Saturday, June 17, 2017

"A Week With Jay Makes Everything Okay!"

For the past three years since Jay's been completing his doctorate (which to this day makes my head spin just thinking about it) he has a summer tradition of spending a week with us.  This trip was another one for the books!

It's like time stands still when he's here.  All the craziness goes away, and the blanket of calm that is Jay takes over...and all is right with the world.

Going to pick him up at the airport is like entering the Disney World gates in Florida; you know you're in for a crazy fun time, even if you already realize that the days will pass far too quickly.

When we got back in town Jay went with us to pick up Emerson, and she leaped right into his arms.  "Uncle Jay!!!"

For Christmas last year one of Emerson's gifts from Jay & Laura was a matching game.  We totally underestimated how good she would be at it.  She has beaten every single member of our family by a landslide multiple times, and we're not even letting her win! We're actually trying.

Of course the game is more fun while wearing your Sophia princess dress.  Obviously.

The many faces of Sophia when she knows her win is secured.

That Friday we took our first trip in a while to South of the Border!  I have no idea why it took us so long to take Emerson there; she loved it!

While backing up to take a picture I tripped over one of those lousy cement parking blocks and almost had a terrible fall.  I'm fairly certain that it would have caused the crack of all cracks in the sidewalk.

After crossing the bridge we came upon an area called the "Pleasure Dome."  What is that exactly?!?  I don't think I want to know.  As for me, a pleasure dome would consist of a candy warehouse with nintendo stations and board games set up in various corners.  THAT'S a good time.

Since Jay came last Christmas I have been begging for all of us to go in the big sombrero if it's working.  It's kind of like having to ask if McDonald's ice cream machine is operating, but that scenario poses much less of a threat.  The last time I went in the sombrero was during senior year of high school when our class convinced our Spanish teacher that we needed a "cultural day," so we got permission to go there during school hours.  I wonder whose idea that was?!?

Anyway, I was trying every trick in the book to get Emerson to ride up there with us.

1) Want a mermaid doll?
2) How about some ice cream afterwards??
3) An undetermined bed time???

No can do.  She was not having it and instead wanted to jump in a big bounce house while Uncle Jay looked on.  So my parents and I bought three tickets (they didn't charge us for 3.5 tickets even though my stomach is getting fairly large these days, and I'm just loving all the comments about it).  Ahem.

So up in the hat we went, and the elevator ride was a little scarier than I had anticipated.  It is 300 feet high, and as soon as we got up there and started looking around we could actually feel the structure swaying.  

If I could have peeked inside my womb at that very moment my son's face would have likely resembled this...

After about five minutes of taking in the views we were ready to go back down, so we did what any normal person would do at the top floor of a structure: press the 'down' button on the elevator.  We waited...and waited....and waited.

Finally my Mom said that she could see the elevator coming up through the CRACK in the door frame area.  You know what they say...crack is whack.  That's elevator talk, in case you're wondering.

I hadn't been so happy to see doors open since the last time I went shopping on Black Friday.  Our ride had arrived!  Three more innocent souls got off as we darted into the elevator.  

"Sir, we've been pressing the down button.  Did you know that?"
"Umm, yeah.  That thing doesn't work.  I just kind of guess when you guys want to come down."


We later wondered how long we would've been left up there if the next few people hadn't bought tickets.

"Yes, is this room service?  Do you make sky deliveries?"

Uncle Jay and Emerson seemed to be the smartest of the bunch by staying on the ground.

Look who showed up on our trip.  I can't believe that we will be meeting him in about 2.5 months!!!

The next morning we were going swimming at the Coleman's, and during a recent stop at Target I went a little loco in the pool toys section.  You can partly thank me for any economic boost.

That's the largest pineapple I've ever seen.  It's material for the front page of the Dillon Herald, for sure.  My Mom always saves a stack of those for me so I can see the latest happenings since my last visit.  These usually include pictures of a large, homegrown fruit or vegetable.  If you're from the area you totally know what I'm talking about.


These two were adorable!

That evening I played piano for Hannah and Justin's sweet wedding!  

Special fact: Hannah was the guest of honor/white rabbit at Emerson's first Birthday party.  When she told Justin she would meet him at the altar in white she was clearly not talking about this costume...hahaha!!!

Hannah, you looked just as beautiful in white on your wedding day as you did at Emerson's ONEderland bash.  

Birthday cake cake later.

While we were chatting and eating away, Emerson was having the time of her life at Dorothy's.

She even got to see Audrey for a little while!  

On Sunday evening Jay cooked one of his phenomenal meals.

At some point during the trip I realized that this was his last time with us before he's married.

"It's kind of like your unofficial Bachelor party, Jay!"

And as you can see, he is clearly partying hard.

On Monday the fabulous five went to the beach for the day! (Ryan stayed at home to handle house showings, etc).

Nana put a small fortune on a reusable card so that Emerson could enjoy the rides, and they were SUCH a hit!  So was the Tropical Sno place that I tracked down and remembered from last summer.

Emerson was Jay's little sidekick everywhere we went.

One day I greeted her with a big hug and "Good morning, sweetie!!!" which was followed immediately by her asking... "Where's Uncle Jay?"  When I would always respond to that question by telling her he was still sleeping (before the hours of 11:00 am) she would insist on going into his room and waking him up.

It's been almost a full year since our last trip to the beach, and it gets more fun every time.

If you could see inside my heart you'd find these images.

On Tuesday we came back and had lunch with my grandparents and uncle.  We always cherish our time with them!

Bottom pic: a pooped Nana and Emerson not understanding why she's so tired.  Hahahaha...

We knew it was going to happen as much as we tried not to think about it.  Uncle Jay had to leave the next day.  I pray with all my heart that he and Laura will be closer to us when he finishes his doctorate.  Can't you see how much joy he brings and how much we love him?

Philosophical Jay once said that you can never step in the same river twice.  The logic behind this is that the water is constantly flowing, and nothing will ever be in the same place as it was.

So for a few hours one afternoon we stepped in the ocean.  We will never get to re-live that day (or the past week with him) but we hold on to each moment and remember the good...and the wonderful.

My grandmother's nickname for Jay since he was a toddler was "Mr. Wonderful."  That couldn't be more accurate.

Here's to you, Mr. Wonderful.  We can't wait to celebrate your wedding day soon and know that as incredible as the years have been to this point, some of our greatest memories lie ahead.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Everything's A Memory

We need to be careful of going through the motions in life without stopping to make mental notes and memories.  After all, there are so many things in life we can't take with us.  Memories, thankfully, do not fall in that category.

This is why the Camera Roll on my phone is always in the thousands.

Some days I'm just grateful for the small accomplishments; like having both of my cell phones charged to 100%.  I mean, that happens what?  As frequently as a Kathy Griffin apology?

I've got a whole 24 hours on this battery.

We are officially almost THREE MONTHS AWAY from being a family of four, and I know that things are about to get super crazy.  So we are soaking up the remaining occasions as a family of three.

One of the ten Moody cousins was getting married on May 20th, so my parents saved the day (or shall I say weekend) and reported for Grandparent duty that Friday. 

While the rest of the family joked about how sketchy their accommodations were after finding them randomly on the internet...

Ryan and I rested our heads in luxury at Casa de Joy.  She was an absolutely wonderful host.  Somehow we didn't take any pictures (!!!) Shocker, I know, but let's just say that Joy, Ryan, and I had a fantastic time eating at Adam's Bistro (hands down one of my favorite restaurants), shopping, and hanging out at her neighborhood pool for an entire afternoon.  She even gave up her king bed and entire master suite so that we could have it all to ourselves.  Joy, you are too much!

Presenting host of the year...

Congratulations to Matt & Riviere!  Their engagement was a long time coming, and we were so happy to celebrate with them.  Heather and Autrey are due just three weeks after we are.  We're adding lots of family members this year!

True story; wedding receptions always make me nervous, because I never know if they'll have food that I will actually eat.  Thank the Lord for chicken tenders and pork loin.  I can't tell you how many times I've been to the drive thru in my finest after such occasions.

But I don't LIKE caviar!!!

 Here are the TEN Moody boys with Granny Earline, minus Aaron who had a work obligation. 

The next day the party kept going.  Pizza and cake? Hmm...let me think about it.

Hurry! We've gotta beat the pizza delivery guy to the door!
*If Katharine were a runner*

When we first toured Emerson's daycare I distinctly remember meeting three children in the infant room.  Kennedy was one of them, and it was time to celebrate her fourth Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese.  

As per usual, Emerson wanted to do one thing only at the arcade, and that was ride the yellow carousel horse that she named, "Sunshine."  I didn't argue; at least it kept her contained and in one spot.

We were so excited to see baby Cora and catch a glimpse as she was awake!  But Emerson kept staring in a frightening manner at the stage, and I couldn't figure out why, because she loves characters.  Then I saw it for myself.

There are two mice at Chuck E Cheese; one is real and gives the kids hugs, and one sits on stage.  This is apparently his resting face with no eyes, and I have to hand it to her.  That is frightening.  It looks like the average person sitting in their cubicle on Monday morning...after an exorcism.

Memorial Day weekend was just that- one for the memory books!  

First up was Katelyn's graduation.  I have grown up (not in height, obviously) with this family and was so glad to be there for such a special occasion.

These girls were junior bridesmaids in my wedding...

And look at them now!

Last Friday we did one of the most patriotic things possible; had lunch at Shuler's under the massive American flag.  Emerson was as enthralled with the ducks, turtles, and fish as I was with the chicken...bog.  And fortunately none of us went over the edge of the deck, although it was a distinct possibility.

When asking my Dad to take a picture of us on my iphone...
"Sorry! It was on selfie mode."
"Just- nevermind."

Dress my daughter in themed clothing? What are the odds?

That afternoon was bittersweet as we visited Nana on her very last day of school.  She has been the media specialist there for 42 YEARS and has that library down to a science.  She is one in a million, and so many people had the sweetest thoughts and well wishes for her on her retirement.  They should engrave a brick with her name or something.  Maybe a fountain with her face on it?  Don't put anything past me.

Hilarious outtakes from Nana's photoshoot...

Just as she has done for many generations, her last reading on that carpeted area was to her own granddaughter.  I sat in that very spot many years ago.

And as my Dad pointed out, they will BOTH be working this just won't be for pay.

The next day was filled with swimming and shopping.  Emerson and I had a blast with Dorothy and my parents at the Coleman's pool.

We were extra smiley at church that Sunday knowing the next day was a holiday!

Freedom *is not free.*  Someone paid the price for it on your behalf.  I am so thankful to all the brave men and women who have sacrificed their time- and their lives- for the rest of us.

Ryan had been hosting a guy's weekend, so when we got back home we headed straight to the pool and then cooked out.  We were all in food comas afterwards.

We spent two more hours at the pool Monday morning, and for the first time I was able to get Emerson to wear the bonnet I bought three summers ago.  We call this #progress.

Memories are like a bag of grapes; we soak up the good ones and disown or toss away the sour ones.  Within the past few weeks the following things have happened:

1) Ryan and I had pink BOTH eyes.
2) My Mac hard drive died AGAIN.  This time I had all my information backed up, so mercifully I didn't lose anything.  Word to the wise; don't just close your laptop and throw it in a bag or the car.  It hurts the hard drive.  You need to take the two extra seconds to shut it down first.  Given the fact that my hard drive was not even five years old, they think this is what happened to mine.
3) While driving in construction on the interstate the truck in front of me swerved for no apparent reason; but by the time I saw why it was too late.  There was a huge, tractor-like tire that had blown out and was sitting directly in my path.  I braced myself as the impact shook my whole car.  By the grace of God nothing appeared to be wrong, and I am incredibly thankful that I wasn't hurt.  I arrived at Emerson's daycare, and it wasn't until I walked back out to the car that I saw it...

The whole bottom piece of my (brand new- AHH) car was hanging on by a thread.  Emerson asked what happened, and I said that "I hit something on the road," but all she heard was, "I hit, "and proceeded to scold me.  "You hit Pearl?  (my car's name) That was NOT very nice."


But what was nice is that the dealer reattached the piece for absolutely no charge.  I'll take that any day!  Reattach piece = reattach peace.  See what I did there?

Things like this are bound to happen, and what I try to remind myself constantly is that I'm not the only one.  At least situations like this make me thankful, because things can always get worse...I totally know that!

Emerson demonstrates how to keep your cool.

I was super busy one day recently and came across this poem one night while literally being kicked at night by my little girl.  And as my Dad reminded me, I get kicked by Landon and Emerson right now, but I'll take every one.

"I won't always cry, Mommy, when you leave the room,
and my supermarket tantrums will end too soon,
I won't always wake Daddy for cuddles through the night,
and one day you'll miss having a chocolate face to wipe,
You won't always wake to find my foot kicking you out of bed,
or find me sideways on your pillow where you want to lay your head,
You won't always have to carry me in asleep from the car,
or piggy back me down the road when my little legs can't walk that far,
so cherish every cuddle, remember them all,
because one day, Mommy, I won't be this small."

In life we have to remember that the annoying and frustrating things always come with the good, too.  And while we can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react to it.  

Need a laugh?  When my Dad was a kid a bird pooped on his head at Central Park.  WHAT are the chances of that happening?!?

So whether it makes you laugh or cry...makes or breaks your day...something can be learned from every experience.

After all, everything's a memory.