Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DATE NIGHT


This print available at Dream Weaver Prints!
Summer.  Summed up in one word: FULL.  As in: FULL of activities, FULL of family, FULL of fun.  A full car, a full calendar, a full onslaught of laundry.  Full bellies, full minds, full hearts.  For us, summer seems to get more hectic every year.  Make sense – kids get older, have more things going on, more independence for the older ones.  So, the management of this is really an ongoing, dynamic process.  Once again, I have to say how very thankful I am that I found Cozi a few years back (after making my own color coded Excel Spreadsheet calendar for YEARS!) to help keep me organized!  And without Nana the Wonder Sitter, well, all would be a huge mess.

The last couple of weeks were full of baseball, nature camp, baseball, friends over for dinner, baseball tournament, Father’s Day, Britt dressed as a Kangaroo, volleyball camp, sleepover wilderness camp, Kayleigh here from Texas, and looking forward to more baseball and another baseball tournament.  All of this can best be summarized in a few sunny and funny 
pictures and a short video:

Pirates end of Season Party

Last Pirates Game

Lara, Jake and Emma at Nature Camp
Lara's presentation at Nature Camp

Jake - warming up for Stampede Baseball

Me and "Kanga" Britt - March of Dimes Kangaroo-a-thon

Stillwater Stampede - 3rd place Eskimo Joe's Tri-State Shootout Tourney

Emma - Pioneer volleyball camp

Jake - Camp McFadden

Finn's Flags
Emma and Kayleigh with the Krazy Loom




(LOTS OF DREAM WEAVER PRINTS PRODUCTIONS IN THOSE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS!)

But the definite highlight of my summer so far?  DATE NIGHT WITH MY HUSBAND!  It’s been MONTHS.  And months and months. Since we have had the opportunity to be kid free and do something just for us.  Back on Valentine’s day, I was given this:


Last weekend, it finally was time.  We spent hours getting everything arranged for the kids.  The older 2 were with their Other Dad, but needed to come home and be cared for before we would get home.  The younger two would need care as well, so I hired a sitter to come hang out with them.  Nana the Wonder Sitter and Grandpa were road tripping south to pick up my niece Kayleigh from her mom.  I needed all 7 of those people to end up at one place at the same time while we were in Tulsa.  I made a spreadsheet.  It helps, I swear!  It was color coded, and had every phone number anyone on this carousel would need.  Quasi adults and adults each got a copy.  Digitally and in print.  There was NO WAY this was getting messed up!  I felt I had it all covered.  AND IT WORKED!  By late evening, all 4 of my kids and my niece were at Nana and Grandpa’s for the overnight.  #MommySuccess


So, what were WE doing is the big question, right?  Well, we left Stillwater mid-afternoon for a blissful, kid-free time in T-town.  That’s right, Tulsa was on the horizon and we wouldn’t look back.  For a few hours, at least…  First stop? GAS!  It’s so much cheaper in Tulsa (Sand Springs) than Stillwater.  This tank should last us a couple of days, right?  Then, the MALL!  We’re flatlanders in a flyover state.  The mall is a big deal.  Again, haven’t been inside one in YEARS!  And this one?  WELCOMED us!  Seriously – it’s like they knew we were coming:

Woodland Hills Mall
Wicked and OSU adorned the courtyard in the middle of the shops.  Yup.  All for us.  Even though we had agreed upon a STRICT “no shopping” policy, I somehow ended up with the CUTEST shark pajamas for Finn (dang you, Gymboree) and a fun baseball T (in Stampede colors) for by baseball lovin’ Jake (And dang you, too, Children’s Place)!  Time to get the heck out of there!  NO MORE SPENDING!  (I promised Britty I would sell extra stuff on the Etsy shop to make up for it, so go check it out!  I do custom graphics for just about anything!  What can I do for you?)


On to dinner.  Now, you know, we are on an AdvoCare journey and we’re both droppin’ libbies right and left.  So, what’s a couple to do?  Why, go to CHEEESECAKE FACTORY of course!  All kidding aside, we had acquired a gift certificate to that restaurant last winter, and since cheesecake is may FAVORITE (all time, ever!) desert, I wanted to go there!  This was our first “cheat meal” (I hate that term) in FOUR MONTHS.  We knew we wanted to make good, sensible choices, especially since we KNEW there was cheesecake for desert.  CF made is easy for us!  They have an extensive (and delicious) “Skinny” menu.  (Again, small town dwellers that don’t get out much – we don’t know about these things!)  We chose from those items, and Oh. Em. GEE!  Love.  We ate it all (not really, I can’t eat like I used to).  Loved it all. AND had cheesecake for desert.  It was a truly wonderful experience.  And, YUM!

Next stop: Tulsa Performing Arts Center to see WICKED!!!!!  Back where it all started!  The first time we saw Wicked, I surprised Britt with a trip to Tulsa and tickets for his birthday in August of 2009.  We saw it once, and were hooked.  This past weekend marks the 5th time we’ve seen it!  We’ve been changed for good and can’t help but to keep dancing through life as we defy gravity and spend one short day reveling in all things popular.

This performance.  Whoa.  Hands down, the best we’ve been too.  Tulsa, Wichita, OKC, Dallas, and back to Tulsa.  It was WONDERFUL.  Through and through.  The last time we say it was in Dallas for the girl’s 8th birthday; that was 4 years ago.  (We’ve had a hectic few years…)  A lot of the costuming has changed (The flying monkeys got scarier!), and so has almost ALL of the choreography!  While we both have favorite scenes we were looking forward to that were completely different this time around, the show was fabulous.  This Elphaba (played by Emma Hunton) was by far the best I’ve seen.  And her chemistry with Fiyero (played by Nick Adams) was unmatched in anything I’ve seen – it made the show that much better.  Glinda (Gina Beck) had the best ad-libs and was very convincing.  The entire cast was stellar.  The dancers and ensemble were just incredible.  I was bawling at the end of Act 1 (typical) and still crying at the curtain of Act 2.  I can’t explain it, but this Musical has my heart.  I can’t wait to go again!  Where to this time, My Love?



We got back to our home in Stillwater in the wee hours of the night.  During intermission and after the show I had read texts from Nana describing the musical beds situation going on at her house, but I think they all finally got a few winks before Sunday morning rolled around.  We spent a leisurely summer day – resting, playing in the yard, doing chores – before wrapping the night up at church.  The twins are old enough to serve in the little kid rooms during the service.  How is that even POSSIBLE?  Sunday was their first time.  They did GREAT, and they loved doing it!  So proud of them as they start this new chapter of life.  This is a summer they will never forget as they step into the role as servants for our Lord with the Church in our local church.  They are the hands and feet of Jesus for these small fries in the yellow hallway on Sunday nights at LifeChurch Stillwater.  To sum it up: they are changing lives.  And because they are committed to serving, Britt and I added more to our serving plates as well.  That’s what leaders do, right?  Lead by example.  Love.  Serve.  Summer. Full of awe.


Lara and Emma - Swerving for the 1st time!

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