May 30, 2011

Pool Parties

Like most people we know, we spent the Memorial Day weekend kicking off summer with pool parties! We attended a party on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Abby was thrilled to be swimming so much. Every weekend after will be such a let down for her!
We were at an apartment community that had the best pool for lounging and kids! Abby loved this little area of fountains- it was perfect for her! She also "swam" in the deeper area with her new swim vest, and enjoyed pouring water on each of us.
Thank you Katy and Ike for having us over on Saturday afternoon! We had fun!

On Sunday after nap, we went swimming with our friends from Marcus' office. We have spent the past 3 Memorial Day holidays at The Porters' pool. It is always wonderful- lots of yummy food! I am certain Abby will wake up from her nap today at school and expect to go swimming! ha!

May 28, 2011

Celebrating Mr. Jenk

Since Friday was Marcus' birthday and the day before a holiday weekend, we both took the day off to hang out. Don't tell Abby- she was at school and thinks we went to work! We won't be able to do that much longer ;)

We went to Starbuck's together and then off to Best Buy for Marcus' birthday present- outdoor speakers! Our house is pre-wired for sound outdoor and we bought the receiver and speakers for his birthday. Our backyard is becoming all that we wanted it to be 3 years ago when we bought our house!
After Best Buy, we stopped into Old Navy. Marcus' shorts are always falling down, so I told him we needed to pick him up a couple of pairs of new shorts- I was tired of him complaining and they literally were becoming capris they hung so low. (see above!)

It was a glorious realization how well this diet works- Marcus walked into Old Navy wearing a 38. All of the 36" shorts were still too big- he walked out with 2 size 34 and a pair of size 33. I FINALLY got him in plaid shorts. I have been working on that for years! Doesn't he look so much better?

We walked around a few stores in the Domain and had lunch at Kona Grill- birthday boy wanted to splurge on sushi! We then visited Tiff's Treats for warm cookies to sneak into the movie :) A BIG diet splurge! They were the substitute for birthday cake since it was one serving and you are done! We saw Hangover 2- funny, but not as good as the first one. You knew more about what to expect this time around.

We picked Abby up from school and little early and had dinner at Chili's where we ran into our friends including Abby's favorite, Mary! One day we will learn, taking her out to dinner during the week isn't worth it! She was a mess, but after a conversation with Daddy outside in the car, she improved.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jenk! We love you!

May 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Jenk

Today is Marcus' birthday and Abby and I couldn't be more excited to celebrate our favorite person! We love him him and down and round and round, to the moon and all the way back!

Here is a special song for the absolute hands down best father in the world and the most perfect husband given to me!

You could take a cup and fill it up
And just keep on filling til it all comes
spilling down the sides
That's what You do in my life
Or watch the sky at sunrise
And see the clouds turn shades I never
knew could make me want to cry
That's what You do in my life
Never mind moderation
You exceed my expectations


I have never loved You more
'Cause You have never loved me less
Than the day before, or the day before
I have never loved You more

Have you ever tried to count the stars way up past Mars?
It will blow your mind
Don't even try to think about infinity
But that's how You love me

Much more than I can contain
A balloon once tethered to the ground,
But could not stick around to stay
Free to fly away
Never mind moderation
You exceed my expectations


I have never loved You more
'Cause You have never loved me less
Than the day before, or the day before
I have never loved You more

I have never dared to dream
Beyond what I've already seen
The day before, or the day before
I have never loved You more

Exceedingly, abundantly more

I have never loved You more
'Cause You have never loved me less
Than the day before, or the day before
I have never loved You more

We hope you have a super special wonderful day filled with all of your favorite things!

Love, Your A Team

May 26, 2011

Playing Outside

We get lots of use from our backyard playground! After 9 months, Abby is finally interested in something other than the swings!
One night this week (in our jammies) when it had finally cooled down, we played in the fort and on the chalkboard.

We colored with our left hand until it get tired and then our right hand. Sometimes, we colored with both!
Here's hoping for a few more cool days of outside fun!

May 25, 2011

Like Accessories Much, Abby?

I bought Abby her first Crocs jibbitz while in San Antonio yesterday. I knew she'd love having Minnie Mouse on her shoe. I gave it to her first thing this morning- she loved it, but was very distraught there was nothing on the other shoe. The girl likes balance. I have no idea where she got that from!
So, I went into my closet and found my old collection of Jibbitz for my Crocs that I don't ever wear and let her pick another one for her right foot. Yea, she wanted them all.

I can't blame her- I'm known to wear more than one necklace or 5 bracelets at a time :)

May 24, 2011

Swimsuit Ready!

Abby woke up this morning and asked me if she could go swimming today? Uh no sweet girl, as much as I'd love to lounge pool side with you, we must go to school and work.
We did have fun swimming on Sunday afternoon. Isn't her little ruffled halter cute? I love it! We bought her a swim vest and she got to explore deeper waters this time. She just laughed as we twirled in the water- about 4 feet deep.

I'm so excited to see how she improves over this summer and to spend more time with her in the pool!

May 23, 2011

Pictures of ME!

I am always the Mom behind the camera! So, I searched high and low for unflattering pictures of myself to compare my weight loss at 4 weeks in and not only do I rarely take pics of myself, I most certainly don't keep the bad ones ;)

But, I know I have family (and friends!) that are out of town curious how the weight loss is going, so these are for you!
I still need to lose weight- I recognize it may be hard to tell since you don't have much to compare, but I can tell a big difference in the way my clothes fit. I have even bought a few things 2 sizes smaller! I have certainly lost the most in my midsection and hips. Going very low carb works- it is hard and I cheated more than once this week, but it works.
Marcus and I discussed last night- we are just getting bored with it. There are a good 10-15 vegetables you can eat- I only like 4 of them. So, we have had those 4 at dinner for 4 weeks. Blah! We have 2 weeks left and then it takes a few weeks to get foods reintroduced. I know we have changed so many bad habits in these 4 weeks and I really think we'll lose more weight as the summer goes on.

Today, Marcus has lost 11 pounds and I have lost almost 16. Friday is Marcus' birthday and we both plan to be really good without any cheating until Friday. We are going to splurge on lunch and sneak a few cookies into the movie theater! We have the day off- Abby is going to school so we can watch a matinee together... Hangover 2.

May 20, 2011

Chaise Lounge

This was supposed to be Momma's new chaise lounge... hmmm. I guess I have already lost it to my little lounger who wanted to sleep on the new patio last night.
We read books after bathtime last night and again this morning. Drawing on the iPad on the couch was also replaced by drawing on the iPad on the new patio!

We knew this was a good idea- she loves to be outdoors and we need a comfy place to sit and watch her. I love that our wifi also extends onto the new patio. A great place for me to do some work when I have it outdoors while my happy little girl runs and plays!

Lots of patio pictures coming!

May 19, 2011

Bye Whitney

I'm sad Abby didn't want to smile for her picture with Whitney because it doesn't show how much Abby loves her. Maybe she looks sad because we were saying goodbye to Whitney.

Whitney is a waitress at Maggiore's, a neighborhood sports bar/restaurant we love to eat at (when we aren't on a diet!) and she is moving to Kansas with her husband who is being transferred in the military.
One of the things that makes Whitney so cool- she is deaf. She can read lips well and speak some. She has been our waitress a handful of times and Abby has fun watching her sign and Marcus and I always try to learn something new from her. It is wonderful to see someone with a limitation not limit them! And, to see a restaurant hire a good waitress and not allow her to be limited!

We'll miss you Whitney!

May 18, 2011

Babies and Blue Hairs

I had dinner last night with my friends Heather, Brandi and Andrea. We ate at Luby's, a favorite of Andrea's since we were celebrating her birthday last week. We love eating there- it is dead by 6:30 when we arrive and closes at 8 ensuring we don't talk past our bedtime.

Brandi brought her 4 month old, Everett to dinner. Andrea called him a 'nugget' and there is no better word! He is a big boy!
We teased Brandi about getting the senior discount since she had meatloaf, steamed broccoli, pickled beets and spinach. Who does that? Skinny healthy Brandi does!
We had the most fun sharing advice with new Mom Brandi and embarrassing our waiter who kept coming by the table at the worst time!

Thanks for a fun evening ladies!

May 16, 2011

Messy Weekend and HCG Update

We had a child free weekend filled with lameness :) Friday night we stayed in, Saturday's highlight was a long nap and after a housewarming party, we ventured out to the grocery store. We are old. I know it now!

Abby spent the weekend with my Mom and sister so that Marcus and I could do a little home improvement- we called it Project FLIP. In the front of the house, we have a guest bedroom, Abby's room, and my craft room. We flipped the guest room and craft room over the weekend.
It involved cleaning out the guest closet, also known as the juggling dump zone! Can you believe how much juggling goods Marcus has acquired? Sheesh! We had shelving in the old craft room closet to move over and the ceiling fan and chandelier had to be flipped. We also sent a car full to Goodwill and I gave a friend a tub full of scrapbooking supplies. It felt good to clean!
Abby's room is in the middle of the other two- so we dumped the furniture from the first room into her room. Thank goodness she wasn't home!
I'll share pictures of our new spaces soon! The guest bedroom is now smaller and more cozy with less sunlight (and without the pesky street light coming in) and a lower ceiling. It is a good room for sleeping! My craft room is now big enough to also be a home office. I can do more in there, enjoy the natural light, and not feel as cramped!

While we were working inside, this happened outside! Our new patio is being poured today! It is 15' wide by 10' deep and will house our new patio furniture nicely! Marcus put it all together this weekend as well. I can't wait to sip lemonade on my chaise lounge while Abby plays!
It was so tempting to eat out and have date nights while Abby was away. I realize how much we celebrate (even the little things) with food. That is one of the habits this diet is helping us to break. We actually ate in, child free, on Friday night. That never happens!

In 21 days, I have lost 13 pounds and Marcus has lost 11. I have seriously stalled and we think it is because I am not eating enough- I just am not hungry! But, my body might think I am starving it and hold on. So, this week I am upping my water and my vegetables to try and get back on track. We have both lost more than 5 inches (10 combined) between our arms, chest, waist and hips. Exciting!

I hope to lose 4 pounds this week- I have a special treat set aside for myself when the happens!

May 14, 2011

Two Cute Girlies

Thursday afternoon Abby and I drove to New Braunfels (about 80 miles south) to attend Kyleigh's, my niece, talent show. On the way, Abby and I stopped in Centerpoint Station to take a potty break and walk around. I love that store! It took all the will power I have not to get a milk shake. They make them with Blue Bell ice cream in the old fashioned blenders on the marble counter. I love Cookies and Cream mixed with Chocolate. So very good!

Abby sat in this cute chair while I was checking out the new Vera Bradley prints and put on glasses. She loves glasses- I guess she indirectly knows that Marcus and I have them and she wants them, too. It is cute!
This is Kyleigh before the talent show- beautiful! She was excited, hyper, and nervous! Her and her friend Kate sang "Our Song" by Taylor Swift and were the first ones to perform. They did wonderful- it was all super cute!
There were 35 performances that night- singing, dancing, gymnastics, piano, cup stacking, karate, etc. It was fun to watch and will be absolutely mortifying in 5 years when these kids look back at home videos! Love it!

Abby stayed in New Braunfels for the weekend. Marcus and I are planning a couple of home improvement projects and thought it was best to do them sans Abby. Pictures to come!

May 13, 2011

The Gun Show

Welcome to Marcus and Abby's gun show!
They crack me up! Right now, our sweet girl has a perfect combination of Marcus and I. I just love her and her funny personality so much! I'm sure you couldn't tell!

May 11, 2011

Swimming Pool Time

Our neighborhood pool opened up this weekend much to the delight of Abby Lu. She has been practicing swimming in the bath tub for weeks ready to make her swimsuit debut!

After nap, she ate her sugar free popsicle and got ready to go swimming. I overbought this year and she had 4 swimsuits to select from. I bought 2 last year, forgot about them, and bought two more this Spring. She picked this Gap clearance suit- I should have known. It is the only blue one, her favorite!
Can you see the excitement on her face? No fear- I practically had to grab her before she ran deeper than she could stand. She put her face in, splashed, walked under the sprinklers, and practiced blowing bubbles in the water.
We covered her in sunscreen two times per hour and are grateful she stayed white as a lily after our afternoon in the sun. We loved running in the water, pouring water out of her bowls, going after her diving sticks (in knee deep water) and practicing swimming on her belly.
I have to get over how stinkin cute she is before she gets away with everything!

Elephants Bathing

video

We had so much fun watching this elephant at the zoo on Saturday. He covered himself in dirt and then gave himself a bath. Elephants just amaze me- that nose can do so much!

Watch this video and enjoy the laughter in the background. She loved him!

May 10, 2011

Cameron Park Zoo

We took Abby to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco on Saturday. I wanted us to do something fun as a family for Mother's Day and I knew it was now or October! Abby is starting to grasp days of the week and we've been talking about the zoo all week with her. She knew we were going on Saturday. I'd say to her, "today is Wednesday and you get to go to school today. On Saturday, we're going to the zoo to see the animals. It'll be so much fun." Saturday morning, when we told her it was Saturday and asked her what we should do today, she told us "go to the ZOO (yelling zoo) and see the lions, giraffes and MONKEYS (yelling), it'll be so much FUN!" Poor child, she has picked up most everyone of my sayings!
Last year when we came to this zoo, it was muddy and super humid out! This time around it was dry, breezy and in the 80s. So much better and so much more crowded :)

This was her first time on the playground! She did great and slid down, Daddy slid down behind her.
The monkeys were the first place we went since she had been most excited about them. On the bottom left, she is just overcome with joy to see the big monkey waking up and slumbering about. He was all rolled up asleep and you couldn't tell what was what. We look closer and realized his face was smushed into the fence and he had his eyes open looking right at us!
The giraffes are about half way around the big loop that makes up the zoo. You can walk across a bridge and be close to eye level with them. Such pretty animals!
The lions and elephants were great fun for us. The lion was sleeping, but Abby kept yelling at him to wake up and then roaring at him! They also have an educational board about lions with a button to simulate a lion roaring. We pushed it no less than 5 times.
The elephants were bathing when we visited. Very cool thing to see. I'll post the video tomorrow.

We were done with the zoo after about 2 hours and went to Ninfa's for Mother's Day lunch. It was so cool inside and we were hungry! We'd packed snacks for the morning- Marcus and I had an orange and Abby ate animal crackers. She wasn't hungry after all that snacking and looked mighty sleepy!
After lunch I ran into my favorite store in Waco- Spice Village. It is in the same shopping center (red brick strip at Franklin and 4th/University Parks Dr. They have lots of neat little shops in a big open warehouse. Abby found these glasses and made all the ladies in line laugh as she showed them off. Silly girl!
We have plans to spend the weekend in Fort Worth at the end of the summer and visit that zoo. I've heard it is the best in Texas and I've never been!

May 09, 2011

Weight Loss Fiesta

I had to throw in some pictures of my cutie from Cinco de Mayo. I love her little Carter's dress- it was perfect for Cinco de Mayo, but can also be worn other times and places.
We just completed week 2 of the HCG diet and I have lost 12 pounds and Marcus has lost a little over 9 pounds. We have both lost 2 inches in our waistline!

We struggled a little this week- we both seemed to be hungrier, got a little bored with our food choices that were so exciting last week, and had a few meetings that involved eating out . I gained 1 pound randomly during the middle of the week and it took 3 or 4 days to lose it back. A little frustrating, but I've lost 3 days in a row since then.
We had Mother's Day lunch on Saturday (in Waco after the zoo, pics to come!) and cheated in moderation. We ate at Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant and shared 1/2 pound of fajitas. We had them refrain from bringing chips to the table, each ate one glorious tortilla with meat and grilled onions and we each ate charro beans instead of refried or rice. It didn't seem to impact our loss which is reassuring.

We plan to have a great week- we looked up new recipes, bought some new fruits and veggies this weekend and are super motivated by our results. I've been told you can see it in my face and profile. Marcus is wearing his "skinny" pants already and we've both adjusted our belts one notch. I also bought a dress that almost fits- it is 2 sizes smaller than I normally wear in that brand. I can't wait to wear it this summer!

Stay tuned- Marcus should move under 200 pounds this week and I will likely be the thinnest I've been in 4 years!

May 08, 2011

Mothers' Day

I'll be honest with ya'll, today didn't feel much different that any other day and I mean that as a huge compliment to my husband! We went to church, ate lunch at my favorite place (BBQ) where we do every Sunday, enjoyed our time being productive while Abby napped, spent time together post-nap, did a little shopping with my baby girl, and Marcus made us dinner. I did get to open sweet cards and presents this morning which was special!
Our church takes photos of families free on Mother's Day. It always seems so stressful to get out the door to church, but we are always so blessed for being there. It never fails that the Lord speaks straight to me on Sundays. I cry about a song, a message, a prayer or a family during service every Sunday. This week, I cried at the baby dedication and thinking about all the women hurting today. I remember skipping church on Mother's Day because "if children are a gift from God, why am I not worthy" and I hated the hesitation when the ushers were unsure if they should hand me a flower. I was so grateful our pastor acknowledged women in that position today. I have two friends in our church that have lost children- I know they celebrate with their children in their homes, but also mourn those they can't "mother" today.

I am so very grateful God selected Abby Lu to make me a Mother. She blesses me every day with her compassion, her sense of humor, and her love for me. I love that she is on loan to me!

May 07, 2011

Backyard Love

I've never been an outdoor person. I look awful in shorts. I get hot in capri pants. I burn easily. Swimsuits are from the devil. But, this sweet girl loves to be outside. She wants to play on the swings, in her water table, and eating anything outside makes her giddy with joy!
Check out her cool popsicle stick holder! I found it at Babies R Us- it holds the juice and gives her something not stick to hold onto. It can also be flipped over and hold an ice cream cone! Genius!

So, since we are spending so much time outside, we made a few purchases. We have our favorite handy man bidding on a patio extension this past week. We are looking at bricks or stained concrete. Our current patio is long and shallow- we want to keep the length and extend it 10-15 feet. We also (since it was on sale) bought the patio furniture below. Momma needs a comfy place to sit while Abby plays!

May 06, 2011

Clean Up in the Hamster Aisle

This will go down as our best potty training story to date... after church on Sunday, we had lunch and then walked down to the pet store. Abby loves looking at the fish, birdies, turtles, and hamsters. She loves it so much- she may just forgo a trip to the potty to stay a little longer!
We let her stand in the basket to look at the hamsters and she suddenly froze and put her legs apart... every potty training parents knows what that means. Before I could say anything, I hear a trickle of "water" hitting the floor. Abby was peeing and it went through her p*nties and through the shopping carts holes and onto the ground.

Mortified, Marcus runs out to the car for her change of clothes, wipes and a pull-up. Abby and I talk about telling us she needs to go. While I give the hamsters a peep show and change Abby right there, Marcus goes to discuss the clean up on the hamster aisle.

They are used to this WITH PUPPIES! So, they have a whole section with wipes, little bags for poop or soiled clothes in this case, and disinfectant spray. How nice! Potty training at the pet store is perfect!

May 05, 2011

Hope Garden

We were super early to church on Sunday morning, so we went to our favorite place, The Hope Garden. It is on the church property and just beautiful. Abby loves seeing the waterfall and the Jesus statue and I love capturing her in her pretty Sunday dress!
I love how angelic she looks- the white against the dark of the statue.
She also loved jumping on the rocks bringing some excitement to the serene garden.
We have visited this garden before here and here.

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