Sunday, June 29, 2008

The boy likes his pajama bottoms!

Quick weekend recap...

Friday night we went out and celebrated Shannon's 18th birthday. Yes, you heard me correct...she's 18. I can hardly believe it myself. It was so much fun. It was the first time ever that I have gotten to go to a bar with my sister and it was a night to remember. We danced all night long. We were at a country and western bar so there was a lot of two-steppin' but we were able to shake what our mama gave us a little! Shan has mad skillz for a white girl! Seriously!

JD had a blast as well. Friday night his "girlfriend" Paige babysat. She's a dear family friend and JD is CRAZY about her! He ran downstairs Saturday morning hollering, "Paige...Paige...Paige where are you?!" We didn't leave until MacKenzie was in bed so she knew nothing of mama being gone. I guess her radar was off!

Saturday night Jimmy and I had a wedding to attend. Two nights in a row we went out, we are crazy like that. The kids went to FuFu and Sammy's house. And again, were in heaven. JD got to ride all over the neighborhood on the Rhino, which made his day! Jimmy and I had a blast at the wedding and sooo enjoyed catching up with good friends. It's always wonderful to get together with friends from high school, some from longer ago than that. It's a bittersweet reminder of how ridiculous it is we let so much time go by between visits.

Today we spent time together as a family. I literally spent all day soaking up every single minute with my precious kiddos. MacKenzie was in the best mood ever (literally, ever) and I drank it in!! JD and I snuggled on the chair every minute Kenzie napped (which wasn't long for some odd reason. I think she was just too happy to sleep). We kept calling each other "Snuggle Bugs". I literally loved every second of it and wish it would have lasted longer!! MacKenzie hit another milestone today (she really is the over-achiever in the family), she waved bye-bye for the first time. I had thought a couple of days ago that maybe she was but figured it was just a coincidence. And then this evening we were playing on the bed and I started waving and saying bye bye, and sure enough, she started waving right back at me with a huge ear-to-ear grin. It was priceless.

I really have to go to sleep b/c we have a very busy week before leaving town on Wednesday, but I have to share an absolutely hilarious story!!

Jimmy got JD down around 9:00 tonight and were hanging out, just spending some time together when Jimmy thought he heard JD. We didn't immediately jump up but after another 5 minutes or so we heard him again and Jimmy went to check. The next thing I hear is Jimmy cracking up laughing and they walk in together.

First let me explain that JD went to bed in a t-shirt and underwear. No pajama bottoms, just his "turtle" shirt and his Mickey Mouse undies. This is what he walked in (at 9:45 p.m.) wearing...

...his turtle shirt and what appears to be his firetruck pajama pants with his blue & yellow striped shorts over them...

...Jimmy removed the blue and yellow shorts and under those were a pair of green Mickey Mouse shorts...


...down Mickey Mouse, hello surfboards...
...yes, those are white shorts with surfboards all over them...

...and under those were the firetruck pajamas.

So Jimmy takes off the firetruck pajamas and....

...wait, there's we see the lighting McQueen shorts with his dinosaur pants under those...

...down Lighting McQueen and off with the dinosaur pants...

...finally, some underwear!

So in all, the child had on 1 pair of underwear, 2 pairs of pajama pants, and 4 pairs of shorts! Y' save we laughed is putting it mildly. Jimmy could barely get the pants down we were laughing so hard and I was snapping pictures left and right!! It was hi-lar-ious! The perfect ending to a wonderful day!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kristin's Cosmetics Giveaway!!

I've raved before about this wonderful seller on etsy and now I can even give a product away. How cool is that! It's some serious great stuff and I want every single one of you to check her store out now!! Gooo!! I just ordered some more and I have my bath water ready. Not would get cold. But you better believe I'll be soaking as soon as it arrives!

So now for the giveaway...

Kristin Cosmetics is going to give one lucky winner a FREE lotion in a custom scent (you choose) and a FREE scented lip balm! How awesome is that! AND - if you'd like to look around and order more, say...some Sweet Dreams bath bombs, she will give you FREE shipping on your entire order! How cool is that!

Photobucket Photobucket

I know you all are just dying to know how to win!! So LEAVE A COMMENT telling me your favorite way to unwind! Be it a long soak in the tub or crawling up with your kids and watching Max and Ruby. Just tell me. I will pick one lucky reader MONDAY, JULY 7TH and Kristin will hook you up!! I'd do it sooner but we'll be out of town for a few days around the 4th! So, comment and check back in Monday July 7th!! Send your friends as well!!

Good luck!

8 Months and Some Extra...

Happy 8 Month Birthday Sweet Girl! Wow...8 months...I can't believe it. When you are 8 months you get to do really cool things like...

I walked in to get her up from her afternoon nap and that is what I saw!! She's standing in her crib! What?! We aren't suppose to be doing that yet!! I am not ready!


She was all smiles until Max jumped up to see her.

MacKenzie isn't really crazy about dogs (or cats)! Which isn't great because we have dogs. Two of them and they were here first. She's okay with them when she wants to see them, but if they even look her way when she's not ready, goodness she gets upset. She blinks her little eyes when they walk by her. It's kind of funny.

Girl loves her some biter biscuits!


After bath time we played in our robe...

Who needs toys when you have a bottle of Infant Tylenol??


What a big girl!

She says, "Oh...I do love me something pink and shiny!"

This is how we spend our free time...she loves to stand!

Sometimes she tries to let go

Mama's baby girl...

On a completely different topic...

I am still trying to get everything washed from being out of town. It's seriously a load of fun. Haha. Sorry, it's 12:31 in the am, I should be in bed. So aside from unpacking and washing, we are in the midst of redecorating JD's room. When we first moved in the room was fire engine red and royal blue. It made me want to hurl. It was Thomas the Train themed, which is fine for some. I however, am not a theme-kind-of-gal. Well, I am, but not commercial themed, hences the cowboy birthday party last year. Disney doesn't need anymore of my money than what I spend on toys and pj's! So we are redoing it - surfer themed!!! And it's totally tubular. You like how I slipped some surf slang in there? We are about half-way done and JD loves it. Last night my mom came over to help me hang the border and the entire time JD kept saying, "Oh mama...this is perfect!" or "I love my new room! I love my new surfboard room!" It's seriously cute! I promise to post photos once it's complete. Just like I posted pictures of the new house. In time...

So, I know you have all been on the edge of your computer chairs waiting for the bloggy giveaway. I thought I'd have this up earlier, but's the clothes people!! So, TOMORROW will be the day! I promise...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Home and Happy!

We are home! Anyone who's traveled to Vegas knows how good it is to be home. To normalcy. To quietness. To real dinners. To normal bedtimes. To my bed. And most of all - TO OUR BABIES.

Traveling after having kids is so different. On one hand it's so much better because you *really* enjoy the vacation and the break from the daily demands of being parents. On the other - coming home is great because you get to see the faces of those sweet little ones you have missed so dearly.

I was so happy to see both of my babies. JD didn't really seem to be happy to see us because that meant he couldn't spend the night at Pa Tim and KK's house and more importantly, couldn't sleep in their bed! MacKenzie was so happy to see us (me). She was all smiles yesterday!!

We reached another sweet milestone today. I just knew MacKenzie was going to start crawling over the weekend while at my mom's, but no. She crawled today!!! She took 4 very good 'steps' on her knees. Yea!!! I knew it would be a matter of days. And I know it will also be any day that she's pulling up by herself. Every time I pick her up our of her crib she's in the upright position trying to pull up. I so worry she's gonna hit her chin!

Back to Vegas...we had a blast! It was the best time ever and such a good get away for Jimmy and I. I so love that man and not that I needed Vegas or a vacation for that matter to remind me, it's just so great to reconnect away from the kiddos.

I wish we could say that we saw a lot of shows or that we are coming back millionaires, but sadly no. However, we made a million new memories with some good friends and laughed more than I have laughed in a while. It was a much needed trip and a great break from the some of the things we are facing as a family right now!

Here are some's our weekend in photos!

Kourtnie and I at the airport at 7:00 in the morning!!

Jimmy and I the first night

Kourtnie, Me, and Shannon at Shadow Bar

Jimmy and Nolan - he's small!! all 7 foot of him!

Our group - Me, Jimmy, Nolan, Shannon, Kourtnie, & Kevin

My man and I




Oh, and check back in a day or two. I have an awesome giveaway from one of the etsy boutiques I purchase from regularly! You don't want to miss it!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Just wanted to pop on really quick and say hello and goodbye. ''Don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello..." Jimmy and I leave tomorrow, early tomorrow, like out of the house by 4:45 according to the drill sargent! Yikes! Which means I should be in bed, but I had to add a few songs, dates, and hopefully a movie to my iPhone. We'll's making me so mad at the moment that I might toss it out the window!

Anyways...we are off to Las Vegas. Again. I am more excited than ever because I am finally not pregnant! Oh, and there is the whole break thing. That will be nice. Of course, I already have a lump in my throat because I am going to miss my babies so much. Namely MacKenzie. Don't get me wrong, I will miss JD too but I know he will be just fine without us. He'll be with his KK and PaTim and he's soo excited. MacKenzie on the other hand is such a mama's girl and really usually just wants me all the time. Plus, she'll be on formula for a few days which she is not use to, nor does she like. I feel like I am abandoning her. *tear* *sniff sniff* So as excited as I am at the moment, I am also gonna miss both of them like crazy. to bed. I probably won't check in until Monday unless I iPhone a blog, which is annoying so don't count on it.


Monday, June 16, 2008

A Little Q&A

In an attempt to put off life's more important (Bible study tomorrow), making a grocery list (again, Bible study here tomorrow), getting my son out of the bathtub (he just finished playing in the mud), and laundry (leaving town Thursday), I thought I'd do a Q&A that I found on Erin's blog.

Favorite Person in the World?
Okay, can a mother choose? It's a 3-way Man, my Boy, and my Girl.

And then of course their is my mother...and sister...goodness, I have a lot of FAVES!

Favorite food? Mexican food and sushi. I really could eat both daily.

Quirks about you? Uhhh...where do I begin? My bed has to be made. I dislike dishes in the sink (you wouldn't know this by looking at it right now, but really, I do hate it). I like to be busy, I don't really know how to sit still. I randomly enjoy dancing to no music.

Any regrets in life? The correct answer would be some profound statement on I am who I am because of the mistakes I made. But seriously, yes. They are the small things. There were things I said and things I did that hurt my mom growing up, I'd take those back. I regret not spending more time with some people in my life.

Favorite Blog recently? Good question. I always love me some Big Mama! She makes me laugh daily and I love her Caroline stories!

Worst job you’ve ever had? Hmm. I am so embarrassed to admit this. Hooters. BUT, it was only for 3 weeks. Literally, I worked there for 3 weeks and then just couldn't force myself to go another day. It was my poor college days and I needed a job, preferably one that didn't involve an office or a desk. So, it was Hooters. Jimmy told me he was embarrassed by me working there and if I didn't quit he'd break up with me. It was a pretty rough time in our relationship as well, so I quit. And burned my outfit, not really but should have.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Just about anything on Dirty Jobs. Anything involving poop.

Favorite Bible verse right now? Great question. There are several on my heart right now...
"The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua1:9

Got any confessions? I pick at my cuticles. Oh, and I have a hard time spending less that $50 at target.

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Funny you should ask. I have my "Vegas Fund" for our trip this week and I have been looking forward to shopping. I don't gamble. I'd much rather have something to show for my money. So probably, clothes...a new BIG purse, and some ridiculous new sunglasses. Or jewelry.

Favorite thing about your house? It's newer than our old house. Not brand new, just circa 2003, not 1978. So, no bugs inside which I love! I also love the paint, floors, kitchen. Everything. I really do love this house. We also have awesome neighbors!

One thing you are bad at? Saving money. Or more, not shopping for the kids, especially MacKenzie.

One thing you’re good at? Shopping...can I say shopping? LOL. I am good at seeing things from other's perspective. Many times I am the one my friends come to for advice for this reason. Oh, and I think I am a good party planner. I love to throw parties. I am already planning my daughter's first birthday and it is 4-1/2 months away.

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? The things we are going through with my brother. We'd be on the other side praising Him. Just like yesterday's sermon, we'd be like Moses and the Israelites - standing on the other side of the Red Sea singing our praise song to our Heavenly Father after watching our very own Egyptian army being defeated. I know we will get there. I know He is fighting for us.

Who would you like to meet someday? I have no idea. I know this is a question that is asked often in surveys but I don't know. I'd love to meet my MeMaw that I never met.

Who is your real life hero? Goodness, right now? Moses and his faithfulness. Real mom, for all she's going through. Angie Smith for all she's going through. Ann Marie for what she's gone through with her sweet Coy.

When are you most relaxed? At my Nana's house or at the river.

What stresses you out? My house being a mess. Packing to go out of town.

Why do you blog? To distress. To talk about my family. To connect with others. To write.

Now copy and repost. Surely there is something you too can put off...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A New Look...

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am working on a new look for my blog. I am about to submit all of requests for the new design. I am excited to say the least. I will also be saying goodbye to the title I have had for the last couple of years. "The Van Fam" will still be in the sub-title, but I will have a whole new BLOG TITLE. You will have to wait to see what it is, but it captivates the best of both my worlds!!! Plus, the pictures I am working on are too cute.

Anyways...just FYI - keep an eye out for it! I can't wait!

As for other stuff...

I think JD is turning into a fish. He has always loved the water, but has always been pretty cautious. He's not one to jump in or leave the steps for that matter - until now. This summer for the first time he finally tried the floaties. We've been trying to get him to wear them for 2 summers now and he's have none of it. Well, Monday we went over to my mom's to swim with Shannon and before I ran by Target to pick up a few things. I thought I'd give the floaties one more shot - and I am so glad I did. JD had a bawl with them and has literally swam the length of the pool a hundred times since.

We've done a lot of swimming this week alone and went back to my mom's today to swim. I ran a few errands while Kenzie slept and KK and JD swam. Those two are buds and he has a blast. He passed out early this evening. I love this swimming and then sleeping thing!!

We have no set plans for tomorrow. We might head out to the lake or just hang at my mom's. I told Jimmy he could decide. nice am I? Regardless, we'll be together as a family and what could beat that. Oh...and just in case you were wondering...5 more days until Jimmy and I leave for Vegas. Whoo hoo! I want to do nothing but lay by the pool and possibly shop a little. Just a little though.

I am gonna grab a pre-midnight snack, read a little, and then go to bed. I am looking forward to church in the morning and want to well rested for praying and worshipping!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quick HFD!

I don't have long because I am about to head out the door to meet a few girlfriends. Happy Father's Day to me. I kid. He gets to go the the 'Stros game tomorrow and see the Yankees in the flesh, so whatever.

I am a couple days behind on my Father's Day posting. It's my kids fault. JD wants to swim and MacKenzie needs updivided attention. It' ok, worth every minute!

I will highlight to of the reasons I love my sweet husband tonight.

One, he's as handsome as he was the day I met him. I know this is a superficial reason, but seriously, he's eye candy and it's the most wonderful things to be attracted to your man. I will never forget the first time I met Jimmy. It was at Sonic. It was only a week or so before school started back, I was going to be a Sophomore. Jimmy was coming back to our school after going to another school in our district for a year. He was there with some friends he knew and was at the time, seeing a best friend of mine. I remember thinking that he was the most gorgeous person I'd ever laid eyes on.

I continued to admire him from afar that year. We never really talked or hung out. I thought he was so out of my league. He was really cool and had that real arrogant attitude, or so I thought. I was the blonde cheerleader, who was more than a little talkative, and usually pretty goofy. We just seemed worlds apart.

The summer before I started my junior year I was dating a friend of Jimmy's. By this point all of the older guys Jimmy hung out with had left and he was hanging out with the people in his class. Just days before school was back in session I was on the phone with Dane, who I was dating. He put my on hold forever and Jimmy got on to chat while Dane was doing whatever. We talked, and talked, and talked. I think my pits were doing some serious sweating I was so excited. We started school and had a class together. We became friends and I was smitten. He had a crazy girfriend who wasn't thrilled. Jimmy had a big New Years party that year and I went b/c by this time, we were part of the same group of friends. I left my jacket over there and it was the perfect oppurtunity to call him. And then he called me. Every night after that. Before long we were dating, and many drama-filled months later, we were serious. That was 8 years ago. Crazy...

And I still think he is as sexy as he was in the Sonic parking lot 9 years ago. I love it. I love the fact that he's the most gorgeous person I will see all day and that he's mine. I am blessed to have my very own Ken doll.

I also love how much of a family person Jimmy is. He loves spending time with us and with his and my whole family. We taken soooo many family vacations. At least 5 a year, usually more. We take trips with just my parents and sister and brothers. We take trips with his family. We take trips with extended family. We stay weeks with my Nana and PawPaw in Mississippi. Seriosuly, he may love my Nana more than me. They are pretty crazy about one another. As close as Nana and I have always been, she pretty much waits hand and foot on Jimmy. It is so funny. I thknk he cares about that woman as much as he cares about anyone else. He is truly something special. Family has always been a huge deal to me. I LOVE being with mine and I am blessed to have a man that loves being with mine as well as is, and a man that my family is crazy about!

I love you my sexy, family man!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

She Done Growed Up

***originally start 6/7 but just now posting b/c I was waiting on pictures***

Last week was a bittersweet week for us as a family. We reached one of those BIG milestones. My sweet sister Shannie graduated from high school. The fact that she graduated isn't that huge because she's very smart and has always done well in school. We weren't actually surprised to see her walk the stage, just more surprised it's already that time. She's officially a high school graduate and will soon be a Freshman at Sam Houston State University.

Her graduation was as fun as a graduation can be. At a school with a graduating class of 930+, one can expect it to be very long. I'm not sure if the teachers took a breath in between names because they were reading them off rather fast. We had a good sized group there - Mom, Tim, Me, Eric, Allison (Eric's wonderful gf), Dustin, Nana, PawPaw, Uncle Chris, Aunt Julie, Uncle Bubba, Aunt Tina, and Chelsea (one of our cousins). We were a little loud and a lot silly. We spotted Shannon early on and spent most of the time trying to make her laugh. By the V's we were all so antsy that we randomly cheered for students. We were that group. Shannon was cracking up and we were having a blast. I am so blessed to be a part of a family that really does have fun wherever we go.

It's picture time

Our wonderful Nana

With Mama who can never get it together for pictures (I love you mommy!)

Mom, Shan, & PaTim

This is what 930+ kids looks like...

Saturday was Shannon's graduation party. It was Luau-Themed and a lot of fun. It was HOT so I spent majority of the time in the pool with the kids. Shannon looked precious and all grown up.

Me and my Kenzie-Girl

Daddy & Kenz

Missing Brother - He's too busy swimming

Pig & Rice

Yes...I said pig! We are authentic. That's what we do!

Cakes & Diplomas

The Grad Girl

Cakes by Patty Cakes


I am so blessed to have that sweet girl as my sister. She's one of a kind. I have never met anyone in my life like her and I am so grateful that God gave her to our family. She has the most sensitive soul. I think she spends life on the verge of tears because she can cry at the drop of a dime. We watched PS...I Love You the other night together and oh my...I think Shannon cried for 95% of the movie. I am not exaggerating.

She's also so unique. She's never been one to follow the crowd. This is something I admire so much in her. Although I have always thought of myself as more of a leader than a follower, I still do care a lot about what other's think. To this day I have a really hard time going out of the house (especially with kids in tow) with no makeup on. It's one of those things that just doesn't bother Shannon. She's never really cared what other's think. We are night and day for sure. Which is why it would never cross my mind to borrow her clothes. We have 2 completely different styles. LOL. Bless her heart. I do pray college does a thing or two for her fashion sense. Haha!

She's an incredible Aunt as well. JD loves his Aunt Shannie so much. He literally thinks she's "it". She's just wonderful with him and the biggest help in the world. I am so blessed that she's so willing to help and enjoys doing stuff with us. I am not sure how I would have made it through the colic with Mackenzie without Shannon. Regardless of what was going on with My Handful, she was always helping with JD. What a precious thing she has been to my sweet little family. She will be missed daily!

I can't wait for her to go off to school. Wait. I can, it's going to be hard not having her around the corner and not seeing her every other day like I have for the last few years, but it will be great. I have no doubt she will do amazing in school. Shan has always been more mature that most her age. She's always had her priorities more in line than so many and has always had a good head on her shoulders. I think she's going to just blossom being away. For the first time in her life I think she will spend more time focusing on herself than others. So much has always been asked of her (being the middle child I think will do that to you - which is why I only want 2) over the course of the last 4 years. She so deserves to not worry about anyone else. Of course, I know Shannon, and I know good and well she'll find someone to worry about.

Jesus, thank you for blessing my life and my family with such an amazing person. She's one of the most precious people in my life. I love her more than she will ever know. I am so grateful to have an amazing relationship with her. I want nothing more than to be best friends with that Sweet Thang until we are old and wrinkly!!

Shan - I love you so and I am so thankful to be able to call you my sister. I admire you soo much. Thank you for soo many years of laughing and crying, fighting and tattling. You were a pain in my rear and I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I have had the best talks with you and I can think of no one else I'd rather get stranded on a deserted island with. I think about these things, and you were up there. Especially since you are pretty tough so I know you could wrangle an alligator for dinner and fight off any cannibals. Plus you make me laugh, and if I am gonna be stuck dying on an island at least I'll be laughing. You are crazy. Thank you for being such a blast to be best friends and sisters with. I could have gotten stuck with a stick in the mud, or a crazy person, but no - I got you! You have more gifts than you realize. I have no doubt that the possibilities are endless for you. Keep being yourself! Have a blast next year but please come home some. I will miss you like crazy. JD will miss you like crazy. And Kenzie will need someone to complain to when her mama is being less than "cool".

Her are some of my most favorite photos of Shannon and I over the years...

She was so little bitty...

We were seriously cool...

Talk about some Easter dresses...

I pretty much knew I was cool here...

She was always the tomboy...please note the 136 bracelets she always wore...

Ahhh...hahaha!!! I have nothing to say.


Shan was a Brace Face

Us girls...

Best Buds...