Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fast and Furious

February 25, 2009

Today - on one of his explorations through my cabinets.

On this day a year ago I woke up to horrible, VERY strong contractions. At first I thought, is this for real and then very quickly I knew. To say that I was scared was an understatement. It was about 6:30 a.m. and after about four contractions I knew they were coming fast - too fast. Our next door neighbor came over quickly and we were out the door and driving to the hospital by 7:00 a.m.

That was the longest 40 minute drive in the car. I thought we would never make it. They didn't think my doctor was going to make it either as Douglass Charles English, Jr. made his debut at just after 8:00 a.m. - twenty minutes after I arrived at the hospital.

We have been going fast and furious ever since and ironically, these are two characteristics my son displays. He is fast and on the move and has a furious temper when he gets angry. :)

I truly was nervous about having a boy and nervous about whether I would love him as much as Charlotte. He is my precious boy and I can't imagine our lives without him - and I love him just as deeply. He is passionate, head strong, and has a determination that both intrigues and scares me. He is very independent and strives to do all and be all that his big sister is - and I best not instruct him otherwise.

He is all boy - already loving to wrestle, play ball, and loves to make a lot of noise. I expected a quiet, laid back second born - and that he is not. He, too, is a social child and gives Charlotte a run for her money when it comes to getting attention too. I can already see the competitive spirit he will have with her.

I love his big brown eyes, his dimpled grin, and his from the gut cackle. I love the way he sways back and forth when he dances, and his desire to experience and explore things. He already loves to climb and I keep telling Doug that Douglass Charles will most likely be our child that is jumping out of airplanes right along side him.

Douglass Charles, know that you are a special, and important part of this family and that your old momma - in an effort not to be too mushy - will always love you. I pray that you never loose your sense of adventure and passion. That you seek God with all of your heart, and that you will live a life that is worth sharing with others.

Know that I love you with all my heart. Thanks for giving me the chance to see childhood through a little boy's eyes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mark Your Calendars

What do rain boots, an umbrella, a buzzing bee, a tenderhearted lion, and some pretty little flowers have in common? They are all making their debut - with a few other things - over at The English Pea on Apirl 1st - no foolin'. So mark your calendars as there will be much celebration - a.k.a that means giveaways - the first full week of April.

And so as not to ignore all my other lovely creations March will have it's own share of goodness. Check back next week for my "Stock Up and Save" event. You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let the Birthdays Begin!

Many of you may not be aware that in our house today starts a week long streak of birthdays. All the men in my life - immediate family - have their birthdays over the next five days. Yes, I said five days.

It is fitting that today is Doug's birthday - since he is the first man in my life. Douglass Charles and my Dad share their birthday on Thursday and my brother, Owen has his on Sunday, the 28th.

But today, it is about Doug, my sweet husband. He is 31 today and before bed last night we both laughed at the fact that we have known each other for ten years. Who would have thought ten years later and two kids that we would be together. We are and I am blessed because of it. :)

I am so thankful for many things about Doug - he makes me laugh (and often), the fact that he calls me every day on his way home from work (something I look forward to), that we just enjoy hanging out together, and he is such an involved father. We have always been the best of friends - even before we became romantically involved - and he always puts the family before himself.

I am also so proud of him. Doug is not one to toot his own horn so I will do it for him. In just a couple of months he will be finished with his Masters in Administration. To say the last two years have not come without personal sacrifice on his part is an understatement. Going to school while holding down a full time job, coaching multiple sports, taking leadership classes, and being a family man is no small task. His hard work has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

There are so many things I could write, but I just want to say, Happy Birthday, Honey. Thanks for all you do. You mean the world to me and I look forward to sharing many more birthdays in the future. I love you with all my heart! xoxo

Let the Birthdays Begin!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Farmers Market Baskets

I have been wanting to blog about this for a while and since I have promised info to so many of you, now is as good of time as any. Our church is a drop off point for Farmers Market Baskets - a business that collects local produce. We started taking advantage of it not long ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

This beautiful confetti of a salad was full of many of the goods we have gotten and the croutons were a special treat - Ina Gartin's recipe if you are interest and SO easy. We went to Brad and Amy's this weekend and since Brad is quite the cook, we offered to bring the salad. His food was wonderful and this salad a nice compliment.

Just to give you an idea of what you get in our last basket we got apples, pears, oranges, lettuce, limes, avacado, carrots, broccoli, onions and cilantro - all for $18.00. It is wonderful and it motivates us to eat more produce, get creative with our meals and shop local as well. So... if you are interested in learning more or joining up just go to We promise, you won't be disappointed.

Miss Kate

Many of you know that I have a part time job working as a Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A. I only work ten hours a week now, but when I started I was working more like thirty. Seriously, with every child I have had I have cut back ten hours - now making my time only 10 hours (I guess that means if a third comes along I will no longer be working for CFA). Anyway, this job is great because I can pretty much do it from home. This can also be a curse and the reason Miss Kate was hired.

This summer, after I went back to work, Doug and I seriously prayed about my quitting. Our budget was telling us that it wasn't possible with Doug getting his masters, but my body and emotional state were telling me that a breakdown was in my near future if I didn't stop working.

Our compromise was hiring a sitter for four out of the ten hours that I work. So we gave ourselves a month and said if we couldn't find someone that met our needs then I would quit.

To say that I was hoping we wouldn't find someone was an understatment, but I did my part to find someone and it truly has been a blessing. All of us LOVE Miss Kate. She is a homeschool student and very responsible. She does a great job with the kids and an added bonus - she straightens up the house while she is here. This makes me love her even more.

And another bonus for me is that those four hours of work a week are something I look forward to - my break, my chance to have adult conversation. Who knew that something that was causing me such stress could wind up being an escape - and Miss Kate makes me feel good about leaving my kids for a few hours out of the week. So... thanks Miss Kate for ALL your hard work! You are a blessing to this little family.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Wonderland

While this was not the first snow of the season, the kids would consider it their first. Our last snow was a little on the icy side and not as easy to play in. This snow was gorgeous, fluffy, perfect for making snowballs. We got around four inches and Doug, Charlotte and I enjoyed throwing snowballs at one another. Obviously we were not prepared with appropriate clothing for this big event, but we just piled it on and made it work.

Charlotte wouldn't keep her gloves on. It was difficult for her to form her snowballs and the gloves just frustrated her. Unfortunately, she found out all too quickly why the gloves were necessary - as her hands would begin to hurt.

We did have such fun and even bundled the baby up in it for a few moments. Charlotte is still talking about the snow. While fun, I have had my fill and after a gorgeous and warm weekend this weekend, I am ready for Spring - and all that beauty that comes with it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This picture was from last Friday afternoon right about the time the snow started falling. Charlotte wasn't quite sure what all that white stuff was, but when she discovered how wonderful it was she could hardly stand being indoors.

Thankfully, the pictures are downloaded and I am now doctoring them. So... stay tuned for more posts to come. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Pooped!

Frankly, there is no excuse for my lack of blogging except for the fact that I am just plain tired. I recently looked at my blog posts and noticed that I have seriously been neglecting my photos. Sadly, we had all this great snow with great pictures and I still have not downloaded the pictures onto the computer.

Oh, there is reason for my being tired - sick kids, working too much, pushing myself to get outfits done for Douglass Charles' baptism next week, designing new stuff for The English Pea, taxes, and the ever consistent task of being wife and mom. My house is a wreck and laundry needs to be done and tonight... I don't care! I am tired.

So... sorry for the lack of posts and English family updates, but feel free to enjoy these photos until I can get my act together - and my energy. :)

Charlotte discovered our cowboy hats in the closet one evening so we played cowboys. Let me just say, she wound up wanting to do it ALL the time - so much so that we had to put them away (so as not to ruin Dad's expensive Stetson).

This is typical of Douglass Charles - on the move and barely stopping to eat. Thought the fact that he would take his bottle this way was quite funny. He is onto a sippy cut now and I am actually sad that weaning from the bottle is happening - my cuddle time soon to be gone - but thrilled that weaning to a cup so far has been SO easy.

Found both the kids this way one afternoon. I had only been out of the room for a minute. They were being WAY too quiet. No wonder...

Chewing crayons - to no avail, we can't get Douglass Charles to quit doing this and it drives his big sister crazy - Charlotte always screams "NO BABY!!!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There Is A God

Don't know if you have heard the new song from Lee Ann Womack. I heard it this morning while driving. It took me right back to my days at the ranch. I know I refer to this place often, but there was a lot of life change that happened for me there and if you have ever found yourself in the presence of those rocky mountains, you understand the effect they can have on one's soul.

When I heard this song I was reminded of the many lone hikes I would take up a small mountain peak. I can't describe the feeling I would get once on top looking down on the valley below, and looking at the vast expanse of mountains around. Breathtaking is one word, awe is another, and yet, I would always feel so small. Realizing that our God created all that vast beauty, then seeing the ranch in the valley - looking more like the size of micromachines. And I am one lone soul, one person in the vast expanse of billions of humans.

For one, I do believe that it is difficult when viewing such beauty to believe that there isn't a God. Secondly, my breath catches at the thought that He loves me. I am such a small, little person. A little ant coming and going to and from my ant hill and God loves ME! The great thing is... He loves you too. Be encouraged today. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of God's creation and know that you are loved. And when you get a chance, check out Lee Ann's new song "There Is A God." Hope it inspires you to see God in all the facets of your life. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter Sunshine

At the English house we are ready for Spring - the gorgeous flowers, the warmer temperatures, and sunshine! The sun has been teasing us a bit over the last several weeks and making us yearn for the warmer days ahead.

One cold, sunny afternoon I decided the kids could stay indoors no longer. I opened the back door and let Charlotte loose. I also did something with the baby that I would have never let Charlotte do - I let him crawl around the back patio and he LOVED it! These photos just capture a little of the fun we have had lately while venturing outdoors.

I also wanted to take the time here to jot down a few of the things the kids are doing. Two of my favorites with Charlotte are when you ask her if you wants something - like a specific snack - and she doesn't want it she says, "No thank you!" in a very matter of fact way.

My second thing that I caught her saying just this week was "Okay, Mom" whenever I ask her a question. I am no longer "mommy" just "mom." Of course this can change with whatever mood she is in, but she sounds so grown up saying it.

Douglass Charles is coming into his own. He can say "bye, bye," "night,night," "da,da," and "no, no." He also has begun to have "conversations" with us. He will just jabber away and look at me like I am supposed to understand. He also picks up a phone and has conversations - loud ones - with whoever he thinks is on the other line.

My favorite thing he has recently picked up is hugging. He hugs his stuffed animals and I have even gotten him to kiss them. The other night while putting him to bed he gave me hug after hug and even a kiss. It was so sweet.

It just amazes me how fast they are growing and we can't wait to relish in the fun the Spring sunshine will bring us!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crumbs in My Butter

Oh how I hate crumbs in my butter, mustard in my mayo, jelly in my peanut butter. This absolutely drives me crazy. Such has been my life over the last couple of weeks. There have been many crumbs - more than usual. They consist of Charlotte testing me more and more and learning selective hearing, Douglass Charles being sick and cutting his twelve month molars. We also have started working with Douglass Charles on some discipline and let me just go ahead and tell you - disciplining two is SO much harder than one (duh!).

The problem is, I have been losing it over those crumbs. Sadly, everything really came to a head yesterday and I lost my temper yet today. I always feel so horrible when I do this and I hate that I will let it effect my entire days most times.

Yesterday, as I was crying in the shower I decided to breath and pray. Why was I letting myself get down in the dumps? My horrible attitude only makes my kids worse. So, I decided to choose to have a better day.

I will tell you, I have found several things that are effective for me when I am out of sorts.
1. Prayer is always the best thing, but there are several other things that can turn my thought process around.
2.A really hot shower is one - I can't hear anything, I can let the water just wash all over me and relish in the heat. It relaxes me.
3. Getting dressed. I don't understand it but when I have decent clothes on, my hair fixed and my "face on" I feel 100% better.
4. Clean the house - this tends to happen when I am really angry. It is like being able to clean something, wipe the dirt off, feel like I am gaining some control makes me feel better. It declutters an area in my life and I feel more relaxed.

So, what are some of the things you do to get over the crumbs in your butter? Maybe I can add some of yours to my list. At the rate I have been going lately, I need a few new options. :)

au revoir

Oh Similac, it has been a nice ride. We appreciate the nutrition you have provided our children and are thankful that you are readily available at every grocery store. While we appreciate you, you will not be missed. Our pocket book has taken a hit - as well as our life savings - as you have consumed nearly $3,000 of our hard earned money over the last 27 months.

We wish you well and hope we never see you again. May my jugs work better the next time around - third times the charm, right (if there is a third time)? Au revoir, adios, goodbye!