Finding My Place in the Superdome

This past weekend, I attended the Saints run with my husband and a couple of friends. It’s a race around the city of New Orleans that ends inside the Superdome on the fifty yard line. Let me tell you about a passion I don’t have…running. I will never understand how people can just jog or run sprints for fun. Even in the stage of my life where I was the most fit and most in shape my body had ever been….I still couldn’t run. Let me not say that I can’t run, but I choose not to. It’s an activity I was never interested in, and as much as I try to like it, I just accept that I don’t. I struggle running to my mailbox. I only run if I’m chasing one of the kids, or if I’m getting chased by a wild animal.

Ya’ll, I had to borrow tennis shoes for a 5K, because I did not own a pair. So why on God’s earth did by friend sign me up for a freaking race around the city of New Orleans?

We left our house and headed for the race at 5:00am. Seriously, tell me again who does this for fun? We arrived and I immediately felt like an elephant at a mouse convention…out of place. There were people stretching, listening to motivational songs on their earphones, and putting tape in weird places on their legs and ankles. Some were drinking protein shakes, some had special running gear, expensive tennis shoes, and fancy running apps on their phones and watches.

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I was in awe of the time and practice these people were obviously putting into this race. I was standing there, with my fancy runner’s number safety pinned to my shirt, wondering what the hell I would do when that buzzer sounded to start the race. I would get trampled on and probably die from the stampede of the seven thousand people who were in line.

The buzzer sounded, and I took off with the rest of the crowd. I positioned myself to the far left so I would not be in anyone’s way. I saw my husband and friends way ahead of me, and I was so proud of them. But then, I stopped.

I got off of the path and I stopped, because I knew I did not want to keep on going. I knew I would get crap for not finishing. I knew I would get “I knew you wouldn’t do it” smack talk. But then I had an epiphany. Maybe my place there was not to be a runner, but to be a supporter.

I immediately started up the side ramp to enter the Superdome. I headed down to the field straight to the finish line. I hung out with the mascot for a while, and I waited for my tribe to come inside and do what they came to do…finish.

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I was able to video each of them crossing the finish line – something they would not have if I wasn’t their cheerleader friend. I was there cheering as loud as I could for each of them, and I had goosebumps when they came through the finishing arch. Did I feel like a failure, or secretly want to cross the finish line myself? Actually, no. I felt so much peace that day being exactly where I needed to be at that time.

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We all have our abilities, and obviously running is not one of mine…but maybe that’s why I like to write or take pictures. Accept your weaknesses, because there’s a reason why you have them in the first place.

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Easton’s 3rd Birthday Party – TOY STORY

Right before we went to Disney in April, Easton began loving Buzz Lightyear. He likes to watch the whole Toy Story movie, but he especially loves when Buzz is on TV. Instead of an entire Buzz Lightyear party, we went with Toy Story in general to make it a little easier to decorate :)

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Year three out of three it rained on his party day! Luckily, this year I had time to move everything inside.

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Once again, my good friend Toni came through with an amazing cake. I wish ya’ll could have tasted it….it tasted as wonderful as it looked. She is super talented.

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Easton adored his cake…and wanted to put his fingers in it terribly.

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Before lighting the candles, Jules had to give Easton a tutorial on how to blow out the candles…”just in case he forgot since he was 2.”

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He was all smiles when we sang Happy Birthday to him…he even sang a little himself!

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The minute we finished singing, my boy dove into that icing. He had been waiting to taste it all morning!

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He loved opening all of his gifts. For his gift from Mom & Dad, we made him close his eyes…can’t believe he listened!

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Even though it was a sloppy mess, the kids were able to enjoy the water slide we rented. I’m so glad the rain stopped enough for them to play!

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Thanks to all of his family and friends who braved the weather to come and make his day extra special!

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To Easton on your 3rd Birthday

My sweet boy,

How has it been 1,095 days since we saw your precious little face for the first time? Every single day you’ve been here, you have put a smile on our faces. You can brighten anyone’s day with your charm and personality.

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You are so funny! You love to be silly and joke around. You like to dance silly with your crazy sisters, and you think it’s hilarious when you make funny noises. When I hear that belly laugh, I can’t help but giggle myself.

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You still do not play with toys. We have so many fire trucks, tractors, and blocks in your room, but you don’t play with any. You literally only want to play ball. It doesn’t matter what kind, but you play with tennis balls, baseballs, footballs, soccer balls, golf balls, and bouncy balls. I have counted 32 balls in our house (this is not counting ALL the balls we keep outside). 32 balls….and you play with every single one. You truly live up to your name.

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When you are not kicking them, you are throwing them. When you are not throwing them, you are hitting them with your bats. All of Mom’s picture frames in our living room do not have glass on the front of them anymore. I hope you can replace those for me one day :) You are so good at what you love. I cannot wait to watch you play T-ball in the spring.

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You are a typical little boy. You love to get dirty, but don’t like to take a bath. You love to “use it” outside in the grass. You love to hit and kick things just because. You love to fish with daddy in the pond, and love to ride in anyone’s boat. But you are definitely a sweet momma’s boy, and I love to snuggle you every night.

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You are quite the little celebrity. When we go to the bank, you get treats from the ladies at the window. When we walk into the store, the cashiers always wave and high five “East!” When you walk through school, you are always getting high fives and pats on the head. I love that you are so loved.

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My hope for you is that you keep adding a little bit of sunshine to everyone’s day. Keep being the lovable, funny, little firecracker that you are today. I hope you had a blast at your Toy Story birthday party. Momma & Daddy love you more than you know.

Love, Mom

First Days of School…finally all in the same place!

Kennedy started second grade, and Jules started first grade. They are just down the hall from each other. They pretended like they weren’t ready to go back to school, but they surely jumped out of bed real quick on the first day!

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One week later it was time for our little man to start, too. Just like his sisters, Easton started Prek 3 at the same school. He aged about 3 years when he put that little uniform on the first day! He was SUPER excited about his school bag. He had to try on his school bag every single day since we brought it home. He was also super excited to use his new scissors (I hope those are hidden in the classroom for a while).

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He surely walked in that school like he knew where he was going. Daddy came with us walk him in on his first day. He didn’t want to hold my hand or anything! He walked right in and started playing with the toys. We gave him hugs and he just looked at us and said, “BYEE!!!!”

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We got back in the car and I told Seth that NONE of our kids cried for me on the first day. Not a tear! Most kids were holding onto their moms and were really hesitant….not mine! They were excited to leave their poor momma!

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I’m so happy that are all finally in the same place! They all had great first days…I heard about all their stories on the way home. I’m so glad they are off to such a great start this school year :)

Orange Beach 2018 – Days 4 – 7

The rest of our days were spent as the ones before…sand, sleep, repeat! You would think this would get old after a couple of days, but we were just as excited as the first day to get to the beach. The water became clearer everyday.

Since I took over 800 pictures, I’ll just leave my favorites here :)

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One of their favorite days was when we rented surfboards for them to “ride” the waves. The girls caught on very quickly!

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Of course Easton did not sit back and watch everyone have all the fun…. Superman wanted to do it “himself”. Uncle Jo rode the back while he took the front – all smiles!

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One day, Dad found a dead crab in the water, and Easton wanted to hold it “by himself.” He held on to that poor crab for a long time – he was even throwing the ball holding that crab. I had to break the news to him that it was not coming home.

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Just like the years before, we took the annual airbrushed t-shirt photo with all of the our kids combined. We had 20 littles this year, and they were so well behaved. We are blessed!

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Orange Beach 2018 – Days 1-3

Has it really been almost one week since we left the beach!? We were there for 8 days, and the kids enjoyed every minute. We traveled with a huge group (20 kids in all)…er could not have asked for better memories.

We pretty much did the exact same thing every single day: head to the beach in the morning, boogie board and play in the sand all day, then come in to eat at night!

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The first night we headed to the Flora Bama Yacht Club across the street from our condo. The kids loved to play in the sand and bay area at this restaurant – and the adults loved to listen to the live music and sip on cocktails :)

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The weather and jellyfish were good to us every day. It was beautiful, and the water got more clear as the days progressed. Easton loved to dig with the shovel everyday, but he could not stay awake when he heard the waves! It was the same thing last year – he slept about 3 hours on the beach every day. What a beach bum!

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Some days we would bring sandwiches on the beach for lunch. Other days, we would walk to the Flora Bama for a lunch date – we had no plans and it was wonderful!

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Jules’ 6th Birthday Party – PAINT!

We invited the neighborhood girls over for some painting fun to celebrate Jules turning 6 years old. It was the easiest and most quiet birthday party ever!

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I bought blank canvases and wooden initials for each girl to paint. Our summer babysitter is super talented and drew a picture on each canvas for the girls to color. They came out so precious.

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Nana and I helped the girls get what colors they needed. They literally just sat there and painted. They were so well behaved! I had to get a radio to play some music since it was so quiet. Birthday win!

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We made Jules hide her eyes for her present from Mom, Dad, Kennedy, & Easton. Poor baby has been needing a new bike for a while. She was super surprised! She does so well riding that big bike!

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When the painting portion was over, we called our boy cousins and neighborhood friends over for cake. This was my first year at attempting a cake on my own. I decided on a cupcake pull-apart cake. I’m proud of myself for my first time trying – but I will stick to ordering them from now on :)

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The finished products came out super cute – I have ours hanging in the playroom. They did such a good job on their little masterpieces. I hope you had a fun party, Julesy Wulsey!

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