Life Lately - May 2018

Hey there! Happy Tuesday! Today I’m sharing a little bit of what has been going on the past few weekends. We have had a busy month and the best part about it is that we've got to spend a ton of time with family.

In early April, we were notified that my great uncle Bob (my dad’s uncle) had passed away. When we found out when the funeral was going to be, we were able to make arrangements to travel to Kentucky to be with family. Although it was an unplanned trip and the passing of a loved one is always difficult, we were so very thankful to get to spend time with family. I didn’t know Uncle Bob very well but what I did know is that he was a very kind and loving man. I am very very thankful to have been able to hear stories of the wonderful man that he was.

As we were checking the weather while packing for the trip, we were surprised to see that snow was in the forecast. We were too excited when Murray, Kentucky actually got a little bit of snow in April! I'm so glad we checked the forecast and packed the girls' snow gear.
There wasn't much snow, but there was enough for a tiny snowman!
One of the many things I love about where my family lives in KY - the nature. These deer were just laying back there in the snow for the longest time. 

My aunt and uncle live in a house directly behind my grandparents house and they are connected by a little dirt driveway. The girls always love sitting up in their Daddy's lap and "driving" down that dirt path. It makes them feel so big and special because it's not something we get to do around here.

You may or may not know that my niece Addy had her first cochlear implant surgery a couple months ago, which was the first big step in her journey to hear! (Read about her big surgery on my sister-in-law, Shannon’s blog here) In order to prepare for her surgery and to keep her healthy, her doctor recommended that they quarantine her and basically keep her home for the 3 months leading up to the surgery (especially because it was the middle of winter and there are all kinds of bugs going around at that time!) This was good for her to get healthy, but so hard for us, because up until a few weeks ago we had not seen her since Thanksgiving! I was having niece withdrawals from Addy and big sister Payton! We had seen Payton a couple of times during those months, but not nearly as much as we’d like. Oh and I guess we missed their parents too.😉

But lucky for us, we’ve got to visit with them for the past 4 weekends (yay!). About 3 weeks ago, we traveled to Atlanta for Addy’s 1st birthday party. Her party theme was Dr. Suess’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go” which is so appropriate for her! I think we all have full confidence that she will not let her hearing impairment slow her down. She is already catching on so quickly in the short month and a half that she has been able to hear.

My mom and dad ended up staying in a hotel near Brian and Shannon’s house so that their house wouldn’t be over crowded with people. They decided to take the two big cousins, Raley and Payton, with them for a sleepover at the hotel. Now, Raley and Payton tend to fight like they’re sisters but for Mimi and Papa they were “perfect angels” (of course). They loved getting to stay in a new place with their grandparents. I remember when I was little I used to love going to stay with my grandparents, especially if my cousins were going to be there too.

We went to church Sunday morning, then hit the road toward home after grabbing some Mexican food for lunch and saying "see ya next weekend" to everyone.

Shannon's sister plays lacrosse at Young Harris College and they happened to be playing here in Huntsville against UAH, so Brian and Shannon came to visit and we all went to see Anna play lacrosse. I had never been to a lacrosse game, or even watched one on TV, but it was so much fun to watch! The girls had fun all running around, playing together.
The sitting on the blanket lasted maybe 5 minutes
This picture of the girls with Papa cracks me up - Raley is smiling, Audrey doesn't care, Payton's covering her eyes. Sounds about right

My good friends Ashlee and David from high school were also in town from LA that weekend. We had not seen them since we visited LA last summer and they had added a sweet baby girl to their family since then! Our friends April and Brian hosted a taco night over at their house and had a few friends from high school over to eat, meet the new babies, let the bigger kids play, and simply catch up. With this group, you can go months (even years) without seeing each other and we always pick up where we left off. I miss them like crazy and wish they still lived here, but they are so very happy out there and we're happy for them.

What is it about splashing around in mud puddles that is so fun for kids? I had been wanting to let the girls get out and play in the rain for a while, but it had just been way too cold. One random Monday, when it had rained the entire day before and we had nothing on the schedule for the day, I decided to just let them go outside and splash. I knew they would have fun, but the joy on their faces exceeded anything I could have imagined. Raley kept saying "This is the BEST. DAY EVER!" "I'm so happy you said YES!" "I love this day!" I actually underestimated the amount of mud they would be covered in by the end of it. For some reason I put them in white shirts and thought that their rain jackets would keep their shirts dry. What in the world was I thinking?! Next time I'll put them in the rattiest clothes they own because they WILL be ruined. Lesson learned. It was worth every minute though. I highly recommend putting "splashing in rain puddles" on your Spring/Summer bucket list. You won't regret it!

We've finally made it to dance recital week! I was so excited and anxious (a good anxious) all week long waiting for recital. There is something just so much fun about getting your little girl all dressed up and watching her preform on stage. In the past years she has been very nervous and hesitant about dancing on stage, or in front of people at all. But this year she was so excited that she would randomly start practicing her dance no matter where she was or who was around. She'd break into dance mode at school, in the Chic-fil-a play area, at church, when we're outside playing...the girl was ready! When I asked her what she was most excited about she said "that all of my family will see me dance on stage." 

She was so proud of herself when all was over, and has decided that she wants to continue taking dance classes next year (excuse me while I do a happy dance!) She had told me a few months ago that she wanted to do gymnastics next year but then a few weeks ago she decided she wanted to do dance again (with no prompting from me, I promise!) I wish that we could let her do both, but it's just not something we can do at the moment.

We have made it a dance recital tradition for everyone to go eat at Rosie's after recital is over. She is in the morning show, so it is done just in time for lunch! 

We spent pretty much the entire rest of the weekend over at my parents' house, visiting with my sister, Kayla Beth and Brian and Shannon and their girls. The cousins got lots of play time in! Brian and Shannon went over to Talladega for the race, so they all ended up staying until Monday, instead of driving back home Sunday after the race was over. We got to visit for a short time on Monday morning before they left, and all the girls ran around outside and played. This spring weather is absolutely perfect!
Audrey, I don't know why that bike makes you look so big either
Raley's helping Auntie make Addy laugh for a picture
*Flashback! It feels like yesterday my Daddy was tossing balls to me in batting practice!

This past weekend Kayla Beth and her husband Jayce graduated from The University of Alabama. They were not in the same graduation ceremony, so since we knew we would be in the car for a while and then be at two separate ceremonies, we decided to let the girls have a sleepover at David's parents house. The girls had a blast and we had a stress free 30-ish hours. 

We are so proud of the two Alabama graduates! I know that proud feeling of saying "we did it!" and then "what do we do now?" We told them to enjoy the downtime while they can. Soon enough they will have full time jobs and won't have that time to relax and spend together. I envy them a little bit because that time went by so fast for us! In some ways I miss the simplicity of the newlywed life. 
Four Bama alums!

We ended up finding a house on Air bnb that all of us could stay in for the night (the hotels ridiculously jack up their prices because they know it's graduation weekend. A room at the Super 8 was $300!) We all stayed up late playing spoons, which was so much fun! 

We went to church the next morning at the congregation KB and Jayce attend. We happened to sit behind a deaf man and I found myself staring at the interpreter the entire time. I ended up getting up the nerve to talk to him briefly after service was over. This was my first interaction using sign language to speak to a deaf person and I was so stinkin' nervous! I don't know why I was so nervous, but I was! I am an introverted person and feel awkward when I talk to hearing people sometimes, so to talk to a person in a language that I barely  know was very nerve wracking for me. I shouldn't have worried about it so much because he was a very nice man, and his interpreter was right there to help out when I got stuck.

After church we got to eat at one of my favorite places in Tuscaloosa - Mugshots! I wish so badly they'd open one in Madison or Huntsville! We seriously considered sticking around to see an Alabama baseball game, but decided to head on home and get the girls. When we pulled up Raley was sitting on the gator with Pops, fishing. It was the cutest thing! We let the girls play for a while before tossing them in the bath (their second one of the day) and then heading home. 

Just one more thing to share before I wrap this up! This year Raley's dance class was on Tuesdays at 11:00, so every Tuesday I drop Audrey off at school and Raley and I have time to spend together, just the two of us. These days have truly been some of my favorite times we have spent together. Today was actually her last dance class of the year and I am so so bummed that I won't get this time with her each Tuesday. A few weeks ago it was supposed to be a pretty spring day, so I packed us a picnic and we went to the park for a tea party and some play time after class. 

The class she will be taking next year is at 1:30 so I would have time to pick her up from MMO (which is over at 1:00) and get her to dance, but it breaks my heart to think that we won't have that one-on-one time during her last year before starting Kindergarten. I have been so torn as to what to do because I don't want her to be in shock when she starts Kindergarten by going from 3 half days to 5 full days. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to lose that time with her while I have it. I'm also excited that Audrey will start dance next year also and her class is in the morning on a different day than Raley's, so I will get some one-on-one time with my baby girl as well! We don't get as much time together, so I am truly looking forward to that!

This was a long post, thanks for sticking with me! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

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