Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day {2015}

I love celebrating Mother's Day, but there was a time when this holiday also brought heartache - I longed to be a mom. And then there was the Mother's Day right after we lost our tiny baby-to-be that was pretty brutal. My heart hurts for those feeling pain this Mother's Day and I pray that God will bring you comfort like only He can. Never give up!

Today {and really, everyday!} I'm thankful for these two littles that call me mama and for the adventures they bring to my life. They are my greatest blessings and I can't thank God enough for them.
And then there's this amazing woman that I have the privilege to call my mom! God gave me a gem in her. She is my rock. I love you, Noonie!
Lance and Papa J treated us to a day of antiques shopping fun by keeping the littles and cooking up a feast! Noonie and I had a great time finding treasures!
Meanwhile, the men prepared this yummy feast, including bacon and cheese appetizers, shrimp & corn bisque, parmesan asparagus, chicken and sausage pasta, and delicious cupcakes for dessert! THANK YOU Lance & Papa J!! And just to be clear - the serious diet starts THIS WEEK!
Noonie wanted a SCALE of all things for Mother's Day...WHAAAT??! So we got her the scale, but I couldn't let this special day pass without also putting together a little basket of sweet things that reminded me of her.
The littles surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that they not only picked out, but actually paid for with money from their piggy banks!! I was definitely feeling the love! Thank you Grace & Hudson!!
Sunday morning they surprised me with French Toast topped with blueberries - yum! Their smiles and excited looks were the best gift ever!
This little guy. That sweet simile. That tiny fingerprint heart. That belly sticking out. This is the stuff that Mother's Day is all about!
And bathroom cleaning coupons??! Doesn't get any better than this!
What a beautiful gift it is to see ourselves through the eyes of our children! I'm so thankful to all the sweet teachers who make these priceless Mother's Day booklets and questionnaires possible!
They are my heart. Pure and simple.
We even went to late church which was a gift in itself because I didn't have to be running around like crazy trying to get everyone out the door on time!
All dressed up and ready to go!
This pic makes my heart swell and swell! I'm so thankful that the littles have two amazing grandmothers that love them so much!
We showed up to church and Surprise!... Noonie was matching us!! We declared pictures absolutely necessary...much to the men and littles' delight - ha!
My mom was both mom and dad to me growing up. She didn't have the support of a husband to help in childrearing, but she never let that affect me in any way. She gave 200%. Every day. Without ever speaking a negative word about my father. Ever. Takes a special kind of person to do that! 

I'm so thankful that God brought Papa J into my mom's life {and mine too, of course!} when I was in my late teens. Seeing the way he loves her makes me love him even more. Thank you for bringing a special kind of joy into our lives, Papa J!
Our little family. I think Hudson must be practicing for First Communion...two years early! he he he
It was a wonderful weekend, but I'd be lying if I said we didn't miss my grandma something fierce! She taught our family how to love. I can only imagine how beautiful her Mother's Day must have been in heaven. I can see her radiant smile and her twinkling eyes the way they were anytime something made her laugh. Love you, Tata!
My sweet mother-in-law was out of town so we didn't get to see her this weekend, but we can't wait to give her our present and a big hug this week! Happy Mother's Day, Mimi!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you who mother littles ones, regardless of your official title! YOU are a blessing!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

School Memories...

The kindergarteners put on an adorable play, "How Does Your Garden Groove?" Hudson and Caroline were Freddy and Frannie Farmer!
With his teacher Ms. V!
He had his part down pat...he he!
Ms. V's French Fry Potatoes - soooo cute!
Love this sweet farmer to pieces!
"...a shakin' and a groovin' and a working it out!"
All of the kinders did such a great job!! I loooooved their costumes and songs!! Fan Club Alert!! 
You did so great with all your lines, Hudson! We are so proud of you!!
Hudson has his un-birthday back in April... whale style for the Whale Kids! 
Hudson and his 6 "candles"...birthday child gets to pick out 6 friends to be the candles around him while they sing happy fun!
Sugar HIGH!
I love that we have this fun art festival to celebrate all the wonderful art made by students in our district.
We helped set up our school's booth and the littles couldn't wait to show me their artwork!
Hudson's was a self-portrait in a specific artist's abstract style, drawn without lifting up your writing instrument, but I can't remember the name!!
Lots of fun crafts!
Boys will be BOYS!
Stinky fish art! He LOVED it!!
The kinders made their own shirts in class and had fun activities outside all day long!
Our school held a Make-your-own-waffle breakfast to celebrate Arts/Literature/Safety Poster winners and the kiddos had a blast! Love all the bright colors!
Grace's first time to eat cafeteria breakfast and she said it was "pretty good" - ha!
Apparently we are in the "bunny ears" phase...
Sweet girls! 
{who had to be coaxed to put down the bunny ears!!}
Love this little pumpkin to pieces!
A year ago we were sitting in those new parents' seats... filled with such anticipation having just received our acceptance letter... and today we are on the other side! Kinder year almost over and our littles not so little anymore {cue the tears!}. They were so cute singing and welcoming the incoming kinders!
Grace won 1st place in Visual Arts in the Primary division for the PTA's Reflections contest, then went on to place at the district level. She also won 1st place in our district's writing contest for her Moonlight Sparkle poem she wrote while in 1st grade last year. The books were just published and she was so excited to see her poem in print! Love seeing her creative talents flourish!
Creative minds at work - hahaha!
So proud of all these kiddos!
Noonie was able to come to the district ceremony - Grace was so excited!  Here she is holding her "Celebrate What Makes You Shine!" art interpretation of "The world would be a better place if"..."we celebrate what makes each person special instead of making fun of what they lack."
And just before we left for New York, Grace found out she passed the juried art test and had been accepted into the Talented Arts Program! ONE.HAPPY.GIRL!!
The Second Grade Parent Lunch was Cinco de Mayo themed...even though they moved it up a week - ha! I love the adorable milk-carton maracas Grace's class made. So fun to see so many families sharing lunch at school!! {But oh my, the NOISE level in the cafeteria!! I don't know how teachers do it!! Mimosas, anyone? Actually, make that MARGARITAS!}
No fiesta at our Casa this year, but Moe's $5 burritos were not half bad either! ;)
I can't believe this school year is coming to an end. Next year Lance and I will have a THIRD GRADER and a FIRST GRADER {gulp!} That sounds so GROWN-UP!!! But every stage seems to bring with it something new to look forward to, so I'll wipe away the tears and continue to press on. So proud of the two littles God has entrusted us with. I always tell them to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the world. It is beautiful to see that unfold!