7.30.2015

Sugar

I am working on editing my photos from our quick trip to the sugar plantation. In the meantime, here is a rare Meghan shot. That is KitKat with me and Lulu in the background heading in to the citrus grove.

7.24.2015

10 Already?

I like to torture the kids on their birthday by sharing their birth stories with them. Today in great detail I recounted how I spent the evening before Zachs birth with Michelle at a high-end auction, watching people bid large sums on ornate furniture, and talking to the couple next to us who shared their picnic of wine and cheese. I carelessly sipped the sparkling wine and ate soft cheese despite knowing they are all on the banned items list for pregnant women.
My labor with Zach was the toughest of the three but even then it really wasn't that bad. He was demanding the first few days at the hospital but since then he has been the most easy going guy. He is always ready to offer a hug, comfort someone when they are sad, or provide a witty remark. He is happy to spend hours pouring over atlases, encyclopedias on airplanes or cars, and memorizing random facts.
I know he is my kid but he is really fun to hang out with. I am looking forward to continuing to watch him grow and develop in to an even better kid than he already is.

7.19.2015

Thank You Ford Motor Company

In September of 2002 I was 8 months pregnant with JT and with hormones in full force I remember telling Rick that we should really go look at a new car. At the time we had my trusty Oldsmobile from graduate school that Rick took to work and a Ford Explorer that I drove. We had recently been told by a mechanic that the Explorer was probably on it's last leg.

Rick and I made the journey to Covert Ford out in Hutto, Texas, which at the time it felt like we were driving out to a corn field in the middle of nowhere. 

We walked through the car lot (although I probably waddled) and looked at the used Explorers. Rick and I both despise car shopping so I am certain neither of us were in a great mood as the salesman followed us along chatting. I recall sitting in an Explorer that we thought was the one until the salesman asked if I wanted to sit in an Expedition. I climbed in the big silver beast and fell in love. I went back and sat in the Explorer again just to be sure but I knew that Expedition was mine. Sitting in it made me feel safe. We drove it home later that day.

This past Friday in preparation for the kids and I taking a mini-road trip to Louisiana we headed out in the trusted Expedition to run errands. There are multiple ways to get us to where we were going but out of habit I took my normal route that I drive to work. We sat at a light waiting for the green arrow to turn left. I don't even recall what we were talking about or what was on the radio. I remember looking at the guy to my left who was in work clothes and talking on the phone and thinking he was probably from Dell and taking a conference call. I looked up, the light was green, I looked back over at the guy next to me, and then I looked forward to where I was turning. I never looked straight ahead. If I had, I would have saw that there was a truck coming our way that was not stopping. All I heard was a horn honking before there was impact, the Expedition being pushed, and the air bags deploying. The boys and I described it later as what we imagine it feels like to get hit by a train (although a train is probably worse). JT was screaming, Zach and the girls were in shock. The powder from the airbags looked like smoke and I just kept telling JT to calm down for everyone to get out of the truck now. I wanted to scream and cry like the kids but knew I couldn't breakdown in front of them. I herded everyone to the median, counted the kids, checked everyone, and then held them each. 

A sweet couple who saw the accident jumped out to check on us. As well as every employee at the Mr. Clean Car Wash that is there on the corner. Lulu was attached to my leg, Kit Kat was just sitting quietly on the ground next to Zach who was crying, and JT was pacing and crying. While I was trying to calm JT down, the gentleman (whose name Zach told me later was Skips) sat on the ground with Zach and spoke to him in quiet words that in the midst of the chaos I couldn't hear.  Zach won't tell me all of what he said, just that he told him everyone was ok and that was all that mattered.

The EMS, Fire Department, and Police all arrived. It is honestly all a blur. Everyone was asking me questions, asking me to fill out forms, asking me who was coming to get me.  I never saw or spoke to the other people but from what small pieces of conversation we overheard and pieced together later they were all ok.

My phone was sitting in the console when we were hit and I wasn't able to find it. JT had called Rick and only said "Mom was in an accident." Rick had no clue what to expect. When Rick drove by the truck and saw it sitting flat on the ground (all 4 axles broken) he thought for sure that if not all of us but at least one was either injured or worse.




This September the Expedition would have been with us for 13 years and officially 15 years old. We have loved every moment with the Expedition. It has brought home all 4 of the kids from the hospital. We have driven through 23 States in the Expedition. We have laughed, cried, argued in the Expedition. The Lucas Family Circle of Trust lives in the Expedition. Every year as something minor cracked or broke, Rick and I talked about getting a new one but we keep saying, "Let's just hold out for one more year." 

We all walked away from the accident without any major injury. We are all a bit shaken but otherwise we are fine. The Expedition is not fine. It is sad to lose such a trusted vehicle. The moment of safety I felt when I first sat in the Expedition never left. I am thankful for every inch of steel Ford used to build that vehicle. Thankful that after 15 years, the airbags still worked perfectly. Thankful to all the people that stopped despite whatever they had going on to check on all of us. Thankful for whomever was watching over the 5 of us on Friday. 

I am not sure how we will replace the Expedition but I doubt I will be happy with anything other than another one. Honestly right now, I am just thankful that missing an item is the only thing I am doing.





6.20.2015

Dollhouse


Just like the boys are entertained for hours with legos, the one toy that keeps the girls happy is a small Fischer- Price dollhouse that a friend gave the girls. When I see the girls enjoying the dollhouse I get giddy not just because they are entertained by something other than a tablet but also because I think about the future dollhouses I will be buying.

Here is a secret, I want to make  a dollhouse; a wooden one decorated with tiny furniture but I unless I have a secret room where me and my nerdiness hang out this dollhouse is going to be destroyed by my friends.

So all of this dollhouse thinking has me cruising Craig's list every now and again to see what is out there. This led me to seeing that there was a garage sale in the hood with a dollhouse. I love a thrift shop or an antique store but I've never enjoyed garage sales. Kit Kat and I were the second people to arrive and we snagged our latest dollhouse addition along with Barbies airplane. It may be the best $20 I've spent.

I will keep nerdy day dreaming about my future dollhouses while I enjoy watching the girls play.

6.03.2015

Mini trip

We went to great wolf lodge almost 3 years ago and it was miserable. The place was packed, we had just come off a crazy adventure of filming what later became the pilot of the show, and we were heading back from a "emergency" trip to see Rick's grandpa who wasn't doing well. Oh and we realized at about 2am that the girls were screaming because they has ear infections.

I have a million thoughts about GWL but here is what I know: the kids loved it and there is some fabulous people watching. This was our first real attempt with the girls and road trip/travel and we are all optimistic about the results. The girls were great fun in the car, we had some really special one-liners from both of them that I need to start recording, and we had an enjoyable family dinner out, which honestly is huge as we've avoided all sit down restaurants with them for the past year.

I obviously didn't have my phone with me in the pools but here are some shots that Kit Kat requested I take.

Here is to a fun summer.

5.26.2015

Weather

We've had a crazy Spring here thanks to El Nino. Usually by Memorial Day weekend we already complaining about the heat and we've settled in to a pool routine.

This month has been filled with rain and while it is a blessing to finally have the lakes getting filled back up and to have help with the drought, it has also been tough to deal with the nonstop rain.

Saturday night we had a storm come through that included a small tornado just about a mile from us that did some decent damage to several houses and businesses. Everyone we know from that hood was safe but spent Sunday cleaning up. Monday started off nice and we finally got around to tackling the jungle that had grown up in the yards due to the rain. Around 1, Rick came in and turned on the news because he said it looked bad and he could hear the storm that was Northeast of us. We all sat and watched the weather and the tornado warnings that were popping up south but the maps showed all of it moving west of us.
The boys and I had plans to see their buddy Miles perform in a local play and were set to get ready despite the rain until the news showed a small storm making its way directly through Austin and in to Pflugerville. The news told us to be prepared to take shelter. We never saw a tornado but the rain was intense and while we were excited about backyard flooding, we had non idea what the rest of the hood was experiencing until the storm calmed and we decided to drive around.

The photos show the park and obviously the creek overflowing. There was a car that got caught and they were doing a rescue just as we came out. There is also the field where the boys used to practice baseball, our own flood in the backyard, and after it was all over the most interesting night sky that eventually turned this intense shade of yellow/orange.

The chances of rain are slim this week. Let's hope we get to play baseball and enjoy a little sun.