Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Road Trip 2013 {Indiana}

Road Trip 2013 {Indiana}

At the beginning of July we headed north to Indiana.  The start to our road trip was a little rocky.  We decided to drive straight through to Indiana from Texas.  This seemed like a great idea at the time.  Now we see we were a little over ambitious, ha!  We did great until we hit Illinois.  It started raining and there was road construction.  Plus, my boys aren't the best car riders and we needed more stops than we planned.  Almost 18 hours later, we arrived late at night, but most importantly we arrived safely.

Indiana was our first stop on our road trip because one of my best friends, Angela, and her sweet family live there.  We didn't have any big plans for our time together other than to hang out and let the kids play, and that's exactly what we did.  It was wonderful!  Angela and I were able to spend time together and talk about life, our faith, raising children, our marriages, blogging, and all sorts of other things in between.  We laughed and we cried.  I'm so blessed to have her as a friend.

Here are some random photos from our trip.

One of the neatest things about Angela's neighborhood is this wooded path.  We took the kids on an "adventure" and everyone loved it except for Ben.  He still wants to be carried and he doesn't want the big kids to leave him behind.  Bless his heart.  He's in the "I'm big when it's convenient and little when it's convenient" phase.

Angela's neighbors are the best and we spent July 4th with them.  My boys had the best time playing football with the neighborhood boys in the backyard. We made s'mores and when it got dark Scott put on a fireworks show.

Mark played cornhole for the first time.  When in Indiana...

The boys shared a room with the girls, and I couldn't help but laugh at my boys among all of the princesses, flowers, and pink.  Too funny!  I have a feeling they will pitch a fit over this photo in years to come.

These kiddos definitely know technology.  Wii, iPads, and computers kept everyone happy.

Mark went with Angela's husband Scott to a Cincinnati Reds game.

We stayed in Indy and took the kids to a movie.  The kids loved it!  I did too!

Just a few highlights from our trip.  The only bad thing was having to tell everyone goodbye.  My boys asked several times after leaving the girls if we could go back to their house.  They really missed them, and they still talk about them almost every day.

I'm thankful for good friends, fun times, and special memories.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mark's Birthday at the Ballpark

We celebrated Mark's 40th birthday at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  I told Mark we could do whatever he wanted to celebrate turning the BIG 4-0.  I thought he might want a big party or a trip somewhere, but he didn't.  He chose a baseball game and night away for just the two of us.  My in-laws watched the boys and we went to the Rangers game and then stayed nearby in Southlake.  
It's funny having just us in a photo.  I'm so used to the kids being with us.

We got to the game early so we could see the players warm up.  The nice usher took our pic here.

Here's the birthday boy!  Love him!

Rangers Ballpark

One more of the birthday boy (man). 

It was so hot at the game!  I was thankful for our seats in the shade. 

The view from our seats. 

After we left the game we checked in to the Hilton in Southlake.  We were surprised to find out we had been upgraded to a huge corner suite.  Pretty cool since it was Mark's birthday.  We've come a long way since we first got married and stayed at the Motel 6.  The room was really nice.  It reminded us of our room at the Encore in Vegas--only bigger!  The location was great because all of the places we went to were only a short walk.

We ate dinner at Mi Cocina and then had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

Happy Birthday, Mark!

The next morning we ordered room service.

We had a great time!

Happy Birthday to Mark.  He's 40.  He's a man now!  
(Ladies if your husband is a big sports guy like mine is then you know that's a big joke because of the OSU football coach's rant to the media several years ago.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy 40th Birthday, Mark!

Today is Mark's 40th birthday!  

He said it feels exactly like 39.  He's funny like that, which is one of the things I love about him.

Mark didn't want a big party, so we're going to a Rangers baseball game today and then out tonight.  The boys are with his parents so we'll celebrate with them this weekend.

I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with this guy!  I love him so much!

My favorite photo of Mark and the boys taken back in June.

Mark really likes this photo so that's the one I put of him on facebook wishing him a happy birthday. 

Our little family.  Mark's an amazing husband and awesome father.

Happy 40th Birthday, Mark!  You're the best!

{Photos by Lauren}

Friday, July 19, 2013

3,076 Miles

Road Trip 2013
2 weeks
10 states
Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee
3,076 miles
There were lots of laughs, a few tears, and so many good memories made.

We made it home a week ago, but it's taken me a full week to recover from the vacation.  On top of that, I have a terrible infection around my wisdom teeth so I don't feel like blogging about our trip right now.  I will get around to when the antibiotics knock it out.  For now, here are some of my Instagram pics.  I'm @redbirdblue so let's be IG friends! :)

It was pretty cool to see the total miles driven!

It's not a real road trip until you've stopped at Cracker Barrel.

This is what the car looked like. 

Sometimes we were all a little delirious from being in the car so long.

Do you honk the horn when you cross the state line?  
We do!
Well, we do if there's not another car around.  We don't want to frighten anyone.  It always reminds me of the Dixie Chicks song "Heartbreak Town".

Hello, Illinois.  
You're roads were terrible and the rain was bad but we made it through without any hard feelings.

A field of corn in Indiana.

West Virginia is pretty.

I still use a road atlas.  I know navigation is wonderful, but I prefer a real map.

Virginia's country roads are so scenic and beautiful.

Interstate 95 in Virginia...not so much.  I'm pretty sure the entire east coast was driving on it when we were.  I compare it to Interstate 35 between Dallas and Austin.  Bumper to Bumper.

Welcome to Arkansas
I love crossing this bridge over the Mighty Mississippi.  It means we're getting closer to home.

life rearranged

Friday, July 12, 2013

Scenes of Summer

Scenes of summer from around here.

Tomatoes from the garden of my in-laws.  
Slice. Salt. Pepper. Eat.

Happy Hour at Sonic 

La Croix is the perfect summer drink.  
The cherry Coke from Sonic might not be calorie free, but these sure are.  My favorite flavors are coconut, peach-pear, and cran-raspberry.  Ahhhh...Refreshing ;) 

I've established a pattern in my drink choices.  Bad, Good, Bad.
This was a splurge.  I shared with Mark and the boys so surely that reduced the caloric intake. 

Here's a non-food pic.  These are my favorite summer colors from my favorite nail polish.
L to R: bikini so teeny, turquoise & caicos, watermelon, tart deco

Summer = kids movies
I loved Monsters U.  I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing this one more than once. 

Batman & Superman 

Ninja skills in the house!  
Years ago I used to babysit a little boy who loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how cute is it that my boys are into it now, too.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


At the end of June we attended a lovely summer wedding.  Mark and I have been married for 11 years and most of our friends married around the same time we did.  It's been a while since we've been to a wedding and this summer we've been invited to 4!  We think the world of this sweet couple.  The bride's family is one of the nicest families you'll ever meet so we were happy to celebrate this special occasion with them.  The wedding ceremony was held at our church and the reception was at a beautifully restored home.  The gardens and grounds were picture perfect.  

Here's the boys with the beautiful bride Rebecca.  She looked stunning.

Simple and lovely

Most of our teacher friends were at the wedding so here's a group photo.  Aren't they all gorgeous? 

This is my teacher BFF Kacie :)  Our classrooms are next to each other. 

The lighting is strange, but I still love this one.  

How handsome!!! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Will's Kindergarten Graduation

Congratulations to Will for successfully completing kindergarten!

We're so proud of him!

  It just seems like yesterday we were walking him in to the elementary for his very first day of school.  I can't believe that he's already finished his first year of school.  I'm afraid if I blink he'll be a senior in high school and we'll be sending him off to college.

Slow. Down. Please.

The school year went by quickly and without any major issues.  We've been blessed that Will loves school and it's never been difficult to get him to go.  He's been enthusiastic about attending even when he's sick. He's learned so much academically but he's also made friends and grown socially.  I know he's getting bigger, but he's still the sweet-natured, kind, good boy that we know and love.

The kindergarten graduation ceremony was very low-key and simple.  This photo was taken in Will's classroom after the larger assembly in the gym.  I love how proud he looks in this photo.  

Here's one pic from the gym when Mrs. W presented him with his awards packet.

Back in the classroom each student was given a personal award and certificate and their kindergarten diploma.  Will received the Kit-Kat Award "for always being by the teacher's side and ready to give her a break."  

Can you tell he's proud of his award?  Super cute!

Look at the kindergarten graduate!

This is the face of "how many more photos, Mom?".

Cap: minus the gown and diploma

Way to go Class of 2025!

*I'm about a month late on this post.  Life's been hectic and busy so even though I'm late, I still wanted to share this special accomplishment.


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