This is where I write about my life. Marriage, children, faith, and coming to the realization that as long as I have those three things...I am home. No matter where that is.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Of A Few Words II

Rylee Anne. My precious second born. Almost 2 years old. The Class Clown. You are so funny and beautiful. God knew just what He was doing when gave you to us. You are cuddly and warm. You love to give hugs, mostly to me, but sometimes you will hug others and let them feel just a fraction of what I feel with you everyday. Unconditional love. We are still learning together who you will be. But, I know that you will make a mark on this world. Compassionate and caring one. You bring joy with you everywhere you go. I cherish every second with you. So blessed to have you in my life.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday Of A Few Words

Sarah Grace. My beautiful girl. Almost 4 years old. You are spirited and funny and a bright light on a cloudy day. You feel everything deeply. Such a girlie-girl. You are emotional and dramatic. Sometimes you test me to my limit, but I am so glad that you do. I am supposed to be molding you, shaping you into the person you should be, but at the same time, you are making me a better person. So silly and imaginative. You are not just relaxing here in the grass. You are making "Grass Angels". Lying there sliding your arms and legs back and forth. Then you get up, to see the impression in the grass, and cry when it isn't there. You have brought so much love and laughter into our lives. Thank you, Sweetie-Girl.
Always be who you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Love, Mommy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pure Joy

These girls are loved and adored beyond what you could imagine.

Sarah has a flare for the dramatic, a tender heart, and a tad of a mean streak. She is beautiful with big blue/gray eyes and long legs, and a laugh that makes my heart sing. She is my firstborn and my tiny dancer. She is so intelligent and has an imagination as big as the sky. She leaves me scratching my head sometimes, but everyday with her is an adventure.

Rylee has (as you can see) a smile that lights up my world, a goofy personality, and she gives the best hugs ever. She has heartfelt conversations with you in a language that only she understands, but somehow you know just what she is saying. She has piercing blue eyes, but her hair is always covering them. I can't seem to do anything with her hair. She loves her Daddy, but she calls him Mama. We are both Mama. But, when she calls my name, I know why I am on this earth.

Then, there are these new little additions to our family. My twin nieces Anna and Addison. They are close to 11 weeks old now. They are tiny miracles, like all babies are, but they remind us everyday that life is precious and surprises are wonderful. And, they are responsible for giving me the worst case of baby fever ever! Thanks a lot, girls!:)

Anna, on the left, smiles all the time. She is a happy baby. But, when she is hungry or wants to be held, she goes from 0 to 60 in about 1/2 a second. She is beautiful, and her nose and eyes remind me of Sarah. But, she looks like her Daddy, too. It's amazing how babies can look like so many people at one time. She started out as the smallest, but now she is the biggest. She loves her Mommy! All is right with the world as long as she is being held close to her Mommy's chest.

And, Addison, on the right, she is sure gonna be a heart breaker, with those big blue eyes. And, when she smiles, she smiles with her whole face. Beautiful girl. She is content. But, when she wants something, she lets you know...right then. She loves her bop-bop (passy) and doesn't think she can live without it. She looks like her Pop Pop and Uncle Brian, but there are times when I look at her that she really looks like her Daddy, too.

I am enjoying watching them grow so much. We don't know yet who they will be, but everyday their personalities shine through a little more. I am so blessed to be in their family and to know them and LOVE them. These four girls are just pure joy for me!


I am all about holiday traditions. Even more now that I have children than before. I so look forward to doing special things every year with my family.

All of my life, almost 28 years now, we have had Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas Eve dinner with my Nana and Papa and my cousins (who feel more like siblings). Oh! How I love Nana's house on Thanksgiving! It is full with children and laughter and hugs and kisses. The men sit in the den and talk turkey and deer hunting, rock quarries, and football while the women pile their plates full of food and serve them. As a newlywed, I was determined not to show such submission. But, it didn't take me long to realize that it isn't done out of submission. It is done out of love and respect and thankfulness. So, now, I happily take my husband's dinner to him on a tray and roll my eyes when the younger girls swear they'll never do that. Because, I know they will. Then the women, after serving food to the little ones, eat around the kitchen counter. The chatter that once consisted of pageants, recitals, recipes, and babies has now turned to conversations of college, boyfriends, symphony, and well, still recipes and babies. It is arguably one of my favorite days of the entire year.

When I was a teenager, we would come home from Nana's on Christmas Eve, and I would open one gift from my Mom and Dad. Then, I would go spend the night with Vanda and Shawn and help with Santa for their (at the time) three small children. We did that even up to the year that I was hugely pregnant with my first baby. I watched with swollen feet (oh, who am I kidding? Swollen, everything) as Brian assembled a little toy kitchen for Amberly that, 3 years later, would be the highlight of my own daughter's Christmas morning. I have grown to truly cherish those times of tradition with family.

When Brian and I got married, as I'm sure most couples face, we had to do some major compromising for holidays. He is big on family traditions, too. And, he was no more willing to give any of it up than I was. So, for more than 5 years now, we do the very best we can to accommodate each other. It isn't always the easiest thing, but we make it work.
There are a lot of things that we could do differently and make things easier on ourselves, but we choose not to, because keeping with the traditions we love is more important to us than doing it the easy way. So, we will continue to eat 2 huge Thanksgiving meals, one at lunch and one at dinner, because we adore time spent with both our families. We will continue to go to Nana's with our girls in their jammies on Christmas Eve, and reluctantly but happily leave early to make it to Brian's Memaw's house just in time for Dessert and Dirty Santa. We will continue to drive 2 hours back to our house late on Christmas Eve, because it is important for us that our children wake up Christmas morning in their own beds. We will continue...because it is tradition...FAMILY tradition. And, because we love it and look forward to it all year.

That does not mean, however, that there is no room for new traditions to be established. When people get married, have children, combine families, etc... it is a good thing, no, a wonderful thing, to establish new traditions that will be all their own and build on that relationship and help the family to grow together. But, we should still be respectful of long-held traditions and not make people we love feel torn or conflicted between the old and the new. That is not what the holiday season is about. It should be something to excitedly await, not dread. It should be a time to enjoy, not just survive.

We have a new tradition (since Sarah's first Christmas) of early Christmas Eve morning breakfast at Shoney's in our jammies. We adopted that from Vanda and her family and last year we had the privilege of spending that time with their family. And, thus, a new tradition was born.
This year is going to be a year of lots of new traditions with new family. And, I am looking forward to it. At least, I am now that I know I am not going to be forced to choose between the people that I love.

Let's just remember that any time spent together as a family is a time for Thanksgiving. No matter what day it is.

What are some of your family's old traditions? And, what are some new ones?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Someday, Brian is going to call me on the way home from work and tell me that there is a job for him at home. I won't hear all the specifics that will follow, because I will be too overcome. I won't even know who to call first. Or if we should call anyone at all. We might just have to hop in the car and make an unannounced trip to see our families. That kind of news will be so much sweeter shared in person.

Someday, we will sell our house. The house that changed our lives. The house where we truly started out on our own. The house that we brought both of our newborn daughters home to. But, I won't shed one tear of sadness for the memories made in this house. Because they are just that...memories. I will take them with me always. I will only shed tears of joy for the life that we've lived in this house. We'll move into the house that will be our home for good. And, as far as I am concerned, the closer the better.

Someday, I will spend my days having lunch with my Mom, meeting my sister-in-law at the park to let our girls play together, and taking afternoon trips to Smocking Bird with Vanda. I will pick up my sweet nieces and take all the girls for ice cream. Then, take them back to their Mama with a sugar high just because I can. I will double recipes, so that we can have Taylor and Jeremy, Teneal and Joey, or Craig and Valerie over for dinner anytime.

Someday, when Sarah cries not wanting to leave Gigi's house, we will be able to say, "OK. You can stay the night and we will pick you up in the morning." When Mom comes over for an afternoon, Rylee will run right to her, and give her a familiar hug.

Someday, I am going to go back to school. I will get my Masters, and become a teacher.


But, today, I am going to pack our bags for another weekend visit to the loved ones that we don't get to see often enough for me. I am going to give thanks to my Father for a husband that provides, a good job, an income that allows me to stay home with my babies, a roof over my head, and a company vehicle with free gas, so that our frequent visits home are possible.

And, I am going to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that someday comes soon.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:3-5

Monday, November 8, 2010

25 Things About Motherhood That Make Me Smile

1. Putting big block puzzles together for 3 hours
2. Rylee saying,"MY MAMA!" whenever Brian hugs or kisses me
3. Finding real Pop Tarts in the toy microwave
4. Sarah singing "All the Single Ladies"
5. When I tell Sarah to sit down and she says,"What am I going to be in?" Hoping that I don't say time out
6. Seeing the excitement on both their faces at Disney on Ice
7. Trick-or-Treating with the 2 most beautiful princesses in the world
8. When Rylee says, "Awww, Man!"
9. Doing bath time with Mr. Froggy
10. Watching Sarah put on "lipstick"
11. Having to get Rylee off the top of the kitchen table 10 times a day
12. Looking in the backseat of the car and them being there
13. Having to pause the movie during "date night" to rock Rylee back to sleep
14. Putting Lisa Frank stickers on a blank sheet of paper for an "art project"
15. Meltdowns in the middle of Wal-Mart and another mother passing by giving me a knowing glance
16. Christmas time-it took on a whole new meaning when I had children
17. So did Thanksgiving
18. Sarah telling the pediatrician that "Only girls can go to DisneyWorld, not boys"
19. Having been so blessed that the only visits to the pediatrician have been well visits
20. Sarah "reading" her princess bedtime story complete with a French accent for Lumiere
21. Holding my new nieces and feeling that familiar tug at my heart
22. Rylee dumping all the contents of the sippy cup drawer into the kitchen floor every day
23. Sarah telling Rylee "Shh, don't cry. It's ok." in her most convincing "mommy" voice
24. Knowing all the words to "Green Eggs and Ham"
25. Singing, "I love Sarah/Rylee in the Springtime" just like my Mom used to sing to me

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

Friday, I cleaned the house. I had all the laundry put away. I had all the toys in their assigned drawers and containers. I was feeling pretty smug, if I do say so myself. Happy to be starting the weekend with nothing hanging over my head. THEN....THIS HAPPENED:Notice, Brian looks thrilled to be getting photographed picking up toys. But, it was his fault really. He was painting Sarah's room on Saturday, and all the contents of said room had to go somewhere. That somewhere just happened to be the middle of the living room floor. Of course, every time someone walked through they would stump their toe on the kitchen, or step on a baby, or trip over a plastic lemon or asparagus or banana! Then we found THIS:At first glance, it just looks like your average toy kitchen with an Abby Cadabby doll perched on top of the fridge. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? But, take a closer look. Upon further investigation, we found THIS:
I thought Sarah had eaten both Pop Tarts in the package for breakfast. I was wondering why she was still hungry. It seems that she was going to nuke this one for a snack later.
I just had to laugh!!
p.s. Yes, I let Sarah eat Pop Tarts for breakfast. And, I would let Rylee eat them, too, if she wouldn't smear the strawberry filling all in her hair. Don't judge.


Right now, I am watching my spunky not-quite-2-years old Rylee Anne "cook" something in the toy kitchen. She is so bright and imaginative. She learns a new word everyday. Yesterday she learned to say, "UP!" while raising both arms to the sky. She also learned the word "Mine". I was wondering how long it would take for that one to creep up. It is incredible to me how much she has changed just in the past 3 months. She is looking and acting less and less like a baby and more and more like a big girl. It makes me makes me happy.

I have been really reflecting on this for a day or two, because we are about to transition her from the crib into a big girl bed. She will be sharing the bedroom with her sister. She seems so tiny in that huge twin sized bed. I'm not too excited about having to put her back in the bed a hundred times a night for the next week or so. I am, however, looking forward to tucking them in at the same time and sitting in between the two beds for story time every night. I'm looking forward to hearing the giggles and chattering of sisters awake past bedtime. And, I will definitely have my camera ready for the morning I go in to find them snuggled together in one bed. I have a feeling that will happen often. They are both snugglers.
The main thing upsetting me about moving Rylee to a big bed is that the crib is going to be...empty.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Thousand Words

That is what this is worth to me. My husband worked over 12 hours today, and has to be at work by 4:00 tomorrow morning. He came in tonight, ate dinner, and played with the girls for a few minutes before he completely zonked out on the couch. Sarah saw that Daddy was "taking a nap" and brought all of her bed buddies and her ballerina blanket and tucked Daddy in. Oreo is on top of Daddy's head. He is snuggling with Ruby, and there are 3 more under that blanket! She then turned out all the lights and instructed me and Rylee, "Shhh...Daddy needs his rest." I adore that little girl and her wide open, tender heart! And, I adore that man for working himself to a frazzle for us. Oh, and I adore Rylee for planting sweet, slobbery smooches on Daddy's face in the midst of all the "tucking in". Wish I had gotten a picture of that.