Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Patrick's Birthday 2013

Our friend, Matt Dassler, was in town from Germany with his family, and these men (who are now outnumbered by their children) got together on Patrick's birthday.  What a special birthday gift to be with the guys he's done life with for over 10 years!

The next night I planned a special overnight getaway with a groupon which was a boutiquey hotel off McPherson Square for $109 per night....so we took the metro...how fun was that!

We arrived in this GEORGEOUS room...I mean the picture doesn't do it justice.  The bathroom was stunning, and every room had personal reading lights, huge flatscreen and get this...even it's own keurig machine with coffee and tea pods. We had a nice view of the park.

With the groupon, we also got two welcome drinks and $25 off their restaurant for dinner.  Total awesome deal.  As an aside, I think they must get a different quality grade food for restaurants in DC.  Everything was fresher and the quality of meat and seafood was superb.    

The next morning there was an on-site Starbucks and we headed back to the metro station (and it started snowing - so beautiful to be walking with your hubby in the city in the morning snow)  and it took us all the way back to Virginia - West Falls Church.

Let's face it, we're getting older, and washed-up, and life with young kids can really be challenging.  So, it was a really CHEAP but totally memorable birthday and so fun to do one little adventure to keep love alive and also to make Patrick feel like he's the MOST loved husband in the world.  Well, he is!  Thank you my mom who spent the night with the kiddoes - truly, she makes all this possible!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Giving Thanks

I've been feeling a little hum drum lately like I have the "blues" or something.  I can't really explain it, but it was like 72 hours of just feeling unmotivated and just lethargic.   If you know me, you'll know I'm the cheery, loves-harmony, positive-girl--so how did I get myself out of this FUNK?  By GIVING THANKS!

I don't have to even go back very far in remembrance.  Our Thanksgiving had my cup running over. 
Best group of people.  So humbled to be serving our Shepherd group from Reston Bible Church.  Singles, couples, parents, grandparents -- we're the real deal and I give thanks for them.

Thanks to my mom who finally showed me how to make this Cambodian dish for our Thanksgiving feast.  I give thanks for recipes passed down through the generations.

I give thanks for my other mother-in-love, who loves me with a steady, without-condition kind of love.  She is lovely and I could have wound up with one of THOSE MILs, but I didn't.  I got the best.   We went to Virginia Beach to visit Meghan and mom and dad were there too.  We had a chance to get out and have some girl time.

Thankful for my creative husband who feels the need to convince me that he takes great photos.  I tell him he's so super creative, but he doesn't believe me.  For the record honey, I think you are GREAT photographer! Who would have thought to take baby asleep by the fire?

I'm thankful for cousins.  One of the prayers Patrick and I had was that our kids, when they get the chance to see their cousins, would just ENJOY them.  Wow.  We didn't really see the whole weekend!

I'm thankful for their little sizes, and their little frames, all relative to each other.  It's so cute to watch 3 boys go around together.  I am in awe of their interests that make them giddy and well...even addicted...the passion and determination is real and I'm appreciative of their relentless pursuits to get what they want. 

Nothing could make me more grateful than this unit of people.  We got a chance to just be with us as a family as we spent time at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg.  We played in the water, ate well, and even slept well in their hotel.  Grateful for a season of sleep.

The key to defunking is just to live on the side of "Wow, I so thank you."  Like I said I can't explain it, but I know that I am actually MORE appreciative of what I have after I came out of it.   For that gift, I give my biggest THANK YOU to Jesus, who gives me so much abundance--not in my weekend trips or my relationships, but in who HE is.  My cup runneth over!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Heaven on his 7th!

Not sure Micah could have experienced heaven on earth in a better way.  His favorite friends doing his favorite activity in the whole world - Art. :)  It made for a really nice time. 

A friend suggested the Art Station in Leesburg.  It was perfect!  No one was there on a Saturday morning and several neighborhood friends and first graders in Micah's class came for that hour of fun.

You could paint canvases (they had stencil you could trace) or you could paint wood objects like trains, planes, jewelry boxes, etc.

And the kids weren't the only one having fun...or in this case concentrating like Picasso.  Caelan is like "Uh Dad, that's Tristan's train."

Afterwards 7 of his besties came back for pizza and cake.  

I was very touched by one of his besties birthday notes to him.

And that night, it turned out we had no food in our fridge (except for cake) so we used a Groupon and had one of our funnest nights out at a Hibachi grill.  Tristan LOVED fire and miso soup and everyone scarfed down their food.

Birthdays are a special time at the Ring family.  Full of celebration and cheer.  We can't believe we're saying happy birthday to a 7 year old (Gosh, we feel old!) but we couldn't be more prouder of who you've become, Micah.  We love you so much.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Throw-Backs

So our family does the group costume thing.  I don't know how we started with it, but it just started to work for us....

This is us this year.  2013.  Can you guess who we are?

Yes!  Avengers-----ASSEMBLE!!!  Captain America is hot.

Last year, Patrick was supposed to be Hans Solo and me, Princess Leia.  2012.  For whatever reason, we couldn't get our act together, but the kids were definitely TAKING BACK THE EMPIRE.

Tell me that is not the cutest YODA you've ever seen.  Oh he gets cuter.  Check out 2011.

 Baby Ninja at six months.  He's a part of a crazy clan of Ninjas, 2011!

Before Tristan was born, we sort of paired up.  2010.  Paging.  Paging Dr. Rings??  Stat to the O.R.!

This was the year no one could convince Micah to be anything else but a Power Ranger.  And Caelan, Hi-ho was a jolly pirate.  Can't get over their cuteness.


But you know the year before that.... let's see...2009...we had our share of cute.
The gangster and his flapper. :-)

When we asked Micah the fireman what Caelan should be, he said my dalmation.
So, there you have it.

Fun times.  The year Caelan was born...we are at 2008....Micah was obsessed with trains and had to be a....


Conductor.  Mommy just had Caelan (29 days old) and I was just over the moon 
"blossoming" about it....

Unfortunately, we didn't dress up Micah when he was one...he was going to bed at like 7 p.m., but we did have a picture of us when he was in utero!

I have the baby spider and Patrick is Daddy Long Legs.  Get it.  Daddy...long legs? 

It's just fun to dress up and be creative.  To create memories.  The kids are already asking what we should be next year!  That was fun to go down memory lane.  Boys, if you're reading this, I hope it was fun for you, too!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Julie, my co-cruise director and neighborhood event planner, and I organized our 2nd Blocktoberfest this year.  It was a success!  With the leaves changing and the colder weather coming, we had all the makings of a good time.

First ingredient was kids who loved to play with each other....

Add two crockpots of chili, cornbread and all the fixin's for the adults, and crockpot of hotdogs for the kids.  And wait!  You can't forget tons of yummy Autumn Octoberfest beer.  We had a beer tasting! 

 The kids wrapped up in blankets and chairs and watched an outdoor movie...

And the moms of Graham Cove got a chance to hang out!

Afterwards, we roasted smores with our fire pit.  See Patrick?  For $40 from Home Depot, that thing has paid itself off numerous times already!

Everyone brought food or beer or something, and it was a truly a neighborhood celebration.  We're already talking about Halloween party....so grateful that we're building community on our street.  This is a wonderful place to live and I'm so grateful to God that He lead us here to this street!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Caelan turns FIVE!

Really, I'm dumbfounded.  How could he be five already?  I have etched in my memory of these moments of him STILL as a teenie baby I brought home from the hospital....wow!

This was my little glowbug...

First Smile

6 months...big boy is sitting up....


1st Birthday


2nd Birthday

2 and 1/2 birthday

2 1/2 year older than his baby brother...love of bugs started at age 3 (see T-shirt)


...and it kept going strong at age 4

and wow...could we have reached this milestone already?  Flew by folks!

We celebrated with our neighborhood friends (who are his closest friends since he plays with them every single day) at Pump it up.  It was a small gathering of his favorite people.

He is just having the best time.  Ever.

And I have to say it's hands down the easiest party ever.  
They did everything.

They even provided massages. :)

Caelan, we are so proud of you and the little man you've become.  Happy 5th birthday!  Your parents, Micah and Caelan love you so so so much.