Attemping to Rebound with Pictures! Lots of pictures!

Hello, friends!  It seems I've taken a little bit of a blog vacation :) It wasn't exactly planned but it happened.  I'm not sure how to rebound from here, but I think a random list and lots of pictures might do it best!  We've had a lot going on, surprised?  I know.  As my cousin told me recently, "Your life exhausts me!"  I hear that. It exhausts me too!  Anyway, in no particular order, here's the scoop...

-We're sick.  Basically everybody except Travis is on an antibiotic of some sort.  Carter kicked it off with pneumonia (again!!), I followed suit with bronchitis and Ava wrapped it up with an ear infection.  A trifecta of fun!
In five days, I was in a doctor's office and pharmacy three times.  Today, I'd say the kids have turned a big corner and are almost back to normal.  They look and sound better and their energy is close to normal.  I however, am still limping behind.  I'm positive that I've developed a nasty sinus infection on top of my bronchitis and I'm just hoping the antibiotic I just finished will kick it.  I seriously don't have the heart to march back to a doctor's office.  I'm really trying to rest as much as I can, which is one reason I've stayed off the computer this week and tried to take advantage of opportunities to nap. 

-We got an unexpected visit last week from Trav's Mom.  For some reason I don't have a great picture from her visit, but she was with us for 6 days, unfortunately while we were all getting sick.  Those tornadoes in Dallas messed her trip plans up so she came a few weeks before we were planning on her, but we were glad to see her and she was a big help to us.  Thanks for coming Texie! 

-Easter happened!  It was a beautiful day here in Minnesota and we had a great morning at Church and then at my cousins' house for lunch.  Here are a few pics from that day...
 A cute family pic!  Amazed that we got one, especially considering that Carter was crying before and after this was taken :) Poor guy, he did not feel good that day at all.
On Good Friday, we rolled the stone in front of the tomb...
...and on Easter morning the tomb was empty!  He is risen, indeed!!
Opening some Easter baskets before Church
A new headband!
A new hat and BOY sunglasses!  Now Carter can stop wearing Ava's pink barbie glasses or her yellow bumblebee pair :)
A new dress from Texie
Our sweet Easter girl, looking so big this year.
Carter, in between tears :) Not such a fan of anything that morning, but looking so darn handsome in his outfit and that tie!!  His Daddy was pretty cute too!
Waiting to get in the car for Church.  Yes, blankie and giraffey are ever present in our lives and in every picture it seems! 
Pam and I made some Easter cookies to share...
...I taught her how to do the icing and she did a great job! 
We did an egg hunt for these two
Which was totally fun for them and sweet of my cousin's kids to help them with.
Ava was definitely cleaning up in the egg count!
 Carter was over it by the end!
 But we were so grateful for a GORGEOUS Easter day!  Usually it's oh so cold, but this year was beautiful!  So fun.

-While Trav's Mom was here, we managed to sneak in a little overnight getaway, to celebrate both of our birthdays this month...and because frankly, we needed a little break!  Ha!  We did one of favorite things, which is to go downtown and stay.  It's only 25 minutes away but it always feels like we are in another place, far from home!
We walked to dinner...!
And had this amazing shrimp dish, in addition to...
...this fabulous mahi mahi entree.  It was delightful and even better, we got to watch the awesome end to the Master's while we ate.  SO happy to see Bubba Watson win in a playoff and to share an uninterrupted meal with my man :)
We got a great deal to stay here!  We used an app on the ipad, called Hotel Tonight (I think), that lets you book a room at selected hotels on the day of your stay, for a fabulous price.  It was a steal, but when we got there, they gave us an even lower rate!!  Gotta love that!
Although I literally got sick while we were there, it was the grace of God to let me have some time away from the kids to rest.  We got a long night of sleep, a late morning to relax and Trav brought us Starbucks and Brueggers from across the street!  Perfection!!  We even managed lunch out and some time to read and relax, but when we got home, I ended up in Urgent Care for two hours and went home with meds for Bronchitis.  Ha!  Not exactly what I hoped for, but thankful to get away anyway.  Thanks Texie!

-We spent most of this week just getting better and laying low.  The kids were like caged zoo animals by last night, so we got out a little and have spent some time outside today in our beautiful weather.  But mostly we've just been home this week, which has really been nice.  Sometimes I wonder if the Lord doesn't use sickness to force some rest on us when we're too busy??  It's been good to chill out.
Ava is all about dancing with her Daddy!
She loves to ask him to "spin wif me?" while she's watching a Princess sing along video.  As soon as Belle appears in her yellow dress to dance with the beast, Ava goes in search of a dance partner to dance with her in her Belle dress too :) So sweet.
We are just all about anything princess related right now!!  I love it.
This little wild man is giving us a huge run for our money, ha ha!  He's definitely feeling better and has been scaling the walls and learning new tricks in his boredom this week!
He's finally figured out that he can drag the kitchen chairs across the floors, to reach anything and everything he's not supposed to get into.  It's a whole new world now and I'm scrambling to find more hiding places out of his reach :)
Look at that little stinker!  Totally contemplating which bottle of medicine he'll go for first :)
We woke up to an amazing day today, so we got out early and went for a long walk.
It was a picturesque day to be out by the lake
After some cold and rainy days this week, these two were soaking up the sun!
My favorite walking partner.  Love these days with him.
 The gorgeous view from our neighborhood park...
...where these two couldn't wait to get their climb on!!

-So that's what we've been up to in the last week! I hope it's been a great week for you, I hope your Easter was a blessed time remembering how Jesus triumphed over the grave and death forever.  I'll leave you with some great pictures of some beautiful flowers in our Easter Garden right now.
At the foot of the cross, there are three beautiful blooms that have popped open this week.
Gorgeous pink cactus blooms, no less.  They've reminded me that sometimes beauty comes from the unexpected, much like the miracle of the cross.  A friend of mine on Facebook said they reminded her of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the cross.  Love that!
Either way, it's been a fun surprise this week after spending much time thinking and talking about the cross and the empty tomb, to see some flowers adding some color and beauty to our garden.  Ava prayed for lunch today and thanked Jesus "for dying on the cross, then they put you in the tomb, but you came out and you rose again and you put away our sins because you love us." 
Couldn't have put it any better myself :)  God has been good to us through this little garden! 

Happy weekend friends!  Hope it's a great one!

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