Tiny Tales Thursday...

You've heard everything is bigger in Texas, right? Well, it's true. The trucks, the food, the hair, the highways, the stadiums... and the thunder storms. Oh my word have we got some thunderstorms. 

And oh my word, have we got some delightful kids that are afraid of those thunderstorms. And they get it honestly. I was bone trembling scared of storms until I was, maybe, 27 years old. It's true... I hated them. They are still not my favorite and I am probably more cautious than most, but I can hold back the tears as opposed to when I was 6 and lived, yes LIVED, in my parents linen closet for 3 days. 

And then there was the first time that Ryan drove to Waco with me and we got caught in a storm. I couldn't see two feet in front of my face and refused to drive or get out of the car to let him drive. Luckily, we did have cell phones so he called my mom who tried to explain to him that I was normal and I was just a little uneasy with the thunder. And rain. And lightening. And wind. Luckily, he didn't think I was a lunatic and stuck with me. 

Now, fast-forward 15 years to last week. We had a huge thunder storm roll through town and we both knew that bedtime was going to be interesting. The storm began around 7ish, so it was still light outside but Landry was not impressed. In fact, she was hysterical. Radley and Emmy at this point have brave faces and Emmy explains to me what has made Landry so upset. 

But the brave faces didn't last long as the sun began to set. Ryan was on Landry duty, me with Emmy and poor Rad was left in the living room with the lights on. The "thunder cats" were purring and I had finally settled Emmy down when I walked out to find Radley, brave face on, trembling under a blanket.  Not two seconds later and the brightest ligthening I had seen in ages appears followed by an enormous explosion-like BOOM. 

I could only laugh at what was coming next... 

Screams from Landry's room.
Screams from Emmy's room.

Radley being brave but really wanting to scream, "I know Jesus, so I'm not afraid."
Emmy: Where is Jesus now?!?

We finally got them all settled on the floor of Emmy's room. 

And the thunder cats didn't bother them again.


A trip around the world...

The cutest Aggies on the block had a fun adventure on campus yesterday.  Since Owen was in town, I thought that it would be the perfect outing for our crew and we had the added bonus of getting to spend the day with sweet Caroline, too! Good thing Gigi was with us or we wouldn't have been able to fit!

The kids had been looking forward to this all weekend... we are at a giant water park and they were already excited about going to campus to see "allll the Aggies". Emmy had also decided that we were taking a trip around the world. In a bus.

(Side note - if there are any secret millionaires reading this blog and want to donate a minivan to me, I will gladly accept. And yes, I love minivans.)

I think I should recreate this photo on Owen's first day as a freshman!

We made our way through Rudder Plaza and landed behind the MSC to hop onto an Aggie bus! The kids LOVE Aggie busses. They always point them out to me and ask about when they will get to ride them, so I thought it be fun to take a little spin through campus. 

(Also known as our trip around the world that planned).

Landry got voted best listener because she was the only one that sat still. Maybe it's because she is precious in every way or maybe it was fear, but either way - I'll take it!

Their favorite part was going through the big tunnel... 

We made our way back into the MSC where each kid was appropriately spoiled with one new thing.

And that was it. A fun, simple, easy morning of absolutely nothing and all kinds of everything at the same time. 

3 Stripe Weekend...

I have posted lots about my life-long friends but, I'm not the only one that met their besties in grade school. Ryan has two friends that have witnessed him at his best and worst and everything in between. They survived HS, college, marriage and now kids together and although we'd love to see them so much more often we haven't all been together since December 2012! Needless to say, we were loooooong overdue for a reunion.  We finally found a date that worked for everyone and we just spent the BEST weekend at Jellystone Park in Waller, Tx.

We all got their within minutes of each other and as soon as the conversations started, I knew it was going to be a great two days. I miss these people - the kind of miss that every time we talk, I think about life in their city, or try to talk them into moving to ours. We threw our gear in the cabins and headed straight to the water park. 6 adults and 7 kids and 1 tiny baby in a belly (not mine)... we were a crew!

(Side note: If you are thinking about visiting here... do it. We stayed in the Yogi on the Lake cabins and besides a pesky bug infestation and the minor black out...it was great. Clean, cool, comfortable. It's not the Ritz or even a Holiday Inn (love you, Stanton family) BUT, it's camping(ish) and it's not supposed to be.)

Radley and Owen wanted nothing else but to go down the BIG slides, so Uncle Jamie volunteered to be their escort and I'd say their faces tell the story of how much fun they had. 

I don't think I could have planned a more perfect shot!

Radley and Owen weren't the only ones being brave, Emmy decided that she liked slides and although these 3 stories high, they seemed as tall as Jack's bean stalk to her. 

Owen and Karys had already made their way up and down this monster, but Radley waited for Ryan to go with him. He told us he wasn't sure if he was tall enough, but I think he just needed some Daddy courage to get things going. And once he did, we couldn't get him to stop!

We splashed around for a couple of hours going back and forth between sections of the park to make sure all the kids (and adults) got to do what they wanted. In between the shouts of slow down!, no running!, and don't squeal so loud!, we got in some catching up conversation. 

We made our way back to the cabins for dinner and ended the night with some tasty fajitas, warm cookies, a failed Uno game and lots of laughter. 

After a good(ish) night's sleep we enjoyed a slow morning and made our way to the recreation area for a romp on the giant jungle gym and a train ride around the park. This place is huge, with enough space for cabins, RVs, campers, and tents - so whatever you are wanting to do with your family, it seems like they have you covered. And some of these families were not messing around - they had the entire set up with canopies, grills, turf grass under their tables, hammocks, you name it. This was clearly not their first rodeo.

Radley was pretty excited to see that they had a miniature golf course in the park. We had an entire team of tiny Tiger Woods eager to show off their skills. Landry uses the "drop method"... she picks up her ball and just drops it in the hole. But hey, she always gets a hole-in-one.


I was glad that this trip coincided with Owen's visit to Texas. I know that we loved having him with us and I think he had a pretty good time, too!

Yeah. Pictures in full sun = no fun for anyone.

The afternoon was spent being silly with new friends...

getting drenched by the "giant picnic basket"...

cooling off with a cold one...

(I mean, could I have cropped this picture any more perfectly?? HAHAHA!!)

being 2 peas in a pod...

and making memories with our cousins.

We couldn't have asked for a better day, more wonderful weather, or any more perfect company to spend it with. We headed back to the cabins for one final shared meal and busted out the s'mores as a special treat. Someone didn't mind the mess at all. 

And slowly the sun began to set, and we sat and watched all the kids play. The occasional argument over a stick, or turn to feed the ducks was nothing in comparison to the laughter and giggles. 

The kids just played by the water side and looked out for fish...

while we tried to keep them from falling in. ;)

In these moments I pause and give thanks to His plan for us, because I couldn't have planned it any better myself than to end up with friends as great as this.

After we put the kids to bed, we gathered in the street and chatted away until the flame ran out on the citronella candle. We didn't discuss anything life changing, we told a few jokes, discussed some Aggie football, and planned a business or two, but mostly we just enjoyed the company of old friends. The familiarity of their voices and thoughts, the comfort of their presence, and the safety of our love and support for each other. 

What started as 3 guys from Sherman...

has become so much more...

and I am so excited about the next 20 years of 3 Stripe weekend fun!



The moment we got back from vacation, well... we just kept enjoying the fun! First up was Anna's pizza party in the park and the next day the celebrations continued with Cindy's birthday! We spent the morning swimming, the afternoon getting pedicures and that night we made the trek to Round Top to eat at Royers. #worthit

Round Top is a hip little town on Saturday evenings, we found an adorable wine bar with live music after dinner and decided to enjoy just one more drink and some music. The kids could have played for hours! 

I love the ease of summer - sun + water = fun.

The one and only Sarah Burns came over to capture our big fat beautiful mess of a life and I **think** I'm going to LOVE what she got behind that magical lens of hers. 

We went all the way to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach and all we brought home were these tshirts. 

And tans. Oh the tans!

Have you ever noticed how many hills there are when you're driving? 

Me either.

But put those feet to the pavement and they are never-ending (and not alive with the sound of music). I feel that since I am a paying member of our HOA, I should get a say in getting rid of the hills. No? This was a hard day, but worth it...because I finished. 


This girl ROCKED her 4-year well-check! 3 shots and not one tear drop. She also finally made it to the 10th percentile measuring in at 37 inches and 31.5 pounds. Way to go, Emmy!

It's rare that I get a quiet house all to myself... couple that with rain and I'd say it was a great day to catch up on the blog. (And binge watch HIMYM)

Radley had his first official friend sleepover!!! It was random and unplanned and I think that made it even more special for him. He and Connor had the BEST time rough housing and I know that Rad enjoyed the extra testosterone in the house. 

(And the only thing that got broken was a lightbulb...by Ryan).

Such manly t-shirtless men.

Spray WHAT?!?!

Landry was ecstatic to help with the unveiling of Dr. Smith's diaper rash SPRAY.

Y'all - allow me to describe this to you -

Hands free
Game changing

diaper ointment. 

You can get it here and here.

You can watch a fun video and read about it here.

New moms, seasoned moms, friends of moms (and dads) UNITE and REJOICE because it is awesome!

Every winter break/spring break/summer break I announce that I am finally going to catch up on life. And then I catch up a little, and then get distracted by newer and shinier projects. But this summer I have made great steps to getting caught up on our photo albums. 

When Radley was born I printed almost all of our pics, placed them in albums and LABELED them. Well, add on two more kiddos and a blog and I kind of got out of the habit and ended up .... Two.... YEARS behind. (My heart races just typing that). Part of me says that since I blog they will have great memories to read about later, and they will, but there is just something about holding a photograph. And we live in a time where we take TONS of pictures... too many actually. How sad would it be to have all of these pictures and never be able to hold them in your hand and tell the story about them?

So... I am getting caught up!

This was our first pic as a family of five!

(See... holding this is way better than looking at it.)

Rad spent a fun and scientific filled week at Camp Invention and loved every minute! He couldn't stop talking about all the things they learned and experimented with and created. It was seriously a GREAT week and you should see if they have one in your town because kiddos LOVE it. (I wanted to go but I'm too old.)

He made a "booby trap that catches bad guys" and advises you to "do not touch". It includes a fake door, paper clip trap, and other secret devices to keep your home safe. He may have seen Home Alone once or twice. ;) They also made a battery operated car!

Jody was in town for a few days to drop Owen off for TWO weeks!!! We only got to hang out for about 14 hours... miss you brother! Come on back soon!

Summer = Mexican food. 

While Rad was at Gigi and Pops' with Owen, we were back to man-to-man with these two cuties. Sunday sweetness for sure!

Mondays are hard...until you master this whole parenting thing.


So, I just discovered this little treasure, but apparently some of my instafriends have known about it for a while. If you, like me, were in the dark, then run to Target or get on Amazon and purchase it. AMAZING!

(And for the record, I think it should be called a "tangle tamer").

4 mile bike
1.5 mile run
37 minutes

It needed to be documented.


We decided to go on a last minute date with the girls and I let them pick out what they wanted to wear, including accessories, and how they wanted their hair. 

Not a bad evening at all!

I told them to get dressed for dinner and then found this.

We dress to impress in this family. (especially when going to Chuck E Cheese). (It was our first time).

And that's us in an Instant! Have a fun weekend!