Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Officially 30

Ryan turned 30!! That means we are both officially in our 30's. I don't know why, but his birthday hit me harder than my own 30th birthday did. I'm older than Ryan, so now that he is 30, that means I am most definitely 30. Sounds silly, and doesn't make much sense, but it is truly what I felt. We celebrated Sunday with an authentic carne asada dinner made for the whole group by a Mexican friend out here. It was soooo yummy and delicious. I had a game for who is the most like Ryan, and Taisha and Bill won. Then on Monday, his actual birthday, Britney stayed with the girls while we went out on a date. It was a mellow birthday, but that's just how Ryan likes them. I'm so thankful for this summer I've had to spend with him and see him in a whole new light. I wouldn't trade him for anything and am so thankful I can call him mine.Nothing too exciting, but just another day at the splash pad, trying to mix things up a bit.
We had a girls brunch down by the pool while the guys were gone. We've all become so close. Seeing friends every single day can be so fun.
For the last month I have been applying this treatment to my warts. Yes, I have warts. There, I said it. But guess what? It didn't even work! Now all I have is a month of pain and discomfort and I'm left with a scar and my warts are still there!
Can you believe that there are no play places around here? McDonald's on every corner, but no play place?! So we finally ventured inside of Chic-Fil-A. I've never even eaten there but decided the girls needed to play, and it's too blazing hot outside to go to the park. Turns out that Chic-Fil-A lives up to the hype.

This summer Lydia made her first real friend in Sailor. Lydia hasn't had the opportunities that Emma has when she was young. Finally, two years later, Lydia has a real live friend.

We were all invited over to say good bye to the Bonillas as they headed back home. We had home made ice cream and the best lemon cupcakes. It was kind of crazy having 18 of us in one apartment, but the yummy dessert made up for the chaos.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

Sunday we took a two hour drive out to Joplin to witness the power of a natural disaster. The spirit there was just so humbling to see what it really means to lose everything. As difficult as our lives may feel some days, at the very least we still have our family and a roof over our heads. That's more than most people can say who have made their home in Joplin.

At first I thought it was just the older, weaker homes that were destroyed. But look at these quality, brick houses, nothing was exempt from destruction.
The houses were all painted. Some had inspiring messages of gratitude, and most had the name of their insurance company painted on as well. Every house had an X, and that meant it had been searched for survivors...the number on the left was survivors, the number on the right was the death toll.

These photos of just empty lots are so haunting. You truly do have to see it to believe it. Where these dirt fields are, there were once homes, trees and parks. It is just as heart breaking as can be.

The trees were stripped from their LIVE bark, what kind of force must it take to do that? Some trees had metal wrapped around them like toilet paper. These photos definitely speak for themselves, and yet still don't do justice to this disaster.

This is the high school. The elementary school looked quite similar. I'm not sure what the name of the high school was, but somebody got duct tape and added to the OP on the sign to read HOPE...I thought that was touching

This photo below is a true mystery to me. The house above is DIRECTLY across the street from the house below. How can that be? I can't imagine how it must feel to be the owners of the house that survived. Surely an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and guilt at the same time.

This is the hospital that we all saw so many images of. I just think about the women who must have been in labor, the doctors who were in heart surgery, and countless nurses who were just going about an average day at work.

I am so thankful for the day to day blessings of health and safety that we enjoy. We truly were humbled by just how vulnerable we are in this life. I am so thankful for this summer I have had to learn what is truly important in life, and the visit to Joplin just really solidified everything for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday America

Every weekend we play games with 8 to 12 of us. We've had fun teaching everyone our favorite games and also learning some of theirs to take home and teach our family and friends.

The guys had to work all day on the fourth of July. We arranged a delicious breakfast for them before they went out and all shared our favorite aspects of living in America.
While the guys were gone we took the kids to a splash pad and let them buy a popsicle from the ice-cream truck....a perfect American activity.

The guys met us down town for Tulsa's fireworks display. It was nice to all meet up together and then we enjoyed motorcycle rides and Braum's ice-cream afterwards.

Emma gave an encore performance of reciting the Pre-Amble, this photo is of her new ending where she adds a very tender "Happy birthday America,"followed by a curtsy.

Britney and I have enjoyed taking advantage of the great sales and darling styles that Baby Gap always has to offer. Oh how I miss having one nearby.
I have been on the hunt to find something charming in Tulsa, and it truly is a difficult quest. Finally, after many outings, I did find this posh splash pad. The girls love it and I love being impressed by something charming for once since we've been out here.

I had a photo shoot to keep my skills up with these three darling little kids. They've become great friends of ours.

We decided to venture out to the zoo on what was supposed to be a cooler day, but the joke was on us, there is no such thing as a cooler day out here. Some of these photos may look like we are having a good time, but it's hard to enjoy yourself no matter the activity when the index is 112 WITH humidity.

As the wives we have a generous amount of time on our hands. Saturdays are especially long for us since the guys work 12 hours. I called a local nursing home and arranged for us to go down there and spend some time with their residents. It was a great experience for all of us and everyone really reached out and made a difference.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My baby is Two!

Lydia got herself locked inside the shower. Bless her heart, but she couldn't figure out that she needed to push on the handle and not pull. Emma and I got a good laugh out of her little learning experience.

Taking some of the kids to explore a local park. It is so bloody hot outside that we don't even care when the kids submerge themselves in the sprinklers and water faucets.

These are long, hot, summer days. We try to stay as wet as possible to get us through.

We had a fabulous girls lunch at cheesecake factory. We learned to go BEFORE the guys go knock doors so they can stay with the kids. The Luau Salad is pictured below this one, it is my most favorite salad there ever was.

Keeping cool at the play area at the mall.

The bath tub really is like a swimming pool for the girls.

We celebrated Lydia's second birthday today. She is so sweet and gentle and our family just wouldn't be the same without her.

To celebrate her birthday we let her ride the carousel at the mall....

...and also go to the car wash, her other favorite activity.

I hopped on the latest trend and put glitter tattoos on the girls to celebrate Lydia's birthday.

We had a BBQ at the pool with all of our friends

It wouldn't be complete without rough housing from the guys

The one request of the day was that Brewster (Merril's dog) come to Lydia's party. She was thrilled to see him!

We've got a great group of friends out here who have been so good to treat our girls like family. It was nice to have so many people to celebrate Lydia's birthday.
We ended the night by opening her presents at home. It was a great day as a family and I'm glad it was so busy and fun so I didn't notice the ache in my heart that my baby is now a toddler.

Mondays is .75 movie day. I took the kids to see Hoodwinked 2 (worth .75 cents but that's all) then later that night a group of us went to see Soul Surfer, I highly recommend.

I love nothing more than having the whole pool to ourselves. Doesn't happen too often, but sure is nice when it does.

Vivint takes us out to eat a lot. Our group is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. It's like we can't get enough of each other.

If the girls have been really good I let them stay up until Ryan gets home and then go for a dip with him in the pool. It makes their day.

Lydia got herself locked in her bedroom and there weren't any door keys to be found. She had to wait until her scrappy dad got home to get her out. We slid her Nilla wafers under the door to keep her content.

Saturday night was a treat for many reasons. One was that Misty and Bill had our girls over for a "late night" with a movie and treat while we joined the rest of our group for dinner at Flemmings. For 13 of us to eat the bill came to over $1000!!! Yikes!! This is the perk from being on a very large and successful team, can't hate that.

The steak and sea food was truly the best I've had. The bread, spread, and salad were also on a whole other level. It was midnight before we left there, but it was a great way to end a long week.