Thursday, June 30, 2016

Round here

June has been out of control busy, in the best way possible!
We have barely stopped to catch a breath,
and it has been all of the most fun things!

The highlight of the month was our trip to St. Louis,
but we've had lots of fun besides that, too!

Our dear friends the Lourcey's came for a visit!
You know I loved getting to snuggle sleeping babies.

We sent the daddies and kids to the park,
and snuck in a Lemondropper business meeting
while Emily was here!

We packed up a bajillion toys and snacks and supplies
and spent a day at Langdon Beach.
It was absolutely lovely!

We try to get all of our annual appointments taken care of during the summer,
when the schedule is a bit looser.
We never dread our visit to the kids' dentist.
Dr. McAuley and her team are the absolute BEST.



Tucker was thrilled when the hygienist showed him that he did, indeed, have 2 loose teeth!
One on on the top and one on the bottom.

I immediately left the dentist office and called our photographer and scheduled family pictures!  I knew that I must have pictures before that tooth fell out and changed his little smile completely.
It barely hung on....

but we took family pictures on a Monday night

and then it fell out the very next night!!


I love his new smile!
It's so adorable and I love the phase of life that it represents,
but I am so very glad I got one more set of pictures with baby teeth.

We'll schedule our next session when he's missing his top 2 teeth,
because I do SO love that smile, too!

Summer is for breaking the rules,
and enjoying double chocolate chip fraps from Starbucks.

This picture I snapped of Lana at the Peabody
makes my heart squeeze.
Sometimes she's so very grown up and ladylike
and knows her own mind,
and sometimes she holds her doll in her lap.
We're in that in-between stage,
and I just love her so much.

 God has been so good to bless me with a nice little work-from-home essential oil business that I really love.  During the school year, I carve out work hours while the kids are in school, but obviously that doesn't happen during the summer.  I fit in work while they are having their daily quiet time, or after they go to bed.  I've been getting creative, too, with how I work - they helped me pack and send out lots of happy mail this month!

Our precious Pepper has lost her vision again.
While we were in St. Louis, my friend Mary was caring for her,
and she texted one morning, knowing that something was amiss. 
Pepper was just acting funny.
Within hours, her vision was completely gone again,
and Mary took her straight to the vet for us.
They administered topical steroids with no improvement.
At the recommendation of the veterinary ophthalmologist,
Dr. Carrigan sedated her, and administered steroids to the eyeball itself,
in an effort to reduce the inflammation and help the retina reattach.
No improvement.
Two weeks later, and she is still completely blind.
The concern at this point is that her retina is completely detached,
which will lead to permanent and painful glaucoma.
There are no treatments left to try that have been tested on dogs.
There are a few that have been tested on horses with uveitis that we may try.
The remaining option would be to surgically remove her eyeballs themselves.  
 We are devastated to even think of that option,
but know that it is ok if she's blind as long as she's not in pain.
We have an appointment with Dr. Galle, the ophthalmologist in Mississippi,
to let him look at her and discuss treatment.

She seems to be content,
and is eating and drinking well.
She's a bit whiny,
and we give her pain meds as needed for discomfort.
She tends to want to be very close to us all the time.
None of us complain about that.

We just finished up a FANTASTIC week of Vacation Bible School!
Our theme was "Submerged,"
and the Land Sharks were the star of our morning assembly each day!


Tucker was asked to lead the Pledge to the Bible one morning,
and took that job very seriously.

 I led a crew of firsties with my sweet Katie Barker,
and LOVED it!
I heard being a guide was the hardest job,
but Katie insisted I do it with her, and I had the best time!
I don't ever want to do anything else!!

Katie and Tucker

Tucker was super excited about Family Night,
and told everyone he saw all day long that he was going to sing on stage at church that night.


Lana sang, too, 
but whereas my Tucker was at the front of the pack,
Lana found herself a spot in the middle where we couldn't see her and stayed put.
She and I are similar in SO many ways!

 Dan thought the land sharks were pretty cool, too.

We have tried to build pockets of free time into this crazy month,
and I love these pictures of each of my children that capture how they spend their time.
Lana borrowed my labelmaker one afternoon,
and seriously labeled everything that wasn't moving.
Tucker just wants to have the hose on the trampoline.

Would you believe we have been married 14 years this summer,
and just made our first major appliance purchase together?!
Our washer and dryer were in the house that Dan bought his first year of college,
and they were old when he moved in.
They have held on for over 20 years, through countless moves,
and have done thousands of loads of laundry.
The washing machine finally quit draining between cycles,
and instead of spending money to repair it,
we decided it was time to invest in a new one.
We had a fantastic experience with Colin at hhgregg!
They saved us bundles of money, 
and did everything they could to make us happy.
We got a fantastic washer and dryer at a great price,
so I think everyone was happy!!

 We've squeezed in weekly library trips all month long,
and the quietest rides in the world are after we leave there.

 July is going to be much quieter,
I am intentionally making it so.
We are spending lots of days at home doing nothing,
some days meeting friends for fun and adventure,
and trying to be as unscheduled and relaxed as possible.

I have to go back to school August 3, so my summer is halfway over!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tucker's first Tooth Treasure Hunt!

In March of 2012, Lana lost her first tooth and we instituted the Tooth Treasure Hunt!

Yesterday, Tucker lost his first tooth and got to do his first treasure hunt this morning!

Our kids put their teeth under their pillow just like everyone else,
but when they wake up the next morning,
there is a clue!
It takes them on a hunt around the house for their treasure:
money!


Tucker has watched big sister do these treasure hunts for years,
so he was a total pro!



We never can remember how much money we give for teeth - 
anyone else have that problem?!
We really should stick with a dollar amount, ha!

Looking forward to lots of treasure hunts in this little guy's future!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

#perspectacles


Sometimes, on a Tuesday, you pile your kiddos in the car and start running errands at 8 am and don't stop until well into the afternoon, when you end with a marathon Walmart shopping trip.
And sometimes as you are pushing your buggy to your parking spot in the next county over, the bottom falls out and you get soaked. 

And sometimes you might decide to laugh instead of cry and race through the rain with your babies.
And then sometimes (hopefully never) your overflowing buggy hits a bump, bags go careening across the parking lot, your case of water on the bottom rack hits the pavement, and water bottles go flying like bowling pins.
So when you finally get home and get everything unloaded and everyone dried off, you put this "Lemon Sugar Cookie" recipe in your diffuser, and pray that you bought something chocolate at the store because you deserve all the sweet things.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

St. Louis 2016


We were all so excited to tag along with Dan to this year's annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.  It was held in St. Louis, and we tacked an extra day on for family fun!

We've traveled a lot with the kids since they were babies,
and our main rule of travel is that there are no rules!
Thus, they were eating candy and watching movies by 8:30 a.m.  :)
I'm very particular about their screen time and what they eat 99% of the time,
but I totally blow it off when we are traveling,
and they think that is the most fun ever!
I hope it's one of the things they'll remember.

Alas, Tucker ate a wee bit too much candy,
and the back roads of Mississippi almost got the better of him.
Digize to the rescue - he was back to normal within 10 minutes,
and asking if he could have more candy!



We made it to Memphis and stopped there for the night,
splurging and spending a big chunk of our vacation budget on a night at the Peabody!

Oh I LOVE their excitement at hotel rooms!  

We arrived just in time for the ducks to make their famous walk to the elevator!

As soon as the ducks hit the elevator,
we made a beeline for the best ribs on the planet.


The next morning we had a slow, easy start

and wandered over to a great little brunch place

 

where the locals eat.
It's our favorite kind of place.

After brunch, we went to the top of the Peabody to look at the city and visit with the ducks before heading on to Missouri.
Peace out, Memphis!  We loved ya!

We arrived in St. Louis and were blown away by our hotel!
When we made reservations, all the hotels within walking distance of the convention center were already booked, so we had to go a bit farther away from downtown to find a hotel with a convention rate.  We got a STEAL on the Union Station hotel.  While we had to ride the Metro in to the conference every day, it was so worth it to stay in this treat of a hotel!



Every night they had a laser show on the ceiling in the lobby - what a magical treat!

Speaking of magical treats, my dear friend Liz had one sent to our hotel room.
The expression on my children's faces says it all.  We are so blessed.

 We settled in to the hotel room right away,
and the kids made themselves at home while we unpacked.


 After being in the car for 2 days, we let the kids swim to their hearts' content,
and ordered pizza for dinner by the pool.
I loved St. Louis' style thin crust pizza, and could have eaten it every night!

Can we just talk about how much I love this age?!
Traveling with babies and toddlers is so hard.
Their sleep is disrupted,
no one rests well...it's just hard.  
Or at least it was with mine.
It's quite the opposite now that they're older!

I love this little shot I got of hotel life one morning.
Dan was out late with the college students who were there as well,
and so we tried to let him sleep in a bit on the mornings we could.
(By sleep in, I mean past 6:30, ha!)
I taught the kids how to make a pallet near the door and read by the light of the bathroom.
So precious!  They curled up in their nests and read their books until their daddy woke.

Is there anything better than watching cartoons and eating breakfast in bed on vacation?
I think not.

We got off to a quick start our first full day in St. Louis, though,
and headed to the Arch to be there as soon as it opened.

We loved driving through the beautiful downtown area of St. Louis,
and imagine our delight when we crossed Tucker Blvd!


We didn't watch a game while we were in town,
but it was cool to be so close to the stadium.

The Arch is absolutely beautiful to behold.




The whole time, I was so excited to go to the top,
but as we approached it, my fear of heights got the better of me.
My hands got clammy, I felt nauseated and dizzy,
I thought there was no way I could make myself get to the top.
Oils to the rescue again!
I had not yet tried this "Liquid Chill" recipe,
but I brought it along,
and within seconds after applying it,
my heart rate slowed, my head cleared, 
and I had no trouble getting in the capsule:

I could even join in the jokes: we're going down!

I am SO, SO glad I made it up!
It was absolutely beautiful,
and I would have been so sad to miss that experience with my family.
 

The next day, the Pastor's Conference before the annual meeting began.

While it added a step to our journey back and forth each day,
the kids loved riding the Metro,
and there was a stop right around the corner from our hotel and the convention center.

He really loved it when it went fast.  Such a boy!

There is a children's program that we had never used before,
and WOW we were so impressed and thankful!

It's in the same building, making it super easy and safe to leave the kids,
and they had an absolute fantastic time!
One day they missed it because we went with the college kids to SIX FLAGS,
and Tucker was super bummed, if that tells you anything!
We will absolutely be doing that again.

OK, I have to confess.
I love the SBC annual meeting.
Love it.

I love the worship and the preaching and the encouragement
 

I love the panel discussions and luncheons and reports

I love meeting up with old friends,
like Robby from Los Angeles

I love sitting beside pastors who are old enough to be my grandfather.
Worshipping beside this one made me cry tears of joy.
He held his hands all the way to the sky and sang
And on that day when my strength is failing
the end draws near, and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending,
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.
I love knowing that he's spent His life in service the Lord
and is worshipping right up until the end.

I love Convention.
I love it all.
We soak up every second, and wear our kids (and ourselves!) slap out.
 

They were such troupers.
They slept like angels,
and woke up with great attitudes to do it all over again!

Those of you who know our children well,
know that they sleep in dark rooms, with room darkening shades,
and a white noise sound machine.
We don't play about sleep.
Just so you have an idea about how tired they were,
this is them asleep with lights on, sound machines off,
and Dan and I getting ready for the day.
Bless them.


Don't feel too bad for them: we took breaks to eat some fantastic food.
Mission Taco Joint served some of the best food we had in the city...
and maybe in any city.

It was full of locals,
but their taco of the month made us think
they knew the Southern Baptists were in town. :)

Oh the FOOD.
Best guac I've ever had.
If I ever go back, I'm only ordering guacamole.  By the vat.

The food was superb, and the service was even better.
Tucker spotted a bell in the rafters, and it was all he could talk about.
The waiter made his day by letting him ring it:

We made a stop along the way at Park Avenue Coffee
for some ooey gooey cake ,
rumored to have been created in St. Louis.
It did not disappoint!

Our only food fail was Bailey's Range.
We have foodie friends who insisted we go,
assuring us that we would have the best burger of our life.
Too bad it was closed!

I mentioned earlier that our college students were in St. Louis, as well.
They were there doing mission work in the city,
with the great hope of the southern baptists being that 
we wouldn't just consume in the city where our meeting is,
but that we would be a blessing as well.
They had worked so hard doing mission projects all week,
so we joined them to celebrate at Six Flags before they left!

When I tell you this crew was so precious to my kids,
it's an understatement.
They let them tag along and do every thing and waited while Tucker rode little kid rides and even rode them with him if they could.  I love them more every minute I'm with them.

After the annual meeting was over, and the college students headed for home,
we spent one more day in St. Louis to visit the infamous zoo!
It's free, and beautiful....and it was very, very hot.
I'm sure it's magical in the spring or fall,
or when you're not so exhausted you could die, lol.
We stayed the better part of a day, though,
and can say that it really is a remarkable zoo!

this squirrel spotted us and just laid down completely flat.
We've never seen one do that before!


zebras!

You can believe we didn't let them get too close to this enclosure.

We LOVED the sea lion show!

Well, most of us did.

Tucker's only request was to ride the carousel!


Lana couldn't wait to touch the stingrays.
You can see that little brother is having none of that.
 

There was a great little water feature tucked back in part of the zoo.
Tucker was thrilled that we let him play with his clothes on!

Her sense of humor is too funny to me.

You can see where she gets it from!  Ha!

St. Louis Zoo, you were pretty spectacular!

We managed to sneak in a quick trip to Ikea before the trip was done:

And less you think we were all smiles all the time,
I present to you the end of the week, exhausted meltdown:

We had planned to stop in Nashville for the night on the way home,
and enjoy a day there,
but we were so tired and ready to be home
that we just kept driving on through.
We made it to Birmingham before we had to stop,
enjoyed a meal (and some showing off) at Cracker Barrel,
and made it home by midday Saturday.

Team Davis had a fantastic time, 
learned so much,
and have thoroughly enjoyed being together every minute for 10 days.

There are no other people on the planet I could say that about.
They're honestly my favorites in all the world.