Sunday, December 21, 2008

Good Day Atlanta!

I received some good news on Thursday as I was driving home from a work event - Ali's Aprons will have its first debut on television. Alicia - the owner of Pekuliar Treasures - had Good Day Atlanta come out to her new shop in Historic Downtown Douglasville. She has a quaint little shop with all kinds of local finds - all very tastefully picked I must add. Ali's Aprons will be included in one of her top five gifts for the holidays.

I am thrilled to be getting a little air time and excited that she likes my product enough to feature it. The show airs tomorrow morning - Monday - beginning at 7:00 a.m. There is no way of knowing when our segment will actually show but we are DVRing it and I am sure there will be a link I can send people who miss it or can't view the show because they don't live in our area.

For those of you who have questioned me about my lack of inventory, I am sold out for the holidays but Alicia has plenty on hand down at her shop for last minute gifts (her store is located right next to Gumbeax.). I hope to make up a few aprons before the baby comes and have more in stock on my website for next season. It never fails, though, I always sell out.

I just had to share the news. I will post a link as soon as I have one to the segment that airs tomorrow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas Card (if you didn't receive this card it is because I only sent it electronically this year. So... if I didn't have your email address you didn't get it. We will be sending an announcement in a couple of months through snail mail so look out for something from us then.)

The English Family

Our little entertainer!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. It is hard to believe that we are now a week away from the big day. We are looking forward to our holidays. We will be in Birmingham this year celebrating with Doug's family. Doug's brother will be home from California and it is always a treat to see him. As always it is great to be with family. We will also be heading to Atmore for a weekend to celelbrate my sister Emily's early high school graduation. Everyone will be there and it will be the last official visit with my parents formally living there (they are keeping the house for a while).

I hope you enjoy the pictures. One is obviously our Christmas card and the other two are photos that were taken for a potential Christmas card. The last one I had to share. This is truly our girl in character. She is a little monkey and is ALWAYS entertaining - no matter what we are doing.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday seaon!

Love, the English Family

Saturday, December 6, 2008

When the Relatives Came

The Moore Family - From left to right: Doug, Charlotte, Melissa, Dad, me and baby #2, Emily, Mom, Lauren, Adeline, Mary Catherine, Owen, Matt, and Sarah

So I have been unable to post about our lovely Thanksgiving weekend. With the birthday party and family news the Thanksgiving post was put on hold. You can see by the picture above that I have a large family. We don't seem that big to me when we are all together but when I see us in a cluster like this we are a large group.

Anyway, if you have never read the children's book, When the Relatives Came, check it out sometime. It speaks of all the cousins and family coming. They eat all the food, they sleep everywhere and fun and chaos is had by all.

This pretty much sums up our Thanksgiving. Before my family's arrival I had arranged for half of my family to stay at a friend's house so most everyone could have a bed to lay their head on. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving - when some of the family was already here - I received a call from my friend stating that they had a puking virus at their house. Needless to say, we did not bombard them, nor did we subject our large group to such a bug.

We all made do and by Friday night I had all twelve family members asleep somewhere in my house. It made for a memorable weekend and all that togetherness was probably a blessing with the news my parents gave us over the holiday.

So, thanks fam for sticking it out on pallets on the floor, sleeping on couches and basically sharing one and half baths. We all survived.

Now, if I can just get Charlotte and Mo well. All the holiday fun left Charlotte with a double ear infection and Mo in the doggy hospital. Charlotte is screaming now refusing to take her nap so I guess I must go. TTFN. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

To Everything There is a Season

Today the news broke publicly in my small hometown that my father was closing his medical practice. My parent's shared the news with all six of us children and our spouses over the Thanksgiving holiday. For those of you that do not know me that well this may not seem like anything too substantial. The other part of the story is that my parents are leaving the place we have all called home for the last 26 years to move to Austin, Texas.

This is a great opportunity for my father and I wouldn't want him to squander his dreams - yes, you can still dream over the age of 55 - just because his children want to come home to Atmore, Alabama whenever they like.

We moved to Atmore when I was nearly three years old and it really is the only place I have ever known. When I was first married and had moved away I would pick up my cell phone to call home and I would scroll through my numbers to the one named "home." I would then be very confused when my husband, not my mother would answer.

I still say I am "going home" whenever I speak of going out of town to visit my family. My church was there, all my friends growing up, my memories, I was married there. I always imagined bringing my children there.

You city folks wouldn't appreciate it's quaint atmosphere. There is not realy a hustle and bustle and when there is traffic that means it will take you ten minutes to get somewhere instead of five.

We still have many dear friends there and our family is known throughout the community. It is hard to think that one day we won't have a role in that little community, that we will be forgotten and that people will move on.

The hardest part for me isn't just losing the place I grew up, but losing a close proximity to my parents. My mother and I are exceptionally close and for her to be so far away will be really hard. I talk to her daily and I always know that if I need to see her or her see me we are only an afternoon's drive away. Now she will be a good 14-16 hours away. It is hard to imagine my parents not being as much a part of our lives and our visits will be much more challenging to accomplish because of the distance and the finances to get there.

This is a positive thing for my parents and while I worry about my mother adjusting - you know how us ladies are about where we raise our babies - they get another chance at starting a new life for themselves and following their passions and dreams.

So, here is to Atmore, Alabama, and all the wonderful memories it has given me. Thanks for always being home - you always will be.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Party Time

Our Birthday Girl - in the dress Mommy made her

Mommy and her little girl

Her Birthday Cake - to share

Having fun with Mommy

A girly party - pink flowers and all

We finally celebrated Charlotte's birthday since my entire family was here for Thanksgiving. Doug's parents drove over on there way out of town. Meg, Doug's sister, and his Aunt Mimi were both able to come over and help us celebrate. It was sweet to watch our little girl. Her daddy told me later that the whole thing made him a little sad. Our baby Charlotte is not a baby anymore. I get a little teary eyed thinking about it myself.

It was a fun day and of course I thought she looked beautiful. It was special to be able to share it with so many people that we love and care about. We appreciate our families making the effort to share in this memory with us.

Enjoy the photos...

Paper, cards and bows

Lovin' the bows

Cousin Adeline helping Charlotte with her presents

Singing cards are much more interesting...

Adeline enjoying one of Charlotte's new books

Well, as I imagined, Charlotte was more interested in the wrapping paper, singing cards and bows than she was the gifts she received. It was fun to watch her, along with my neice, Adeline, tear into all the paper - wanting the paper, not to see what was inside. They had lots of fun tearing the paper, checking out a gift, and then back to chewing bows.

Doug and I really appreciated the generosity of our families and were so happy they were there to share in her first birthday with us!

Eating Cake

Singing to the Birthday Girl!

Eating her cake

Getting a little more adventerous?

The "demolished" cake

So this is one of a series of posts so I can get all the pictures from the birthday party in. Miss Charlotte did not dig into her cake as I imagined she would. She was very dainty and neat about the whole thing. She thought it was tasty, but seeing as she has never had cake before - or anything really sweet - she didn't eat nearly as much cake as her mommy did.

She was so cute as we sang happy birthday to her. She smiled and clapped and loved the focused attention on here - SURPRISE! It was so wonderful to have the majority of our families there.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Breakfast with Daddy

Charlotte has become very interested in eating just about anything off of our plates or out of our bowls. She doesn't like everything she tries but she loves cereal. On this particular morning she woke up way to early. We were already downstairs playing before her daddy came down for breakfast. As soon as he sat down to eat his cereal she crawled over there as fast as she could and insisted on sitting in his lap. He graciously shared his cereal and she just couldn't seem to get enough. The scene was too cute not to record. I believe her daddy thoroughly enjoyed this short little time with her - seeing as his basketball schedule keeps him from being able to spend much time with her right now. Even though she was slowing down his morning routine I know he enjoyed sharing not only his cereal but some one on one time with his girl. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Henley and Daughtry modeling their aprons (A small gift from me for all the beautiful clothes their mother has passed on to me).

During this time of year we focus on the things that we are thankful for. I am always amazed at the outpouring of generostiy that others show. Doug and I have been the recipients of others' generosity when it comes to our children. If you think that my daughter is beautifully dressed it is not because we are spending lots of money on clothing. In fact, many of her clothes were given to us and worn by the two little girls that are in the picture above. We also received a bunch of clothes over the last week from Wendy (Micah's aunt) and Stephanie (Micah's mother). Wendy has two girls and Stephanie has a boy. Needless to say, by the generosity of others my children will be well clothed. So, thanks, April (Henley and Daughtry's mom), Wendy, and Stephanie for thinking of us and displaying such a wonderful example of generosity.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

366 Days Old

I'm 1!

All smiles

Sweet Girl

This is very typical of our verbal child - yelling across the room

Looking at the dogs out the window

Charlotte's first birthday was today. Because she was born into a leap year she is actually 366 days old. It seems crazy that is has been a year since her birth. What is crazier yet is that I feel her little brother kicking away waiting for his turn in February.

We didn't really get to celebrate. Doug has started basketball and had late practice this evening. It was almost 9:00 p.m. before he got home. Needless to say he missed the little booger. She had already gone to bed. We did manage to visit him on his lunch break. I couldn't bear to think of him not getting to see her on her actual birthday. We will formally celebrate with all the family over Thanksgiving weekend. We can't wait. Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, November 10, 2008

On Another Note

Fleur de li Flat Notecard in single color

Floral Series Flat Notecard in Pink - Happens to be Charlotte's birthday invite

New Recipe Cards - perfect for an adult or child

I just took the time to look through my blog and realized that I have said nothing about Ali's Aprons in quite some time. My blog has been about my absolute favorite subject, my family, but mainly Charlotte. I am assuming that my family and friends prefer Charlotte posts over Ali's Apron's posts and I honestly enjoy the first better as well.

As far as Ali's Aprons is concerned it has been put on the back burner for now. I do have a local shop that is carrying them and my Etsy shop is still open. I just add things as I have them instead of doing custom orders. I realize when English Baby Boy gets here the sewing is going to be even more challenging to accomplish.

I haven't let my creative juices completely go to waste. I have been sewing a few things for Charlotte and I am working on Christmas for Adeline - my niece. I also purchased the fabric this afternoon for a coming home outfit I hope to make for my baby boy.

A lot of my creativity has flowed into print design - which is another passion of mine. I am currently working on getting a line of personalized stationary together to sell. I will have more on that later, but you can see the photos that I loaded. These are just a few samples of things I have been working on. Let me know what you think. I will keep you posted.

We have six months down with the pregnancy and all is going well. It is going by so quickly and we have so much to do to get ready for our little tike. We are getting excited.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One Step At a Time

Here I go!

Half Way There

Score! I am at the top!

My dread of the stairs finally became a true reality today. Charlotte discovered the stairs over a week ago, but she would only clear the landing and take about two of the stairs. She was too afraid to go any further. Today was not the case. With her daddy right behind her she took the whole flight right to the top. Guess those gates are no longer an option they are a must. The scary thing is, she got up there pretty quickly.

When All Else Fails

I had to share these too. Charlott has been feeling a little better than she did Friday. Today we had a rough day mainly due to the time change - this has been the first time in my life that I have cursed gaining an hour. My child is now getting up at 6:00 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m. - She was pretty fussy this afternoon and when we need to distract her we swoop her into the back yard and let her sit in the chairs on the patio. Needless to say she loves it. It gives us a few moments of peace and sometimes can even change her mood.

Looking Through the Glass

Sorry for all the posts. I know I seem to go through waves. Lately Charlotte has been doing so much we are trying to capture everything. Anway, I couldn't pass up sharing these photos. Charlotte loves to be outside and when we are inside she always seem to find her way to a window so she can peer out. She stood here just long enough for me to do a couple of things. Before I know it she will be running around out there all by herself. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Howl-a-ween

Howling Away

Pitiful FiFi

Snotty Nose Poodle

A pregnant woman's drug - chocolate

Well, Halloween did not prove to be the fun event that we had hoped. As you can see by the photos that Charlotte did not really care for her costume. That was only the short of it. We had a great evening planned with a party over at Micah's house. We were looking so forward to it and our little snotty nose FiFi wound up with a 102 degree temp yesterday afternoon. Needless to say we did not take her to the party and expose her to all the other children.

I took these pictures last evening right before I got her in her night clothes. I was bound and determined to have some pictures - even though we are going to try to take the costume back. She wore it just long enough to get the pictures and the tags are still on so why not? Doug wasn't able to make it home until almost 8:00 due to his coaching responsibilities so he didn't even see her in it. Needless to say by the end of the evening with Mommy's hopes high of spending an evening with friends and enjoying the festivities I had a melt down moment of my own. There was much howling going on around the English household - not to mention the dogs howling at all the trick or treaters who kept coming to our darkened front door - WHY????

Anyway, my solace, this delicious spider cake I made for the party that we now get to eat ourselves. What could be better than a double chocolate brownie with chocolate buttercream icing sandwiched in between. WARNING: Much Milke Needed!

Hope your harvest festivities were fun and family filled. :) I am already laughing about yesterday. I can't help myself when I look at these pictures. :)


Monday, October 27, 2008

Standing Tall

Everything always seems to happen at once. This weekend Charlotte started climbing the stairs as well as pulling up. Today I caught her pulling up everywhere. It is like when she finally figures out how to do something she does it all the time. I am kind of the same way. I will do it until I get sick of it - like listen to a new song, crochet, scrapbook, whatever.

Anyway, Charlotte is doing so many things. She is very verbal and gabbers all the time. I am not really sure where she gets this from because her father is not a talker - I am only kidding. She can say several words - mama, dada (which she still won't really call us), baboo - wich is baby (and everything is a baby), uh oh (which is her favorite, especially when she throws something on the floor, and bye bye (most of the time she just yells out "BYE" really loudly and says it over and over again.) She just learned "dog" this evening calling them "daa." Up until now they were also called "baboo" - translation baby.

Charlotte also loves to sing. She will sing with the television, the radio, on her own and when Mommy and Daddy sing with her. She loves to make a little handle with her arm when we sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot." She also loves to clap her hands when we sing "If You're Happy and You Know It." It is amazing to think that this time last year she was still living in my belly and now she is doing all these things. It sure happens fast. Hard to believe I will be saying the same thing soon about my little boy.

No wonder everyone says to enjoy the baby stage. It really doesn't last, does it? :)

Little Ham

While things have not completely settled back to normal, Charlotte has been feeling much better lately. She was hamming it up for the camera last Monday right before we went to find out that she was having a little brother. It is nice that she is finally willing to smile and not just gawk at the camera. Of course it helped that I was acting like a complete fool and she kept laughing at me.

I believe our little one is trying to drop a nap. She is also becoming much more independent. She is learning to eat with a spoon and it is driving me absolutely crazy because I can't keep her clean. Letting her feed herself is the only way I can get her to eat and I know I just need to get over it. I certainly want her to feed herself. She is doing a great job of keeping our dogs fed. She LOVES to share her meals with them as well. I have to be very watchful of her though. She will give them a bite and then eat the rest herself. I know, AWFUL!!!! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's A Boy!

Well, we found out today that Charlotte is going to have a little brother. We are both thrilled and Doug is very excited (this is what he was hoping for). It was plain as day and everything was obviously there - it definitely looked much different than when we found out that Miss Charlotte was a girl - and I guess it should be that way. :) Unfortunately the synographer did not take a picture of his manhood for us to share (why in the world would she not do this is beyond me. I told Doug later that I didn't really like her and she seemed like she was in a rush or bored or something. Sure enough, while we were waiting for our CD of the pictures she walks out with purse in hand going home. We must have been her last appointment and she was ready to go.)

He was an active little thing. The whole time the synographer kept saying how active he was. He was punching and kicking away. This was very different from Miss Charlotte. She was pretty quiet. That is all I need - a rowdy little boy to accompany an independent older sister. I think I am going to have my hands full.

Your prayers are appreciated as we continue through the second half of the pregnancy. I will be 22 weeks on Friday and we have so much to get done and purchase before this baby gets here. I am not proud, for all of you that have boy things you want to get rid of PLEASE call me (or email me). We will accept them with open arms. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Just so you all know that I am human I am giving you this post. Ahhhh! Things have been tough ever since I wrote my last post about having a positive attitude. God really has a sense of humor that I do not always appreciate. Literally two days after I posted on my 30th Charlotte became ill. We have been battling something - either her or myself ever since. From snotty noses, to throwing up, to her not sleeping through the night, not taking naps, ear infections, ect. it has happened. She is currently "crying it out" in her crib right now because she refuses to take a nap and won't let me console her.

I feel like I live only indoors. With all the sickness and fever we haven't gotten out much, not even to celebrate my birthday (thank God for Doug who has been willing to run to the grocery store, pick up meds, and help out when needed). I realize it could be much worse but a full month of this has gotten old quickly. Daily I try to remind myself of what I posted several weeks back on September 24th - constantly a mind battle to be positive when I am sick of all of this. I am tired, still congested from my own cold, and not to mention five months pregnant. My father graciously reminded me that two sick babies are going to be harder than one. - again, getting me to realize that it could be worse.

Then I think of other friends and family that are going through much worse, sick babies that they just brought home from the hospital, friend's siblings who are fiercely struggling with drug addictions, marriages that are on the rocks, financial woes in this economy, losing family members. A month's worth of sickness doesn't seem so bad when thinking of these things. But even in my small attitude adjusting trial I need the help of my heavenly Father - as I cried out to him this afternoon. "Lord, you are going to have to help me with this. I can't do this myself!" Probably not the most respectful way to cry out to my Savior, but a desperate plea from a mother who just wants a little sanity right now. :)

I know many of you can identify. Whatever you are going through - hang in there.

On a lighter note, we find out the sex of the baby on Monday, October 20th. Check back for a post next week.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big 3-0!

Yes, I turn 30 today. I have dreaded this birthday for the last five years. Ironically, around January of this year I began to have a change of heart.

I don't really know why I dreaded this birthday. I am still young but I think it finalized to me that I am definitely an adult. This is funny to me because I have been providing for myself for quite some time, I am married, and I am a mother - all things that kind of make you an adult. For some reason turning 30 always seemed to make that more real.

I am happy that I am ebracing my 30's and hope I continue this attitude about age as I grow older. The twenties were great for me but I have grown so much as a person. I am sure I will do this each decade - look back and see where I have come and where I need to go. The biggest lesson I have learned is one about attitude.

I know my younger siblings roll their eyes at me whenever I start talking about attitude - they are in their late teens and twenties. I keep reminding them that I just want to give them a little piece of wisdom so they don't have to go through some of the heartache I did. Then I realize I sound like their parent. :)

I just finished Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture (for those of you who have not heard of him or this book just google it. There is lots of info out there). It was such a great read and one that just encouraged my thoughts about attitude dictating your life state. I will outline some of the things I gleaned from the book here - mainly because it really exemplifies many of the things I have learned in my journey to 30. :)

The biggest thing that I have learned is that I - meaning me, myself alone - choose my attitude about how I feel about things, how I deal with things, how I cope with things. He writes "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." This is so true. I can choose to see the bad, focus on the ugly, nitpick at all the negative - like dreading my 30th birthday - or I can focus on the good in my life and embrace some of the bad things as lessons teaching me and helping me to be a better person.

Here are some other things I gleaned from his book:

"The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." How many times have I hit a brick wall and taken that as a reason to quit. I know sometimes God closes doors but sometimes I think He is just trying to see how badly we are willing to work to get through them.

"Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier." This man had plenty to complain about - dying with pancreatic cancer with his children so young they are likely to only remember him because of video and pictures. Complaining is a struggle for me, but it is such a waste. Again, if my attitude dictates positive feelings in my life then I am less likely to waste my time complaining. And yes, it really doesn't make me happier. It just makes me sad.

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." Just chew on that one a little while. Again, this is a way to see the positive in something that was negative. You are being taught.

On peoples rights - which is a huge focus in our society he says, "... it makes no sense to talk about rights without also talking about responsibilities. Rights have to come from somewhere, and they come from the community. In return, all of us have a responsibility to the community. Some people call this the "communitarian" movement, but I call it common sense." Again, this is about attitude. We all want our rights but what are we willing to do to deserve those rights? One is not given rights just because they are a certain race, religion, or sex. They are given those rights because of the people around them and they have a responsibility in turn to those that give them those rights. I like this because it takes the focus off of ourselves and redirects us to thinking about everyone as a whole.

Sorry for the little sermon, but these statements are just mere examples of some lessons I have learned - and am still learning - in my own life. I am happier and more content. I know that I am not in control but I can control my attitude towards lifes ever changing story. I am not perfect in my attitudes but just know if you can begin to redirect your thinking in some of these ways you will immediately begin to feel some sense of peace. Isn't that part of what living is about - learning and finding peace in the process.

Heres to my 30's! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall

Happy Fall! Today is the first day of fall and Charlotte and I decided to bask in the beautiful weather. It was nice and cool this morning and has warmed up greatly this afternoon. I couldn't pass up a photo op outside with Miss Charlotte in some of her new fall clothes. I have been sewing away creating little ensembles for my little one. The pants she has on are part of an outfit that I have almost completed and I am sure there will be pictures of that posted soon.

Charlotte, as you can see, was not too sure of the green stuff we call grass. I could barely get her to look at me much less smile. She prefered the rocking chair to the yard. At least we got to enjoy a few moments on the first fall day of the year and her life. This is my absolute favorite season. Hopefully I will be able to pass down my love for autumn on to Miss Charlotte.

We should hopefully know the sex of our little English Pea in a couple of weeks. I will keep you posted on that development. We are getting very excited.