Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our December...

***Note: My camera is acting crazy (maybe its time for a new one!) so I'm sharing pictures that my S-I-L, Alicia, and my M-I-L, Linda, took during our Christmas celebrations. And they are huge, but I'm not going to figure out how to make them smaller.***

I have a million things swirling in my mind. I want to share about what we've been up to. I want to share some things on my heart and in my head. I want to share pictures of my sweet little family. I want to record memories for me (and my family). I could go on.

None of my girls like Santa. There were many tears shed over him during this season. But Mika seriously has the cutest sad face ever!

I've had an incredibly busy December. I would say it is the busiest December I've ever had (and that includes those three Decembers I was in Law School).

Laila, during Santa's visit to our family Christmas party.

I literally did not give myself any free time during the month. My Christmas gift to myself was to have this week off. Too bad I have a nasty cold/sinus infection thing so that I can't really enjoy it.

Love this girl!

But we survived December. Praise God!

And we even managed to enjoy it.

God answered our prayers and only one of us came down with the vicious stomach bug. I spent every waking minute for two whole days begging Him to spare the rest of us while Peyton was sick and he answered my prayers.

We've all had colds and sinus infections over the past month. But I'll take colds over the stomach bug any day!

This was not posed.... she LOVED that snowglobe and stared at it for the longest time with this sweet smile on her face. 

I have spent the last month (well actually the last two months) painting and filling orders for Christmas. I've enjoyed every minute of it. I still can't believe God has given me this artistic gift and that I actually make things that people want. I'm blown away! So if you have ordered something, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We enjoyed all of our different family Christmas celebrations. My girls were blessed beyond belief with the gifts from our family and friends. Which brought about one of the things that is on my heart. I'm thinking I'll write a separate post on that. :) I have to say, being a parent is the greatest gift EVER. I've never been as overjoyed or excited or just plain happy as I have been this holiday season - watching my girls enjoy Christmas, making Christmas memories with them, starting Christmas traditions together, seeing their eyes light up in not only receiving their gifts but in choosing and giving gifts to others - I really think it is far better being a parent at Christmas than it is being a child.

I know how blessed we are to get to enjoy Christmas in so many ways and I do not take our blessings for granted. In fact, I have been so very emotional and my heart has felt very burdened this Christmas season. We have spent much time praying as a family for all of the people who didn't get to have the same kind of Christmas we did.

I guess I don't need to get into too much detail about our December... If I give away all of our happenings now, what would I write about in my next few posts? :) I do have much more time now that I'm not in a mad rush to finish Christmas orders, so I'll be on the blog much more! I have some great posts in my head that I'm hoping to get typed up in the next few days. We'll see.....

And this picture is here because it really isn't a get-together unless there is some photo of me laughing. One day I may do a picture post of all the photos I have of myself laughing. Ha!

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your December and the rest of 2010.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back in the Saddle....

Look at me, two consecutive days of posting.... Will I keep it up?

So I've been looking through cookbooks and talking to my grandmother trying to get some ideas for some fun Christmas goodies to make (alone and with the girls). I also get emails from different recipe websites and I've gotten a few ideas from there.

I'm thinking of trying some new things this year - caramels, fudges.... who knows! I'm so selective with the foods I like that most Christmas goodies don't appeal to me. I do love Christmas cookies (we've made two batches and EATEN two batches so far this season). And I could make myself sick on chocolate covered pretzels. Oh the chocolatey-salty goodness.

So I'm wondering..... What are your favorite Christmas goodies? What do you love to bake and what do you love to eat???? Maybe y'all have some ideas I haven't thought of yet. So let me know! I'm going to try to take pictures and share with y'all our Christmas baking adventures.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wow. Life is so busy for me right now. I realize I haven't blogged in an age but I honestly have not had time to sit down and write. I have no excuses, but I do have explanations :)

I have three girls - and one of them just took her first steps today! She's super-mobile people! Yikes. :) Check out this hilarious picture of Mika Lynn - we took it in the window of a store in the mall we were in on Saturday night. Hahaha! I laugh every time I see it. 

I'm dealing with some personal issues that may not exactly be time-consuming but are definitely thought-consuming. I won't get into it but I will say that being a wife and a mom and a sister and a daughter and a woman is HARD y'all.

All of my free time (which is the time after the girls go to bed at night) is spent working on paintings for some sweet people who actually wanted ME to paint something for them. Me? I still can't believe that.

We've been gone so much spending time with family and friends. I love this, but it doesn't leave much time for blogging. Making these memories as a family is much more important though. :)

I got our Christmas cards in yesterday. I've been working on getting them addressed and ready to mail out. This is the first time since Jared and I have been married that we are sending out Christmas cards. Can you believe that?

I could go on. But I won't.

I decided to take the time to blog today at the prompting of a sweet friend's blog post. Elaina wanted us to blog about our favorite Christmas movies. I love Christmas! I love movies! I love Christmas movies! Ha!

Miracle on 34th Street Poster
So my favorite Christmas movie of all-time is probably Miracle on 34th Street. Oh, I do love this movie. However, I'm a sucker for all Christmas movies. Well, unless they are sad. I am already too emotional around the holidays so I don't like to watch the sad Christmas movies. Anyway, I also love The Grinch and Home Alone and Elf. In fact, the girls and I watched a couple of Christmas movies today.

I'll try to be back before Christmas, but I'm not making any promises. Our schedule is full and I don't see it letting up until after the New Year.

Happy December!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Case of the Incredible Diaper Rash

It is no secret to my close friends that I LOVE Nancy Drew.

I seriously read every book growing up and if I had the time now, I would probably re-read them. No lie. I've always loved a good mystery. And I have been known, on occasion, to refer to myself as Nancy Drew. I'll answer to that name, if you feel like calling me that. :)

We frequently have "mysteries" in our home that I feel the need to solve. The most recent "mystery" is that of the Incredible Diaper Rash.

Mika Lynn developed a diaper rash about a week ago (maybe slightly longer). I used every cream and ointment we had in the house, from OTC to prescription. No change. In fact, that mess just got worse and worse. I'm not one to freak out and call the doctor over a diaper rash (plus we had a check-up scheduled for today so I was hoping to hold out until then) so I just kept trying to treat it.

Bootie creams = no help.

Next step - change formula. For some reason I thought that the formula may be causing the mess. With the new formula, we got a slight improvement in the diaper rash. But did it go away completely? No sir.

So today we are at our appointment. Dr. W asked me if there was anything up with Mika. I told her to take a look at the insane diaper rash that she has. She did and she proceeded to tell me she was baffled. No idea for certain what it is. It is seriously bizarre - it is like a perimeter rash around the area where her diaper would be wet. Dr. W didn't even know how to write it up in her notes. Ha!

She prescribed some OTC creams (that I haven't used yet) and if it isn't better in a couple days or gone in a week we have to go back to her.

All I keep thinking is "Who gets an out-of-control diaper rash that stumps the doctor?" Only my child! Seriously, my kids are rarely sick, but when they get their little medical issues, they are always weird and never normal. {Breath holding spells, fever viruses that trick the doctors into thinking it is meningitis coupled with some sort of weird bacteria, the list goes on and on.... and on}

I write this not to bore you to tears with talk of diaper rash, but to ask for your help. Any thoughts? Any ideas on how we can get rid of this mess for good?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

When Whit and I were little we used to love "building" forts out of blankets. Today, I shared that little bit of fun with my girls. They are loving their fort.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time Flies!

I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted. Really?!

Things have been SO BUSY but very good. I'm not so sure about how much I'll be blogging for awhile.... there are just so many other things that demand my attention and time and the blog has taken a backseat.

There are a few things I want to record for memory's sake.

We went to the NWA Craft Fair a couple of weekends ago. It was such a blast! Mom, Nanny, Whit and I know how to shop and it appears that my girls are learning at a very early age. Our time together was wonderful and we managed to pack my vehicle down like it has never been packed down before! That's talent people.

Laila decided that she was done with diapers. We are going on two weeks of no diapers and it has been so easy. She's done so well, we are so proud of her! It doesn't quite seem like my baby should be out of diapers. It is also a weird feeling only having to buy diapers for one baby - my bank account likes it though!

The girls and I spent a few days helping Pappy out. He broke his wrist in a "scuffle" with one of the horses. We loved our time with him and I'm thankful his arm is healing well.

My niece, Amelia, turned one and we celebrated at her Birthday Party! It was a good time for everyone (except me - I was miserably sick). The girls had a ball and have pretended to be at Amelia's Party ever since we came home! :)

Also, I've been busy busy painting some things for a few people. I have really enjoyed it and feel like it is such a blessing to be able to do something like that for my friends and family.

Mika Lynn is growing like a weed, I tell you. She is pulling up on EVERYTHING. She thinks she is Big Stuff! She says all sorts of things - the latest include: "num, num, num" when I put snacks on her tray, "mama" - FINALLY!, "bye bye" - or something like it (totally not in context), and something that sounds like she is trying to say "no no" - you know she hears me say that all day to her sisters and they like to say it to her, ha! She is such a little joy and we love her to pieces.

Peyton got to do some major Fall/Winter shopping in Branson and scored some cute things! And we finally found her some red shoes. My, oh my. She has been asking for red shoes for months. I had no idea it would be so hard to find some. Thankfully we came across a fairly cute pair in Branson so I'm no longer searching every store I go into for red shoes. She's happy and wants to wear them all the time. We are still working on her ability to coordinate outfits... Ha!

Today we had Aunt Jill and Amelia over to play. It was such a good time. The girls all love to play together and Jill and I enjoyed adult conversation during the day. If you are a SAHM, you know how rare that is!

I think that about sums it up. I always go into Fall thinking that it will be a time to relax and chill.... and I'm pretty sure Fall is always the busiest time of year for me! Eventually, I'll figure that out and won't be so surprised when I don't have a free weekend during the Fall months.

Hope your Fall is as fun as mine is!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Photo Shoot

Saturday morning we had a family photo shoot. I'm beyond in love with the pictures! I can't wait to fill my home with some of these pictures. They are so "us". So... I thought I would share some of my most favorite shots from the day. Just so you know, there are quite a few pictures..... Enjoy!

**All photos were taken by my S-I-L, Alicia. She rocks!

Our feet. I love how this turned out.

Me and my baby-est girl!

My little joy!

Ahhhhh, I just want to kiss all over that sweet face. 

My middle joy!

She is such a bundle of sweetness and happiness.

This is the best picture I've ever seen of Peyton! My little joy!

She loves the camera and loves to pose!


So sweet. They are best friends!

Sister love.

All five.

Aren't these tracks so cool. It was a beautiful location.

My sweetie and me.

Daddy and his girls.

My favorite shot of the day!


My three princesses. They make us so happy and bring so much joy and love to our family.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too. We completed ours with an impromptu Razorback Game Day Watch Party at our house, church, The New Karate Kid, and our nephew's football game. It was a good weekend.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just Breathe...

This has been a crazy week. The girls have been a little extra difficult which absolutely wears me out. Add to that a baby who started really crawling and pulling up and getting into everything. Needless to say, my days have been full of my kids and trying to make it to bedtime without losing my mind.

On top of everything, there are some things going on around here that are just inherently stressful. And while I try not to get too worked up about it all, this week has just felt like one thing after another.

Last night we had some little visitors over.

My niece and nephew came over for dinner and to play while their Mommy and Daddy were at a doctor appointment. So for a couple hours last night we had two 3 1/2-year-olds, two 2-year-olds and an 8-month-old. WOW! They were really good, though. We had dinner and then watched a movie and read books. Sweet babies.

But today is Friday. Which means I'll have an extra pair of hands (Jared's) to help me all weekend - well, except for when the Hogs play because I can't compete with Razorback football! ha! We have some fun things planned for Saturday morning and I hope it goes smoothly.

Right now, I'm just thankful for a few minutes this morning where I feel like I've been able to catch my breath. The girls are playing nicely and Mika is content in her bouncy toy for a minute.

And just because it cracks me up... here is a picture of my Laila's insane bed hair. I don't think we could make it stick out like that if we tried. Poor baby. ha!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Go Hogs!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday morning: Making pancakes for breakfast. I love my little helpers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Free Time....

I've had some sweet friends and family ask me to paint things for them. Me? I'm so not an artist. I never took an art class (although Art Lecture was my FAVORITE class in college). Anyway, I'm honored to create things for them. I showed you the paintings already here. Jamie and Cale picked up their paintings Friday night and I got an email earlier this week that included this:
Photo courtesy of Jamie Block

They are in their new home! I think it is precious.... this is Jamie's office. Thank you, Jamie, for sharing this picture.

My paintbrushes are getting quite the work-out. And I love it! I have found that I really enjoy painting and I'm so happy to share it with others.

I'm almost finished with this painting which is a house warming gift - I love this one and I will show you the finished product when it is actually completed!

And this is another painting I've finished - I would show the entire thing to you, but I'm thinking the Momma who ordered it would like it to be somewhat of a surprise.... It also may need some tweaking. The Momma will see it today so we will see what it needs ;)
Doesn't it make you think of lemonade? I love it!

I've also completed three other paintings that are gifts. I won't show them on here because I would hate for the recipients to see their gift before they are actually given it. :) 

So this is how I've been spending my free time. And I'm loving every minute of it. Honestly. 

Have a very happy Monday, y'all! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just Another Day?

I woke up this morning with plans.... plans changed. And I'm ok with that. I've busied myself this morning with things around the house - dishes, laundry, babies, you know how it is. I just sat down a few minutes ago and realized what the date is today.

October 1.

This is the day that my sweetie proposed to me.... Five years ago. (And yes, I just had to sit here for a minute to figure out how long ago it was).
Way back then

It was such a sweet day and I will remember it forever.

Thank you for asking me to be your wife. Thank you for loving me every day (even when I'm being a little difficult or stubborn). Thank you for being the best husband, partner, friend, and daddy to our babies. You are so much more than I could have ever hoped for in a husband. I love you forever!

And now.

I'm so glad I said "Yes".
Our family (almost a year ago). We've come a long way!

Happy October 1 everyone!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better Late Than Never, Right?

Think back to Saturday. I know, it was almost a week ago. And if you live in AR, it turned out to be a sad day. Are you there? Is it last Saturday in your mind? Ok, good.

We planned for a couple of weeks to have some friends over to watch the Hogs play Saturday afternoon. I had gone to visit my Nanny last Thursday and while I was there I got word that a few more people were coming over Saturday.

My first response was to stress over the details (because that is what I do!) but God reminded me of what I had just read that week - that stress is a form of arrogance. And really, it was just a Hog Watch Party, there was no need to be perfect. Sometimes it is hard for me to even say those words - "no need to be perfect". But that is another post for another time. This post is all about some Game Day Fun!
I brought out all of my favorite Game Day serving pieces and got my Game Day cook on!

"Hogs" in blankets
Chips, Salsa and Cheese Dip
Cheetos - for my girls
Lemon Bars
Carmel iced cake - thanks to my M-I-L
Razorback cookies - thanks to Jill
Strawberries with chocolate dip - thanks to Alicia
And Chili for our meal. Can I just say that I love Fall and I LOVE chili and in my mind the two go hand-in-hand.

Is your mouth watering? ha!

I got the girls all dressed in their Game Day shirts I made them. We Called the Hogs no less than ten times that morning as we were getting things ready for the party. Laila likes to throw in a "Hogs" at random times during the Hog Call. Example: "Woooooo Pig Sooie! ............ Hogs!" Oh, the silliness! We also discovered that Laila really enjoys salsa! So much so, that she wanted her picture taken with the chips and salsa!

We cheered hard! Mika cried a few times because the house got so rowdy and loud. Bless her sweet heart! Then the rest of us cried during the 4th quarter... not really, but we felt like it. Even though we lost, we had a great time hanging out with our friends and family. P and L were in and out during the afternoon (they were up at a church carnival with Nana and DaddyGrand) so I don't have a picture of all three of them. Trust me, they looked cute in their Game Day outfits!
Sunday morning we got up and got the girls ready to go to church with Jared's parents. We sent them off and then left for our little mini-vacation. We had tickets to a Cardinals baseball game Monday night and had planned to spend a couple of days in St. Louis, just the two of us.

This was the first time I've left Mika overnight. I think the girls were all really good, at least that is what Nana says! :) They seemed to have fun with their grandparents while we were away.

The vacation was much needed for Jared and I. We spent those couple of days holding hands and laughing and singing in the car. We went to a movie, ate pizza at 10pm, shopped, did some tv shopping, drove all around the St. Louis area - thanks to the GPS, watched a ballgame, and really just enjoyed our time together.

We missed the girls like crazy and couldn't wait to get home to them.

Since we've been home, it has been a crazy blur of laundry, cleaning, unpacking, pulling out Fall clothes and putting up Summer clothes, painting, and loving on my babies.

I hope you are all having a great week!