Monday, February 25, 2008

"GRACE-ing" us with her Presence

With the stress of selling the old house gone, we are really really enjoying time with our children. We marvel every day at how fast they are growing up and are thankful for their sweet, innocent personalities. Miss Grace has been particularly entertaining lately. She has learned to say prayers and prays at every meal (often several times before, during, and after the meal). She also says her own prayers at bedtime and occasionally I hear her in her room all by herself with her sweet little voice usually goes something like this...

Heav Fadda
Tanka dis day
Tanka mommy, daddy, Noah, Tywer, Nana, Papa, Andy, Missa, Gamma, Gampa
All our bwessings
Nama Jesus

While she loves to say prayers, she doesn't like it when OTHER people pray for too long. More than once she's proclaimed "AMEN!" in the middle of a prayer at church. We attribute it to her Baptist blood. :)

Grace is also becoming a true GRITS (girl raised in the South) and is a huge college basketball fan, more specifically a Wake Forest Demon Deacon basketball fan! Her absolute FAVORITE thing is going to the games. On game days, she wears her "Deacon shirt" and carries her deacon bag with her pom pom sticking out. She has a little stuffed Deacon (ugliest stuffed animal on the planet...sorry Mom) that she carries around too. She can identify a WF from a mile away and says "WF Wake Forest Deacons!" She is a true little cheerleader and quite possibly the most dedicated fan under the age of 3.

Finally, she may be cute, but she's a feisty little thing. I particularly enjoyed this exchange in the car the other day.

Me: Grace, how old are you?
Grace: TWO!!!
Me: Tyler is 12
Grace -- Well, I fourteen!
Tyler: Well, I'm 25
Grace: uhhhhh, nooooooooooo

You know, I haven't been to the movies in years and I turn the TV on for one hour a week (to watch House). Who needs 'em....we've got all the entertainment we need!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


When I was pregnant with Grace and found out she was a girl, I was excited at the prospect of the girly clothes and shoes, yet intimidated by the thought of having to come up with darling hairdos over the years. Doing hair does not come naturally to me and when Grace's hair turned out ultra curly, I was secretly relieved to be able to just wet it, stick a bow in the front and go!!

My mom had other ideas and recently while she was keeping Grace, she introduced her to pigtails. Pigtails are not an easy feat on Grace because she has what I call "non partisan" hair. There's such a mass of curls, you CANNOT get a straight part in it no matter how hard you try! Nonetheless, Grace now insists on "tigtails" almost every day. I know people take pity on my when they see my poor attempts to make equal pigtails, but I'm doing the best I can...and you gotta looks pretty cute from the front! :)

Our Beloved "Teddy"

I've been meaning to do a blog about Teddy for a while, but with other recent events, I just haven't had time to schedule a photoshoot with him. Many of you have probably met Teddy. If you've met Grace, chances are good you've met Teddy for he accompanies her most everywhere she goes.

I purchased Teddy on a whim. When Grace was younger she got into the habit of falling asleep touching my hair. When we found out we were expecting Noah, we were eager to teach her good sleep habits and I was on the lookout for a "substitute me" for night-time. While at the mall one day, I stumbled into Build-a-Bear. When I laid eyes on the beautiful pink teddy bear and felt it's silky fur, I knew we'd found our lovey. For Grace, it was pretty much love at first sight as well. Teddy worked like a charm and she began sleeping through the night every night without a fuss.

Since then, Teddy has become more than a night-time lovey. He (and I'm not sure why we call a pink teddy "he" but we all do) has become a member of our family. He accompanies Grace to preschool and to nursery at church. He rides in the car with us a lot of other places, but is usually content to wait for us there. Teddy has been to the beach and to Texas and to soccer tournaments galore . He's lived in three different houses with us. He was there to help Grace welcome a baby brother to the family.

Over time, teddy has become tattered and worn, but for Grace, there is no substitute. She has other animals that she loves, but none come close to the strong companionship she has with Teddy. She can sleep if one of the other animals is left in another place in the house, but Teddy must be by her side. One night we couldn't find Teddy and I honestly think I panicked as much as Grace. I couldn't stand the thought of her losing a friend at such a young age. Luckily, Teddy turned up -- he was just hiding under the sofa. As I look at Teddy, I know that before long he is going to start requiring "surgeries" to remain intact. I am hopeful that he will last as long as Grace needs him and will do everything in my power to make that happen. People have suggested that we buy another Teddy to "prolong his life" but it wouldn't be the same. Teddy is special because he's been through so much with Grace. A new Teddy wouldn't have the same "scent of experience." It just wouldn't have the character that comes with being grungy and worn.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I can HONESTLY say...

Photo opportunities like this are sooooo worth the extra laundry! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008


I will warn you upfront that this could be one of my more emotional blogs. I am feeling such a mix of emotions right now (relief, joy, nostalgia…oh too many to name!) You may not even want to read this one for it most definitely will be hard to follow, but I want to put it out there so I will remember.

We were supposed to close on our old house on February 29. On Monday, February 11, we received word that the buyer wanted to close on….February 15!! (It became official at noon today!!) Hey, that was great news, but of course a great scramble ensued! My gut reaction was WOOOHOOOO!!!! It’s FINALLY going to be over! And then I got sentimental.

You see, when my first husband and I divorced I was 28 years old. I moved into an apartment and vowed to buy a house by the time I was 30. It wasn’t an easy task for a young single mother, but I was committed. I paid off my debts and built up my savings and 17 days before I turned 30, I made an offer on a house. The offer was accepted and I closed 1 week after my birthday. Before deciding on the house, I looked at HUNDREDS of houses over a period of about 6 months. I really believe that when you are house hunting, you just “know” when you walk into the right one and when I walked in, I knew. It had PLENTY of room for the two of us, and was warm, homey and comfortable. Tyler and I packed up our modest amount of “stuff” and moved into “our house.” Tyler was almost 6 when we moved in and during our time in that house, he went from a sweet little boy to a handsome and helpful young man. During our time in that house, I found my wonderful husband and we added two sweet babies to our crew. We both put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (and maybe even a cross word or two) into updating our space. The house saw us through MANY life changing events and it served us well. We have learned that the gentleman who purchased the house is a single father. He has plans to make it a wonderful home for his daughters. I am thrilled to know that children will continue to grow within its walls.

Goodbye old house. Thanks for the memories, for the shelter, the warmth, the place for our family to grow and learn.

Despite feeling a little nostalgic about the old house, I , for the first time, am feeling at “home” in our new one. Sure, we’ve lived here for nearly 8 months, but as long as we had two mortgages, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it could be a temporary thing. We have enough furniture to function, but we have done very little personalizing. Monday, I bought paint for the kitchen. I am ready to make this house our home. The excitement most people have when moving into a new home was somewhat tempered for us and I am FINALLY starting to let myself get excited!! I am finally allowing myself to love the things I love about the house and thinking about how I want our space to look. This house is special to Aaron and me because WE picked out the features TOGETHER. It is OURS. While we are not sure how long-term it will be, we hope to be settling down for a good little while. Til now, I haven’t had the guts to blog about the new house. It seemed premature. But next week, when the dust has settled from this crazy, hurried week we’ve had, I will tell you all more about it!

Here’s to home sweet home.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Tyler's soccer team had their first pre-season tournament this past weekend and they swept their way to the championship! They won ALL four of their games, 6-2, 8-0, 5-0, 2-0!! What a great way to start a new season! Way to go guys!

Monday, February 04, 2008

"A tale of two kiddies..."

Grace: The Great Hunt for Mommy's Keys

Yesterday afternoon we decided to go visit my parents for a while. We loaded the kids up in the van and realized we did not have the keys. We took turns, one of us entertaining the kids in the van while the other looked for the keys. We looked high, we looked low. Heck, we even looked in the no avail. After 20 minutes of searching, we used the valet key and hoped they'd turn up.

This morning, as we were playing with Grace, we found the keys...just where they should be... safely tucked away in the purse.

BUT... it wasn't MOMMY's purse....

Ah, a blog is born. =)

Noah: Saying "Hi" to the Voice in the Sky

During a trip to Lowe's Home Improvement late last week, I was pushing Noah in the cart (while Aaron chased Grace around the store). Noah is, 99% of the time, a very happy, social baby and he was "talking" and laughing with me as we walked. Suddenly, an announcement was made over the intercom. Sweet little Noah's eyes got as wide as saucers, he tilted his little head back, looked to the ceiling and said with the cutest little southern drawl..."Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" (His newest thing is saying "hi" with all kinds of inflection). The people in the aisle with us nearly died laughing!

It is the little moments like these that remind us not only of what sweet, wonderful, and pure blessings our children are, but that they are watching us every minute and taking their cues directly from us. May we teach them well!