Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Member of the Family

There are a number of things I enjoy in life but one of them, friends, is not change. I like order, routine and structure. My man likes to be spontaneous, doesn't make plans and frequently changes courses on a dime. Drives. Me. Bananas.

But opposites attract, right?

Last week I was sort in and out of blogland for several reasons. One was that it was the anniversary of a week one year ago that was extremely emotionally packed. In addition to saying goodbye to Bo and hello to Rambo, we also - during that week in 2010 - learned that one of Tonto's good friends had lost his wife to breast cancer at the age of 38 and my grandmother had major surgery as well.

Like I said, it was emotionally packed. And reliving it this year was somewhat emotional as well.

But another reason is that we were contemplating purchasing a new vehicle. These days we find ourselves with numerous 'tween girls visiting almost every weekend. This, at times, makes transporting all the girls difficult as my Trailblazer (aka Bob) only seated five.

So on Friday evening a big ol' change occurred. At least it was big to me.

We said goodbye to Bob...

...and hello to Bobby...

Bobby seats seven and that extra seating folds down nicely for cargo space when it's not needed. He's definitely a newer and sleeker automobile but I must admit to feeling torn about leaving Bob. 

Ironically, we brought Rambo home from the Killeen area on October 28, 2010. We brought Bobby home from the Killeen area on October 28, 2011.

One can only imagine what we'll bring home on 10.28.12 :-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Year Ago Today, Part Deaux

One year ago today, this little fella came into our lives, our home and - most importantly - our hearts.

He brought joy, healing, laughter, love and - most importantly - a fresh start.

He continues to melt our hearts, make us giggle, take up all the covers when it's cold and - most importantly - completes the Puppy Posse.

We are so incredibly thankful for his presence, his playfulness, his quirkiness, his snuggly personality and - most importantly - his acceptance of every member of the family.

We love you, precious boy, and are so grateful you are in our lives!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

If this doesn't say...

...take me to school, woman!!!

Then I'm really not sure what does...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Year Ago Today...

...we said goodbye to this sweet boy. Though we think about and miss you every day, Bo Bo, we are so thankful we'll see you again one day soon. :-)

And thinking about you hanging out with the baby brother or sister we lost in April makes me smile. You were the ultimate prankster so I guess it fits that you're the only one who knows if it was a boy or a girl! ;-)

Rest in peace, sweet prince.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekend Rewind

Though I could lie to you and insist we had an action-packed weekend that was both incredibly product and full of educational activities, the truth is that we were straight up bums who did as little as possible between Friday evening and Monday morning.

Truth be told, we've been really busy lately and I was running on fumes. When my head began pounding Friday afternoon and my sinuses were (again) threatening to revolt, I decided the high school football game was not in my future. Unfortunately, Tonto's knees kept him from going as well. :-(

Saturday the girl and I did some shopping with her birthday money. I think her selections of three Justin Beiber CDs along with Rio speak directly to her stage in life right now - not a teen but not a little girl either. Bless her sweet little heart.

We picked up the house, did some laundry and watched the new movie with Rambo that afternoon. It was his first animated feature film, which he slept through. Clearly he was mesmerized.

Sunday we went to church and Wal-Mart before heading home. I watched football while the girl viewed the Beiber movie again (I just couldn't do it again - once was cute but I think twice would have turned my sentiments to the dark side). After dinner (pot roast that was delicious and cornbread that was halfway delightful - the other half was a tad bit overdone), we all piled in the bed (Tonto and puppies included) to watch Zookeeper, which was super cute.

Before we knew it, Monday morning was upon us. Though we weren't that productive, I'm incredibly pleased to say that the girl and I were quite rested to begin the new week. Thank you, Jesus!

Tonto and I ran to the store yesterday after lunch where I learned about a snack that could be detrimental to my current fitness goals...

Can you even imagine?!?!

And, finally, this morning it was quite difficult getting out of the house because someone really wanted to go to daycare today. Unfortunately, he couldn't understand that Lexi won't be there until Wednesday. And today is not Wednesday.

Not only did he try to get into my car but he also refused to go into his kennel and parked his little behind by the back door. I had to almost drag him to his room where his kennel (and television set to cartoons) was waiting.

Good thing the little stinker is so darn cute!

Friday, October 21, 2011

There Is A God

There's a new country song out called There Is A God and it is, quite frankly, a really good song. I first heard it while doing Zumba (it was the cool down) and somehow I managed to both stretch and listen to the words at the same time. Apparently miracles truly never cease!

Most of the lyrics pertained to things that happen when you know, without a doubt, that there is a God. When you see a baby's heartbeat on an ultrasound. When the doctor can't explain it but the cancer is gone. The gist was that all you must do to know He is real is look around.

Shortly after, I was watching Nightline with Tonto (does that mean we're old?) and they were interviewing the parents of Baby Lisa, the 11-month-old who disappeared from her crib recently. Though I have no idea how this happened or whether the parents were involved (and really don't care as long as the baby is found), one thing the mother said struck me. When asked if she thought they would see Lisa again, she replied, "Yes, I know we will because there is still a God."

And that got me to thinking...

Yes, there is a God. And He is mighty and powerful and omniscient and good all the time. He cannot help but be. He is for us and can overpower anything or anyone that comes against us. If He so chooses. If it is in His plan. If it will further His name and/or our purpose.

But there was still a God when my baby's heart stopped beating on the ultrasound. There is still a God when people's loved ones die untimely and unexplainable deaths. There was most definitely a God when Taylor broke her elbow requiring emergency surgery, 14 months of rehab and endured much pain and suffering. He is still there when people are going through unfathomable hardships of many kinds be it financial, health, relational, etc.

We all mourned after the 9/11 attack but, guess what? The tragedy was unexplainable and ripped at the hearts of many. And there was still a God. And He was still reigning on high when my friend, Brandi, went to be with Him almost a year ago after a long battle with breast cancer. He's still with her precious children and her husband.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that buying into the notion that all we have to do is look around at the good things going on in the world to know for sure that He is real, simply isn't enough. Why? Because He also works things that are meant for our harm into good. 

Though we've walked through some serious valleys this year, He's still been with us every second. Even when I was angry and bitter and made the choice not to see what He was doing through our situation, He was still there. No question.

And I can assure you we have had some wonderful experiences this year and our relationships have grown deeper through the loss of our child. The same can absolutely be said about Taylor's elbow injury and Tonto's many knee surgeries, procedures and therapy. None of these things may have happened otherwise.

Perhaps I'm just being overly sensitive or picking apart some random comments and lyrics but if I've learned anything in the last six months, it's that pain and trouble can (and probably will) happen even when we're in His will. Truth be told, that's one of the biggest thing I've wrestled with because I've done a lot of things myself - completely outside of His will - through the years that caused me immense pain and had devastating consequences.

But that wasn't the case this year. 

We didn't do anything to cause this trouble that ripped our hearts in two. We were in church, serving others, studying His word and living out what we believe are callings on our lives.

Are we perfect? No, absolutely not. But we also weren't caught up in a stronghold of sin.

And our baby still died. 

But there is still a God, friends. And I know this - without a doubt - because there's no way I would still be standing - much less finding joy - today if there wasn't...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Party Like It's 1999

After our afternoon of paintballing (is that even a word?), we were all starving. After enjoying some pepperoni pizza (they all agreed - can you believe it?), it was time to get down to business. And that meant cupcakes with buttercream icing that was cleverly made to look like it had been hit by paintballs and cake balls.

We set a table full of snack foods that the girls could graze on throughout the evening. Did I mention they were all spending the night? 

In addition to these super cute mints, we had cheese cubes and crackers, fruit and dip, chips and dip and peanuts. Top that off with a cooler full of Gatorade, water and Diet Coke and you have some very happy 'tween girls.

This fella is scared of pretty much everything and especially people he's never seen before. Pizza crust did the trick luring him out into the open, though. In the end, I think it was good for him to have so many strange people in his house as he seemed to get more comfortable as time went on.

Soon it was time for the main event!

And for Logan to head back to work. Cannot believe she's almost as tall as he is...

Presents were opened right after we cleaned out the old refrigerator and got ready for delivery of the new one :-)

This year's theme was bright, solid colors. Everywhere. And it was fun, easy and festive.

Shortly after these photos were taken, the ladies sucked all the helium out of the balloons and then had a water balloon fight. Good times...

Cute paper lanterns. From Dollar Tree, friends. Yep, one dollar per pair. Can't beat it!

Inside the favor boxes were playing cards, which are apparently a big hit at this age. They also each had a souvenir shirt from the paintball portion of the evening :-)

And the aftermath...

While picking up plates with half eaten pizza, water bottles, Diet Coke cans, pieces of balloons and cleaning icing off every surface in the kitchen, Tonto and I came to a conclusion: 'tween sleepovers and frat parties have a lot in common the next morning.

It was a super fun party and the girl indicated she had a blast. And that's all that really matters to me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Paintball?

When the girl requested a paintball party, I must admit to being surprised. When Tonto informed me that those little paintballs sting pretty badly upon impact, I was skeptical. When the girl asked if boys could attend, I was shocked. In the end, though, the big party was a rousing success. And, unfortunately, all of the boys had conflicts (except for big brother, Logan) so they could not attend.

There's always next year, I suppose...

The before shots...

The 'trying to fix the jammed gun' shot...

The 'we're decorating our shirts (which also served as party favors) shot...

And the action shots...

The 'I just nailed my son in the nose' shot...

The 'Who, me?' shot...

Back to the action...

And the after shot...

In addition to playing in the speed ball area (where the inflatables were), they also headed into the woods for a session but I remained in the pavilion where it was nice and safe. The girls had a great time, Logan was a huge help and basically led them through the whole process, and they wore themselves out a bit.

We thought they would bail after being hit once but the ladies (and gent) persevered and have some minor bruising to show off as battle scars for the next week or so. Apparently Tonto shot the girl in the behind at one point and she has told every person she's seen since about it. No secrets with this one...

All in all, it was a win!

After we'd exhausted all of the paintballs (including an extra bag - thanks Nana!), we piled back in the cars and headed home for pizza, cupcakes and lots of other snacky foods. But that's a post for another day...namely, tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moonlight Madness

Last Friday was very special for our men's basketball team at Baylor. They were chosen as one of 11 sites to host Moonlight/Midnight Madness on ESPNU. It was the first time we've ever been to an event like this and, y'all, it was so much fun.

The place was rockin' thanks to some super excited fans and the Courtside Players.

My girl brought a friend along...truth be told, she almost never travels alone these days. :-)

Clearly they did not sit with us. They were exploring pretty much the entire time. Oh, to have that much energy.

Because I've interacted with a number of the players, I already knew that there is absolutely no shortage of personality on this year's squad. They are the funniest, most outgoing group I've ever see at Baylor and I have no doubt they're going to be a lot of fun to watch on the court. But nothing really prepared me for them to come out like this...

...and then to get their groove on...

It. Was. Awesome.

Below are our freshman phenoms - Quincy Miller and Deuce "The Dunker" Bello.

Little team huddle before the festivities began.

One of my favs - Fred Ellis. Look at that perfect form.

Brady "Sharp Shooter" Heslip. I'd not yet seen him in person but, friends, let me tell you this fella can shoot the trey with unbelievable accuracy. It was pretty amazing to watch.

Ekpe Udoh was in the house as a celebrity judge for the  dunking contest.

As was Brittney Griner.

The dunking contest was won (decisively) by our new point guard, Pierre Jackson. He led his junior college team to a national championship and, y'all, this kid has spunk. He's 5'9" and can jump higher than anyone I've ever seen in my life. It was like he had flubber (remember that movie?) on the soles of his shoes. Cannot wait to see him in a real game.

There was also a 20-minute scrimmage at the end of the program.

This was the first allowable day of practice but, friends, I was amazed at their speed. They are much faster than last year and after watching a lot of the coverage on ESPNU, it appears they're faster than most of the country.

I've got a feeling this will be a phenomenal basketball season for Baylor on both the men's and women's side. And you can bet we'll be there cheering them to victory - right after we hit a bowl game to watch our football team ;-)

Sic 'em, Bears!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cuteness Overload

Well, Monday, we meet again. This past weekend, friends, was epicly busy. Between Moonlight Madness at Baylor, the Heart of Texas Fair and the big paintball/sleepover birthday party there wasn't a dull minute to be found.

And did I mention our refrigerator went out on Friday? And that our new one was delivered smack in the middle of the sleepover?

Good times. But I'm so thankful it went out now and not after Dave has knee surgery. Oh wait, I haven't mentioned that here. Guess the cat's out of the bag...and now you know what we'll be doing on 11.11.11 :-)

I do have a slew of pictures to share but for now I'll just leave you with this overload of pure cuteness.

He's been in a super cuddly mood lately and he's even chosen to snuggle with me instead of his dad on several occasions. I chalk it up to the fact that I'm his ride to daycare, which means I'm his only option when it comes to seeing his girlfriend, Lexi.

Someone really should have cleaned his little allergy eyes before taking this picture. Oh wait, that would be me...

Happy Monday, y'all - see you tomorrow with the Moonlight Madness recap :-)