Visit to Magnolia Silos

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Recently, the kids and I took a road trip to meet my parents in Waco. Noah had been staying with them for a visit and we were meeting them halfway so I could pick him up.  He had so much fun getting to hang out with his grandparents and cousins. 

While in Waco, mom and I decided to squeeze in a visit to the Magnolia Market at the Silos.  It was our first time there and we were so excited to finally get to check it out.  My dad was so sweet---he stayed back at the hotel and watched Gavin and Tay-Tay while we headed over to the Silos.  Noah decided to go along with us. I'm so glad he did because he enjoyed the kid's outdoor area and playing with some of the other kids there.

There were some beautiful farmhouse tables that I LOVED in their store.  I found a few little things I bought for my house and mom bought some cute t-shirts before we left.  We stopped in the bakery and bought some cupcakes before it was closing time and then headed back to the hotel to relieve Dad of the kiddos.

We had a great time at the Silos.  I look forward to going back again someday soon.

Family photo shoot at LBJ National Park

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Since moving to the Texas Hill Country, I have wanted to have our family photos taken at the LBJ National Park. I was finally able to orchestrate it just before the Christmas holidays.  I was connected with the wonderful, master photographer, Kathy Weigand, and after texting back and forth, we worked out a day/time to meet out at the park.

As luck would have it--our original date had to be rescheduled due to bad weather, so when our newly scheduled picture day finally rolled around, it was freezing cold and windy.  I thought about calling to reschedule again, but with Jody's hectic work/ travel schedule, and since it was so close to Christmas and I wanted to have the photos for our Christmas cards, there was no way we could reschedule.  So the show went on….and we pressed forward with the shoot despite the weather.

As always, trying to get everyone dressed and ready is pretty stressful for mama--there is always a pouter or two--and then I'm the last one to be able to get ready--so we were running behind schedule.  And, as we were racing out the door and trying to get the little ones buckled in their car seats, I popped a big 'ole hole in my Spanx, suntan tinted tights (Oy!!)... so my scary, white legs ended up showing through the photo session.

Jody just squeezed my hand and kissed it on the drive over to calm my nerves.  He knew I had been stressing about this photo session all week.  I just said a big prayer on the drive over that everyone would cooperate for Kathy (no fighting, pinching, meltdowns, protests, etc.--and yes, that includes the hubby, too--he detests having his photo taken as much as the kids).

The Lord answered my prayers...once we started--even though it was cold and windy--it didn't seem to phase the kids.  They were awesome and such troopers.  And Kathy was so great with them.  Noah really hit it off with her and enjoyed helping her carry all of her camera gear around the park as she took the photos.  She was able to get some really pretty pics--- despite the frigid temperatures and high winds.

As soon as we wrapped up the session, we all bolted to the car and turned on the heater so we could warm up.  We were laughing at how cold we were and how bad our teeth were chattering.  Then we headed over to the little Stonewall Diner and chowed down on some good 'ole catfish dinner plates.  A great way to end our family photo shoot.  ;-)

Christmas morning

The kids were so excited for Christmas this year...they are all at such a fun age, so it makes the holidays so much fun.  Santa really kept mommy and daddy up late this year helping him out (like we're talking until 4am!! --yikes!!) we were completely worn out when 8am rolled around and it came time to open all the presents.  

They each had a present under the little Christmas trees in their bedrooms that morning that Santa had left they squealed when they woke up and found those. 

Noah was a little harder to wake up...he's getting to that age. ;-)
But once he saw his present...he jumped out of the bed! :-)

They lined up in the hallway in excitement...and let me take a few photos before they came running into the den to see what all Santa had brought them this year. 

And the magic of Christmas morning began...

Lots of hugs and thank-you's from the sweet!  

 The car was a hit with Gavin and Tay-Tay...

 Lola enjoyed sitting and watching the kids open their presents...

We had a wonderful Christmas morning together...Jody and I enjoyed listening to the kids squealing with excitement as they opened their presents and playing with each other afterwards as they showed each other their new toys/games.

After we had finished our family Christmas...we got dressed and headed to church for the Sacrament program.  It was a beautiful meeting with tender messages about the Savior.  A wonderful reminder for us about the Savior's birth and His ministry here on earth...and how we should try harder each day to emulate His life and teachings in our own lives. 

I was thinking as I sat through the church service how thankful I am for my family and that we have the Gospel in our teaches us how to forgive one another and how to work through the harder times in our lives.  To learn to love each other, despite our shortcomings and because of the Savior's love and Atonement--how we can each grow stronger individually and as a family, if we follow His teachings and ways.  

As I was sitting at church Christmas morning and counting all my many blessings...I was thanking the Lord for all the big and small blessings we've had this year.  I am humbled by all the Lord has given me and how He has watched over our family this year.  2016 was a very difficult year for our family and extended family...not one that I will miss or would ever want to repeat. I know in my heart and have faith, that most of the struggles that have come our way are all part of Heavenly Father's plan (for whatever reason) and I have come to accept them because of my deep and abiding faith and love for the Savior and His Gospel.  

Sometimes that is all we have to hold on to in the harder times of life...we just have to keep moving forward-- one step at a day at a time---until we feel happiness and contentment again. Until we feel whole again.  I'm truly grateful for my dear family and friends who have been there for me this year--loving me through some terribly low times following the devastating news of my Dad's cancer diagnosis, Jody's emergency surgery and stay in ICU when he was so ill and the weeks following my total hysterectomy when my health became fragile.  You truly were and have been my guardian angels here on earth and I'll be eternally grateful for your love and support. 

I'm  looking forward to the New Year...the fresh start and new beginnings that come with 2017.  And the new adventures it may also bring for our family.  ;-)


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