Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Official..

Have I been a little too secretive for your tastes? Well I promise that it has been for a good reason..

That Reason?!?

Well it's the picture below.. we closed on our house today :)

All of the previous posts that spoke of anxiety over something I simply couldn't talk about was us buying our very first home.. I didn't want to say anything until it was final and today after much prayer, and an amazing blessing from God... here is our humble abode :)


So I am officially a home owner. We hope to paint over the weekend and move in the first part of next week :)

Today I am Thankful for:

This little piece that is my own.. thank you Lord.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

School's Out For Summer!!!

You've known this for a little while, but it's officially started here. In fact Sugar Mama and the Nugget started swimming lessons this week. It was not, but after the hubs doing so, it's making me emotional to watch Sugar Mama and all of the learning she's doing. It really makes you realize how quickly they go from babies to big girls. Sugar Mama is no longer afraid to put her face in the water, in face she started learning how to dive yesterday :)

Another big girl moment for this week: The Nugget is potty training.. can you say headache?!? I had to try because she is very prone to talking off all of her clothes and her diapers.. I think it's because she wants to wear panties. I will not tell you about all of the catastrophes that can happen when a toddler is buck-naked in her crib in the mornings... either way it has been a procrastination point for me.. but here we are. Yesterday she was dry mostly all day because she would only pee when I put her in a diaper for swim lessons and nap.. but then she was dry almost all afternoon/evening and after taking her every 30 minutes and sining crazy songs in the bathroom she was not interested. I took her off the potty, literally 2 minutes later she peed in her panties.. (((sigh)))

It's going to be insanely busy this week.. hence the non-photos post. I don't know how much I will post this week and I'll ask your prayers about that. I cannot share just yet, but I ask that you remember us in your prayers and I will share just as soon as I can :)

I hope all of you have started out having a wonderful summer, and I love you all!!

Today I am Thankful for:

A better attitude.. yesterday mine was not so great and it started off with the above mentioned catastrophes that happen when your toddler is naked. I had to ask forgiveness because I just felt like my attitude was nasty, but today is a new day and I am determined to have a better one :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Lifetime...

This is my family of four... just this past Christmas. Have you ever wondered how we got started? Well today I'm going to tell you :)


Way back in 2001 I was at a dance club. I am aware of how funny that is, but then, I loved to dance. I went to this same place, literally every weekend, for two years. I hung out with the exact same people all the time, but one week end night I ran into a boy.. one I had never seen before.

For me it was instantaneous, but I don't think it was for him. You'd have to ask him, but I knew from the moment I met his eyes that I would marry him. That's a tall order for a 19 year old. During that first meeting there was a girl in his circle of friends that liked him, and she didn't like me liking him :)
I went back to hang out with my friends and he was there, but so was the girl.. I was not happy. I was standing in the door way having a small conversation with him when this girl stepped in between us and sat in his lap. (In hindsight, I had no right to be irritated as I had just met him, and he didn't like me yet, but I was beyond irritated)... So I turned around and left. That's right walked right out the door. But... before I could get to my car, he had followed me and stopped me. I told him simply that I didn't care for all that non-sense, I liked him and would like to see him again.. and then I did something brave/crazy... I leaned in and kissed him :)

It all worked he called me that very night and we continued to talk for hours on the phone every night. We still saw each other every weekend at the same place that we met, and had our first date not long after. If you can call seeing a movie with all of our mutual friends a date. But that was all that I saw of him... only on the weekends.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2001 we saw each other and I teased him and the others in our group that he was my "weekend boyfriend." I guess that indicated to him that I had a through the week boyfriend and he decided that we should be exclusive :)
*On a side note: that very first night that I met him he would not dance with me.. every time I tried he would tolerate it for a second and then say "I'm going to let some one else dance with you..." So irritating, the twin can recall this story as well, but he denies it with passion :)

So we remained boyfriend and girlfriend for a while. During the next year and a half we moved along seamlessly and I was very comfortable with where we were. My grandmother had passed away the January after we met, and during that time I was a mess. He was wonderful at picking up the pieces.. you know they will stick when they see your crazy :) But after that year and half I noticed that a lot of people around me were getting married.. we had not even talked about it. When we did he was quiet on the issue. I suggested that until we knew for sure that we wanted to get married we shouldn't talk about it anymore, and we didn't.

On my 21st birthday we decided to go to Vegas. A lot of his family lives out that way and I had never met them. I was very nervous.. it was a lot of pressure to travel across the country to meet your boyfriend's family. At the airport he was very nervous and agitated. I chalked it up to being on the plane.. this was only my 2nd time on a place that I hadn't jumped out of. When we got to security he refused to open his luggage, and I was totally confused as to why.. Just open the stupid luggage, but NO we had to go to another check point. When we finally got there he put something in the safe.. My thought was "What in the world would you possibly want to put in the safe?"
In case you are wondering I can be blissfully unaware at times.
Later than night after visiting Vegas places we came back to our room and we're eating dinner. We were so tired from the time change and the celebrations the night before that we were just lying there talking. He propped up and was nervous again.. He stumbled through some words and then just blurted " I was wondering if you would marry me" .... I was no longer tired. I shot up and told him it was not a funny joke. He went to the safe, got the ring he had so fiercely protected and asked me again. I burst into tears and said YES!!!

Another funny moment, I called Mama J to tell her and her words were "Do NOT get married in Vegas" :)

10 Months later we were married.. here are a few picture from the day...




Today is our anniversary...

Today I am Thankful for:

Him: God brought him to me, and he is a fantastic husband and an amazing father. I simply could not have asked for a more marvelous man and I am thankful he's mine :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Hometown..

I live in Georgia, as you may already know.. it's the South, and we have a lot of history here.

Here is one of my favorite places: McDonough Square. Just on it's outskirts lie large older homes that remind you of a time when things were much simpler. The owners have maintained them very well and they are simply beautiful.


It also holds the Geranium Festival every year. Hundreds of Thousands of people come to this square to buy crafts from people all over the country.


I live just south of Atlanta


We are home to the World's Largest Aquarium..


The Best Hot Dog..


And well.. the best SEC team there ever was :)


I love the South...

Where do YOU live?!?

Today I am Thankful for:

History: The Bible is a book written by people who encountered Jesus, he physically touched their lives. In your hometown it can be the same way. We can't go forward if we don't know where we've been.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Darkness...

I read something on facebook today that really upset the balance of my day. All morning I've been irritated by people that have been inconsiderate. People who cut you off in track and look at you like doing the speed limit is an asinine idea, people who look at you crazy when your toddler drops the chocolate milk she was drinking, etc. My thought on the highway this morning was "How do people get a drivers license when they are unaware of blinkers?"..

Either way that's just irritating, everyday stuff. But then I read a disturbing report about child abuse. It was sickening, not just the abuse that the baby, and I say baby because she was 6 months old when she died, but the additional trauma she suffered at the hands of the people entrusted to protect and love her.

It's saddening to think that adults in this world who do not stand on solid ground because the people they should trust most in the world have let them down, betrayed and abused them.

There is so much darkness. I have been fortunate to not have any proximity with the darkness, but I know someone who has.. someone who was abused and then convinced that not talking about it would be best because they didn't want to get in trouble. Just outside of the brightness of my life lies so much anger, sorrow, betrayal, hurt...

Here is one thing I know: He is the light in the darkness. While reading the story, and keeping the nauseousness at bay, the only thing that kept me from being victim of the darkness was that he holds that baby girl and he treasures her in a way that those monsters never could. She will not hurt again, she will have no memory of the traitors who still reside here and she is in peace with her creator. Her abusers never wanted her anyways, and her remaining family kept quiet so they didn't deserve her either. He is the only source of light in a world that is dark.

He is hope for the hopeless, peace for the restless.. these lyrics form a song whose name I cannot remember, but I heard that today too... He swept her up, treasured her when the rest wouldn't, and saved her when the rest couldn't.

There is so much darkness in the world, but keep your head and look towards the light.. the darkness is only for a season, and while he reigns on high now, one day he will come back to save those of us who bask in high light daily.

Today I am Thankful for:

The Light: The world would be a miserable and hellish place without it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Slow and Fast Simultaneously...

Seems like the weeks take forever since I don't have school to stretch them out, and the weekends are over before I can blink my eyes.

This time last week, I was eagerly anticipating Mother's Day.. when my kids would be all excited because it was my day and the hubs did all kinds of extra special stuff for me, and I got to spend an insane amount of money on a purse that, quite frankly, I am afraid of carrying because of dirt :)

This weekend we visited a local festival that was murderously hot, claustrophobia inducing crowded, but filled with great hand-made items for purchase. I love those types of festivals. It means something when an item was created by hand. After spending three hours in the heat, we came home to have sandwiches, which are awesome compared to fast food, and I took a nap. I know, I know... One minute I was watching iCarly and the next I woke up to my husband letting the newspaper salesman in the house to use the bathroom, ha! While I was sleeping he put the girls in their swim suits (or swim soups as Sugar Mama calls them) and let them play in the water hose :)

We did not have swim diapers so the hubs let the Nugget wear a regular one.. let's just say swim diapers are needed :) otherwise you get all kinds of crystals and not the good kind. After they were toweled off and dry we sat down as a family and watched "The Sandlot" and "The Goonies". I was born in the eighties.. and I heart that decade... everything about it.. well almost everything, the fashion is something they can keep. It's struggling to gain some footing in the 2010 and I for one am protesting it's return. But the movies and music are just the best.. to me it symbolizes a decade of innocence. Movies were about a poor girl who cannot afford a prom dress who accepts a date from the popular rich guy. Rich guy learns he's a jerk and Molly Ringwald was the bomb, and Duckie.. well who can forget Duckie? Anyways the hubs has not even seen the Goonies yet and I am happy to share these things with my family.

Have you seen the move "Teen Witch" with Robin Lively? Seriously one of my all time favorites and I'm pretty sure you can buy it on Amazon.com for like .50.. well not that cheap but you get the picture ;)

Do you have a favorite decade movie?

Lastly, Sugar Mama has been waking up in the middle of the night to tell me that she cannot sleep. For a woman who did not sleep for the first 10 months of the Nugget's live, I consider my sleep to be a precious commodity, especially since I had to sleep train the nugget for an additional 9 months before I could really sleep. So my solution was to not let her watch t.v. She was very angry about this because she is only allowed to watch cartoons during quiet time (the Nugget's nap time) and for 1 hour before she goes to bed.. now she listen to the radio. So I'm reading her the book "I'll Love You Forever" and I got so choked up I had to stop for a minute. This sleep issue has been driving me crazy, but as I'm snuggled up with my baby girl literally watching this woman grow old in a matter of minutes, well it's simply heart breaking to realize how fast they grow and for how short a time they are really ours.

Today I am Thankful for:

Reading Time: I can tell that Sugar Mama really loves books. I do too, there is just something about my own mental images that gives life to a book that draws me in every time. I like that we can share that for just a few minutes a day.

Very often now I hear the Nugget say "Mama you okay?" and it is the best thing in the world. I had a conversation with my aunt the other day and after hanging up I was angry about her situation.. not at her, she had done nothing wrong, but simply angry at the way she was being treated and the helplessness I felt because of it, and I burst into tears. Both of my girls ran up to me and gave me hugs and the Nugget asked if I was okay as she wiped away a tear. I imagine God holds us in the same, in a way we don't even realize.
Whatever my girls choose to do with their lives, even if they do not make the best grades and become 2 of the most brilliant people on the earth (although there is little doubt in that department ;) my prayer is that they are honest and kind.
Of these things only three remain: Faith, Hope and Love.. and the Greatest is Love. I hope through their honesty and kindness they will show their world God's Love.

Love to you all!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a Wonderful Family..

My Mother's Day started on Thursday when the hubs dropped me off for a surprise hair appointment. It's summer time so I went back blonde, and my hair dresser said I had better not come back in two months with dark hair :)

On Saturday all 16 members of my family went up north to have lunch with my Nanny. We monopolized a section of the restaurant for about 1 1/2 hours :)

After wards we stopped to take these pictures.. This picture represents 4 Generations..
Generation 1. Nanny
Generation 2. Mama J and her sister
Generation 3. Me and the Twin
Generation 4. Lala, Sugar Mama, Nugget and M & M... there is a lot of history here..


And here is Mama J with all 3 of us children, and our children :)


It was a lot of fun to spend time with my nanny and get to just relax.

This morning I woke up at 9:00.. seriously 9:00, I forgot to take that picture..
But I woke up to breakfast made for me.. the hubs said I was the only one to get hash browns b/c the rest of them were burnt :)


My first present: From my Girls.. to you it looks like a regular ol' tree, but it's not.. it's a cherry blossom tree. Sugar Mama worked all week and saved up the money for her and the Nugget to buy me my very own... this is my favorite kind of tree and she knew I really wanted one. I cannot wait to see it blossom :)


My Second Present: My Very First Coach Bag :) The hubs let me pick out a purse and wallet, and because they were having such a great sale, I picked up some Coach coasters... what a silly purchase, but they are so awesome, and I technically got them for free, I think I'll keep them ;)


The hubs has been so amazing today... breakfast, he's done the dishes and laundry, vacuuming. In all it's been the best day of me being a completely lazy beast, and quite frankly, I have loved every minute of it.

Today I am Thankful for:

Mother's: What a special type of person it takes to be a mother. You meet this small person who consumes your life, and you find you'll sacrifice anything for him/her. I am so thankful for the mother's in my life, especially Mama J who is the best mother a person could ask for, ever. And for those who struggle with becoming a mother.. the twin struggled with that same issue for a long time, and then God granted her M & M.. there are so many ways to become a mother, and should that be your hearts true desire he will grant it.

Love to you all!

Friday, May 7, 2010

"The Best Day Ever"

Mama J bought the Nugget a one-year membership to the zoo for her birthday.. today we decided to surprise the girls with a quick trip :)

First of all-Word of advice: call and check ahead if there are field trips going on.. today they were and it was incredibly crowded.

Our first animal was a Prairie Dog.. Sugar Mama thought this was a cute animal, and thought it was funny that it wore a leash :)


Our next stop was the elephant show.. they are enormous, and that is made clear when you are a few feet away. Our elephant, Kelly, weighed 7,300 lbs, and was 27. Sugar Mama pointed out that she was awfully wrinkly.. even though she is the same age as her mama :)

Here is how we measure up to an elephant.. the Nugget was so scared of this skeleton replica I could hardly get her to stand next to it :)


The Zoo has a petting zoo.. it's really goats, sheep, and pigs.. Our girls found this to be a wonderful part of the trip :) I'm pretty sure all of the goats were preggo.. if not then they eat way too much :)



After the visit with the Kangaroos we were off to the playground.. which was over capacity due to the field trips.. again Call Ahead!! The Girls took a rest on their way..


The Tamarans at the zoo (there are 3 of them) included a baby.. this is mama nursing.. Sugar Mama found the tail sticking out very funny :)
While this was happening there was a woman behind me who marveled at the simplicity of it all and said to her children "Isn't it wonderful how God set it up to give this mother exactly what she needed to care for her baby?"... It was a two-fold situation.. the first: I felt the same way.. it's amazing how God thought of everything. second: how strong of this woman.. I was inspired by a woman who I did not know to continue to talk open with my children about God, no matter the place or situation.


When Mama is done, Daddy comes around and picks up the baby and takes care of him for the rest of the time.. Isn't that wonderful ;) Here is daddy and baby hanging out...


We took a picnic lunch which is highly recommended..


Desert: Cotton Candy.. such a zoo food :)


The hubs even got in on the action ;)

While we sat to eat out lunch Sugar Mama exclaimed "Mama this was the best day ever"...

Today, That's What I am Thankful for..

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We Are Officially in the Plural...

My Nugget is officially two years old... I looked at the clock at the time she was born and tried very hard to remember two years ago and how exhausted I was after her incredibly traumatic birth (that is not an exaggeration-they literally turned her 180 degrees in the womb) and subsequently thought about the week she spent in the NICU and how sad I was to leave her, but looking at her now you would never know those things :)

Nugget girl-you:

Wear: A size 4 diaper, 3T shirts (heehee) and 2T shorts and pants

You love: To read, eat, watch iCarly (parent of the year award is won by this alone :), bubbles, your sister, Dooley, all grandparents, M & M (you ask me every day to see a picture of her), Justin Beiber songs, hitting (ugh), baths, coloring-even on things that should not be colored on, dancing, Elmo, and to do any thing you can alone.

You do not like: being left anywhere (i.e. church school, kids room at the gym, etc), being told what to do, going to the potty, taking a nap (although you love it after you've taken it :), anyone who aggravates you :)

We celebrated by having your family over for cupcakes.. I made you an Elmo cake because there was no theme and you love him so much :)


You even blew out your own candle :)


You ate the icing off of three cupcakes :)


Sister bought you this, for your birthday, your first dress up outfit and shoes, which you love!!


Here you are reading the Elmo book the Aunt Twin gave you :)


Today I am Thankful for:

2 years ago you stepped into my life and it has not been the same since. They say that you forget the pain as soon as you see the face of your precious baby.. I'm not sure that is entirely true, but I remember your birth vividly and I am so thankful God gave you just to me :)

All of the family that surrounds you, letting you know how incredibly loved you are.. you are very lucky to have so many wonderful people in your life :)

Today is the anniversary of the day Mama J and her husband were married... She is always so great about the close proximity of the days and I am so thankful for her selflessness :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They Are Merely Words...

...until they are put together..

I
You
Together
Love

Entire songs are written about love, for one another, beauty that surrounds us, but before they were penned on paper they were single words bound by no existence. However, in the right context you can literally be transformed into any moment...

They
Not
Forgive
Cross
Do
Do any of these have a significant meaning to you? What about when they are placed as..
"As he hung on the cross he said Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do... This explains the most significant concept in the bible.. forgiveness.. to forgive those who have forsaken you, beaten you, humiliated you, betrayed you.. forgive them, for they do not truly know what they do.
I imagine we've all found ourselves in this place. Innocence replaced by cynicism, Freedom replaced by burden, Beauty replaced by Baggage, and to look at in the face of that seclusion and forgive.. they are not just words. They were before Jesus spoke them, but once he uttered them, they had life... one that has lived over 2,000 years. A life that writes books, songs, opens relationships, and built a foundation for a world to know that something much bigger than ourselves lives out there.

I ask for forgiveness... for my imperfections, burdens, sins, disobedience, for I do not know what I do.

How about another context..

What's your address.. right now you are reciting it in your mind.. but those are just words too.. numbers proceeded by words of magnolia, smith, names of neighborhoods, or fancy words for buildings.. but when coupled with a lifetime.. they have meaning.

Miranda Lambert has a song titled "The House That Built Me"

Have you ever longed to go back to the house that built you.. look at the walls, floors, stair railing, kitchen and just simply remember that life? My nanny lived at an address that I cannot remember.. but I could take you there.. even in my mind. I could tell you that it always made me laugh that she collected cows, that the 2nd bedroom of the 3 in her house was where she let me watch the Simpsons when Mama J didn't think it was a good idea. That in the 3rd bedroom of her 3 she kept her sewing machine, and 2 cabbage patch dolls for 2 cousins I have never met. And that in the bed of the master bedroom is where she said her final goodbyes to this world.

I haven't been to that house in 8 years.. the last being the time we cleaned out her belongings.. I long very much to simply go into that house and remember... She will not be there.. her scent has faded, her belongings packed in boxes and distributed among children and grandchildren, but I long only for a memory.. something in that house to trigger my mind to remember her face, her laugh, the countless times I spent there and simply forgot to remember...things I cannot call upon at will, but must seek out, because to much time has passed.

There, I spoke merely words, but I lived love.. There I spoke merely words, but I left a little part of my soul.. for at the end of the day.. they are only words, the life part is up to us.. we must give life to the words that are merely words..

Today I am Thankful for:

A very strong emotion behind this post.. in fact as I was typing the tears threatened to flow.. I cannot explain it, but I am thankful he has given me this moment to simply remember...