Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Pool Time

The City of Belton just built a brand new pool! It opened yesterday and so my sister Ashley and I took the kids! It was so much fun. 

Jackson splashed Ashley and she was all like, "what did you do that for?" Uhm... you're in the water!!! You're bound to get wet sometime!

Belle and I hung out for a little bit before getting in. She's anticipating the fun!

This is her new way of sitting in the stroller... slouched with feet up! She never puts them down.

Jackson loved the play thing in the middle of the kids cove and going down the slide

but he didn't really like the process of getting to the play set... he walked the entire way covering his eyes, sometimes running into things. Humorous.

And he loved the fountains too, of course.

Aunt Ashley took Jackson for several rides around the lazy river.

Jackson ended up being too short to reach the rope to climb across, but Ashley did it. 

Time for Belle to enjoy some water fun!

First, we went on the lazy river together

And then she played in these super cool little seats! They are perfect for pre-walkers!

I mean, look at the girl... she is totally just chillin'.

And this is how far we have to travel to enjoy some of this pool fun... this view is from our front window.

My housing location just got THAT much more awesome (especially since I still live on a side road, so it's still calm and quiet). Be jealous.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Doesn't this look delicious? 

Why yes, it's peanut butter and race cars.
He cried when I took it away... not because I was making him stop, but because he didn't get the chance to add the jelly. If he doesn't pursue his career in photography, he will certainly become an excellent chef!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there were two high school BFFs who did almost everything together. They only had a handful of school classes together, but writing/passing skillfully folded notes were a daily occurrence. After school hours were spent at volleyball practices before dinner, marching band practice after dinner; FCA on Monday nights, church on Wednesday nights, competitions on Saturdays. And then there were the sleepovers, mission trips, youth events, summer camps, double dates, you name it... they did it together!

Super Bowl Party 2000
(for the record, this Rams jersey was in support for the Super Bowl only-- supporting fellow Missiourians. I, however, am a loyal Chiefs fan.)

 Prom 2002

The bad news is that high school ended. College started. Life got busy! The good news is that they still keep in touch and it doesn't matter if it's been weeks, months, or years... they can pick up right where they left off without missing a beat.

Flashback: It's 2001. Legally Blonde hits the theaters. I have no idea if we saw this movie together, but I have my guess that we did. We, of course, then are in agreement that we will become lawyers and we will do so wearing pink.

Fast Forward a few years: We are both still studying our undergrad (which both happen to be marketing degrees) and MTV broadcasts the Broadway debut of Legally Blonde: The Musical. I looooove it!

Fast Forward a few more years: We're both in grad school (Casey is still on track with the law school plan; I am totally not). Legally Blonde: The Musical comes to Kansas City. I love it even more in real life. And I called Casey the next day and was all like, "OHMIGOSH! You've GOT to see this! You are going to be just. like. Elle!"

Fast Forward again. It's been ten years now-- it's 2011. Casey just graduated with her law degree- woo hoo! I'm a mom with two kids and an estimated graduation date of NEVER with my Master's Degree that has nothing to do with law. But we both do still share a mutual love of the color pink (it's the important things that bind us!). So, I somehow figure out that Legally Blonde: The Musical is passing through St. Louis, so I called and said, "We have to go!" and we made tentative plans.

Then this Monday comes along and it dawns on me that the play is happening THIS WEEK! I called Casey and (because of my wonderful mother who watched the kiddos) we totally put together a plan to go the very next day (yesterday). I drove to Columbia to meet up with Casey. We headed out for St. Louis, ate at Olive Garden, enjoyed the show from the free seats at the Muny, and then got in the car to drive to Columbia laughing at our pathetic selves for being so tired at 1am when we used to stay up that late listening to the Backstreet Boys years ago! She got up this morning to go to class (to get ready for the Bar) and I drove home.

It was a super fun, whirlwind of a trip! Makes my life feel kind of interesting actually. Totally worth the eight hours of driving there and back to see a silly musical. But it wasn't just about the show (which is fabulous), but it was wonderful chatting with such an old friend.

Our lives are so totally opposite now, but no matter how different they might become, nothing can change the fact that we were once two high school BFFs that did everything together. And that is just enough to ensure a friendship forever!

Monday, June 20, 2011


My new favorite photo: 

These two have special love for each other. Belle loves to watch Jackson doing whatever crazy, silly thing he may be up to at the moment and she gives him such big smiles! Jackson loves to join in when we are trying to get Belle to give us smiles or giggles and he likes to lay close to her while she flailing her arms around because when she happens to hit him, he laughs and says, "she got me!!" And it's not unusual for Jackson to take a break from his playing to go over and say things like, "Hey Baby girl" and "it's a-ight Belle, don't cry." So precious.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

"... Call my Dad."

So this comic was in the paper a few Sunday's ago and I actually laughed out loud.

With me, it's not changing a tire as much as it is checking my oil. He still periodically asks if I've checked my oil and my answer is, "uhm...  no." Before I got married, it wasn't unusual for the mileage to get up to 5,000 or 6,000 miles between changes. I still catch him checking the oil when I'm up at their house at times. He has shown me several times how to check it, but between him and Derek they've got it covered.

What makes this comic all of the more appropriate this Father's Day is that my dad is at this moment taking my car engine a part in attempts to fix the issue he's been trouble-shooting for over a year and a half. My dad is an awesome car guy. He acquired this free, pre-historic (as far as cars are concerned... it's over 20 years old) car earlier this year and he has it up and running like brand new. Whatever is up with my engine  (valve? pump? something like that...) is almost impossible to tackle for even a trained Ford technician. But my dad is awesome enough to give it a go saving us thousands, yes thousands, of dollars.

Yet, I realize that this will come at a cost of being reminded of this task for the rest of my life, I'm sure (like how I still hear about the time he took Jackson up to Trenton--without extra diapers--and Jackson had a poopy diaper and it's *my* fault). I told him the other night that I was super glad that he was my dad. He replied, "I'm not". Whatever. He doesn't mean it. Because without me, he wouldn't have his grand kids. 

I would say that I just need to get him a really cool Father's Day gift this year... but I just found the Panera gift card I got him FIVE YEARS ago in his desk earlier this week.  He can't get away with letting  a $5 card valuable stuff like that go to waste! Besides, I gave him a granddaughter just a four months ago. 

Seriously though, I'm so blessed to have him. Love you Dad!!

I do need to give a great shout out to my great Father-in-Law too. Several months ago, my sister Laura said to me, "I hope I have a father-in-law like Forrest someday." And I said, "I hope you do too!" :)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Four Months

Dearest Belle.

You are four months old today! And you just get more and more fun and cute every day. I know other people think so too because every time we go out, people stop just to soak up some of your sweetness! You know when you're the center of attention and you're pretty good at putting on a show.
(click on the picture to see it larger-- so worth it!) 

Ever since you were teeny-tiny, you've been eager to hold your head up and so now you're already sitting up with assistance! You've got a super-tight grasp so you've started playing with toys too! By playing, I mean, putting your mouth all over them.

You had your first taste of baby cereal the other day. It was a few days before your official four month birthday, but you were displaying all of the developmental milestones, so I did it anyway. This mama of yours is grasping at straws to get you to get over waking up to eat twice every night.

We put up your crib earlier this week. As much as I love you sweet child, I am so glad you aren't sleeping in our room anymore. Plus, it makes it so much more fun to come get you in the mornings and after napw! This is the face that awaits me every time! Even if you are crying, as soon as I walk in, you flash this huge smile-- and you legs go straight up in the air. It's so funny!

Clearly, we are so in love with you precious girl! But there are just a couple things we need to chat about. First, let's talk sleeping. You are getting up two times every single night. While you look all cute and happy in the morning, I do not. And it's starting to show. Grandma Linda called your dad to ask if you and Jackson could spend the night tonight because she thought I look like I needed a break, a chance to sleep through the night. So my lack of beauty rest is starting to show. Other than needing to eat, you're a great sleeper and take good naps. So, it's just the eating thing. Let's work on it. (If it helps motivate you, your brother was sleeping almost 12 hours a night by now...)

Next. All of a sudden, you have started to have poopy diaper explosions, like, everyday. Not cool. It's not just that I have to deal with the mess, but it contributes to the amount of laundry and it takes so much work to get out of your cute clothes. Lastly, you've started to spit up sometimes after a bottle, too. It's yucky.

I don't have any height or weight stats this month. I forgot to make your four month appointment until just this week, so we can't get in until next month. When we took you into the doctor a couple weeks ago, you weighed in at 12.5 pounds, so my guess is 13 pounds-ish? You're still pretty petite, wearing a lot of 0-3 month clothes and the 3-6 month clothes you do wear are pretty big.

I have to include one more picture. I looooooove your eyes. It's not just the blue color (like Daddy's) but it's the shape and the eyelashes, too. And the way you just look around to observe the world and the special looks you save for me and daddy. I could stare at them forever.

You're beautiful, baby girl. Your daddy and I love you very, very much! 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend: Family

Camping and shooting kept us occupied until Saturday evening. Derek played with the worship band Sunday morning (sounded awesome!) and then we basically just hung out until his brother and family got in town. We played The Game of Things (which I won) and had a good time hanging out.

The in-laws hosted a big family lunch on Monday. It was a good day!

Belle got to meet Uncle Brad for the first time that weekend!

A proud Great-Grandpa!

Julie was glad to hang out with Brad and Mary before she left. She and Brad are funny together.

Aunt Leah, something-cousin Aleta (we call her Aunt Aleta)

Jesse (one of Jackson's favorite guys) eating at the appropriate table!

Jackson got to play the xylophone on the ipad

And he got to play the banjo in real life! He loved listening to Uncle Rodney play.

And the highlight for my father-in-law for sure, was getting loved on (or tackled, you decide) by his two grandsons!

Whew. I'm worn out just from remembering the whole weekend! It was super enjoyable and I loved all of the family time!

Memorial Day Weekend: Shooting

I had promised Julie a long, long time ago that Derek would take her shooting and we were running out of time. Several members of our family and friends express their second amendment rights, so she has been eager to give it a try! Derek loaded up his guns (yes, plural... did you read that crazy internet stalker dude!? Don't mess with this house.) and we headed out in to the middle of nowhere to spend the afternoons shooting. If it gives you any idea of how far in the middle of nowhere we were, Jackson was counting barns to pass the time.

Here are some pics!
She's excited!
Introduction to Gun Safety 101

Getting the gun ready to shoot

BAM! Julie was awesome. She shot the three targets all in a row and then did it again so we could get it on video! 

I also got all of my targets in a row! And then I called it a day.

Mom and Dad both shot too.

 "Cover your ears Jackson!" ... and this is what he did.

Julie also got to shoot the AK47, which she got the target on the first try from 70 yards! 

And lastly, the rifle

This is the Pepsi can she demolished! (also a little snake, but that was gross so I didn't take a picture)

We all had a good time. Who knew Julie was going to be such a good shot?? Don't want to get in a gun fight with her!


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