Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Postcard From The Midwest

Daddy, Are You Out There?
Sophia, Noah, Cohen & Finn

Dear Chris,

It's only Monday but it feels like a week went by.  My sister has more energy than anyone I know. She gets up at 5:30 am every morning and jogs. On Sunday morning (after her jog) she was power washing the house before going to church!  While Auntie Em is working like a horse, the kids and I have been having fun goofing off and making videos for you. We may get sent home early! Hope you enjoy our first production.

Can't wait to see you in just 12 days!

Love from all of us,

Mari, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia

Heartbroken In the Heartland

Postcard from the Coast - Travels with Jazmyn

"I'm home!" (in an excited Jazzy voice)

Dear Mari,
It is so quiet around the house - almost boring. I have no idea what we used to do with all of our time before the little ones joined us. I woke up last week, went into the babies' room and...
empty cribs:( babies:(

Right now, it's Jaz and I and she has been doing enough crying to make up for the babies being gone. I'm pretty sure she misses them, but we are getting some bonding time.
On the way down to G-town (yes, taken while driving)

I loaded up the surfboard with Jaz in the back and headed to Galveston for the weekend. I spent some time with my mom and mema and pepa, which was nice. It was a gorgeous weekend down there. I love this time of year on the island with all the people buzzing around and all the energy - it is refreshing. Mom and I took Jaz for a stroll on the beach and for a little dip in the Gulf. The water was nice and warm, a little rough, but perfect. When I see you next, my face will be extra soft and smooth from the facial I got walking down the seawall - with all the wind blowing the sand my face got "sandblasted".
Jazzy Heaven

I saved you a seat

Saturday I hung out with Todd. We spent some time crying on each other's shoulder since our honeys were out of town. Once we got the tears out, we headed to Yaga's for a birthday party and to enjoy the Strand nightlife - it sure has been a while! The next morning I woke to the sound of seagulls and swaying palms at Casa de Todd. We picked up a Bronco Burrito from the Donut Shoppe and spent the afternoon boating and playing water volleyball at the "sandbar". There is just something about being on the water - I can't explain it but I think you understand.
I need another set of feet (yours of course!)

Todd and I diggin' "the sandbar"

"Do we have to leave?" (said in a whimpering Jazzy voice)

I had a great time but it wasn't the same without you; it's not the same coming home to an empty house. I miss you and the babies greatly - only 2 weeks until I can join you!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Postcard From The Midwest

View From the Back Deck

Dear Chris,

Greetings from the Heartland!  We're here in Toddville, Iowa (which is just outside of Cedar Rapids) staying at my sister's house and soaking in the lush green farmland.  The babies are soaking in all of the hugs and kisses, songs, games and silly faces from their cousins, Jakob, Josh & Hannah.  The cousins have braved feedings and even tried to change a few diapers, although I'm not sure any of those have been a success yet. 

Jakob, Josh, Hannah, Salt & Pepper

One of their cats recently had two precious kittens. The kids named them Salt & Pepper and they are so cute.  I had to laugh to myself to think that the cat had a smaller litter than you and I did. 

Hannah & Salt

Cohen, Jakob, Hannah & Noah

The scenery here is amazing.  It brings back so many memories from growing up and visiting my mom's family farm in Boone.  Babe, I walked out into the garage and got a whiff of what smelled like farm animals and it just brought back a flood of memories of grandpa's pig stalls and the big white barn. Then I realized they don't have any barn animals and it was just the babies' diapers that I'd been throwing in the trash out there. Still, it was nostalgic. 

The Old Windmill Out Front

At sunset you can watch the fireflies dancing across the meadow and it's beautiful.  The days are longer here with the sun coming up at 5:30 am and dipping down well after 9 pm.

We miss you terribly and can't wait for you to join us in a few weeks.  Sending you five big hugs and puppy kisses from all of us!  

Jakob & Sophia
Josh & Finn

Sending all of our love,
Mari, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Travel Day Tribute

We made it!  I wish I could say that our travel day was a breeze, but the stress-induced fever blister on my lip makes it pretty hard to disguise that it wasn't all peaches and cream. The hardest part, for me, was managing all of the carry-on items through security and then onto the plane: 
-2 laptop bags
-1 camera bag
- 1 purse
- 4 umbrella strollers (that we gate checked)
- 2 diaper bags
-4 infants

I thought for sure that they'd let us stroll the babies through the metal detector at security, but we had to break down all of the strollers and put those through x-ray, while carrying the babies through, then put the strollers back up and put babies back in. This was tricky, but thankfully we had three of us (Grandma, Papa & myself).  I think Papa put the strollers up while mom & I had two babies each.  Meanwhile all of our other things are getting backed up on the x-ray belt.

Man, This Really Sucks  - Finn

Can I Go Through the X-Ray Mom? - Noah
Hey Ladies!  - Cohen
Yes, there are four of us! -Sophia

The first leg of the flight was pretty uneventful. I did get separated from my parents (they were in row 8 with Cohen & Sophia and I was in row 25 with Finn & Noah.) We flew from Houston to Dallas so by the time they were coming around with a much appreciated drink of water for my row, the pilot was already saying "please prepare for landing."  Our flight got in a tad delayed due to runway traffic and since I was in the 25th row, I was delayed in getting off of the plane.  By the time we got everyone back in the strollers and collected our things we realized we only had a matter of minutes to get from terminal A to terminal D on the skylink tram. We booked it and were the last ones on the plane from Dallas to Cedar Rapids - praise the Lord! This time we did get to sit together.  

We're Having a Flyin' Time! - Noah, Mommy & Finn

Papa Rocks Himself & Noah to Sleep while Grandma & Finn Play

We fed all four, changed all four and played with all of them for the 2 hour flight - which felt more like 5 hours at times.  But all in all, they were really, really good!  I just pray they'll cooperate on the way home.

Thank you so much, mom and dad, for getting us all here and keeping me sane through it all!  I love you both, you are some very Grand Parents!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And They're Off!

Suitcases? Check
Bottles? Check
Formula? Check
Camera? Check
4 birth certificates (just in case)? Check
4 car seats? Check
4 strollers? Check
4 babies? Check

Let's roll!

After several days of planning, shipping formula and other necessary items, my lady, babies, and in-laws hopped on a flight to Cedar Rapids, IA for a 3-week jaunt (no, we didn't miss the flight this time). We actually left 1 minute earlier than we planned!

I have no idea what I'll do with all this time to myself and with all this silence. I had planned on purchasing a large quantity of ear plugs and selling them on the flight - $1 if purchased during the first hour; $3 the 2nd hour; and $5 after that. We'll see how they do on the 1st leg of the trip to see if I still need to do that for the flight home. Maybe this venture could fund our trip:)
Our last night out for 2 whole weeks:(

I pray for a safe flight full of happy babies. I love my family (weird, I don't think I've used that word yet) very much and will miss them greatly!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Weekend Full of Memories

So we're back to the grind after an absolute blast this weekend. It started off with a bit of a glitch when Chris and I were trying to get out of Houston. Our flight was at 9 am. We checked the Houston traffic before leaving the house at 7 am and headed the 30 mile drive to the airport. We got on the Beltway and traffic was stopped. A car fire up ahead was causing a major traffic jam. We inched our way until we passed it, but it made us 45 min behind schedule. Still, we arrived at the airport check-in desk at 8:32 am. The agent kindly informed us that TSA regulations require bags to be checked 30 min prior to take-off. Two minutes late and he wouldn't budge. The next flight out to Reno was at 9 PM ... a 12 hour delay! We decided to head to the La Quinta just down the road from the airport, enjoy the pool, take a nap, and rehearse our synchronized swimming (next up rhythmic gymnastics - you won't want to miss it!)

Quad-Tastic Friends!
Mari, Jen, Gen & Suz

We finally arrived in Tahoe at around 1:00 am, which was 3 am our time. We figured we'd sneak into our vacation rental so as not to wake the rest of the group but to our surprise they greeted us with open arms at the door. The weekend went uphill from there and we made a ton of memories that we'll keep with us forever. It's amazing that 4 couples who have never formally met can stay a weekend in the same house, share two bathrooms with 8 people and still get along beautifully. We had such a crazy fun weekend and haven't laughed so hard in a long time!

Conor, Joe, Chris & Brad stay tuned for the next adventure which will start tomorrow at 5am....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lake Tahoe, CA

4 Hot Mamas x 4 Cute Hubbies =
16 Adorable Children

Stay tuned for more stories and pictures--as we travel back to our babies!!!!

Having Fun In the Mountains & Sun

Who's That Girl?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Change In Plans

So while the babies are at home resting for their big adventure next week, Chris and I were to be in another time zone getting some R&R. Well, God sometimes has bigger plans and we know by now when that happens, we just have to go with the flow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess Where We're Headed?

We're Packing The Trunk For A Grand Adventure
Where Are We Going, Momma?

Just get lots of rest cuz it's going to be a fun time, kiddos!

Let me through, Finn, I'm not missin' this!
Wait a minute, mom, where did you say we are going?
A big adventure to come...stay tuned to see where we're headed!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Chris!

Since it's Father's Day weekend, I thought I'd share with you a little more about the proud papa around our house.   Chris is the life of the party around here. He fills our house with fun and laughter, even on the most stressful of days. When I first met him, I thought there was no way someone could be that happy and carefree all of the time. As the years pass by I realize that it's truly who he is.  He finds beauty in the everyday things.  As I'm dreading cleaning the bathroom once again, I can hear him in the living room whistling as he's vacuuming the carpet. I remember asking him when we were first dating what the worst thing that ever happened to him was. He thought about it and said, "I really can't say I've had anything bad happen."  In his 20+ years, he didn't have one complaint? Some of us can get cut off on the highway and steam about it for months. It's amazing, really. 

He has never skipped a beat entering fatherhood.  He was the first to stay home alone with all four of them while I got out of the house for lunch with a friend.  He wakes up every morning at 6 am and does the morning feeding and play time, taking all four to the park to swing, or to the grocery store for an early morning shopping trip and never ever says it's hard or complains one second.  He consistently says how boring our life would be if we had had just one baby. 

Chris is so full of love.  As I am constantly trying to change myself, he rejoices in who he is. He reminds me to let down my walls and just live the way God intended, as we were wonderfully made. We are so blessed to have him in our lives.  Happy Father's Day, my love!  

Here's A Little Father's Day Video With Photos From the Past 9 Months

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Austin Adventures

We packed up the gang, spent a paycheck at the pump, and headed to Austin for our best friend's 1st birthday party.  You know you have a good friend when they invite you to their little one's b-day party, knowing that your little ones might threaten the spotlight.  This is something we are always concerned about when we attend any special occasion.  We thank you for a fun day of memories! 

You're numero Uno!

Who needs a fork?

It's all fun and games on the wagon ride......

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Cousin Madeleine starts her own pedicab business

Finn admires fine antique craftsmanship

We take over Auntie C's living room - Thank you!

Madeleine tries to earn another dollar checking diapers

"Sure, take a picture...I don't give a quack."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goof Balls!

Here's a fun video, hopefully it will brighten your day as much as they do mine! 

Monday, June 2, 2008


It's another blazing hot summer day here in Houston and playing indoors has worn itself out, playing in the front yard and trying to stay in our 2 feet of shade is almost impossible when you have four mobile children and so I decided to do an impromptu trip to Target for family entertainment. 

There are not many impromptu trips with four babies, but I thought, why not?  So whilst everyone is playing in the inches of shade, I pack up the car with RunAbout, diaper bag and a water for me. I buckle the kids in their seats, with just their onesies on, Noah's still showing the remnants of lunch (this would typically mortify me - but I'm learning that no one actually ever looks at their outfits when we're out, they're just in awe of the stroller, really).

We get to Target, scope out my parking spot, which 1) has to be next to the cart corral and 2) be a spot that I can pull through so I never have to put my Suburban in reverse and endanger all living creatures around me.  I find the spot, go to take the RunAbout off of the hitch and realize that I am so close to the cart corral that I cannot just drag it off like normal but have to lift the sucker down. Ugh, I not so gracefully get it down, wedge it between the car and the carts so no other cars can hit it while I'm getting the babies out one by one. I come around to start getting them out and SLIP....right on a banana that someone has graciously left behind the passenger door. Who does that? Okay, I get it together and go to get Sophia who has decided to leave behind something of her own which I must take care of immediately. Back out to the back of the car to change her. Now into the stroller with everyone else and finally into the store. We have a nice little shopping trip and back out to the car we go. 

As I'm walking, I realize that another car is following us.  The woman rolls down her window and so politely says, "We just had to see how you are going to do this." I was a little perplexed thinking,  do what?  Then I realized she was talking about watching me put all of the babies back into the car in the blazing heat. I smiled and said, "Oh, it's just one at a time." knowing she'd be on her way. But no, she parks her car on the other side of the cart corral and seriously watches me the entire time I am sweating to death putting all of the babies into their car seats, strapping them in and then finally, as I heave ho the RunAbout onto the hitch. And as I walk to the driver side she hollers, "That was a pretty good job! Good luck to you!"  A pretty good job? Just a  pretty good job? I was mortified! I thought it was pretty spectacular that I could get all of that done, with an audience and not have a break down. And since when did the circus become free of charge?  All this said, I must remember: "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for You." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  And so, I'm thankful for an e-ventful day, one that I could share with all of you! :)

Couldn't Vent Without Some Photos So Here Are Some of Our Little Clowns:

Finn Has The Kissing Booth

But Watch Out For His Tooth!

Sophia Will Read Your Fortune

Cohen Does Amazing Water Tricks

And Noah's The Giggling Juggler