Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas hangover

I know I haven't posted in a while. I totally skipped the "Breakfast with Santa" blogortunity, along with the delicious Christmas Eve and Christmas day posts. What can I say... I'm pregnant and busy and just plain wore out.  But I finally loaded my pics today and I have so many cute shots I just must share. 

I like sharing the on-goings of our family life, but I'm afraid I might come across sounding whiny and cynical with this post.  Bottom line, I'm tired of my kids getting sick!!  Flip side...I'm so totally grateful to be where we are now compared to where we could have been, but nonetheless, I'm sick of sick. Thanksgiving brought round 2 of pneumonia for Harper and Christmas brought on round 1 of bronchitis for Baylor.  I cringe with each cough and fear fever.  I think being prego is making it worse since I am more tired and less agile than usual.  I sincerely hope that 2012 is a year of HEALTH! Ok, enough's picture time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

the middle of night

3:27 am current time. Yes, my body is already preparing for the arrival of baby and I still have 10 weeks until her due date.  Lovely.  She is a feisty little thing and as soon as I seem to get comfortable in my bed her foot will jab into my bladder or stretch out into unknown territory near my lungs.  I actually love this, feeling her move, knowing she is there and that she must be doing ok. Anticipation is what I feel most right now. Just so ready to finish my nesting, ready to buy her something, ready for Christmas break so I can soak up "life with two" before "life with three" has a chance to get going. I was more afraid transitioning to two. And all of my friends have said, "three is a game changer," and if I hear, "three means you quit playing man to man and start playing zone" one more time, well's true. Just true advice from people who are a little further down life's winding road than I am.  But my point is that I am not afraid this time. God has given me something to fill the whole within myself.  Maybe that is what faith is? Not real sure.

Anyway, I've been reflecting lately. About this year and the challenges and triumphs that came with it.  Thinking back, there are stretches of time that are completely March. I know I was alive in March, but I can't remember March.  In January I had a cyst the size of an orange rupture on my ovary.  Worst pain I've ever felt, thought I was dying.  Nick had to come home and pick me up off the bathroom floor.  Crazy, I remember that afternoon I went into a boutique. What a contrast.  And then in February we took the girls to Disney.  We left in the middle of the awful ice/snow storm that hit Ruston.  We had a blast but both girls got sick while we were there. And I remember coming home...but then there is a blank wall.  Hmmmm March, what were you like? And then in April I was all stressed out over a possible job transition, my students took the LEAP test, and boom....that Friday Harper started running fever. Fifty five days later I took a deep breath. And then it was June...that means dance recital, trip to Florida with Katie, and surprise...I'm pregnant!  My icky first trimester lasted all summer, never even wrote that "thank you's" I had penned in my head to all of the people that helped us survive April and May. Those words of gratitude still swirl around, dancing in beautiful phrases on my palette, waiting to land on the hearts that did so much to help mine. Okay, so that gets me to August... my cousins wedding, visit both of my sisters in Texas, return to work. Work. Work. Work. And now here we are.  I kept my job, we found our dream house, sold our other house, our church merged, the girls were sick all fall, and now I'm about to have a baby.  This has been a year of tremendous trial followed my unimaginable blessing.  It is true, God surpasses our own ideas of joy.

Even crazier, the study I'm leading for the Girls of Grace in Dubach is all about understanding God's will for our lives.  It is based on Soul Surfer, which I can barely watch now because it takes me back to April and May so vividly, and follows the inspirational story of Bethany Hamilton. She is amazing! God is amazing for what He has done with her life.  When I speak to the girls each Friday, all I can think about is how far God brought me this year. Through the trials He certainly never left me, or Harper. I never thought I'd find purpose in all of that, but I can see now that I have a very real, painful testimony to share with people who are hurting, or afraid, or unsure. And I'm grateful. I still have joy!

The words I read in my devotional the day I found out about this pregnancy are etched into my brain:
"I am creating something new in you, a bubbling spirit of joy..."  He is my joy. He continues to give me joy!

I'm feeling kinda "comment lonely," so if you read this, please share with me.... What is giving you joy this season?"

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I know this is part of the hormonal process of preparing for baby. I do it every time, well, I've done it the last two times. This instinctual urge to "fix" and "decorate" and "organize" EVERYTHING in my house is honestly driving me bananas. But I can't stop! Seriously, when I was pregnant with Baylor I made Nick check every light fixture in the house and purchase bulbs for anything that was out...the night before I went to the hospital.  Luckily there isn't much to fix in this house. Now that we have bathroom mirrors life seems pretty normal. Two months of stooping over to do make-up or check teeth will wear on the nerves. Ok, so mirrors - check!

So now I'm on to the decorating aspect of my nesting syndrome.  The (un)fortunate part about my style of decorating is that I re-use and re-purpose and sometimes I just move something to a different spot in the house for a new look. Example, the rug in the "baby wing" of our room was under the dining table two weeks ago. The curtains now hanging in Harper's room were on the shelf in Baylor's closet waiting on a new rod. But, genius, I painted the brown rod in Baylor's room a nice antique white, threw on some white tab top curtains and her room looks brand new. I love the bluish/gray paint on her walls so that gets to stay. Now I am accenting with bright red! I used the wire basket I found under leaves at our old house, spray painted and voila, cute storage.  The old school desk we pulled from the dump two years ago...painted it bright red and plan to use modge podge and adorable scrapbook paper to create a shabby collage on top. I've gathred some wire flowers and a metal bird to create a collage on the wall above the desk. Should be super cute when I'm done. I would already be done but the humidity caused a delay in my spray paint cure time. All I am missing is a white twin comforter and festive throw pillows. I'll add pics ASAP.

Harper's room is a soft pink. I want to re-paint it, simply to cover some holes and make it feel fresh. But I doubt that is going to happen since I'm officially into my third trimester.  So, I hung the curtains from her old room, still super cute, framed some old doilies in frames I re-purposed from a garage sale, antiqued a cute vanity from a garage sale and re-covered the seat on the stool. Now she has a shabby chic room fit for her little diva self.

So what's left?? Uh, how bout anything to do with baby! I'm still holding out on our crib because I know a white one is going to pop up. You may ask, "Why don't you just go buy one?" And my answer to that is, "Heck no, somebody has one in a corner somewhere waiting to get rid of it and I'm the taker. Plus, since this is the "last" one, I hate to go buy a crib since I already have a nice, dependable one. Now bedding, no...have none. But I'm not huge on all that. I'm going to put together a white/cream ensemble in January. I would like to hang some of those puffy ball things that I've seen on several blogs and pinterest, but I'm not sure where to buy them.  Brooke is loaning me her baby gear so I should be good there.  I guess I just want the room set up and waiting so I can look at it.

Still haven't sold either table so please contact me if you are interested. The large farm table is $500 and the round table is $250.  Both are solid, awesome looking tables. Also have 4 brown tab-top curtains if anyone is interested.  Possibly two woven chairs that look great with round table. A yellow bedroom suit for a child's room (dresser, two night stands and desk). It has a groovy bamboo-ish trim on it. I had it in my girls room but it would be super cute in a boys room with maps on the wall, plaid bedding, and a real outdoorsy/adventure feel.

I guess that is it.  Oh yeah, my point in organizing and decorating the rooms downstairs is so we have a perfect spot for our Christmas tree. I had to move the "dress up bucket" to make room for the tree, had to clean out the closet to make room for the bucket, had to throw stuff out of the closet, and drawers to make room for the toys, had to make room in their rooms for those few extra things that need a get the idea. One thing leads to another and I've spent my allowance on spray paint, fabric and scrapbook paper but still haven't put up the dang tree.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy nesting!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goodbye favorite table

Since I don't do FB I have to use my blog as a substitute. 

So, I am selling our dining room table, my favorite table, and our round breakfast.  The first one is a rectangle farm table with lots of character.  I bought it in Houston from Home Source, a really cool place.

The round table is also very cool with character, it is from Z Gallery.  Both are in great shape and I hate to see them go, but the space in our new house calls for something different. 

Please comment if you are interested. I'll get you pics and a price.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

costumes and cats

 Nick surprised the girls a few weeks ago with twin kittens.  The girls hugged the heck out of them for about a week, then we figured that the nighttime coughing was connected to the cats so they had to go. It was sad, even for me who has never been a cat person, but the doc said athsma and cats don't mix.

 Baylor and her kitty, Miss Nilu.
 Our first formal tea party at Mrs. Cowan's lovely home.

 Baylor looooveeeesss Miss Nilu!

 serving skittles at the tea party.

 DHS Halloween: I am Bruce from Swamp People and my former student, Justin, 
is a redneck version of Joe Dirt.
 Nice mullet.
 Mrs. Nelson and her sister in arms.

 Random Kennedy and my witch window covering from last year. I used them to decorate the halls at school.

Captain Jack Sparrow and Princess ? from Mario Brothers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October Thoughts

For the first time in a week I am able to have thoughts that do not relate to which nostril is actually capable of taking in oxygen, how do I sleep propped up enough so that my head doesn't clog up, but my back doesn't feel too much strain, and just exactly what medicine can you take while pregnant.  It's been a week. And now Nick has it too. Pretty bad when there are three containers of Amoxicillin floating around the kitchen. 

But like I said, today is better.

Today meant a trip to the Townsend House pumpkin patch! This is my favorite fall tradition because I always get the sweetest memories there. I wanted to post old pics from our first trip to the pumpkin patch, but they were stored on the laptop that got stolen : (   I put my favorite shots from today into a collage using FotoFlexer! I love the results! 

Also, from the encouragement of a few friends and family members, I am considering taking pics on the side. Really all I can do is take shots similar to what I put on here, but if you like them, let me know and I'd be glad to snap shots of you and yours. I want to get better and the only way to do that is to practice. I have a great lot for fall photos too!

 Ok, so Baby Girl needs a name and the topic of her name consumes what few brain cells I have left!  So I am asking for suggestions. Just suggestions. I'm not going to run a blog contest and hand out an award for the cutest name or anything like that. I'd like something vintage mixed with trendy. Doesn't have to end in the -er sound like my other two...that was pure coincidence.  So if you think of something cute, please post a comment! I really do value your ideas.

My mom is coming to "take care of her baby girl" tonight. She didn't really say those words, but in my mind that is what she plans to do! Chicken n dumplings is on the menu along with a new recipe I want to try from the GreenEgg cookbook: Cheesy grits with sausage. And then the Apple Cake with Browned Butter Frosting I found in Southern Living. Just call it calorie fest. Bon Apetite!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Like the first day of school, I was excited about this night for weeks before the big day. Of course I played out unrealistic scenarios in my head about the endless possibilities the night could hold. My imagination runs away with me sometimes and I am too embarrassed to list all the things I thought could happen.

Let me back up.  In July my girlfriends from high school blew me away with surprise tickets and meet-n-greet passes to the September 20 Taylor Swift concert in Bossier.  Friends from the HHS class of '97 sent in their donations to make sure me and my girl had a special night to celebrate...well, to celebrate life in general. Her life! And a beautiful life it has been these past five years.

We departed Ruston at 3:31 pm heading toward our first destination, Superior Grill. By 4:03 her head was bobbing up and down with drool collecting in the corners of her mouth. Kindergarten is kicking her little tail. After scarfing down our fajitas we trekked to Century-tel center to find our place in line for the "Meet N Greet!"  

All of the eager folks lucky enough to wear the lime green arm band signaling our great fortune waited on the ground level near section 118.  They counted us off in groups of 40 or so and gave us an etiquette speech. No cameras, no autographs. I wish they would've said, " No teary eyed overly emotional Mama's," but they left that part out.
We made friends in line and swirled around the guts of the arena until we saw the colorful tent known as the "T Party" room. Yes it is magical and just like her videos, an enchanted Moroccan  tent full of comfy furniture and giant chocolate chip cookies. We circled the room and were then ushered into a smaller room to the side for our big moment.  Harper stood eagerly holding the silver package she brought for Taylor, a Fleur de lis necklace from National Jewelry.  When Harper stepped into the room Taylor's mouth dropped open as she knelt down to give my big girl a hug. "Ohmygoodness thank you! I can't wait to open it," she said. I knew it was time for me to step up and get my token embrace from the superstar, but the water works began to leak as I took in the beauty of their encounter. The build up of excitement for my daughter was too much for this Mama, so I stepped back and let her own the moment.
The photographer snapped the complimentary photo, the big guy in black handed me the card, and after a quick hello from "Heidi with Cover Girl" we were on our way.
 Beaming is an understatement. My girl was absolutely glowing brighter than the neon glow sticks Daddy had waiting on her when we found our seats.  She took in the crowd and the arena as the three of us waited for the red curtain to rise.

 And then she appeared. Blonde curls flipping and gold sequins swishing, and this is what my girl did. Eyes glued, she studied her. She switched from Daddy to Mommy, but her eyes never left the golden light on the stage.
  Without a doubt T Swift can put on a show! Each song was a dramatic interpretation complete with stage set, dancers and costume change. Harper sang along to the ones she knew, but mostly she took it all in. Watching Taylor and all of the dramatics that go along with her Speak Now tour, made me think that maybe I shouldn't work so hard to squelch the drama out of Harper. Maybe one day she will develop some pipes and make another little curly headed girls dreams come true. You never know. Chances are though, if she takes after her Mama, she will sing badly, dance wildly, and stand in the shadows watching her own little girl take in the wonders of life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taylor Tuesday...the countdown is on!

 Harper started doing "Taylor Swift hair" when she was 2!

 Harper and Baylor's fashion show this summer at Aunt Sissy's house.

 Can't hide that, "I'm going to see Twaylor Swift" smile! Thanks to the generosity of my HHS class  of '97, we were surprised with tickets!
 Oh yeah, Taylor Swift!

explaining the big surprise  to Harper...Baylor was supervising.
She was made for this moment! This is Christmas 2009...

Taylor & Harper...two of a kind.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My kind of Saturday

 This morning we slowed down, which is something Nick and I don't usually do.
Coffee...check. Cinnamon rolls...check. Comfy slippers...double check.

When Harper waddled up the stairs she quickly found a warm spot on the porch. And she stayed a while too.

Then an hour later this one showed up with massive bed head and her same sweet smile. A nice pile of powdered donuts greeted her.

Our new house fosters relaxation. The retreat...I think that is what we are going to call this house. I like retreat better than cabin. God  blessed us with cooler weather as soon as we moved in, like He wanted us to start using these porches ASAP! I've started the past two weekends out here and I must say I am liking the vibe. Saturdays are the only day of the week where time holds less importance. Weekday mornings are the extreme opposite of Saturday, as all mom's know. I feel like the morning Nazi and I don't like it, not one bit. Maybe that is why today, this Saturday is so peacefully blissful. Still in my pj's, still in my slippers, second cup cold on the coffee table...and I like it.  Happy Saturday to you! Go Dawgs!

Harper cuddling up on the back porch...

This is Baylor's "I wanna see, Mama!" face...she always wants to see the pictures as I take them.

Can you spot the pregnant lady in the window?? This is me at 18 weeks growing another spirited Cauley girl!