Monday, June 29

Happy Pink Barbie

Everyone else might see this picture and say, "Oh, that is Ariel from The Little Mermaid." For our family, her name is "happy pink Barbie." This title was given to her by Brooklyn and it has just stuck. Brooklyn does not talk a ton and does not say many things completely clear, so to hear her say this clear as mud is hilarious. "Happy Pink Barbie" has become a necessity at bedtime and is always close by Brooklyn. We finally rented The Little Mermaid a few weeks ago and let her watch the actual movie. She loved it, but still does not want to call her Ariel. You might notice she is missing an eye. Brooklyn was very concerned about this at first, but now doesn't care. She is still her "happy pink Barbie".

Have I mentioned that I love this age so much? I could squeeze Brooklyn to death over all the cute things she is saying right now.

Layton Faye Elleman

On Thursday, June 25th, Allyn gave birth to Layton Faye Elleman. I was in Little Rock, but was able to make it back to NWA in time for her arrival into the world. On my 3 hour drive back, I counted up that Allyn and I have been best friends for 26 years. Our friendship is one that I treasure so much. The older I get, the more I realize what a gift it is to have a best friend that has known you your entire life. We have been blessed with being able to live in the same town even as adults and watch eachother's children grow up.
I knew I couldn't miss Layton's arrival. The Elleman's are family to us. We are hoping that Davis and Emma will make us actual family at some point! :)

I took a lot of pictures, but I just loved this one of Carley and Davis holding Layton for the first time. They were both so excited!

Monday, June 22

Sweet Sisters

I have a slew of pictures to post and blog about from our fun weekend in Mountain Home with John's family. Both of his parents are retiring after 35 years of work in the same place. It was a fun weekend, but overwhelming to blog. So, I'm starting with the easier blog.

We left Mtn. Home yesterday and traveled to Conway to drop Emma off with my parents. She is going to spend the week with them in Little Rock and go to Vacation Bible School. Brooklyn and I have a few appointments to be here for the first part of the week (and we are hoping Allyn will have her baby too), so we are going to go down to LR towards the end of this week.

Emma has been looking forward to go to GG and PaPa's house and going back to VBS. She was a little unsure about going alone, but she got over that quickly. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has had trouble warming up to the idea of Emma being gone. Sweet little girl loves her big sister so much. She did not get to upset when we left Conway yesterday (as you can see, she fell fast asleep in the car), but I really think she was thinking Emma would be back in a few hours. We got home and Brooklyn and I went to the grocery store. This was our conversation going home:

Brooklyn: Emma home now?
Emma: No B, Emma is spending the night with GG and Papa for a few days.
B: NO, Emma, my home, NOW.

B had a hard time going to bed and after going in there the third time, she asked if she could sleep with Emma's "baby purple bankies". I think she might have just needed something of Emma's to help her through the night.
She has asked for her multiple times today and after getting a new leotard, wanted so badly to just show Emma.

The love goes both ways. When I talked to my Mom today, she said that the first thing Emma prayed for at dinner last night was Brooklyn. When they went outside to play, Emma picked a flower specifically for B to have when she gets there. My Mom said that Emma mentioned today that she missed Brooklyn. My Mom took Emma to the $1 store after VBS to pick a few things out and my Mom said that on the way there, Emma said, "GG, can I pick something out for Brooklyn too?" So, when I briefly talked to Emma today she told me all about the little white bear she bought for B at the $1 store.

I knew kindergarten was going to be an adjumstment for all of us, but I'm begining to think it is going to be even harder than expected. It is amazing to me how much I miss Emma and how much I miss hearing E and B play together during the day. Yes, they fight sometimes, but more often they play really well together. Brooklyn seems like a lost duck around our house today. John reminded me that B has never really been without Emma.

I love sisters!

Friday, June 12

Anniversary Date

After going back and forth on where to eat for our anniversary, we went with our regular special occasion restaurant. We went to Bordino's, which is a fun little place in the heart of Fayetteville on Dickson Street. The food is always so good and the atmosphere is great too. We had a great dinner and when we walked out, the sky was amazing! It was a pinkish, redish, blueish, purplish color with a full rainbow across the sky. (those of you in NWA will understand my grammatically, incorrect colorful description) John was dying that he did not have his camera to take some shots. We had a great night together and did something kind of fun in honor of our anniversary that might be revealed later if the details work out.

The girls and I did sit down on Wednesday afternoon to look through our wedding album. Brooklyn kept looking at me in my big white dress and saying, "Mommy, white Barbie!" She thinks anything that wears a dress (stuffed animals included) is a "Barbie". I love it.

The last picture in our album is John and I dressed in more casual clothes leaving the reception. I told them that we were about to leave for our honeymoon. Emma asked, "What is a honeymoon?" I told her it was a vacation that you sometimes take after your wedding. Without hesitation, she responded, "I want to go to Chuck E Cheese for my honeymoon!"

That little story will make for a great rehearsal dinner story later in her life!

Wednesday, June 10

Happy 9th Anniversary to Us!

9 years ago today at 11:00 AM, John and I were married. It was the most fun day of my life. The first thing John and I talked about in the limo after our reception, was how fun our wedding day was and how we wish we could rewind 3 hours and do it all over again. To this day, we still say that. It was so fun and so wonderful to have all of our favorite family and friends all in one place for just a few hours.

When I look back at pictures, I still love every detail about the day. The bridesmaids' flowers and my bouquet were EXACTLY how I had them envisioned. They were my favorite detail of the day. I still remember the nervousness I felt at the back of the church listening to Leah sing Amazing Grace acapella a few moments before I walked out. (Sometimes I watch our video, just to hear her sing that very song) I remember hearing the trumpet in the balcony and I remember seeing John at the end of the aisle. I remember the words that Sam and Dr. Horne said. I remember the feelings running through me when John sang. I remember lighting our unity candle and hugging each of our parents. I remember kissing John and nearly skipping out of the church. The reception was just as great. A dreamy wedding cake. An amazing ice sculpture with votive candles lining each tier. The icing on the cake was getting to be with our favorite friends and family. Although we didn't get to talk to each one, or spend near the amount of time as we would have liked with them, they were what made our day what it was.

Our wedding video is on VHS and our VCR has been broken for probably a year now. I love watching our video on our anniversary and will be sad to not watch it tomorrow. In fact, last year Emma watched with me. This year, we will just have to replay the memories in our head. Maybe this will make us take our video and have it copied to a DVD.

9 years later, I still love John like I did that day, but about 100 times more. Isn't it amazing what can change in 9 years? 1 apartment, 2 houses, a dog, 6 jobs between the two of us, fun vacations, much laughter, some tears, and 2 precious girls later, here we are.
I could not ask for more.

Sunday, June 7

Fun Family Weekend

We went into this weekend with not very many plans, but ended up staying pretty busy. I got up early on Saturday morning and did our big grocery run. It was nice being able to go before the crowds. I came home and as I was putting groceries away, John decided to take the girls down to the creek in Johnson. Emma and John have been down there before exploring, but Brooklyn did not get to go last year. We got them dressed and put their rain boots on so that they could wade through the water. They headed off and I spent about an hour and a half at home alone catching up on things that needed to be done.

On Saturday evening, we went over to the Hannon's house for a 40th Anniversary party for John's parents. They were in town with John's aunt and uncle because they were flying out of XNA the following morning to go on a cruise. How fun is that? We took advantage of them being here the day before their anniversary and had a fun family dinner for them. Amy and Sam just had a fun patio built in their backyard, so we spent the whole night out there. It was really fun.

John and I heard that the Drive-In was playing UP, so we decided to be brave and try the girls out at their first drive in movie. John and I used to go there all the time, but have not been since Emma was born. The price per car has doubled to $11, but it was still a bargain for all 4 of us to get into a movie for $11. Plus, we had popped our own popcorn at home so we saved in concessions too! The girls loved that they were in their pj's and watching a movie in the back of my car with their pillows and blankies from home. It was a late night, but they both did great and enjoyed the movie. We didn't get them in bed until about 11:00 and figured we would pay for it today with grumpy attitudes, but they did great today. I hope it is not going to catch up to them tomorrow! It is not normal that they get to stay out that late, so it was a treat for all of us.

Today, we slept in a bit and then went to the late service at church. We ate pizza with some friends after church and then headed home for B to take a nap. Around 5:00, we headed out to the pool with the Robinson's and stayed until it was time to get home for baths and bed. It was a really fun weekend full of family, friends, and being outside. I love summer.

Monday, June 1

Silver Dollar City with the Walker's

We spent the day at Silver Dollar City on Saturday. The drive to Branson is only 2 hours, so it makes for an easy and very fun day trip. John's parents gifted us with season passes for Christmas, so when you pack your own lunch it is almost free. (although you have to spend a little money on the yummy frozen lemonade, kettle corn, ice cream, etc...) Along with our season passes, it comes with a few guest passes to use during certain dates of the year. We invited the Walker's to go with us and we had a blast. Molly and Emma are both 5 1/2, Brooklyn 2 1/2 and Morgan 1 1/2. Sweet Morgan was a trooper all day and poor thing was not tall enough to ride some of the rides. She wanted to so badly!

This was a whole new year for B. She reached the 36" in heighth that most of the rides require, so she was able to ride almost everything Emma could. Brooklyn's favorite thing were the big swings. She really wanted to do them and I wasn't sure it would go over well, but at the end of the ride, she looked up at John and said, "More please!".

Emma decided she was ready for a roller coaster. Bret, John and I took Molly and Emma on Fire in the Hole first and they were not to crazy about it. Surprisingly, Emma still wanted to try Thunderation. This did not go over well. Poor Emma was crying at the end and John felt terrible. It was very jerky for a little body and she actually has a little bruise on her back. She has told us a few times that she does not want to do that again.

John's parents were in Branson too, so they met us out there for the last few hours we were there. We were able to eat dinner with them and ride a few rides.

We had arrived at SDC around 11:30 and we left the park at 7:00. It was a full day and a no nap day for B. She did great and for some reason stayed awake for the ride home. We gave a quick bath and then put them in bed. Never heard a peep!

Thanks Walker's for going with us!!