Friday, April 26, 2013

Lazy 5 Ranch

Last weekend, when I was up north attending my grandmother's funeral, Randall was Super Dad once again. Saturday, he took the kids to Lazy 5 Ranch, a place very similar to the safari we so loved in Arkansas. The drive-thru part isn't quite as long, which is a good thing for our kids, and then the petting/feeding part doesn't have you in the areas with the animals, which is a very good thing for me! There is also a playground = bonus. I can't wait to see it for myself!

And here is a video of Sydney feeding the animals. I cannot believe she did this. This child has changed so much since we moved. She is now an outgoing, adventurous gal. It's wonderful to see!

The second video is of our sweet girl calling the hogs. She is an Arkansas girl at heart!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A time of loss

We moved to N.C. just about six months ago, and since then, we've said goodbye to three very important people in our lives. It has made our transition pretty hard. We are grateful for the time we spent with each of these wonderful people, and we are sorry for all of the things they will miss out on moving forward.

It's impossible to place a rating on how tough each loss has been, but it's safe to say that losing Randall's mom at age 69 has been the worst. We wanted her to know our kids and to be a part of their lives --- ball games, dance recitals, a good report card --- whatever those things might be.

I also know I'm very lucky to have had three of my grandparents still living into my 30s. Now, we're down to one. There's really no other way to sum up the last six months - it's been hard.

I look at these pictures and wish we had a little more time. RIP Betty (Meme), Morris (G-pa), and Margaret (Grandma). If you have any say-so in the matter, might you send us six months of happiness? We think we're due. xoxo

Betty with her baby boy. I'm thankful every day she raised such a wonderful person. He is the best husband and father because of her.
My grandpa with his wife of nearly 68 years and their two kiddos. My dad and Aunt Gail will carry on his incredible legacy.
Grandma with her three --- my mom, Aunt Steph, and Uncle Tom. They each got different strengths from her, and I know she gave my mom her strong but tender heart.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

N.C. Zootastic

This past weekend was bee-yoo-ti-ful! Randall was back in our old stomping grounds of Northwest Arkansas for a golf tournament, so my mom came down to spend the weekend with us. Saturday, we took the kids to the North Carolina Zoo, which is a little over an hour from our house. Wow! It is my new favorite zoo. My boss had given me tips on where to park, where to start, and where to end up to have a less hilly experience... and now I am even more grateful for her advice. The zoo is gigantic and VERY hilly. We got our exercise for the day, that's for sure! We ended up buying a membership for the year, so I can't wait to go back again and again. Randall is going to love it. The kids were in heaven. Here are just a few pictures from the day. The animals have so much room (hence, all the walking). It is truly a lovely space.

On the tram from Africa to North America

The first exhibit we saw --- yuck.



Loved how the giraffes, zebras, and ostriches all live together
Sydney's #1 favorite - the ostrich!
Mrs. Lion
My favorite!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston love

I woke up today, still completely overwhelmed by sadness. There have been far too many horrifying moments in our history, and they seem to be happening more and more with less time in between. My heart goes out to everyone affected by yesterday's tragedy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

We had a wonderful Easter weekend in Virginia. Sadly, my mom wasn't in town because her mom isn't doing too well up in Connecticut, so she had to be there with her. She still managed to spoil us from afar... with Easter baskets and a free place to stay! :) We spent a lot of time with Randall's brother and his family and several of our friends. As always, it went by way too fast. I will tell you - as tough as this move has been at times, weekends like that remind us how nice it is to be able to hop in the car and see family.

Saturday afternoon, Randall, his brother, Mike, and his brother's wife, Muzette, took the kids to an egg hunt at their church while I visited with Brandy — the one friend I always, always make time to see when we go home. Muzette got these cute t-shirts for the kids that say "Chillin' with my Peeps" --- perfect for an Easter egg hunt!

We call this one "determination!"
Sydney ended up with 21 eggs; poor Collin only got three, and then Sydney stole one of those. Haha!
 Saturday night, Mike and Muzette hosted a delicious shrimp boil! YUM. They did it right, too - just throw it all out on tables and let everyone feast. I could eat shrimp every single day.

The weather was perfect, and the kids had a ball. Collin even went to sleep in their house so we could stay a little later. Sydney played and played and played with Cadence, who is Muzette's brother's girlfriend's daughter. Still family, right? :) I can just imagine them when they are teenagers. Trouble! (I don't think my joke about the sippy cup turning to a beer bottle went over too well.)

Easter morning, we enjoyed baskets that my mom left for us... even us, the "big kids."

It was raining like crazy, but after breakfast, we got ready and went to church. Muzette sang, which Sydney thought was so cool. The kids got restless about halfway through, so we took them to the nursery and preschool class, but overall, they did pretty well. I thought they looked so cute!!! Sydney's dress was a Christmas gift from my mom, and I love it.

I looked back at our family picture from last Easter, and the kids are so big compared to then!! I also realize that next year, I must wear something other than stripes. Oops!

What a difference a year makes!!!!!