Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Coach!

Yesterday our coach turned 35, and we have been celebrating all weekend! We've had several great meals, cake, chocolate fondue, and a lot of great family time. I'm not sure who had more fun - Jamie or Elise! We also worked in a Mustang baseball game - we won! Jamie said his birthday was absolutely perfect. I'm glad, because he deserves it! :)

The first party (Saturday) - This one included a delicious steak dinner, cookie cake, chocolate fondue, and presents.

A handmade card from Elise

Coach had plenty of help unwrapping his gifts.

We had round 2 today at Jamie's dad's house. Wes took us all to eat at Guadalajara's, then we went back to their house to relax and visit. I think Mom left with more gifts than Jamie! She and Darlene share of love of plants and gardening, and Darlene generously shared a bunch of cuttings from their yard with Mom. While Mom, Darlene, and Elise played in the yard, Wes (who is a professional jeweler) was kind enough to do some work on our wedding rings. Our rings are white gold and were in desperate need of replating. He polished out all the scratches and replated our rings, and they now look brand new again! Dad watched the whole process and was fascinated and impressed by all the equipment Wes has in the house and how talented he is. Of course I had the camera along...

I know I speak for all us when I say I hope we have many more perfect birthdays for years to come.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Every mother can appreciate the beauty of a sleeping child. I've always *loved* to watch Elise while she's sleeping. There is just something so peaceful, serene, and perfect about her. When she was a baby, I used to sit on the floor in her nursery next to her crib and watch her sleep every single night. While I was sitting there admiring my beautiful baby, I would think to myself how quickly she would grow up. I wanted to just freeze that moment in time & capture it so I could remember what she looked like forever.

You've probably noticed that I post a lot of pictures of Elise sleeping. I go up to her room to peek in on her every single night still to this day. Thank goodness she's a heavy sleeper!

Over the course of the years, I've gotten a lot of pictures. Some are angelic. Some are funny. Some are just downright wacky!

She slept in her swing from the time she was about 2 months old until she was 5 months old. I know, bad idea, but it was far superior to how she slept for the first 2 months - ON ME! :) I didn't know the true meaning of exhaustion until Elise came along. Oh the plight of the mommy of a reflux baby.

She went through a phase of sleeping with her arms over her head. I thought it was pretty funny.

This one is cute, but comes with a disclaimer: I didn't actually let her sleep with all those toys and a blanket when she was this small. I would keep a close eye on her and remove them once she was sleeping.

Then there was the "butt in the air" phase.

I still don't know how she managed this...

One of the few times she's fallen asleep on the couch:

Worn out after a fun-filled day at Disney! I think this might be the one and only time she's ever slept in public!

And last but not least...the picture that inspired this post! Jamie and I found Elise like this one night last week...

Sweet Dreams!!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Jamie and I have some very exciting news to share, and I've been dying to talk about it! I've had to wait until everything is official, and I can finally share our news tonight because the school board voted today to confirm Jamie as the new Defensive Coordinator (for the football team) and Head Baseball Coach at Danbury High School. We are trading in our blue and white and becoming Danbury Panthers beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.

This is a bittersweet move for Jamie. We are SO excited about this huge promotion. It's what he has been working so hard to achieve for years now, and he is very deserving. At the same time, Jamie has made a lot of wonderful friends here in Friendswood, and he's become emotionally invested with so many of the kids. He's having a tough time with the idea of saying goodbye.

This is a really neat and amazing moment for me as his wife. When Jamie and I first met and began dating, we talked a lot about his career and his goals. When I agreed to marry him, I was committed to being his partner in every way - which I knew included supporting his career aspirations. We talked at length about the fact that he was not content in the assistant coach role for the duration of his career. We had a few serious talks about the lifestyle of a coaching family. More often than not, promotions come with moves. Jamie knows how close Elise and I are to my parents, and he asked me if I would be willing to pick up and move with him if he got a job offer in another town someday. The moment he asked me this question, I knew he was my soulmate. I have never met anyone else who I loved enough to leave my family for them. So, I made this committment to him - that I would follow his dreams right alongside him, wherever it may lead us. It wasn't even a hard committment to make. The fact that Jamie dedicates his life to working with kids is one of the main reasons I fell in love with him. We all know that teaching and coaching doesn't ever make you rich - but our family is wealthy in many ways nonetheless. ;)

I think that is one of the most amazing things about this opportunity. I was willing to move for him - and now we won't have to (at least not for a while). We've been entertaining a few possibilities for the upcoming school year - one which would have required a move. We've been very torn about what to do should Jamie get offered both jobs. We've prayed about this decision a lot - and my mom has been telling us that we will end up wherever we are meant to be. She was right, of course. The other job fell through the very same week Jamie was offered the Danbury position. Our decision was made for us, and it comes with so many positives. We could not be happier about how it has all worked out.

Jamie has been very selective about where he interviews, because he takes Elise's education very seriously. He only has a few districts in the state where he would be willing to have Elise educated, and if we cannot live in one of those districts, he will not accept a job - no matter the position. He was offered a very similar job last year (DC and head baseball at Palestine High School) and turned it down since there aren't any decent schools in the area for Elise. We've waited 3 years for this to come along, and it's truly a huge answer to prayer. We will be able to keep our house, stay near my parents, and enroll Elise in one of the best school districts in the area for the fall when she begins Kindergarten. We thank God for how He worked this situation out for the best of everyone. He really heard & answered our prayers!

On a more personal note, I can't end this post without expressing how proud I feel. Jamie is an amazing person, father, husband, and coach. During the past 3 years, he has amazed me with his accomplishments. He's been an attentive husband and father, coached TWO state semi-finalist teams, taught & mentored hundreds of kids, and worked towards a masters degree in Education Administration. He will graduate this summer right before he kicks off his first football season as a Defensive Coordinator. I can see the impact he is having on the lives of so many kids on a daily basis. We've had so many parents approach us to thank Jamie for everything he's done for their child. It means so much to hear that - nothing is more important to a parent than their child. I can tell how much the kids love him - we can't seem to go anywhere without running into at least a few! :) I don't know how he's found enough hours in his days to do all that he does. I admire him so much, and I am so proud to be his wife.

I love you, baby. Danbury is getting an amazing coach. GO PANTHERS!!!

Incidentally, although Jamie has expressed how much he will miss blue and white, I am a little excited about the black and's a throwback to my college days!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Disney on Ice

We braved the torrential downpour in Houston yesterday to take Elise to see Disney on Ice. I wondered if we had lost our minds a few times on the way as we avoided flooding streets and all kinds of other road hazards, but thanks to God's protection we made it there and back safely. Elise enjoyed it immensely, and of course Tinkerbell was her favorite part. :) Thank you for the great time, Grandma!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Weekend ~ 2009

It's been a busy, but wonderful Easter weekend.

Good Friday

I saw an ad for an event at Jumpin' Jungle (one of those indoor jump places, like Pump It Up). For only $8 your child got 1 hour of jumping, a snack and drink, a visit from the Easter Bunny, and an Easter egg hunt! I couldn't pass up that opportunity, so Elise and I went in the morning while Jamie went in search of a book he needs for his last class in his masters degree program. He didn't find his book and ended up having to order it on amazon, but Elise and I had a great time.

Jamie surprised us at lunchtime with shrimp from Red Lobster for him to share with Elise and La Madeline's tomato soup and ceasar salad for me! It was a great treat, since I almost never eat at La Madeline anymore, because I am the only one in our house that likes it. Thank you, my love! :)

We took our bluebonnet pictures, and then Elise spent a lot of time playing outside. We came inside, got cleaned up, ate dinner, and went with my parents to see our church's Easter production, Journey To The Cross. It's important to me that Elise understands what Easter means. I think it can be easily overshadowed by the bunny, egg hunts, and other festivities. I want her to enjoy those things too, so it's a tough balance. Hopefully we did a good job striking the balance this year.

I have to add a tidbit about a phone conversation Elise had with Great Grandmother. She mailed some Easter gifts for Elise, so we called to thank her. Elise got on the phone and said, "Thank you for my presents. I hope you send some more soon." Then she proceeded to sing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. I guess we need to work on our thank yous a bit, as well as review our holidays again! LOL


We colored our Easter eggs! :)

The rest of the day was spent just relaxing as a family, which was wonderful!

Easter Sunday

Luke 24:1-7
(1)It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb. (2) They found the stone rolled away from it. (3) When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of Lord Jesus. (4) They were wondering about this. Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightening stood beside them. (5) The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. The men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? (6) Jesus is not here! He is risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. (7) He said 'The son of man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.'"

Our services began this morning on a somewhat somber note as it was announced that a former youth pastor of our church suffered a heart attack early in the morning at his church. At the time of our service the outcome was not known; however, I learned shortly after arriving home that doctors were unable to revive him and he passed away on this Easter morning. It is a great loss, but it is comforting to imagine him celebrating on this joyous day in Heaven with Jesus Himself.

The service was beautiful, and since our senior pastor is recovering from surgery, they brought a former pastor from our church out of retirement to preach this morning. It was very special to me, because Rev. Meador confirmed me in the church when I was only 13 years old. It was wonderful to see him again today.

Since we attended the early service today, we all came home and took much needed naps! This evening we had a very nice family dinner with both sets of our parents. It's been so long since we had quality time with Jamie's parents - it was a really, really nice visit. As usual, mom had a wonderful spread of food prepared for us, including appetizers, steaks, and chocolate fondue for dessert. I ate so much that I am miserable!

April showers bring May flowers

Well, it's still April, and the showers are coming this weekend!

Being a Texas girl, I love seeing the bluebonnets bloom in the spring. I had plans to drive out to Brenham this year to get some pictures, but the timing just wasn't working out for us. I'm still planning on it one of these years, and I'd like to take a professional photographer with me when I go. But for this year, these will do. :) Thanks, Jennifer, for letting us in on your secret spot!! ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fun with iPhone photo apps

I had way too much fun this afternoon, and no one was immune...not even Gizmo! :)

I like to call this one..."Houston, we have a problem..."

Go, mom!

How appropriate for my girl who loves flowers more than anyone I know!