Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Play Date!

I realize my time is getting precious. I go back to school this week, and that inevitably is such a time kill for me.  Typically Chris is who gets the short end of the stick. I really have to pick and choose my "free" time so carefully between friends, family, and our little threesome. Not to mention a little bit of "me" time in there!  It's really a tough balancing act and nothing is ever evenly balanced. My goal is to just make sure nothing is out of balance for too long.

I digress!  My point is, I wanted to take advantage of these last carefree moments, so we had a fun little playdate today.  Walt's buddies, Reese and Ellie, came for a visit. Walt really loves the ladies, but I'd venture to say Ellie LOVED her some Walt. She hugged and kissed him about 2,308 times.  Ellie just turned one is such a little lady.

Reese is Walt's BFF from birth.  Ok, so maybe MY BFF, Stori, and I are forcing wishing for a super bond between these two. They are nearly exactly three months apart, and all bias aside, they love to roll around together... literally.  Take a look:

Reese and Ellie checking out some auto-bubbles

The girls are nicely playing. Walt is a little territorial over the bubble machine...hence the look on his face.

LOL. Don't touch me!

Much to Reese's daddy's chagrin, we plopped these two on the bed together. They rolled around. It was hilarious.

I sure enjoy all of Walt's little friends! They all have very unique personalities and bring out something different in Walt. XO.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is That a Shrimp in your Pocket?

On Saturday, we decided to spend some quality time with some of our new neighbors, The Allen's. The Allen's have a little boy, Austin, who is just a month older than Walt. Perfect!

I had a stroke of genius and thought the kids would enjoy a dinner at Benihana.  It's entertainment AND dinner all in one!  Despite a couple meltdowns, it really was one of the more "relaxing" out-to-eat experiences we've had lately.  Too often we spend 70% of the meal trying to assuage Walt (who is only entertained by eating food for about 20 minutes before he wants to get down and get into stuff he shouldn't).

Check out Walt and Austin's screamin' good time:

The boys are checking out the smokin' grilled onion guised as a choo-choo train!

Trying to get these guys to 1) look at me and 2) smile was an act of God. Clearly, I could only deliver 50% here.

I love this pic! He actually kept the chef hat on and was super intrigued by something - possibly shrimp flinging or knives flying.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friends with Kids

Since we've had Walt (going on 20 months now, omg), I have been pleasantly surprised by all the new friendships we've created. Not just brand new friendships, but new dimensions of existing friendships.  It seems like there's this unspoken bond among parents with children around the same age. 

Maybe it's because you "get it" when you see a toddler ripping through toilet paper and eating it, or you understand when the night ends at 6:30 p.m. because you've stepped into the witching hour, or it's okay that your afternoon plans changed dramatically at the 11th hour because someone woke up with a runny nose all of a sudden. What's more is you don't look at your fellow parents in disdain at these decisions, but your heart melts and you feel an instant sense of empathy.

We have met people we otherwise wouldn't have met either through Walt's school, his activities like MyGym and swimming, or just neighbors in the new neighborhood. These new relationships are huge blessings! We have also cultivated some of our existing friendships, much like our friendship with the McClure's. Jeff was Chris's best man and has been a friend for most of Chris's life. We've done plenty of great things with the McClure's, including staying up way too late with bottles of wine and an uber competition game of Charades.  These days our fun is different, but dare I say better? We have the joy of sitting back and watching our children mingle and play and what fun that is!

Here are some pics from a recent visit from the McClures and their beautiful babies, Cash (4.5) and Blake (2).

Aunt Janna brought her iPad and it was like moths to a flame
Blake and Walt enjoying some bubbles

Cash thought the Little Tikes mobile needed washing... with bubble soap. Walt agreed.
After their fun stay, I found puppy nicely tucked away in the guest bed. He's still there :)

While this weekend was extra special with the McClure's since they live in Tyler and we don't get to see them much, we are so thankful for ALL our friends with kids... new and old :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Say My Name, Say My Name...

Walt is turning into a chatterbox. Our favorite thing these days is asking him "What's your name?" and he answers! Here's a quick video of some of his words... and not without the precursor to a tantrum, which has become more and more frequent these days. Enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2012

RIP - Sean Ashford

This is a tough one for me to write.  Given that, it'll likely be short.  A little over a week ago, Chris got a phonecall from his best buddy, Jed, that one of his best friend's was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident.  Sean lost control of his motorcycle around midnight on Friday night (July 27).

Sean, Jed, and Chris have been running buddies basically since Chris moved to Dallas in the mid-90s.  Their friendship was centered around music, and not surprisingly, Sean's entire life was molded by music.  It is no accident that the universal language is what brought these guys together.  You know, there are people who say they love music, or they love all kinds of music, but I'm not sure it was a truer statement for anyone but Sean.  He just loved it.  And he loved people. This was a common theme during his funeral service and he left a lot of positivity on this planet.

Sean will be sorely missed. Certainly Chris is one who will miss him terribly.  He was one of Chris's three groomsmen...twice!  He was so very special.  But, his memory will live on and on and on through the fund that his family and friends (including Chris) have established. The Ashford Music Fund will be the perfect legacy for this amazing guy :)  We love you Sean!