Friday, August 23, 2013


In less than twenty-four hours, you my dear, will no longer be four. 
Fourth birthday
You, my lovey, will be five! 

Time, please be still.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Age three.

It seems like Morgan Kate was just three. I know I say this about every single age, but four has just gone by SO fast. Lightning fast. And I've really enjoyed four. Three was hard. Very hard. 
Age three
Three was hard in the mornings. Three was hard in the afternoons. And three was especially hard in the evenings. There was about an eight or nine week stretch where bedtime was my least favorite time of the day. There were definitely awesome things about three, but there were definitely some times that weren't so good and they will forever be etched in my mind. I think three for MK was finding herself and just not knowing how to handle it. She had an opinion and a way she wanted things done. She had to learn how to give and take and compromise. 

Four has been so sweet. I have this little person that I want to take everywhere with me. I want her by my side as much as possible. I want to snuggle her and talk to her and play games with her. She's so much fun and has so much personality. I just drink her up. 

Just recently, like as in this summer, I've seen quite a bit of sass and attitude, that I'm not really used to seeing. Could this be five knocking on our door? Maybe it's just a bump or a hiccup. That's what I'm hoping for. I'm hoping that five is just as sweet, if not sweeter, than four.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three days away.

Three days until my baby girl turns five. I'm soaking in every last minute of four. I swear she grows and changes and ages right before my very eyes.
Days before her second birthday.
Some days her birth seems so very far away. Like it happened ages ago. Other days all of that seems like it was just yesterday. I have a bad habit of living in the past and not wanting things to change or move forward. I think that's why her birthdays are so hard. I didn't want to leave age one or two or three. I don't want to say goodbye to four. Sometimes, or most times actually, I forget that sometimes what's about to happen is just as good, if not better, than what has already happened. 

Regardless of the fact that I want to keep her my baby, she's going to turn five and eventually fifteen and then twenty-five. And I want to keep enjoying every age and all it brings, just as I always have done!

P.S. All of this made sense in my brain, but if it made no sense to any of you, I can explain. I am in the midst of my first week back at school with children. All of that means paperwork and emails and lesson plans and thinking and doing and reflecting. I am also in midst of planning MK's birthday party and that takes a lot of my brainpower as well. Needless to say, I don't have a lot of brain cells to spare this week!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


My baby turns five this week. I'm feeling especially emotional and sentimental and sappy. I'm doing lots of thinking and reminiscing and remembering.
MK's first birthday.
I can't even put into words how fast five years has gone by. It literally has happened in the blink of an eye. Mommies and daddies everywhere tell you that it's going to fly by, but you just have no idea until you are in that moment. Fast, people. Lightning fast.
MK's first birthday. 
In honor of her big #5 I hope to post pictures from past birthdays. I say "hope" because this week is not only her big birthday week, but it's the week that little people come to my classroom. And little people make me excited and exhausted, all at the same time. Could we put a little more in one week? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family Pictures

Let's talk about family pictures. Or rather the story behind family pictures. Maybe you have a similar story. And maybe you don't. 
I've wanted to do family pictures for as long as I've had a little family. Seriously. I wanted pictures when MK was a newborn, but we all know that didn't work out. I've wanted them year after year after year, but it's just never happened. 
Enter the sweet and talented Emily. She's not only our friend, but a super talented photographer. And wife. And mommy to three. Yep, she's superwoman! And, she was offering mini-sessions. 
When I approached Travis with the idea, I got this:
T: We already have family pictures.
Me: No we don't. 
T: Well, why can't you take them? You have a great camera and you like to take pictures.
Me: Well babe, if I take the pictures, then I can't be in them. It's family pictures. All three of us together.
T: You could just set the picture up and then someone else could snap the shot.
Me: I don't want to do that. I want to get dressed, go somewhere and have someone else think about all of that. I only want to have to think about whether to smile with teeth showing or not. Besides, I'm not a photographer. Photographers have an eye for this sort of thing.
T: Well, I really like your pictures. I think you are great.
Me: And I love you for that, BUT I'm booking the session. Mmmmkay?!?
The pictures were scheduled for a Friday evening. I was so excited. I could tell Travis wasn't as excited as I was, but I was okay with that. MK and I had been out shopping all day with my mom and Trenholm. I had been tossing around outfit options with both of them, and Trenholm had let me borrow a few tops to try. Around 4ish we headed home to get ready for our "family session". On the drive home I explained to MK that I had picked out THE perfect outfit for her to wear. It was going to be so cute and so colorful and she would be just beautiful. Two things happened here, and it was at this moment that I began to get a little worried. One, from my mirror I saw her yawn. She was tired. Two, the minute I mentioned which outfit I wanted her to wear, she said, "No, I don't like that one." I decided to leave it alone for the minute. Surely by the time we actually left for the pictures she would change her mind. 
When we got home I started to get ready. I tried on six different shirts and settled on one that Travis said looked more like me. While I was getting ready I started talking with MK about her outfit again. 
Me: "Morgan Kate, it's going to be so cute. YOU are going to be so cute. It will look great."
MK: I don't want to wear that. 
Me: Well, that's what I would like for you to wear. It's one of my favorite outfits on you. Please wear it for Mommy.
MK: I want to wear a dress. I don't want to wear pants.

I continued pleading and she started crying. I was hot and bothered from changing my shirt three dozen times, the clock was ticking, my patience was wearing. I even tried bribing her with a little lip gloss and blush. Nothing was working. She was getting more and more upset, and I was getting more and more aggravated. We were arguing some. Okay, maybe a lot. I could tell Travis was getting irritated about the arguing. He was trying his best to appease both of us. I was also getting an awful look into our future, when MK is about 14 or so, and I was a bit terrified.
I pretty much forced the outfit on her. She was still crying. I wanted to cry as well. Travis wasn't saying anything. And I kept saying, "All I wanted was a family picture. ONE family picture. That's it." 
Let me interject here and say that I realize you have to pick and choose your battles. I get that. And most days I really don't care what she wears. I'm learning to let that go. This day was a great learning experience. I respect her individuality and creativity. Her opinion does matter to me and I want her to be comfortable in what she wears. Isn't that what we all want? We all want to get dressed and like the way we look and like what we are wearing. But for that one evening, those few pictures, I wanted her to wear what I wanted her to wear. 
 If that's wrong, so be it. 
I suddenly realized that we needed to leave the house like five minutes ago and I still had no shoes on my feet. I finished getting ready in record speed, while sweating profusely, and we all headed to the car. She was still crying, Travis was beyond aggravated and I was mumbling under my breath, "I should just call and cancel. This is ridiculous." 
Not a word was spoken on the drive over. I kept thinking in my head, "How did we get to this point? Wow. These are going to be awesome pictures. NOT."
I seriously wanted to pick up the phone, call Emily and tell her that we just couldn't make it. That my family was having an outfit crisis and we just couldn't come. But, I didn't. 
Once we got about five minutes away from our destination, and I had calmed down, I tried talking to MK. I tried explaining to her that she was four and that sometimes she could choose what to wear and sometimes Mommy was going to choose. And this was one of those times where Mommy was going to choose. I also told her that the minute we got back home she could change her clothes and she wouldn't have to wear that outfit again. At least until school started. Then I turned around to hear her response and she was asleep. Side note here, this was probably also the time that the ear infections were starting, but none of us had any idea. So, she's tired, she's mad about what she has to wear, and the poor baby just doesn't feel good. Like I've said before, I'm not going to be winning any "Mom of the Year" awards anytime soon. 
I went ahead and woke her up and tried to talk to her. She was half with me, half not. I also tried to talk to Travis and explain my reasoning. I attempt to explain my desire to have this picture made with a happy husband and daughter.
I'm sure the minute we got out of the car Emily was probably thinking, "Wow, this is going to be so much fun. These people are a HOT MESS." Ironically enough, by this time MK is okay. And she's excited that we are going to get to walk into really tall grass. I've settled down and Travis, like always, is trying his best to make his girls happy. He's actually smiling and cracking jokes and making fun of us for being so dramatic. We tell Emily the whole story and she also starts cracking jokes and making fun of us and it's perfect. Emily is so laid back and she did such a great job of making us feel relaxed. 
It's those classic family pictures. The pictures where minutes before everyone is like, "This is awful", "I don't want to wear this", "I hate taking pictures", "You will wear what I want you to wear and you will pretend to like it", and then the minute the camera is up, it's, "Smile, pretend we are happy", "Pretend we are really do love this", "Just smile and act like this is fun." Except, it really was. Seriously, it was so much fun. We really were happy, once we got there. We laughed so hard and Emily got some pretty amazing shots. I absolutely love the pictures and the thing about pictures is, they are forever. The frustration and fussing and arguing, that's all temporary, or it is for us. But the pictures, they last a lifetime. And we couldn't be happier with them. Emily is so talented and has a true gift. I'm so thankful for her and for these pictures. 
And besides, Momma likes to know that she was right. (Only joking.) When we saw the first proofs, Travis said, "Wow, these really are so good. I'm glad we did this." And when MK saw them, "These are so pretty. I look beautiful, Mommy. And so do you. And Daddy. I like them a lot." 

Maybe by next year this time I can convince my little family to do this again. And maybe next time, I'll let MK pick out her outfit. Or at least help me. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Last week in pictures.

Last Monday was our last day at home before I returned to work on Tuesday. Morgan Kate and I stayed in our PJs until well after noon. The only reason we showered and changed then was because I wanted to get cake mix to make cupcakes. Good reason, right?!? We really relaxed last Monday. We slept in. Painted nails. Played games. Watched cartoons. Baked cupcakes. It was awesome.
Tuesday I awoke to an alarm for the first time in nine weeks. It hurt. I think all jobs should start around 9:00 and everyone should be off by at least 4:00. No one should have to get up before 5:30. Ever. Despite my early wake up time, it was a good day. MK actually got one more day of rest because Roddey's little girl was under the weather. 

Once I got up and actually got to school I was okay. Lots of coffee really helped. Seeing my coworkers was also a ray of sunshine. And then sweet little notes like this from my hubby made me smile even more. 
Oh, there was a not so good part of Tuesday. Travis had to take MK to the doctor. She had been dealing with this terrible cough like she seems to do every August. When she woke up Tuesday morning she was complaining about her ears. Travis took her and came home with an antibiotic for double ear infections, an oral steroid, a cough syrup and two new inhalers. I'm definitely going to win "Mom of the Year". NOT!

The most AWESOME part of Tuesday was that Owens and Trenholm had their 20 week ultrasound. The appointment went fabulous and the pictures are even more fabulous. Meet my newest niece or nephew at twenty weeks and one day. 
Sweet Baby H
Eeeeekkkkk! How adorable! I am so excited for December!!! I've got lots of spoiling and ruining to do, especially since Owens and Trenholm have done such a good job of that with MK. Oh, and no, they did not find out the sex. They are waiting. Exciting for them, torture for me.

Wednesday brought pictures like this on Instragram. 
Friday was my birthday. Thirty-three. And so I got lots of love on Instagram (and Facebook) from family and friends. My mom and dad started posting pictures on Wednesday, maybe Tuesday, and by the actual day of my birthday many others had joined in. Thank goodness most of the pictures made me smile instead of cringe. 

I love social media, most of the time. Facebook is nice, but Instagram is where it's at. Or at least I think so. Well, let me rephrase that. Instagram is where it's at, as long as no one has silly, stupid or incriminating pictures of you. 

Not only was Friday my birthday, but it was also "Meet the Teacher" at my school. From 2-5 many of my students stopped by to drop off supplies, pay school fees and meet me. I have got some sweet, sweet babies. Definitely looking forward to a great school year!

Friday evening Trav and MK took me to eat sushi for my birthday dinner. Owens and Trenholm joined us and it was so much fun. We ate lots of good food and my lovely people even requested that the staff serenade me with songs and drums. Awesome. 

Friday and today have been rainy, rainy days. It literally has rained all day and night and now day again. 

Today I was able to sleep in, sip my coffee and just relax. Tonight we are going to celebrate me a little more. I always love celebrating me. Ha!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Little fish.

You may remember that last summer Morgan Kate took swimming lessons. It was the first week of summer. The lessons were early. It rained every single day, except for the last. The water temperature was crazy cold and the outside air, because of the rain, wasn't much warmer. Oh, and MK doesn't ever do things she's just not ready for. Seriously. When she was younger I fought this a little at first, but I've just come to realize that  things (like giving up a bottle, learning to use the potty, or even swimming lessons) work much better for all of us when MK is actually READY to do those things. And when she's ready, she is 110% ready. No turning back. Needless to say, she just wasn't ready for swimming lessons and it was pure torture all week. She screamed, she cried, she ran around the pool. Each morning she begged to let me stay home. One morning she even tried to tell me that she had a fever. Really?!?

This summer I mentioned swimming lessons briefly over dinner one night and based on her reaction I just gave up the fight. I told Travis that we would work with her and maybe, just maybe, next summer she would be up for lessons again. 

Since that conversation she's been swimming in a pool three times, third time being this past Monday. Of course she's been in the water (lake, ocean) a lot more than that this summer, but only in a pool three times. The first time she asked if she could take off her puddle jumper and swim to us. We agreed. We were maybe an arm's length away and she did it over and over and over again. She loved it and it really helped boost her confidence. The second time we went swimming she was able to swim a little bit further. And when I say swim, I really mean swim. Face down, hiney up, feet kicking, and arms and hands moving. We were all so proud and literally had to drag her out of the pool.

Then there was Monday. 

Monday we went over to Raven's neighborhood pool for some swimming. We hadn't been there very long when MK asked to take off her puddle jumper and try swimming. She started by swimming from the steps to me, again about an arm's length away. The more she did it, the more confidence she gained and the better she got. The better she got, the further away I moved. At one point she asked if she could jump and then swim to me. Without hesitation, I agreed.
Y'all, my baby is swimming! And did you see in the video that she comes up and one point, takes a deep breath, and then swims again?!?!?!? She did this over and over again. She can swim so far! She even wanted to swim through my legs and was able to do it. Oh, and the moment when she was most proud of herself - when she could do a handstand underwater. No lie. She did. Multiple times. 

My heart was about to explode from being so proud. I'm anxious about her doing a lot of things, but I wasn't anxious about this at all. I was so relaxed and just so proud. I have always loved the water and I love to swim and I think maybe, just maybe, I have passed that on to her. 

It goes without saying that I reminded her about three dozen times that while I'm so proud, she has to remember that she is still learning and she must always keep her puddle jumper on. She can only take it off when Mommy or Daddy are around and she must ask first. And she can NEVER take it off at the lake or in the ocean. 

Like I said, when she's ready, she's 110% ready. Last summer she would have no part of it and she would cling to us in the water. This summer she's swimming and jumping and doing handstands under the water. Oh.My.Goodness! Heart be still.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Family Time.

A few Fridays ago Morgan Kate and I went to my parent's house to meet up for a day with my Mom, grandmother, Kelly, Aunt Deborah, Abigail and Addison. It was a visit long overdue. 
We spent the morning sitting in my parent's backyard while the little ones jumped on the trampoline and  played in the inflatable pool.
They laughed and giggled. And we did, too. 
Who knew you could have so much fun in an inflatable pool with a red Solo cup?
I love watching all of them playing and interacting. It's a little more difficult at this age for the adults to actually interact with one another, but such is life. Watching these little ones is well worth it! 
We all had lunch together at my parent's house and then played a little longer. After a while it was time for everyone to head back home.
I still remember when Kelly and I were little girls and we dreamed of the day that we would have our own babies. And now here we are, with our baby girls and their precious smiles. It doesn't really get any better!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Folly Beach 2013

Trying to decide how to share seven days and over one thousand pictures is kind of tricky. It gets complicated. I want to include everything because everything was so awesome. Well, not everything. There was one night while at Folly where I was sure I had either eaten bad seafood or was coming down with the stomach bug. Not so awesome. And while including every single picture and every single memory sounds nice in theory, it would take days and days to do so and the bottom line is that no one really wants to see that many pictures or hear that many stories anyway. Maybe my family, but not everyone. Therefore, choosing just the right ones to share is hard work. I don't want to leave anything or anyone out. But, here's my best attempt. My best attempt at  remembering Folly Beach 2013. Without further adieu, here are my favorite photos, some with captions.
Our ride down. And yes, we did pack everything except for the kitchen sink.
Lola ALWAYS gets to travel with us. Unfortunately, Cash does not. It breaks our hearts, but he does get some quality time with lots of his doggie friends.
Just minutes after arriving at the beach MK convinced her Daddy it was time for a beach walk.
Mama Jean and her Costas. Yes, my grandma is cooler than your grandma.
Hunter driving the boat with his uncles.
Best. Margaritas. Ever. I used this recipe and they were delish.
Me and my little lovies.
This picture melts my heart.
I have to give photo credit to my mom for this picture. PRECIOUS!
My sweet Uncle Jimmy and MK
Fun with Uncle Owens.
Daddy, aka Stud Muffin.
No caption necessary.
My beautiful Momma.
Fun times at the Point. 
Love this picture.
Mama Jean cruising on the boat. This picture was taken pre-rain wash out. 
My sweet girl holding a fish.
Owens + vaccuum = shocking.
Crazy Will kayaking.
Poor Hunter was not used to our all day excursions. 
Sweet Dippin and Baby H. She and Owens have their big 20 week appointment coming up. While they are not finding out the gender, I'm still excited to see something on the screen that really looks like a baby! 
Me and my girl.
I love her. 
Sweet girl.
Love him.
Seafood Night #2
That face!
Uncle Corky fishing.
Picture perfect.
So beautiful!
This was probably a private conversation that I interrupted. Actually, they were probably just talking about work or boats or seashells.
Our girl and her boogie board. She had THE best time!
Sweet Jillian.
Just relaxing and enjoying Folly Beach.
Muscle Man
Fun times with Leigh Anne
Does it get any better?
Most. Fun. Ever. Who cares if my body hurt for two days afterward?
Look at those smiles.
Mammie and Dippin.
Two peas in a pod.
Uncle Lewis and his kayak.
If any of you have made it this far, THANK YOU. I know you probably think that you've seen all 1368 of our beach photos, but actually it was only fifty. Fifty of my favorites. 

I say this every year, but this is a trip that means so much to me and it's one I never take for granted. It's good for the heart and soul and tan lines. Already thinking and planning for next year!