Spring In Texas Means One Thing…

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BLUEBONNETS!!

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Ask any Texan mom (or, in my case, aunt) and they’ll tell you — Spring means days spent eyeing random fields and highway sides looking for the inky blue petals of our state flower.

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What is it about bluebonnets that makes us go crazy and dress up our children and try to make them sit still long enough to snap a few photos?

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It’s not like we haven’t taken these pictures every. single. year.

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It’s not like it’s *easy* for a toddler to sit still while there are so many pretty flower to touch.

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So many pretty flowers in which to frolic.

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So many pretty flowers in which to… check your e-mail? Yes, this is what Nerds do when you bring them along for “moral support.” He does this all. the. freaking. time.

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River had a great time running through the field of bluebonnets we found.

Such a great time, in fact, that she cried when it was time to go.

“But I wanna play in the pretty flowers,” she wailed, as Nanna carried her back to the car. “We can’t stay here all day,” Nanna replied. “But I don’t want to leave.”

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I guess we’ll just have to come back next year.

Do you like our field of bluebonnets? It’s the *perfect* spot if you live in North Dallas.

There are three huge field of bluebonnets right in front of the JCPenney headquarters in Plano. Here’s the address: 6501 Legacy Drive, Plano, Texas. If you turn right onto Corporate Drive from Legacy Drive, there are spots to park along the road. So awesome!

Do you take photos of your kids in the bluebonnets? Where are your favorite spots?

 

 

River and the Big Red Ball

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Last weekend, we got to play with River and her newest, most awesome toy: A giant red inflatable ball.
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My brother found it at Costco. You air it up and roll it around — kids can play inside it.
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River rolled around in the ball so much it made her hair stand on end. Gotta love static electricity.
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She was laughing and giggling.
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She had so much fun.
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I just love these shots of her laughing.
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So much laughter she couldn’t contain it!
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The Nerd had fun pestering her.
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Soon, though, River got bored and started playing by herself in the front yard.
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The Nerd wouldn’t stand for that. He rolled the ball toward her.
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It went a bit faster (and harder) than he intended and hit her right in the face.
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She fell down…
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…but she was ok, I promise! She just kind of looked at The Nerd like: Seriously!? and then got up and continued playing.
It was really funny to watch. The rest of the weekend, she kept saying, “You knocked me down, Uncle James.” And I would start giggling hysterically.
Of course, I had to make an animation of the action:
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Poor child. She’ll be scarred for life.
No children were harmed in the making of this post. At least, not physically.

Snow Day!

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It is COLD here in Texas.
And by COLD, I mean “oh-my-goodness-I’m-gonna-freeze-my-tushy-off” weather. We knew it was coming, so on Monday night, The Nerd and I packed up and headed to my brother’s house.
It is much a much closer commute for The Nerd from there, and the schools I was scheduled to visit were closer, too.
We had a plan: The Nerd would wake up at 5 am (before it hit freezing) and drive in to work. If school was still in session, I would go about my business as usual.
But when the alarm went off at 5 am, we were in for a surprise. It was 26 degrees outside. And it only got colder.
The Nerd had an important meeting at work, though, and had to commute in anyway. The normally 30-minute drive took 2.5 hours.
I was *really* glad that schools were cancelled.
And so was River!
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She got all dressed up in her purple coat and matching headband. Isn’t she a doll?
She was having so much fun…
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Until the wind started blowing. With the windchill, it felt like it was in the teens outside!
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When the wind hit, she grabbed her hair and didn’t put down her hands the rest of the time we were outside.
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It was really cute.
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The ground really wasn’t cover with snow, per se, just an icy mixture of sleet.
I tried to get her to stomp on it, but she was too light to leave any footprints.
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The road in front of the house was completely iced over, so Andy took her out on it to “skate.”
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I think that one day, my niece will be a daredevil. She *loves* anything that involves spinning or sliding or going really, really fast.
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It was a really fun snow day! We don’t get those very often.
Is it cold where you live? What do you like to do on snow days?

The Worst Word To Teach a 2-Year-Old…

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There is one word … one word that you should never, ever, ever teach a two-year-old.
This word causes the most beautiful child’s face to spasm.
It completely takes away her ability to take a “normal” photo.
It makes me shudder.
The word?
CHEESE.
River is at that fun age where her vocabulary is growing and her imagination is in full bloom.
She loves looking like a princess and pretends to be a puppy and calls everyone around her by their Sponge Bob names (I’m Squidward, in case you’re wondering. The Nerd is Mr. Crabs.)
She dances around her room, emulating Belle from Beauty and the Beast, singing “This provincial liiiifffeeeeee…”
But put a camera in her face and this beautiful mug goes from this:
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To this:
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To this:
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All the while, she gleefully yells, “CHEESE!”
She still is beautiful, though, right? Even with her squinched up face. 
Thanks for looking!

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

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Christmas is Saturday!
Is anyone else excited/freaked out/stressed beyond belief/excited?!
I’m officially on vacation this week, and I was planning on getting *so* much done.
But then Baby Eli was born and my mom busted her ear drum and can’t help Alex take care of the babies.
So guess who is stepping in to help?
Auntie Rena! :)
I’m really excited to get to spend some time with River and Eli, but I’m a little stressed at the change in plans.
I had so many things I wanted to get done around the house and on the blog. I still have a TON of presents to wrap, and we head out of town for holidays with the in-laws on Friday.
Maybe we can make the bloggy things happen.
We’ll see.
But to tide you over for another day (no recipes or book reviews today, sorry!) I thought I’d share some photos of River and Hyrum with Santa Claus from the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Hyrum *hated* Santa. He cried the whole time. I think it’s actually quite hilarious.
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River just kind of sat there and looked at the camera. I’m not sure she knew what was going on.
Are you ready for Christmas? What all do you have left to do?
Thanks so much for looking!

ICE!

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Last weekend, we decided to visit the ICE! Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.
If you’re not familiar with ICE!, it’s a display of ice sculptures that’s 9 degrees inside.
River and Andy in parkas
Because it’s so cold, they give you these HUGE parkas to wear.
They ran out of the smaller size, so River’s was giant on her. It made me laugh.
Brad Jet and Hyrum in parkas
Here are Brad, Jet and Hyrum. His didn’t fit well, either.
This year, the theme was a Charlie Brown Christmas. The ice is colored and pretty much everything is carved from it.
It was really neat. I was afraid my camera would freeze so I didn’t take many photos.
River on the slide
I did pull it out in time to catch River sliding down the ice slide in her giant parka and getting stuck about halfway down.
She just lay there, with her arms up in the air covered completely by the huge sleeves.
What else could she do?
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Brad was waiting at the bottom to catch her.
He didn’t know what to do either.
I’m laughing so hard remembering it.
The slide attendant had to walk up the ice (I can’t believe he didn’t slip!) and pull her the rest of the way down.
Nanna and Pappy
Once we left ICE! we decided to snap some photos with the beautiful Christmas decorations at the Gaylord Texan. That’s Nanna and Pappy.
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I love this photo of Jet, Brad and Hyrum.
Andy Alex and River 4x6
Andy, Alex and River
James and Arena 4x6
The Nerd and Me
River with snowflake
River is so cute.
Even with a snowflake on her head.
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Snowflake? What snowflake?
Thanks for looking!
We bundled up to see the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylor Texan this Christmas. It was 9 degrees inside! Burrr!

Christmas Boots

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Last year, I bought my first pair of Ugg boots.
I love these boots for their comfort and ease. They are the perfect winter shoe!
This week, we’re staying at my parents’ house with my siblings and their children for Thanksgiving.
And I’m wearing my Ugg boots.
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Last night, River saw them sitting in the floor and exclaimed, “Christmas Boots!”
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Umm…Christmas boots?
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So she had to try them on for herself.
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It was so funny to watch her trying to run around the house wearing these hugely oversized boots.
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She was slipping and sliding on the floor.
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But I think she had a great time.
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All’s I can say is…
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I know what *somebody* is getting for Christmas!
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Thanks for looking!
River decided to wear my Ugg boots for herself one evening…she called them “Christmas Boots.”
Halloween Projects