Monday, December 27, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Remembering the birth of JESUS is what it's all about and that by itself is enough reason to celebrate this season. However, being human and living in this world brings a lot of other Christmas add ons that are wonderful because they only happen once a year...lots of hot chocolate, tacky sweaters, white lights, trees inside the house, parties, presents, rich food, and Christmas carols. I already kind of miss having Christmas music playing in the house.
After a great Thanksgiving in Boerne, we stayed close to home for most of December. The Benders moved out the week before Christmas (sad) to their own place in South Austin. I think the girls might think they've lost a sister and surrogate mommy and daddy! We will miss them but know how ready they are to be in a place of their own in Austin. We spent Christmas Eve in Austin and attended our church's service with Brooke, Doug, Austin, and Mary Beth. The next day, we drove to La Grange for the big family Christmas. There were lots of presents and yummy food and Austin got a special gift this year...a car! What fun it was to see him surprised with such a generous gift from Poppi and Gigimama. It was such a great time with the family and a wonderful first Christmas for Jolene.
Baby's first Christmas morning.
Puppy love from Tucker.
The dogs had their own party all weekend.
The gals.
Bella helped Joley open her gifts.
Should I eat this? She of course liked the paper more than her gifts.
Hard to believe that someday she'll be as tall as that giraffe Noni gave her for Christmas.
Ivan, Eduardo, Alex (open your eyes), and Valente hang with Joley. She loves these boys and is such a flirt!
Aunt Nae came to visit and bring Christmas presents for Joley.
Skin tight ski suit onesie...he's all mine, ladies!
Family photo by the tree that looks like the one from Charlie Brown because we forgot to water it.
Here comes Santa Claus!
Our little angel with a not so angelic gleam in her eyes.
Just memorizing some scripture before meeting Santa. They wanted to learn about when Jesus was born and took some pages out of the bible to help them remember.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's that smell?!

It's a SKUNK!!!! I've finally had time to sit down and upload the Halloween party pics (actually I pirated them from Jen Charbonneau's fb page, so thanks, Jen!). Here is my interpretation of a skunk costume that Jolene so graciously modeled during the party, even though the pants were a bit of a fiasco.

Did you know that Cleopatra had a pet skunk?
Jolene's newest trick is to point at everything. Luke likes to stick his index finger up to hers and say, "phone home." All you children of the 80's and fans of sci-fi films will totally relate.
The tail. Notice the good five inches of diaper sticking out because Jolene's mommy underestimated the size of her booty. Should've known she's her mommy's daughter!

Cleopatra and Pharoah (not historically accurate, I know, but I couldn't resist these costumes at Lucy in Disguise). We all know that Cleo was a single, FEMALE who ruled Egypt (who also happened to shack up with some notable Roman rulers).
She is a funny stinker.
We are all in character. I love Melissa's oh so surprised look and Amber's dark witch persona. Brooke G. was a squaw with a cowboy husband (who looked exactly like Ross Horton, mustache and all). Jen glammed it up as Audrey Hepburn and Julie was a great looking pregnant car accident victim. Oh how I love Halloween!
We naturally fed them in character. Jolene looked at me a little funny the whole night. We will miss sharing an ottoman with the Benders during feeding time when they move out.
Luke, Kyle W., and Doug blow out their birthday candles as their wives try and avoid getting waxed. Kyle and Blaire W. were a couple from the show Mad Men (haven't seen it, but they looked very chic). Brooke B. was Sarah Palin and Doug was Napolen Dynamite.
This is the skunk in the road they tried to avoid hitting before careening off the highway. Your sacrifice was worthy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Joley is loving Mrs. Amber and her amazing costume. Darn that diaper sticking out! Oh was my first time to sew a costume. By the way, I will NEVER make a costume out of furry material again because fuzz was everywhere for about a week as I cut and sewed (including inside my nose and mouth, gross).

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Did people in parts of the country that have beautiful leaves that fall to the ground decide to rename autumn to 'fall'? I think I like calling it 'autumn' better because the only leaves I have seen fall so far are the ones we saw in Virginia, where they have an actual 'fall'. Speaking of, we saw the most beautiful leaves on our recent trip up there to visit my parent's new cabin they built close to the Blue Ridge Parkway (google images it...gorgeous). Once again, I've been delinquent in my blogging. Since we've been back from California, it seems like the months have decided to fast-forward on me to Thanksgiving.

Does anyone else find it completely irritating that all the stores had their Christmas gear out before Halloween was even over?! Sigh. I'm reminded just how commercialized our celebration of Christmas has become and how we as Americans have given ourselves yet another excuse to be materialistic consumers of more stuff. Anyway...

I'll stop rambling and protesting long enough to post some recent pictures of the family...

Jolene and Grandma Chapman rock at the cabin in Virginia. Joley loved rocking with Grandma!
This is on the back porch of the cabin and you can see some of the beautiful leaves behind us.
Back home at the pumpkin patch practicing walking with Daddy.
Friends in the pumpkin patch...Amelia thinks it's really funny to make that face for pictures. Her mama doesn't.
My little punkin.

I'm not sure if many of you know that my favorite holiday to decorate for is Halloween. Well, it is and this year was no exception. It is also convenient that Luke's birthday falls on Halloween Eve, and this year we had a costume party to celebrate (and give me an excuse to put up my if I need an excuse.) I'll post some pics if I can get someone to send me some (we lost our camera charger at the WORST time).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carmel, California

We've been so lucky to come back to Carmel for September like we did last year. It's such a charming little town set in the most beautiful's hard to beat mountains combined with the ocean. We've had some friends visit us and this week is our first with just the three (ahem, four if you count Baron) of us. Micah was nice to drive out here with Luke while Amber and I flew with Harper and Jolene. We each had a whole row of three seats to ourselves on the plane ride here (it's funny how no one wanted to sit next to a couple of babies:). The next few days, our friends Molly and Jamie came from Atlanta and we spent time picnicking, golfing, and eating yummy food. Our most recent visitors, the Shepards, came from Durham, NC with their son Drew who is a few months older than Jolene. Jolene couldn't get enough of Drew and he was sweet enough to pay attention to her. This coming weekend we have the Benders and Lanie coming to visit, so I should have more good stories in the next post.
No vino left for me? She just started drinking out of her sippy cup on her own but she has a long time to wait for her first sip of wine.
Watching in awe as Micah gets in the freezing water.
Luke was going to get in but changed his mind after feeling the water...Baron doesn't mind the temperature at all (he's in the surf behind the guys).
Frisbee fun. I think Micah decided that it was a little too cold for him shortly after this picture and he donned the wetsuit.
This is Joley's preferred choice of travel around's a little too big for the tiny sidewalks here, so we take it on runs through the neighborhood.
Sweet Harper shows off her gums (I think I see a little tooth on bottom!). Amber was with us in Carmel (see her ear at the top of this picture?), but we were a little lazy with taking our camera places when we first got here. I'm not sure we even got a pic of all of us...darn!
Picnic on the beach with Molly and Jamie.
The Hargathers are such fun friends and I feel lucky that we've seen them so much (especially since we live in different states)!
Jolene LOVED Molly and I appreciated how she would offer to take her even when she was can tell she has had lots of niece/nephew experience.
Daddy did a photo shoot and gave her his hat to wear.
Jolene had her first crush on Drew Shepard and thankfully he was into her too. They played and smiled at each other the whole time the Shepards were here.
They even went on a picnic date to the beach!
Jolene loved looking at all the fish on our trip to the Monterey Aquarium.
And so did Drew!
Katrina took our picture in front of this tank last year when I was pregnant. It was weird visiting again with Joley this time.
Did you know that male sea horse daddies carry the sea horse babies to term in their body? Sounds like a great plan to me and Luke gives the idea a thumbs up. One can wish...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two Month Blogging Drought is Over

Since the last post, we've been just a little all over the place...Colorado (again for July 4th), Houston, Marble Falls, Vermont. Let's not forget also that we decided in a period of about three weeks to move from our little Travis Heights home to a bigger one near Mount Bonnell. Whew! So there's my excuse for not blogging recently! Here are a few pictures from our recent adventures with Jolene to visit family, attend Cousin Michael's wedding, and visit with friends.

Baby girl couldn't keep her eyes open and missed meeting another new friend.
We went to a huge farm in Vermont and Joley met lots of animal friends.
Hanging out on the dock at the house Gigimama and Poppi rented in Vermont before Michael and Dana's wedding.
Lake Champlain sunset...Adirondack mountains (like the chairs, you know?).
We got to have a date thanks to Gigimama and Poppi.
Jolene tries to convince her Daddy as we walk around the Harvard campus to pay for her tuition, class of 2032...start saving now!
We had lunch with a dear college friend, Leslie, who lives in Boston.
Visit to Houston to see Noni, Grandpa, Kyle, Ivette, and Jake.

Grandpa with Jake and Jolene.

Grandpa imitates one of Jolene's favorite new faces.
First taste of squash...she loves it despite this face.
Uncle Hal came for a visit.
She was hiding from the paparazzi.

Reverse milk mustache after being fed by Julie.

I'll post more pictures from the wedding once I find my camera cord to upload the rest...I think it's in a box somewhere.