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picking a DVD

When I was out of town last week, Tristan decided to rummage through the DVDs and pick one out for Jillian.


twinkle twinkle traffic light

Ava singing a new song from school...

crawling & playing with balls

The little man has become pretty fast, and has a great arm on him!


crawling part 2

Less than a week after his initial movement, this is what he's doing now! He's ready to go!


We had some friends at the house Sunday night, and Tristan began to make his first efforts at crawling... forward.


TO clapping & squealing

Tristan has become a very loud little man. This video shows him squealing some and clapping.

TO is getting bigger

Shot this a couple of weeks ago, but wanted to post it so everyone can see how big the little man is getting. Ava is now calling him Mr. T, and T Man...

we will... we will...

Ava also came home singing this song, however not quite as successful...

monkeys & an alligator

Ava came home singing this song after school, had to get it on video...




7 years old

On Monday Jillian and I celebrated being seven years old together. It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years already. We have moved 3 times, have 2 kids, have had 4 pets, and continue to grow closer and learn more about each other. Here's to my beautiful bride. Enjoy the pictures below of when we first met!

just hanging out

at my fraternity's Presents @ Pepperdine

headed to Wyoming

After I got home Friday night from Myrtle Beach, the evening was spent doing laundry and re-packing to head up to Wyoming the next day. My in-laws live in Laramie, Wyoming and we have always enjoyed taking a bit of time up there in the summer because of the nice weather. So we packed up the fam again, and this time had a much better trip through the airport thanks to no delays! We arrived in Denver, CO where my mother in law picked us up. We made the drive into Laramie and when Ava got out of the car proclaimed “it’s a cold winter day!” (it was 70 degrees outside). We spent the week hanging out and enjoying getting to be outdoors. As tradition with our first child, Jillian’s dad was proud to introduce Tristan to ice-cream. He made a face at first, and then ate as much of it as mommy would let him! I spent the mornings taking my father in laws mountain bike out for rides (almost 7,500ft elevation hurts FYI) and Jillian continued running to prepare for her first 5k. We went down to the Cheyenne Frontier Days on Tuesday night to catch some Professional Bull Riding action which was more entertaining than we expected. Jillian’s mom had also secured tickets to a concert later in the week at Frontier Days to see Kenny Chesney; which was an incredible show! One day Jillian & her mom went shopping, so the father in law and me took the kids to see some snow in July up in the mountains. Ava absolutely loved it! After the week was over, I had to get back to Texas to train some more customers, but we decided it would be fun for Jillian & the kids to stay up there another week and a half since I would be busy anyway.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Mid July started a crazy month of traveling for the Collins family. In the spring I learned that I would have to take a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC to train customers for a week. Since Jillian has been locked down with work & kiddos, I made the proposition that I fly her out and she join me for part of the week while my parents got some ‘quality grandparent time’ in with the kiddos. So we got everything setup, went up to Denton to drop off the kids and were on our way to South Carolina. Fortunately the flying was fairly uneventful (Jillian’s not a big fan of planes), and we made it into Myrtle Beach. We spent Sunday morning on the beach for our own spiritual relaxation together, and then Jillian joined me while we setup our training lab on Sunday afternoon. During the day on Monday and Tuesday when I was training customers, Jillian spent her time at the beach, shopping and reading… all things that are done much easier sans kids. One of our friends who shall remain nameless turned Jillian onto the Twilight series and she finished 2 of the 4. We went out with one of my co-workers for dinner, played some miniature golf, and listened to some live music at Margaritaville. Jillian left on Wednesday to go pick up the kids and go home and I returned Friday night to join them. Although most of my time was spent working it was great to be able to get Jillian some alone time to relax… mommies need that more than daddies realize sometimes.

my beautiful bride

'self photography' at the beach

enjoying Myrtle Beach

going to Cali

Okay, so the next few posts are WAY late, but as you’ll see it’s been a super busy summer for the Collins family. We kicked off the beginning of summer with a trip to California in June. The primary reason for the trip was I had to be in Bakersfield for work all week. It turned out that the weekend before my brother Chris would be getting his PhD from UCLA. So we decided to pack up the whole fam and fly out to California. The trip to Cali was exciting and stressful to say the least. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to board, etc. but our plane was stuck in a rain storm up in Dallas. Seven hours later we were finally on our way. Once in California with a bit of extra time, we decided to take Ava to Disneyland so she could meet the princesses. That was needless to say, amazing! She was so awe-struck by them it was adorable! We proceeded to my brothers commencement ceremonies and rejoiced as he was also awarded dissertation of the year.
We then packed up and drove up to Bakersfield for my company’s annual user conference. While I was working during the days Jillian took the kiddos to the pool, to the zoo and just had a good time hanging out with friends. We were fortunate enough that one of my co-workers lovely teenage daughters offered to babysit the kids a couple of nights so that Jillian could join me for the after-hours festivities. One night the whole group went to Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace, then on Friday night to a Melodrama. All in all it was a great trip and I was glad to have the family out with me for a while.

leaving, on a jet-plane

Ava on her way to meet the princesses

a view of inside the Pepperdine Chapel where we got married 7 years ago

the fam hanging out in Malibu

Ava outside my corporate office in Bakersfield, CA