Thursday, August 30, 2012


So this is the last day before our Euro Trip 2012. This year's vacation sort of crept up on us. Translation: we did little to prepare for this getaway.

Previously, we've had a better sense of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. This year, however, the destination was up for debate.

We've always wanted to visit Greece. In fact, we had initially planned to spend our honeymoon in that country. At the time, though, flights were twice as much as the flight to Spain so we chose the latter instead. Thankfully, the flights to Athens were fairly reasonable this year, so we decided to finally visit the great land of the Greeks.

So today has been quite an interesting one. Last night, I felt a little under the weather and when I awoke this morning it was worse. Chris spilled his large coffee all over his desk when he arrive at work and our living room TV sound isn't working. Awesome way to kick off vacation so far, right (insert sarcasm font here)?

Now I'm sitting here at the CareNow clinic hoping they can provide me with some relief. We'll see. Add this to all o the things I need to do to prepare for my two-week absence from work along with getting everything ready and packed for tomorrow's departure.

I don't know how well this trip is going to go. Hopefully, as my co-worker, Christina, pointed out, maybe all this is happening today so that everything else over the next two weeks will go smoothly. I hope she's right... :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby Bowie

My new "niece" has finally arrived! Miss Bowie Caroline made her debut this morning, weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds, 1 ounce. 

Over the19 years we have been friends, Jamie has been like a sister to me so I knew this day would be an emotional ride. Like most major events in your life, you aren't always quite sure what your reaction will be until the moment occurs. Well, I can honestly say, I was a bit surprised by the emotions I experienced. My reaction was that of extreme happiness, relief and a little sadness. 

I found myself  with tears of joy on more than one occasion today. I began reflecting upon our journey together as friends and it really hit me how far Jamie and I have come since first becoming friends in 7th grade. It's amazing how much we have grown and evolved over the years and where our lives have taken us since 1993. From tater-tot making and Koosh ball-slinging sleepovers, to singing together in choir and on the phone, to talking on the phone everyday, to experiencing first kisses and loves, to helping each other through heartbreaks, to working through silly arguments, to getting past feelings of being left behind, to being a part of each other's weddings, and now having babies, we have always managed to stay "best friends."  

It's amazing how life just starts to move at a pace that seems entirely too fast as we age. I still think of us back in our old bedrooms recapping our 8th grade days (since she and I went to different schools that year, we called each other everyday immediately when we got home from school- we were fiercely dedicated to maintaining our best friend status). Now she's a mother to a beautiful baby girl. And now I'm a little sad. 

Sad we're all grown up and can't go back to those simpler times. Sad that I wasn't there for this significant moment in Jamie's life. And sad that it will be a few weeks before I meet this new addition to our family. But sadness is the smallest of all my emotions today. I am relieved Jamie and baby are both healthy and the process went smoothly. But mostly, I am feeling great joy. I am completely in love with this little lady and elated she's here. 

What I've taken from today (and from most of these milestone moments), is you can't stop life from happening. We can't slow life down or make it wait until we're ready to move to the next chapter. Even though it's hard for me to fathom that my best friend is now a mother, it's official and we have this gorgeous girl to prove it. Bowie is the symbol that life goes on, it grows, it changes and every moment is one to cherish. Looking back brings great memories, but it can keep you from truly appreciating the present.

I'm so thankful for the past Jamie and I have shared as "sisters" but I am extremely excited about our future with Bowie joining us. :) Congratulations to Jamie and Andy on your little miracle! And welcome to the world, beautiful Bowie!

Aunt Jocelyn :)
Bowie's first weigh in.

Mommy and baby- happy, healthy and beautiful. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School

It's that time of the year again when all of the kiddos head back to school. I can still remember the anticipation and excitement of a new year and the idea of a fresh start. Thankfully, I can relive some of those feelings through my nieces and nephew. :)

 I simply cannot believe how quickly these kids have grown up. I still remember helping my mom change Julianne's diaper (first diaper change, p.s.) all those years ago. Now I've blinked and she's starting 5th grade.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we made our nieces and nephew little gifts and my sister-in-law was nice enough to capture the moment of them opening them for me to share-

The morning surprise!
Opening their treats. LOVE Kenzie's (the one on the right) face in this pic.
A girl after my own heart- opening the food first. ;)

They're now officially 2nd, 3rd and 5th graders. Jules is now in intermediate school and here's a shot of her and her dad with her first locker-
This picture made us tear up. She's so grown up now! 
We hope the kids have an amazing school year and continue to do their very best! "Make me an A today!"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo Book for the Bestie

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my best friend, Jamie, is due to have her daughter in less than a week now (according to her due date). I, along with her step-mother-in-law, Jill, and friend, Hannah, hosted a shower for her in San Antonio in July. 

I can't describe what a labor of love this shower was for me. Jamie has been the person I've called my best friend since we were in seventh grade. Since I've known her, she's never had any kind major celebration in her honor. Her birthday parties were always small, quiet affairs. Even her wedding was very low-key (simple ceremony at the JP and then a dinner for family and just a few friends). 

I wanted to make sure this shower was an event she would truly remember and, more importantly, feel special and loved. I think I accomplished what I set out to do, but only she knows for sure. ;)

Below is an album I made for the beautiful mom-to-be to have as a reminder of her special day. I decided to post it on the blog instead of adding the photos one-by-one. I hope you guys like it! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

What a Weekend

So this past weekend was quite whirlwind! We were go, go, go everyday so it made the whole weekend just zip right on by.

The craziness kicked off on Thursday when hubby's sis, her husband and three kiddos came in town and stayed with us for the night. The rest of his family (his mom, his middle sis, her husband and their son) joined us for dinner and dancing. Dancing was provided courtesy of Just Dance 3 on Wii. Our living room was the stage for a kid vs. adult dance off (which the adults won, by the way).

Friday was an errand evening for me and Chris. When we arrived home after work, it was already almost 8:30 PM. After that, I started making my nieces and oldest nephew a couple of back-to-school gifts. All the kids received a bag of Swedish Fish with a note saying "You're O-FISH-ally in ___ grade!" My oldest niece is headed to 5th grade (in her school district, 5th grade is at the intermediate level) so she'll have her first real locker. We decided to buy a mirror for her new space with a note that said, "Life is like a mirror- smile at it and it will smile back at you," along with a little note wishing her a great year. The other two are still in elementary, but we didn't want them to feel less important, so we gave them each a set of pencils saying, "You're so sharp," as well as a wish for an awesome year. We got the the fish and the pencil idea from Pinterest, so I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. ;) You would think making something like that wouldn't take very long, but we didn't finish everything until almost 1 AM. I'm so sad I forgot to take a photo, but I'll ask my sis-in-law for pics when she gives the gifts to the kids on their first day of school next week. :)

Saturday was our youngest nephew's 2nd birthday. He's a huge Toy Story fan so that was his party's theme this year. Since Chris and I were Woody and Jesse for Halloween in 2008, we decided to reprise our roles for this special occasion-
Chris and I with our smaller versions
Sadly, our little surprise did not go over so well with the birthday boy, but the other kids in the play park seemed to enjoy us. :) We had a few kids come over and talk to us and a couple people ask to take photos. It was definitely a fun, memorable experience and we're both glad we did it.

I took some photos of the party and will hopefully post them here soon. Happy 2nd birthday, Jack! :)

After the party, we made our way over to Great Wolf Lodge, a family indoor waterpark resort, to continue our family time.

We started out in the cabana his sis rented by the pool and then Chris went to play pool basketball with our oldest nephew while I hung with our nieces and watched them collect bubbles in the hot tub.Unfortunately, a storm hit our area, so we had to head indoors. This just gave us time for the MagiQuest with the kids. This particular adventure has taken them three visits at Great Wolf to complete. But, in order to finish the adventure, you must defeat the dragon-
Chris and Julianne making their first attempt
After our quest, we had a couple more hours of quality time. We ate, laughed and rapped (yes, you read that correctly) before Chris and I headed home.

Sunday brought a brunch date with the Linvilles. We met Angeleque, Hunter and Hunter's parents at one of our favorite haunts, Oddfellows. We love seeing Hunter's parents because they're such warm, sweet people who are just nice to be around. :)

As an added bonus, we got to meet up with our friend, Suzanne, and brave the crowds at the mall during tax-free weekend. For all the hype, it really wasn't that crowded this year. And after a long day, we ended it with a quick trip to Velvet Taco for my new favorite snack, corn cups-
So that was our crazy, full-of-fun, exhausting weekend. It was fun, but now is time for rest. Have a great week, all!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Surprise

Today, I was the lucky recipient of a sweet surprise gift from my best friend, Jamie. She and I have been official "best friends" since the 7th grade. We have gone through so much over the past few years, but Jamie is about to embark on a new chapter in her life: motherhood. As her best friend, I, of course, wanted to throw her the perfect baby shower (which you'll see later when I finally get around to uploading the photos). As a thank you, she sent me this-
Seriously, how cute is that? A whole package filled with uber-fun goodies. I have to admit, this put me in the best mood today and made me smile from ear-to-ear. My dear friend is about two weeks away from her due date, so the fact that she made the time to go out and get all of this, pack it up and ship it to me in her current state made it all the more special. Thanks, Jamie, for this amazingly thoughtful gift!
Besties and the "bump"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old Habits

So obviously old habits die hard. I guess you could call neglecting this blog a bad habit, right? So I must apologize (as I have every year since launching this blog three years ago) for not writing more like I promised  in January. Not that this is a great excuse, but life has been a little hectic. For what it's worth, I have thought about blogging...I just haven't sat down and actually done it.
Well, fear not, friends! I'm back and ready to write (I hope). I've been up to quite a bit and will share a few of this year's past events soon. For now, I just wanted to say hello and let you know I'm still alive and able to write.
Be back sooooon!