First Day of School

August 31st, 2014

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Lots of firsts today!  After a bumpy start at drop-off for our kinder cutie, both girls had a great day!  We are so excited about the year ahead.  I can’t wait to blog it all!

Hit the Playground

August 31st, 2014

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After meet the teacher was over, the PondFam5 wanted to play!  We had a blast on the school playground. 

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In the picture on the right, Rose said, “I’m Princess Bubblegum and this is my Candy Kingdom!”

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Yay, another store at school!  This one is selling wood chips!

Mike and Melissa sweetheart picture

Thanks for the picture, Noelle!  Love you, Mikey!

Hope you guys are having an awesome weekend!  We’re about to hit the pool.  Happy Sunday!

Here We Go!

August 30th, 2014

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I can’t believe Noelle and Anna Kate are in elementary school together!  We could not wait to go meet our teachers!

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Tonight was perfect for Anna Kate.  She knew we would not leave her and would be by her side the entire evening, so her spirits were high and she was not nervous one bit!

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Waiting for Daddy to park the car because this place was packed!  

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Sibling love.  Emily’s little brother, Vaden, and Anna Kate get to join in all the fun at their big sisters’ school for kinder!

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Mrs. Eubanks makes everyone feel at ease and is the life of the party!  Noelle and Ava are in the same class this year!

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Noelle, Georgia and Emerson were so cute hugging in the hallway!

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They both got their lockers all fancied up with wall paper, mirrors, and dry erase boards.  They have really cute locker gear at Five Below if you are hunting for some on the cheap. 

Noelle Hannah Sydney and Anna Kate

Noelle and Hannah are in 3rd grade and their little sissies Sydney and Anna Kate are in kinder!  This sister picture made me want to cry.  The little sisters are growing up!

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Anna Kate was beyond thrilled to find a pretend store and kitchen in her classroom for center time.  I think this convinced her school really is going to be so much fun (and right up her alley)!  Another kinder teacher and friend, Mrs. Brantley, gave Rose special attention, and it was just so sweet.  Rose felt like a big girl and was so proud she had a teacher to meet too.  Winking smile

Meet the Teacher Night

August 29th, 2014

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The girls had a blast at Meet the Teacher this year, even our baby girl!  Pencil boxes in hand, ready or not, here we come!

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Noelle has Mrs. Martin for 3rd grade and Anna Kate has Mrs. Lawless for Kindergarten.  Both of them are so sweet and kind, and we are so happy!  Looking forward to a super fun year!

Bye bye summer!

August 28th, 2014

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Silly faces on the last weekend of summer!

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Pool party where all of us made a splash!  Check out my super tricked up diving skills on Instagram.  Winking smile

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Logan is a hit with all the ladies!  They kept asking him questions and his response was always, “Yes!” so they started asking him silly questions and then laughing when he said, “Yes!”  He loved getting their giggly attention and was hamming it up big time!

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See how proud he is he made the girls laugh!?!  I think we all fell in love with Logan tonight.

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His big brother, Landon, is one cool dude too!  He’s just been cool for a few years longer than Logan (3 to be exact), so we’re used to his swag.  Man, I’m tired.  These captions are so dorky, but this week has worn me out, and I can’t even see straight.  So, silly it is for now.

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Jon and I put this angel in Heather’s birthday Bundt cake.  We thought we were so funny!  At least Jon’s first idea to put a Ron Washington bobble head in it was squashed, lol!

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We have lots of special birthdays this week!  Happy birthday to Heather, Uncle Andy, and Poppa.  Hope you all have a super awesome birthday week!  XOXO

*Have you ever had a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes?  If the answer is no, please do yourself a favor and go try a piece.  They are incredible!

Summer YOLO

August 27th, 2014

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The girls had a blast at this sweet little back to school pool party.  We have the sweetest friends I could ever hope for!

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Anna Kate loves to go to the store, and play store, any day, any time!  Let’s see, the day with the ladder play started at 3AM one morning when our smoke alarm went off.  Mike figured it out, but the next morning, we were too tired to put the ladder up.  Turned into the cheapest fun ever.  The girls pretended on that thing all.day.long.  I think they were flying to London in this picture!

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Polly pockets play date with Malia; Doesn’t get better than that!  Rose loves this blue hair we got at a S&S birthday party last year and asks me to put it in her hair all the time.  I call her my “Blueberry Princess!”

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After Anna Kate faced her fears and started swimming mid-July, we went to get yogurt right out of the pool!  We are so proud of this kid! 

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Mike started brewing really tasty tea this summer.  Who knew?  I’m a huge fan and love every cup!  I love this quote, and it’s helped me a lot in my own life (mostly the ‘Is it necessary?’) and explaining what is okay and not okay to say to the girls.  Seeing their words pass through gates make a very visual impression in their little minds as they go through the questions. 

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Fancy Nancy and her sweet mom taught Noelle and me how to do foil curls this summer.  They are a lot of work but turn out so pretty the next morning.  And, uh um, someone got another hair cut by Anna Kate.  Anna Kate promises Rose asked her to, and she really believed that that made it okay.  Um, no.  Her consequence was no sweets or desserts whatsoever for 5 days, even when her sisters got them in front of her.  We’ve never had so many desserts than we did those 5 days, lol.  Every time I gave Noelle and Rose their treat, I would ask Anna Kate, “Why aren’t you getting a treat today?” and she’d have to tell me, “Because I cut Rose’s hair.”  That consequence hurt.  Bad.  I would be very surprised if she ever tries to cut Rose’s hair again.  And if she does?  I promised her I would cut her hair (Anna Kate’s) in the exact same way she cut Rose’s.  Please don’t make me follow through with this one, Anna Kate.  We may have some crazy hair styles going on in the Pond fam if Anna Kate decides to go there. 

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Moving on to Anna Kate’s first dessert, post hair drama, on a really sweet ice cream date with Bekah before she up and went off to college!  One more pretty picture of Noelle on her fancy fondue night out on the town! 

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Ice cream social with some super fun neighbors and friends!

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We love McAlister’s!  With an adult purchase, kids meals are only .99, all the time!  We ate there a lot this summer!

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Big girl Mommy/daughter lunch date and afternoon tea.  So thankful for these moments with our girls.  We were all floating on Cloud 9!  These little moments are what life is made of.

1-IMG_5075 Anna Kate playing shop store setting up shop

Noelle doing her own fishtail braids and more complicated rainbow looms.  Anna Kate and one of her summer shops.  The girl can flip anything into a store in seconds.  She stays super busy taking orders, answering the phones, checking out customers and announcing store specials into the microphone. 

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Today Anna Kate was a zoo keeper!  She makes me smile.

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Noelle did these amazing hair styles all by herself.  She made up the one on the right.  I’m impressed!

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Rose and Anna Kate turned into Mother Gothel and Rapunzel one slow summer day.  Anna Kate is actually balancing Pascal on her hat.  You can see him if you look closely.  Winking smile  Noelle got bonked on the lip on the trampoline with some friends one night at a party.  She didn’t cry, but from what I hear, there was a lot of blood.  It’s almost all better now.  She’s one tough cookie!

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Happy birthday to Phil!  This was such an amazing night of music under the stars with awesome friends.  One of the highlights of my summer, for sure.  In the picture to the right, this silly fish wouldn’t stop making kissy faces at Anna Kate.  We named him Kissy Face.  He lives at our dentist’s office, so we’ll check back in with him in 6 months. 

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Bill and Lisa’s wedding photographer took this photo of Noelle and posted it on his Facebook page the night of the wedding.  Like mother, like daughter!  Noelle asked me to take a picture of this canvas (on the right) at Hobby Lobby, so she could use it as her wallpaper on her phone.  It really touched me because this quote is fresh, new and real to her and is truly how she feels.

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A girl I really admire (just Aaron Paul’s wife) wrote this in honor of Robin Williams.  This is exactly how I feel deep down.  She also Co-Founded the Kind Campaign.  www.kindcampaign.com (click on the above left column to make it bigger to read).

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Anna Kate and Rose with some sweet little friends they made over the summer.  We are blessed with precious play mates.

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This is just about the best thing I have ever read.  These types of friendships make my world go round!  I want to be that.  I want to do that.  I want us all to have that.  Amen!

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Another cool braid Noelle created.  Go girl!  I have had some pretty low health days this summer.  I can’t even tell you how bad it gets when I am weak (I hide it very well as my way of coping/not wanting to talk about it/not wanting to give it any more thought space than it triggers physically).  It is about all my muscles can do to survive when those days hit.  Noelle wheeled me in this breakfast on a very low day.  I could not dream up a sweeter person than Noelle Pond.  She is selfless beyond her years, and I am so very proud of her giving heart.  She is so amazing!   

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Well, here we are!  Crochet lessons with Mrs. Rose are in full swing.  It’s an amazing story about how we found this sweetheart.  I’ll tell the tale one day as time allows.  For now, Noelle and I are being challenged and taking it one step at a time.  It’s so hard!  And I’ve thought about the comment on the right for weeks now.  Such wise words.  Focus on having a happy spirit than worrying about what you can’t change.  That’s huge.  Mom used to say, “Happiness is between here and here” and she’d point to both sides of her head.  I got it, but now I get it.  You control your happiness meter, regardless of your circumstances.  There are rich and famous totally miserable people in this world and there are people who don’t even have basic necessities that breathe in peace and contentment.  Don’t be a victim.  Be alive!  It’s your choice.  Deal with your problems but don’t dwell on them.  That helps me, at least, so I’m throwing it out there.

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Whew!  After some heavy inspiration, let’s move on to Landon’s awesome birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza!  Such a fun time!

Landon Noelle Anna Kate Mike Daddy Rose

Happy 5th birthday, big boy!  We love you soooooo much!

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Hashtag Noelle.  Mike created this little photo, and it’s adorable.  So them.  I’ll end my summer on my phone with this quote from the hair ninja of all hair ninjas, Mindy, from Cute Girls Hairstyles.  I’m a dedicated mother trying to do all I can to live inner beauty and be inner beauty for my girls, no matter what the days may hold, good or bad.  Sometimes I’m very pleased with my example and other days I feel bummed because I could have done better.  But, the important thing is that I’m trying my very best, and I think that counts for something.  Living out these character traits (all of them) for our girls is my life’s work, challenge and joy. XOXO

Six Flags Daddy/Daughter Date

August 23rd, 2014

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Noelle earned a free ticket to Six Flags at school last year, so Mike and Noelle went to cash in on her reward last weekend!  A kid’s ticket to Six Flags these days is $50!  I guess that’s about right, it just seems like an awfully lot to me.  The girls will probably laugh at that last sentence if they read this when they are teenagers, and the tickets are even more expensive!  They had the best day ever!

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Go Noelle!  She won this adorable stuffed animal.  I’ve never won a toy at Six Flags.  Lucky!  That and driving the rail car were two highlights of her day! 

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And shopping and Rainbow Ice Dippin’ Dots!

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They sent me the funniest video spinning on the tea cups.  She said she was trying not to pass out, lol!

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Noelle is such a bright and cheerful kid and always helps us in whatever ways she can.  She deserved this big girl reward!  Mike is such an awesome and fun dad and always makes us smile.  These guys are the best!

Throwback Thursday

August 21st, 2014

Anna Kate in tears crying

This is baby Anna Kate in 2010.  This is how Anna Kate and Mommy feel about her impending commitment to start kindergarten on Monday.  Wednesday night as I was brushing her hair, out of no where, she turned around and dive bombed into me with the tightest hug.  Then, (break my heart) she started sobbing.  I asked her what was wrong and she said, “Do I have have HAVE to go to kindergarten?”  My stomach was in my throat.  I could not answer, so I just hugged her back as tightly as she first hugged me.  All I could do was call for Mike for his words of wisdom because the lump wouldn’t leave my throat.  Have I ever mentioned he’s awesome!?!  He talked her gently through her feelings, validating them every step of the way.  He told stories of his first days of school and how he felt, and comforted her that her feelings were very normal and even the bravest people are scared of new things.  Then he told her exactly how meet the teacher and drop-off will go.  She asked lots of questions, and I could tell she was processing how it will all play out.  Bless her little heart.  She is my most timid child in new situations.  Once she feels comfortable, she is all out like the others, but it has to be on her terms.  And the have have HAVE to first day is coming up way too quickly for our cutie.  This go around is a little different for us than when Noelle went to kindergarten.  Noelle wanted to go.  Deep down, Anna Kate knows she has to go, but she truly does not want to… yet.  She is experiencing real emotions, real anxiety, real stress.  Keep her little heart in your prayers for us.

I will be fine as long as she doesn’t cry.  Then I’ll fall apart.  No… I won’t.  We moms are strong for our kids.  We can’t fall apart.  And holding it in feels even worse than letting it all out.  I’m not going to lie.  Monday will not be easy.  It always seemed silly to me that moms got all mushy gushy about kindergarten.  I didn’t get it.  I hadn’t been there.  I couldn’t relate.  Now I can.  It’s not about going to school.  Of course, she will thrive and do great!  It’s about the end of one of the sweetest chapters we’ll ever know or experience in this lifetime as humans.  My baby is growing up.  Our goal as parents, is to raise our children to be self-sufficient and independent.  However, as we count our successes to reach that goal with each passing year, we realize that time is flying by and they are growing up before our very eyes.  I’m so proud of Anna Kate, and it’s been my honor to have her by my side for the past 5 1/2 years.  I’m going to miss her more than words.  She is such a great kid.

*Just for the record, I cried like a baby the entire day of Noelle’s first day of kindergarten.  My heart was beating so fast as the bus pulled up with my first baby in it.  I literally ran to the door of the bus to grab her off at the end of that first day.  It was impossible for me, but she was absolutely as happy as a lark.  That helped.  It took me about a month to truly be okay with my little girl going off to big kid school.  1st and 2nd grade first days of school were just fine.  Exciting, fun, no big deal.  It’s just the end of that toddler chapter I was talking about that hurts my heart.  I’m treasuring each moment and taking it all in in its entirety.  Life is so beautiful.  We are, as Noelle says, “Lucky ducks!”

Fondue Favorites

August 20th, 2014

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Noelle had a fancy night out on the town with her friends last weekend.  They went to the Melting Pot for chocolate fondue for a friend’s birthday.  She is totally doing her hair solo these days.  She twist braided both sides into a braided bun in the back for her little girls night out.  She’s amazing!

Party People

August 20th, 2014

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Everyone has a crush on a boy in preschool, right!?!  I know I did.  One of my best friend’s ended up marrying him!  This crush landed Cutie Kate bragging rights to all her big sister’s friends that she got kissed by a boy on the cheek.  And to top that, he also told her that he is going to marry her some day.  We’ll see about that buddy boy!  Love these two sweet kiddos.

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You would think Rose and her friend were taking a mug shot in this first picture, lol!  They were totally happy to take a picture but were just too exhausted to smile.  They crack me up!  Rose and another friend were so confused why they couldn’t pick up the strobe light off of the trampoline.  They were picking at it forever and just couldn’t place what it could be in their minds.  Fascinating.  And the last picture, well, it really needs no caption.  Luke’s grandmother took it.  Anna Kate was so scared Rose was going to blow out Luke’s candles and ruin his birthday, so she wasn’t taking any chances on letting that scenario play out.  Rose wasn’t the least bit phased.  I think she really was thinking about it, and Anna Kate saw those wheels turning just in the nick of time.  This has to go down as the best blowing out the candles birthday picture ever!  Happy Birthday, Luke!  We’re going to miss not going to pre-school with you anymore!

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