Friday, July 29, 2016

Mother Son Game Night

Last fall, our elementary school hosted the Father Daughter Dance event for the girls of the school. I blogged about what an amazing night that was for the Dads and daughters alike. Not to leave out the boys, the PTA hosted a night just for them earlier this year. It was called Mother Son Game Night and was hosted at a local venue with bounce houses, miniature golf, and so much more. Connor and I were SO excited leading up to the big night and couldn't wait for our date night. I wasn't sure what to expect because I hadn't heard much about the event, but it turned out to be such a blast!

First up, a selfie from our date night.

First take.

Second take, this time with the Texans bull in the background! :-)

All the way to our date night, Connor was so excited. He was gushing about how awesome it was to go to the Mother Son Game Night together and how much he appreciated that I was taking him. So sweet! When we arrived, we were greeted by the PTA members at the front, and they handed us our agenda along with a little scroll. We read the agenda and Connor was pumped!

Our agenda for the evening. So fun!

Connor's face after seeing the big dessert tables.

We waited in line for our evening photo and then Connor was off to bounce and play with his buddies, Jayden and Parker. They call themselves The Big 3, ha! It didn't take long before they were drenched with sweat from playing so hard.

Jayden and Connor in between jumps.

Happy, sweaty boys!

As the boys played, the Moms had a chance to chat and catch up. We jokingly talked about how different the Mother Son event was from the Father Daughter event -- while the Dads and daughters held hands and danced, the Moms got little time with their boys who palled around with their buddies! But I suppose the end result was the same -- Connor and I were bonded from such a fun night together, and I sure received extra hugs and kisses that night.

Our official Mother Son photo.

The scroll given to attendees at the Mother Son Game Night. I can't read it without tearing up!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Birthday Trip

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to join Julie and Michelle for a fun birthday trip to San Antonio that they were hosting in my honor. We got away for a long girls weekend to celebrate my big milestone birthday!

The big 4-0...almost!

That's right, the big 4-0! Well, not quite. We were celebrating about a month in advance of my actual birthday, so I still had some time to let it sink in that I've actually been alive 4 entire decades!

It was such a fun getaway in San Antonio -- shopping, spa, awesome dining, and great girl time. It was the perfect way to celebrate my big birthday and I felt so blessed by such amazing friendships.

Dinner with celebratory drinks.

After a LONG day of shopping, we collapsed on a comfy couch and had to capture the moment.

Not sure what this "40" window sign was for, but it was too perfect not to take a picture.

Cheers to 40 years!

The girls trip to San Antonio was the perfect birthday gift, but I was surprised and honored with another gift that Julie and Michelle worked on just for me. They contacted my closest friends and family members to capture photos and memories from years past, and they compiled everything in an AMAZING handmade scrapbook to present to me on our trip.

OH my goodness! I was so surprised and blown away with the work and time they had put into such a special book with memories I will cherish for a lifetime. Words don't do justice to how blessed I am by their friendship!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Clumsy Thumbsy

Jeff was so excited to take his annual Super Bowl weekend trip with a great group of friends. They all flew to Colorado and stayed in his buddy's mountain cabin in Fraser (near Winter Park) for a weekend of snow skiing, guy time, and of course, football. The group is a mixture of Texans and Broncos fans, so at least some of them were excited to see the Broncos play in the big game.

Somebody rented a regular sized car for 5 grown adult men and they barely fit for the 2-hour car ride! (That's what happens when men are in charge, ha!)

Ski lift selfie - awesome!

A group shot before the big game.

The guys had a GREAT time on their trip! Jeff called me each night talking about awesome the skiing was and how much fun they were having as a group. One night, Jeff mentioned casually that he had fallen while skiing at the bottom of a slope. He said his thumb was hurting but he thought it was fine. Coincidentally, another buddy in his group also hurt his thumb which ended up turning all shades of black and blue by the end of the trip. Jeff felt lucky that his wasn't hurt as badly.

After returning home and getting back to his normal routine, Jeff and his buddy both were still struggling with their thumbs. Jeff's buddy ended up going to see a doctor, and he was diagnosed with what's called "Skier's Thumb." Yes, it's an actual condition! Anyway, that doctor told Jeff's friend to wear a special brace and he would be fine after a few weeks. After hearing that, Jeff assumed that he too had Skier's Thumb and so he got the special brace to wear as well.

A special brace for the self-diagnosed Skier's Thumb.

After a couple of weeks wearing the brace, Jeff's thumb was not improving at all. In fact, he had NO strength in it at all and couldn't do many of his normal activities. He finally made an appointment with a hand doctor to get it checked out. And that's when I realized how bad the injury must've been -- he would only visit a doctor if he was desperate!

Sure enough, Jeff's thumb ended up being a completely different issue than Skier's Thumb. He had actually torn the main ligament in his thumb, rendering the thumb unusable. In order to repair it, he would need surgery to take another ligament from his wrist and then rebuild the one he tore in his thumb. After surgery, he would need to retrain his thumb how to move with physical therapy and exercises. The doctor said it would take 5-6 months to fully recover.

Well, anyone who knows Jeff understands that this was a super bummer of a situation. He's not one to take something like surgery lightly. But his thumb was useless and he needed to get it fixed. So Jeff went for the surgery, giving me few details except where to drive him.

Before surgery. No, he's not happy I'm snapping a picture.

After they prepped him for surgery, I had a moment to speak with his surgeon. It was then that I learned that this was a much bigger deal than I had anticipated - over 2.5 hour surgery! And afterwards when I saw him in recovery, I couldn't believe the big cast on his arm. I was shaking my head at what little information I'd been given and how ill-prepared I felt. Men, ha!

After surgery, he was all smiles. HaHa!

It was a much bigger cast than we anticipated.

Jeff handled the surgery well, although the anesthesia really did a number on him this time and he was sick for two days. He was MISERABLE with the cast and couldn't wait to get it off so that he could have more mobility and begin the flexibility exercises to get his movement and strength back.

Before the stitches were removed.

The post-surgical splint. Much better!

Jeff knocked his physical therapy out of the park and was fully released by his doctor at his 2-month checkup. He's still working to gain strength back in his thumb, but he's almost 100% there, way ahead of schedule. Here's hoping Mr. Clumsy Thumbsy is more careful next time on the slopes! :-)

Friday, July 22, 2016

January Happenings

Each January, I take the kids to the dentist for their biannual checkup. Normally that wouldn't be a blogworthy event, but this year, Kaitlynn was extra excited to see the dentist. Why? Because it was Anna Faith's very first dental checkup. Hahaha!

The dental hygienist was so sweet to take time to check Anna's teeth.

High five for a great checkup for Anna!

Also in January was a fun birthday celebration for Kaitlynn's kindergarten bestie, Haasini. These sweet girls didn't get as much time together in 1st grade, but they still have so much fun spending time together.

Birthday hugs for Haasini

Sweet friends.

Also on Kaitlynn's best friend list is her musical solo partner, Dominique. These two girls together are just TOO funny. Let's just say that I believe Kaitlynn has finally met her match!!

A game of Uno during a play date.

For kids in our elementary school, each grade level gets to participate in activities throughout the year to encourage learning in new and fun ways. PATHS (Parents and Teachers Helping Students) is the grade level event that is kind of like an on-campus field trip. Each grade has a different theme and the kids rotate through volunteer-led stations to learn more about the theme. Ranger Science is another event for each grade that lets students conduct hands-on science experiments to enhance their learning and love of science. I found these pictures of Connor and Kaitlynn participating in these events on the yearbook website.
Connor playing a game at his 4th grade PATHS event about Native Americans.

Connor learned about skeletal structures at Ranger Science.

Connor looking at a rodent fossil.

Kaitlynn conducting one of the activities at her spring PATHS event focused on cultures around the world.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Kaitlynn's Musical Solo

In January, Kaitlynn's entire elementary school hosted the 1st grade musical with all 200-ish students in her grade. The musical was called Big Beautiful Planet and was a series of songs and videos featuring the precious 1st graders. They had been preparing for weeks and were all so excited to show off their skills.

To our surprise, Kaitlynn came home earlier in the year talking about a solo that she would be singing in the musical alongside her best friend, Dominique. She had a CD with the song and a print out of the words so that she could practice. I wasn't sure exactly what "solo" meant...would she be singing with a small group of classmates, or was it truly a solo she would sing by herself? As I've mentioned before, Kaitlynn isn't the best communicator at times so I never knew what to expect. But Kaitlynn took her "solo" seriously and practiced at home over and over. Her song was called "Evergreen, Everblue" and she worked hard to memorize her lines.

On the day of the musical, the parents were invited to attend 2 separate performances. The first was in the morning during school and was performed in front of the other grade level students. I attended that performance and couldn't wait to hear Kaitlynn and Dominique's solos. I ran into Dominique's mom as the parents were taking their seats, and I learned that she had NO idea of the solo. We laughed at our funny girls and their lack of communication skills, ha!

When it was time for their song, Dominique and Kaitlynn stepped forward to their very own microphone. They seemed a little nervous, but their music teacher seemed to quietly give them some reassurance before they song began. I saw Kaitlynn nod her head, take a deep breath, and appear to prepare herself.

Dominique and Kaitlynn up front and center for their musical solos.

It's quite the understatement when I say that the girls sang BEAUTIFULLY!! I had tears in my eyes from feeling so proud of Kaitlynn's performance!

Later that evening, the kids met after school for the 2nd performance in front of parents and families. I couldn't wait to see Kaitlynn in action again, and this time, her sweet Daddy would get to hear her!

The 1st graders during the musical performance. I couldn't fit all 200 of them into my frame!

Bad picture, but here's a shot of Dominique and Kaitlynn stepping up to the microphone.

I recorded the evening performance on video. It makes me smile so big every time I hear those sweet voices!

Through this experience, I learned that Kaitlynn seems to have the performance "bug" because she just ate up every moment of her 15 seconds of fame, ha! We were so proud of her hard work and incredible solo.

Dominique and Kaitlynn stole the show!
A class photo after the musical.

Monday, July 18, 2016

End of the 2015 Houston Texans Season

In reading through this blog and the history of stories I write about here, I'm thinking that any possible readers must be bored out of their minds with the incessant updates about our Houston Texans team! But it's no secret that the NFL and Texans are a big part of our lives, so we never have any shortage of photos to share on that topic.

For the last regular season game, Jeff and I were excited to attend the game with our great friends, Tom and Jennifer. We tell them all the time that they are way too cool for us, so this game was a good chance for us to show that we can sometimes be fun to hang out with. Haha!

It was another exciting postseason for us since the Texans won our division (OK, OK, it was merely by default!) and we ended up with a home playoff game. Even though it wasn't the outcome we had hoped for, Connor and Jeff had a great time soaking in the playoff atmosphere. They were battle-ready, even if our team wasn't!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wrapping up 2015

2015 ended quietly for the Courtrights as we enjoyed time at home with the kids during their winter break. We mostly hung out at home but also had some friends over for the kids to play with.

Goofing off with Dad before bedtime.

Taking Anna to her first movie.

Best friends in 1st grade, Kaitlynn and Dominique. This picture makes me smile so big!!

Gorgeous sunset!!

Connor and one of his best buddies, Parker. They are so silly and goofy together!

On one occasion during the winter break while we were enjoying lunch out, Kaitlynn noticed her front tooth was VERY wiggly and asked me to check it for her. I took a video of what happened next!

To finish up the end of the winter break,  Jeff and I even managed to sneak in one of my favorite activities, a "day date"!

We were cracking up at taking a selfie by these bushes that looked like bears, ha!

Our favorite breakfast tacos for lunch!

Galleria selfie during our shopping date.

I can't express what a relief it is to know that 2015 has been officially and fully blogged after getting myself so behind. My family loves the annual blog books I put together year after year, and I am so happy to finally be able to wrap up last year so that we can print the yearly book for us to enjoy. I'm already 7 months behind on 2016, but I'm going to try to keep going to get caught up very soon.

Thank you to my family and friends for such a great 2015!