Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Joni

We said goodbye to our sweet little pug dog, Joni this week.  As you all may know, she went blind earlier this year so he had become more of a full time house dog.  Well, this past weekend she went with us to the Moody Cotton Festival.  My brother John gave her a bath one night and she slept in her crate, like she always does.  

Sunday morning Ian put her outside in my parent's backyard to eat her breakfast and do her business but later that day we couldn't find her.  We looked all around the backyard and there was no sign of little Joni.  

Automatically we were worried because she didn't have her collar on because we had taken it off to give her a bath the night before and of course she can't see where she is going.  John and Ian thought maybe the side gate to the backyard had been open this morning and maybe she had wandered off earlier.  

We drove the neighborhood, rode bikes through the neighborhood, put out signs, went door to door asking if anyone had seen her, to no avail.  We even had a couple "false hopes" of people saying they thought they saw her tied up at this or that house, only to find out that person had a different pug dog.  

Joni had been our little girl before our boys came and Elijah and Joaquin had grown up with her.  It has been a hard transition to let her go.  As strange as this sounds, though, God sent us a cardinal bird right before we had to leave my parent's house in Moody, as a signal to let us know Joni had moved on and was at peace.  (Much like the cardinal bird that stayed outside my window when we lost baby #3.)

The boys said sweet goodbyes to her the other day during a special time where we "focused on the love we had for Joni."  I think it was hard not to get to say goodbye, so we all said something special to her for closure.  

We love you little girl!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Moody Cotton Festival 2012

This past weekend was the annual Moody Cotton Festival.  It is always a special start to the fall and every year the boys get older, the more and more fun we have.  The committee that my mother started 5 years ago, Moody Beautification Committee, won first place for their float!  It was amazing and had moving parts!  It is such a sweet, small town tradition and it has been fun to share it with the boys.

This year Ian was one of the 3 judges asked to judge the festival pie contest.  So, he was up at 8am tasting over 30 pies!  (Quite a breakfast!)

Here are a few photos from the weekend.

 Mom reading the boys a night night story before heading to bed.

 Elijah, Joaquin and I waiting outside MiMi and Papaw's house for the parade to start.  It goes right in front of their house!
 Daddy and Joaquin (making his funny face)

Elijah kept saying, "I can't believe there are real cowboys!"  That was an unexpected favorite in the parade.  Second, of course, only to picking up all the candy that was thrown out to them.  (Elijah quickly realized that if you want candy you have to wave at the floats.  It's hard for them to pass  up a cute little kid waving at them.)  Look out, that one is a strategizing smartie-pants.

This was the 'small' rainbow snow cone MiMi ordered the boys!  It covered their whole face when they were biting into it.

Elijah's miniature pony ride

 Joaquin on the pony

MiMi and Joaquin listening to some live country music

The Herbivore 

The Carnivore

Joaquin trying to show us his 'acorn hat' as he calls it.
But now he just looks like he has an acorn nose.

Here is a video of Daddy, Joaquin, Elijah and MiMi going down the 'mega-slide'!

The boys first roller-coaster ride!  They were in the last compartment and Joaquin was laughing and smiling the whole time.  Elijah, on the other hand, was screaming 'STOP!' the whole time.  Afterwards, when we were walking away, Elijah said, "That was fun!  I love roller-coasters."  I don't know if he was trying to cover up how scared he was or if hind-sight made him realize it was pretty fun after all.

And, it always ends in MiMi and Papaw's backyard.
Here are the boys playing in the sandbox.

What a wonderful way to bring in the fall!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Gift of Friendship

Don't you love it when God works things out so perfectly, you couldn't have dreamed it better yourself? Well, that is exactly what God did when he made sure my best friend's son's doctor worked out of Austin. 

Many of you know my very best friend since college, Melissa.  A couple years back, she and her husband made the move from Dallas to Little Rock Arkansas.  They have been extremely blessed by being there, but it was a big move.  

The caveat to their move, though, was the fact that Melissa's precious son, Carson, sees a specialist doctor that only works in Austin and New York City.  So, God made sure that at least once a year, I would get to see my best friend!  Awesome isn't it!  :)

True friendship is such a devine gift.  Melissa and I were friends, cheerleading team members, roomies, stood by each other at our weddings, hand holders during the birth of our children, and everything in between.  Our relationship is one that sustains and grows deeper and wider with age; we are soul sisters -- as we say.  It is truly something God smiled down on the both of us.


Just this week, Mel, Nathan and little Carson came to visit for their anual check in with the doc.  It was an amazing visit.  Ian and Nathan got to hang out.  All the little guys turned into what looked like triplets.   Elijah being 4.5 yrs old, Carson 4 and Joaquin 3 - they are little bosom buddies.  So, it was a perfect time of everyone getting their fix of friendship!

We had a nice dinner at one of our favorite TexMex joints and then had a low key brunch the next day before they headed out.  Here are some pics from our time together:

All the boys huddled around the ipad after dinner was winding down.

Mel and I at dinner.

All the little guys playing outside in front of the fountain.

Nathan, Mel and I at brunch before the made the long drive back to Little Rock.

Love you guys!