Thursday, December 31, 2009

God is Great, Beer is Good, and People Are Crazy!

When I heard this song earlier this year I already knew that it would be the title to my year-end post. 2009 has been a roller coaster ride for us and we have experienced the greatness of our God through tough circumstances, the goodness of beer (or wine in my case), and the fact, that as sinful people, we are just plain crazy.

While I am usually very open and personal on my blog there have been many things I have been unable to share publicly about this year due to the private nature of our struggles. It has been a tough year that has followed a tough year and Doug and I are just worn out. In addition to our very private matters, we welcomed a new baby, saw my parents move too far away, and endured the effects of a tough economy.

Amazingly, I still am overwhelmed with the grace, mercy, and abundance that God has given us. In spite of our sin and definite imperfections He still seems to be there to comfort, provide and bless us.

Here's to kissing 2009 goodbye and looking forward to a very wonderful, promising, and possibly crazy 2010. Blessings from our home to yours!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Smock Shop

This summer I considered writing about my magnificent obsession - smocking. It truly was the perfect craft for me after the baby came. I could work on it from time to time and in short increments. It wound up being therapudic for me and something that allowed me to still create in the chaos of having two little ones so close together.

This summer - over July 4th, on vacation, in the summer heat - I began working on these inserts for the kid's Christmas outfits. I bought the fabric this fall and started putting them together in October. I finally finished them by the first of the month and they have been able to wear them several times since. I was so pleased with how they turned out and these pieces will be so special to pass onto them for their children in the future.

The Finished Product

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree with Miss Charlotte. Charlotte, like her mother, loves icing! Truth be told, she didn't care a thing about decorating the cookies or the bright red and green colors I whisked together . She sat almost the entire time in that chair licking that beater. Douglass Charles didn't know what he was missing and was thrilled to just have another day in the kitchen roaming around to his heart's content.

Christmas Baking

This is the first year that Charlotte and I have made Christmas cookies together. I have been longing for this moment since I first found out I was pregnant. Baking Christmas cookies in our home was a tradition when I was little and I have very fond memories of the time with my mother and sisters - and all the icing I got to eat.

The process literally took us three days. We did made the dough on Monday, rolled out, cut the cookies and baked them Tuesday, and made the icing and iced them Wednesday. While drawn out, we thoroughly enjoyed the time together and all the sugar.

Douglass Charles joined in the fun by having free reign of the kitchen. We normally have to block him off from the kitchen because he LOVES getting into the dog food. He crawled around for an hour on the kitchen floor exploring all it had to offer.

I must record here that at 2 Charlotte was more into the making the cookies and eating the dough - and the icing. She did better with cutting out the cookies than I anticipated. Regardless, we had a wonderful time and started a family tradition that I hope to carry on for many years to come. :)

Honestly, What Can I Say?

This photo makes me laugh. I don't know what else to say about it.

More Christmasy posts coming tomorrow. Can't wait to share!

History Repeats Itself

As many of you know I am the oldest of six children, but at one time there were just two of us - me and Lauren. Now, I am nearly three years older thand Lauren, but when she was a baby the age didn't matter and we did enjoy playing together. My mother tells the story that in the morning she would find me in Lauren's crib. I would climb up in there and we would play together for quite some time before Mom would come and get us.

Recently, the kids have been waking up in the morning about the same time. I get one up and then take that one to the other's room. They always want to get in the other one's bed. At first I was a little concerned and then I decided to take advantage of it.

I can't tell you how fun it was for me to hear them giggle, squeal, and make believe together while I quickly did a few chores. It is so fun to see history repeating itself - the kids just like me and Aunt Lauren so many years ago just playing away in her baby crib. :)

Playing with Daddy

There are pros and cons to every job. There are jobs with nice paychecks, jobs with good perks, jobs with lots of time off, and jobs that one thoroughly enjoys. One of the perks of my husband's job as a teacher and coach is the time off. I get really spoiled during the holidays and so do the kids when daddy comes home for two weeks. There is much play, rough housing, and wrestling that transpires and we all have a blast. The above are just a few of the pictures of the kids enjoying the time with their dad during his wonderful two-week break. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Charlotte in the Christmas outfit I made her.
Stay tuned for more photos. :)

Charlotte has finally learned to "cheese" it for the camera and I have finally caught up on downloading and editing photos for posting - sorry, all the Christmas chaos and family sickness moved my posting/editing to the back burner. Stay tuned for more posts in the next few days and I strive to get caught up before Christmas. Enjoy!

My Little Man

Such a handsome boy

This is what he does when he wants me to pick him up - crawls over, whines, and pulls at my leg

Funny face

Happy Boy!

Douglass Charles is on the move and now that he is mobile he is a much happier little guy. He scoots around the house like he owns it and he is thrilled when Charlotte, Doug, or myself will get down on his level and crawl with him. He squeals with delight and takes off crawling as fast as he can - with an occasional quick stop to turn around and make sure that one of us is still following.

This little guy makes me laugh. He is so much a boy. He loves movement and doesn't seem to stop. We were all sick this last week and even though he wasn't feeling well he still had to be on the go. His amount of energy amazes me. He not only likes to move, but he likes to make things move. He pushes his bike around, toys, you name it, he is pushing it forward and back.

These pictures were just a few cute shots I have gotten over the last month. Thankfully, in all his effort to be in motion he still takes out time to just sit with his mommy. He is still very much all about me - which I must selfishly say that I love. He is my little man, of course. :)


Ahhhh! Charlotte's Pink Ugg Boots. Let me just say, this girl is in LOVE with these boots. That is why they deserve a post of their own. She will wear them with anything. A hand-me-down gift from our friends April and Bo (many of Charlotte's clothes are from April's sweet girls' wardrobe and we are truly grateful for them because there are lots of them and April has really good taste), Charlotte fell in love with them the moment I pulled them out of the box this year.

On this particular day she requested to wear them. Most days now she would prefer to wear them. This was one of the first times she requested them when getting dressed and we had to come up with an outfit that would coordinate. Needless to say, since this day, I have found her in the boots with her pj's on, only a diaper, right after a bath in her birthday suit, and in a beautifully smocked dress before church. She thinks they go with everything and can't seem to understand why they can't go with everything. It has been comical to watch as well as cute as my little fashionista is beginning to develop some of her own tastes. Hey, aren't these things - pink Ugg boots - what make being a girl so much fun? :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

From Silly to Formal - Happy Holidays to You!

For those of you that I do not correspond with, please consider this our holiday card to you. From our family to yours - truly wishing you JOY this holiday season! Much love to you all and may you have a blessed 2010.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Big Feast

Me and my girl

The family photo at the end of the day. I believe Douglass Charles had a little too much wine with his dinner. :)

Emily, me, and Sarah - only three of the six of us

Douglass Charles and Aunt Sarah

The kids with Valerie and John and the three of us girls - gotta love those pink ugg boots on Charlotte. She truly would wear them everyday.

Our Thanksgiving was relatively laid back - as laid back as it can be with two children under two. Two of my sisters got to be here with us. Sarah, from Houston, and Emily, from Auburn. My cousin, John, and his wife got to come up from Columbus. It was wonderful to see them both - as it had been a while since we had been able to visit.

The food was fantastic - if do say so. Partly because it is always good and partly because we waited until 5:30 to eat. We had been smelling it and waiting for it for so long that I think it made the food even better.

This year's thanksgiving was honestly a very enjoyable one. I am so thankful for my family and after the big Thanksgiving news last year about my parent's move, I believe it has only made me that much more grateful for them. While I hate how far my family is from me now (most of them anyway) the distance sure does make me appreciate them and my time with them so much more!

Thanksgiving Eve

After one of her many tastes

Cooking with Mommy

Stirring with Aunt Sarah

Smiling - CHEESE

All dolled up before heading out to shop that morning.

Finally, pictures...

Our Thanksgiving Eve was spent doing what most do the Wednesday before the big feast - shopping and cooking. I thoroughly enjoy this part when I have people to share the duties with. Sarah, Charlotte and I cooked away and Miss Charlotte thoroughly enjoyed herself. Thankfully, our food was cooked at high temperatures because I believe Charlotte's fingers wound up in everything as she had to taste her creations. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Sorry, still no Thanksgiving pictures. Aunt Sarah is under the weather and I am sure my Thanksgiving pictures are not high on her priority list seeing as she is sick in bed. I will have some up soon, whether they are Thanksgiving or something else. We got some great ones last night as the kids were joyously playing together - such fun!

Today, I am feeling down, lonely to be quite honest. A common feeling for me especially after all the hustle and bustle of family and holidays. We have had a good week - one creating memories as a little family, but still those feelings seem to creep in. Many days when I feel those oh so lonely feelings a person from my young childhood comes to mind.

Now, those of you from First Pres back in Atmore know who Mrs. Holmes was, but for those of you that don't, she was an older lady in our church. A widow. She was a sweet but very stern woman and helped my mother out from time to time keeping us. Now, let me just tell you that at the age of five, six, and even seven, I was not a fan of Holmsie - as we called her. She had cataracts, which means she had the big goggle glasses that made her eyes look huge. She was also not afraid to whip my little bottom into shape when I displayed my very bratty behaviour. Her famous saying as she waved one had and then the other was "If Missy (right hand) can't do it, Mossy(left hand) can!" then she would clap these two hands together. Darnit if it didn't scare me every time.

But one thing Holmsie passed on to me and to so many others was to do for others, especially when one is feeling a little down. When she would get lonely she would always get out some carrots and her grater and whip up some of her famous carrot raisin salad and take it to someone. She always told my mother that this was the way she took her focus off of herself and gave to someone instead - making herself feel better. Quite an exmaple and quite a legacy if you ask me. So, today, in my little self pity and lonely state I say thanks to Holmsie for the reminder to be thankful and when I don't feel oh so great, to find another soul to encourage, comfort or bless.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spit and Slobber

I am still waiting on Thanksgiving pictures, so please forgive the lack of posts. I also have new pictures of this week of our Christmas baking, but I don't want things to be too out of sequence. We shall see how long this lasts. :)

So, this will be disgusting to some of you, but I had to mention it because I did not experience this with my little girl - I will chop it up to her being female. Douglass Charles figured out how to blow a raspberry a few weeks ago. Charlotte did this, but not with as much enthusiasm as her younger brother. His favorite time to do this is while eating, which prooves quite challenging. I normally wind up covered in whatever he is eating. At nine months it is almost impossible to "train" him because he just doesn't understand. So I try in vain to get him to stop spitting. I swear that child is covered in more slobber and I have to change his clothes multiple times a day - not to mention that I have had to take several showers in a day just to get myself clean after a feeding time.

Oh the joys of motherhood. I wouldn't trade it, though, even if I am covered in spit, slobber, and Douglass Charles' lunch. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday SALE

The train has been making a rebound. It was not a big seller at the start of my business, but it is fast becoming a favorite!

My giraffes are a favorite and can be used for a boy or girl

These are flat so they go great with your holiday photo card - so you can write a little personal note.

Sadly, my camera ran out of battery yesterday and I barely captured a photo of my little family. Thankfully with sisters and cousins here there are plenty of photos I am just waiting for them to be able to share. So... stay tuned for our Thanksgiving post coming hopefully next week. We do hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with good food and wonderful time with family, friends, or both. :)

So, instead of a Thanksgiving post, I am excited to help you jump start your holiday season with a few sale items in my shop. Also if you are a fan on facebook you get free shipping through the end of the month. So... hurry to and take advantage of some savings. Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For the Record

This post would had been more fitting on November 13th, but at least I am marking it down and it is not a month later.

This post is for my Charlotte in honor of her second year and since we print the blog I wanted for her to have something to look back on.

This picture is a true depiction of my girl. She is full of life, on the move, never meets a stranger, and is a vivacious and quirky little thing. While still sometimes cautious, she is always looking for something to do and can find joy in very small things. She LOVES her daddy and especially loves her little brother and is a sweet and kind little soul - with just enough spunk mixed in.:)

I look at this picture and while it makes me laugh, it also makes me want to cry. She looks so grown here and it makes me ponder where the time has gone.

Charlotte, you are one of the best things that has happened to your old mommy. I will never forget the first time I saw you. I kept saying to your daddy over and over again, "She is beautiful." You are beautiful both inside and out and your daddy and I are so grateful that God gave you to us!

Your red hair was such a surprise. I envisioned that you would probably have dark hair (because I did) or lighter hair - because your dad did. You came here a true red head and while I know there will be a day where you wish you were a blonde or brunett (we all do it ladies - want a color that is not our own), your red locks are beautiful and they truly help make you who you are.

Thanks for brightening our lives and so many others. You are greatly loved by all of your family and I hope you will come to value the necessity and value that your family provides.

Your dad and I look forward to your growing up and all the things that come with that. I want you to know that no matter what, you are always truly and deeply loved by not only us, but God. You are a cherished spirit and have been given much. We are blessed to have you in our lives and as I tell you almost daily, you are my most favorite little girl in the whole wide world. I thank God that He gave you to me - my precious, sweet gift. I love you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fun at Maw and Paw's

Paw went out and bought this double stroller so we wouldn't have to cart ours over every time. If you have ever had to get one of these in your car you will understand why we were so grateful for this.

Douglass Charles in the new pj's his Maw bought for him.

Charlotte riding one of her presents.

Douglass Charles silly grin - love it!

For those of you that read my previous post you may have discovered that Doug and I had to be at the conference on the evening of Charlotte's second birthday. If you believe that this was thoughtless of me, go ahead and judge, but I did struggle with it. While Charlotte did not understand, I still felt guilty running off for a "weekend to remember" with my hubby while Charlotte was left wihtout her mom and dad the night of her brithday.

With all this said, let me just say, her Maw, Paw, and Aunt Kate made her feel very special as the whole living room/kitchen was decorated in her honor upon our arrival and she was quite spoiled in the present department (her brother included). So... thanks so much to Maw and Paw and Aunt Kate for giving Charlotte such a fun and wonderful weekend. The pictures above are just a few that Kate took of the kids throughout the weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Weekend to Remember!

Doug and I spent our weekend in Birmingham. The kids did too, but we were not together. Doug's parents, along with Aunt Kate, graciously offered to keep the kids while Doug and I attended a marriage conference. We had a beautiful weekend - the kids with the weather and fun at Maw and Paws and Doug and I as we reconnected as a couple.

Ironically, my parents attended this same conference over twenty years ago and went twice. Many of my parents friends also attended and our registration was the gift of The Dettlings - who are wonderful family friends. I have been blessed with many couples, including my parents, that while not perfect, have marriage relationships that are worth taking a look at - because they have been successful. Most of these couples went to this conference and all talked about it changing their marriage.

While what Doug and I experienced is a very personal matter and not something I will go into detail about, I will say that we gleaned much from it. Doug and I have a good relationship, but this conference is honestly for any type of married couple - great or on the brink of divorce. Walls were brought down and behaviors that were detrimental to our relationship were discovered. We had some very special moments.

If you would like more info please feel free to visit this website at If you would like to know more of my experience I am happy to share individually. Feel free to drop me an email or facebook me.

To those of you out there that are married, my big take away that I will share here is: Your spouse is a gift from God. Cherish him or her and do whatever it takes to take care of your relationship. Becoming one as a couple is a blessing. Remember that love is a choice and not always a feeling and most of all - make God a priority in your life, your relationship and in your family.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clean Up

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I did take some yesterday, they just have yet to make it out of the camera and into my computer. I did want to post this for my own record - seeing as we now print out the blog. So... if you are tired of hearing stories about my children please disregard.

I must stop right here and say that the Lord has been gracious in giving me a pretty compliant first child. Granted, Doug and I do work with her a lot, but she has a little of her mother in her and I am sorry to say that she is a people pleaser. This is good and bad, but I do benefit at this time because of this trait. For those of you that your children challenge you, I will say, she is not perfect as I can hear her in her room right now refusing to take her nap.

With all this said, I have recently begun to work with Charlotte about picking up her toys. I normally allow her to pull out what she wants, but before naps everyday we pick up. Recently, while cleaning up, she began to start singing, "cean up, cean up." I thought, "Wow, she really gets this. I am so surprised." Feeling good about my parenting skills we went on about our cleaning up ritual every day.

That Sunday we went to church. Charlotte LOVES our church and the people that take care of her. When we picked her up from nursery her teacher told us "She is so cute, she helps clean up and she sings the song I taught her with me." I asked her what the song was and lo and behold, it was the song she was singing earlier in the week when we were picking up. And I thought it was my wonderful parenting skills. HA!

I am so thankful for her willingness now. She still is young enough to think that cleaning up is a game. Oh, how I dread the days when she is no longer singing but fighting me on it and knows that cleaning up is no fun game, but a chore. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

From a Standstill to A Crawl

It has happened. Yes, I now have two mobile children. I have been looking forward to this day and today I wondered why I was looking so forward to it. Thanks to Nana working with the baby over the past week he finally figured out how to make all of his limbs work together. It has been quite comical to watch Douglass Charles and see how Miss Charlotte reacts to the fact that her brother can come to her now.

Example: This morning Charlotte was coloring in the floor. Douglass Charles saw her and decided he wanted her crayon and paper so he crawls over there and plops right down on the paper and takes the crayon out of Charlotte's hand. With this she screams "NO BABY!" So... she takes the crayon away and moves across the room to try to color. In less than a minute the same scenario repeats itself. Sadly, Charlotte doesn't know quite what to do. Her brother is all over her and her stuff.

Douglass Charles is also getting a little payback for all the sitting on the chest, back, head, that Charlotte has done to him over the past several months. After lunch today I caught Douglass Charles on top of Charlotte's head and her fussing for me to get him off. Quite funny. I kept warning her that before long he would get his payback and it has already begun.

Oh how short the baby days are. Before I know it I will have two running around everywhere. So thankful for my healthy, sweet kiddos. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sweet Moments

Adeline, silly Charlotte, Mom and Douglass Charles. The girls would only take pictures if they could sit by one another.

Nana and Douglass Charles - I love this picture

They settled themselves out on the grass and the cameras came flying out. :)

This was sweet with Gigi and the girls

Douglass Charles' face here is too funny!