31 August 2013

Febuary 2013

My brother Jeff and his family moved to Houston right before the holidays. I am so happy to have more family close! We planned a long weekend to visit them and had a great time. Here we are at church, a whole long row taken.
They live about 45 mins from Galveston, so we had to make a quick trip to the beach. There was a huge pier with a mini-amusement park on it. The streets were alive with Marti Gras partying but the 'Pleasure Pier', as it was called, was totally dead. We practically walked onto every ride. We all had a blast.
The beach wasn't busy at all as it was a little chilly. The cooler weather didn't stop us.
My brother lives in a really nice, newer community...with alligators. It's crazy!! This is about 4 blocks from their house and right behind the elementary school. I was freaking out.
Jillian celebrated her 100th day of school with her class. They had to wear a shirt with 100 of something on it. We choose 100 letters and we cleverly put them in a Word Search.
Friends in our ward hosted a 'White Trash' karaoke party, complete with a root beer keg and all. It was a blast, and of course we all dressed up for the fun.
Jeff took the girls to their annual 'Daddy Daughter Dance' around Valentine's Day. They girls talk about this all year around. It's really a special event for them.
We have a really pesky squirrel in the backyard. He is bad! But still fun to watch. He has chewed through (twice) and ultimately ruined my hammock. Now he is eating all the bird seed. I have been watching a family of blue birds and cardinals enjoy my backyard. Now the squirrel is ruining it.  
Back in October I started teaching Zumba at the YMCA. At my evening classes, I average 45-65 people. I'm still so conflicted about wanting to teach. Sometimes I feel like I'm being a total egomaniac by being on stage with a mic, blaring the music, and I hate that feeling. Other times, I talk to students that have lost over 100 lbs with exercise and find my inspiration and fun in my class.  Jeff doesn't love me teaching Zumba, he thinks is really silly and annoying, but he knows I love to exercise so he's only a little supportive. I think I just really want to move away from the fitness-dance and into a more fitness-athletic realm. I don't know what I'm going to do.  Here I am right before one of my evening classes.  

28 August 2013

January 2013

 I loved having no school during winter break. I tire of waking early and rushing about just to send Jill and Camille away. Even though I have a poor attitude about school I can easily see the progress in each of the girls. It has amazed me how much Jillian has learned. She is able to read and write full sentences and her stories are great.
Jill even decided to try riding the bus. (This is huge! Jill is very shy and hates new things.) We have been talking about it since the first day of school but she never wanted to try it out. Then one day she saw her crush on a bus and decided she wanted to try. I'm a little sad, because I actually really enjoyed picking her up but I'm proud of her growth.
Camille's preschool has really turned out great. She has learned almost all her letters upper and lower cases, and is working on site words. She also has the opportunity to me creative. On this day she brought a homemade kite to school and had a great time sharing with the other kids. I mean, look at that face!!
With the nice weather and time off school we explored a little. We hiked Mount Bonnell. It was settled by Mormons back in the day and then deserted when it flooded. It was a very simple little hike but proved to have a great view of the Colorado River.

Jeff always likes to take us all out on Sunday's for an 'adventure'. We almost always end up at Brushy Creek, near our home. It has a bridge with thousands of bats, and a river with frogs, fish, birds, and fireflies. A lot of the time I opt out with the boy so it's a little daddy-daughter evening.
Coco turned one on the 26th. This past year was a world wind with moving, baby, school, etc. But I think I've been the happiest yet. Coco is a big boy. He's 90% in weight and height. He was slow to crawl (10.5 months) and isn't interested in walking at all right now.  He shows a lot of interest in any type of sports ball and really loves to eat. If he finds a ball, or any toy for that matter, it is very quickly thrown upper hand with a loud grunt and smile.  Yes, he still goes by Coco. A few people have resisted the nickname but it has stuck. I had planned a small get together for his birthday but that morning me and Camille were throwing up so we just had a small family song and cupcake.
Despite him not walking, he has learned to climb. 
He's always getting attention from everyone for his bright blue eyes and beautiful curly hair.
This little boy has brought so much joy into our lives. I love his joules when his serious and his chubby cheeks when he smiles. He's perfect for our family. Can't wait to see what the future holds for this little man.

24 August 2013

December 2012

Jillian's school did a career day. This picture cracks me up big time. Here best little friend from the class is in the pink, Merritt. Her first major crush is the boy, Caden. Yes, she is trying to hold his hand. They would often play imaginary football, race, dungeon, etc together. She was so into him it was funny.
I took the kids down to the Round Rock Christmas party.  They closed off all downtown streets and had free food and hot chocolate. It was fun but super congested with people.
Our ward throws the greatest holiday parties. At the end of the Christmas party the children sang a few carols, they even had three young violinist.
The girls got to sit on Santa's lap and they weren't shy at all.
Coco wasn't too sure about the whole situation.
Camille has one of the greatest imaginations. She found a large paper sack and turned it into a "ninga dress".  She then proceeded to jump and kick around the house for the remainder of the day.
A town, Burnett, about 45 mins away does a full-on Bethlehem thing each year. It was amazing. They have built real life size structures that may have existed at the time Jesus was born. They have a candle shop where they are actively dipping wax, a prison tower with prisoner's, a tavern with patrons, live animals, soldiers, and peddlers. Besides the manger scene my favorite is the bread they make and give out. It's really amazing. I'm hoping to make this an annual tradition.
I really miss the snow during the winter time. One night while facetiming with my parents they showed us the recent snowfall. I proceeded to ask Mom if she'd do a snow angels for the girls. She obliged. We were laughing to tears about. I love my mom so much.
Austin has a pretty cool tradition. They have a Trail of Lights in one of the downtown parks. They also have this huge light show set to music at a downtown coffee shop. After the show they give out a map of all the coolest Christmas light houses. It was fun.
Here we are on Christmas Sunday.
Christmas morning was a hit. 
A few favorite presents include a bow and arrow,
a large bouncy ball,
and Jenga.
2012 was such a great year for our family. Coco came, we settled in Texas, Jillian started school, Jeff's business grew, and many more wonderful blessing happened. I hope 2013 is just as good!

20 August 2013

Family Pictures 2012

I never plan things very well. The year was coming to an end and we hadn't had our family pictures done yet. One of my babysitter's really enjoys photography and she often uses her mother's camera then posts pictures on instagram. I nonchalantly asked if she'd like to come and snap a few hundred pictures (I thought, the more she took the more likely we'll have one or two good ones) one evening for practice. She enthusiastically agreed and refused payment. It turned out so good. we took most of the pictures in my backyard and then we went just a few blocks away to a little retention lake area. I uploaded the pictures that night to my computer. It was awesome. Here's a few handfuls of my favorites.

November 2012

This is a poor picture angle but Coco starting planking this month. He can't walk or even crawl, but he can plank all day long.

This boy gets more handsome as the days go by.

The girl's had a great run this soccer season. I love to see them active but it's nice to not be so scheduled.

Camille's preschool class had a field trip to a working farm. We saw a lot of animals, saw a cow being milked, had a wonderful day.

This is Ava. She's Camille's best friend at the time and has been since.

This was my first year doing Thanksgiving by myself. Jeff invited all his employees to join us at the last minute. It was interesting to try and time everything to be warm with only one oven. This is the apple pie and rolls I made from scratch.

Here's the spread sans the Turkey that was being carved at the moment. It turned out pretty well. I was proud of my first try although hopefully I won't being doing it all every year.

After the feast and a little rest we donned out UT gear and headed to an evening game. I hope to make this an annual tradition. I'm so grateful for this family of mine.

The day after Thanksgiving we headed to the coast. It's only about 4 hours drive. Right when we saw the beach we parked and played. We even toured that huge carrier. It was pretty amazing.

Our hotel was only about two blocks from the beach. We could spend all day there. The kids are endlessly entertained and I'm relaxed. I love it.

We stopped by the Texas State Aquarium on the way home. It was such a dreamy holiday.