Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We will always have Matagorda....

We spent an unbeatable four-day weekend in Matagorda. This place holds a very special place in my heart for one important reason: my dad took my sister and I there regularly when we were kids. My great aunt and uncle used to own a beach house there where we would stay. Sure there are mosquitoes by the thousands and if you get there at the right time of year there may be too many jelly fish to swim, but I can honestly never remember a moment there that I haven't enjoyed. I relish the memories of my dad there. He was a very spontaneous person, so you never knew what he had up his sleeve. When we would wake up in the morning my dad always had a new adventure planned for us: crabbing, playing king of the island-sized float he had splurged on, slumber parties on floaties in the lower level of the house, sand castles, sleeping ON the beach, etc, etc... We laid his ashes to rest there, too...right where the Colorado River feeds into the Gulf just about 1/2 a mile from the beach house. He had requested this before he passed on June 2, 2004.

My FAVORITE memory of my dad there was seeing him sitting at the long table in the front of the beach house facing the ocean in the morning enjoying his cup of "starter juice" (that was his name for coffee) with his bounty of sea shells laying before him on the table. He collected them before the sun rose each morning, hours before we woke up. He would be beaming from ear to ear when we finally woke up and ran to the table to greet him in the morning so he could pick through the shells and show us his favorites and we could find our own favorites.

My great Aunt has passed and my uncle no longer owns the house we used to stay in so my sister and I have rented a house there a couple of times since my dad passed. We invite our family and friends to come and celebrate there with us when we go and there are always lots of takers...more than 30 very special people came out to enjoy food, fun and sun with us this year!

My pics mostly contain Ella, but I know that my sister has some great ones of the attendees that I will have to snag.

Ella on dad's shoulders making the trek across the dune to the beach shortly after we arrived in Matagorda on Friday:

Ella making sure that EVERYONE was following her to the beach:

Castaway Ella:

Ella, enjoying a little R&R on the couch w/ a good book:

Cousin Michael whipping up a bacon, egg and toast breakfast on Saturday morning:

Charley enjoying some solo time on the deck:

Ella taking part in the ceremony we held for my dad:
(note: my Grandmother brings a couple dozen roses for everyone to release into the ocean in memory of my dad)

Alyssa, as a mermaid:

Ella playing hard during one of our 8 trips to the beach:

Ella taking an hour and a half nap in a chair she crawled into on the can't tell that there are 30+ adults and children enjoying themselves around her the whole time. THAT IS WORN OUT!

My brother, Michael, shortly after sun up on Sunday morning with his 25+ inch trout he caught while wade fishing just in front of the beach house! It is is largest trout catch to date and he was VERY EXCITED! The guys all ran out to fish after that and I believe the total trout count for that morning was 13. We had fresh fried trout tacos for lunch that day : )

Ella and Mimi goofing around early Sunday morning:

Ella and I goofing around:

Ella set up shop on the deck:

Dad and Ella photo op:

Monday morning's sunrise:

Everyone who came made the weekend so very special. Thank you's to: Aunt Anna for the wine, cheeses and fresh fruit. Melissa and Wayne for saving the day with the coal chimneys and beautifully decorated cake. Grandma Rosie for the fresh roses, dessert, plates, paper towels, fresh watermelon from the garden, and saving baby Chloe from crawling off the deck while her big brother was causing a distraction for her mom! Uncle Pat for providing hours of entertainment for the kiddos and adults, alike. Kim, Jessica and Uncle Pat for bringing the kiddos that kept us laughing. Zach and David for putting up with Charley and mine's big ideas for the weekend. George, Jan, Kenny and Lisa for being there, you are apart of our family forever! Mimi and Grandpa Mike for all the sand toys, floats and legos that you brought. Cousin Michael for cooking breakfast on Saturday. My brother Michael for leading the charge on catching lunch and sending us all home with BIG bags of fresh trout. Mike for cleaning all of the fish. Neal for killing the GIANT rattle snake and leaving the dead head on our frisbee (lol!). I'm sure I am leaving out many contributors since I was distracted with a one year old and kitchen duty (and lots of fun) so thanks to everyone who came out!

Dinner with Samuel & My BIG/little girl.

Last Wednesday (whoa! a whole week ago already) we had Heidi, Will and SAMUEL over for dinner. There was too much fun to be had.

Playing outside:

Playing inside:
(Sammy on the mic)

Ella being UBER sad after Sammy had left (w/ food on her face):


little girl photo:

One thing is for sure, we are going to need a regular dose of Samuel around here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I'm always dropping book names to friends, so I thought I would just make a list of some of our favorites...some are new faves, some are old (in no particular order):

1. Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
2. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
3. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
4. All books by Mo Willems : )
5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss (all Dr. Seuss)
6. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
7. That's Not My Monster by Fiona Watt (another good series)
8. Birthday Monsters! by Sandra Boynton (she has lots of good ones)
9. The Monster at the end of this Book, starring LOVABLE, FURRY OLD GROVER by Jon Stone
10. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff (great series and coincidentally I met the author's sister a gold exchange store...wonderful and weird)
11. Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
12. Last, but not least, VROOM VROOM, author unknown and Ella's favorite..we read this one at LEAST 10 times a day.

...and I can't think of anymore, but everytime we go to the library it seems we find a new treasure. Please post your favorite books to read with your munchkin(s) because we would love to find more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coloring, shorts head and a play date.

How do I sum up Ella and my time together? It always sounds so goofy....and IT IS!

This week I spent $2.75 on a big roll of white paper and a box of fat crayons. Ella and I have been creating masterpieces together ever since:

Shorts on the head:

Today's play date with Tabitha and Joshua was so much fun: coloring, dragging out every toy, "sharing" toys and baking chocolate chip cookies! Do you notice anything similar about these three crazy kids?



Monday, August 18, 2008

"Oh, she is SO well behaved."

Ha! This is what I heard when the family attended a cocktail party on Saturday evening. I wanted to burst out laughing. Picture this, I am carrying Ella (in a magnificent dress) through a crowd of people in a small candle lit room filled with fancy glasses containing fancier drinks and there are comments flying: "She is so beautiful." "Look at those curls." and then *gasp* "She is so well behaved.". Don't get me wrong, the sweet words were very much appreciated, but the bottom line is that she is ONE. She doesn't know what "behaved" means nor is she anywhere close to being able to pronounce this word. Really she is stuck on the repetitive single syllable words like, mama, dada, kiki (aka kitty, kitty), etc, etc. This comment has had me giggling for two days. Maybe I'm is possible, but I'm chuckling inside just thinking about it now.

Sorry, no pics of our cocktail evening, which really consisted of us playing in the backyard with the beer drinkers. It was a fun experience and Ella was being good, as is her M.O. when there are new things to see and do and lots of attention to be had.

I have actually started some projects and I'll try and get some pics/how to's up soon in case you are feeling the itch like me. I feel "complete" when I am being creative and I should make the effort more consistently, but it always seems to fall at the bottom of my list of things to do. You know how it is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Laundry and a Special Gift..

Today was laundry day, ugh....

Ella took it all in stride:

My favorite part of laundry day..the tiny clothes on the line!

What's this? A gift for me? Is it my birthday?

From Auntie Linda!



Yay, Crocs!

Thank you, Auntie Linda!!!

It is a little known fact that Ella not only enjoys wearing shoes, but will carry them around in her arms for a good deal of the day. When I line up her shoes on a shelf and she spots them, it makes her smile : )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Swimming, playing and stuff

That sums up our recent history. Here are some pics:

At Auditorium Shores pseudo water park:

Aunt Charley's Birthday Dinner at our place:

Shipe Neighborhood Wading Pool:

Miss thing after an hour of swimming and wading, barely able to sit up and eat a box of raisins:

A little after swimming swing:

Indoor bike riding: