Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dunhaven to Redcoat

This time last year, we had officially sold our very first house. 

We bought our first house in the spring of 2007.  Located just off the tollway in Dallas, about a 20 minute drive away from my 20 year best friend, a 15 minute work commute for both Jared and I, 10 minutes from the coveted Northpark mall, and 3 minutes from Jared's best friend since the first grade and his wife that is an absolute treasured friend of mine, we loved our 1950's little house. 

Jared had made the mistake of saying that we should go look at some houses.  Well, of course, to me that meant that we were going to look at houses and buy one.  We looked at three houses in a neighborhood we had our eye on and the third one was a charm.  Jared did not have a prayer in the negotiation arena after I had made up my mind where the Christmas tree was going. 

We had a wonderful time making that house our home.  We painted every room in the house ourselves (some more than once), ripped up carpet, had the hardwoods redone, new front door, shutters, etc.  Jared did a major landscape renovation, in the front and back, and he made it look amazing.

This was the house that we brought Davis home to.  I am pretty sure we did our share of wearing down the floors as we paced back and forth getting him to sleep in those first few weeks.  We found out when Davis was 6 weeks old that we were Tyler bound.  While we were leaving our dearest friends and jobs behind, we knew that this was the Lord's plan for us and felt His decisive hand every step of the way.

Here is a picture of our family after we left the closing on our Dunhaven house.
3943 Dunhaven to...

6015 Redcoat

Jared had seen this house during one of his many mid week trips to Tyler before our move.  When we called about it, it was under contract, with another backup contract behind that.  So, while we loved the location and the style of the house (we have a special place for older looking homes), it had just not been meant to be, so we began our search in other areas.  We had actually found another house and driven down to sign the contract on it. 

Our realtor came in with the paperwork and said, "Not to throw a wrench in your plans, but there is a house that just came out of contract this morning that looks like your style of house.  It's on Redcoat.  Do you want to go look at it?"  Jared and I looked at each other shocked.  We had been comparing every house we saw to the "Redcoat" house, so while the house we intended on buying was great, we just had to take the opportunity to go look at it.  And well, you can guess what happened.

After a year, we still have some bare walls and a lengthy honey do list.  But Jared has already worked his magic to our front yard and we have put a pretty good dent on making it ours.  We look forward to spending many, many years here.

Beginning with the flawless selling/buying house experience to the genuine people we have met to the impact this move has had on our lives, we absolutely see God's plan for us here and praise the Lord for his sovereignty.  From Dunhaven to Redcoat to wherever, we praise the Lord for all of His blessings!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Davis aka The Toddler

So, our crawling machine may actually be coming around to the fact that walking has its perks also.

Last week, he decided that walking with just one of your hands was better than two, and that we should do that all the time. Earlier this week, we were able to talk Davis in to letting go of our hands and walk 6 to 8 steps between us. Thursday night, he realized that he did not have to wait to walk to one of us, he could walk to wherever he wanted to go. And the rest, is history.

To his sweet Sunday school friends, Bailey, Hannah, Shepard, and Will, he will be in your class again soon! And I know Logan and Judson are not far behind either!

Here is a link to a video of Davis showing off his skills. Toddler, a very wise name for this stage :)
Click Here

(Sorry, it may pause on you for a few seconds as it gets more data... But stick with it and it plays the whole thing)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Party Hopping

We usually do not have a ton of places to be at on the weekends, but this Saturday was pretty busy as we did some birthday party hopping to celebrate some special people in our lives.

Saturday morning, Davis and I headed to the waterpark in Canton for Cousin Brynn's 6th birthday celebration.  What a great place!  So family oriented and just the right size!  Very cool feature can have a birthday party there and be allowed in the park an hour before anyone else!  Being able to have some rides there "line free" was awesome for Brynn and her friends.  Unfortunately, we could not stay long.  We were back in the car after about 45 minutes to head home, have lunch, and take a quick nap before heading off to the next celebration.

Davis takes a walk in the wade pool with Gigi

Brynn and her friend Hannah off for another ride down the slide

Next stop for the party bus, Papa B's 70th surprise birthday party.  Dee (his wife) did a wonderful job putting it all together for him.  Jared was in charge of A) getting him out of the house on Friday night and Saturday B) getting him to the party on Saturday afternoon.  Everything worked out, he was surprised, and it was a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, Davis had about as much partying as he could stand by 3:15.  So, we had to head out a little early.  Poor little guy, teething and terrible allergies were making him pretty miserable with sad watery eyes and a runny nose (both from teething and allergies).  So combining that with being woken up from an afternoon nap after about 30 minutes, he was ready to head to the house. 

But it was a great time!  We loved being able to see sweet baby Thomas (Jared's brother's son) and Andrew (Dee's daughter's son).  These three will have lots of fun together one day!

Surprise Papa B!

The three boys - Davis, Andrew, and Thomas (the youngest)

So this is what it must be like to have twins

Papa B with sweet Thomas

Making laps around the banquet hall.  Getting very close!  Still wouldn't call him a walker, but he'll let go of your hands and take 10 to 12 steps.  On his own terms, of course :)

Davis and Cousin Payton

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Splish, Splash, Spray

We headed out to the Faulkner Sprayground yesterday with some friends from MOPS group.  What a cool place!  It is exactly what its name describes, a play area with about four or five water areas that spray water every which way.  There is also a couple of traditional playground areas too.  A really great place for kids that is fun, safe, and free.

Of course, Davis + outside + water = a great time!

Walking through the sprayground

Of course, he found the drain and would have been thrilled to have stayed there the whole time

Davis and adorable friend Bailey (born just 5 days before him)

Gnawing on Mrs. Stephanie's water bottle, almost as fun as playing in the water!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A decade later...

My high school reunion was on Saturday.  I certainly do not feel that it has been a decade since I was in high school, but regardless, it certainly has been.

Sadly, there was not a very high turnout, only about 30/40 people (not graduates and spouses, that would be a total) of just under 200 graduates.  But I had a really good time reconnecting with those that showed up.  Lots of laughter and reminiscing!

Unfortunately, I did not do a very good job of taking pictures...  but here are some that I did get.

Me, Karen Sloan (one of the prettiest, tallest girls ever), and Camille (inseparable best friend since 2nd grade)

Jared and I

Me, Damon Pesce, Camille

Trent, Camille's husband, having quite the time

Sunday, June 13, 2010

No shirt, no shoes, no problem!

The Gigi/Paw-Paw grocery store
No dress requirements here to be able to shop :) !

The Back Nine

Davis and I were able to catch up with Jared Friday afternoon on "the back nine" of his round of golf. 

Gosh, did this boy love it!  Of course, being with Daddy and being outside is always a formula for a good time.  Davis loved riding in the golf cart (especially really fast), was in awe when Jared hit the ball (he jumped every time when he heard the "whack"), and wanted to jump in the lake (no surprise). 

We all had such a good time.  I just love it when the three of us are having uninterrupted quality family time.  This will definitely be a repeated event!

Daddy and Davis, ready to go!

Crawling around on the 17th tee

Cute boys, one caught with a funny face

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

It is almost impossible to explain to a little boy who loves being outside and loves the water that we cannot go outside where there is water everywhere.  He will sit by the door watch the rain, look up at me with sad eyes, and say "Go."

We've gone up and down the stairs, played in the toy closet, gone to the mall, practiced walking.  But we needed something a little different.

This old game never loses its appeal :)  Hope everyone stays dry!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gulf Shores Fun!

Okay, so this is a ridiculously long post.  But I really wanted to document what all we did on our trip to Gulf Shores for reminiscing purposes later on. So, apologies up front!

Highlights:  A sleeping baby on both flights; Davis' face when he saw the ocean; 4 year old Bridger using the phrase "OMG"; The beach house - loved it!; Jared shooting a 78 at golf; Yummy food; the "Allen-jandros" theme song

By day
Wednesday:  We headed to Dallas and stayed with our favorite family, the Gurgs.  Thankfully, we were able to get there in time for the kiddos to get some playtime in before bath and bedtime. 

Thursday:  Jared and I got up at 5:30 and got ourselves dressed and bags loaded in the car before we woke up Davis a little before six.  With breakfast in the car, we were on our way to the airport to catch our 8:15 flight. 
Davis was pretty ready to go back to sleep after we got to the airport, but cousins Brynn and
Bridger and Daddy did their best to play with him so we could get the nap in on the plane. 

The oh-so-wise Aunt Brittany brought the DVD player and a Mickey Mouse DVD for the plane.  And after maybe 10 minutes, Davis was asleep in my arms and slept until about 15 minutes before we landed.  Hallelujah!  Definitely an answered prayer!!  We landed in Pensacola, loaded up the rental, and headed to Gulf Shores. 

First on the agenda, LUNCH.  Davis ate a ton and kept himself very occupied by looking out over the water.  Next, the boys dropped the girls off at Wal-Mart to pick up groceries for the week and the boys headed to the beach house to get settled in. 

Our house was AWESOME!  It looked like we had just stepped foot in a Pottery Barn catalog. It took some serious self control to keep me from packing up all of the gorgeous antique furniture and bringing it home with me.

Davis LOVED pool time with Dad and the cousins in the backyard.  I think he would live in it if he could.

Check out Jared singing - caught you!

Hamburgers poolside for dinner was the perfect cap to a packed day.

Friday:  We were at the beach by 8:45.  Jared and I made the mistake of not hanging back and letting Davis take his nap first, so he was not the happiest of campers.  Davis loves to play in has sandbox at home.  But beach sand is hard to wipe off and it became pretty frustrating for the little guy that was deprived of his morning nap.  He did love the ocean water though!  We headed back shortly and let him get his nap in.

Jared has some work to do over vacation.  This was Davis trying to convince him otherwise

Jared and I made sandwiches for the crew and headed back out to the beach after Davis woke up.  He fared a little bit better this time.  But again, was incredibly happy when in the water, not so much when on the sand.  Although, he did enjoy hanging out in the lounge chairs (that's my boy)!

Brittany and I treated ourselves to some spa treatments that afternoon.  Gosh, I love facials!!

That evening, we all loaded up and headed into town to the coolest restaurant for families I have ever been to.  It's called "The Hangout" and is 110% designed for families.  There is a huge sand pile, a bubble machine, hula hoops, etc for kids to run around and play before and after dinner.  This is a MUST for Gulf Shores visitors.  Davis had a blast dancing to the music and watching all of the kids run around.

Funny face, but this was literally a shot in action of Davis dancing :)

Brynn after the bubble machine

Saturday:  We spent the morning and early afternoon either beach or poolside.  While the days of lounging in a chair, reading an entire book, soaking up some rays are long gone, it was glorious!

After Davis' afternoon nap, we headed to The Wharf for some shopping at local boutiques.  A red balloon provided for about an hour's worth of entertainment for Davis, and Daddy as well :). 

Dinner was at Ginny Lane.  Very yummy food, not a yummy experience.  They lost our order and what should have been an hour long dinner turned to two.  But, Davis held in there and did great!  Although, we did catch him trying to figure out if he could just go to sleep in his highchair.

Sunday:  The boys headed for golf at Kiva Dunes around 8:00, Brittany and her kiddos headed to the beach, and I hung out with the D man at the house.  The beach trip did not last long as storms blew in.  So, Brittany and I took the opportunity to hit up the outlet mall.  My 2nd favorite store is J. Crew, second of course to the J. Crew OUTLET store.  Gosh, I love that place, especially with excellent Memorial Day sales and an extra 20% coupon!  Torrential downpour was in its perfect definition when Brittany went to get the car when we were ready to head back to the house.

The boys came back from golf in time for some pool and beach action before the luau that the resort had planned for that evening.  Unfortunately, there had been storms pretty much afternoon, and even more unfortunate than that was the resort did not really plan for rain.  When we showed up for the luau and saw how poorly prepared they were, we opted for taking some pictures with the leis, getting a refund, and heading into town for dinner. 

We did get a family picture too, but I will have to post later when I get pictures from my sister

By this time, the wait at restaurants were extremely long, especially with a 13 month old.  So, Jared and I ate at a yummy hole in the wall pizza place and the rest of the crew were able to manage the wait for a famous seafood restaurant.

Monday:  Last full day in Gulf Shores, and we decided that while Davis is an excellent "pool" guy, he was just going to have to tough it out at the beach for an extended amount of time.  I mean after all, we were at the BEACH!  And this time, he lasted THREE HOURS!  We found the magic combination:   playing in the sand with cousins, lots of ocean time with Daddy, and about 1/4 a bag of Cheetos while sitting in a lounge chair. 
As close as we got to walking on the beach, but he's getting closer and closer...

We had dinner in that night as were doing laundry and getting things packed up.  Sous-chef Brittany made wonderful spaghetti and incredible homemade pizzas.  My favorite was the tomato, basil, and goat cheese - YUM!  Jared was a fan of the pineapple and Canadian bacon.

Tuesday:  We got up and finished packing and had the sad task of saying good-bye to our wonderful beach house.  I did refrain from swiping any of the goods... but it was hard!  Check out time was by 10 am so we went into town to the local zoo.

The zoo, well, it was kind of like some hippies decided to get together and take care of some animals.  Don't get me wrong, the animals were extremely well taken care of.  But, the zoo's facilities were comprised of some chain link fences and a couple of mobile homes.  But they did have some baby tigers that were beautiful!

After the zoo was lunch at King Neptune's and it was AWESOME!  Hands down the best fried shrimp I have ever had in my life.  Davis gave it two thumbs up as he scarfed down one and a half bowls of applesauce, an entire grilled cheese, and several french fries. 

The trek back to Pensacola to fly out was filled with us laughing nonstop at the comedian Bridger.  Good gosh is that kid hilarious! 

The flight back was as smooth as the one going.  Davis fell asleep pretty instantly after we took off and woke up just shortly before we landed.  I think we have an expert traveller on our hands!  Actually, I give God all of the glory, because I really prayed hard for that one!

In short, we had an amazing time!  The Allens are so much fun and are awesome travel buddies.  The Gulf Shores Excursion will absolutely be a repeat!!

It was just such a blessing to have so much time for the three of us to hang out together.  Even though it did seem possible that I could, but I fell in love with my two men even more over this trip!  Words just cannot express how wonderful it was for us all to have such a long amount of time of uninterrupted quality time together.