**I just noticed that I never posted this blog from April.  Looking back at the date, I see that this all occurred two days before precious Jackson’s arrival, so that may have something to do with why this post hung in cyberspace limbo…

I don’t like to think of myself as someone who scares easily.  Given my love for Halloween, horror movies, and spooky stories, I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat scare-proof.

Don’t you just love when God brings to light your actual reality?  I was obviously getting a bit too prideful about my “bravery”, because since we’ve lived in our new home, I’ve been reminded of a few things that make me squirm.  Cockroaches for one (thank you dear friend/realtor David for letting us know that the palm trees in the front of our house could be the culprit for those nasty, way-too-big-to-just-be-called-bugs garage invaders.  Eww!!), possums (we back up to a retention pond), and, when they are in a hoppy group of eight to ten, frogs.

Because of my silly, relentless pride, I was not quite willing to call my aversion to these creatures “fear”.  I convinced myself that I wasn’t scared.  I was concerned.  And rightly so!  They carry germs, and I have (almost!) two little ones to think about.  Nobody wants to see a possum in their back yard, and slimy little creatures are just gross.  That’s all it is. Definitely not afraid of anything.

Was I asking for it?  Um, definitely.  Cue the snake.

I was pulling weeds in our front flower beds this morning when I saw IT.  My hand got about three inches away from IT when IT quickly slithered in to some branches.  YIKES!!!

My next impulse (screaming like an infant) was interrupted when I saw my precious daughter walking outside to join me, and since I don’t want to pass on my foolish “concerns” to my kids, I feigned a completely relaxed look.  Too late.

“Mommy, what’s wrong with you?”

“Oh….nothing.  I just saw a snake.  That’s all.”

This bizarre look of excitement spread across my princess-obsessed little girl’s face, and she requested gleefully, “Ooh, can I see???”

What on earth?!  For those that have spent time with dear Jordan, you are quite familiar with a lot of her idiosyncrasies. She walks on her toes, she eats her meals one food item at a time, she is well-versed on everyone’s favorite color, and, as anyone who has tried to talk with her can attest, you can count on her to be cautious if not straight-up terrified of anything unfamiliar.

“Please, Mommy, can I see the snake?”


After she got a nice long look (and I was able to convince her that, no, she didn’t need to pet IT), Jordan trotted back inside, and I let go of the breath that I had apparently been holding for the past five minutes. I moved to the other end of the yard to continue weeding (no need to disturb Mr. Snake any further, right?), and after pulling about three more weeds and noticing that I could no longer spot the snake, I decided to call it a day.

I called Ryan to brag about my lack-of-screaming, and after he jokingly asked me if I’d “gotten rid of IT” (um, would you have to touch them to do that?  Then, nooooo…), he suggested I find a picture of what the snake looked like.  I might have been a bit generous to the snake when I reported of his size, and Ryan was concerned that we be ready should anything poisonous show up in our yard.  I sent him a picture, but for some reason he thought that maybe I didn’t see it quite clearly enough.  This looks pretty accurate to me:

Hmm…maybe I am afraid of snakes…


A few weeks ago Jordan and I made our annual trip to the Houston Livestock Show with some friends. OR, as Jordan and her friend Kate preferred to call it, the “radio”.

Jordan was semi-interested in the animals this year, but not a huge fan of the crowds.  Since it was “value day”, the place was PACKED!  For the most part she just seemed content to chat with her friend in the wagon while Marla and I switched off maneuvering through the sea of people.  We checked out the cows, pigs, and sheep, and then headed over to the “farm” so the girls could have some fun pretending.  This was a big hit this year!

We found our friends Amber and Addison while in the farm, and once we finished the activity and the girls were “paid” with a snack, we took another little break.  We were then able to peek at a few more things and go for a quick carousel ride before we had to head back to the car.

That night when Ryan interviewed Jordan about her day, she answered enthusiastically about all of the fun.  After getting all of the details, Ryan then asked her what her favorite part was. She thought for a moment and then replied, “Playing with Kate’s Jessie doll in the wagon.”

Thanks for the fun, Friends!

So what do you get when you combine three special ladies who are oozing with talent, creativity, and generous hearts, and encourage them to join forces for a party planning effort?

You get the cutest baby shower ON the planet!!

Our precious Jackson Alexander is due to arrive in around 6 weeks (did your heart just skip a beat, too?), and to help us welcome him in style were our dear friends Karis, Marla, and Rachel.  Knowing Jackson’s Daddy to be the dapper man that he is, they conspired the most perfect theme for the event: Bow Ties and Seersucker.

In between the conversations and the fun, I was able to snap a handful of pictures.  Please up the cuteness quotient by about a thousand, and hopefully you’ll get an idea of just how precious this affair really was.  Amazing job, Friends!  Thank you so much for the incredibly special day!!

The sign-in table.  Note the hanging diaper “bowties”!

Also at the sign-in table.  The cute bowtie was one of Jackson’s presents.

The food table. The picture in the back is my pregnant silhouette.

Beverages, anyone?

My food plate.  Notice the fruit bowtie!

The party favors.

P.S. Yum!!

The girls ended up hanging Jackson’s new clothes on the bowtie clothesline.  So sad I didn’t snap a picture of that!

P.S.  Anyone else notice Jackson’s initials?

This kid will NOT be able to escape his name.

Jackson’s Aunt Ashley and Mimi.  He’s in for a lot of love!

Somehow I came home with only one “people picture”, and even though I think you’re getting a GLIMPSE in to the beautifully fantastic day, I feel like I’m shortchanging the love and the talent.  Note to self:  take more pictures!!


This past Saturday, Ryan and Jordan were able to attend their first ever Father-Daughter Banquet.  For weeks Jordan was very excited about her special date with just Daddy, and since this was a no-Mommy affair, Ryan was kind to snap some photos and give me the full report.

You can't tell from her almost-smile, but Jordan is absolutely thrilled!

The first activity on the Banquet agenda was some special questions for the daddies and daughters to get to know each other better.  Keep in mind that the Banquet is for daughters aged 3 to 18…

Question 1:  Tell me about your best friends.

Jordan’s response:  I don’t want to.

Question 2:  What is your favorite game?

Jordan’s response:  This one.

Question 3:  What do you like to do at school?

Jordan’s response:  Color and watch movies.

Question 4: What do you want to do when you grow up?

Jordan’s response:  Drive and sit in the big seat.

As they wrapped up their questions, they were served a yummy pasta dinner by our youth group boys (Ryan said Jordan mostly dined on breadsticks), and then they were treated to a great talk by one of our favorites, Michael Harbour.  Though his message was according to Ryan both uplifting and inspiring, Jordan seemed to think that this was the best time to walk off her dinner.  No pictures to post, but apparently she mostly walked around the back of the gym and quietly twirled her tutu skirt.  Did I mention this was for ages 3-18?

Following Michael’s message was dessert which consisted off chocolate fondue and lots of dippers.


I want to give additional props to Ryan because Jordan came home with minimal chocolate on her pretty clothes.  Well done, Daddy.

When it came time to pick their desserts, Ryan tells me that he’s never seen Jordan’s eyes wider than when she saw the collection of pink marshmallows that awaited her.  She was sure to tell me about that as well once she returned home!

"Jordan, can you show us your dessert?"

They wrapped up the evening with a handwritten letter from the Daddies to the Daughters.  Ryan bragged on Jordan for making it through two whole lines of his letter before saying, “Daddy.  I want to go run now.”

Cute outfit, huh? Thanks, Gigi!!

I’m so thankful that we are part of a congregation that does such awesome things for our families.  Both Ryan and Jordan came home glowing from their fun evening together, and I know that these Banquets (as well as these precious letters from Ryan) will be something that both of them will always treasure.

Just a little over three years until I get to start taking Jackson to the Mother-Son Cookouts…

Tis the Season?

It was over 80 degrees here yesterday.

And this morning I tracked, swatted at, and unsuccessfully terminated a mosquito.

In November.

Houston is totally messing with my holiday mojo.

I hear a front is coming (please, please!!) and that cooler days are in our future, but for now I’m holiday baking in shorts and a tank top.  This uncooperative holiday weather reminds me of childhood days when my Dad would graciously build us a fire on Christmas Eve, but then need to crank up the air conditioner (since an indoor fire with outdoor temps in the 60s-70s turns in to quite the roasting affair).  Inspired by such memories, I plan to turn on another fan, plug in my Pandora Christmas mix and just pretend.

The novelty has worn off a bit, so Jordan is less enthused about sitting on the potty than she was this weekend.  She has still had some major triumphs (like using the potty at the mall!!), so we’re trying to focus on that rather than the ever-growing piles of soiled laundry.  Today the reward for being such a big girl and trying the potty was a trip to the store to pick out some flowers.  Her Mimi and Pop would be so proud!

It’s 2:00.

We’ve been at this for 5 hours now.

Current Stats

Successful “Pee-in-Potty” trips: 3 (!!!)

Pairs of soiled underpants: 6

Princess movies watched: 3

Laugh-filled calls with husband: 4

Teary calls with husband: 2

Disturbing conversations with daughter about her view regarding the unnecessary use of potty for pooping: 2

#2-filled underpants: 1

Times I felt guilty about gagging while cleaning up my daughter’s #2-filled underwear: 1

So far I think we’re off to a pretty good start! Back to the laundry…