Rusty and Jess’ wedding!

This past weekend, the Haydels headed down to Austin for the Rusty and Jessica wedding extravaganza!

We picked up the girls from school on Thursday and headed down. We stopped in Hillsboro at the Wendy’s and it was deserted, which gave the girls an opportunity to run out some energy.IMG_7004

My parents rented a house in south Austin and it was pretty amazing. We enjoyed the large patio and backyard for a bit before heading to bed.IMG_7012IMG_7013

The girls had their own room, which was good except they were giggling together until after 11pm. Come on ladies…your parents are tired!IMG_7006

Friday was full of running errands. My mom and I picked up the flowers – we were in LOVE! They were so pretty!!IMG_7018IMG_7019

My brother made the wooden flower boxes. They were enormous – four of them plus the arrangement for the arbor barely fit in our Tahoe.IMG_7024

We also ordered flower crowns for my little flower girls. I had to try them on, of course.IMG_7025

We all got ready for the evening and headed out to the rehearsal! (Notice the awesome Austin traffic all around us)IMG_7033

Both girls fell asleep in the car…IMG_7035

…which meant that they were at the rehearsal like this:IMG_7036

When Celine is grumpy, she tucks in her bottom lip and peeks at everyone through her eyelashes.IMG_7040IMG_7045

They perked up a bit for the rehearsal dinner…and then promptly got bored. Luckily we live in the digital age and can provide easy entertainment via our phones.IMG_7048IMG_7056

The rehearsal dinner was at Max’s Wine Dive, and my mom did super cute Lord of the Rings centerpieces with Lego LotR ensembles. They were so cute and SO Rusty.IMG_7052IMG_7058

The food was delicious and of course the wine!IMG_7054IMG_7057

My parents gave a little welcome speech and my mom thanked everyone for coming…and promptly started crying when talking to Rusty and Jess. Only the second time she cried that day – the first was when she picked up the flowers. At least now I know where I get it from!IMG_7059

Mike and I left with the girls around 8pm and headed back to the house for the girls’ bedtime. Both girls weren’t in the best moods (see: 11:30pm bedtime the night before), and Celine had one of her epic meltdowns. At one point she clawed me in the face, leaving a gash on my right cheek and a couple of other marks. I was pretty bummed about it considering the wedding (aka lots of pics) was the next day, but the silver lining was that it shocked Celine so much, she stopped her fit.

The next morning was wedding day!! The boys and Katie hung with the kiddos while the rest of the ladies went for blowouts in the morning.IMG_7061IMG_7063IMG_7064

After a morning filled mainly with driving to multiple hamburger joints, we headed over to Rusty and Jess’ to see what we could help with. The girls were surprisingly good while we set the tables, made corsages, and other things.IMG_7072IMG_7073IMG_7078

The flower boxes didn’t fit on the slim tables, but my mom found a great place for them and everything worked out beautifully. The flowers on the arbor also turned out amazing – I think they really set the tone for the ceremony!IMG_7086IMG_7167

I headed back to the rental house with the girls to get ready, along with my parents, Katie, and Hillary. Mike and Taylor stayed with the groomsmen and Liz stayed to make sure everything was set up and ready to go, both for her officiating duties and all of the sound.

My parents left for the wedding with Hillary a little before 4, and Katie hopped in her car to drive Elliot and herself over. At 4pm our babysitter arrived, so Louise, Celine, the babysitter, and I got in the car and headed to the wedding! I loved our babysitter (Laura). She is a sophomore at UT in Texas Spirits and the girls took to her almost immediately…mainly because she had long blond hair LIKE ELSA.

We arrived at Rusty and Jess’ around 4:40, and Laura hovered around the girls while we got ready for game time. Katie was stressing out about keeping Elliot clean and not getting into anything, but finally just let him run around pre-ceremony, shrugging and saying “what’s the worst that could happen?” Finally it was time to go!IMG_7083IMG_7089IMG_7091IMG_7111

Everyone did their thing, and it was time for the ring bearer and flower girls to make their trek down the aisle before Jess. Elliot enthusiastically started trotting down the aisle, but tripped, causing the rings to fly out of their box and into the grass. There was a frantic three minute search for the rings while Louise and Celine anxiously waited for their turn to walk. Someone found Rusty’s ring but Jess’ was still missing. Everyone decided to wait until after the ceremony – Liz gave Rusty her ring to use in the interim – and it was time for the girls to walk.

I ushered Louise and Celine to the start of the aisle and told them to walk to Papa, then went around the side and met them at the end of the aisle. I was surprised and pleased that both girls walked down the aisle and actually dropped their petals! Celine had an overhand throw technique and was only throwing one at a time, but overall they did a great job. I wish someone took a video of their walk, but I’m sure there are a couple of pretty good professional photos. Looking forward to seeing those.

Liz did an amazing job with the ceremony, and I managed to get through my reading without choking up. It was special seeing the two of them commit to each other. Neither of them are typically weepy/emotional people, but they made an exception for their wedding.IMG_7126IMG_7128IMG_7139IMG_7142

The kids did an exceptional job being good children during the ceremony!IMG_7131IMG_7137IMG_7138

I tried to get as many pics as I could, but I didn’t get one of the Haydels, of me and Jessica, or of the entire Fausak family. Oh well!IMG_7106IMG_7079IMG_7149IMG_7155IMG_7163

But I DID get one with the groom!IMG_7145

There was some dancing…IMG_7169IMG_7175IMG_7186IMG_7195

…a couple late-night pics…IMG_7199IMG_7202

…and that’s all she wrote! It was a wonderful wedding and it seemed like everyone had a great time, bride and groom included! Congrats again, Rusty and Jess!


We had a pretty laid-back Easter this year. The girls took their sweet time going to bed on Saturday night, so we put their baskets by their doors and headed to bed ourselves.4.19.17 Easter 14.19.17 Easter 2

Easter morning rolled around and Michael and I were up around 7:15. We peeked in on the girls and they were still sleeping, so we lounged around in our bed. We lounged, and lounged…around 8am we decided enough was enough and the kids needed to get up. I went into Louise’s room to wake her up and she was already awake, standing next to her bed, playing with a toy. I said, “Louise, did you see your Easter basket?” Her eyes widened and she did a comical double-take, whipping her head around. She had forgotten it was Easter!

Of course her attention was laser-focused on her basket once she realized it existed, and Celine popped out of her room (with her typical crazy hair) to inspect hers as well.4.19.17 Easter 34.19.17 Easter 44.19.17 Easter 54.19.17 Easter 6

Once their baskets were emptied, we let them loose in the house to fill them back up with eggs. Louise was nice enough to let Celine find a few of her own. 🙂4.19.17 Easter 74.19.17 Easter 84.19.17 Easter 9

Post-egg hunt, we threw on some clothes and headed to Grandma and Papa’s for waffles.4.19.17 Easter 104.19.17 Easter 11

We stayed until about 3pm and then headed home. We were worried Celine fell asleep in the car…turns out she was pranking us all. #sneaky #chocolategoatee4.19.17 Easter 13

Happy Easter!4.19.17 Easter 12

March/April goals

Once again, checking in on how March went, and solidifying my April goals.

March goals:

  1. Exercise 3+ times per week
    1. Did it, for the most part! I had a week-long break because of my leg, but otherwise, still fully on the workout train.
  2. Back up my computer
    1. Did this too…bought an external hard drive and used Time Machine to get everything on there. I still need to put my photos on Amazon Cloud but I at least have one backup option in the bag.
  3. 2016 photo book
    1. I DID IT YOU GUYS. Just in time to complete Celine’s Year 3 book…and then Louise’s Year 5 book…and then get started on 2017. #itneverends
  4. Order shutters for our living room windows and French doors
    1. Done and done! They take about eight weeks to come in, but they’ve been paid for and measured. I cannot wait to have shutters on the patio doors! It will solve so many TV-watching problems.
  5. Try to find nightstands for our master bedroom (moving ours to Louise’s room)
    1. Still TBD. It will happen when it happens!

I’m pretty pleased with my March progress, and it’s definitely helped me to have goals written down (versus just things I have in my head that I want to do). With that in mind, here we go for this month!

April goals:

  1. Exercise 3+ times per week. This is less of a “goal” at this point and more of a standard, but I’m going to keep it on here.
  2. Manage travel stress. This one is more mental than anything, but Mike and I are starting to travel a bit more this month, and that’s going to continue for the next few months. I want to practice mindfulness while traveling since flying (and logistics) usually works me up.
  3. Celine’s photo book. I did a fairly decent job of staying up-to-date on her book, so completing it by the end of April isn’t a major undertaking. It would be nice to have it complete before finalizing Louise’s in May/June!
  4. Replace air filters in the house
  5. Declutter toys. We have SO MUCH CRAP cluttering up our house. I want to do a clean sweep prior to Louise’s birthday (which comes with another onslaught of presents). This might also include buying more toy-organizing-things like bins, but we’ll see.
  6. Organize the two hall closets. This includes:
    1. All of the random sheets, blankets, drapes, and other linens in the linen/toy closet. They’re taking up precious toy space and we never use them. They’re better suited for a bin in the garage.
    2. Throw away old DVDs. Mike and I have boxes of DVDs in the den closet that – let’s face it – we’ll never use. I am all for sentimentality, but those just seem like something we can do without. Plus – I need that space for toys (eye roll).

Louise: 4.11

One more month until my girl turns five!DSC_0510

She’s been into making up words. Her favorite is “malootey.” Celine has jumped on this bandwagon and her word is “bimbaber.”DSC_0496

She’s also testing out lying…little white lies about what happened at school, or feigning innocence when she’s caught doing something wrong.DSC_0498

Louise really plays up any time Celine hits or kicks her. I will be sitting in the living room, minding my own business, and Celine comes tearing in the room and plops herself next to me in the chair. Around the same time I hear an exaggerated scream and Louise stomps in the room, whining and yelling about whatever Celine did.DSC_0504


This past weekend, my girlfriends and I continued a 5+ year tradition of getting away together for the (long) weekend. We’ve done Napa, Fredericksburg (which I missed due to Celine being born), Nashville, and New Orleans, and this year we decided on Charleston! We were hoping for a charming Southern town with great food, and we weren’t disappointed.

After flying in on Friday afternoon, we headed out for dinner at our first stop: Poogan’s Porch. Our experience was slightly marred by sub-par service that resulted in a 3+ hour dinner, but we made the best of it (where were we going to go?). It was a charming, cute restaurant.IMG_0004IMG_0002IMG_0007IMG_0006IMG_0012IMG_0009

Towards the end of dinner, we glanced over and saw that Nat was circling places of interest on a map. Where did she get a printed map? No idea.IMG_0011

The next day, Michele and I decided to take a little run to check out the town while Nat and Lindsey walked around and Susanne and Lauren relaxed at the hotel.IMG_0013

After getting ready, we headed out to lunch at SNOB. It was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect!IMG_0017

We spent the afternoon wandering around, and then decided to grab a drink at a rooftop bar before heading in to change for our evening.IMG_0019IMG_0019 2IMG_0032IMG_0025IMG_0096

Our first stop of the evening was a haunted carriage ride. We learned a little history of the town and some fun ghost stories!IMG_0036IMG_0058

We headed over to Husk for a delicious dinner…I didn’t take any pictures because we were too busy eating, drinking, and getting shushed by the tables around us!

The next morning we peeled ourselves out of bed and had brunch at High Cotton, followed by a walking tour with Oyster Point Walking Tours. Our guide was absolutely amazing and not only did we learn so much, we were entertained as well!IMG_0078IMG_0084

With the rest of the day ahead of us with no plans (SO unlike us), we decided to head over to Sullivan’s Island and check out the beach. We had a good lunch at Poe’s Tavern and then walked down the boardwalk to the glittery sand. If I had stopped to think about our day’s activities, I probably wouldn’t have worn black jeans, but…it was fun anyway!IMG_0089IMG_0083IMG_0090IMG_0092

After we made our way back to Charleston and changed, we walked down the street to dinner at Fleet Landing. We were anticipating a fried-catfish kind of place, but it ended up being one of the best dinners.IMG_0105IMG_0108IMG_0110IMG_0109

Monday morning, Lindsey, Lauren, and Susanne headed to Boone Plantation while Nat, Michele, and I slept in and enjoyed our kidless morning.IMG_0138IMG_0140

We all met for lunch at 5 Church before heading to the airport. The restaurant was absolutely beautiful…the service was not so great.IMG_0118

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip, and I’m happy I can get away once a year to a fun location with these lovely ladies!

Celine: 3 years

Happy birthday, big girl!DSC_0495

A lot has happened in the past few months. Celine:

  • Is now potty-trained (except at night)
  • Doesn’t put her two fingers in her mouth anymore
  • Sleeps in a big-girl bed
  • Speaks clearly and in complete sentences
  • Is out of the high chair for good, even at restaurants
  • Picks out her own clothes, including panties. She can usually get the panties on but sometimes gets both legs stuck in one hole.
  • Can open doorsDSC_0481

She can throw one epic temper tantrum. She had one last week when she woke up and we couldn’t get out the door for school until 8:50am. I spent about 30 minutes trying to placate, and then ended up forcing her clothes on. We called Mike while he was driving to work which was the only thing that finally calmed her down (he told her a story of a princess who woke up grouchy but put her school clothes on and got in the car). She really works herself into a frenzy! She’s also into throwing to show her anger. Fun fun.DSC_0483

She is shockingly articulate, particularly when detailing why she doesn’t want to do something. She’s also great at summarizing her activities and emotions following an event. “We went to school and I cried. But then I stopped crying and Ms. Cindy read me a story.”DSC_0485

I am only allowed to put a braid in her hair. If I try to give her a pony or pigtails she complains until I take it out. Her hair is still growing and it’s thin and frizzy, so I wish she’d let me do more with it!DSC_0480

Some days she will eat everything put in front of her and more, and some days she won’t touch anything. It’s kind of a feast-or-famine lifestyle. Her #1 favorite food is rice – she would eat two cups of rice for every meal if we let her. She also likes spaghetti, sausage, Goldfish, applesauce, jambalaya, hot dogs, quesadillas, meat loaf, bread, and anything she can dunk in ketchup. We’ve been using M&Ms for bribery purposes and she’s a big fan. She also loves fruit snacks but turns into a monster after eating them so we’ve totally removed them from rotation.DSC_0490

She is seriously committed to dancing and lip-synching. She really puts her heart, soul, and limbs into it. She even mouths the words to her favorite movies and makes exaggerated faces depending on the tone of the scene. My parents gave the girls a karaoke machine for Christmas and it came with a CD with two songs on it, one of them being One Republic’s “Counting Stars.” This is “Celine’s song” and she will put it on and march around in a circle during the entire thing. It’s permanently stuck in Mike and my heads.

We love our headstrong, independent, loving, funny daughter, and we’re excited to see where three takes us!