Thursday, June 30, 2011

camping . . .?

A few weekends ago we went camping with Ryan's family in Indiana. Minus a miserable rainy night (can I say leaky tent), it was great to be with family and the girls had a ball. Except, somehow, the only pictures taken were when the girls went to ride the park's pony (we were at a state park). Ava LOVES horses and was absolutely thrilled.

Olivia's turn. I hadn't been sure what to expect but she loved it.

Kate? The picture kind of says it all. She made half a turn and decided she was done. The next day, she chose to sit it out entirely. : )

Ava didn't mind taking the rest of Kate's turn

Some days I wish I could get inside this little girl's head.

I think Ava would have been fine if we hung out by the horses all day.

And that was all I got! If Grandpa and Grandma got more, they'll have to email them to me (hint, hint). : )

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a get away

Ryan had his accounting/insurance conference in Nashville this year. The girls were thrilled to go to Ryan's parent's for the week and I was thrilled to go with Ryan. : )

It was great to get away and just unwind after the last few months. I'd have taken more pictures . . .but I was too busy reading my kindle by the pool. : ) Poor Ryan was stuck in sessions most of the days but we loved getting to spend our evenings together.

We got to enjoy an evening on the "General Jackson Showboat." They put on a dinner and a show that travels the time of country music. The performers were incredible (got to love Nashville - every one's trying to make it big and everyone can sing) and it was a fun night out.

Ready for one of Ryan's receptions one evening

After the reception we were still hungry : ) - one of the hotel's restaurants had fabulous sushi so we stopped to enjoy some.

And of course we had to stop by our trusty Haagen Dazs shop. The good news was it was a ways from our room . . .so I didn't frequent it EVERY day this year. : )

We had tickets for the Grand Ole Opry our last night. As we were waiting to leave for the show, I had to try on a cow"girl" hat for Ava

There was a HUGE crowd waiting to get in and it was hot and muggy

Are we having fun yet?

Because it was the night before the CMA Music Awards- it was a fabulous line up. Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Jarod Nieman & the Oak Ridge Boys.

Martina was incredible

Lady Antebellum

Carrie Underwood

I had outfit envy - she made me want to move to Nashville and buy boots : )

The good ole Oakridge Boys. : )

Ryan's considering bringing back facial hair in a new way

Enjoying our last night away together - love this guy lots!

Until next year! : )

Monday, June 27, 2011

when did my babies grow up?

Friday, June 24, 2011

this TOTALLY solves that whole problem of sandy clothes . . .

don't know WHY I didn't think of that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

playing together

SO fun seeing it happen more and more

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a family night away

The first 6 months of this past year has been a stretching one for our family. Between a long busy season at work, adoption paperwork & ups and downs, family situations and an overly busy schedule, we were starting to feel it. I was exhausted and we were ready to embrace a summer of just enjoying each other and a slower pace. The last weekend in may we headed to chicago for a family fun night in a hotel. Ava was giggly with excitement over it - it was just what we needed. Time to throw everything out the window (including bedtimes and rules) and just have fun together.

Daddy and his girls (poor kate's pants got soaked on the ride up)

quick family shot

the infamous silly face

Our bell "girl"

While I unpacked, Ryan took the girls down to "scope out the pool."

Good thing it was really there - we would have had some disappointed little girls

Fun just having fun

After a quick dinner, we headed down to the pool

Love how much our girls love the water

Daddy and his mermaids

just hanging out

the pool water was pretty cold - so the girls didn't last as long as we had planned on swimming. But the great part? The hotel had giant tv's with lawn chairs. The girls bundled up and watched nick jr while Ryan and I got to relax up in the hot tub.

And then it was back to the room for baths and nutritional snacks : )

My Cheetos girl

We started out trying the 3 girls together. After about 5 minutes, Olivia decided it was overrated and made her own bed on the floor. It was so nice having a suite - let's just say our girls are party animals when given the occasion. They giggled and laughed together while watching nick jr until 11:00 that night. : ) Ryan and I were glad for the chance to watch something other than "Olivia the pig" for 3 hours.

We can't wait for the excuse (and more reward points!) to do it again!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

our night owl

It seems as though every few months, Olivia picks a night she'd like mom and dad to herself and just is wired and ready to play. Such was a night a few weeks ago.

It actually ends up usually being a pretty fun night - as she's snuggly, giggly and soaks it all in.
Love this little girl's zest for life

(although the next morning Ava saw a picture I had posted on facebook and whined, "Hey, I wanted to do that . . . " : ) )

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Day of Preschool

Ava finished up preschool for the year last week. As a special treat, she got to eat lunch with Daddy and Mommy at McDonald's all by herself.

You'd never have guessed it was the end of may - brrrr!!!!
Because it had started getting hard again at the end of the year for Ava to head into preschool each morning, we took a trip to the store and she got to pick out a reward to earn. Each morning she went in with a good attitude, Ava got to come home and color in a heart on her reward chart. She earned her giant Tangled coloring pad the last morning of preschool.

A happy little girl!

I'm proud of you Ava - can't wait to see what the next year holds!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day we got to spend with lots of family. I have to say, that as we pursue this adoption journey, my eyes have been opened even more to what an immense blessing and gift it is to watch my girls grow up day to day. Even on the hardest of days, these girls bless my life more than I could ever begin to express. I love the gift it is to hear each giggle, see each new milestone or achievement and enjoy the proud smiles that light their faces.

Ava, Kate and Olivia, I am SO thankful to be your mommy. I pray that Jesus can continue to be your joy as you grow into the Godly women I already see forming. Your daddy and I are so blessed because of each of you!

A quick shot of mommy and her girls before church

Later that day, we headed up to Grandpa and Grandma's for more mother's day fun

The girls excited about their own little table
We celebrated my birthday too - as always I had eager helpers to help blow out the candles

Serving cake is a serious matter for my 3 frosting lovers

Nothing like a spoonful of frosting!!

Just in case I ever wondered why my kids like to be with family (which I don't), this kind of sums it up.

3 children swinging.

4 adults entertaining. : )

Mother and Daughter

Mother & Daughter : )

The twins have quickly caught on to Ava's obsession with funny face pictures

Olivia, my little nut

A rare shot of Ryan, David, Callie and Mom. I'm thankful for her hand in Ryan's life.

And add in our 3 crazies. : )

Ava and Mommy. Can't believe how fast she's grown up!

Olivia and Kate are OBSESSED with changing each other's diapers currently. Makes nap time a little interesting sometimes . . .I'm thinking about time to potty train. Any volunteers?! : )

Grandma & Ava

And the "must have" funny face. For every photo posted, I promise 10 -15 more have been taken and erased. : )