Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bittersweet News from the Brew Crew

The Sad News:
Four years ago, we moved to Texas for Eric's job and a mixed bag of emotions.  We had a sweet two year old son Jack and an adorable newborn Molly.  No friends or family to help or support us within a few thousand miles, we were so scared but so excited about the adventure God was taking us on!

Throughout the four years, we made so many amazing, wonderful, supportive friends.  We were never alone for holidays, times of need, and there was always a family ready for an impromptu play date or trip to the pool!

We welcomed our own little Texan Will a little over a year after we moved here!  He was a nice little surprise!

We traveled throughout our new state, to San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Galveston, McAllen and Padre.  Even exploring Houston was an adventure, so much diversity and a million different things to do or see!

We found a wonderful home church for our family that we all loved going to, meet lifelong friends, and even had the privilege of Jack and Molly going to preschool at the church's preschool.

Jack went to an outstanding elementary school, that, at times, was a little intense, he learned so many amazing things!  I'm so impressed what he tells us, reads to us, asks us, and shares with us!

Sadly, we are moving away this summer and we're a mixed bag of emotions excited about God's plan!  We love Texas, we love our life here, and we are sad to say good-bye!  Thanks for a great four years!

The Happy News:

We're moving back to Kansas City, right where our crazy life began!  That's right our now family of FIVE (still can't believe I have three kids!  When does that shock end?!) is moving right back to where we were raised, lived for most of our lives, and have so many wonderful memories!  Eric's even working in the same office!  Crazy how God works!  We talk all the time about what we want to do on our trips home:  Take the kids to Fritz's, go to KU, the zoo, Deana Rose, and now we're going to live there!  Yay!  We're going to have four seasons again and get to wear sweaters and scarves!  Sadly, no more flip flops all year long, but I've done this before and can handle winter!  Right?!

Bittersweet because...

We love our life in Texas and we loved our life in Kansas.  We happy to go but sad to leave, we as before, we were sad to leave Kansas and scared to live in Texas!

But we're excited to make new memories with our sweet family, find a new family church, preschool, elementary school, and house!  We're excited to travel all over the Midwest with our family!

We're excited to have the four seasons and have our children play in the snow instead of looking at pictures!

We're sad to leave our friends, schools, church, play group, life here but we know God sent us here for a reason and we have blessed more then we deserve!  We are happy that He is sending us home to Kansas and we trust Him with our future!

To Recap:

We're moving to Kansas, we're happy and sad, and everyone needs to visit!  Here's to a fun, exciting Summer of 2012!



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pictures of the Brew Crew Kids!

Around the end of April, I start to panic about the approach of the month of May. I've all ready posted about our busy (and I didn't include anything about moving!) month of May, but I panic because there's Mother's Day, Eric's birthday, my father-in-laws birthday, end of the year gifts for teachers...do you sense the panic?!  I'm in charge of presents in general for our families, but I hoped, prayed, dreamed that I was off the hook for Mother's Day for all the mother's in our family.  No such luck...EVER!  So, every year, I scramble around getting presents for the mother's, father-in-law, husband, teachers, wrap, mail them off, and feel no joy from any of it!  This year, I had a wonderful idea that would make everyone happy, even myself!  Wow!  When Eric was off in California, I had my sweet friend Kami take pictures of our kids and I would use those pictures to give as presents to everyone (well, not the teachers, but I had a great idea for them too....hold on for the next time)!  The bonus, I could use those pictures myself, it was a gift for me too!  Awesome!

I had very low standards..I only wanted 1 picture of the three kids looking at the camera.  I didn't care if they were smiling, I just wanted them to look at the camera.  Here is why I asked for that:


This one makes me laugh, I love her!
"Jack, look at the camera!"  "I am!"
This is the picture I lost it at...all I needed for them was to LOOK at the camera!

See, LOOK at the camera!  That's all!  Smiling wasn't high on the list because looking at the camera and smiling was too much to handle!  So, these are the outtakes, Kami did an AMAZING job and I'm so impressed that she got several amazing ones of all three and of each one individually!  Above and beyond what I expected!  

Here are some individual pictures:








And now...what we've all been waiting for...a picture of all three kids looking at the camera!  I was on pins and needles waiting to see if there was one!

They love each other!
The winning photo for most gifts!
Love this one!
Love Will's hand in his pocket!

Hope you enjoyed looking at my cute kids!  If you need an amazing photographer, let me know, Kami is a miracle worker!  Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Go Astros!

Will has never been to a professional baseball game and we have a busy summer ahead, so we decided to spend our  Sunday afternoon relaxing at the Astros game.  One would think we were at an away game because the Rangers were in town (more blue and Ranger cheers the whole game) but we had so much fun!

We get there and of course the lady checking my bag forbids to me to bring in our bag of peanuts.  She told me I needed a Ziploc bag and I asked her for one, but she told me she didn't have one.  So, I asked what I'm supposed to do with our peanuts and she told me to not report her to her boss and go on in.  Interesting.

We rode up four escalators (all 3 kids loved them) and found our seats, a little high but a great view of the field!  Will was in heaven, base ball, trains, and a peanuts!  Actually all 3 kids loved the peanuts, so happy I didn't run into the purse check lady boss!  Right after the first pitch, Molly started asking for popcorn, cotton candy, sno cones, water, Dr. Pepper, ice cream, nachos, a hot dog.  Mind you, we all ate before we arrived at the game and everyone else was very content with the peanuts and water I brought.  Poor thing or poor Eric and Jack because she was sitting between them!  Lucky for us, the 1st inning was forever, with 5 home runs by the Texas Rangers!  Whew!  Around the 4th inning (which were a lot faster then the 1st) and hundreds of peanuts later, we walked around, watched the game some more and bought some cotton candy after much begging and pleading from our little girl!  She took one bite and asked for popcorn.  Sigh.

We decided it was time to leave because when we said no to popcorn, someone had a little meltdown,  one kid wanted to be carried because he had a very short nap, and and the oldest just wanted to watch the game.  What to do?!  Head on home!  We had fun and enjoyed a relaxing (for the most part) afternoon at the game!

We didn't take many pictures and the ones we did turned out horrible, maybe it's because we were so busy opening peanuts or the fact that we had very high seats!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Almost Graduate

Late Thursday night, I flew to Kansas City for graduation at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS.  I put "Almost Graduate" because he's not done until December but is choosing to go through this springs graduation.

Friday began in the most awesome way EVER!  I woke up to a phone call from home and talk to my four favorite people until Jack had to go to the bus stop and then laid in bed for over an hour watching TV.  AMAZING!  Then, I went to eat breakfast, alone, and enjoyed fresh fruit, eggs, bacon and silence.  I showered, got dressed and then my aunt, uncle and grandmother picked me up from my hotel to meet my parents at Bravo for lunch.  Had an amazing salmon salad and wine, then off to Atchison for Matt's (the brother, graduate) Baccalaureate Mass.  Well, first, we had to drop off my dad at the church since he was one of the deacons and then my mom and I walked over to Matt's dorm/apartment.  It was good seeing him (last time was Thanksgiving 2010) but his living space was disgusting and messy and smelled like boy.  Then, we walked back to the church (it's a very small campus) and waited in the church for over an hour, had to get there early to get a seat.  Yawn.  After over 2 hours of Mass, my bottom was numb and I was hungry...again.  We took lots of pictures, ate a little snack at a reception and went to eat at a place called Willies.  Excellent beer and fried pickles!  We went to another bar, but that name is slipping from me right now, but it was a fun time!
Wow, he's graduating?  
The Almost Graduate

The Almost Graduate and The Deacon
Saturday was an early wake-up, with breakfast at McDonald's on the way back up to Atchison (we stayed in North KC by the airport) and for the first time EVER my dad allowed us to eat in his car.  We almost went into shock.  After a long wait outside in the freezing rain (no, 60's in cold rain doesn't feel good or refreshing), we were allowed inside to wait some more!  At least I saw my sweet friend Leslie's wonderful Grandma Clare!  I lover her!  We got seated around 9 and graduation started at 10:30, so I was smart and brought my book..."Fifty Shades of Gray"...just a little pornographic fiction for a Saturday morning Catholic college graduation.  I pretty much read through most of the ceremony...it was a little on the boring side and my book was really good!
Waiting for graduation to start...obviously this is the stage


The Graduate and The Grandmother~she's awesome!

That's me on the left, The Almost Graduate, The Grandmother, and our only cousin (yes, that's all folks, we have a small family)
The Fam...The Deacon, The Proud Mother, The Almost Graduate, and Me!

After the graduation and thousands of pictures, I went back to his dorm room to help him pack, clean and move out.  I cleaned his ceiling fan and then read my book some more....it's really good!  After a few hours and my stomach growling, we went back to Willie's for lunch, shopping at Nell Hills while the boys went to Matt's new house to sleep and unpack, and then Wal-Mart to get ready for a BBQ.  The BBQ was fun, met a lot of his friends, and it was nice just hanging out with my family.  We headed back to the hotel around 8 and I talked to Eric before going to bed....because I had a 7:50 am flight to catch the next morning!

Yes, had to get home to celebrate Mother's Day and Eric's birthday with my sweet family but had a lot of fun in Atchison celebrating the almost graduate...only a semester left, right?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh May!

What is up with the month of May?  It is so crazy busy!  So far this month...

*Soccer games for Miss Molly (only 1 more left, she's super sad)
*Swimming lessons for Jack
*Dinner at our sweet friends the Tjoelkers (that's a fun name! We love them) on Cinco de Mayo!
*The end of my mom's group Ibloom, love it!
*Drinks with a sweet friend from Ibloom!
*Splash Day at Molly's preschool
*Papa's birthday, Eric's birthday, Mother's Day~wonder who had to get those presents put together?
*Pictures of the kids for events above (those will come soon!)
*Ship out said presents, wrap presents and pack for trip to Kansas
*Trip to Kansas for myself for my brother's pretend graduation (he's done in December, so we call it his pretend graduation)
*Prepare house and family for my trip to Kansas
*Eric's work trip to California and he's super crazy busy at work
*Lunch with Jack and Will at Jack's school

Still to come....
*Molly's last day of preschool and end of the year party
*Molly's friends coming over after school today (I'm dreading this a smidge, they are loud girls)
*Jack's after school "camp-out" with the Kindergarten teachers...we won an auction at his school and tomorrow is the "camp-out!" Two students from each class and their teacher will be there after school until 5:30!  He's more then excited!
*Playgroup with our friends
*His book fair at school
*The last Mother's of Young Children meeting this Friday (my other mom's group, don't ask why I belong to two!)
*2 birthday parties, Molly's soccer party, Molly's last game, Jack's swimming lessons
*Memorial Day...maybe a quick trip somewhere?
*Jack's end of the year celebration
*Jack's last day of school

Really?  Really?! This doesn't even include the laundry, groceries, cooking, and life that is everyday!  Where is Will in all of this because notice his name isn't mentioned.  He's along for the fun!  Wish life was always this simple!

Oh, and the photo a day...that is about over for me...maybe next month? I was doing so good until day 5...birds.  Um no.  I hate birds!  And then a few days later was kitchen, and I was at a hotel.  Not working!  I seriously loved doing it so maybe next month when life has calmed down!  It will, right?!

Monday, May 7, 2012

RIP MCA

When Eric and I met, we were 16 and so in love.  I mean, we're not talking puppy love here folks!  We talked on the phone all the time, had so much in common, I mean, we ordered the exact same thing at Taco Bell (2 tacos and a Dr. Pepper, he got soft shells, me crunchy), and I would help him wash his car, tweak and repair his car stereo every weekend.  That's love!  He had the car stereo and speakers where you heard him coming before you saw him, and it was so loud.  The bass would shake your whole body and I thought he was the COOLEST GUY EVER!  We drove around all the time in his 1988 Honda Accord and what was the CD of choice for most of these adventures?  Why  Beastie Boys  License to Ill of course! "Fight for Your Right, To Party," "Girls," "Brass Monkey," and "Paul Revere" were our favorites!  The memories!  Once he got to college, he bought his first truck and sadly, the days of hearing before seeing him come down the road were over.

Well, when we heard MCA passed away last week, someone got out his old License to Ill CD and guess what we listened to on our way to church Sunday morning?  You guessed it!  The kids favorite song is "Girls," especially because the lyrics say, "Girls..to clean the bathroom.  Girls. Girls. Girls..."  They laughed every time and then asked for the song again and again!

So, RIP MCA, thanks for making some amazing music but no worries, the next generation is enjoying your music!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Photo A Day in May!

I'm linking up with Fat Mum Slim for her photo a day challenge.  I've seen others post pictures and I love looking at them, but I also thought it looked easy enough to try!  Plus, I can be creative (right?) and share more pictures of my cute little family!  Let's get started..I'm all ready behind a day, I may procrastinate a tad in life!

Day 1:  Peace ~ I actually used a picture of Will from when he was sick awhile back, not quite sure what he was sick with, but I love this peaceful looking picture of him sleeping!  It breaks my heart when my kids are sick but I love the extra cuddles I get!


Day 2:  Skyline ~ My backyard counts as a skyline...right?  We weren't heading anywhere near a skyline with buildings today and I love our backyard view, so why not!

I'm so excited to share tomorrow and to see others photos!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lessons Learned from South Padre

Over the weekend, we took a little family trip to McAllen and South Padre Island, Texas.  If you don't know where McAllen is (like me), here it is on a map!

Yep, right there on the USA/Mexico border!  We left Friday, after Jack got out of school and I can sum up the whole drive:  "I'm hungry, are we at the hotel, is it time to go to bed, and I'm hungry."  Seriously, the three kids ate the life out of the snacks I brought for the beach.  They ate the whole time and then ate at every stop for meals.  Growth spurts?!  I also kept telling them to rest and try to sleep, but no one fell asleep until we reached McAllen, but no worries, all three had bursts of energy once we got into our hotel room.  Every light switch was turned on a thousand times per child, beds were jumped on, and they decided to switch beds a few hundred times.  We finally decided on the girls in one bed and the boys in the other, seemed fair to me but we ended up with Will halfway through the night!  The best part of the night was when we all said good-night to each other, for about ten minutes each child said good-night to each person in our family, even themselves!  Around 11, everyone fell asleep and were all up by 7!  We showered, ate a quick breakfast, and headed on over the work event we helped with by passing out water for the event.  Our kids were so cute with their waters and saying "Thank You" to everyone!  After the walk, we had a tour around McAllen, since Eric goes there all the time, he had to show us all the cool places...like Casa Kevin, K-Mart (how do we not have a K-Mart in our area?), and the Mexico border.  We ate lunch right along the Rio Grande River and saw the border patrol once, the restaurant was so American!  Everything was fried and huge, the fries were so yummy!  I was full the rest of the day.  After that, we hit the road again and headed on over to Padre.  And yes, we had 2 kids asleep in 2.3 seconds after we left the restaurant and they slept almost the full 2 hours!
Once we got to Padre, we checked into our dump, I mean, hotel.  Disgusting doesn't begin to describe the place but the whole island was booked...*Book early if going to Padre!  And read the reviews!  To sum it up, we had to Lysol the room, buy sheets, and towels.
I diverse.  We went to the beach where it was a tad windy, like we were windblown, but still had fun!  The kids ran around, found shells, and tried not to get run over by the crazies driving on the beach. They had such a blast and the sand and beach were a lot like the ones seen on TV, white sand and blue water (with huge white cap waves barreling towards us), and beautiful shells!  I love the beach but forgot about how sand gets into everything.
**I was more then a little stressed out due to the hotel, wind, and the beach.  I mean, the water was hereandpeopledrivinghere.  And seriously sand, can we talk?  Do you have to stick to everything?!
Focus, Liz.  After the beach, we go to dinner, where best quote EVER..."We can't go there, we're not wearing any underwear!" Thanks Jack!  Dinner, another experience where two kids spent most of the time in the car crying with the air on while I tried to ignore the glares from people wanting our parking spot.  Since our oldest was having a great day, we got ice cream from the DQ (how I love the Dairy Queen) and then Eric took him go-carting.  He LOVED it!  After that, we went to the bay side and watched the sunset!  Beautiful!  We went back to the hotel, lysoled ourselves and slept in peaceful slumber...except when Will fell out of bed around 2.  I slept with Molly and Will and Eric and Jack slept on the pull-out couch.
Except for Will falling out of bed, we all slept like babies, got dressed before we could get anymore bugs or diseases from our room and hit the road towards home.  "Donuts, donuts, donuts" is what they wanted for breakfast, so I put in "donuts, donuts, donuts" in our GPS and we went to first one and no donuts!  Everything except!  Whatever!  It was a cute hole-in-the-wall and delicious food (I love eating out for breakfast) and the kids inhaled their food....but wait for it!  Not even 20 minutes on the road, "I'm hungry" came from the backseat.  Seriously?!  I was still full from the lunch the day before and they are starving after a huge breakfast!  And, the rest of the way home...that's all we heard!  Thank God for raisins, peanut butter pretzels, marshmallows, and beef jerky (don't judge, my kids were hungry and I'm cheap).
So, to sum up our weekend and advice for everyone:  1. Book your hotel early in Padre.  2.  Kids are hungry all the time.  3.  Don't trust the GPS.  4.  Put the youngest in the middle and with mom, it's just easiest that way.  5.  You will have to vacuum out your car because about 1 ton of sand will occupy your car.


Sunset Saturday night on the bay side of South Padre Island

Getting ready to Go-kart!  Which one was more excited?!