Sunday, February 26, 2012

We're Baaaaaack!!!!

Welcome to Charlotte!

The picture of the city was taken from the Mall's parking deck.

Darren and I are back from our over night trip to Charlotte, NC. We had a very nice time together. We spent our entire time shopping and eating!

Friday, we arrived in Charlotte around 1:30 pm. We headed directly to the Cheesecake Factory! YUMMMM!!! Afterwards, we shopped the Southpark Mall until 7 pm. We headed to our hotel to check in and then we went back out to eat dinner at the well-known Maggiano's Italian Restaurant.

On Saturday, we "slept in" (7 am) and ordered our free breakfast via room service. We were supposed to receive a free buffet, but on Friday night, after returning from dinner, Darren and I both stepped off the elevator and directly into a drunk person's vomit. So the hotel manager rewarded us with free room service ($50 value) and $20.00 off of our total bill. After we ate breakfast and loaded up the car, we headed to the Concord Mills Mall. We shopped from 10:30 am - 4:00 pm.

When we arrived home the kids squealed like crazy with excitement. Lilah even cried because she couldn't contain her enthusiasm. It was so sweet.

I figured you wouldn't want to see pictures of the malls we shopped at, the food we ate, and the hotel room, so we decided to capture a few hysterical or interesting photos of things we witnessed during our shopping experience.

Aside from the vomit, the worst part about our trip was we left our pillows at the hotel. Neither one of us got any sleep last night.

One thing I want to add, is a special thank you to those who genuinely texted, called, or wished Darren and I a safe and relaxing time together. It's amazing how my Christian friends truly rejoice with me during happy times. It still is hard to get used to. In the past, I have hid special times, out of fear, that envy would strike.
The first mall we shopped at was SOOOOO high end. Just to give you an idea, Tiffany jewelry and Louis Vuitton shops excited. I spotted a ferrari in valet parking, outside of the cheesecake factory. His license plate read, "any?now"
This man was not hired help! He walked into Brookstone, took off his jacket, laid on the tempurpedic bed, and fell asleep. He was even SNORING!!!!! The store manager had to kick him out after 1 hour. When they first woke him, he said, "Just 5 more minutes." People are so strange! Who can sleep peacefully on a mall mattress? GROSS!
While checking into our hotel, look who was standing next us.... Rick Flair. He was wasted and throwing his money all over the place. I had no clue who he was, but Darren knew exactly who he was. He is known as one of the best professional wrestlers in the world.

A riot broke out at the local Nike store over the latest and limited addition Nike Space sneakers. The nike store was closed on Friday, but on Saturday, when we went back to the mall for our tempurpedic pillows, there were three police officers allowing 2 people in at a time. Apparently, these shoes are going for $1,900.00 on ebay. Darren and I were tempted to buy a pair for $280 in hopes we could sell them on ebay for that amount, but we were afraid we be stuck with those ugly things.

If I had my cell phone out, I could have captured so much more. That mall definitely provided MANY comical moments to say the least.

More Unique Valentines

I've been meaning to post this since Valentine's Day, but just haven't had the time. Here are some cute Valentine's that the kids received from some of their buddies.
"Dear Valentine, You make my heart bounce!" Love, Cohen
"Hope your Valentine's Day is blooming with LOVE!" Love, Parker
(A lollipop with tootsie rolls inside a cup representing a flower pot.)
A christian cd filled with "love" songs. I LOVE THIS CD. Love, Vivian & Kate
"You rock Valentine!" Love, Julia
(A little rock, hand painted.)

From Virginia to Uganda

Over the weekend, I asked Kaitlyn to help the kids write or draw a letter/picture to Pastor Gordon in Uganda. We are sending him his favorite American food.... cliff bars too! I enclosed a picture of our family and a small hello!

Pastor Gordon is a faithful, godly pastor in Uganda spreading the word to all he comes in contact with. I hope one day our church is able to meet him. It would be really amazing to worship with him in the same church.

Kaitlyn, those handprints were so creative. Thank you for going the extra mile for me and for pastor Gordon! I have the hands taped to the box of cliff bars. I also made a set from Ty since he wasn't with you when L&J made them.

Cat Fight?!?!?!?!?!?

No, just a sister who lost her cool! I made sure to cut those nails after this mishap!

Warm Weather, Ice Cream, and Duck Pond!

Two peas in a pod!
This bird swooped right towards Ty and his crackers.
Jax throwing crackers overboard.
Lilah was making an awful mess with the ice cream cone. Check out the ice cream. It's about to fall off the cone.
My handsome hokie boy!

My clumsy boy gets a bloody nose at the duck pond (3rd one that day!)

BOYS just wanna have fun!!!

I took these pics on a REALLY warm and sunny day this month!
The boys decided to grab a hammer and "chop down" a tree across the street.
Ty was really serious about this task.
"Bang! Bang! Bang!"
And now I know why... he was carving out a heart for someone special.
He ran home and grabbed a pen, hoping to write two names inside.
Then he took a little break and chose to hop up onto the near by barrel of hay.
"Hmmm, what can I do with this thing?"
"I know, I'll pull off some hay!"

Ugh, I loved these shots! Tooooo cool! Gotta love the long distance lens.

Laying Pretty!

And while the boys hammered, Lilah just laid pretty, posing for the camera.


Lilah and Jax are about to turn 3 years old. Sheez, it's so hard to believe. I was toying with the idea of NOT giving them a birthday party and just making their new bedrooms their gift, but of all the years to throw them a party, THIS IS THE YEAR! They tell everyone, "My birthday is March 25th!" "On March 25th, I will be three!" It's so cute, so I didn't want the year to pass without celebrating.

I am notorious for throwing HUGE parties, filled with tons of detail, but this year I am NOT up for sleepless nights and contracting hives, from the stress/pressures, just to show that I can replica or create a priceless party. I think I finally have my priorities in check.

Now, with that being said, the twins party is by no means going to be without detail or quite
S-I-M-P-L-E. I'm not capable of simple, I don't think. I always focus on three details when planning a party: invites, cake/cupcakes, and party favors. I like to set the tone properly getting, the kids enthusiastic for the party, with the invites. I'm not sure about your kiddies, but when we are on the way to a party, all my kids talk about is the cake they will get to eat. Tyson's famous question is always, "What if the cake is chocolate mommy?" And finally, party favors... you've GOT to send your guests home with memorable stuff that lasts a lifetime.

So where is Lilah and Jaxon's 3rd birthday party going to be??? Build-A-Bear!!!!! It's not elaborate or overly "special", but in 7 years of throwing and going to birthday parties, we have NOT been to Build-A-Bear for a party YET! I am even MORE excited about this party because out of 11 guests, 7 have YET to experience Build-A-Bear to this day!!! This will be a ROYAL TREAT for everyone.

I spent many days and nights racking my brains on a cute invite. I didn't want the invite to just be something in an envelope. I had three options that I came up with all on my own, but I finally settled on "THE" idea.

I created wording for an actual invite and purchased a jpeg final on etsy (parents can use this as the reminder for the party's date/time). Then, I pre-purchased brown and ivory bears (unstuffed) and hung them hangers. I wrote a letter to each child, from the bear's perspective, and enclosed all of the items in a Build-A-Bear gift bag, along with a small snack... gummy bears.

Enjoy the photos!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Heading to Charlotte...

....ALONE, with the HUBBS! Darren and I are really BIG on Valentine's Day and birthdays! We decided this year, rather than dealing with the struggle of finding 3 sitters, for 3 different occasions, and paying out 3 separate installments/payments, just to eat at Carrabass 3 times, we would just hire ONE sitter, do 1 over night, and pay ONE FEE! We are getting wiser now that we are in our mid-30's.

So off we go, on Friday, to celebrate our February birthdays and Valentine's day (a little on the late side, but it's never too late to express love in an extraordinary way). We chose the venue Charlotte, NC. It was really my choice. Close enough to home, but FUN and FAST PACED! I don't want to waste all of my alone time with Darren in a car.

We are staying at the SouthPark Renaissance Marriott Hotel. It looks incredible from the website. I found an amazing deal that is allowing us to stay here for $149.00, TWO FREE FULLY COOKED breakfasts, and drum roll..... a $50 gift card to ANY store in the mall. So basically, we are staying at this hotel for $100. 00 or less if you count the cost of breakfast.

I am so psyched and FORVER grateful to Kaitlyn and Shawn Belcher WHO ALWAYS come to our rescue. Without them, we'd NEVER be able to leave town childless. LOVE YOU BOTH!!!!! MUAH!
I am NOT sure what our plans are other than dinner, shopping, and snuggle time. I even hope to get to sleep in a little. I value my quality time with Darren immensely. I love those times when I don't have to fight with the kids for conversation time.

Be on the look out for later posts when we return. A little birdie tells me there is an IKEA there. Better get my birthday cash ready to BURN!!!!

Happy Birthday Erin and Kristin!!!!!

Our group of "Sensational 6" ladies went out last night to a scrumptious dinner at Abuelos and then over to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. This gathering was in honor of Erin and I's February birthdays. As always, it was so refreshing to spend 4+ hours together where we laughed, encouraged one another, and pigged out. It's always so wonderful being with a group of women who have the same common goal in life... glorifying our God.

We always are sure to provide tacky birthday attire for the birthday girls.  Shannon ordered a GRANDE meal.  I had to take picture of it.
Thank you to the greatest friends EVER for such a relaxing, fantastic, and memorable celebration.

AND for the beautiful gift that you purchased for me my laundry room! I cannot wait to hang it up.
I originally asked Darren for this print. I found it on pinterest. GO FIGURE.

Down to 1...

CRIB! OH MY GOODNESS! Are we really moving our "newborn" baby twins into beds? Okay, so some of you may be thinking, "Uh it's about time!" But not me. Are you kidding me? Why would you want to place your child in an uncontained bed if you don't have to? Now the night time battle/discipline will begin.

The Harris family is expecting their 3rd and final child and we passed on Jax's crib to their soon-to-be baby girl Presley!
Zach dismantled it with Darren so he could learn how to put it together.
Darren carried it off. I had to talk to Jax about what was going on because he was so confused. He's been sleeping with bro-bro and/or Lilah each night (who still has a crib) since the removal. Poor kid is playing musical beds.

So many people have asked me... "Are you sad knowing these are your last babies/cribs?" I mean, it is sad to say goodbye to most anything in life, but I am really anxious about these next few years to come!!!! We don't have a lot of help and any help we have is paid for, so watching your children become a little more independent is a common grace of God's that I cherish (and one day will weep over).

A Funny Card!

Dirty minded people. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Darren wasn't even 1/2 way down the front of the card and he said, "I know this isn't what it's looking like it's intended to mean!" You can't fool that guy...EVER!

Daddy's Girl Part 2!

This card turned out adorable. I ordered it off of . My friend Ashely shared a promotion they were having, so I only had to pay for the price of the stamp to receive this $4.00 personalized card.

Daddy's Girl!

On Valentine's Day, Darren surprised Lilah with a yellow rose and short, but sweet note, left on the table for Lilah. I think it melted my heart more than hers :) She was excited, but when I told her to smell it, she lost interest quick. She thought the smell was awful.

I am just thankful that Lilah will know what it's like to be romanced! Not that her daddy is romancing her, but she'll have an understanding of what a man can do to show that extra love.

The note was so cute... It read, "For my Bowskeez!! I love you sweetheart! - Daddy" I love this note because 2 weeks prior to that, I ordered a card on tinyprints, for Lilah to give to Darren, and it arrived the same day her rose did. She "signed" the card to her daddy, "Love, Bowskeez" too! That's her nickname from daddy.