Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Fun

This may have been Cullen's second Easter, but we celebrated like it was his first. Last year, he was a little lump of a thing. This year, he was a running, talking, laughing little boy. What a difference!

Cullen's school was closed on Friday, so they held an Easter egg hunt on Thursday. Cullen caught on really quickly and started taking eggs from the other kids. Makes a mommy proud... Or not...

James' office was closed on Friday, so I took a vacation day, and we spent some family time together. It was a wonderful long weekend. On Saturday evening, we went to church with Peggy, Andy, and Charly. It was so nice to be back in church. Right now, Cullen's nap schedule conflicts with church attendance. I think I'm going to look into finding a new church with Saturday night services. It might be just what our little family needs. 

Sunday was a busy day filled with lots of cooking, lots of egg hunting, and lots of time visiting with family. My parents came over to spend the day with us, and I prepared a huge lunch. It was so fun to get to spend all of that time in the kitchen, and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. I love sharing food with others!

 After lunch was Cullen's personal egg hunt in our front yard. We loved watching him scout out the eggs, and I can't wait to get him set up for next year. By next year, the true meaning of Easter might even hold some bearing with Cullen. So awesome!
More egg hunting? Okay...
All for me? Whoa!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sleep? What's That?

This past weekend, we went to Austin for a day trip. It was an incredibly busy day filled with an impossible schedule. We left early in the morning, had a family lunch at Salt Lick, dropped James off with friends, Cullen and I went to a wedding shower, then we went to see Tera, then we had dinner with more friends. How I didn't nap on the way home that evening is beyond me. I'm incredibly thankful for James and his driving us to and from Austin.

Of course, a day spent in Austin is pure torture in making me homesick. We drove with the windows down, we enjoyed fresh air, we ate dinner outside. There's no denying that I love Austin. It is in every fiber of my being. Someday, I'll go back for good. Until then, I enjoy my day trips. I can't wait to go back next month!
The best dressed boy at Salt Lick.

Last night was our annual HOA meeting. At last year's meeting, I was voted in as the neighborhood liaison. Meh. I didn't mean to volunteer. Last night, I entered my name in the pot with the intentions of backing out as soon as someone competent stepped up. Lucky for me (or not), no one at all stepped up. I think I'm the liaison again. Not entirely sure. The good news is that I didn't have time to cook. So we ate Whataburger yesterday. Cullen loves their fries. Can you tell?

xoxo ashley

Monday, April 11, 2011


It seems like the days slip past me before I even know they're here. Cullen is such a little chatterbox these days. He is using a handful of two syllable words, and he gets so excited when he gets his point across. Yesterday, he pulled one of his toys up behind the couch, stood on top of it, put his little face right next to mine, and said, "Hey!" That one little word was just so special. He is consistently a little people pleaser, and he is such a joy to be around. Like every child, he definitely has his moments, but the good always outweighs the bad. It seems like he'll be speaking in sentences any day now.

As always, we are keeping busy and trying to stay on top of everything. We finally got to visit my parents this weekend. Like a really great mom, I didn't take a single picture. Parenting fail.

My mom just got a new iPhone, so we spent some time teaching her how to use it, and then we went to Best Buy to get her a cover. My dad just bought a new truck, and he was feeling adventurous. On our way out the door, he handed me the keys. I totally got new car envy. Not that I have any business driving a F-350 Super Duty, but it was super nice. It made my Highlander seem downright sad. My dad really deserves to spoil himself a bit, so I'm really proud of him for taking that step. I'm pretty sure he loves that truck almost as much as his kids.

We also got to spend some great time with our neighbors this weekend. We feel so blessed to have a great network of friends in our neighborhood. I think most of them talk to us because they love Cullen, but I'll take it. We spent a good bit of time outside, and plenty of time inside protecting ourselves from the April heat. I consistently forget how early summer arrives in Houston. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this weather? No? That's probably because I don't.

Of course, Cullen decided to wind the weekend down with a fever, so James is working from home today trying to keep Cullen calm, and I'm trying to get my work all wound up so that I can work from home tomorrow if he still isn't feeling well.

This weekend, we're making a day trip to Austin for a friend's wedding shower. I'm hoping to squeeze in a lunch, dinner, and some bluebonnet pictures. I can't wait!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family Time

Life is always moving at a fast pace. I've learned that you have to keep up, or you'll get tossed under the bus. I think I tried too hard to keep up the last week and a half, so I am crawling from beneath the wheels.

Don't get me wrong here. The last couple of weeks have been pretty great (discounting the whole stitches in my kid's face incident), but the exhaustion took over. I got sick. Really sick. And then I refused to go to the doctor. It takes too much time.

After Cullen's pediatrician urged me to see my ENT, I finally went. Once again, I have the sinus infection from hell. I haven't really eaten in a couple of days, and I've gotten more than 20 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. The doctor gave me a shot to help my general miserable state, then prescribed me some excessive pain meds and an antibiotic with a request for me to eat. I never thought a doctor would actually ask me to eat.

Now, let's focus on the brighter side of things. James' mom came to visit. It was wonderful. Cullen absolutely adores Lynn, and we all got to spend so much time together. We laughed, we played, we shopped. It was awesome.

This past Friday was mine and James' fifth wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. Time seriously does fly. We've been through a lot of tough and interesting times, but we always seem to come out on top. I think the stressful times over the last five years have brought us so much closer, and it makes it an awful lot easier to laugh at the not-so-tough times. We know that we're both strong -- together and individually. I hope James can share in the sentiment that we're lucky to have each other.

We decided to celebrate our anniversary a day early to avoid the crowds in downtown on a Friday night. How old are we? We had dinner at Mia Bella. The food was amazing, and James set up a really great evening. James and I don't usually make a huge deal out of our anniversary. It's date night. There are flowers. We have dinner. You know the drill.

This year, I managed to order some BBQ sauce from James' favorite place in Alabama. The catering department shipped bottles of it straight to our door step. You've never seen such a happy guy. James snuck flowers and my gift into the restaurant early. When we sat down for dinner, the manager appeared out of nowhere to deliver flowers to our table and a tiny little James Avery bag containing a ring I've been wanting for a while. We still manage to surprise each other.

On Friday, James and I each took a vacation day to spend some more time with Lynn. We took Cullen to the Children's Museum in the morning, and we had such a great time. Cullen spent plenty of time playing in the Tot Spot (for kids under 3), and then we ran all over downstairs in the play section of the museum. After a couple of hours, we were exhausted, and we had made the decision that a museum membership was in order for our household. Lynn was more than happy to support our decision, and James and I are already looking forward to our next visit.

On Saturday, James' cousin, Stephanie, drove in from Kentucky with her 5 kids. We all went over to Peg and Andy's to enjoy each other's company and wish Charly a happy birthday. The kids had a great time running all over, and the adults had a great time watching the chaos. I love the Little family. :)
From L-R(ish): Carly, James, Charly, Cullen (with 2 strollers, because 1 just isn't enough),
me, Kellie, Andy, Cassidy, Stephanie, and Lynn. Not pictured: Lauren, Hunter, Peggy.

We decided to brave the Children's Museum again on Sunday with all six kids. As it turned out, it was free day at the museum. The kids had a blast, but the adults all agreed that we would be avoiding free day in the future. After the museum was dinner at Lupe's for 11. 6 kids, 5 adults. So loud, so fun. Cullen hasn't been that calm for a meal since before he could walk. He watched the big kids play, color, and talk. He was so distracted that he actually ate dinner in a restaurant. Now I know who to sit by when we try to eat dinner out with Cullen.

Monday is when I woke up not feeling well. And here we are today. I think the most exciting news in our house (for this very moment at least) is that Cullen is stitch-free. After a quick visit to the doctor yesterday, the last stitch was snipped, and we are on the road to recovery. To be the mother of a son. I need to stock up on more Tylenol.

xoxo ashley