Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This Girl

I cannot believe I have been a mom for NINE years!

This girl is my dream come true. Literally, from my time of playing with baby dolls, I always knew I wanted to be a mom to a little girl. I know my need for a little girl stems from my relationship with my own mother. She has always been the best friend, my biggest supporter, and my greatest source of comfort. I want that so badly with my own daughter. 

This weekend was definitely a glimpse into that mother/daughter friendship and I loved (and will always treasure) every minute of it. It is no secret that being Ashlynn's mom has been a thousand times more challenging than I ever dreamed. (Come on, seriously older mom's,why did you always make this look like a walk in the park?)  Those that think I am spicy and strong willed can just watch out. My child is me, only ten times more determined, mixed in with her daddy's opinionated spunk. I love her fiercely, but she makes me question my parenting skills weekly (at least it's not daily-ha). 

Miss spicy pants finally decided this past Christmas she wanted and American Girl Doll. I was soooooo excited to hear her ask for a doll. She has shown very little interest in dolls and it has always made me a little curious as to why. I mean it isn't like she isn't into barbie's and all sorts of other girly things, but I honestly kind of worried that I squashed every ounce of motherly instinct out of her by waiting until she was four to have Jaxton. Ha! But seriously I did. 

Anyway, I knew that I didn't want to get her a doll for Christmas and that I would really love to let her go to the store and pick everything out herself. I knew very little about American Girl Dolls growing up, other than reading some of their books, but these days it almost seems like a rite of passage or something. So I thought a birthday trip to Dallas sounded like so much fun. I got the family on board, and thank goodness I am a planner, because I would have been stuck working Saturday snow make-up days had I not already booked our hotel. Yuck!

I told Ashlynn very little other than we we're going on a birthday trip this year instead of having a birthday party. We got to Dallas Friday night around 10:00. From that moment on Ashlynn was smiling non stop. She loved the hotel and thought it was decorated just for her. Everything was decorated in black, white and pink. We even got to stay on the 9th floor, which was perfect.
The next morning we got up and had breakfast at the hotel. They had Ashlynn's favorite, fresh fruit. 
Then for the big surprise.... A girls trip to the American Girl Store. I thought she was going to flip out when we got there. She was ecstatic! I have to admitted I was pretty excited too. It definitely brought out the little girl in me. 

I made an appointment with a personal shopper for Ashlynn, which was so fun. She showed us around the store, gave us some history about the dolls, and helped Ashlynn get the perfect doll and doll accessories, as well as find some matching dresses for Ashlynn and her new doll. 
While we were shopping,one of  my bestest friends, Melissa, showed up. Yes, I might have even squealed in the middle of the store. I never can get enough of that girl.
I really was impressed with the store and I think we all had a blast. Ashlynn's new doll, Ashley, even got her ears pierced. 
After shopping, we went back to the hotel to join the boys at the swimming pool. 

Yes, Marshal is super excited. I think Jaxton had already worn him out. 

I was too busy talking with Melissa to get any cute pictures, but Daniel and Wyatt were having just as much fun swimming as Marshal and Jaxton. Ashley even got her bathing suit on and got to joined us at the pool.

After swimming we went back over to the mall for Ashlynn's second surprise. Ice skating. 

I was really excited to take her. I can remember going as a child and it still amazes me that a mall can have an ice skating rink in it. 

After ice skating, it  was time to head over to Grapevine Mall to eat dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. One benefit of having a party of eleven was being able to make reservations and not have to wait 3 hours to be seated. I don't know if it was Spring Break busyness, or if they always have that long of  a wait, but I was thankful that we didn't have to wait. 

When we were leaving the mall, the kids spotted the train and had to ride. I love this picture Melissa captured. Ha! 

Seriously, I am so thankful Melissa, Daniel and Wyatt were able to join us. I love them all so much and they truly helped make a great weekend fabulous! 
The next morning, on Ashlynn's actual birthday, we woke up and opened a few presents. Melissa was even thoughtful enough to get Jaxton a little happy that helped entertain him while the birthday girl opened her gifts. 

We had breakfast at Cheesecake Factory. Yum! (You can't see it in this picture, but Ashley's shirt has a birthday cake on it with 9 candles. I thought that was super cute.)
Then one last stop at North Park Mall before hitting the road. Hey we couldn't leave Dallas without hitting all of the major malls, right. It was probably a good thing we stopped, because all of the crazy snow we were getting back home was pretty much over by the time we made it back to Arkansas. 
I know what some of you are thinking. Wait, what. Where is the Rick's cake? No worries my friends; I haven't completely lost my mind. Knowing that we had the trip planned for the actual birthday weekend, I ordered and picked up the Rick's cake the weekend before her birthday. My little family of four was perfectly happy finishing off a cake all by ourselves. 
Ok mainly Ashlynn and I, but Jaxton and Marshal helped too. 

I'd say if this birthday celebration is any indication, Ashlynn is in for a fabulous year of being nine. Oh this girl how I love her so!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Last week we celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday at school. You know the usual, dress in a wacky way, wear your slippers, etc. Friday was wacky hair day. Marshal had a meeting Thursday night and I had already decided it was a cereal for dinner kind of night. ( I know best mother ever.) So when Ashlynn asked if she could play with my hair and design my wacky style for Friday, I plopped my happy butt right down on the couch and let her have at it. It isn't like I haven't already told y'all how much I like to have my hair played with. Really, it is kind of sad, because it's the one game I don't rush my children on, so I can get back to my mommy chores.

All is good until about 30 minutes into my style and all the sudden Ashlynn starts pulling, I mean seriously pulling, on the front of my hair. I am like "Whoa whoa whoa what are you doing? That hurts." She says " I know but I can't get this comb out." So I get up walk to the mirror and see this:

Ok no need to panic, right? I mean she put it in, surely it will come out the same way it went in. Well.....not so much. I worked and worked and worked to get it out. I started getting a little freaked out when it isn't even budging. Ok stay calm, Andrea. Ok forget calm. I can only see two choices at this point. I mean this thing is not coming out no matter what I try. I am either going to have to cut it out and have some really short rockin bangs. Or I am going to have to walk around with this comb stuck in my hair forever. Honestly, I can't decided. By this point Ashlynn is crying and I want to cry.

Thank heavens and all the lucky stars above, I have an amazing hair stylist neighbor. I called her up and after I have scared her half to death, thinking something has happened to her sweet kitty,Sir, ( who lives at my house half the time because my kids spoil him) I explain my problem. She graciously lets me and my sweet darlings come straight down. Laynette is absolutely adorable by the way. Her hair is always so stinking cute, at the pool, out walking her dog, and even randomly at 7:00 on a Thursday night. Anyway, she works her magic and after 45 minutes and a handful of hair later my hair is free. Yay!

Let's just say momma is going to lay down a few more rules before agreeing to play hair salon again.

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