We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas at my sisters house in Bryant this year. We had plans to go to the Christmas Eve service at her church, but it was cancelled because of all the flooding the Little Rock area encountered. Below is a picture of Max and Maddie putting out "reindeer food" :)
Max, Kohen and Maddie putting out milk and cookies for Santa :)
These are the kids "Santa piles". Santa also brought Kohen a play house, but he couldn't fit it in his sleigh to bring to Bryant so he delivered it to Conway instead.
Baby Asa's first Santa pile :)
My poor SIL had to work a 12 hour shift at Children's Hospital on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning. She stopped by on her way home from work to join us!
Kohen is ready to see what Santa brought him!
I think this has to be my favorite picture ever...
Maddie looking in her stocking
Kohen was very interested in Max's scooter!
Dad and Mom
All tuckered out!
Christmas afternoon we went to Fordyce for our 2nd Christmas. I don't have many pictures because the memory card was full.
These are cookies that I made and decorated for the family
It's about time! The day before Jason and I moved to Kansas City in 2003, he surprised me with my Mitsubishi 3000 GT. Although it's an awesome sports car, there is no room for a baby seat in the back! So, I've been driving his Xterra (which has over 200,000 miles on it) everyday.
Back when Jason started dental school, we talked often about the day we would get our new Escalade. We're so glad that day finally came!
I am so proud of my husband...So I'm going to brag on him a bit :)
He has worked so hard the past 6 1/2 years. Dental school was brutal. Even getting into dental school was horrifying. But he did it. Only 2 people are selected from the whole state of Arkansas to attend the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry every year. He was one of those two people chosen. I'll never forget the night we found out he got in. It was PAST 11pm... We were in Fordyce waiting on the phone call that seemed like it would never come. Before the call Jason and I were both devastated. I was crying and he was angry. So angry. We ended up leaving his parents house and went to his dad's office. We went there so he could type a letter to "Dianne". She was the one who was supposed to call. After Jason got finished typing that letter he got a phone call from his mom. She told him to answer the business phone if it rang.... She sounded happy... the phone rang and it was Dianne. Jason was accepted. He got in. We couldn't believe it. We drove back to his parents house where we were welcomed with cheers and a video camera. (I would LOVE to see that video footage...hint, hint James :) ) Finally, we could start planning the rest of our life. Then the panic slipped in! Oh MY! I was about to get married and one month later move to Kansas City!!!
Fast forward... Jason worked so hard in school. He was vice president of his class for 4 years. I can't even tell you how many all nighters he pulled. I remember taking spaghetti to to the dental school several times because he couldn't take a break to go eat. He was so well respected...by both students and faculty. He was nominated FOUR TIMES by faculty to be a teachers assistant (TA) in clinical assisting, occlusion, oral diagnosis and orthodontics. He was chosen by his faculty to be a mentor for entering freshman dental students. He received the Kemper Humanitarian Award and the Philip M. Jones Excellence in Prosthodontics award and graduated with Orthodontic honors. He is a member of Psi Omega Dental Fraternity, International Association of Dental Research, American Student Dental Association, Kansas Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association and Arkansas Dental Association. He achieved all of this through hard work and dedication. Today he is the sole owner (and boss :)) of Dental Designs in Conway. A huge dental practice which includes FOUR dentists and 18 staff members. He deserves every bit of it. He has worked for every bit of it. He is the nicest, most loyal business man you will ever come across...and he's the best dad, husband, son, son-in-law, uncle, best friend...and dentist.
I don't really know where to begin or where to go with this post...but I feel because it's made such a huge impact on me, especially lately, I need to document it.
Eight years ago when Jason and I began dating, I will never forget meeting his family for the first time. It was Thanksgiving 2001. We traveled to Fordyce to his parents house. When we arrived I remember seeing his brother, Jay, for the first time. He was outside spray painting some light posts for his mom. I remember walking into the kitchen and meeting his mom, dad, sisters, sister in law, and brothers in law. I also remember all the kids! There were tons of cousins! His family was very welcoming. I remember seeing Jason's room for the first time. Lots of framed photos and gadgets :) There were two pictures that caught my eye. There was a picture of Jason when he was around the age of 16 holding a little boy that was about 2 years old. He told me that was his nephew Trey. There was also another picture of Trey. He was such a cute little boy. He had blonde hair and a huge smile on his face.
Back when Jason's brother was going through military training, his wife, Angie, and son, Trey, lived with Jason's parents and Jason. Jason would take Trey places and people would think Trey was Jason's son because they looked so much alike!
I never had the chance to meet Trey.
We were in Fordyce last Wednesday because Jason's grandmother passed away. When we were on our way to the cemetery for her burial, I realized we would be going to the same cemetery where Trey was buried... I asked Jason if this were true. He said yes.
As I walked to Trey's grave, I was overcome by emotion. I just about lost it. Angie, Trey's mom, reached for Kohen and held him during the ceremony for Jason's grandmother. I was standing behind Angie and Kohen, and Jay, Trey's dad, was standing behind me. Trey's grave was to my immediate left. Less than one foot away. I couldn't help but listen to the service and watch Angie holding my baby, who looks just like Trey, almost the same age as Trey when he passed, knowing Jay was behind me seeing what I was seeing... I kept telling myself "you've got to get a grip, pull it together". I wanted SO bad to turn around and hug Jay and tell him how sorry I was about him losing his son. His first born.
Seeing where Trey was buried made it real for me. He's not just a story about a boy losing his life in a swimming pool accident anymore, He's real. I don't understand why it's just now hitting me. All week I've been a mess. I think about him all the time now. I'm sad that he's not here. I'm sad that Kohen never got to meet his cousin. It makes my heart ache for Jay and Angie and for the rest of the family. It makes me sad for Jason.
These are a few pictures of Trey :)
(I had to retouch this photo a little because there was orange stuff on the picture)
Jason and I met in college at Henderson State University. In 2001 we started dating and got married May 31, 2003. I graduated with a BS in Art Education and Jason graduated with a degree in Biology/ Pre-Dental. A month after we were married, we moved to Kansas City so Jason could attend UMKC School of Dentistry. During the four years Jason was in dental school I was an art teacher at one of the best elementary schools in Missouri. I taught grades K-5 and absolutely loved it. We moved back to Arkansas (Conway) summer of 2007. Jason is a dentist in Conway and I am a stay at home mom. I miss teaching so much and will hopefully return to teaching when Kohen gets older. But as for now, I love staying at home with my sweet, sweet baby boy.