Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I can't count how many times I've said "My heart was so full" or "My heart was overflowing". I say it a lot and while it does have meaning, this past Saturday I felt it like never before. (Okay, I also felt it the day I married the love of my life and the day we became parents.) I literally thought my heart might explode.
My loves.
Saturday was Morgan Kate's first dance recital and I was just giddy. I was never in dance as a child, but I have always longed for my own baby girl to be in dance. I am thrilled that she takes dance, but even more thrilled that she really does love it. Seriously. The girl was born to be in dance. 
Uncle Owens and Aunt Trenholm came for the big event.
I typically have a hard time getting up in the mornings, unless it's Christmas, but this past Saturday I popped up the second my alarm went off. I was so anxious to get MK up and dressed so that we could be on our way. She, too, was easy to wake up and we both had the best time putting on her tights, costume and make-up. She was a doll!
Four generations of women. 
When we first arrived MK kept commenting about the number of people that were there. Up until this point I hadn't even thought about how she might be nervous or how the crowd might intimidate her. I told her there was nothing to worry about and that all those people there were mommies and daddies and grandparents, just like hers, that had come to watch their dancer. She seemed perfectly content with that and never mentioned it again.
She loves her Uncle O.
I left her with Roddey in the room where all parents drop off their dancers. She immediately went to Roddey and had the biggest smile on her face. I am pretty sure I have mentioned it before, like maybe two weeks ago, but Roddey is also MK's dance teacher which may be the number one reason MK loves dance so much. She adores Roddey! Another large reason would be that not only does she get to move and shake it, but she gets to do it with one of her BFFs, Annie Parker. They are THE cutest!
Our tiny dancer.
After dropping her off we found our seats and shortly thereafter the show began. The minute the lights dimmed and the music started I got all teary-eyed. Here we were to watch OUR baby girl. Here we were to cheer on OUR girl. Here we were to watch this little girl who at one time had struggled to do such simple things and now she was performing in front of hundreds of people. I was a mess. A happy mess, but still, a mess. 
Caroline came to see MK!
There were numerous classes performing, so it was a treat to see everyone else perform. But, the REAL treat was seeing our girl. Her class performed two different numbers - one tap and the other ballet. They did the tap piece either fourth or fifth in the show and the ballet piece came later. I was emotional at the start of the show, even before our girl came out, but I totally lost it when her class came out to actually perform. And through all my tears I had the BIGGEST smile on my face. I was just beaming with pride and happiness.  Roddey has really worked with these girls and they did so well. MK and Annie Parker totally hammed it up, which made me smile even more. My cheeks hurt later that day from smiling so much.
"My girls" coming to see my girl.
To say I was proud seems like such a understatement. I can't really put into words all that I was feeling. I just know that it was amazing watching my baby girl on stage and I can't wait to do it again. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunday was a special day for many reasons. One, however, was the dedication of two very special beautiful baby girls. These girls are answers to so many prayers. They are healing to hurt hearts. They are absolute miracles.
Their parents are strong and courageous and brave. They have to be, right?!? They have twins. Ha! They have one amazing mommy who has the biggest heart. 
Holding them for the first time ever also made the day pretty special for me. My arms were full, but my heart was overflowing. I've waited a long time to hold these babies. As little girls (Kelly and I are only 9 months apart) Kelly and I dreamed about the day that we would both be mommies. And now those dreams have become a reality - we are both mommies and we both have baby girls. 
This picture of the four of us brings tears to my eyes. Tears for a lot of reasons. As I drove down that morning I was composed. It may have been because I was concentrating on driving (maybe also driving a little too fast) and worried about getting to the dedication on time, but I felt good and I felt like I could keep it together. The minute Kelly walked out with those two girls and stood at the front of the church, I lost it. 
It was a beautiful service and I was so glad that I got to be a part of their big day. They did amazing and were angels through the dedication and the rest of the service. 
The girls were just gorgeous in their dresses and bibs and bloomers. PRECIOUS. Kelly was also stunning. As usual.
Not only did I get to hold them, but I got to kiss all over those sweet cheeks. Heart content. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wanted to let you all of you know that after I entered all donations and money from t-shirts we exceeded $1300 for the March of Dimes. Woo hoo! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Saturday we spent the day on Lake Murray, on my parents' new boat, celebrating Owens' birthday and Mother's Day. 

The first few minutes of the ride proved to be a little touchy for Hunter. He wasn't so sure about the boat and he was even more unsure of his frog puddle jumper. This brought about lots of tears. However, once MK was on board he seemed to forget about everything and they both had the BEST time.
Is she a diva or what?!?
I mean, look at her face and that finger?!?
What are we going to do with her?!?
Like I said, once MK was on board, Hunter seemed to forget about everything and he even started moving and shaking to the music. He smiled all day long. 
My parent's new boat is a dream. Super nice, super comfortable and the best thing - room for all of us.
Daddy was perfectly content to sit back, relax and let us do all of the driving.
Travis was pretty content doing the same.
I told you, he literally grinned ear to ear all day long.
Owens got in a little driving time.
As did I. 
It was weekend full of fun, relaxation and family. My kind of weekend.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I am really loving age three and a half. My girl just makes my heart melt.
She's at this great age where she understands things, she can communicate and most of the time she can reason with me. 
She loves to help and do and go. She's so easy. 
 She'll sit still enough for me to paint her toes or braid her hair or apply sunscreen.
 She's so funny and just makes me laugh all of the time.
 She has an amazing memory and is a really great listener. Most of the time.
 She's super creative and loves to draw and paint.
She is my girl and I love her so much.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There are so many things I love about my mom. I love her independence and strength. I love her faith and her passion for God. I love her beauty and that she passed along her long legs. Thank you genetics. I love her hugs and kisses. I love the example she sets with her marriage to my dad. I love the way she loves and cares for her grandchildren. I love how she gets down on the floor to play with them and chase them. I love that she knows how to have a good time. I love her cooking. I love her loyalty to friends and family. The list could go on and on. 

I think one of the things I love the most about my mom is the way she loves us. Specifically, me and my brothers.

Her love is and always has been, unconditional and without any hidden agenda. She loves us on our good days and our not-so good days. She loves us when we are kind and when we aren't so kind. She loves us when we make her proud and when we disappoint her. And believe me, we have disappointed her and on more than one ocassion. Like the time I left an open bottle of fingernail polish on her brand new coffee table (seriously brand new, like maybe two days old) or cut class my freshman year of high school and no one could find me. Or when Owens, age ten, confessed, on Mother's Day, that he had tried his first cigarette. Or when Kyle is disrespectful or lies and says he's going to do one thing and then either doesn't or completely does something different. And, unfortunately, he does that quite a bit. The list could go on and on and these things are really just scratching the surface. We've all put my mom through some "doozies". We are by far the most imperfect children ever. All three of us have done some pretty stupid and disappointing things along the way. Although, I should note that Owens is probably the least imperfect. He's got a pretty clean track record. Well, sort of. 

In all of my thirty-one years, regardless of what I have or haven't done, I have always known that my mom loved me and would continue to love me. Her love is constant, even when we aren't the most lovable human beings. Sounds pretty simple, right? I mean she's our mom, she's supposed to love us. And I guess most moms do love their children, regardless of the things they do, or at least I hope they do. But I think the part that resonates with me the most is that we always know how much she loves us. There was and never is a day or an hour or even a minute where I question her love. Even when I did the most disappointing things, I knew she still loved me. Even when we didn't give her the respect or love we should have given, she still loved us. And she still loves us.

I think of all the things my mom has taught me or given me, and she's taught and given me quite a lot that I will always take with me, I want more than anything to love my own child/children the way she has loved me and my brothers. And not only love them that way, but for them to know I love them that way, the way I always knew. Don't get me wrong, I love Morgan Kate wholeheartedly and unconditionally now, but let's face it, she's been pretty perfect so far. No smarting off, no cutting class, no smoking cigarettes, no boozing it up, none of those things. However, I know that one day, probably all too soon, she may decide to engage in such behaviors and I just want her to know, just like I always did, that I still love her just the same. And I always will.

I love you mom. Thank you for always loving me. And for showing me how to love. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A few updates.

It's been a while since I've done an "update" post and since my brain is mush, I think it's a great idea. We have had state testing at school this week and I am exhausted. It's crazy because I'm not teaching or doing anything strenuous, I'm walking around the classroom "monitoring" students for hours. However, by the end of the school day I am beat! 

1. Morgan Kate is still spending time with her imaginary friend "Dabba". In the past few months she has also hung out with "Connie" and "Mimi", but her most recent new friend is Jason. She tells us that Jason is her brother. Ha! She seriously walks around the house talking to these "friends". It is the funniest thing ever.

2. At dinner or whenever Travis and I are talking, MK will stop us and say, "Now it's time for my story."

3. She is all about her daddy right now. She wants him to hold her, play with her, read to her and put her to bed. If she catches us hugging in the kitchen or smooching in the bedroom, she will wiggle herself in between us and basically crawl up Travis' legs. Once he picks her up, she will look at me and say, "Now you can hug my Daddy." Not sure if I like this or not. 

4. I am still waiting on a few t-shirt payments, but once I receive them I will be able to send off the rest of the donations for the March of Dimes. It looks like we have almost another $200 to send off. Woo too!

5. Today MK had pictures for dance. All of the little ones had to be in costume, hair done and make-up applied. I had THE best time getting her ready. I am so not a girly-girl, but I love dolling up my baby girl. She loved wearing a little blush on her cheeks and pink "lipnick" on her lips. I even swiped a tiny bit of mascara on her lashes. She was ADORABLE! I can't wait to see the pictures when they come back. I am so, so, so excited about her recital.

6. MK LOVES bugs. Seriously. She will pick up caterpillars, frogs, lizards, beetles, etc. She loves them. A few days ago our neighbor found a snake in her backyard and she called Travis over to help her with it. MK and I went along to check out the snake. While there we had to remind MK that it's perfectly fine to pick up frogs and lizards, but you should never pick up a snake. I hope she remembers this!

7. Today is my brother, Owens', 29th birthday. A BIG happy birthday to him!! We love you, bubs! Only one more year of your twenties. Hee, hee! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Isn't it ironic that I check in on other blogs daily and if they have posted or updated I find myself worrying about them or wondering why on earth they haven't had time to update, yet I can't seem to update our blog more than about twice a week?!? I have so much to blog about, but so little time to actually sit down and really blog. Argh. Patiently (okay, maybe not so patiently) awaiting June 1st when summer break officially begins and my schedule allows for more time to write. Can't. Wait.

Several weeks ago, like the second week in April to be exact, parents were invited to observe our little ones' dance class. We don't get to watch them practice, so this was a special treat and it did not disappoint. How could it?!? Precious little girls. Adorable dance outfits. Moving and shaking. Big smiles. It was great. My face hurt afterward from smiling so much. 

These two are quite the pair!
Not only does Roddey care for our girl during the day, but she is also MK's dance teacher. We could not be happier!
I don't know why, but this picture just makes me laugh out loud.

Annie Parker has some serious moves. No lie. I always tease Jessa and tell her that I bet they practice every single day at home. She's just got so much rhythm and some pretty excellent dance skills. I think it's in their blood - they can all dance!

Melt my heart.
This is one of my favorite pictures.
I love these two girls so much and I cannot wait until their recital later this month. They both adore Roddey and adore dance. Seriously. Morgan Kate gets so excited every Wednesday morning when I remind her that it's "dance day". And whenever I pick her up from dance she always has the biggest smile. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I always get emotional right before our walks and this year proved to be no different. In the days leading up to the walk I find myself getting all teary eyed just thinking about it all. And the morning of, I am a hot mess. Anything can send me into tears instantly. It's all tears of absolute joy and amazement and appreciation, but it's still tears and at times I feel kind of silly. People comment that I am a strong person and I do think I am strong in a lot ways, but when it comes to my baby girl I am just weak in the knees. Thinking about her early birth and her rough start and all of the obstacles she has had to overcome just make me a total wreck. As we were setting up our tent Saturday morning at the fairgrounds I felt this huge lump in my throat and when my mom showed me the sign she had made tears just streamed down my face. However, I pulled it together and managed to make it through the rest of the day without anymore tears.

The rest of the day was spent laughing and visiting and smiling from ear to ear. Of course, we also spent a large portion of the day walking and walking and then doing some more walking. The weather was great, the turnout was perfect and my heart couldn't have been happier.

Just a part of Team MK 2012 - Awesome, awesome team!
Kennedy, Allison, Jay, Parker, Daddy, MK, Mom, Owens, Courtney, Cooper, Hunter, Kyle, Aunt Jan, Jonathan, Ashley, Trenholm, Sallie and me (Trav was the photographer)
A few of the men leading Team MK
Annie Parker and Morgan Kate, along with their daddies
Nolan - isn't he the cutest?!?
This sweet girl did an amazing job and didn't cry one bit, even when it was well past her feeding time.
The Babb Family, who walked the entire six miles with two small children. Wowzers!
The Ingrams, who despite their really busy day, still made time to come out and walk with us.  
The Yonemuras, who came out to support Team Morgan Kate and have done it now for four straight years. 
The Leviners, who came with not only their baby girl, Caroline, but also brought their niece Courtney and the twins, Nicholas and Nataleigh (also their niece an nephew). 
Aunt Dippin and Uncle Bugs
My sweet, sweet nephew, Hunter.
After the walk there was a tent set up by Publix where walkers could get hot dogs, drinks and fruit. While munching on a little bit of the yummy stuff, we noticed everyone heading over to the stage. We decided to wander over and noticed that people were "breaking it down". My family doesn't miss a chance to listen to some tunes and show off their dance moves. Morgan Kate, Hunter, Kaka and Trenholm jumped right in. 
Our little dancing queen

Kyle, Owens and Daddy
Daddy came straight to the walk from working all night long and still walked six miles.
Me and my mommy
Love them!