Monday, May 25

Memorial Day Weekend

We had been hoping for a long weekend with no rain, but that has not happened. It did end up being sunny for most of Saturday, which was a nice surprise. The four of us headed to the Mud Creek Trail for a bike ride on Saturday morning. We were out there for about 2 1/2 hours and it was great. Emma rode for longer than ever before, but then decided to get in the "bike tent" with Brooklyn for the rest of the time. Saturday night, we rented movies and ate pizza at home.

We went to church on Sunday morning and then ate a yummy lunch at Jose's. Kids Eat Free on Sundays at Jose's and it makes for a great after church lunch. On Sunday evening, we headed to a surprise party for Jordan Eoff at Penguin Ed's.

Today has been pretty uneventful. Emma woke up super early, but John was nice enough to get up with her. I woke up around 9:00 and made star shaped pancakes in honor of Memorial Day. We got out to run some errands after breakfast. Our main task was to go to Petsmart for a new dog food container, but we walked away with more. A new fish! I am not a huge fan of fish, but I have to admit, this one is pretty. I think Emma finally decided to name him "Swimmy".

I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon making a yummy ice cream dessert to take to the Vaught's house tonight for dinner and mopping our nasty floors.

Most importantly, thank you for all the men and women out there who serve our country! We sleep more soundly knowing that we are watched over.

Saturday, May 23

Destin Vacation-Continued

Since most days of our Destin Vacation were spent doing the exact same thing, we have decided to blog an over view and a link to our pictures on Picasa. So, what did we do on vacation every day? We were in the sun, sand and water most of the time.

We went to the grocery store the first morning we were there and stocked up on groceries to use for our breakfasts and lunches. We ate dinner out the rest of the nights besides a pizza night in order to watch American Idol. (go Kris!!) A typical day would start with us waking up and eating breakfast and then slathering on the sunscreen. Most days, we would start at the beach and then go to the pool, but sometimes we just went straight to the pool. Emma loved the sand at the beach this time around, but Brooklyn was not so sure. She would eventually adjust to being at the beach, but each time it took about 15-20 minutes of us holding her and easing her into it. They both LOVED the pools. There was one pool that the girls could swim in and jump in from the sides over and over. The other pool had a lazy river. It was our favorite! We all got in our tubes and floated around and around and around.

Brooklyn took a nap each day. Sometimes Emma would rest inside during that time or John or I would take E to the pool. Usually after naps, we would clean up and get ready for dinner. Most of our dinners were good, but our favorites were the Back Porch and Harry T's. At Harry T's, we were able to sit at a picnic table down on the dock. It was perfect for watching the boats come in.

On Mother's Day, we drove 45 minutes into the Seaside area for the evening. It is one of my favorite places ever and such a treat to get to be there on Mother's Day with my family. Last time we were at the beach we stayed in Sea Grove and LOVED it. We decided to stay in Destin this time and it was great. No complaing here at all, BUT next time we will go back to Seaside/Sea Grove. There is just nothing like the quaint, beach town atmosphere of that place.

One morning, we headed across the street to the Gulfarium. It was not Sea World, but pretty entertaining. The dolphin show was the highlight of our time, along with the necklaces we let the girls pick out at the end.

Like John blogged earlier, Kate and Travis decided to make the trip with us at the last minute. We never get to see them and their sweet girls, so that was really fun. The girls loved having playmates at the pool and beach! We ate dinner together a couple nights and that was great.

I love family vacations! Vacations are not as relaxing as they used to be prior to kids, but they are so fun. I love being able to give undivided attention to my family and not have to worry about chores around the house or answering phone calls. I mentioned last year after our St. Louis vacation that my most fond memories as a child are traveling with my family. Fortunately, I had a Dad who loves (and still loves) to travel so we went to a lot of fun places. It usually wasn't the cool place where we went, but the time we got to all spend together without the cares of stuff at home.

Here is a link to the rest of our pictures. I just posted some of our favorites b/c there were so many!

Friday, May 22

Summer is Here

School is officially out for us and we started the summer off today by cleaning last years baby pool and testing the waters. I love simple, backyard fun and I am glad it is back for another year.
This past week, we have been eating outside whenever we can, eating popsicles, playing at the water table, blowing bubbles, jumping rope, hopscotching, chalking, swinging, jumping, sliding, swimming (as of today), and much more. I always begin to miss our school year routine about the middle of July, but for now, I like these laid back days of not having to rush around in the mornings!

Thursday, May 21

Happy Peonies

Emma's last day of school was on Tuesday and Brooklyn's is today. E and I dropped B off at school and headed to the Farmer's Market. We could not resist these beautiful peonies. Not only are they SOOOO pretty, they smell awesome.
From the Farmer's Market, we went to eat breakfast at Rick's. We found a perfect seat in the "Cake Walk" and were able to eat our muffins and watch them decorate the cakes. I could have spent my whole day watching. When we got back in the car, my whole car smelled like peonies. It was great!
Emma is at a friend's house playing for a bit and I'm about to go pick her and B up. I should not be blogging (should be cleaning!), but I could not resist the urge to share my "happy" for the day.

Wednesday, May 20

Naptime Craft

All Mom's with both preschoolers and toddlers know that there are some crafts that should just wait until the younger one is taking a nap. This one does not have to be because I'm sure Brooklyn would love scribbling away with some markers, but I saved it for Em to do while B was taking a nap.
I love this blog and get a lot of great craft ideas off of it. I saw this post this morning and immediately got my sharpie out to squiggle away on a piece of paper. I actually remember having a whole book of these squiggly things when I was little and I would spend hours coloring it. I know, I'm a coloring nerd. I showed Em the blog and then let her loose with her markers and squiggly page. She has been working on it for about 20 minutes now and is loving it. All you need is a piece of paper and some markers or crayons. Simple craft. Love it.

Tuesday, May 19

Last Day of Preschool

John started posting our vacation, but has not finished. (we might end up posting the link to our Picassa pictures since all 5 of our days there consisted of the same beach/pool routine)
I'm interrupting to post about Emma's last day of Preschool. I can't believe it! In 3 short months, she will start kindergarten.

The last day of school consisted of a couple hours at school and then a Park Play Day at the park down the street. All the parents joined them at the park for a picnic and to watch them play. It was a fun day for everyone!
Emma has loved Mrs. Wardle and I have too. She is great with the kids and really, really loves them. I pray that E's kindergarten teacher loves her like she has been loved this year. Here is a picture of E and her teacher on the first day of school and then today at the park.

Saturday, May 16

Destin Vacation: Day 1

Sadly, this post should be titled "Cozumel Vacation: Day 1". However, since the WHO brought some good ol` fashioned fear mongering with that whole "swine flu" jazz, we postponed Cozumel and went to Destin, Florida instead. Downgrade? Yes. Regrettable, not at all!

The night before we left, the Tokar's called and asked if they could join us on vacation! They planned a vacation in roughly 4 hours, which is amazing! They got a condo at the same resort as us, so we planned on meeting there on Saturday.

We left Fayetteville early last Friday morning. We stopped in Little Rock for lunch and to watch Kris Allen (American Idol) perform at the River Market (we watched on TV...didn't want to fight the crowds with the kids). We then hit the road for Hattiesburg, MS, where we planned on staying the night.

Bullet-Pointed Recap of Driving to Hattiesburg:
  • Southeast Arkansas sucks. Bad. It's amazingly boring.
  • Mississippi sucks, too. Just sayin'.
  • My Blackberry stopped working as a Blackberry. Only a cell phone. It didn't take long to miss my data connection to the internets.
  • Looking at the map on Allison's iPhone (our ONLY map), we decided we would cancel our room and just drive straight through to Destin.
  • Allison's iPhone died shortly after Hattiesburg. We were blind-driving the rest of the way.
Unfortunately, we mis-read the map & distance. We were about 2 hours further out than we thought. So, instead of arriving at 11:00 PM, we got to Destin at 1:30 AM. The kids slept for about 2 hours (aka Power Nap). They were wired when we got to the condo.

The only good thing that came out of us driving all the way there was when we woke up, we could go straight to the beach! All in all, it was a great trip down. The kids were fantastic in the car, which helped a lot. Day 1 complete.

Monday, May 4

Our weekend....

I have not blogged in ages and I'm not sure why. My spare time has been spent working on addressing some wedding invitations for a client, looking at beach condos for our spontaneous beach vacation that we are taking because our planned Mexico trip with John's family was canceled because of the swine flu, traveling to Little Rock for a 24 hour period of time, and taking care of my family. I guess I have not been on the computer much to blog.

John was able to go on a Men's Golf weekend to Branson this past weekend. I was really excited for him to get to do this. I know he had a great time hanging out with all the guys, but unfortunately the weather was not ideal for golf. Rain, rain, and more rain.

I invited (and pleaded) with my parents and sister to come for the weekend. I love having them here and it sure helps having family here while your husband is absent. We had a great time despite the VERY rainy weather.

We went to dinner at Mojito's on Friday night despite the threat of toranados in the area. No, we were not being stupid, we just didn't know!

On Saturday morning, we went to Rick's Bakery for breakfast. We love going there because the food is super yummy and the atmosphere is even better. You always see a family or two that you know and you can sit and watch them make the cakes. Claire had her first donut and it was a hit in her book. She kept signing for more. We went back home for a bit so that Claire could nap and then set out for Target. We got a few things for our trip and of course, added some popcorn to our healthy diet for the day. I took Emma to a birthday party while the little girls napped and then we fixed dinner at our house and stayed in for the night.

It was a fun weekend and I always hate telling them goodbye. I wish the 3 little girls could play together everyday!! (despite the look on Emma's face in the one picture that I took-she did have a great time!)

John did not get back until Sunday evening, so the girls and I had Sunday to ourselves. What do we do on a rainy day? Get wet inside! The girls washed all of their dishes from their kitchen at the big sink and then we had extra long bath time! We ended the day with Daddy coming home and us all going to Pizza Hut for dinner. Emma earned 3 free individual pizzas from a reading program at school, so 3 of us ate for free and we bought one pizza. Then off to Braum's for ice cream.