Thursday, April 26, 2012

This afternoon at 4 I will turn in $1,141.25 to the March of Dimes. Actually, I think it may be a bit more because my awesome mom has also been collecting donations. To say I am thrilled would be an understatement. To say I am thankful doesn't seem enough. But, thank you! Thank you to everyone who has prayed, supported, donated, bought a t-shirt, encouraged us and loved us. You guys amaze me!

I am still receiving t-shirt payments and once all are collected I will be able to add another $130 to our total. How awesome is that?!?

Oh, and it's not too late! Until 4 this afternoon you can submit donations online!! Remember no donation is too small!!! Come on, you know you want to!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tonight while putting Morgan Kate to bed I couldn't help but chuckle as she started her prayers by thanking God for Santa Claus. It was so random, yet so sweet. And as I listened to her sweet little voice thanking God for her family and friends my mind drifted back to her birth and our NICU days. We've been talking a lot around here lately about Morgan Kate being a tiny, tiny baby and how she lived at the hospital for a long time. Earlier this afternoon we stopped by the NICU to deliver a few Team Morgan Kate t-shirts and MK got to meet some of the special people who took care of her and helped her to grow and thrive. As we drove down to the hospital and even on our way home Travis and I talked about those NICU days and how our chests still get tight when we make that drive. And even tonight as I was getting MK ready for bed she asked (out of the blue) who painted her room and the conversation went a little like this:
MK: Mommy, who painted my room this special color?
Me: Your daddy and your uncles painted it just for you.
MK: Mommy help them?
Me: No, baby, Mommy didn't get to help them. Mommy was in the hospital. 
MK: You were sick?
Me: Nope. I was in the hospital letting you grow bigger and bigger in my tummy. Your daddy and your uncles painted your room for me as a surprise. The very next morning you were born.
MK: Oh. My daddy and my uncles love me?
Me: Oh, yes they do, sweetie. Yes they do.

There aren't many days that go by that I don't think about her early birth or those 16 weeks in the NICU. There aren't many days that go by that I don't thank God from the bottom of my heart that my baby girl is here. There aren't many days that go by that I don't think of all of our NICU friends and how they loved our girl just as much as we did. There are so many, many times that I get a huge lump in my throat just watching her and thinking about how far she has come. I am amazed by all she does and I try to appreciate every single second and every single milestone.

I know that her success is because of so many things. One, the good Lord above was and continues to watch over us. Two, there were and still are so many, many people praying for our sweet girl. Three, we have amazing family and friends who prayed and helped and encouraged us. Four, our NICU and our NICU staff were fabulous - even saying fabulous doesn't seem like enough. And five, the March of Dimes conducted and continues to conduct research that creates medications that save babies lives. My baby. Their research enabled my baby to take her first breaths. And because of the March of Dimes and people just like YOU she continues to breathe. 

The March of Dimes isn't just for premature babies - although their research sure helped mine. It's for all babies! Their goal is for all babies to be born full-term and healthy. 

It's not too late to donate! Just today we surpassed our goal of $1000. My heart is just overflowing!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have prayed, supported, donated, encouraged and loved us!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's almost time...

Only five days until we March for Babies! Five days until we walk for all babies, not just premature babies. Five days until we walk for full term pregnancies. Five days.

Only three days left to donate to Team Morgan Kate! Actually, you can donate to the March of Dimes on behalf of Team Morgan Kate any day during the year, but only three more days until I have to turn in all donations for the big walk this weekend. At this very minute we have $790 in donations - only $210 away from our goal of $1000. Remember, no donation is too big or too small!!! 

And guess what?!? I actually submitted an order for 123 t-shirts, but had seven last minute orders that I just could not turn down. Therefore, the final count was 130 shirts! Oh.My.Goodness. My heart could just explode. Be sure to wear your shirt to the walk Saturday morning and if you can't make it to the walk be sure to wear your shirt on Friday or Saturday. And if you are feeling really froggy snap a photo of yourself wearing it and send it to me. Pretty please. 

Walk Details:
Saturday, April 28th (this Saturday!!) at the State Fairgrounds 9:00am
*We plan to get there around 8 or so, so please feel free to come earlier and hang out and munch on some goodies. The walk will start right at 9:00. In years past we have been finished before 11. After the walk we sit around and chat and laugh and eat. There will be food at the walk courtesy of corporate donors.

Any questions please leave me a comment or email me at

A BIG thanks to everyone who has prayed, donated, supported, bought a t-shirt and/or just loved us!! We love you all so much!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter...almost two weeks late.

I promptly posted about Caroline's birthday party. And our pre-Easter activities. But somewhere between work, my hubby being out of town and 130 t-shirt orders, I neglected to post about our actual Easter. And yes, I did say 130 t-shirt orders. I placed an order early Wednesday morning, but then received seven more orders that I just couldn't turn down. 

We went to my parent's house for Easter weekend. We hadn't been there in quite some time, so it was nice to catch up and relax. I always feel so relaxed at their house. It was also pretty awesome that they decided to cook 10 pounds of crab legs that Saturday night. My favorite. Needless to say, I spent the remainder of the night in a crab leg coma.

Sunday morning we went to the Easter service at the church I grew up in. My grandmother (Mama Jean) grew up there and my mom, so it's a pretty special place. It was a beautiful service and a perfect way to start Easter day.
After church we headed back to my parent's house to change and get the "goods" for our family picnic.
However, we had to stop long enough for a mini photo shoot. I mean, a girl's got to get her photos.
Each Easter, after church, we go to Mammie's (my dad's mom) for a picnic. My other grandmother, Mama Jean, also comes. It's pretty neat to have two grandmothers who do so much together.
Morgan Kate and my cousin's little girl, Jillian
All three of my dad's brothers and their families come - which means lots of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins.
Morgan Kate and Uncle Kyle
We eat an enormous amount of food. Seriously, it's quite the spread. And then watch the littles ones hunt for Easter eggs.
How adorable is he?!?
Sometimes Kyle and I hunt with the little ones. After all, some of the eggs contain money. Hee, hee!
Oh, how I love these two!
After the kiddos find all of the eggs we usually sit around and laugh and talk and just catch up.
Mom, Daddy and the grands
We also have more mini photo shoots.
They were on a mission.
And we watch the precious, precious little ones do the things that little ones do. They definitely keep us entertained.
My mom does a pretty good job entertaining them. Here she is playing "Ring Around the Rosie". This was pre-fall-down-and-bump-my-head for Morgan Kate.

We also got to admire this brand new beauty. Zoe is my cousin's newest baby girl and she is just a doll. I don't think she cried once while we were there. So sweet!
It was such a nice Easter and such a beautiful day - the perfect opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Easter and to enjoy much needed time with family. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In 2010 we sold 110 shirts.

In 2011 we sold 94.

This year we sold 123!

Oh.My.Mercy. I am just absolutely blown away. I was flying high in 2010 when we sold 110 and was just as excited last year when we sold 94. This year I am over the moon. My heart is so full and so thankful. I am overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and generosity. 

I am hoping to get the t-shirts back this weekend and will begin my deliveries early next week. Those who still need to pay may either send me a check or pay me when I deliver.

Don't forget - the walk is Saturday, April 28th at the State Fairgrounds and starts at 9:00am. You aren't required to register for the walk, but it makes the March of Dimes really happy. If you know you are going to be there that day I would love for you to leave me a message or email me. I want to be sure to see everyone! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Last Call

Last call for t-shirt orders. Tuesday I will submit the final order. We have almost 90 t-shirt orders, so the price is $6.75 a shirt. How awesome is that?!? The 90 shirts and the price. Wow. Also, we have over $600 in donations. Go Team Morgan Kate!!! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pre-Easter Festivities

The week before spring break, Morgan Kate attended four different Easter egg hunts. 
The week of spring break, we had about four hundred Easter egg hunts at home, another at Kaka's house and another at my grandmother's Easter day. 
We also dyed eggs twice and made an "Easter egg Christmas tree" as Morgan Kate calls it. 
Needless to say, our Easter was quite festive. 
And no worries, we made sure it wasn't all about eggs and hiding and the Easter Bunny.
I wanted Morgan Kate to know the real meaning of Easter. 
I wanted her to know that we celebrate this special day because Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and then on the third day, he rose! 
However, I wasn't quite sure how to really convey that to a three year old. After all, I'm thirty-one and sometimes it's still a bit much to wrap my brain around.
I wanted her to know that this day was about Jesus and his sacrifice, but I didn't want to worry her or scare her. I mean dying is a tough enough subject to talk about and then discussing the whole "he rose again" thing - wowzers. In all honesty, while I'm so thankful he did rise again, it still can be a little scary - especially when you are three.
Anyway, I found this really great book at Target titled, What is Easter? True teacher style to find a book to talk about an important subject.
It was perfect at explaining the true meaning of Easter in a way that a little person could understand it. Or a big person for that matter. It made sure to mention the important stuff, but didn't go into an enormous amount of detail - which I personally appreciated. 
We read it almost every night the week before Easter. We also read other books about ducks and springtime and Peter Rabbit.
By the time Easter morning rolled around I think she sorta-kinda-in-a-round-about way understood the "big part" of Easter. And that makes my heart happy.
Our time together before Easter has me so excited about this summer. I am so looking forward to all of the fun things we are going to be able to do together.  
Maybe we will hide eggs or even dye them again, just for fun.
Or maybe we will just boil a bunch of eggs and munch on them.
After all, Morgan Kate LOVES boiled eggs.
Yolk and all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring break has come and gone, but I am still reminiscing about our days of relaxation. Our days of sleeping in and sipping coffee. Days of snuggling and reading and playing. Days of hiding eggs and riding the tricycle and taking naps. 

Wednesday of spring break didn't prove to be as awesome as the rest of spring break. It was consumed with running errands and having to do things away from our house, which meant no relaxation whatsoever. I also managed to get stuck behind some ridiculous car in the emergency lane who was driving like a maniac and kicking up rocks on everyone else's car. But, Wednesday was Wednesday and then there was Thursday.

Thursday was our day on the lake. A gorgeous day. Bright sunshine and blue skies. All afternoon. Relaxation at it's finest.
Morgan Kate is our lake girl. She woke up Thursday morning asking to go to the lake. She willing puts on her lifejacket and sits so still while I am applying her sunscreen.
The minute we get everything settled, she is ready to ride. "Go fast, Daddy. Go fast!"
We rode around for a while and followed this duck for a good bit of time. MK enjoyed feeding him goldfish.
We then took off for Sandy Beach. MK was in heaven. Not only does she love digging in the sand and wading in the water, but she had the best time chasing every frog and lizard she saw.
She is our prissy tomboy. Seriously. The girl can be all girl - dresses, frills, polish and bows. And then in just a matter of seconds she's all boy - picking up bugs and creatures and getting covered in dirt. I love how versatile she can be.
I'm not sure who had more fun - MK or her daddy.
We had the best time. It was the perfect afternoon with my perfect little girl and hubby. Oh, how I love them!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Questions about the March of Dimes

Questions you may or may not have about the March of Dimes and Team Morgan Kate...

1. What is the March of Dimes?
It's an organization that helps moms have full term pregnancies and researches problems that threaten the health of babies. It's not an organization just for premature babies. It's an organization that supports ALL babies. It was initially created by Franklin D. Roosevelt and was centered around polio.

2. Why are we affiliated with the March of Dimes?
Our daughter, Morgan Kate, was born at only 25 weeks. She weighed one pound and twelve ounces and was considered a micro-preemie. Just minutes after her birth she was given artificial surfactant to help her breathe. Artificial surfactant is just one medication/therapy that the March of Dimes helped to create. We want to continue to raise awareness about premature births and we want to continue to support this amazing organization.

3. Did the March of Dimes give you a bunch of money or pay off all of your medical bills? 
This is one of my favorite questions. And I can't help but laugh in my head when someone asks this. I think sometimes we are programmed to think that the only reason someone might support a cause or organization is because there was some sort of payoff. I guess in a way there was a payoff for us - our daughter's life. However, there was no financial payoff. We did not receive money from the March of Dimes and our medical bills were not paid by them either. And honestly, we never expected that. 

4. When is the walk?
There are numerous walks in South Carolina and nationwide for that matter. The two walks we typically participate in are the Orangeburg and Columbia walks. In 2010 we served as the Ambassador Family for the Orangeburg area - where Travis and I both grew up. It was an enormous honor and privilege. Last year we only participated in the Orangeburg walk because my brother was getting married the weekend of the Columbia walk. This year, due to our schedules, we are only participating in the Columbia walk. It's on Saturday, April 28th at 9:00am at the State Fairgrounds. 

5. What's the walk like?
The walk is so much fun! The whole morning is fun! We all meet up before the walk and gather together. The walk starts at the fairgrounds and goes through these gorgeous neighborhoods of downtown Columbia. There are two routes - one that is a little over two miles and one that's a little over four. After the walk one of the MOD sponsors usually gives out lunch and drinks. There's all sorts of activities and awards given. Many teams bring their own tents and have picnics, etc. For the past two years we have brought a tent for our team and we plan to do that again this year. Oh, and some participants walk the route, while others jog, run or whatever. There are tons of strollers and wagons -it's a day of FAMILY and FRIENDS.

6. How much are the Team Morgan Kate t-shirts and where does that money go?
Currently we have 27 t-shirt orders, so as of today the shirts are $9.75. If we reach 50 orders the price will go down. All orders are due April 16. A dollar of the t-shirt cost goes toward the March of Dimes, the remainder of the money goes to SC Embroidery, the company we are using for the shirts. 

7. What do the shirts look like?
The shirts are white and look like this...

They come in all sizes. It is extra to order sizes larger than XL. 

8. How do I order a t-shirt?
Just leave me a message in the comments section of this post or email me at Let me know your size and how many shirts you need. 

9. How do I donate to the March of Dimes?
You can use the purple button in the right sidebar or you can mail me a check made out to the March of Dimes. If you want to buy a t-shirt(s) and include your donation in that check, you can do that as well. Just make the check out to me -I'll take the t-shirt money out and put the rest in the March of Dimes pot. To date, we have over $217 in donations!!! 

10. How do I sign up to walk?
Techinally, you don't have to sign up, but the March of Dimes LOVES to see registered walkers. There is no fee, you just sign up online using the purple button in the sidebar. 

If there are any questions you still have please leave them in the comments section or email me at

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It is spring break around these parts and my heart could not be any happier. I am just giddy. I love being at home. I love having no plans. And I love just relaxing and spending time with my girl. 

Monday we got up on our own. No alarm clock. Heaven. MK watched some cartoons and I watched a little bit of the Today Show while I sipped on my coffee. We had a leisure breakfast and then headed out to do a little grocery shopping for the week. MK was an absolute doll during our shopping expedition. After shopping it was lunch time and then we played outside for a while. We made an "Easter Egg Christmas tree" as Morgan Kate calls it - actually we just hung eggs from our magnolia tree in the front yard. It's so cute and was so easy. We also had a few egg hunts. While MK "rested", she doesn't like to call it nap time, I finished laundry, blogged a little and worked on t-shirt stuff. Travis got home from work as she was waking up from her "rest", so we headed out to Target because my girl is in desperate need of some new shoes. We found two pairs! Woo hoo - big deal for us. After our shoe shopping we came home and had, according to Morgan Kate, the best dinner ever - hot dogs, hash brown casserole and fresh corn on the cob. 

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but hey I try my best to be honest, we don't always eat dinner at our kitchen table. The weeks are so hectic and we are all so busy and so tired and many nights dinner is eaten on the go or in the den or anywhere other than the kitchen table. I grew up in a home where we ate dinner every night at the kitchen table and it meant the world to me. Seriously, I don't really remember ever eating dinner anywhere else in our house other than the kitchen table. Both of my parents worked and there were three of us, but they made sure that we always had a home cooked meal and that we always ate together at the same time and always sat at the kitchen table. When we had friends over we just pulled up another chair. I so want to be like that with my family and I'm trying really hard. It's been so easy this week because I have time to cook and plan and prepare, but I know I have to be better about it once spring break is over. Every time I feel overwhelmed or think I can't do it all, I think about my mom. She worked full-time, had three children and a husband that worked out of town and she still got everything done and more. If she didn't, I never knew about it. 

Back to spring break - Tuesday morning was pretty much a repeat of Monday morning, except we didn't have to grocery shop. Instead Morgan Kate got lots of time to play and I made two pillows for our front porch. We also had time for snuggling and reading and story time. Story time consisted of Morgan Kate (the teacher) reading to me and all of her babies. Sweetest thing ever. During "rest time" I blogged and baked chocolate chip cookies. This is the life.

I can only and hope and pray the rest of the week is this relaxing and rejuvenating. And in between the hoping and praying I am dreaming of summer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We spent Saturday afternoon celebrating Caroline's third birthday. I still can't believe that Caroline or my girl are actually three. I still vividly remember the day they were both born! Time be still.
Melissa and Sam did an amazing job with the decorations, food and favors. It was the cutest party and no detail went undone. Melissa and Sam think of everything!
They did all of the decorations themselves and Melissa spent the morning baking cake pops, making fruit salad and chex mix and all sorts of other types of food.
There was this awesome candy station and kids (and adults) could fix themselves a bag to go. No worries - I made sure to get Morgan Kate one, as well as myself. 
Morgan Kate had the best time playing with her friends. She mostly loved the turtle sandbox.
This precious, sweet boy was there and he had a big time too.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the day! Oh my goodness. Do they look like trouble or what?!? And those hands on their hips?!? Too stinkin' cute!
I also adore this picture. Such sweet girls!

Like I said, no detail went undone. This is definitely a party for Pinterest. 
The colors were so bright and so fun. They were perfect for a beautiful, spring day.
There was even candy flavored lip balm.
All of the kiddos got cake pops, but Caroline had her very own cake with candles. You can't have a party without blowing out some candles!
Here's the birthday girl showing us how old she is.
This would also be one of my favorite pictures from the day. How handsome is this little boy?
After playing and mingling and eating, it was time for presents. Caroline got so many nice things.

We had the best time! Morgan Kate cried when it was time to leave.
Luckily there was candy to bribe her away with! Hee, hee...