Tuesday, September 25, 2012


In the last week, I have heard from two different sources that siblings can and should be best friends.  When I hear something more than once in a short period of time, I start to pay attention.  
I've just always thought that obviously I want the girls to be best friends but it can't be forced. 
What if their personalities are too different or they just prefer to be best friends with others, is that so wrong? 
One source was set of parents who explained that it was a rule in their house that the siblings would be best friends.  
It is within these relationships that their children learned to honor, respect and love others and to work out conflicts.  
If children can't do this at home, how can we expect to do it out in the world?  
It was also a rule they said, because circumstances always change and other friends will come and go and move away, but siblings are always together.  
I still don't think I can force the girls to be best friends, but this value will be encouraged in our home.  
It is not something that just happens, we will have to work at it!  
In fact, I hear screaming right now (not kidding), so here is a chance to put it into practice. :) 
This was taken seconds after the first picture. Anna tends to hug Haven longer than she prefers.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Teenybopper already?

If we are home at 9 in the morning, I turn on Live With Kelly and Michael.  For some reason, I just really like that show.  Maybe it is because I grew up watching Live with Regis and Kathy Lee every summer.  I remember hearing my mom and her friend Cindy talk about Kathy Lee as if she was one of their friends.  I'm usually just able to catch clips of it while I'm doing other stuff, but I'll admit if there is something I really want to watch, I turn up the volume and tune out the girls.  The last time I did that, they smelled like Old Spice the rest of the day because they were playing with Daddy's deodorant.

Anyway, the other day, they had on this boy named Austin Mahone who could be the next Justin Beiber.  Anna usually doesn't pay attention to what is on, but as soon as he started performing, she was fixated on the television.  As she was watching him she said "I like him mommy".  My mouth dropped as I looked at my three year old who might as well have been one of the tweens in the audience screaming and singing every word to the song.

After my initial shock, I asked her "why do you like him?".  Her response was simply "because he has a happy face".  Sigh of relief...of course, she was just drawn to his happiness.  It made me think about the type of people that others are drawn to.  You know the people I'm talking about, everyone wants to be or thinks they are their friend.  From what I have observed, a common trait among these type of people is that they smile a lot and exhibit genuine joy.  It is my hope that people will be drawn to Anna and Haven because of their joy, not so that they can be popular, but so others will see the source of their joy!  Anna's reaction to Austin's happiness also challenged me to make an effort to not be as negative and choose to be happy!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who Needs it Anyway?

 On Sunday after church, Brad came home and went straight to bed complaining of stomach pain.  He said it was a different type of pain than he had ever felt in his stomach.  When he first mentioned the word appendix, I'll be honest, I thought there was a chance he was being a little dramatic and did not want to pay $500 for an ER doctor to tell us he had gas. (sorry, honey :)  After we spent about an hour researching online, Brad decided to call our friend, Adam, who is an ER doctor.  We happened to be going to lifegroup that night with Adam, so they planned for him to examine Brad.  After the exam, he told Brad that if it were him, he would go to the ER.  So he did and a couple hours later, the CAT scan confirmed that it was, in fact, appendicitis.    
(being dramatic for the camera)
 The surgeon came in and told Brad that he was exhausted from being up all of the previous night.  He implied that it was probably more dangerous for him to try to operate than to wait a night since the infection was mild.  Brad and I had been wanting a night away from the kids for awhile and we got it. 
 On Monday, he went into surgery around 12 and I was able to get updates of his progress on a screen in the waiting area.  During the whole ordeal, neither of us were very anxious since it is such a common procedure, but a little bit of fear crept up in me when he had to hand me his wedding ring right before surgery. 
 I was able to go and be with him in the recovery room around 2:30 and by 3:30, we were out the door. 
 His recovery has gone well and after being home a day, he went back to work today.  The most pain is in his shoulder from the gas they used to expand the abdomen during the procedure.  We are just thankful that it was caught early and that we have access to amazing healthcare in this country!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Family Getaway

A couple weeks ago while everyone else was starting school, we headed to the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop.  With all the activities and amenities, this place is ideal for families.  We went at the perfect time when rates were half off and the resort was only 27% occupied.  My only regret is that we didn't pay extra for a suite so the kids could have their own room.   

On the way there, we met up with the Dunhams at Phil's, one of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Austin.

We got to hang out with Oliver and Sawyer, their miracle, identical twin boys. 
The last time we saw them they were tiny babies in the NICU and now they are healthy, adorable 8 month olds.
What is the first thing anyone does when they walk into a hotel room?
We put bathing suits on right away and headed to the splash pad and pool.  Anna had so much fun with the other little girl in the picture.  She kept asking me if her friends or cousins would be at the resort.  She would go up and introduce herself to all the other little kids and join in with whatever they were playing.  I don't know where she gets that from???

The resort had a few areas where they planted native vegetation to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other insects. 
 This was one of my favorite parts of the resort, but the girls didn't exactly share my enthusiasm for nature.
This bench was in the butterfly meadow and right before I took this picture, Anna asked if she could play with my phone.  I was like, you have got to be kidding me, there are all kinds of amazing creatures and plants to look at and you want to watch some cheesy cartoon on my phone!  She isn't even allowed to have my phone unless we are in the car.  What are we going to do with what my neighbor calls the i generation!?!
There were donkeys and llamas to look at.
Brad was excited to show Anna one of his favorite childhood games, tetherball.  Until the ball barely grazed her head and she lost it.  Moments like this remind me that Brad needs a boy. :)
He sure does love these girls though!
One of the activites was finding a cherry buried in whip cream only using your mouth. 
I was so proud of Anna for digging right in since sometimes she doesn't like to get dirty!
We spent a majority of our time at the amazing pool with a beach, slide and lazy river.
I lost count of how many times these two went down the slide together.

Haven usually doesn't like to be confined to highchairs, carseats, shopping carts, etc. but was surprisingly chill and relaxed in the tube. 
Love these two.
In the evenings they had a firepit with smores.  For the girls it, was a perfect way to end the day.
(don't you love what Brad called my 80's hair? it fell in my face right when the stranger took our picture)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Burger's Lake Birthday

For the second year in a row, we celebrated my birthday at my favorite spot in Fort Worth.  
I think that officially makes it a birthday tradition.
This year was so much more relaxing than last since the girls are a little older.

Finding seashells and fossils...

Digging in the sand was an activity that clearly displayed Anna and Haven's different personalities.  
Anna was careful to only get the sand in her shovel and held up her other hand so it wouldn't touch the ground.  Once, when it did, she went to the water to wash the sand off.
It's not that she didn't want to touch the sand at all the whole time, but while she was focused on building something specific, she didn't want the sand on her.
Haven, on the other hand, was eating the sand and happy as could be while doing it.
Anna did LOVE going on the diving board over and over and over and, you get the point.
So did her cousins...
Little sister had to try too.
While Gigi cheered them all on.
Last year, Brad did a back flip off the high dive.  
This year he was inspired by the Olympics and went for a double back flip.  
He did it!
But paid a price...his leg was bright red and yes, that is a bruise in the middle.  
Sometimes he can be a perfectionist, so he attempted the dive 3 times trying to get a better entry. 
 It really was impressive, but I'm glad he stopped when he did.
I've had several friends tell me with fondness that they grew up going to Burger's Lake.  
I'd love for my kids to say the same.  
Can't wait til next year!
(Don't you love b&w photos and all the flaws they hide? :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

15 Months!

Big sister has been getting a lot of space on this blog lately, so it is definitely time for some pictures of this precious face!
This is one of my favorite pictures of her.  I love her smile, teeth and dimples and just feel like it captures her happy, playful spirit.
Another favorite!

She is little miss independent.
 I went through the last 3 months of pics and chose some that I thought were cute.  Then I realized that most of the pictures I chose demonstrate her independence in some way.
She confidently walks down stairs by herself.
She really likes to feed herself and insists that I give her a spoon or fork.  This is what happens when I give her yogurt.
 She is a pretty good eater but not a big fan of fruit.  I think it is a texture thing due to giving her too many pouches.  The only way to get her to eat it is to try to make it fun.
 She has been demonstrating self-care skills like brushing her hair and putting in hairbows.  She also loves to *try* to put on shorts, shoes and Anna's panties.
 Oh, and daddy's racquetball sweatbands.  She looks ready for a match in this picture.

She impressed me the other day when I found her flipping on and off the lightswitch after pushing the table over to the wall and then climbing on top of it.
 She will also sit and play with blocks for several minutes at a time, which is something Anna never did.
While she loves to be read to, I also catch her reading by herself all the time! It is one of my favorite sights to see. 

At her 15 month appointment she was 33 inches long and 26.7 lbs.  
She also had a surprise double ear infection.  I had just started to be concerned about her speech and hearing and literally a day after antibiotics, she started talking more!  No telling how long the poor girl had clogged ears.
We love you, little angel girl!