We are so thrilled to announce that we will be welcoming our newest wee Wann in September!
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose.” ~Jeremiah 1:5
Gemma is almost ONE! We decided to celebrate her birthday a little early and at my in-laws house in Temple. All four of Nick’s grandparents live in Temple, along with an an Aunt and a cousin, plus its only a little over two hours away from Houston. That way more family could attend than if we had just had a party in Midland. My parents came up from Magnolia and brought my niece Kendall with them.
We kept the party super simple! The only thing that I planned ahead was ordering the cake and smash cake. The rest of the decorations and food, Nick and I picked up the morning of the party at Sam’s a and a local store! Nick’s mom donated the fruit and veggie platters, and the highlight was Chick-Fil-A lemon-aid. My favorite was the pom poms.
Isla was so excited to have her older cousin come! Nick’s sister and her family were supposed to come too, but they got sick at the last minute poor things. I’m so glad Kendall came so that Isla could have a playmate.
Gemma wore the same dress her big sister wore at her first birthday party! Its not a hand-me-down, it’s a new tradition.
I really tried to not overdo it on the food, but as usual there was too much and as usual, everyone ate too much!
The really great thing about having the party at my in-laws is that my Dad didn’t have a bed to sneak off to for a cat nap and accidentally sleep through the entire thing!
SMASH CAKE TIME!
My kids know exactly what to do around cake! Although, Gemma was much neater than her big sister .
All the kids joined in!
Love Isla’s face in this one!
And Gemma’s .
Both of Nick’s grandfathers and his dad. All FOUR of Nick’s grandparents are still alive, what an amazing blessing!
Afterwards we took the party inside to open presents and cards! Nick and I didn’t get her a single present… whoops! Bad parents.
After the presents everyone hung out and played and this tired mama may have taken a little cat nap of her own on the couch!
We finished off the day with Wann family pictures!
My parents took Isla and Kendall back to their hotel to swim so we had a very nice quiet afternoon with just Gemma afterwards.
We are so in love with out little treasure! She really is the sweetest little thing and has been the perfect baby. I hope she looks back on these pictures of her first birthday and knows that she was so loved. I’ll give a full update on her progress and development after her one year appointment on the 26th!
So every now and then I make myself miserable. Usually by imposing rules on myself that I follow to the letter… which then make me miserable… which then I realize have made me miserable and I have only myself to blame! Thankfully its an easy fix. I then revoke said rules and ta da, I’m happy again.
Case in point – I made a rule that I was not going to travel anywhere until Gemma’s birthday later this month. The result is that I have been in Midland for going on three months other than two quick trips that I don’t count and I was getting a little stir crazy. Even though Midland has a lot happening for a small town, its still a small town and its still very far from the nearest large city and you can start to feel a little caged in.
Nick announced that he was going to Houston for a work trip for TWO days (which sounded like it might have well been TWO months at the time) and the thought made me miserable. While I would be stuck at home, wrangling our two adorable kids all by myself, Nick would be staying in hotels and eating out and watching movies in a comfy hotel bed in a room that someone else cleans and getting hours and hours of alone time! Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but I was to the point of needing a breather so I suggested that the girls and I use our United points and tag a long with him. Being the gracious husband that he is, and sensing that I could use a little fun, he readily agreed.
I called up my mom and dad and my best friend and I informed them that I was coming to Houston for some FUN and they would be welcome to join me! My one rule was that I was going to stay close to down town do things that I don’t normally get to do. My parents live about an hour north of Houston and while there is a lot to do, I don’t make it down inside the loop much. My mom kept trying to steal the girls from me, but I didn’t want to just have fun, I wanted to have fun with my girls so I didn’t let her get away with that!
It was just what I needed. Two nights in a hotel. Many meals at restaurants. Time with friends and family. Time at museums. And time with my two princesses out of our routine and having a good time. The one big kink in my plan was a bad migraine that popped up and would not go completely away, but I just guzzled Dr Pepper (a Texas migraine cure) and Advil and I pushed on through it. It was also COLD. I was really hoping for the mild Houston winters that I love so well so that we could go to the zoo, but it was not meant to be!
The first night we arrived we went and ate a Yia Yia Mary’s, a yummy Greek restaurant. I kind of wanted Niko Niko’s, but this one was right by our hotel, kid friendly and we love it too. We ate so much food and I had delicious Spanakopita and all of my Greek favorites.
The next morning Nick went to the office for work and my mom picked us up and we went to the Museum of Natural Science to see the dinosaur and butterfly exhibits. My best friend Emily met us there with her two girls! It was so good to see her and hang out with her!!!
Oh my gosh, have you ever heard of the Megaladon? It’s a gigantic, ancient great white like shark. Its approximately the size of a great blue whale, only a shark! Sitting in my chair, thinking about, even knowing it is extinct and that it lived in the water, my blood runs cold. It is the scariest thing ever! There was a skeleton of its jaw at the museum… I don’t know why I didn’t get a picture! Anyway, look it up and tell me that it is not the most terrifying thing that ever lived on this earth! Leave a comment below with your rebuttal if you disagree.
For some reason I didn’t get any pictures in with the dinosaurs, but it was fun!
Here are all of our kids, playing in a little kiddy area before the butterfly exhibit. Emily has three girls, but her oldest, Annie was in preschool. Her youngest two Ella and Charlotte are very close to Isla and Gemma so everyone had a playmate!
My mom took a picture of us all together, best friends since college and former roommates . Oh I cut my hair off last week, what do you think?
A butterfly landed on my head!!!
At the end of the day, I bought Isla and Ella tickets to ride the T-Rex outside! It was $10 for about a minute of a mild moving ride… not worth it, but Isla had fun. Ella ended up not wanting to ride so she gave Isla her ticket!
After the museum, my mom dropped Gemma and I off at our hotel and Isla got to go home with Cookie. They made cookies, watched Clifford and Isla got breakfast in bed . She had a great time. Here are a couple of the pictures my mom sent me.
That evening Nick, Gemma and I went to dinner with Nick’s best friend, Tim and his family. Nearly Tim’s entire family lives in Houston or are geologists and were in town for a convention so they all met up and included us in their invitation. Nick and Tim have been best friends since they were 6 and 4 and so Nick knows his entire family. It was a big crowd and we really enjoyed catching up with everyone at an excellent restaurant, Patronella’s (SO GOOD and Aggie owned and operated) near the Heights.
The next day my mom, dad and Isla came and picked Gemma and I up and we ate brunch at Le Peep, oh so yummy and went to The Houston Children’s Museum. It had been ages since I had been, and it was much bigger and nicer than I remembered. Isla had fun, and there was a big climbing thing in the middle and Isla and I climbed all through it. Daddy wasn’t there, so it was up to me to be hands on, and I LOVED it. At first Isla was afraid, but after I went a little ways with her, she was crawling all over that thing! She technically supposed to be 5 to be allowed to climb, but I didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t so I let her… not like me to break rules, but I’m glad I did! She had so much fun!
Can you spot her in there?
Pawpaw in his ruskaya shopka (Russian military hat that I bought him - it was very cold, too cold for the south!).
Toward the end of the day, I took Gemma upstairs to the little baby room! She was so cute and crawled over and over and back and forth over that bridge about 100 times. My dad painted Gemma’s face in care you were wondering if she was wearing make up .
Afterwards it was time to head up and back towards the airport and meet up with Nick. The girls passed out within minutes of getting into their car seats!
We were supposed to eat at Lupe Tortilla, my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant but our iPhones took us to the wrong place and we had to settle for Smashburger since we didn’t have enough time… grrrr.
And then we headed to the airport to head back to Midland. It was a quick trip, but just what I needed and we had FUN! I am feeling much more refreshed and ready to face the rest of this winter weather!