Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm surprised I can even type today...

...since my entire body is one large pile of sore.  Why you ask? Well, I thought since I was in good running shape, a one hour "Cardio Challenge" class would be a breeze. After all, I can run for two hours straight fairly easily (in case you are wondering, I've been training for a half marathon ;-)), so one hour of cardio is just a warmup right? Well, the Jillian Michaels-esque, sadistic, psychopath, drill sargeant of a YMCA instructor obviously felt otherwise.  Who decided incorporating push-ups in a cardio class was a good idea? Then, the next day, I decided to do my first weight lifting class in a long time ever, which resulted in me not even being able to lift Jude into a shopping cart at Ye Olde Target because my arms had somehow been replaced by jellyfish.

So that's why I'm a huge pile of sore. Now I'm sitting in a computer chair, and the second I get up to do anything, my whole body is going to scream in protest as I limp away.

Anywho, I'm still blogging some fabulous people from the Fall, so in no particular order, here are a few more beauties :-). 

Oh, and the little bitty sporting the "Love" dress did indeed say "I love you Ms. Tracy" about halfway through the shoot. <3, <3, <3.

These cousins are back from last year :-)

Know why I love the picture below so much? When I went over to Mom's house to help her with her order, she looked at this image for the umpteenth time and a big grin spread across her face. She told me I could not have captured their individual personalities any better than in this picture. 

Love that.

And a girl playing with her lovie in the sunlight ::Sigh:: nothing more lovely that that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ms. Jelly and her Cake

I was quite pleasantly surprised when Mom surprised me at the end of this session with request for some one year cake smash pictures!

And it could not have been more fun!

I'm catching up on blogging sessions from the fall... in between kid's gymnastics, swimming, and tae kwon doe (allow me a small digression here to push the merits of your little princesses learning martial arts. I'm all about seeing little girls in dance recitals, but I am so incredibly impressed with the skills they are learning in tae kwon doe. Skills that could potentially save their life one day. As crazy as it sounds, I can't get enough of watching my little girls learn how to fight and defend themselves. This is coming from someone that tears up every time she hears the song "Imagine." And they look just as cute in a gei as they do in a tutu :-)).

I think this was my favorite Christmas card I designed this fall:


(I mean, seriously, how much does this family rock for changing into Christmas jammies in the woods, in sub-zero temperatures?!? 

(OK, you have to know I am kidding about sub zero temperature right? This IS Houston after all!)

Expect to hear me talk more about the mommy from these pictures above. She is starting a business full of mouth watering, deliciously tasty and equally as beautiful eye candy, and ... well you'll just have to wait to hear more about THAT later.

Speaking of tutus- check out my niece!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy FIFTH Birthday Presley

Presley, my sweet, sweet Presley.

Four years and 364 days ago, Daddy and I went out for sushi with friends. It was one week before you were due on January, Friday the 13th, 2006.  I remember I was wearing a black wool turtleneck sweater that covered my humongous pregnant belly, low rise dark blue jeans (not maternity jeans I might add... don't hate), and black high heeled boots. The friends so happened to be Chad and Katie, who you know now know as Annemarie's mommy and daddy. We all went back to the townhouse Daddy and I had at the time to hang out a bit more. I was laying on the couch, trying desperately to pretend I was not falling asleep, when I felt a very weird popping sensation. My heart started pounding and I shot up and ran to the bathroom, but after an uneventful minute or so, I figured I must have imagined it. I walked into the kitchen, and there, in front of everyone,  a huge gush of "water," more water than I ever could have imagined was being held in my belly, was all over the kitchen floor.

The contractions started immediately, and at about 2-3 minutes apart.  You were coming much, much quicker than I thought possible for my first birth. I had only partially packed my hospital bag, and Katie ran upstairs to help me finish. I remember her laughing because I was trying to find my straightening iron in the midst of the contractions (girls with hair like me go nowhere, and I mean, NO WHERE, without their CHI).

I won't go into the details of the L&D with you just yet, but I will tell you this. I was TERRIFIED of the process. My entire life, it was something I dreaded having to do. Had I known what I know now, that terror would have never esisted.  Bringing you into this world was the best, most amazing, meaningful, and profound thing I had ever experienced.  The physical pain and mental endurance it took was unimportant and forgotten the split second I became a mom for the very first time.

I just feel like you should know this story of your birth... I don't want you growing up in fear of something that is in fact... incredibly beautiful.  I want you to look forward to that moment when you become a mom and your heart grows a thousand times bigger.

Love you my dear.

This is who you are at five years old:

1) Affectionate. Soooooooo sweet and affectionate. I hear "I love you Mommy" or "I love you all the way to God and Jesus and back," at least twice a day from you. It is almost always the first thing that comes of your mouth in the morning. Of course, sometimes, in the thrust of a meltdown-over-nothing-because-that's-what-kids-do, I hear "I don't love you!" which is sometimes followed by "and you are NOT coming to my birthday party!! or "I'm going to live with Nanni!!" (I thought I had those outbursts to look forward to when you were a teenager?) But I know you don't mean it. Which leads me to your next quality.

2) Despite being so sweet, you sometimes have quite the temper. Daddy and I call it the "doe-ee-bird rage" (you DO know this business is  the nickname we have for you right?). Luckily, that rage does not rear its ugly head too often... but when it does- whoaaaaaaaaa- watch out world!

3) Generous- the very act of giving is more important to you than any material possession. Yesterday, I allowed you to pick out a ceramic piggy bank as your birthday present. You and your siblings have wanted new ceramic piggy banks for a very long time... at our house, there seems to be a trail of previously owned and quickly broken swine, and I refused to buy new ones. But since you so earnestly asked for one for this very important fifth birthday, I allowed you to pick one out. As soon as we brought it home to show Kaylee, you noticed the look of yearning in her eyes and the catch in her voice as she admired it. Without a second thought or any hesitation at all, you gave it to her.

4) Funny. Really stinkin funny. You crack me up on a daily basis.  You told me just this week, in your sweet little four year old voice that still pronounces "r"s like "w"s- "Mommy, for my sixth buwfday, I want to have a pawty in the dawk, where ev-we-one is naked. OK?"

5) Shy. You are more like I was as a kid than your dad (who was likely born crazy and outgoing). You take a while to warm up to new people and situations and they usually have to earn your trust.  But once they have it, WOW- you are just as sweet and affectionate as ever. Bringing presents and cards to your teachers that you love is a weekly occurrence.

And oh, you are SO camera shy. Out of all my kids, you like getting your picture taken the least. I have to catch you in the right mood, at the right time, or else its a no go.  Totally unlike Emily, Kaylee, and Jude, who usually love it!

6) Opinionated. Especially about clothing. I gave up trying to dress you a very long time ago.  When you find something you like to wear, it is not surprising to see it six out of seven days a week. You were this way with your pink Beatles Tshirt (a mighty fine shirt I must admit), and various other outfits.  And you HATE when I tell you that you are "cute." Sorry I say it so often... but you really are.

I hope you have a wonderful fifth birthday today and that your party tomorrow is everything you have been wishing for.  I love you all the way to God and Jesus and back.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Gheeesssshhhhh, someone needs to kick me for neglecting this blog, and especially for neglecting to post Emily's 8th birthday post!  I thought about it almost every day, really I did, but couldn't find the time to sit down and put it all into words.

So I missed Emily's 8th birthday post... it should have happened the day I got back from Mexico- on her actual birthday-  but here is the belated version :-).

Happy 8th my Emily.

Eight is a strange age to me. Not quite a little girl, but definetly not yet a pre-teen.  

This is who you are at eight years old:

1) Creative- your eyes gleam when you saw the motherboard the appliance repair guy removed from our refrigerator. When he left the old one on the counter, you were the first to grab it and work it into one of your creations. A spare box is NEVER just spare box to you. It's usually ends up part of a robot, a computer, or some new piece of furniture for your room. 

2) Still a performer- you do love a good audience to show off those dance moves. And if I could do the robot like you, I would probably show it off every chance I got as well.

3) Tenacious- you won the Presidential Academic Award at the end of first grade, not for the best academic performance in the first grace, but for the most improved academically. I've got to tell you- that makes me so proud that you overcame some academic obstacles to show such vast improvement.  You still struggle with math, but let me tell you a little secret about life. You will have an "aha" moment one day when those pesky equations click and it all makes sense and you won't even remember how you struggled with them. You may not even realize you have had that moment, but I hope you do. I hope you have many "aha" moments and realize you have had them. To be honest with you, my most profound "aha" moment came in college. After struggling through a statistics class, I had subconsciously decided I would just never "get it" and accepted it as such. But it ended up clicking one day. And I realized it had clicked and that I was so wrong to accept I would never understand....and I've never been the same since. Not because I understand statistics now (although I have likely forgotten 99% of the theories), but because I realized the struggle was there for a reason. Tenacity, my dear, is much more important than "getting it" the first time around. Cherish those "aha" moments.

4) Courageous- you were chosen by your second grade teachers for the "Dynamite Dolphin" award for Courage. Your teachers explained this was because you always have the courage to raise your hand and participate, even when you are not sure you have the right answer.  And because you stand up for people if someone is being unkind to them and tell others "no" if they are asking you to do something you know is wrong. Just typing that out makes me want to cry with joy. Kindness and Courage. What important qualities to possess.

5) Friendly- although not quite as in your face crazy  outgoing as Kaylee (and really, who is?), you make friends easily and get along with everyone. I never have to worry about you in a social setting- I know you will do just fine with anyone you happen to encounter.

I hope you had a good 8th birthday! You certainly seemed to have fun at your first ever birthday sleepover, I busted a room full of giggling girls still wide awake at 1:30 a.m!

Oh and I forgot one thing. A pose-for-the-camera beauty! See photos below.

... although often, I end up with shots more like this...

{playing for change}

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