Sunday, January 30, 2011

the castle

I believe everyone should feel like the most special person in the whole least one day a year.  That's why we have birthdays.
Everyone should be celebrated.
My best friend and I started a fun tradition two years ago.  Her birthday is in January.  We started celebrating her birth by spending time away from all the hustle and bustle of our lives. 
This was our third year to spend the night at a bed and breakfast.  We spent the last two celebrations at a bed and breakfast in Lindsborg, Kansas.  We love the quiet quaintness of the small town and beautiful accomodations.
This year, Annie wanted to visit The Castle Inn Riverside in Wichita.  We have spent time there with our husbands but never just the two of us.  (I totally forgot to take a picture of the outside of The Castle.  This is one borrowed from their website.  No wedding while we were there.)

We stayed in the Mary, Queen of Scots room.   Annie loved the princess phone!

We booked our room weeks in advance.  We had no idea it would be a beautiful 70 degrees!  We opted not to use the gorgeous fireplace since it was so warm.  Instead...

we spent our afternoon and early evening enjoying the views from our balconies.  We had a small private balcony and a large "shared" balcony.  Fortunately for us, no one stayed in the room that shared the balcony so we had the whole large balcony to ourselves.  The Little Arkansas River runs in front of The Castle so we could watch the ducks and kayaking.

A beautiful sunset.
The carriage house.

Wine and hors d'euvres in the dining room.  We enjoyed desserts later in the evening.
We took off on a great adventure up through the turret to the roof of the castle.  It was such a cool, clear, crisp evening.  A moment that will forever be synged in my memory.

Then we retired to our room to enjoy the jacuzzi.  It was so warm, bubbly and relaxing.  It's funny how long two girls can talk when sitting in bubbles.

We slept so good in our comfy, king size bed.

We woke up Saturday morning so refreshed.
Stuffed french toast with fruit, poached eggs, sausage, fresh juice and coffee for breakfast in the solarium.
A little more shopping, lunch at Olive Garden and then back to reality...until next year! 
If I could celebrate Annie's life every day of the year, I would totally do it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

this is the stuff

This is a new song to me.
If I had a theme song for this season of my life, this would be it.

A friend posted it on her blog this weekend and it struck a chord with me. The kind of chord that resonates all the way to my soul. (Disclaimer - I borrowed many ideas for this post from my sweet friend, Amy.)

Losing my keys.
Losing my phone.
Looking for my honey's keys and wallet.
"Where are my shoes, mommy?"
Lost earring.
Tight jeans.
Getting caught by a train when we're running late.
Dog poop.
Slow computer.
Lost remote.
Paying for a bag of ice and then forgetting to pick it up at the grocery.
Rockets and their parts all over my house (I stand corrected, they're not ALL over the house).
An empty Diet Coke case.
Planning dinner every night.
Paying bills.
Spilled dog water.
Wet socks from stepping in spilled dog water.
Never ending laundry.
Messy house.

This is the stuff
That drives me crazy
This is the stuff
That's getting to me lately

In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations

I've been stressed lately.
Letting lots of little things get under my skin.
At work. Home. Church. Life.

This song is just the reminder I needed.
Instead of getting frustrated, I need to remember how blessed I am.
Blessed to serve a God who loves me no matter how impatient and unkind I am.
Blessed to have 3 healthy children.
Blessed to have a job.
Blessed to have the opportunity to be an influence in the lives of and to love all the beautiful ladies of my church.
Blessed to have a wonderful husband. Wonderful family. Wonderful friends.
Blessed to have a house. And enough toys and clothes to make it messy.
Blessed to have time with my family while I'm waiting on a long, slow train.
Blessed to have money to pay the bills. And the late fees.
So many blessings. So much for which to be thankful.

Praying that I can change my perspective.
Look for the blessings amidst the chaos and frustration and mess.
In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed.

I'm going to remember.
I'll try really, really hard to remember.

Monday, January 17, 2011


How do you re-charge?
I've been thinking alot about this lately.  But one of those treasured talks with a friend over a piece of pie really made me think.
Our life is so full and busy.  I have always loved it this way.  Our 3 kids and church family keep us going all the time.  I always thought I thrive on this schedule.
I'm not sure if it's my age or the fact that I have friends who are more tuned into their bodies, but I have come to realize (through lots of heart-to-heart talks with my girlfriends) that I don't necessarily thrive on this schedule.
Although I love all the activity, I also need to re-charge.
Back to the talk over a piece of pie - I had one of those "ah ha!" moments when my sweet friend, Amy, told me the way a person recharges indicates if she's an introvert or extrovert.  I had never really thought about how I re-charge.  I was pretty sure I was an extrovert...until I really thought about it. 
I've always been pretty sure about how my kids re-charge.  I had to figure this out to survive raising these 3 healthy kids!
Hannah is my "on the go" daughter.  She doesn't want to watch television or hang out at home.  It's relaxing to her to wander through Walmart or to run errands.
Eli is my "I need at least 1 day a week to veg" kid.  He needs at least 1 full day a week to sit on the sofa in his shorts and love the remote.  He barely moves for 16 hours.  When he wakes the next morning, he's raring to go!
I'm still trying to figure out how to re-charge Abi.  She's such a happy and content kid.  I'm not sure if she needs to be re-charged :)
Now, back to me.  How do I re-charge?  I now know.  I really, really know. 
A walk, every single day.
Quiet time with Jesus.
A heart-to-heart talk with a friend over a piece of pie in the corner of a local bakery :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


My kids come from a long line of WSU Shockers.
My parents and step-dad are all WSU alums.
Mitch and I are both WSU alums.
I'm pretty sure my kids don't have a choice about bleeding black and gold.

Today is Hannah's 13th birthday.
She chose to spend her birthday at a Lady Shox basketball game with our family and my mom and step-dad.
(It's not surprising she loves basketball.  I labored through a basketball game the night before she was born.  We had to leave the game mid-3rd quarter because it was too hard to time the contractions with all the whistles and buzzers.)

We always show our team spirit.
We love our Shocker accessories!  Notice the necklace from The Rusted Chain.  (It's my favorite Christmas present from me to me during Beki's 25% off sale.)

Today's game was a blowout during the first half but the second half was intense.  The Redbirds made a major comeback and tied the game.
We won but it went down to the last second.
Hannah got her basketball autographed after the game.
She said it's the best birthday ever!
Happy birthday from one Shocker to another!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

my angels

i just ran across this photo from our 2009 Christmas Eve service.  this is one of my favorites pics of my 2 youngest angels.  they are worshipping baby Jesus.  this photo embodies everything i want for my kids.  this is my desire for their entire lives.  they will always take time to worship Jesus.  isn't that what life is really all about?  we should be about worshipping everything we everything we everything we are.

i get to spend this entire weekend just being a mommy.  mitch is gone to a youth retreat so i get to focus on being a mommy.  as much as i love my honey, i also love the times when the schedules are ignored and i get to be all mommy.  i'm going to enjoy every minute i can with my angels.  oh yes, and we will worship Jesus!  we will find ways to worship in everything we do and say and are.

Friday, January 14, 2011

mt. centennial

Abi begged and pleaded with her daddy every single day this week to take her sledding on "the hill".  Unfortunately for Abi, Daddy has to work outside in the snow all day and wasn't very excited about playing in it once he got home.  But who can say "no" to this sweet little face?  Not Daddy!  He finally conceded to her Thursday afternoon and took her out to the hill at Centennial Park.  Oh my!  We have quite the adventuresome snow princess.

I loved watching them climb the hill together.  The both got a great workout!

He's a great daddy!  and she's very in love with her hero :)

"This was a great idea at home but I'm not so sure I want to go down the hill now that I'm here."

"Oh, the wind and snow in my face is the best!  Let's do it again and again!"

"Two thumbs up!"

Tired Daddy and Happy Snow Princess

Monday, January 10, 2011

annie's birthday

january 11th is one of my favorite days of the year. 
in fact, I believe it should be a national holiday.
january 11th is the celebration of the birth of one of my favorite people.
she's beautiful.
she's colorful.
she's funny.
she sings like an angel.
she is my ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.
she is my confidant.
she reminds me of the truth when i need it.
she loves me when i'm unlovable.
she's my bff.
she should be celebrated every day of the year.

happy birthday annie...i love you!

new purse

I love new purses and new shoes! The smell of leather makes my palms sweat and my mouth water. My daughters have inherited this affinity for the finer things of life. We have lots of fun with it!

Shopping for a new purse is a lot like shopping for a new bra. It's such a personal thing and you're going to have to live with it for a while. I believe you should try on a purse and carry it around for a while. Does it make you look fat? Is it too big? too small?

I have to admit, before children, I would replace my purse often and spend absurd amounts of money on a new purse. It probably wasn't the wisest way to spend my money but I sure enjoyed it.

I've had this poor old yellow leather Sak for a year and a half. I absolutely loved this purse and carried it for a long time. It was so soft but terribly disorganized. You can see the straps are discolored from carrying it too long. It was just too hard to give it up. I spent a long time and a lot of money searching for just the perfect purse when I bought this one.

I did something last week that I've never done before. I got an amazon gift card for Christmas and found a great sale on a zebra print purse. It was marked down from $85 to $13!! I was so excited! I figured at that price it didn't matter if I didn't like it when I got it. It arrived in the mail on Friday and I was so excited to dump out my old purse and re-organize it into my new handbag. 

I couldn't believe the things that dumped out of my old bag.  It was disgusting and disturbing.  I kept only the necessities and organized them beautifully in my new purse.  I love it!!!

my chicken is bloated

Mitch and I teach the jr and sr high school sunday school at our church.
We love it, most of the time.
Always lots of interesting conversation.
This week, we started going through the entire Bible in a year.
We talked about Adam and Eve and Noah.
Adam and Eve were instructed by God to care for the animals.
Mitch asked the kids what that might look like us for today.
One very special young lady responded "My chicken is bloated."
Wow!  How do you respoond to that?!
We managed to keep it together...until Sunday school was over:)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Abi's Birthday Dinner

Abi invited her BFF, Sophie, to join us for her birthday dinner at the Olive Garden in Wichita.  It was so much fun to experience the restaurant through their eyes.  They loved drinking their sodas from the wine glasses!  I can't tell you how many times we refilled their glasses and how many toasts they made.  They also loved the bathroom.  We made 3 trips to the ladies' room during dinner.  I had no idea automatic flushers and fancy faucets on the sinks would be such a huge hit!  They didn't eat much of their dinner after devouring the breadsticks and drinking so much soda.  It was a fine dining experience!
After dinner, we went bowling and go-cart racing.  Finding bowling shoes for these girls was a little like finding the right princess for the glass slipper.  We tried on a lot of shoes before we found the perfect fit.  Finding the right bowling ball was much easier - Sophie spotted the pink balls behind the counter right away.  Bowling with these girls was a little like bowling with a cheerleading team.  They were so quick to cheer one another on and encourage each other.  We were all pretty sad when the evening had to come to an end.  Matter of fact, we had to drown our tears in some Cold Stone ice cream on the way home :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Abi's Haircut

Abi has had long hair all of her life (all 8 years of it!). She has begged to get it cut short for a long time. I have always resisted because I love her long, curly, healthy hair. Because it's so much work to keep tangle-free, I finally consented to her pleading for a drastic makeover.

She is so happy with her new haircut and so am I! It's easy to get ready in the morning. Gone with the 5 inches that were cut off are the tangles and frustration. She's adorable!