Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Sweet Girl

WHOA!!!  How is it possible that you are 6 already?  Or that you are on the verge of losing your 4th tooth?

It seems like just yesterday Momma Evan and I were sitting in the NICU, sobbing joyous tears, as I got to Kangaroo care for you for the first time.

I will never forget Sam scrapbooking the hair they had to shave for your PICC line.

Or seeing the beauty of life after your surgery.

Your first night home from Riley's.

Your belly giggles.

And big blue eyes.

You hated my hair after I was sick.  

You kept asking for a mirror so you could look at your Panda-self, and would laugh and laugh.

I think you were born to be a fish, because you love water.

Remember when you went through that Minnie Mouse stage?!  You wanted to wear this dress every day.

You've always been a Mommy's girl.

And a Kinsey and Ava girl.

5 has been a fun year for you.  It was just the four of us for awhile.

We went to Gattitown to celebrate Kinsey's big 1-0!

Had a lot of fun playdates at the park.

And then you met and fell in love with this guy.

He was wrapped around your finger from the first night.

But how could he not be?

You light up everyone's life.

You graduated preschool, and we moved to Charlotte.

You started a new school that you absolutely love.

As you always say, 'WE got married.'  

Poppy said vows to you three and gave you necklaces to symbolize his commitment to you, just like he did me.  We mixed sand to symbolize that our lives are intertwined in a way that can never be separated.

WE got married!  All of us.

You are so loved.

And your love is so great!

We spent your birthday weekend at the beach with Lele, Grandma Lola, Papaw Jim, Aunt Jeannette, Uncle Leonard, Donna, Chris, Kevin, and Bryce and had the best time.

This morning you opened your eyes, and excitedly said, 'I AM SIX!'

Then you darted into our bedroom to get your morning snuggles with Poppy.

You were singing as you left for school this morning, and were so excited about getting to have lunch with us and take cupcakes for your class.

You truly light up our world!


Friday, September 27, 2013

We Are Going to the Beach

1.  Emerald Isle.  Just as the title of this post says...WE ARE SPENDING THE WEEKEND AT THE BEACH!  I truly have the kindest, most loving in-laws that anyone could ever ask for.  My girls absolutely adore them, and when we asked Bre if she'd like to go to the beach to celebrate her birthday, she said, 'YES!', with more enthusiasm than I think I've ever heard from her.  She's been counting down the days all week.

2.  A Clean House.  I've been speed cleaning between packing suitcases this morning.  There really are few things better than coming home from a relaxing weekend to a clean house.

3.  Celebrating 3 Years Breast Cancer Free.  Monday I celebrated being NED in my breast for 3 years!  That's a HUGE feat because I've never made it that long between a recurrence.

4.  My marriage.  It's truly the biggest blessing in my life.  The laughter and happiness that fills our home on a daily basis is almost too much to put into words.  I've learned that it's not so much the big things, it's all those little things we do day end and day out that set the tone of our marriages.  It's saying 'Please' and 'Thank You' because your spouse deserves the same amount of kindness and respect every day that you would give to a stranger.  It choosing to compliment the things he does so well instead of criticizing his faults.  (I fell in the toilet recently because someone left the seat up, and instead of being annoyed I genuinely laughed about it.  And then I saw the blessing...if that is my biggest annoyance in our marriage, I am so incredibly blessed.)  It's understanding that as a mother and wife, my attitude sets much of the tone of my household.  When love and joy are flowing out of someones words and actions, it is hard not to reciprocate it.  God is working on me in ways I didn't want to open my eyes to or admit that I needed work, but because He is, my marriage is prospering.  

5.  Kindness.  I've struggled tremendously with the thought process of 'My attitude towards people will reflect how they treat me'. I hear you, Lord.  That is NOT how you command that I live, encourage my husband to live, or teach my daughter's to live. I read an article the other day written by a lady after an experience in the Starbuck's drive-thru.  She talked about a lady cussing her out because she thought she was trying to cut her off.  When she got to the intercom, she told the barista that she wanted to pay for the 'rude' lady's order, too.  The moral of her story was that we can't change the way other's behave, but we can choose to shift our focus on how we react.  And we can always choose kindness.

Today I read a quote that said, 'Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.  Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped.  Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us.  Charity is expecting the best of each other.' - Marvin Ashton

Friday, September 06, 2013

A Recap

It's that time again.  That morning of the week that I sit down with my journal, reflect on our amazingly blessed life, and attempt to figure out my five favorite moments/things.  Sometimes, that's much harder than one might imagine - this week is definitely one of those weeks.

1. Time Spent with E and my new breast cancer tervis.  This isn't from this week (last week's scheduled FFF didn't post for some reason, so it's forwarding to this week because it's one of my favorite things from the past month.  A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Indy with E.  For those of you that know us and our friendship, you know how happy that made me.  For those of you who don't really know, I'll say this, there is no one aside from my husband who knows me as well as E does.  She's an extension of me...a piece of my heart walking around 600+ miles away.  I love her like my sister (and I realized a few weeks ago that Bre actually thinks she IS my sister), and I'd die for her like I would my girls.  She is an integral part of my family.

Sometimes our visits are few and far between, so I knew I had to jump on the chance to spend the weekend with her before I left Indiana.

There was A LOT of laughter, a sense of peace, a new breast cancer tervis that E had bought me post wedding and never mailed - that's just us!, cake batter puppy chow, an insane amount of chapstick purchased, margaritas, a late night run to Panera - which ended up being closed so we settled for Chick-fil-A, a horribly disgusting Chai from Panera the next day that made E's mom and I want to hurl, furniture shopping in which the salesman thought we were a couple, lots of girl talk, some miscellaneous tears, and one of the hardest good-bye's I have ever had to say.

So, here I sit, in my pink flannel PJ's, drinking Chai Tea out of my tervis, and wishing E were here.

2.  Starting the week off right.  One of the biggest discussions Bill and I have had was finding a church we all love.  This past Sunday we attended a church that one of our neighbors attends, and even though it was an 'out-of-their-norm' kind of service due the holiday, I instantly felt at-home there.  When Bill asked later that evening if I wanted to go there again next Sunday, I immediately said, 'Yes.'  It really reminds me so much of our home church in Jasper.

3.  'It's the Little Things'.  Everyone that knows me, knows I journal quite often, and I love making lists.  Of everything.  And color coding. And one of my absolute favorite things is Sharpie pens.  Yesterday, during my Target shopping trip I stumbled across a different brand of marker pens, Staedtler, so I decided to give them a try.  I threw them in the cart and didn't give them a second thought until I sat down to write yesterday.  That's when I discoved that the lid doubles as an easel. 

Last night, I was proudly showing off my find to Bill.  As he was looking unethusiastically non-impressed, I said frankly, 'It's the little things!' 

His response, 'Um, clearly.'

So clearly he wasn't as impressed with them as I was, but the girls sure were. :)

4.  Spirit Days.  The girls are in their second week of school here in Charlotte and they are absolutely loving it. Today is hat day, and they've been anxiously awaiting it all week. Especially Ava and Bre. Ava was so excited to get a chance to show off her big, floppy hat Nana gave her, and Bre was so excited that she laid her outfit/hat out as soon as she got home from school yesterday.

5.   My marriage.   As I mentioned earlier, I love journaling. It's therapeutic for me. I will add Scripture, quotes, lists, etc that touch me. A few days ago I read a list titled '10 Habits of a Healthy Marriage' by Lisa Jacobson. It was such a great list that I had to write it down...and share it with all of you.

If there's anything I've learned recently, it's that I want to be and God is calling me to be the best help-meet I can be to my husband.

Lucky for me, I've got a pretty awesome one.

Bill, you are my husband, my best friend, my lover, and the home to my heart. You are one of my greatest blessings from God. Your love is a gift that I get to open every single day. If anyone were to ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I can say with 100% certainty that I want to be the one holding your hand. I love you!