July

Happy 4th of July!!!  We spent some time at the lake – what fun! 

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What is July 4th without a little of America's favorite pastime?  

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Or swimming???

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EVERYONE enjoyed the whale pool!!

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These are plastic horses I played with when I was little…and now Clara loves playing with!  Do you think Clara is trying to act like Mimi or the other way around here?

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oh how I love that little smile…

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We actually spent most weekends in July at the lake!!  Texas lakes are made (and they were, in fact, all man-made except for one :P)  for summertime!  The following weekend we took our annual village trip to the lake…finally timing it so that we were there during the summer rather than the winter! 

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Oh, what a difference a year makes!  compare the next two photos…

July, 2009: clara and helen kate

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April, 2008: clara and helen kate

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I think those mamas have grown up as much as those babies in that time! 😉

2008:

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2009:

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They LOVED swimming and splashing together!

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We had such fun boating, swimming (more like floating) in the lake (and trying to stay close to the boat!), taking long walks, playing lawn golf, horseshoes, jet skiing and just being together…  

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And we came back….the next weekend!!  (during the summer, Brian got half days on Friday…which made weekend trips much more do-able, since we always have to come back on Saturday nights for church/work on Sunday!)

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We were a sleepy crew that weekend, I guess! As Clara would say, like when she pretend naps (one of her favorite games), "M tard"; loooooove weekend naps!

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In the meantime, Dad got a "deck pool" that proved to be a HUGE hit! 

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do you see Clara holding her breath?  she is about to go under – well, up to her eyes anyway, before popping back up!  We were trying to teach her how to hold her breath and blow bubbles in water.  She loved "bouncing" in the water, being pulled around like a motorboat, playing "tea" and walking on her tip-toes. 

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picnic on the porch: tofu, avocado and clementines…YUM!

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dancing on a sunset cruise…

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one of her favorite games is "stealing" someone's nose…how that makes her giggle!

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I just love her wonder and excitement about the littlest things!

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eating a plum on the porch…and good thing, too!

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I had a girls night out with some girlfriends and came home to find a guys night in…awesomeness – rock band projected onto the wall!

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I wonder if the plums are worth it…Clara says, "YES!!"

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Thursday Night Small Group time…the first hour the kids just play: 

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Clara already loves playing dress up! 

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Helen Kate – such a cutie!

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Clara says, "teeeeee" (instead of "cheese")

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Clara began saying, "I love you" (more like "Owloo") whenever we say "I love you" to her…which means I will tell her about 17 times in a row.  Hearing those words is the greatest thing ever and makes my heart burst!  She also started unprompted "thank you"s which is equally gratifying!  

Gene hooked us up with comp tickets (and VIP lounge passes, which my lil' preggo self REALLY appreciated being able to sit down and cool off in!) to the Coldplay concert at the Superpages.com Center.  We were part of the "crew" that hands stuff out at the gate as people are coming in- a pretty sweet deal.  Of course, Brian and Gene were INTENT on sneaking into the pit up front, which totally freaked me out (I'm such a rule follower; Brian leads a much more exciting life) – it totally magnified our two personalities.  I was all worried about where we would go if it didn't work or we got in trouble and I needed a "plan" (the lawn was quickly filling up); Brian wasn't concerned at all and just taking stuff as it came.  Neither way bad but it was cracking me up how much each of us were being pushed out of our "comfort zones"!  In the end, we couldn't get in to the pit and fortunately Gene had a friend who let us sit with her on her blanket.  the show was INCREDIBLE!  It was a great night, great audience, great music, great vibe…  so amazing to hear them LIVE!

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and then…they came out into the lawn to do 3 songs….RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.  and by that I mean, there wasn't a single person between us and Coldplay, just about 3 feet of air.  And you could hear them clicking on the keys, strumming on the guitars, the actual singing rather than through a speaker…it was unreal.  This is a picture that Gene took with his phone:

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We went into Paris for our darling nephew Aidan's 5th birthday.  We also got to see Larr and Christi's awesome new house!

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cousins Kami, Sophie, Aidan, and Aidan's friend Brandon:

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It was so cute…Clara was trying to see what all the "big kids" were seeing…she was on her tip toes and everyone else was flat footed!

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Clara and Sophie…who is the first born here?IMG_7578

Family Date Night to Southlake Town Center…Clara gets her first icecream cone- she spent the whole time with her tongue hanging out and lunging for the cone in my hand…the icecream went fast!

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My roomie and best friend in college Korie asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding!  I got these fortune cookies delivered by UPS…there was a bride and groom iced on the outside, and when I broke it open, the fortune asked if I would stand up with them on their special day. 

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One of TMC's clients was having an event at the new Cowboys stadium ("Jerryworld") so Brian got to go.  They got a behind-the-scenes tour (in their locker room and everything!) and then a party where Brian met Jay Novachek! (btw, I had to look up how to spell that name- obviously, this was a bigger deal to Brian than to me!):

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almost every time we go over to Fort Worth to visit the Rhodes, we also go to our favorite restaurant – Joe T. Garcia's! YUM!!!  especially awesome to sit on the porch in the beautiful garden in good weather…  I'm sure fort worth has many other wonderful restaurants that at some point we might try, but it is just so hard NOT to go to Joe T's when we get the chance…

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Clara got her first pets!!!  We pulled out an old fish tank, cleaned it up and went to the pet store.  We got all sorts of supplies and instructions and were SO EXCITED!  They suggested we get "zebra fish" since they are "extra hardy," which is a good idea for your first fish in a tank.  Because their journey would be arduous and might even require eventual sacrifice, we decided to name them Frodo and Sam.  Clara loved them!  Here she is with them sitting on the counter in their bag.  She kept saying, "Fish! fish! Fish!"  They had to wait on the table while the water was treated and we got their home ready.  We put her down for bed, put the fish in and started a movie.  I came down to get a glass of water and checked the fish and found…dead fish.  yup, that's it…for about 2 hours, we had pets.  We knew that they might not make it, but good grief.  We expected at least 2 weeks or so…not 2 frickin' hours!!!  poor little fish!!  we felt soooooooo bad!! :(  we did EVERYTHING the store guy told us to do but it obviously wasn't enough…  the next morning, the first thing Clara said was, "Fish??" and we spent the day distracting her. 

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Clara and Nathan hanging out:

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Clara and Papi:

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Now I've saved the best for last…the absolute greatest moment in 2009 (and I can say this with great certainty since I'm writing it in January 2010 ;)) was finding out….we were expecting Baby #2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Words can not even begin to describe our pure elation, gratitude, and overwhelming excitement.  

I had told Brian my appointment (for the preggo test) was on Friday, when it was actually on Tuesday, July 14th.  I got tested early that morning and then waiting to hear back the results made it the LONGEST day – but around 4 they called and told me the GREAT news!! 

I went to wal-mart and got a helium tank and balloons – my plan was to fill Clara's room with blue and pink balloons with "March 2010" written on them.  The first person I actually told was the checker at wal-mart — I just couldn't help telling her what I was buying those things for.  She was very excited.  :D  I rushed home to try to get it done before Brian got home, even asking him to go on an errand to buy a little time.  It was obvious it wasn't going to be enough, though, so I asked my mom (who was in town to take care of Clara for the day) to help with the "big surprise for Brian"…she came in and saw all the blue and pink balloons and I thought for sure she would get it then.  but she didn't!  So asked her to write "march 2010" on the balloons as I was blowing them up…and she still didn't get it.  I was going nuts I was so excited for her to realize!  On about the 6th balloon she stopped and it dawned on her and she got really excited!!!  and then I got really excited and we were hugging and I was telling her everything.  And then we got busy. 

When Brian got home, I told him that I thought Clara had just woken up from her nap and would he please go get her?  He opened the door, saw all the balloons and FLIPPED OUT!!  He was screaming and shouting and hugging me and swinging me around and jumping everywhere.  It was so great.  This was going to be a VERY loved and welcomed little baby!  I had set the video camera up to record it, so fortunately we have that taped.  But we were so swept up in all the excitement I didn't even take a photo of the room or the balloons… :P  We prayed and prayed thanking God for this special blessing. We also invited Aunt Krissy over, telling her mom wanted to see her before she left, and then had her go into the room, too.  What fun!  she was really excited of course!  Unfortunately, Eric was in Canada, so he would have to find out via her again. Brian called his family and shared the big news and they were
all really happy, too!!   

That Thursday, at our regular small group/bible study/accountability group time, we discreetly replaced all of the papers in our "question box" (each week we pull something out of the box at random for discussion – an article, a question, a scripture, etc.) with papers that said, "Village Baby #6!"  So when we settled down into group to start it was fun to have that pulled out and everyone get excited! 

 

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