Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ninja Turtle #4!!

We surprised Tyler's family with the news of our next baby when they came for Thanksgiving!!! How we kept it a secret for 18 weeks, I don't know...The week after Thanksgiving we found out the gender and I texted this picture to my family to tell them the news about Baby #4 as well since we hadn't told them.  It was so fun telling them the gender and the news all at once.  The boys are so excited to have another brother.  "Hair we go again!"  Having another boy seems so much less stressful than the thought of having a girl.  As ecstatic as I would be to have a girl I think I would also be terrified! So we are happy with another boy.  Bring on the D names!!

Turkey Trot 2015

 We hosted Tyler's family for Thanksgiving this year and I somehow convinced all 4 of my sisters in law to run the Turkey Trot with me! I love this run and it's a good excuse to eat extra on Thanksgiving since you just ran off a few 100 extra calories.  Here I am coming in towards the end.
 Race is DONE! My time was better than I was expecting so I was excited. Especially bring 18 weeks pregnant!
My friend Karen used to live in Fort Worth but has since moved to Houston.  She still has family in the area that she was visiting for Thanksgiving, and decided to join our team and run the Turkey Trot with us! It was so fun to see her again even if it was for a short time.

All the Hair girls post-race! and lucky Boston got to ride in the stroller. It was a perfect day for a race! Not too cold and not too hot. Thanks ladies for running this with me!

Outdoor Fun in November

 Cody has really enjoyed playing baseball outside with his brothers! It is so fun to see them all play the same thing.
You can see the ball in the air if you look close. Cody can already smack the ball right off the T!  I can tell he's already very driven when playing sports.
 The boys were invited to a friend's cowboy birthday party.  It was such a fun and cute party! Lots of fun cowboy games where they earned a hat, handkerchief and a sheriff badge. Austin was SOOOOO excited to dress up in his cowboy gear.
 Blake on the other hand wanted nothing to do with "cowboy" but I finally convinced him to ride the pony and he really did enjoy that.
 Cody's first ride and he wasn't a fan.  He would not touch the saddle to hold on so I just held him and walked beside him while he squirmed.
 Austin looks like a pro.
Cody much preferred his seat up on the tractor. This big tractor was pulling a wagon full of hay bales and we got to go on a hay ride around their ranch and get a good look at everything. Such a fun birthday party and the weather was perfect!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

 We decided to go with Avengers this year since Blake already had the Ironman costume and I really wanted to be Black Widow.  Tyler naturally fits Captain America so I gave him no choice.  And I loved the idea of Cody being Hulk! Austin was a stinker and chose Green Lantern, but he was happy and it was an easy costume to come up with! 
 My friend threw an adult Halloween Party like she does every year and it gets everyone excited for dressing up! I love it!  I borrowed this black leather jacket and this leg holster and fake gun from a fellow neighbor who works for the local Police Department. It was a LEGIT holster! Also very fun to wear. 
 Tyler followed a youtube video and made his shield out of cardboard and ducktape. It ROCKED! It actually flies and took him 5 hours to make. :)  That was dedication...but the rest of his outfit was a stretch so he had to make the shield look awesome.

Party fun! Trying to be hardcore

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

October Fun

 We had great weather in October and took advantage of it one day after church and ate our dinner up in the tree fort.
It was a fun adventure
 Tyler turned 31 end of October.  He had a lot of fun surprises...including a surprise birthday party with all his buddies and a friend and I decorated his room at church where he teaches seminary from 6:00am-7:00am every morning to high school aged kids at our church.  I left some cupcake for him and his class in the fridge. 
 It was nice to just have one cupcake for everyone rather than a huge cake! 
We got daddy a bucket toilet for his birthday so Blake decided to try it out
 Carving pumpkins for Halloween
Lincoln log building buddies!

I have a Kindergartener

 Austin's first day of Kindergarten picture. He is in a Spanish Immersion program and it has been going so well! We love it! And he loves it.  He has an amazing teacher Senora Koppes. He has already learned a good amount of Spanish.  Tyler is very excited and happy with him, especially since his pronunciation of the words is perfect! 

Blake was COMPLETELY against a first day of preschool picture so this is just a random picture of him.  He goes to preschool twice a week and loves his class.  He's made a really great friend in his class too and those two are inseparable! 

Not long after school started Austin came down with a HORRIBLE toothache one night.  Thank goodness our dentist is a good friend so I texted him for some help and he got us in early the next morning.  Austin handled his new "robot tooth" like a champ! They couldn't pull it since his permanent tooth wasn't surfacing yet so he has a silver tooth now.  He is quite proud of it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Goals

 I started a weight loss journey when Cody was about 9 months old.  This picture was taken October 2015.  I was not happy with my weight but nursing is always a struggle for me and I feel like I have to eat a lot to keep my milk supply.  So I started a Health Challenge through Meltdown Challenge when my cousin encouraged me to join.  She was my Health Coach and I loved being a part of a group that supported me and encouraged me every day! I was surprised to lose 7 pounds in my first challenge of 6 weeks when I was still nursing and my goal wasn't even to lose weight! It was mainly to eat healthier.   My exercise has always been consistent so I knew my diet needed to change.
 This is me before my last Health Challenge I did starting June 2015.  I was down 13 lbs from the picture up above
This picture was taken July 2015.  I was so excited to meet my weight goal!!! I am 20 lbs lighter than the very top picture!  

Once I got down to the desired weight I continued my exercise pursuits.  I go to Fitcamp at our local YMCA 3 times a week and very recently our trainer had us do a 6 week bench press routine along with our other workout.  I increased my bench max from 155lbs to 170lbs! I never thought I would ever be able to lift that much. EVER! It was such a rush.  I had to get a guns picture as proof of what I have accomplished!  My workout buddy Whitney pushes me hard every workout! 

Blake Turns 4 - July 21

 Blake loves Hot Wheels cars so we had a Hot Wheels Birthday for him which was perfect for a hot day in July!  I completely messed up his bday cake which was going to be 3 layers, but only managed to salvage one layer so I made the rest into cake balls. We also had fruit on a stick representing a stoplight. Loved hose!
 I loved all these checker flags and colored balloons!
 LOVED the entrance! We used garbage bags and yellow duct tape.
 We have some spare tires from other occasions and I thought the entrance turned out perfect. 
 Tyler set up an obstacle course/racetrack in the backyard and the kids all brought their bikes to ride.  Perfect entertainment for a bunch of kids.  Also off in the grass we set up our PVC pipe car wash for everyone to get wet since it was so hot!
 The Start Line!
As much as Blake shies away from crowds he loves being the center of attention on his birthday which I am so glad cuz his birthday parties always seem to turn out the best! Happy Birthday to my sweet, soft spoken, adorable Blake!

Goodbye Dredge's!

So it took us FOREVER to blog about Spain....So here's to playing CATCH UP.  Not long after we returned from Spain I threw a Goodbye party for some really good friends of ours who are medical students and moving on to Iowa for residency.  Allison always threw AMAZING beyond AMAZING parties for everyone so I wanted to throw her something special.  We had a great turnout to give them a good ol' Texas Goodbye.  BYE Y'ALL!
 We had a great time with music and BBQ in the backyard
 We had a picture booth set up for everyone who came.  We had an instant Polaroid camera so everyone took their picture and taped it into a book and wrote a farewell note to them.  I was so excited that I got to have bales of straw in my backyard!
 Loved this sign my friend Kellie made for the party.  So much craftier than I could ever pull off.
 Food table before guests arrived.  I wish I would have got a close up of my mason jars with lace and twine and lemons floating in water. So cute!
We had a "SALOON" inside with Italian Sodas made by Bonnie and Spencer.  They turned out DELISH!
 Master Chef doing his thing!
 Water outside since it was pretty hot!
 Here they are! One of my favorite families! Allison was so fun and spontaneous and could get me to do anything crazy with her.  Things such as doorbell ditching at 11:30pm, going to the Y to swim in a flash flood warning downpour, and spending evening after evening late into the night helping her with her parties.  

I have loved all the people I have met here in Texas and I'm truly grateful for great friends like these gals!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Madrid ~ Walk it Out

We're finally finishing our last blog post about Spain! Not really sure why it took so long, I guess life is just busier now. Rachel and I had such a good time on this trip, truly the experience of a lifetime, and it just opened my eyes again to the wondrous diversity and excellence that humanity has to offer.

After the Royal Palace we made a bee-line for the statue of Don Quijote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza. I read the book as part of a college Spanish literature course, but Rachel actually played the part of Sancho in her middle school play! She was pretty excited for this stop.

This is probably the most "American" meal we had on the entire trip (last day in Spain), a gigantic burger at an Red Robin-esque restaurant called Cafeteria VIPS. We were really hungry after walking around all morning, so we ordered a flat bread pizza appetizer. Turns out the pizza would probably have been a decent meal all by itself...and then this monster showed up. I couldn't just leave it there.

After lunch we continued east through town toward Parque de El Retiro, the Central Park of Madrid. It is surrounded by numerous museums, and before we actually made it to the park we visited two. The Reina Sofia Art Center didn't allow pictures, but we got to see some famous paintings by Goya and act like we were sophisticated for a bit.

Then we returned to our roots by spending twice as long in the free national naval museum! This was one oft he places my Lonely Planet guidebook for Spain recommended as "good for kids" :) 

Out front this dude was dressed in character to advertise/welcome people to the museum. He was chatting with a street cop, and I couldn't resist the chance to get a picture with him. The cop thought we were a little weird but the Admiral was diggin' it.

 This wasn't even the biggest model they had on display, but it was my favorite.
The museum had about 30 rooms full of different-sized models like this one, military clothing and weaponry, seafaring equipment of all kinds and lots of paintings with captions reciting the history of the Spanish Navy. They even had recovered debris from famous shipwrecks or naval battles.

 Pining for the ocean.

 The romantic row-boat reservoir in the middle of Parque de El Retiro. We people watched for a while, ate some delicious snacks and rested our tired feet. Could've easily spent a lazy afternoon in this park, but instead we pushed on toward a last little bit of nostalgia: El Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés is a famous store in several European countries, and it's one place I remember shopping when I was a kid living in Spain in the mid-90's. We bought our roller blades from there :)

We went there looking for a "trompo" (wooden top) for the boys, but even in this seven floor behemoth of a store I could not find one. I'd been on the lookout all week long in any street market, shop or store we passed, and this was my last chance. The place was like Walmart, JC Penny's and Toys R Us rolled in to one, but the best thing we got were these two pictures and some paella ingredients. Oh well.

One simple thing I loved about our trip was the chance to travel in different ways than we normally do in Fort Worth. Walking, riding the metro and taxis were all great for experiencing the culture and people.

Do we look tired? It was a long, full, fun trip together! This metro ride took us back to Plaza del Sol the attic loft for our last night in Spain. We talked with Gigi and Bibiana and their daughter Mia about our day and started feeling excited to see our kids again. Mia was six years old, and after talking to her about the books we'd bought for A, B and C we were pretty much ready to go.