Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kenley Girl

Kenley girl turned 2 last weekend and we have had a full week long celebration.  It started with cupcakes, candles and balloons and it has wrapped up with a beautiful afternoon at Compass Lake with [some] of her Grandparents. It was fun celebrating and teaching about birthday.  She and Nammy perfected singing Happy Birthday and it is the sweetest thing ever!  Plus we have blown out lots and lots of candles - learning to blow out candles is also lots of fun!  She is very proud of being 2.  When we ask 'how old are you' she olds up 5-10 fingers and yells twwoooo - lips puckered up and all!

Mom and I were talking the other day about the day we found out that we were having a girl....I laid on the sonogram table and cried tears of joy and excitement.  Justin looked at me like I was crazy.  I never thought I would have a little girl and really expected to only have boys.  But God specially picked this sweet baby girl to bless our family.  I love being her Mommy because she is tender-hearted and is quick to say sorry with hugs.  I even love being her Mommy when she doesn't get her way she slams herself on the floor and hits and swats at anything in sight and even when she stomps her feet if she doesn't want to do something.  She is very strong willed and she knows what she wants.  She is very independent. It can be hard at times to be her Mommy because she does keep us on our toes...and she is a bigger challenge then I ever could have imagined....and yet is the very challenge I am proud to call mine.  I love to hear how she pronounces certain things and when she tries to repeat almost everything that I say.   She melts this Mommy's heart because she adores Collier - she calls him 'CalCal'.  I love to sit back and watch how she has her daddy wrapped around her little finger and she knows she gets her way very easy with him - I knew that one day if we had a little girl that his heart would melt into a puddle and in fact it has!  When she snuggles and nuzzles with her lamby LuLu lovie and her pacey, it makes me want to do the very same with her...and the extra added bonus is when she allows me to get that  snuggle and nuggle with her.  I love being her Mommy that gets to sway and swing or rock her just before she falls asleep at night.  And that I get to be her Mommy that sings Jesus Loves Me at the moments she needs to relax to nap. I love being her Mommy because it means that I kiss boo-boo's and make them all better.   I love being her Mommy because she is the sweetest thing!  I love being her Mommy because she is a special gift from God and I am so thankful to have her as my super special and super beautiful daughter!

She is mostly potty trained - sometimes she is a half second late in letting us know she needs to go.  But for the most part she is doing great with very few accidents.  
She is working on her colors but right now everything is BLUE
She can count to 10 and when she gets to 10 it is a huge celebration - YEAH!!!!
Her favorite food is crackers - all kinds.  Nina's (Bananas), french fries  and cookies  - you know all the healthy stuff.  Sometimes she'll eat a chicken finger or hotdog, carrots or apple.  Yogurt and apples sauce are a usual yes but not always.  She is very particular and unwilling to TRY anything out of the normal.  She turns her nose up at ice cream because she won't even taste it to see how delicious it really is.  But she can eat a popsicle without sparing a single drip. And Although she doesn't exactly eat well, she is a snacker which brings us right back to her very favorite...crackers.  No surprise she doesn't eat dinner!  
She is an excellent sleeper - and I have just stopped putting her in her sleep sac at night.  So she is now officially sleeping like a big girl with a blanket [and about 5 other lovies, blankies and animals].  She still naps twice a day majority of days.  

So much fun getting to celebrate the life of our Kenley girl.  Now time to get ready for the next birthday up...Collier will be 5 in 5 short weeks!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I referenced in my 'Lent' post an article  that inspired me and has changed my thoughts on what to give up during the Lenten season.  One of the items that I have concentrated on and working to surrender to God is comparison.  It is so easy in our society to compare ourselves to others - we always think that the grass is greener on the other side.  We want what others have and this can easily turn our hearts away from the many blessings that we have right in front of our face.  It is also keeps me from being content. It has been really interesting what God has taught me and working on in my heart.   First, from that article here is what the comment was on comparison
 Comparison - I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.

One thing that has really come to light is the impact that social media has on me falling into that comparison pit.  As I scroll through pictures  and see what others are doing and this outfit and that vacation and this accomplishment and that new house and this father who is doing whatever with their child, etc.  The list goes on and the bottom line is that I have allowed myself to believe that the reason that I get on facebook and instagram is to keep up with friends and family!  But in my heart of hearts, I am checking to see how I compare to others.  I am sizing my own life up with others.  I am reminded that the only comparison that really matters is my life to Christ. I am being taught that my value is in Him alone - and not just knowing this in my head but believing it.  As I was praying this morning, it came to heart that the reason I compare myself is seeking out the approval of others.  I am such a people pleaser.  I desire to be liked by others.  But God spoke clearly and said, 'I am who you should be seeking to please'.   I can be content knowing that I am exactly where God intended me to be.  It is no accident that I am where I am. God's divine plan is much greater than mine and His ways are way better than my ways.  Having this right perspective makes me happier.  Wishing and wanting what others have and what I do/don't have will only cause me to chase something that isn't really there to begin with.   He has a specific purpose for each of us.  I am NOT supposed to be like someone else. It makes me smile because I know that He loves me just the way that I am.  So, why do I chase after others when I have the One who really matters already loving me more than I can already image? 

Galatians 6:4 says:
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
I will continue with social media as I usually do.  But it is with a much different lens and attitude.  It honestly brings me peace and gives me a million reasons to be content.  Now, if I can only keep this is perspective and not be sucked back into the wrong way of thinking/intentions.  I am thankful that God is working on me and pruning and correcting me in my ways.

I am glad to be evaluating social media and the things that can impact my life on a day to day basis and specifically in a Spiritual way.  In studying Isaiah in CBS the lesson over and over has been obedience and relying on God.  In a recent lesson it referenced Romans 8:5
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
I praise God for His Spirit and that in Him I do have life and peace!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today, is a great day of celebration because it is my Mom's birthday.  And if there ever is anyone who deserves to be celebrated, it is my amazing Mom!  Quite honestly, I don't tell her often enough how amazing she is, how much I appreciate her and how much I really love her.  I am so thankful that she is my Mom and my friend.  What better day to do that then her very own birthday.
why did we SMASH our faces together?

Dear Mom,
Happy Birthday and I love you.  I am so thankful that you are my Mom and friend!  As a Mom I am constantly striving and praying over the Proverbs 22 verse to ' Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it'.  I often think back to my childhood and want to duplicate the same for my children.  I hope I can be as great of a Mom as you are.  I have always known you loved me deeply and known that I was safe and secure to be just who I am.  You instilled confidence in me.  And you taught me about having a relationship in Jesus Christ....although it took years for me to get it, you planted seeds along the way that God allowed to sprout at His perfect time.  You did raise me up right and I want the same for my children; that when they think back that they will think...happiness...because I certainly do.  You are the example of a Mom that I want to be.  You were a great Mom and as I grew up I turned to you as a friend as much as I do as a Mom.  I can not tell you how happy it makes me that you are willing and able and want to keep my children for me.  It is THE.BIGGEST.RELIEF knowing that they are with you when I am at work.  They are being loved on and cared for and taught in so many special and wonderful way by their very own grandmother!  They love it.  I love it!  Thank you for being involved and being here for me along each and every road that I travel.  I love you so much and hope that you know special that you are and how much I really do appreciate you!  And this probably goes without saying, but not only are you wonderful in my eyes....but you are to Collier and Kenley (and I know Ash and Hayden) too!  They adore you and love every minute they have with you.  Such a blessing and delight!


And one more thing to add....not only does she keep my children and pour out her love on them daily but it is also not unusual for her to come to my house and vacuum, straighten up, wash AND fold clothes.  What would I do without her?  I am not sure, but lets not wonder because the bottom line is that I do and for that I am forever grateful.

Love you lots Momma and Happy Birthday to a the wonderful and amazing you!

ps. I now realize I don't have enough pictures of her.  Every time I pull my camera out to take a picture, she always steps back.  no more of that!!!  Note to self: get more pictures with Mom!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I thought that I would share this email.  I sent it this morning to by CBS (Community Bible Study) core group and I thought that I would share...or extend the same challenge to more than just my core group. God is doing a mighty work in my heart in the past several months and I desire and depend on my daily quiet time as he continues to work on me.  I know that He has drawn me closer to Him and makes a difference in my daily life because of the relationship that He is developing in me!

Good Morning Sweet Ladies,
As I was in prayer for you this morning it was laid on my heart to reach out and challenge you.  Today beings the Lenten season.  Ash Wednesday, a day that we remember that we are but ashes and to ashes we will return.  In that we have hope of eternal life in Christ.  And I know that some (per our conversation on Monday) will be giving up something for me, sweets!  But I want to push you a little further - and this is if you are giving something up or not - to give up your time to Christ.  To set aside everyday at least 30 minutes of quiet, devoted and intentional time to God. Everyday.  It may mean that you have to sacrifice sleep or exercise or tv show or time on the phone with friends/family.  But, the bottom line is that He promises that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.  I read this in an article about lent and put is in a great perspective to me:
 Finally, fasting has a way of centering us and reminding us what is most important. We have a lot of competing priorities in life. We don’t fast for God’s sake. It is a discipline given to us for our benefit. Fasting points us to what is most important. It helps us to keep the first things the first things. This is why we see the early church enter a time of fasting prior to making a big decisions (see Acts 13:2–314:23). Fasting helps us better discern God’s priorities for life and ministry.

We all have different 'competing priorities' in our life and we can all give a really good and justifiable excuse of each priority that is set before us.  I am praying that you will set your priority on Him and growing in your relationship with Him.  I know that we all love CBS because it does keep us in God's Word - and would be a great thing to do in your quiet time.  If you want some other suggestions or idea of how to spend your 30 minutes let me know, I will be glad to share some suggestions of things that I am doing. Or just open your bible and read away!!

The below article is a great read with a challenging view of what you might be giving up for lent.  I am giving up sweets, but I will be honest, that is really about me!  Not about God.  So, there are a few things from this list that I am going to really surrender to God - specifically Gossip, Comparison & Worry .  These things I will be laying at God's feet in my quiet times to allow Him to work on in my life.  I am going to pray and work hard to keep my focus on Him - instead of on me!  I hope that you'll have a few minutes and read this article.  I hope that you will take on this challenge to be quiet and be still daily with him during this Lenten season.  I would love to know if you are up to that (and I'll keep it between you and me)....I would love to hold each other accountable and will also be sure to pray your time will be fruitful that you are willing to give to Him.  

Love you all and see you on Monday!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunny, Bright and Busy

We had amazing and beautiful weather this weekend and I loved it.  We are not finished with the freezing and cold weather (the HIGH tomorrow is 41) but I enjoyed the weekend while it lasted.  The sun was out and the temperatures were up.

But we had two big task this weekend.  First, potty training started with Kenley girl.  Second, T-Ball started for Collier man.

Kenley has done so good, after she soaked and dirtied her first 4 pair of panties, I was questioning if this was a good idea...if I was starting way too early!  But, I stuck with it and fought through the urge to give up!  Instead, I encouraged, cheered potty successes, cleaned and sprayed and washed and took a big sigh of relief when she started getting it.  We have had HUGE success with #1 but #2 is still to come.  She will tell us she has to go poo-poo and we'll sit on the potty but she won't do it.  as soon as I put her panties on she'll go.  I'm not complaining because she is at least telling us and trying.  It may just take her a little longer than it did Collier.  But then again, with Collier I was able to stay home for a whole entire 3 days.  She hardly got a full day because we had dinner plans Saturday night and church today plus t-ball practice.  So, not a whole lot of dedicated home time to exclusively focus on the potty training.  I know she'll get it!  Plus those little cheeks in tiny panties are so cute!
Saturday, Collier and Justin went to buy cleats and he LOVED it.  He come home so proud of his new cleats, put them on and immediately went to the backyard to practice.  He could not have been more excited. But today was the actual first practice and he did great and had a blast.  He has one friend from his class, Brooks, that is on his team.  He knows a few others from church and school.  It is a precious team and we are looking forward to a fun first season!

Kenley even got in on the baseball fun!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Where to go from to restart??

I got a super sweet email from my Aunt Jackie saying that she has missed my blog posting.  I am feeling the love and glad to know that someONE may still read my blog.  Well, at least I know my family does!  And honestly I have really missed blogging.  I've missed keeping up with documenting fun things that occur in our every day life.  I will admit that I have logged in about a dozen times but feel over whelmed about where to start.  I kept thinking in January that I wanted to do a quick Christmas photo-only recap post but that clearly didn't get done.  Then I was going to do a big post on our Annual Butt-Off because it is loads of fun and it has been 10 years now that we've been doing it.  Plus Justin won for the 2nd year in a row!  As you can tell that one never got done either.  Plus all of the snow and ice events that have occurred in Birmingham - I have pictures galore but clearly no post to show that either.

Bottom line, is that I want to blog and I think about various post but sitting down to do it is tricky.  I love it when I do, but the fact is that I haven't been doing and time seems to run low!  So, here is to a new effort.  I may not have many words to share but I want to do better with pictures and do better with keeping up with what we are up to.  I have a big family and I would love for them to keep up.  Facebook and Instagram are my biggest avenue's of social media but I want to get back in with my blog as well.

I am going to take the pressure off myself and not try and 'catch up' but just move forward!

I love February because it is a month of celebrations for us.  This week I got to celebrate 8 years of marriage.  It is crazy that it has been 8 years because 8 seems long but it doesn't feel like long at all. And then I think about forever and wonder what life will be like when we celebrate many many years down the road!   I can't imagine (and wouldn't want to) life without Justin.  As we crawled into the bed early on Tuesday night...I told Justin '8 years ago right now we were boogieing on the dance floor as Bride and Groom'. Oh what fun.  And I always wake up the following morning thinking about when we boarded our flight to our honeymoon and I told him that it was the best birthday present I could ever ask for!  I got to marry the man I forever birthday gift! We got a whole weekend alone last weekend at Compass Lake - thanks to Mom and Dad for letting us have it for the weekend and a big thanks to Pam and Charles for taking on the kiddo's for the long weekend.    Then for my birthday, I got a nice warm fire (the temperatures dropped low this week) and Mom cooked delicious shrimp pasta.  It was a perfect evening with my family!

I am officially excited about blogging again.  We have a big weekend and I can't wait to share more!