Warning: Watch Only if You Want to Laugh :)

You may just want to bookmark this and watch whenever you're having a bad day. :)

Prom 2013

Once again, I chaperoned Mill Valley's this year.  And once again, it was held at Club 1000 - the cute little place where we got married!  And once again, the chaperones met for dinner pre-Prom at Cafe Trio on the Plaza, and once again, I ordered the Mac Daddy.  Yum!

It's always so much fun to see our students in their finest.  And likewise, it's fun to have an excuse to dress up myself!

As I was getting ready, I had an idea.  Brantley had a tux hanging in his closet.  It was a gift from his great grandma and has been there {untouched} since he was 6 weeks old.  I told the hubs I needed him to do something for me, assuming he'd think it was a ridiculous idea to put the tux on for, say, five minutes for a picture.  But to my surprise, he agreed!  So, here are some pics of Brantley's first Prom attire.  Cutest date I saw all night, if I do say so myself!  Thanks for the adorable outfit, Grandma!

 And a few more pics of some teacher friends and I!

And just for fun--a side by side comparison of Prom last year versus this year!  Same date, but look how much he's grown!!!

Brantley's First Day at the K

We love Royals games.  They are one of our favorite summertime activities!

The hubs has always been a fan.  Growing up in Kansas, I suppose that's a given.  I frequented Kauffman Stadium quite a bit - more than any other baseball stadium - in my pre-KC years, too!  My aunt and uncle live east of the city and my family used to visit every few summers.  The summertime trips usually consisted of a Royals game.  I moved here, and despite my St. Louis Cardinal-loving family, it just felt natural to cheer on the boys in blue! 

We have been looking forward to Brantley's first Royals game since the day he was born!  We watched his first game on t.v. in the hospital.  This was in our boarding room.  Brings back both good and bad memories...

Anyway, we debated taking Brantley to his first game last fall, but it never happened.  Since this was opening weekend, and the weather was nice (70-something first pitch temp), we jumped on the opportunity to introduce Brantley to Kauffman Stadium at just nine months old!

I'm convinced that having a baby makes everything more fun.  I can't even tell you how exciting it was to take our baby to his first game!  We tailgated, grilled some hot dogs, and took in all nine innings of the game.  Brantley was a champ!  I was a proud mama and have never been more excited about having a little BOY!


Brantley even got a cerfiticate for attending his first Royals game!  (Thanks to our neighbors for filling us in on this little secret!)  Local friends--take your little one to Guest Servives behind home plate during his or her first trip to Kauffman for a certificate of his/her own!

Brantley's first Royals experience was definitely one to remember!  When he got a little antsy, I took him to the "Outfield Experience" a kid-friendly area behind the outfield that includes a playground and carousel, amongst other activities for the littlest of Royals fans.

Crawling around with Mom near the playground
And guess what?  The Royals WON!  In a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th.  But poor Brantley missed it because he decided to take a nap in Daddy's arms. 

How sweet is this?
And not only that, but they are currently in FIRST PLACE!  Perhaps the only time this year we'll be able to say that, but we'll hope for the best!

Here are a few more pics from Brantley's first day at the K!!

The playground in the outfield
Family photo

And again

View from our seats

A Good Weekend

What a weekend it was!  Busy from start to finish!  And nice weather, too!  Seems to be a theme around here.  Crappy weather during the week and nice weather on weekends.  But ya know what?  I'm totally okay with that!  I'd prefer nice weather 24/7, but this is second best!  Here's how we spent our weekend!

Since we went early, we were the only ones in the place.  Weird for a Friday night, right?  Brantley had free range of the store and loved exploring this new environment!

We ordered this bad boy last weekend and it arrived just in time for this weekend's nice weather!  The hubs attached hooks to our garage and deck, so Brantley can swing (or take naps) wherever we are! 

I chaperoned Mill Valley's Prom.  Brantley didn't go, but it was still a good excuse to dress him up as my date!

And finally, we spent our Sunday at good ole Kauffman Stadium!!  This is a blog post in itself (as are more pre-Prom pics), so stay tuned!

Guess What??

Did ya think I was going to make an exciting announcement?   Like maybe that I'm pregnant or something?  Nope.  Not a chance.  Not yet anyway.  Too many fun things going on this summer!

But this is pretty exciting to me!  Remember that March Madness draft we do each year with friends?  Here's how it works.  Eight participants each draft eight teams.  Each time one of your teams win, you get a point.  The person with the most points at the end of the tournament wins half the jackpot ($80) and the person with the winning team wins the other half.  One year, I won half the pot for the most number of points (if I remember correctly).  This year, I won again.  But I didn't just win half...I won the entire thing - $160!!!!  I had the most number of points and the winning team!  In our five years of doing this, that's never happened!  But that's not all...I had not only the winning team, but both of the teams playing for the championship!  That's right!  Me, Mrs.-I-don't-know-or-care-much-for-college-basketball, drafted both Louisville and Michigan.  What are the chances???  So I was the big winner even before it was over!

I'm awesome.

Did I mention I also won big at a Superbowl Party this year?  I won the squares game for three out of the four quarters of the Superbowl!!  Must be my year!  Gosh--maybe I should go to Vegas!

Not-So-Smart Hubby

Someday, the hubs will look back at this and laugh.  Which is why I'm blogging about it.  But I'm not sure that day is here just yet, and he definitely wasn't laughing last Friday.


Friday was a warm day.  After work, we decided to relax and enjoy a few beers on our deck.  We dug out the chair cushions, which had been packed away all winter, and brought out the baby gate so Brantley could crawl around without tumbling down the stairs.  The sun was beaming, and though it felt amazing on my winter-white skin, we didn't want Brantley to sunburn.  So, Craig also unpacked the patio umbrella from winter storage.

Let me preface this by saying my husband is very smart.  Probably one of the smartest people I know.  But on Friday afternoon, he must have taken a dose of stupid pills, because what he did next was not the smartest thing he's ever done downright stupid.  He put the umbrella through the hole in the table.  He was planning to go back downstairs to get the base, but in the meantime, he thought he'd unroll the umbrella to block Brantley's sun.  Next thing we knew, the tiniest gust of wind came along and tipped the umbrella which caused the glass table top to shatter into a million, tiny, little pieces.  It was all in slow motion.  Or at least it seemed like it to those watching...

Craig spent the next hour cleaning, sweeping, and vacuuming pieces of glass.  They were everywere.  On our deck, in the cracks between pieces of wood, and in the rock down below.  It was a mess.  There's absolutely no way to pick each piece out of the bed of rocks below, so we'll just have to be really careful when Brantley plays in our backyard this summer!

It was an accident.  We are lucky the umbrella didn't fall towards are glass patio door, or worse, on to Brantley.  We're also lucky I was holding him at the time and he wasn't beneath the table when it shattered.  A little sad at the same time since we use that table all the time in the summer.  Now we have to shell out $125 to get the table top replaced.  It will be well-worth it though and let's hope we learned to never stand the umbrella in the hole (much less put it up) without the base to support it!

A Year Ago Today...

It was one year ago today that a routine sonogram (at 27 weeks pregnant) discovered an enlarged ventricle in Brantley's brain.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I remember what I was wearing.  I remember the sadness in our doctor's voice.  I remember her words, "Everything looks great, buuuuut..."  I remember sitting on our deck in the warmth of the spring sun sobbing to my mom on the phone, yet remaining very hopeful.  I remember being scared, worried, and most of all, wondering "Why me...why us...why this sweet baby boy?"

If someone would have told me that a year later, we'd have a perfectly healthy, rambunctious, little boy, I wouldn't have believed it.  That was my wildest dream.  My biggest wish.  More than anything, I wanted a healthy baby.  And now I have that.  And so much more. 

I'd be lying if I said I remember the pain every single minute of every single day.  I'll be honest.  I don't always think about the hardships we went through.  I do think I'm more appreciative of Brantley's health than other parents may be, but I still sometimes take it for granted.

Today serves as an important reminder for me.  A reminder that I am truly lucky to live the life I do.  A reminder of how grateful I am for everything I have.  And most of all, a reminder that God is so good.

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.  Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” ―Thomas Merton

Vacation Booked!

I didn't grow up in a family that had a ton of money.  Neither one of my parents went to college, but they did work hard to provide our family of four a comfortable life.  One of my favorite things about growing up is that we always took a summer vacation.  My parents saved throughout the year and made it a priority to get away each summer.  The vacations weren't extravagant - but they were family-oriented vacations and allowed my sister and I to see different places.  Orlando/Daytona Beach, Texas, Colorado, and Seagrove Beach, FL were the biggest, but I also remember traveling to Minneapolis (the Mall of America), St. Louis, and Hannibal, MO (home of Mark Twain).  The summer before 8th grade, we rented a condo at the Lake of the Ozarks.  We enjoyed it so much, the tradition stuck and it became an annual thing.  With the exception of a second trip to Seagrove Beach, FL in 2002, this will be the 18th straight year (if my math is correct) at the Ozarks - each year at the same resort, many in the exact same condo.  So clearly, vacations are important to my family. 

Here are some old vacation photos I dug up.

This was in Texas.  Reminds me of 'The Bachelor'! (1989?)
Daytona Beach - the 1st time.  Trisha broke her arm the first night we were there. (1993)

After Trisha broke her arm, we drove all the way back to Iowa...and then to Minneapolis for a few days! (1993)

Back to FL the following year! (1994)
Disney World - Check out those fanny packs! (1994)

Universal Studios (1994)

Disney's MGM Studios (1994)

Colorado (1995)

The Royal Gorge in CO (1995)
Rocky Mountains (1995)
Very first year in the Ozarks! (1996)
Spring Break trip to Seagrove Beach, FL (2000)
Back to Seagrove Beach (2002)

My dad and I (2002)
 And more recently - the proof is in the digital photos!
Lake of the Ozarks (2006)

Lake of the Ozarks (2008)

I've always told Craig, I want to make vacations the same priority that my parents did.  Yes, they can be expensive, but that's why we work.  So we can enjoy life.  I've said since last summer, I'd like to vacation to Florida this year.  I thought the beaches of Florida would provide a vacation that both parents and a 1-year old would enjoy.  My focus was on Destin.  It's known to be a very family-friendly spot on the panhandle of Florida with some of the most beautiful, white sand beaches in the US. 

After weeks and weeks and weeks of research, we finally decided on a resort!  Waterscape Condominiums on Okaloosa Island between the cities of Destin and Ft. Walton.  I hope it's as picturesque as the photos portray.  Though most of the Trip Advisor reviews were excellent, I couldn't find one resort that didn't have a handful of bad reviews (and I looked at what seemed like hundreds - which is why it took us so long to make a final decision)!  Seriously, the Internet is great and I'm not sure how people booked vacations pre-Internet, but it's frustrating when one person says it's the best place in the world and the next person says DON'T STAY THERE!!

Anyway, regardless, it will be great.  I has to be with a huge pool and kiddie pool, a tiki bar, and a lazy river...right??  Oh, and it's only 362 feet from the beach.  I've been dreaming about the day we could take Brantley to the beach since he was born!  And now that day is just 111 days away.

I'm so excited!  Excited to get away.  Excited to see the beach.  And excited for Brantley to start building vacation memories with his family like I have!