Friday, January 25, 2013

Pj Day and the big K

Lila got a big treat this week at school.  On Thursday morning, all we had to worry about was finding a cute bow to match her jammies.  Now that's something I could get used to!

Then we found these cute little Dora house shoes that used to be Madison's and we zipped on out the door.

That afternoon I saw this really cool class picture on Facebook and thought it was such a neat idea.  They do them for every grade level at his school.  So far, we think Kindergarten rocks!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

College Week!

Last week was College Week at J's school.  There was a different theme each day: Rock Star, Sweats, Favorite Jersey...

Favorite Hat (Go Horns!)...
and Career Day.  Such a fun week!

  I know it's probably going to come as a surprise to some of you, but Jackson wants to be a baseball player when he grows up!  I say, dream big.  It just might come true.

My little barista

Lila loves to help me in the kitchen.  No matter how mundane the task, this little girl is all over it.

"Can I mix your toffee, mommy?" 
She is such a little ray of sunshine in the morning and thinks it's pretty cool to mix the french vanilla creamer and splenda into my coffee for me.  She tells me, "I'll stir it for you so that it's not hot."  She's got a point.  If you stir for 5 or 10 minutes, the coffee will no longer be hot when you're done!

She looks so old with that long ponytail now.  I can't get over it.

How to be a fabulous flower girl - By Lila Hays

Lila did such a great job preparing for her role as flowergirl that I thought I would share some of her tips.

#1 Get a good work-out in.  You've got to keep those arms nice and toned.

#2 Get your nails done like a big girl:)

#3 Be very still so that the lady doesn't have to repaint them.  It only happened once!

#4 Sweetly ask mommy to share some light pink lip gloss

#5 Celebrate your fabulousness by dancing the night away with your parents!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Maria and Andrew's Wedding!

Hooray!  The wedding day finally arrived!

These three cuties were all about dressing up for the big day.

Both girls were flashing their pearlie whites all over the place.

They really loved getting to see the bride before the wedding.  How special! 

Then we had to wait another hour and by then the littlest flower girl had started to fade.

She was chillaxin' to the max in one of the pews.  Modesty?  What's that?

Shelley got to enjoy a little moment with her three girls...

and then I snapped a pic of Memaw and Poppi...

and Gigi (the birthday girl) and Boom.  I think they all cleaned up very well!  Soonafter, it was time for the wedding to begin.  Lyndsie and I took the kids to line up in the church foyer and then took our seats and hoped for the best!
After much anticipation, I am so happy to report that all three did great!  They walked down the aisle like little angels.  Lila fell asleep about 8 minutes into the ceremony (perfect!) and Maddie did decently well with her leappad. 

Jackson was definitely the MVP, though, and didn't make a peep the whole time. 
Love my guys in their tuxes.

During post-wedding photos, I caught a funny moment of the photographer falling backwards into the flowerbed.  Woops!  Then we were off to the reception.

Gigi got to sit next to these two at our table...

and after dinner Lila had to reapply her lipgloss.

"Does this look good, mom?"  Can you tell she's my child?!

Good thing she got all beautified, because minutes later she and I opened the dance floor.

Then she stole her daddy's heart just a little more by honoring him with a dance.  One day I will show this at her wedding.  I can't really imagine what that day will feel like, but I'm so hopeful that they will remain as close as they are now. 

Very soon after that, all 6 kids hit the dance floor--with lots of enthusiasm, too! 

The littlest one was full-throttle...

while Madison showed us some actual dance moves.  Turns out she's pretty good!

We had such a good time with our friends--so fun that we could all celebrate together:)

While we were hanging out with our amigos, Lila had convinced Gigi to dance with her.

Then it was time for the good stuff--and boy was this chocolate cake delicious!

After they cut the cake, Jared gave the best man toast. 
He did them proud, I think.  Way to go, husband!

Then the dance floor just exploded!  In a very rare moment, Shelley, Carolyn (Jared's Aunt) and my mom all cut a serious rug!  Love it.

When the party was winding down, Lila gave her Aunt Maria a big hug goodbye...

and then it was time to go to bed.  She had danced hard and was worn out, no doubt about it.  We all really enjoyed ourselves that night and loved welcoming Maria into the family.  It was a fun night of celebrating my mom's birthday, too.  An all-around great day.

Practice Makes Perfect!

January 11th rolled around and it was finally time to start the wedding celebrations.  We all met at the church for Andrew and Maria's rehearsal.  My expectations were low, but I really really wanted our kids to do good.  I never realized how much pressure is on the mother-of-the-children-in-a-wedding!

How perfect that all three little girls wore gold!  Totally not coordinated, but so very precious. 
 The ringbearers and flower girls were ready to rock and roll.

A very quick, and yet surprisingly good, picture of us five!

The boys had their roles down pat.

Mama Hays had also done this a time or two before, so she was good to go with Andrew.

Then it came time for the big test.  Would they all walk down the aisle?  Would Lila let Jackson hold her hand?  Would Madison and Jackson decide it was wrestling time halfway down the aisle?  We honestly didn't know!  I'm so happy to report that they did their job wonderfully.

Everyone learned where they were supposed to stand...

where they were supposed to sit...

and what technology I was going to use in order to keep them quiet during the ceremony!  Too bad it didn't work quite this well the next day, but we made it through.  Thank goodness:)

After rehearsal, we headed to dinner at Casa Milagro.  We sat by this sweet couple--hard to believe it's already been over a year since they got married.

After dinner, the kids all got really sweet gifts and notes from Uncle Andrew and Aunt-to-be Maria.  The girls got pearl bracelets with their initals on them (so cute!) and Jackson got an Amazon gift card.  I have saved the sweet notes and put them in all of their baby books because I think they are such wonderful keepsakes.  Lila, Jackson and Madison, you probably don't know it yet, but you are blessed beyond measure by the uncles and aunts in your life. 

Stay tuned for the wedding!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Times at Great Wolf Lodge

On a whim, we decided to take the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge a few weeks ago.  We'd had a gift card for the lodge (thanks Meg and Travis!) for a really long time and for once we actually had no plans all weekend.  Amazing! 

I made sure to get us a room that had bunk beds in it.  What is it about bunk beds that is so exciting to kids?  I really don't know, but they loved their Wolf Den!

Big brother took the top bunk and Little Sister settled into the bottom one.

After watching videos of the lodge online, they were so thrilled to finally be there:)

Even though it was 4:30 by the time we got to our room, the kids were begging to go to the water park that evening.  We caved pretty easily and everyone got their swim suits on and headed downstairs.  When we arrived at the entrance, they asked Jackson to get measured.  Turns out he is a smidge over 48 inches, which means that he was good to go and could ride anything in the park.  Yay!

Our first adventure was getting into the wave pool.  Let's just say I've swam in warmer water before.  Thank goodness we warmed up to it a bit, and seeing the kids enjoy it so much made it alright, but it sure would be nice if it were closer to 90 degrees than to 80:)  I know, I'm spoiled, but it was a little cold!

We all wondered how Lila would do when the waves started.  No worries, she LOVED it.

And so did her brother.

After a very fun 2 hours in the waterpark, we were ready to go shower up and have dinner. 

We ate in the main restuarant and were so pleasantly surprised with how good the food was.  I ordered a dinner salad with my salmon and when it got there Lila said, "where's my salad?" I made her a little plate and she chowed down on it.  How many 2 year olds do you know that eat salad?  I was at least 13 before I ever tried it!

Good thing we got a little nutrition in her, because after dinner we hit up the Sweet Snack Shop for some ice cream.  Check out the serving size of 1 scoop!

We ended up going to bed kind of late and then sleeping in the next morning.  No one in our room woke up until 8:50am.  Genius!  Our room was so cozy and dark and the kids just snoozed with us.  It really was nice.  We all enjoyed the breakfast buffet and then went over to story time in the lobby.  After it was over, the kids went on the Wolf Walk and learned about different animals.

This place is so cool!

At the end of the Wolf Walk, the kids got to make origami wolves--a fun, easy activity.

Then it was time for our white legs to get back in the water.  Good grief, I could use a tan!

They jumped the waves again just like the day before...

and then Daddy and Jackson went down the orange and turquoise slides at least 6 times.  Lila, my brave little girl, wanted to go, too, so we climbed all the way up there.  Too bad they said that she wasn't quite big enough.  She's ready, whenever she gets the green light, though!

Soon after all that sliding, we spotted the basketball pool.  Oh, my!  J man was in heaven for sure now.

We took our lunch back up to the room and then had a few hours of downtime.  It was so NICE.  Jared and Lila took a nap, while Jackson and I snuggled and watched football.

After this little pixie had gotten her some rest, she was ready to get back out there!

It doesn't take a lot to make her smile.  She loved the smallest things, like these miniature fountains.

She also really liked the kiddie pool.  See those slides in the far back right?  The blue one was super fast.  She went down it three times all by herself.  We were so proud of her!

After hanging out in the kiddie pool, Jackson was ready for a little more adventure.  Check out those orange, green and yellow tubes way up high.  It took a little convincing, but we finally got him to try one.  And he LOVED it!  We took turns going down with him in the double innertube.  He must have riden at least 10 times and probably would have gone all afternoon.

We played until early evening and then decided to mix things up a bit, so we took the kids to dinner down the street at the Rain Forest Cafe.  They loved it from the moment we got there and they got to see a lifesized crocodile.  We walked inside and they were thrilled to see all the fish.  It was so fun to be able to have chicken fingers while watching the elephants and gorillas--a kid's dream, I tell ya.

Our table was right next to the tigers--very cool.  

The next morning Daddy had to go to work (it was a Monday) but Jackson wasn't starting school until the next day.  So, after getting the kids a donut and myself something from Starbucks, we hit the waterpark one last time.  Lila had been talking about the big bucket for two days straight, and we spent a lot of time watching brother ride these slides and waiting for it to dump over.  She squealed every single time.  The very last thing that Jackson did was stand underneath it and let the 1000 gallons of water come crashing down on him.  That's a lot of water!  It was the perfect way to end our time there.

On our way out, the kids asked if they could take their picture with this exhibit and wanted their souvenir wolves to be in it, too.

Great Wolf Lodge, we will most definitely be back! 
We had the best two days and made lots of good memories.  Isn't that what it's all about?

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