Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Best Surprise (another update)...

Wouldn't you know soon as I start this blog, my children have completely stopped giving me any kind of interesting antecdotes to write about! So, I'll go back in time for another family update.

Have you ever been so completely caught off guard with a joyous surprise that the only thing you can do is cry? Until recently, I would say that I've never been 100% surprised my entire life. I'm usually aware of things going on and, even though I might not know what is going on, I know something is going on. That is...until my 40th birthday.

I knew I wanted to celebrate with friends so I told Jeff to not even try a surprise party. My sweet (and sneaky) sister, Angie, said she would start planning and she set up a great party at a friend's house for the night of my birthday, which was a Saturday. That morning the kids had a swim meet and after my shift as a timer, I was hanging out under our tent watching the meet. I heard my sister calling my name asking about Adrian's (her son's) race. Everytime I tried to look into the pool area to see where he was, she kept calling me. Then I finally saw it...a hand waving high in the air that caught my attention. That's when I noticed the group of people walking around was my entire family from Amarillo!! My dad, my stepmom, my brother, sister-in-law and their 3 kids!! They had all flown in for my birthday. I absolutely could not believe they were here in Houston and all I could do is cry...and those were the most joyous tears I've ever shed! I found out later that they had been planning the trip since January - and I never suspected a thing...Wow! I can't even do the moment justice by trying to describe it here...I was so full of joy and gratitude and I couldn't quit sobbing! It was great!

The party ended up being better than I could have ever imagined. We talked, ate and laughed - and you should hear some of these people sing karaoke! :)

Here are a few pictures from the occasion - starting with me when I notice my family at the swim meet and ending with a picture of all the grandkids together.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a Few Updates

Since I'm just starting, I'm going to give a few updates on our family...

Emma graduated from preschool this year and cannot wait to go to kindergarten. She asks me just about every day how many more months/weeks/days until she starts school. Here are a few pictures from her graduation...

These are her amazing teachers - Ms. Jackie and Ms. Kerri

The girls were on the swim team this year. It was Grace's 2nd year to swim and Emma was finally old enough to be on the team. Pike opted to play tennis instead, but he said he wants to swim again next year. We had a great team and, even though it can be time-consuming, it was a lot of fun and the girls learned so much.

Here's Grace doing the freestyle

Grace is getting ready to get in the water for the start of her backstroke. She's really good at the backstroke, but doesn't like it too much because she tends to hit her head on the wall at the finish. They can't turn over until they touch the wall or they're disqualified - and for some reason her head always hits before her hand or arm!

Here's Emma on the starting blocks getting ready to jump in during her freestyle relay.

I love this picture! If you could see her before she jumps in, she has her hands over her head and she is bent over like she is really going to dive...then she just stands up and jumps - I love it!!

It's hard to see her, but this is Emma doing her freestyle. She started the season not being able to swim much at all...and by the end of the season she could swim the length of the pool by herself.

Because I'm 40...

I have a couple of friends who recently started blogs and I have really enjoyed keeping up with their sweet families, so I've decided to start one myself. I also have a tendency to mentally do something that I'm interested in high school when I took a typing class and was actually getting pretty good at it, I would mentally type my conversations with people (a little strange, I know)...and when my friend Amy got me hooked on eBay, I would mentally write descriptions of my girls' outfits that they were wearing...which leads me to the past few weeks of mentally blogging as my day unfolds. It's time to get the thoughts out of my head and on virtual paper! I also hope it's a way for friends and family to watch the kids explore and grow.

I stayed up last night setting up my blog page and realized that mine was not very cute. I'm usually a very cutesy kind of person, but as my page came together I realized it was very introspective. I've always loved "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost and realized much later in life that I connected it with following God's path for me - especially when I found the scripture in Matthew 7. I thought about changing my page as I wondered why it wasn't very cute, when the answer hit me...

Because I'm 40...that's why!!

This year has been full of changes and there are more to oldest will be going to middle school in a month and my youngest will start kindergarten...and I just turned 40! Am I traveling the right road? Are my kids headed down the right path? I've been asking alot of questions lately. Thankfully, the answers don't bring alot of regret and I do find contentment in where my 40 years have led me...and I'm looking forward to where the road leads next. My prayer is that I can stay on the path that God has set out before me and that I can teach my children to do the same...and that we can look back and laugh at some of the stories and pictures on here - and I can finally stop blogging only in my head and move on to some other odd mental task! :)