Memorial Day is for…Swimming!

I grew up in our pool…Kris and I would spend hours and hours out there from March (when our lips were blue and shivering) until October (hey, it's texas) making up games and splashing around.  I had my first swim lesson when I was 9 months old, and can imagine I was one sun-lotion-caked little baby!  There was, in fact, a good chunk of my life that I wanted to be a "mermaid" when I grew up…imagine my disappointment when I realized that wasn't an option!  So of course, Clara getting in the water and swimming has been something I've been REALLY looking forward to! 

We have a teeny tiny little inflatable baby "pool" — I think it is actually supposed to be a bathtub, but it is the perfect size for a little squirmy doesn't-sit-reliably-on-her-own baby that is slippier in the water than a greased pig.  and so memorial day seemed like the perfect day to fill it up and let her have at it!  She loved splashing around and kicking the water.  She even leaned back with her arms out and legs kicked up, just relaxing – it was cracking us up!  It was a fun "first," even if Brian and I wound up just as wet as she did! 





Ok, so I’ve gone from “once a week” to once every two weeks, to…I guess once a month.  😀  but hey, whatever works right?!

So, april was an awesome month!! 

We started off with a VERY fun April Fool’s Day complete with brian showering in kool aid (a very simple trick of putting the powder in the shower head…fruit punch everywhere), a (gummy) worm in the avocado and blue milk amongst several other exciting surprises.  Brian is already plotting for next year… (seriously, it is on his gcal with two week reminders…I really am kinda scared). 

Then we went to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival and saw lots of great art.  It was such a pretty day and just nice to walk around enjoying the music, art and pretty weather! 


Then Brian got to go see the Dallas Desperados (arena football) play along with his brother, Larr, and brother in law, Josiah, in celebration of Larr’s THIRTIETH birthday!  What a reason to celebrate!!  They had lots of fun and I think Brian found yet another sport to obsess over. 

We went to my parent’s lakehouse for a retreat with our homegroup.  It was sweet time away together!  We went for the first time two years ago (making this this third time) and so it has become a bit of a tradition.  This was, however, the first time it wasn’t just the eight of us!  Clara slept in the laundry room and didn’t mind one bit, so it all worked out just fine. 



Clara (5 months), Drew (7 months), and Helen Kate (6 months) (Nathan was here, too, just having too much fun playing with the wiffle ball to pause for picutres)- have you ever seen such a cute crew?  (you will notice…I thought it was going to be a little warmer than it actually was… she had to wear her cute sun bonnet before she out grew it!  and I don’t want any comments about how it appears she already has!)


Look at those manly men taking the lake by morn’! 


Look Out Ladies, Coming through! 




Don’t bet the baby, Brian!!!


The Barkers, Parks, Rheas and Rhodes


Brian went to the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD job fair.  They had several thousand applicants and only invited about 250 people to this fair, so we found that very promising.  And one of the principals he interviewed with said, "I wish I had an opening because I would hire you right now." 😐  so, it was like, "gee, thanks, but…???" So, we’re just hoping and praying for an opening in one of the GCISD schools!  Brian would LOVE to get to teach in our community (or at least a little closer to it)!  Clara and I would be pretty happy about it, too 😉 

We went to Main Event for Jill’s birthday and went bowling.  Brian got first place out of everyone there, and guess who got last place out of EVERYONE THERE?? yup.  yours truly.  I blame the shoes.  The gutter and the foul line had a LOT to do with it, too.  Ironically, I got a badge in girl scouts for bowling.  I guess I should have stuck with selling cookies.  I ALSO took bowling as a PE in college.  One of the requirements was to bowl twenty games at Paris Lanes (I took it through Paris Junior College).  My friend Brian (we were "just friends" then) went and bowled with me so it would be more fun — I think he must have learned more from the experience than me! 


Well, because we live in Texas, we just had to do it.  We went and got the bluebonnet photos.  And also because we live in Texas and were taking the bluebonnet photo, I decided we also all had to wear the white shirts with the jeans as well.  why not go all out?  it was a beautiful moment. 



We went with the Parks (they took pics of our family, we took pics of theirs) and so we got this sweet picture of Nathan and Clara!  They are birthday buddies (Nathan was born 11/11/06, clara was born 11/13/07) and are sooooo cute "discovering" each other! 


Another cool night in April was the City Council Candidates Forum.  The three people running for City Council answered questions and gave a little info on themselves.  We really love Grapevine and want to get more involved.  It was cool to hear the different candidates talk about different issues and it helped us decide who we’re going to vote for.  We were so impressed by all of them (which was a good feeling)! 

We had some sweet visitors in April!  Our dear friends Shailen and Danielle met Clara for the first time (Brian was actually in their wedding 2 1/2 weeks after clara was born but she was in the hotel with my mom the whole time!) and it was great to catch up with them!



And then Donna and Richard Burden came to meet Clara!  Donna was one of my mother’s college roomates and played the organ in our wedding.  I have known them my whole life and they are very precious to me – Donna is one of the kindest people I have ever known!  I was the flower girl in their wedding when I was 3 or 4 years old, so it was very special to me for them to meet Clara. 


Notice Clara’s tongue in this pic – that is her new thing!  sticking her tongue out ALLLLL the time!  It is so funny!!!

She is also rolling all over the place and doing new things every day that we just watch in wonder.  We have been blessed by a very happy, content baby (that or the Babywise-method really is all it is cracked up to be…I gotta say, I’m pretty convinced…we’ll see on baby #2!) and I’m so grateful to her and happy for her for her "zen" disposition.  It really does take a LOT to upset her.  She has slept through the night every night except for 2 since she was 4 or 5 weeks old (the longest 4 or 5 weeks of my life…I really, really do not know how moms do it whose babies don’t sleep through the night for months).  My favorite time of the day absolutely is at the end of the night, after her last feeding, when she is just conked out and will sleep on my chest.  I just hold her close and watch her breathe, praying over my sweet girl.  It doesn’t matter how late it is or how tired I am, I don’t want it to end!  I eventually force myself to take her into her crib and lay her down, and eagerly anticipate being with her in the next day!     

Now…I’m going to try really hard to post again before we’re a week into June! 😀