This is 36...

I woke up today and I was officially closer to 50 than 20. Its kind of shocking because just yesterday I was graduating high school. But today I woke up to off-key singing and 3 warm bodies "gently" shaking me awake to open presents and start the day. 

A day that included the season soccer opener in less than desirable weather.

These girls became official soccer sisters all wrapped up. 

Emmy settled for coaching from the sidelines and was cracking me up with the way she kept yelling at all those boys. 

Rad gave me the gift of playing hard, having fun and scoring a goal. 

And they have me the gift of only getting out of their seats 567 times. Give or take. 

I have no idea how he was sweaty in 36 degrees, but he was. 

The afternoon consisted of napping, eating, napping and nothing followed by an hour wait at Chuy's (I won't mention here how my sweet husband thought that it would be a good idea to go to the world's busiest restaurant with 10 people at 6:30pm). So instead we ended up at DQ because, well... we have six kids. 

Then after eats and treats we headed to the house for a little happy birthday complete with 




Yes. This is 36. 

And I think it's going to be great!


Our every day...

I assume that most moms with small children are planners. Not even because they want to be, mostly because they HAVE to be. You know, survival and all. If we don't have some sort of plan for the day then sometimes the ship can sink. School projects, work projects, dinner, bath, bed... all in a 3-5 hour time slot. It's like running a daily marathon (which is why I have found the need to work out less and less important).

But inevitably, I have found it's all the moments in between that bring me the most joy. The nights of princesses and dinosaurs. 

When they discover their baby books. 

Or when Pops and Gigi come to town and we grab dinner at Cracker Barrell. (Which is extra awesome, because that's a guarantee that everyone will eat). 

This particular evening was extra special because we were celebrating the birthdays of baby Violet and Flower. 

Flower seemed to have been misbehaving a bit...

so Landry had to call her bestie, Mills, and vent a bit. 

And it was just an unplanned party, a random celebration. A moment that came and went as quickly as they thought it up. 

And the next night we were back to normal - eating popcorn and m&ms, watching Cinderella, and staying up past bedtime. 

Our every day, unplanned, insignificant, moments are my favorites. 


Tiny Tales Thursday...

This week the kids discovered their baby books and spent hours looking at pictures, giggling about being babies, loving that they used to be in my tummy. They loved looking at all their firsts, listening to me read about their firsts and favorites, and asking about who people were in some of the pictures. Radley's wasn't as sophisticated as the girls, and Landry's wasn't complete. When she got to the end, she kept flipping back and forth at the blank page, looked at me and said, "What happened, Mommy?"

Third kid, Landry. That's what happened.



Happy birthday, Gigi...

We had the best time celebrating Gigi's birthday this weekend! She actually came to town on Thursday to help with school pick up, dance practice and morning drop off while I was in Dallas for work and while that's worth celebrating in itself, the real party began on Sunday morning with some hot pancakes!

(The only thing that would have made this weekend better is if I would take a clear picture. I should really quit trying to use the manual setting.)

Followed up by some brownie making. 

We had a slow and easy afternoon and headed out for an earlyish dinner. 

It was just what she wanted, which means it was just what we all wanted. A moment to celebrate her and all that she has done, seen, accomplished and loved over the past 65 years. 

And I couldn't have thought of a better way to do that than collect thoughts, sentiments, wishes and words from people throughout all walks of her life - family, friends, former teachers, and the cutest grandkids around. And when she realized what it was, well, I hope she finally understood how many people have felt loved, accepted and encouraged by her. 

And I wasn't surprised by the words that were shared....

You welcomed me like I was one of your own children, and you've been doing that ever since. 
Throughout my years in the classroom there were few mothers I enjoyed working with more than your mom.
I have never had the honor of meeting anyone who is more loving, giving and thoughtful than she is.
One of the things I admire most about you is your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for sharing your family's love with our family.  
Every time I have been around you and your family since then you have made me feel so welcome and as if I was a member of the family.
You saw ability inside of me and assured me that I was doing the right thing.
You have been and will continue to be one of the most inspiring ladies I have ever know and I love you dearly!

How lucky am I that those words are written to my mom. 

That so many people have been graced by her goodness and care, support and love.

That for 35 of her 65 years, I've had the honor and privilege to love her back.

Hope you had a great birthday, Mom! We love you!


FISHteen Years...

Fifteen years ago, I was a college senior. I was thinking about going to graduate school to get a degree in higher education, and I was so excited about what that may mean. I was not at all prepared for that what that actually was. 

What the next 15 years brought me was the ability to witness a passion to serve, 

a commitment to lead, 

the will to grow and change, 

and not just in my students. 

I could have never imagined the change I would see in myself by being surrounded by these great students turned lifelong friends. 

I have been able to celebrate success, share in disappointment, witness failure, encourage learning, applaud greatness and serve right along side them.

No one loves their job 100% of the time - it's impossible. The bureaucracy, the politics, the fact that you have to wake up and go to work... something always to do or say or report. But, I without a doubt, have loved what I do every single day. 

Because of a million tiny things. 

But mostly because of the people that I get to do it with.


Reservation for 6...

 I was out of town for work on Thursday and Friday and arrived back in town for a jam-packed weekend that included a reunion for my students and Gigi's birthday celebration. But we got our weekend started with an evening spent with the RHMs that included a dress rehearsal and show.

Here is a 15 second clip of what about 1.5 hours of the evening looked and sounded like. Bless Gigi and her love for these kids! I'm sure when she thought about her 65th birthday weekend, it didn't include this kind of entertainment. 

After everyone settled down and filled their bellies with pizza, we got changed into pjs, buddied up and settled into the "fort" with popcorn and m&ms. 

The fort was just every blanket and pillow we own spread onto the living room floor. 

It's a good thing they are cute, huh?

Ryan tested out the comfort of said fort and approved. 

After a late bedtime (10pm, y'all) they slept late (6:45am, y'all) and gorged on cinnamon rolls to get their Saturday off to a sweet start.

So glad that these kids do life together. Love them each and every one!



While the kids were in Waco, I got to have a date night with this hunk. We did the usual date night activities... dinner and grocery shopping!

On Saturday, it was our turn to host our dinner party and we decided game night was the way to go. Good food, great friends, and lots of laughter. 

I know this is sideways, sorry. Radley's weekly homework includes writing sentences with vocabulary words. Snore was one of the words, so he wrote, "My Pops snores so loud he wakes me up all the time."


A benefit of having a 1st grader is that they WANT to pass out the cheap-o store bought valentines. Radley for the win!

Friday Night Lights has become our nightly ritual. We are basically obsessed. 

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.

I had a second date last week with this handsome fella!

We went to see Black Violin which was just awesome! Entertaining and inspirational - instruments are such a wonderful gift to children. Ryan and I have been talking about piano lessons for Radley and I think this may be the year!

We surprised the kids with an after Valentine Dinner treat and took them to the carnival at the Mall. The carousel was the only ride the girls could ride - so we did it twice. 

Best $20 we ever wasted to see their cute smiles and shrieks of excitement.

Radley was determined to finish the latest two books in his Magic Tree House series so he staked his claim one night.

"Big couch is Radley's today. Please."

His school was closed on Monday so we went to work with me. He loves drawing on the dry erase board. When I came back that night I finally noticed what he drew and melted. 

The Dual Language program isn't always easy. Lots of times I wish he was at the school a block from our house. Convenience, kids in our neighborhood that were his classmates, much more structured. But then moments like this happen and it's worth it. 

I am the co-chair to Rad's school Festival which basically means I LIVE in the copy room at the moment. I should be on payroll. 

I am so grateful for my job because of the amazing students turned friends that I meet. I love hearing about their lives, seeing what they are doing, watching them make a difference. But on this particular day, I love that they bring me gifts. :)

Know what's a good cure for a bad day?
Wine and Tim Riggins. 

I got to tour Jerry World yesterday and they totally tried to recruit me to be a cheerleader - they had my name on the locker and everything. I'm pretty sure my hair is the only thing that would qualify.


That's us in an instant!