Sunday, July 31, 2011


We're home. We officially survived

A 19 hour car ride to Virginia
A 12 hour car ride to Alabama
A 14 hour car ride back to Kansas

None of these hours included stopping.

4 diaper blow outs
3 nights in different hotels
2 weeks of surviving without Daddy
1 escape attempt by our golden lab somewhere in Kentucky.

We've actually been home for a week. But I think I may just be getting over the shell shock enough to actually write about it.

On to new adventures.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bennett's dream come true, butterbeer, a wedding, and other odds and ends

My sister has ruined me for life. I will never ever be able to bribe my child by telling her that I will give her a surprise if she's good. I can never do it again. Wanna know why? Because my sister told Bennett she had a surprise for her and then took her to a HORSE FARM! Are you serious? I'm done. This was Bennett's reaction.

Can you say Priceless?

Oh my word. She was in heaven. And she keeps telling me that this was the best surprise ever. I can never top it. Now my lame trip to the yogurt shop will pale in comparison because it's not a HORSE FARM! Thanks, Aunt Lisa. But I was thrilled that she and Will had a blast riding horses with their cousins. So fun.

My sister and I also took the kids to the McWayne Center in Birmingham. Bennett keeps calling it the Lightening McQueen Center. Whatever works. We had a blast watching the kids run and explore.

In the evenings we were all pretty worn out. And sometimes you just need to cuddle with your big cousin and thank her for letting you ride a horse with her.

I took my oldest niece to see Harry Potter. My Dad and I waited in line together on opening night of the very first Harry Potter movie and so it was fun to come full circle and wait in line again with Piper for the final movie. Before we went we all had to have a large glass of butterbeer along with some cauldron cakes that we baked.

And finally, my little brother got married. Well, I guess he is of legal age to be wed, but I still think he's 14 years old. And he's not really my brother. But I consider him to be like one. Taylor Hall is the most amazing guy you will ever meet and it was an honor and a privilege to watch him marry the love of his life, the beautiful Bianca. Here are a few shots of the handsome groom, his lovely bride, and my dear friends John Schmidt and Corey Maze.

Well, our three week odyssey is coming to an end. We head back to good 'old Kansas City in just a few days. During our time left in Alabama I plan to swim a lot, hug my nieces as much as possible, eat lots of boiled peanuts, and stare longingly at all of the crepe myrtles. I miss the south. I just do.

And I will miss these three so very much. Just like I do every time I have to say good-bye. Sigh.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coming together

Here are a few pictures from my Mother's side of the family coming together for my Grandmother's funeral. My Grandmother had two children (my Mom and her brother, my Uncle Ed) and then each of them had 2 daughters. The 4 Granddaughters were extremely close growing up and we still are.

I am so thankful to have grown up with cousins that I adored. We went to the same schools, only lived a few miles apart, and spent so much time together. It was so wonderful to be reunited with them, their husbands, and their children. My Grandmother would have loved every second of it.

The night we got in from Virginia, we celebrated three birthdays. Will, my Dad, and my niece Piper are all born within days of each other.
Make a wish!

Cake all around!

Will was happy that this birthday thing kept on coming.

Piper got a quill and ink set from Harry Potter. Early prep for our big outing to the final movie.

I love mornings like these. Snuggling on the couch watching cartoons. I love every single one of these kids so much.

Hanging out in the pool.

Emmie and Uncle Rob

Popsicles all around

Even the big kids got one too!

Me and my "twin" cousin, Erin. We are only 5 months apart and grew up more like sisters than cousins.

Adorable Elijah Brooks. Could he be any cuter?

My Grandmother would have LOVED this picture. I can't tell you all the memories me and my cousins have her in pool. They are countless. Nothing in the world would have made Grandmom happier than seeing all of her angel babies playing in the pool with their husbands and children. It was so fitting to all get together and do this the day before her visitation.

We had my Grandmother's funeral on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I was amazed at how many people came to pay their respects. It was honestly like watching my childhood walk in through the door. I saw people I hadn't seen in a decade. Friends that my amazing Grandmother had ministered with, visited in the hospital, prayed over, and shared her life with. It was a beautiful day of rejoicing and celebrating her life. Afterwards we went over to my Aunt and Uncle's to spend some quiet time with our family.

Me with my cousin, Elliot.

I love this picture of Bennett and Elijah Brooks sitting at the kids table because me and his Mommy sat at the kids table at every single family gathering. I think we were still sitting there when we were 14.

A rose between two thorns.

Playing in the backyard.

Bradford and Bennett

The 4 Grandaughters.

My Mom, Dad, Uncle Ed, and Aunt Beverly.

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wirt's Wharf 2011

We spent the 4th of July week at my brother and sister-in-law's house on the Potomac river. They have a beautiful home on the banks of the river located just south of Washington DC. They are so gracious every year to open up their home to the whole family. We are so grateful for their hospitality and are already gearing up for next summer.

Their home is called Wirt's Wharf. I honestly can't remember why. Maybe one of them can chime in and tell me why again. All I know is that my fabulous sister-in-law gave us all T-Shirts with the name of the home printed on them, so there you go.

Anyway, we had a wonderful week of swimming, boating, fishing, resting, playing games, and just catching up with family members. I adore every single one of them and miss them already.

We had been on the road 6 hours with 2 cranky children and a skittish dog when I saw this sign. Oh, Lord. We had a long way to go!

Scenic stop in Virginia. Couldn't resist the view.

We're here! Let the good times commence.

Just show me which way to the water, please.

Found the water! This vacation rocks!

We're with Frank Webster! If you have to ask, then you just don't know. Bennett looks thrilled to be with Frank Webster.

Daddy and daughter

We loved going out in the kayaks and just enjoying the water and fresh air.

Fun shot of me with my little passenger

And if you go anywhere with Rob Webster, this is what he will always look like. Always.

It's a great day for a boat ride. Will's ready!

Bennett and Sophie are ready!

And the dogs are devastated to be left behind yet again.

Beautiful day

Our fearless captain Hazen with his skipper, Max. Max is pretty much the coolest kid you will ever meet.

Hmmmm...... I retract my last sentence.

Aunt Laura warned me that kids usually fall asleep on the boat. The combination of sun and waves have a tendency to do that. I wasn't quite prepared for my kids to fall into a coma. I was checking pulses by the end of the trip.

Grandaddy and Mamaw entertained everyone with craft projects.....

.......And new card games......

.....while Rob and Frank entertained the rest of us with their mad music skills.

6 Webster/Marshall cousins. Bennett, Max, Will, Sophie, Madeline, and Jameson.

Mamaw and Grandaddy with all of their grandchildren. Will was loving being in this picture.

Until Mommy started walking away. And this was his reaction. Typical.

And then Bennett wanted her bouncy ball in the picture. Very typical.

We took it away and so then she pouted and refused to take any more pictures. Extremely typical.

She decided she would be in the large group shot, but she was not happy about it.

And she hadn't gotten over her anger by the time we took our family unit shot.

Oh, well. At least I have one happy child.

And my sweet daughter is back. She has decided that being in a picture isn't so bad. Kind of.

Sparklers aren't quite as fun when you're 3. Then thy are just scary sticks of fire.

Happy Birthday, America. Now stop hurting my ears.

Everyone went to pick blackberries one morning. I couldn't go. I took a very sick Will who was running a fever of 103.5 to the doctor. But I wish I could have gone because these pictures makes it look like everyone had a blast.

Could she be any more beautiful?

And this is what happens when Mommy doesn't come along on the trip. My husband was so busy taking pictures that he didn't notice that his daughter's dress was falling off. Lovely.

Come on. You know you want one.

Aunt Stacy with Sophie.

Sibling Love

Ahhh...... the hammock by the water. Perfection.

We loved fishing with the family in the evenings. This was Will's first time and he wasn't quite sure what to make of everything.

Hazen kept telling everyone that they had to kiss the first fish that they caught. Sophie was a sucker.

I was not. This was as close as I would get.

Hazen clearly did not share my same concerns.

Grandaddy explaining the ins and outs of fishing to Will. Or just telling him to look at the camera. I'm not sure which one.

My family on the banks of the river. Although that's not my dog. Just pretend.

I love this picture of Uncle Frank fishing with Jamison. That's not their dog either.

The next morning we got some alone time to fish. Much better.

Absolutely beautiful.

See you next summer, family!