Thursday, February 28, 2013


Today we received our first and second donation. Woo hoo! A BIG thank you! The first donation was from our very, very dear and sweet friends. 
And the second was a donation from my school. During the week of Valentine's our student government sold "Hearts for the March of Dimes". Students and staff members could purchase a heart for another student, teacher or staff member for $1. At the end of the week 90 hearts had been sold and my school gave it to me to put toward Team Morgan Kate. How awesome is that?!? Makes me all teary-eyed.
 Only 58 days left until we all gather to March for Babies!
 I guess that means only 58 days until I get all emotional and sentimental and teary-eyed.
If you haven't been to one of the walks, you are missing out! We would love to have you come. You can just show up that morning OR you can register to walk with our team by clicking on that purple link to the right. 
 I am finalizing the new t-shirt design. I think this may be my most favorite shirt ever. For real. I love it. 
 As soon as I finalize the design, I will post it for all to see and then you can place your order! 
58 days!!! Mark your calendars.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I love the age four. It's so tender. So sweet (most of the time). So curious and inquisitive. Four year olds want to soak it all in and learn as much as they can.
Granted, she's mine and I am hers, but I think I'm pretty darn lucky. Don't get me wrong, she can be whiney and crabby and sassy. She often tattles and tries to be sneaky, but overall, my girl is a pretty sweet and genuine little person and it makes my heart so happy.
I love that at this moment she wants to learn, learn, learn. She wants to know how to write her letters and how to draw a dolphin. She wants to read me stories and just "sit and talk".
Just this past weekend, as I was taking a shower, she came into the bathroom, took a seat and said in her most grown up voice, "Mommy, let's talk." Oh. My. Goodness. 
As I looked out of the foggy shower door I had a small glimpse into our future. I love that she wants to sit and talk when she's four and I hope and pray she wants to keep talking when she's fourteen. I want her to know that she can talk to me about anything and most things probably won't surprise me.
She likes to come into the bathroom while I'm putting on my makeup and she says, "Do mine, Mommy." I apply a little blush and some lipgloss and I tell her how beautiful she is. And how much I love her and how proud I am to be her mommy.  
I found these great window markers in a drawer late Sunday afternoon. I think they were actually a birthday gift that had been "tucked" away. Best. Markers. Ever. She spent the longest time drawing on her window and perfecting her masterpiece. 

Morgan Kate, Mommy loves you so very much!

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday.

It's Monday. And it's cold. And dreary.

I'm so ready for spring. And warmth. And days at the lake with my boo and my girl.

It's Monday and I am already exhausted.

I have got to find some energy. I wish I could bottle up MK's and take a big sip whenever I needed it. 

It's Monday and I'm still thinking about how nice my cousin, Leigh Anne's bridal shower was this past weekend. It was at my mom's house and it was beautiful. My mom is THE decorator. 

I'm also already thinking about this coming weekend and celebrating Trenholm's birthday. PAR-TAY!

It's Monday and Morgan Kate got to wear her PJs to school today. Is it sad that I was a tiny bit jealous?!? I so need a pajama day.

It's Monday, February 25th and March for Babies is about eight weeks away. Eight weeks?!?! Get your walking shoes ready!

It's Monday and I'm determined to get in bed and be asleep by 9:30. Night, night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Morgan Kate will be five this August. Five.

Some days, the past five years seem like they've really been five years. But on most days, the past five years have felt like the fastest five years of my life.

I say this about every age, but I really can't wrap my mind around the fact that Morgan Kate will be five. 

While it's been five years since her early birth, those days are not far from my mind. I still remember so much of that time like it was yesterday. 

I still remember what I wore to the hospital the night my water broke. 

I remember being admitted and undergoing tests and having to answer a million questions. 

I remember the first dose of steroids I was given to help her development and how my body felt so hot and tired.

I remember making it through the first twenty-four hours and waking up to find Travis at my side and my mom asleep on the laundry basket. Just minutes later two very special people coming through the door with biscuits and hearts full of concern.

I remember the long days of my hospital stay. The visitors. The food. The staff. One of my besties coming and helping me wash my hair. Thank goodness for friends who will wash your nasty, oily, dirty hair. 

I remember the day Dr. Ellis, one of the neonatologists, came by to talk to us about our situation and our child's chances. I remember the numbers and statistics and overwhelmingly sad prognosis.

I will always remember the morning of August 24 when I learned that our baby girl had a better chance of survival outside of my body rather than inside. 

I remember the fear. The worry. The sadness. 

After her early birth all I wanted was for her to be three or four or five. Any age, but what she really was. I wanted to know she would be okay. I wanted to know that I was going to get to take her home. That I would get to see her grow and change. Walk and talk. I wanted to know that one day I would be able to hear her say, "I love you" and wrap her tiny, delicate arms around my neck.
My heart is beyond full. Morgan Kate brings a joy and a light to mine and Travis' life like no other. We've been able to see her grow and change. She runs, she walks, she talks non-stop. She counts and sings and writes the letter M everywhere. We get to hear her sweet little voice say those three special words. We get to hold her and squeeze and kiss her tiny, sweet cheeks. She is our world.

Because of the March of Dimes, the good Lord above and many, many prayerful people our precious girl is here and she is thriving. The March of Dimes continues to do research. They continue to try and find the causes of preterm births and ways to prevent them from happening. Their goal is for all babies to be born healthy and full-term. That's something I'd like to see as well. 

There are 66 days left until March for Babies. That's 66 days left to join our team and/or send in your donation. Don't delay, do it today!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

March for Babies

In 1938, communities came together to raise money to combat polio. More than 2 million dimes were sent to the White House and the foundation was referred to as the March of Dimes.

Now, 75 years later, polio has been eradicated in the United States and the March of Dimes is on a mission to help moms have healthy full-term pregnancies.

This year the March of Dimes is celebrating 75 years. It's incredible! Seventy-five years of fighting for answers and searching for solutions. And it's because of each one of you that the March of Dimes is able to continue to do what they do.

Not only is the March of Dimes celebrating 75 years, but our miracle will be celebrating her 5th birthday and it's our fifth year participating in the walks and helping to raise awareness about the March of Dimes. Needless to say, it's a big year. And we need YOU!

Ideas for donating:
-$5 to celebrate Morgan Kate's fifth birthday
-$5.75 -five for MK's birthday and 75 for the March of Dimes
-$7.50 to celebrate the 75 years for the March of Dimes
-$50 to signify ten dollars for each year of Morgan Kate's life or each year that we have participated in March for Babies
-$75 to celebrate 75 years

What is the March of Dimes? What do they do?
The March of Dimes (MOD) helps moms have full-term pregnancies and researches the problems that threaten the health of babies. The MOD is not just for premature babies. It's not just for full-term babies. It's not only for babies that have passed or babies that are still in the womb. It's for all babies. And all pregnant women. All moms. Every single one. In every single place.

The research conducted by the MOD is vital. Lifesaving. We would know, it helped save our daughter's life. Without their research there might not be artificial surfactant. And without artificial surfactant our baby girl may have never taken her first few breaths. The MOD educates, promotes, researches and raises money for healthy, full-term pregnancies. 

Contrary to what some might believe, the MOD didn't step in and magically wipe away our medical bills. They didn't give us money while we were in the hospital or once we got home. They didn't pay us to be an Ambassador family and they don't pay us to support them. We choose to be a part of this organization. We choose to support them and we choose to help raise money. We choose to do this because what they have done has helped save the life of our baby girl and many, many others. Like our precious new twins, Abigail and Addison.

When is the walk?
The Columbia walk is Saturday, April 27. 
The Orangeburg walk is Saturday, April 13.

How can I help?
Helping is easy! You can pray, you can walk, you can tell others about the March of Dimes, you can donate money or you can raise your own money. And if you are feeling especially froggy, you can do all of those!

How do I donate?
Donating is simple. You can click on the purple button located to the right. Once you click on that button you will be taken to a very secure page where you can donate using your debit card or credit card. If you aren't comfortable making donations online then you can send a check through the mail - just be sure to make it out to the March of Dimes.

How do I sign up to be a walker?
Click on the purple button in the right sidebar and follow the directions to "Walk".

I've never participated in a walk, what is it like?
This will be our fifth year participating in the walk. The walks usually begin at 8:30 or 9:00 am. The Gardens are the starting point for Orangeburg and the fairgrounds are the starting point for the Columbia walk. We all meet up around 8:30 or a little before. We all begin at the same starting point, but there are two different routes. One route is between two and three miles and the other is between four and five. We take our own water bottles, but along the way there are stations with fruit and water. There are people walking, people running, people sitting along side the road and others that aren't able to walk and they stay back at the starting point. There are lots and lots of people and it is such a rewarding and special day!

Different vendors provide lunch for registered walkers (pizza or hot dog, fruit and a drink) after the walk. Others bring their own lunches from home and eat picnic style. In the past directly before or after the walk people give speeches and awards are given for money raised.

Other Information:
For the past two years we have taken a tent, our Team Morgan Kate tent. We are planning to do that again this year. I am also working on a special design for this year's shirt. 

If you have other questions, comments or suggestions please leave them in the comment section. Thanks!

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's Monday.

It's Monday, and while Morgan Kate had a slight meltdown because she was tired and didn't want to wake up, we actually made it out of the door on time.

It's Monday and while it was raining here this morning, it wasn't last Monday and we were able to enjoy this beautiful sunrise on our way to school and work.
It's Monday and I have so much to be thankful for. My husband's health being one of them.

It's Monday and I have six large stacks of papers to grade and two meetings to prepare for. 
 It's Monday. A new week. A new start.
It's Monday and I'm looking forward to Tuesday, when I'll be able to have a "Mommies Only" dinner with some of my besties.

It's Monday and I have a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup cooking on the stove.

It's Monday and I haven't long been home from Zumba. And I think I like it. And I might stick with it.
It's Monday and only four days until the next weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My place.

There are some places in life that just bring you comfort. They put a smile on your face and a peace in your heart. When you are in that place, nothing else matters. Problems and worries and concerns take a back seat. 

One of my places is my grandmother's farm.

The farm has been in our family for a long time. The farm belonged to Mama Jean's parents, my mom's grandparents. And once Mama Jean and Papa were married, Papa started farming the farm. These days a local farmer rents several of the fields.
 For me, the farm is so much more than just fields of farm land.
It's my happy place. My quiet place. My thinking place. My forget-everything-else place. It represents hard work and love and family. 
When my brothers and I were younger my parents would take us out to the farm on Saturdays or lazy Sundays. We would stop at a nearby convenience store, each get a Coca-Cola and a bag of boiled peanuts and spend the afternoon running and playing and digging in the dirt.

I have vivid memories of riding in the back of my grandaddy's combine that was loaded with soybeans.
There's a barn out there, the only one left standing now, and it was my Papa's workshop. Even now, almost twenty-four years after his death, I can still "see" him in that workshop. I can hear his voice and I can vividly see him take his hankerchief from his pocket and wipe the sweat from his face.
We've all been hunting at the farm. 

My daddy took me as a child. Quite the experience. Or actually it really wasn't. We sat on the ground, we saw nothing, and I sprayed every little bug that flew by with the green can of bug spray. My dad swore he would never take me back and I swore I would never go again. Neither one of us kept our word.

Whenever my daddy took my brothers they got to sit in actual deer stands and shoot actual guns. Not only did my daddy take all of us, but he would take his dad and his brothers and their families. 

Not only can I "see" and feel my Papa out there, but also my Popppadaddy, my dad's dad. When we are walking around the barn area I am instantly reminded of times with him. I can see him walking around, hands in his pocket, smile on his face. When I see certain deer stands he immediately crosses my mind. He would always go hunting with my daddy and brothers, but he rarely actually did any hunting. He would sit in his deer stand, breathe in the farm and read Open Windows.

So while the farm might technically belong to my mom's side of the family, it was an important place for my entire family. All of us. I don't think there's one family member, on either side, that doesn't have a special memory about the farm.

Some of my most favorite childhood memories are days out at the farm with all of my uncles, aunts and cousins. 
When Travis and I started dating, seventeen years ago, he too, was introduced to the farm. And like the rest of us, it was instant love.

My daddy and brothers would take Travis hunting. On the weekends we would sometimes ride around out there and maybe once or twice we parked down a dirt road and shared a little kissy kiss.
These days we watch a new generation run like crazy and dig in the dirt. And I must say, much like their parents, Morgan Kate and Hunter are smitten with the farm.
It's not only "my place", but I think it's my daddy's place as well. He's always loved going out there, but since his cancer diagnosis, the trips have been more frequent. For all of us. And I get it.
What better way to deal with a difficult situation, than to spend time in a place where you can feel family members - past and present, you can breathe in fresh air, you can do the things you enjoy the most and you can just get away. It's quiet. It's peaceful. It's comforting.
Hunting has sort of taken a back seat and nowadays we ride four wheelers, shoot each other's guns and rummage through old, old houses that are tucked away deep in the woods.
Most recently, we've even been camping at the farm.
Last weekend we all packed our warmest gear and headed out to the farm for a day of fun and a night of surviving the cold.
Saturday was spent cooking and laughing. Riding four wheelers and shooting guns. Watching Hunter and Morgan Kate play in a hole. Standing by the fire and sharing in conversation.
We grilled hot dogs for dinner and attempted, twice, to make chicken bog. Dessert consisted of roasted marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate.
We all slept in our own tents, nestled in our sleeping bags. Hunter wasn't quite sure about the tents and he had to go with Kyle back to my parent's house, but the rest of us, including  MK, stayed and survived. It was such a great trip. A trip I will not forget. A trip to add to the memory bank of good times.
I'm so thankful to have this place. This place that fills my heart and calms my soul. 
Owens and I at the farm back in the mid 80s. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh my goodness?!? Where have I been?

I would love to say that I've been MIA because I've been working on some huge project or I have so many dinner dates with my family and friends that I just haven't had one second to update our blog. The real, honest answer, is that I've just been exhausted. For real.

Since my last post I have battled some sort of virus that parked right in my throat and chest and hung out for a week. It's been almost two weeks since all of that started and I still have a junk in my chest and nose. Ugh. 

The only fun thing I can think of that I've done since my last post is go camping. Details to come. So much fun. 

As I was looking back over my whopping seven posts from January, I decided to also take another look at my "hopes" for the new year. I wanted to see how well I've done or how much I've failed. 

Let's see...

In 2013 I hope to eat breakfast. And like it. 
I must admit, I've been doing pretty good with this. I've either been eating a waffle or yogurt, and while neither of those might be the best or most fulfilling, it's way more than I was eating.

Along the lines of eating, I hope to eat healthy or at least learn to eat better portions. 

This is a work in progress and will probably always will be, but I've been doing okay. 

I hope to soak in every single second with my baby girl, who's really not so much a baby. 

With the exclusion of my "sick days" I've been doing pretty good with this. How could I not? It's so easy and at the top of my list.

I hope to blog more

Ha, ha, ha, ha. Yeah. You all see how that's been going.

I hope that when my Daddy returns later this month to have his PSA level checked again,his levels will have decreased significantly. 

SUCCESS. My daddy returned to have his levels checked again and they had dropped significantly. He still has cancer, but the hormones he's taking have stopped the growth from this point forward. He will start radiation in March. 

I hope to find inner peace with whatever the new year holds.
Work in progress, but making progress.

I hope to have more date nights with my one and only. 

A few weekends ago my parents kept MK for us and we had several date nights. LOVE. 

I hope to start some sort of exercise. 

I've been doing Zumba. 

I hope to find a church that we really enjoy. 

Work in progress.

I hope to re-do our family room. 
Not yet. Too many ideas and just can't narrow anything down.

I hope to budget our money better. 

We are doing really well with this. I'm proud of us.

I hope to just enjoy every day. 
Not really working out. I long for the weekends and down time, therefore, I rush the week days. Really need to work on this.

Overall, I guess I'm doing okay. The bottom line is, I'm making progress. And besides, it just the start of February. I'm just getting started.