Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The Castle was cramped.

Remember these two sweet kiddos?

I was J and JK's nanny this past school year. We meshed our families together and weathered quite a year. I know for sure we could not have survived without the generosity and boundless support from J and JK's family. I've done our laundry at their house, cooked most of our dinners in their kitchen, and had constant playmates for the Bave. You can imagine our heartbreak when we heard that they would be traveling out of state all next year. You cannot, however, imagine our amazement when they asked us to house-sit while they were gone. It took us about four and a half seconds to start packing.

For the first few weeks I nannied for J and JK I had to carry a screaming and crying Ava James down the stairs each evening when it was time for us to go home. Their house is one of Ava's favorite places in the world. She was thrilled to be making the move, though it meant leaving her Castle.

When we left our Green House in Texas we shot a video tour of the house, guided by Ava. We decided to continue the tradition (hey, we're Aggies, that's twice so it IS a tradition now).

This has been my life for the past week.

Castle 2.0, known henceforth as Xanadu

Josh's precious parents volunteered to come and help us make the move. They planned to stay the weekend and ended up staying Thursday though Tuesday evening. Words cannot express our thanks for the magic they worked during their stay.

Gordon and Judy, next time y'all come it's nothing but pampering and fattening up, I promise!

We did have a little fun.

On Monday night Josh had a Christian Legal Society function in Oklahoma City.

The dinner was on the top floor of the Chase building.

View from the top, see the capitol building?

Ava was so excited to show off for Coach at swimming lessons.

There's the Bave not jumping off the diving board. Thank God Coach was there to help Mommy breathe into a paper bag as my darling baby considered jumping into 15 feet of water. She decided to jump from the side instead. Smart girl.

Mimi and Coach bought Ava the pink vacuum she's been wishing for.

Judy and I happened upon this scene late one night. They were watching I Love Lucy. I teased her that we married the same guy, and must have excellent taste.

Coach took Ava to swimming lessons while Mimi and I worked on the house. He's really a great photographer. I love this shot.


Floating on her back is Ava's favorite part of swimming lessons.

Buying dishwashing soap for the first time in over a year!

The List of the last few things that needed to be done. J and JK's family left most of their stuff in the house. We worked really hard to make sure the house looked like a cohesive home, with our stuff and their stuff mingled together tastefully.

Here is the inside view of our Xanadu:

From front entryway into living room

Other living room view

Breakfast nook

Kitchen view 1

Kitchen view 2

Kitchen view 3

Mimi was kind enough to build a Pre K classroom for Ava and me to use this year.

Welcome to Mommy School!

Grocery Store, Restaurant, and Home Center

Reading Center, Word Wall, Learning Wall, and Building Center

Learning Wall closer view

Art Center, Math, Letters, Reading and Writing Centers

My sewing room/ Upstairs guest room

Media/Exercise room

Play room

JK/Ava's room view 1

JK/Ava's room view 2

Girls upstairs bathroom

J's room

J's bathroom


Laundry room!!!

Our room view 1

Our room view 2

Our bathroom view 1/Ava's indoor pool

Our bathroom view 2

Our bathroom view 3

I realize now that I've left off the study, formal dining, and downstairs guest suite. More pictures to come. We've been so busy, and I know many of you have been wondering if we fell off the face of the earth. We are here and alive and so very humbled by this opportunity to have a house for the year. And humbled by the help from family. I know we don't deserve this, but I am so very grateful. We welcome friends and family to please come see us, we can only sleep 14 people though so be sure to book in advance.


The Farmers said...

I love it! I'm so happy for you guys to get to live in such a beautiful space. I absolutely love Ava's school room. That is awesome.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you just moved in this past week. You have really made the place look so cozy. I love the pics of Ava's preschool. She must be having so much fun in the space. Can't wait to see it all in person.

k and c's mom said...

Wow. Just: Wow. So happy for you all.

Lindsay said...

How amazing! It's a beautiful house!!!

Claire's World said...

What a blessing for you guys!!!

Hannah said...

How amazing is Ava's school! Almost makes me want to learn ;)

And you and Josh looked like babes for your Jesus-Loving Lawyers meeting. Wasn't that the name?

Miss you all!

The Broaddus Family said...

Love the new digs! Do you have an intercom system to find everyone?!? Wish it was closer and our lives weren't so crazy so we could come up for a visit anytime we want!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how wonderful everything looks!! I am so happy for you guys!! Ava's room and school looks amazing!! I am so glad you had Josh's parents to help and love on you all for the week!!! I love you and can't wait to see you on Monday and Tuesday!!!

Love you all,
Mom (Baba)

kstein said...

Oh wow. God is good to give you such amazing friends...and I am sure they are thinking the same thing about you guys!

So very happy for you that you can stretch your legs and have some space! I like Ava's private swimming pool...and laughed when I saw how happy you were to be buying dish detergent (it's the little things in life...).

Enjoy your new castle! Maybe now Josh can stop having to sleep in Ava's little bed :) Congrats...you guys deserve it!