What I'm Loving This Week


I'm loving...living the good country life with my family and the two little men in my life who call (or, in Parker's case, will call) me Mommy.

I'm loving...having the help of a little drug called Midol.

I'm loving...the latest issue of this magazine...

and this one.

I'm loving...the pulls and tugs of my hair by my eleven-week old.

I'm loving...whatever God has in store for us...even though we don't know exactly what that is just yet.

I'm loving...the smell of this

in my kitchen.

I'm loving...the way we looked to... that night (as in - this past Saturday night)...

and the gift of so many memories from it.

Serenades and Smiles

All Fired Up


I've sort of had this bucket list of things I wanted to do during my maternity leave. Besides recover from major surgery and create a bond to last a lifetime with my newborn, I hoped to do stuff like read at least one book, organize the closet that hangs onto my sewing-scrap booking-gift wrapping-until-I'm-actually-able-to-do-something-with-it-in-five-years-or-so madness, have lunch dates with girlfriends, finish the unfinished, spend a Friday morning at the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, cook dinner more than once a week (that would be instead of ordering a pizza from the Hungry Howie's across the street from our neighborhood or eating whatever the chefs at Publix made that day)...

and paint with my babes at All Fired Up.

I did this with Jake a little more than a year ago, and I've never been so hooked on making something a tradition. In fact, I've already made him make a promise to me that he'll make a Christmas ornament just for me every single year for the rest of my life (We'll see how well a four year old's promise holds up. Just allow me to be hopeful. Please.). So no, we didn't get it done in time to hang one on our Christmas tree decorated in 2010 or even before the year actually ended.  But I was sort of on bed rest, and we were kind of expecting a little extra someone to go with us.

So we went almost two weeks ago now, and here's what we made (And I say we because the dots would be courtesy of moi.). 

And if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know that it took three different tries to get Parker's footprint just right.  Or that while I was paying, Jake was nearly halfway out to our car before I realized where he was. 

And if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know that he also asked every single person in the building if he could help them paint, or that I found out a coworker of Jim's is expecting his first baby, or that it took two baths to get the red paint out from under Parker's toenails. 

And if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know that Parker had the dirtiest diaper of his life strapped to his hiney when we got home, and Jake was wearing more paint on his pants than we used to decorate both ornaments put together. 

And if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know I actually checked my blood pressure to make sure I wasn't on the verge of a stroke (right after I changed Parker's diaper, of course). 

And if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know I can't wait to go back again...because the hands and feet of my babes captured in time for me to treasure for the remainder of my life...was worth it all!





what he

played with

at our





Can I get a...

what what? Just kidding. Actually I wish that's all I wanted. Because what I'd really like to have is a few weeks of living all by myself.

I really don't know why, but the feeling that I wish I could just spend some time with me...hit me. I guess it's because I actually like who I am when it's just me living with me. I like that my toes get painted, my legs are shaven, my skin is bronze instead of as white as this computer screen I'm looking at, my closet actually has something new in it every once in a while because I've actually gone shopping for me, I don't go eight months without changing purses, and I've seen every chick flick that's rentable on DVD.

And I actually thought about this so much that I went so far as to narrow it down to a precise time in my life that I would actually take pleasure in re-living.

I decided it was okay for Jim to come along on this little "mind" trip of mine, so...if I could...I'd go back to the days when we spent nearly three months apart (before we multiplied, of course, because it wouldn't be as fun to worry about the four year old who I sent to bed whining because he couldn't sleep with me, and the one who drank sixteen ounces of milk between the hours of seven and ten o'clock - sounds like somebody needs some cereal to keep him full, huh?). Ahhh...those were the days. The days when I spent a few hours in the tanning bed and ran at least six miles each week, met one of my very best friends at the mall in between all the exercising and tanning, soaked up some rays at the pool with my sis on the weekends, and "dated" my husband all over again (because we were only able to see each other for an hour every Sunday morning at church for the first six weeks then eventually had overnight dates right before his graduation from OTS) - the days I will never get to do over again.

Yeah, those definitely aren't coming back. And neither are the minutes I've spent pondering it all and hashing it out with Jim about it all and talking to my mom on the phone about it all, so I might as well give it up.

Besides...my skin would probably have the look and feel of a leather belt.


Transition and Trust


Those two are going hand in hand at our house right now.

And if you could see the stacks of uniforms on our bedroom floor, you would understand why.

I haven't mentioned it much (if at all)...the fact that Jim is just a little over a month and half away from his retirement from the Air Force. Of course, if you asked him right now, I know he could give you the exact number of days he has left of his twenty-something year career...probably even the number of hours. I usually just stick my fingers in my ears and start babbling "lah-lah-lah-lah-lah" with my eyes closed so I can't see his lips moving until his little countdown is over because it also conincidentally begins right around the same time I go back to work full time (Sniffle...Snort...Sniffle...Dry Heave).

It's something we've been preparing for as a family for a little over three years now. But then again, who is ever really prepared for this much change. You know...kind of like you're never really "prepared" for what it's like to become a parent no matter how many books you read or how much stuff you buy...because really whether or not your babe will feel most comforted when held sideways or bounced like a bowling ball or whether or not they'll drink from the same brand of bottle an older sibling did or a friend's babe does or the chances he or she will actually sit in a swing for more than two seconds is a trial-and-error, figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of deal.

I guess for me, I see it as Jim just going from one job to another. But really it's a whole more than that. It's whether or not we'll leave the home we've lived in for over five years or Parker will be cared for by Major Dad or University Church of Christ preschool staff. It's whether or not we'll live in another city or state and whether or not our families will live minutes or hours away. There are so many unknowns, and honestly it's just downright overwhelming...for Jim especially. He's male and our family's leader, so it's sort of a given that he's got more on this mind that I do. I would almost swear that he worries enough for both of us, especially in situations like this.

We've talked about it so much, and prayed about it so much. We don't know what's next, and we're in a place where we have to be okay with that - a place where we must wait...and trust. We wait to hear from jobs applied for and doors to be opened...prayers to be answered. And at the same time we trust in the One whose expectation ours comes from - the One who has all the answers to our unknowns.

Because after all, they aren't really unknown...to Him.

When It's Over...It's Over


The fun

isn't over

until you




so much to say...but just haven't said it

So lately I realize that I've barely put words together to form sentences and sentences paragraphs...which really has nothing to do with me having nothing to say.

I just haven't said it.

I mean...I haven't even told you that Parker has been sleeping through the night and cracking the most electric smiles for a little more than two weeks now. And Jake is spending the next couple of nights of this week with his grandparents and ate two hot dogs for lunch yesterday.

Neither have I mentioned the lunch dates Parker and I had last week or how emotional I couldn't help myself from being when I went in for my six week follow-up with Dr. Waller (Oh how difficult it was to close that chapter of my life and put into words how I feel about the one whose hands God used to bring my sons into this world.).

Nor have I shared that Jim and I have a Dining Out to attend next Saturday night, how organized the designated toy closet is in our house right now, and that I have an appointment with Nicole tomorrow morning to tame my out of control roots.

And speaking of out of control. I told Jake last Friday that he was "...absolutely out of control" as we were leaving All Fired Up (I recently did some artwork there with my two babes...just another little thing that I haven't shared), and he actually asked me what that meant. Priceless!

I also could have said that I'm working two hours here and three hours there in the evenings and on weekends while Jim plays the roll of Major Dad so I can prolong my maternity leave as much as possible.

I should also say I'm feeling loads better now that I've actually said all that I have to say...for now.

Random...but True

I have no excitement in my bones at all for the new season of Dancing With The Stars.

Jake's first T-Ball practice that was scheduled for this Saturday was post-poned a week. And I'm so bummed about it.

I recently bought a super cute shirt for Target for ten bucks.

Today I watched the movie "Life As We Know It" and loved it.

Parker weighed in a eleven pounds five ounces and was twenty-three inches long at his two-month checkup last Tuesday.

I've seriously done ten loads of laundry this week...and the week's not even over yet.

Jim and I renewed our Sam's Club membership yesterday.

I also did the majority of the those ten loads of laundry yesterday.

The Icebox Cheesecake from Publix is awesome! Just throwing that out there because I'm eating some right now.

I like Emily's super blond hair so much better than the almost brown look she had going on for the After The Final Rose episode of The Bachelor.

Parker's fingernails are past the point of needing to be clipped.  Too bad he's already down for the night or else I'd trim the talons right now. Holy cow his nails grow fast!

Speaking of being down the for night, I'm about to be myself.


Mellow Monday

The Rest! of the Story

(the story of Jake's 4th Birthday Bash, that is).

And I can't believe it's been a week already, but that's when it happened.

On March 6th at 2pm, the Birthday Banner was hung (Made With Love by: Mommy using 1 HP Deskjet Printer, 1 Creative Memories Circle Cutting System, 2 Rolls of Ribbon - 1 Gold and 1 Red, and Tons of Scrapbook Paper)...

there was food on the table (Made With Love by: Grandma, Ingredients: 1 T-Rex Cookie Cutter and 1 Stegosaurus Cookie Cutter, 1 Box of Ritz Crackers, 1 Bunch of Grapes, 3 Pounds of Strawberries, 1 Bowl of Fruit Dip, Dozens of Homemade Sugar Cookies - in the shape of dinosaurs, of course, 4 Celery Stalks, 1 Package of Baby Carrots, 1 Bowl of Veggie Dip, 1 Package of Pretzel Sticks, 3 Dozen Cupcakes, and 4 Birthday Candles for the Birthday Boy to blow out)...

there were Dinosaurs to be hunted (purchased at Amazon.com from Jet Creations)...

there were Dino Eggs to be hunted (purchased from Treasure Hunt and filled with candy)...

there were Dino Bones to be excavated (purchased from Michael's Arts & Crafts Store and Constructed With Love by: Grandpa)...

and there were Gift Bags to be given (loaded with everything fun and all about dinosaurs for Jake's guests to do at home).

But best of all, there was family, there were threats not to open presents too early, there was shedding our cares that it was barely 60 degrees out, there was excitement, there were funny voices from inhaling helium, there was laughter, and there were priceless, precious, unforgettable memories made with our little boy who turned 4!