Friday, August 28, 2009

Lasts and Firsts

This week has been an emotional week of lasts, ending with today, my last day of work in the real world. My new boss doesn't have much hair, is quite a bit shorter and weighing in around 18 pounds.

I'm looking forward to weeks and months of firsts starting tomorrow. After one last wave goodbye to my mom, my roommate for the past 2 months and who quickly became my best friend since moving to Houston three years ago. Hopefully soon, we'll be hugging hello at my parent's new home in Austin.

Someone is pretty excited about seeing his daddy, his doggies and his new home tomorrow though. Well... until we get our Internet connected in Tyler, goodbye Houston.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Is my little man really 6 months old already? Like people always say, kids grow up too fast. I already find myself searching my memory for what he was like as a newborn. I guess that's why we stalk our babies with our cameras. I am cherishing these days as Mason is showing more and more of his personality. He is still growing leaps and bounds and smiles at everybody. His laughs fill the house and he babbles to all his toys. At 6 months old, Mason weighs in at 18 pounds (50th percentile) and stretches to 27 inches (75th percentile).

To celebrate his half birthday, Mason gave his mama a present and crawled for the first time. Apparently, there's nothing like a red cell phone and a big box of Goldfish to get my baby moving. He still needs a lot of practice though. He only makes it a few feet before he gets frustrated.
Just a week and a half until we're Tyler bound!

Deep in the middle of the T Bar M jungle...

That song still brings me back to my days as a T Bar M camper with my best friend, Kendall. We had a crazy 'skit' where one sat on top of the other, while pretending my legs belonged with her torso, and amazed people with her 'flexibility.' And my first true cleaning experience scrubbing our cabin with the other 10-year old campers. And tubing down the river with the entire camp in front of you. And playing Alpha/Omega Capture the Flag. And getting homesick for my mom. And man, those U-My-Bro shirts were so cool back then!

10 years later, I headed back to T Bar M, this time as a coach. I met Ruth and some crazy guy who made me giggle ALL THE TIME and who 2 years later asked me to marry him. Too many memories to count, from sharing my testimony with campers and dominating cabin cheer to theme nights and worshipping with little campers sitting in my lap. My favorite week of the summer was by far Family Camp. Better food, adult conversations and the precious Taylor family. The perfect combination.

Dash's family has been going to T Bar M Family Camp for over 20 years. It's a tradition that Mason and I get to join in on now and I'm thrilled. We've visited Family Camp for the past four years but this year was special because we took our son. I hope T Bar M will hold a special place in Mason's heart like it does in mine.

I wish I had some of my photos from my camper days here in Houston but they are packed in storage in Tyler. But here is Mr. and Ms. Omega (P.S. we won that week)...

... And here are a few photos from Family Camp this year

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're moving! And to...

...Tyler, TX! Yep, you're probably thinking what I first thought when we heard about this opportunity. "What's in Tyler, Texas?" Well, Dash's new job to start. He is coaching college tennis at Tyler Junior College, where he played for his first two years of college. It's a great stepping stone for his career in coaching at the collegiate level and I couldn't be more proud. They recruited him for the job and are paying for him to get his master's degree at UT Tyler. Once he gets his degree, he is in line to take over the Head Coach position there. My husband's a stud! Check out how official he is! (ignore the old photo from his Aggie tennis days!)

We've been living apart now since July 1st. Mason and I were lucky enough to move in with my mom. She's been the biggest blessing and I couldn't have made it through this summer without her. Working full-time as a 'single mom' has been very hard. Throw in 8-hour round trips to Tyler with a baby in tow on the weekends and you get a very exhausted Shae. But I'm thrilled to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mason and I will be joining Dash in Tyler at the beginning of September.

We are renting our house in Cypress to a nice family and just got a house in Tyler as of this past week. The first house that we wanted fell through because of some deceitful, backwoods landlord. You don't want to get me started on that fun story. The short version is that we found out the day before we moved all of our things to Tyler that she gave the house to someone else. We had to be out that weekend since our new tenants were moving in too! So after putting our entire house in storage, being homeless for a week and a bitter taste in my mouth about moving to Tyler, we found an even better house for our family. Though I haven't even seen our Tyler house yet! Can you believe I chose a house based off the photography skills of my husband? Our new house is going to be an exciting adventure. I'll share photos soon, hopefully. It's 80 years old! But beautiful! And cheap! Our new home is actually on the National Registry of Historical Places. I'm confident we found a diamond in the rough after seeing some of the homes within our small budget.

Oh yeah, our very small budget. One amazing blessing about Dash's new job is that I can stay home with Mason! I definitely want to do something with my time, whether working from home or part-time, but I'm ecstatic about the chance to spend all day every day with my brown-eyed babe. I've been sharpening my couponing skills this year and you'll probably find me at second-hand shops and yard sales around Tyler so that we can live as cheaply as possible. We're going to extremes too - one car, no cable. Did you know there were people like that nowadays? Well, we're joining that club. Thankfully it's short-term until Dash finishes his degree and has a more permanent position instead of a graduate assistant's salary.

I gave my resignation to my work this week. Living a double life for the past 3 months has been horrible! I couldn't let my work know about Dash moving and starting a new job, our house being on the market, looking for a house in Tyler and living with my mom. Luckily, I confided in a few close friends at work who I let in on my secret. Thanks Merideth and Sheila for listening!

I have tomorrow off work and then we're heading to New Braunfels for T Bar M Family Camp with the rest of the Connell clan. It's something I look forward to every year. Last year, I was 12 weeks pregnant. Fast forward one year and I'm taking my 6 month old son to Family Camp. WOW!

Oh yeah, I'm one year older and one year wiser today. I got the cutest homemade birthday card from my mom this morning. It brought me back to my school days where she wrote notes on our napkins and decorated them with stickers. XOXO to you too Mom!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We've got a sitter...

Not a babysitter, but a baby sitting. All on his own. At 5 1/2 months. So big. Too fast. He's still quite wobbly but is getting the hang of it pretty quickly. And he has mastered the breaststroke - his way of trying to crawl - with kicks and all. He propels himself one knee at a time too so I might be making a mad dash to get baby proofing supplies very soon.

We've been very busy dealing with some big changes in our life, but hopefully the worst is behind us and the best is ahead. I can't wait to update you all soon on our family and the journey we have been on the past few months. And no, we are not pregnant. :) August isn't showing any signs of slowing down but I'll try to get some new photos or videos up soon. Happy August!