Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lion King

This past Friday night Benjamin and I got to see Disney's The Lion King at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. The show started late (8 pm), so I was hoping and praying that we would make it. We went with Leigh Erin and Ella, and we all enjoyed the musical! I saw The Lion King on Broadway in New York before Benjamin was born, and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen (and heard!). I wasn't sure if Ben would share my love of Broadway...but the second the giraffes started walking on the stage (with Rafiki singing in the background), he was also in love! He sat on his knees to see (later moved to my lap) and started pointing to all the animals. I think I enjoyed watching his delight as much as the actual show!Ben and Ella ready for the show! No, they did not stand on that big pillar (next to a large and deep body of water) by themselves...I was behind them touching each of theirs backs just in case
Me and Ben enjoying The Lion King
The next morning, in our Simba shirt!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Very Happy Girl

As a mother, I have always prayed for my children to be carefree, healthy and happy (the way children are supposed to be). When we found out about ME's brain injury, I was devastated. I found it very difficult to be not crying, much less happy. Now that we have had time to adjust to our new hopes/dreams/expectations for Mary Elizabeth (and yes, they HAVE changed....but for the best, I am sure - a whole 'nother post); we are a happy family that giggles often again.

Although I ask myself all the time "why?!" this happened to my baby girl, I truly now believe that God has a definite purpose for Mary Elizabeth and our family (exactly WHAT purpose I have no idea). I believe that we are meant to teach something to someone (maybe in our family, maybe a stranger??)...sounds pretty vague, I know...but I am positive of our mission (just hazy on the details).
Slowly, God has helped ME progress in her therapies, her weight gain, her overall quality of life (she used to have horrible tummy pain and now it is completely gone). I have prayed diligently for this progress...often impatiently. Every time I feel like I may be on the verge of a meltdown, God gives me something - a beautiful day with both of my kids (no whining) happy and laughing together or a new skill ME picked up or a super sweet Benjamin telling me he loves me the most....just enough to get me through. His grace is sufficient.

St. Paddy's Parade

This past Sunday we went to the St. Pat's Parade. We were invited to a party at one of Mary Elizabeth's therapists house (on the parade route). After a tricky time getting there (Seth ended up dropping me, Em, ME, Ben and Owen off and walking with Virginia after they parked), we were amazed at the spread! Boiled crawfish, jambalaya, fettuccine, hot-dogs and Cane's for the kids, beer, coke, lemonade, cookies, cake, brownies, etc... Yumm!
We had a great time...catching beads and candy AND cabbage, carrots, oranges and even a banana! Ben and Owen caught a football, then played with it for hours (tackling, stripping the ball, etc...they were like BIG boys!) Virginia stood faithfully with her hands up for every float (of course!), and Mary Elizabeth enjoyed the floats and noises with her Daddy.

We left after only 36 floats (the parade was like 100 floats+)...tired and happy. We walked and walked...and walked some more. Ummmm, where is our car? Seth and Virginia parked, so the rest of us had no clue. When we reached 48th street, Seth was positive it was not that far...he KNEW it was 42nd street. We asked Virginia - she said, "49". We ignored her (of course) and turned around. We walked and walked and walked some more. Owen got tired and rode on top of ME's stroller. Virginia and Ben started dragging their feet. Em and I tried to stay upbeat, while Seth got more and more frustrated. When we got to 42nd guessed it! No car! Hmmmm...
Seth told us to meet him on 45th street, while he went ahead of us to try and find it. Em and I dragged the kids the last few blocks while Seth ran ahead (he was embarrassed and very flustered at this point...Em and I were mildly amused). Whew! Seth was waiting for us at 45th in OUR CAR!!! Hooray! I am sure at this point I don't even have to tell you what street it was on, but just in case you still have no clue - 49th. We ended the afternoon with Coldstone cream for everyone! We had definitely earned it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

We Got Ella!!

Recently, one of our dear friends moved to New Orleans...and into our neighborhood! This has been such a blessing, because it has been so nice to have an old friend nearby. I have made some wonderful new friends since being in Nola, but there is something comforting about old friends. Benjamin also happens to be "bestest" friends with my friend's daughter, Ella...and even though we have been away from them for well over a year, he still talks about Ella alot. We are sooo happy to have Ella, Leigh Erin and David here with us.

Isn't she beautiful? We have been apart for so long, she has grown into a little girl!! She used to be a sweet little toddler...
Dinner out after riding bikes
City Park
BEIGNETS! These two are already starting a routine of beignets together once a week!
Ella is in love with Mary Elizabeth...she is always hugging her, kissing her, talking to her, etc...AND...Benjamin has started too (thanks Ella!)! After almost a year of pretty much ignoring his sister, he has finally realized she is here (and staying!). Mary Elizabeth is thrilled...anytime Benjamin or Ella pay her any attention, she gets sooo excited.
This was at the Freret Street Festival last weekend. We had fun, the kids danced to a live jazz band, and we all ate and ate!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 - Part 2

What a difference a year makes! This is our family last year during Mardi Gras....yikes (my purple hair is really scary)!
Here are some pics from this Sunday's uptown parades.

Benjamin, Owen and Virginia in the ladder
Mommy and Mary Elizabeth having a snuggle in between parades
Seth and ME
Owen giving Ben a big hug...these two play really well together now. And if you ask O who his best friend is, he says, "Ben!"
Emily and Virginia...Virginia was a serious parade go'er today - she literally sat in that ladder for breaks.

Family pic after all the parades...both kids were excellent! Mary Elizabeth LOVES the bands...the louder, the better! She fell asleep again during the parade and slept for 2 hours in her stroller while parades were floating by! This is a big deal, cause she refuses to nap in her bed (in the peace and quiet)...maybe we should get a band CD and play it while she naps. Seriously.

This is a video of the 610 Stompers...they are always the highlight of each parade for me (they are in multiple parades uptown). Check them out -
They actually got to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade this past year. I love the shorts...I love the socks...I love the mustaches...I love it all!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

We are having so much fun this Mardi Gras season already...and it's only Friday! Last weekend we met some friends at a parade was freezing! Mary Elizabeth and Benjamin both loved the loud music and the bands!
Last night we went to the Muses Parade. My friend Adrienne was on one of the floats this year! Seth, Benjamin and I had sooo much fun!
family shot
my wonderful catch!!

Mary Elizabeth enjoying the parade with her Daddy
my pics are a little out of order...this is from last night (Thursday) getting ready for the Muses parade.
Me, Adrienne and Colette, and Mary Elizabeth snuggling to stay warm.
Mary Elizabeth took a great nap (of course, cause I was holding her!) during the end of the parade. She rode the entire way back to the car asleep in her stroller.
Today (Friday) Benjamin's school went to a parade at St. Catherine of Sienna (school 3 blocks away). ME and I got to go and help chaperone. Wow! I think those kids in their "wagons" threw more than Muses did last night!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baby Girl's 1st Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Mary Elizabeth's first birthday. We had a wonderful party with our family and friends.

This is ME on her actual birthday with her petit four
Mary Elizabeth's pink pinwheel party!!

Nana enjoying some snuggle time with Owen
Uncle Mark and ME
Sarah and Leighton
It was so nice to have my Paw-Paw come to the party...we didn't get to see him at Christmas, and I was missing him!

Mary Elizabeth (and the other kids) had sooo much fun swinging outside! She laughed and laughed - the higher, the better
Owen also likes to live on the edge...jumping off of the porch
Benjamin was very serious about blowing this pinwheel...he sat there in his own world for at least 2 or 3 minutes blowing and blowing. It was very funny!
time to sing Happy Birthday

playing in the cake...with a little help from Mommy, Daddy and even Aunt Emily
Benjamin eating a cupcake
Mommy and Mary Elizabeth having a snuggle...this is her second outfit since her first white one was covered in PINK icing (and surprisingly, it all came out in the wash!)
Aunt Scotty and ME
Mary Elizabeth, ready to open presents
playing with balloons
Daddy getting a little love from his baby girl
Ashton and Miller
Isabel, Laurel and Benjamin
Nana and Mary Elizabeth playing with one of her presents.
We have been soo blessed with Mary Elizabeth, our sweet baby girl. She is extremely strong-willed, laid-back (when she wants to be); she has a great sense of humor (she thinks it is hilarious when I fuss Benjamin for anything), is happy and in love with her Mommy, Daddy and big brother. Praise God for trusting us with this special little girl.
We love you Mary 'Lizbeth (as Ben would say)!!! Happy Birthday!