Busy Mother's Day Weekend

This should be the last of our crazy weekends around here for a while - at least that is what I am telling myself.  This one was crazy though. 

On Friday night Ava had her fourth dance recital rehearsal.  Thankfully for her, she loves when it is recital time - everything about it.  James, the boys and I went to visit our friends who lost everything in the Vilonia tornado a couple weeks ago.  I can't even imagine the devastation that they are feeling.  They are probably ten years younger than James and I, but they are grounded in their faith and have been the picture of grace through this process. 

On Saturday morning Ava had her fifth recital rehearsal (seriously) from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.  AND Sam had his last soccer game of the season.  What an absolute joy it is to watch him play soccer.  It never gets old to watch your kids do something they love!  He scored four goals and made several great passes.  The very last play of the game he took the ball from one end of the field to the other and scored with the biggest grin on his face.  Can you tell from these pictures that it was a little humid?

After we had a little time to rest it was time to go back for Ava's dance recital.  We decided to take the boys this year because we thought they would have fun watching Ava.  Never again.  I repeat never again.  Anyway, Oh my gosh was Ava so cute up on the stage.  She really gets into it.  She is a beautiful dancer and I loved every second of that recital.  Except for the part where Jack dropped his juice all over me, or the part where Sam asked for the 372nd time if it was almost ever. 
Before we left for the recital

Just to keep it real - here is how she looked moments before we got dressed for the night
Proud Daddy
And then it was Mother's Day.  The kids were so cute.  Both Sam and Ava woke up early to tell me Happy Mother's Day.  I usually get up hours before they do and run, take a shower, etc.  But they made me get back in bed so they (James) could make my breakfast :)  They included some handmade notes which are the best. Then Ava had a birthday party at Disney on Ice and James took Sam and Jack fishing.  So...I had the house to myself which never happens. 
Mother's Day is so special and I love all the love.  But what they don't know is that they all save me- James, Ava, Sam and Jack save me every day.  They are my biggest blessing.  And I am beyond honored with the responsibility of being their wife and mom.  It is by God's grace that I am here with these perfect for me people.  I just wish that I could go back and talk to the 25 year old me and show her all the perfect gifts that she would have one day.  And the best gift of all is being mom to these three.

Easter and such

We had a great Easter weekend, but I don't think I sat down once.  SO busy!

Sam had a soccer game bright and early Saturday morning, and we were so glad that Mimi got to come watch.  Ava is not one bit goofy :) 

Then Ava and I headed out to the grocery store while James and the boys did boy stuff - don't ask me?? 

That afternoon Sam had a standing play date with his best little buddy, Brooks. It seems as if so much revolves around Ava here that I was excited that Sam got to have a fun day.  So, after lunch we went to pick up Brooks and came home.  I had to have a talk with Ava because she was directing their play date with a tea party, games, etc.  She sulked for a minute and then asked if she could text her friend and say hi (she uses my phone to text one little friend maybe once a week, every other week).  I did not see  any harm in that, so I let her. Well, she handed me the phone two minutes later and the text conversation went something like this--

Ava - "Can Bailey come over and play?"
Friend - She would love to- right now?
Ava - "Yes, please"
Friend - "We are on our way."

LOL!!  We love her sweet little friend and were thrilled to have her over, but Ava did get grounded from texting for a long while and she has had to do some extra chores this week! 

Of course, Easter morning was a blur.  The Easter bunny definitely made his appearance and we spent the afternoon at Erica's house eating carbs and hunting eggs.  Erica dubbed it the "Easter of the worms" because her yard is full (and I mean full) of inchworms.  My kids loved it, James loved it - guess who didn't love it - me.  Especially when James put three or four in my hair several times just for laughs.


So very blessed to be able to spend Easter with my favorite people!

Some of my favorites

I finally figured out how to post some pictures.  I don't know what in the world I was doing wrong!

Here are some of my favorites from the last couple months.

Jack's 2nd Birthday.  Isn't this the best birthday picture!  I have to give credit to my sister-in-law Cory.  Love  

I lost my phone for a little while on Thanksgiving.  Later that night I found a lot of pictures of these two sweet girls.

Sam was a cow in his Pre-K Christmas program.  We all had so much fun watching him.

Ava had a Gingerbread House decorating party at school.  Parents were invited to help, and James could fit this one into his schedule, so he joined me.  And thank goodness for that because I am not an architect and cannot build a gingerbread house to save my life!

Our Christmas Eve picture.  They were not excited at all!

And Christmas morning... Jack's favorite gift then and now.  We have had hours of fun with this thing.

Sam got several gifts that I thought were going to be big hits.  And he also got these $8 dollar dinosaur/car things from Target.  They were by far his favorites to this day.  Isn't that crazy how their reactions can be so different than what you think!

And Ava's favorite - her American Girl doll, Chelsea.

Catching Up

So it was my New Year's Resolution to blog every day.  I am obviously right on top of things around here.

How can it be the middle of February already?  I don't even understand how fast time is going lately. 
I have to sign Sam up for kindergarten tomorrow which is ridiculous.

I just looked over the last time I wrote a post and it was in October.  Yikes!  So I wanted to briefly update what I have missed.

Jack's Birthday.  My baby turned 2.  He is just the cutest thing.  He is not in any kind of Mother's Day Out this year, so he is with me all day every day, and he is my buddy.  Because his birthday is the week of Thanksgiving and we were going to invite family members to the party, we just combined it with our Thanksgiving celebrations.  Pretty cool to have a whole holiday centered around you!  We all love that boy so much - he makes everything around him a little (lot) better.

Christmas - We went to Bryan for the Piraino Family Christmas in Early December, so we stayed home for Christmas this year.  We had all of our usual family traditions.  At some point over the holiday I was looking at the fireplace and all the stocking hanging there, and I just feel blessed.  There was a point in my life when I was in my late 20's and early 30's and thought I was so old (if I only knew), and I thought that I would never find anyone to marry.  And here I am with James and these three perfect kids.  So blessed.

New Years and James birthday-  Our New Years was terrible - really terrible.  James was so sick - like emergency room sick - with pneumonia.  Then Sam and Jack ended up with pneumonia several days after.  It was just awful.  There was a moment one night where I had been taking care of James and Sam all day (both running high fever and feeling awful).  I was exhausted and put Jack in the bathtub with Ava to speed up the process.  I walked out of the room for a minute, and Ava immediately announced, "I think there is poo poo in the bathtub."  Oh my gosh - all moms know that means A LOT of cleaning.  I got them out of the bathtub and then just sat on the floor for a minute in defeat.  And then I cleaned it up (and maybe told James I will be needing a raise).  I don't know exactly why I just shared that story, but it was a hard couple days.  And James was so sick on his birthday - we will make it up to him.

Now it is already February somehow, and I have Ava's Valentine's Day party this week and her Birthday party next week.  So we have a lot going on around here.  I have been trying to post some pictures here, but I something is either wrong with me or the computer, so they will have to wait. 

Hoping I can stick with this.  I miss blogging, and I feel so much better when I do.  I will do my best. 

One of a Kind

How do I describe this boy right now.  Active.  Cute.  Funny.  So smart. 

All of the above.  He is just one of those kids you want to be around.  Where Ava and Sam have always been a little reserved in most situations, Jack is not.  He comes in and makes his presence known.  He is waving and telling everyone, "hi."

He is talking so much now, and you forget how cute that early speech is.  He says some words all day - tractor, cup, mommy, football.

He loves Ava!  Sam is his buddy and they play (and fight) a lot more than he does with Ava.  But he loves her!

He has got a little bit (or a lot) of a temper.  Our kids didn't have much of a chance with that Sicilian and Lebanese blood in there.  They also talk with their hands A LOT.

Did I mention cute?  Always smiling, laughing, making faces.  So many people stop me when I am out to tell me how cute he is.

This is a pretty good capture of Jack's personality.  He has this new smile - or maybe that is his pirate face?  And he will (and does quite frequently) pick up any kind of bug outside.  He especially loves a spider.  This is some kind of punishment for me to have all three of my kids like bugs.  I don't know what I have done to deserve this.  And if you zoom in (or look real closely) you will see a nice little granddaddy long leg in his hand.  Lovely.

Sick Days

One of the hardest things about having kids - sick days.  I have always said I would have so many kids if they didn't get sick.  But they do.

So.. this past week Sam and Jack have been under the weather.  They both get pretty bad allergies which in turn leads to a bad cough.  If Sam's cough doesn't get treated quickly, it can lead to pneumonia - which we thought we were dealing with on Saturday.

After a trip to the after care clinic, many battles with the inhaler, and several sleepless nights for both of us, I think we have made it through the worst of it.

I promise to be back with better posts this week. 

Here is to healthy kids!

Favorite Things: Bryan/College Station

So..  obviously I didn't do a great job keeping up last week.  We headed out of town on Friday for a very fast trip to James' hometown of  Bryan, Texas.  We attended a memorial for James' grandmother on Saturday and had a nice visit with family.  We also took a little tour of Kyle Field so Sam could see where the Aggies play, and we  caught a glimpse of the Heisman - so cool!

So I thought in honor of our trip I would share a couple of my favorite things about James' hometown:

Freebirds.  Probably the original make your own burrito joint (I really have no idea).  It is like our Moe's but way, way better!

Chicken Oil Company - pretty popular in College Station.  We try to visit here or Koppe Bridge every visit.  They have great (and very greasy) burgers.

It is really fun to go watch a Texas A&M game in College Station.  I think they have a lot of great traditions, some which I find honestly a bit confusing - there is a lot of singing and swaying and kissing.    Anyway, the best thing about the game (in my opinion) is the band.  It gives me chill bumps every single time.  
And for a little fashion in honor of the Aggies - maroon is in this year and it is everywhere.  I keep seeing these maroon skinny jeans, and I think I love them.

And plaid is in too.  I have my eyes on this shirt from Forever 21 to wear under a grey t-shirt on layered with boots.  Or I could wear it exactly like the picture with my high waisted short shorts and my crop top.  I think the kids would love that!
Happy Monday!