October, 2011

One of those days usually means it's going to be one of those nights, too --- it's close to midnight, I'm wide awake. I'm coming off of a short battle with some bad meatloaf ... and when I say battle, I mean it was more like a war. If I never see meatloaf again, I'll be fine. I've slept A LOT the past few days, which means that I am way off of my normally sleep-deprived schedule and here I sit. It's dark, the television is on Leno - who I haven't seen in months, and spotify is playing a little of my girl, Sara Groves - but I honestly don't remember turning it on -which means it's been on for a while.

I'm looking through pictures of my Raleigh Man and my SJ - and trying to figure out how they are getting so big...

Raleigh will 18 months old tomorrow. 18 months old. I know that isn't old - but it just happened so quickly. I feel like he should still be a tiny little newborn, completely dependent upon me - but he isn't. He's anything but dependant. He's head-strong. He's a firecracker. He's hillarious - a joker, a comedian, a crowd pleaser, a flirt, a ladies man and fully aware of his unbelievable cute-ness. Amazed everyday, I am, at how wonderful he has made our lives - ALL of our lives. How on earth was I ever afraid of having a little boy ..for even a second? I'm immeasurably grateful for his presence in our lives - the constant comic relief from the every day madness, the sweet full face kisses, the little dimply grin, the wild morning hair, that contagious little laugh, the sound of that sweet voice, wild applause over the tiniest things - he's been 18 months of pure joy, no matter what I say in the moments of chasing him (because he never "walked" --- he's only ever ran --- or at least it feels that way), or the moments of convincing him that it's not okay to steal SJ's glasses, or when he's completely undressing himself and running through the house naked, or when he's being ALL boy... no matter what our day to day brings, he's definitely been 18 months of pure sweet, passy sucking, hair twirling joy. And I wouldn't trade one single second of it.

Here are a few of his favorite things to say:
Singing Zaccheus... but only the "GET DOWN" part (he's heard that a few times)
Barney (I don't want to talk about it..)
"Ess-DAY" "Darruh Dane" "DAY-NEE" (SJ, Sarah Jane, Janey - always yelled, never spoken)
Apple Jew
"Help Me" (in the most pitiful voice you have ever heard)
simba (the cat)
Crack-toos (crackers)
Monk-me (monkey)
Old McDonald
The Itsy Spider (he knows all the hand motions!)

He's also really into playing chase, playing with cars/trucks/tractors/trains (anything with wheels), "feet-balls" (any kind of ball),  hiding from me, and climbing on anything he can manage to climb on. :) He's a wonderful little mess.

As for SJ - I couldn't be any prouder of her... She's growing up way too fast and if I've ever wanted to stop the clock, it's now. She's SO much fun at this age! We recently got the chance to suprise her with a trip to see Taylor Swift (her favorite) and she LOVED IT! She was so suprised - and if she said thank you once, she must have said it twenty times. All day long, she couldn't believe that she was actually there!

Also - today I got this in the mail:

I don't mean to sound boastful when I say that I already knew she was all of those things, but I did - She embodies all of these things effortlessly. It's my constant prayer for her that she never loses them. I've said it for years on this blog - but she's taught me things I could have never learned anywhere else, and these 4 things only scratch the surface.

I've recently started a new bible study with a few of my good friends. At our last get together we were talking about prayers for your children and claiming scripture for them - this is my most recent prayer for SJ, that God would write this on her heart - and mine, too.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and don't lean on your own understanding. In all things acknowledge him, and he will lead your way." (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

She's somehow managed to make it to beings 7.5 years old with such a sweet, sweet spirit. My biggest fear for her is that it will somehow get broken - But, if she clings to this verse, then GOD WILL LEAD HER --- and I can't imagine anything much better than that.


April - September 2011

Yes, I know - I've fallen off of the blog-wagon. But, I've just been so wrapped up in life that I didn't have the time or the desire to sit down and blog... But, since I've caught some flack about it, I decided that I do want to get a few things down before my children are grown! :)

Here's a brief re-cap of the last few months...

And, by "few months" --- I mean, since Easter.

Every year we host our Church Easter Egg Hunt - this year was no exception. We had a blast with the almost 100 people that came. SJ was most excited that KB got to come back "home" for the Egg Hunt, she realllly misses her! They were having so much fun & SJ and KB found the prize eggs!

Easter Morning:
Raleigh is usually pretty okay with everyone - but he just wasn't sure about the Easter Bunny. No tears, but he wouldn't take his eyes off of him!

This little boy is a MESS --- and the more of a mess he is, the more I love him --- in this picture, he had just bumped into the wall (he's a wee bit clumsy)... and as SOON as he got up, he started telling the wall "no, no, no, no" :)

As you can see... he wasn't hurt, and was completely fine mere seconds later.

and he thought the whole thing was just hillarious...

In May, Sarah Jane had her Spring Recital - Can I just say without sounding *too* braggy, braggy... My child is a GREAT dancer - she LOVES it and I couldn't be ANY happier with her dance school, her teachers, the recitals, or the costumes. Every year, they outdo themselves - and this year's recital was no exception.

We tried to take a picture of the Houston grandkids... but, the gnats were OFF THE CHAIN, and this was about all we could come up with. Still can't believe these babies are this big.

Raleigh's favorite shirt: (okay, really it's my favorite shirt that Raleigh wears...)

This Summer we took a trip to the beach..
We stayed in Carillon Beach, and it was fantastic. 8 days of nothing but beach, pools, shopping malls, restaurants, and fun! But, while we were there we took a day and went into Panama City to take SJ to Gulf World. We told her that morning where we were going and that she was going to get to swim with Dolphins and she was BEYOND excited!! We went to dolphin shows and she got to take a class about them... and THEN she got to spend about 40 minutes in the water with them. They did tricks together, she got to swim with him, he splashed her, they gave high fives --- it was fantastic! Yesterday in school she had to write a book about the best vacation ever... and this was the one she picked. OVER DISNEY! :) I'm so glad that she got to do this, she STILL talks about it.

Just a few weeks ago, my sweet niece/bff/pretty much sister had a sweet baby boy, Carson.

I feel like I need to tell y'all that over the last few months I have seen a whole new side to Myki - she is one of the strongest people I have ever known. She's gone through an entire pregnancy, childbirth, and those hard newborn nights ALONE... her precious husband is in Aghanistan, and won't be home for a few more weeks. Also, during the last little bit of her pregnancy, she had Justin's little girl with her --- not only did she do all of this alone, she never complains... she just does it! Because she has to. I've gained a whole new appreciation for those that are left behind when soldiers deploy. She's amazing!

Here's SJ's first day of school picture...
I know that I have said this every year... but when I look at these pictures, I can't believe that this is my SJ. She's almost up to my shoulders when she stands up straight. She really loves school, her new teacher, and all the kids in her class. She just recently informed us that she wants to go to college at YALE! ...or Harvard. ---and though that sounds out of reach, I am 100% confident that if that is what she wants, then she will do it.

Raleigh is still a Daddy's boy... he loves me, definitely... but he is OBSESSED with George. It's the cutest thing ever.

Every year there is a big field of flags by our Mall --- each one of these flags has a name tied to it... a soldier's name. People can purchase the flags in honor or in memory of a Soldier that they love. We always take the kids and show them the flags --- it's a great hands on way to remind them of how great of a country we live in.

They put these flags up every year in memory of September 11th... but my kids don't remember it. They weren't even here yet. I'm always baffled when I have to tell SJ about it, every year revealing a little more about the tragedy of that day and those that followed. It's a heartbreaking thing to watch your child figure out that there is that much evil in the world --- and even scarier to think that one day, I'll have to let her go live in it.

Here's Raleigh's NEW BIG BOY BED... that he hates. Just as much as he hated his crib. This child is going to be sleeping in our bed until he is 20...

And here's our latest picture - taken yesterday. :)

Hopefully I can come up with something witty or profound to blog about soon --- but until then, these pictures will have to do.

Have a great day!


You are one.

The days last forever, but the years pass so quickly.

That's the quote that has resonated in my mind over and over again while I have been trying to write this post these last few weeks. I've been a little absent from the blog - because I have been so incredibly busy - but I wanted to make sure that I get these thoughts down somewhere. My son is one - one year old. and counting. I need more hours in my days!


Sweet, Sweet baby. I can remember standing in your nursery with your Daddy when I was 8 months pregnant, trying to get your room JUST right. I had everything sorted, everything where it should be... I was obsessive about things being perfect for you. It's weird, see, because that isn't like me. I don't obsess over the house (which I am sure you will learn) or over little nit-picky things -- and I remember him asking me what was going on? I stopped what I was doing and I just crumbled into his arms because I was scared to death -- I didn't know anything about baby boys, or how I was going to handle you... or more importantly what you were going to think of me. So, I was trying to make everything that I knew anything about - perfect. And it was.

That fear never left me. The morning you were born I can remember praying for God help me, because I just didn't know what to expect.

But, when that nurse handed you to me, when I saw your sweet baby face - I literally thought that my heart was going to beat out of my chest - I loved you with a love that I didn't even know was possible.

Child of mine, you have changed me for the better. What an incredible blessing you are. You bring an unimaginable amount of joy to our family - I can't imagine life without you, YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of your first year:

In the hospital:
 Right after we got home:
 When you met GB:

Sleepy baby:

 Your first trip to church:
 one month old:

Three months old:

Bath time!


 Six Months:




 9 months:



I'm so blessed to be your Mommy!