Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ode to the iPhone

Although some (A-master) called you an addiction
I called you my life planner
We were together for 1.5 short years, but your mark on my life will live on forever
I am sorry for the way I treated you on occasion
If I could find you I'd never drop you again, shatter your face, or let baby girl drool on your precious white cover
My heart is deeply saddened by your sudden departure in Target Tuesday
How you disappeared from my hands I'll never know
You carried so much valuable information within your Otter Box
Oh, what I'd do to have you and all 1,800 pictures and videos back in my hands
And all my songs from iTunes that I can never recover
My hope for the remainder of your days on Earth are that whosoever picked you up loves and adores you as much as I did
I couldn't bear to think of someone besides myself mistreating you
Please, please my sweet iPhone miraculously show up in the shoe department where I last saw you
I am lost without you

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cookie sheets

I have neglected to tell y'all this because I am ashamed. But the first step to recover it admission right? Well, I am the loser mom at daycare. Loser. Reese always comes home with these little gift from her friends at daycare. Emma and Luke always give Reese books to read. What do I send? Nothing. Candy, when I remember. Not this year. No, ma'am. Since pinterest came into my life I am a changed woman. I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would do the girls at daycare a cookie sheet chalkboard. So the following is a play by play of how it all went down.

First, I made this picture of my baby because she was looking cuter than ever.

Then I got all of my things together.

Cookie sheet $1 at Dollar Tree (and I am not kidding when I tell you that I almost asked a worker how much they were. I've been a little off my A game lately. Can you tell?)
Paint brush
Chalkboard paint (I used the spray kind on some and the liquid on others. The spray is around $8 at Hobby Lobby and the liquid is about $12 at Lowe's.)
Sanding block- free because the hubs already had that
Spray primer- which is technically optional since I forgot to use it on a couple of mine.
Painters tape

Since the cookie sheets have some sort of slick finish on them (which I would be willing to bet is harmful to our health in one way or another) the paint will not stick. Trust me I tried it. So I scuffed it up with a sanding block. Don't you love my action shot here?

Then I taped the edges with painters tape. Or you could just paint the whole thing with chalkboard paint. Totally up to you.

Then I called in for reinforcements to drill my holes. But if you don't have those types of reinforcements you could just use a hot glue gun. Which later you will see why I should have done just that.

Here is the step I forgot when I was actually documenting with the camera. Spray the board with primer so the chalkboard paint has something to stick to.

I painted 3 coats on mine, but it might could have used more. I'm just very impatient at times. After that dried, I cut the girls initial out with my Cricut and glued it to the board.

Also-side note- the spray kind has a very smooth finish while the liquid will leave a more lined look. Which looks better is all according to preference.

Periodically I had to stop the project to get a stick out of Reese's mouth.

Tie ribbon through the holes...And the final product....

And another version which lead to a marital dispute. I recommend waiting until after the holes are drilled to put the initals on the board or it could turn out like this...

The boys got a ball and camo socks. I wanted to do them chalkboards too, but put footballs or baseballs on them. Adam said absolutely not because it was too girlie.

Dollar Tree also had round and rectangle platters that would have been absolutely adorable.

I would have loved this as a kid. Plus they are easy and inexpensive.

P.S. I have found multiple uses for chalkboard paint. It could become some type of obsession for me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

15 months(yesterday) and Zoo Lights Safari

At 15 months old:

She is, without a doubt, a fashionista. I don't know if it's the 1 red shoe, the pink pants, or the orange pumpkin shirt, but girlfriend is workin' it.


Weighs: 21 pounds

Height: not sure

Wears a size 3 diaper and 12 month old clothes.
Loves milk and orange juice. Oh, and her paci. (Don't tell her but I am cutting off the tips in a couple of days.)

Isn't a great eater. When she does eat she likes bananas, sweet potatoes, rasins, and carrots. Her favorite food is Puffs. Adam taught her how to dip things in ketchup this weekend and she loved it.


She is a skilled and talented waver. She waves at everybody, everywhere. Her whole wrist gets involved and it is precious. She follows every wave with blowing a kiss.

Other than waving some of her hobbies include making 3 messes while I try to clean up 1, climbing on the step stool in our closet, pulling the toilet paper off the roll, cleaning out all drawers within her reach, and carrying around wash cloths in each hand. She also enjoys having me carry her around every waking second.

A couple of weeks ago I had to carry her to daycare because Adam was out of town for training and when I dropped her off she cried the ugly cry. From what I understand it went on for quiet some time after I left.


In the last 2 weeks she has learned so many new words. To date she can say the following: MaMa, DaDa, bye, bird, PawPaw (she has a PeePaw, but it is possible that he has now been renamed), MawMaw (again, she doesn't have a MawMaw. She has a MeeMaw.), D.D., Addison (which sounds like Add son), Hudson, Autie, Dixie, and her own version of Chinney.

Thanks to a Pinterest project she had paint from head to toe.


We went to the Birmingham Zoo last weekend to see the lights. We rode the train and saw Santa. The train went much smoother than Santa.


I had decided that we were not seeing Santa this year because I knew she would cry and scream and have a complete meltdown. I hate it when I'm right. But I love that picture and I am so glad that we had her picture made. When I picked her back up she waved and gave him high 5.

How a year can change things....


I underestimated the weather Saturday night, but thankfully I had a blanket in the car. She wrapped up for the train ride.

That Santa, he is everywhere at the zoo. On the train ride he and Mrs. Clause greeted us and then he was waiting when we got off to have our picture made with him.


There was also a petting zoo type thing with pigs, goats, and miniature horses. Her favorite part was the rocking chair.


By the end she was exhausted. We changed her into her PJs and she went sound asleep.


Please excuse me while I take a trip down memory lane.
When I was looking for her Santa picture last year I found this picture. And, oh my heart.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Never Grow Up

Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause your dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything's funny
You've got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darlin don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darlin don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up
It could stay this simple

Won't let nobody hurt you

Won't let no one break your heart

And even though you want to

Please try to never grow up

(Here's a link to Taylor Swift's song Never Grow Up. If you have a child brace yourself before you listen. It made me emotional.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters from Lodia and other random thoughts

You know what makes me laugh. You other mothers out there can hopefully relate. Sometimes I will ask Adam to watch Reese for a minute (for instance while I use the restroom) and then I might ask him to do something small (for instance take something out of the oven) and he will say, "I can't. I'm babysitting". You never hear the momma saying, "Sorry I can't cook supper. I'm babysitting". Or, "sorry I can't wash the clothes. I'm babysitting." He is trying to make me laugh when he says stuff like this. And, for the record, it isn't babysitting when it's your kid. It is called parenting. But to his credit as he says this he almost always headed to do whatever I asked him to. A-master is a good man. Good, good man. And, might I add, a good babysitter.

The above story was purely hypothetical.

Friday night Adam and I went Christmas shopping. We stopped by and spoke with Santa and from the way things sound Reese is getting something really fun. Adam has doubts that she will play with it, but isn't that the risk you always run with the kiddies?

I ran across these snazzy Dorothy shoes while out shopping and I knew the girl would love them. Or, at least, her momma would. When she wears them she looks down at her feet. I guess because they are so bright. I would have loved these as a kid.

When I really need to distract Reese so that I can get some things done, or if I just need a moment without carrying 20 lbs on my hip I pull out the rocking chair. We have to hide it from her most of the time because when that chair comes out she turns into a little fearless rebel. Last week she was rocking her little heart out and when I got the camera out she crashed and burned. I was sitting right beside her and the chair broke her fall, but as MeeMaw and PeePaw were sure to point out this could have been a dangerous. Yet so funny:)

On another note we received our first letter from Lodia on Friday. A case worker translated and wrote what she said. On the back she drew a little flower. My favorite part was the end when she says, "I love you". I had just mailed off our first letter to her along with a picture of us which is what World Vision recommended doing. We also have a few small gifts to be mailed soon.

Currently, our satellite has gone out so we are spending a lot of time just staring at each other. This just thrills Adam because now we are going to have the satellite people come out and fix it along with adding HD and DVR upgrades. Santa has come early to see the hubs;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

All I want for Christmas

is for everybody that I love and adore to be healthy and happy. And I want everybody to not get so stressed over the holiday silliness and just remember the real reason for the season. And peace on Earth and all that jazz. That's really all I want, but Adam just KEEPS on at me to give him a list of a few things I would like. 5 things were his requirements.

A Kavu purse like this.


I realize these are probably on the verge of going out of style. What? Already out of style? Say it isn't so. Well let me tell you about my purse these days. I don't carry one. I put my phone, keys, and my wallet (when I don't forget it at home) in Reese's diaper bag. But you know the problem with that? Sometimes (rarely) she isn't with me. Then I find myself carrying those 3 items in my hands. DANGEROUS! Wednesday, after I went to a workshop, I did a little shopping. When I got to the checkout I realized that OH MY GOODNESS MY KEYS! WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!?!? Right where I left them. At the photo center. They were promptly returned to me. But you see how dangerous to my sanity this is, right? I think one of these little jewels would be the perfect solution since I can just sling it across me and not have to worry about it falling off my shoulder etc. Anyway, one of those would be nice. In a solid color. Maybe black.

I adore TOMS. Really I want a pair in every color. But for now I would take these.

I tried them on and instantly loved them. I think I like this color, but then I saw these and I am torn.

What do you think? If you don't like TOMS have you tried them on? Because I was the first to make fun of them, but they will change your little piggies lives. Adam went to great lengths to get me a burlap pair last year. (P.S. Thanks Adrienne and Adam H for making that stop in Troy and getting those. They made my Christmas complete.)(P.S.S. I noticed that Reese had a pair of Tiny TOMS on her list this year.)

I could also find a use for this latte maker


I go my McDonlds, oh, at least 4 times a week for a caramel latte. My only fear for this gift is that I would never be able to make one as good as McDonalds therfore I would never use it. So this is an iffy gift. What do you think? Would it be a mistake that would do nothing more than take up counter space?

This next one is a stretch. I'm not sure Santa could pull it off. And I am not sure that I even want to tackle this. But wouldn't it be just lovely if I woke up on Christmas morning and our extra bedroom had been transformed into a craft room like this one..

Or, oh my, I do like this one...

Or this one. Definitely this one.

I love crafts. Not that I'm good at them, but 90% of the time I have some sort of craft project strewn across the bar in the kitchen. My recent addiction to Pinterest has done nothing to help this problem. And recently I have been flirting with the idea of getting MeeMaw to teach me how to sew. But then I question why I would want to do that. I can't even get on the elliptical without holding Reese. She would never allow me to sew. I think Adam is tired of all the projects. He has really been wanting to turn the extra bedroom into a craft room, but I have hesitations. Like what if we want another baby in a few years? Then I will have to turn that room into a nursery, and find somewhere for all my stuff and yada, yada, yada. It is exhausting to think about.

Adam, I realize that is only 4 things. 2 if you want to be exact since the latte maker is an iffy and the whole craft thing is a difficult Christmas gift, but work with me here. You can always give me a Hobby Lobby gift card.

How about y'all? Do y'all do spouse Christmas gifts?? Or pool your money and buy a joint gift?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

14 months (and several days)

It's not that I've been so busy the last 10 days that I couldn't post Reese's 14 month post. No, it's not that. It is the fact that I can't do ANYTHING without her on my hip. Just today I tried to get on the elliptical to burn off that dressing I ate last week, but NO Reese E Cup would hear none of the sort. So for about 32 seconds I held her and took my chances on the elliptical. Then and I gave up, but it really isn't worth risking my life over. And if she see the computer she loses control of herself and demands to bang on the keys.

At 14 months:

Weight: 20lbs

Height: I have no idea.

Her hobbies: putting random objects into larger random objects and then taking them out. Over and over and over again. For example- she will find a bowl and put her paci in and out of it. She also enjoys getting a wet wipe and cleaning the floor, table, anything that will stand still. I read on Pinterest to use old wet wipe boxes with scrap pieces of material in them so babies don't waste wipes by pulling them out. Brilliant. She likes to put her head on the floor so I will help her do a front roll. I have high hopes of her being a little gymnast and you can never start too early.

Words she can say: MaMa, DaDa, three, tree, (which sound exactly the same, but when she says 3 she is waiting for something big to happen like her daddy throwing her in the air. When she says tree she points to the Christmas tree.) PawPaw (although she doesn't have a PawPaw), bye, hi, no.

Goes to sleep between 7 and 8 every night and usually gets up between 6 and 7. I rock her to sleep while she plays in my hair. I will have to be institutionalized when she doesn't want me to rock her anymore. If she takes longer than a 30 minute nap I get concerned. Only because that never happens.

She eats pretty much whatever we eat. Plus she eats baby food at night. Usually carrots or sweet potatoes. She loves pickles and grapes. Not together, of course.

She has 4 teeth. 2 on top and 2 on bottom. How mad would it make you for someone to hold up your top lip during your sleep to get a picture of your teeth? I had to document the little gap between them. So sweet.

D.D. got her these pink boots and they are so cute. She was getting ready for her bath and fully prepared to wear them while doing so.

Our little cheerleader. And this is just the length I hope all of her skirts are;)

She is also very fascinated by being able to wipe her own mouth.

I am still finding noodles in the floor after that meal.

We are currently fighting the never ending battle of her fascination with the Christmas trees in the house. The temptation is more than she can bear and almost always pulls something off of a tree within 15 minutes of walking in the door.

Monday, November 28, 2011


You know what I love about Thanksgiving? Other than it is one of two times a year my Nanny cooks. I love that I get to see all these faces in one place.

There are 2 missing faces- Brandon and Mason- but isn't that typical of little boys? Refusing get their picture made.

The other thing I love about it is that we all get together, eat at two long tables side by side, and talk as loud as we can over each other. It is a beautiful, chaotic thing. There have been years that most of us have left with headaches and it wasn't because of the kids. Tis the season.

This year I took my camera, but left my memory card at home. Good thing A-master bought that snazzy new iPhone 4S because it has a camera that me and my antique 3GS can only dream of.

Rest assured these horses do not belong to the family. Some people rent Nanny's pasture and I am sure they would be pleased to know that PeePaw roped this horse with Clay's belt and a few of the kids rode it while PeePaw lead. My favorite part was when Clay told PeePaw not to mess up his belt because it was not only his school belt, but also his church belt.

This is pretty much how the afternoon went down. Various forms of tackling and hide and seek. Even PeePaw got involved in one game. The only time I've seen him run faster was when he let 2 hot wires touch in the electrical box one unfortunate day a couple of years ago. Don't let him tell you otherwise. The man can run when sparks are flying. And when grandchildren are chasing him back to base.

Here is one of my favorite. This picture sums up Little Red in one photographic package. He is a little bit rebel mixed with a lot of charm.

Most pictures of Reese look something like this because she is in full walking/running mode.

Friday night we went to the last football game for the Lineville Aggies. We must be bad luck because both games we went to this year ended in a lose. When BFF Steph held Reese she said she felt like she was holding a small smowman.

Saturday we helped MeeMaw put up her tree and Reese proceeded to fall out the back door of her house leaving quiet the little goose egg on her head. Then we headed to Big Daddy and D.D.'s for supper and to watch the game. During half time we took a little break from the beating we were taking and rode around in the Cozy Coupe. This little girl loves the Cozy Coupe. To bad I can't upload the video so you can see her smiling with her hair flying in the wind while loving life in that precious red and yellow yard sale find. Aunt Shelia really knows her yard sales.

Matter of fact the only picture I can get uploaded is this one. Wouldn't it be the one that the dog is sniffing her? And with pink pants on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving back

I was going to blog about this a few weeks ago but I backed out. I don't know why. Then I read Brooke's post this morning and I decided to introduce you to Lodia. Much like what Brooke says in her post I don't want any of you to think I am trying to push sponsoring a child on you, and I certainly don't want you to think I'm patting us on the back for sponsoring a child.

A month or two ago our Sunday school class read the book Radical by David Platt. He is the pastor at Brook Hills in Birmingham. That book slapped all of us in the face and made us ask ourselves what we are doing to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth. I will honestly tell you what we were doing. Not much. We tithe, of course, but couldn't we do more?

Every morning we (meaning Adam and I) get out of our warm bed and look over all the clothes we own yet declare we have nothing to wear. We go to the kitchen where a stocked refrigerator awaits yet we claim there's nothing to eat. We get in our fairly new cars and dream about having something bigger or nicer. We go to work and complain because it's stressful. (Or for me complain that I had to leave my baby.) We come home and complain because there are dishes to be washed and clothes to be folded. We proceed to complain because we have to make the effort of cooking something for supper. All the while there is a momma somewhere watching her baby starve to death.

A few weeks ago Rick and Bubba dedicated a couple of days to having the people from World Vision come and talk about sponsoring children around the world. Rick said something that caused me to think I had been slapped across the face. He said, "we know what we should do. The Bible is clear about that. The question is are we willing to do it"? Adam and I are both lucky enough to have parents who raised us in church. We know the verses and the Bible stories, but often we choose to ignore them. Just as David Platt talks about in Radical we Americanize God and his word. We take the Bible and make it fit into our lives instead of the other way around. We simply ignore the parts that cause us to be uncomfortable.

So when I got home that afternoon Adam and I discussed what we had heard on Rick and Bubba and agreed to sponsor a child. Why we have not done this before I do not know. The next day I began the process of picking a child. It was overwhelming. I felt as though every face spoke to me. Every face told a story of a kid who has gone to bed hungry while I have rarely missed a meal. Their mothers are desperate for their babies to get the vaccines that would save their lives while I have spend countless hours reading about the side effects and debating whether to let our baby get them. I don't know the conditions of all of the children, but I have a good feeling they would cause me to gasp in horror. After looking at child after child on my computer screen I had a little talk with Jesus (tell him all about our troubles...hear our fainted cry...and he will answer by and by)(focus Elena!) and agreed to sponsor the next child that appeared.

Let me introduce you to Lodia. She is from Haiti. She has one brother and one sister. (I asked Adam for help picking one. He had one request, "Let her have a name I can pronounce.") Very helpful, A-master. (After I showed him her picture he said, "Congratulations. She looks just like you."

How about her birthday is 9/9/99. I feel certain there is some irony there, but I can't put my finger on it.

It bothers me on a deep level that their isn't a trace of a smile on her face. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could actually meet her one day? Maybe we will. I think there are so many lessons to be learned from Lodia and others like her.

I really don't know exactly how the process works, but I think we will continue to sponsor her until she is a certain age and then we can pick or be assigned another child?? I realize I am a wealth of knowledge here.

If you are interested in reading more please go here.

Matthew 25:40 "Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me."