Friday, March 30, 2012

Congrats David!

We flew to Washington DC to celebrate Taylor's brother's promotion to Col. in the Air Force. There was a lovely ceremony and reception at the National War College, a very beautiful building. I hope that I can get a few photos from David, because I failed to take pictures on the day of those festivities.

On our first day in DC, we went to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. Both were quite spectacular. On Friday, we took a trolley tour around town and then had a little family photo shoot with a photographer whom I found prior to the trip. The cherry blossoms had fallen off all the trees around the Tidal Basin. The Supreme Court had a few trees still in full bloom, so we went there for pictures. We should see the pics in a few weeks.

This is the main lobby of the Natural History Museum. Brady was a little overwhelmed, but loved the big dinosaur skeletons and all the animals.
The "Spirit of St. Louis", flown by Charles Lindberg across the Atlantic in the 1920's.
The red buds were almost as pretty as the cherry trees in bloom.
Random picture of the Smithsonian castle.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh!

Here's Anna Belle's little dance at the end of a very long, and very fun day in the pool with Ann, Allison and Brett. I've been meaning to get a video of Anna Belle's dancing, but she's always dancing with my iPhone / only video camera, which makes it challenging.
Megan introduced Brady to Justin Bieber when "Never Say Never" came out (it was Brady's first movie in a theater). It made me giggle when I saw how much Anna Belle likes his music too.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Date Palm with Fronds Untied

Taylor managed to remove the ties from the palm. We read mixed reviews on how long to leave the fronds tied, and they've already been tied for 4 weeks. We're tickled to see it opened up.

Friday, March 9, 2012

One Busy Day

We might have skipped last year because Anna Belle was just a few weeks old, but this isn't Brady's first rodeo. This year we went with Grammy and Megan. Brady was at a great age to appreciate everything. He has no fear or hesitation with animals, and he loved the big trucks and tractors.
When Brady sees a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, he also points to the emblem and calls it a cowboy shirt. This became more of an irony at the rodeo. I kept telling him he was going to see cowboys, and he was relieved when he finally saw that emblem on a little boy's shirt and said, "There's the cowboy!" Was he expecting a Ralph Lauren photo shoot when I talked about going to the rodeo to see cowboys?
Before heading over to the stadium, we took a break on the mattress exhibit. Brady found a friend to play with.
In the morning, we had our pool heater replaced by TexSun pools; it was my first time to use them, and I think I'll be a repeat customer. Our trees arrived on an 18-wheeler flat bed and a 45 ton crane helped take them off the truck. It was quite a spectacle in our sleepy little neighborhood.
Here's the finished product... the Canary Island Palm.
We're supposed to leave the Medjool Date Palm tied up for another 2 weeks. I'll give another "after" shot when the we let the fronds down.

Monday, March 5, 2012

She's not a baby anymore

My little girl is officially one. We went to the zoo today and managed to get some fun pics with the azaleas.
Birthday girl
Sweet siblings
Brode and Brady and the orangutan.
After church, we put Anna Belle's birthday gifts in her room (curtains, the shelf, canvas baskets, the monogrammed pillow, books and some toys). It's coming along!
Brianna's friend party was at Cypress Academy of Gymnastics on Sunday. The kids all had fun. I look forward to signing the kids up for gymnastics when Anna Belle's old enough for Mommy 'n' Me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Party Day

I looked at a lot of different themes for Anna Belle's birthday party, but decided fancy pink roses would be the theme.
I feel like I spent all week party planning and prepping; it's been a lot of fun. I spent a lot of time making these party hats and the fringe myself, but failed to get the right measurements for any of the "chin straps". Oh well. There aren't a lot of years where mommy can do exactly as she pleases for a birthday party, so carpe diem, right?
My little angel was ready for party time.
Relaxing with Grandpa
The buffet line
Aunt Allison and Aunt Ann. Aunt Ally's Alligater A, a, A.
Happy first birthday bloomers. The sweet dress Anna Belle's wearing was Brianna's, and Brianna wore it for her first birthday party.
Before we officially started opening gifts, Anna Belle was putting on a show for us. She was very sweet and very entertaining all night long.
The past few weeks, we've been buying birthday gifts for other kids and not for Brady. He's been asking for this plane for quite awhile, so it became his good big brother gift today. He was pretty excited.
The Bowers got Anna Belle this Minnie Mouse. Just like at Disney World with the real Minnie, Anna Belle went straight for the nose.
Anna Belle really loved this new Peter Rabbit tea set from Grandma and Grandpa. I was afraid of her breaking pieces, so I only let her play with one piece at a time. She kept pretending to drink from the tea pot.
Without words, this photo says, "Thank you Grandma, I love my new tea set!"
Blowing out the candle; a family affair.
She was eager to eat her birthday cake (she had some practice on Thursday, so she knew what was coming). My great great Grandma Russell's china matched her party theme perfectly.
I'm convinced that Anna Belle really likes to dress up. Look at this ham posing for a picture with the party hat?!
Anna Belle's really taken to Papa; see their 1's?
Anna Belle started playing with her tea set and decided to nurse the tea pot's lid. Obviously it didn't work out very well, and then she finally remembered that she hadn't nursed all day long. We're weaning slowly. I feel like she's ready, but moments like these I'm happy to hold on. She took this happy girl pic after nursing.
Having her first birthday party over floods me with nostalgic, bittersweet tears. The first of many milestones to come, but your babies are really only a baby for 1 short year. I really appreciate everyone coming over to share this special day with us. Having our family so close (literally and figuratively) is an immeasurable blessing.
Anna Belle and Brianna have birthdays just a few days apart. In future years, we will probably try to combined forces. Last night we celebrated Brianna's 8th birthday.
I wanted to get a picture of Brady and Anna Belle together. At first we asked Brady to hug his sister, so we ended up with a nice shot of his beautiful hair.
Approach #2 was asking Brady to help Anna Belle show how old she is. they both hold up their pointer fingers,
...and Anna Belle poses for her praises.