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Mota-Vational Quotes

  • "Life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain!"
  • "The happiest people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have."
  • "Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."
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Friday, November 10, 2017

Honoring a Vietnam Veteran

It's not every day you get to honor a Vietnam Veteran. And it's not every kid that gets to call that Veteran their dad or their Papa! But my husband is blessed to call this brave Veteran dad, and my kids are lucky to call this brave man their Papa! We got together as a family a couple of years ago and helped my father-in-law put together a shadow box encasing medals, ribbons, pins, dog tags and memories from his service in the Vietnam War. It is incredible to hear about his service, learn about his honors, admire that he served our country and revel in the fact that he is here today to tell us his story!

George A. Mota, Special Agent (Senior Counterintelligence Agent) was stationed in Baltimore Maryland at Fort Holabird, San Francisco California at El Presidio Military Base and Tay Ninh, Vietnam. He graduated from the United States Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird in Baltimore Maryland. His unit was the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion 525th Military Group. In Vietnam, he lived with the populace in a house in Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Province. There were four Agents and they had two Cambodian guards, a Vietnamese interpreter and a Vietnamese maid. The agents had an Intelligence Gathering Network and were flown by helicopter on different missions. He was in Vietnam from 1968-1969. During his time of service, he received many awards. One of which he is most proud is The Meritorious Unit Commendation which was awarded for "Exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service, heroic deeds, or valorous actions." The emblem is worn by all members of a cited organization and is considered an individual decoration.  You will see this in his shadow box under his nameplate (its a gold rectangle with a red center ribbon).During his time he was also given, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device (1960), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (Awarded by Government of the Republic of Vietnam), a Sharpshooter Badge & Pistol Bar and a Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar. When asked about his time in the service he says he is, "Proud to have served!"

It's amazing to think that this shadow box holds so much! We couldn't be more proud of his service for our country or more grateful for the legacy he leaves behind! Thank you, dad, and thank you, Papa, for serving our country! We love you!

Vietnam Veteran Shadow Box
The Shadow Box Design Team

Stephen and Stephanie are proud of their dad

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 A Year In Review

Wow! I can't believe an entire year has gone by since my last post. We have been busy making memories with our little family. As I look back on this year, I can't help but think how incredibly blessed we are! Preston and Kelsey, now 6 and 2 years old, are our entire world! They make each and every day better and have us striving to be better parents/role models for them daily! Watching them grow and learn is such an incredible experience. I am so thankful that God chose us to be their parents! I couldn't imagine a better job! Since it has been so long, I decided to do one very large post and give little updates as you scroll through the pictures. These pictures start in November 2015 and go through December 2016. As I went through the thousands of pictures from this year to come up with what to post, one word came to mind...GRATEFUL! Life is SO good right now. Our hearts are full of gratitude for the many, many blessings we have. We are cherishing each and every day!

I loved watching these two play together on the playground at Sunshine Kids Preschool

Someone got into mommy's lipstick

SO excited for his first overnight at Mimi and Papa's


Girls shopping day

Hanging with the girls

Preston's sweet TK class learning about Thanksgiving

Bath time=Fun

Preston had a pretty big fall and got quite the goose egg

Celebrating Steph's birthday

Mommy's girl- Aunt Steph and cousin Vivi


They love each other so much

Preston as "Giving Wolf" in their TK Thanksgiving program

So glad Mimi and Papa could be there to see the show!

Preston was thankful this year for his family

Pops made it in to help us put up the tree

Kelsey is helping decorate

Preston loves putting up the tree

Daddy has fun finding the lights that aren't working HA!

It is the most wonderful time of the year!

Loving the lights

In aww

Hanging with Pops

We went to San Angelo for Thanksgiving and got to spend some time with my brothers family

Drew fried a turkey

The cousins had a blast!

Pops and his BIG kids

Crashed out

Like father, like son

Preston adores his cousins

Our Christmas tree

Now for Thanksgiving with the Mota's at Steph and Gene's for Vivi's 1st Thanksgiving. Mimi and her girls


Mimi and Kelsey

Preston and Papa playing

The cooks

My sweet crew

Stephanie, Gene and Vivian on her 1st Thanksgiving

Mimi, Papa and their grandbabies

The kids table

Silly one!

The whole crew

Holidays means we get to see friends from out of town! Hanging with Z and Nikki


Our sassy little sister

Nana got some time to come visit!
Jingles and Bells came back for another year of fun!

We learned how to make butter with Nana

Preston was thrilled to see Santa this year, Kelsey...not so much

Gingerbread house time!

Hard at work

We adopted our angels this year, the kids enjoyed picking stuff out for them

Family tradition-Give back

My crazy crew

Sweet babes

Night out with mom. We went to see Elf the musical

Playing with my girl
Making pralines with mom
Nana is making her famous pralines

Enjoying a warm fire

Family trip to the Gaylord with the Mota crew

Stephanie, Gene and Vivi taking in the sites

Love this family

Cutie patootie


Sledding with Papa

Preston had a blast!

More fun with daddy

Sweet snuggly Vivi

The Mays Family

Mimi, Papa and their grandbabies

Family fun photo opp

Our little sweeties

Preston's Christmas program "Hi Mom!"

Sweetest little angel ever

Proud little sister
Isn't he handsome?!
Preston's adorable TK class at Sunshine Kids

They had their silly moments too

Mommy ready to play elf this Christmas season

The first gift arrives!

Kids loving their arcade table from Nana

Time to go ice skating

Precious little snow bunny

He is ready to skate

Family fun

Daddy and Kelsey
Mommas boy

Christmas Eve with mom
Chtristmas Eve with Dad
Ready to go wait for Santa
We've got to go feed the reindeer before bed!
And set out cookies and milk for Santa
Coming to see their goodies
Preston is SO excited
Kelsey is thrilled
She's driving!

So happy Nana was with us to celebrate
Our happy family
More presents
Crazy bunch
We love Nana
A snapshot of the day
Aunst Stephie, Uncle Gene and Vivi
The Mota/Mays Families
Love my fam!
Thankful to celebrate with Mimi and Papa
My boy
Opening presents for Vivi

Sweet cousins

Wrestling time with daddy and Papa
What a fun day!

Love these two

Another Christmas with The Workmans
Drew and mom

Drew, mom and I

Christmas dinner

Nana and her grandbabies Riley, Kaylin, Kinley, Preston and Kelsey

Our crazy crew

The kids and grandkids

Preston and Riley are ready to ski
My good looking ski partner

Bundled up ready for the cold

CHEERS to Beaver Creek

Sleigh bells ring

Warming up by the fire


Having fun on the gondola

Hot chocolate makes everyone happy
The kids enjoying the show

Happy New Year

Ready to ring in the New Year
The Workmans

Little stud
Riley and Aunt Shelly ringing in the New Year
The girls
Kids having fun on the dance floor
Not quite sure what to think of all this
Daddy's girl
My handsome date

These three are ready to ski!

Love spending time with this crew

Kelsey warming up

Beaver Creek 

Skiing with our big boy

Oh what fun!

Mom and I

Our little family

Some favorite moments

Partner in crime

Time to go home

Kelsey moved to her BIG GIRL bed!
Went to visit friend-Harris and Kelsey
Kate and Preston

Kris and I sharing our favorite place TED'S with the kids

Awbrey, Kendall, Kelsey and Preston

My favorite people on earth

Preston and his TK friends had PJ day

Kelsey started Pre-school at Brothers school, they were both pretty excited!

Preston telling her how great its going to be

Our big girl is ready

She's got a great example to follow

On January 15th we celebrated our 11 year anniversary

My family spoiled me on my birthday

I got to spend the evening with all of my favorite people

These two are my world
And so thankful for this good looking daddy that completes my world
Wishing BIG
Celebrating our favorite guy

Good times with family
The whole crew was there to celebrate Stephen's birthday

Happy birthday daddy
These are special times 
They LOVE their daddy
I do too!
Got in a little date night to Bridges Over Madison County
Opening his Valentine's from us
Opening her Valentine's from us
Valentine's Day with my little loves
Snuggling with my love bugs
I couldn't love this bunch more!

Kelsey's turning 2!
Happy birthday pretty girl, you've made our family complete!

Daddy's Little Girl
Fun day out at the zoo to celebrate with family
Riding the elephants
They had a Lego exhibit at the zoo that was amazing
Choo choo!
Big girl playing
Capturing the moment
The gifts did not disappoint

Preston started basketball
Causing trouble in Cabelas ;)
Ready for her party
LOVE this! Watching the set up for Kelsey's party
Ready for our little farm party
So excited about the animals
Lovin it
Feeding the goat
Preston feeding a pig
Three of my favorite women
The girls

Nana holding a bunny for Kelsey

Luke, Hunter and Preston
Kelsey and her little friend Evie from preschool
She loved the bunny
Their might be bunnies in our future

Vivi also liked the bunnies
Daddy is so much fun!
Happy birthday Kelsey
She loved the cake

Farm cake
Aunt Stephie, Uncle Gene, Vivi, Mimi and Papa all came to celebrate
Opening presents
Coming to an end
What a party!

 MARCH 2016
Sweeties ready for school pictures

They love each other so much

She showed up wearing the same shirt!

Kris and Kyle came to visit

Always a good time
Got to love letting loose with good friends

We had some fun at Great Wolf Lodge


They loved it

Jammie time
Our little basketball star

Mimi and Papa came to check out our new patio lights daddy put up

Kelsey and Mimi

At his basketball ceremony

Got to go enjoy a Mavs game with daddy

Great seats

And a new ball!

Daddy is THE BEST

Our little indian

Ready for St. Patrick's Day

Mommy and daddy are too

The Workman's made it!

Cousin time is the best time!

Fun at Top Golf

Good looking bunch of kiddos
Our Top Golf crew for the day
Cousins at Great Wolf Lodge

Excited for some Great Wolf Lodge fun!
Great Wolf fun with cousins
More Great Wolf fun with family
Papa and Preston
Mimi, Steph and Vivi


Even when we're crazy

Mimi, Papa and their 3 grandchildren 
Going to meet the Easter bunny

Carousel fun

Preston was ready, Kelsey just went in for a quick hug

Family fun

We got to go to both kids Easter events at school

Coloring eggs

So fun

Easter morning


Vivi opening her Easter basket

Mimi and Papa celebrating Easter

Daddy and his baby girl

Kelsey loving on Buddy at the vet. He got a not-so-good diagnosis.

Mimi celebrates a big birthday!

Happy birthday from all of us!

The girls

Our littles

Mimi and her grandbabies

Took a trip to the Stockyards to continue the celebration

Family fun

Daddy took the kids in the maze

Looking good!

Papa, Mimi, Stephanie and Stephen

Our crazy crew

He felt the need to say a prayer, sweet boy


Wish BIG



Cute kiddo

The ladies

APRIL 2016

Kyle and Ashley came in for a quick visit
Always a good time

Laughed a lot!

We took a road trip to visit my Aunt Jeanine and Uncle Bill (my grandmother's sister)

They have a beautiful place

Love my momma

Feels like I'm sitting here with my grandma, wish she were here too!

Ready for the wedding

Some of Aunt Jeanine and Grandma's great grandkids

MAY 2016
A little Mother's Day Love

Loving on my girl too

So blessed that these two call me MOM

Love doing life with these 3!
A nice little Mother's Day celebration at school

My big boy graduated TK


Getting his diploma from Mrs. Tami and Mrs. Lia

Walked out throwing their hats to Justin Timberlakes "Can't Stop the Feeling"

Sweet boy, don't grow up!
Enjoying snuggles while I still can

Playing in our garden

ROAD TRIP 2016 up the East Coast

1st stop North Carolina to visit Z and Nikki
We ate our way through the trip
They showed us some beautiful places
And some pretty fun places

Loved catching up with them

Gig em Boys!
Cheers to good friends

Z and Nikki
Let the roadtrip begin!

Stopped in Ashville at the largest privately owned estate in America The Biltmore

They had a neat farm with a rooster you could pet

And fun statues you could take pics with

Then we headed to the Smoky Mountains
My boys hiking

Sweet girl did great on the hike
Fun at the water park

And seeing bears
Our next stop was South Carolina Hilton Head

Photo Opp

We loved it!

Such a great family place

The kids loved the beach
Then it was time to hit the road again

We headed up to Richmond where we stayed at the Jefferson
and had a fabulous brunch

After traveling and stopping in Charleston, we stopped by the White House
We made it all the way to NYC! This is the Empire State Building

Wall Street

Times Square

Vivi turned 1! Such a cute Raggedy Ann party

Happy 1st birthday sweetie!

JUNE 2016
Waving bye to daddy as he goes to work and we enjoy Summer...thanks dad!
Kelsey loves Buddy
Crazy hair day at VBS

Crazy hair don't care

Giggly goose

Crazy hat day at VBS

They stick together

They performed on stage and did GREAT!

My little singer/dancers

Cave Quest

Daddy telling bedtime stories

Preston and Kelsey enjoying a summertime slumber party in brothers room

Happy Father's Day to the BEST DADDY EVER

So much love

Good times

Mimi and her girls

Celebrating this Father, the Best!

Kelsey, mommy, Nana and Mimi
The dads and their kiddos

Papa celebrating Father's Day
Kids opening presents for Papa

Made a trip to visit my dad as well. Pops with the kids

Pop's garden

Pops teaching Preston a thing or two about gardening

Relaxing in the hammock

We all loved it

Great visit

Steve and I even found time to relax

Kids are napping!

So nice

Ended with a fun Father's Day dinner

A little Mother/son date day with my boy, dinner and a movie

A little science fun!



My girl and her dolls

JULY 2016

Summer=Back yard camp out

These two had a blast
Ready to sleep under the stars
It's going to be a LONG night for a couple of us. ;)

And then they crashed

Happy Independence Day- Dessert courtesy of Steph


Almost impossible to get a good pic of these 3

My little doll

Loving some sparklers
My little firecrackers

Love each other so much

And they love their cousin Vivi


Smoke bombs

Mimi and Papa observing the show

Mimi joining in the sparklers

Preston and Mimi

Fun group to celebrate 4th of July

Having a ball

Papa and Preston doing sparklers

The girls

The guys

Cutie enjoying her swinging

Two sweet girls getting sleepy

Show time! 42nd Street date night

Love him!

It's Papa's birthday!

Two of Papa's biggest fans

Papa and his grandbabies

Making a wish, with a little help!

Happy birthday Papa

I love how Preston always sets up his guys for battle and asks us to take pictures of them

Happy birthday dad!

Stephen and I took a little trip to NYC without the kids (thanks Mimi and Papa)

What shall we do?!

Let the party begin

Little Italy

Today show while Stephen did a little work at the World Trade Center

Clubbin at Tao
Show time- Kinky Boots

So fun

Central Park

So pretty
Central Park
Cheers to a good trip

Fun at Little Ninjas

Bye daddy, wish you could stay and not go to work

We got to babysit Vivi. They enjoyed some cousin time

Playing in daddy's closet


Playing at the pool enjoying our last bit of summer

Kelsey doing a little yoga with mommy

Mommy and me Yoga

Pierce's bday party

Preston and Kelsey sliding


And sassy

Playing in mommy's closet

Snowcone time

Chapel Creek Ranch-Where they keep the horses from Medieval Times
The pretty horses

Playing with daddy

Mimi and Papa

Stephen and mom

Got in a little chess with dad

Buddy went swimming

snuggle bugs


Fun playing

Kelsey's 1st day of dance

So cute

And excited

Kidnap breakfast with TK

Last TK get together before Kindergarten

Family walk

Neighborhood pond looked pretty

My boys

Life is good

Our neighbors went for a walk with us

Play date with Lillie Grace

Preston and Pierce acting silly

Babe's Chicken

Good times

A little hot chocolate in August

Best friends

Family night at Medieval Times

Our brave knight

Medieval Times with friends
Ripley's Believe it or Not

Fun at Ripley's

We all enjoyed the mirror maze

Meet the teacher

Mrs. Naber, Preston's Kindergarten teacher

I can't believe its time for my big boy to be in Kindergarten! (tears)

Kelsey ready for her meet the teacher in Preschool

Mrs. Lesley

Mrs. Jamie
Our cousins got to visit for one last summer hoorah

Riley, Kelsey, Preston and Kaylin (Kinley was napping)

We ate with bears!

The kids were fascinated

Pretty cool

Train ride to take a break from back to school shopping

More cousin fun at Jump Zone

A little evening sparkler fun too

Kinley and Kelsey are big buddies

The first day of Kindergarten has arrived

He is SO excited!

We are holding back our tears!

SO big
Me and my big boy!
Daddy and his son

Kelsey is so proud of big brother and wants to go to school with him!
Walking like a such a big boy into his first day of Kindergarten
Made it to the classroom

His annual board

Preston turned 6!
Celebrating with the family at Legoland

Stylin in our glasses

They sang to him at Rainforest Cafe

Always fun at Legoland

AND a cookie cake

It's Party Time!
Excited for his birthday party

Ready for some Pancakes in pajamas

The balloon animals were a hit

Such a sweet group of friends

Having a blast

Love these little ones

But look how big he's getting! New bike from Mimi and Papa

Sweet family

Watching the magic show

Quick pic with daddy

Kelsey loving on Vivi

Mommy's little girl


Neighbor boys (and Kelsey)

Neighbors: Jake, Preston, Kelsey, Caroline, Pierce and Lillie Grace

Preston, Pierce and Jake

Finished the Lego castle Nana got him the next day!


Kelsey's 1st day of school in the 2's class

She was so excited to start

Precious girl

She is in the Penguins class

Big girl wanted to carry all of her stuff by herself

Proud daddy

She brought flowers for her teachers

Excited to start the school year

Preston started tennis

Such a stud

He did fantastic

I'm a lucky lady to call this one mine! Love him!

Stephen took a work trip on the private jet to NYC. We were happy to have him back home!

Kelsey loves taking her babies for walks in the neighborhood

And playing on her playground at school before school

Football season with these cute cheerleaders

More fun on the school playground

Kindergarten wipes this kiddo out! He is SO big!

We took a trip to OKC to visit college friends. Love seeing these kids grow

Super dads while the mommas catch up!

Love her!

Enjoying some of the last warm days

Who said summer needs to come to an end?!


Cuties ready for school
Love these Lil Aggies

Daddy reading bedtime stories

Pumpkin patch fun

Cute lil punkin

Had a hard time getting pics of these two this year

But they had fun!

We launched our business in October!

Our house turned into a crate factory

PK's Craft Crates- Brings Bible stories to life through crafts and inspirational messages

Good dogs, Buddy and Izzy

This girl LOVES being outside and playing with daddy

Kelsey had dress up day at dance

Pretty princess

Her costume she wanted (a monkey) hadn't come in yet, so she had to wear Cinderella

She made a beautiful princess at her school parade
Mommy and her princess

Preston had crazy hair day at school

Carving pumpkins

Always fun

They were such big helpers

Proud of their pumpkins

Best family selfie we could get

It's Halloween party time! Preston was The Rock
We even dressed up. Stephen was a chick magnet and I was It's raining men

And Kelsey's monkey costume came in! Isn't she cute?!

We had the neighbors over for a little party. Preston, Pierce and Jake

All of our cute little girls- Kelsey, Vivian, Caroline, Annabelle, Collins and Lillie Grace

The boys

Costume started coming off and kids started winding down
My favorite end of night picture...all the boys (and Kelsey) with their shirts off 
On Halloween Preston had Groovy Day at school

He was pretty groovy

Kels got to join in the fun too

Peace boys

Just a couple of hippies
Happy Halloween from the Rock and our lil monkey


Vivian and Kelsey got a nice little ride around the neighborhood

Part of our trick-or-treating crew

Preston did a fun run and ran 32 laps!

Super fast!

Finish line selfie

Playing at Vivi's house

Cheering for the Aggies

We also celebrated Nana's birthday in October

Uncle Julio's pinata

Everyone enjoys this dessert

Happy birthday Nana

Family trip to the State Fair

Big Tex

A little Father/Son time

Ready for picture day at school

But first a kissy face selfie with mom

Kelsey had an observation day at dance

She did great

And had so much fun!

Mommy was proud

Daddy and Preston shootin cans with my grandpas BB gun, wish he was here too

Another visit with great friends

Yes, water balloons in November. Only in Texas

Buddy, such a good dog

I went up and decorated doors for the Kindergarten classes. Frosty is our theme

And we spent time decorating our Christmas tree

I love these little elf's

Stephen and I got to attend Kelsey's Thanksgiving Feast at school

Kelsey's sweet little Penguin class

She wanted to keep the pumpkin photo prop

She said she was thankful for, "my mommy and daddy"

Preston had Grandparents Day at school for their Thanksgiving Feast

Pretty lucky guy to have Mimi, Papa and Nana there for it!

Thankful for family

Family road trip to Colorado

Almost there, our favorite Starbucks
We made it to Beaver Creek
First family dinner at The Dusty Boot
Mimi, Papa and their 3 grandkids

Family Mountain time

Leo, Ina and Vivi

Chasing the little ones

Little buddies

Happy to have made it
Ready to play in the snow

Cousins all bundled up

Our cute snow bunny

Hey good lookin

Our happy place

The little ones loving the snow

Uncle Gene, Aunt Steph and Vivi
Preston sledding

Daddy sledding

Papa sledding
Family sledding race-Boys won in speed, girls won in distance
Warming up by the fire
Enjoying the view of the mountains
Stephen was thrilled he got to show his parents this place
3 generations warming up by the fire
Vivi's first time in the snow

Having fun in the snow

Thanksgiving Day- Couldn't be more thankful for this family
Thanksgiving Dinner at the Golden Eagle Inn Beaver Creek

Just a girl and her baby, sitting by the fire

Preston won a Santa hat!

Mimi and Papa enjoying the fire and live music
Preston and Papa got to play a little chess

Opening Day at Beaver Creek! Ready to hit the slopes!

Ready for day one of skiing
To the top!
Having fun
Our little skier

Top of the mountain

Love this place

Skiing with this guy...lucky me!

Eating at the top of the mountain with this cutie

Mimi and Papa made it to the top of the mountain!

Looking good!

Our lunch crew at the top of the mountain

Going back to the top with this crazy crew
Best attempt at a family photo top of the mountain

Fun day!
Gondola fun
Time for s'mores!
The tree lighting was amazing as always, complete with Santa, ice skating and fireworks
Kelsey is excited for another day

Ready for some more skiing
Photo opp with my love
Couldn't love this man more
Our skiing group Cheers!

Taking it all in

We spotted Preston and his instructor skiing down the mountain!

Then he got to go ski with mom and dad

Daddy and Preston skiing together
Proud parents-Preston is a great little skier

Snuggles with my big boy!
More sledding

And fun in the snow

And then it was time to go

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
We went to build gingerbread houses at Preston's school

Our family Christmas pictures

Preston received the REACH award at school (Respect, Encourage, Appreciate, Communicate and Honor)

Sister was very proud of her brother

Nana, Mimi and Papa were all there to cheer for his accomplishment

We couldn't be more proud of the big boy you are becoming!

Everyone was super excited to see Santa until we got to the front of the line! Preston and Kelsey both talked about how much they loved Santa all the way there and then once we got up there Kelsey said, "I don't like Santa!" haha Preston was a big boy and told Santa what both he and Kelsey wanted for Christmas.

Managed to get a family shot without tears

Sweet hugs, I bet they'll make the good list this year!