Our friends the Harrell's came over for dinner and rockband – fun stuff!!


good friend Makenna – sweet girls!


Clara always asks to call Mimi and Papi – here she is talking to them on video AND the phone. Technology these days is amazing and allows for closeness even in spite of distance – we are so grateful!  They sing songs, do puppet shows, read stories…


Our children's ministry staff had a surprise shower for Melissa (on left) and her darling Ethan.  I am so grateful I get to work with people I want to be friends with, too.  What a great group!


Drew turned 2 – wow!!  Here is his party…all of the kids were excited about the presents – eek! 


Clara was ESPECIALLY excited about the cupcakes!
I had even scraped off a big chunk of extra icing and yet before I knew it – it was in her mouth! 


Later that night, I decided that toddlerhood is, in fact, a contact sport, and the players that night were Clara's forehead and a very hard piece of pavement.  Leaving the Rhodes' house, Clara launched off the curb at a dead sprint (not realizing there was a curb there) and the resulting splat was so loud people way in the backyard heard it.  It was HORRIBLE!!!  She was crying, I was crying…  Brian was out of town (camping with Richard and Shaun down near Austin) but fortunately, Julie's mom and sister in law are nurses so they were able to check her out and check for a concussion.  I don't know HOW she wouldn't have gotten a concussion.  Over half of her forehead was instantly covered in a HUGE swollen red and purple goose egg.  I felt so bad for her!  when she eventually calmed down, my dear friend Suzanne rode back home with us so she could keep an ice pack on her and keep her awake.  I'm so grateful for such loving friends!  I kept Clara up for a few hours but eventually decided she was ok.  She woke up every hour or so crying but the next day seemed ok!  I have so much respect for single moms – they have to handle things like that on their own all the time.  What strong, amazing women! 

Our family participated in the DFW Walk for Huntington's Disease Society of America.  Eric was one of the organizers and it was an honor to be a part of this great cause, even in spite of the rain!  Even Captain (Ranger's mascot) came out:


Happy 28th birthday, lil sis!!


I think there was a game on or something…


That wasn't the only birthday in September– I turned…30! :O  I am VERY excited to enter my 30's!  Brian was so sweet to make the day very special and memorable.  We went to dinner at joe t. garcia's with my parents and close friends, and then went to see Julie in "The Music Man".  She was absolutely spectacular!!!  It was a wonderful musical and a wonderful night!




The next day was so nice…Mom and Dad took care of Clara and I went and got my hair done… it was time to become blonde again.  I was missing my old self and Brian had just been kindly tolerating my fun all year…  It was an INSANE process but boy did she make me blond (we're talking all over – as in every strand of hair – "highlights" that took 140 packets for those of you that means anything to…all the other students and teachers kept coming by to see, as it was the most that anyone could recall anyone ever getting).  I had been told it would take several more times of dying to get back to my blond, so I told her, "just make me as blond as you can."  I should have been a little more careful…considering I wound up a total bleach blond.  I went from one end of the spectrum to the other; I decided I would have a little fun being super blond for awhile!  What was nice, though, was that I got to sit in a chair for 7 hours getting basically a head massage and read a good book and some magazines…it was the most relaxing day.

And then when I came home, Brian had a surprise waiting!  he had booked a hotel and tickets to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and my parents were going to take care of Clara at our house.  It was so perfect!  We got dressed up and went to the orchestra at the Meyerson-an absolutely beautiful concert hall.  It was such a neat experience, and a first for us.  We sat in the choir circle, which is essentially the area ON STAGE behind the orchestra, so it is a really neat view of the orchestra and then everyone watching them.  Of course, you als
o know they can see you, too, so I have to say it was one of the most still experiences of my life.  Brian had printed out an explanation of the pieces they were performing so we would know what the heck we were listening to!  I felt so 30 and grown up 😉  


We stayed at the Hyatt downtown and it was absolutely beautiful!  and the view was spectacular…here is the view from our room:


Mimi and Papi took Clara to Kid Kountry park in Coppell while we were gone:



Our sweet baby girl, bald virtually her entire first year, finally had a mullet/Einstein-ish 'do going on that needed a little help – so Clara got her first haircut!  Hair salons for kids have come a long way since my day (as in, they exist)…Clara got to sit in a car and watch cartoons and all sorts of other fun stuff, making it a very un-traumatic experience.  She looked so cute and OLD at the end!








Aunt Krissy even came for the momentous occasion: 


afterward, we picked up Chipotle and took it to the lake and had a picnic!  what a special night :)  It is silly, but I have to admit I got a little teary – and Brian did, too.  Our baby girl is growing up!

Picnic at lake


Two other big nights were the fall volunteer Kick Off event for Children's Ministry (super fun and great start to a promising year of ministry) as well as "Create a Rhythm".  Our early childhood team worked really hard to put on this parenting event, teaching parents of preschoolers and toddlers how to be weaving faith teaching into their daily routine.  We were so pleased by the response and hopeful about what God is going to be doing in the lives of families.  

At Brian's work, he was redesigning their main presentation, which he really enjoyed doing.  He loves presentations!  He also had some other big projects he was working on: Golden Pyramid submissions, a couple of proposals for programs and a possible new website! 

Our little 22 month old:


She can climb up and over the sides now!  There are more and more things she is doing on her own… 

One of her new things – "shushing" people when someone is "sleeping": 


She has new words and phrases every day.  How I wish I had written those down!  She says, "I love you" and "I miss you" very regularly (and unprompted) – music to our ears!  She loves saying, "C'me ear" (Come here) and "C'me on".  A super cute development is adding, "Mommy" or "Daddy" to everything ("Yes, Mommy," "I miss you, Daddy," etc.)

a great month!

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