Monday, December 31, 2012

happy new year!

Happy New Year!
I hope ya'll had a great Christmas and I hope you have an even better new year.
I'm so thankful for what I have been able to overcome this year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seven years

Today Michael & I are celebrating our SEVENTH anniversary!
Seriously....where has the time gone?
We've been through good times and bad times,
 knock-you-down-times and so-high-you're-floating-in-the-air times.
We've been through a lot, needless to say.
Married on December 23, 2005.
Lived in England until August 2007 (aaaaaamazing!)
Bought our first home September 6, 2007.
First child born September 29, 2007.
Second pregnancy lost February 2009.
Third pregnancy lost August 27, 2009.
Second child born at 27 weeks on April 21, 2010.
I was diagnosed with Leukemia (APL) on November 21, 2011.
Lots of squibbles, fusses, happy times, memories and time apart in between.
But I wouldn't trade this man for anything!
Because who else am I going to pose in cheesy wooden signs with?
We've been through for each other through everything since day 1
 and I can't think of anyone else to spend my life with.
We're lifers.
Nobody else could put up with him
and I know there sure isn't anyone else who could put up with me!
Happy Anniversary, Michael! I love you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

oh frozen goodness!

My mom picked these up to try & since we're at her house, I fixed them for lunch today.
Yes, they're from a bag.
Yes, they're frozen.
But oh my -- they are SOOOOO good!
I'm pretty sure she got them at Publix & they will be a staple at our house from now on.
They're meatless, but you can't tell. I don't think they're gluten-free (it says they contain wheat-gluten) -- but I don't tink they'reTHAT ba. Much better than the alternative, for sure.
I just wanted to share before I forgot to -- because they are really yummy and EVERYBODY loved them. Even the hubs, who can be hard to please with this kind of thing!
By the way -- if you have any good gluten-free recipes or recomendations, will you please e-mail them to me at, or leave them in a comment?
We're on the gluten-free path nd I need inspiration!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

sneak peak of our new master!

Last summer, we painted our master bedroom.
When we bought it, the builders had used a color called "Avocado" by Sherwin Williams.
I really liked that green color, but after over 4 years, it was old.
I had in mind a certain bedding set that I had spotted at Marshalls
and somehow managed to convince Michael that we could pull it off.
It was a damask (I think?) print, in a smoky gray-blue color.
Totally girly and TOTALLY nothing
he would have ever agreed to before.
Anyway, I had these frames all pickd out and spray painted and lined out
to make a gallery wall, Young House Love style.
Then I got sick, everyhing happened & anyway, long story short --
we just got back into our house
& while the girls went to spend a few nights with te grandparents...
we hung them.
Or...Michael hung them.
I just used frames from various places (usually Goodwill, a yard sale, Ross & Marshalls on clearance)
spray painted them in an antique white color (I think that was the actual name) and bam. Done.
We didn't have a hammer, but made do with using the tape measurer.
Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!

This is how it turned out:


We made it this way so we could easily add on to.
But I wasn't waiting any longer to get it up, because I probably would have never done it.
I have one more set of pictures to hang & then I will debut our new master...
over a year after we started. Better late than never, right?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

shopping, parties, & Christmas -- OH MY!

We started off on Wednesday when my sweet cousin came the hour & a half to our house to go shopping with me for Christmas. I can drive for the most part but being in the city makes me nervous still. This was what her backseat looked like on Thursday morning:

They were crammed in the back of her Explorer but they were SO happy to be close together!
This is proof that you don't HAVE to have a 3rd row seat when you have 3 little ones.
They are really nice, but not a necessity.
Will that stop me from wanting a Tahoe or Expedition?
Probably not. :)
Saturday we ad a SUPER busy day.
We started the day by going to my mom's  Christmas party that her work through.
It was downtown and just beautiful. They had the most amazing food (macaroni & cheese bar, mashed potato bar, cheese bar, & lots of other goodies!), a DJ playing Christmas music for the kids, a Santa to visit, free Christmas pictures by a professional photographer, and lots of games. My girls had a blast! We went with their little cousins & we were so busy & had such a good time that I barely got any pictures. Here are the two good ones I snagged:
Big sister Aubrey & little sister Kathryn -- she knew that beard was fake!

My mama and her sweet friend who prayed so hard for me!
My mama has been with this company for 26 years.
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of people who ran to me,
 hugging me and telling me how hard they prayed for me.
Some didn't believe it was me -- they thought for sure I would still be showing signs of "being sick." So many. It really touched my heart.
There ARE still good people in the world.
If you don't believe it, come to Montgomery, Alabama. I'll show you personally.
Then we had a birthday party for sweet Owen, (pictured above) who turned ONE yesterday!
Then with my dad's side of the family.
My four sisters, my brother-in-law, niece & nephew, and my sisters boyfriend, plus my dad & us.
Twelve people up in that house makes for some fun times!
 My mind wandered for a minute and I thought about what it was going to be like when we're all married with children.
Personally, I want 6 or 7 and so does my youngest sister.
 Pretty sure my daddy might want to think about building a bigger house sometime in the near future!
Just kidding, daddy. We will happily make you feel like a stuffed sardine in the old homeplace!
I didn't get any pictures from them that are worth sharing, but I will take better pictures at home & try to sure them with you. My oldest sister Elizabeth made the girls  a beautiful hair bow holder -- think re-purposed old white frame that she painted, super cute owl fabric, chicken wire, and some ribbon she snagged from my house that I had gotten to use in their room. I'll have to share!
I hope ya'll had a good weekend. We spent the first part of the week in Atlanta (more on that later) & now Christmas is sneaking up on us! I'm so excited!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

He put a little sunshine in

Today at church we had the pleasure of a visiting preacher.
I've known their family forever. I literally do not remember a time when I didn't know them.
He started off the sermon today with a poignant statement.
"Before a car stops running, it starts missing."
This struck me slap in the face. I'd never heard it put like tat before.
I grabbed my planner and started noting as he spoke.
These are just my thoughts -- I hope you, the general public, respect them --
even if you don't agree.
A long time ago, I went to church faithfully. Looking forward to each service, whether it was at my own church, or a fellowship meeting, Saturday night service somewhere else, revival, youth camp or was so exciting to think about going. As a child it was more about playing with my friends that I didn't get to see often. As I grew into a young teenager, it became a balance of being excited to show off the perfect outfit or the perfect hair and anxiously wondering what the Lord was going to do for someone in that service.
Sometime around the time I graduated high school, my "car" started skipping.
You know, a person doesn't just stop going to church on a dime, just like a person doesn't commit a murder at the drop of a hat. The downfall happens starts with something minor and then eventually snowballs into the inevitable. In the past few weeks, I had began to allow myself and my girls to do things that weren't necessarily sinful, but was more along the lines of putting ourselves in situations that could eventually place me on the road to a life that I did not want anymore.
I didn't go through what I went through to turn back now.
Several months ago, we were in campmeeting, and this same preacher told of a story.
His oldest son was just a child, and on a particularly rainy day he came out of the church basement and told his parents that "Jesus took my heart all to pieces, but now He put some sunshine in!"
At that precious, young age, even he realized that there was a greater Power that we could have in or hearts to comfort us and guide us.
Fast forward ten years later. We all know what happened in 2011 --
and if you don't, the short of it is that I was diagnosed with Leukemia and was on my literal deathbed.
When I woke from my coma, I immediately prayed, laying in an ICU bed alone, for Jesus to save my life. There is an old hymn that we sing that says -- Jesus took my heart all to pieces and He let a little sunshine in. Well, Jesus literally took my body, mind, and health all to pieces, and tore my life into shreds.  But it was ALL worth it, because he let a LOT of sunshine into my heart and into my extended family. It's no secret I'm okay with what I went through and even though it sounds crazy, I'd do it all over again. I really, honestly, would. I'm not saying I'd look forward to it, but I would do it.
And mark my words, if some people in my family don't wake up soon -- I'm worried about what will happen next. God's obviously been trying to get someones attention lately. My cousins baby passed away in 2010, three days after our sweet June Claire made it home from her 3 month stay in the hospital. I fought what I had to fought.
What's next? What will it take?
I have often had people comment to me, "I don't understand why ya'll go to church so much. If you do it right, you only have to go once a week."
I heard the perfect response today.
If you're living right, then it's not a burden and you will enjoy it.
I know this is different material for me to write about, but sometimes I have to just get it out.
It's all jumbled because I just wrote from the heart and didn't outline anything -- but I hope it helps or touches someone, somewhere.
I want to leave this with you --
Before you get the victory, you have to go through the battle.

Friday, December 14, 2012

a whole lot of randoms!

-- So I've been gone a long time. 3 weeks I think? It's because we moved back home!
We don't have internet access yet, but it's coming soon. :)
-- A couple days ago, my phone starting spazzing out and completely shutting down.
Why? Because I had 778 pictures/videos on it. Whoops!
(By the way, I have the Samsung Galaxy S3 and it is amazing.)
-- While uploading said pictures & videos to my mom's computer,
(because we have not joined the 21st century yet & isn't unpacked)
I found this gem:
It's June and Charlie crashed in front of the front door.
So sweet!
-- June and Sara had appointments with their pediatrician last week.
June will probably be getting glasses and will definitely be going to speech therapy.
Sara is actually now on the growth curve!
She's 40 inches and 32 pounds, and June is 28 pounds and 36 inches.

My sweet cousin Bo is in basic training in SATX.
We've been writing lots of letters to him and we finally got one in the mail this week!
It's on our fridge and it's like it's pure gold or something!
-- I ha sort of a bad appointment with my eye doctor last week.
I'm going to Atlanta on Tuesday to see a Neuro-Opthamologist, I'll know more then.
I'll be back for good before too long! Hope ya'll are doing well and enjoying the Christmas season!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving time!

Happy Friday to ya'll!
I hope everyone had a great THanksgiving.
We, in general, have so much to be thankful for.
I was especially thankful this year to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving at home
instead of in a hospital.
I'm even more thankful tobe alive, to be cancer-free and to be part of such a great family!
Yesterday we had Thanksgiving festivities all day long.
I didn't catch many pictures but I did manage to snap two before all the chaos began.
 My precious Sara Faith & June Claire
June Claire, Sara, Cade & Tiffany
We ended the night with shopping from around 9 until 4:30 this morning.
I have a love-hate relationship with Black Friday...mostly love.
But I can't stand the lines!
Now that Thanksgiving is offically over....
bring on Christmas!
It's my FAVORITE time of year and I can't wait to bring out the decorations.
I have a lot of recipes I want to try & we have something special planned
every weekend between now & December 25.
What's your favorite time of the year?
I'm not going to be here as much because my hard drive crashed on my laptop
and I only use the computer when we are at my mothers.
I tried to blog from my phone, but apparently I'm not quite that advanced yet. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

one year.

November 21, 2011.
One year.
Praise the Lord.

It started with a trip to the local clinic because I thought I had an earache.
Two hospitals later, a doctor walked into my room.
Stood at the end of my bed, looked me straight in the eye,
and something I never expected came out of his mouth.
"I believe you have Leukemia. This type is rare. It'll be hard, but you have a chance."
I didn't think my life was over.
I was NOT giving up.
I just asked, "What do I have to do to fight it?"
I took a shower that night. Washed my beautiful, dark, long hair that I was so proud of.
I got weak and had to sit on the bed to blowdry it.
I thought, "This is the last time I'll blowdry this head of hair."
That night, I was told I had bleeding behind my eyes --
that was why my eyesight was getting worse.
I laid in the bed with my husband and tried to memorize his face.
I wanted to remember his clear blue eyes.
His crooked smile, and the lines across his forehead when he wrinkled his brow.
That funny little crease on the side of his mouth.
My baby girls (then 4 and 1) could not come see me.
Devestated isn't even the word.
Two days later, the day before Thanksgiving, I was transferred to a much larger hospital.
I remember having a serious argument with the Oncologist who sent me because I just wanted to go home for that one day. I couldn't understand what just one day would hurt.
I had no idea.
I vaguely remember getting to Atlanta. I don't remember checking into my room.
By the end of the week, the doctors had placed me into a medically induced coma.
My body needed all of its strength to fight. Hard.
Sometime between Sunday night & Monday morning, the doctors called the family in.
"Six hours," they said. "We've done all we can do."
Friends, THAT is when fervent prayers started reaching Heaven.
Things began to look up quickly.
After somewhere between two and three weeks, I woke up.
A joyful time that was quicly clouded when the realization came that I couldn't move
And I couldn't see anything but shadows.
But I didn't care.
Because I was alive.
I had to learn to move, walk, talk, see, etc. again.
But that was nothing.
I was alive.
After two long months, I was able to see my sweet girls.
I haven't taken a second for gratned since.
And you better not, either.
You never know when that moment may be your last.
In February, I was 88% cancer free.
In April, I was declared to be in remission.
I've finished two phases of chemo and am on my last.
Life is so good. But not just because I got myself back.
I learned a lot during my time in the hospital, and in the months that have followed.
I have learend to trust in trust doctors...
I have learned what love is...I'm trying to learn not to be selfish.
I am forgiven for my sins.
There is absolutely no way in this world that I could have come this far without Him.
Without the prayers of friends and family...and people I don't even know.
Thank you for the suppers cooked, the taking of the girls so I could rest,
the help cleaning house, driving me to run errands, driving me to doctors appointments
and last but certainly not least, taking me to chemo appointments.
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
It also takes that same village to help one overcome cancer.
My husband commented to me the other day that as the weather was getting cooler,
he was beginning to feel sad. I didn't understand. I asked him why.
Because the warm summer days were starting to have chilly mornings.
Darkness was coming sooner rather than later.
Then I understood.
I wonder if he'll always feel sad this time of year?
I wonder if I will always get nervous at doctors appointments?
There will always be doubts...
but there can also be peace.
I'm so thankful for that.

Monday, November 5, 2012

a new chapter

I have a "little' cousin, Bo -- me & Bo have always been kinda close.
They lived right behind us growing up & we played ogether a lot.
I'm several years a wee bit older than he is, so he was always like a little brother.
Bo graduated high school this past May (with honors -- soooo proud!)
and it was definitely a very emotional day for me.
I'm pretty sure I cried as much as his parents/grandparents.
Back at the beginning of the summer, before graduation,
he started talking to us about joining the Air Force.
(For those of you who don't know -- my husband is active duty AF)
Eventually he said he wanted to join.
Wanted to serve his country, waanted to have a stable job,
and wanted to make something of himself --
something that's hard to do in our tiny one-horse town.
Needless to say, I was all over it. I said it was the best thing he could ever do.
And in reality I know it is.
A couple of weekends ago, we went to his going away party.
AKA -- "Hair Shaving Ceremony"
We teased him endlessly because he had gorgeous dark hair
that he styled all Justin Bieber-ish and treated like his child!
The picture above is Mike (and June & Bo's dad!) taking his turn at shaving "the child."
I got some hilarious video footage.
I'm pretty sure he would kill me if I posted it.
He better be glad I couldn't get iti to upload!
After the shave!
Last night and today were definitely bittersweet in our family.
Bo left for basic training.
Even just typing that makes me tear up.
I think I'm so emotional party because I KNOW the pain of being apart from your family.
We have a super close family and it is hard to realize he's grown.
I know he'll never live here again and I may never, either...
and I know it's the best decision for him...
but I still miss him loads.
Bo, I am so PROUD of you!
I couldn't get it out last night without snot bubbling on your shoulder,
but I'm very proud of you.
You're going to excel in your career & you'll be an officer in no time flat.
I refuse to say "goodbye" because in the AIr Force we say "see you later!"
Now not only are you a cousin and friend...beloved to my girls...
but you are a brother-in-arms to my husband.
A wingman.
That's an honor far above anythign else.
Love you kid & can't wait to see you in January at graduation!

Of we go, into the wild blue yonder...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy birthday, mama!

My sassy mama celebrated her birthday today!
I won't tell her age because a true Southern lady never reveals that.
My mama raised me on her own & still managed to sit down at the table with me
every night & eat supper. She taught me the value of a dollar and the meaning of hard work.
And she taught me to love Jesus & to have a kind heart that's willing to help others.
She has sacrified a lot for me - in the past year especially -
and I'll always be so very grateful for that.
But she's more than "just" a mama.
She's a really fun Mawmaw to two beautiful little girls.
They worship the ground she walks on!
She's a good mama-in-law to my husband
and she's always been there for us.
Even when I came home one night & told her I'd turned my notice in at work -
and I was moving to England.
So, yeah, she didn't talk to me for a few days -
but eventually she gathered her wits and saw me off...
I would say gracefully, except it really wasn't. ;)
But a year & a half later she flew to the other side of the world
(or so it felt)
and ran down the terminal hall, pushing people out of her way, to grab me.
One of my best memories.
Hers was the first face I remember when I woke up from my coma.
She was singing "You Are My Sunshine"...
I don't ever want to forget how much I love her.

These are the only two pictures I can find on this computer, but they're great.
Her world revolves around these two & they know it. Haha!
Dear Mama,
Even though you are sassy and so down to earth and to the point
(which is the only thing we'veever argued about, lol)
you have taught me so much about life.
More than you'll ever know that you taught me.
Thank you for giving up everything and putting your own life on hold this past year
to help me and my little family recuperat, get back on our feet
& figure out how to adjust to our new life.
Thanks for letting us invade your home for the past 9 months!
But most of all, thank you from the very bottom of my heart
for being my mama. I wouldn't trade you for a million dollars. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

happy birthday, michael!

31 years ago today, my mother-in-law Kelly welcomed her  first & only into this world.
I wouldn't meet him until June 8, 2005, when he was 23.
We were married on December 23, 2005 (he was 24 & I was 20).
That seems like forever ago & it seems like we were only babies then!
Right after we were married -- around 2006 in Oxford, England
Summer 2008 -- Sara's first trip t the beach -- and our first trip as parents!
He's always been an amazing father,hands down. No doubt about it.
He loves his girls with all of his heart & no one can dispute that!
At the Ronald McDonald house in Orlando when June was in the NICU.
He loves to fish, and he's pretty good at it!
He proudly serves his country in the USAF and will be deploying early next year.
I don't know what the future holds for either one of us
ut Iknow that He holds our future in His hands...
His blessed hands.

Re-enlisting under the flag at Childrens
with our baby girl fighting in the hospital behind us.
Proud doesn't begin to describe.
 The morning after I delivered June Claire.

Today we were able to spend a little family time together apart from chemo,
and tonight I made chili and his favorite dessert for supper.
He LOVES dirt cake & although he says I get better at it every time,
I know I haven't quite mastered it yet.
One day I hope to make it like his Grandma makes it for him.

Dear Michael,
I am so thankful to have spent the past 7 years with you.
We've had our ups & downs,
fall-ins & fall-outs,
You've put your foot down & I've stomped mine a lot.
But you have always been my best friend
the one I could count on
the one I could run to
the one I could cry to
You have been there for me the last year in a way that I never imagined.
I'll never forget you walking into the hospital room
and showing me that you'd shaved your head because mine was starting to go bald.
No matter where this road takes us...
no matter wat rivers and borders separate us...
where you go, I will go
and where you plant, I will bloom.

Monday, October 29, 2012

easy days & good food....and a little diva

Hey ya'll!
I hope ya'll are having a great day!
I'm officially feeling much netter. I am sooo happy to be "back"...and so is my family!
We had a very lazy wekend. Saturday we just laid around & relaxed. Mike grilled steaks, cabbage, & potatoes - if you have never had griled cabbage you haaave to try it. Same with corn on the cob. I will never ever boil either one again. With cabbage, you pour olive oil over the top, season with salt &; pepper, and wrap aluminium foil over it. With corn, you can either spray with Pam or put a litle dab of butter, season with italian seasonings & wrap in aluminum foil. Super easy & packed with flavor.

Today was day 11 of my LAST 20 day cycle of chemo!
SO thankful. Ya'll have nooo idea. But it's scary at the same time.
Because, naturally, while one is on chemo, cancer stays away.
But what happens if it comes back when the chemo stops?
I'm trusting & believing & PRAYING with all of my might that I'll be declared

I snapped this picture before we ran out the door this morning.
It looks like Sara is squeezing the mess out of June but both girls were laughing hysterically.
It's so sweet to wake up to their sweetness every morning!
On Mondays we have dance -- Sara at 4 & June Claire at 5:45.
We raced home from chemo to throw them together & get them there in time.
I made lasagna for supper and I love quick and easy meals like that.
Little miss June is at the age where she is constantly testing us.
At the supper table her daddy reminded her to sit in her chair until she was "all done".
Apparently, she likes to march to the beat from her own drum because quick as lightening,
she waved her fork at him as a princess would a sceptor and said,
Which translates to "Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo!" in June-ese.
She was casting a magical,magical spell on her daddy before he could think twice!
She's also learned to pitch fits (as we say here in the South) & at least five times a day I hear
one foot stomping
two feet stomping
23ish pounds jumping up and down
"I 'ONT WANT" (I don't want to)
Aaah. You can often hear ME saying...
"If she'd have been the first, she'd have been the LAST!"


Saturday, October 27, 2012




This week has been rough.
Hands down one of the worst weeks I've had, health-wise, in a long time.
I got sick Sunday with an awful migraine, was sick on into the morning on Monday,
and my doctor was so concerned that he sent me for a CT scan to rule out another stroke.
That was scary.
But, the test results came out to say that it is "just" a cyst on my sinuses.
However, it feels like someone is beating my head against a cinder block!
Not until today have I had much relief.
I see an ENT on Wednesday & hopefully will have a clear idea of what to do then.
I owe my sisters a HUGE thank you for caring for me & the girls this week while
Mike was away & I was sick.
Sara went to stay with my oldest sister in Huntsville, and June & I stayed
with my two younger sisters here.
I don't know WHAT I would have done without them.
I have all these projects that I need to do, I don't have time to be sick!
But I have hope that tomorrow will be a little easier. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

my mawmaw

Lord knows I've tried to write this post more than a few times.
Forgive me if it's jumbled.
My last post was October 17
saying that my grandmother was in her last days.
I had no idea my phone would ring an hour later
with my oldest sister saying she was on her way to get me
and we were heading to the nursing home where my grandmother was.
About 10 minutes from our destination,
we got the call.
You know -- the one no one wants to get.
"Slow down," my daddy wanted us to know.
"She's no longer with us."
I NEVER thought those words would hit me as hard as they did.
I'm gonna be REAL here.
I didn't have the relationship with my grandmother that my other cousins did.
Ya'll may not know it, but I didn't meet her until I was 17 years old.
I'll never forget that day.
I arrived at her house, with all of my paternal family there (that I had never met)
and when I got out of the truck,
this tiny, 4'10, no-more-than-100-pounds-dripping-wet
woman rushed at me, grabbed me tight, with tears running down her face,
and said one of the most blessed things I've ever heard.
"You look just like a Maynard. You look just like your daddy! Oh, I am so happy to meet you!"
She, along with the rest of them, have never treated me any differently.
But because of that delayed meeting, and me getting married 3 years later & moving off,
I felt like I just wasn't as close to her as others were.
When I found out she was fading fast, I told my mom that I was okay and that
I really just wanted to be there for my sisters & daddy.
But that night, after I hung up the phone, I laid back in the seat and bawled my eyes out.
So many wasted years.
So many missed chances of memories.
For a long time, I didn't see my paternal family.
I was stupid, and young.
But yet they still treated me like I'd been there all along.
The family was given some time to stay with her before the funeral home took her body.
My aunts kissed her, we grieved, then my Aunt Pam tucked her in one last time.
The funeral was this past Saturday.
So hard.
There's just no words to explain that feeling.
We sat through the service,
some choking back tears, others breaking down in shattered pieces.
Rev. Jay Woodall put it simply:
Our hearts were busted slam open.
We crossed the road to the graveside, prayed one last time,
and us granddaughters laid our roses on her casket.
The sound of tears and heartache gave way to light chatter
as people gave their condolences.
"She's in a better place."
"she's with Pawpaw now."
"No more sufering."
"She has a new body."
"She's where we want to be."
But can I be selfish for a moment?

I want her back. I want her to teach me her favorite recipes.
I want her to share stories of her life as a new wife & mother to six.
I want her to get down in the floor to play with my girls like she did my little cousins.
I want to go back to that day when I bought Sara to meet her for the first time.
Mawmaw LOVED babies. Even the day before she passed she just stared at my girls
like she was in Heaven on Earth.
But most of ALL, I want to go back to that first meeting and say --
"Mawmaw, I love you too. I'm so happy today to meet you."
Don't EVER let a single, precious moment of life slip by you.
You don't ever know when it's going to be changed or taken from you.
I was blessed to have two wonderful grandmothers who taught me a LOT.
All of my grandparents are gone now, and I am so sad.
I will FOREVER be grateful for that wonderful visit we had on October 16,
knowing it might be our last but not really expecting it that soon.
She tried to say she loved us, she reached up and grabbed my sisters shirt,
she held our hands, she tried to smile, she watched the girls like they were just precious,
and little Juenbug gave her a kiss that I swear made her day.
This is the last picture we have, it's when she reached up to gab my oldest sister
Elizabeth's shirt -- something she hadn't been able to do & we never expected.

This is not how I want to remember her, but I'm thankful for this picture.
Please keep our family in your prayers, we'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

no words

This women right here is my Mawmaw.
My daddy's mother.
She has been going downhill for a while,
had a troke late Monday & will only be with us for a short while longer.
A short while longer.
It seems so strange to say those words.
We had an amazing visit with her yesterday where she was able to respond to us
but today is a different story.
Please be in prayer for my family as we mourn for ourselves.
I'm not mourning for her.
She is ready to go home to be with Jesus and my Pawpaw.
Pray that her passing is easy as can be and that she remains comfortable 'til then.
Mawmaw....we all love you a whole lot.
We'll never forget the memories we have of you
and we'll make sure to tell the babies all of them so they'll know you, too.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sara's 5th birthday party!

This past Saturday was Sara's birthday party!
We waited an extra week because her little cousin
Gracelyn was coming up from Mississippi and
Sara decided she wanted Gracelyn to be there.
I was thankful because Gracelyn's mama, April, does cakes
and she was a HUGE help and made the cake.
She showed me a few things so now hopefully MY cakes
will start looking a little better.
(No comments from the peanut gallery!)

This is the cake. I think it turned out SO cute! 

Theone lone picture I got of the decorations.
I didn't go all out like I've been known to in the past --
simple is my new motto (or is it just laziness?)
Anyhow -- it still turned out cute & the weather
was GORGEOUS so we were able to have it outside.
I'm all birthday partied out and I'm GLAD I don't have another childs birthday
 party to plan until April.
 But who am I kidding??
I'm already planning that one!
 Minnie Mouse anyone? :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sara Faith turned FIVE on Saturday.
F I V E!
Where in the world has thet ime gone?
We had a really great day -- went with the family
to the Wild Animal Safari Park in Warm Springs, GA.
If you've never been, Pine Mountain/Warm Springs is a really cool little place.
Lots of great shops, amazing food (if you go -- try the Bulloch House!)
and just a cool family atmosphere.
The rare family photo of us --
curly boy hair that I STILL haven't figured out how to handle.

My two younger sisters with the girls.
I couldn't resisit sharing this photo because Sara was SO tired!
It was the end of the trip, she was ill & ready to stop taking pictures.

Clearly you can see she is ready to stop taking pictures!
She loves these cowgirl boots.
I can barely get her to wear anything else!
The family just before leaving.
My dad, Cade, Tiffany, Sara, baby sister Allie, little sister Kayla, June Claire & Michael. 

June Claire was SO excited she kept trying to climb out the window! 

She got to pet and feed a of the best parts of the day! 

Mama & baby zebra.
<3 br="br">
No clue what this animal was, 
but he totally resembled lf from the old school TV show! 

Her actual party is this Saturday & I can't WAIT to shae pictures.:))
Dear Sara,
Happy FIFTH birthday to you! I can hardly believe it. You are my first true love, my pride & joy, and my beautiful baby girl. You have grown so much this year. You're a little spitfire & I love it. You say the funniest things -- like asking Uncle Sonny if he wants an uppercut, telling some random person at church we migt not make it home because we may run out of gas (yes, YOU DID THIS!), etc. You are my big helper, too. Especially since I came homefrom the hospital. You will ask if there'sa nything you can do for me and when I was first getting around you would ask me if you could hold my hand andhelp me so I wouldn't fall. You still do that sometimes. I think your favorite foods are peanut butter pie, mac & cheese, grilled cheese,Mexican, and green bean caserole. You do NOT like tomatoes, but that's okay because I'm iffy on them, too.You are a GREAAT big sissy and you love your little issy to death. You're really into playing house. Youlove the though of school, but when we sit down to actually do your work you're not so hot on it.
I think my best memory from this year would be getting to see you and your sister again on January 16th. I hadn't seen you since November 21 of the previous year because I had been in the hospital. I could barely even see you because my eyes were so damaged. They wouldn't let ya'll come past the front waiting area so they wheeled me out there and you just sat in my lap and snuggled up to me. Best feeling ever.
Every Sunday someone would bring ya'll up and we would visit in the lunch area.
I lived for those days.
Baby love, I don't know what this year brings us. You know I've been really sick and we just never know what the good Lord has in store for us. I want you to always know that your mama loves you more than ANYTHING else in this world. You are such a beautiful child and I don't everwant you to forget that. If you work hard,set goals and accomplish them, you will succeed. I'm not saying there won't' be struggles. Everyone will always have struggles, and no matter how serious yours are compared to theirs, it doesn't mean theirs aren't hard for them. I love you so, so much!