Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year In Review

It was a year of change.

A year of tears.

A year of fun.

*We sold our 2nd house and moved to The Midwest.

*Jack learned to ski.

*Carter joined Junior Great Books at school.

*Our middle child was potty trained.

*We drove cross country and lived to tell about it. And, laugh about it.

*I traveled to Texas 5 times in 6 months. The kids, 3 times. Blake, 3 as well.

*Carter received his First Holy Communion.

*We saw the Grand Canyon.

*Lainey met Mickey Mouse for the 1st time. Jack for the 2nd. Carter for the 3rd.

*We said goodbye to a Grandfather.

*Our extended family grew.

*Carter surfed the La Jolla shores and snorkeled in the cove.

*I joined Team Caroline and watched my amazing sister fight and pull through like she never has before.

*I learned to pray like I never have before.

*I ate my first In-N-Out burger. Yeah. It's worth mentioning.

I'd like to look back on 2009 and picture this...

Or this. Would you look at that? We almost look like a normal family there!

But, instead, I'll likely recall all of this...

And, of course, THIS.

It's all good, blogger peeps. We're a typically loud, someone's-always-crying, predictably chaotic mess of a family, but we own it.

Here's to a crazy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Sisters In Kansas

Having Caroline and Ceason in Kansas was the best present ever. Ever!

They arrived the day after Christmas. We saved our big meal for them.....ate like that we could open presents. You know, the real purpose of a holiday gathering.

Carter got the party started.

Jack waited ever so patiently for the signal to start.

Trains from CiCi! Jackpot.

He opened this set from Caroline. Admired it and looked mildly impressed......then noticed it was actually a train set.......and screamed, "It's a TRAIN. It's a TRAIN!!!!!!" Lord help us.

Possibly my favorite gift of the season......and certainly one of the most thoughtful.....a popcorn bowl from Ceason for my Tuesday evening "Bring Your Own Bowl" movies.

I love her for this.

Carter got both aunts these slippers. Lainey stole Caroline's. Such a sweet little two Carolines.

Sunday morning. Breakfast and play dough, anyone?

Ceason brought her sweet dog, Lucky, who was adored.

The kids liked "Yucky Dog's" cage as much as her.

Lainey donned her princess gear for us.

And, while we all visited, Blake hid in the boys' room for a nap. I walked in to find him in this tent. Ok.

We spent the afternoon and evening sans Jack and Lainey. Saw a movie and briefly shopped the Plaza. Caroline kept things interesting by wearing this fur hat.

She helped Carter buy this sweet present from Anthropologie for me.

Plaza lights, baby.

Here we are on Day 3. Lucky bravely curled up with Lamby. Lamby, people.

You know what that means. Bossy Laine made an appearance and told her what's up.

Later on, the 3 fought over who got to sit in the dog cage. Our kids are getting smarter by the day.

Lucky did her best to ignore their absurdities and concentrate on catching squirrels.

Train tracks in the cage. I don't even know.

We tried the Santa gear on Yucky Dog.

Batman prefers it on himself, though. Another smug look....

We could have done this for hours.

(Why is the bottom of my table splattered with milk and food? How do the legs of a table get dirty?!)

Carter tried his best to create a friendship. Batman was not interested. Heard him hiss for the first time ever.

Ceason commented on my stellar parenting skills when she saw Jack sitting 12 inches from the TV. Later that day, I told her I owed her a nickel and she said, "No worries. I found it in your daughter's mouth." Note to self: Work on list of resolutions.

Once the shenanigans at home were over, we ventured into Kansas City for a visit to Union Station. Caroline and Ceason were very impressed. It's such an awesome place.

My sisters. (and creepy Jack peaking in from behind)

Ceason took the kids out onto the bridge.

You know that bridge I'm always posting pictures on? Here it is. Crossing train tracks galore in downtown KC.

Lainey sat by Swiper again. (Tights comment, anyone?)

We shopped at the museum store.

Lainey worked hard to pick up a dirty rag on the floor Lamby with the robot claw. I wish I remembered each year to buy our kids these claws for Christmas. They LOVE them. Someone please remind me next year.

Next stop, the Harvey House Diner for some sugary goodness.

Made it home in time to welcome Blake with a pizza dinner from The Stonewall Inn, compliments of Ceason.

"Not Dad's urtday. It's MY urtday!" Silly Blake.

Sooner than we liked, it was time to say goodbye. Carter fed Lucky another round of doggie treats.

One from Jack, too. (Caroline, here is your shirt pic for Ryan!)

We tried for some last minute photos on the stairs. Ceason, you look a little nervous. Like a child might be falling on you?

There she goes.

The girls. Wish I was not in my pjs and that I was sporting some makeup (or a bath), but I ended up loving this picture. I love these girls. So happy they made it to Kansas.

Lucky was ready to make her way back to Texas. "Mom, can we go now? Please?!"

They arrived just in time for another round of Dallas snow. After trekking through over a foot on the ground here. We're missing them already and planning another visit hopefully before our trip to Texas in April. Ceason, tell Lucky we'll bring the Prozac next time. And, more dog treats. Promise.