Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Month Eight

Dear On The Go,

Busy, busy, busy all day long pretty much sums up our lives this month. You are on the move all day and with both your brothers playing soccer, I am on the move almost every night. Not wanting to sit still conflicted with my idea for a photo shoot, but I guess this is a more accurate portrayal of life right now.

And when you're not moving, there's the funny faces you love to make us laugh with.

And let's not forget when you need to take a break and chew on something, anything, just get it in my mouth!

Ok, mom, here's one cute face for you.

Now, that's enough. Go away.

I love you, baby girl. You keep me on my toes.


Friday, December 02, 2011


Sometimes God whispers to you. Sometimes you think He's not there at all. Sometimes though, you get a big ole' "HELLO! HEAR ME!" Oh boy, did I get one of those last night.

I guess the past year or so, I've been making a conscious effort to be more verbal about my faith. I'm definitely not out preaching on the streets, but I'll try to work little things into a conversation, mainly it circles around whatever series is going on at church. That's easy though, Church by the Glades stickers are all over Coral Springs and in an area where people generally prefer to party rather than pray, our church has seemed to become the "cool" place to be in our little city.

I'll be honest though, I don't sport a Church by the Glades sticker on my car. I try to justify it by saying that Larry doesn't like things like that on our cars, and he doesn't, but it goes deeper than that. If I have something on my car declaring I go to church, then there's that added accountability when I may be acting in ways "unbecoming a Christian." (Isn't that a phrase from our past!)

Maybe I cut someone off going down the street. Maybe I was driving a little too fast. Or maybe I had a beer at a restaurant and someone will see me get into my car. All of these things normal people do, but I say I don't want to set a bad example, so I chose to be no example at all.

What's worse though than a simple sticker for my car is I don't actively share my beliefs with those I love most. Obviously, Larry knows I go to church, but it's not something we talk about often. Oh, I'll try to bring it up now and again, but it makes him uncomfortable, so mostly I let it go. Or my in-laws, I invited them to Elizabeth's dedication and they came, but I haven't extended the offer again. Even with some of my closest friends, I'm mute. Funny, how I can be so open with people I barely know and so tight lipped with those that matter most to me.

Of course, it's easy to play the part with people who don't know the you who's not always "perfect."

So, anyway, back to the big, blaring "How do you do" from God. Last night, I was listening to Casting Crowns new song, "Courageous" and I was thinking how true it is. We were made to be courageous, but we're standing on the sidelines. After the kids went to bed, I hopped on my new favorite addiction, Pinterest and on the front page, Kristin had posted the following verse from Joshua 1:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I mean, seriously? How much clearer could it be? So obviously, I need to do some serious soul searching and I have got to start being the person I should and want to be.

My first step is to commission by BFF,
Crazy Mama to create me a Courage necklace as a constant reminder of this lesson I so needed to hear. My next step is to pray, pray, pray and open my mouth a little more. It's scary. I'm even nervous to write this post and put it "out there" on Facebook, but if I can't even do that, well, that's just sad.

So, here we go. Pastor David always says, if you feel excited but also so scared you might just pee your pants, then you are probably right where God wants you to be. I may just be joining Whoopi and buying my some Poise. oh, ha, ha, ha.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ribbons and Bows

I'm still adjusting to buying and displaying girlie clothes and accessories, so when I bought Elizabeth's first hair bows, I really didn't know what to do with them. I'm trying to use my new obsession with Pinterest to motivate my own creativity and I decided to try and make my own holding place for the cute little hair ribbons.

I took the top of a mayonnaise jar, some scrapbook paper I had at the house, ribbon and Mod Podge to come up with the following.

I used cardstock for the top and alternating designed papers for the sides. I cut out an E with my Silhouette and mod podged the whole thing. When it was dry, I covered it with another coat of sparkle Mod Podge. I glued a ribbon to the back and then just stuck it in the wall with a push pin.

I think it turned out pretty cute.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Month Seven

My Baby Girl,

Oh my, this was a busy month! First you learned to sit up all on your own.

And then as soon as you mastered that, you decided it wasn't enough, so you started to crawl!

And now you won't stay still. What happened to the supposed time where I could put you down with some toys and actually get things done around the house without you following after me or heading for the computer cord? I should have known you would be an early mover. You are fascinated with your brothers and no one makes you laugh or holds your attention like they do.

The time change and learning all this new stuff has really done a number on your napping schedule, so we're suffering through some nights as well, but I think we'll get it worked out soon. You're eating more too and I may try to add a couple of finger foods this month to hold your attention. You sure do eye our food all the time.

You've taught me so much, baby girl, in these seven short months. To slow down, enjoy the little day to day things and to be a better mother for you and your brothers. I enjoy every day with you, my sweet.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Ha, As only three people left me a comment, they all get 25 cards. I've contacted Rebecca and Carrie, but I don't have a contact for Melissa. Leave me a comment with your email and I'll send you the code.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sleigh Bells Ring

Well, maybe not in Florida, but the current cold front has me excited about the upcoming holidays. I love checking the mail everyday during December and seeing how my friends' children have grown over the past year. Shutterfly offers beautiful choices for holiday cards, as well as many other photo gifts. A great gift is the photo calender or the photo book.

This card is a great choice and gives you plenty of space to post your photos from throughout the year.

Shutterfly also offers great choices of greeting cards for your needs throughout the year. The quality is always great and it's such a personal touch.

So whether you want Christmas cards, thank you cards, or just a card to say hello, think Shutterfly.

As a special thank you, Shutterfly has given me THREE codes for 25 cards for my friends. You only need to pay for shipping. Leave me a comment by Tuesday, the 25th and I will draw three random names for a chance to win.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Month Six

Dear Ellie Raine,

You turned 6 months old this week. SIX MONTHS! Half a year already. Life is getting more and more fun. You're laughter is contagious and you will give anyone a smile.

You're starting to sit up on your own and you love to play with toys already. I can lay you on your floor and you'll be content for 30 or so minutes just rolling around and banging on various things.

This month, within days of each other, two little bottom teeth popped up. Thankfully, you weren't too cranky and they came in pretty quick. You're eating about 6 or 7 different foods right now and you'd rather eat sometimes than take a bottle.

Sleeping has been a little hit or miss lately. Sometimes you will sleep a 10 hour stretch and then sometimes, you'll still get up for a bottle. Maybe I should let you cry a little, but I just can't bring myself too.

You are definitely ready to go. I won't be surprised if you're an early crawler. You already get up on all fours and rock and you're pretty good at scooting around to get where you want to go.

I love you, baby girl. With all my heart.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Just Hear the Ring Jing Jinga-Ling

Yes, I know. It's not even Halloween yet, but the Holiday season is just around the corner and it's never to early to start planning this year's Christmas card. Since TinyPrints did such an amazing job on Elizabeth's birth announcements, I've been perusing around their Christmas card line in an effort to spark my creativity.

This card immediately caught my eye. What a great idea. It's a card and keepsake tree ornament in one. Such a neat way to be able to display mementos from friends and family.

I'm excited this year to try and capture all three kids. I'm sure I'll think about blowing a gasket in the process but I'm going to try and remember to just have fun and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Update on the Other Children

With all the pink cuteness going on in the house the past 5 months, I've been a little neglectful in keeping everyone informed on my first and second born.

Peyton and Shey have now been in school for a month and are settling in to the afternoon routine of being home rather than constantly entertained in aftercare. Peyton is in fourth grade, which totally blows my mind. He likes his teacher and from the work coming home, is doing quite well with his studies. (Facebook math questions aside.) He's thinking about running for treasurer and I really hope he does. I think it would be a great experience for him. He continues to grow and grow and stands at around 4'9" or so. I suspect one morning soon I will wake up and he will surpass me. He is definitely maturing. A fellow parent told me last soccer season that nine brought a better reasoning ability and maturity and I'm seeing it. Most the time. :)

Shey is now in first grade and hasn't said much about school or his teacher, but she seems very nice. He loves to be outside and spends most afternoons in the pool with our neighbor, who is the same age. He's acquired a little bit of an attitude. I'm not sure where my sweet baby went at times, but he will poke through now and again. I liken it to a three year old testing his independence, but since he didn't do it then, it's coming out full force now. He wants to be the baby and yet is fighting it at the same time. He's reading quite well and grasping all his math stuff, so that's good. Also, his conduct report is always good, so I'm guessing he just saves the 'tude for home, which I guess is the preferred venue.

I have to say though, they are both excellent with Elizabeth. They shower her with kisses all the time and help me entertain her when things need to be done around the house. I couldn't ask for two better big brothers for my baby girl.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Month Five

Dear Baby Girl,

Five months?! Really? Stop growing so fast.

This was a big month for us. You started eating food and I'm making it. Lucky girl. You're eating healthier than anyone else in the family. Also, you started sleeping longer stretches. 8 or so hours at a time! Woohoo! Now if only I would go to bed at the same time, all would be right in the world again.

You want to be so big, trying to pull yourself into a sitting position, staring at your brothers intently, even rocking a little on your hands and knees. Slow down. You'll get there, I promise.

You've also started laughing and this just melts your daddy's heart. He loves to blow on your neck and illicit that sweet sound.

There is one thing though that's new and I'm not too crazy about it. The screech. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you have to use such a high pitch squeal to get my attention. Just a nice little wah, wah would work.

Life with you, sweet girl, is just getting sweeter and sweeter.

Love, Mama

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2001

It was 6:15 in the morning on T day. I had been tracking my cycles for the past year and a half. Taking my temperature every morning, praying for ovulation. Even though it was very late in the month, I had finally seen a spike in my temperature and it had stayed high for 14 days. It was still high that morning and I was ready to pee on a stick. I snuck into the guest bathroom so I wouldn't wake Larry and my hands shook as I manuevered that thin little strip. I didn't have to wait the prerequisit 3 minutes, and as soon as the liquid passed the box, the second line appeared. My heart skipped a beat and then started racing. I hurried back to bed, turned on the side light and shook Larry awake. He squinted at the test in my hand, a little confused and still half asleep. We laid in bed that morning in awe of the change about to occur in our lives.

We eventually got up and got ready for work. Since mom and dad are an hour behind us, I waited till after nine to give them a call with the news. Little did I know, mom was calling me at the same time with much different news. What an insanely, surreal day. On one hand, I was alive with excitement and on the other, devasted by the events in New York. Our lives were affected forever in more ways than one. 10 years have passed and I can still feel the emotions that overtook me that morning. A moment I will never forget and a day we will always remember.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


What do you write when all you can think about is one thing? What do you say when there is nothing to say? When you can't make it better or even be there to help. When there is a constant ache in your heart that you know is nowhere near what they feel. I pray selfishly. For healing. For the hurt to go away. All day. I don't feel like it's enough, but there is nothing else I can do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deciding to Stay Home

After the each of the boys were born, the idea of staying home passed fleetingly through my thoughts without much sticking power. I enjoyed being an adult and going to work everyday. It was nice to have that time with Larry without the kids around. However, as Peyton came upon school age, I started rethinking my decision. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of them having hours after school to roam around until I got home from work. I knew I had some time to make it work, but I wasn't sure if we would ever be able to afford it. The problem with having two incomes is you spend those two incomes.

The last three or four years, I was really restless at my job. It wasn't what I had planned for my life as I had fallen into the position, but I couldn't see starting somewhere else. My salary was good, I had a good deal of vacation time, etc. and I didn't have a boss breathing down my neck all the time. As far as a job went, it was great, but still I wasn't happy.

When I found out I was pregnant, the idea of staying home didn't just flit around my thoughts, but rather it implanted itself and took root. I ran numbers all the time in my head as I paid the bills and balanced the checkbook, but I still didn't see how we could make it work. After I had Elizabeth, I still hasn't worked the logistics out, but the desire to stay home was stronger than ever. I'd get ill thinking about leaving her just to sit at a desk all day and be miserable.

Funny how there's always that one thing that puts you over the top in decision making. We had paid some credit cards off and we were getting closer to making the one income thing work, but we just weren't there yet. When I went in for my 6-week postpartum visit and learned that my doctor's office had been ill advised by my insurance company and I did owe the $5,000.00 deductible as I had feared, it sent me over the edge. To say the least, I was pissed to learn that this was one more monthly payment that was going to keep me from staying home with my baby girl.

So, I got to figuring.

I won't go into the exact numbers here, but I added up as much of our debt as we could pay off, just leaving our mortgage, utilities and Larry's lease. That figure was very close to some money we had access to. Very close.

I don't believe in coincidence, but I do believe in providence. And to me, this was God practically yelling at me that this was the way our family needed to go. I just knew. And so I didn't look back. I gave my notice shortly after and have not regretted my decision at all. It's not to say that I've never gotten aggravated or lonely, but I've never wished I'd stayed at my job.

God continues to let me know that I'm following His plan by sending random help our way. For example, our homeowner's insurance finally went down, so we're getting money back from our escrow. I'm doing so much better personally too. Reading my Bible more, attending church regularly, having more fun with the boys, exercising, cooking dinner, playing Words with Friends (ha) . . .It's amazing how much one can do when you're not tied to an office for 9 hours a day.

And really, could you leave this sweet one?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Month Four

Dear Little Bit,

Hello Four Months, you've been pretty fun so far. You think you are so much older than you are. Trying to sit up on your own, wanting to hang with your brothers and looking at our food like you can't wait to eat it.

We do need to talk about the apparent onset of early separation anxiety. Really? I didn't even think you should know exactly who I am just yet, but apparently, I am pretty important. If someone else is holding you, even daddy sometimes, and I leave the room or even stray too far, holy cow, at the scream! As soon as I take you back and you figure it out, you are all smiles again. We're going to have to work on that Baby Girl.

Other than that, you are one happy baby. I love it in the morning when you wake up cooing and smiling at me. What a great start to the day.

You are a little drooly though. Actually, more than a little, A LOT. Need some teeth there, little one. I'm trying to remember to keep a bib on you, but sometimes I forget and then your whole outfit gets wet.

Look how big you are!

You are my Joy, sweet one. I thank God everyday for the gift of you.

Love, Mama

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Elizabeth's Room (Finally)

I guess since I need to take the bumpers off her bed, I should post the pictures of the final product. I do love her room and the way it turned out. I can't believe the transformation from a stinky boy's room to a pretty princess' room.

Here's some before.

Wow, even I had blocked out the craziness of that room. Here's all the trash that was under his dresser. I'm just slightly embarrassed.

Ahhh, this is better.

I was able to match her crib to Shey's old dresser and the bedding turned out better than I hoped once I got it home. It's definitely pink, but I like it. I still need to put some pictures up on the wall, but that's a project for another week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Limits

My friend, Rebecca recently wrote a post about limiting God. I was going to leave her a comment, but it was going to be too long, so you get a blog post out of it.

I just finished a series by Virgina Smith called Sister to Sister. It chronicles three sisters and their journeys to having a closer relationship with God. They're fun and not overly in your face, but more practical to everyday life. Applying God's love to your life in a real way.

Anyway, in the first book, the middle sister hears a missionary speak at their church and she is intrigued by the emotion in her voice and the force of her conviction. The missionary shares a story about a child in a third world country who wished for chocolate ice cream. This occurred in a country where there was no milk, chocolate, or really any way for this dream to come true. But the child prayed for it anyway. I can't remember the specifics, but it was something like there was an airplane with supplies that came shortly later and by a strange set of circumstances, they had chocolate ice cream on board.

The story stuck with the sister and she felt saddened that God had never given her her "chocolate ice cream." She later makes a trip to hear the missionary speak again and afterwards was speaking to the missionary's husband. With tears in her eyes, the sister asked, "Why haven't I ever gotten my chocolate ice cream?" The husband looked at her and smiled and said, "Have you ever asked?"

The baby's up, so I can't finish all my thoughts on this subject just yet, but there's another post coming dealing with my decision to stay home and it goes with this same idea. I'll leave with this, as Christians, I think we need to start thinking of God more as our Father than a big man in the sky who's not involved with our lives.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Month Three

Baby Girl,

How are you three months already? I can't believe the time has gone by this quickly. You are full of smiles, especially in the morning. Except on the day I took these pictures. :) Oh well.

You're still a tiny thing though. Fitting into size one diapers and I only moved you up a clothes size because I was tired of seeing the same onsies over and over.

You're settling into somewhat of a routine. Eating every 3 or so hours and cat napping throughout the day. Night time is better. You go to sleep between 9 and 9:30, sleep till 3ish, eat and then sleep till 7:30 or so. On the weekends, when I don't have to get up with your brothers, you will even go back to sleep after that bottle and we get a couple more hours of snuggle time.

Yes, that's right, you still haven't slept a night in your room, but I am putting you in the bassinet more. Don't want you growing up too quickly.

You don't like to lay like a baby much anymore, preferring to sit upright or even stand. You can sit in the Bumbo for a little bit and it makes me laugh.

I can't believe that if I was still working that I would have had to leave you. It makes me sad to think about it, so I'm glad I don't have to. You are my Sunshine.