Hello my name is...

Yesterday we went to a Kouba family reunion.  This cute pic is the first cousins for our crew on Philip's side. 

As you can tell Denver has become quite accustomed to being held/man-handled by his sister and he doesn't seem to mind.

We all wore name tags because HOW EMBARRASSING would it be to not remember a relative's name.  ;)

There was food, matching shirts, lots of little ones running around, and enjoyable conversation. It was a pleasant way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon.




Tulsa time

Over the last 3 weeks Philip has had to do quite a bit of traveling.  The first week he was in D.C. overnight.  

Here he is posing like a statue (Philip's in the foreground. Haha!)

Then he was in Chicago for a few days -

(photo credits go to him - these were hijacked from his Instagram) 

which interpreted into Garrett's popcorn for us for breakfast the morning after he got home because - YUM.

The next week he was in Dallas a couple of days for training.

Don't be mistaken - his training was not to become a professional baseball player - this was just the only picture he took while there.  I'm sure his training consisted of very important information regarding debits and credits and all that fun number crunching stuff but those really aren't the parts worth documenting or remembering so much in the future.  (At least not for me - I'm pretty sure his employer thinks it's worth him remembering and putting to use.)

This week has had him in Tulsa.  One thing we've always tried to do since we've been together is travel with each other whenever possible.  Even more so since we've had the kiddos and sometimes it works out swimmingly (Disney World 2012) and other times it's just too quick of a trip.

Anyway, this go round I had a mid-week day off so we headed up to stay the night with him.  First thing we did was eat burgers & fries and then head to a minor league baseball game.

Contrary to the look on Annie's face it was a good time for the kids because the stadium had a playground that she enjoyed and a lawn that Denver enjoyed crawling around on.  

A bonus for me was I ran into a long-time friend from home (Kali Tarr) & got to see two of her cute boys.

Growing up in a small town I always feel like I'm going to run into someone I know everywhere I go.  Even living in San Diego I was that way.  However, while like the song says "it's a small world after all" it's not that small and around every bend is not an old pal.  It is fun though when you do see familiar faces in different places.

The next morning Annie thoroughly enjoyed watching Philip walk to work at the next building from the hotel window.

Clearly it's the little things. :)

Then we took advantage of the hotel pool 

after posing for a selfie in the elevator because according to Annie it was a great place for a picture.

It was not - as seen by the grainy and dark appearance of the photo but her expression is cute and it validates the fact that Denver accompanied us since the majority of pictures taken to this point were done with him as my assistant sitting on my hip. At this stage in his life that is his preferred resting place so unless I take selfies (which I do not like to do) it's hard to get him in the pic the majority of the time.

We then got dressed and after a totally unnecessary but very much enjoyed escalator ride headed out to do some shopping.

Poor Denver - Annie and I love finding silly things and trying them on him. He's such a good sport.

After lunch and a goodbye to Philip we headed home.  It was a quick trip but broke up the week some and gave us some fun time together.


Father's Day logic

Let's face facts - you can't know everything about the person you are going to marry.  Yes, over the course of your courtship you can identify how they handle stressful situations or bad news along with all the happy moments, but some things you're just going in blind thinking the heart wants what the heart wants and it will all work out.  

Parenting was one of those things in Philip & I's relationship.  With no direct observation of skill level I just assumed since he was the love of my life and my perfect complement that he'd be great at it.

That logic was spot on.

Logic always has reasoning behind it so here is some of mine:

He's fun.  He's always up for a good time and makes everything more enjoyable for all of us.

He's involved.  When we had Annie and he was a student he always worked his schedule out as much as he could so that he was with her whenever she was not at the Mother's Day Out program.  

They spent many hours together while I was at work and he was always finding something for her to do, taking her some place fun to get a treat, or meeting up with others so she had good friends to play with. 

While parenting is a group effort he's really the one to credit with potty-training Annie and there are plenty of other things that Annie gently corrects me and lets me know how her and her Daddy do it (and she's right his method is generally better).

He's laid-back.  If there is one lesson parenting teaches you early on it's that things will probably never go according to your plans so you better be okay with sudden changes.  He is.

He's always kind.  Surprisingly our kids are not perfect. (Another thing you don't know beforehand... :) When discipline has to occur he's never demeaning or rude, he corrects the action and moves on.

He's up for it.  Whatever it is.  If it involves the kids and I he's happy to be part of it. 

Having a little girl has meant tea parties, lots of pink, princess meet and greets, dress-up, and lots of other non-masculine things and he's never once refused to participate in any of these things because he knows how much they mean to Annie.
He's a hard worker. At times he works really long hours and his commute alone is tiresome but he doesn't bring that home with him.  When he comes in he's ready to play and help with the kids and he's happy to be here.

Bottom line - God gave me a good one.  He's a keeper.



Parenting 101

True story here - I was a parenting expert before I had my first child.  I had hours upon hours of babysitting under my belt and lots of observation (*cough* judgement) of other people parenting so I knew exactly how I was going to do it and what I ABSOLUTELY would not do.  About 20 seconds after Annie was born I realized I was an idiot. Since that moment I've been muddling through and finding my way as I go along like a person who has been blindfolded and swiftly spun around numerous times before trying to hit the pinata.  That being said you can imagine how precise the parenting technique is around our house.  Case and point: bedtime.

Bedtime routine is a big deal in most households I believe. Our house is no different beyond the fact that the routine changes frequently enough that it is really erroneous to even claim it's a routine.  Anyway, there are some regular features about each night when the little ones go to bed.

To my knowledge most kids have a blanket, stuffed animal, pillow, or some other trinket they have to have when they go to bed.  Annie is no different by the simple fact that she does have a favorite blanket she uses every night (and drags around with her wherever she chooses to lay down and watch TV) but that's where the similarities (or normality) ends.  In addition to the blanket the majority of the time she likes to have an arm to help her get to sleep.  Yes, a human arm is her lovey of choice.

As a baby she always patted on mine or Philip's arm while we held her as she went to sleep.  Now 4 1/2 years later most nights she says, "Can I hold your arm?" (This is a huge improvement from the "Gimme you arm" little bitty drowsy Annie use to say.)

While not always (or ever) convenient - neither parent wants to be a curmudgeon about the whole thing so most nights one or the other of us is tethered to her for a few minutes until she drifts off.

This is another one of those little things that will eventually (and actually already is) fade away with age but is worth remembering because while it probably goes against every parenting rule out there (and is one of those things I was not going to do) it is a moment of peaceful sweetness with our little girl.


7 months in...


This guy is closing in on 3/4 of a year and they aren't lyin' when they say no two kids are alike. The differences between him and Annie are so stark it makes it hard to believe they have the same genes at times.

Of course most of this could just be the difference between boys and girls.  Or a lot of it (probably the majority of it) could be the distance between them.  Almost 4 years is plenty of time to forget about baby behaviors & gloss over some of the past. ;)

A little bit about him - 

He loves to swing and has since he could barely sit up...

The higher and faster the better 

And longer - he'll swing for as long as someone will push him.

He loves the water; bath time, swimming pools, waterhose, any form or amount - he's in to it.

Any toy that rocks, bounces, or allows him to walk or jump is aces for him - the guy wants to be moving at. all. times.  (Not so fun if you are mom holding him in church, at a restraunt, or at bedtime...)

He loves being outside 

and he has a need for speed (which his sister is happy to oblige).

He likes his groceries

and he's all boy 

so we already have a lot of scrapes and bruises...

but every scar tells a story, right? 

Annie is his number 1 pal

and everything she does is amusing to him.

He doesn't do much of this -

but that's okay because it allows us all to enjoy more of this:

lucky us. :)


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I'm blessed with fun days, happy moments, & precious memories...this is where I store some of them.