We took Julianna's Spring Pics. Can't believe how much she has grown over the past year!
We celebrated Julianna's 7th birthday with a weekend of fun. She had her party at a local ceramics place. The kids painted and created and had a great time, and.......I didn't have to clean up! It was a win/win for me!
On her actual birthday, we surprised her with trip to the equestrian barns at the University where Drew works. She was able to pet and brush some of the horses. She just loved it. From there, we headed to St. Louis and went to Grant's Farm. What a great place! We had so much fun and can't wait to go back this summer!
Jules and I took a mini-vacation to Branson in the middle of July. Mom and Tom drove here from AZ to spend a week with us and instead of coming all the way to Columbia, they stopped in Branson for a few days first so Lauren could drive up from Texas and we could come down from Columbia. It was a great way for all of us to see each other and snuggle up with Mia! It was a great weekend and I am so thankful we were able to see Lauren and Mia. Mom and Tom followed us back to Columbia and spent the week with Jules. Lots of fun was had by all of them. So much so, that they are coming back again this summer to spend a week with Jules!
At the end of July, we took the vacation of a lifetime to the Smoky Mountains. It was so beautiful and peaceful there. We loved everything about it. We rented a cabin for the week and it was the best decision we could have made. We explored the area and fell in love with the peace it offered us. Our jobs tend to be extremely stressful during the summer months and that trip was just what we needed. In fact, we loved it so much that we booked and planned the same vacation for this year! Looking forward to 10 days of R&R in the Smoky Mountain air!
My view each morning!
This is our beautiful cabin. I can't explain the views. They were just incredible!
Can't wait to go back!
Jules loved all of the birds!
My BFF Mariah came down to spend her birthday with us! It was so much fun having her family here!
Jules started 2nd grade! How does she grow so fast? She has really loved school this year and has the most wonderful teacher! She also fell in love with Mizzou volleyball and was able to attend a few of their camps during their 13-14 season, played in their weekly youth league and attended just about every game! Needless to say, we all became big fans! She is signed up for their week long camp this summer and is really looking forward to it!
We had a busy month! We had visitors just about every weekend and took a lovely trip to Michigan at the end of the month.
Rochelle and Reagan came down and we showed them what Columbia and Fulton had to offer. I was so thankful they were able to come for their first of hopefully many visits!
The following weekend Veronica and the girls came down. We showed them around too and even got in a photo shoot for the girls.
The weekend after that, we loaded up the car and made the 9 hour trip to Michigan. My cousin was getting married and it was a great excuse for a long weekend get-away. The wedding was seriously one of the most beautiful I have ever been to and it was so great to see my extended Bush family. We extended the trip by a day so we could explore around the Holland, Muskegon and Grand Haven area. For the life of me, I cannot find my memory card with the pics from our day of exploring. :( Regardless, we completely fell in love. Some day our dream is to winter in Arizona and Summer in Michigan. Pure Heaven.
This month wasn't too busy, but we still had plenty to do. Girl Scouts was in full swing and we had fun at a few events. Lots of Volleyball games, a much needed Girls Night for me, a trip to Des Moines to take family pics of one of my favorite families, a "roaring" Halloween and the birthday of the cutest 1-year-old in the world!!! Good times.
Pretty low-key month. We were able to take a quick trip to Branson during the middle of the month to meet up with my in-laws who have a timeshare there. We packed a lot into the weekend. A trip to the Titanic Museum, some shopping, a show and of course some delicious food. Very thankful we were able to take the trip!
For Thanksgiving we traveled up to Des Moines to spend the day. We had a wonderful dinner with my parents and Grandparents and celebrated Christmas with everyone there. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with everyone.
Jules of course wanted to spend the night with the Chapman family, so Drew and I took advantage of it and actually went shopping on Black Friday together for the first time ever! :) It was really fun. Then after some convincing from the Chapman's, we decided to stay another night.
The following day was Drew's 37th birthday. We took our time coming home from Des Moines and stopped at a few places along the way that we have always wanted to see. I think we went to dinner when we got home, but I can't remember where. But all in all it was a great day and Drew said that he was just where he wanted to be for his birthday - with his family. :)
BUSY month! Things are always busy for both of us at the schools during December. We were both so ready for Christmas Break.
Courtney came down for a Girls Baking weekend and to celebrate Christmas with us since she wasn't in town when we went to Des Moines for Thanksgiving. I love that she is willing to come down to see us so frequently and that she loves it if we have no particular plan in mind. We just take the days as they come and just love being with her!
We were SO blessed to be able to travel to Phoenix to spend Christmas with my Mom and Tom. We almost didn't make it because of the horrible weather, they only had to de-ice the plane 3 times and we took off with almost 2 inches on the ground. Whew!
We rented a house for all of us to stay in and spent 10 incredible days there. It was 70 degrees almost every day we were there and it was definitely hard to leave!!
Christmas was wonderful and we were all blessed with amazing gifts, but nothing compared to being able to have Christmas with my Mom for the first time since high school! Jules loved it too and seems convinced that the weather is worth it and we should move there. Someday!
Once we got home from Phoenix, we still had 6 days of Christmas Break to enjoy. And enjoy it we did. We lazed around, took naps, watched movies and barely moved from our couch. We did venture out one day to see the movie 'Frozen' - ever heard of it? :) :) :) Just kidding. If you have a child under the age of 10, chances are you have heard the full soundtrack being sung by your little darlings everyday since the movie was released!
Anyway, the R&R after our trip was just what we needed to prepare us for being back to work for.....LOTS of snow days! We had a few in January and I was able to stay home for a few of them and enjoy the day with Jules. Drew had to stay in Fulton over night a couple of time because the weather was so bad and because college kids still need to eat!
Pretty much the most exciting thing that happened during the month of January was that a new grocery store opened here in Columbia. They have amazing produce and prices! Just what this budget conscious girl needed! :)
Oh, and I joined Weight Watchers.....again. We have made some major lifestyle changes in our household and we are all healthier and happier because of them. Now, if I could just learn to love that blasted elliptical machine. But, alas, I hate the thing....
This month brought more and more.....snow days! We had the entire first week off for snow days and a couple more later in the month. All in all we had 11 days this year. School is going until June 5th this year!
Not much else happened this month. We dog-sat my friends dog and Jules fell in love. We are hoping to get this kind of breed for her (A Maltipoo) in the next couple of years. She had no allergic reaction whatsoever to Ellie and begs for one every day! :)
We had a great Valentine's Day this year. Jules and I made some fun Valentine's to hand out to her classmates and we celebrated the actual day as a family. Drew cooked for us and bought me a great couple's devotional. We have vowed to make our marriage the strongest it could be this year. Our family motto for the year is "I love us." We say it just about every day to each other because at some point in the day, something happens to make one of us say it. There is no place I would rather be than with Drew and Jules. I just love us. :)
March brought some crazy weather, more snow days, 82 degrees one day and snowing the next. Spring never really sprung. I scraped my car more time than I care to admit and by the middle of the month we were SO over winter!!! Thankfully we had something to look forward to - a trip to Texas to see Lauren, Mia & Cody!!!
But first we caught the Mizzou/Florida Gymnastics competition. My Aunt Mary who is an Athletic Director for the Gators was in town, so we headed over to Hearnes to see the event. It.was.amazing. Jules loved it and I think between Gymnastics and Volleyball, we will be living at Mizzou this coming fall and winter! :)
Then we made a quick trip to Des Moines. We had cancelled a trip in Feb because of the weather and we still needed to celebrate my Grandma Howard's 80th birthday AND we had Girl Scout cookies to deliver! :) Do you think I took any pics though? Nope. Grrr....
Anyway, after a long week of anticipation, we loaded the car on the Wednesday of Spring Break and headed to Texas for 5 days! It was so great to see my sister and to spend time with Mia. She had grown so much since July and I could have snuggled with her all day. She had a hard time adapting to Jules which broke Jules' heart. I just think she wasn't used to being around someone older than her. There were still plenty of sweet moments between the two and it was very hard to leave. The distance is really hard on me. Hoping we can make a few trips this year to see each other.....
We spent Saturday in Shreveport shopping and taking in the sights.
Worked in a little photo shoot for Miss Mia too. :)
The last night in Texas, we watched Mia so Lauren and Cody could go on a date. Snuggles all around. I love this girl SO much!!
This past month was pretty low-key, other than a fun girls weekend in Des Moines. The past few times we had visited Iowa, I had missed out on seeing my girls - Rochelle & Annette. So Jules and I made the trip up for a weekend. Courtney stayed with us at our hotel for both nights and it was great to see her and get caught up. She is one of my very best friends and I am so thankful we are sisters!
Ro prepared an amazing brunch for all of us and it was so great to see my girls and catch up. Jules had a great time with Reagan and as usual, it was hard to leave. I have a great set of friends here in Columbia, but no one compares to my besties in Des Moines!
From Ro's we headed straight to Mariah's to spend time with her family. Jules and Keaton are still two peas in a pod and refer to each other as sisters. I love when the two of them can get together!
It was a great weekend and I hope to have more like them!
Last weekend we had a wonderful Easter. We have started going to a new church and really like it. I had a great time putting Julianna's basket together this year. It will get it's own post. Let's just say when she saw it, she did not want to "Let it Go......" :) :)
As we near the end of the month, I have my birthday, Mother's Day, our 10th Anniversary (can you believe it!?), Julianna's birthday and our family vacation to look forward to.
As I created this post and reflected on what all has happened over the past year, I realized that I am SO incredibly blessed. With the hustle and bustle of life, some days I forget how much I have to be thankful for. Looking forward to seeing what is in store for us for the remainder of 2014. Whatever it is, I know it is going to be great! :)