Monday, December 29, 2008

Lance's surprise trip

sorry that the text is underlined...not sure why it is linked...ugh!

I always have a hard time trying to figure out what to give Lance for Christmas and birthdays. He is so hard to shop for and I decided to quit wasting money on clothes that he will never wear. He has been a long time Cowboys fan, but has never been to their games or any other professional football games (and me neither!). So, I have a really good friend of mine who has season tickets and I worked out a deal to surprise Lance for an early Christmas present by kidnapping him and taking him on a weekend trip to Dallas that included going to the final football game at Texas Stadium.

I told Lance that on Friday night, we will attend my cousins birthday party, spend the night with my parents and take family portraits the next morning. And let me tell you, he was super excited about doing this!! (insert sarcastic face here!) After packing all day for four people (Kennedy went with us, while my parents will keep Landon), I finally got everything ready so when Lance got off of work, we could head out. We drove to Shreveport and it was a long drive because I was so excited, but couldn't let on to anything. Halfway through the party, I slipped him a note that said open immediately. He looked at me like I was half nuts because his first thought was that I was pregnant!! After a sigh of relief, he began to read the 'Jingle Bell-themed' poem that I wrote to him basically said to hand me his keys and that we were leaving immediately for a road trip.

We get into the car and I told him we are taking a 'shopping' trip to Dallas to pick out whatever he wants for Christmas and that we were staying at the galleria. He was really excited because he had just been to Dallas for a day earlier that week and said he wanted to go back to go shopping. When he told me this, I just laughed on the inside..."If he only knew..."

We checked into our hotel around midnight, and as we were getting ready for bed, sportscenter was on (shocker!). And it mentioned that it was the last game for the Cowboys the next night and he wished we could go to it. He looked at me and said, "You didn't get tickets, did you?" And I said, "Baby, I'm good, but I am not that good!!"

The next morning, I got up to go get coffee in the galleria and see a Cowboys store. I purchase the program for the final game and stuck the tickets inside to hand to Lance. I got back to the hotel and gave it to him and his face was priceless. At first he thought the tickets weren't real, but when he saw that what they were, he went nuts! Just imagine Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch, but with three times as much excitement!! Not only did we have tickets, but they were in a luxury suite with a VIP parking pass!!

I have to admit, I could have purchased anything I wanted at the Galleria that day because he was on cloud nine the entire day!! We had a blast shopping and it was great to get away and enjoy each other's company. Kennedy was a perfect angel and an excellent traveler!

The game was an amazing experience, even though they played so poorly. Now, all we want to do is go to a game at the new stadium! Here are some pics from our little adventure!

We walked down close to the field as the players were warming up

Getting ready to go inside game. It was cold and windy!!

My friend, Michelle, who had the box suite

Christmas Whirlwind

Like everyone else, I am sure your Christmas came and went just as fast as ours did. It was a lot of hustling and bustling, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I think everyone on my mom's side of the family was holding their breath to see how difficult and different it was going to be with the first Christmas without Nonnie, my mom's mother, who passed away this past August. She was the rock of our family and had Christmas traditions that go back 50 years ago. It is sad to say, but for the first time in those 50 years, we let go of some of those traditions, but realize that change can be good. We all survived, but she was greatly remembered and honored.

We were all looking forward to watching Landon open up gifts this year. He recently got into watching Polar Express (and still asks for it) and has loved it! It is cute to see him jingle a bell and say, "I believe". Landon 'sort of' understood that Santa came to visit him and brought him presents (he still says that Santa is coming tonight). He really got into his Elf on the Shelf and enjoyed looking for him every morning. I think we are all sad to see "Stowie" go back to the north pole.

Landon wanted drums for Christmas and it was one of the first presents he opened. Therefore, he had no interest in any other presents after that!! In fact, 4 days later, he still had gifts under the tree to open. Which was kinda fun because it gave us something for him to open when it got cold and rainy outside!

Every other year, we celebrate the Cochran Fear Factor Challenge on my dad's side of the family. My cousins and their spouses compete as couples to see who will take home the 'plaque' each year. I am embarrassed to admit that Lance and I have yet to take it home!!! Ugh! But I will argue some ruling on some of those events (of course!! I can't help it, I am too competitive!). Well, this year, it involved riding a zip line over a swampy canal, shooting a bb gun, and eating whipped cream pies. I am also embarrassed to say that Lance Hall rocked in every event and if I had been a better shooter, we would have done better. I guess I will have to wait two more years to redeem myself. blah!

Here are some pictures from this years Christmas! Enjoy!

I've been tagged!

Ok, It has been a while since I have had a chance to get on the internet, much less update my blog. I was tagged by my buddy, Suzanne, to post a picture from my fourth picture roll and the 4th picture on that roll. In this picture, it's a picture of our very first Christmas as a married couple. We actually borrowed Lance's parents tree and decorations since we didn't have any and they were in the process of moving. I still love this picture, in fact, I have it framed and pull it out with all of our Christmas decorations. It's a great reminder of our very first Christmas (and kid-free!).
Now I will tag Stacy, Amy M., Kathleen and Meredith!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Breakfast with Santa

This is the third year a row that we had attended the breakfast with Santa at Squire Creek. It's always crazy but the pictures turn out great and I love seeing all of the kids getting dressed up to take pictures, have breakfast, and do Christmas activities. This year, I recruited my darling husband AND my mom to come and enjoy the festivities (translation: help chase our two year old around- yes, it sometimes takes three of us!!). Once again, Kennedy is an angel and just goes along with the ride. I feel bad that I didn't get many pictures of her!

Decorating our Christmas stocking with stickers

Landon and his best buddy, Hayden

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thankless job, but I love it!

Mondays and Fridays are my long days since I have both kids all by myself (Landon goes to Mother's Day tues, wed, and thurs), but I am determined to make the most of them because before I know it, they will both be in school. I am just lucky enough to be able to stay at home and be apart of these early years.

Well, today, I deserve to be Mom of the Day. Since Kennedy is such an angel and basically sleeps all day, Landon had my undivided attention from sun-up to sun-down. In the morning, we went through our ABCs, numbers and colors, read books, played outside for over an hour, made sugar cookies, and then had lunch. After a short nap and a quick shower for me, he was up again to decorate the cookies, play outside again, and then got ready to meet Lance for dinner. Then as a family, we went to a farm in Arcadia that had "Critter Christmas". It was fantastic!! The moon was bright and beautiful while the stars were everywhere. On this farm, they had a train, hayride, horse/pony rides, pictures with Santa, petting zoo, snow making, and a campfire. Really great place to take young ones and I highly recommend it!

I can't remember the last time I tried to make cookies using a cookie cutter and boy was it messy!!! The kitchen was actually pretty clean before this, and needless to say, I had to clean it TWICE today. But it was all worth it. Landon seemed to enjoy it...eating all the dough and candy, that is. Maybe that is why he had a hard time taking a nap!! ;)

I should be in bed right now after a great (but exhausting) day, but I just had to share my day and pictures (and it's the first time I could get on the computer!!). Being a parent is a thankless job, but I absolutely love it!

Waiting impatiently!

Here are a few pictures from the Critter Christmas: This is one from the train ride:

This is the pony ride that was actually pretty funny because the pony started to gallop at one time and I shouted, "He's only two years old!!!" when the operator wasn't hanging onto him. Luckily, Lance ran over to help out. I screamed so loud that it scared Kennedy so bad. Kinda scary for me, but Landon thought it was hilarious. As Lance would say, he has so much of me in him!!

Lance with Landon and his best buddy, Hayden Russell who came with us

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Crafty playdate

Now that we are settled into our new house, I decided to invite two of Landon's friends from school over to the house. Harper, was the oldest and the only girl. Her mom, Mandy, and I have been friends since college. The other boy that came was Hayden. His mom, Shannon, works with Lance at the bank. We have all become close friends lately and love getting together when we can (which is never enough!!).

Mandy had a great idea of getting Craft paper and let the kids put paint on their hands and feet and paint their 'prints' on the paper. And then we could use the paper for wrapping paper this Christmas. Sounds like a great idea, right?!? Well, I think we were one year ahead of ourselves. Harper did really well using her hands, Hayden loved 'marching' on the paper, while Landon wouldn't go NEAR the paint!! I had a feeling he was going to be a little weird about it since he hates to get his hands dirty or sticky (EXACTLY like his daddy). We had all hands on deck while doing this project so you can imagine why we didn't have any pictures taken!! We had a blast doing it but I think we could have gotten better results if the kiddos were a little older.

While we waited for the paint to dry, we let the kids run around some while we sipped on some hot coco. Then we had one more activity before everyone left. When I was younger, my mom helped us make 'apple snowmen'. It is a very simple project and the kiddos loved it!! I highly recommend it for all ages! Let me know if anyone wants instructions!

Christmas Parade

With a little nudging from a friend of mine, we decided to attend the Ruston Christmas parade despite the really cold weather. I even talked Lance into coming which I KNEW he would secretly love (and he did!). I was able to take Landon to the peach festival this summer and loved watching him light up at all of the candy being thrown at him. So, I knew he would really love the Christmas parade with all of the lights, trucks, motorcycles, and, of course, Santa!

So, we all bundled up and met up with several of my friends and their kids... Lots of kids! While we waited for the parade to start, we all enjoyed watching the kids run around. I had Kennedy bundled up in her carseat, but regretted not bringing a sling and wrapping her around me to keep her more warm. She started to fuss and I knew it was time to feed her. Ugh! Poor timing. But at least my car was parked in perfect view to watch the parade go by as my husband and son gawked at all of the festivities (And I had the warmest seat in the house!)

Afterwards, all six families went to Pizza Inn. Can I say mad house?!? We got one of the back rooms to eat and be as loud as we want. I think this was Lance's first taste of being around so many sugar-rushed kids at one time and trying to get everyone fed at once. Considering, all of the kiddos were great and very entertaining!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Anyone for instant stress??

Ok, I was trying to take some pictures of the kids this past weekend to make a Christmas photo card. YES, I think I am a professional photographer with this new camera and, YES, I am just now trying to get these done. Since I heard that Heritage Portraits weren't doing their Santa pics this year, I had to scramble to get my pictures done to get the cards sent out.

Well, if anyone is curious to see how much fun it is to try to get a two year old to hold a two month old, sit still, smile at the camera, not pinch he sister's face, have his hair look halfway decent, and wipe up the spit up off of both of them....NOT FUN at all!!!! Just ask my mom, Aunt jennifer, and Lance! I turned into an instant stressed out bear!!! I immediately start sweating trying to get the camera turned on, focused, pick up Kennedy after being shoved by Landon, and keep them from crying. As I am frantically trying to snap as many pictures as possible, I am snapping at my helpers too. I felt awful afterwards. Anyway, here are some of the ones that WON'T make the cards. I am going to attempt one more session in the morning before throwing in the towel!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our first road trip with 2 kiddos!

I was really nervous taking our first trip with a two month old and a two year old, but we survived!! My mom and I decided that it was time to finally visit Klint at his new house in Dallas and we had a ball! Klint and Tonya moved into our cousins', Kyle and Meredith Liner, house this past summer and we hadn't had a chance to visit them until now. Kyle and his family moved to Hungary and are leasing it to Klint who needed a place to live when they decided to move down from Michigan. Kyle and Meredith were actually in Dallas at the same time (for the first time since they left the states) so we were glad to get a chance to visit with them as well.

I have to admit, Kennedy was absolutely PERFECT!! She never really cried that much and sleep most of the time. In fact, mom and I want to find another road trip to take while she is still so young and can sleep anywhere. I also discovered that having a paci is greatest thing EVER! Landon never took one (I was easy to quit trying) so I never knew what I was missing. I am sure it will be a hard transition later on, but I will cross that bridge when we get there.

Landon started feeling bad on Sunday morning. He was fighting off a cold and got a little cranky. But he was overall a good traveler. I think he really enjoyed having his KK in the same room with him while he slept. I was worried that we wouldn't sleep much with all of us in the same hotel room, but everyone slept all night!

The first night we stayed at Klint's house. He cooked some delicious burgers for us while Aunt Jennifer brought over some cake and ice cream to celebrate both mine and Klint's birthday. The next morning, mom and I got up to do some quick shopping before heading off to the Gaylord Texan Resort. This place was beautiful. It's a really nice hotel with a convention center attached to it and every year they turn it into a Winter Wonderland! They had an ice exhibit that was really beautiful. If anyone gets a chance to go, I highly recommend it! It's a great place for photo opportunities too!

Here are a few pictures (with my new camera!!!!) from our little trip. We were also able to stop along the way to visit my childhood best friend, Ashley, and her family.

Landon playing with cousin, Kenzie's, toys!! ;)

Playing hide and seek

My mom and two of her three GREATEST kids!!!

Cousins: Landon, Kennedy, Kenzie, Caden, and Reece

Landon cried the entire time during the ice exhibit. It was 9 degrees in there so I don't blame him!! This was also the day he started feeling bad too.

KK and two of her grandbabies

While Landon was crying, Kennedy slept the entire time of the Ice exhibit

View from our hotel room balcony

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just another birthday!! ;)

Today is my 33rd birthday!! I think it's going to be a great year simply because it's the 33rd year and the same number as Larry Bird!!! LOL! I know... I can be a basketball geek sometimes! ;)

It's been a great week and it really doesn't even seem like my birthday. Last weekend was a lot of fun because my parents came to stay with us to go to the Tech football game (for mom) and duck hunting (for dad)! Landon was in hog heaven having them around and really enjoyed going to the game with them, even though i was a bad mommy and didn't prepare for the cold weather. As you can see in the picture, Landon had to borrow Buzz's wrap to keep him warm at the game. And for the record, MY MOM WAS RIGHT AND I WAS WRONG!! There I said it. She said that it was going to be freezing at the game and I didn't believe her. Thank goodness I have learned that she is almost always right and listened to her (unwillingly!!). I guess I can be wrong sometimes!! ;)

And can I say how spoiled I am??? My dearest husband got me the best birthday gift!! I have been wanting to get a really nice SLR camera because my point and shoot camera has been driving me crazy. I love pictures and it drove me nuts when I would miss great shots of the kids because it was so slow!! So, my precious hubby spoiled me by getting me one when I thought it was going to be a Christmas present!! I am trying to convince him that it will be my Christmas gift too since we have spent so much money lately on the house. I hope he honors that request but something tells me he is too stubborn to listen to me.

Well, I am about to take on a HUGE adventure!! Tomorrow morning, I am taking both kids to Shreveport and meeting mom to drive to Dallas for the weekend! My first road trip with the kids!!! Yikes!!! Lance is going to stay home and go to the duck camp and hang out. I just hope it won't be miserable traveling with both of them. I am sure they will be great. Besides, it will make it all worth it when we see my brother, Klint, and his family!! I can't wait to see them!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I miss college coaching...maybe...nah!

Ok, I originally started this blog to be all about my family and keeping everyone posted on what's going on in 'our' world, but this post is going to be all about ME!

Yesterday, I had my first basketball lesson since having baby Kennedy who is almost 2 months old. I arrive at the gym to await my new client who is driving in from Shreveport. I go to the back gym to peek through the window and I see that the Lady Techsters are practicing (with the doors closed). I continued to watch and memories of my college coaching days race through my mind. My thoughts were, "Ok, yeah, I miss it a little." Then I see Teresa Weatherspoon (assistant coach) get into action and start clapping and getting all in the players 'grill' to pump them up. I suddenly feel the tears start tingling in my eyes!

My thoughts are, "What? Why do I feel like crying?!? I love my life right now! I don't miss dealing with those crazy 18-21 yr olds!" Then it hit me. Weatherspoon has always been one of my biggest heroes growing up. She is ONLY one of the BEST point guards to ever play! And she has the biggest heart of any person I have ever come across when it comes to basketball.

I could feel her passion through the double doors and it's the same passion that I have for basketball and for the Lady Techster program. It's just been a little tainted over the past few years. What a joy it would have been to have the opportunity to work with her.

Moments later, I began my lesson and remembered very quickly how much I love doing private lessons. It is so rewarding! Plus I have a flexible schedule and I still get to coach the great game of basketball.

So, even as I am rocking Kennedy to sleep at 4:00 am this morning for an hour straight (for the second time), covered in spit up, then having to go calm Landon back to sleep, and get up again two and half hours later, I STILL would rather be doing what I am now than traveling 4 days out of the week and putting up with spoiled 20 year olds!!! Like my mom texted to me just three nights ago, I have the best job in the world!! I wouldn't want it any other way!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kitchen pictures

Ok, for some reason I lost some of the pictures of the new kitchen! :( I am still learning this site!