Sunday, January 1, 2017

Amy's Army

This is Amy.  You've never met a sweeter southern soul than hers.  I've know her basically all my life.  We grew up cousins, living nearby in the same small town.  We spent lots of holidays at extended family gatherings.  In all the years I've known her I've never heard her utter a harsh word.  She is always eloquent and graceful and someone to look up to.  Never more so than now.  

Amy is fighting a battle with stage 4 melanoma. She's walking bravely down an uncertain path and is constantly giving all the glory to her God.  She's had some ups and downs.  She is currently in a clinical trial group at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  It requires her to travel to Houston bi-weekly for a YEAR.  Living in Alabama, those trips to Houston are tough.  On one of her trips, we got the honor of meeting her for lunch!  Along with another cousin of them family who recently moved to Texas , we picked her up and took her on a lunch outing, for ice cream and to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities.  I had my little arm candy with me for the ride!  She was our entertainment for sure.  She steals the show.   She wore her superhero dress for Amy!  She flew around with her cape fighting the good fight just like Amy is!  

We had a wonderful visit and we vow to stand with her and fight alongside her in this journey to KICK the Cancer!  

We are Amy's Army!

It's the end of the summer as we know it

We all know that Texas is perpetual summer.  There are 4 seasons, slightly different that other places. There is almost summer, mid-summer, still summer and Christmas.
We wound up the end of Summer 2016 with pool visits with friends 3 days a week, a trip to the Shack and a Concert in the rain.

The Shack is a quirky burger joint in Cypress that boasts of their junkyard playground and eclectic burgers with fried eggs, plantains or cheetos on top to suit your fancy.  They had me at fried egg.

I was peer pressured into buying some Gwen Staffani lawn tickets way back in the spring (aka almost summer) and as the date drew closer, people started dropping like flies.  Well, I wasn't one to let me $20 groupon ticket go to waste so I was IN.  Girls night without the kids, how bad could it be?
BAD!  It was HOT because it was still Summer in Texas but it was also pouring down rain.  I wavered a few times but unlike Lauren below, I stood my (muddy) ground!  I have never in my life been so happy to have been wearing my rain boots.  My flip flop friends were slip sliding all over the place and some even ended up barefoot in this muck.  I suddenly knew what Woodstock felt like minus all the drugs and free love!

We made the best of it and it turned out kinda fun.  In a messy, desperate-for-a-shower kind of way!

Next up, we made a last ditch visit to the Science Museum.  We have been several times to the butterfly exhibit but never into the museum.  I found some discount combo tickets and it made it worth it!  

Lillian's best little friend Chloe and her family joined us.  They are so cute together.  

We are pretty sure this is one of Jackson's long lost relatives.  Don't you see the resemblance?

We headed off to meet the teacher mid August.  New lunchboxes all around and we were set.  Lillian thinks she's headed to school also.  Not so fast baby girl, you'll be home with me a few more years!

Jackson moved over to the big kids side of the school in 5th grade,  complete with his own locker! Lincoln ended up getting Jackson's 2nd grade teacher and he was thrilled to have the same one!   Lillian thought the locker was her personal playhouse with mini door.  

The first day came quickly and while no one said they were ready for summer to be over, I think it was a nice change for everyone!  Lillian was sad to see them go but she settled into having mommy to herself quite well!  She waves goodbye from the door and says "ugga muga" from Daniel Tiger.  She also waits for them to return each afternoon.  

One hot afternoon after school, Lillian joined the neighborhood kids in a fight with the water hose.   I'm not sure that the hose didn't win but it sure looked fun!

We potty trained this summer and Lillian is just getting the hang of going alone.  Sometimes it doesn't work out quite right.  But hey, at least she's tryin!

Is it just me or is it quite the oxymoron that this book is called "Princess Baby" yet the one who checked it out and ripped it into tiny pieces is anything but a princess?  She begged me to read this book in her bed.  It was her favorite.  So I was astonished to come in to get her from nap and see that she had destroyed the public library book.  There was no recovery from this princess baby, the book had to be replaced.  

Lillian learned to ride her scooter.  She's pretty good at it too.  And the fact that she looks adorable doing it is a major bonus!  
Cheers to a great summer's end!
Hello Fall (otherwise known as still-summer)!!!

Closet Friends are the BST!

On our way back from our Alabama summer vacation, we stopped overnight in Arkansas to break up the trip and to visit some sweet friends!  
Rachael is my "closet friend".  No, that doesn't mean we keep our friendship a secret.  We met in a world of little girls clothing "closets".  We buy our girls the same dresses (see above) and our love for all boutique clothing has led to a friendship that goes well beyond clothes!  The girls are close in age and we share milestones, wins and failures, and advice of all kinds.  We talk mostly online but occasionally text too.  It's the best kind of friendship with low expectations of the other because we know how busy life with a family can be.  We talk about family stuff, keep secrets and sometimes get lucky enough to share a drink or two!  

It was a perfectly HOT couple of days in Arkansas!  The boys all had fun too.  

We couldn't let the opportunity to dress the girls up pass us by!  I had fun trying some of Emme's prettiest dresses on Lillian!  Some of them I never thought I'd have a chance to try on her!  

I just love this little red jewel!  Their house sits on an oxbow lake and there are Indian Mounds you can see from the back yard.  The boys were quite intrigued by them!

These two were as fast friends as their mommies!  I can't wait to watch them play more together in the future!

When we said goodbye in August, I wasn't aware that I'd be seeing her again in less than 6 months.  On the morning my grandfather passed away, i texted her and asked what she was doing later.  She joked "Why, you coming to Arkansas?"  Actually, I was.  I stopped overnight coming and going to the funeral in Alabama so I didn't have to make the whole drive in one day.  She dropped everything she had going on and made sure we had a bed to sleep in as we traveled!  I was so grateful for the hospitality both times!  That's a good friend!

Miss Manners Tea Party

Just before we left Alabama for the summer, we had a chance to go to a princess tea party!  
Thinking it was all for the little girls we bought tickets and dressed the part.  It turns out, this tea party had a little something for everyone.  While grown up Disney princes and princesses roamed around the room, we were schooled by Miss Manners herself.  A graduate of finishing school she educated us on all the appropriate behaviors of a proper tea party!  Did you know that high tea simply refers to the height of the table you are having tea on?  Did you know that you should enter from the left side of your chair and only after the host is seated?  Stirring the tea should be done in a figure eight without clanking the sides of the glass.

Our Miss Marie was in attendance with us, along with Nana, Allie Gray and Tracie!

There was dancing and spinning and singing along!

We learned to wipe our mouths with the corner of our napkin.

And the proper way to hold your glass while sipping!

We had fun with friends, ate delicious finger foods and played the part of princess well.

It's tough to be a princess!