I must say, we have had some beautiful weather this week. I think mother nature is happy that the SAINTS ARE HEADED TO THE SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!! It feels like spring!!!

Our kids love to be outside, and we have been taking as much advantage as we can of the warmer temps and low humidity!
Lila, Bennett, and I spent some time outside on Tuesday playing in the backyard and had a great time....
Thought it was a good chance to try out my camera a little bit more....we had some fun on the swings:

I haven't edited these pictures at all, and so I feel like. once I learn how to do that, we should be able to get some really great pictures....
We have enjoyed getting back into a routine now that the Christmas break is over (although Mardi Gras will be here before we blink!) and are enjoying our busy new schedule...The girls both are taking dance and so that takes up two afternoons, the twins go to Mother's Day out two mornings a week (during which I try to accomplish way more than is humanly possible in 8 hours), Elise has school everyday until lunchtime and plays soccer on Saturday, we still visit Mimi and Grandpa one night a week as well as bringing Grandpa to his therapy sessions two mornings a week (which we love doing), L & B and I go to a playgroup one morning and hit library story time another morning...and there's more!
And so, as you can see, we are staying busy....

Above is just a random picture that David took of Lila. I love it.
This girl has got some serious att-ti-tude.
With all that we have going on, you would think the kids would crash in the afternoon for nap time...I know I would if I could!! :)
Lately, that is not the case...so I am working on my acceptance that the days of naps and a short afternoon break are coming to end for me....although I love being with my kids, that time to recharge, refuel, be productive, be lazy, has been nice and so I don't say goodbye to it willingly....but, I know in turn this means we will have the opportunity to spend some afternoons at the park, or riding bikes, or visiting friends, and so I am trying to stay focused on that....and I think we will be scooting up bedtime quite a bit because this is what my three "no-nappers" look like by the end of the day....
....wiped out!!!
Hope you all are having a great week!
Love, Nicole

question of the week

Why does no one want to take a nap besides me?

Just wondering.


finish strong

Come on Saints! We need this win!! Let's finish strong, boys!!!!
*side note: adorable fleur-de-lis t's courtesy of Suzanne - she is a professional now!!
GOOOOOO SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!



...when she is busy creating....


photoshoot fun

Been having a little fun this week with our new camera.....

Happy Tuesday!




What can I say? I know it is a cheesy pun, but yesterday was saintsational around here!!

We had some friends over to watch the game, and I stole this great pics from the Brister Blog. Davis is so reliable and so good about taking pictures- just another reason we always like to invite them along!! (just a joke guys!)
Actually, speaking of invites, it was pretty funny when I got an email from Suzanne late this week asking me if I knew we were having people over to watch the game. . Umm...nope.
David planned up this whole little party all on his own!! But, I was thrilled with the guest list and excited, as always, to spend any time with friends. I will admit I was a little concerned that I would miss alot of the game, but thanks to DVR I just re-watched it late last night! Best of both worlds!
So, even though we missed some of our friends that couldn't come (inevitable that someone's kids will end up sick), we had a great time cheering on the black and gold with the Bristers and the Richardsons!

Lila and Jacob definitely have a special little bond. I know she adores him, she talks about him all of the time! These pictures are just too sweet for words!

It seems dumb, because it is only football, but I swear the Saints and their success are so important to New Orleans and really all of Louisiana...it is just such an awesome feeling!! And, on a personal note, I really, really hope that my parents, who have been die-hard fans for years and went on their first date to a Saints game, get to see them win a Superbowl!!!!
I can't imagine the partying that would be going on around here!!



learning curve

The week is flying by....Let's see what's been going on in the Parnell house....

David and I had an awesome anniversary celebration last weekend. I am so thankful to him for planning everything and for his thoughtfulness- I chose well! I am also thankful to my parents for keeping the kids overnight one night. We know that is alot to ask, but we were grateful for the full nights sleep and the nice little break!

We decided to cash in some of our credit card points and get a new camera. Until now we have been using my small portable digital camera for all pics. It is great for carrying around in my purse, but could not give us the type of pics that would be...say....Christmas card-worthy! So, we got a new one, and we are having fun trying to learn how to work it. I have ALOT to learn. The pictures are on the computer, but so far I can't seem to find them in order to post them here. Guess I need to take my Dad's advice and read the book!!
I think this is a hobby I could really get into as the kids grow..I would love to maybe take a few classes one day and learn how to use photoshop as well!

It has been FREEZING!! We are very ill-prepared in South LA for the cold weather we have been having...I got personal proof of this when the kids mother's day out called for me to come pick them up early on Monday morning due to busted pipes! I must admit, after my initial "OH CRAP!" (I had just walked in from Wal-Mart with a HUGE load of groceries that I was hoping to put away in peace), I gave myself a talk and decided to be thankful that they weren't calling because anyone was hurt or in trouble!

We registered the kids for school next year....After much debate, research, interviewing, annoying my friends and family, etc..we decided to send Elise to a 5 year old pre-K program rather than sending her to Kindergarten. Although she does make the cut off date for LA (not by much), and we know that she is totally capable of handling the work, we feel like that extra year can only help her. In addition, it seems to be quite the trend here to hold kids back (for lack of a better term) and would prefer her to be one of the oldest in her peer group- not the youngest. I think David and I now feel so much better that we have committed to a decision. I know this was the first of many tough decisions we will have to make as parents..all we can do as gather as much information as we can and then make the decision that we think is best for our child..and that is what we have done...

Lila is back on the potty training bandwagon.....................for now. :)
Bennett is off of the pacifier bandwagon. YIPPEE!
**side note: It is kind of funny to me that the child that is still in a crib and wearing diapers is the one that gave up the pacifier first. I feel like it is going to be rough for Lila- do they have pacifier rehab? That girl loves her pacie. And Bennett, that boy loves the convenience of diapers. He has zero, zilch, nada of an interest in going on the potty. And he loves his crib.

Hope ya'll are having great weeks as well!
Love, Nicole



one field goal kick
one free dinner
making it work
married young
building a life
ups and downs
dreams fulfilled
four moves
lots of projects
blessings we dreamed of
unexpected blessings
moments of sadness
more moments of joy
still in love
proud of our committment
grateful for our family

can't believe it has been 10 years...

happy 10th anniversary david...

love you-


a little note from a proud mom

Dear Elise-
You make me smile every day, and you amaze me every day.
I can't stop thinking about your resourcefulness today. I left you at the counter with scissors* and magazines to cut out your "k" pictures for the week for school, while I went upstairs to put your brother and sister down for their nap. When I came back down you had gotten your picture dictionary, and opened it to the "k" page. You "thought it would be helpful" to use the book to help you find "k" pictures. So, you basically figured out how to use references for a project at age 4. By yourself.
I am a proud Mommy tonight (and every other night).

*extremely dull safety scissors...not aiming for new hairstyles or blood around here. :)


"now, which ones are the twins?"

We've been hearing that quite alot lately...now that Lila and Bennett have lost most of the baby fat and Lila's hair finally decided to grow. They are big for their age and Elise is {almost} average, so the three of them together do often perplex strangers...

My sweet girls were snuggling together on the couch last night (L & B are sick), watching some Yo Gabba Gabba (so totally strange, but apparently very entertaining to the 4 and under group) and I had to snap some pics...It really touched me that Elise was trying to comfort her little sis, who is not feeling well, and climbed up under the blanket with her...with no prompting from me. What a pleasant surprise to walk into the room to check on them and find this sweet sight!

When I saw them like this, snuggled up so closely, I finally "got" why people often ask me that....they definitely look like they could be the same age! Although, I have a feeling, before long people are going to think Elise is the little sis....
Should be interesting to see how that goes over....:)

I hope these girls always love each other as much as they do right now! I'm so happy they get to have the joy of having a sister, I know mine is one of the greatest blessings in my life!

Hope everyone is enjoying their week and the return to their normal routine...


new year, old friends

Happy New Year!!

We made a last minute decision to spend New Year's in David's hometown of Lake Charles. There were several people he had been wanting to see; and, in addition, Elise really wanted to see Emmy and Pop's house- we hadn't been back there to visit in quite a while, and she couldn't remember our last visit.

I think we crammed as many visits as possible into our short visit. It was great to see everyone!!We were really bad about taking pictures, (although I think Emmy took about 500- will have to snag some of those) but David had a LOT of fun playing with his new FLIP video camera that my parents got him for Christmas.

David was able to see some of his oldest friends - they are such great guys (and girls- Sadie- we love you too!) and it was fun to catch up with everyone. The kids loved Mr. Jace, Mr. Jason, and Dr. Bill. We were also able to visit with David's childhood nanny, Mabel, who he just loves to death, as well as her husband. She was so excited to meet her "babies", and like everyone we saw, thought Bennett looked like a miniature David. We visited with his Godmother, Lynn, his surrogate Grandparents the Stevens, and Jace's parents the Dennisons. All this in 2 days!!

We spent the afternoon at Jason and Jodi's great house...they have three boys, and based on the number of toys, you could tell. Our kids' eyes lit up when they saw the selection, and, of course, they were dying the ride the little four wheelers. This resulted in one of my favorite videos of the trip. (*Don't worry- no Parnells were harmed in the making of this video. And, I promise, the four wheelers go really slow. I am an admittedly over-protective Mom, and was initially totally against letting them ride...but, I came around.)

Listen closely for Bennett's laugh when he crashes. This is SO HIM.

Our girls were pretty brave and tried the four wheelers as well...so I can't leave them out!

Although the last-minuteness (word?) of the trip initially stressed me out, I am really glad I went with the flow and we went. The kids loved seeing where David grew up, and his parents were excited to have us there as well. Lots of generations of Parnells have lived in that house, and I know it was neat for them to have the youngest generation there. We are thankful they were willing to accomodate us and all of our stuff on such short notice!

The kids all crashed on the way home today, and David and I are totally wiped and about to go to bed early- IF David will stop showing me all of his prom pictures and sports awards from the scrapbook he swiped while we were home!!!

Happy 2010!