Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Special Birthday Wishes for July 31st
I have to give birthday wishes to 2 special people. First, my mom. My mom and I are very close. We always have been, but it's been different now that I'm a mom, too. She gives me my space and doesn't butt in about what I should or shouldn't be doing with Houston, but she is also there for me in the drop of a hat and has proven that time and time again. When Houston was about 4 weeks old I would call her to come over so I could get some sleep. She joked that she already had her shoes on and was out the door. Sometimes I think she really did sit waiting so she could come over and hold and love on him. My mom is the most giving and caring woman I know. Even when she doesn't feel like it, she puts on a smile, a Stein Mart outfit, and is ready to go. She likes flea markets, books, and shopping at the Target Dollar Spot. She is a great travel buddy and is going with Hugh, Houston, and I to California next week. And boy does she love her grandkids! And they think the world of her, too. She has sleepovers with girls and the boys fight over sitting in her lap. She is strong and has been the rock of our family many times.
I love you, mom. Thank you and Happy Birthday!!

Mom and I, Mother's Day 2007
With Houston, July 26, 2007

These special birthday wishes are for Ruby Kate. My mom calls them birthday buddies. She is a sweetheart and such a cutie. One of these days, we will actually get a good picture of her and Houston together. Lots of tries, no success.

So, happy birthday to 2 special people. And may you have many, many more happy ones.

I love you both.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thank you, Elijah!

This is our friend, Elijah, dressed as Tony Stewart for Halloween. He has always been so sweet to Houston-wanting to hug him, have Houston sit on is lap, and share his pizza with him. One extra special nice thing he has done is share his toys with Houston. This one he brought over Saturday night and Houston loves it.
It has sirens, music, a horn-the works. So, thank you, Elijah, for being a good friend!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

VBS rolls in to Crossroads!
As a kid, I always loved when it was time for VBS. There were always a few things you could be sure were going to happen.
1. You were going to make some crafts out of toilet paper rolls and baby food jars.
2. Little old ladies would be there to serve Always Save creme sandwich cookies.
3. You would get hyped up on sugary kool-aid.
Those were the good ol' days.
But, not at Crossroads. We construct things. We build. We use power tools.
Plainly speaking, VBS around here ROCKS!
I have to gives shouts out to Dana, Lesley, and Kara for constructing one awesome addition to the VBS decor this year. It will be the food serving establishment. Take a look.

To fully appreciate this thing, you have to understand it started as 3 sheets of plywood nailed to 3 two-by-fours and painted white. Then came the creative part.

My "lumpy" wheel as it was lovingly referred to as. Thanks, Lesley. It still rolls, baby. Kara, Lesley, and Dana adding the final touches to our.............

ICE CREAM truck!!!! How stinkin' awesome is that!??! Show me another VBS with an ice cream truck and Dana will make the Leaning Tower of Pisa for next year. She kindof looks like she's about to mow somebody down. If you've ever ridden with her, you know that may be possible.

Now, what to do with the ice cream truck after VBS is yet to be determined. I volunteered to set it up in my front yard and use it as a money-making tool. I don't think the demand for them on ebay is high at the moment.

So, to sum it up, from beginning to end. Add 4 friends, 8 1/2 hours, 3 nervous breakdowns (all by Dana) and 1 lumpy tire and you get hysterical fun. See you guys down the VBS!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One year ago today......
We brought this little guy into the world. Nothing can prepare you for the change it will make in your life, the work it will be, and the joy it will bring. We care far less about lots of things and way more about different ones. We barely turn on the TV anymore (which is a good thing); we don't listen to the radio in the car anymore because Houston is watching Bob the Builder; we take time to stop and watch, to enjoy, to plan, to guide, to kiss, to reflect, to cry, to hope, to dream, to wonder, to pray. One year ago today this little guy changed our lives forever and we couldn't be more happy.
Happy Birthday, son.

Friday, July 25, 2008

1. Whether you do it yourself at home or pay to have someone else do it, you will feel stressed, anxious, and that the party is controlled chaos at best.
2. You won't get to spend as much time as you would like visiting with YOUR friends (the parents of the attendees) because you are too busy making sure all the kids are happy.
3. The feeling will be bittersweet-happy that your baby is loved and is growing and learning, but sad that you are losing your baby and he is becoming a big boy.
4. Another party for him means another year older for you.
5. In the end, it is ALL worth it!

Before, nice and clean.

During "Happy Birthday". I swear he knew they were singing for him. I think I wiped a tear or two.

With mommy while Houston was finishing his second piece of pizza. He had never had pizza or this much sugar before in his whole life.

Lesley called me about 9:45 to see if I had relaxed any. I told her Houston was still up (which he was) and was spinning in circles in the kicthen, which was also true. He did finally come down off his sugar high and got a good night's rest.

Michelle took this black & white ones which I love. I will post some of the kiddos having fun in the next few days. Hugh, Houston and I are off to Hot Springs tonight, family birthday party for Houston Saturday, Ruby Kate's birthday party Saturday afternoon, hanging with Lesley Saturday night, church/VBS decorating Sunday-you get the picture.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our baby can get down!!
Shake your groove thang, shake your groove thang!

Hugh snapped these pictures 4th of July night in our hotel room in Fayetteville. Houston has always loved a good beat and couldn't resist shaking his groove thang. (See previous post for similarities to his dad's dancing style at his 20 year class reunion.)

We had his 1st birthday party tonight at the bowling alley. Look for some CUTE pictures to come. I ran my battery out (with help from Michele) snapping away. Needless to say, he was covered in chocolate cake from head to toe by the time we were finished.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shout out to our family in Conway and Jacksonville!!
(done in orange for you, Chad!)

We left Houston in the care of Hugh's family this past weekend so we could attend his class reunion. On Saturday night, we dropped him off at 250 Toad Suck Road in Conway, Arkansas, to stay with Hugh's brother Chad, his wife Rhonda, and their kids Britton, Landon, and Easton. We love them dearly and knew he would be entertained.

Uncle Chad's lap must feel a lot like daddy's.......
Uncle Chad had a long, busy day at a football convention but was able to hand out a few extra hugs when he got home. Hard to imagine him and Hugh as kids fighting in the living room floor on Sundays when the Steelers played the Cowboys. GO 'Boys!!
This is Britton, our beautiful, smart niece. I remember holding her in the hospital when she was just a few hours old. Here she is with her grandma in September 1999. Ms. Walker passed away in April the next year. This picture was taken at Chad and Rhonda's house when they lived in Jonesboro.

These are Houston's 2 handsome strong cousins. Landon is on the left and Easton is playing in the floor. Landon is our little baller-I think both he and Easton could run for days without stopping. This next picture is my all time favorite of, so cute. And an almost 3 year old picture of Easton. They are both such cute boys.

The final "thank you" is to Sophia, John-John, Kenny, and Vick for putting up with Houston Friday night with his cranky self. These next two old pictures are of of Britton with her cousin Vicky who is now in jr high and cooks her own full course breaksfast like nobody's business and Britton with her Uncle Hugh and cousin Kenny, the next best shortstop to come out of Jacksonville High School.

Thank you guys! We love you all VERY much.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Daredevil Spiderman Style
Houston and I had a lazy but fun day hanging out around the house. Hugh left last night for Missouri. After breakfast this morning, we pulled out ALL the toys because 12 to choose from just isn't enough. This riding zebra toy is a new favorite. One of my friends Stephanie let us borrow it. It didn't make me feel too good about her offer when she told me her little girl started crying when she carried it out of the house. The fact it was going to "baby Houston" didn't help any. Houston likes it though and spins and're regular little bunking bronco.

I guess the fact that he got new big boy Spiderman pajamas led him to believe he could do stunts Evil Knievel style. He got the mount just fine........

but the landing needs some work. And so does his hair. His curls have a mind of their own these days.

More from the reunion....JHS.....Class of '88
This is "Goon". He was one of Hugh's good friends and was an awesome athlete. He was running Olympic times and held several records in the state his senior year. Tragically, one year after high school, he was shot during a drive by. He is so inspiring and has never lost his sense of humor. He was cutting a rug out on the dance floor-popping up on his two back wheels and spinning in circles. It was amazing to see. During the class picture, Goon and another guy were picking on each other and the other guy yelled, "Well, Goon. Stand up then." With Goon's quick wit, he replied, "Don't make me surprise ya'll. I would, but there may be somebody who works for social security in here." Of course, everyone died laughing. Thanks, Goon, for continuing to love life and be thankful. You certanily deserved your standing ovation for "most thankful to see at the reunion".

It was fun getting to hang out with the family for the weekend. Hugh was so excited to visit everybody and sad when we left. His class has already lost 7 friends. But he was able to reconnect with people I'm sure he will never lose touch with again.

Can I get a witness?????

My baby jamming out to AC/DC by himself. Oh, wait. There is one poor helpless woman out there. Her date must have been embarassed of her, too.

This is Jimbo, one of Hugh's best friends from high school. He now lives in Millington, TN where he is vice principle. He played football at ASU-we always look forward to seeing him during football season. Go Red Wolves!! I do have a hilarious picture of them from jr high I will post later this week. Hugh has an afro.....that's all I'm gonna say about that right now.

I'm proud of you, honey, for the awesome man, husband, and father you have turned out to be. I hope we can look back in twenty years and enjoy our memories. I love that you like to laugh, have fun, and enjoy life. I am proud of you and glad that I was the one on your arm Saturday night.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We had a busy but very fun weekend-we attended Hugh's 20 year class reunion of Jacksonville High School. On Friday night, we met at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock at the River Market where I got to meet about 150 of Hugh's 400 classmates (I graduated with only 86 so this is strange to me....). Everyone was really nice and easy to talk to. Thank you Sophia and Vicky for keeping our cranky baby so we could enjoy our evening!!
On Saturday, we went to the family picnic-lots of fried fish, chicken strips, and french fries. Yum! We had been there no longer than 10 minutes and Houston found the biggest pile of charcoal dust in the whole park, sat in it, rolled in it, stomped in it, played in it and then rubbed it on Hugh on I. Nothing a half bottle of Shout couldn't handle. I love that stuff.

It was time to start getting ready for the evening which was dinner and dancing at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Little Rock. I'm busy getting ready and ask Hugh to watch Houston. Yeah, he watched him alright. He watched him play in the trashcan and in the toilet. There's not enough hand sanitizer in the world for this kid!!

What makes this story even better is that later, he started dropping things in the toilet like Scotch tape, a stapler, and water bottle. Thankfully he hasn't figured out the flushing part yet. Thank you Chad, Rhonda, Britton, Landon, and Easton for keeping your cousin!!

Last but not least, I know what you're that a Baldwin Brother at Hugh's class reunion? Well, I had to inspect myself. Thank goodness I have a good zoom. See, I'm not talking to this guy, who actually turns out to Brian Smith, spouse of a classmate, I'm stalking him from across the parking lot so I would have a good picture for the blog. After meeting my bail, I went on about my day :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Redbirds fun with the Allens!!
This past weekend we had a blast hanging out with the Allens from our church. We left Jonesboro early to eat at Jillians and then headed over to the ballpark. Hugh was actually covering the Redbirds and had to work, so he put Scott to work with the radar gun. Michele and I, on the other hand, had the kids and Houston was a mess. He did somehow keep us entertained by his inability to stay in his seat. Or in his stroller. Or in his shirt. Or clean. He had Lexi and Abby giggling the whole night. He poured lemonade (and mac-n-cheese) all over Lexi's feet, kept playing in the trash which had Abby giggling, and patted the man in front of him on the back. Over and over. We had a great time hanging out with them-I'm sure there are more roadtrips to come.

Houston LOVES LOVES LOVES this school bus!! He loves to push it, ride on it, open the lid and put things in the trunk, beep the horn, and sit on it and scoot it backwards. This has been his favorite toy as of late-anything with wheels and steering and he's all about it.

Can the terrible 2s happen at 1? Because I think we have arrived. Houston is on the go. He can climb on the footstool and up to the chair, into his toy box (obviously), and in every door and cabinet in the house!! He is also becoming very demanding. When he sees something he wants, he wants it right then and no later. He pushes me away when he doesn't want kisses (which breaks my heart :( though he did try to give me a kiss yesterday and bit my bottom lip, hanging on like he was a piranha. He is growing up way too fast.