Archive for the ‘Lily’ Category

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Catching up with the Gribbles (2010 Christmas Newsletter)

January 11, 2011

Mark, Ty, Jennifer and Lily Gribble

To catch you up on what has been going on in our lives over the past year, here is our 2010 Christmas Newsletter.  Happy reading!

MARK’S PAGE

2010 has been a great year and we have loved every bit of it.  I’ve been able to continue using the BBQ pit for good and noble purposes beyond just yummy pork.  In April, we raised over $2500 for our youth at church to go to Peru through our BBQ related auction items.  It never ceases to amaze me what a tremendously generous group of people we go to church with.  As part of the auction, Jennifer seemed to enjoy shopping as we picked up a Peruvian Dinner for 40 and a Cajun Feast for 12 on top of various babysitting services.  I thought I was going to have to get a paper route to help pay for it all.  It was for a great cause and we truly love helping our youth find God in helping some of the poorest people on Earth.

In June, Jennifer and I took a “parents only” trip to Vegas BABY!!  The kids didn’t quite understand why they didn’t get to go.  I asked Ty what he would do on “11”.  He said he would turn 12.  That sealed their fate.  We dropped them off in Dallas and my wife whispered sweet words to me which I’ll never forget.  “The morning flights are looking full.  Would you mind if we flew out tonight and spent an extra night in Vegas?”  It was music to my ears.

It was a fantastic trip that started off STRONG.  After confirming we were on the 10 pm flight, Jennifer books an internet special room at the Flamingo for that first night until our original reservation (MGM Signature) started.  Through the magic of time travel, we landed in Vegas at 11 and headed straight for the Flamingo.  One of the older hotels on the Strip, the Flamingo attracted all kinds of folks venturing into Sin City.

We stood in the check in line for over an hour as one by one the general public was checked into their hotel rooms.  When they shoot Vegas commercials and movies and TV shows, they apparently don’t use the Flamingo Hotel lobby.  We finally arrived to check in after the previous “customer” spent 20 minutes talking to the poor woman working the desk and simultaneously hiking up her strapless t-shirt dress, picking her wedgie, etc.

We strolled up, smiled and asked Nancy (the desk worker) how she was doing.  Those must have been magic words.  She saw we had the internet special and were only staying one night.  She upgraded us to a suite.  We thought this was great!  We thanked her profusely and she then directed us to the 27th floor with our room number.  We noticed in the elevator that the 27th was the top floor and thought; this is going to be great.  We walked down the hall and the suites started getting names associated with them.  We stopped at our room number and it was the Presidential Suite.  We opened the door and there was a living room where 25 could sit on various chairs and couches.  There was a connecting hallway that leads to the bedroom with huge bathroom attached.  The views were awesome.  The décor was still straight out of 1987, but it didn’t matter to us.  For one night in Vegas, the Gribbles were high rollers.

The rest of the stay was at the MGM Signature, which is a non-smoking, no-casino hotel behind the MGM.  It was fabulous. We joined their Prima Card club which granted us access to clubs we were too old to dance in and pools I was far too pale to swim in.  The party pool (Wet Republic) was one of our favorite places to people watch.  We grabbed a spot near the pool stairs and opened up our magazines.  At one point, Jennifer noticed we were the only ones at the pool with something to read.  Everyone else was there to look at everyone else.  I told her we might be the only 2 people at the pool who could read.  As for the rest of the trip, we ate like kings and had a fabulous time.

2010 also brought to a close my work as chair of Phase 2 of our Church (SMBC) Building Committee.  The process took almost 15 months but the results were spectacular.  It was an amazing gift to be able to transform some of the less than perfect spaces around our campus into something AMAZING.  It’s not every day that your peers hand you $3 million dollars and tell you to make God’s house look nice.  Remember, I don’t even get to pick out colors or decorations in my own home.

This has been my 11th year with Aguirre & Fields.  Although work has continued to be a little slow this year, we had spurts of business that made time pass faster this year than last.  We are thankful for that.  I had a co-worker who was on the Biggest Loser start her own corporate fitness program here at work.  It taught us healthy eating habits and the benefits of working out on a daily basis.  Between this 12 week program and Jennifer’s personal crusade against High Fructose Corn Syrup at home, I have lost over 30 pounds and counting this year.

I feel amazing and more energetic than I have in years.  My wife loves the fact that a new and more updated wardrobe is in order.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her support and all men should be so lucky as to have a spouse like Jennifer.  She makes me a better man both inside and out.

We hope that this Holiday Season is filled with the love of God, family and friends.  We feel blessed to have so much of each in our own lives and hope 2011 brings much of the same to you and yours.

JENNIFER’S PAGE

So you think we time things so that you receive our cards right before Christmas, huh?  No, really it’s just our procrastination and the craziness of December. Now that all the parties, concerts, obligations are over, it’s Christmas card time! Writing the newsletter is still one of our favorite things to do each year.  We love to look at last year’s letter and reminisce, then reflect on 2010. Good times…

Our church put on South Pacific for its annual summer musical.  Mark was “Stewpot” and I was “Dinah”.  It was another exhaustingly fun summer of singing and dancing to “Ain’t Nothin’ Like a Dame” and “Wash that Man Right out of My Hair”.

As exciting as our trips to Fentress, Marquez, and Galveston, Texas were this year, one of the best trips was going to New York City for Thanksgiving.  We had four amazing days there to take in what we could since our last trip in 2000. We crammed all we could into the short time but the thing we enjoyed most was just soaking in the city.  Going to cafes, sipping a glass of wine and listening to the sounds of the city.  Some folks love to escape to the country and some love the city…we are definitely city-folk!  The hustle and bustle just put me in a happy place.  The Ground Zero exhibit was…wow…and nothing beats seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The last time I saw it in person was in the early 1980s when we lived on Long Island!

I continue to work as full-time mom and work a few part-time jobs.  The mom job seems to get busier each year as the kids get older!  Since Ty is 6 ½ and Lily is almost 4 ½ As they grow, I know that our lives will only become more full.  But, it’s good to be busy and happy.

Ty is enjoying 1st grade and excels in reading.  Many a night he can be found reading past his bedtime until he is told by his parents to “go to sleep!”  We have a hard time getting too mad since he is READING and we were both the same way.  Ty also loves math and seems to just “get it” which is SO not like his Mama.

Ty started karate in January and has gone from a white to yellow to orange to green belt this year!  He LOVES karate and seems to be developing some good habits… concentration, discipline, etc.  We are proud of him finding something and sticking to it. I think Mark enjoys their weekly sparring practice after karate class.  It’s a sanctioned reason to kick and punch each other and then collapse and laugh themselves silly.

Lily turned 4 in August.  PreK, church choir, dance and swimming keep her busy as can be.  She is really relishing her dance class and they gave their first in-class performance last week where it was obvious she LOVES to perform.  (Not sure where she got that trait from, ha! Her brother…not so much…)

We put the kids in swimming as a safety thing because we have a swimming pool in our backyard.  We have kept Lily in lessons for 2+ years because she seems to excel at it.  I remember when Mark took her to a lesson this fall and texted me “Lily can SWIM!!!”

Lily continues to try to keep up with Ty in every way.  We have to remind her that she is just 4 but that doesn’t stop her. She wants to be as strong, fast or smart as Ty and it infuriates her that she is not.  She is in such a hurry to read now that Ty is reading. It’s endearing to watch.  Lily is very much a girly-girl while still tough as nails.  She is unabashedly “Mama’s girl” but keeps Daddy wrapped around her little finger with one little look and smile.

As we did last year, we decided to use a list of words/phrases that describe our kiddos. Some qualities are just the same and some are a little different.  It is fascinating to see how much they have grown yet in some ways stayed the same since they were tiny.

Ty

Tender, Smart, Rule-follower, Entertaining (in small groups…scared in big crowds!), Protective, Avid reader, Starting to try new things!

Lily

Fiercely competitive, Snuggly, “Dancing Queen”, Boundary-pusher, Hilarious, Assertive, Sunshine, Giving

Being a parent is the most amazing, rewarding and exhausting job in the world.  We are so blessed to have awesome children who inspire and challenge us EVERY day. 🙂

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you! We pray that 2011 will be an amazing year.

Ty and Lily at the Pumpkin Patch - October 2010

Mark and Jennifer - Christmas 2010

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Happy 4th Birthday, Lily Paige Gribble!

August 5, 2010

Lily Paige Gribble

Mark and I started writing notes to the kids on their birthdays a few years ago so I thought this year we would share our messages.

From Mama

Dear Lily,

Today is your 4th birthday.  You have brought much love, gusto, joy, exuberance, laughter and exhaustion to our lives.  But, we are truly blessed by how much you have brightened our lives.  We thought we knew what we were doing parenting-wise when you came along but everything about you is SO different than Ty.

One of my favorite things about you, Lily, is that you need to snuggle.  Yes, Ty likes hugs and love but you NEED to snuggle.  With me.  Since you were a little girl you have had a physical need to snuggle, nuzzle, and hug me way more than Ty ever did.  You come up to me, rub your head on me and then you are off.  You are like a cute little baby animal that comes up and marks your scent on me.  I think it’s kinda cute.  🙂 If we have been apart for a long time, you have to make up for the “touch time” that we have missed.  When I am away from you, I miss kissing the top of your head and nuzzling you back.  I am finally realizing that I need the snuggles as much as you do.

Your 3 year old year was filled with many 1sts for you.  You went to preschool, went to Sea World, ate lunch with Shamu, went on a cruise, saw REAL fireworks, went to your first live “rock” concert and danced on the stage, and so much more. It is amazing to see the magic in your eyes as you experience new things.  I hope you never lose that sparkle.  It’s beautiful and is one of the many things that makes you uniquely you.

As you reminded me today, you are NOT a little girl any more.  I know it and it makes me a little sad.  Time is flying by and I can’t believe that you have been our lives for 4 whole years.  Yes, there are days that bedtime can’t come fast enough but for the most part, I cherish the time we share.  Thank you for teaching me to be a better person and mom.  I love you with ALL my heart, giggle bear.

With all my love,

Mama

From Daddy

Dear Lily,

I got to wake you up this morning and be the first one to wish you a Happy Birthday. True to form, you woke up with a smile, fist pump and a thankfully quiet “Yessssss, It’s my Birthday”. You are an amazing creature and your Daddy is completely mystified by you. It’s like God took all the good parts of Mama and shrunk them down into you. Yes, He did make room for a little of me as well. Like the way you try to crack a joke when you sense a serious situation. Mama reminded me that little trait is from me.

You walk into a room and fill it with laughter and a special energy that people love. After spending just a little time with you, the question people ask us most is “Is she always this funny/cute/energetic?” The answer is always a yes. Oh little girl, the Highs are high and the Lows are low, but your family loves you through all of them and our lives would be dramatically different if you had not come into them 4 years ago.

You love your brother more than he will ever know and try your hardest to keep up with him. Your parents pray that that relationship will grow nothing but stronger over time. It’s endearing to watch or listen the two of you play together. We sneak up and listen at the door or from the hall to the two of you playing together.

You’re my little Adventurer and throw caution to the wind. You eat new and different foods with abandon and it doesn’t matter whose plate it comes from. You share. Just last Sunday, your lunch came with 2 cookies in it. Your very first instinct was to rejoice in the fact that you had “2 COOKIES”, one for you and one for Ty. It’s those little glimpses into who you are that Mama and I cherish and thank God for every night.

I know you’re in a hurry, but please don’t “growed” up too fast. Daddy loves your hugs and snuggles and is still trying to learn what makes little girls so special. I love you with all that I have and hope you have a wonderful 4th Birthday.

Love,

Daddy

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Where did my summer go?

August 4, 2010

Lily at beach in Galveston, July 3, 2010

So, I was reminded that I had not blogged in months by one of the sweet college students in the Sunday School class that we lead. Bear with me if this post is somewhat meandering, but I am a little under the weather and I am on Sudafed, Claritin D and lots of pain reliever to try to make it through the day.  But, I committed that I would post something this week and I WILL do it.  Today.  No excuses.

Where did my summer go?  I am telling you, I LOVE me some summertime!  I love letting the kids sleep in (some days).  I cherish the days that the kids get to stay in their pajamas all day long.  I love the movies, the extra snuggles, the lack of homework, the fact that the sun is still up when the kids go to bed, the laid-back days and evenings.  But, this summer has ZOOMED by.  I guess time does fly when you are having fun.  If so, I must have had a wonderful summer.

I shall try to recap our summer in one paragraph:  Las Vegas, KidQuest, bathroom renovations, singing National Anthem at Astros game, iPhone 4, SKYROCKET!, Galveston, barbecue, working weddings, Austin, Lake Livingston, Bach to Broadway, South Pacific. Doesn’t look like a lot but it sure felt like it.  Now begins the cramming…trying to squeeze in the last few things on our to do list before the summer is over. We hope to hit Galveston one more time when we can actually see some sunshine, go to Space Center Houston’s Clone Wars exhibit, do Ty’s “summer homework” and host Lily’s 4th birthday party.  I know at least one of those will happen no matter what…ha!

In closing, I am including a few more of my favorite pictures of the summer.  Enjoy!

Happy Summer, everyone.

Ty's 2nd Karate Tournament

Me and Mark on Lake Livingston

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What’s up on 4/5/2010

April 5, 2010

Someday, I might be so inspired as to write a post with paragraphs. But, this will work for now.  Don’t want to go too long without touch base with my peeps. 🙂

Outside my window…Well, actually it’s the library window.  I am enjoying some time at the library.  It has magical powers over my children and we can be having an AWFUL day and they come here and everybody leaves happy.  Love the library…always have.  I used to spend every day at the library after school when my parents worked when I was in middle school so it’s a “happy place for me”.

To answer the question, the sun is shining now after a dreary overcast day.  Warm and sunny, just like I like it!

I am listening to…the sounds of the library.  Kids reading, playing, etc.  It’s not really a quiet library (Fort Bend’s First Colony branch) but it works.

I am wearing…my exercise clothes.  Off to the gym soon.  We don’t normally workout on Mondays but my little brother and sister-in-law are coming to stay with us tomorrow night and we are switching up our schedule a bit.  I need a workout after skipping yoga on Good Friday to sleep in.  Yes, my kids are awesome and let us sleep past 9:00 a.m. on our day off.  LOVE them!

I am thankful for…kids that sleep in on days off.  I know they sleep in because they are tired.  We are all happier on a “sleep in day”.  I’m also thankful for my husband for being my rock last week with work and church stuff last week keeping us WAY busy.

I am reading…nothing right now.  I should fix that.  Lots of books around me that I could check out and take home.  I am ready for some reading beyond magazines, blogs and kid stuff.

From the kitchen…tonight’s dinner is “breakfast for dinner”.  One of our family’s favorites!  It’s breakfast burgers for us…biscuits, sausage, cheese and eggs on the side.  Won’t have to cajole anyone into eating tonight.

I am praying…for my sister Lee.  For my friend Bryan who is going to have surgery next week.  For a family at church who lost their daddy last month.  I am praying for patience today as I try to be nicer to my kiddos.  They’ve had a lot of “together time” and are getting a little chippy with each other.

I am creating…picture websites for the family.  I am downloading 400 photos from the past two weeks and sorting through them all.  Lots of amazing animal shots from Ty’s Kindergarten class trip to the zoo, Easter activities and azaleas at church and Easter clothes.  Stay tuned for updated pics here.

To live the liturgy…Christ is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!  Easter Sunday just rocks!  The kids really “got it” this year about who Jesus is, that he died for OUR sins and the pain that he endured.  It is amazing to have a real conversation with them about what it all means.  I am really loving their ages right now.

Around the house…we have a very clean house.  What a great way to start the week. ;o)  Laundry is done and put away (shocker!), sheets are changed, bathrooms cleaned.  But, I don’t get the credit…I am thankful to have help.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Back to the office tomorrow.  Still have to get a final version of our brochure sent to printers for the 1000 copies to be made.  We got a few last week for visitors at Easter and so we can live with them and see what we like and what needs to be changed.  Looking forward to seeing if we had an increase in visitors for Easter and if they new folks come back in weeks to come.  I pray daily for the growth of our church.  It’s an amazing place to be and I just want more folks to join our family.

Other plans…get Amy married on Saturday…fun wedding to coordinate this weekend! 🙂  I won’t have near as many interesting stories as past weddings but it is an honor to be a part of her special day!

A picture thought I am sharing…Azalea pictures from our church courtyard.

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What’s up on 3/24/2010

March 24, 2010

Outside my window…Overcast and yucky day. I really do thrive on sunshine.  I was just discussing how I want an office with big windows and doors to throw open on days like yesterday.

I am listening to…The sounds of the office.  Phones ringing, people talking on the phone too loud, the microwave warming up lunches, a comforting hustle and bustle.

I am wearing…Work clothes, but threw my shoes under my desk so I can be comfy.

I am thankful for…My friends and family who challenge me, support me and love me unconditionally.

I am reading…I am proofing a brochure for church that goes to print this week.  No time for fun reading this week!

From the kitchen…Still need to go to the grocery store.  Probably a hot dog night!

I am praying…For my dear friend Bryan who has his surgery scheduled for April 16th at M.D. Anderson.  Also praying for myself to be patient, understanding and calm today.  Join me, please.  🙂

To live the liturgy…Looking forward to daily services during Holy Week next week.  There is something really nice about having a service in the middle of the day.  Come join us if you can.  smbc.org/easter

Around the house…Ty is riding the bus home from school for the first time today.  Whoah.  I am super anxious and he is beyond thrilled.  Mark told me not to take pictures because the kids on the bus will make fun of him.  Whatever.  You know I am documenting this milestone!

To be fit and happy…Yoga last night, Pilates tomorrow night.  I like the routine of our week and missed it last week during Spring Break.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Send brochure to print!! Get ready for Easter.

A picture thought I am sharing…

This was taken at the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas during Spring Break.  A real serious bunch, huh? My darling daughter enjoyed the “all you can eat” barbecue.  Ty had none.  Sigh…oh well, his loss. We hope someday that the boy learns to like barbecue!


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What’s up on 3/6/2010

March 6, 2010

Outside my window…it’s now dark.  It was an amazing day today.  Cloudy this morning, but sunny and warm this afternoon!

I am listening to…30 Rock.  Trying to multi-task and watch TV with my honey while blogging.

I am wearing…jammies.  It’s early to bed for me tonight after only 5 hours of sleep last night!  SKYROCKET! is always a party and so worth the lack of sleep but the next day has to be a low-key one for me.  Am I getting old? Never! 🙂

I am thankful for…an amazingly supportive husband who lets me have my fun times without him.  Last night I got to dance my booty off to 70s and 80s music while he is home having some quiet time.  What a great marriage, built on give and take, trust, and unselfishness.  Thank you, God for bringing Mark into my life.

I am readingReal Simple, Fort Bend Star newspaper and Parade Magazine this weekend.

From the kitchen…still can smell Italian food from dinner.  Homemade pizza, whole wheat pasta with artichoke and garlic sauce and caesar salad.  Delicious!  Yummy Malbec and Lacey cookie (dark chocolate and almond), too.  Good stuff.

I am praying…for my friend Bryan, Jon Bailey’s dad, my sister Jacque and many more.

I am creating…nothing today.  Have some picture frames to spray paint tomorrow.  Seems to be the project of the week as I already did three earlier this week.

Around the house…all is quiet upstairs.  We wore the kids out today!  We let them play in the hot tub (warmed up) for 2 hours this afternoon.  It was sunny outside and the water was warm and toasty.  They had a blast splashing, swimming, floating and being silly.  Lily fell asleep watching a movie before dinner she was so tired.  Too cute!

One of my favorite things…shopping for eyeglasses.  Seriously, I do like it!  I love my glasses but my lens is cracked and I need a new pair.  I’m waiting on some frames to come in for me to try on.  Evidently I have a smaller face that is “hard to fit”.  So, our wonderful new eye doctor’s office ordered a bunch for me to try on before I buy them.  Love them.  Tried some on Thursday and should get more on Monday. I am just ready to get the new glasses!

A few plans for the rest of the weekend...crazy busy day tomorrow where I need to be in 3 places at one time.  But, I will make it work somehow.  Looking forward to dinner with the Kutzes tomorrow night as we plan our Spring Break vacation with them.  Woo-hoo, just one more week until we head out for Fentress, Texas on the San Marcos River.

A picture thought I am sharing…lots over the past few days but none that have warmed my heart more than this letter that Ty wrote me out of the blue on Wednesday.  He had a fever on Tuesday so he stayed home from school on Wednesday so we got lots of quality time together.  He was SUCH a sweet boy and gave this to me and said “I KNEW it would make you smile!” when I wrapped my arms around him and smothered him with hugs and kisses.

"I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART"

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What’s up on 2/13/2010

February 13, 2010

Thanks to Nicole from this blog for giving my inspiration for my blog post today.  Maybe this will be something I do on a regular basis?  Dare to dream.

Outside my window…it’s cold and cloudy.  Weatherman promised a beautiful day but I am not seeing it yet.

I am listening to…“Loco Legs” by the Fresh Beat Band.  It’s catchy and it makes my kids dance, which always makes me smile.  They just finished Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr.  Clearly not my choice of shows.  It’s cute that Ty still watches the preschool shows, sings along, learns the Spanish words.  I’m not ready ready for “big kid” for cartoons yet.

I am wearing…my fleece sweatshirt, jammies and wool socks.  It was 62 degrees in the den when I came down here this morning!

I am thankful for…the ability to juggle work and a family. Sometimes well and sometimes not so well.  But the fact that I get to “do it all” is a blessing. I am thankful that my husband is our amazing provider so that I get to work where I am using my gifts from God.

I am reading…I read children’s books more than adult books right now.  Need to change that.  I do read lots of blogs, too.  Dooce.com is one of my favorites.

From the kitchen…nothing yet.  Planning on making bacon and cheese kolaches when the rest of the family wakes up.

I am praying…for my friend Bryan.  He’s been on my prayer list for a month now.  Also praying for as special high school senior at our church.  (It’s a secret so I can’t tell you who it is until May.  But, let’s just say they are a wonderful person and it is a joy to get to pray for them every day!)

I am creating…my to do list. Lots to do today but I am in my “happy place” with my planner.

Around the house…Ty woke us up at 8:30. a.m.  Seemed early but really we are blessed to have such awesome sleepers.  Mark is still sleeping upstairs.  Lily just wandered down at 9:24 in her footie jammies with her balloons from last night’s kids night out.  They had a GREAT time.

One of my favorite things…lazy Saturday mornings with my family.  T-ball season is coming up and I know these will go away soon.

To be fit and happy…did Pilates on Thursday and still feeling the pain.  Ugh, I hate when we do “jumpboard”.  But, I love going to New Strength Pilates!  I went to Yoga yesterday and might take the kids for a bike ride later this afternoon if it warms up and gets sunny.

A few plans for the rest of the week…go see Snow White at a community theater at 11am.  Valentine Dinner tomorrow night:  our tradition is to make lobster at home.  Might include the kids again this year. 🙂

A picture thought I am sharing…Ty was sparring in Karate class this week. He got moved up from sparring with the smallest kiddo (he’s the 2nd shortest) to some bigger kids.  He had to be reminded that it was “light contact”…the boy likes to spar! He closes his eyes but he lands the punches, every time.  His first tournament is in two weeks.  Not sure if he is ready but he really wants to do it.