Sunday, June 24, 2012

much needed

Kim came to town last week to visit us and it was much needed! She brought Jacob and Emma with her and they played with Audrie and Annie like they were long lost friends. It was wonderful. 

And Kim, Samanthe and I went out for a girls night that was filled with TMI and TLC.

It was so awesome to have Jaocb and Emma here to love on the girls, too. They all played together so wonderfully and Audrie and Annie are still asking for them. 

Annie was giving out snuggles to everyone, of course.

Ok, I'll include this in this post since it was "much needed", too. Jamie gave me the best birthday gift on the planet. HE TOOK THE GIRLS TO ARKANSAS FOR A WEEK. I've been by myself for a week and it's been pure bliss. Of course I've missed them terribly, but I'm only saying that so you won't think I'm a bad person.
 Jamie also got me a ticket to see Porgy and Bess on Broadway. It was great! Thank you, Jamie!
 This weekend my friend Shannon came to visit for a few days and we have been running around town like crazy tourists.
 We saw Matthew Broderick in "Nice Work if You Can Get It". Super fun show!!
 We spent some time shopping in Chinatown.
 We saw Michael Jackson dance on the subway.
 We biked through Central Park.
 We took the Staten Island Ferry.
 And saw Lady Liberty.
 Visited the 911 memorial.
Anyways, it's always great to have friends visit! So if you haven't been up yet, come visit. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Audrie's Preschool Graduation

 Audrie's preschool graduation was last week and we were excited for her!

The lighting on this pic of Annie and I is all wrong, but I still like it. Annie was excited to cheer for "Ah-dee"!
 The teachers called each student up to receive their diploma. It was super cute.
 Annie was adorable sitting in the audience waiting for Audrie's turn across the stage.
 (Don't ask why she's not wearing shoes...!)
 Annie politely clapped for every student.
 Annie did get a little restless so Jamie kept her entertained.
 Finally it was time for Audrie's class. She walked out with her group and I did the thing that I always tell my choir students not to do on stage- I yelled loudly for Audrie and waved my hand wildly at her until she waved back!
 Her class sat down and sang a song first. They gave each kid a chance to do a little solo. Here is Audrie clapping along to her song about her pink dress...
 Then the teacher's let each kid do a dance solo. Audrie rocked it out! :)
 Then it was Audrie's turn to walk across the little stage with her diploma...
 And that's when she decided to get all shy, clutched her diploma to her face, and her hat fell off. Perfect!
 So proud of her!
 I asked her teacher, Ms. Vanessa, to pose for a photo with Audrie and she started to do the typical arm around Audrie's shoulder- but then stopped and said "no wait, this is Audrie... I have to strike a pose with her!".
We have LOVED Audrie's teacher and her experience at pre-school. Ms. Vanessa wrote Audrie a sweet card about how she will miss Audrie's spunk and creativity. And how she knows she will see Audrie on America's Got Talent someday. And she said that she hopes Audrie will always "keep her teachers on her toes". Sounds like Ms. Vanessa knows Audrie very well! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


 Last night I got to do something fun and unusual. I went to the opening night of an architecture gallery and smiled and nodded at my brother Caleb's work he has been creating the past few months.
 I wasn't able to capture many photos of all the displays in the gallery because everyone was very pretentiously hipster and I'm pretty sure you were just supposed to ponder the artistic structures and not snap photos... ;)

Ok, just kidding, it wasn't that snobby- but it was really fun to be proud of my brother and his creative efforts! His work displayed there is really awesome!

I snapped this next picture of a guy who was posing for my camera and being very silly. I tried to make them move so I could get a photo of the art in the window. I think I even made fun of him. Later Caleb told me it was the owner of the gallery. Oops.
 After we left the gallery opening, Caleb and I walked a few blocks to find some dinner and I saw this cool graffiti and just had to make Caleb stop for a photo.
 I really love graffiti. Such an awesome background for photos!
 Caleb, looking all GQ.
 More graffiti.
I had Caleb snap my pic on those cool steps (with my bright red hat and huge yellow purse).

 So we walked a few blocks and came upon this restaurant that ended up being really cool. I don't even know how to describe it, but they had this retro VW van that they converted into a taco stand (inside the restaurant) and also another cool bar on the other side with fun sangrias and margaritas. And the tacos were all really unique, gourmet and very tasty. I loved this place!

Caleb and I share our birthday (he was born on my 12th birthday)... here we are on his first birthday. (let's not even talk about my glasses. 13 was a rough age for me! ha!)

 ...and last night on our belated dinner date. Happy 22nd birthday, Caleb.
I'm proud of you!

Monday, June 18, 2012


 Thirty-four. or 29 again. Either way I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.
Two beautiful daughters who make me laugh (and make me want to pull my hair out) every day. I love them so much!
A job that challenges me to my core.
A husband who has been with me every step of the way.
A new adventure in life.
Friends and family who are there for me.
A God who reminds me daily that it's ok to say "I have no idea what I'm doing".
At least my life is not boring.
 Happy Birthday, to me.
(thank you, Sam, for the beautiful photos)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I interviewed Audrie yesterday and asked her some questions about Jamie. She's so quick and confident in her answers it may seem like I had prepped her, but honestly I hadn't talked about anything before I turned the camera on... these are just her real replies... so precious!

Happy Father's Day, Jamie. You are an amazing daddy and our daughters are so blessed to have you loving on them every day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

annie's bday party

For Annie's birthday last month we decided to take her to her favorite place... ChuckECheese! We thought about throwing a shindig with our new made friends from the park and neighborhood... but honestly, at two years old, Annie wouldn't really know the difference, right?

So the four of us hopped on the A train and headed to the only ChuckECheese in this town... in Harlem.

I love this next photo because of everything it captures... the girls climbing the poles (even though it's clearly marked Wet Paint... can't they read??), us about to miss the train, the lady looking at us like we're crazy... just a typical day for us. Ha!

The girls have come a long way in the year we've been here. They used to HATE riding the train (I never could figure out why), but now it's no big deal (as long as we don't try it too far past naptime).
Here is Jamie just strolling through Harlem with our two little girls. Never would have imagined this in our future.
The odd thing is that once you walk into ChuckECheese, it feels like you could be anywhere. We could be back home... it feels "normal" which is hard to find in this city.
It was a Tuesday evening, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
The girls ran around playing every game in the place.
Annie rode this silly horse for like an hour. She loves it!
We did manage to get them to sit for a few bites of pizza. Samanthe showed up and brought Annie a cute birthday tiara!
A rare photo of the Four of Us. (thank you, Sam!)
Audrie was a sweet big sister and helped Annie put tokens in the games.
Which Annie played each game for about 3 seconds before running to the next one.
A big hug for ChuckECheese!
Doesn't she look rad on this motorcycle?
Dance party!
Let them wear themselves out for a few hours.
Then back on the train home for cake and presents.
Annie was so cute with her cake!

Make a wish!
Audrie helping her blow out the candles...
I got the idea for her cake off Pintereset and it was actually really easy to make. Ok well, the cake was super crumbly and I had to sort of mold the shape of a 2 and hold it together with icing, but it tasted great so it didn't matter! Now the price of the M&M's is story for another time....
Me and the birthday girl! (She's saying "cheese!".)
Time for presents.
Our friends and family from Arkansas were sweet to send us packages for Annie to open. She loved them all!

Annie loves the musical "Annie", so I looked online for an Annie doll and the only one I could find was a vintage one off Etsy (for super cheap actually). So cute!
Jamie put together a scooter for Annie to play with in the park.
Audrie tried to be patient and not steal all the presents for herself, but they were all so tempting!
Jamie giving Annie a practice run on the scooter in our hallway...
A trashed house is a good sign of a fun party, right? (And Samanthe playing with the presents just as much as the girls... ha!)
After a fun day of celebrating, time to snuggle with daddy before bedtime...
Even though Annie won't remember it was still a sweet time of us loving on our birthday girl!