Monday, February 28, 2011

Procrastinating Reality

For the past two months, I have been procrastinating reality.

My blog has become such a huge part of my life. It is where I go to record the day-to-day happenings in our family. It’s where I go to record life.

For the past two months, I have avoided writing and recording about my grandmother’s passing. Deep down inside, I thought, if I don’t record it, if I don’t put down in words what happened, maybe just maybe, it wouldn’t be true.

Last week, I traveled home to Tennessee. Sunday afternoon, Uncle Melvin and Papa came over for dinner. Mimi wasn’t with them. I was hit with reality.

There is now a new normal when I go to Nashville. A little blue Buick will no longer pull up to visit with the excuse “I was just in the neighborhood.” My babies will no longer be rocked to sleep with the gentle humming of “Jesus is Lord.” I will no longer be able to catch up with the going ons of Nashville with my Mimi.

The reality is Mimi's not here. She is in a better place. A place full of happiness and no more tears. Even so, it is hard for those left behind. Mom has had to learn a new daily ritual that doesn’t involve checking in with her Mom at 9:00 every morning. Papa has to go on with out his loving spouse of 60+ years. Uncle Melvin jokingly said he’s now in charge of the laundry. We all have to adjust to life with out the gentle, caring Spirit of my Mimi.

I have spent some time over the past two days recording the events of last December here on my blog. I wrote not for anyone else but for me. I want to remember the special times I was able to share with Mimi at the end and the loving memories that I will carry with me.

It is nothing more than my ramblings as I came face to face with the reality that Mimi was gone and I was sad. Nothing more than realizing the impact she had on my life and the knowledge that her love lives on in all those left behind.

I have laughed, cried and remembered.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dueling Cousins

On the count of three:



"I've been shot!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

12 month stats

We went to the doctor today for Philip's 12 month appointment. It went really well - I love our doctor! He didn't get his shots since he is not healed 100% from his ear infection. He's still our big boy...or as Jackson and I call him - "Big Baby!"

Height: 31 inches (83%)
Weight: 24 lbs 2 oz (68%)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


We had been planning a trip to Nashville for weeks. Philip had his 12 month photo session with Tucker Photography and I decided to take a few pictures of Jackson & Philip as well. Wesley needed a little time to get things done around the house so we decided to make a long weekend out of the trip and be gone for 5 days.

The trip started off fabulous when we received word that Baby Benjamin was coming! Though we were all concerned since he was 5 weeks early, I was so glad to be around when he was born. He was sent to the NICU and since I had been struggling with a cold, I ended up not getting to see him :(

Even so, the boys and I enjoyed time with Mimi and PopPop, Emmie and Ryan, and Joshua, Caleb and Rebekah!

We were also able to celebrate with the Nashville family Philip’s birthday.

Here are some pictures from the fun:

Here's one of the pictures we got of the boys at Tucker.

My mom has made each of the grandchildren a stuffed bear. Philip got his this year! He LOVED it!

It was fun to watch it register on Jackson's face that Philip's new bear matched his "Patches"! He ran upstairs to get his bear so "Dottie" and "Patches" could play together.

Sweet Brothers!

Jackson loved riding around the house on the 4 wheeler!

And when the 4 wheelers were occupied, he had no problem jumping on Rebekeh's scooter...real men ride PINK!

Blowing bubbles with Uncle Ry-Ry!


Jackson - safety first! He didn't take his helmet off all day (that's my boy!)

Philip and PopPop

Philip opening a present from Emily and Ryan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philip's Panel Photos

For Philip's "Formal" panel, we decided to use Tucker Photography. They did a beautiful job, and we were so pleased. Here's a small sample of Jason Tucker's work.

4 months

8 months

12 months

Tucker Photography
300 Donelson Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 874-0460

Friday, February 18, 2011

Early Arrival

As we were packing up to head to Nashville Friday, I received a call from Susan. Her water broke!! She was only 35 weeks but Benjamin was ready to come out. We got the call about half way to Nashville, that though he was looking good, he needed to head to the NICU for some TLC. His little lungs just weren't ready for the outside world.

Since I was battling a cold, I stayed away from the hospital Friday night. Saturday, I went and visited Susan who looked great. We thought we should wait one more day before I ventured up the NICU with my cough. Sadly, we learned that you have to be "Cold-Free" for 2 weeks before you can visit with the preemies.

I was only able to enjoy the beauty of my new nephew from pictures! The first pictures I saw had him attached to the oxygen and such. This picture is one Susan posted on Facebook - it was my first glimpse of his perfect face and dark hair! I think he looks like his Aunt Emmie.

We are hoping that he will get to come home Monday or Tuesday. He is eating good and breathing great but isn't 100% adapted to life outside Mommy.

We love you, Benjamin, and can't wait to see you soon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Beef-N-Cheddar Valentine's

It was probably our second Christmas together, the Christmas of 2000, when we had one of my favorite dates. It was Friday night, and we were doing a little holiday shopping. We decided to grab a bite to eat.

We weren’t heavy spenders but usually when we went out, it was to a sit-down restaurant (Chili’s, Green Hills Grille, Ruby Tuesdays, etc). Nothing fancy, but not low-key casual.

That night, we decided to go to Burger King. I vividly remember expressing how happy I was that we were sitting down to dinner at a fast food place. It seemed very “family” of us.

Fast-forward 10 years to Valentine’s Day 2011.

This year we didn’t do romantic. We spent our night in Buford watching a child of a friend of ours. He and Jackson played together nicely but there was a constant background noise of Philip screaming (turns out he had an ear infection). Anyways, the kids and crying “ruined the mood.” Wesley and I didn’t even eat as we corralled the kids at McDonald’s for dinner.

Once we left Buford, got the kids in bed, and looked at the clock, it was 8:30. We were tired, hungry, and had a house to pick up for a showing the next day.

Anyways, we talked and decided that I would grab Arby’s for us. It sounded good and I had coupons.

As I ordered and pulled away with the food, I laughed that after 12 years together, Wesley and I had resorted to fast food for Valentine’s Day.

It was then that I was taken back to that Christmas Dinner Date. I was right , spending Friday night at Burger King – or Valentine’s Day with take-out Arby’s – is a symbol of family.

It is proof of where we are in life and it is a reminder that one day, when we are sitting down for a nice romantic dinner without the kids, we are going to miss this!

Happy Valentine’s, Wesley. To a husband, father and friend who makes Valentine’s Day at Arby’s worth it! Thank you for the family we have and the memories we have made with all the small, special things in life!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Weeks back, I decided that for Valentine’s Day, I would get pictures taken of the boys and me to give to Wesley. I had a coupon for Sears Photo and thought it would be a fun outing.

My appointment was set for the Friday of the Atlanta snowstorm. Wesley ended up driving us down to the mall, but thankfully, didn’t ask what we were doing on our little outing.

I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to attempt pictures with two stir-crazy children who hadn’t been out of the house in days, but I did!

Bless the photographer’s heart – she had a challenge and I don’t think she was really up for it.

We did manage to get two great pictures:

The others weren’t so hot. The funniest one was the last one. Here’s how this went down:

Me: Okay, that’s it. These boys have no more in them. We are done.

Photographer: I still have to get a few more poses. We are required to get “x” amount.

Me: Don’t worry. I won’t tell. We are done.

Photographer: No, it is in the system. They will go back and count. I have to shoot my minimum poses.

Me: Seriously? Good luck with this…

Here’s what she got:

It's a whole new world

It's a whole new world when you are facing forward! Philip graduated into a big boy car seat today and loved it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Philip goes to school!

I was so excited to learn there was an opening for Philip to start preschool. We had signed him up for the Fall, but I am so happy we got him in now, too.

Philip is a very social, happy child, and I think he will enjoy being in a new environment one day a week.

The hardest part is getting used to the idea that I am not taking him. Since he goes on the day I work, Wesley takes both boys and picks them up. Thankfully, Wesley called with updates after he dropped Philip off the first day and sent me these pictures:

Heading out to Philip's first day of school

I love the looks on their faces in this picture!

The day I signed Philip up, I was able to see his new classroom. I then picked up Jackson in his classroom and decided to show him Philip's room as well. I am so glad I did because on Day One, Wesley had no idea where Philip was to go. Jackson jumped right in and showed him the way!

Wesley said Jackson was so excited to show Philip the ropes of Preschool.
Jackson showing Philip how to use the toys.

Our big boy at school!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm back with the HAM!

At the beginning of the year, I received an e-mail from my former boss at Heavenly Ham asking if I had any desire to come back to work. Her e-mail could not have come at a better time! Wesley and I had just been discussing my need for something outside of the house.

Robin and I talked, and it was worked out that I would come into the office for one day a week.

Whoo Hoo!!

Wesley agreed to be on Jackson and Philip duty the day I work. The first day, Wesley had Philip all day and Jackson was in school. Then, we found out there was an opening at the preschool for Philip’s age so Week 2, Philip went to school.

It has been three weeks so far, and it is going great. I am really enjoying getting dressed up and heading to the office. It has been nice to be challenged in a different work enviornemnt.

Wesley says he is really enjoying the day with the boys. He is able to get work done in the morning, play in the afternoon, and then, he is in charge of dinner.

What a nice treat to come home and not have to think about dinner!

Oh…and the small paycheck every two weeks has been a nice help too :-) I am bringing home the bacon!