Today (Friday) is our fourth “snow” day in 2 weeks. As the city was expecting “one-onehundreth of an inch” of wintry mix in freezing temperatures, the city of Austin came to a standstill. Here in the northern outskirts of the city, we have yet to see anything fall from the sky. But kids are all out of school, the YMCA’s children center is closed so we can’t go to the gym, and our usual music class was cancelled as well. So instead of locking myself in the closet, the kids are nestled up on the couch eating popcorn watching Planes, and I am attempting another blog post. I bet the movie ends before I finish. Either that or the energy that builds up in my little boy’s body will combust like a fireworks finale and bring the house down. My money is on the latter.
So let’s take a look back at November.
We try to keep an annual standing tradition with our friends, the Hoyts and Isaacsons, to hit Friday night lights at a high school football game.
Look at that green, lush grass. With several hard freezes, our yard awaits the resurrection of spring. This was our last yard work day before winter set in, and we require all hands on deck.
Brennan is my budding artist/writer. It’s thrilling to watch literacy progress. It says (read from bottom to top), “I want you to play soccer with me. Have to."
I mustered up a whole lot of courage and bought my first-ever pair of skinny jeans to wear with the boots my parents bought me for my birthday last spring. I need to regain some courage to wear them again.
His bright smile and sparkling eyes brighten my day.
All decked out. My Gaga would have been proud.
For school, Brennan’s class shared with their teachers one thing they were thankful for. I saw this and thought Brennan’s teacher, Miss Carmen, must have prompted the answer to teach the kids an important lesson. But no. She said it came from straight from the lips of my babe.
The cold was starting to make its appearance in November. We had to practice.
These two are good buddies, always up to something. I came home from an early morning Vestry meeting, and these two were hiding under the bed pillows. They make it a regular habit to hide from Matt when they hear his car pull into the garage after work, and he has to go on a hunt to find them.
The weekend of November 15th, I had the most wonderful privilege of going on a silent retreat with twelve other women from our church. Our pastor’s wife led the time, made incredible meals for us to feast upon, and lathered us with love that weekend. It was my first-ever silent retreat, and any future opportunity I have to go on one, I will! It was at a beautiful retreat center with some gorgeous spots outside to watch the colorful, falling leaves. I was able to rest a lot and have some much needed one-on-one time with Jesus. He replenished me. This picture was one Brennan colored the day before I left, and I loved it. It sat by my bedside during the retreat to remind me of my boy.
The preciousness of the Lord’s presence and nearness during the retreat is something I savored and held onto as long as I could. Upon entering back into home-life, a very loud, talkative, energetic home life, I tried to integrate a few of the treasures I walked away with from the weekend. So on that Monday morning, the kids and I went on a nature walk. Everything we thought was beautiful, we collected and brought home to put at the center of our table to reflect upon the Lord’s wonder and loveliness.
My darling girl. I’ve posted pictures of this prayer garden before: our little secret haven while Brennan is at school.
Oh, yum! Here they are helping make Meesie’s German chocolate birthday cake…and enjoying some taste-tests. I wish I’d tasted the batter because then I would have realized I accidentally left out a whole cup of sugar! The icing was able to cover the mistake and it still tasted scrumptious, thank goodness!
Brennan was beyond eager for the getaway to Lost Pines we were going on to celebrate Meesie’s birthday that he packed for himself. Slippers, a book, his book light, socks, a piece of artwork, his stuffed animals and cupcakes were all he needed to be ready to go.
Upon getting out of the car at my Missions Team meeting, I noticed I was walking with a bit of a limp and one of my shoes was making a sound when it touched the pavement that the other shoe wasn’t. Looking down to see what was the matter, I discovered this. I’m just really glad my team loves me despite my overloaded brain!
For my momma’s birthday, Daddy surprised her with two nights at Lost Pines. And boy, were we incredibly blessed when we were invited to join them for a night as well! Lost Pines has become a special family getaway. Last year’s celebration solidified that. The hotel surprised us with an upgraded first floor room with this gorgeous view. The kids and I drove out earlier that morning and got to enjoy lunch together before everyone else arrived. It was like it was my birthday <grin>!
This weekend marked the beginning of three solid, jam-packed, celebratory months. February, I’m always breathing a deep sigh of relief.
The birthday celebration dinner with our beloved Mees.
The whole weekend was freezing! It was blustery, rainy and our bodies weren’t accustomed from going to 80 to 40 degrees in a matter of days. We enjoyed a delectable breakfast and a brief bit of time outside, but after that, we realized it would be better for our kiddos to be cooped up at our home than in a hotel room, so we hit the road. But what a fantastic 24 hours celebrating a special lady, ushering in true Fall weather, and sipping hot chocolate by the toasty lobby fireplace.
Matt took this picture in honor of it being one of Kensie’s last nights in her crib. She’d clearly outgrown it, and since my parents were going to join us for Thanksgiving, we took advantage of their extra hands to put together her big-girl room.
Celebrating the completion of Prince Caspian Matt read to them. As an aside, the kids and I read The Princess and the Goblin, and LOVED it! I highly recommend it as a short story you don’t hear much about, but should because it’s excellent.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Matt took the kids to the dollar theater to see Planes while I was productive at home prepping for our big feast and house guests. This was Kensie Jane’s first time at the movie theater! Both our kids (I guess oddly?), have done great at movie theaters, sitting still the whole time. Popcorn helps <grin>.
After the Thanksgiving Day Parade, it’s become a tradition to catch some of the National Dog Show…because it’s fun, and because it reminds me of my Gaga, who would always watch it on Thanksgiving morning. We cheer for the Labs, the Terriers, and the German Shepherds.
Popsie steals the show every time. This wrapped up our amazing Thanksgiving Day. I must say I felt hugely accomplished having made my first turkey! I may have cheated in just getting a turkey breast. But I must say, it turned out great! And thanks to my Momma who was willing to split the work with me and bring tons of incredible food.
On Friday, Daddy and Matt took care of the kids, and I assisted my Momma however I could while she transformed Kensie Jane’s room into the most lovely, peaceful, and delightful girl’s room I’ve ever seen. She is a visionary and incredibly talented! When it comes to decorating, I pretty much rely entirely on her to help me. It was nostalgic and a bit sad to take down the crib that held our babies these last 5 years, and to say ‘goodbye’ to the room we prayed over when we first moved in that we imagined being the nursery.
Momma worked so hard on this room! She envisioned the whole thing, helped me pick out paint, and like always, went above and beyond to put extra special finishing touches on it like the whimsical butterflies on the walls and the flowers she said always needs to be in a little girl’s room. All of the furniture in it was either mine, my momma’s, or my Gaga’s. The trunk was the only “new” addition…refinished and redone by Momma for Kensie’s dedication gift.
KJ loves it, and is SO excited about her big-girl bed. I can’t thank my parents enough for their time and talent they shared with us that week.
Matt got a bit of Christmas decorating done, too! The penguin was a new figure picked out by the kids. Can you tell they’re excited?
The first night in her big-girl bed. It ended up being a bit rough and sleepless, but after that initial night, she did great.
And that’s a wrap! Finished on Saturday night…waaaayyyy after the movie Planes ended…just like I expected.