Model Children

Before Christmas, I got to take pictures of my friend Angela’s kiddos.  They were seriously the best little models ever!  They were so easy going, and as you will see, they are super, super cute.  Taking their pictures made me so excited to get going with the photography business!   Which, just as a little update, I really am going for it!  I’m working on a website with Shauna, and I’m hoping soon everything will be up and running.

Anyway, back to Bailey and Brock…









The Birthday Boy

From this…

To this…


And it happened in the blink of an eye!  We had a great day celebrating Connor’s 7th birthday.  One of the benefits of being born on Christmas eve is multiple celebrations!  Yesterday, Connor had a special birthday breakfast (waffles and bacon, his request, plus a vanilla steamer from Starbucks.)  For lunch, Connor wanted Mexican food, so we had a big family lunch with all 4 grandparents, his Aunt Cindi and Uncle Matt, and 3 of his cousins.  It was a great little celebration!


It even snowed for his birthday!  What a rare treat for Texas!


But that wasn’t his only celebration.  Last weekend, we took a few friends to Main Event for bowling, pizza, and games.  It was really fun!  And my niece, Kayla, was a real trooper being the only girl in the group (besides Camryn, of course.)  Justin (my nephew) and Kayla stayed the night for a sleepover.  I wasn’t quite ready to go for the all out sleepover, but it was perfect with just Justin and Kayla.

birthdayHappy Birthday, Connor!  I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for you!

Christmas is all around us

We’ve been having so much Christmas fun already, and it’s not even the big day yet!

Logan’s preschool did a Christmas program, and it was so cute.  I mean really…a bunch of 4 year olds in homemade Santa hats is a sure winner.  This was the first year I’ve actually gotten some decent pictures of the program, so it’s making the blog. 🙂




Last Friday (me and Derek’s anniversary…and let me just say I loved his thoughtful gift!  He’s sweet and hopefully someday I will get to go back to Germany and see it in real life.) Connor got out of school at noon, and we surprised the kids with an early Christmas.  It just didn’t make sense to haul gifts out of town and then haul them back home.  And I’m not good at waiting for presents so we did it early.  I have the cutest video of us telling the kids we were opening gifts early.  They were ecstatic to say the least.  It felt really different to do it this way, but it was still just as fun.


Camryn was so cute opening her presents.  She really did well!  I wasn’t sure she would get it, but she did.


The boys were even excited about Camryn’s Veggie Tales movies.


But it was pure joy when they opened their own.  Kids at Christmas are the best.



Camryn’s chair was the perfect gift for her.  She is obsessed with kid sized chairs.  Plus I love it because it’s pink and monogrammed. 🙂


Derek and I opened out gifts to each other as well.  See that rock in Logan’s hand?  That was all part of my master plan of tricking Derek.  The rock was used as a weight in the package.


It’s an iPhone!   I had him totally convinced that he wasn’t getting one, and we had even agreed that he would just go get one after Christmas.  And all the while, it was wrapped under the tree.  To add to the fun, Derek went ahead and got me one as an early birthday present, so we are both iphone people now.  We are loving them!


I almost can’t believe I am posting this next one, but Derek says he really loves this picture.  This is really what my face looks like when I open presents.  I love presents.  You know that Love Language book?  Mine is gifts.  And it shows in how excited I get!


My new camera lens.  It’s awesome!

We’ve even opened more gifts since then.  Santa made a special trip to my mom’s house on Monday night to give all the grandkids a present.  My sister-in-law and I were getting the same gift from my parents, and since she had to open hers early, I got to open mine, too.  I had no idea what was in the giant box, and I was shocked to open a giant Karaoke Machine, which basically just seals the deal on what a huge dork I am, but I love it!  It’s the perfect, fun Christmas present.  We let the kids each open a present early with their cousins, and there have been other gifts exchanged as people have come into town and gone home.  It’s actually been really fun to stagger everything out like this.   Christmas morning we’ll have Santa of course, a few other little things, and Christmas with Derek’s parents.

But before that, we have Connor’s birthday to celebrate!  Seven years ago, at this exact moment, I was checked into the hospital waiting for sweet Connor to make his grand entrance into the world.  He took his sweet time…it’s still 14 hours away from when he was actually born.

Happy (almost) Birthday to Connor, and (almost) Christmas Eve to all of you!

The Story of Us, Part 8

(If you need to catch up, here are parts 1-7)

He came over to my parent’s house one morning in late July.  It was just a regular summer day for us, nothing special.

“What do you want to do today?” he asked.

“I dunno.” I replied.  That was a pretty standard reply.  It always took us awhile to think of something to do, which is why most days we ended up just hanging out and watching movies.

“Let’s go to the Botanic Gardens.” he immediately said.  Looking back, this should have been a clue that there was something up.  He never just knew what he wanted to do like that.  But it really didn’t register with me at the time.

So we headed to the Botanic Gardens.  When we arrived, he acted really strange when we were getting out of the car.  He didn’t get out right away, and for the first time that day I stated to suspect that maybe something was up.  But, in typical Megan fashion, I quickly forgot about my suspicions.

“Let’s go to our tree.” he said.  Our tree!  I had almost forgotten about our tree, and wondered if we would even be able to find it.  Many years earlier, we had climbed up a tree in the gardens and carved our initials into the trunk.  It was cheesy and goofy, but that was just us.  We had been back a few times to our tree, but I hadn’t thought about it is quite some time.  I was a little surprised that he remembered exactly where the tree was located in the gardens, but I then I remembered that he is a man who only has to go somewhere once and he will remember exactly how to get back.  He’s the opposite of me in that way.

We found our tree and climbed up about 10 feet to see our initials.  They were still there, looking a little weathered.  We reminisced about the “old days” for awhile, and then I began to read the other carvings in the tree.  There were lots of initials, hearts, and love notes carved in the old trunk.  By this time, I had completely forgotten about the odd behavior from earlier and I was just reading the carvings without a thought or a care in the world.

“Meg, will you marry me?”, I read aloud.

“Oh how sweet!” I exclaimed. “Someone proposed right here in this tree!”

Then it dawned on me….Meg, will you marry me?…MEG will you marry me?!  Is that Meg ME??  Is that for ME??  My heart started pounding and I looked over at Derek.  He had a grin stretched ear to ear and was reaching into his pocket.

He opened the little black box.  “Yes, it’s for you.  Will you marry me?” he asked.

I was giddy.  Absolutely giddy.  “Yes, of course!” I said.

We hugged (well, kind of.  We were in a tree after all) and kissed.  We took some pictures with a camera he had brought along.  The camera, it turned out, was the reason he had hesitated when getting out of the car earlier.  He had been trying to sneak it into his pocket.

We laughed about how I almost didn’t see it, and then even when I did, I didn’t realize it was for me.

And we were happy.  It was official.  I would be Mrs. Derek Thurman, and nothing could have made me happier.

Busiest Day/Week Ever!

Oh how I wish I had the time like I did last week to sit down and write our story!  Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more…hopefully tomorrow.  And I’ve pulled out some pictures that I just need to scan.  I am hoping to finish the story by our anniversary, which is Friday, so I better get crack-a-lackin’!

I should have known that the last week of school would be crazy!  Quick run down of the week so far:

-Monday: Remember to send Logan to school with a gift for the gift exchange and a stuffed animal for…okay, I have no idea what they were for, but I’m sure it was cute and fun.  Make cupcakes for Connor’s birthday celebration at school (I actually did that Sunday, along with making 3 huge batches of caramel corn for teacher appreciation at C’s school); pick up Chick-Fil-A for Connor’s birthday lunch, take time to have cupcakes in his class, spend a few hours in the afternoon helping a friend in need (and the things I learned there could be a blog post all in itself.  I’ll just leave it at this: it really is so much better to give than to receive, and I am humbled by the blessings I have in my life.) And of course, the regular stuff which makes a full day by itself!

-Today: Make to the mall exactly when it opens to pick up a few things, go to playgroup, go to Connor’s class Christmas party, swing by the grocery store, pick up Logan and Camryn from a friend’s house, take the boys to get haircuts, and finally make it back home at 4:30.  Dinner, bed, and make cupcakes for Logan’s Christmas party.

-Tomorrow-Bible study, Winter Luncheon at C’s school (that will make 3 days in a row that I’ve been up at the school), Logan’s Christmas party, but then…ah…a bit of rest.  The crazy week is over.  Well, until Friday when we plan to open some Christmas presents, and Saturday when we are having a little birthday celebration for Connor.  And of course I am so hopelessly behind on laundry and house cleaning that I don’t know if I will ever catch up.

It’s been crazy, but I really do love it!  Christmas spirit is in full swing around here. I still need to take some pictures of our Christmas decorations.  Soon…

I know the blog has been totally picture-less lately, so I’ll at least post one.  I took Camryn to this garden on Saturday to take some pictures.  She was not cooperative at all…I made the mistake of getting out the stroller, and she just wanted to be pushed around.  We ended up taking a little walk for awhile, and then it got cold and dark.  So this was the best picture I got. Shortly after this picture, she started crying and the fruit snacks came out which brought her momentary happiness, but it was pretty much over by then.  I was bummed!  She looks so cute in her red Christmas dress.  I’ll have to try to get some pictures of her in it another day.


Okay, in the time I spent writing this, I could have written more of our story.  Oh well.  Look for it tomorrow!

The Story of Us, Part 7

(Parts 1-6 below this post.)

As the spring semester of 1999 came to an end, I began to get a little obsessed about getting engaged.  As much as I put on a happy face about him moving to California, I really wasn’t thrilled about it.   We had always said we didn’t want to have a long engagement, so I figured if he proposed, we wouldn’t be apart for longer than 6 months.  That thought made me happy.

One night, just a few weeks before graduation, Derek’s band had a gig at a local coffee shop.  “This is it.” I thought to myself.  I just knew this was the night he was going to propose.  I was absolutely sure that he had written me a song and he was going to pull me on stage, serenade me, get down on one knee and ask me to be his wife.  I was giddy with excitement, and could hardly sit still as the show began.  It would be the perfect engagement.  Most of our close friends were there, and we had spent a lot of time at this coffee shop over the past year.  Yes, this was certainly going to be it, the moment that I had been waiting for.

They played song after song after song, and my heart began to sink a bit with each passing moment.  But I perked up when I realized that surely the big moment would be during their last song.  As the final chords played at the end of the final song, I realized that this was, in fact, not going to be it.  There was no special song, and no engagement.  I tried to hide my disappointment, and I wondered if he would ever ask me.

Graduation came and went.  No engagement.  Two of my very best friends got engaged, my brother got married, Derek’s best friend got married, but still nothing from Derek.  He moved back home for the summer, and I left for 6 weeks to work as a camp counselor at Camp Olympia.  When I returned home, I knew it had to happen soon.  But maybe I was wrong?  My parents loved Derek and thought he was great, but they weren’t exactly thrilled at the idea of us getting married right then.  Maybe Derek was putting more stock in their opinion than I was.  There were so many thoughts swirling during those weeks of summer, but eventually I stopped obsessing over it.  I loved him, he loved me, and we wanted to spend our lives together.  It would all work out in God’s perfect timing, not in Megan’s perfect timing.  Even if he left for California and I didn’t have a ring, that would be okay.

So when the engagement actually happened, I was quite surprised…

The Story of Us, Part 6

After three years of dating (well, off and on, as you now know), Derek and I finally lived in the same city.  I would like to say that I didn’t go to ACU because of Derek, but he definitely played a huge part in that decision.  It really doesn’t matter how I got there, only that I did.  I truly loved every second of being at ACU.

I was giddy with excitement as I moved into Nelson Dorm with one of my long time friends, Shauna.  Derek was right there with me, helping me move in and get settled.  It wasn’t really hard to say good-bye to my parents (and it wasn’t hard for them either…I’m the third out of four kids and I think by that point it’s not hard seeing the kids go away to college!)  I adapted to college life very quickly.  I loved the new friends I was making, loved the freedom, and loved getting to see Derek just about every day.

By the time the Spring semester rolled around, we were having some pretty serious talks about our future.  We talked about engagement rings, when we wanted to get married, and imagined what it would be like.  There were big decisions to be made, but not just about getting married.  Derek’s graduation was fast approaching, and he had decided that he wanted to go to graduate school.  He applied several schools in Texas, and one school in California.  The California school was one of the top schools in the nation for his field, and (in his mind) it was a long shot that he would be accepted.

I, however, wasn’t surprised at all when the acceptance letter arrived from Cal Tech.  But it definitely complicated things a bit. He was also accepted to Rice, which was in Houston and much closer to Abilene where I planned to stay.  Derek didn’t want to make the decision without me, but I was hesitant to have to much of an opinion since we were not even engaged.  Sure, we talked about getting married and we were very serious, but I didn’t want his decision to be based on me.  After a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, Derek decided that after graduation he would be moving to California to pursue his PhD in Chemistry.  I was so proud of how hard he had worked to get to where he was, and I knew he was making the best decision.  But it wasn’t easy to think about us being apart again, especially since this time he would be 1200 miles away, not just two and a half hours down the road.

The Story of Us, Part 5

(Scroll down to read the story from the beginning.)

That time it was me who broke it off.   I really had no good reason except it felt like he was way more serious about us than I wanted to be.  I was a senior in high school and just wanted to have fun and date and be with my friends and not be worried about my long distance boyfriend.  We were still together in the weeks before Christmas, but I was already pulling away and thinking of how to break up with him.  Confrontation had never been easy for me, and I wasn’t sure how to tell him, especially since it wasn’t like he had done something that deserved a break up.  Twelve days before Christmas, he started giving me gifts.   Each gift he gave me was thoughtful and loving, and I made the decision to wait until after I finished getting presents to break up with him.  That season was definitely not one of my better times, but I was selfish and simply didn’t care.  I finally broke it off after Christmas.  It was my choice, but it still felt awful.

The weeks passed, and even though I had hurt him, we still talked a lot.  He was still one of my best friends, and in my heart I always figured we would eventually get back together.   He came home to take me out for my 18th birthday.  We went to a fair and rode the ferris wheel together.  I wanted so badly to kiss him when we were sitting at the top, but he flat out rejected me.  He wasn’t going to play those games with me.  We would either be together or we wouldn’t.  He wasn’t going to be my kissing friend.

The months went by, and we still talked and remained friends.  I went out on a few dates, and he…well, he had girls who liked him, but he really didn’t go out with anyone.  He gave me the space that I wanted, but he wasn’t ready to give up on us.  Finally, just after spring break of 1998, I came to my senses.  Was I really willing to throw everything away?  He was my best friend and I loved him, so why wasn’t I with him?  I knew we had something special, something that didn’t come along every day.  That time it wasn’t so easy getting back to that good, comfortable place.  He wasn’t sure if I was just lonely and wanted him to be my boyfriend out of convenience, or if it was for real.  By this time, Derek was about to start his senior year of college, and he was done with the break-up/get back together game.   It took awhile for him to really trust me and let me back in, but eventually he did.  By the time I left for college in August 1998, things were really great between us.  I wasn’t sure about how he felt, but I knew that I wanted to marry him someday.