Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Celebration

We celebrated Memorial Day before we left to go home, and we had a blast!

Peter stayed up all night smoking a brisket, ribs, and sausage. He also made homemade potato chips and homemade onion rings.

The food was AMAZING! And Peter was exhausted! Thanks, Pete, for making such great food! I hope you've recovered!

We had fun swimming, talking, eating, playing games, and reading books.

Water fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


After our week in Arkansas, we detoured to Dallas for a quick, spontaneous weekend trip. Our entire Hervey-side-family was all together! Sweet! And Claire just wanted to play with the instruments. What a little musician! :-) I love it! She kept asking and asking to be able to play with the instruments. When we went to Laura and Matt's place, she asked if she could play with the instruments when we got back to Grandmom and Granddad's house. When she went to bed at night, she let me know she wanted to play with the instruments when she woke up the next morning.

She did have fun doing other things, too, but she loved playing with those instruments!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Arkansas Preview

We recently spent a week in Arkansas with Jordan's family. We had a fabulous time! We're in the process of sharing pictures, so I'll post more pictures and more details of the fun we had when I get them.

But in the mean time, I couldn't help but post this picture. It's of my two favorite people in the world! We took Claire fishing for the first time. She was restless - and very tired. I was worried she would fall in the water (because she kept saying she wanted to touch the water, and it was not close enough to touch from the dock). She went over to Jordan to sit with him. And I got this picture. Fabulous.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

God Bless America! God bless those who serve our country! God bless their families! Thank you so much!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reading Time

Claire, the hat girl, reading a book to her baby

Monday, May 14, 2012


Claire and I were reunited today. At first, she looked a bit different and a bit more blonde. She just seemed so grown up -- in some ways. And she was cracking me up with everything she was saying! I just kept laughing and smiling and laughing and smiling.

Then Jordan headed out to work. Claire was fine for a while, but for a few hours after that, it seemed like all Claire did was fuss. She must not be feeling well, and I'm sorry there's not much I can do for her. (I took her to the doctor on Friday, and she has roseola, which is a rash, and a common side effect is irritability. Thankfully, it's not contagious, but there's nothing I can do for her besides give her Tylenol). I'm just thankful I had the patience to deal with her fussiness today. - I'm sure I was able to handle it only because I hadn't seen her for 2 and a half days. That's a blessing. And I hope she feels better soon and gets back to her normal self.

But with or without the fussiness, I'm so happy to be with Claire again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? That's true with many relationships, including mother-daughter ones! Welcome home, Claire! {And I'm also very happy that Jordan is home, too, of course!}

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day - A Different Way

Many people are gathering around their mother's today to celebrate and honor all that they do for their children. I am so grateful for my mom and all she does and has done for me. As I continue to raise Claire, I see more and more of what my mom did that I didn't realize at the time. Thanks, Mom! I couldn't be with her today, but my thoughts are with her!

My Mother's Day is slightly different. Wait - it's totally different. Today I am all alone, and it is actually an amazing, wonderful Mother's Day gift for me! Jordan took Claire to Texas this weekend so he could see his mom. (Thanks, Lou, for all you do and have done, too!) - I already had prior commitments that I didn't feel I could get out of, so I stayed here. So my Mother's Day is actually more like a Mother's Weekend - where I can do anything I'd like to do! I can sleep in, and I can take care of myself. That's so nice to do every now and then. I'm not thinking about how to keep Claire entertained, what to give her for a snack, when she needs to take a bath, or if she has any clean pajamas. I am thinking about how grateful and blessed I am to be her mom. I love being her mom! And I love taking care of her every day. -- But here's a little secret any mom will tell you: A break is ALWAYS nice and very, very appreciated!

So I'm enjoying my day, and my weekend, any way I'd like to. It's been quite lovely. Last night I got a message from Claire. She said, "Good night, Mama. I love you, Mama." It was so sweet. I've listened to it more than once because I love to hear that sweet little voice.

Tomorrow I will rejoin the real world when Claire and Jordan get back, and I'll love taking care of Claire even more because I had a little bit of time for myself.

Happy Mother's Day to my friends and family who get to share in the joy of nurturing and teaching children, whether they are your own or not. Know that your efforts and sacrifices are appreciated - even if the kiddos don't quite realize the full extent of all that you do. God bless mothers.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Do

I got a haircut! My hair was way, way  too long! I'm so, so happy that it's shorter and cuter now! I love it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Claire and I have gone swimming with a couple of our friends lately, and we are both loving it! When Claire woke up from her nap today, she asked if we could go swimming. I didn't feel like going somewhere else to go swimming, but I remembered we have this little baby pool my neighbor gave me. So I got it out, blew it up, and set myself in a chair while Claire played in the pool. One of our neighbors came over and swam, too. We all had a good time!

After I took these pictures, I got plenty wet. I let Claire play with the spray nozzle on the hose. She didn't quite understand that some people or things shouldn't get wet, but she had a fabulous time playing with that hose!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shaker Eggs

This afternoon I decided to make some shaker eggs to use as instruments with kiddos - in primary, nursery, and probably my own home at some point, too. I bought these eggs on sale after Easter, and I just haven't gotten around to making the shakers yet. But today, Claire and I set out to have some fun with this!

She was thoroughly entertained by her three containers, beans, rice, spoon, and eggs.

After a while, she became interested in the hot glue and more and more eggs. We made it work out for the best. I completed a little project, Claire had a blast, and we sat right next to each other the entire time. The best times were when she said, "Woah! I made a mess!" Before we even started, though, I was already planning on sweeping afterwards, so that was no big deal!

I was just getting started at this point. Now I have a big bowl full of shaker eggs!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Thrillin' 30th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Jordan! He's 30 now! (Welcome to the club, Bando! After being in it for 5 months already, I can say it's not that bad, thankfully!)

We had his birthday party at lunch today, since he works afternoons/nights now. (When Jordan mentioned to Claire that she could come to his birthday party, she was so excited and wanted to have it right then and kept talking about how she got to go to his birthday party. It was cute!) Jordan is also studying for a final he has on Friday, so he went to school this morning, (which left me with just enough time to take care of one last surprise....), and then he came home for lunch.

I know Jordan hadn't really been looking forward to this actual day very much because he has to study and work, but after the AMAZING lunch we had, he said, "I wasn't really excited about today. But now - after this incredible lunch - I'm really excited!" We both agreed that it was the best meal that I have ever made for him. (Thank you, Ina Garten, a.k.a. Barefoot Cantessa, for having such an amazing and easy meal I could make!)

We had fillet of beef sandwiches. I forgot to get a close-up of the sandwich, but it's a French baguette, black truffle butter, a beef tenderloin that I cooked at 500 degrees for 28 minutes, salt & pepper, Parmesan cheese, and spring greens. And I must say -- it truly was fantastic! I'm so happy it turned out so well, and I'm so happy it helped Jordan enjoy his birthday! That was my goal!

We had root beer floats for dessert. (Thanks, Stephen, for the great idea!)

Jordan and Claire opened presents. Jordan got some good ones! (I like the looks on his face in some of these pictures!)

And then it was time for Jordan to take a nap before he heads in to work this afternoon. But WAIT! Here's the other surprise!

Thirty reasons I love Bando!

Once we gathered the balloons back up, I put them in the hall and didn't think much about them. The next thing I knew Claire was running through the house with all the balloons - laughing and shrieking with joy! Balloons can certainly be magical and so, so fun!

Happy Birthday, Jordan!