Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Summer Time!

Summer time is here at last! I have been busy soaking up the shade with Milla while Mary Alice and Maje swim around our neighborhood pool. Last year, I avoided the sun because I was pregnant. This year, I will again be sporting the fair-skinned new mommy look. I love spending one-on-one time with Milla girl, though. I spread out a blanket in the shade. Milla is so much more laid back than my other two were. She just lays on her blanket and entertains herself by looking around and "talking" to me until she gets tired. Then, she puts her thumb into her little mouth and goes to sleep outside. What a presh she is!

Milla just adores her Daddy! She smiles so big every time she sees him. :)

The kids have been enjoying hanging out at the pool. I love this time of year! It is time for snowcones and sunblock, swimming pools and summer camp. Looking forward to many more days like this one... We're ready for SUMMERTIME!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Great Wolf Lodge

When Josh asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I requested that we take the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge. I could think of no better present than spending a night with the kids at this exciting place. Major had never been to a waterpark. Mary Alice hadn't been to one since she was a tiny thing. The kids had so much fun exploring this wonderland of a place. The waterslides and attractions were suited for kids Mary Alice and Major's age. It was amazing! The only real bummer was the neverending case of mastitis that I was trying to overcome during the trip. All in all, though, it was a great little getaway with our kiddoes. Here are some pics from our little adventure.

"Storytime"- The kids were supposed to wear their pj's to this nightly event. In our opinion, WAY too loud! Little robots sang and danced around...Mildly amusing...We decided that we much prefer reading our own bedtime stories. I did enjoy hugging on the kids, though.

The kids playing skeeball...

(Milla hanging out in her usual spot, her stroller) For about a month, now, she has been too big for her carrier. This poses a problem, because she isn't sitting up yet. She is too heavy for me to carry around all of the time. She can be seen cruising around almost everywhere in her sweet ride.

Here are some pics of the kids inside the waterpark.

Last of all, here is a pic of Milla at her daddy's softball game. The Lombard girls were her first paid babysitters. They wheeled her around in her stroller during Josh's game. They said that she was very well behaved. The picture tells otherwise. I think she missed me. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Introducing...Graham Levi Stewart

Here are some pictures of our newest nephew, Graham. He was born this morning! We praise God for a healthy (and relatively quick and pain-free) delivery. Mommy and baby are doing well. We are so excited that he is finally here! Did I mention how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE his sweet little name. Graham Levi, Happy Birthday to YOU!

Here are a few pics of the little (actually not so little) guy. Bear with me on the amount of pictures. Believe me, I actually cut a few out. He was just too sweet to cut out very many, though. Here he is...

He is getting ready for his first messy diaper change. My brother did the honors. :)

The kids all looked on with interest.

Milla laid in her stroller most of the time that we were at the hospital. She was worn out from all of the excitement.

Josh took the kids outside for a while to look at a fountain. They actually played in the fountain a little more than they looked at it.

A first "Milla-Graham" picture. :)

Mommy with two of her special boys

Here is one very tired little guy. Today was such an exciting day! This buddy will sleep well tonight!

Time for bed for me too! Good night!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Back Door Inn

Let me let you in on a little secret... Tucked away in the middle of the unlikeliest of places lies a hidden gem of a hotel, The Back Door Inn. Located in historic downtown Spur, Texas, this hotel is truly one of a kind. Here are a few of the neat things that you can expect at this unique getaway spot.

1)ATMOSPHERE- The hotel is located in a renovated historic building. It is so much more interesting to stay here instead of at a hotel chain. The hotel's rustic interior makes you feel as though you have been transported back to a different time. There are many antiques scattered throughout this wonderful place. The inn felt like a home in the middle of the wilderness. The decor was truly unique.

2)CLEANLINESS- The owner takes great care to make the hotel clean and inviting. You can tell that the highest standard of cleanliness is followed.

3)A WONDERFUL continental breakfast (and I mean MUCH better than the $$$$ hotel chain where Josh and I stayed a few weekends ago) It seemed like we were staying at a bed and breakfast. The food was amazing! The manager went to great lengths to see that we had MANY dining options. We felt right at home!

4)FUN FUN FUN stuff to do- The hotel had a game room, complete with jukebox, pool table, old fashioned chalk board at kid's eye level, board games, a Foosball table, and old arcade-style games. The jukebox boasted lots of oldies but goodies. I played Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson upon our arrival. The song seemed to go with the mood of the establishment. :)

5)AMAZING PRICE- This place was SO reasonably priced. At $70 a night, we felt we were getting a bargain. The manager made up a couch bed for Major and had a pack-and-play set up for Milla. It felt as though we were staying with family, not at a hotel. Children 12 and under stay for free. Need I say more?

6)This one doesn't really count unless you could time it right... Nobody else was staying in the hotel while we were there, so we had the whole place ALL TO OURSELVES!! It was as though we were staying in a gigantic house all for $70 a night! What a deal!

As we were getting ready to leave, I talked with the manager and expressed our thankfulness concerning her attention to detail and superb hospitality. She told me that they conduct lots of different types of hunts (bobcat, mountain lion, deer, etc.) Apparently, they originally built the inn for hunters, but soon, the hunters' wives started asking to stay there. What a fun, unique little treasure we discovered! I love seeing new and different places. It made me feel like a kid again to go somewhere so unlike any place I had ever been.

If there is ever a reason that we are passing through, you can be sure that we will make a stop at The Back Door Inn.

And now...for your entertainment...Here are a few pictures of the place. Late Monday night, after the kids were in bed, I walked around and explored the hotel. I saw lots of neat antiques, but had to run and get my camera so that I could show Josh the more random side of the hotel. There were some strange things lying around that served to amuse me. Here are a few of the oddities that can be seen at The Back Door Inn.

The first picture is what you would see upon entering the back door. Of course, you enter this hotel through the "back door". There is a super long hallway. Our room was all the way down on the right. I wish I had thought to take pics of our room upon our arrival. By the time I grabbed my camera and went on my little hunting adventure, though, the kids were already fast asleep.

Just to the right is the kitchen. I looked around the beautifully decorated kitchen at the antique dishes and candy machines and noticed something strange lurking in the corner.

Has anyone ever seen the movie The Changling? It is FREAKY! This is what I saw in the corner! It reminded me SO much of that movie. I crept closer in the dark. I could faintly make out the outline of something that looked like an afghan lying inside the pram. Something was nestled inside the afghan. What was the strange thing that was strategically placed inside the blanket? As I crept closer and closer I finally saw something that looked like----What was this---- a LEG?!? Yes, there was something that strangely resembled a woman's leg sitting inside the pram. I ran down to the game room where my sister, Tessa, was sitting in a rocker talking with her fiance on the telephone. I grabbed her and made her come and look. We both died laughing!!! Anyway..This strange decoration is what caused me to go grab my camera and go on a hunt to find other random items. I really wanted to show Josh who missed out on our excursion because had to work. :( THIS is what I saw.

This is what was inside the pram. (It looked much more freaky in the dark, but I had to use the flash to capture the true beauty of the leg.) I think it must've been a Christmas stocking or something, but why it was a decoration inside a baby buggy is beyond me! Weird!

Here are some other funny things to be seen at The Back Door Inn. Upon first glance, this looks like a nice little hutch with decorative figurines inside.

More careful inspection, however, reveals some very STRANGE little collectibles. I had never seen anything quite like this before. I wonder where she got these things?

Here is one of the hallways leading to two of the rooms. They had this old school desk and another antique item. I wasn't quite sure what it was. Does anyone have a guess? I thought it might be some kind of a washing machine or something. The kids loved looking at these old things. It was very interesting!

Above the desk were some stuffed animals. How would you like this guy outside of your hotel room?

I walked inside the game room to get some pics. I took a picture of one side of the game room.

I intended to take a picture of the other side of the game room too, but got distracted by a painting on the wall. I had to take a few pictures of this funny little painting. I totally forgot to get a picture of the other side. I think this painting is more fun anyway.

I did manage to get one picture of Mary Alice sleeping. She was just inside the door of our room. What a presh!

So, If you are ever in the mood to get away for a relaxing weekend with the fam, why not try The Back Door Inn in Spur? I can assure you it will be a weekend that you will never forget! :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

See Saw

Who knew a day at the park could be so exciting? The kids had way too much fun playing on this see saw yesterday. The weather was beautiful!

Milla slept peacefully in the shade. She was oblivious to the squeals of laughter coming from the playground beside her.

Major treated us all to snowcones with the remainder of his birthday money. We'll be done with school tomorrow! For the Smith family, summer vacation is officially here! Yay!