Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Illini vs Middle TN State

I LOVE fall. Now in my NINTH season as the girlfriend/fiance/wife of a die-hard lover of college football, my love for the sport grows every year. This week's college football Saturday was all about the Illini!

Our fam came down for the day, and my dad, brother and Daria were all able to see the new house for the first time! Troy was practically begging them to come see outside. Sure enough, once the inside tour was over, everybody ended up outside and no one wanted to go back in! Troy was on to something :)

Find the football flying through the air :)

Gramma and Auntie Daria were on board for watching Troy and Cassidy while Mike, Grampa, Uncle Andy and I all went to the game. Below, tailgating before the game and Dad is playing on his phone. Insert random comment about all those times he poked fun at the rest of us on our smartphones at things like tailgates.

The weather was perfect, the Illini were playing a good game but there were SO MANY TV timeouts. So here we are killing time, in the stands, sometime in the second half of the game, during one of those timeouts.

As my dad said, we went to a day game and left a night game! Goooooo Illini!!!

Afterwards, we indulged in the awesomeness that is Black Dog to-go. So much amazing BBQ, all in the comfort of our own home. Yummo!

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Free Bibles"

All week, Troy has been packing up all the kids' Bibles we have into various boxes and goes around to all of us and says, "Free Bibles! You get to pick a toy, too!" I think he's on to something :)

Mahomet Homecoming Parade

Our second year at this parade, but FIRST as official Mahomet residents! Maybe by next year I'll actually have some Bulldogs gear for my kids (maybe...) Many of the friends we watched with last year were there again this year, and then some!

The earliest arrivals, Troy, Ben and Alex amused themselves with their own duck, duck goose for a little while while we waited.

And then it began!

As soon as the LOUD fire trucks passed by, Cassidy ventured over towards the street and "HOLY COW MOMMY! THEY'RE THROWING CANDY ON THE GROUND!?" haha

Rather than hold her own bag, she'd scoop a bunch up and bring it to me periodically. Troy, on the other hand, was a candy scooping machine :)

In addition to the trucks that went by throwing handfuls towards us, there were also the many high school kids who walked by with buckets and bags and just loaded up each kid individually.

Yea, she digs the parade scene.

A good portion of our group here below! Including Cassidy clutching her new beanie baby bear. Yes, they threw beanie babies in this parade, and its even embroidered with "bulldogs" and the Mahomet bulldog. Thanks for giving yours to Cassidy, Asher!

When all was said and done (and before they even had much candy), Troy and Liam took off in the field again and chased each other around. Seriously, WHERE do these kids get their energy from!?

Bag 1 of 2 below. And this was the SMALLER of the bags. Cass did a pretty stellar job for her first real "gather the candy" parade experience.

Dining Al Fresco

An outdoor dining set will have to wait until at least next year, but Troy made do the other night with what we've got :) He didn't want to come in and asked if he could eat outside (he was eating after we'd already had dinner anyways). So his own outdoor patio dining it was!

Gymnastic Fun

(Insert 943rd post about how much I still love the Y...)

After the kids and I wrapped up our normal two hour morning at the Y, I picked them up and Troy stated, "Mom, I heard the kids say the trampolines are open right now. Let's just go check!" I didn't even know what he was talking about but sure enough he led the way and knew exactly what he was talking about. The gymnastics center was open for kids open gym!

Rings were a favorite for both of them.

Even Cass was able to get her feet off the ground and swing as her arms did the work. She's working on her arm strength like mama is :)

Another favorite. Balance beam. She's very good at it (which I could have already told you from our summer at the playgrounds). I see gymnastics in her future!

Even after nearly 3 hours straight of physical activity, they were in a fantastic mood for lunch. It was one of those days that just felt GOOD. When I sent this pic to Mike he sent back, "looks like they're lovin' life!" Agreed :)

School Project: Self Portrait

While I know he had help with the spelling of these words, I can't help but melt to see such precious projects coming home from school these days!

"I am made in the image of God. -Troy"

The cutest 9 fingernail girl I've ever seen

Yep. I have a pretty tough stomach for things of the "ick factor", especially as it pertains to my kids. But this? This grossed me out big time.

About a month ago Cass and Troy were playing around the back door at the old hours and Cass got her finger pinched in the door. She cried, it bruised, it never seemed to bother her again.

Fast forward to this week when we're in the car and she's saying, "Owie! Owie!" Upon closer investigation at home, her nail is about 90% fallen off.

I contact the doc office in the AM. They don't seem at all alarmed by this and don't even want to see us unless she develops any one of the scary criteria they send me in a list. We go about our business. End of the day its about 95% fallen off...

The next day we go into daycare where our beloved Carly (who is also a nurse) gives Cass a look-over. One piece of candy and 1 min later and the fingernail is off. (Thanks for saving the day Carly!) Cass didn't even flinch. I can't even imagine what she would have done had I taken her to the doc and a stranger tried to do the same thing. And now it looks a billion times better than when that icky nail was on there earlier this week.

Lesson: try not to be grossed out by anything because something inevitably grosser will always come along.

Below, showing off her nail-less middle finger. Warning: the next pic is of the nail before it fell off.

I warned ya. At least now you're prepared for when of your own child's nails falls off at some point. Though I hope all your children get to keep all their nails.

Another Orchard Trip

On a mission to get honeycrisps for Gramma before they run out, the kids and I made another visit to the orchard. We were able to see some of the pumpkins that were out this trip! Haven't ventured back to the pumpkin patch yet, though (or apple picking).

Troy loves pulling his sister in the wagon. Cass loves getting a free ride.

Hold on, Cassidy!

Of course there were kittens. And the fact that my littles had twinsies made for a good kitten photo shoot. This is Troy holding his and saying, "Say CHEEEESE, cat!" The cat looks thrilled.

Despite the above photo, he is actually very, very sweet with them.

Troy had a growth spurt recently and is closing in on four feet tall. He'll be thrilled if he gets even more ride options at water parks and theme parks next summer. #thrillseeker

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Mommy, sit. Princess"

Yes, yes. I think I shall enjoy the princess phase, in full swing, with my daughter. How do you turn down the invite to sit and watch "Frozen"?

A night in Madison

After the game, we headed back to our hotel for some relaxation. We stayed at this hotel once before and had such a great experience that we said we really wanted to return some day, At that time, the water features weren't operational so we had our fingers crossed they would be this time. Alas, with the push of a button, they were! Enter two happy kids!

It was basically our own private pool for the first half of our visit.

Cass got VERY brave and decided to follow her brother and the trio of boys he's teamed up with down the kiddie slide. After she did it once, she did it again and again!

The hotel (Hilton Garden Inn - Madison/Middleton) is located within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Bonus for places we don't have to strap our kids into the car multiple times!

Mike found his new Halloween outfit (ha!) at the Halloween store. There were pants too...

A little bit of late night ice cream to round out our time was a great treat for all!

Another one of *those* moments. She's really growing up!

Troy vs Wisconsin: Madison Bound!

A couple years ago, Mike excitedly mentioned Troy was going to be playing a Big Ten team in 2015. While we were holding out for what would have been the ultimate match-up between Troy University and the University of Illinois, they did end up playing Wisconsin, which was a short and manageable drive from us, too.  (Throwback to our last game we all went to, before "we all" included Cassidy. Troy was just shy of 2 years old, so about the same age as Cass.)

Below, the four of us in our Troy gear before hitting the road north.

We arrived! Hanging out outside the stadium as these two took in the sights.

Across the street, the Troy University Alumni Association was hosting a pre-game party. There were a LOT of southern accents in that room. I did my best to navigate conversations with some of the friendliest people I'd ever met.

Troy happily embraced his moderate "celebrity" status in this party. Everyone wanted to meet the kids named Troy after the school! (Story on that here.) 

Cassidy and I went to the bathroom at one point, and heard this strike up what sounded like right outside the bathroom door. Sure enough, here were some bagpipers steps away from our table! We got back just in time for the finish!

On our way back to the stadium, we had an impromptu touch-a-truck at the fire station across the street. The kids both climbed in to check it out!

These two. Love them to pieces.

We were a *tad* outnumbered in the sea of 80,000 Wisconsin fans.

By halftime, the kids were beyond fidgety and thirsty, thirsty, thirsty! We headed out and caught much of the rest of the game back at our hotel. 'Til next time, Troy football!