Sunday, June 28, 2009

Getting Better!....

Well, she's starting to really get the hang of it! Bella's confidence and bravery has gotten stronger over the past few days. After Ty went to bed, we jumped in the pool and I got some pictures and a short clip of Bella practicing with John. We'll keep swimming with her every day if we can, and hopefully she'll be a little fish in no time!

video

More pictures in our summer album: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bri.and.John/SummerFun2009#

Cousins & Treehouses

Has anyone else noticed that it is stinkin' hot lately?? Yesterday morning we all jumped in the pool at 8:30! So obviously, we looove our inside play areas around here. It's like a little piece of air conditioned heaven. Today we went to a huge indoor play area that's designed like a big jungle tree house. It has the most intricate mazes of swings, steps, tunnels, secret passageways, and tons of fun slides. Everything is soft and squishy, and the place just screams "imagination!" It's like a paradise for kids, and it even has a smaller play area for little ones like Ty. Although, he likes to think he is big enough to hang with his sister, so he always ends up trying to follow her around. This morning we picked up Bella's cousin Lexi and we all went to play for a little while and get some lunch. The girls had an absolute ball together- I wish I had pictures but my camera is too darn large to lug around a place like that. But lucky for me- my new little Flip Mino camera fits right in my pocket! :-) So here is a cute clip of the girls chatting away when we stopped for some lunch.

video

Celebrating Fischer Robinson

It's that time again...where at least 1 (but usually 2!) girls in our group celebrates the upcoming arrival of a new little one to our baby brood. We all laughed yesterday about the irony of our baby showers...there is always at least 2 women pregnant at a time. At my shower, Heather Kerri and myself were all expecting. At Kerri's shower, it was Kerri and Heather. At Alison's' yesterday, both Alison and Jessica are expecting little ones. Come to think of it Heather- no one was pregnant at yours....but it doesn't count because yours was cancelled due to those pesky kidney stones! So our legend of "two at a time" still stands! And let's just face it Amanda- when you are pregnant you know at least one of the girls will be going on round 2 :-) So we celebrated the guest of honor, Alison, with food, friends and lots of good baby presents. And I must admit, Heather and I can make a mean diaper cake. Were were impressed by our own creation. I think the most fun part about going through pregnancies with your best friends is that there is a common thread that runs deep through us as moms. There is something so personal and so intimate about sharing advice and leaning on each other for support as we try to muddle through becoming mothers of grace and wisdom. Maybe I was naive to believe that once you become a mom, you "magically" know all the answers and know exactly what you are doing...but the truth is- you actually realize how vulnerable you are and how much you still need to learn. It's the most extraordinary yet humbling experience I have ever had in my life. And on those days where you question your every decision, its a comfort to my soul to reach out to these women and find encouragement and prayer...and maybe some coffee and dessert :-) We have a long road ahead of us, and I am so blessed to have these women to enjoy it with!
We all can't wait to meet you Avery and Fischer!
**Jessica and Avery are on the left, Alison and Fischer on the right :-) **

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Splish Splash!!

First of all- how cute is this picture??!
We have been working with Miss Bella to get her pool-safe and swimming on her own, and she's made some excellent progress this summer! Her classes at AquaSafe have been a big help, but what we've noticed is the thing that works the best is good old fashioned peer pressure. When Isabella sees her friends swimming, or her cousins, or even is Tyler is swimming with her- then all of the sudden she becomes this independent little dare devil! We spent a fun afternoon at her best friend Avery's house the other day, and after watching Avery swim around, Bella decides "hey, I want to do that too!" So she insisted that we let her go and off she went- swimming on her own! Avery's dad Scott grabbed his water camera and we took some fun pictures of the girls swimming around and making faces. Boy, if I had known that a little peer pressure was all it took, then I also need to find her a friend who eats all her dinner, and goes to bed without complaining. Then we have solved all our problems :-) And aren't little girls sooooo cute at the age of 3?? So precious!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brianna and the Terrible. No Good. Very Bad Day.

Today is not a good day.
I worked last night so I am exhausted, my house is a mess, and I really need a shower (or long bath). I awoke from sleeping today only to hear that Farrah Fawcett had died. So sad about that. Cancer has a deeper meaning to my life, so I think it's so sad when it takes a previously-healthy life. Then, John comes home and tell me to turn on the news- only to find that Michael Jackson had died! Like an Elvis to our generation- he was a legend. I don't have a particularly strong connection to him, but I still feel a weird emptiness and sadness about it. He was only 50- and he has like 4 kids! And it was so sudden....so shocking.
Then comes a double whammy to my poor little heart....Shaq has been traded. Stoudemire is next.
Yes Amare, it is true.
What??!! I have been a Suns fan for only 8 years- which is when I met John of course. Here's a little known fact for some of you....our first date was to a pre-season Suns game at the San Diego Sports Arena! It's been love ever since. With the Suns that is (OK, and John too). So I have agonized right alongside John as we watch the Suns peak and then slowly crumble to a non-playoff making mess of politics and egos. I still have a flame burning for my beloved Steve Nash (who by the way said hi to me at the gym!..OK, I said hi first, and I probably looked neurotic with a big ol' goofy smile on my face. But I like to think that the moment was special). And another side note- when we moved to Scottsdale, I celebrated my love for the Suns by buying my first jersey ever....yup- Shawn Marion. That didn't turn out so well either.
I was devastated when we traded him for Shaq. The era of "run n' gun" Suns was officially over.
We all knew this was how it would turn out. **Sigh** But I still hung in there with a glimmer of hope in my eye. A true fan sticks by their side even during really dumb decisions. Now we've traded our old, ready-to-retire, expensive player for.....drum roll please.....a player who is also old, also ready to retire, and didn't even put up the kind of numbers Shaq put up this season! As my eye begins to twitch and I'm fuming out of half exhaustion and half frustration with the Suns....John announces that he hears Amare will be gone tomorrow. Dagger to my soul. Even worse- there is a possibility Barbosa will be gone too. What is happening here?! Just who are The Phoenix Suns going to be??
I should wrap this up before I digress any further. I have a house to clean, kids to put to bed, a shower to take, a Shawn Marion jersey to sell on eBay....and now I suppose I should also go get rid of my favorite Shaq underwear.
Gotcha for a minute :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Friends :-)

Actually, they aren't new to me, but they are new to the blogging world!
Two very cute girlfriends of mine have created family blogs of their own, and so I am giving them a little shout-out for you to go and visit their family sites!
First is Amanda Robinson. You may remember me talking about her for her birthday post. She is married to Lance "Bus" Robinson, and if you can sit in their presence for 30 minutes without laughing- then you get some very special prize. They are hilarious, they love life, they are both kind and giving, they are hard workers (and just recently started their own business! If anyone in Arizona is looking for landscape maintenance/work, look up ACLS!) and they are good friends of John and I. Amanda is finishing up her Masters in Counseling, and Lance is busy growing his new business venture. You will notice they are labeled "Robinson Family Part 2" on my sidebar and that's because there is another Robinson family- which happens to be Lance's brother Blake and his wife Alison (who is also a close friend in our inner circle), it's so confusing....I know :-) So pop over to their new family blog and get to know them!
The second is a good friend of mine from college. We spent hours together studying and getting through nursing school- and now we are both working as NICU nurses! Her name is Monique Sawyer, and like John and I- she married her college sweetheart, Brandon. They married one year after John and I, and then moved around where Brandon finished his Masters and pursued his PhD (is that right Monique? I can't remember if he finished that). They are currently back in good ol' SD where Brandon teaches at PLNU, and they recently welcomed their first-born- little Soren Gabriel Sawyer! You will love reading Monique's writings because she is an honest, introspective, deep-thinking, sweet soul.
These girls have given me wonderful memories through our friendships, so I hope you enjoy reading about them as well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Papa Knows Best.

So, many of you may not know this- but my dad is an amazing swimmer. He started swimming when he was probably around Bella's age, and he swam competitively his entire childhood and into his adult years. He was ranked All-American many times over, and got offers from colleges and universities (one of which from Pepperdine! How can you say no to that?!) but all's well that ends well- because his decision not to go to Pepperdine led to him meeting my mom in a calculus class one day...and the rest is history. Anyway, he continued swimming in leagues and Master's swim teams as an adult- even completing triathlons and various organized ocean swims. Most importantly, he taught Emily and I how to swim as toddlers. While in SD this past weekend, I watched an old home video of myself just before my 3rd birthday, and I was swimming all alone- like a little fish!! I can't believe how young I was! So this past weekend Papa played in the spa with Bella a little, and with the "magic of his ways" he somehow got her to get over her fear of submerging her head in the water. We have been working on that in her swim lessons, but she just picked it right up with Papa! Forget spending money at her swim lessons...I should just get my dad to come out here for a week and teach her to swim! So here is a little clip of their progress together :-)

video

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

To my two favorite men in the whole world- I love you and don't know what I would do without either of you! Examining all the things I love about John, I have come to realize that those are the traits I love about my dad! Calm, strong, good leaders humble, kind, patient with the kids, hilarious sense of humor, good handymen...the list goes on and on. I have the best memories of my childhood with my dad. Memories that just can't ever be replaced. And I literally get teary sometimes when I see my own kids wrestling, cuddling and playing with John because I know how lucky (blessed) they are to have a dad like John. John- you are an incredible dad to Isabella and Tyler. And in case I don't tell you often enough- I fall more and more in love with you every time I see the ways you love our kids. I am so proud to be your wife, and even more proud of the father you have become to our own family. Bella and Tyler don't know how good they've got it
:-)

PLNU Basketball

Yes, we used to go to college here. And no- I didn't appreciate how awesome it was until I graduated and left my protected ocean-view bubble.
Point Loma Nazarene University means a lot to John and I. For the first obvious reason being that we met there and fell in love during college. **Sidenote: I even remember what John was wearing the first time I saw him at freshman orientation! Sappy, I know :-) ** But this place also strengthened our character, our career goals, our life mission statements and our work ethic. John is the hardest worker I know. He hates when things are done mediocre, so you can imagine how difficult it is to maintain honor roll and be a leader on the university basketball team. I spent countless hours in that gym (and away games!) cheering him on, celebrating with him, and being his silent listener when he needed to vent. And he was awesome. He was quiet and humble- but a force on the court, breaking and setting all-time school records while he was at it. The sport is important to him, and his team was twice as important to him. The guys on the court were his best friends, and to this day- they are still a part of our lives. Weddings, new jobs, babies- all the guys have grown up and started new lives, but the friendship and team still remains.
So this weekend we attended Coach Wimore's retirement party at the university. It was such a joy to see old friends and get to catch up with the guys (and wives and babies! We feel so old!) Being on campus brings back floods of emotions, and we drove around after the party, just to remember old times. So here are a few pictures of some of the guys and their former coach all together again. Some things just get better with time :-) Future PLNU student? You never know!....

Long-Lost Loves.

Warning: This is a long one! Please bear with me with all the pictures..I couldn't pick just a few!!
This is the story of Isabella Jade & Micah Bradley.
Born only 11 weeks apart, they were destined for love right from the start. They did everything together, and (much to their parents' amusement) spent most of their time sitting and cuddling up to one another.
Bella tried to play hard to get at first- and pretended she didn't like him putting on the moves..
She even looked surprised at times when he tried to put his arm around her....
But eventually, she gave in to his charm and sweet-talking romantic style....
Pretty soon they started falling in love. And they enjoyed things like walks in their strollers together, playdates before their morning naps, and playing at the park....
They even picked up habits of old lovers, like dressing alike and teasing each other.....
But sadly, one day Bella broke the news that her parents were moving to Scottsdale, and that they would not be able to see each other anymore. Micah did not take this news very well....
So after 3 very long years apart, the day finally arrived for their love to be rekindled! They spent a glorious weekend together in San Diego and it was as if no time had ever passed between these two lovebirds!
And now, Isabella doesn't mind it so much when her handsome prince puts his arm around her...
And they strolled hand in hand...happy to be together at last.
Is this finally happily ever after? We know just yet- but how can you deny the love on these little faces?!

To Be Continued......

(more pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bri.and.John/SummerFun2009#)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Sunday Afternoon

Just a quick post to share a few pictures of my beautiful daughter this morning. How would I ever begin to describe Isabella?....She's a ray of sunshine everywhere she goes, and she's a perfect example of the way God gives us things we could never deserve.
Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Dad!

So my dad tells me this morning that he was thinking about going fishing for his birthday.... I'm so jealous! I LOVE fishing. And I got that from my dad. One of my favorite memories from childhood was a particular camping trip we took with a big group of friends, and my dad and I got up before anyone else one morning and went fishing together (was I 4 or 5 dad? I can't remember) but we ended up coming back with a huge line of little sunfish and I felt so proud and excited about our morning catch! Ever since- I was hooked.
And Dad, remember when I was in high school and we went to Tahoe and you and I went fishing one more time before heading home..and while you had to run to the bathroom real quick, I reeled in that HUGE trout all by myself?!! That was awesome.
Good memories :-)
Love you Dad! Hope you went fishing and had a blast
(although not nearly as much fun since I wasn't there)

Baby Dave...Not So Much A Baby Anymore.

This morning we celebrated David's 2nd birthday with a small party of family. Well, it's never exactly small when all of us get together (9 of the 10 cousins were present) but the little man of honor had fun and that's all that counts.
Nothing like pizza and cake at 11:00 in the morning.
Here, the boys are enjoying a leisurely carousal ride-
And the two older girls ran around squealing and hugging each other. Lexi (Alexis) is only about 7 months older than Isabella, and since their family moved to Minnesota, the girls don't get to see each other that much. It was adorable to watch the two of them go on rides together and play games, and of course Bella had to sit right next to her wherever she sat. Little girls this age are just precious.

So happy birthday sweet little guy! And for more pictures,

Keepin' Active

Well, summer has officially started in full swing around here. Although I must admit, the weather has not been nearly as bad as it has before..we have been enjoying a relatively cool June thus far. But even so- it's just a matter of time before I wake up and am reminded of where I live when my iPhone tells me it's 90 outside at 7:00 in the morning. But since this will be my 4th summer here in Scottsdale, I have learned a few tricks of the trade...for one, inside activities are my new best friend. Working out at our gym while the kids play at the Tot Stop, enrolling the kids in gymnastics and dance classes (for Bella, mind you. You won't be seeing Tyler in a dance class anytime soon...but the boy can shake his thing when asked!) tumbling classes, seeing movies, shopping, taking advantage of open gym, indoor bounce houses, playing at every splash pad, swimming in our pool...you get the idea. Anythings that keeps us cool and entertained. Plus, I believe that kids should be moving. Don't get me wrong- I see nothing wrong with cartoons and watching movies (trust me- Noggin and Disney channel are staples in our house), but there are limits to everything. So I've done some research and explored new ways to get out of the house and do fun stuff with my two cuties this summer.
Here is Bella at her new "Move n' Tumble" class. It's perfect for her because it's just 3 & 4 year olds, so she has lots of kids her own age to run around with.

And here we are at open gym at our gymnastics place, where Ty loves this fun little car swing. He loves it when I push him, but then loses interest after about a minute..and then he's off and running to the next thing. Typical little boy, right?

On Thursday I took the kids to one of the libraries around here for a "Shake Rattle & Roll" class at their children's center and although Bella clung to my leg for the first 5 minutes- they were both dancing and giggling by the end of the class. And, again, Ty sure can dance!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Random tid-bits

I know- it's been a little while since I've added a new post! What's up with my lack of organization skills lately? Normally I'm so on top of things...but we have been jamming so many things into our schedule lately, that computer time is low on the list. So here I am again- promising to do better.....again :-) I had a hectic morning this morning- Bella went off to see a movie with my sister, and I had to get a sitter and rush myself out the door to a baby shower for a girlfriend (beautifully done Julie! The shower was gorgeous) at Olive & Ivy downtown...which pretty much meant I had to be on top of my game this morning in order to get it all done on time! Now, the kids are napping and I can relax with my sister and catch up on some TiVo'd shows...which of course takes priority over blogging. But I promise to add some new stuff soon! I've got some great pictures and videos that I'm excited to share. Until then, here are some random pictures of Ty hanging out with Dad...(if John is 6' 7'', how tall does that make Ty when he's on his shoulders??) and a cute pic of Bella at her new tumble class.
Until later- hope you're having a great day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just A Night With The Guys.

When they boys are 14, they will not appreciate all of the embarrassing pictures we have of them.
Like I mentioned before in the earlier post, Tyler's awesome Aunt Heidi and Uncle David took him for one of the nights that we were away for our anniversary. Tyler and Little Dave are only a little less than 6 months apart, so now as the boys get older- the real fun begins.
What does a guys' night consist of when you are one year old you ask?
Well, it starts with some fun on the teeter-totter....
...Followed by a bath and then some good ol' sitting in front of the TV, watching sports with no shirts on, doing manly things like picking their nose....
...cleaning out your cousins' belly button :-)..... ...And then celebrate when your team wins!!
Ahhh, boys will be boys :-)
Thank you David and Heidi (and Little Dave!) We love you!