Wednesday, March 31, 2010

wedding bells

Ryan's brother, David, got married last weekend (or by now, I suppose it's last, LAST weekend). He married a great girl, Tara, who we're all thrilled to have officially part of the family. Ava was SO excited to get a pretty white dress like Aunt Tara. For about 4 days in a row leading up to the wedding, she'd get COMPLETELY dressed and twirl around the house feeling beautiful. It was pretty fun.

It was a really great weekend mixed in with some reality moments (a tired mom and 3 kids, 2 and under, and a busy weekend - need I say more?). The important thing is that two very neat people were brought together by a great God and we couldn't be happier. Sorry for yet one more long post of pictures, but it's easier than splitting it up. So enjoy!

Seeing Aunt Tara for the first time

feeling beautiful
This is one of my favorite pictures of the weekend. I think I like it's simplicity.

And there's something about this picture that makes me smile.

The closest we got to a family picture

And what's a blog without some reality.
This is what a majority of picture taking on Saturday looked like: babies crying, straining to move and a big sister who wanted to look everywhere but at the photographer.

Which is a good lead in to this photo: a fine mother/daughter moment.

Pretty good-looking bridal party - huh?!

Ryan and I at the rehearsal dinner

Siblings. : )

Not the cutest picture of me - but I love it too much of Ava. It's the only picture I got of her in her curlers all weekend.

Olivia ready to party at the reception - this is her "cheese" face. Doesn't it make you laugh?

Aunt Callie and Olivia

Cutting the cake

Totally bribed my daughter to FINALLY look at the photographer with cake on Sunday. Whatever it takes. : ) My Ava loves herself some cake and the thought of going the entire reception without did the trick!


Kate having fun


Olivia didn't want to.

My parents came and helped me with the girls all weekend - I was so thankful!

How thankful I am for this man!

Mom and Dad took Kate and Olivia home part way through the reception. We let Ava stay and I was so glad. She finally relaxed and just had fun with it all. It was pretty fun hanging out with my little girl.

She's told us multiple times since the wedding that she's getting married too someday when she gets big. Daddy is the lucky groom every time.

Ava was in 7th heaven getting to hold her new little cousin, Annica. She was SO sweet.

I can still picture how sad her eyes got when I told her Annica had to go back home with her mommy and daddy. I love your mommy heart, Ava Cherise.

And then the fun really began.

Since she hadn't had enough sugar, we brought out some more cake.

And more.

And more.
At this point, I was about sick watching her. But hey - your uncle only gets married once!

Cozying up to Aunt Tara before the bouquet toss.

Getting ready for Uncle David and Aunt Tara to leave

On their way . . .

Congrats David and Tara!

And with that, it was time to go home and nap.

ALL OF US. : )

Friday, March 26, 2010


So that saturday morning after the girls' party, we flew down to florida. Ryan wasn't able to come until thursday that following week. Since I can't legally fly with the 3 girls by myself (2 lap children makes it a little difficult), mom and dad were sweet enough to fly down with us (I have NO idea what I would have done without them that week in florida).

I was a little nervous, but overall the girls did really well. Wouldn't you love to see me and my clan board YOUR flight. : )

Ava was super excited to fly on an airplane again. Wonder why.
Olivia sat with Gpa and Gma for pretty much both flights.


This was before the SUPER SWEET (add dripping sarcasm please) informed us that 2 lap children can't be in the same row. So Kate joined Ava and myself for the remainder of our two flights.

Kate loving on her baby.

An attempt of me and my 3 girls, our first sunday.
It was so cute - we walked outside that morning (it was our first day) and Ava excitedly exclaimed, "IT'S SUMMMEEERRRR!"
She loved getting to go outside without a coat (and I did too!)
Ava was quite thrilled to join my grandpa most nights eating strawberries and sugar.

Lets just say more sugar gotten eaten than strawberries. : )

Kate and Olivia didn't get taken swimming most days. It was simpler to just take Ava. Ava would always ask and was finally thrilled when I said they could come too!

Kate and Olivia LOVE the bath so I thought FOR SURE they'd love the pool.

Dad came in to try and help - we figured out they HATED the floats. If you held them tight, they eventually had fun.

Olivia had more fun on Grandma's lap the first time swimming than in the pool

Ava and I had a routine that every morning during the girls' nap, we took a long walk down to Siesta village, got a slurpy and walked back along the beach. It was SUCH fun time with her and she was girl without a care in the world. Most days were pretty cool by the water (the wind off the gulf made it kind of chilly), but we had one beautiful afternoon we actually got to spend playing in the sand instead of just walking the beach (although with Grandpa's pool, that wasn't a problem). : )

Last summer Ava wouldn't hardly touch the sand, so it was fun to see her enjoy it this year!

Kate got MISERABLE sick for 6 of the 10 days we were down there. In 3 days we visited an ER, a pediatrician and a walk-in clinic. The poor girl didn't know what to do with herself. Lets just say we were ALL glad when Daddy finally joined us on thursday night.
So with Kate sick, Ava and Olivia got to go all over together.
Heading to Mote Aquarium.

My parents took the 2 girls one day while I was on one of my many doctor's visits.
They both LOVED it.

Then friday when it rained, Ryan and I took Ava and Olivia again.

love this one.

My family has a japanese steakhouse we eat at every time we go down - SO good. My parents had left that morning, so with it just being Ryan, myself, and the 3 girls (including one still sick and grumpy child), we don't have many pictures.
But Ava got to try her first Shirley Temple and was quite happy.

Afterwards with Grandpa (Kate beside herself, the poor girl!)

Every night after the twins had gone to bed, Ava would get a bowl of pretzels, climb up on one of the sofas and watch a movie. Vacation is rough - huh?!

One of the days Ryan was with us, we had to take him along on our walk so he could see the fun we had all week. And Kate and Olivia got to come along too (gpa and gma weren't still there to leave them home to sleep).

Our last sunday, I stayed home with the girls (we were still trying to get Kate on the mend to fly home the next day).
Daddy and Ava all dressed up.

There's nothing like some oreos and milk on vacation.

Kate and Olivia's favorite spot in the pool: the steps.

To say Ava was a fish this vacation is an understatement. We tried water wings for the first time and she was a freed woman. I was so thankful for the times I would just sit on the steps with the girls (or really just Olivia for the matter), and Ava could still get in the pool and have a ball swimming all over. It let her swim alot more than she would have been able to with me trying to juggle two babies, one of them sick. I was so proud of her.

Showing off her "back float" just like "Mr. Al" does (her swimming instructor)

Where the girls spent most of their time: relaxing by Grandpa.

Our time with my grandpa was so special. It's hard to see him grieve Grandma, but we're unbelievably thankful for how God has provided for him. He couldn't have been more accommodating or appreciative of us spending time with him. The girls would fuss or make mess after mess and he would just say over and over how much he loved having them there. It makes me cry just thinking about it.
Grandma was most definately missed - but her fingerprints were all over the place and I was so thankful to share so many of those memories I had with her in the times I had with my own girls that week.

Ava and Daddy with the beloved slurpee.

The flights home went rougher than the way down - and in fairness to Kate, she still had to inner ear infections to further aggravate her. To say we were ALL exhausted by the time we reached Bloomington is a slight understatement.
This was my 3 girls within about 2 minutes in the car ride home from the airport.

Sick baby and all, I was SO thankful for the time away, sunshine, and just getting time with Ava I wouldn't have traded for anything. Thanks, mom and dad, for your HUGE amount of help, and taking the time to be down their with us.