Tuesday, June 30, 2009

7 years ago -- June 2002

I can't let June pass on without acknowledging something amazing that happened to me in this month, 7 years ago. (Wow...did I really just say SEVEN YEARS?!) Growing up, for reasons that are not even important anymore, I did not know my father. I knew who he was, I knew where he lived, I knew about my three sisters, I knew where my older sister worked, and I even called his house a few times (though I could never figure out what to say, so I would hang up!). Well, one happening lead to another, and I ended up meeting my two younger sisters. Kayla was 11 and Allie was 9 at the time. I was 17. Not long after that, I met my father. About two days after that, we got together with my oldest sister at a local restaurant. The funny thing about this part is, I knew who Elizabeth was. I knew where she worked during high school (at Wal-Mart), and I would always go in there and check out at her. We had the exact same glasses, exact same style and color, and one time I said, "Hey, look! Our glasses are exactly the same!" but what I really wanted to do was tell her who I was. She knew about me, but I was worried. We would have conversations and giggle with each other for the two minutes it took me to check out at her register.

When I met my family, I was 17, getting ready to graduate high school. Elizabeth was 21, had been married to Kyle for 2 years, and their little girl, Raven, was just 3 months old. Kayla was 11 and Allie was 9. Now here we are...I'm 24, have been married to Michael for almost 4 years now, and we have an almost-two-year-old little girl, Sara Faith. Elizabeth and Kyle have been married for almost 9 years. My smart, fun-loving, quiet niece Raven is 7 and there has been a beautiful, headstrong, ball of fire addition since then -- William is 5 now. Kayla is 18, has graduated high school, moved off to Mississippi and will be starting college in the fall. She is aspiring to be a Pediatric Oncologist. She has grown into a beautiful young Southern woman, with intelligence that takes my breath at times. She is likely the most responsible of us girls, and has her head on straight as an arrow. Allie is 16, going into her Sophomore year of high school. She is smart as well, with a particular insight to things that makes me proud. She is a star softball player, and the Varsity team is lucky to have her. She also is proud of her Southern roots, and for that I am thankful. My Daddy continues to be the strong beam of support that we always look to when life gets tough. He is Papaw to his three beautiful grandchildren, and likes to say that before it's all over with, he will have the best football team out there. I'm okay with that....so long as they bleed Crimson! We have been through a lot of heartache, but the smiles, laughter, and fun have far outweighed the bad times, and they are forever imprinted in my memory.

I love ya'll!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm still alive!

We have just been SO busy lately! I'm still here, though. Sara Faith is running around, taking life by its horns, and she keeps me busy! Last weekend we spent in Ocean Springs, Mississippi with my dad, his sister and brother-in-law, my two younger sisters, and my oldest sisters family. We had a big Father's Day dinner. We each wrote a letter to our daddy's and put them in a scrapbook so that they could always remember. Each one of us girls cried at some point during our letters, and I do believe that is the only time I have ever seen my dad tear up. It was pretty special. Then Sara & I came home Sunday and spent a good afternoon with Michael. This past week I have just been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and preparing for us to spend a month in Tallassee when Michael goes to California in July. I have been brainstorming and have came up with 3,283 new ways to decorate my house, so all of July I will be hitting up antique stores, yard sales, and my beloved TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls for unique goodies. I will be making a week-long trip to Ocean Springs to see my older sister and her family, and I can not WAIT to drag her to all those beautiful little shops in downtown Ocean Springs! I will also be visiting my cousins in Wiggins, so I'll have to talk April into tagging along with me to some there, as well.

Honestly, ya'll, you probably won't see much of me until the 6th of July. Michael is on vacation next week, and we will just be enjoying time as a family before he heads out next weekend. Did I really just say next weekend? I think I might need a box of tissues. BUT! So goes the life of a military wife, and I don't regret it one bit! This life has afforded us a lot of pleasures we otherwise would never have been able to experience. Plus, seeing him in his uniform each day ain't too shabby, either!

Ya'll take care now!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

At 5 am this morning...

...I woke up to the most beautiful site. Sara Faith had scooted up next to her daddy and was snuggling so close she was nearly on top of him. She was so close she had her head on top of his head. And they were both lying there, snoring away in a deep sleep. If it hadn't been still dark outside, I probably would have gotten up and gotten my camera. But, it was 5 am and I rolled over to catch another hour of precious sleep.  She is currently lying next to our beloved pup on the doggie bed, with her legs propped up on the wall, in her white and red summer nightgown with strawberries printed on it, playing my red DS and giggling when she makes it jump. Ahhh. Bliss. I love my life!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scared myself silly!

Around 2:00 PM today, my mother-in-law called to say they were 3 hours from Montgomery, and did we want to meet them for supper? I was very confused at first, but we shortly figured out Michael had confused the dates they were coming through our part of the country. He thought they were coming through on July 7, not June 7. Silly boy! Well, we were headed down this way to spend the weekend with my mama, so we just threw ourselves together and came on down. We haven't seen them since February, so it was nice to be able to spend a few moments with them. I know Michael really, really, enjoyed it. And hopefully they have a wonderful cruise to Cozumel!

We stopped by my cousins this evening on the way back to my mama's. My husband, Michael*cough*TimTheToolManTaylor*cough* wanted to help my cousins build a front porch. Well, 6 hours later, the house had a front porch (by the way -- Steve, David, and Michael -- you guys did a beautiful job!) and us girls had scared ourselves silly by watching Ghost Adventures and pulling up scary YouTube videos. BTW...if you haven't already watched Ghost Hitchiker in Portugal, you must go YouTube it now. NOW. Are you at your computer yet?!

It's almost 3 AM my time, yet here I sit. In 6 hours, I have to be at my dad's house for a full day of cleaning/ripping out/remodeling. I have a feeling I will be dragging...

On a happier (less tired) note, I need help! I need any advice or tips that you might have on dying my hair. I have naturally dirty blonde hair, but I like it to be a lighter blonde. I'm sick of paying $100+ at the salon (do you KNOW all the purses and clothes I could buy at TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls for $100?!) and I am going to bite the bullet and do it myself. Just in time for our vacation to Destin. Am I crazy or what?!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I discovered a new blog a few weeks ago, over at Her Southern Charm. Every Thursday, she posts a "Smallest Blessings Thursday" entry. This week, she has challenged her readers to do the same. So, for the very first time, here is my Smallest Blessings Thursday. I encourage you to think of one as well!

I have thought for about a week now about small blessings. I have been trying to have a more positive outlook on my life, and so each time I become frustrated with something, I challenge myself to turn it around into a blessing. Today, my smallest blessing is my grandma's kitchen. Growing up, we lived with my grandparents, and my grandmother always had a pot of coffee on, sweet tea in the fridge and her biscuit bowl out. My grandma made biscuits for each meal of the day (and at Grandma and Grandaddy's, there were three meals EVERY day!) and so her biscuit bowl was always out and ready for use. I vaguely remember her sitting me on the table or counter, next to where she was preparing the biscuit dough, and letting me help her with my own portion. Every so often another child would run through the house, giggling, laughing, and running on to their next adventure, and they would sneak by Grandma's bowl to get a piece of the raw biscuit dough. Yuck? Probably. But that was "our" thing with Grandma. My grandfather passed away a week after I turned 5, and after he went on to be with Jesus, I don't remember Grandma making biscuits anymore. My mama took her place in the kitchen, keeping coffee in case my aunts came in for a quick chat. I eventually grew up and moved out of my mama's house, and there was a while when I hardly ever saw my mama. You know teenagers -- they're too busy doing their own thing to be settled down! Time took us apart and I moved to England, where I met and married my husband. I got pregnant and when I was 31 weeks pregnant the military moved us back to the South, an hour away from where I grew up. I distinctly remember stepping foot in my mama's kitchen after 19 months of being away, and I felt such a peace come over me. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to chat with my mama and my aunts. I remember feeling so GROWN-UP....like, was I really supposed to be there? Even at 22, it felt so strange to me! 

Just the other day, Sara and I went to mama's for a visit. I had been outside, and walked in the front door without my mama and Sara noticing. I caught them in the kitchen. Sara was sitting on the counter next to my mama while she mixed up muffins for breakfast. My mama snuck Sara a bite of the muffin batter and let her have a sip of her coffee (before I get flagged: no, I do not like this in the least -- but my mama only gets to be a grandmother once and I'd rather choose my battles!). It seems history has a way of repeating itself with time...

Anyway, that's my smallest blessing. That is one of the best memories I have of my childhood. The original house has since burned down, but there's another one in its place and I have no doubt that it will be to Sara what my grandma's biscuit bowl and kitchen was to me: a place of warm, cozy refuge where you feel endless, unconditional love.