Sunday, July 24, 2016

Happy 40th Heather!!!

This is a guest post from Heather's husband.

Heather has been asking me for quite a while to do a post on her blog, so I thought what better time to surprise her with a post than her 40th birthday! Heather and I met when she was 30 years old.  I can't believe we have known each other for 10 years! (I was only 29 at the time so she was robbing the cradle a little bit and I continue to joke with her every year during the month that she's actually two years older than me.) Despite her older age :-) she has always had more energy than me and is definitely young at heart. When we first met I was immediately drawn to her energy, joy for life and her outgoing personality.

During the last ten years I have truly gotten to know what an amazing women she is. She is highly intelligent, outgoing, adventurous, competitive, loving, driven, compassionate, creative and fun. She desires to be the best at everything she does, whether that was in her career, or now as a stay at home mom and the teacher of our children. She loves to interact with other people and explore new things. She is the constant social planner in our family and I am so thankful for that as the kids would have experienced so much less if I was planning the activities. She loves her family immensely and is always thinking of ways of making all our lives better. She challenges me, which is exactly what I need some times to push me to do things I'm afraid of. Of the two of us she is the less cautious and willing to take risks. A great balance with my calculated and "realist" mentality.

She loves going on adventures and bringing others along with her. I fondly remember going on a way too late at night hike in the woods of a park here in Austin and also remember her climbing up on top of the pergola structure on top of Mount Bonnell with her high heel boots on so we could sit and enjoy the night sky. She is very creative. I'm so thankful for all the pictures and videos she has taken of our family and others and enjoy looking back at them. Not only does she blog to document our daily life, each year she collects stories and pictures together into books for each child so they'll have them to look back on when they get older.

I could write so much more about Heather but decided pictures might help tell the story, so I had some fun putting together a movie of Heather over her 40 years of life. Please watch and get a brief glimpse of the girl I get to spend everyday with.

She is my best friend, the love of my life and everything I prayed for and am so thankful everyday that I get the honor of calling her my wife. I've only known her for 10 of her first 40 years but am so looking forward to being right beside her for the next 40. Happy 40th Birthday Heather I love you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fun on the 4th of July

We have made it a big family tradition the past few years to head to my parents' house for a big extended family fourth of July celebration.  This year, we had a "blast" as we spent some time with family again on the 4th.

Before we shoot off fireworks, we head to the pond area to take family photos.

It's fun because we are all in coordinating colors. 
Plus, it's fun to see how the kids grow each year.  But, we were really missing mom this year. 

As always, we have to make sure there's a silly picture. 
And a cousins picture...

Then it's time to go play with fireworks.

Drew is ready!

We start with some kid friendly fireworks.

The kids always love the smoke bombs. 

Then our family friend, Rob, usually sets off a crazy amount of parachutes.  The kids (and, I will admit--the adults) love these!!!

The kids were a bit competitive in trying to get them.  You can see the dads thought that the extra height might help the little ones get the parachutes.

It didn't really help, but I am sure it is a special memory that they will remember.

So much joy in this photo.  I think this is the one that Rob set off that sent what seemed like hundreds of parachutes descending from the sky.

They are ready!!

Rob was set up and ready.  He has a big passion for fireworks and it shows.  He picked some amazing fireworks from Missouri where he goes to a special place to purchase them.  (His truck was full of fireworks!)

An amazing fireworks show!
Our tradition is for Drew to write something with a glow stick, while I take a photo in bulb mode.  He has a special talent for it, as you have to be able to write backwards and completely cover the glow stick in between each letter. 
What a fun time with family for the 4th!   It was also a hard time though, as we missed mom immensely.  This picture is from last year at the 4th.  We had to help mom up out of her wheelchair for the picture, as she had already begun to lose the ability to walk, and she was not herself.  But, it was good to still be able to hug her during our stay there.  I am thankful for pictures like this of us all together, which is why we make an effort to get the family picture on the 4th each year.  I find myself staring at old pictures of her (when she was herself) and watching videos where she is talking.  The latter is hard to find and I regret not having more of them.  We miss you, Mom! 

My siblings and I with my parents.