Friday, July 29, 2011

9 Years and Counting

On July 27, Neal and I celebrated our 9th anniversary with a fun dinner with our girls. We laughed about how we would have never imagined spending an anniversary with two kids at a little fish place when we first got married. But of course, we had really celebrated the weekend before with a little getaway to Fort Worth and a fantastic dinner. I really couldn't have asked for a better outing (the one with the kids and the one without!) to celebrate with the love of my life! Here's a little pic from our dinner out! Here's to years and years and years of posts just like this one!

Celebrating Jackie and Joyce

As I said in my last post, my friends, Jackie and Joyce are both moving (Jackie to Houston and Joyce to New York), so last night we had a big party for them. This summer has been pretty emotional for me thinking about these girls not being down the street for me but I am so proud of them and excited for what lies ahead for them.
It was getting late and everything was funny, and I love this picture.

And just because it is so cool, here is Joyce's gift (Jackie has her own that is personalized to her, too). We had our friend, Jon, make these amazing boxes. He personalized them with their names carved inside but also included a symbol that is in our church on the outside. So cool. The necklace includes charms from their friends. We all went to a store and picked out something specific to our relationship with each girl and had them added to the necklace. When I went to pick them up and saw how much they are loved, I really lost it. Luckily, the girls behind the counter didn't judge me too harshly! :)

Jackie and Joyce - not sure what I am going to do without you, except maybe call and text you all the time, but I am going to still miss you both like crazy!

Shoulder to Shoulder

This summer I got to be a part of an amazing group of women doing an amazing study. My friend, Jackie, spoke at our women's retreat this year on Jesus friendships. She then felt such a calling to the material she had been studying, she went ahead and put together a 6 week study on it. Makes you a little sick, right? Well, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned so much and watched all these other women learn along the way, too. The study was bitter sweet as we were also saying good-bye to Jackie and to my other friend, Joyce as they prepare to move. So, on the last night, I brought my camera and took a couple pics...These wonderful ladies
Me and Joyce

Girl Camp

My friend, Jackie, is the best idea person I know. One of her brilliant ones was Girl Camp. She says she read about this in a magazine, but I wouldn't doubt that she just came up with it on a whim! So, this week, we had 16 girls "enrolled" in girl camp which rotated houses and moms and had fun girly themes each day.

The first day, I hosted with my friend, Amy. She came up with the fun idea to host a circus. We had circus animal shaped waffles for snack, then we had clown crafts, and an obstacle course full of circus activities. We also played pin-the-nose-on-the-clown, tame the lion, then we read books, and watched a circus movie. Amy found this idea to make snake hot dogs, flame thrower fruit kabobs, and popcorn. The kids had a blast!
Meredith, walking the tight rope
Jillian loved playing parachute
After the planned obstacle course, the girls put on their very own circus without any of the moms helping - it was priceless! Meredith was a dancing seal and Jillian just jumped in as needed... to be a baby elephant
Meredith loved her clown gear!

The best part for the moms was that they only hosted one day, so the other days of the week you were girl-free (which, since I am a mom of 2 girls, meant I was kid-free!) On Wednesday, the girls had a Princess Movie day - they watched Tangled, dressed-up, and did Princess crafts. Thursday was craft day at Jackie's family's art gallery. They also took time out to do hair and make-up and a fashion show. Jackie told me that Meredith took such good care of Jillian and they walked the runway together for their portion of the show. Today was the last day, and they had a science and nature day - they took a nature walk, made volcanoes, and brought home goop. Each day Jillian was a bit resistant to being dropped off, but she always told me "had fun at camp!" or "had fun with friends!" And of course Meredith looked forward to it every day. Now, to plan for Girls Camp 2012!

Princess Tea Party

Several months ago, some of my friends with little girls all bought Groupons to go visit a little store that does Princess Tea Parties and we finally got to treat them to this special treat this week!

First up...sparkly nail polish for the little princesses

And after a little tiny bit of pink blush and eye shadow, Meredith was looking beautiful!
Jillian got the same treatment, but she was a little sleepy, so she was only up for it if I helped
Next, the girls picked out dresses - Meredith picked this one so she would look like Cinderella

Jillian had already picked a blue dress, too - so they were little matchy princesses!
The mommies took turns dubbing their girls "Princess for the Day"
In true Princess Fashion, Jillian insisted her snack and milk come with her (I seriously pulled her out of bed to make it to the party, so I was willing to work with her sleepy demands!)

Our pretty princesses being silly in the carriage
Next up...Tea Time!
She just needs to lift that pinky A TINY bit more.
I had to get a back shot of Jillian's dress that was so long - she was expert at getting around in it, though, especially when...
...she had her entourage helping with her "train"
This little interaction was enough to send my heart swooning. Seriously picturing Jillian in a white version of what she has on....must stop. She is only two.

A little dancing!
The girls loved taking turns in the princess chair
Sister princesses

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cousins Trip 2011 - Sea World!

On our last day in San Antonio, we headed to Sea World! First up, we hit the Seal show!
Despite the extreme heat and the blaring sun, they were enthralled! Meredith loved it when the walrus did sit-ups and Jillian kept talking about the Seals dancing and "shake booty" - complete with a re-enactment!

The kid's area is newly Sesame Street-themed and super cute! Meredith wanted to pose with every character, and Jillian was just excited to wave!
The carousel horses were even muppety looking
Jillian was thrilled to finally find a "carouself" - she was pretty disappointed that neither the outlet mall or the Riverwalk mall had one. The purple horse made up for that!
Meredith and Rosita

Next up - Shamu!! They both loved the show - their eyes were glued on the whales. Jillian will now imitate a whale noise....and since it was a theme, shows you how they shake their "booties" too!

I think Jillian liked watching the whales!
Meredith showed her approval through her heart-shaped hands!
This is a crazy picture that I took on my phone to send to Daddy because the girls wanted to stand in front of the picture of his plane in the Penguin exhibit.

After lunch, we saw a 4D Sesame Street show and then headed to back to the kids area to play in their sprinkler park.
Meeting Burt and Ernie!

Before ending the day at the park, we checked out their water park too - we played in the waves, the river, and the kids play pool. Not surprisingly, Jillian conked out on the way to get snacks!
Sleepy Beans worn out by the fun day!

Jillian also missed feeding the dolphins, but Meredith had a blast!

Such a great trip for all of us - the kids just loved getting to play together. We are so blessed that they get to spend so much time with their cousin and that they truly enjoy being together. Not only that, we are so blessed that Gigi took so much time and effort to plan a fun get away for all of us!