Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 Annual Holiday Newsletter

How Stella got her groove back.  For some reason, that popped into my head as I sit and reflect on 2013.  I think this was the year for the Jordans to find a rhythm in our growing family.  

Like many, we are ever-learning to strike a balance in the cadence of modern life, work, and family.

Palmer is so much fun and such a bright spot in many people's lives.  He continues to be independent, funny, fearless, adventurous, and inquisitive.  But in the last six months, we've seen another side of him: Palmer is thoughtful, gentle, and kind.  I couldn't be more proud of the little boy he has become.
Palmer loves golf, riding his bicycles outside, spending time with his daddy, trucks (specifically fire trucks), swimming, jumping off the diving board, and Curious George.

In the spring, we rented a house at La Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico.  We had such a great week of swimming, beach time, and golf.
We got away for a bunch of weekend trips during the summer, including a Texas hill country weekend for the engagement of my brother and Holly.  He outdid himself with a helicopter proposal over some pool noodles that spelled out, "Holly, will you marry me?"  We couldn't be more thrilled with his choice for a wife.
Earlier in the year, I stepped back to part-time freelancing.  Our family harmony has increased and I'm grateful for all the work Rick puts in to allow options that work best for everyone.  I still freelance produce for the main news networks and work on media consulting projects, including the summer launch of the new cable channel, Al Jazeera America.

Flexible time allowed Palmer to take the summer off from school.  We had many days at the pool and got to join our friends Cydni and Charlotte in their hometown, Park City, Utah for a few weeks in August.
Rick and Adam joined us towards the end of our trip where Rick and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
Rick continues to work at Gardere Wynne in the corporate section.  To his amazement, he's seen the shift in his career from being the low man on the totem pole to being a senior associate within the section.
When not working, he and Palmer like to knock out at least 9 holes on the golf course.  Rick also has a knack for stealing from his grandmother's large Louis L'Amour western book collection and losing himself in the "wild west".

I hope this (online) letter finds you and yours happy and healthy.  We love to hear from each of you and are grateful for all that you add to our lives.

-Bethany, Rick, and Palmer

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rick's Doppelganger

Palmer and I pass this billboard on the way home from school.  For some reason, Palmer has it in his head that the man on the billboard is Rick.

Palmer says, "Why is my daddy on that sign?  My daddy is being funny up there."

I stopped trying to argue with Palmer that the man isn't Rick.

And no, honey, Daddy isn't THAT kind of lawyer.

-Bethany

Monday, November 11, 2013

Self-Sufficiency

Rick and I have been marveling about how self-sufficient Palmer has been in the mornings as of late.

For some time, we've been telling Palmer he can't come downstairs until "the sun is awake".  Gradually, Palmer's definition and our definition of the sun being awake did not quite match up.  Couple that with the sun rising earlier thanks to every parent's favorite time change and we decided to get a clock that could assist with wake up time.

Meet our clock, the magic bunny.  The bunny "sleeps" all night and in the morning "wakes up".
Lately, here's the daily morning routine:

At some time during the 6:00 hour, Rick and I hear little feet run (Palmer never walks in his life, only runs) to the bathroom, we hear the toilet seat slam down, water run from the faucet, and then more running back into bed.

If I choose to open my eyes at this point, I can watch Palmer on the monitor climb back into his bed.  Then he goes back and forth for the next hour or so between sleeping and sitting up to check and see if his "bunny is awake".

As soon (AS SOON) as the bunny wakes up, we hear Palmer run (again, never walking in this house) down the stairs and to our room happily yelling, "The sun is awake! The bunny is awake! The bunny is awake!"

This happy proclamation is always followed with, "I need milk."  Then, Palmer leaves our room, goes to the kitchen, and gets his pre-poured milk cup out of the fridge.  With the milk cup in hand, he climbs into our bed.

Rick and I keep pinching ourselves that during that whole time, we never got out of bed(!).  How nice is this??

All three of us hang out in the bed and watch the Today Show (old habits die hard) for another 30 minutes or so.

Now, if only the dog could let himself out and fill his own water bowl.  I'm definitely gonna have to teach Palmer how to do all of that for Boston soon...

-Bethany

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween Parties

Around here, we get our bang for the buck on costumes.  Between all of the parties and festivals leading up to the holiday, Palmer put on his costume about 5 times BEFORE Halloween Day.

Our neighborhood has a wonderful Halloween festival every year.  
We were disappointed to have to leave (for another party!) right before the costume contest.  We like to think Palmer might've been a ringer for the winner this year.

Palmer's favorite part of the festival?  The drums, of course.
We hosted the playgroup Halloween party in our backyard.  Palmer was convinced the party was his "birthday party" and kept asking for his cake.
 The motley crew:
I was so impressed that after the party Palmer could recall just about all of his friend's costumes.  He was especially starstruck with Matthew the fighter pilot.
For his school party, Palmer and I were tasked with the snack.  Palmer found great ownership in making his "monster cups" (vanilla yogurt died green with crushed oreos) and couldn't wait to share them with his school friends.
We also had fun making orange and white striped Jell-O Jigglers.
As usual, during the party craft time, Palmer continually asked when we could eat the snack.

Finally, snack time!
 Cutie school friends:
And FINALLY Halloween Night...

We started the evening in our front yard with a frito pie and hot dog block party.
And then we were off to Trick or Treating!
Palmer had been practicing for a few days and was ready to "go ask that lady for some candy".

We teamed up with the Evans' and the Harmelings for the evening.
 Wolverine and Robin.
Precious Minnie Mouse:
Palmer and Finn lucked out on this house.  There was a whole bucket of candy with nobody guarding it.
 Angela is always a fun neighbor to visit.
Whew.  Are you tired yet?  What a fun Halloween year.

-Bethany

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Come and Get Your Ice Cream!

We started talking about Halloween back in August (I'm a planner, people).  From the start, Palmer came up with the idea of dressing as an ice cream truck driver.  When I showed him a picture on the internet, he was completely sold on the idea.

Rick and I thought it would be cute to do a Curious George/Man in the Yellow Hat family theme, but Palmer wanted nothing to do with it.

Back in August:
video
Our ice cream man:
Palmer couldn't believe his luck when Grampi and Grammi showed up one morning with a real ice cream truck.
My dad is very good at constructing things and even outfitted the vehicle with speakers and a music player.
video
Then a friend of Palmer's dropped off some Blue Bell cartons to complete the truck.  The friend has family who works at Blue Bell.  As my sister said, "this costume just keeps getting more and more ridiculous!"
All I know is that Palmer was extremely proud of his costume.  He came up with the idea and was thrilled to be an "ice cream truck driver".
-Bethany