Category Archives: Trips with Jeb

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This may have been the best birthday yet.  We’re big on celebrating birthdays at our house.  Jeb wasn’t raised to treat birthdays as a holiday or Mardi Gras week…but he learned.  It did take a few years (and we’re still working on Mother’s Day).   He did a GREAT job this year!  We got to spend the weekend in Dallas together without kids.  Like I said in my last post, he took me to Capital Grille.  They put confetti on the table and wrote this little note for me.  

On my actual birthday, Ella Kate started school.  I am an only child.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that.  I grew up getting a lot of attention.  On my birthday when I was younger, I remember wanting to sit in the middle of the circle and have everyone set their lawn chairs up around my chair so everyone could see me open presents.   Is anyone feeling sorry for what Jeb got himself into yet?  I fight my only child tendencies most days.  The day I don’t fight my tendencies at all is my birthday (oh and Mother’s Day). :)  So, my stomach was in knots until we got Ella Kate settled.  I had to put my birthday on hold until about 930.  Once we got her dropped off, i was ready to celebrate.  Jeb took me shopping.  I have been on a quest for the perfect jeans for years now.  Let me tell you, you WILL NOT FIND THEM AT OLD NAVY OR GAP.  I’ve even ordered some Sevens and some other fancy name ones from Piperlime, but the petites were still crazy long.  I have oompa loompa legs.  

I decided to take a picture of these because I didn’t think I liked them.  This was in JCrew.  These are petites.  See what I’m saying?!?  Do you see how long they are!?  I ended up buying some other jeans at Lucky in the Summit.  I am in LOVE.  I wore them 4 days without washing them and then had to wash and dry them so I could wear them again the next day.  Jeb’s even a believer in buying a good pair of jeans now.  They fit better, they don’t stretch-out, and they are just awesome.  My search is over.  Happy birthday to me.

After shopping, we went to lunch at Jason’s Deli.  I love their Turkey Wrap with fruit and dip!  LOVE IT!  Then it was time to pick up our pretty princess.  She was happy to see us, and had obviously not been crying.  It was my favorite part of my birthday.  I’ll talk more about that in the next post.

When we got back to Cullman, Jeb took the kids to run some errands and clean out my car.  I got to do some things around the house uninterrupted, which was HEAVEN.  They all got back and brought in this yummy treasure (which was gone in less than a week).

 

He’s so sweet.  I love making a big deal out of other peoples birthdays, so it was fun for someone to make a big deal out of mine (other than my parents). :) Then Jeb took me outside and showed me the other thing he picked up for me:

 

I LOVE it!  I have wanted one since we moved to Cullman.  They are outside businesses all over Cullman.  A little hardware store in town makes them.  They’re just different and fun.  He remembered I wanted one and took all 3 kids into the hardware store to get one for me.  :)  That was a feat in itself!

I had a great birthday, and am so thankful for Jeb, my family, and friends who made it so special. :)

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The next 3 posts are going to overlap some.  I would do one long post, but it would take me days to finish it and no one but my mom would actually read the whole thing. :) We went to Dallas, I celebrated my birthday there, then on my actual birthday EK started her first day of preschool.  I’ll try not to repeat too much. :)

So, we woke up at 3:45 Friday morning.  It was an ungodly hour, but no kids were awake…so that made it a little easier.  We had a friend come over at 4am and get the run down about EK’s ears and such.  She stayed with the kids until Jeb’s parents came into town that night.  We are so very thankful for friends and family who are willing to hang out with our kiddos while we get some time to ourselves.

We boarded our plane around 630am.  Being up that early while only caring for myself wasn’t bad at all.  I don’t know if I ever realized how much easier it was when I didn’t travel with kids. :) Jeb did Sudoku, I read magazines (and here’s where Jeb would pipe up and say, “if by read you mean looked at the pictures” – and he wouldn’t be lying).

When we got into Dallas we got our Chevy Malibu and headed over to Denton to see some of our favorites, The Vicks!  The McGuirks were visiting them as well, so that was double the fun.  It was shaping up to be an awesome weekend already.

We ate brunch at a local cafe called “Cafe Loco.”  It was so very yummy.  I decided on steak tacos…which turned out to be a theme for the weekend.  I’ve ruined Mexican for myself for at least a week.  I ate it approximately 2 meals per day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  We chatted at the Vick’s house and then went to a neat little artsy section of Dallas.  We had to head out early because Jeb was taking me out to a fun birthday dinner.  When we left Denton we headed to our hotel to check in and change clothes.  We noticed some people who were dressed in an interesting way, but we didn’t think much of it.  Once we got into the hotel we noticed TONS of them.  Turns out there was an Anime Fest Convention at our hotel.  Seriously?  Yeah, these things happen to us.  Not sure why, but they do.  I do love a good story though.

Not only did we have Anime-palooza at our hotel, but we also seemed to book the official Michigan hotel.  For every 10 Michigan fans there was approximately 1 Alabama fan.  I’m not even kidding. It took us what seemed like 10 years to check in because…did I mention there was an Anime Fest going on?  Yeah, they all had to check in too.

The restaurant was recommended by Dana, and it was SO good.  It’s called the Capital Grill.  We had the best wine we’ve ever had and the steak was absolutely to die for too.  I wish I was eating it right now.  Sadly, if I ate steak with crab meat and cream sauce every night, I’d weigh 300 lbs.

We got back to our hotel, dealt with the heat in our room because of the “green initiative” they have in place (the air conditioning doesn’t come on until you enter the room)…I know first world problem…but I want my air conditioning…WE PAID FOR IT.

So, that brings us to Saturday…GAME DAY!  It was the day we’d been waiting to come for over a year.  As soon as we heard Alabama would be playing at Cowboy stadium we said we’d be there…little did I know, we actually would be there and we’d have tickets to sit in a BOX!!  Gameday was on in our room and the thought of fall was in the air…the feeling…not so much, it was approximately 132 degrees outside.  Dallas is the hottest place I’ve ever been in my life…and I was determined to wear my new cowboy boots Jeb got me for my birthday.

Like I said, there were about 10 Michigan fans for every 1 Alabama fan.  It could have been really ugly if we had lost.  Southern Hospitality is just that…southern.  Mom and Dad picked us up to head over to the stadium early.  We wanted to take in all the ambiance it had to offer…however it was HOT…did I mention that?  We ended up in the McDonald’s in Walmart.  Keeping it classy.

And we passed the time by looking at our phones, eating ice cream, and drinking diet coke.  We stopped by to see a few friends on our way into the stadium, and then saw a few more after we got in.  Strangest thing…we were cheering doing our thing in our box, and looked at the box next to ours and a friend from college who works for Tyson in Arkansas was over there!  So crazy!

This is our view.  My word, it was wonderful.  We had shrimp, salad, chips, dip, some sort of fried cheese mexican blessing from the Lord, steak fajitas, fruit, pizza, dessert bars, brownies, ice cream, and cute little personalized M&Ms that said Cowboys, oh and all the drinks you cared to partake of.  The whole experience ranked up there with top 5 of my lifetime experiences (you know not counting, marriage, babies, becoming a Christian…only counting entertainment).  I think this would take a close 2nd to the U2 concert we went to last July.

This is Jeb, my parents, and I excited after our victory.  Good times.  But the weekend wasn’t over!  We still had more family to see Sunday and more friends…Dallas was so fun.

We met my Aunt and Uncle and 2 cousins at Abuelo’s Sunday for lunch.  I am sad to say I didn’t get a picture of us all.  We had lots of fun catching up on college, new jobs, family stuff, etc.

Jeb and I headed out to try to see a few more friends before they headed home, and then spend some time with the ones who were staying.  I get anxious about…well, you name it and I can get anxious about it…boots closing in on me so that I can’t ever get them off? check.  Caden hitting me in the neck with a floor pillow and hearing my neck crack and automatically thinking of the 2 cervical spine fractured football players from the day before? check….so, any who, I was a bit anxious about hanging out with people on the day we were flying out of town.  Yeah, we were flying out at 8:30, but I still thought we needed to be NEXT TO THE AIRPORT…JUST IN CASE.  However, I fought every anxious bone in my body, and we hung out.  We went to Starbucks, Freebirds (which I hear it’s a travesty that I had already eaten and didn’t even try food from here), and then back to the Vicks.

Best picture ever.

We enjoyed fellowship and encouragement.  I got to talk to Kelly about cochlear implant stuff (her son has had them much longer than EK).  We ate food…lots of food.  We watched the Grape Lady video on you tube multiple times.  We laughed a lot.  We talked decorating.  We talked about churches and Jesus.  It was so refreshing.

Us with the Vicks

Me, Kelly, Rachel, and Dana

Josh, Ryan, Jeff, and Jeb

We came home refreshed, encouraged, and ready to see our babies.  We haven’t really been without the kids for any length of time since…well, mom and dad kept them when we moved to Cullman so I could get unpacked, Jeb’s parents kept Caden when he was the only one and Jeb and I went to Disney with my parents.  Other than that, it’s been a day or two here and there…that’s all we could get worked out schedule wise.  So, we are very thankful for our friend working it out so she could keep the kids until Jeb’s parent’s could get here, and then for Jeb’s parent’s keeping them AND fixing a leaky faucet that had caused water damage in the basement, and for my parents for the AMAZING seats at the football game.  We are so very blessed with friends and family.  I’ll be back soon with more birthday and EK’s first day of school. :) Oh, and just in case you were wondering…we got to the airport in PLENTY of time. :) No need to worry.

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We tied the knot 9 years ago…this is us then…


And here we are now…


It has been a wild 9 years. We’ve lived in 5 houses and 3 cities (4 if you count the move from Tuscaloosa to Northport). Between the 2 of us we’ve been employed by 7 companies. Jeb finished med school and residency. We’ve had 3 kids. We’ve been through 8 surgeries. We’ve regularly attended/been members at 6 churches. We’ve been to Disney 15 times. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve done it all…together. And that’s the way we’ll do it forever. Hopefully we’re done with the changing jobs, cities, churches, finding new friends part of life…I’m hoping this is more of the time in our marriage where we start to settle into where we are. There is absolutely no one I’d rather be on this journey with.
Mom and dad kept the kids Wednesday night and we got to bum around Bridge Street and stay at the Westin there. We had lots of fun being able to finish sentences and not having to cut up anyone’s food or take anyone but ourselves to the bathroom. It was a nice change for 24 hrs. We are thankful to have family who is willing to help us with the kids while invest in our marriage. So, thanks Mom and Dad for keeping the kids and thanks to Jeb for putting up with me for the past 9 years. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in the next 9 years…and then 9 after that…and on and on.

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    • The stomach virus is long gone from our house.  Praise the Lord!  JL is also doing wonderful!  He’s completely over his tonsillectomy.  Somehow all 3 kids have summer colds right now though.
    • Jeb and I went to the U2 concert in Nashville.  It was incredible.  Best 2 hours of entertainment I’ve ever seen.  For some reason we only took Jeb’s phone with us, we didn’t charge it before we left, and it died about 30 seconds after U2 came out.  Sad story.  We have 3 pictures of them.  Oh well.  I guess we’ll have to go to another one so we can get better pictures. :)
    • Us at the U2 concert. We sat so close! It was so fun!


We went to Disney for 4th of July week.  It was the hardest Disney trip we’ve ever taken.  Don’t get me wrong, still so fun…but SO tiring.  EK wanted to walk all over the park and do her own thing.  Caden wanted to ride the roller coasters.  John Luke wanted to ride Buzz Lightyear.  We stayed in the Wilderness Lodge and had such a pretty view of the lake, pool, and waterfall.  My dad was down there for work, so he met us a couple of times and added some much appreciated help to our days. :)  
  • We’ve been home for about a week.  It’s been a very laid back week around here.  Jeb was off a couple of days, which was so nice.  We’ve played a lot in the floor, watched a lot of Phineus and Ferb, and had a lot of fun together.
  • EK had another ophthalmologist  appointment on Tuesday.  We felt like her eye was getting worse, so we wanted a second opinion.  He agreed with us and said she did have strabismus (a crossed eye).  She is going to have to wear glasses now with bifocals to relax her eyes.  Apparently, that fixes 4 out of 5 cases, so we shouldn’t have to do anything else .  Prayers that she would keep her glasses on would be much appreciated.  We are going to pick them up tomorrow.