Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Holiday Hat Trick

We are so excited to be celebrating our first christmas together with Pryce. Time is just flying by it seems like. So we are desperately trying to saok in these moments. Last weekend we took the trip to the sticks to celebrate our first round of Christmas with Grammie and Grampie. It was a fantastic time.

We had a house full and the gifts were a plenty. We began by letting the kids tear through their gifts which took no time at all. Of course Jackson had to be in the center of it all practically opening everyone's gifts before they even started. Grampie handled it like a pro. Then we had a White elephant exchange for the adults. So much fun. appropriately enough Meredith ended up getting 2 gifts since the one I selected just happened to be a bag full of girl crap. It's like a metaphor for marriage. What's mine is ours and what's ours is hers. LOL!!! Jackson and Pryce were doted on the entire time by their grandparents and as usual cried when we left. Nice.

Today Mert spent the day cooking with Pryce while Jackson and I went on a Daddy Day Out. We went to work for a little whie, got haircuts and then saw Alvin and the Chipmunks. It's a day he may not remember, but I will never forget. We have become quite a pair.
Now we are on to round 2 with the Trawicks. That means lots of treats, eats, laughs and loud voices. We are a vocal bunch. We are making a schedule change and letting the kids open their gifts tonight (Christmas Eve), but the grown-ups (a term used loosely) will wait until tomorrow morning. Oh and the best part... we may have a white Christmas. That would be AMAZING!
Then we set-up for round 3 with Dad, Kelley, Matt, Nikki, Brooke, Josh, Amy, Brianne and Lucy. We have a few great gifts for those festivities as well. I guarantee Dad cries.

As we get closer to wrapping up 2009 I have to say it was the toughest and most rewarding year of my life. I can't wait to look back on it years from now and remind the kids with this story just how special this time of year can be.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Awesome Anniversary!!!

One year ago today our lives changed forever. This is the day Meredith and I joined forces as a married couple. We fell in love a year before that practically skipping down the aisles of a Sam's Club (long story). We had to break the hearts of our significant others at the time, she quit her "dream job" and we completely sent our worlds into an uproar, but we knew we were meant to be. When everyone else seemed skeptical we never wavered. It has been the single best decision of my life.
To celebrate this magical union I surprised Mert with an overnight stay at the W Hotel in Dallas. It was AWESOME. Grammie and Grampie entertained the chillens while we proceeded to an unforgettable evening (Don't worry I'll leave out the bomp chicca wah wah details).
We started out being treated like royalty receiving with hot towels dipped in eucalyptus while checking in. We were then escorted to our room which was prepped with bottle of champagne and chocolate covered cherries from the management. Freaking SWEET! We casually lounged in the room while life's worries went out the window, which had a great view of the skyline by the way.
Then we got all gussied up and treated ourselves to what had to be the best dinner we have had, ummm EVER. We were wined and dined by a waitstaff who would burp you after your meal if you so wished. The chef sent us treats and we gorged on 4 courses. Don't judge us. After dinner we shared another drink in our room, then (CENSOR HERE, talk amongst yourselves)then we made our way to the 33rd floor and entered the infamous Ghost Bar. It was nothing short of fantastic. We danced, had drinks, befriended perfect strangers and agreed that the DJ was some sort of music mixing savant. The entire night was perfect.
More than anything we just enjoyed one another and got a chance to see everything for what it is. We are extremely lucky. We are so proud of our little family and we understand more than ever how good we have it. I love my wife and she loves me. We are confident that will be the success for us and for our kids.
They say the first year is the hardest... we definitely made it interesting. Now we can't wait to find out what the good Lord has in store for our future.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to get to Sesame Street...

This weekend we showed jackson exactly how to get to Sesame Street! He had the time of his life. It was Friday night and we all loaded up for a trip to the Oil Palace to see "When Elmo Grows Up". Jackson was in awe as the characters came into the crowd handing out high fives and plenty of hellos to all the kiddos. It was fantastic!
Jackson got so many treats like hot dogs and popcorn and even a little toy to take home, but most of all he got a night all to himself. So much attention has been going to his baby sister for the past few weeks we thought it was high time that the J-man take center stage. So Mimi and Duke were kind enough to watch Pryce for a few hours while we headed off to the show. Of course Jackson was very sweet and insisted that "Baby Pryce come with us", but we told him this was his BIG night. He didn't argue after that.
We were so impressed with our boy. It's funny when you're around so many little ones you get a much better picture of the well behaved versus the little hellions. Fortunately we have a very good boy. While we saw some kids screaming at their parents, running around out of control and generally being a pain in the you know what... there sat Jackson just watching the show. Thank the LORD!!!
Afterwards we headed back to Mimi and Duke's to reunite the family. Since Jeremy, Cha,na and Colin were in town Jackson got to stretch out the evening a little further playing with his cousin while we watched some Trawick family moments (caught on tape). Thank you very much for that Duke.
It was an awesome night.I know Jackson was thrilled because he woke up the next morning begging us to "go see Elmo again". You gotta love that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time flies...

What happened? I look up and it's November. Pryce is 2 months old, Jackson is a little taller and we are moving into week 3 of P90X. I mean seriously. You know you're getting older when everything becomes about plannning. I was talking to one of my best friends this week about getting together. The conversation used to go like this... "What are you doing? Watching the game. I'll be over in 10 minutes". Now it goes like this... "Let's try to get together soon. Well, we have plans every weekend in November. Yeah, then it will be Christmas. What do you have going on in January"? When did this happen? When did we transition to calendars for a weekend of hanging out? It's really funny how priorities change and life goes in a different direction. I've started having those moments that my parents promised would happen, "You'll understand when you're older". Well, I understand. I get it that with all of the bills and the stress and the work that things are inevitably going to change. Thank GOD it's all worth it. I see that life just sort of takes over. Things change or become different and it is all for the better. Sure it sucks to be a "grown-up", but would I want things any other way? Absolutely not. I read the other day that not knowing what the future holds is part of the fun. It's so true. What I do know is that the way time is just flying by I will look up and another year will have past and I will be saying the same thing... What happened? Oh, well. That's life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Battling the Bulge

After 11 months of stuffing our faces with anything and everything we could find at an obscene rate we have finally surrendered to a health plan. That's right, we are making a life change because frankly, we got OUT OF CONTROL! The other night we took before pictures and it was rather depressing. Don't get me wrong Meredith still looks great, but I am apparently giving birth to our next child. I mean seriously, what a tremendous GUT! I am convinced people have been pointing and laughing at me behind my back. "Did that guy eat Jerry Mathers"? "Oh look Ricky Gervais put on more weight". That's fine I put myself in this situation. So now it is time to get out of it. So Meredith and I are taking on P90X. HOLY FAT SHREDDER BATMAN! This thing is no joke. We just completed week 1 which is 6 days a week of working out and a fantastic nutrition plan. Mert has been cooking 3 meals a day while taking care of the kids, no easy task considering we went from 0-60 flat. She is a natural in the kitchen by the way. Everything has been soooo good. It's amazing the effect it has on you. Suddenly I don't wake up tired or need to take a break mid-way through getting ready for work. Granted we still have like 83 days to go, but we are loving it. Hopefully we will get back into the clothes in our closet that somehow don't fit anymore... As important as that is to us, it will be much better for the kids. There is no reason why Jackson should not be able to play cars with me in his room because I get exhausted from bending over. I don't want to miss playing catch or teaching our little girl to ride a bike because the family has to bring me after meal snacks on a tray table since "Daddy can't get out of his chair".
So we are committed to this plan and really excited about it. Hopefully there will be a noticeable change very soon. If not we will just have to keep working at it.
So, Farewell Gutty McFatso... it's time for a change.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Important to Remember

For the last 6 days the Bowler's have been on a complete roller coaster ride. As expected it has been full of those life experiences that really define a family, which makes it all the better.
It began with the build up of an emmy nomination for some of my work that had us on cloud nine hoping to bring home the award. In order to ring in the night we packed up baby Pryce (while Jackson stayed with Jonathan) and turned her over to Grammie for a full night away from her folks. Grammie put up a BIG fight, literally grabbing her from our arms and announcing we were free to leave at anytime.
Unfortunatley we were not recognized with the statue, but it was an honor to be nominated. There I gave the cliche loser speech. Now someone please punch me in the face. IT SUCKS TO LOSE!!! All in all it was great for us to take a time out for ourselves, so I can't complain too much.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Your days of late night drinking, sleeping in and then hitting
some grease pit to recover are over. O-V-E-R. Don't be an idiot. LOL!!!

Returning home on Sunday we were still on a high from our little getaway, but reality would quickly kick in...
We got news Monday morning that Meredith's Uncle Dave had passed overnight. It was devastating! We knew the family would be gathering in his honor which meant we had to act fast. Meredith and her sisters knew how improtant their Uncle has been to Chalna and we all knew she needeed us to be there. It was a no brainer decision. So once again, only a few days later we packed up our newborn, Jackson and ourselves for what would be a family journey across TEXAS.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Don't kill each other.

I was proud to see how our family responded as a unit. Jackson was amazing. He watched some shows, played quietly in his seat and always let us know when his little sister needed something. Of course she handled that pretty well on her own. To be honest she was pretty impressive as well. We could only count a handful of cries.
Meredith and I switched off driving duties and never disagreed about the music, so that's a bonus. Right?
The real lesson however, came when we arrived. While we were there because of a death, Uncle Dave insisted that we celebrate his life. If that doesn't scream from the heavens what kind of a person he was, I don't know what does. His only wish was for the people he loved (and those of us, like me, lucky enough to be invited) to have a beer and some food in Lukenbach, Texas in his honor.
I was overwhelmed by this gesture. From what I could tell, it was exactly what his family needed too. Isn't that something? For a man to give his family exactly what they need exactly when they need it.
So here's to you Uncle Dave... a man I never met, but who somehow helped me discover some of life's greatest lessons after he was gone.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Life is always worth celebrating!!

All in all it has been a trying few days, but those are where the lessons in life come from. We are exhausted from it all, but mostly we are grateful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now, New and Next

Well, it has been a wild couple of weeks. We have contemplated so much. Where will we live? What will we do? How will these decisions impact our family? It has been a whirlwind! In the last 2 weeks I have been in 4 different states traveling and checking out possibilities for new challenges. It felt like we were on a decision making see-saw. It has been emotionally and physically exhausting. In the end we trust that what's "Now, New and Next" for the Bowler family is completely in GOD's hands.
We will not be leaving Texas anytime soon. It just wasn't in the cards for us this time. Right now we are thrilled to be close to our families. It would be so difficult for our family to spend anytime apart right now. I could not bare the thought of missing Pryce crawl for the first time or take her first steps or hear her first word. We know that Jackson needs some time with his Daddy Cory (otherwise Meredith will fill his mind with Rachel Ray and Big Lots). Most of all Mert and I discovered that spending a few days away from each other was hard enough. It would be monumentally more difficult to be apart for what could be weeks at a time. Although it would be temporary we would not be able to control the timeline.
What's new? Well, we are considering all possibilities which is very exciting. Anything is possible. We hope that we remain in your prayers and we can't wait to tell you what we take on next... Of course first we will have to find out for ourselves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pryce Points...

Here is what I have learned about our little baby Pryce so far.... This little girl loves to sleep. Sadly her favorite time for this activity is during the day. I have not seen this much sleeping from a person since I had roommates during my college years.

The only thing she loves more than sleeping is eating. For such a little bitty girl she can really put away some chow. I'm sure someday she will hate that I just said that, but seriously.

She eats just like her Daddy. There is alot of noise made (which is the cutest thing ever), she leaves a big mess and immediately after her meal she passes out. Sometimes she nods off while eating. Plus do you know where the food comes from? Yeah, freaking sweet!
Here's a little something extra for ya', she usually lets out a big yelp followed by a satisfied smirk while she is... how should I say this... having a moment.
Oh and when Mert gives her a little required medicine, she lays in her arms afterwards with this look on her face that screams... "Oh no you didn't". It's hilarious because she keeps that expression for a good 10 minutes.
I swear it's like having a little drunk with us at all times with the sleeping, the puking, and the random hiccups. Of course it does come without the annoying slurred babble about how she misses us or how she just loves everyone.
Now I have to admit that I am still bad about loud talking, turning up the t.v. and generally being oblivious to the fact that at any time our little girl could be sleeping. Meredith is like a highlight reel of "Shhh.", "Turn it down.", "Does it have to be so loud?", "You're a bear". Look, I likes my shows with a little bass... sue me. Maybe I'm just jealous because Pryce is living my dream.
In the end we are still getting used to the sleep schedule and I'm sure things will get crazy when I return to work. All in all we are enjoying every minute of getting to know our precious little Pryce.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jackson's Daddy Days

Well it has been one week since Pryce was born. What a difference she has made in our lives. We have hardly even left this house since we brought her home from the hospital. It has been time that we would never trade in. Just being all together and celebrating our new family has been AMAZING!

Grammie stayed with us all week and we could not have made it without her. We have had friends from church and KLTV bringing us dinners regularly. Mimi and Duke have been making constant house calls and not because they want to see Pryce and Jackson's parents... It has all been such a blessing.

Now we are gearing up for what's to come. Next week we are on our own. I will be home taking care of things for Mert while she is taking care of the baby. That means Jackson is in BIG TROUBLE! Having Dad at home epitomizes the 80/20 rule of business. It is 20% fun and 80% total freaking nightmare. Believe me, I remember.

His wake up call will go from "Good morning Angel Puff" to "Get your butt out of bed". Bath time will be cut by a good 20 minutes. So instead of the Custom service job you get on your car, he willl be getting the Gas station express wash. Hey, that comes with a 30 second dryer so I don't want to hear any guff. He will get his fill of Lunchables this week and he will definitely see much less of the inside of Big Lots, Marshalls and Target. Like ZERO!

Sounds harsh right? Well keep in mind he will also be reminded that he is my main man. While our time together will be different than what he gets with Mom it will still be filled with love. He will get his chance (that he asks for all the time) for me to take him into school and pick him up. He will do some chores with me and help his Mom and his little sister. He will find out that Pryce's arrival does not equal his departure from our hearts. I'm sure this transition has been a little confusing for him (it's challenging for his parents), but we are in this thing together. I look forward to this week so Mert and I can find a groove. More than that, I am excited to get some time with Jackson that I am confident will take our relationship to the next level. So here's to us Buddy. I hope it means as much to you as it will to me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Awakening

You know how you hear all the time that the birth of your child will change your life? I was the guy who always heard the words, but I wasn't really listening (I guess my skepticism is almost as powerful as my cynicism... whatever). People try to tell you how it feels and after Mert told me she was pregnant I thought I understood. I didn't.

It is much more clear to me now that there is the Cory before Pryce and the me today. I lost a layer of that hard shell that believes the world is mostly something to joke about. I witnessed what GOD is capable of and it impacted me deeply. Jackson gave me the first taste of this feeling, but I was not lucky enough to see him being born. That experience is the birth of more than a child, it's an awakening. It's a life moment that will forever be with me. I stood by my wife's side not knowing what to expect and what I got was this overwhelming feeling of peace. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a meticulous planner. I like organization and solving problems. I am somewhat obsessed with my work. All of which can make me seem a little stressed. Shut Up! But in that moment nothing else was on my mind. I wasn't worried about making enough money or the politics of work or what we were going to do next. I was just thinking my GOD, this is bar none the greatest thing I have ever done.

Me and Meredith are deeply in love and our relationship is something I never thought I would experience, but seeing what we had created from that love made it monumentally bigger.
For the last few nights I have sat by watching Meredith hold Pryce and seeing Jackson desperately want to help his little sister and my heart has swelled.

Believe me I am not an emotional kind of guy, or at least I wasn't, but this little girl has opened my eyes. Now when she is in my arms I just want to tell her about it. She has no idea how much her Daddy loves her. Add that to the endless list of our family members who are gushing over her and I'm sure she is getting some clue. I won't be able to express it to her or Jackson until they have their own kids, but one day I hope they can read this and try to understand that they are the reason for mine and Mert's everything.

In short Jackson and Pryce, you are My Awakening. Thank you for that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pryce's Debut

Well today is officially the GREATEST DAY EVER!!!! Finally our little girl has made her way into the world. We are surrounded by family and responding to so many well wishes. It has been very special. The most amazing thing of all is to see that little girl make eye contact with you. I wonder so much what she is thinking... "who the heck are you people" or "will you please just let me sleep" or "more pictures please". More than likely coming from Mert and myself it is mostly the latter.

It is AWESOME to see Jackson take on his role as BIG BROTHER. He wants to hold Pryce and kiss on her. For the gals it is "the cutest thing ever". It makes me swell up with pride knowing that Daddy's Duo will always be there for each other.

Here's how it happened... We were all sitting in the living room watching Horton Hears a Who. I was on-line and Mert was reading some rag magazine when suddenly she adjusted her body and BOOM! Meredith alerted me "Uh, baby" I looked over and the excitement set in, "Oh my GOD you're water broke". We frantically began moving about, Mert got in the tub as she continued flowing. I was making calls and gathering our bags. Mimi and Duke arrived just in time to stop Mert from putting on her make-up and insisting that we go to the hospital. Once we got there it was a mad dash to the room where Mert began contracting and it got really intense. Then a Doctor walked in surrounded by a bright light and wings. He held the magic that would change our night forever... THE EPIDURAL!!!! After that things began to settle down and we all just sat around visiting. Grammie had burned up the road and made it here in record time. Mimi was helping Mert get comfortable while Aunt Alie and I sarcastically ate in front of Mert while she could not. LOL!!!! Then in a "matter of fact" kind of way the nurse comes in and does a little checking before announcing "you're a 10". And so it began. It seemed like a flash and before we knew it our little baby Pryce had made her debut and September 12th became the day we will never forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hopes Squandered

What a devastating evening. Between Pryce delaying the inevitable, the little Georgia girl blowing it in the U.S.Open and President Obama's entire Healthcare plan it has been a bummer of a night. I mean seriously.
Luckily it was not a complete loss, Pryce's Mommy put together her brand new rocker without any help. She decided it was her mission to get this thing built tonight on her own. So being the loving husband that I am I sat by quietly with a bowl of ice cream, both animals and the remote in hand without making a peep. She is soooo lucky to have me. That's right ladies, get in line... I'm taken.
Of course I did find time to entertain Jackson and get his teeth brushed and his business taken care of before bedtime, so I am not a complete bump on a log.
Wait until you see this Rocker. It lights up and plays music. Any pothead in town would gladly sit and watch this thing for hours so imagine what a baby will think. LOL!!!! Seriously, it is very cool. Meredith says it is the cutest thing she has ever seen in her life (excluding me I'm sure).
But getting to the giant elephant in the room... NO, Pryce is not here yet you bunch of crazy Baby Papparazzi freaks. We are trying over here, but this little girl is taking her time. I think I know where she gets that (hmm, hmm Mert). So we will continue to wait, but believe everyday she keeps us is more time she will spend saying "you never let me do anything" "why can't I get a car", "all my friends have cell phones". Well Pryce, you should have thought of that while you were hanging out in the womb. WUUHAHAHAHA, parents always win!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pryce's Punishment

I am really trying to be patient here, but it's so difficult because we absolutely cannot wait to meet little Miss Pryce. She has been bouncing around in Mommy's tummy like nobody's business. We have fed her spicy foods, taken her on long walks, even tried some bedroom baby inducing, but nothing. This little girl is going to be a hand-full. In fact, her Mimi said it best, Pryce is going to be a "pistol". I agree.
We just have to trust that the Lord knows best. He knows when we will all be ready to meet. It's going to be such a great moment that the build up is well worth it. We are excited that Jackson is back home so he can definitely be there when his little sister joins the family. He has been doing such a great job preparing for his Big brother role that it would not be complete without him there. Little does he know his return has catapulted him directly into the Bowler Family Trap which is a merciless torture chamber of excitement and disappointment layered under meals and sugar filled snacks. Isn't that what killed John Candy? Hopefully not.
Anyways, rest easy everyone as soon as Pryce starts making her dissent into the world we will send out and APB letting you know. Until then, find a comfortable seat in the Baby Bowler waiting room... it could be a long ride.
By the way, when Pryce gets here, she's grounded!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Waiting Game

Well it has been a couple of days, but I have a good excuse. I was surviving a near death experience. OK, that's a little dramatic... but I did have a nasty head cold.
It is finally passing so I can concentrate on what's important, when will Pryce arrive?
I mean seriously, this kid is all ready proving that she is going to be stubborn, difficult and always keeping me waiting. Like Mother like daughter, I guess.
It is officially week 38 and we are getting impatient. i know she has 2 weeks left, but that is clearly not the point. Tonight Jackson began begging her to come out and play. It was Hi-larious. He was poking at Mert's belly button and saying "Pryce, come out". I will pause for the in unison "AWWWWWW" from the ladies......... so predictable.
Well, we will keep waiting. I only ask that each of you keep thinking good thoughts about our little baby girl's arrival. Until next time...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In the beginning...

This is the first of what I hope will be a plethera of posts about our growing family. I invite you to drop in every once in awhile and see what we are up to.
At the moment our 4 year old son (Jackson) is off to dreamland after a long day on the road with his "Daddy Cory". That's his loving nickname for me. I asked him to please call me Zeus... Lord of all Step-Dads, but it didn't stick. What can I do? He had a long day while his Momma, my beautiful wife Meredith (you will hear about her quite a bit) took in a day of resting as she is mere hours, minutes or moments away from giving birth to the newest member of our clan, Pryce Lucille Bowler. That name comes with a story that I will have to share later. That's right this blog comes filled with promotions to future stories. I can't help it, that's what I do for a living. Don't judge.
Now, back to our tale... Jackson and I spent the day together while Mert and her mother restlessly tackled what they promise to be the finishing touches on Pryce's room. Just for the record... THEY ARE LYING. This is a project that has no end. By the way, that is what Mert considers a "day of rest". Not my idea of relaxation, but there's no getting through to her on this issue.
Once Jackson and I returned from our guys day out we all began cooking as a family and I am proud to report Jackson officially became my shadow. He grilled outside with me, helped me set the table and would not hear of Mert doing anything for him. She volunteered to give him a bath to which he replied. "No Momma, you stay here, Daddy Cory will give me a bath". Lucky me. LOL!! It was totally worth it to see him wanting more guy time while Mert stood by rolling her eyes, but in a good way. It was definitely a good day.
Next we had to pack our overnight bags for the hospital visit just in case Pryce decides to make her World Debut in the coming days. It's amazing what all you need for 2 days away from home. Camera... check. Pajamas... check. Toiletries... check. Every snack in the cupboard... Don't judge us.
So that was today. Look, I never said this would be exciting it's just a nice way for us to keep some of those memories that get lost over the years and possibly give our kids something to scoff at in the future. (Kids, if you're reading this.... I told you so. And it only gets worse). Hopefully you will enjoy our entries, maybe get a laugh, pass along any well wishes or just keep tabs on how bloated I may or may not be getting. Again, as a running theme DON'T JUDGE!
And please keep your concerns or criticisms to yourself. We've got enough to worry about. LOL!!!! But seriously.