Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Parade and Rodeo Cookoff

We had a fun past couple of weekends. It started off with taking the kids to their very first Mardi Gras in Galveston. We went to the Family Gras event which had a children's parade, live music, vendors, and shopping. This family event was the perfect way to introduce the kids to the fun tradition of Mardi Gras! They had lots of fun and collected so many beads! I thought Katherine was going to fall over with all the beads she got! We even had time to stop into our favorite ice cream shop, it's the same one my grandparents and parents would take me to growing up.

Getting ready for the parade
Eating some ice cream in my crazy hat
My beautiful girl
This hat matches his personality!
Catching beads from the floats
I can't believe she didn't fall over with all those beads!
I even caught some beads
But Matt wins for the biggest beads
Matt and I went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo BBQ Cook off while the kids went to spent the night with Matt's parents. There are over 400 teams that compete and hold 3 day long parties in their tents. To get into a tent you have to be invited, we luckily got tickets for a tent. The tent had free and good BBQ, free beer and wine, live band, dance floor, and a patio to hang out on.. yes it does get pretty fancy for this event! We got there a little early to go to the carnival without kids.. amazing huh! We had fun playing games and riding a roller coaster. Then we went to a craft beer garden where Matt was in heaven since they had his favorite beer.. Summer Shandy! We had a very fun night, complete with stuffing our face with funnel cake at the end of the night! Because Saturday night was so fun, Sunday morning was a little rough :) 

Leaving for the cook off
Fun in full force! 
Yeah.. Beer
Look at the chopstick they were handing out!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Colin.. the next Pitcher for Texas A&M ... WHOOP!!

SOME EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE!!! Sunday April 6th Colin will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Texas A&M vs Alabama Baseball game. HE IS SO FREAKING EXCITED AND SO AM I! In November I sent an email nominating Colin to be able to throw out a first pitch (email and pictures submitted below). We were so thrilled that he got chosen AND that they are going to also include Katherine.. she she's to kick off the game by announcing "Play Ball"! It is going to be such a special day for both of them! 

So we are inviting all of our Aggie and non-Aggie friends and family to come out to Blue Bell Park in College Station on Saturday April 5th (game time 2:00pm) to watch and support both these kids and celebrate them coming off such a trying year with Colin's 3rd open heart surgery. We are going to have a tailgating party before and after the game (more information on that to come). Tickets go on sale this Wednesday Feb 19 at 6pm online. 

Nomination Email
My name is Jennifer (Bynum) Eyring, Class of 2001, I am writing to nominate my son, Colin, who will be turning 5 in April. Colin is my hero and one of the bravest boys I know. He had a very challenging year and I think getting to throw the first pitch would be an amazing experience for him. 

Colin was born with a rare and severe Congenital Heart Defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which basically means only half his heart works (the right side). This summer he had his 3rd open heart surgery in 4 years, we spent a total of 32 days in the hospital. This was a very hard time for him, his 7 year old sister, my husband and I, and his whole family. 

Colin has an amazing love of life and for Texas A&M. Colin went to his first Aggie Baseball game last year and LOVED it. He has been asking to go back to watch the Aggies all summer and fall. We have to remind him it is not baseball season yet. At almost 5 years old, Colin is a die hard Aggie, he even told me he could not marry a little girl in his class at school because she was wearing a "hook'em horn" jacket to school. He sleeps with an A&M sock monkey and loves to sport his Aggie gear on game days. Colin lets anybody and everybody know we are Aggies. 

This spring for the first time, Colin will be cleared by his cardiologist to play a sport. Colin has been given the choice of many sports, he has picked T-ball. He practices hitting in the backyard with his dad and sister.  He is so excited to finally be able to play on a team with other kids and to play a sport he loves, baseball.

Colin has a spirit that burns inside of him to keep fighting through all of his surgeries, doctor's appointments, testing, and hospital stays. Colin will always function with just half a heart but that does not stop him at all. He truly is my hero and would be a great example of the Spirit Aggieland. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Overwhelming support for CHD's and some odds and ends

Friday was the kick off for Congenital Heart Awareness week. I had asked everyone to wear red in honor of Colin and all his heart buddies and post to my Facebook page so Colin could see all his wonderful supporters.

I was overwhelmed by the amazing response we got with friends, family, Colin's school, and friends of friends. It is hard to describe how touching it was to see how many people care about our little hero!

Other odds and ends.. since my last post I told winter to stay away.. well it did the opposite.. it has been so cold, we have had a couple of ice days where school was canceled. The kids did have fun on the 1st ice day with jumping on the trampoline and breaking the sheets of ice.. the closest we will to get snow here!

Winter sass!
I love that these pictures were taken only 4 days apart.. short on Monday and 75 degrees then 32 degrees on Friday with ice
 We went to a roller skating party a couple of weekends ago and the kids had so much fun! Colin at first was not having it but after seeing Katherine, me, and all his other friends skating, he gave it a try and LOVED it! It was a very fun family activity, we will be going back and doing more skating! 

Not sure what Katherine is looking up at
I was very proud of our Girl Scout troop! For our community project the girls decided to pick up trash at a local park to help make it more beautiful. They enjoyed it so much, they were racing to pick up the trash as it was an Easter egg hunt. Katherine did a great job (well Mom & Dad) preselling GS cookies, she (we) sold almost 200 boxes in the presale!

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 off to a fun and sunny start... Winter stay away!!

I am NO fan of winter at all! Cold weather and I are NOT friends. Guess that's why I live in the South and will stay there! But even here in the South, we have had some COLD weather, so we have really enjoyed the last 2 weekends with weather in the 70's and sunny. We have been soaking it all up and took our first road trips of 2014!!

Two weekends ago, we spent Saturday going through trails at the Houston Arboretum, going out to a nice lunch, and of course jumping on the trampoline. Sunday we took the kids up to Texas A&M, Katherine's idea. I am so thrilled that Katherine takes such a big interest in college, she thinks it is really cool to walk the campus. I hope this enthusiasm continues for the next 10 years!!
The kids with a big stuffed Reveille (the A&M Mascot)
Katherine's new friend, an A&M sock monkey
This weekend we took advantage of a 3 day weekend and went to Austin with my brother and his family. Saturday started off with a beautiful hike that went up 500 ft elevation gain up a hillside. It was a beautiful view up top. I was so impressed with the kids hiking it up with no help, especially Colin.. that hike would NOT have been possible for him 6 months ago! He did it all by himself with plenty of energy left over!
Colin was so happy to make it up ALL by himself! 
Brownies can do ANYTHING!
Matt was excited too.. he is a trooper.. he did all this while recovering from  strep throat!

After the hike, we went back to the house and played in the water in the creek bed. Austin has been going through a horrible drought, so it was nice that there was water even if it wasn't a lot. But it was enough for the kids to have fun and float down a small rapid in an inflatable boat.  

Sunday we got up and drove to Gruene (another one of Katherine's ideas) to eat by the river, shop, do a little wine tasting, and stock up on some wine. It was a gorgeous day.. sunny and 75 degrees. There was lots of people walking around the historic downtown and enjoying the springtime weather... winter can just stay away in my book! We have too much fun when it is NOT cold.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Special Christmas Memories and Goodbye 2013.. Hello 2014!

Well we are back to our normally regular scheduled program.. Christmas break is over, everyone is back to school and work. I took off with the kids for just about 2 weeks, Matt was able to take off a few days here and there, but not as much as we wished he would have been able to. 

For being off 2 weeks, it really went by fast! Leading up to Christmas was pretty busy! My parents stayed with us for a week, the kids loved it as now they are travelling for a couple months and we won't be able to see them. 

We have some family traditions I LOVE for Christmas. We did our 3rd Annual Christmas cookies to Texas Children's Hospital. We made over 100 Christmas cookies and delivered to them to the heart floor patients, their families, and nurses where we spent over 30 days this summer. We also made our annual gingerbread house. Our elf was up to some crazy stunts this year including giving Katherine and Colin their very own white Christmas with  snowballs for some snowball fights.. well actually about 500 cotton balls. The kids had a blast! I LOVE making all these fun and special memories with my family! 
Christmas Eve Day, my parents took the kids on a little outing so we could hurry up and put together their big present.. their trampoline.... which they LOVE and have lived on since they got it. We had a lovely Christmas Eve at Matt's parent's house and a great Christmas day at our house with my family.
Besides all the Christmas stuff.. we had fun over the break going to the Natural Science museum, the zoo, Chuck-E-Cheese, the Houston Boat show, Brazos Bend State park for picnic and hike, and of course staying home and playing with all of our new toys!

We had a nice quite New Years at home. We got some small fireworks for the kids, party hats, and sparkling grape juice. We had fun ringing in the new year with the kids and an awesome Aggie win at the Chick-Fil-A bowl. The kids tried so hard to make it to midnight to watch the ball drop, they made it to 11:15pm. Katherine was so upset the next day that she didn't make it, so we you tubed it so she could count down with it.

Ready to see what 2014 brings... 2013 was a very emotional draining year.. it was one of the hardest years we had to face.. but it wasn't all bad.. we had some fun times too...11 road trips, 1 open heart surgery, 10 yr wedding anniversary, 30 plus days in the hospital, lots of laughter and tears, sunny beach days, tubing, good friends, supportive family, sleepless nights, cuddles and kisses, amazing nurses, water slides, Girl Scouts, tubing down the river, fishing, and so much more! Whew what a year! 

I used the Flipagram app to make a year in review video! Watch and enjoy seeing what 2013 was like for the Eyring family!