Ava and Josh have been working in the yard now that the weather is a little warmer. We decided Ava needed a shovel that was her size. You would have thought we bought her a pony. She was so excited!
This girl loves her shovel.
Thanks to Baba for playing with Ava while Daddy worked in the yard and Mommy cleaned house.
We haven't had a bathtub shot in a while. I laughed so much at Ava's face in this picture. We have a photo of my brother making this same face...it's spookily similar. I'm going to find that photo of Nate and post it soon.
We started Spring Break with a (backordered) birthday present from Baba and Pops...a trampoline. Ava can bounce just like Tigger.
A million thanks to Uncle Nate for letting us borrow his portable DVD player for the Houston trip.
Can we just take this horsey home?
On our way back to Brenham we stopped to have dinner with Clover, Rachel, Dixie, and Coooper Carroll. It was our first time to meet Cooper...what a sweetie! Click here to read a little history of our friendship with the Carrolls. Ava and Cooper hit it off right away.
It's hard to get a good picture of three kiddos.
A goldfish and applejuice picnic...does life get any better? Oh to be 2 and 3 again:)
Dixie wanted to hold Ava's hand all the time, unfortunately sometimes Ava's independent nature would not allow it. Sorry Dixie, the girl's got a mind of her own.
Rachel kindly snapped the following two pictures of Ava, as I have zero eye for photography. On our walk Ava could not stop squatting down to observe the rocks on the gravel road. I think we may have a little geologist on our hands. When we take her to the playground at my school, she spends most of her time collecting pea gravel.
This photo is destined for the wedding slide show.
Josh helped Rachel shoulder some of the Cooper burden while Ava continued to study the rocks. Doesn't this look like a man who needs a few more kiddos? (Not until after law school.)
Dixie and Ava traded baby dolls and snuggled to rest and watch Pooh.
All tuckered out. Check out those legs! Poor girl is doomed to a fate of never having pants long enough...just like Mommy. Seriously, my middle school years were spent 100% prepared for a flood.
Soon after Josh and I were married we started working at a little cafe/boutique in Brenham, Texas. Josh was youth minister at a little church between College Station and Brenham, and we were both still at A&M. The owner of The Funky Art (cafe part)/The Pomegranate (boutique part) is a kind, super talented lady named Connie. She was so supportive of us throughout the early part of our marriage. We always pop in for fabulous conversation and food when we're in the area. If you happen to be traveling through Brenham Monday through Saturday between 11:00 and 2:00 I highly recommend that you stop in. The chicken salad will change your life.
I had to get a picture of the super chic purple wall in The Funky Art Cafe. When we were working there I helped decide on the color...it's almost identical to the paint on my bedroom walls in high school (yes, my parents were very kind to me).
Anytime we're at Mimi and Coach's house, this is where you'll find Ava...in the playroom. Here's a sweet shot of her playing with Coach.
As I mentioned earlier, we spent our Spring Break on two whirlwind law school visits (why did Houston and Norman have to be a million miles apart?). On Tuesday we visited the University of Houston, which was a complete dump. They were cold and not family-friendly at all (the tour guide was huffy because she had to take the elevator to accommodate Ava’s stroller). Needless to say, we quickly crossed them off our list.
All along Josh and I (and our parents) have prayed that this law school decision would be an easy one, that God would give us a clear sign to show us the way to go. Early Thursday morning we left Ava with Josh’s parents and headed to Norman, Oklahoma to visit the University of Oklahoma law school. Honestly, my attitude was not good. I was sick of being in the car, and didn’t see the point in driving four hours to visit a school that would be an obvious no. I didn't want to be away from Ava for two days. But Josh had made hotel and dinner reservations, so I went.
As we pulled into the town of Norman I was very surprised. It was quaint, clean, small…it actually reminded me a lot of College Station (one of my favorite places in the world). We drove up to the law school and were astounded. The facilities were amazing, more grandiose than Baylor’s if you can imagine that. When we walked in, the assistant dean of admissions warmly welcomed us and sent Josh to visit a class. She sat and talked with me for the entire hour that he was there. She told me a lot about the town, and the family-friendly atmosphere of the law school. It is very common for law student’s kiddos to come and visit between classes. She even had contact information for a retired Norman teacher who was ready to meet with me and answer any questions I had. When Josh came out of class we met with the dean, who offered him a significant scholarship, with a strong probability of more once he’s enrolled (many scholarships are set up so that they can’t be awarded until a student begins classes). Even if he doesn’t get another dime, he could go for all three years at OU for a little more than half of one year at Baylor. That sign I mentioned earlier was starting to glow neon yellow.
We had about thirty minutes before our law school tour started, so we drove two blocks over to visit the OU Children’s Center. A lady met us at the door and I asked her if she thought they might have an opening in July for a teacher and two-year-old student. Her jaw hit the floor. Turns out she was the director, who just started the job last Monday. She’s working to beef up teaching standards at the center, and is desperate for certified teachers. While there were many positions open, one really appealed to me. The plan: I will teach the two-year-old room…my newest student…Ava James. With me working there and Josh enrolled at the law school, she’ll go for almost nothing. And we’ll all three have full benefits. That neon yellow sign was blinking.
After our campus tour, we could not stop asking ouseleves if this could all be real. Everyone was SO nice, and our tour guide recommended a realtor. We met with him on Friday morning and he showed us how far house $$$ could go in Oklahoma…a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, fenced in back yard in town: $200 less a month than our mortgage right now. The neon yellow flashing sign was now singing the theme song to the movie Oklahoma. (I still don't know how people who live in Oklahoma get those songs out of their heads...I was singing showtunes the entire trip.)
So with all that said, we’re moving to Norman. Believe me, I am absolutely shocked at this development. Our parents are being so supportive, they all say that they can’t argue with the obvious indicators. While I’m thrilled with #1 not being $200,000 in debt when Josh graduates, #2 a family-friendly law school, #3 a job that allows me to spend time with Ava, #4 some socialization for Ava, #5 an inexpensive home, I can't believe we're about to pack up and move to another state! It’s still surreal to me. Poor Ava, her Big 12 allegiances are going to be so torn...Tech, A&M, Baylor, and now OU. Please continue to pray for us as we put our house on the market and trust God to take care of us. Scroll down to see some pictures of the campus.
The OU Law library...I kind of wish we could go back and get married here:)
the law school's front side (the days we were there were super cold and rainy/icy, so I snagged these pictures from the OU website)