Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One more

We couldn't help but squeeze in one more outing with the Aunties before they left. We even let the boys miss the first half of the day so that we could all go walk the dam together. After we finished beauty parlor we headed out.

As soon as we got there we found a pretty spot with a bunch of blue bonnets. We haven't seen hardly any this year because of the lack of rain but I think they came out just for our special visitors.

And then I couldn't help but take some pictures of my boys.

And then Gracie was so cute trying to catch her butterflies.

And Ella getting one more shoulder ride with Amber.

I can't believe the fun party we had and how much fun we packed into a less than two day time period. It was unbelievable!

So now I ask, how did we get from this...

To this...

And when do we get to get back to this...

with smiles all along the way.

No one will ever know what this surprise really means to me. Not only will I NEVER forget it but it has rescued me in a way I could never explain. I love these girls and all of our moments over the past 35 years SO much! Amber, Jennie, Eliza.... literally screaming from my soul, I say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you beyond measure. These moments with you three were pieces of eternity on earth. I love . I miss you. I'm looking forward to when we can be together again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We Actually Really Did Do It

Now, I have trimmed up my little girls' mullets before but never been brave enough to do the whole thing. I'd been thinking about it lately but when I would ask Haven if she wanted to get a haircut she would immediately put her hands on the top of her head and say "No way Jose!" But when Auntie Amber asked her if she wanted to play "beauty parlor" and get all done up she so happily exclaimed "Yes!" I guess it's all in the wording and having three doting Aunties with them to get the first hair cuts.

Here's Haven's beauty parlor experience with Mommy and the Aunties.

The first cut. Aunties Eliza took on the brave mission.

Still cutting.

And... still cutting.

Auntie Jen put "product" in her hair to help hold those super cute curls and Auntie Amber put in a fancy new pair of sparkly earrings. She usually changes her earrings almost everyday so that they match her outfits but not the Auntie Amber earrings. She just took them out for the first time this past Wednesday for her ballet/tap pictures. She loves them!

Auntie Amber even put "make up" on to finish it all off and then you get this......

And this....

And of course we couldn't leave little Ella out of all the fun. She was needing a new do too.

Payten's first cut.

And another one. She sat pretty still for a not quite three year old until something would brush across her neck. It mad her giggle every time.

Go Eliza go! (You know they are going to need a touch up in a couple of weeks. Can we make the appointment now?)

Auntie Amber put some pretties on Ella too. We wanted to see if her hair would hold ANY curl so Auntie Jen gave it a try . Nope. NO curl but perfect just the way it is. Which looks like this...

And then together you get this.....

It doesn't get much cuter than that.

I admit it. I had a little twitch go through my heart. After all, it was my babies hair.

But then I get to have this picture implanted in my heart and it's all good. I really do love the new hair cuts. I think both of them fit each of them perfectly. Not to mention they look SO DARN CUTE! Thanks Aunties for the fun time at the beauty parlor. We won't forget that one for a very long time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fiesta Sista

After our trip to the temple we knew exactly where we were heading. The girls couldn't come all the way to Texas and not get some "real" mexican food. Nina led us to a great hole in the wall place called Papa Gallos and we all got our fill of some yummy stuff. I'm not a huge mexican food fan but I really really liked this place. We all got something different and taste tested off of each others' plates. Mmmm Mmmm... good. I'll have to hit that place sometime again soon.

We then hurried home so I could spend some time with my family on my birthday and in time for the kiddos to get home from school and let them spend some time with the Aunties. It was fun to just let them all interact with each other. It's always interesting to see who gravitates to who. The boys were all vying for auntie Eliza's attention. Even Brayden found enjoyment in hanging out with the big crowd. They all loved all of them but the girls especially had their favorites. Payten Ella snuggled up to Auntie Jen from the get go. (Sisters, who has a picture of them together? I need one!) Haven Gracie found a forever friend with Auntie Amber.

I snuck back to the girl's bedroom at one point and found Haven introducing all of her friends to her Auntie. There was Amber so sitting happily on Haven's bed. This is them with Gracie's animal friends.

And then they had to get one with her dolly friends too. It was so cute.

THEN.... Spencer came home from work early and cooked the most amazing dinner I've ever had. He was running a kitchen like I've never seen before. He had two little prepping girls (Catherine and Eliza) working with the knives and he had all four burners and the oven going at once. There was steak, fish, scallops, salad, shrimp, hot bread and a white chocolate raspberry filled cake. It was better than any restaurant I've ever eaten at. Thanks baby! Hell's Kitchen has nothing on you! With our very very full bellies, the girls headed out to Fiesta in San Antonio. But first the Aunties had a surprise for the kids.

Catherine set them all down and had a surprise basket for them. She explained that we were leaving for the night and she wanted them to have fun while we were gone. She unveiled a basket full of coloring/activity books, crayons, markers, movies and candy.

They were set! It was so thoughtful of the Aunties. Even with all of that they were still sad to see us leaving but being the selfish people we are we left them in Daddy's care and took off to party.

We headed down town to the River Walk and just did a little of nothing but had a lot of fun. We were initially trying to find the La Villita place . We walked around the river paths not only in search for La Villita but it was a vacation quest of Catherine's to see dancers and some mariachi bands. (Tourists.) Along the way we ran into lots of both.

They were on boats, in restaurants and at one point we found them on the path so we grabbed a photo op with them too.

(Who has one with me in it?) Fun stuff.

They have these old cool bridges all along the river walk so Eliza snapped one for us.

Once we finally found the La Villita hours later we found out it cost something stupid like 12 dollars just to get in and there was only 30 minutes left. We thought it was a place with fiesta style entertainment but learned it was basically a big Texas bar-b-que with a mixture of tejano and country music going on. We were thankful we had enjoyed ourselves and taken our time along the way. In fact, I wish we had had more of it.

Later we found the Alamo and there was a nice old man there who had lived within 15 blocks of this place his whole life. He took a group shot of us which I don't have on my camera. (GIRLS???)

When we were walking back to the car there were a few shops still open at almost midnight so we ducked into one and had some fun.

There are a lot more funny pics of us in this store. I'm pretty sure the guys running the store thought we had been drinking too much at La Villita but we all know that that is not so. And I don't think any of us cared. We were having fun being silly. I can't wait to get our memory book we're having made done. Four girls with four cameras equals a lot of pictures I don't have. We had a lot of fun days making a lot of happy memories for me in just a few hours. I still can't get over the fact that they would do all of this for/with me. It will forever mean the world to me.

When I got home late that night, Spencer surprised me with my birthday present. I get to go see Broadway's Wicked at the Majestic theatre in June! After the surprise of all of this then the fantasy get away to Rockport with my husband, it is so good to have something unbelievable to look forward to.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Day Indeed

This experience with my sisters was without a doubt the biggest birthday surprise of my life. Although I was still wheeling myself into reality that they were really here, we headed out the next morning for a fun filled day. With Spencer at work and the boys at school, Nina even arranged a babysitter for the girls so I wouldn't be caught up in last minute favor begging. Which also meant she got to come with us. So as every respectable Mormon girl does, we headed out to the San Antonio temple for some sight seeing.

None of these sisters had seen this temple before. I know we're always biased to our own "home temples" but San Antonio's really is gorgeous. It's a smaller temple with amazing stained glass windows throughout it and of course beautiful flowers everywhere.

This is one of the stained glass windows off of the side of the temple. A picture can't capture it's magnificence but I can look at it and remember.

This is Nina and I. Isn't she so sweet and pretty? Don't let the looks fool ya! She covered all her tracks so well that I now know she is an in the closet liar! I'm just joking! She went through such great lengths to help pull this all together without me knowing. I've had a few kindred spirit friends cross my path in this life time. Heather Jones (now Bradbury) through my childhood years. Karin Havens who knows everything about me. The good, bad, the ugly and could tell you what I would do before I even do it. And now that I'm all grown up, Heavenly father has blessed me with my Nina. I love this girl.

"Here we are together together together. Oh here we are together with my pretty sisters." (Primary song. Sorry.)
This shot made me flash back to my early childhood when my Mom would set us all up for a photo op. It brings back happy memories of life before everything went crazy.
Anyways..It was really really good to be there. It's not a secret to most that I've been struggling with a lot of things lately. It was a miracle to have my sisters take me there and feel in my heart where I should be. Just these short moments helped me remember who I want to be. I want to be more like them. Thanks girls.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

I can't believe it has been almost a whole month since the biggest surprise of my life! It started out with my sisters in kahootz with Nina which led to the reaction on the post of 22nd. (See Suupise Sista!) To this day I still can't believe they pulled that on me and the less than 48 hours I had with them was wonderful. We made the most of every minute of it even if it was 4 AM!

I honestly had no idea who they were. It crossed my mind at one point that they looked like my sisters but as fast as it came in it went out. After all, how could my sisters possibly be here?!? And who do I know that dresses like this? Who knew I had such rock star sisters!?!

Here's Amber who came from Maryland and left 5 boys at home! I hadn't seen her in four years. What an awesome big sister right? She has always looked out for me for as long as I can remember. I was told she was the master mind behind the whole thing . They didn't even tell Spencer. Nina went to HUGE lengths to keep it all under cover and boy did it ever work!

This is Catherine who also came from Maryland leaving her 6 children at home! I hadn't seen Catherine in over 6 years! She had never seen either of my girls and she has Briella who I've never seen before either. Another amazing big sister who has been an inspiration to me throughout my life.

And here we have Eliza, my brother's incredible wife who I have just happened to adore for more than ten years. She left her three babies in Utah. I haven't been able to spend any real time with her since she came out here for our temple sealing in 2003. It was so good to spend time with all of them. I still can't believe they were actually here! It came and went so quickly that sometimes it seems like a dream. I'm glad we have so many pictures to forever remember the experience.

They showed up with flowers, balloons and a yummy cake that read "Suupise" on it. Gotta love the Asians at HEB! After my kids were forced to go to bed instead of getting to know more of the Aunties, I sat around staring at them thinking, "There's Amber. In my house. There's Catherine and Eliza. IN MY HOUSE!" It was completely unbelievable! Spencer was a trooper in taking over the running of the household because I had checked out. That first night most of us (heh hum Amber) stayed up until 5 AM just catching up with each other's lives. Then we were back up and at it by 8 to keep the party rolling.

So now is when I take a blogging break. We shoved so much into two days that this camera addict can't fit it all into one blog! I've decided to break it up into days so tomorrow's blog will be our trip to see the San Antonio temple and our wild girl's night out! Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Big 18th For B

So after a whirlwind of a week (the best week EVER!) I'm finally backtracking to blog my amazing adventures that have been going down at the Drapers. My birthday was the 22nd of April and that is when all the CRAZY stuff happened with my sisters. But Bryan's birthday was the 20th and got surpassed in the blogging world with the complete and utter surprise of my sisters showing up. (see the blog entry from the 22nd.) So.. of course I have to back up and let one and all see my "man" (whatever) on his 18th birthday.
I usually let my kids stay home from school on their birthdays but Bryan got up and at it without mentioning otherwise. When he came home this is what he found in his room.

OK. The girls weren't in there but they had decorated his rooms with a ton of streamers and balloons and candy thrown about. They hid in the back yard until B was inside and then he found it all. He called Spencer to tease him that for his birthday he came home to a room full of girls and chocolate on his bed! Funny guy ay?

These are the girls up close. His good friend Jordyn is to the far right of B. It was all her idea. She went and picked up Bryan's other good friend who is directly to the right of B. Her name is Taylor. And to the left of Bryan is Jordyn's little sister Kylie. They are all such sweet girls and it really made Bryan feel special.

Later that night we did our family celebration. B has ALWAYS chosen hot dogs for dinner for as long as I can remember. This year he shook it up by asking for hot dogs AND hamburgers. Daredevil.

Here is the loot part of the fun day.

How did we get from this....

to this...

in such a short amount of time. Where did the 18 years go? All the firsts and all the one and only(s) that define Bryan. I can picture so many amazing memories that I'm hoping and praying are forever imprinted in my mind. I know they are on my heart. How we love this baby of ours. Happy birthday big guy.