Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Friend Loves At All Times

Last Thursday, 1/20/11, I left for a trip to Aiken to visit Melissa & Mary Beth! :) I even took Cindy with me since she's gotten to be friends with them, too! I love for my "new" friends to meet my "old" friends & get to love them, too! :)

It was difficult leaving with Ellie being sick, but Chris, being the wonderful husband he is, insisted that I still go and not worry about things. If she'd been admitted to the hospital, obviously I wouldn't have gone but she was home & on the mend, so I went. Of course, had I known that on Saturday, Chris would wake up with it, I might have rethought the plan. OOPS!, here's the run down of this fun trip!

Thursday, 1/20/11

After I finished my usual Thursday work at the office, I ran home to get in some cuddle time with my sweet Ellie. She was already feeling better although still quite puny. I was exhausted after sleeping very little the night before when she was in the hospital but was kind of going on adrenaline. Cindy was actually leaving Houston before me with plans for us to meet in Dallas. We ended up meeting at the airport here but then she left on an earlier plane. It worked out nicely because I didn't have a ton of time in between flights, so she found out where our next flight was and had dinner waiting for me in Dallas! I kind of liked having a personal travel assistant. LOL

We enjoyed the flight from Dallas to Augusta, talking the whole time. (The steward was interesting.) I think both of us understood why little babies cry in airplanes since our ears were stopping up & killing us as we landed. Not sure what that was about!
I texted Mary Beth as soon as we landed, but then she & Melissa were nowhere to be found in the airport. We ended up being there 28 minutes early and they weren't planning to be there early which meant they ended up getting there late!!!!!!! I said we could just take a cab, whatever. hahaha

Cindy enjoyed posing in the airport as we waited.

Once they got there, the happy reunion began!

Our first picture together for this trip!

Of course, Melissa had everything looking pretty and warm chocolate chip cookies just being taken out of the oven by her hubby! Yummy!

Here's my roommate for the weekend-my Mary Beth! :)

Friday, 1/21/11

We enjoyed a yummy breakfast of "Orange Walnut Sunrise Coffee Cake." I think that's the name of it.......I always forget the name of it, but it doesn't really matter....still yummy!

After we ate & were all ready, we headed out to shop Aiken and enjoy being together. Aiken is really a cute little town with lots of character.

We took lots of pictures! :)

Me & my 'bronco driving friend'!

Lunch at Takosushi!

I like to pick friends who are good cooks 'cause you know....that just benefits me. :) I hit the JACKPOT with Melissa! Man..........she is a Southern Belle and a skinny Paula Deen all rolled into one! :)

She cooked an awesome dinner Friday night and Mary Beth's husband & son joined us. Her sweet daughter, Summer, joined us for a bit beforehand.
(I also got to meet her new sweet!!!!!!!)

Melissa cooked this Italian chicken crockpot dish that is so yummy, served over pasta. We also had these green beans that I love, along with Parmesan knots (that I have to say she got the recipe from me! heehee) Love them! There are no words to describe the salad she made except awesome, good, wonderful, amazing, etc., etc., etc. It was soooooooooo good! There is a salad at a restaurant here in Houston called, "Warm Goat Cheese Salad" that we love, so she put her own spin on it and hit the nail on the head! It was so good! Not only did it taste good, but it was also pretty! It had mixed greens, chopped Granny Smith apples, blueberries, slices of goat cheese, and honey with pepper in it. (I may not have all of that right.)

Here is the cake she made. Of course, all of this was made with the assistance of Mary Beth...must give her credit where credit is due! :) I don't remember what it was called, but it was dark chocolate with cheesecake stuffed inside of it and cream cheese icing. Who really cares what it was called?! It was just good!

Here is Melissa's son & Mary Beth's son, along with Melissa's little doggy! Gracie & Hunter (MB's son) were in Kindergarten & 1st grade together...big buddies! Gracie & Avery have been friends from church since she was 9 months & he was almost 2 months!

Here are my sweet friends with their sweet hubbies! They treat me like a sister, but I still love them anyway! :) They both were very gracious & kind this weekend to allow their wives to spend so much time away from the family. Shawn was seen many times standing at the sink, washing dishes. Good man!

Here are Melissa's sweet girls! Tatum is one of Katie's BFFs and Karsen & Gracie are buddies as well! Friends forever!
Karsen & Tatum were kind to give us manicures. My fingernails glow in the dark! Ooh la la!
We went to watch Brett play a little basketball & meet some of Mary Beth's friends, then we came back home to hot chocolate (cause it was cooooold out there!) dessert & played a game. We hadn't had the cake before we left, so we were looking forward to it! Well, one of us sampled the cake before we left & again when we got back. I'll never tell who........

Saturday, 1/22/11
We enjoyed breakfast again...this time, homemade (Paula Deen!) blueberry muffins. We then headed to North Augusta & Augusta to do a little more looking & shopping. We ended up at Bistro 491 for lunch. It was really yummy. Melissa & I had eaten there years ago, so since we were in the area & hungry, we tried it again. It didn't disappoint.

Cindy wanted some shrimp & grits. They looked good!
After a long day of shopping at multiple places and some purchases made....some less embarrassing than others...hee,hee...we ended up at Bonefish Grill for a late dinner. Alissa, a friend I've made many memories with, LOTS of playgroups spent together, was able to join us! It'd been 2 years since I'd seen her! So, that was good!
Mary Beth had been spending the night with us at Melissa's, but her son was kind of missing her, so she went home to spend the night that night and go to church with her family the next morning.
Sunday, 1/23/11
Here we are, missing Mary Beth, before church. How many pictures did Shawn take before we got 1 that was decent?! LOL

It was nice to go back to Aiken Church of Christ where we attended for almost 7 years. Of course, LOTS has changed, but it was nice to go back. I found myself sitting there, thinking of times past and feeling a bit sentimental about it. People tease me about not being much of a hugger or not crying easily, but that certainly doesn't mean I don't sometimes want to. I consider myself quite sentimental & nostalgic; I'm just not likely to express it....except maybe in my blog! ;)
That afternoon, we enjoyed a great lunch by Melissa. Mary Beth joined us again. She made this great beef & vegetable soup in the crock pot, along with these amazing grilled cheese dippers. Those things were awesome and will probably be made by me this weekend! They were so good & easy, too!
After lunch, of course we ended up shopping again. haha We then went to church and enjoyed dinner at Atlanta Bread Company with a group mainly from church. It was nice to have that time to visit longer than we'd had that morning.

Cindy was starting to miss Aaron! LOL

That night, we stayed up LATE, planning our trip to NYC in April! Yippee!
Monday, 1/24/11
This morning, we got Gorilla Bread! Like Melissa said, God bless Paula Deen! :) One of my favorites to make!
It was kind of a bittersweet morning. Cindy & I were missing our families, but we were sad to leave the girls' weekend behind. It is simply amazing to have such good girlfriends and a blessing indeed from God to place these girls in my life. Not really any words to do it complete justice. It is just something I consider a true blessing, and I pray I bless them as much as they bless me!
Melissa, who is NOT a diet Coke addict, found it a bit ridiculous to find these 3 cans in Mary Beth's car. I think this is a funny picture!
"A Friend Loves At All Times!" Proverbs 17:17a

Cindy & I ended up with a 3 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta, so my mom came to the airport and treated us to lunch! We both also got some goodies for our home out of the deal! :) I don't know anyone who is much more of an antique lover/flea market digger/garage sale fan than my mom which usually means that my collection of certain dishes is ever growing! :) I hadn't seen my mom since September, so it was good to see her, even if just for a little more than an hour. I wish Dad could have come as well.

It was a great weekend!!!!!!!!!! I am soooo thankful for my amazing husband who willingly & happily encouraged me to go on this trip and didn't even make me feel bad when he ended up being sick while I was gone. I felt bad, but he is a true trooper and wanted me to enjoy this time. I love him!

"Pitiful Pearl" Ellie

Last Tuesday, 1/18/11, I went to Ladies' Bible Class at church and then decided to go into the office to get some work done. They have babysitting for the children during Bible Class and it's available 'til 2:00, so it was a convenient time for me to get some stuff done while Ellie was having fun with her beloved Ms. Maria and her buddy, Trey.

While there, my cell phone rang with an unrecognized number. I almost didn't answer but said, "what if it's the school?" Sure enough, it was the school nurse. Well, a substitute nurse actually. Anyway, he said that Katie was in the nurse's office with a fever and not feeling well. So, I went down the hall to get Ellie and off we went to get poor Katie. When they called, her fever was around 100.5. By the time I got to the school about 40 minutes later (ugh....since I was all the way at the church building, which is about 25 minutes away, by the time I got everything together and got Ellie, it was about 40 minutes before I got to Katie!) her fever was around 103! I took her straight to the doctor. They tested for flu & strep, both of which were negative. They did diagnose her with the beginnings of an ear infection, but the doctor said she thought it was a virus causing the fever, not the ear infection. They did give me something to treat the ear infection, but we were going to just have to ride out the virus.

She ended up getting sick one time that night, which always makes me nervous after we ended up having to take her into the ER that one time when she couldn't stop throwing up. Thankfully, it was just 1 time.

During the night, she woke up some not able to sleep but seemed to feel quite a bit better. Still a bit feverish maybe. Well, once, I woke up to see the shadow of Gracie in the hallway. She said she had a headache and couldn't sleep! UGH. She wasn't feverish and went right back to sleep after some Motrin, but I was just sure she was getting sick as well. The next morning, Katie was obviously staying home and I decided to keep Gracie home too...just in case...even though she was now feeling fine. She ended up being okay.

That afternoon, Katie & Ellie both slept a really long time! Katie was feeling good but was maybe still a bit feverish. I just figured her little body needed sleep after being sick. I didn't think too much about Ellie sleeping so long either. HOWEVER, about 30 minutes after Ellie got up, nestled in MY bed in between me & Gracie, she threw up! It all went downhill from there! :( Poor thing, between about 3:45 & 10:00, she threw up like 9 times and was, at this point, not being able to throw up much. She was practically begging for something to drink but I'd only let her have a little bit, then she'd throw it up. It was pitiful!

Finally, about 10:00, Chris took her in to the ER. She just couldn't keep throwing up like that. They were there from around 10-4:30. It was a looooong night for us all, except Gracie & Katie, who were oblivious to it all! I hated not being with Ellie, but someone had to be home with Gracie & Katie. Plus....I had plans to go out of town the next day....UGH. Timing!

Here are some "Pitiful Pearl" (as my mom would say) pictures of my sweet little girl. You can see how weird her coloring was. They did a chest x-ray, a catheter, a cat scan, and an IV for dehydration & to give her meds to stop her vomiting. Poor baby.
She is better now!!!!!! Thankfully!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January tidbits

Tidbits from the past couple of weeks:

After an enjoyable Christmas vacation, the girls were ready to get back to school. Well, Katie was. (notice the HUGE smile!) Gracie was willing to go but not quite as excited!
I love mainly staying home with Ellie! I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom for my girls. Something I would not want to change. I have been working part time for the past 2 years, but it's only 1 day (for about 4-5 hours) a week away from home. The rest is done from home. Really a nice situation and a blessing in a lot of ways.
I captured this moment awhile back and love it. She is sitting in one of her favorite toys (her stroller), watching one of her favorite shows, and holding her prized (free) balloon from H-E-B. I love the innocence it represents, along with the lack of anything else she needs to be doing. She is free to just "be" and that freedom goes away just a little bit as we get older.
I love these silhouettes we got this last year. We also got them for our parents. They add just a little something to our living room, and I really like them.
Gracie & I started taking a cake decorating class! She had been talking about it for awhile, and it was one of her Christmas gifts. She is loving it after 2 classes. Me...well, I'm doing it for her. It's just not my thing. We have 2 more classes, but due to me being out of town and the school's Science Fair, we will have to make them up at some point. The teacher is really sweet and feels it won't be a problem for us to do it at some point.

I found these pj's the other day, and since Ellie is such a Daddy's girl, I had to get them for her!

I got caught the other day. Ellie found this treasured Bible Class craft in the trash can. "You threw away my Noah!" It's Jesus, but anyway, she wasn't happy that it was in the trash, so it was rescued...for now.

She is such a mess, but so much fun! I love putting her long hair into pigtails.

It has been quite cold lately, so one day we spent some time just laying in bed. I worked on my work computer some while she listened to Winnie the Pooh. Again, I love that most of her days are unscheduled enough to allow for times like these.

Katie lost her 3rd tooth! It'd been loose forever and finally Chris reached in there and yanked it out! She sounds quite funny now!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

For my 1st official post of 2011, I thought I'd do a bit of a re-cap of 2010. I tried to hit the highlights.

January 2010

*Chris & I were able to go on a weekend trip to Biloxi to see Tony Bennett in concert. It was wonderful!

*We went to our church's Marriage Retreat, but somehow I don't have pictures of it.

*Gracie participated in the school Science fair with 2 friends.

February 2010

*We finally got some curtains in the living room.
*Katie was "Star of the Week" for Kindergarten.
*My parents gave us Zoo passes & Museum passes for Christmas, so we enjoyed visiting them.

*Our girls do have some sweet moments.
March 2010
*We got broken into. No picture.
*Ellie had her first haircut!
*We celebrated our sweet Katie turning 6!
Gracie & Katie each had a friend sleep over.

*We enjoyed going to the rodeo!

April 2010
*Gracie & Katie played softball. Katie loved it. Gracie, not so much.
*Gracie had a violin recital.
*We were blessed to have lunch with Bret & Krista, along with one of their children, on our way to LTC in Dallas.

*We also saw old college friends while at LTC.

*LTC was great as usual!
*The Easter Bunny visited, even in the hotel!

May 2010
*Ellie had her Friendship School end of the year program. It was a 'patriotic' theme.
*Katie treated me to a "Mommy Makeover" at school.
*She also took off with reading!!!!
*She completed Kindergarten!

*Gracie, Katie, & I enjoyed going to see "Little House on the Prairie, the Musical." It's fun to have girls to do these things with!

June 2010

*We loved taking a family vacation to Disney World!
*While the girls were in NM with Gramps & Gramme, I painted Katie's room.
*Our sweet Ellie turned 2!
*We celebrated with Gramps, Gramme, Uncle Mike, Aunt Erin, Sara Jane, & Cullen
July 2010

*Josh & Beth, along with Ann Elise & Morgan came for a visit!
*The cousins had such fun!

*Grammer & Pappy came to visit!

*Chris & I enjoyed a rare double date out with friends.

*We celebrated Gracie's 10th birthday!

August 2010
*Katie lost her 1st tooth!
*Gracie & Katie started school: 5th & 1st grades

September 2010

*Ellie started back to Friendship School.
*Gracie & Katie were honored to be flower girls in my cousin, Justin's, wedding where he married beautiful Kelsey! My cousin Jenny's son, Kelby, was the ring bearer.
*While at the wedding, I so loved seeing my cousin, Andrea and getting to meet her sweet Jackson who is only about 5 weeks younger than Ellie!
*I loved being able to visit with my other cousin, Jenny, too!
*We enjoyed being together with so much wonderful family!

*The girls enjoyed having some time to visit with Grammer & Pappy!

October 2010

*Expected a BFF from Aiken to come visit & was surprised with a 2nd BFF tagging along!
*Add in a 3rd BFF, and we had a good weekend!

*Went back to ACU for my 15 year reunion.
*Enjoyed our church Family Retreat!
*Ellie enjoyed visiting a local farm with some special preschool friends.
*Halloween brought a huge LEGO, Buzz Lightyear, and the cutest strawberry fairy ever!

*We enjoyed helping the Schaefers host a party at Texas Children's Hospital on Halloween evening.

November 2010

*Katie was excited to be "Star of the Week" at school for 1st grade.

*Gracie performed in the "Lewis & Clark" play at school.

*Ellie started turning into such a big girl & looked so cute with pigtails!

*Gracie, Chris, & I went to the Skillet/Toby Mac concert.

*Chris & Gracie completed a 5K!

December 2010

*Gracie performed at the mall with her school choir group.
*Ellie moved to a big girl bed and plans for a cute big girl room are beginning.
*Christmas and all that goes with it!
*Cousins here for Christmas.
*Enjoyed a visit to San Antonio & Uvalde.
*Enjoyed ringing in the New Year (well, almost) with a small, yet laugh filled group!
Thank you, Lord, for a blessed year!