Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Daddy Won $85,000!

Sort of!  Aaron was selected by his company to receive sponsorship to get his Executive MBA!  Some companies allow any employee an allotment to obtain a Master's degree, and this is sort of true with his company.  This year a new benefit was added that pays for a small portion of the tuition.  However, the 85K I'm referring to does not come easily!  And because Aaron's company is so big, the prospect of being one of the three lucky "winners" was kind of against us!  First you have to be nominated by your superior...or in Aaron's case...your superior's superior's superior!  (We are very grateful to him and anyone else who decided that Aaron's name be put in the hat for consideration)!  After nomination, you have to write an essay stating why you would be a good candidate and how you would use the degree to further your career.  A committee narrows down the essays to about 8-ish people who then come in for an interview.  (I'm glad it wasn't me in that interview...a panel interview with a bunch of VPs from different areas of the company - IT, Marketing, Accounting, etc.  I would have choked!)  This year Aaron was one of the lucky 3 that were selected to return to school!  We are so proud of him because he SO deserves it!  Fortunately, through all of his soul-searching over the last 3 years, an MBA really does make sense for what he wants to do professionally.  He will start in the fall and the program will last for two years.  Not an easy feat, but one I'm sure he will handle it just fine!

The kids and I were so happy that they "picked Daddy" that we had to do a little celebrating for him!  We had some stuff ready for him when he came home from work that day!

The kids made a banner for him and wanted it hung in clear view from the front door.  Mason wrote the blue letters, Owen wrote the red letters.  Then they each added some special drawings.  (Owen is in yellow)

Then we patiently waited by the window (the room was pitch black but the flash makes it look lit) and watched for Daddy's car.  They really wanted to be standing on their chairs under the banner to shout "CONGRATULATIONS DADDY" when he came through the door.  They were SO excited!

Here's Daddy coming in the door to his surprise!

We also got Daddy a cookie cake, which the kids could hardly wait to eat until after dinner (which we celebrated at Grimaldi's Pizza...YUM)!  Red and blue icing of course...

Here is a proud Daddy and two proud little boys!  I don't think the kids know what Daddy "won" but they were sure proud of their sign, their cake, and the card they picked out.

Happiness all around!

Here are the kids giving Daddy his card.  We just so happened to find a "We Will Rock You" card...which just so happens to be one of their favorite "rock and roll" songs right now.  (They really like the "boom-boom-clap" action, and you can catch Owen doing it at the end of the video).

Monday, March 28, 2011

We Have Daddy Back!

The last two weeks have been crazy for Aaron at work. He wasn't traveling but he may as well have been! I think the kids saw him something like 9 hours in 12 days. He would walk in the door just as we were finishing our last bedtime story. So needless to say, we were very happy when we had him back to ourselves this weekend. We decided to take a mini-vacation to Port Aransas. The kids LOVED it, I think it reminded them of Hawaii since that was the last time we went to a beach. I know all the sunscreen and swimsuits sure made me nostalgic!

We stayed at Port Royal, which had an awesome pool and the kids thought their "secret" sofa bed was the coolest thing ever! This time around the beach was pretty full of seaweed and the water was a bit cold, so they were happiest at the pool...still cold water, but they didn't care at all. We ate at some yummy places, did a little shopping, had some fun picking out candy at the candy shop, stopped for ice cream, and rented a buggy named "Lucky Charm." We tried to get out and explore the jetty and spot some dolphins, but the kids just wanted to keep driving around. Didn't care about dolphins...only about driving in the buggy! They did make an exception for the ice cream shop! We wore these poor kids out with all the fun we had! Owen fell asleep while sitting on the couch on Saturday, and they both slept the entire 3.5 hours back to Houston yesterday! Well worth a family weekend together though!

Here is a link to the pictures we took of our trip. Normally I would intersperse them into the text, but seeing as how I am so far behind on blogging, I figure I will stop making it such a task and just get the post out there.

3-26-11 Port Aransas

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be Proud of Yourself!

As I'm sure you know, Owen and Mason completed their first official races this weekend, as did Aaron. The family headed out to watch Daddy run a 5K (he beat his goal by 9 seconds per mile!) and then the kids participated in two races. The first was a 100 yard dash, in which they ran in its entirety, and the second was a family 1 mile run.

Let me back up a minute. Here is why this was such a big deal to them...
Last March we all witnessed Mimi run her first half marathon in Dallas. We all enjoyed spectating but I was motivated to train for one myself. So starting in April of 2010, I began my journey from couch to 13.1. All along the way the kids took note of everything I did. They would ask if I was going running if I even touched my running shoes, they had a million questions about the "thing" on my shoe (Nike Plus) and wanted to know if it made me go fast. They pretended to be in their own races, hooked little things to their laces so they could go fast too, asked if they could wear a number on their shirt, loved wearing "fast" shoes, wanted me to tell them what the finish line was like, and made us cheer and clap for them as they ran laps through our kitchen and living room. They were also great supporters during my race weekend back in November. So to say this idea of running a real race is in their schema is an understatement! They had been asking if they could do a "kid marathon" sometime, so when Aaron found this event, we knew it was a must!

The kids wore "Run Mommy Run" shirts for my half marathon.  But this time I put tape over the "Mommy" and replaced it with their names.  Boy were they excited to wear these shirts! 

They could not wait for these bib numbers!  They really feel official!

Giving good luck hugs to Daddy before his 5K (O, M)

Aaron waiting for the gun
Watching Daddy get ready to run

Here he comes!

Waiting for Daddy to pass by again

Action shot

Cheering the others on too

Coming in for the finish

Daddy resting, Owen and Mason getting some fuel before their races

I thought this was funny!  They decided they needed to warm up a little before their race.

At the starting line

Seriously ready!

On your mark....get set....

This is when the gun goes off for the Toddler Dash.  It goes quickly, but if you watch closely, you can see Mason's expression.  At first we thought he was mad, but quickly realized he was that serious about his race!  So funny!  (Of our two kids, Mason is the one in front)

Action shot of Owen

Both of them having a blast

Now, I know my kids can run and run and run in our backyard, but I really didn't know where my expectation was going into this 100 yard dash.  Surprisingly, they ran the whole thing without stopping in 3'14".

The home stretch...coming in for the finish!

Mason gets his "gold medal"

Owen gets his too

I could kick myself for not keeping the camera rolling between these two pictures.  I was so excited to congratulate them that I turned the camera off to give hugs, etc.  But this is when the best part of the whole day happened!  The came out from the finish line corral and had the most proud looks on their faces I have ever seen!  They were so excited to tell us about the race and they were even more excited that they won a gold medal, just like Mommy did in November, and Daddy did a few minutes earlier after his 5K!  I have never seen them so proud of themselves for accomplishing something.  It literally brought a tear to my eye, and I hope I never forget the looks on their faces.  Every kid needs to experience moments like that, whether it be running a race or any other thing that makes them feel proud and accomplished. 

Proud with Daddy!

LOVE this picture!

Onto the next race...the ONE MILE race!  
Mason told me he "saved some runs" for the next race.  I had to make him repeat it for the camera because it was so cute.

High fives to the Easter Bunny

I figured it would take us about 30 minutes to run (well, walk and carry them) a mile.  I know where one mile is from our house and the thought of them walking that far, much less running, was a little far fetched.  But we were gonna try it.  I told them they could take walk breaks just like Mommy does if they get tired.  To our surprise, those little boogers ran 90% or more of the distance.  Their walk breaks were literally 2 seconds long before they'd say "time to run again" and take off.  Their time was somewhere around a 15 minute mile.  I know this Momma couldn't do that when she was three!  

Somewhere along the course they looked at us and said...

In action and STILL running

Mason was so excited he even ran with his hands up for a little bit (he's in front of Owen).

On the course (Mason)


Another big finish!

So cute!  Hands in the air from Owen and some fist pumps from Mason.

Family shot on a windy race day!  Proud of two medals each!