Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Weeks Without Kids!

Lucy, the mermaid
Maggie, the fortune teller

Snow day!

Freezing at the Rockies game

Us at Melanie & Jake's wedding

Fun times bowling

More bowling

....and more bowling

Lucy, before her first gymnastics class!

The kids went to Arkansas for two whole weeks in October during Maggie's fall break. The girls and I flew there on Oct. 8 then I flew back to meet up with Ian for a wedding in Vail that weekend. Ian went back to Arkansas for a guy's weekend for the AR vs. Ole Miss game and he brought the girls back on Oct. 25. It was both good and weird not having my girls for that long! The house was so quiet...and clean! I didn't raise my voice one time in two weeks, it was amazing! But, we missed them so much. I could not wait until they returned. I think they were pretty happy to be back as well. They got to spend time with Marmee and Papa Doug, Nana and Pop and Papa and Mawsie. They sort of rotated to different houses so they got to spend time with their cousins. Ian and I had the opportunity to do several things that we'd been wanting to do. We went to a Broncos game, a Rockies game, spent that weekend in Vail (for a friend's wedding), went out to eat at some great places, went clothes shopping for Ian and went to a movie - all things that are a little more difficult to do when the kids tag along! More than anything, we got to spend some quality time together, which was much needed. Ian got to reconnect with his college buddies for a weekend and do a little gambling in Tunica, so it was great. I don't know if I can handle two weeks away from the kiddos again, though! I may have to re-think this ten year anniversary trip to Italy that we're planning for next spring.

For Halloween Maggie was a fortune teller and Lucy was a mermaid. Maggie saw a fortune teller costume in a magazine that was pretty pricey so we set out to make a costume like it out of things we already had. I ended up spending about $10 on some fabric and that was it. I thought it turned out pretty cute and she loved it. Lucy has wanted to be a mermaid since last Halloween so the first mermaid costume I saw, I snatched it up. We had two feet of snow here in Parker in the days prior to Halloween so it had started melting by Halloween and it was a very wet, slushy night. Lucy kept falling down so she got pretty wet. It didn't slow her down though! She was running as fast as she could to catch up with the big kids. We spent the evening across the street with friends for their annual fall party, then out into the neighborhood for trick-or-treating. After the kids were all sugared up we all went next door to our friend's and let the kids run wild in their basement and we enjoyed some post trick-or-treating adult beverages!
Lucy has started a gymnastics class and she loves it. She is so sly - she's always cutting in line in front of some poor kid that is oblivious to what she's doing. Somehow she always ends up at the front of the line after she's just had her turn. It's pretty cute. Maggie's fall basketball season has started up again and so far they have won their games. They don't really keep score but they always make more baskets than the other team. Basketball is the one sport that she enjoys more than anything and she's not afraid to be aggressive. I'm very proud of both my girls! Unlike me, they are always so eager to try fun things and new activities.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where Did The Summer Go?

We've had a lot going on this summer! This was the first summer that we didn't really have any sort of plan for Maggie while she was on summer break. We hoped that she would be content to entertain herself each day while Ian and I worked out of the home. Neither of my kids play with toys or dolls, and watching tv all day was not acceptable. So, I got out my Mom's old trunk filled with ancient Barbie clothes and I actually had to show Maggie how to play with Barbies. For some reason dolls are just so foreign to her - it's like she just doesn't get it, like what's the point? She just has no imagination when it comes to dolls. I let her drag out all the dolls and clothes in the basement and for about two days it looked like a tornado hit. So, playing with Barbies lasted all of two days before she moved on to more t.v. watching. Luckily, she was invited to play with friends quite a bit over the summer and she had several play-dates here as well. We could not wait to get to Arkansas in July so the girls could play at the lake with the cousins.

We left for Arkansas on July 23 (my 34th birthday) and spent two wonderful weeks with all of our families. The girls got to see their cousin Ethan a lot and had several sleepovers at Nana's house. Ian's parents are in the process of building a new house in a great neighborhood in Benton. Having built our last home, I was so excited to see the design and structure of their house. I cannot wait to see the finished product later this year! Ian's brother, David, and wife Tara, are expecting a baby girl in a few months and we are excited for her arrival!

We spent a lot of time at my mom's house on Lake Hamilton. She is re-modeling the upstairs of her house so it was slightly under construction while we were there. She re-modeled the downstairs a few years ago, so after this project is done I think it will be even more improved. It's a great house, she's just making it more liveable for when the whole family is there at once. She has a great vision for what she wants. She's really good at that. We had some really lazy days on the lake. Mom made poodle skirts for Maggie and Lucy, which they are in total love with! Mom had found Maggie one years ago at a yard sale and Maggie played dress up in the old poodle skirt daily. It was made from a felt fabric and over time it had little fuzzy balls all over it. Now they have brand new ones and dress up in them ALL the time! Thanks to Marmee for taking the time to make them. They are very special to the girls. It's one of those things that they will always remember about their Marmee just like I remember my Mimmi sewing clothes for me.
I drove to Nashville, AR for one night to hang out with my high school girlfriends, Dawn, Carrie, Shawn, Ashley and Mandy. We get together about twice a year so I was totally excited when I got a text from Shawn saying that she was planning an impromptu get together. This took some great planning by her since we are all mostly living in different cities now. We had a blast as always and just hung out at Shawn and Mark's house. We ventured out to the many flea markets in Nashville and Mineral Springs and it was fun! I got a great deal on some Barbie clothes that Maggie will never play with...

The girls spent some time at my Dad and Anne's and Grant and Jill and the kids were there. My younger brother, Bennett, came in for the weekend so it was great to get to see him. He's living in Fayetteville this summer while doing an internship. He will be totally done with college in December, yay!

Maggie started second grade the first week of August and Lucy Jane started a new pre-school too. Lucy had some separation anxiety the first few days when I dropped her off and then Ian told me when he dropped her off she did just fine - not even a tear was shed! So we had a little talk about no crying at school anymore and I guess she listened because I haven't seen a tear since. She is getting to be such a big girl!

Above are some pictures from Arkansas and school.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Travels - Durango, Telluride and Ouray

Steamworks Brewery in Durango
Entering Mesa Verde National Forest

Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde - how the heck did they build those?

Trout Lake outside of Telluride

Blues Festival in Telluride

Mom, I promise I didn't just eat one of your bbq ribs!

Mountain Village Square in Telluride

Main Street in Telluride (after the parade)

Telluride - picture taken from gondola


I don't know if my descriptions or these pictures will do justice for the places that we visited on this trip. We first headed to Durango for the first night. Maggie got carsick the last two hours of our trip so the one night in Durango was spent in the hotel room. It was fine though - we ordered pizza and went to bed early. We left Durango and headed to Mesa Verde to the cliff dwellings. This is where indians built their homes in the sides of cliffs thousands and thousands of years ago. That was pretty incredible for their dwellings to still be in tact after all these years. Then we moved on to Telluride. If you have never been to Telluride, you are missing out! It is by far the prettiest place I have ever seen. It's such a unique little town that is nestled in this valley between mountains and there is a waterfall that trickles down one of the mountains. No wonder Tom Cruise has a home there! We actually stayed up in the mountain village where the ski resorts are and it is equally as beautiful. Telluride is out in the middle of nowhere!! There is not a Wal Mart or Target for hours and hours. I'm not too terribly high maintenance, but it would definitely inconvenience me to drive that far for Target or some Sonic tater tots with cheese! Then we started the trek home and stopped off in Ouray. Ouray is known as the Swiss Alps of the United States. I've never been to the Swiss Alps but I cannot imagine it being any more beautiful than Ouray!

Summer Travels - Colorado Springs

We have spent some weekends this summer traveling around Colorado. We spent some time in Colorado Springs (about an hour south of where we live) and went to the Garden of the Gods. Garden of the Gods is a place that has giant, vertical rocks coming up from the ground and we stayed a night at the Broadmoor Hotel. The Broadmoor has breathtaking views. Ian and I had been several times but this was the first time to take the kids with us. They got to swim in the pool and that made it all worthwhile to them!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer off to a good start

Here are several recent pictures from Lucy's face painting that she got at a neighborhood party, Maggie in her softball uniform, pics of Maggie with friends at school, and a Rockies (pro baseball) game that we went to.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Surprise Office Makeover for Ian

Ian was out of town earlier this week so I did a "while you were out" sort of office makeover and surprised him. He basically just had a desk, office chair and piles of papers lying all over the floor. It was becoming an eyesore and I was tired of looking at that mess. So, I painted the walls, built a shelf for his files and printer and hung some curtains and new art - tried to make it as masculine as possible. It's nothing special but it looks tons better! He was so surprised!

Before and after...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mother's Day, New Bikes and Mother Daughter Brunch

Maggie likes to write stories that start out "Once upon a time...." and I kept finding all these short, one-page stories in her room that were about two little girls who had no mother, only a father, and they hoped and dreamed they would get a new mother and finally one day their father fell in love again. I was starting to get a complex...was this Maggie's way of telling me she wished I wasn't her mother or wanted to trade me in for a new one? But Mother's Day came around and all my fears were erased because Maggie did and said some very special things and made me feel loved once again! We dined at Olive Garden for Mother's Day because I wanted a substantial meal. The last Italian restaurant that Ian and I went to we had minuscule portions and it cost almost $200. When we southerners want Italian we want the pasta to cover our entire plate and be smothered in alfredo or something really rich and bad for you. And we want all the salad and breadsticks that we can shove in our mouths. So, Olive Garden did just that for me! Here is a pic from Mother's Day and the new bikes that they both recently got.

Maggie's friend, Lauren, and her mother hosted a Mother & Daughter brunch this morning for all the little girls in Maggie's first grade class since the school year is coming to a close. It was so sweet. They drew pictures of their moms and I had purple hair, a big nose (of course) and was covered in freckles! All the girls filled out questionnaires about their moms and this is what Maggie put about me (and I'm spelling it exactly as she did):

My Mom is __33__ years old.

My Mom weighs __20___ pounds.

My Mom looks like _a tulup___.

My Mom smells like _a rose____.

Her favorite food is __salman__. (can't believe she knew there was an "L" in it)

Her favorite color is __green__.

Her favorite thing to do is __work__. (yeah right!)

Her favorite tv show is __home garden__.

My favorite thing to do with my mom is _sit__.

My Mom's job is _Acsiam__.

For fun, my Mom likes to _Read__.

The thing I like best about my Mom is _shes nice__.

She knows me pretty well except for the work answer, and the 20 lbs! Here are some pictures from the brunch with the pretty little ladies in her class and one terrible picture of me with Maggie, eyes about to close. I'm notorious for ruining a good pic with my eyes closed.