Saturday, February 20, 2016

Preston Playing Hoops

Childhood for our children is so different than it was when Steve and I were kids.  They are kept so busy, they rarely have time to sit still or play with friends.  In the Fall, Preston played flag football, Bennett played volleyball and they both were on the Magic City Aquatic League.  In addition, Bennett took art lessons once a week and participated in Girl Scouts.  Once those sports ended, they move to the next ones.  Preston played basketball this winter, and loved every minute of it. 

Fortunately for him, he was on an awesome team.  He had friends on the team, and his coach is a friend of ours.  Though they didn't keep score for the 1st grade teams, we did....and they won every single game.  Even though they only played for one hour each week (30 minute practice and 30 minute game), they improved.  They all were better dribblers and passers by the end of the season, and each boy scored multiple baskets.  They had great camaraderie and fun for their short season.

Coach Jay was nice enough to take the boys out for pizza after their last game.  What a fun way to conclude the season (Preston's first time playing organized basketball).

Monday, February 15, 2016

Alabama Gymnastics

B with Big Al and cheerleaders
As we all know, Uncle Dan is the biggest Alabama fan ever!  He has season tickets to almost every sport they, softball, basketball, gymnastics and of course football.  Fortunately, Alabama is pretty darn good at all of them, so they are fun to watch.  Since he has four tickets to the gymnastics meets, and Bennett just started back at gymnastics lessons, he asked her to join him at one of the meets. 

It was a perfect date day, and Bennett loved having Uncle Dan all to herself (she wouldn't allow Preston to go with them).  He took pictures of her with all of the star members of the team, as well as Big Al.  Bennett had a blast with Dan, and loved watching the big girls compete. 

B with Uncle Dan
B on the jumbotron
B with Nicki Guerrero

Friday, February 12, 2016

Preston Lost His 1st Tooth!

It happened, Preston lost his first baby of the top middle ones!  It all happened pretty fast, he noticed it was slightly loose at breakfast one morning, wiggled it for a couple of days and then it came out!  We told him he needed to wiggle it often, and twist it when he could to really loosen it.  He did fine with the wiggling portion, but like Bennett, he needed his Daddy to twist it.

Preston was excited to learn that the tooth fairy brought him a $5 bill!  Now he is working on the other top middle tooth, as it became slightly loose after losing this one.
Nothing better than a toothless grin!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

FitBit Craze

This past Christmas our whole family asked for Fitbits!  Santa brought the kids theirs, and my parents gave Steve and me ours.  These crazy little bands have made us all more aware of our activity, and have gotten us all motivated to stay active.  Where we once had to beg our children to go upstairs to get something, they now run up the stairs so they can log a flight of stairs and get the steps!

Steve immediately set a weight loss goal, and has already attained it by walking, and returning to the gym on a more regular basis.  He is now focused on toning up, which I'm sure he will accomplish too!  My goal is 15,000 steps a day, which isn't too terribly hard, as long as I get a workout in that day.

B, Jon David, P and Caroline
The kids have a 10,000 step daily goal, which they have to achieve in order to even ask for a dessert.  Gone are the days where they could eat whatever they want, and here are the days for eating more healthy foods and counting calories when needed.  Thanks to swim team, long weekend walks, bike riding, and basketball for Preston, our kids average over an hour of active minutes a day!  School days can be tough to hit their goal, but they will pace the house, run around the block, jump on the trampoline and anything else they can think of to hit their goal!

The girls with Coach Christian

Awesome teacher to spend 3 hrs of her weekend with these kids!
All I can say is thank you to Shades Cahaba for rewarding our children who are active and have more than 30 active minutes daily!  Our kids have already won a $50 gift card to 1st Ave Rocks (an indoor rock climbing gym).  I told them they could go to the gym twice, or they could each invite a friend.  They chose the latter, and then asked their PE teacher, who they adore, if she wanted to go too.  Coach Christian agreed to meet us there, and the kids had a ball with her and their friends.  She even went out for popsicles afterward with us.

Here's hoping the newness doesn't wear off, and we all continue to stay active and healthy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Did My Luck Turn?

This past weekend was just gorgeous, sunny and in the 70s (which is pretty crazy for January)!  We decided to take full advantage of it, and went for a family walk first thing Saturday morning.  Even though we walked a few miles, everyone wanted more.  So Steve and Preston drove to P's basketball practice at Edgewood Elementary, Bennett and Caroline walked to the school by themselves (tweens in full force), and Walker and I were going to walk behind them.

the line behind us!
the line in front of us as we rounded the corner
However, on the way to Edgewood, Steve heard on the radio that Blake Shelton was doing an impromptu FREE concert at Iron City Birmingham.  All you had to do was be one of the first 1300 people to arrive in person for a wristband.  Being the sweet husband that he is, he immediately called me to give me an opportunity to go.  However, I needed to hurry because the initial announcement was made 30 minutes prior.  I texted several friends, but could only get one, Christie Crigger, to jump on board for the adventure.  So we threw Walker in the car and drove like maniacs downtown.  We parked and ran to the front of the bar.  When we got there though, we had to walk around the corner and down a couple of blocks to find the end of the line.  UGH!  Were we going to make it?  Were we going to waste all of this time waiting in line for nothing?  We immediately started guessing how many people were in line ahead of us.  We heard as we passed the front door that they had already distributed 800 bands.  We knew it was going to be close (especially since people were jumping in line with their friends in front of us).

Fortunately, they announced they would pass out an extra 200, making it 1500 wristbands while we were in line.  We really didn't think we had passed 700 people, but we didn't know for sure.  We were so excited as we waited really was such a rush to race there and wait.  The line slowly moved, and thankfully it was a perfect day and Walker was extremely calm and just happy to be held.  As we rounded the corner and could see the front of the bar, we heard rumblings that they were around 1200 wristbands, so we thought we had it in the bag.

1st Concert!

We definitely got excited, and started putting our plan together.  When we walked in their front doors, Walker was still hanging out in my arms as we showed them our IDs and got our wristbands.  I asked the guy for a wristband for Walker, and he asked me if I was really going to bring my baby to the concert.  I said "yes, I don't think I will be able to find a babysitter this late."  He said ok, and handed me an under 21 band.  I started to put it on Walker's wrist, and he told me it needed to be on his right arm (but he didn't make me put it on him right then, so we quickly walked out).  Christie and I were so giddy and excited!  I knew exactly who I was giving that wristband to....Preston!  And I couldn't wait to tell him he was coming with us, but I still needed to find a place for Walker to go.  So I quickly called Myra and took care of that last little hiccup in our plan.
Christie and I feeling lucky and excited!

When we got home, the guys were outside chatting, and all of the kids were at the park.  Thankfully Preston came home to use the restroom, so I cornered him outside.  He was obviously upset with me for not attending his basketball game, but that was about to change!  When I told him where we were going, he was like "I know, Dad told me you are seeing Blake Shelton."  But when Christie asked "Do you know who else is going?"  He was stumped, he first guessed "Daddy" and then said "who, me?"  When we screamed yes, he ran towards me and gave me a big hug!  So! Worth! It!! 

Pres went and played for a bit longer, but I told him he needed to nap if he was going to hang out late night with us girls.  For once, I got no pushback and he slept for two hours.  In the meantime, I picked up Bennett from a birthday party and dropped off Walker at Myra's.  Then everyone started showering and getting ready for their dates.  Steve and Jeremy took the girls out to dinner, while Preston and I shared a frozen pizza (we enjoy gourmet food).  Then the guys looped back around to pick us up and drive us there.
Blake toasting us!

Pure joy after receiving Blake's pick!
The concert was to begin at 8pm, but doors opened at 7pm.  We thought if we arrived at 6:30, we would be in good shape....unfortunately everyone else had the same plan.  So we walked to the end of the long line, again, and patiently waited.  They opened the doors a little early, and we all rushed in to claim our spot.  We decided to stand on the floor, so we could get up close to Mr. Blake!!  There was a railing that looped the floor and then a couple of steps up to the next level.  When the concert started, Preston hung onto the railing for a great view.  Sadly they kicked him (and the other kids) off after a couple of songs.  Since the floor was shoulder to shoulder people, Pres couldn't see much when on the floor, so I held him some, so did Christie.  Even a tall man next to me offered to put him on his shoulders for one song.  Slowly he wormed his way to the gate that was around the stage.  Towards the end of the concert, one of the guards working that in between area even lifted him over so he could get extra close with no one impeding his vision.  Of course his spiked hair and cute smile caught the eye of the band.  Blake's bass player kept pointing at him and smiling at him, which caught Blake's attention.  Then after he finished a song, Blake walked over and handed Pres his guitar pick.  Preston was overjoyed, and elated to show me his prize!  He stuck it in his pocket and watched Blake sing his final couple songs.

Jozie and Pres with the picks from the bass player
As 10pm approached, Blake wrapped it up and exited the stage.  The bass player handed Preston and his friend another guitar pick, and then walked off too.  It truly was a one of a kind night, and a hell of an experience for Preston.  What a first concert!!  And I couldn't be happier that I got to accompany each of my big kids to their first concerts of such big stars!  Such different experiences, but both so much fun!

After the concert, we hitched a ride home with some friends and met up with the guys and girls.  We told them all about our night.  It was so cool rehashing it because the whole day was so surreal.  I took a ton of videos, as Blake is just as funny on stage as you might expect.  He sang all of his favorites, and I realized I am more of a Blake Shelton fan than I thought.  So happy that he chose Birmingham to do his "dress rehearsal" for his upcoming tour.  He certainly made fans out of anyone there that night, as it was a very fun filled two hour night that was FREE!