TGIF!

This was a tough week. After the horrific shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week, my heart has been extremely heavy. So many people just experienced the worst day of their life and it left me feeling helpless. Wishing that things in our society would change but not knowing what needs to change, how to do it or even how one person could help make a change. It almost felt silly to me, to blog cute pictures of our kids or talk about any struggles we may be facing, when I’m still trying to wrap my head around how something like this could happen in our country. But I want to end this week on a lighthearted note, with something that makes me smile and reminds me of what’s most important in my life. These 4 kiddos. These four people, who I’m trying with everything in to me, to rise as good human beings. So this weekend I will put down my phone a bit more, say yes when they ask me to play with them and remind them of how much I love them.

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Today we went to the Dallas Arboretum (it’s a teacher workday for our district!) I paid a whole heck of a lot more than I did the last time we went (pictures here) and the whole reason I paid an arm and a leg was to get a cute picture of my kids in front of the pumpkin. But life with 4 kids and more specifically our youngest Cal, just doesn’t make that easy. Here are a couple of the outtakes I got of the sweet rambunctious 3 year old….

Here he is being the rebellious younger brother that doesn’t want to stand by anymore…

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Sticking his tongue out at me….IMG_2833-Edit

And intentionally turning his head away from me lol!IMG_2893-Edit

But regardless I’m glad I ended up with that one cute smiling picture up there and it made the outing worth it. Those 4 smiling faces are my WORLD (plus their awesome Daddy) and I’m so glad I get to do life with them. Off to enjoy our 4 day weekend!

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Plano Balloon Festival

IMG_2749-EditFriday we went to the annual Plano Balloon Festival! This was our first time going to the event and I’m glad we had a chance to see it before moving away. It’s a Friday – Sunday event with morning and evening launches and a nightly balloon glow! There are other events throughout the day but as it’s a balloon festival that’s all we cared about seeing 😉 We got there in time to see the evening launch but they ended up cancelling it due to weather which was a bummer. (Even though it was completely clear skies with a very light wind, but what do I know about hot air balloons lol!) But there were lots of food vendors and activities for the kids so the time moved by quickly as we were waiting on the balloon glow.

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This is really the reason I wanted to come at night! I knew the kids would love it! They even let you walk around and see the balloons up close.

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The announcer would do a little countdown and have all the balloons light up at once, pretty cool to see!

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The kids loved all the character balloons and each of them had a favorite that we had to get up close and see! Definitely recommend going it you happen to be local!

Such is the life…

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I saw this meme and it totally cracked me up because it’s COMPLETELY right about military life!

A couple months ago when my husband was selected for Gunnery Sergeant he started talking to the monitor to see where he could get orders to next. We will be finished with recruiting duty in January and it’s always an exciting/anxious time figuring out where will be PCSed (permanent change of station) to next! Pretty quickly afterwards the monitor told us where he’d be going (!!!) but that we’d have to wait a bit for orders. My husband is a combat camera Marine and his MOS and the public affairs MOS will be merging soon, so they were unable to cut orders for us until the merge officially happens. Ok that’s fine, no worries – except that we need to get on the housing list in case we want to live on base and of course the list is months and months long. With each passing week my no worries attitude was slipping further and further away! Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, after my husband bugged the monitor enough he cut us orders  -yay!! – but they still had to be sent up to EFMP for approval (a program that helps make sure people with medical issues get stationed at places that can provide services for them.) So yet again we still waited and waited for the orders to finally hit the system. We thought it’d be no big deal and they would approve them right away! But after a series of phone calls on Friday, it turned out the doctor our son Grayson needs to see is much MUCH further away than we’d like. The EFMP coordinator that I was speaking with told me we could get the orders cancelled if we wanted and that it was up to us. Insert panic mode – trying to decide what’s best for our family and Brian’s career – ekkk! He was really really looking forward to the unit he was headed to and I hated to take that away from him but as soon as he heard how far away the drive would be, he called the EFMP coordinator and cancelled the orders. And just like that we are back at square one! I’m excited and hopeful that we’ll find something out soon and that it will be an even better situation for us. With just 4 months away til we move I hope we find something out quickly! I had already started talking to a realtor, researched school districts, researched place to visit around our new duty station but thankfully hadn’t told the kids yet. I wanted to wait til we had official orders before we said anything to them, to make this move as smooth as possible and I’m glad we did. I’m sure they’ll be fine with anywhere that we go, but this move feels a bit different than all our other moves since we live by family. Our older kids have already started talking about not wanting to move away from their grandparents. But such is the life – moves are just a part of being a military family and honestly they’re one of my favorite parts of this life. Can’t wait to find out where we’re going next!

Cadillac Ranch

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Yesterday my phone told me it was completely out of storage. So I decided it was finally time to transfer over the 11,000+ photos (no joke!) to my computer. But then when I did that my computer told me it was also completely out of storage haha, so I was transferring over photos to my external hard drive when I came across many many dates of photos that I never edited! So that means I get to have a little #throwbackthursday and share some oldies but goodies 🙂

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Two summers ago was our epic road trip from here in Texas up to Colorado! This was one of my favorite trips we’ve ever taken, we all still talk about how much we loved Colorado quite often. Since Texas is gigantic and takes forever to get out of, we decided to stop in Amarillo for the night before making our way into Colorado. While in Amarillo we got to see Palo Duro Canyon and Cadillac Ranch! This place is awesome. There are a handful of old Cadillac’s, nose first in the ground that have layers and layers of spray paint on them. So cool!

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The kids had a blast and loved getting to write their names on the cars. Definitely a cool experience and something worth doing if you happen to be on a road trip through Texas 🙂

Writing our last name!

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Q rocks!

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I’m so glad I stumbled across these photos, I love looking back at old photos and seeing how much the kids have grown 🙂

Dallas Arboretum $1 Days

The Dallas Arboretum is one of the prettiest places you can visit in Dallas! We’ve been a couple times now and the colors are always so beautiful! In August, the admission price is only $1 a person and as a military family with 4 kids I’m always looking for a deal. #noshameinmycheapness I’m pretty sure the reason they make it a dollar is because absolutely NO ONE wants to visit in August because no matter how early you arrive it’s already a bijillion degrees outside – yes it’s a word! – and if it wasn’t $1 it would be empty. IMG_2111-Edit

But thankfully there are suckers like me out there who love a good deal and have a gaggle of kids that make the prettiness, horrible Texas summers and $1 price all worth it.

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I love 3 year olds and their curiosity! This worm was by far the coolest thing he saw all day!

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See!! This place is just beautiful! It always makes me wish I was a better gardener but considering I’ve killed cacti I don’t think a gorgeous backyard of flowers is anywhere in my future.

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Hopefully we’ll be back one more time this fall when they fill their gardens with mounds and mounds of pumpkins!

Palo Duro Canyon

A year ago today we started our week long road trip from Texas to Colorado! Our first stop was Amarillo, Texas which is home to Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States. IMG_0957

This was one of our first hiking trips in Texas and we learned quickly that we were ill prepared for walking around a canyon in 100+ degree weather with 4 kids! We had no water, no snacks and as soon as started hiking we knew this hike won’t be lasting very long. It was a beautiful place though and I wish we had been a bit more prepared to spend more time in the park! Next time 😉

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Those Texas Summers!

I knew it was coming. The incredibly hot summer weather that comes with living in Texas. The other day I was talking to someone about how June had been fairly mild as far as Texas June’s go – insert eye roll. I totally spoke too soon! July is coming in with a vengeance and we are having some hot hot days! We have a tiny back yard here in our rental house, so most mornings I take the kids to a playground somewhere to get their energy out before lunch time. Today we went to Haggard Park in old downtown Plano. It’s a nice green space, with a couple ponds and playgrounds for the kids that were really nice but we stayed all of 45 minutes before we were sweating like crazy and had to go. It’s a great walkable area, with shops and resturants right near by.

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Now that we are on the countdown of our time left here in Texas, I feel like we are go, go, go trying to see as much as we can before we move. This happens everytime we PCS! It’s really one of my favorite things about moving. Living in a place for just three years really makes you get out and explore your own city and enjoy all it has to offer. Still no orders yet, but I’m hoping we’ll hear something this month sometime!

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