Thursday, February 3, 2011


the last few months in a nutshell-

  • July 17th we found out we are having baby #2 due March 11th.
  • Most of July and August was sick as a dog with baby and stayed in bed as much as i could with an active 3 year old :-)
  • Started feeling better in September and went to Destin for a week with my immediate family. It was awesome to be there when it was not crowded and the beaches were beautiful despite the oil spill.
  • Finley started preschool the week we got home from vacation. bittersweet.
  • Went to the Alabama game and left heartbroken but it was a fun weekend in NWA with good friends.
  • In October Richard and I took a trip to NYC to celebrate my 30th birthday! We had a blast and we even got tickets to the View (my favorite) and I got to meet Elisabeth and do the intro for the next guest! Also went to David Letterman and a broadway show. We ate at awesome places and just had time to be alone with my sweet husband!
  • Busy the rest of the month of October with hayrides, pumpkin patches, Halloween parties etc. Finley decided to be a spider witch this year for Halloween(random?) but she loved it!
  • November we found out we were having another girl and couldn't be happier! Finley is so excited to have a sister! Her name will be Ellis Mae Vanhook.
  • We had our annual weekend trip to Branson with my extended family and went to Silver Dollar City and got to see the lights! So pretty!
  • Finley and I flew to Charlotte NC with Richard for work and road-tripped back through the smokies. We made a couple of fun stops on the way back which helped break up the trip and keep it fun! We went to the Biltmore, which was decorated for christmas, and then stopped and spent the night in Nashville and went to see the Rockettes at the Grand Ole Opry- the total highlight of the trip as far as finley was concerned! The Gaylord Hotel had just opened back up that weekend after the Nashville flood and was amazing!
  • We spent a rainy Thanksgiving at Richards moms where we had a great meal and wonderful time celebrating what all we have to be thankful for!
  • We started out December with a trip back to Branson with Richards sisters and their families. We went on the Polar Express which really got us in the christmas spirit and finley loved being with her cousins... probably because she spends most of her time bossing them around even though she is the youngest- ha!
  • Richard and I left straight from Branson to go to San Fransisco for a conference richard had there. We had fun but this pregnant girl was worn out by the time we got home. Finley stayed with her gigi and papa and loved every minute!
  • December seems to go by faster and faster every year but I really tried to slow down and take it all in this year! We had lots of time with friends and family and looked forward to next year when Ellis will be here!
  • Christmas was awesome... spent and ate too much but it's impossible not to i think! Finley was obviously really into it this year and got the whole Santa thing! We had snoopy, the elf, at our house all month which helped keep us ALL on our best behavior!
  • We went out New Years Eve Eve with a group of friends which we all loved. It was not as crowded and not as hard to find babysitters! We had fun and on New Years Eve with just the 3 of us- we went and ate Mexican and then came back home and i think we were in bed, if not asleep, by midnight- ha! We are true party animals!
  • The first week in January we went to Disney World with my parents. We planned this a while back and figured it was the last trip with just us 3 musketeers before Ellis came along. We knew we would need help so my parents went with us and they had a great time with finley! We had a wonderful week filled with wonderful memories and some pretty large meltdowns but all in all it was a successful trip despite the fact my ankles looked like watermelons by the end of every day! Ahh..... the joys of pregnancy!
  • Last weekend in Januray Ellis decided she might want to make her debut a little early and scared us all when I started having contractions at 33 weeks. We spent the day at the hospital and they stopped them with meds and she is hanging tight in there so far!
  • Spent the last week or so getting Ellis' room ready as well as us all ready! It's so hard to prepare for her but we are just praying for a healthy delivery and baby!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beach (es)
Okay so I thought this would be a good opportunity to start back where i left off. We absolutely loved our cruise trips to the beach in the spring and can't wait to go back to the Caribbean. Finley loved everything about it and I could go on and on about it but I'll let the pics speak for themselves.
On the way home we had an extra day in Orlando so what do you do when you're in Orlando with nothing to do.... go to disney of course! I had never been and Finley obviously had never been and with her obsession with princesses that was definately a highlight! Here is our day in a few pics: all eyes on character parade watching the fireworks

We just got back from our latest family vacation to destin. It had been 10 years since we had been and I forgot how much fun it was. It had changed a lot but some things are just the same as I remember. We just stayed Wed-Sat night. My dad did a wedding on Sat night on the beach and we left shortly after so he could get back to preach on sunday morning... crazy I know- but we did it. We are planning on going back in September with my brother and his family. Can't wait!

the ultimate "sand wedgie"
finley's new friends

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

we just got back from our 1st "real" family vacation. we've taken many short trips and long weekends over the past few years but none like this. We survived 9 days away from home with much to talk about and stories to tell :-)
A little background as to why~~ it all began a couple of weeks ago, my mom had taken a cruise with some of her friends and when she got back she was telling us how awesome it was. (none of us had ever been on one before and I said i never wanted to take one) We were planning on going to Southern California anyway this week but we were going to be in the car a lot, several different hotels, lots of activities, Disneyland, SD zoo, sea world etc etc.... so i began looking at cruises. within a few hours i had canceled everything we had booked in cali and booked the cruise on a total whim.... and then the panic set in!! What had i done? What if we get sick? All of us in a 15 x 10 room ALL week? What if we hate it? Oh and finley and I don't even have a passport-- can we even go get back??? I called to see if we could cancel but since it was 2 weeks away they declined- OH NO! So we decided there was nothing else to do but make the best of it and that's just what we did!! ( oh and we did expidite our passports and got them with 2 days to spare- whew!)

Day 1: Saturday Mom and Dad came and took us to the airport... extremely reluctant to let Finley go that long. They were sure to get her all sugared up when the ice cream truck came by! (thanks guys)

and she had not had a nap so i was extremely nervous and getting her on this plane with these poor innocent people. for the most part she did great with an occasional outburst due to something in the movie she was watching (the DVD player was our saving grace!!) She did cry the entire decent because of her ears but everyone was really nice and totally understood. So after getting our 6, yes folks... i said 6, suitcases plus 2 backpacks, purse and stroller and a wild 2 year old down to the rental car line ( it really was a sight to see- i think next time my hubby will pay the $4.50 for the cart thingy- ha!) when we realized it was going to be a minimum of 2 hours of waiting so we decided take the shuttle to the hotel and send daddy back later to get the car. It was getting late so we decided to just grab a quick bite and get ready for bed. We had been in potty training boot camp for the past couple of weeks because the Adventure Ocean program for the kids required this for the kids to be left and the pools did not allow swim diapers.... so fin had been doing great- until this night! She did a whammy-- that right, double dooty after being in the hotel only around ummm.. 20 minutes! All you mom's know the panic and stress that just came over me at this point- is this the start of the regress?? can we hide the swim diaper with a one-piece? Is she going to get kicked out of the kids club? oh... C-R-A-P! what have i gotten us into??
Richard went and picked up the car and when he got back Finley and i were totally passed out.
Day 2: Sunday Fin began her cough the night before (perfect timing- ha!) and it continued throughout the 1st 3 nights and occasionaly during the day of the cruise so we slept in and had breakfast there at the hotel. richard informed me that the we had to go buy a car seat cause every rental place in the orlando airport was completely out. (Isn't this where Disney is?? you would think if they had anything it would be carseats, right? they gave us a big discount so it was all good) We actually needed a new one but we just had to add that to our list of things to keep up with -ha! We totally looked like the beverly hillbillies! we took the DVD player to breakfast where realized that somehow our DVD player screen had totally broke , thank goodness we realized this before getting out to sea! We went and stocked up on medicine at target and bought a car seat... I teared up and blowed her a kiss leaving cause it would be 7 DAYS before i would lay my eyes on her again!! (target that is) Ran by best buy and invested in a new DVD player went to our old favorite Chipotle for lunch. finally we were off to the "big boat" ...

to be continued...

Monday, February 15, 2010

i hate january and February.... there I said what was on everyone's mind! I hate the short days, I hate the cold, I hate the cabin fever that sets in because of the previous 2.... I'm just really not a fan. this year was made a tad better by the 6 or so inches of snow we got in the past 2 weeks but still I cannot wait for spring. Not much has been happening... oh except for that my best friend had her 2nd- bennett was born Feb. 2nd and in mom's exact words "just perfect"! love it
can't you just eat him up? he is precious...
big sister drew came over to play a few days ago and I got a few pics of the girls together.... although a good pose by both in the same photo would be WAY too much to ask

i got a few pictures with my phone from the first round of snow while we were in Searcy with Mr. Frosty

Then a couple more over the weekend before it all melted with my new camera lens (hopefully I'll be more motivated to take some)

The only thing getting me through this season is knowing that we will be here in less than 2 weeks! This pasty white skin needs some sun like nobody's business!

Monday, January 4, 2010

christmas catch up

We had a wonderful and busy christmas season this year- we actually just had our last celebration yesterday so I guess it's officially over. Fin is still thinking she "needs" more presents.... but i assure you she had PLENTY!

It was so much fun seeing christmas thru the eyes of a two year old. We did the elf on the shelf, spread the reindeer food, made cookies for santa and had all the decorations up which she all loved, but we tried and celebrate the birth Jesus throughout the season. Her new favorite song is away in a manger and the other day as we were singing i asked her who was in the manger and she stated bluntly "the hay". she knows the name of baby jesus' mom and dad and the angel so i guess we can call that good enough for this year.

All went smooth with all of our dates we had to keep except for the flooding on christmas day and eve when it took 2.5 hours to get to and from searcy... finley kept yelling "we're swimming in our car!" which did not help my anxiety about the situation at all- i guess she just tells it like she sees it!

our holidays in photos:

peace out ya'll!


trying to get a decent picture before church but heaven forbid we stand still and smile!

deciding to push cause she was going from wall to wall down the hall- ha!

it was too cold to ride our new barbie jeep so we went up the the church gym to try it out

a combination of princesses going on here

finley's stocking bucket

the aftermath
We went to garvan gardens with the famers the night before christmas eve and it was awesome
the 3 musketeers

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Busy times since Halloween

November and thus far in December have been crazy busy! Thanksgiving was wonderful with family and friends and the week before Richard and I took a short trip to San Fransisco, Sonoma and Napa! Much needed for mommy and daddy~ so beautiful!

We just got back from our annual Branson trip with Richards sisters and their families. Although it was so much fun, it was pretty cold and fresh outside! We bundled up and headed out to Silver Dollar City all day Saturday.

We got to have lunch with Santa and all the elves which was a highlight!

Last year seeing Santa was horribly traumatic for this little girl...
but this year was much better! Although not totally warm and excited to see the man in red she knows now that he brings the gifts so she was not about to meltdown in front of him.

'll leave you with this photo of Finley and santa.... for all those who know her it's pretty classic!
We call it the "Santa told me I was on the naughty list" picture-ha