Did you know that we can't control everything in our lives?

I know, right.


Well, we can't.

And, sometimes, it sucks.

But how great is it that we have someone else in our lives that CAN and DOES control everything? Even if we don't want to relinquish it. Even if we don't understand it. Even if we don't really like it.

Someone else worries for us. Takes care of us. Listens to us even when we don't say a word.

As we were reading our "Jesus story" before bed last night with Radley, a line stuck out. "When you are tired, hungry and weak, God takes care of you."

When aren't we tired? Hungry? Even weak from work, worry, concern?

Everyday God is there. To watch us. To love us. To protect us.

Then as I was laying with Radley I started to think about what I would do without him and began to cry. I started to think about God sacrificing his ONLY son for me. And for you. And for people that don't believe.

So that we may have ETERNAL salvation.

And then control didn't seem to matter as much.

As we enter the rush of the holiday season, take time to sit and think about the REASON for this season. Why we celebrate. What CHRISTmas is about.

Take time to count your blessings both big and small and know that I count you as one of mine!


Thanksgiving by the shore...

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and going to the beach has always been my favorite choice for vacation.... so imagine my giddiness when we decided to combine the two!!!


The only thing that would have made it better was having the "California Crew" with us. We left on Wednesday morning to arrive to great weather, an awesome condo and the perfect view:

A very gigantic thanks to Dinah Jane Hutson for opening her condo to our family!! We threw all the bags in the room and quickly headed down to the beach. GiGi was pumped until we came upon this sign:

But she got over it and forged on to the water.

I can't even begin to tell you what a great idea this turned out to be. We were instantly relaxed and had not a care in the world which is completely atypical when you usually host a big meal the next day. This was a great break from our normal frenzied holiday; one that I can see becoming a tradition!

Here is a little highlight recap in a few pictures (and by a few, I mean tons...)

Day one at the beach... nothing like some fun in the sun! I LOVE Texas even more (if possible) for giving us the kind of "fall/extended summer" weather that allowed us to do this! The ocean breeze made the day perfect and the humidity even gave us a glimpse of some curls on Emmy!

Thursday morning instead of hustling around to get the turkey in, start reheating the sides prepared the night before, setting the table, etc... we ate a yummy breakfast, made some coffee and headed down to the shore.

Look at the joy on this kid's face...

We could not keep him out of the water, but it was a little cooler on Thursday, so we cut him off once his lips started to change color.

I love that you can see Emmy's left arm in his picture, like she wanted to grab big brother, too.

Once we got back from the beach we started to cook lunch while this little turkey sat and played...
Again, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The family, fellowship and food without the build up of presents is my idea of a holiday. But since we went non-traditional on location, we also went non-traditional on the food. And, man, am I glad we did!

The line up:

Bonnie's Coconut Shrimp

Two-tone Twice Baked Potatoes

Grilled Sirloin, Chicken, and Pork Chops

Squash Casserole & GiGi's Stuffing (sans turkey)

Bonnie also made pecan, pumpkin and chocolate pies. To. Die. For.

One of my favorite things about beach condos is the eclectic collection of serving dishes. Please note the glass that Radley chose. I promise, that is milk and not a white Russian (but doesn't that sound delish?)
After lunch and naps it was back to the beach one more time for sand and surf. And by sand, I mean Radley would dig up sand and put it in buckets to give to us. And by surf, I mean Ryan spent about an hour trying to boogie board. Operative word = trying. ;)

And then the cold front hit.

But that did not deter us from heading back out there! Instead of Black Friday, we celebrated beach Friday, which takes a lot out of you...

After naps, we headed out one more time all bundled up on the beach.

And I am so glad that it was cold just for this picture:

And this one, too:

We had an absolute blast and those four days made me even more thankful for all the gifts I've been given.

Namely two happy, healthy, beautiful kids.
And a sweet husband that left early Saturday with my Dad to take home the latest 3 victims of the stomach bug (glad you are better Jeremy, Bonnie and MaMaw!)

It was the perfect way to spend this holiday. None of us wanted to leave. Instead, we would have rather thrown a big fit right in the sand than walk to the car and go.

Oh yes, I see a new biannual tradition forming. Anyone wanna come along?


Tiny Tales Thursday

Radley got rather fond of informing me that I had a baby in my belly while I was still pregnant. Towards the end he also liked to tell me to "take her out, Mommy."

Well, my friend, Amber, and I were hosting a dinner last week and she is 7 months pregnant. Radley was excited that "Miss Amber" was coming over; however, I forgot to inform him that she was having a baby.

Amber: walking in door Hello??
Radley: Miss Amber!! seeing belly You have a baby in your belly!!!
Amber: Yes, yes I do.
Radley: Mommy had a baby in her belly, too.
Radley: But she came out.
Radley: And then pooped her pants.

And that is parenting in a nutshell!!


We are the Aggies...

I'm not usually one to be a "die hard" anything.

However, there is something about November that makes Aggieland even more of a special place. All my Aggie friends will/can agree that we have some unusual traditions that my non-Aggie friends think are crazy.

And, well, maybe we are a little crazy, but we are also bound together by a "Spirit that can ne'er be told".

I have felt that Spirit this week as November 18 marked the 11th anniversary of the Bonfire tragedy. I was tempted to do an entire post about Bonfire, but my words will never do it justice. One day I'm sure I will attempt, but for now I will simply say that day, that moment in time, while tragic, will also remain one of my proudest moments as an Aggie.

In the days that followed 40,000+ students, community members, former students and others came together to support a fallen school. Every one did as much as the could and no matter how big or small the gesture, it was felt by all of us.

I LOVE living in College Station and I love working at Texas A&M. Now, while I may joke about the small things that sometimes drive me crazy, I am glad that my kids will grow up here and hopefully grow to love this school as much as Ryan and I do.

Saturday was not just "game day" it was THE game day of the year. Our last game at home and the official Maroon Out game (the game when we attempt to make Kyle Field a sea of maroon). We were all dressed in our best game day gear and ready to head to campus.

The whole crew was going... and managed to all fit in my Dad's truck:

Katy, Ryan, Radley, Emersy, GiGi, Pops, Krista, Will, Kayla, Bonnie and Jeremy.

All of us.

In one truck.

Radley and Kayla were pumped and did not mind at all that crazy people were in the back of a pick up. Thank God for Texas. :) Just a normal occurrence around here. We made it to campus and did what all good Aggies do... crashed a tailgate! :)

Thank you, Tackitt Family, for welcoming our crazy crew! Kelly, we are so excited that you will join the ranks of "3202"!

We took Radley and Kayla to the "kids Yell Practice" and as you can imagine, Radley fit right in with all that yelling for sure!

Next it was time to watch the Band march in and if you know my family at all, you know that we like a band. Radley was MESMERIZED by them. (see below). I don't know if it was all "the big guys" as he likes to call college students or the noise or the uniforms or all of it, but he couldn't get enough of it!

Of course no tailgate was complete without food:

Annaliese '31
Kayla '30
Caroline '30
Radley '30

The kids were so popular that we had tons of strangers snapping there pics and sending them as text messages. We should start charging.

And don't worry... Emmy '32 was there, too! GiGi and Pops had her under wraps. :)

It was a GREAT day in Aggieland and reminded me once again to be thankful for/to my parents for sending me there. In the almost 14 years that I have been here, I have met some of my best friends, made great memories and have started my family.

I pray that no matter where Radley and Emmy choose to go to school (unless they choose Texas Tech and then they are on their own ;)) that it is as special to them as Aggieland is to me.

Hope you all are enjoying football season, too.



Bathtime is lots of fun...

When I was little/younger I LOVED having my hair washed in the kitchen sink. I know it sounds weird, but I remember getting a towel for me to lay my head on and leaning back and Mom would simply shampoo and condition my hair.

My favorite part of a hair cut is still when Carly washes my hair. I would pay just for that every day of my life if I won the lottery. There is just something so relaxing about it.

Jump forward 20 years and I guess there is just something about that kitchen sink that makes bath time fun...

At least Emmy thinks so. And Radley sure thought it was funny that we were putting "baby sister" in the sink.

It is so much easier giving her bath in the sink than kneeling down to the giant tub. She thought she was hot stuff sitting up like a big girl and even attempted to stand a little...

She is at such a fun age and I just want to keep her here forever and ever....

But before I know it, I'm sure she will be bringing me some towels and asking me to wash her hair in the sink...

Maybe next time my Mom is in town, I'll climb up there and get her to wash mine! :)


Tiny Tales Thursday...

How young is too young to date? I remember very well that I chased Craig Schwartinsky down in the playground in kindergarten and kissed him smack on the mouth. I also remember really liking story time in the library because I got to hold Craig's hand (and sometimes Wayne Blackburn's too)!

A few weeks ago, we did get some rather alarming reports that Radley and some girls in his class were caught kissing... a lot. Well, in our house I feel that Radley has to be AT LEAST seven to have a girlfriend. Emmy is required to wait until a much later age to start dating... we have not yet determined that age.

This weekend, Radley informed me that he had a special someone in his life:

Radley: I love you, Mommy.
Me: I love you, too, Buddy.
Radley: I love Daddy, too.... he's my boy friend.
Me: Smiling to self at the thought of telling this story when he is 18 Really? Well, am I your girlfriend?
Radley: NO! (rather annoyed that I'm not paying attention) You're EMMY's girl friend!
Me: Ok... (now, that we have it figured out) Well, if Daddy is your boy friend and I'm Emmy's girl friend, then what is Uncle Pete?
Radley: He's my boy friend, too

Hopefully, we have a few more years until we really have to talk about the birds and the bees.


3 year/3 month Pictures...

I apologize for the deliquent blogging... hopefully some pictures of an adorable family and insanely adorable kiddos will make up for it!

We took these pictures on September 6... Radley's 3rd Birthday and a day before Emmy turned 3 months so it worked out perfectly to capture them in those exact moments! This is how we will be able to remember them and I could not be more happy with how they turned out!

Our little family...

Ryan's little mini-me...

Love getting kisses from this little man...

And this sweet baby, girl...

Radley may be my "mini-me" but he wants to be just like his Daddy...

How do I get this kid a modeling gig?!?!

(Can't figure out why this is double posted... but it won't let me delete one!)

A precious profile...

Sweet feet, complete with pedi... (look closely)

We used this picture for his birthday thank you cards... how cute!!

We loved the blanket Bebe made some much, we used it as Emmy's backdrop in most of her shoot..

Sleepy girl...

Don't you just want to kiss her?!?!

Silly siblings...

We surely do love one another...

And a big thanks to KK for making these signs! :)

Happy Tuesday!


Tiny Tales Thursday

The other day Emmy and I were home alone so I put in a Baby Einstein video for her to watch while I cleaned up around the house. (Yes, I'm THAT parent... sometimes.)

Ryan and Radley returned before it was over so of course Radley wanted to watch as well. It was almost the end so I said he could finish it and then we would get ready for bed.

Well, I forgot that Baby Einstein videos play 3 times. Once in English, once in French and once in Spanish.

The video began the Spanish version so I turned it off.

Rad: "Mommy, I WANT to watch the movie!!"
Me: "Radley, it's time for bed."
Rad: "PLEASE.... 5 more minutes."
Me" "Rad, you don't even know Spanish."
Rad: "Uh-huh.... uno, dos, tres, quatro, sinco, etc..."

Me: thinking to self.... "Damn, school."

I couldn't really argue with him, now could I?


One big happy family...

So remember when I recapped our visit from the "California Guercio's"? I mentioned that we took some family photos with the ever-so-talented Miss Sarah Giles.

Oh. My. Gosh. I am so pumped about these for several reasons:

1. We all wore what we were comfortable in. No trying to be matchie matchie... just ourselves so you really get to see each family's personality
2. Heavens we have some precious kids
3. MaMaw and the Great Grandbabies
4. The candidness of some of these shots... it was a reshoot due to rain the previous day and we then the WIND was outrageous during this
5. GiGi and Pops with the grandbabies
6. The original Guercio 5
7. Sarah's ability to know just what we were looking for without even saying it
8. Precious memories frozen in time

Enough of me... take a look for yourself...

How cute is Owen?!?!

These two shots (above and below) are just priceless. Radley so wants to be like Owen and Owen TOWERS over him.

Love this.

How cute are Jeremy and Bonnie?

The whole group. Please note the following: the outrageous wind, Radley's face, and my pants! In my best Chandler Bing: Could this BE any more perfect!?!

I mean... there are no words!

I bet I know someone who will want a big 11x14 of this one...

Okay, this may be my favorite of the day. We had the idea to all wear our favorite shoes and then just get our feet.

Mom: barefoot
Dad: tennis shoes
Ryan: Flip flops
Katy: Target specials
Emmy: barefoot
Owen: boots
Sonya: boots
Jody: boots
Bonnie: flip flops
Radley: Lightening slippers
Jeremy: golf shoes

Siblings. ;)

Just us five.

The "kids". We were supposed to make angry faces. Jeremy and Jody never were any good at following directions.

Giving MaMaw dinosaur kisses!

How sweet is this? Melts my heart!


A happy crew!

I love my family!

Especially this silly guy...

Thanks, Sarah! You did it again! I'm almost positive that my mom is crying right now... so, friend, job well done! :)