Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Bash

Eleanor's first birthday is in a couple of weeks (Dec 2), and my (jeremy) 30th birthday was last week. So Nikki decided that we couldn't just have a birthday party for Elle; we had to have a joint party for the both of us. I felt a little awkward hogging in on my only daughter's birthday party, but we had a great time.

We had decided several weeks ago that we were going to grill some burgers outside, since it's only cold in Texas for about 3 weeks in January. Unfortunately, it was frickin' freezing. You'll see in the pictures that people are wrapped in coats and scarves as they drink beer and coke outside. Don't see that too often.

Most of the people who came are friends from Waco; some from church, some from my department, some from Nikki's work, etc. We are especially grateful to those people who came in from out of town - Nikki's parents and grandmother, my brother Brian and his fiance Stacey, Brad and Meredith, Matt and Krissy, and Kristin and Russ. Love you all. Unfortunately, my mom got SERIOUSLY ill the day of the party, and my older brother had dental surgery, so they couldn't come. We missed them a lot.

Here are some pics of the action...

The birthday girl.

Nikki loves this picture.

Elle's best friend Campbell Rose King

Much food and such.


Sarah and Myles

Eating a birthday cupcake.

Love Brad and Mere.

Okay, so this one requires a bit of explanation. As party favors, Nikki found fake grills. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of grills, it's basically a set of fake teeth with gold and silver and gems on it. Very gangster. Or gangsta, as the case may be. Here's a pic of almost everyone sporting their grills, with the best hard-ass gangsta face they can muster. As you can see, some are better than others. I'm looking at you, Sam.

And here's a video of Eleanor eating her birthday cupcake.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Backyard.

Some of you know that Nikki finished her MA in counseling last August. As a graduation present, Nikki asked her parents if they would fund and assist in some backyard landscaping projects (insead of the cruise they offered-- ha!). They agreed, and we spent several days doing the whole project. We can't thank them enough for this, and Nikki completely loves it.

So here are a couple pics of the backyard before we started (these pics are from when we first bought the house)

After digging out some of the grass and removing the former stone pathway, Nikki is laying down some new stones. We were able to reuse a number of the stones from the previous walkway.

We rented a gas-powered tiller to get up this large section of the grass.

It took over a day just to lay down all the stone tiles. This was very tedious work, and Nikki and her dad did all of it. For each tile, they had to level it and measure its distance from the other tiles, then level it again, then put some sand under it, then level it again the other way. You get the idea.

Here is the finished product

We also tore out the screened in porch and opened it up.

Thanks Mom and Dad for all of your help and hard work- we absolutely couldn't have done it without you and we LOVE it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!