18 Years and Counting

This past weekend Seth and I got away to Fredricksburg (sans kids!) with some of my dearest friends and their husbands.  We realized that we have been friends for 18 years.  It just blows me away.  Never in a million years could I have guessed how these girls and their families would bless my life.  Many of you know how wonderful friends just become your family and that’s exactly how they are.  I would do anything for them and them for me.  God carefully orchestrated this friendship and for that, I am forever grateful.

IMG_4597 This is the first “reunion” trip where we have included the men.  They may have whined and complained a little about not getting any say in what we did but they secretly loved it.  I love how our husbands are all friends and get along great!  They really had no other choice.

(Ben, Britt, JC, and Seth)

IMG_4604 Dabney, Susan, Paula, and Me

We all went to different schools, participated in different activities, and are at different stages in life.  God is the one constant in our friendship and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good friends.  I talk to at least one of these girls every single day.  I pray over and over that my boys will have close friends like these!

IMG_4610 Paulice and me (the nicknames are awful)

IMG_4611Me and Suzbabe

IMG_4612Me and Dabs

IMG_4616 We stayed at the cutest bed and breakfast and ate, shopped, and toured a couple of wineries on Saturday.

IMG_4629 Love doing life with him!

IMG_4630At the Grape Creek winery we got to tour the wine cellar and see how it is made.  It was really interesting and I realized a lot more goes into wine than just stomping grapes!  Wine isn’t my favorite thing in the world but it was neat to taste the different kinds.  I was actually pretty into the chocolate used to clean your palette. Pretty sure that’s not what we paid for though.

IMG_4637 Love the beautiful hill country

IMG_4641

The Sensats, Anderles, Bayles, and Fletchers

We had a great time, great conversation, and great company.  I hope we will still be doing these trips in 20 more years!

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

Proverbs 18:24

And PS, this trip would not have been possible without my wonderful mom!  She came and stayed with the boys for the weekend while we were gone.  I’m pretty sure they had a great time and thoroughly wore each other out.  Jake has already been asking why I can’t take him to the store to get a new toy like Nana did.

Well if I’m not the meanest mom ever!

Maybe Not So Essential

I have been trying to focus on being a healthier person.  This coming from the girl who eats Blue Bell every night and could live on Little Caesars.

But as I approach 30 (shock, horror, I know), I am coming to realize how important it is for us to take care of ourselves…physically, emotionally, and spiritually!  This is so against my nature, but I have started seeing a chiropractor, taking vitamins and supplements, and using essential oils.  I even bought flaxseed and organic snacks.

I don’t even know myself anymore.

HOWEVER.

Do not put aforementioned essential oils on your wrist while wearing a $2.99 bracelet from Forever 21.

IMG_4644Perhaps sterling silver is the way to go.

Friends…and more friends

This summer has been great because we are getting to hang out with friends…new and old!  The boys seem to fight a lot when we stay home so lately we are getting out of the house as much as possible!

IMG_4567 The boys and I went bowling one morning with some of their friends.  They had so much fun!  Drew was a little scared of the bowling ball but stood next to everyone saying words of encouragement. (“Go Jake!”)

Jake, Drew, Corben, and Julianna

IMG_4572 Kiddo got his first strike and legitimately beat me.  And I had bumpers.  That about sums up my bowling skills.

IMG_4503 Just another day of saving lives for these two

(Jake and Jack)

IMG_4525The boys went to their first Vacation Bible School a couple weeks ago at a small church in the Woodlands with some of their friends.  Most churches don’t allow kids under 4 so we jumped on this opportunity.  They had the BEST time!  We are still singing songs and talking about it.

IMG_4532 I volunteered with the kindergarten group but still got to peek in on the boys.  We had a snowcone truck come the last day and it just made their week.  Jake is on the right holding hands with one of his new friends.  So sweet!

IMG_4533 Drew still talks about this blue snowcone.  We were so happy with how well he did.  He had the best time and loved “BBS” (as he called it).  I think he will have a blast at preschool this year!

IMG_4536 IMG_4537 Jake, Blake, Lexi, and Jack

IMG_4556 Every morning after breakfast, the boys go sit together in our recliner and watch TV.  With as much as they fight, they also love to be together!  Makes me happy.

IMG_4559 Check out those abs.  Can you guess which one is the ham?

IMG_4560This guy!  Love that cheese.

I’ve talked to a lot of girls lately and how perception of other people’s lives can make them feel down on themselves.  This is everywhere in our society!  I was thinking about that as I was posting pictures the last few days.  We may have done a lot of activities…and the pictures show a bunch of smiles…but that’s mostly because I don’t take pictures of the bad days!  And we have those a lot!  I had to text Seth this evening while he was working late saying that our kids were attempting to stab each other with corn cob skewers and I was about to give up!

So just know we are not even close to perfect over here.  I get so frustrated, yell when I don’t mean to, have many insecurities, am grumpy in the mornings, and have much to learn.

But nobody wants to read about that.

(Unless you do.  Then I’ve got a lot of material to share!)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Summer Vacation

At the beginning of July, we packed up the car and headed to Destin, FL to spend a week at the beach with Seth’s family.  If you know our kids, you know how they feel about the car.  So needless to say, there had been anxiety about this for awhile!

The boys did so well…for the most part.  And 11 hours, 2 stops, and a vomit-filled carseat later (sorry, I’m transparent), we arrived.

Unfortunately, the beach gods didn’t want to cooperate with us.  On the first day, we had beautiful weather and enjoyed the beach.  For the rest of the time, we enjoyed the beach from inside our condo because of thunderstorms and lightning.  Gotta love karma.

020 (2)We headed to a fish museum one day, where we got to see huge mounted fish and sharks.  The boys gave it two thumbs up!

022 (2) Captain Drew

026 Jake (and I) got to go on our first hunt for sandcrabs.  It was intense.

035 Thank goodness for our “swimming pool” (hot tub).  The boys were able to get out their energy a little each day in here!

038 The rain stopped and we got some family pictures on the beach.  Love these guys!

043 Uncle Chase, Jake, Seth, Me, Drew, Popo, and Nonnie.

So fun to vacation all together!

052 The Anderle boys

066 068 Our whole clan

083 IMG_4394 IMG_4395 IMG_4416 IMG_4483 If you look close you can see the water spout (tornado on the water) that we saw our last day there.  This was a trip full of firsts!

IMG_4472 Watching July 4th fireworks on the beach in our pjs

IMG_4435 IMG_4458My heart!

We had a great time, despite the weather.  Our luck improved (not) when we got home late on a Saturday night to a 90 degree house and a broken A/C.  THEN, it got even better when my car didn’t start the next day.  Talk about testing your patience and faith!!

Luckily, life is back to normal now and next time we will pray a little harder for sunshine :)

Surprise…More Pictures

Don’t think I’m letting you off the hook.  There is even more to come.

(This is simply a means of making me feel better about myself…I hate to leave anything out!)

IMG_4179 Our kids love a good splash pad…especially with friends!

(Drew, Lexi, Jake, Corben, and Macie)

IMG_4180 IMG_4181 This pictures just cracks me up.  Haircut, anyone?  Jake had so much fun playing soccer and is already asking to play again.

IMG_4182 Jake’s team…taking a picture of a picture so this is quality, folks.

IMG_4236 Playing in the sprinkler.  Don’t think I didn’t join in!

IMG_4351 NKOTB, anyone?  In June, the New Kids (along with Boys II Men and 98 degrees!!) came to Houston and several friends and I traveled downtown in style.  We were lucky enough to sit in a suite and listen to our elementary school favorites along with some new songs.  You may laugh but I’m telling you…best concert ever!!

(Mallory, Jen, Kat, Sheila, Keely, Me, Kim, Brittani, Georgia)

Seriously.  Why are there not more boy bands today?

IMG_4379 Following the best concert ever, I went on a retreat with the leadership team from my weekly bible study.  Seth played the SUPER DAD card and not only took the boys fishing on Lake Conroe, but took them to an Astros game the next day.  All by himself.  Major props to him.  The boys (and me!!) are so lucky to have him!

This was Drew’s first boat ride and Jake’s second (although he was maybe 8 months old for his first one.)  They absolutely loved it and still talk about all their fun.

IMG_4380 Jake got to drive the boat with Garrett closely supervising.

IMG_4381The kids were so excited to catch a catfish and then the dads proceeded to cook it for dinner.  A step up from fish sticks, if you ask me.

Following the busiest weekend ever, we took family pictures (which you’ve now seen) and loaded up the car to head to Destin, FL.

Stay tuned.

 

Life in Pictures

A little of what we’ve been doing this summer…

IMG_4244 IMG_4245 Swimming and getting a tan, of course.

IMG_4253Playing “Name that Smell” (aka Mommy is running out of ideas)

IMG_4262 Trying to find time to work (I posted this to point out Jake’s hand. He has to be touching me constantly.  On this particular day I was catching up on some work and he sat on the bed with me and just held his hand like that the entire time.  Broke my heart!  We are working on him playing by himself a little…it’s a struggle!)

IMG_4266 Being cute and bathing! (Although surely the pool water counts some days…)

IMG_4269Sporting our shades and playing outside

IMG_4271 Also knowing when to come inside!  Try not to cringe…they had fun, ok??

IMG_4306 Chalk drawing…tracing each other is so much fun!

IMG_4311Catching turtles.  Fish seem to sense when we are coming.  The turtles don’t care.

IMG_4318 Chill-axing!

IMG_4328 Pj wearing

IMG_4334And wrestling with Daddy.

What else does a boy need?

Summer Love

June went by in a flash.  As a kid, it was almost unfair how quickly summer went by and now it is even faster.

004We made some good memories making homemade ice cream with Popo.  Drew would not leave his sight and even helped with the cranking.  The kid was not about to let anyone forget to get his ice cream!

007Jake and Nonnie in the pool
014 010 (2)Drew is quick to grab his toy mower whenever Seth starts working on the lawn.  It is so cute how he follows him around.  Drew calls it his “tiny mower” and pushes along next to him.

015 (2) Every night is a fight over who gets the frog or monster towel.  Every night their opinions change on which is the best.  It’s really very tricky.

019Love this crazy boy!

I feel like we’ve been a little lucky with the weather lately, but today felt like a new wave of unbearable heat.  And the humidity just adds some extra fun in Houston.  I love getting to use the pool but fall couldn’t come sooner!

Smile Because You Have To!

A few weeks ago we took family pictures to document our quickly changing and growing boys!  Crystal Lynn Photography in The Woodlands did an awesome job.  I felt like we were all sweating and the boys cried half the session but you’d never know it from the pictures.  As Seth said, “these pictures don’t represent real life at all.”.  HA!

_MG_7242-2647854856-O _MG_7244-2647859512-O Our hands are full and blessed!

_MG_7258-2647868297-O _MG_7263-2647881294-O _MG_7268-2647885761-O Love these boys!

_MG_7283-2647886528-O _MG_7294_1-2647887931-OI just die.  They are looking more and more alike (and the same size)

_MG_7308-2647893819-O Drew and his daddy…such a daddy’s boy!

_MG_7311-2647892820-OAnd Jake has all sorts of cheese.

_MG_7323-2647897906-O _MG_7354-2647908404-O I am so glad to share life with this man!  I love him more each day.

_MG_7361-2647913609-O Drewbie is 2…looking so big but still our baby!

_MG_7366-2647914496-O Love this of the boys hunting bugs…and for those of you who know me well, check out Jake’s sitting position.  Is he my child or what??

_MG_7382_1-2647919471-OA train came by at the end of the session which was just the icing on the cake for these two.  I would love to get a canvas of this pic…just beautiful!

If you need a photographer, definitely check out Crystal!  Her prices are sooo reasonable and she is super quick.  Forever blessed by these wonderful pictures and memories!

Newsflash

This just in…3 year olds and 2 year olds are busy.

They also don’t want to let their parents sit down for a second.  At what age do children finally start understanding “relaxing”???

(I hope it’s 4)

IMG_4515 I have so much to share and hate to get behind but we had an eventful week at Vacation Bible School and have spent the rest of the time at the pool or hunting bugs.  Both equally fun.

IMG_4525So for now in the evenings I have to catch up on my other job because come 7:30am, I get lots of demands from my little “bosses”.  And no quiet lunch break.  And no performance bonus (but that’s something to think about, Seth?)

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go…

Psalm 71:3