Thursday, December 7, 2017

November Came and Went...

The good news is... we moved back into our house in early November.
The bad news is... it's been a crazy whirlwind of final touches, construction dust, and our normal life... sooo the blog didn't get fully updated for the last month (as Rick likes to remind me regularly.)
So, let me catch you up on November.

We celebrated Rick's birthday with a trip to a fun BBQ place called Ferris Wheelers.

The kids talked us into staying an extra hour to wait for the ferris wheel to open at 8pm and what do you know- Grace wasn't tall enough to ride.  Yeah, that didn't go over so smoothly.  Poor baby.

I let the kids pick what they wanted to give Rick for his birthday and Palmer said he wanted to take Rick cowboy hat shopping.  Hmmm.  So, we went to a Texas tourist trap for the first time ever.
And then the hat inspired everyone to pitch a tent and sleep in the backyard.
The gorgeous weather lent itself to...

...some fun train time with cousins:

...Cub Scout hiking:
....and November boating with Pops:
Miss Grace is still loving dance, especially with her friends Ainsleigh and Blake.  She does dance shows for us all the time at home and takes her class very seriously every week.

Palmer made tickets to one of Grace's dance shows at home.
The parents had an open house at ballet one Friday.  I die over these videos.
Grace was adorable "skipping" until she thought that the parents were laughing AT her...
Rick and I dressed up for a baroque-themed Lakewood party and Rick got a taste of what it's like to wear tights.  All for the kids, of course.
Aunt Samantha hosted her first Thanksgiving this year in Fort Worth.  Despite everyone being under the weather at some point during the week, we had fun ice skating and enjoying the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jordans.  House update photos to come soon.  We are so close to being done...

Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 Annual Holiday Newsletter

The older one gets, the more the years seem to go by in a whirlwind.  But REALLY this time, 2017 is a complete whirlwind filled with temporary housing and construction, a new career path, wonderful traveling, and children who are growing into such dynamic personalities.
We spent a good part of 2017 living in an apartment while the last phase of our mid century "fixer upper" home was completed.  We went back and forth between savoring a time with less distractions and stuff and pulling our hair out because the kids really (really) need a yard to run around and play.  

During our absence, we added a completely new kitchen, mudroom, laundry room, went up with the kids' closet bedrooms, gutted their bathroom, and changed the entire exterior of the home.  We are back in the house and anxiously awaiting the final touches on our kitchen so we can get fully settled.  The wait was worth it and we are enjoying a completed two-year renovation project.
To escape the construction and "homeless" craziness, we escaped for a few wonderful trips.  In June, we joined our dear friends, the Cordell family, and took over Nantucket for the week.  I truly felt like I went back to my motherland.  From the cedar shack to the preppy vibe, we loved the nautical island perfection.  We toured lighthouses, explored on our bikes, and went off-roading in a Jeep on the tip of the island.  We also took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard for a day trip.
We enjoyed the mountains, both in the snow and in the sun.  With several ski trips under our belt, Palmer is proving to have the same love for snow skiing and enjoyed shredding the mountain with us this past season.  We briefly introduced Grace to skis, and she is looking forward to ski school in the upcoming winter season.  Because we love the mountain living so much, we also went back to Park City, Utah in August and escaped the heat and construction (can you sense a pattern?) We filled our days with hiking, biking, and participated in all of the summer mountain tourist traps.
Back home, everyone keeps quite active with their respective interests.  Palmer has especially taken to golf and enjoys regularly playing 9 to 18 holes with Rick in addition to lessons.  For Halloween, he even dressed as a Masters tournament caddy.  He also likes tennis and Cub Scouts when he is not riding his bike or building Lego creations at home.  We are also so impressed with his reading over the last few months and love seeing him tackle new chapter books.
Grace is a spitfire of personality and so much fun to watch grow.  She loves her ballet classes, friends, and being a momma to many baby dolls back home.  She is silly and feisty and passionate about life.
Rick took a leap of faith and moved to a new law firm after almost a decade with his prior firm.  His job has changed a bit, and he is doing more strategy planning in this position. He co-leads a venture capital practice at a national firm, which requires regular travel.  When he's home, I've enjoyed watching him become passionate about golf again, something that fell by the wayside for a few years.
I have also developed some new interests and picked up tennis earlier this year.  Some fellow new friends started playing at the same time and we formed a team in the fall.  Although we don't win a ton, we've had a lot of fun learning the game and enjoying the camaraderie.  I am still working part-time and freelancing when the schedule allows amidst managing an active family with a husband who is out of town often.  I also enjoy taking photos of the active family (hence the over-posting of so many photos in this update) and look forward to an intensive photography seminar in Big Bend in a few weeks.
We are grateful for health and supported by a large extended family who nearly all live nearby.  My sister Samantha returned from a 5-year stint in DC and is now living in Fort Worth.  My mother overcame breast cancer earlier this year and we celebrated her life with a girls trip to Cabo.  And my sisters-in-law bless us with more nieces and nephews.  Wylie was born over the summer and Amanda is due with Blakely this Christmas.
Gratitude.  That has been my mantra and focus over the last few months.  As I reflect upon the last year, I recognize that we have so much to be grateful for every day.  I hope this finds each of you happy and healthy and I thank all of you for blessing our lives on a daily basis.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween Fun

We always have a good time around Halloween between the "cooler" weather, fall festivals, and fun costumes.

I keep thinking this is the last year that the kids are going to let me squeeze some creative costumes out of the kids. I like to brainstorm costumes with the kids around August, get a commitment, purchase the costumes, and then tell them, "Oh no, we already bought your costume!" when they come to me mid-October with new ideas like a zombie or a princess.  Oops.  haha.

This year's costumes:

Miss Madeline (with an appearance from Ms Clavel)...

And Palmer was a Masters golf tournament caddy...

We all had fun at the club's fall fest, filled with rides, pumpkin painting, and a costume contest.  Palmer has big memories of his coveted trophy prize when he was a four-year-old Davy Crockett and had high hopes of winning again.  Thank goodness I gave him a pep talk on the way there that there will only be ONE winner, so don't get too disappointed if you don't win.  Unfortunately, Palmer didn't win despite his heavy emphasis on rotating and posing for the judges...
But, we did bring home a little winner...Grace won the costume contest in her age division and big brother was SOOO proud of her!
We also rounded up all of the troops for the annual playgroup Halloween party.  Grace spent most of the evening playing dress up with several of the other little girls and cried her eyes out when I said it was time to leave (at 845 on a school night!)
And finally, Halloween night.  We hit up our empty nester neighbors before going over to the Blythes for some Hollywood Heights fun.

This is what happens when the neighbors forgot it was Halloween...
 Hollywood Heights crew!
Happy Halloween!  Grace and Palmer are asking to be a cheerleader and zombie football player for Halloween next year...

And one more week until we move back into our house.  We are getting so excited!!