Tuesday, July 23, 2013

my best friend's wedding

*Whoops! I published my last post before this one and now they are out of chronological order!  Too late now, but it just bugs me.
Cory has been my best friend since we were four years old.  
Here is a picture of an Easter morning when we are around 8 maybe?
We lived down the street from one another.  While we shared a mutual love of Barbies, we also fought with each other all the time.  It is a wonder our mothers let us keep playing together because they often ended in one of us going home angry.  We got over that eventually and stayed close despite always being at different schools.  We did Girl Scouts together so we had mutual friends there, but it was actually great to have one friend who was separate from school and all the friend drama that girls seem to have.  I always knew I could have Cory over to spend the night without any issues about some other girl having her feelings hurt. We had all sorts of silly inside jokes and loved watching Saturday Night Live together.  We also love making this silly face in pictures:
Cory was in my wedding and I would never have dreamt of missing hers until I found out that I was going to be 8 months pregnant when she was getting married at the end of May.  Blast! Not about the baby, of course, we really wanted that.  I just knew the timing was going to be tricky since the wedding was across the country.  However, despite what I expected, my midwife gave me the green light to fly.  Apparently, you can fly up to 36 weeks.  I was going to be 35... or basically 36.  I had a few weeks warning so we were able to make all the needed reservations.  I was so excited when I got to call and tell Cory the news.  I am so happy I could be there for her big day.  For the photographer's amazing photos go here or you can just look at mine which are really almost as good right?... ok, not really.  Also, there are some from the fun Photo Booth here (Check out page 2 and 9 for Zach and I). It was a beautiful day with a beautiful bride which makes any photographer's job easy.  Unless the people you photograph insist on making this face:
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree because Cory's mom Vicki is an awesome lady as well.  She was my Girl Scout leader and has always been there to look out for me.  And you can see where Cory gets her beauty.
She looked stunning in her beautiful lace dress.
The little baby in my belly got lots of attention.
Her husband is pretty great, too.  His name is Matt and I couldn't pick someone better for her.
I love watching the groom when the bride comes down the aisle.
Cory's dad, Frank, is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  He looked very proud (and choked up a bit) as he walked her down the aisle.
(Is that Dean Stockwell from Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica saying the ceremony?  He is my distant relative after all.  Maybe I pulled some strings.  That will be my little secret... or lie... you decide.)
So Happy!
We ain't such a bad couple either...
The setting was just gorgeous on the vineyard in Charlottesville, VA.
Cory got to know my baby a little better, but now I am anxious for her to meet the real thing so we can all play Barbie's together.
And Zach got to know Cory's crazy brothers a little better.
Then it was time for the party.
I love the Balint kids!
I didn't think I could handle the dance floor with my swollen feet, but I did pretty well and made it out for quite a few songs.  I am glad it wasn't photographed though.
Then it was time to say goodbye.
The next day Cory's dad set up a group tour of Monticello.
It was beautiful and interesting and such a treat for us without kids!
We spent some time wandering around Charlottesville and came across "The White Spot" which is apparently a late night favorite for the college crowd.  It is also home of the "Gus Burger" which appropriately has a fried egg on it... one of our Gus' favorites.
We walked around the beautiful grounds of the University of Virginia.
My scientist liked the science building with famous scientific names all around the facade.
Here is the famous rotunda.
(The big Z and the IMP are the emblems of some of their secret societies)
Cory and Matt stuck around so we got to hang out with them before we left. 
Cory's good friend Kim from high school was around with her fiance, too, so we all had a nice dinner together.
I can't really express how happy I was that I got to go on this trip.  Zach and I left the boys for the first time.  They split time between Baabee, Mimi, and the Burches so they didn't miss us one bit. I was sort of dreading being super uncomfortable on the long flights, but it really wasn't bad at all.  My feet got super fat and swollen despite the compression socks, but that was happpening at home, too.  The baby cooperated and stayed put and the trip was a success.  It was a wedding I will never forget and am so blessed to have been at.  I love you Cory!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

father's day 2013

The boys love making breakfast in bed for Dad even though it isn't really Dad's favorite.  He doesn't really like to eat the second he wakes up, but he is a good sport for the boys sake... because it is really for them right? (And yes, I had a dollhouse in my bedroom for awhile, which my husband was also not a fan of, but we needed some extra room where it usually lives.  At least now we know we have a girl that we are actually keeping it for!)
The boys made these cute cards for Dad.
Jimmy drew a golf course since Father's Day usually revolves around that sport (except not this year).
Gus is so proud of his smiley faces and his ability to trace letters I write for him.
 Dad had been begging for an iPad for a long time, but I insisted we did not need one.
I am also really cheap so he never expects me to buy him frivolous, expensive presents.  
Actually, he is right because I wouldn't have done it if a bunch of his family members hadn't chipped in.
Needless to say he was pretty shocked.
I was a little unsure about bringing this new technology into our house and I am still not 100% convinced.  Zach claims he really wants it for school stuff, but I am pretty sure it is more for fun.  The boys beg to play on it so we have had to establish pretty strict rules.  They have to earn anytime on it by doing chores or having no time outs for a whole day.  Then we put on a timer to make sure we don't lose track of the time.  They also aren't allowed to carry it around.  I have heard too many stories about kids dropping them.  We have only put free aps on it so far, but haven't found any great educational ones.  Some of the games involve a lot a good problem solving, but something with reading or math would be nice, too.  It seems like everything free only gives you the beginning levels and then makes you pay.  Anyone out there have good suggestions for free (or very cheap) aps that they would recommend for a 2 and 5 year old?  Also, is there an ap that will turn off the iPad if it enters the bathroom?  I would pay for that one.

Monday, July 15, 2013

memorial day weekend

We were so excited that Aunt Erin and Gene came to visit us over Memorial Day Weekend.  Jimmy knows that if Aunt Erin is in town, that means we will do lots of fun stuff and go on adventures.  He remembered an old adventure we had gone on to the Rio Salado Audubon Center and asked if we could go again.  We took our binoculars and managed to spot a few large birds.  It was pretty hot so the boys didn't last long, but it's a pretty fun little sanctuary that doesn't seem like it should be in the middle of Phoenix.  I would recommend going early in the morning or in cooler weather.
The next adventure was to the Drive-In Movie Theatre to see Epic.  It really turned out to be an adventure... and by that I actually mean a disaster.  Okay, it wasn't terrible, but it felt like everything was against us from the start.  Despite getting there about a half hour before the movie started we waited in line until the movie was already starting.  Apparently we got in a bad line that was moving 4 times slower than all the rest since it had one person working two lines and apparently her credit card machine was giving her lots of trouble.  Unfortunately, once your car is in the line you are stuck.  It is like a mild form of torture.  My dad was trying so hard to be the patient voice of reason, but by the end I think he was about to lose it.  The three kids in the car whining didn't help, and then Finn tried to tell the lady that he was really 6 years old and not 5 and I had to attempt to silence him so we wouldn't have to pay extra.  He did not understand why we were telling him to withhold the truth.  What rotten adults we are.  By the time we got into the movie it was very crowded and we only got a spot on the end which just so happened to be right next to a theatre playing Fast and the Furious Part 14.   We were already having trouble hearing our movie through our car speakers and our little portable radio, but once that other movie started there was very little hope of understanding what was happening in Epic.  Jimmy and Finn ended up sitting in the car and facing backwards.  Fortunately, Gus was completely happy just watching and hearing very little of the dialogue.  Then at the very end, just to top things off, my Dad's truck battery died because we had left the doors open the whole time and covered up one of the lights.  Whoops. We had to ask a kind stranger (with crying kids in his car) for a jump start.  I said we should have demanded a refund, but that would probably have just caused more trouble. I took one picture that isn't great, but kind helps capture the overall mood.
We managed to turn things around a bit by getting out the Slip'n'Slide on Sunday for all the cousins.
How could this not make the kids happy?
Gus loved it, but he didn't quite get the whole run and jump idea.  He mostly just laid on it.
Baabee and Uncle Pete helped him out a bit by just throwing him.
The big kids were pretty good at it though.
Jack probably could have gone right off the end.
Jimmy and Finn were by far the biggest fans.  They must have run together dozens of times.
The were just laughing hysterically and being the cutest little buddies you ever saw.
Dot enjoyed from the sidelines.
It also made a good drinking fountain.
And even after it was turned off, it was a nice place to lounge.
We got Spinato's Pizza since it is Erin's favorite and just hung out on our patio.
Gus got some pool time with Dot where he managed to steal a kiss.
He got some major "cheek calibration" from Uncle Pete.
And he managed to get in on some wrestling with Finn and Jimmy.
We were so happy Aunt Erin brought Gene to share in all our antics.
He made our antics even more entertaining by putting on an impromptu "Que Pastas" concert for the kids. (Note: That is his very awesome kids band that you can check out here.)
His CD is on repeat in our car so the kids were pretty excited to have a live show.
He is kind of a celebrity around here now.
On Memorial Day we all hung out at the Burch House for some swimming.
... some swinging.
... some soccer.
... another living room "Que Pastas" concert.
... and at least one very good nap.
Can't wait until you come back again Erin!