Festive Monday!

On Monday, we went to Sean's office Christmas event.  It was for everyone's families and their clients, as it was a kid-friendly event!  His boss, Carolyn, INSISTED that we take a picture with Santa, as baby's first Santa pic would need to be documented!  And as a grandmother herself, she told me my mother would want this picture (ha!).  So here you go mom...Baby Parks' Santa picture debut!

Afterwards we went and met my cousins in Grapevine for their annual Christmas Light Float Parade!  It was fun to see the floats and all the kids dressed up in cute little costumes yelling out to all of us, "Merry Christmas!"  Boyd wasn't there b/c he was out of town, but SP kept calling him bah humbug regardless, ha!

By the time this ended, SP and I were starving!  So we went to Snuffer's to end the evening with some of their famous cheese fries.  Mmm, tasty!

It was nice to get out and be a little festive.  It's so hard to believe December has already, alllllmost, come and gone!  I remember as a little girl feeling like Christmas was never going to come.  Now, it comes too quickly!  Time needs to slow down.  Yea I know, not going to happen!  Alright, I'm off to wrap some presents.  I think I'll turn on some Christmas music to make it more festive!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


First Trimester

Week 5 
(Oct. 8 - 14, 2013)
Monday morning (Sept. 30). Holy....ummm, am I seeing things?  Wait...another pink line is popping up, right?  I stared at it instead of walking away!  I couldn't help myself. But bc I stared so intently at it, I really thought my vision was going blurry, causing me to see double. I walked away, brushed my teeth, went back and freaked (in a good way!). I paced back and forth, between the bedroom and bathroom, looking up a few times at myself in the mirror and saying "really??!!", while waiting for Sean to get off the phone!  I walked him into the bathroom and just pointed at the test laying on the counter.  We both started to cry! 
Symptoms: Feeling shocked and tired. And nauseous after breakfast.

Week 6 
(Oct. 15 - 21, 2013)
Fatigue. Yep, that's about it. Extremely tired.  Nauseous now after lunch. Wow, still hard to process!

Week 7 
(Oct. 22 - 28, 2013)
Finally our first doctor appointment!  Hearing the heart beat and seeing the little baby(ish) on the monitor was amaaaazing!! Everything checked out great!  There were several things throughout the morning that let Sean and I know my dad was not far from us.  The nurse reminded me of Ty (at MD Anderson), our doctor talked to us about him after asking about the JIT bracelet on SP's wrist, and then after the appointment, we were off to Waffle House!  If you know my dad, then you know why this reminds us of him!  After a yummy breakfast, I hurried home to my spot on the sofa for an afternoon nap :)  Still always tired and nauseous after lunch!

Week 8 
(Oct. 29 - Nov. 4 , 2013)
Sinking in a little more to both of us, but still an odd feeling. Sean still forgets and when we go out to eat, he offers me to get a drink if I want one (as if he had to offer me one before, ha).  Ok, so maybe it hasn't QUITE sunk in for him yet!  Only get nauseas when I eat heavy food. So trying to avoid said food!  Still no sickness!

Week 9 
(Nov. 5 - 11, 2013)
I am no longer able to "suck it in". And my stomach is hard (no not from my 'ahem' awesome abs).  Nausea has subsided and I seem to have slightly more energy. Which is an awesome feeling!  I've consistently gotten up between 4 & 4:30am every night for the last few weeks to use la toilette ://

Week 10 
(Nov. 12 - 18, 2013)
Definitely have more energy, but still am able to take an afternoon snooze on the couch if I let myself (which I normally do!).  We are ready for our 2nd appointment next week!  I sleep like a rock every night, and I love it (except for the double potty breaks, now around 1:30 and 3:30).  Oh, my mom was in town this weekend and we went antiquing and found the most perfect dresser/changing table!  We might have picked up a few paint swatches as well ;))

Week 11 
(Nov. 19 - 25, 2013)
Feeling pretty good!  Some indigestion, but nothing a glass of almond milk can't cure. Still occasional naps.  We had our second doctors appointment on Thursday morning (11/21/13)!  We got to hear the little heart beat again. Baby's heart rate was 169, which Dr. Allen said was very good!  I have noticed I am craving a lot of sweets. Great!  Oh, but I've lost 3 pounds. Hmm, sounds weird, but since I know the days of unstoppable weight gain are coming, I'll take the weight loss for now!  I finally broke down and bought some maternity clothes this week. I had already switched to maternity leggings (which I may never go back to regular ones now!), but I was running low on tops that were long enough to cover the tush!  I should be set for a little while now :) Sean and I can't believe that in just one more week we will be in our second trimester!  Time is flying by so far!  And then I will finally get to post this blog post!!!  Last but not least, I made a little inspiration board for the nursery. The dresser and crib are definites!

Week 12 
(Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, 2013)
Wow. Wow wow!!  This is the last week of my first trimester!  How exciting is that?  I have felt great!  We spent the week in Arkansas for Thanksgiving with my family, and everyone there seems to think we are having a girl...except my Mom, I'm not sure she's given her guess officially yet!  I haven't weighed myself since we got home, but after all that holiday food, I'm willing to bet I'm finally gaining some lbs.  My nephew, Yasha, was sick over the break, so I was a psycho about germs all week!  Still crossing my fingers that we all stay well!  Belly is definitely still growing :)

Christmas Card 2013

I am confident in saying that this is our most exciting Christmas card yet....

Wouldn't you agree?  :) :) :)

Now that the cat is out of the bag...prepare yourselves for lots of posts about baby!

We wish you the warmest of holidays, wherever you are, & hopefully with your loved ones!


Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving was very different this year.  Even though his presence was all around, it just wasn't quite the same without him there.  I am sure nothing ever will be.  But, I think I can speak for my entire family when I say we all felt a greater sense of peace this year over last year, knowing my dad is no longer suffering.  I know nothing would make him more proud than to see all of us together, carrying on the way we always have.  There was no question or doubt in any of our hearts or minds that he was too far away.  He lives in each of us and we constantly remind ourselves of that.  It makes for a lot of good laughs, thinking of my dad and just how entertaining he always was!  We were so blessed to have been able to be all together, on the mountain, the place that he loved the most.  I know we did him proud!

We had a lot of time together!  The DC bunch flew in on Tuesday, and SP and I drove in on that same afternoon.  Viktor and Natasha (Anastasia's parent's) flew in on Wednesday, and Adam drove in late Wednesday evening.  Unfortunately, Christy wasn't able to join us this year because she needed to be with her family.  So by 9pm on Wednesday night, my family was together, under one roof!

The rundown of our week went something like this:

- Cook
- Eat
- Start organizing the barn
- Eat
- Cook
- Relax
- Cry
- Work a few puzzles
- Visit
- Eat
- Watch The Hobbit
- Laugh
- Eat some more

Here are some pictures from our week together!

On the road!!

Sean always wants to stop at some hole in the wall type of place when going through all the small towns in Oklahoma.  I usually never let him because I'm always in such a hurry to get there.  But, this time I wasn't in a huge hurry because we were scheduled to arrive at the same time my mom would be gone picking up Shawn, Anastasia, and Yasha at the airport.  So I caved, and I'm glad I did...this burger was really yummy!  We stopped at Wheeler's in Kiowa, OK.  We've eaten here one other time.  

I needed my mom there to help me eat my other half!  SP took care of it - shocker!
Adam, Shawn, Sean Parks
Papa and Yasha playing on the floor, being silly billies (Yasha'ism)
Gorgeous morning on the mountain
This was a hard puzzle!  SCT put the final touches on it.
Best friends :)
Grammy is loving this!
The men folk
There is no other Gumbo like my Mama's!
VICTORY!  We barley won, but we DID IT!
The whole crew after the win!
Adam, Viktor, Me
Natasha, Shawn, Mom & Louis
SP, Yasha, Anastasia
A boy, a mud puddle, and a puppy = a MESS!
One of the messes!  
Love this pic of the buddy!  Future snowboarder!

The best part about ending the week together, is knowing in just a few more weeks we will be back together again!  In the same spot!  More eating, barn cleaning, and togetherness!  I can't wait!


11-12-13 :)

My 32nd birthday was yesterday!  Kinda cool that the date was 11-12-13!

This birthday was perfect, and completely different from any other I can remember! You see, normally I put a tremendous amount of pressure on my birthday.  I love birthdays, and I love to celebrate!  But this year, I just didn't care what we did, and was down for a more "low-key" celebration.  And, I LOVED it!  It was so nice to not stress over who was going to make my party, or what I was going to wear to my party, or where we were going to have my party!  It just didn't matter!  So, let's get on with the day...

Before I could barely even get my eyes open, Sean informed me that I had a video message on my phone. So I rolled over and this is what was waiting...

Perfect way to wake up, if you ask me!  Too much cuteness to even handle with the little buddy!  

Then, Sean made me a yummy breakfast!

French Toast with Bananas & Walnuts, Scrambled Eggs, and leftover fruit salad from our Chik-fil-a lunch
the day before, ha!!

My afternoon was spent talking on the phone, texting, and watching some TV.  Low key, relaxing, and perfect!  So many birthday wishes.  I could really feel the love from my family and friends!  I got this adorable video from my friend Jenn!  It's her 2 year old daughter Elise singing me Happy Birthday :)

Later in the day, these lovelies were delivered....

Thanks, Mom!  They are so bright & cheery!  Best part is you will be here to see them in person tomorrow!!

For dinner, Sean took me to Ponder, TX to eat at Ranchman's Cafe - The Ponder Steakhouse.  This place has been around since 1948, but the actual building has been there since 1903.  WOW!  It was about a 30 minute drive for us, but well worth it, if nothing else, just the experience alone was cool.

The road to Ponder, TX at sunset.  So pretty!
The menu was in a newspaper
We ordered grilled and fried quail.  Of course it came with white gravy!

Not pictured were the delicious fried green tomatoes that we also got!  They were yummy good, and so was the real ranch dressing we had to dip them in!

My chicken fried steak!...Before
After.  I said I was done and then kept taking more bites, whoops!
Full bellies!

I have been craving an oreo blizzard from DQ.  After dinner, SP drove me north a few more miles to Denton to the nearest Dairy Queen for a birthday blizzard!  It was so cold outside, but I didn't care!  I was soooo happy to have my blizzard finally!

It was like heaven in my mouth :)  SO YUMMY!!!!!

We were home, back in our comfy pants, and on the couch before The Voice started at 8!  It was such an awesome birthday.  I wouldn't change one thing about it!

My gift from SP...

I am obsessed with the color!

One day about 2 weeks ago, I walked into our office.  Sean quickly asked me if I saw his computer screen because he had been looking up my birthday present.  I didn't see anything (really!  I didn't!).  A few minutes later, we were hovering over his computer looking at the weather radar.  For some reason, I noticed the advertisement bar across the right side of the screen.  It was KitchenAid mixers. I didn't think anything of it.  I go over back to my computer desk, and about 10 minutes later, I said, "hey babe, I think I know what you got me for my birthday." "WHAT?!"  he exclaimed!  He jerked his head back around to see if he accidentally left a screen up on his computer.  I know I probably shouldn't have said anything, but I seriously couldn't help myself!  I felt guilty that I figured it out!   So he made me tell him what I thought.  I was right.  Silly computer ads gave it away! Needless to say, I didn't care, and was very very very verrrrrrrrrry happy with the gift idea! And even better, now I was able to choose my own color since I already knew what I was getting!  HA!

Here's to another year to me :)  I have a feeling it's gonna be a great one ;)


Meeting Louis Armstrong Traylor!

Last Thursday morning, SP and I dropped his parents off at DFW for their trip to Italy and then we hit the road to Arkansas!  We had a full weekend planned on the mountain.  A weekend full of getting to know my mom's new pup, Louis Armstrong!

Jack and Sheryl headed out on their next adventure!

As we traveled north, the trees were beginning to change and the weather was definitely cooler than here in Texas!  In fact, one day it felt like a winter day, burrr!

(excuse the bug splatters on the windshield :// )

When we got there, it didn't take long for us to fall in love with Mr. Louis.  He is the most perfect puppy...ever!  Just look at how cute he is!

We had so much fun laughing at him and playing with him throughout the weekend. His personality just cracks me up.  He can be so hyper, but the second you pick him up, he will be real still and just about melt into your arms (or lap) like butter.  So sweet :)

We had a relaxing, but busy weekend.  We had a friends wedding on Saturday evening. We were in charge of picking up the cakes and dropping them off at the event site. I was freaking out when my mom told me that this was our job.  I couldn't believe we had to get the cakes!   I mean, what if we dropped them, or they slid in the car and got smooshed.  Oh my!  Good news...the delivery was a total success!  Louis even got to go along for the ride.  That took up most of our day, leaving just an hour or two at home to get ready to go back out for the wedding.  We finally made it back home in time for the end of our terrible LSU football game.  UGH!  Could have done without that.  They played terrible and lost against Ole Miss.  We went from #6 to #13, boooooo!!!!!!!!!  I'm scared for what the rest of the season might bring.

SP spent a lot of time helping my mom with her "honey do" list.  He fixed her clogged sink, he fixed her garage door, he changed lightbulbs, he fixed a smoke detector, AND he started helping organize my dad's barn.  Seriously....he accomplished so much, and my mom was so thankful to have him there. And that he likes to do handy type of stuff.  And organization is totally his thing!  He's a pretty handy guy, if I do say so myself :)  

Sunday we hung out around the house all day!  I made pumpkin squares inside while my mom mowed with Louis, and Sean worked in the barn :)

He didn't last very long riding on the Kubota with her :)

Beautiful view from The Escarpment

His favorite thing to do is bring in sticks and leaves from outside!

Cold enough for a fire :)

That evening we had some friends over for dinner and to meet the puppy!  Sean smoked some chicken on the Honcho and it turned out perfect (as usual!)!  After everyone left around 8, we all sat down in the cozy living room to watch some TV before going to bed.  At one point, I made a comment, and when I turned around and looked at my mom and Sean, they were BOTH asleep!  OH, and Louis!  I was watching TV by myself, ha!  I tried to take a picture, but my mom busted me!  

We always have such a nice time in Arkansas and always look forward to our next visit.  My mom and Louis will be heading here in a few weeks as we all head down to Austin for my cousins wedding! Then we will have Thanksgiving to look forward to!  

Thanks for a fun weekend, mom!  We love you (and Louis, too!) :)

Raindrops on the drive home :)

While we were in Arkansas, we kept getting emails with pictures attached like this one from SP's parents...SERIOUSLY?!

Oh, Venice!