Picture Update: A Full Week of Family

To say that we had a full week of family is quite the understatement.
Last week, during Spring Break, Chris' Dad (Kuku) and little bro (Uncle Colton) drove down from Lubbock to see us (let's be honest... to see Karis). Then that weekend we drove to San Antonio to see my bro (Uncle Nils), sister-in-law (Aunt Katie), niece (Emery) and Karis' great grandparents (Mamaw and Papaw Smith). After that we came home, unpacked and did a lot of laundry, then re-packed and flew to Odessa to surprise Chris' mom for her birthday and Chris' birthday!

Karis sure does love her Uncle Colton. It probably has a little to do with those funny faces he's always making at her. And how he loves on her non-stop. I have never seen a middle school boy so in love with a little girl and such a natural. 

Karis loves to smile at her Kuku. He is always making funny faces and talking in funny voices. The things grandparents will do to make their grand-babies laugh. 

Emery wouldn't stop hugging on Karis this trip. It was so cute! She would wrap her arms completely around her. I thought Karis' face in this picture was hilarious.

For Christmas Nils and Katie got us Sea World memberships. This is Karis patiently waiting to see Shamu! This is going to become a really fun tradition for us when we head to San Antonio.

Emery has learned to tickle and she wanted to practice lots on Karis. She would do what you see below and say, "tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle" real fast. It was so much fun to see them really interact with one another now. When driving around in their car seats they were playing with each other's hands and talking to each other. 

This might be my favorite picture of Ems ever. She is ridiculously beautiful. But even more than she is beautiful she is just the sweetest little girl and over the top happy. This is her waiting for Elmo to come out for a little show. SeaWorld San Antonio has a whole new area for preschoolers with splash pads, rides, huge playground, etc. and it is all Sesame Street!

This is when Elmo left. She started sobbing just after this picture. It was too cute for worlds. She loves her Elmo. 

We met my Mamaw and Papaw for dinner at Alamo Cafe. They could care less about us these days. They really just want to see their great grand daughters. 

And they spoil them rotten with lots of lovin'.

Nils has always danced with Emery (the tango is their favorite), and we have started doing it with Karis and she loves it too! So the boys danced with their girls outside of Alamo Cafe (I bet the people eating on the patio loved the show). These two guys are seriously the best Daddies and Husbands ever. Katie and I are blessed to have them. Seriously blessed.

Nils decided to try the tango with his two favorite little girls. Let's just say that's a little tricky. 

Even when she is a mess she is too cute for words. 

Karis' Aunt Katie might be the most photogenic person I know. Seriously, it is impossible for her to take a bad picture.  If Ems wasn't playing with her then Katie wanted to hold her. So sweet to see her be Emery's one and only Aunt.

Karis has gotten really good at holding her bottle now. I still hold her most of the time, but her being able to hold a bottle all by herself really saved the day on Monday when I had to get all our laundry done and re-pack for Odessa and clean our house. 

Before we headed out of town we met Sarah and Elizabeth at her in-laws to try out the heated pool. I was so curious how Karis would respond since I love water (and could literally swim before I could walk) but Chris has always hated water. Well the heater on the pool wasn't quite as warm as we thought it would be, so this was her first reaction. I love that she hasn't lost her dramatic pout. Good news is they have a jacuzzi too and that heats up real fast. So we hopped in there and she LOVED it. She stayed in her float for at least 30 minutes just kicking around. Then I pulled her out and held her for at least another 30 minutes. She would kick her legs around and splash with her arms. Oh it made me so happy to see her love the water! 

Then that night we headed to Odessa. Chris'  mom knew Karis and I were coming, but we surprised her with Chris! He still had to work during the day in the office, but at least he was able to hang out with us at night and for some lunches. Chris' cousin (Justin) and daughter (Addi) were there too.

Addi helped me make Chris' birthday cakes. I say cakes because we made one in honor of Jason's birthday too (chris' twin bro). She really did most of the work, all I did was grab the ingredients, crack the eggs, put it in the oven, ice the cream cheese frosting and did their names and she did every things else herself. The cakes might not have looked bakery quality, but they tasted yummy and were made with lots of love (we made sure and blew kisses into the batter).

27 candles and one to grow on (yes, I am a cougar). 

Daddy with his little girl. 

The girls got to have really fun baths in Grammy's giant tub. Addi showed Karis how to make a cake. It was too cute. 

The weather in Odessa is incredible. No humidity. Like zero (they haven't had rain since July). So we spent lots of time in the back yard. Karis is practicing her crawling position. I'm still hoping we are a couple of months away from crawling. I am so not one of those moms that want a mobile baby. I'm just fine if she is developmentally delayed on that one. 

She loves to kiss (or eat) our noses. Used to be cute, but now it hurts with those two big front teeth.  Oh but there is nothing sweeter than when she grabs on to my face and pulls me to her.

Karis loves her some Daddy.

Karis' Great-Papaw Kiser came over to play one afternoon. He gave her lots of snuggles, told her several stories and even sang her a song. 

On Saturday morning Karis jumped into Grammy and Grampy's bed. I'll let you decide if she had any fun... 

Addi is just stunning. I couldn't wait to snap some pics of her. 

And she couldn't wait for Chris to turn on the sprinklers. Being a kid is so much fun!

Grammy sure loves her some Karis and, as you can see, Karis is loving her some Grammy time. 

And this is why I wear my hair in a ponytail every day now. And gone are the days of giant earrings. 

Tammy bought the girls coordinating outfits to wear to church.They both loved them. And can I just say that it was about 3pm here and both the girls hadn't spilled a thing on them! Miracle.

Grampy sure loves cuddling his Karis girl. And she loved playing with his mustache. And gave him lots of smiles because he will do the silliest things to make her laugh. 

Karis is officially a clapper. She did it a few times when Kurt and Colton were here, but she is a professional now. She will clap when she sees someone else clapping, when you say "yay!" or when you sing "If you're happy and your know it..."Which we did the entire flight home and she didn't even think about crying!

This picture was a perfect snapshot of my life this past week. I got to play mom of two kids during the day. I thought I was going to lose my mind on day one. And by day four I even said to Chris, "Maybe I could be ready to start trying again." Let's just say he didn't have the same response.

Such a blast with all of our family. But when we pulled in our driveway and walked in our door last night, we sighed a big sigh and both said, "It's so good to be home."
It is just a really sweet season to be the three of us.
Life is busy. And life is hard (really as sweet as the past 7 months have been they have been just as hard... for many reasons).
But it's our life and we love it.