Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kitchen Helpers

Lately both kids have been very interested in putting on aprons and helping me out in the kitchen. I've been checking out kid's cookbooks from the library and trying to get them interested in different types of foods for their lunches, hoping that if they pick out the recipe and help prepare it, they may be more inclined to eat it - and it's working!

Clark and I got up early and made waffles for the family yesterday. Then he went food shopping with me and helped pick out lunches and dinners for the week. He saw melon balls in the kid's cookbook and said he'd eat those, so we bought cantaloupe, honeydew, and a melon baller. Then Aurora suggested we make sno-cones, which were a hit!

My parents can attest to the fact that both kids helped make dinner and dessert tonight, and Aurora prepped celery for ants on a log, and turkey/cheese rollups for this week's lunches. It was a pretty relaxed weekend without much on the calendar, but sometimes those are the best.

Monday, August 22, 2016

3rd Grade

On Friday I spent a mommy/daughter day with Aurora and this weekend we focused on giving her a super fun last weekend of summer before starting school. Not that she needed it to be fun. Going back to school is the most fun thing this girl could imagine! We spent Friday morning at the Valley View Elementary Meet the Teacher open house. Aurora's 3rd Grade teacher is... her Assistant Teacher from 2nd Grade!!! Here she is with Mrs. Kephart.

Afterwards we decorated cupcakes together, which was so much fun. Saturday she had a sleepover with Presley and it looks like the girls got more sweet treats!

Sunday we went to Creative Action's community art day, a free event full of fun activities. We met up with friends and both kids had a great time, but especially our crafty girl. Clark preferred our time at the park playground afterwards...

And this morning, it was finally the day she'd been waiting for. During Friday's open house she said "I wish TODAY was the first day of school!!!" but as with everything, the time finally arrived and this little sweetie squealed with excitement.

Aurora's feet skipped a size this summer (from size 1 to size 3) and yes - that's a Minecraft t-shirt she's wearing. I'm sure that she's had a great day at school and EZ Care. Clark's already ready for the end of the school year, but he's got a loooooong time to go.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Reunion Ranch

This weekend Chuck's company was holding a family picnic at a place called Reunion Ranch way up in Georgetown, TX. When I looked at the map I noticed it was close to a nice sized lake and decided this might be a good excuse for a camping trip. I did a bit of research and reserved two nights at Russell Park, which was awesome; the gate attendants were so nice and knowledgeable, the camping area was safe, well maintained, and it was NOT BUSY AT ALL. In fact, we only saw a few other families in the park during our entire stay. It's the first camping trip we've taken where it was quiet all night long. It was also the first time the kids have decided they wanted to help set up the tent, and then they actually helped!

We got very lucky in that the weather held up about as well as we could've hoped. When we arrived it was 100 degrees with chances of scattered thunderstorms all weekend. It did rain a bit, but all that did was cause the temperature to drop to 75 degrees, which was awesome.

It was still pretty hot during the company picnic, but nobody seems to mind the heat as much when they're riding ponies, eating sno-cones, playing bingo, riding a peddle boat and playing mini-golf in the shade! Reunion Ranch was awesome, and the only substantial rainfall came later in the afternoon while we were at the movie theater. We went to see Pete's Dragon and grabbed burgers for dinner before settling in for our second night. This morning we packed up right after breakfast and were home by 10am. If the radar wasn't calling for more rain, we would've spent more time at our private beach. Ahh well. I told Chuck that after such a successful camping trip, my inclination is to get working on our next vacation! But we have a very busy fall ahead so I think this was our last chance to get away for a little while. I'm glad we didn't let the weather deter us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Grandparent Camp

There's so much going on, I decided we need a mid-week post, specifically to thank my parents for watching the kids during the break between summer camp and school. They've had both kids for the last week and a half and have taken the kiddos all over town to help us out!

Last week I set aside a bunch of games, movies, and crafts (including the cute animal visors and sidewalk chalk pictured), and there wasn't a ton on the calendar. This week they delivered Clark to his 4 year well-child visit, where he was weighed, measured, vaccinated, and tested. He has perfect hearing, 20/20 vision, and he was able to differentiate red and green!

Today they dropped the littles at Valley View for Clark's meet the teacher open house. He's going into Pre-k but apparently he isn't quite ready to be dropped off at school yet. He was actually kind of a grump and wanted to go home right away.

Ready or not, school starts tomorrow for our little dude, a week and a half before Aurora. My folks aren't off the hook quite yet, but I'm sure the dynamics of watching both kids vs one is a bit different. Hopefully things will be a little more relaxing from here on out!

Sunday, August 7, 2016


The weekend we've been waiting for has finally come and gone, and I think it was worth the wait. I also think this is almost too much awesome for one blog post, but I'll try to stick to the highlights. I took most of the day off on Friday so we could get haircuts and do our back-to-school shopping. Saturday we had our 4 year photo sitting at JCPenney, followed by a family dinner complete with singing and lots of desserts.

Today was Clark's Chuck E. Cheese party and the kids had a blast. Aurora got to bring her friend Presley, and as the birthday boy Clark got 100 game tokens and won 1,000 tickets in the ticket blaster. His Transformers cupcake cake was awesome and delicious.

This usually deserves it's own post, but our 4 year family photos came out so sweet. I can't stop looking at them! The top two will definitely end up on my desk at work and that handsome picture of Clark holding the 4 will join the rest of our framed birthday photos on the staircase. 

How on earth is my little baby FOUR YEARS OLD? What a great weekend celebrating the milestone with these sweet, silly kids and our friends and family.  

He's not so excited about his 4 year well-child check at the doctor tomorrow, but alas, that just comes with the territory...

Monday, August 1, 2016


Clark has been asking over and over and over again, "Mommy, is it my birthday tomorrow?" Imagine his dismay this weekend when I told him that it was his daddy's birthday tomorrow! Chuck's not a big birthday celebration kind of guy, but we all know that he appreciates a bit of quiet time. This weekend Aurora had a playdate so I took Clark out for a mommy-son outing to a cat cafe! We had lunch and played with a dozen or so kitties. Unlike my brother Julian, we did not opt to adopt (as much as Clark would LOVE a pet!).

Once Aurora came home, we took Chuck out for dinner. I had trouble getting a good picture of the wiggly kids sitting across from us, but Aurora got a pretty good picture of us in one take!

I always look forward to the 2 months each year when Chuck and I are the same age. He has another year of his 30's and well, I only have a couple months to go! Tonight I brought home a delicious chocolate cake and we sang to the birthday boy. I hope his wishes come true!!

As soon as we finished our cake, Clark proclaimed "Now it's gonna be my birthday tomorrow!!!" Just a few more tomorrow's to go, buddy...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

1,000 Blog Posts

I have now published 1,000 blog posts in 9 years. It's definitely been a creative outlet for me to organize stories and photos and track the kid's growth, while keeping a record of these crazy, busy, and magical years of parenthood and childhood. Clark is getting sillier, sweeter, and more nostalgic as he gets older. His favorite thing to say is "When I was a baby..." and the next thing out of his mouth is often bizarre and usually untrue. Aurora rolled her eyes at me the other day and has been needing quiet time in her room more and more often. Chuck and I are enjoying success in our careers and hobbies, and as much as we love our kiddos, we look forward to the day when we can talk, vacation, and enjoy quiet time together again. After 1,000 posts, I would think our weekends may be getting too routine to be interesting anymore, but it seems there's always something new on the horizon! This week I bought a new bike. It's the first bike I've owned since I was a teenager! I took the family out to the ballgame, we had a sleepover, and we headed to my parent's condo pool, which was just about the perfect way to spend a hot weekend afternoon.

Swim lessons have been going well and both kids are getting more confident in the water. Once I have a bike rack on my car I'll start riding with the kids too. I'm hoping to get Aurora to give up her training wheels soon. For now, I'm taking short training rides from the office and spin classes at the gym on weekends. I recently registered for my first 20-mile LIVESTRONG Challenge and I have a ton of running events on the calendar - but I certainly don't predict any triathlons in my future. I do predict many more years of blogging, even as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are clearly overtaking the personal blog. I hope you'll continue along for the ride!  

Sunday, July 17, 2016


This week I found and posted these photos and on Facebook and got hundreds of likes and comments in celebration of our 19th wedding anniversary and my 10-year anniversary at the Foundation. The truth is, the reaction on Facebook was probably the best part of either celebration. Especially considering that the #1 comment was that I still look exactly the same (which is incorrect but hey, I'll take it!).

19 years of marriage. We were so young!
Filling out new hire paperwork in 2006.
We are definitely at a stage where taking time off, going on vacations, and scheduling date nights feels like more work than it's worth. So, this was just a normal workweek. We did go out to dinner on Tuesday night and took the kids with us.

Family Date Night.
It was lovely! Chuck's had a fun week for totally different reasons. He downloaded the Pokemon app that's sweeping the nation and both kids are totally into it. But the most exciting part of his week was finishing out his computer re-build and setting up his new virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. He's been working for months to order parts and get this up and running and I have to say, it's pretty cool (and it's funny watching other people use it).

There's a Pokemon in our yard! Catch it! 
Immersed in a VR world.
I've come to realize that if we're going to do anything to celebrate my 40th Birthday or our 20th Anniversary, it's going to have to come from me. Maybe by then I'll have the energy to plan something, but two kids really do require 4X more energy than one. And while Chuck's been putting his extra time and energy into video games, I've been putting my extra time and energy into my fitness plan. I just joined the Austin Runners Club and this year I'll be doing the Distance Challenge. In fact, the ARC just featured me on their blog! I haven't been running as much during the summer, but I'm doing yoga and Pilates, taking cycling classes, and I've been putting together my training schedule for the year. I've also been coordinating a bunch of home repair projects and just registered for an intensive HR Certification class this fall. As busy as life feels today, this fall will be even busier! So, this weekend with the Wadeys has been pretty low key, and I think we're all grateful for the downtime.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


This week we wore my parents out big time, but thank goodness they were here to watch the kids during a week without summer camp! We also had an ice cream social, a sleepover, and started swim lessons - all of which involved my friend Anne and her daughter (one of Aurora's BFFs) Melody.

Aurora and my parents would all agree that while she got a lot of time with Melody, she probably had a little too much time with her brother. Today she needed some mommy-daughter time, so I took her out for high tea and some shopping. 

Not a bad end to another fun weekend with the Wadeys. Tomorrow summer camp is back in session and I would say there's nothing much happening in July - except my 10 year anniversary with LIVESTRONG, Bernice's birthday, our 19 year wedding anniversary, and Grandma Nancy's birthday! I'm hoping we'll be able to go out for a date night soon, but I hear my folks may need some time to recover first...