Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birthday season has begun!

Yay!  It's officially birthday season for our family :).  Every single person in my family has a birthday between August 1 (one grandpa) and April 8 (another grandpa).  And we celebrate everyones birthday.  Everyones.  We have several birthdays that are 3 or 4 days a part and we still have two separate parties for each person (twice the cake!).  We love celebrating birthdays!  On Friday night, we kicked off birthday season with Ken's birthday at my mom's house.

Ken and Me :)


K and Uncle Seanie (She sobbed and sobbed when we wouldn't let her go home with him and spend the night.  We promised her that next time she could.  These two are such a mess sweethearts together.


Me and my man!


Sean, Brooke and Austin


Paisley showing me that she was wearing K's boots.


It's really hard to pose 1, 2, and 3 year olds!  Here they all are!

Happy Birthday Ken!  We love you!  Next up, August 9 we celebrate Casey's birthday :).  I just love birthday season.



Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Kara!

On Thursday, we met the Smiths to celebrate Kara's 31st birthday!!  We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Hard 8 in Coppell.  We love, love, love their BBQ!

Mr. Smith celebrating with the Smiths

The restaurant was soooooo crowded, so we ate at the bar.  Kensington and Landry :)


Kara and I have been besties since junior high (I'd show you a picture of us back then but I've burned all evidence that I was in junior high...not the best stage of my life...who knew 30 would look so much better than 13?).


Andrew and Tim.  They're trouble.  Both of them. :)


Kensington loves hanging out with Landry!



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ballpark

The Red Sox came to Texas for a 3 game series beginning Monday and guess who had tickets to all three nights????

We don't care that it's 99 degrees, we're so happy to see our Red Sox!


Our tickets are really good.  Like, probably the best in the ball park (thanks for my dad's friends who have these amazing season tickets and give us all of the Red Sox games).  We decided to be nice and give our game 3 tickets to Sean and Brandon (even though they cheer for the enemy) and we watched game 3 from the comforts of our air-conditioned home.

Love my Sox!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Finale



Last night, we all wore our pjs and watched the 3 hour finale of the Bachelorette.  I felt like it was a looooooong 3 hours.  We've come a long way since May 14th.  I thought it was going to be fun having my brother on this show but I didn't know it was going to be this fun.  I really wanted my brother to make it to the top 8 (I knew at 8 he would have been able to travel a little bit and most likely have a one on one date)...but to make it to 3...to be absolutely adored by everyone...made this whole experience so special.  These sweet gals in their pjs were there with me the whole time.  We laughed, we cried (ok...Amber cried), and we ate a lot together.  I love you ladies so much.  Thank you for making this experience so sweet.

And as for Emily and Jef...I wish them the very best.  They seem extremely happy together and in love.  God bless them and their life together.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Missouri Summer

On Thursday morning, we loaded up and drove to Missouri to visit the other Shulls.  We drove 6 hours north and ended up in a place 10 degrees warmer...that's bad luck for me!

The kids were really difficult on the car trip up...


...they are such problems...

...all 3 of them ;).


Everyone was so happy to see Nanny and PawPaw!  I took 3 pictures here...I decided to post the one that was most flattering of my MIL and not necessarily my kids.  That's love right there.


On Friday, we ate lunch and shopped at my favorite Missouri store, Sandstone Gardens.  Smith was in the middle of a "cheese" here...just ignore him and focus on the cute girls in the background.


Love my boys!





On Friday night, we ate dinner with Uncle Jonathan, Aunt Gretchen, Brode and Sylvia.  The two big kids piled into Nanny's lap.


And Smith cried because Nanny didn't have any room left in her lap.
Silly kid!


After dinner, we headed back to Jon and G's house to play.  I love my sweet niece Sylvia!


These two crack me up!  I love that Smith has a cousin so close in age.


This is what they did all evening...ran around Jon and G's backyard.

We had the best mini-vacation.  Thank you guys so much!



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I heart Kidd Kraddick

Ok...please excuse me as I have a total nerd moment...this morning, Andrew, Sean and I went to visit the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio show live from their studio.  It was unbelievably cool.  I've been listening to Kidd Kraddick for 18 years.  Yes, 18 years!  So, to personally meet him (and his crew) and see where they work was a very cool moment for me.  And to top it off...I got to be on the air with Sean and the gang for a little Bachelorette talk.  Made.My.Life.  (Ok, maybe the husband and two precious kids made my life but this comes pretty close.  Oh and maybe when Michael Buble touched me, that made my life too.  Probably more than the two precious kids...but I digress...)

So, we got there this morning at 6:30 and were able to watch and listen for about 30 minutes before we went on the air.  Everyone was so nice...we received lots of hugs and an outpouring of love..a fantastic morning.  My favorite parts...Big Al hitting on me.  Twice.  Kidd telling me he read my blog.  Kidd tweeting me (oh yes, that rocked my Twitter world) and talking on air about my favorite brother and my favorite TV show.  A great day.  A great, great day. 

Me and Kidd! 


Me and Big Al! 

The whole gang...Kellie, Sean, Kidd, me, Jenna, J-Si, Andrew and Al.

Thank you so much Kidd Kraddick in the Morning!  You guys are awesome!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Loves











Thursday, July 12, 2012

Besties



My kids looooooove the Slaughter kids!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sean,

I have been thinking about what I was going to write the morning after you didn't receive a rose from Emily for some time now.  I've thought about writing my opinion on why she didn't pick you, I thought about writing a letter to Emily about how she was wrong ;), I've thought about a lot of things.  But last night, after the show was over and my Facebook and Twitter blew up with people (most of whom I don't even know) telling me how awesome you are, and how proud they are of you, I thought I'd just keep this little post simple...

Sean Thomas Lowe...you are such an awesome man of God.  I've always known that you carry yourself in such a respectful way...that you're kind and generous...that you have a huge heart and love unconditionally...but to see it played out on national television...to see you keep your morals and your integrity when it would have been easy not to, is why I'm so proud of you this morning.  I know you loved Emily with your whole heart.  I know you meant everything you said to her and that you would have made the best husband to her and father to Ricki.  I know this.  I also know that God has different plans for your future.  I know that your wife is still out there...I know that when you meet her, you will know she's the one.

You made your entire family proud.  From your 2 year old nephew to your 87 year old Southern Baptist preaching grandfather...you made us all proud.  We love you and we look forward to the many new adventures in your future.  "God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess in your wildest dreams" -Ephesians 3:20.

Love you,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kensington Cottage

Over the last week, I've been flooded with questions about Kensington Cottage.  I blogged about it here last year, but since it made its national television debut, so many of you want to know how to get one for yourself.

The cottage was custom built by Bob Sossaman, an actual craftsman and builder.  To contact him about a dream house of your own, email him at bobcarolsossamon@gmail.com.

Happy Monday!


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Nap Mat

Smith is sooooooo excited about starting preschool in the fall.  He asks me almost daily if it's "fall-time" yet?  Yesterday, we went and picked up his very own nap mat.  This kid was so excited!!  I told him we were running a few errands and that the nap mat was last on our list.  He must have asked me a dozen times if it was time to go get it.  Sweet boy wanted his nap mat!

We barely got in the door yesterday before he opened his up right in the hallway.  Kensington ran to her room to get hers too.

Napping in the hallway :)


He feels so big!


She was having fun too!


Later, I found him watching Mickey Mouse with his nap mat in the play room.  He also put it in his bed while he napped.  If you know Smith, you know that this kid loooooooooves his naps (he takes a 4 hour nap every day...yes, 4 hours!), so it's no surprise to me that his favorite part of getting ready for school is the nap mat.

My heart is in the same place as Smith's...is it fall time yet?



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fun on the Fourth!

You know my super fun family...we love any reason to celebrate (and eat!)!  Yesterday, we headed over to Lovie and Papa Jay's for our annual Fourth of July party with the fam.

Lovie bought Smith a water gun...this is his "I'm going to get you" face.


My little swimmer!  She swims like a fish!  I'm so proud of my sweet girl!


Me and Brooke relaxin'


The guys lounging about in the pool (after this we had our annual water volleyball tournament...I would post pictures of the winners but since I wasn't one, I'm not...I am a sore loser!).


Papaw and a very wet Poppy Popsicle


Our sweet P!  Miss Paisley!


Me and Smith


Me and my little bro.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

10 years ago today...

...I met the love of my life.

Sean brought a college friend home for the July 4th weekend.  I walked through the back door of my parents' house as he was coming out of one of the bedrooms inside.  We introduced ourselves, proceeded into the kitchen to talk and eighteen months later, we were married.

I love you Andrew Shull.

And I love you Sean Lowe...for bringing that boy home 10 years ago.
  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Town Visit

I have been wanting to talk about this for months...and today is the day.

On March 10, we celebrated my dad's birthday and said goodbye to Sean.  After submitting his name for the Bachelorette, it was time for him to actually take off on his adventure.  The afternoon of March 11, he flew to North Carolina and the journey began. We didn't see Sean again until he walked out into the backyard at my parents' house for the home town date on Thursday, April 26.

So...how do these dates work?  Do we just show up and go...no.  Sean called me at home (which totally freaked me out and caught me off guard) about two weeks before and said we needed to get prepared for a home town date.  (It was weird answering the phone and it being him after so many weeks of zero communication.)  After that, the nicest producers in the world started calling my parents and us about setting up our day.

My parents and my family of four met with the producers five days before the segment was actually shot.  They were AWESOME!  Words cannot express how nice they were and how much we loved them.  They were so great with my kids, they were so sweet to us...they were fabulous.  During these 5 days, we had 4 production meetings before the day of taping, so we spent a lot of quality time with them beforehand.

The day of the taping was very surreal.  I've been a huge fan of this show for over a decade (I've watched every.single.season.), so to actually meet the people behind it and see how it works was an awesome experience for me.  I know some cynics won't believe me but the biggest thing I learned from this experience was that the show is really real.  There was no script, there were no questions we couldn't ask, there were no re-takes of scenes.  Other than the fact that we didn't eat our dinner (who wants to chew food and talk on national TV, not me!), the show was 100% authentic.  It was very normal and not rehearsed at all.  (If normal is talking to your brother and his new girlfriend while 3 cameras and 20 people watch..it was very normal.)

Now...on to Emily.  I really, really enjoyed spending time with her that day.  Emily and I had a 45 minute conversation alone where we discussed Sean, her daughter, her life, my life...it was a really sweet time to share with her.  She is even more beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She was very thoughtful...she was very genuine...she was lovely and made our day very special.

Ok...my dad...I've received dozens and dozens of emails and Facebook messages about him...yes, he's that sweet and no, he can't be your dad. :)

And the prank(s)..the producers said Sean wanted to tease Emily a bit and prank her, so being the good sports that we are, we went along.  First of all, Sean hasn't lived at home in 10 years, and when he did, my mom would have killed him if his room had looked anything like the room they showed last night.  Sean lives in a very well-kept home with his two dogs, Ellie and Lola...no worries about sloppy Sean living at home.  The armadillo you saw was a real armadillo (dead, of course) that my parents' neighbors found.  The thing is...it was so hard to prank Emily because she was just so nice about everything.  It's hard to prank someone who is that sweet and doesn't bite at the bait.  She was a great sport.

My favorite part last night was when Sean came out and we saw how excited my kids were to see him.  That was the longest period of time they've ever gone without seeing their Uncle Seanie and they had missed him so much.  They have such a special bond with their uncle.

Ok...the show continues...I'm sure I'll have stuff to say next week too.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your night last night.  We have been truly blessed by the wonderful people at ABC and this experience. 


Monday, July 2, 2012

Every day is special...













...but some days are extra special.  Today is one of those days.  Sean has done an incredible job representing our family on national television...let's just hope we make him proud and do the same.  Full re-cap of what you missed, what you saw, what it was like and about the people who made our home town visit extra special tomorrow.  See you tonight on ABC.

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