June begins the downward spiral of not taking many photos that lasts for several months… darn it!!
Fortunately, my awesome photographer Dad DID take photos from the times we were together – THANKS Dad!
Brian was commissioned to paint a painting of the sign from the "Grand Theater" in Paris – an old movie theater downtown that is historic and beautiful and holds special memories for generations of Parisians…and has unfortunately fallen into great disrepair. Because it has been closed down for so long and not taken care of, it needs massive renovations if it will ever be restored and enjoyed again. There is a great group who are trying to make just that happen. And they asked Brian to create a piece of art that could be auctioned off at a special fundraising night. Here is the piece he created along with us at the auction. It went for just over $1,000.00! Another cool thing they did with it was make a special wine label from his painting and wine at the Paris Winery and ran a limited edition of those; part of the proceeds from the wine went to the fund. The night of the Grand Event, they also auctioned off 25 bottles that Brian autographed. I was soooooo proud of him! My parents came and we were so glad they were there (and grateful to Aunt Chris and Uncle Larr for taking care of Clara!) – it was also one of the most awkward nights of our life….! :P Brian spoke a little about the piece – he painted from the perspective of a little kid looking up at the sign outside of the theater, and just remembering that awe and excitement we all had when we were little and going to the Grand for the first time. It was neat sharing memories with others and just so cool to get to be a part of something trying to preserve and celebrate what is special and unique about a community.
enjoying Mimi and Papi's pool…it's a little coldy!
hanging out with Papi…
Back in Grapevine playing in her sandbox:
Happy 61st birthday, Dad!!
Now, the first photos WE have from June are from June 19th, at the "Road to Rome" family experience we did at the church. It was SUCH a cool night and so fun to see it all come together! It was so neat to see families worshiping and "deepening the soul" together while also growing closer to each other.
I was over the large group element of the night…
who is that HOT Roman soldier?! It's Brian! and boy can he make a skirt look good 😀
so grateful for my sweet Jillzee!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Makenna!! clara had fun in her bounce house:
ok, I just had to take a picture of this because I was just SO amazed at how far the grocery shopping experience has come for kids since my day… not only does she get to ride in her own CAR with a steering wheel and light up buttons and everything, but this thing had a TV in it with several choices of kids' shows…ummm, our REAL car doesn't even have that in it. We ride in style when we go to Kroger's!
On a related note, we typically shop at Wal-Mart (I know, I know – I feel soooo guilty, and yet we continue to go back), which believe it or not, does NOT have pimp-my-cart-esque shopping carts, but she does absolutely fine. We can be in there for 2 hours (2!) and she is just an adorable, fun, sweet little angel. I mean, I try to keep her entertained with little games and stuff and remind her every now and then of expectations, but for the most part, she is agreeable – I am so thankful for such a happy little girl. However, what is interesting, is that Blockbuster seems to have some weird power over her so that whenever we go in there – even if it is only for 4 minutes – she morphs into some sort of beast-child I can't even recognize, throwing tantrums and screaming at the top of her lungs. I've had to remove her from a Blockbuster on more than one occasion, and always weigh whether a new movie is really worth a trip in there or not. Isn't that crazy?! I've come to appreciate the shopping cart less for it's function of holding items you wish to purchase and more for it's ability to contain a toddler. ahhhh, t
he things you learn as a parent!
Here she is swimming with Nathan…
She thought it was so funny when he would splash! She kept telling him, "Here, Here!" and pointing next to her…the first time she was asking someone to sit by her!
Clara went swimming almost every single day this summer…she LOVES the water!!
Here we are during part of Father's Day Weekend -themed "Texas Fun"- enjoying our cookout, Rangers on the radio, and our attempt at re-creating Chili's chipotle blue cheese burger (which they inexplicably and devastatingly took off the menu)…
The surprise ending was a trip to Six Flags on Sunday afternoon/evening! Some friends of ours had a couple of free passes they gave us that I was able to surprise Brian with. Here Clara is on her first ride ever!! She really liked it!
Going up in the mini-ferris wheel made her a little unsure…
as did the airplanes…she wasn't scared, just couldn't quite figure out what to make of it all…
we rode many rides and even went into a show (ahhhhhh, the a/c!!), but BY FAR her most favorite thing of all (which of course made it our favorite thing – hearing her laugh and squeal is the best thing ever!) was…………the misting fans!!! they cracked her up! she kept running back and forth, back and forth…
I am so grateful for the father that Brian is. We very much share the "parenting" role and all of the little chores, challenges and joys that go along with it equally. He is incredibly invested and I know I take for granted how much he does to make our family and house "happen". He makes her lunch and packs her bag every school day, and always gets her ready for bed and puts her down at the end of the day. He often makes dinner and is always sharing in the cleaning, grocery shopping, dishes, laundry, etc. But more than that, I appreciate how much he plays with Clara and treats her like the super special, super treasured little girl that she is. They have such a special relationship. They both make each other light up like no other can. When he gets home each day she rushes to hug him and gets SO excited to be with him again. She loves chasing him and tickling him and knows he will always read her a book whenever she brings him one. He is patient and gentle, yet firm and strong. What I read 10 books and websites trying to figure out how to do comes so naturally for him (though I appreciate that he is always willing to read those books, websites or go to classes, too!). When he is with us, he is fully present, and that makes such a difference in the life of our family. What a great dad!!!
Here Clara is "helping" Brian repair the soaker hose in our front yard, pliers in hand. She loves to "help" with whatever we're working on! Let's hope that lasts for the next 16 years…
Time for new shoes? I feel like there are some ways I'm a really good mom…and then other ways I'm really NOT. This is one of them…
I had an extra morning off because of all of the Road to Rome stuff from the week before, so I got to take Clara to storytime at the library for the first time!! We had a ball! Here she is "reading" some books afterwards… hopefully, the first of many trips to the library in her life! :)
If you haven't noticed, I realized I hadn't taken many photos in a while, so I went crazy for about a week aren't you glad I only took pics for one week in June?!
We had a shower for one of our sweet interns, Deepthi, before the birth of her first baby. this is most of our children's ministry staff…
We were sad to miss the annual Tallant Family Reunion on the first weekend in June because Clara got sick right beforehand. I know they still had a great time and a great turnout, though!
Something fun going on in June was getting to follow the Rangers – our team was actually doing good for once! we're talking first-in-the-division, well above .500 good! It was so much fun!!
A very special ending to June was getting to attend the Retirement Party for my dad. After 33 years with CHRISTUS Health Systems and the Sisters that work with them, working as a social worker and then in every other role imaginable, he was retiring! There was an unbelievable turnout and many people said many nice things- he truly touched many, many lives through his life and made such an impact in our community through what he gave and who he is. It was such a special night and we were so proud and blessed to get to be there.
Dad with two of his best friends – Ed Clark and Derald Bulls – who both shared kind words and funny memories.
Taking a photo for the newspaper – they did a whole page and a half spread on him in Sunday's paper, highlighting everything he had done for Paris and her people…talk about making a life "count"!
Another of my biggest heroes – Ridley Briggs. I look up to and am so inspired by him… It was great getting to catch up a little!
Afterwards, our family went to a park and each read him a letter we wrote thanking him for how hard he worked to care for us and what his work and he meant to us. there were lots of tears and laughs!
This was June 30th, his very last day. And on to July!