Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy 40th Anniversary, Papa and Gigi!

During Christmas holidays, we had the privilege of celebrating David's parents and their 40th wedding anniversary!  40 years, wow!  That's such a huge accomplishment, especially in this day and time, and we were thrilled to be able to honor them.  
David's sister, Cari, made the centerpieces, and I think they turned out so well!  Shes way more crafty than me, ha!
For their wedding 40 years ago, Papa and Gigi used red and white for their colors, so we went with a red and white theme, very apropos, don't you think!  I love how their cake turned out, and it was divine!
David and Papa.  
Miss Cindy and Cari visiting with a family friend.  Or maybe relative, I cannot remember!
The happy couple.  
The original four!  This family sure has grown fast and furiously over the past few years!
David and his mom.  
Papa and Gigi with the Calhouns.  
The whole family! 
Papa and Gigi with the O'Dells.  
Papa and Gigi with all their little grandchildren - Carter, 7; Summer, 6; Tilly, 5; Lincoln, 3; Story, 3; and Emery, 21 months.  
Papa and Gigi with some sweet friends.  
Family and friends.  
Story with Aunt Karen.  I adore these pictures of them together, so much so that I could not choose between the two!
That's some good sugar!
Emery with her Mimi, Cory's mother.  
Cari with her mom and dad.  
Cousins Ashley and Derrick.  
One of my favorite parts of the celebration was seeing all of the little cousins playing together.  They had the most fun!
Sweet sisters.  
Love these precious faces!
My Story girl.  
And my Tilly girl.  She was so tired during the party, and every few minutes she would ask me how much longer!  Finally, she curled up on my shoulder and just went fast to sleep!
Papa and Gigi getting ready to cut the cake.  
I am so thankful for Miss Cindy's sake that Papa didn't try any funny stuff!
I love this look on his face!
Going in for the smooch!
Funny face!!
I love that Carter wanted to be in this picture!
Tilly and Papa.  
All the family members who were able to be at the celebration.  
We framed the invitation and had the guests to sign the matte, so that Papa and Gigi can hang it up in their home as a reminder of this special day.  I love that Carter wrote Happy New Year, ha!
Tilly and her friend, Eli!  These two always seem to have so much fun when we are together.  
Cousin Jordan with her Mini-Me!  
Happy Anniversary, Papa and Gigi!  We are so thankful that we were able to celebrate such an important milestone with both of you.  Thank you so much for being such a wonderful example to us and to our children.  We are thankful for the legacy that you are leaving in your path.  We love you!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

12 years!

Four states, four little loves, two seminary degrees, three summers of Fuge, six little furry friends, five churches and 12 years ago, I said, "I do" or I'm pretty sure it was "I will" to this handsome love of mine.  
I will follow you wherever you lead our family to go.  I will laugh with you until our sides feel as though they will split.  I will cry with you when life hurts because sometimes it just does.  I will change lots and lots and lots of diapers with you.  I will go with you on long rides in the car.  I will fall in love with you 4x over as I watch you become daddy to our little ones.  I will go gray with you.  I will do lots and lots of laundry with you.  I will cover my head with the pillow when your alarm goes off for all those hunting trips.  I will watch Friends with you over and over and over.  I will call the dawgs with you every Saturday in the fall.  I will travel with you to New Orleans any day your little heart desires.  I will eat beignets there with you, too.  I will take long walks on the beach with you.  I will dream big with you.  I will pray for wisdom and direction for you.  I will be a shield for you.  I will always want to hold your hand.  I will listen.  I will hug you tight.  I will giggle with you under the covers before we go to sleep.  I will date you.  I will walk lots of laps with you.  I will talk for hours with you.  I will always want to tell you first before anyone else.  I will send you lots and lots and lots of texts.  I will hide your duck calls.  I will tease you when you want to go to bed really early.  I will listen intently as you preach and write down most every word you say with the hopes that one day our littles will read your words.  I will go on fun trips with you.  I will.   
Happy 12 years, David Michael O'Dell! I look forward to the next 12 with great anticipation.  
You will always be my favorite!
I love you to the moon and back a whole bunch of times!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Christmas in Arkansas.

Around lunchtime on Christmas Day, we hit the road! 

Christmas Day was such a special day for me growing up.  We always went to Mama and Papa's house after lunch to spend the afternoon with them, and my mom always dressed us up in something pretty for the special day!  I loved seeing my four little loves dressed in their pretty clothes on Christmas Day.  Thank you, Miss Beckie, for our pretty Christmas clothes!  

After a delicious meal provided by Gigi, it was time to open presents!  Papa and Gigi gave all of our four cowboy boots and a Leap Pad for Christmas, so exciting!  The children have worn their boots just about every day since Christmas, so cute.  

The day after Christmas, Papa and Gigi treated all of us to a neat little restaurant for lunch called "All Aboard."  The restaurant obviously has a train theme, and a train runs around the top of the building and delivers your food to your table, really neat.  Carter and Lincoln were especially excited about it.  

Look at all those cowboy boots!  Thursday night, we ate supper at Chuy's with the rest of the Calhoun clan, and we had the most fun!  
While in Arkansas, David and I got to have several alone moments, which was such a treat.  We went to see "Saving Mr. Banks," wow.  What a great movie! I was completely unprepared for the emotional intensity of the movie, and I will never again view Mary Poppins in the same light.  Incredible! 

In addition to celebrating Christmas, we also gathered with extended family for Papa and Gigi's 40th anniversary party (separate post coming).  Our family loved spending time with all of David's extended family.  One night, all of the girls escaped for a couple of hours to Starbucks to celebrate Erin (third from the left) who will be married in September.  It was such a sweet time of fellowship with these girls.  I love that they have embraced me and made me to feel like a real part of their family.  Cari (the pretty blond on the far left) is David's sister, next to her is Jordan (her mom is Gigi's sister), next to her is Erin (her dad and Papa are brothers), next to her is Ashley (her mom and Papa are sisters), next to her is Carissa, who is married to Jeff, Erin's brother, next to her is ME and then Emily, who is Ashley's sister.  Got all that?  

The original cousins and siblings, minus three, Yvonne, Andrew, and Jeremy.  I loved watching all of our children play together.  They all played so sweetly and just had the most fun together, so sweet!

One night while we were in Arkansas, our family got to spend the evening with one of David's oldest friends and his family, Jasen.  David and Jasen met during high school, when they played basketball together.  David and Jasen were in each other's wedding, and we have just grown to love their family so much.  Jasen (we call him JK) and his wife, Jennifer have two boys, Eli and Colt, and they are just precious.  We loved our time with them, and the evening just went by way too quickly!  As you can tell by this point and from this picture, we have been in Arkansas a little too long, haha!  

In all honesty, we loved our time in Arkansas so much that we kept prolonging our return to Hattiesburg, and even then I think we could have stayed a few days longer.  New Year's Eve, Papa took the afternoon off early, and we all went to walk around Bass Pro Shop.  

Or the free aquarium as we like to call it!  

NYE night, we enjoyed a yogurt treat together before calling it a night way before the big ball dropped! 
The next day, we hung around to pack up, do our laundry, and watch the dawgs.  Papa and Gigi took the girls to see Frozen.  Again.  Have you seen it?  We are crazy about it at our house.  In fact, we downloaded the soundtrack and have been enjoying singing along with the great songs.  I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, so we can watch it again and again and again.  

After watching the dawgs stink it up on the field, we finally hit the road headed home.  We stopped along the way at our favorite rest stop and Arkansas sign to take the obligatory picture.  

And the silly face picture.  Thank you, Papa and Gigi for a fun Christmas and New Year's!  We loved our time with you!

Carter's artwork on the way home.  I love that our children know that while gifts at Christmas is so much fun, it's definitely not what it's all about.  We hope y'all had yourselves a Merry little Christmas!  Ours sure was!