1.30.2012

Tiny Prints Valentine's Day Cards

Birth Announcements, Graduation Announcements, Fathers Day Cards, Baby Shower Invitations, & More from Tiny Prints

Not only does Tiny Prints offer the incredible selection of Christmas Cards I blogged about a few months ago, but they also have an adorable Valentine's Day selection.  You can order photo cards, kid's cards for giving out at school or daycare, or greeting cards to send to your family and friends.  So many adorable options!

This card would be adorable for Jackson to give to the kiddos at his babysitter's house.
Valentine's Day Cards for Kids I Dig You - Front : Sunny Yellow
Or, Jackson is also a huge fan of cars, so this one would be cute coming from him.
Valentine's Day Cards for Kids Racecar Smile - Front : Ruby.
I think this one might be my favorite, though.
Valentine's Day Cards for Kids Rock Ballad - Front : Black
Only a few more weeks until February 14th.  If you haven't already ordered your cards or bought them for your kiddos to give out at school, check out Tiny Prints.  They have some great deals going on right now!
To make sure you're always in the loop on the great deals, I would encourage you to
follow Tiny Prints on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/TinyPrints)..

1.26.2012

Echols/Deutsch Family Fun

The night before The Deutsch Family had to leave & return to Venezuela, we all went out for some family fun.  There is a place in Southlake called Urban Air Trampoline Park.  It is a huge building with wall to wall trampolines.  There is plenty of space for kiddos to exert their energy, and for adults to feel like they are kids again.  We had a lot of fun (thanks for the great idea, Kath!), and Jackson has been asking to go back ever since.  We'll need to visit again soon.







1.25.2012

Mother/Son Date Nights

Jackson and I have a blast on our date nights.  A few weeks ago, we headed up to Grapevine Mills Mall to visit the aquarium, and enjoy other fun activities.  I cherish these special times with my little boy!










When we got home, Scott had a fun surprise for me!  He went shopping for me while we were away.  He bought me a new workout shirt, a Rangers shirt and an iPhone case (mine had been broken for a long time).  All of these gifts were just because.  Such a sweet and thoughtful thing to do!!  I think I'll keep him.  :)

1.17.2012

Bird feeder

Jackson is an animal lover.  His very favorite are puppies or dogs.  He also really likes to look out for the squirrels, birds, and occasional bunnies in our backyard.  We have 5 or 6 bird nests tucked away in the trees in our backyard right now.  So a few weeks ago, Jackson and I made a little bird feeder with a toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and some bird seed.  It was a fun little pinterest inspired project, and Jackson was excited to watch for the birdies to come eat.  I think it's a little hard for the birds to eat off this thing, though, because there is nowhere for them to land.  I am inspired to up our game and make a more bird-friendly feeder soon.

1.09.2012

Contains almonds.

Has anyone tried these before?!  I bought them at the grocery store this week to bring to work.  I need to have something sweet in the afternoon that isn't completely awful for me.  These gems are perfect.  Dark chocolate cocoa roasted almonds.  They aren't coated in chocolate as you may think...just roasted/dusted in a cocoa powder.  YUM!

I was taking a peak at the list of ingredients, and started to laugh. 
CONTAINS ALMONDS. 
Really?!  Are you sure?

1.07.2012

1 John 4:18

I struggle with anxiety.  I get tense and nervous in certain situations.  I have insomnia because I cannot get my brain to stop over-thinking at night.  I worry about my child, my family, and my friends.  And believe it or not, I worry about strangers.

I was listening to the Shane & Shane station on Pandora, when one of their songs that I had not heard before came on: Your Love.  A snipet of the lyrics:

I'm overcoming fear
With Your perfect love, Your perfect love
You're opening my ears to hear
The sound of a lover's voice
You're calling out, You're calling out
Let me see your face, Your loving face

Your love tears me up
And when it's done
Puts me together
Your love calls me out
Of my death and my failure

When I heard this song, it reminded me of 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear..."  My anxiety is fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of being unable to control situations.  And a complete lack of trust and faith that no matter what happens, it WILL be okay.  I have much room to grow here.  I know these things in my head, but I have to work on knowing them in my heart.  I have to allow the spirit to fill me with the overflowing peace that He promises all of us. I have to learn to live with fearless abandon.

1.05.2012

A football tradition

I'm not exactly 100% on this story, but I just asked Scott the other day, and this is what I recall:
Scott's dad was the mascot for Gainesville football (high school, I guess?) when he was a little boy.  He wore this costume while he was mascot.  His parents kept the costume over the years, and now all of the children & grandchildren in Scott's family have a picture in this little football outfit.  I think it is the coolest and cutest thing ever.  Jackson had such a great time playing around outside in the outfit while I snapped a few pictures of him.  


I want to get this one framed and up in our house.  Precious!!


I can't remember who #44 stands for, but the back #37 is for Doak Walker.  He played college ball at SMU (where Scott's dad also played), and then went on to play for the Detroit Lions.

1.04.2012

2011 at a glance

When I was first thinking back on last year, I thought: bring on 2012, because 2011 was awful.  But then I'm so glad I had the idea to look back through the titles of my blog posts for all of last year (one of the reasons why I love having this blog!).  Because, even though we had some rough months and a few bumpy roads, 2011 was pretty great.  I guess I have a tendency to focus on the few bad things that happened, instead of see the million awesome things.  That's going to stop right now.  Whew, I'm so glad I got that over with.

(My hyperlinks were barely looking like hyperlinks, so to distinguish I made them bold.  Just in case you wondered why there were random bold words throughout this post.)

I started off the year making 2 goals for 2011: 1. Run a 1/2 marathon, and 2. lose 20 lbs.  I succeeded in running that half marathon, but totally failed at losing that weight.  6 of those lbs are gone, leaving me 14 to deal with in 2012.  No big deal, I'm on it.

In February, Jackson enjoyed his first Texas snow.  It was so precious watching him tromp around in snow up to his ankles.  Loved it!

In March, I completed one of the goals on my life list: run a 1/2 marathon.  I'm not sure if I'll run another one, but am so thankful I crossed that one off with my sister by my side.

April was our bumpy month:  2 car wrecks a week apart, 2 cars with hail damage (one of them being a rental car that we had while my wrecked car was in the shop), and a termite invasion.  One expensive month!  But April was also the month that our sweet Jackson turned 2, and I had so much fun planning and celebrating his birthday!

In May, Jackson said goodbye to his crib, and hello to his twin bed.  Later that month, our air conditioner had a clog in the line, and water overflowed to flood Jackson's closet/bedroom.  Nothing that a call to the home owner's insurance, and several fans couldn't fix.  :)

In June, our precious Godson, Landon Michael Tapella, was born to our dear friends Jacqueline and Travis.  He is such an angel baby, and we love him so much!  We also had our roof replaced in June due to the bad hail storms we had earlier in the year.  Funny that the one night it decided to terrential downpour in June, was the same night our roof was partially replaced, and was only 1/2 completed.  There was no tarp to cover it, and we had some unwanted water leaking in a few spots throughout the house.  Scott's closet had a minor flood, and the cedar wood floors had to be replaced.  Whew!

In July, Cousin Luke got to spend a few nights with us while his mom and dad went out of town.

In August we were trying our best to avoid the heat with many trips to indoor play spaces.

September brought a much needed Mexico getaway for me and Scott.  What a beautiful place, and a great time with my love.

In October, I got to take a cooking class with my sister, and Scott took me to see West Side Story.  We also discovered that Jackson hates Halloween Costumes.  Or at least this year he did.  :)

In November, we started weekly play dates with cousins Parker & Preston.  This was the best idea we've had in a long time.  The boys are soo close now, and have a blast together.  I am pretty sure that Aunt G's house is one of Jackson's favorite places in the world.

In December, we spent the month enjoying the Christmas season with family.  And to top off the year, my childhood best friend, Mary, got engaged to a wonderful man named Todd!  I am so mad at myself that I don't own any pictures of Mary & Todd together.  So this one is stolen from Facebook, and will have to do for now.  I am going to rectify this situation as soon as possible.

 Congratulations, Mary & Todd!  I am so excited to be a part of your special day!!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and blessed 2012!!

Christmas Day 2011

Jackson really got into Christmas this year, and loved all of the aspects.  He enjoyed reading his stories and prayers about Jesus.  He loved learning about Santa, and sitting on his lap for the first time.  He had so much fun making Christmas crafts, taking a ride on the North Pole Express in Grapevine, driving around to look at Christmas lights, decorating the tree, and awaiting Christmas morning.  He loved it all so much that he was so sad when we packed up all the Christmas decorations.  He kept saying "I want Christmas!"  Me too, buddy.  It's my favorite time of the year!

Jackson woke up on Sunday morning to find that Santa had paid him a visit!

He went straight for his new bike and started riding around the house.  :)

After checking out everything else Santa brought, he opened his presents from mommy & daddy.


 Who made all that mess?!


After Jackson finished opening presents at our house, we packed up and headed to Mimi & Grand-dad's.  Again, I hope Scott has more pictures on his phone, because I failed miserably at taking them while we were there.  Jackson, Scott, and Luke had a fun time wrestling.

Thanks to Kat-Kat, Jackson discovered one of his favorite games ever.  Hungry hungry hippos has been played about 100 times since he opened it on Christmas Day.  I don't even think I'm exaggerating.

After a fun-filled day at mimi & grand-dad's we headed back home.  We let Jackson stay up a little later than usual so he could play with some of his new toys that we left home.

I'd say this little boy had a great Christmas Day!

Christmas Eve

Our little family was sick over Christmas weekend.  We spent most of Christmas Eve laying around our house, miserable.  But, with the help of 12 hour Sudafed, we packed up and headed to Aunt G's house to spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family.

We made this pizza a few weeks before Christmas, but I just thought it was too fun not to post.  :)  Fun and yummy, all in one!

Here is an updated picture of our christmas card wreath after some of the cards began rolling in.  Soon after this picture was taken, it was so full, we were running out of room.  I LOVE getting everyone's Christmas cards!!  Thank you to all who sent one!

I managed to scrounge up enough strength to bake cookies for Santa with Jackson.  We HAD to have cookies to put out for Santa on Christmas Eve!  J-Man had a blast!

We headed to my sister's around dinner time.  I am hoping there are more photos on Scott's iPhone, because I didn't feel like taking many pictures, so therefore I only have a few.  After dinner & opening presents, the kids decorated cupcakes for Jesus' birthday. 


PP boys enjoying their cupcakes.


Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

1.03.2012

First Shower

A few weeks ago, Jackson took his first shower with daddy.  He was giggling the whole time, and thought it was so fun!  Can I just tell you how excited I am that we are at this stage?  I will still give him baths from time to time, or anytime that Scott isn't feeling up to sharing shower space.  But, this shower stuff is great!

Daddy showers at night.  Jackson bathes at night.  2 birds.  1 stone.  :)  This makes much more sense!

An abundance of yardwork

I mentioned in a previous post how we have several large trees in our front and back yards that produce a plethora of leaves in the fall. Well....I didn't really realize just how many leaves they were going to produce. One day I left for work with a completely visible driveway and backyard, and that very afternoon I returned home to this:



This is just a section of our driveway and backyard.  The whole thing looked exactly like this. Crazy, huh?!  You can't even see the grass or driveway under all those leaves!


Scott spent a morning and afternoon raking and bagging leaves.  He got 4 bags finished. 
A post-Christmas elf came, and surprised us by paying a lawn crew to finish the job.  We are sooo thankful for that surprise - especially Scott!  These 8 bags are the result of the lawn crew.  SO MANY LEAVES!