has lost about 20 pounds as well. Poor girl was having some major hip problems and the vet thought the thing that would help the most was losing those extra pounds.

Turns out Priss and I have more in common than I thought...

Anyway, this guy likes to pose for the camera but not when he's running around a million miles an hour trying to wreak havoc on everything that dares to move or look at him cross-eyed in a 3-mile radius. That probably explains the "let me go - I've got things to do" look in his eye.

But he's still cute. And I find the girl pretty stunning as well but maybe that's just because I'm her mama?

Anyway, we finished up the house and then headed to the movie theater to see Yogi Bear. It was super cute, way cheesy and a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon. It was also only 90 minutes long so I didn't even have time to get antsy or wonder if the movie would ever end.

Clearly I'm not a theatrical buff but, hey, she still sees all of the kid movies in a timely manner. I promise. :-)

At least all of the ones that are appropriate anyway.

And don't include things that are blowing up.

After the movie I'm pretty sure I made dinner and then tried to convince the laundry to fold itself but I can't really remember what we ate so I guess it wasn't worth sharing a recipe...

Sunday included church, more down time and another dinner I can't remember anything about. You'd think I would be really skinny with this problem but, alas, you would not be correct. I do know that we had a delightful (though dreary) trip to the zoo on Monday. Turns out brisk weather makes both the animals and my daughter want to take pictures.

Who knew?

I have tons o' photos to share of that but will bid you adieu for the weekend now because, well, I'm looking forward to seeing Tonto again. You know, other than watching him sleep... :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Restoration vs. Revival

Some time back I wrote about how 2010 had been dubbed the Year of Restoration for our little family. Well, it also seemed to be a year of pruning as well. Sometimes it was painless and other times, it was most definitely not.

We were incredibly blessed with the decrease in Dave's knee pain (though not completely gone) after his surgery and Taylor now has a fully functioning (and STRAIGHT) right elbow but those things came with a cost. It was not easy for Dave to spend 11 weeks non-weightbearing nor was it delightful for Tay to endure 14 months of appointments, therapy and strange looking contraptions on her little arm.

Our hearts were torn out of our chests when we said goodbye to our sweet Bo but we rejoice every single day for the gift that is Rambo. Ok, so maybe I don't rejoice in all the gifts he leaves for me but you know what I mean...I think...

Anyway, point being that when I look back at 2010 it felt a lot like a marathon. There were a number of personal business issues we had to rectify (and some took a great deal of work) due to some poor decision making in the past. They weren't things we really wanted to do but they were things that should be done. And so we did.

The awesome thing, though, is that we were so blessed along the way that it took me about seven months in to realize that - wow - we had been down some paths that had a lot of twists and turns and rock climbing involved. All metaphorical, of course.

As I have shared previously, we worked pretty hard at getting more healthy in 2010 as well, which was almost like a real marathon at times except for the fact that I don't run. But, you know, Zumba isn't for sissies so it counts, right?

But I digress...

All that to say that it was truly a year of restoring ourselves, relationships, financial matters and letting go while trusting God that some of our friends were better off in His arms than here with us.

So that brings us to 2011. I'm self-admittedly not a true fan of alliteration but I'm beginning to think maybe He is because the only word that continues to come to mind over and over again for this year is REVIVAL.

The word itself conjures up a mental picture for me but I'm relatively certain He's not encouraging me to dwell in a tent. I mean He could. And I would protest. But it's possible.

Anyway, I don't necessarily know what that means but I also had the word RESTORATION on my heart long before we learned about Dave's surgery, my grandmother's surgery or Tay's arduous journey.

But He knew all along.

So I'm curious. And, because I am who I am, a bit anxious. Way excited. And ready.

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Year 2010 - A Pictorial Review

You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you FOREVER.
Psalm 30:11-12