Friday, July 30, 2010

Fall Back Friday

This Friday I decided to "fall back" into our beach pictures from last year and compare them to shots this year. Wow! What a difference a year makes! All of these pictures just make me smile!

(Trav and MK's cheeks have gotten smaller and mine blew up!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Word Wednesday

Morgan Kate's new words this week (and last week) include:





-Heather (Don't even get me started on this one!)


-Shhh! (All week at the beach everyone kept saying "Shhh" whenever Hunter was sleeping.)


Monday we had our very last physical therapy session. And it wasn't really a session at all. We discussed Morgan Kate's progress and then signed discharge papers. Lately, I have had so many mixed emotions about various things - discharge from physical therapy being one of them. Of course I am beyond thrilled and over the top excited and so very thankful that Morgan Kate is doing well and thriving and growing and meeting all of her developmental milestones. As we were signing the papers and saying our goodbyes I felt this huge wave of relief come over me. It felt so good. But then I felt the tears filling my eyes. Some of them were just plain ole' happy tears, but some were tears of sadness. I'm not sad that we are finished with PT, but I am sad to say goodbye to our therapist. This amazing woman has been in our home once a week for the past year and a half. She knows Morgan Kate so very well, but she also knows me. We spent the majority of our sessions truly working, but there was always a little time to catch up with one another. She would listen to my concerns, my worries, my joys and my fears. And she would provide comfort and reassurance. There were many days where other than Travis, she was my only adult interaction. I will never forget her or the extraordinary work she did with Morgan Kate or with me. God truly sent us a blessing in her and we will be forever thankful!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy 31st birthday to the love of my life!

You bring me so much joy and happiness. And I love you more and more each day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday afternoon we returned from our annual beach week vacation. It was an amazing week and as always my heart was filled with sadness as we left. I hate goodbyes, especially at the beach. I always have a fabulous time on our beach trips, but this year was especially fabulous. I think it was a combination of good times with family and friends, lots of memories made, Morgan Kate's age and inquisitive spirit, great weather, delicious food and long days on the beach and in the water. I've already started the countdown until next year.

The highlights of our trip:

1. Watching this little girl walk up and down the beach. Morgan Kate was so much fun this year. I mean she was fun last year, but this year was just different. She absolutely loved every part of the beach - the water, the sand, the shells, the salt, the boat rides, everything! She soaked it all in and watching her reminded me of my childhood.

2. Watching Morgan Kate and Travis spend quality time together

3. Waking up in a house with my family members

4. Staying up late at night reminiscing with family and friends

5. Having Morgan Kate sleep in our room and waking up to her precious little face each morning

6. Having Mama Jean spend so much time with us and seeing the delight on her face, as well as ours. MJ always goes with us to the beach, but sometimes it's harder for her to go and do like we do. This year that was not the case. She spent every single day going and doing just as we did. She went on numerous boat rides, sat on the beach for hours, walked to the rocks and even fed the seagulls. It truly made my heart smile!

7. Watching Morgan Kate spend time with her Kaky and Gator - oh how she loves them!

8. Going with Trenholm to try on her wedding dress and our bridesmaid dresses. Can I just say - BEAUTIFUL! Oh my goodness. I cried the minute I saw her and I know I will just be a mess at the wedding.

9. Owens' fresh pot of coffee each morning

10. Fresh peaches peeled and sliced by Trenholm

11. Watching MK dig and build and dig and build for hours

12. Struggling with MK to keep her hat on. As you can see, she won!

13. Watching MK interact with Hunter - she would spend hours talking to him.

14. Being able to tell my parents goodnight before bed

15. Just sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun and salt

16. Laughing hysterically as MK tried on everyone's shoes, including MJ's bedroom slippers

17. Spending Thursday evening riding around the Charleston harbor and eating appetizers (while on the water) from California Dreaming

18. My mom's salads and my dad's french toast - yummy!

19. Morgan Kate's naps each afternoon on the boat as we rode to the Morris Island lighthouse

20. Seeing the joy on Morgan Kate's face as she played with family and friends

21. Sitting together as a family each night for dinner

22. Eating dinner at the Crab Shack

23. Our annual "seafood night" with all of the Hardisons

24. My dad and his three brothers have been going to Folly since they were in diapers and they have done their best to make sure that tradition continues.

25. Moments like this...

26. Family pictures on the beach

(The entire Hardison clan)

27. Holding Morgan Kate's hand as we walked up and down the shore

28. The Sand Dollar Social Club

29. Celebrating all the July birthdays in our family - including Travis'

30. The amazing tradition(s) that is/are being passed down to Morgan Kate.

A BIG thank you to my parents and my grandmother for making this trip possible each year. We will be forever thankful for our times at Folly!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fall Back Friday

Fall Back Friday - where I fall back into my collection of photos and share an "oldie".

This was Morgan Kate last July while we were on our annual beach trip. At this point she was just sitting up and only had one tiny little tooth popping through.

Monday, July 19, 2010

There are a lot of changes getting ready to take place around our household.

We will be getting up earlier. Lots earlier.

We will be going to bed earlier. Lots earlier.

We will be spending time apart and cherishing our time together even more.

We will be on more of a schedule.

We will have some extra cash.

I'm excited about some of our changes. And sad about others. I feel good about some things and have lots of anxiety about other things. But all of these changes are going to happen very soon because I have a JOB and I start in August.

I've mentioned before that I never imagined staying at home prior to Morgan Kate's birth. However, due to our circumstances and the way things happened - I did. But I know now that it's time to return to the work force. I wanted whatever I did to be purposeful and meaningful because ultimately it means time away from Morgan Kate. Teaching is that thing. It's purposeful and meaningful to me. Almost three weeks ago I interviewed for a position and shortly after was offered the job. I have been waiting to share my news because I wanted it to be "official". I wanted to have my contact signed. And late last week I signed it. As of August 12th I will be a 5th grade Math and Social Studies teacher.

I'm really excited about returning to the classroom. I'm excited about meeting new people and new students, as I will be at a school that is new for me. I'm excited about teaching and learning. I'm excited about getting my classroom ready and labeling all of my belongings. I'm excited about a classroom full of students ready to learn. I'm excited about getting some adult interaction and conversation. And I'm excited to have a paycheck.

And while I have this excitement I also have a tremendous amount of anxiety. I am so, so very anxious about leaving Morgan Kate. I know she will be in good hands, the BEST hands, but I still don't want to leave her. I have spent the last two years of my life with her every single day and it has been an absolute joy. And it does break my heart to think of leaving her. I'm way more protective of her than I could have ever imagined. So while I know she will be fine, I do worry about how other children will treat her and if others will know exactly what she wants and needs. I'm anxious about "doing it all". I've been a working single gal and I've been a working wife, but never a working wife and mom. There are even days where I feel guilty for leaving her and going back to work. I know these are probably feelings that a lot of women experience. And I know in the end they are fine and their babies are fine. But, this is new for me and I'm still trying to process it all. I'm not really good with change and so this is proving to be a little difficult for me. If I think about it too much I get really overwhelmed and sad. I have to keep reminding myself that it will be good - for both of us. And because I am a teacher I will still have holidays and every summer with her. And you better believe that those holidays and those summers will be completely and totally devoted to her.

Lot of changes are coming our way. And I'm going to try my best to be ready for them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fall Back Friday

Fall Back Friday - where I fall back into my collection of photos and make some old ones, new again.

This picture was taken last July. Caroline wasn't quite four months old and Morgan Kate wasn't quite 11 months old.

The girls this July. Morgan Kate almost 23 months and Caroline almost 16 months. Look how much they have grown! And look at all the new things they are doing!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In April of 2009 Morgan Kate was evaluated by her physical therapist for the very first time. Several days after the evaluation we were given a report. Within the report were comments and observations such as:
"exhibits tonal and movement pattern disorders"
"sweet baby girl"
"obvious delays"
"hypertonic, mild hypertonicity of hips"
"motivated, pleasant"
"cannot navigate in her environment currently"
"assist Morgan Kate with asymmetry, upper extremity function and lower extremity weight bearing"
"extremely supportive family"
"a marked delay for lower extremity weight bearing"
"Morgan Kate exhibits a 53% stationary and locomotion delay and absent walking reflex"
Needless to say, it was quite a lot to take in and process. Since that time we have seen our physical therapist once a week, every single week, except for maybe two or three times. We have worked hard with her during each and every session and we work even harder at home on a daily basis.

Because of Morgan Kate's hard work and development, her PT's hard work and of course the hard work of the good Lord above, we have recently heard these words:
"caught up"

"easily achieving gross motor skills of a 21-24 month old"


"hard worker, motivated, determined"

"doing exceptionally well"

"It's time to discharge!"

Discharge? Completely? We're all done? Are you sure? Oh my gosh! Those were just a few of my initial reactions/responses. And those responses were accompanied with a big smile, lots of laughter and even tears. Tears of pure and absolute happiness. Tears of relief and comfort. Tears of pride and complete joy.During the last week of July we will meet with our PT for one final session. Except this time we won't be working. We will be signing discharge papers.

Way to go Morgan Kate! We love you so much and we are so very proud of you! You continue to amaze us!

Morgan Kate just a few weeks after starting physical therapy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Word Wednesday

New words for this week include:


sheep (seep)

horse (hoes)

rain (wain)

night, night (dight, dight)

Morgan Kate has been pointing to and identifying different body parts for a while now. But, when I looked on my BIG list of words she is using I hadn't included the following:


Nose (Dose)





Belly Button (be-boh)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Morgan Kate is loving my her new table. She wants to sit at it all of the time. She loves to color there. She loves to read there. She loves to climb there. And she especially loves to eat there. She had her very first lunch date there last week with her friend Will.

Tonight she had a very special dinner date with the number one man in her life.

Her daddy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This past weekend Travis and I did something we have never done before.

For the first time since Morgan Kate's birth (other than when she was in the hospital) we left her overnight. We survived. She survived. And we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Of course most of that enjoyment came from the fact that we knew we were leaving her in the best of care. We're not sure who had more fun. The two of us, Morgan Kate, or Kaky and Gator?

My parents, along with most everyone else we know, have been trying to convince us for months to go off and enjoy a night to ourselves. But we just weren't ready. Until now I don't think either of us had any desire to leave her. Seriously. We had to leave her almost every night for the first 107 days of her precious little life and neither of us were ready to do it again. But this weekend all of that changed.

As I mentioned on Friday we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this weekend and we thought it would be the perfect time to take a night to ourselves. All week I was giddy with excitement. I was giddy about leaving town, spending the night away, getting Travis all to myself, eating out - all of those things. However, I will say that my excitement was interrupted for a few minutes when we first said our goodbyes to Morgan Kate. It was hard. Tough. There was this little lump in my throat that wouldn't go away and I found myself wanting to hold on to her. But, I knew she would have THE BEST time and I knew we would enjoy ourselves as well. And we did.

We ventured down to Charleston for the night and stayed at the Andrew Pinckney Inn. It was unbelievable. I was so impressed with this place. It was just absolutely perfect! If you ever stay there be sure to ask for room 220. You will not be disappointed!

(The top three windows and balcony were part of OUR room.)

We had this amazing room complete with a king size bed (which we are not accustomed to), jacuzzi, beautiful shutters and an even more beautiful view. Oh, and each morning there was a complimentary breakfast on the rooftop.

Saturday night after a day of fun on the beach and dinner and drinks at numerous restaurants we ventured back to our room, crawled into bed and watched the rain fall from our enormous window. It was so beautiful to watch the lightning flicker and the rain fall in front of the street light. Loved it!

Sunday after breakfast we left our little piece of heaven and spent the day walking through the market (which we have done like one billion times before) and eating brunch at Caroline's. Oh so yummy!

Then we made a mad dash back to my parent's house. After all, our true piece of heaven was waiting on us! And we couldn't wait to get back to her.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five years ago today I married my best friend.

And I can honestly say that five years later I love him so much more that I did that day. And on that day I didn't think it was possible to love him anymore than I already did. Every day I fall even more and more in love with him. Even on the days where he leaves shaving cream all over the bathroom sink. Or doesn't shut the back door completely and lets flies inside. Or when he uses Morgan Kate's exersaucer as a place to throw his dirty clothes. Because there are many, many more days where he makes my heart melt. When he brings me breakfast in bed or when I see him reading a book to Morgan Kate. When he remembers special dates or cuts the ends off my pickles because he knows I prefer them that way. When he kisses me on my forehead for no reason or surprises me with boiled peanuts. And when he tells me each and every day how much he loves me.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.

Happy Anniversary, Travis! I love you more...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This morning Morgan Kate and I had a play date with these two beautiful people.

Will, Hollie and Morgan Kate

I say "we" had a play date, because it was as much as a time for me to visit with Hollie as it was for MK to play with Will. We had such a great time together and our kiddos had fun too. Well, except for when Morgan Kate pinched Will on his cheek.

Hollie and I taught together for several years, but she was much more than my co-worker. She was and still is a very dear friend. She is such a kind hearted person. She is so giving and so thoughtful. She can make me laugh so hard. And she is such a great listener. There were many mornings and afternoons where I would walk over to her room and ask her advice or vent to her my problems. She always stopped to listen and it always meant so much.

When Hollie found out she was pregnant with Will we were all ecstatic. And the happiness continued when just a few months later I found out I was pregnant. We were going to be pregnant together and our babies were only going to be a few months apart. Or so we thought. I may be slightly off on my dates, but I am pretty sure Hollie went into labor on August 14th, the first day back for teachers. The same day that I went back and later that afternoon had a doctor's appointment, only to find out I had begun to dilate. Will made his debut that day and Morgan Kate made her grand entrance just ten days later. Our babies who were supposed to be four months apart, ended up being only days apart.

When MK was in the NICU Hollie came by to visit. Here she was a brand new mom with all the things that accompany being a a brand new mom, and she was making time to come see us. It was so touching and so meaningful to me. I still vividly remember the day she came by. And with all the cords and wires and sounds and beeps, she still talked to me like I was a normal brand new mom. She asked me questions about MK's feeding and sleeping and all of those things that new moms talk about. We talked about her and Will and breast feeding and sleepless nights. It was so nice to talk and catch up and I left the NICU that day feeling refreshed.

Today our visit was much the same. We talked about children, married life, friends and work. We talked about houses, nap times, flooring and even bug spray. And while we talked and laughed, we watched our two August babies playing and running. We had a great time and we she left today I again felt refreshed and rejuvenated.

Morgan Kate and Will snacking on chocolate chip cookies

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Word Wednesday

I decided to look back at the previous New Word Wednesdays and make a running list of all the new words MK was/is saying. I am now going to keep this list right beside my computer. I was having a hard time remembering which words I had listed and which I had not. The list below includes new words, but also words MK has been saying for quite some time.

- stop

- pink, blue, green, red, yellow, purple

-one, two, three, four (un, two, pree, pour)

- stuck

- help

- open

- close

MK literally "talks" all of the time. Now, a lot of it makes no sense at all, or at least not to me, but regardless of that fact she is constantly talking. Yesterday and today two different ladies in two entirely different places commented on how vocal MK was and how she talks so much. I absolutely love it and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Oh, and one of her new things involving talking is to whisper or tell secrets. She whispers to Travis and I all of the time and she loves, loves, loves telling secrets with Kaky.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Last Friday Jessa and I took these sweet girls to a very special parade.

A parade to celebrate the fact that the University of South Carolina's (USC) baseball team won the 2010 National Championship. USC happens to be my alma mater, and Travis and Jessa's as well.

It was so awesome to be there and to celebrate with the team. They were so deserving! They played their hearts out and gave their fans so much to be proud of. Not only did we win the National Championship, but we beat our state rival twice during the series.

Coach Tanner and his family were one of the very first cars in the parade. Everyone was rushing out to take pictures and get his autograph.

Sweet little Annie Parker just sat back and watched.

She and Morgan Kate thoroughly enjoyed the parade, but enjoyed swapping snacks and cups even more.

I am so glad we went to the parade. It was definitely a "lifetime experience" that we may never get again. And I'm so glad that we were able to share that experience with our girls.

The weather was beautiful, the parade was amazing and this sight was just BEAUTIFUL! Our school's flag flying high above the state house.