Monday, August 31, 2009

We're From a Small Town

We concluded our trip to KC with a pre-nap excursion to Crown Center.
As we walked into the building my children both noticed the escalators straight away. As we waited for Uncle Nate to park, it grew more and more obvious which one of our lot of toddlers in tow had been there before. It was too cute to see my babes go ga-ga over the simplest things they do not see in our small town. We truly could have gone from escalator to escalator within Crown Center and the kids would have been completely content. DJ was totally aware of how "so last year" escalators are though. I had to tell the security guard at the front who insisted on guiding the kids off the moving stairs that we are, in fact, "from a small(er) town."
There are times I wonder if I am slighting our tag-a-longs by sheltering them from 'big city' attractions as simple as escalators and fountains. But, all it takes in seeing them find PURE joy in the smallest things to remind me that we are just fine....right where we are!

And, let's be honest, do you think we would see this reaction if it was an everyday occurrence?
In case you were wondering.....YES, we did let the kids run barefoot on the slippery fountain floors with lollipops in hand and mouth......

there are no words..........

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The City of Fountains....and Cousins

After a long week in JoMo with Dad-O back to work, adjusting to a new school year, and a very violent visit with the porcelain GOD (don't eat the fish tacos) We needed a little break. So we went to see our awesome cousin's DJ and Will. Aunt Darby and Uncle Nate always take us in and are so hospitable. We are, once again, so very blessed. It was all of 24 hours start to finish that we had our adventure 3 hours away. Always exhausting, always a delight! We started our first night's journey at an Italian eatery reminiscent of Chicago and ended up on the Plaza filling the fountains with coins and wishes.

Thanks Team Brender, for another memorable trip to KC.
We love you all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In preparation for our professional pics last night
can't wait to see how they turn out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Days

The littles went to pre-school and Kids Day Out today. B officially in Pre-School, E in KDO. I am so proud of both of them, and looking forward to a great year. I find myself at a loss for words that do not seem cliche' at a time like this. "They grow up too fast" is such a strange idea to wrap yourself around.......until you are living it. So, I will try to put my thoughts into words that are not cliche' and capture this moment in my own words.

They are both amazing me with the take they each have on life in general and I am loving that the vocabulary they both posses allows for me to see the world through their eyes.E referring to the alphabet as H I O P's instead of ABC's and telling me the big construction trucks sitting on the side of the road during off hours must be "out of batteries" because they are not moving. B "reading" books because he has memorized pages at a time of our routine night-night books, telling me "no, no, double no" to get the point across. Saying that all Nana needs is one big body band-aid to fix her hip, and praying for all his friends each night, even those he saw most recently 3 months earlier. They are healthy, happy, joy-filled children. It is a good life!


Monday, August 17, 2009

A Perfect Rainy Day at the Zoo

What a great time we had at the zoo this summer. A rainy day it was, but it did not keep us from making great memories with Nonni and Poppy. We walked around, hand in hand, had a little lunch, played in the park, took the train, rode the carousel, and EVEN saw a few animals along the way. Thanks Nonni and Poppy for sharing this rainy adventure with us.

Wet........and all together PERFECT!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Silver Dollar City

We were fortunate enough to go to Silver Dollar City this summer
We journeyed through the park for free thanks to Aunt Tracy.
If you were to add up the attractions we saw, the rides we rode, activities we played, or the percentage of the park we actually saw, you would surely guess we were VERY glad we did not have to pay for the adventure.

But we got to witness.....
The quiet anticipation of the unknown.....
Pushing through fear to find pride on the other side,

Joy unravelling with outstretched arms.......

And a Princess in a ball pit

No price too high


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sweet Nana

Please say a prayer for our NANA, she is having surgery tonight on her broken hip. We are going to visit her now before her scheduled surgery. Please pray for her and for wisdom and guidance for her doctors this evening. We love you Nana, and we are on our knees for you today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Roaring River

We spent the morning at Roaring River a few days before the Dad-O went back to work. What a great reunion with an amazing friend from my past and Dad-O's past, but not the same pasts respectively. He is THE MAN at the Park and was kind enough to show us around a bit, give us a chance to spend time with his wife and boys (who were as wonderful and gracious as I imagined they would be) , and give us a venti' starbucks cup full of fish nibble. This was great, considering for a quarter you get about 10 little peas of the stuff. It was especially good to have so much food for the kids liked throwing it in by the hand full to watch the fish fight over it. This was B's favorite part.
The kids loved Mr. Dusty and had fun exploring not only the fish but the all the different playgrounds in the park as well. B was very interested in Dusty's job. We told him that Dusty was in charge of the park, and he made sure it ran smoothly and everything worked around the park. We knew B understood what this meant when he promptly told Dusty of one of the broken swings on the swing set and to see to it that it get fixed. He's always thinking that one! E was only concerned with the fun the playgrounds had to offer, and there was plenty of fun to be had!
I loved watching the kids "fish" with their new poles. B had a Speed Racer pole, E a Princess pole. I could not help but look ahead and hope that they both make their way back to water with Poppy, PaPa, and Grandpa Mickey to learn the ins and outs and hear the stories of days before them.
But in the present day, present story, they had the chance to love on and listen to MomBE and Dad-O. And that, my friends, is always as good as it get in this foursome.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I am so proud that our children LOVE books! This week's favorite is "Alice the Fairy" by David Shannon. I highly recommend it to anyone with young children. If you are wondering what it is about, here is B reading an excerpt from this future classic.

"But a fairy must be very careful with magic. Once I accidentally turned my white dress into a red one. That made the Duchess so mad she locked me in the tower forever! (I got away, though.)"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Matters Most

We discovered many things on our journey to Saint Louis. Our kids CAN both stay dry for five hours in the car, IF they really want to. It takes 1 Cinderella, 1 Peter Pan , and 2 Backyardigans to get to Saint Louis. My cherubs are still really good sleepers, they are flexible and adaptable. They use manners even when they are not prompted. They are kind to each other (most often when they think no one is watching) and they make this MomBE and Dad-O very proud.

My husband and I are an amazing team. Friends, real friends, are ALWAYS there for you, no matter how long you have been "in the cave" adjusting to parenthood. Fraternity brothers aren't that bad after all. There is nothing quite as handsome as seeing an involved father do what he can to help make a family click. Hearing children call their elders Mr. and Mrs so-and-so is becoming a lost art, but it is an art indeed.

And the thing we will take with us, once the detailed memories fade and the snapshots are what we have to spark them. What we will remember that we learned from watching other families we admire do things very differently than we do on one hand, and exactly the same on an other hand.

We learned that as long as we know that we are doing the right thing for our children, as long as we agree that the path we take as this family is the one that keeps US afloat. As long as we love and support each other in our endeavors and respect the outcome, we really are ahead of the game. How we spend our time in our four walls, how many bedrooms in our home, the numbers on our paycheck or the cars we drive, how much t.v they watch or where they sleep, whether or not I work, if they always eat their veggies....not what matters.
Having a genuine love for being THIS family....that IS what matters most....