Wednesday, July 30, 2014

10 Years Later...

Wow, here we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary!  It doesn't seem possible since I'm pretty sure we just graduated college a couple of years ago, but when you do the math that's what it comes to.  I could sit here and write something mushy about how amazing Sam is and how he's the best husband, father, and best friend ever (all of which would be true :), but I think I'll go with a different approach this year.

Sam and I have a saying that we often tell each other.  It's "Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good."  I know this sounds a little weird, and most of the time we say it when we're working on a project or something, but I think it applies to marriage also.  If you're constantly looking at other people's marriages and thinking about how perfect they are (which they probably aren't), it will get in the way of seeing the good in your own marriage.  All you will notice are the things your spouse doesn't do or say instead of appreciating what he/she does.

This saying doesn't just apply to our marriage, but also to our family and life in general.  We choose to live in a "good" house instead of a "perfect" house so I can stay home with the kids and we are happy with our two amazing kiddos instead of focusing on growing our family like we had planned for years (we figure it's all in God's hands anyway).  

Luckily (maybe because we look at it this way), our marriage isn't just good, I think it's great!  Do we have disagreements, of course.  Do we but heads sometimes, only when he doesn't agree with me ;).  Do we know that as a whole our marriage is awesome and worth working out any conflict we might encounter, absolutely!  (Also, before we ever got married, we made an agreement that the D word wasn't an option and was never allowed to even be mentioned.) 

So, here's to ten years of ups and downs, smiles and tears, bad looks and belly laughs.  I can't wait to spend many, many more with you!

And, because it is an anniversary post and all, and a pretty big one at that, here's a small recap of our Last 10 years together.

July 30, 2004
Our Wedding Day

 May 2006
Bella Joined Our Family

July 2007
Rufus Joined Our Family

May 3, 2010
Aubrey Was Born
Sam was holding her in this picture, but I cropped that part out.  I think his eyes perfectly reflect love, joy, grief, and all the other emotions we felt that day.

May 18, 2012
Joseph Was Born
September 25, 2013
Sarah Was Born

November 2013
Our Most Recent Whole Family Picture

May 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just Another Everyday

Some days I just can't help but look around and smile.

We don't have to be doing anything special to make me happy.
In fact, sometimes all it takes is sitting outside with my kids while Joseph rides his "bike"

and looking up to see that our sweet, old dog has chosen to lay close to our little girl.

Our oldest and youngest children, if you will. 

Maybe it's because Sam and I went out of town last weekend without the kids (for our 10th anniversary!) and I missed them so much.

Maybe it's because for so long I wondered if we would ever really have a family and now he have two amazing kids.
Maybe it's because this sweet girl has recently started having pretty bad arthritis and it makes me realize just how old she is and how precious the time we have left with her is (she's about 8 1/2 which is pretty old for a giant breed).

Or the fact that Rufus is in the background of so many of the kids pictures (evidence of his love and faithfulness to them). 

Maybe it's because Sarah recently cut some new teeth and is a much happier baby.

Or, after hours days months of trying, Joseph finally mastered the tricycle and is so proud of himself (yay for his legs finally being long enough :).
Whatever the reason, these are the moments I want to remember forever.

One thing is for sure, I'll never take these sweet kids with their precious smiles for granted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ben and Kim's Wedding Weekend

I'm so excited that Sam's brother finally bit the bullet and brought Kim into the family!  I managed to not get many pictures of the two of them all weekend, but I'm telling myself that's ok because they had a paid photographer focusing on them.  So, here's the skinny on Ben and Kim's weekend with very few pictures of Ben or Kim.

Friday, we headed over to help decorate the reception hall and do anything else Ben and Kim needed us to do before the rehearsal that night.  Kim had pinned a shirt similar to this a couple of weeks prior, so I broke out the Silhouette and heat transfer vinyl and surprised her with my version when we got there.  I put it on a loose work-out type sweatshirt for their plane ride to their honeymoon. 

Since they were pretty much finished decorating by the time we got there (our dear, sweet, giant dog had some stomach issues the night before resulting in me needing to steam clean a few large areas of carpet before we could leave), I left Sam to help Ben do guy stuff while the kids and I went and checked in to the hotel.  (Have I mentioned how fun this kid is?!)

The wedding rehearsal was really low key and in their backyard.


Hello, cuteness.

After the rehearsal, we all ate dinner by the pool.  A couple of Kim's friends did an amazing job decorating for the event.  Have I mentioned that my mother-in-law owns a cafĂ© and used to do catering and makes the best steaks ever?

Oh, this boy, he melts my heart.

After dinner, a few of us braved the pool (Sam was supposed to swim with the kids that night, but they guys were all going to a concert and didn't think he would be finished swimming before time to leave, so I was nominated to get in.)

Sarah wasn't too sure about the cold water.

The next day was wedding day.  It was gorgeous!

I might have bribed the toddler with a sucker.

And he might have shared a few licks with this sweet girl.

As I mentioned, I didn't get many pictures of Ben and Kim, but that's ok because I captured a few moments she missed like this one.

The groomsmen were oblivious.

Isn't this a beautiful setting?

Sam's grandparents from Oregon were down and finally got to meet Miss Sarah.

Since I was wearing coral accessories, we joked that Sarah was dressed to be another accessory.

Be still, my heart.

Of course we had to attempt a family picture.

This picture still makes me laugh.  As we were taking a picture of just the two of us, Sam leaned in and whispered, "Your shoes don't match your belt."  Both were coral, but we ordered them from different stores online and they were slightly different colors.  He had been assuring me they looked fine together.  This is him thinking he's hilarious and me telling him that was a dick move.  It was all in good fun and we were actually laughing the whole time.

Sam's other brother, Ty, and his girlfriend, Emily.

I adore the way he looks at his Daddy.

Ladies, he's single.  And in Abu Dhabi for a couple of years :(.  This weekend was the last one all the boys had together until he comes back. 

My sharp dressed boy loves his grandma.

And his Poppy.

The reception hall was gorgeous also (it was at the German American Society of Tulsa)!

Unfortunately, the setting sun and indoor lighting combo in conjunction with the toddler I was chasing and infant on my hip proved to be a little above my photography level, so most of my pictures from the night are sub-par or non-existent. 

After a few attempts, I ended up just putting my camera on the table for most of the night.  Some of our crew would randomly grab it and take pictures, but that was the extent.

In fact, there are pictures that I have no clue who took them.  Like this one of my in-laws.  (But I'm glad they did).

By the end of the night, both of our kids crashed right there in the reception hall where everyone was talking and music was playing and everything.

Sunday morning, we all slept in.  Then, since Ben and Kim weren't leaving for their honeymoon until Monday morning, we all went back out to their house for lunch and pool time. 

Aunt Emily was my saving grace this weekend since Sam was so busy with all his groomsman stuff.  It was nice for my kids to spend so much time with her and form a bond since she lives in Dallas, so they don't get to see her very often.

Kim has a nephew a few months older than Joseph.  They decided they needed to sit in these pool tubes to eat their pizza.

The two little boys are pretty funny together.  Uncle Ben was a good sport and let them "push" him in with their pool noodles.

He got them back by blowing water on them.  Joseph, especially, loved this and kept wanting more.

Because even grown men like to jump in the pool at the same time.

While the guys played around in the pool, the lady folk went inside to watch Kim open her wedding gifts.  Afterwards, it was time to go home so Ben and Kim could have a little down time and finish packing.

Ty, Emily, Aaron, and Brandon all came back to Stillwater with us since nobody had work on Monday.  Joseph thought it was really cool that they came to our house.  Monday's weather was amazing, so we all went to Eskimo Joe's and sat out on the patio for lunch.  Joseph is a member of the Buffy Kids Club, a club they have that sends out coupons for stuff a few times per year.  For his birthday, they sent him a coupon for a free milkshake.  They couldn't have given our ice cream loving little boy a better gift.  He also thought it was super cool that he got to "pay" for it himself by giving them his coupon. 

After lunch, everyone headed home and we went home to take a nap :).