Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow 2014.

It's been over three years since our area has seen the white stuff. Morgan Kate was about two and a half at that time and while she liked the snow, I don't think she totally "got it" or appreciated it.
Around the middle of last week, yes last week, our local meteorologists started teasing us with a snow forecast. I don't ever believe until I actually see it, but by late Monday afternoon many school and businesses began closing and the grocery stores were empty.
My school district was one of three or four actually still on for Tuesday. I'll admit I was a little frustrated, but Tuesday morning came and went and there was still no snow. Thank goodness we did make it to school. We were dismissed at 11:00 because the "wintery mix" was supposed to make its debut at lunch time. Lunch came and went, no snow.
The weather guys assured us that it was indeed still coming, but would be later in the day. We waited. And waited and waited. Even Morgan Kate began to doubt that it might actually happen.
Finally, around 7:30 Tuesday evening, Snowstorm 2014 arrived. It began as sleet, and then slowly, but surely, turned to powdery, white snow.
We were all so excited. Morgan Kate was beside herself. She had waited all day and it was finally here, so we bundled up and enjoyed a little evening snow. I could've watched her for hours.
She was so giddy. But let's be honest, we were all giddy. Not long after the snow started our district posted that schools would be closed Wednesday.
It snowed late into the night and this morning we woke up to at least two inches, maybe a little more. Now, I realize for my Northern friends that seems like a light dusting, but it's a really big deal around here. Last night I turned off all of the lights in the house and turned on all of the lights outside and just watched the snow fall. It was so peaceful and quiet. Everything was still.
Today we got to sleep in, sip coffee and enjoy a nice fire. Once MK woke up she wanted to head straight outside. We had set a bowl out over night, so before we did anything, we made snow cream. Yummy! MK said it tasted like ice cream from Chick-fil-A.
We spent the day alternating between outside for about twenty minutes and then inside by the fire. 
Shortly before lunch we decided to venture out and take a four wheeler ride. It was so fun, but so cold. We nearly froze. After our ride, we headed in for a big bowl of soup. I love days at home.
MK is napping as we speak. Playing in the snow is hard work. Once she wakes up, we have plans to work on a snowman. 
I'm sure we will have some more snow cream. And will run back in a few more times to warm up by the fire.
Regardless of what we do, I know we will have fun doing it. 
I'm sure we will also be watching the news. After all, we're hoping for another day at home. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Weekend.

This past weekend my hubby and I got to spend a little one on one time together, while Morgan Kate got to spend some time with Kaka and Gator. Win-win, in my opinion.

We had plans to see the Jason Aldean concert and I still had a voucher for a night at the Hilton downtown. I have this voucher for two years now and we've never used it. The Hilton just happens to be in walking distance from the Colonial Center, so again win-win.
We went downtown earlier in the day. We had lunch and did a little shopping. Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who did a little shopping. Travis just browsed local music stores. 
We met up with one of my oldest friends and her beau.
And caught up with my cousin and her main squeeze. The concert was awesome and a large time was had by all.
I always feel a little guilty about leaving my girl, but I always end up having the best time with my man. It's always so nice to get away together, even if it's only fifteen minutes from home. Getting back into our regular routine since Christmas break has been hard this year. We literally get up, go to work, come home and do all the afternoon/evening things that need to be done and then before you know it, one of us is knocked out cold on the couch. The last two weeks have been especially crazy busy and it was so nice to have the weekend to catch up and make time just for us. 
After the concert we all headed out on the town for a little while longer. And let me just say, I can definitely still hang, but it sure does hurt so much more in the morning than it used to. Momma needs her beauty sleep. 
Sunday morning we enjoyed some delicious room service and then headed to pick up our girl.
I'm already making plans for our next "get away".

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Monday.

It's Monday and we are at home today. We are off for the day to honor MLK's birthday. We watched a movie - My Friend, Martin - this past week at school. The kids enjoyed it and it allowed for great conversation. In the movie, you are given a glimpse of what life would be like had MLK not done the things he did. It was not a pretty world. 

It's Monday and a Monday at home means a lazy morning. Coffee, fire and the Today Show. 
And trains. 

MK has had this train set for two or three years now and rarely pulls it out. When she does decide she wants to use it, it's like opening a brand new gift and she is captivated. She's also super patient as she waits for Mommy to put it all together. It's quite tedious. 
It's Monday and after a little relaxing I took my girl for a little breakfast date. Dunkin Donut style. Daddy was out fishing and we settled for donuts. I think we got the better end.
 The Strawberry Sprinkle donut is by far my favorite.
MK enjoyed the sprinkle donut holes and the chocolate covered donuts. We were sweet and brought Daddy a few, too.
It's Monday and while we we were out on our donut excursion, we saw the new Zoe's Kitchen that is now opening in our part of town. I.Am.So.Excited. Owens and Trenholm have one on their side of town and I LOVE it. I can't wait for it to be five minutes from my house.
It's Monday and I think all Mondays should be days at home.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saturday fun.

 We had such a fun Saturday.

Our day began with snuggles in bed, coffee and cereal. I love mornings that aren't rushed and that allow for a little laziness.

We then headed out for Jacqueline's, a friend from MK's school, 5th birthday party. She had her party at Build-A-Bear and it was so much fun. 
The kiddos had THE best time! And the staff did SUCH a great job with everything. 
MK made a bear, dressed her in a "dance outfit" and named her Snowball. MK hasn't put her down since yesterday morning.
After building their bears, we headed to the carousel for rides and cake.
What child doesn't love a carousel? And serving cake afterward is genius because then the children don't complain about having to get off.
After all of the birthday fun, we headed to grab a bite for lunch and then took MK to see Frozen.
Yes, we are those parents who had not yet taken their child to see THE movie of the season. MK's dance class is dancing to one of the songs in the movie and MK was basically the only child who didn't know the song. Oops! I definitely can't have that.
It was such a cute movie and MK was an angel. I mean, I didn't expect anything less, but sitting for almost two hours can sometimes be tricky, even for grown-ups. She never moved, except for when she needed more popcorn.

Saturday was a full, fun, family day! 
The above picture has nothing to do with our Saturday. As I was getting pictures off of my phone, I came across this "selfie". She is quite the mess!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Last January I recorded my hopes for the upcoming year. I like to look back and see which of those hopes turned into realities and which ones could still use some attention. 

This was last year

I hope to eat breakfast
*This was going fairly well until the end of 2013. I'm going to try and be better about this, but the bottom line is - I just don't like eating first thing in the morning. I don't ever wake up hungry. I wake up and want coffee. That.Is.It.

I hope to eat healthy or at least learn to eat better portions
*I think I've done pretty good with this one. When I do overeat and/or eat things that aren't good for me now, my body lets me know. 

I hope to soak in every single second with my baby girl.
*I try my best to do this. Some days I'm really good at it. Some days I could use some work. 

I hope to blog more
*This didn't happen. I actually blogged less. I'm working on it. So far, so good!

I hope that when my Daddy returns later this month to have his PSA level checked again,his levels will have decreased significantly
*His levels dropped continuously last year. He finished radiation in June, finished injections that same month and his PSA level is much, much lower. Recheck this March. Such a blessing!!!!

I hope to find inner peace with whatever the new year holds.
*This was my cryptic way of saying that I wanted to be okay if we had another baby and I wanted to be okay if we didn't have another baby. I'm sure some of you were not fooled by my "cryptic message". We were excited just a few months later (spring of 2013) when we got a positive pregnancy test. But that excitement was shattered when we had miscarriage #2 just a few weeks later. Finding any kind of inner peace since then has been hard. Really hard. It's gotten much better, but I still struggle sometimes. Since that time we've seen some different doctors and specialists and we are working on some things. But this year I'm determined that regardless of what happens, regardless of whether 2014 ends with our sweet family of three or new family of four, we're going to find that inner peace. It's time.

I hope to have more date nights with my one and only
*Accomplished! And continuing! We had one just this past weekend and have another already scheduled. 

I hope to start some sort of exercise
*I'm proud to say that I actually started this. Shocker of the year. I started by going to a Zumba class and then started running. Of course I slacked off during the holidays, but I plan to get back  at it ASAP.

I hope to find a church that we really enjoy
*MK has started going to choir and Mission Friends and she loves it. We plan to visit as a family very soon.

I hope to re-do our family room
*We painted. We bought a new couch. We did some re-decorating. ACCOMPLISHED. Very proud of this.

I hope to budget our money better
*Always a work in progress. Should really work out with all of my dental expenses. NOT!

I hope to just enjoy every day.
*Working very hard at this, too. Aren't we all?!? I'm so guilty of rushing to the weekend or the next holiday. I want to enjoy every single day - even Mondays. 

This year I don't have a list of hopes quite like last year. My perspective is a bit different. 

This year I just want to

Be happy. Be healthy. Be thankful. Be with the ones I love. Be a giver. Be a doer. Be full of life!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Coffee Date

If you were stopping by for a coffee date today we could actually sit on the back porch for the first time in what seems like forever. It's either been in the teens or we have had days like Saturday, where we had torrential downpours and it was 68. Today it was in the 50s, highs set for the 60s, and the sun was out and shining. Tomorrow, more rain.

If outside didn't suit us, we could sit inside on our couch by the fire. Yes, I do sit by the fire when it's almost 60 degrees out. I love a fire. I also love our couch. It's heavenly. And you can easily get sucked in. Or at least I do.

I'd want to know how you've been and what's been going on in your life.

I'd tell you that Morgan Kate woke up with a cough and sore throat Friday morning. All weekend she had weak, weak eyes and was just not herself. Not sure what is or was going on with her, but seeing her hurt and not feel well, makes my heart hurt. Today, she still had a little lingering cough, but overall seemed much better.

While we were talking about MK I would tell you that kindergarten and school in general has been heavy on my mind this week. So many things to think about and consider. The biggest problem I have is that I don't just think about tomorrow or next year, I think about 5th grade and 7th grade and high school. Makes.My.Stomach.Hurt.

I would tell you about other things that make my stomach hurt - visiting the dentist, endodontist and orthodontist - all in the same week. Yes, that really did happen. To me. Over Christmas break. I went to the dentist for a cleaning. A very overdue cleaning. (Don't judge.) Turns out that two root canals I had done over ten years ago, had become infected and both needed to be redone. There were a few cavities that needed to be filled. I have awful, awful teeth. (Remember, no judging.) I am not proud. Oh, and it was recommended that I have an ortho consult. Might I mention that I had braces in high school. Therefore, this would be set of braces #2. Long story short, several years ago, before I had MK, my bottom permanent retainer bent and I never got it fixed. I know. Slacker. Over time my teeth shifted, along with my bite, and now my mouth is one big mess again. Owens has already informed that I will in fact be "Brace Face". I can hardly wait. It also doesn't help that I grind my teeth terribly at night, so that has done some serious damage as well. Thankfully, all of these people who have had their hands in my mouth recently are fabulous and very kind and very gentle. Thank goodness. Both root canals have been repaired. It may take months for my wallet to do the same. Fillings are scheduled for later this month and braces are tentatively scheduled for spring break. Help.Me.

We might then talk about a lighter subject - home projects. And I'd tell you that I always have a home project swirling in my head. Right now I have three projects that I would like to accomplish before the end of 2014. Actually, I would like to see them finished by summer, but we shall see. With all of this dental work, it might be late 2015 or 2016. Who knows?!? Project one is to repaint MK's room. It's still pink and green and I want a more neutral color. Just something different. Right now there are three paint samples taped to her wall and I look at them at different times of the day to see which color I think will be best. Repainting also means redecorating - which I love. Project two is to rip up our nasty carpet in the hallway, MK's room and the guest room. That carpet is so gross. It's beyond being able to really clean, so it needs to be replaced. Of course I would love hardwood floors in that area, but I'm thinking we will just go with more carpet. Something a little darker and much cleaner than what we presently have. Project three is a LARGE project and one that we are still pondering. It would involve repainting our kitchen and painting our cabinets. Yikes! This one still needs more thought.

At this point, I'm sure your head would be swirling. I know mine is. We would both comment about how these coffee dates are few and far between and we just never seem to have enough time. And we would both agree to meet again very soon. 

Can't wait for next time...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Yesterday and today most schools in our area had a two hour delay. Yahoo! Monday night temperatures were in the teens and the windchill made it feel like 5 or 6 degrees. We left our faucets dripping all night, but we still woke up to NO hot water. Miserable. Tuesday night things were a tiny bit better. By tiny I mean it was like a degree or two warmer. I guess in the grand scheme of things, Tuesday night may have actually been worse because we never saw above freezing temps during the day on Tuesday. 
I know for those of you who live in the North these temperatures are nothing. And you all probably think it is hilarious and slightly ridiculous that schools were delayed, but down here we just aren't equip for those temperatures. We don't even own heavy coats. Ha!

This morning I didn't get to really enjoy the benefit of a two hour delay because I had to have some blood work first thing this morning. I left that office and headed straight to the endodontist for my second root canal in two weeks. I can't wait to share all my dental news. I'll save that story or stories for another day. And in case you were wondering this is what my face looks like after a root canal. I realize this photo is awful and slightly embarrassing, but sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. Not sure why I look cross eyed. Forget the eyes and make note of the nose and lips. The root canal was at 9:00 and I walked around like this until after 2. Awful. 
After my eventful morning, I treated myself to lunch with one of my besties and ran a few errands. I think it's important to note that while eating lunch we both opened a fortune cookie only to find that my fortune cookie was "fortune-less". Only me.

I then headed home and started Operation Clean the Pigsty. Morgan Kate's room is awful. And if she never got another toy in her entire life, she would still have too many. It is ridiculous. Her room is now organized, clean and carrot free. I found a carrot in her room that had clearly been there for about two weeks. Maybe longer.
In case you are wondering, the white bag is full of trash. Seriously. Legitimate trash. Found in baskets, under her bed, under her dresser, in the middle of her floor and every other nook and cranny. The pink bag is filled with things that I found in her room that belong to ME - socks, books, necklaces, etc. Oh, and the yellow arrow? That is pointing to a pinecone. Yes, a pinecone. I found the pinecone in a box in her room. I dropped it in the trash bag and thought nothing else of it. MK came in during my cleaning fury and began digging in the trash bag. Big mistake. She immediately began pulling stuff out and asking questions. The pinecone was one of those things. Despite my best efforts to trash it, she and her daddy convinced me that "pinecones are special". Did you know that? Hmmm, neither did I. But apparently, pinecones are special, just like rocks and sticks and bugs are special. At least those things are for my crew. So, we still have our "special pinecone". 

Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I asked Morgan Kate the following questions in January of 2013 and in January of 2012. These are her answers from this year

What is your favorite color? Uhhh, Mommy…Why you doing this? (I explain.) Oh, all the colors. Can you pick just one? Blue and green.

What is your favorite toy? A ball. (Not sure why she said ball.)

What is your favorite fruit? Umm. Let me think about this. Pineapple. And strawberries and oranges.

What is your favorite TV show? Duck Dynasty. Actually, not. Ummm…I like Bubble Guppies.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes and eggs.

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Grilled cheese and some chips.

What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Spaghetti. And basanga (lasagna).

What is your favorite outfit? Some boots and my favorite dress or shirt and skirt.

What is your favorite game? Hide and seek.

What is your favorite snack? Graham crackers.

What is your favorite animal? All of my animals. (All nine that she sleeps with. Stuffed animals, not live.)

What is your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

What is your favorite book? That monkey book that talks. (It's a Hallmark book that has lots of questions about favorite times with her daddy and her answers are recorded. So, so sweet!)

What are you thankful for? I thank you for Mommy and Daddy. And God and Jesus.

What is your favorite drink? Apple juice.

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas.

What do you like to take with you to bed at night? My blankie. (Another answer that I'm not sure of. She occasionally wants her blankie, but most nights she just wants those nine animals.)

What do you want for dinner on your next birthday? Basagna.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A vet.

What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play the guitar with him.

What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Bake cupcakes.

What's your favorite thing to do with Kaka and Gator? Spend the night.

What's your favorite things to do with your uncles? Play.

What's your favorite thing to do with your Aunt Dippin and Jessie? Sit in their laps.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Life Lately with MK

Life with our little one is always interesting.

It's full and lively.

Lately, life with MK has been quite musical. She loves playing her new guitar. And her daddy loved it so much that he went out and bought one for himself. Now Mommy Dearest gets to hear two lovely learners strumming away.
Life with MK recently has meant lots of snuggling in the wee hours of the morning. She's been having "night dreams" as she calls them. One night she had a night dream that the Grinch was in her room. Another night it was some monster. We don't let her sleep with us (refer back to year three if you don't remember why) and we usually take her back to her bed if she does get up, but lately we've let her crawl in and snuggle down. And it's been nice. Except for when she does it like three nights in a row and each night she comes earlier and earlier.
It means watching her dress up in about a million outfits a day. One minute she's a princess, the next a USC cheerleader and the next time you turn your head she's a doctor or a vet.
Life with MK always includes snuggles and hugs. She's so very affectionate. I could eat her up. I hope she always stays that way. 
Some days life with MK is lots of sass and whining and, "Just one more minute. I don't wanna go to bed." Bed time is always an issue around our breaks. She gets out of her routine, we let her stay up later and then getting back on track is hard. One day last week, at midnight, she was still awake and convinced that she was not tired. Late nights like that mean sleepy mornings. Mornings where she is quite the little bear, she cries big tears and begs to go back to sleep and then falls asleep on our way to Roddey's. Thank goodness those days are few and far between.

Life with MK is the best. I am one blessed momma and I try not to take even one day for granted. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, while sitting in a meeting at work, I received a phone call from Travis. I knew something wasn't right because one, they pulled me out of an important meeting to take a phone call and two, Travis started off with, "Everything's okay."

Which usually means, it really isn't.
Baby Hardison was expected to arrive around December 30. We were all anticipating a late Christmas present. We had no idea that instead, we were going to get an early Thanksgiving surprise. 

Trenholm had been having some blood pressures issues and had been on bed rest for about a week. That Tuesday she returned to the doctor and after some blood work they decided that today was the day. Baby Hardison would be arriving!
The baby wasn't in distress, which was a good thing. But we all knew that blood pressure issues weren't good and that coming five weeks early could have its own set of complications. Apparently, we just don't do full term in our family. MK was 15 weeks early, Hunter was five weeks early, Abigail and Addison were ten weeks early and Baby Hardison was going to also keep that trend.
When Travis called I immediately burst into tears. Deep down I felt like things would be fine and everything would go well, but we all know how pregnancy and child birth and all of that just freaks me out. And it was happening to my little brother and his family. It just didn't sit too well. 

I walked back into my meeting with red, swollen eyes and my awesome principal told me to leave right away. I did.
I got to the hospital around one or so. My mom was there and Trenholm's parents, as well as Trenholm's sister. It wasn't long before Travis arrived and my dad and Kyle. Later in the day MK even came. We all sat and waited. We paced. We made phone calls. We drank coffee. We teared up. We laughed. We texted. I specifically texted Owens. Yes, he was back with Trenholm and they were preparing to have a baby, but I needed to check on my baby brother. I had to know he was okay. And that Trenholm was okay. And that my soon to be niece or nephew was okay. Thankfully he responded when he had a few minutes. 
Once Trenholm was settled we were all able to go back and see her. Again, tears. (For goodness sake, I have tears while I'm writing this.) Trenholm and I are tight. She's way more than just a "sister-in-law". It was comforting to see that she and Baby H were okay and that things were progressing. 

It just so happened that Dr. Grumbach was the doctor that would be delivering Baby H and he was also the doctor who delivered Morgan Kate. He's pretty awesome. 
We were there for several hours, but it really didn't feel too long. We all kept each other company and it really helped pass the time. Around 8 or so we got word that things were really progressing and it was almost time. The next hour didn't go nearly as fast as the hours before. We were all so anxious.

Shortly after nine Owens came out and made the big announcement, "It's a boy!" We were all SO excited and some of us a little surprised. I had convinced myself that Baby Hardison was going to be a girl. After all, it only seemed fitting that Owens would have a girl and have to learn all the girly stuff that comes with one. Ha!

I think it's pretty neat that my grandfather was 30 when my daddy was born. My daddy was 30 when Owens was born. And Owens was 30 when Loitton was born. Also, Baby Loitton is a third. Pretty special. 
 Loitton was/is a perfect baby boy. He is the cutest and sweetest thing ever. 
He didn't need any special care at birth other than a bilirubin light and for few hours he had to hang out in the isolette in order to get his body temperature up.
Being an aunt is awesome. I always say it's the next best thing to being a mommy. 
 Watching your little brother become a daddy is pretty awesome, too. 
 I could hold Loitton and love him all day long. And sometimes I do. 
I'm excited to see what the future holds. I by no means want to rush this time. The newborn/infant stage passes all too quickly. But, I'm excited to see the relationships that form and how he and Morgan Kate and Hunter all interact. They have lots to teach him.
Until then I'm just going to snuggle him and kiss him and love him and sniff him. I love the way new babies smell. 
Welcome to the world, Baby Loitton! We are beyond happy to have you here!