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Lucky 2013

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BC: The End

FC: Lucky 2013

1: For Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the Olanders invited us for a spectacular weekend in the Hill Country. Here we are toasting to the Wimberly, Texas beauty in our outdoor hot tub with all five kids. | JANUARY

2: The outdoors were complete with incredible views, funky art work, pool, water slide, hot tub, outdoor bed, bar area, fire pit, play house, tree dining table, outdoor kitchen ... and a chapel.

5: The house was really funky and whimsical inside and outside - a mix between hippy chic and country (very Willie Nelson) ... we loved it.

6: All around the property there were dozens of little words and sayings, which created a really inspiring environment. I snapped pictures of a few ... every where you looked there were words hiding ready to be discovered. It started to be a game between Tania and I ... almost like hunting for Easter Eggs.

8: Not only did "words" decorate the property, but also interesting mythical creatures, faces, animals and other types of funky art. Check out the stone-covered car!

10: Breakfast time! Chef Toby cooked up some delicious pancakes ... | Silly Hannah! | Playing with Kannon! | Playing with Mason and Olivia!

11: We loved the backyard swing! | Hot Rod Hannah! | Toby made homemade pizza dough and cooked it on the outside oven!

12: Avery and Kannon having a blast! | Mom this is awesome! | Riding happily to the bunny cage

13: Ride 'em cowgirl! | Sittin' pretty! | Ten gallon hat ... | Cowgirl Hannah ...

14: Four amazing girls under four ... it doesn't get better than this !

15: "We know it's cold out but pants are unnecessary by a pool!" | "Oh we are just having too much fun!" | "Tania, you are the best in the world for inviting us!" | "Really ... on a crisp day like today? Are clothes really necessary?"

16: Daddy and Hannah! | Our outside dining table | Sunset in Wimberly! | Mushroom lights lighting our path ...

17: Here we are all anxiously awaiting the FIREMAN SHOW! | "Um, why yes I'll have a delicious S'more!" | "Me too!"

18: Hannah, Mason, and Olivia in the kids' play house ... | Avery at the tractor house ...

19: The whole group (Olanders and Hamricks, men and women, boys and girls) were inspired by Cat Stephens, the owner's cat, to sing impromptu, lap top, Cat Stevens kareoke (after the adults had a glass ... or two ... of wine ...) | A peaceful morning ... | Pretty girls!

20: The girls played hard and three of four ended up with a boo boo in the exact same spot! Now that's precision! | Avery | Olivia | Mason

21: While we were at this house, we made up stories about the owners based upon all the "clues" we found around the house. We decided that Rebecca Cook is an artist with two children - Chance and Sarah. And, that they are some how tied in with the Great Willie Nelson!

22: Our note we left for Rebecca in her Visitor's Journal ...

24: Opening gifts from Aunt Becky, Uncle Cecil, and Cousin Emily

25: Silly girls hiking up their pants ...

26: FEBRUARY | Fun at Market Square Park ...

28: In February, the girls changed schools. They left Children's Garden Montessori and started Spring Branch Presbyterian Mother's Day Out. They now attend this school on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and they help Sarah grocery shop on Mondays). At their new school, they offer ballet. So, on the left (in the purple dresses) is a picture of the girls dressed for their first day of ballet (before their ballet costumes had come in) and on the left is their first day in their new costumes. | Starting Ballet ...

29: First time to wear their new ballet costumes ...

30: Rodeo Riders at the Olander's neighborhood park in Meyerland ...

31: Potty break!

32: Downtown Rodeo Parade! | We went with Aunt Becky, Uncle Cecil, Cousin Emily, the Olanders, and Miya (who was in the parade) ...

34: Cuz'n Emily and our red boots ... what more do a couple of gals need?

36: On the deck of downtown Pepper Jack's for lunch after the parade ...

38: I came home from work to find their stuffed animals "hung."

39: March | The girls kicked off March getting their hair cut and styled!

41: Avery and Hannah's ballet class at Spring Branch Presbyterian ... they are getting ready for their May 23 recital!

42: On March 8, I went to the rodeo with Caroline and her daughter, Scarlet. Caroline is pregnant here with her third! Avery and Hannah had a blast with them and all the rodeo animals!

43: First time Avery ever rode a live pony!

44: Hannah on her pony!

45: Rodeo Petting Zoo!

46: The rodeo had a fun "farm to market" activity. The girls gathered various farm goods in their baskets, like corn or milk, and sold them at the end of the game for play money. They used their play money to buy rice crispie treats! Yum!

47: On March 16, our neighborhood park hosted a little festival (we went last year too). All our neighbors were there and we had a lot of fun! | Market Square Park | Sustainable Living Festival

48: Fun with bubbles at the festival!

49: The girls ended the day with some delicious popsicles. Then, we all walked (or ran) home. It was such a good day!

50: For St. Patrick's Day, we went with our neighbors, Cave and Vanessa (and baby Blythe) to Natachee's. The girls love hanging out with Blythe (who is 9 months here).

52: On March 23, Miya and Gene hosted a dinner at China Garden downtown to celebrate Gene's bday. The girls had fun with their chopsticks (and their chocolate cupcakes!

53: Everyone came to our house to celebrate Hanukkah. We all had a lovely time. This is my favorite time of year. I can't wait until next year. | ... but that's not all they were celebrating ... and they surprised their guests with this announcement!

55: We first celebrated Easter at Grandma's house ...

56: We all walked to the park at the end of mom's street ... and waited for ...


60: The city park had a fun Easter egg hunt ...

62: And when we came back to gramma's, the Easter bunny hid more eggs in her yard!

66: Gramma time!

69: The next day, the Easter bunny visited our house ... and he left lots of toys in our nests and hid eggs around our house.

71: And the hunt is on ...

73: Then off to Easter Sunday brunch at Brooklyn Athletic Club ...

75: Anyone up for a game of croquett?

76: APRIL | In April, our family all got together in Sargent, Texas so all the cousins could get to know each other. Each night we all watched the sunset together - this was the sunset from the first day together ....

77: Arriving in Sargent, Texas

78: Blowing bubbles waiting for everyone to arrive ...

80: Cousins Playing in the Closet | Uncle TJ, Aunt Kelley and Dylan arrive ...

81: What a gorgeous day to hang out in Sargent with our family ...

82: Time to take these pants off ... what's a little cool air?

83: Dad took the girls to clean the beach with the "Adopt a Beach" organization.

84: Eva and Dylan meeting for the first time ...

86: Aunt Kelley reading a book ...

87: Mike being dragged by a truck???

88: Gramma high fivin' with Avery, Hannah, & Dylan ...

89: GO UNCLE T.J.!!!

90: Kendra, Beth and Leah had a blast on their trip to Colorado this summer. Kendra just got her drivers license and was in the mood for a road trip so they all packed up and left for the open road with Colorado in their sights. It was hard to see my little girl drive away, she is an adult now and its time to let her go. I'm glad they had fun and arrived home safe. She'll always be my little girl...

91: June 15th 2012

92: The boys chillin' ...

93: Sunset ... Day 2

94: "Mom, all I need to wear to play in the sand is my pink bow!"

96: Gramma with all of her grand kids in the same place ... first time!

97: The end of DAY 3 ... awesome memories on our Texas beach!

98: MAY

99: Blue Trees! Using water-based, environmentally safe pigment, Dimopoulos and a team of community volunteers colored the trees a striking ultramarine blue, inspiring awareness and discussion about global deforestation. An ephemeral work, the trees will gradually revert back to their natural state. | Created and conceived by Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, The Blue Trees is a temporary art installation that dramatically transformed trees in Houston and Galveston. The Blue Trees is ultimately a worldwide effort. This installation extends and reinterprets the original project launched in April 2011 at the Vancouver Biennale.

100: Avery and Hannah's First Ballet Recital ...

103: For Mother's Day, Toby took us for an awesome brunch ...

104: JUNE

106: Girls were asked to be flower girls in their nanny's wedding ... they had so much fun dancing!

108: We hosted Miya's "white hot" baby shower in July ... | JULY

110: Day at Galveston with Gramma ...

112: The girls got a hair cut too at grandma's ... this is before.

113: and this is after!

114: In July, we went back to Sargent for a week of rest & relaxation before school started ...

115: We played with our pet frogs ... | Lots of swimming ... | and the girls learned how to petal bikes with training wheels ...

116: We had a great week in Sargent ...

117: And were also happy to get back to our loft and watch the sunset from our window ... great month!

118: AUGUST | Back to School

119: In August, the girls started their first day at Wilson Montessori. They are expected to attend five days a week - and never be late! School starts at 8 am ... this was a huge adjustment for the family!

120: Butterflies at the science museum ...

122: September

123: For Labor Day weekend, we got together with our family and went to a Lake House on Lake Sam Rayburn.

124: Hmmm .... I think something is missing here ...

126: Here we are at the James Turrell art exhibit ... he "sculpts" with light!

127: Dancing the polka at our Czeck family reunion in Fayetteville, Texas ... | OCTOBER

128: For Halloween, we had a blast. Hannah was a witch, mom was a cat, dad was Spicoli (from Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and Avery wanted to be a monkey dressed as an owl (she won this year's "most creative.")

130: In November, Wilson Elementary had their Fall Festival. Aunt Emily, Uncle Byron and the family came up and went with us. We all had a lot of fun! | NOVEMBER

132: Zoo Lights!

134: Th Thanksgiving at Gramma's!

135: Mom turned 40!!


137: For Hannah & Avery's 4th birthday, we had a fun, rip roarin', downtown, BIG TOP CIRCUS PARTY!

140: On the menu

141: Corn | Corn Dogs, Pretzels, Rainbow Fruit Kabobs, Veggie Sticks, Pretzels, Peanuts, Cupcakes, and much more ...


144: BEAD MAKING ...

146: the fish bowl game, can toss, lots of prizes ...

147: ... and lots of clowning around!

148: Our guests, however, are the reason our party was magical ...

150: Make a wish !!!

151: Featuring Mom's homemade snickerdoodle cupcakes with cream cheese frosting ...

152: Opening gifts ...

154: Fabulous Four!

155: An amazing day!

156: Hannah's first Montessori celebration of life with Ms. Jodi. | Avery's first Montessori celebration of life with Ms. Jolene.

157: For Christmas this year, we made a road trip to Arkansas to visit Byron, Jimmy, Noel, Emily, Sasha, Juliet, Sebastian, Oliver, Pappy and Marta. It was a Christmas we will never forget.

159: That Elvis! He's a lot of fun.

160: Scenes from our Christmas holiday back in Houston ... such a wonderful time of year.

161: The number "13" has been lucky in our family now for three generations. I assumed when the year 2013 came we would therefore win the lottery. We didn't win, but looking back on the year - I can't imagine having a luckier life. I am grateful. Love, Mom

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  • By: Windy L.
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  • Title: Lucky 2013
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