Monday, April 22, 2013

Excuses, Excuses!

Hello friends and loved ones,

It's been a bit, huh?  Nothing like our hectic G-Ville existence to humble me over the past two weeks and render my free time either non-existent or gasping to catch my breath.  Don't get me wrong, it is all so fun fun, I'd still do it again if given the chance...

We've been traveling--baby G and I headed to Dallas for a fun girls' weekend two weekends ago to meet up with my Building Cathedrals girls.  We had such a lovely time seeing everyone and our host, Texas Mommy, was beyond amazing, thinking of our every need.  I am back eating dairy and soy, so the food was extra delicious and baby G and I had so much fun communing with these wonderful sisters (and two of their wee ones).  It is a real treat to get to spend time with other women of faith, who are also raising large families and attempting to do so with grace and Godly perspective.  Such blessings they are to me...

Since then, we've been soccering, tutoring, slip-n-sliding, wrapping up our FIRE catechesis, going on dates (yahoo!), teaching Children's Liturgy at church, and enjoying our town's French food festival.  Magnifique!  There has been so much action packed into our days, that I'll let the following pictures do the talking.
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The slip-n-sliding crew
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Don't worry, he was still able to walk later...
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Part of the cheering squad
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Enjoying the French American food festival to benefit our local Little Sisters of the Poor
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Fun thrills for T
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Another thrill-seeker is born!
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All the boys enjoyed escorting their sister on the slide--very sweet. :)

Just know we are doing well--Baby G is beginning to get into everything and chatting up a storm.  MG is still working on potty-training, but is becoming so verbal it makes up for it (I love this.)  J is teaching himself to cartwheel and tearing up the soccer field (2 older brothers does have its advantages!)  T is conquering a cold and enjoying daily snuggles with Mommy and Daddy all the more.  M is writing and creating, working on a screen play for a book he's been writing about him and T (cute :).  GG is also working on getting over a cold (same one passed around), but still enjoyed our date out on Friday night to a restaurant we love amidst rain, good food, and lovely vistas.  I loved it too, especially knowing we got a good deal using a LivingSocial coupon...  All this eating has made me want to make sure I'm ramping up the exercise as we are in the 2-week countdown to the end of nursing.  It will be a bittersweet, but very good finish line for all of us.  Bottom line: we are enjoying time together and what a gift that is!

God bless you,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Florida Adventures 2013

We had a wonderful, wonderful time in Florida and have been back now since last Friday(!) which means I'm really behind on blogging!  Thankfully, our weekend was rather calm and uneventful--just what we needed to take a collective deep breath and plunge back into the work/school week.

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The highs for Florida included spending time with our ever-hospitable, ever-supportive Gramz and Pappy, who treated us to lovely balcony dinners (and kitchen clean-ups while we put the kids to bed!)  They played on the beach with us, watched baby girls who were napping back at the condo, gave GG and I a date night out, and treated all of us to a fun-filled day at Disney World.  Their pool and oceanfront views are incredible.  The kids had pure enjoyment swimming and wave-riding to their heart's content.  MG and baby G played in the sand and basked in the protection of Pappy's beach tent (that almost blew away, but survived--thanks Pap).  We enjoyed a ride down the beach in their 6-passenger golf cart.  We squeezed in a trip to the pier and lunch at one of their favorite diners.   And we even were able to play mini-golf on the last day.  It was endless fun and the kind of vacation where GG and I really had the chance to enjoy great times with the kids, not just facilitating their fun.  Older children definitely equal more family enjoyment.  Three cheers!!! :)

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A fish!  Luckily they got to pose for the photo and give the fish back... :)
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Strolling with Pap
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The proudest big brother ever
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Disney Ride #1: Thunder Mountain and we loved it!
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The Main Street parade helped us see all the characters without having to wait in the lines!
The low points of our trip included sick and tumultuous baby girls, who had everything from runny noses to vomiting during the week.  They were both miserable at various points, which left all of us somewhat sleepless and often impatient with MG's behavior (brought on by her 2yo-ness and Tamiflu (which can make children irritable, fyi!)).  Thankfully by Disney day on Wednesday, MG was through the worst of it and really rallied for Mickey and Minnie.  Thank goodness!  I've never been so relieved to see her smile while riding the Tea Cups.  She was back--whew!!  We have been enjoying her sweetness since (sprinkled with moderate 2yo-ness :).
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This is the smile that told me things were getting back to normal!  Hooray!
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Baby G loved it too! :)
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T and Pap got two turns at the cars thanks to poor steering the first time around.  Win-win!
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Waiting for the carousel--MG really was excited, but you can't tell by the pic! ;)
And can I say again how amazing Disney was???  Just amazing.  They are so accommodating and make their park an enjoyable experience for everyone there, even if there are crowds.  We were there on a high-volume day and still were able to do a lot and check many boxes.  It was so, so fun and we are excited to plan a return trip including more parks!  The boys are excited and even MG asked the following day to go back, she had such a great time.  Future adventures to come...

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This boy couldn't have been more excited that day.  He is always up for an adventure.  How much we love our J!
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And this sweet girl rallied even in the evening rain.  What a doll baby!
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The next day during an intense game of mini golf.  GG beat me by 1 stroke.  Shucks!
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This little lady played so sweetly until "her" purple ball disappeared on Hole #18.  Total toddler bummer! ;)
What a fantastic trip it was!  Our big thanks to Gramz and Pappy for treating us to such a special week. Can we come back again soon, pretty please?

God bless,