A Saturday in July at Moody Gardens

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Isabel gets a surprise visit

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Isabel was visited in April by one of her favorite people! Jessica was in town taking care of some things related to Jessica being awesome. She stopped by to help us make cascarones, which we dyed using all natural dyes with varying levels of success.

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Isabel goes to the park

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Every once in a while Isabel gets to spend some alone time with Daddy.

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Isabel goes to the East Texas Arboretum

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I spent a weekend in April driving back and forth between Athens and Malakoff and back and forth between Athens and Tyler running errands for my sister’s wedding. Isabel and I managed to carve out some time to visit the East Texas Arboretum. We walked some of the trails, visited the butterfly garden, and played in the playground.

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Isabel goes to Kite Fest

Grandma came up for the day!

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We went to Kite Fest!

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We brought our usual kites

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But this time Isabel actually got to try her hand at flying them.

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Isabel also had her first Bounce House experience

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After Kite Fest we headed to a friend’s birthday party with an Under the Sea theme

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Proof that I can coordinate colors and such. Outfit and shoes are from TWO different stores!

Isabel didn’t “get” the piñata

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But she had no problem understanding the “get the candy” part

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I found out later that those are reallly good taffy pops. I wish I had grabbed ALL of them.

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This is what I get for forcing a hug so that I can get a picture

At the end of the day we all went out to dinner. Isabel stuck one of her Easter presents down her blouse and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

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I picked up Isabel to carry her across the parking lot but she didn’t want me. She pointed at Grandma and said, for the first time ever, three times, “Namma!” So that was super, duper cool and a perfect end to the day!

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Isabel goes to the Spring Fling

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Can I dress my daughter or what?!

Can I dress my daughter or what?!

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Where are its eyes?

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Isabel kept trying to get on top of the animals in the petting area so we decided to let her ride a horse again

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Isabel has an awesome Spring Break

Friday!
Isabel celebrated the start of her spring break with one of her favorite things – bubbles!

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Saturday
The weather wasn’t spectacular but Isabel did get to spend a little time outside. Sometimes Isabel will point to the back fence and say Moo to indicate that she wants to see the cows.

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Monday
Isabel planted a few things and spent almost the entire day playing outside.

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Tuesday
Isabel went on a walk in the park and stopped often to smell the flowers.

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Wednesday
Isabel went on a zoo date with a friend. She learned the word peacock.

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Thursday
Isabel spent a lot of Thursday outside. She was going to go on a play date but her mama’s car ended up being in the shop all day. One of Isabel’s older friends visited.

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Friday
Isabel helped her auntie pick out a wedding dress!

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Saturday
After a long day of doing wedding stuff (including shopping around for Isabel’s dress!) Isabel and her auntie colored together on the iPad.

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Sunday
Isabel had a fun day at the Caldwell Zoo

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Isabel visits family

John’s Aunt Janet and Grandma Ford flew to Houston for a visit last month. Since they flew in from out of state we thought that the least we could do was drive to Houston for the weekend for a quick visit! I just wish we could have visited longer; Isabel doesn’t get to see relatives very often.

Isabel played with a bear that John had when he was little:
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John got to spend some quality time playing games with his mom, aunt, and grandma. We love playing board games but almost never get the chance to play with anyone!
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Isabel took a nap on one of her daddy’s old pillows -
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Isabel probably had the most fun when we went to the park -
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Overall I think Isabel had a great weekend

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Funeral Weekend

I heard on a Saturday that someone I’ve known my entire life had died. I didn’t know her very well but her whole family is very important to me so I booked a flight for that night to go south. Isabel and I were in South Texas by about 10pm. We stayed at my mom’s house.

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Isabel was happy to be finished traveling for the day. She was rewarded with the animated Eric Carle stories on Netflix.

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The next day we went to the viewing. My mom helped Isabel get ready. My mom had to go to work so my dad drove us. We sat for a while watching a photo slide show before my dad walked around with a restless Isabel. While watching the photos from my friend’s wedding back in December I thought about how happy I am that Isabel was able to meet the recently departed at that wedding.

Some of my first coherent words to the deceased were “You’re fat!” when I was little. I was an observant child and “fat” was one of the first words we learned in kindergarten. I’ve been mortified by the memory for a long time. I felt silly doing it but I made sure to whisper to her before I left that I was sorry I called her fat.

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I decided that it would be best for us to head back to my dad’s house after the viewing. I didn’t think Isabel would sit through a full Catholic rosary and I didn’t want to disrespect the family by trying to make it happen. It was Super Bowl weekend so we ended up watching football and eating the rest of the afternoon. I think Isabel had the most fun because she had no idea how disappointingly blah the game was. She also got to play with some full-size footballs for the first time.

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My dad had a few friends over and Isabel wore herself out making sure they knew how cute she could be when she plays.

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This was two weeks after my ACL surgery so I ended up sitting with my leg propped up as much as I could while everyone else kept Isabel entertained.

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The funeral mass and burial were the next day. Isabel thought both were fun. I’m glad I had other people there with me to walk around with her/chase her when I couldn’t. Isabel also got to meet a bunch of people that hadn’t even seen me since I was Isabel’s age. (Nothing like a funeral to bring people together.) At the cemetery I learned of a number of other deaths, including the death of a neighbor who lived across the street from me while I was growing up. He used to give me extra potatoes, bread, and chocolate milk at the school cafeteria because I didn’t eat meat.

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Isabel fell asleep on the way back from the burial. My dad put his head down next to hers in an effort to get his mind off of my mother’s driving. She’s either just really, really bad at driving or she is just one of those people who doesn’t give a flying fuck that they are essentially operating 0.75 tons of crush-able metal.

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Our flight out on Tuesday morning was cancelled and our later flight was delayed. Luckily for hop-along me, there was a play area near our gate. Isabel and another little girl kept climbing around together. In this picture (above) it looks like they’re pushing each other but they’re not. They kept helping each other get up and down, over and over again.  Isabel stopped by that little girl’s seat on our way off the plane in Houston to say goodbye.

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The circumstances for this visit home were tragic but I’m grateful for the time Isabel got to spend with family and for the experiences she had.

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Isabel has a Play Date

Isabel visited with Jack while we were in South Texas for the holidays!

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Taking turns

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December 2013

Remember this?
What a difference two years makes!

...as husband and wife
…as husband and wife
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