July 31, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Disclaimer:  I am no expert at anything, except NOT being at expert at anything. These tips are just something that have helped me, or someone else, or could help me, or you. That's my goal. I'm not all about the telling you what to do. So take them as you will.

Communication is the key to everything in relationships.  Whether it be a marriage, friendship, etc.

If someone sends you an email, text, FB message, etc. that requires a response, don't ignore it.  I know sometimes we all forget to reply but it can be hurtful to the person who sent the message.  Even if it's a small something to at least show you acknowledged it. 

So take 2 seconds of your busy day to respond.  You'll be glad you did.

July 30, 2012

Miracle Merrit goes home!!

Look who got released yesterday!!!!!!

Go Merritt Go!  What a fighter. 

Carrie describes it best in her post here!

July 27, 2012

Music Friday

Ok, instead of the traditional music videos that I like to share, today's is a different type of video.

It's special.

It's my kid and my nephew singing VBS songs for Uncle Tony's birthday.  These 2 are show stoppers.

Sorry for the quality.  It's hard to hold your phone still when you are laughing!


July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Avery Claire!

Today is my niece's 1st birthday!  I can't believe 1 year ago, we were meeting her at the hospital!  

We love you AC!  You are so sweet!  

We know you love some cake! We had a great time at your party.

We can't wait to spend the next 100 years with you!!!

Happy happy birthday!

July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Uncle Tony!

Today is my brother's birthday.  He's older than me so I have to be nice in what I say about him because it can always come back to haunt me.

He's a super great dad, husband, son, brother, uncle, vet, etc.  I'm so thankful I'm so close with he and his wife. 

So happy birthday bro from our family to you! We love our goofball. And, he gets it honest!

AND, since it's Tip Tuesday, here's your tip!
If you need a good vet, he's your guy. Nobody has better beside manner and will take care of your pet like it's his own!

July 23, 2012


Just said goodbye to this sweet girl.  She was ornery but she sure was protective of all of us.  Her bark was WAY bigger than her bite.

We've had her since 2000.  She was old and had lots of health problems but we had a few good vets taking care of her.

I wrote this post on our pets back in 2010.

Never easy to say goodbye but after seeing her today, I know it was the best decision for her.

Happy trails Missy!

UPDATE: Autopsy revealed cancer of the liver and spleen. We made the right decision to let her go.

July 21, 2012

Shutterfly Sweepstakes

Who wants to win a trip to the Bahamas???  

Shutterfly has a great contest going on over at Facebook!
You can win a trip to the BAHAMAS! 
Below is all the info about the contest. 

Shutterfly’s Long Live Summer Photo Contest on Facebook...
Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever. All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week. Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.


• Week 1(7/9): Americana

• Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors

• Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun

• Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities

• Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations


• Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!

• Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)

• Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.

• Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo 
Shutterfly Rules

July 20, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye

Imagine being at work one day, working on your projects.  Or you are at home at night, reading your paper.

When you get that phone call nobody ever wants to get.

Your spouse is unresponsive.  Your daughter had an emergency C section and she and the baby are not doing well.

In the blink of an eye, your world has been changed.

That's happened to 2 of my friends this week.  It reallllllly puts things into perspective.

I remember when my best friend went through this with her mother 3 short years ago.  I remember sitting at the hospital while the family went in to say their last goodbyes to their mother, wife, daughter, sister.  I remember the hurt, the pain, the broken looks on their faces.  I remember looking out the window and seeing everyone going about their day like normal.  I thought, "These people have no idea what is going on inside this room." 

I do not like this phase of life.  The hardest part of death or tragedy is what is left behind.  I know that when I did, I will be going with live with my Heavenly Father for eternity.  That excites me.  What bothers me the most about dying is what will be left behind.  My children. My husband.  My parents. My family.

That is hard to fathom.

I'm thankful I serve a mighty God that is the ultimate healer.  He shows me that every day.  This week has been rough for my friends, when last week was a remarkable one thanks to one big 5 pound miracle.

Next week can only get better.  Minus the day I have to watch my friend bury her husband who was entirely too young to meet his eternal reward.

But, we never really know when it will be our time, do we?  Nope, there's only 1 person that knows that.

We just have to live our lives in a way that's pleasing to Him.

And no, thankfully, nothing is wrong with me or my family.  Life has just been put into some serious perspective this week.

It's so hard to imagine that one minute you are working away and the next minute your life is changed forever.  The love of your live is gone.

In the blink of an eye.

July 19, 2012

11 Months

Yesterday, my baby turns 11 months old. I can't believe she will be a year old in 1 month.  Seems like just yesterday....

We've had a BIG month. I think I say that every month.

These pics are blurry because someone is ALWAYS on the move but this is our life these days.

We are walking and climbing people.  And by that I mean, as soon as we get to my parent's house, she goes to the stairs and can make it up to about the 5th one pretty quickly. Then she will turn around and giggle at us.

She gets mad at my dad a lot because he tells her NO when she heads toward said stairs.  It's soooo funny.

This is on Big Sister's stool in her room.  This is usually what happens after bath time and Big Sister is getting dressed.

Jumping/Bouncing (why it's extra blurry)

 Now for the boring stuff:

Diaper - Size 4

Weight -  20 pounds at last Dr. visit, which was right after 9 months. She probably weighs 21 or 22 now.

Clothes - Mostly all 12 months.

Sleep - Still going to bed usually about 8 every night and gets up anywhere from 6-7:30, depending on the day. She still naps quite a bit during the day.She usually takes 1 good nap and then a few cat naps, mostly in the car.

Activities - The week of the 4th of July, she took 2 steps.  One night, she took 3. Then at Blake's birthday party that Friday night, she took 4 from me to Aunt Lindsey.  She can walk really good while holding your hand or something else.  She can now stand for long periods of time. She's learning how to stand from sitting position.  And she's climbing. Everywhere. All the time. My heart skips a beat a good bit during the day.

She has 5 teeth, 3 on bottom and 2 on top. I think another one is starting on the bottom so we'll see.

She can high-five and we are somewhat blow kisses.  She's so sweet and will flirt with anyone, male or female.

She LOVES the water.  Bath time is by far her favorite time of the day.  When she hears the water running, she takes off toward the tub!  She tries to climb in the tub too.  Once in the tub, she tries to 'swim' up and down the tub.  It's fun but exhausting getting her actually bathed.

She loves sleeping with 'Elphie' our pink elephant.  But, she doesn't want it any other time than at night.  I'm amazed that she can put herself to sleep at night with just Elphie and no paci or blanket or anything.

Eating - She takes a 7 ounce bottle about 3 times a day. She takes an 8 ounce bottle at night. She still eats some all stage 2 and 3 foods. She pretty much eats all table food at home.  I plan to start mixing her bottles with some regular milk to we can wean off the formula.  She's also gotten to where she doesn't want a bottle in the mornings so she eats Cherrios with some juice.  She LOVES to feed herself.  Which is messy but helpful for me so I can get other things done while she eats.

1st ponytail!

Thanks for keeping up with us!

July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

This is how picture taking goes at our house these days. Nobody is still.

I wanted pics of my matching girls at my nephew's birthday party.  

Do not cross this line!
Wait, come back!

The best we could get
Then you get this. 2 seconds flat.

July 17, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Disclaimer:  I am no expert at anything, except NOT being at expert at anything. These tips are just something that have helped me, or someone else, or could help me, or you. That's my goal. I'm not all about the telling you what to do. So take them as you will.

Drink lots of water.  It's summer in the South y'all.  Enough said.

I've started reading Bob Harper's The Skinny Rules book (available on Amazon here).  His 1st rule is to drink a large glass of water before every meal.  No excuses.  He says that nothing is more crucial than this rule.

We all need more water.  All I drink is water (with 1 Dr. Pepper on most days) and I still don't drink the recommended amount!

So drink up.  You can always add packets of flavored stuff if you get bored with just plain ole water.  Just make sure they aren't too sugary.  I like my water ICE cold.  So refreshing!

So, get out there and drink more water. Easier said than done huh?

July 16, 2012

Miracle Merritt

Lots have asked about an update on Merritt.

I'm happy to report she's doing AMAZING.

Her mom did a while post on it all Sat. night. Simply awesome.

You can read it here

Please keep praying for them.  The journey is far from over but is well on its way!

July 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Uncle Jonathan!

Today is the hubby's youngest brother's birthday!  He's the baby of the boys in the family.

He's our trusted deputy.  He's a gun-loving, gun-toting all around good guy.  Just don't get on his bad side.  Or you might see said guns.  Kidding.

He knows how to have a good time!!


He's a great dad to B and a husband to L!  And we love him, well, like a brother!

Happy birthday Uncle Jonathan!  We hope it's the best ever.  Now, go save the world.

July 12, 2012


Meet Merritt.  She was born Monday.  5 pounds, 2 ounces.  100% adorable and 200% a miracle.

You can read her story here.

She has her first surgery today.  She's a fighter already and I know she will do amazing! 

Will you pray for her?  Will you pray for her parents, Carrie and Matt?  Will you pray for Big Sister Mati Claire and Big Brother Mattox?  This is a scary thing for them all. 

But you know what? My God is greater.  My God is stronger.  

My God is HEALER.

Awesome in power.

I'm thankful for that.  What an amazing story she will one day be able to tell.  I know God has great things planned for her!

July 10, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Just a little FYI tip for all you ladies out there.  I never thought I would have to worry about this.

Seeing as how we've had a certified scuba diver search for my ring at the bottom of the lake for 2 days very unsuccessfully, I've been going through the insurance process.

So here's your tip (and it's a super important one):
TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR RING (s), like right now.  We didn't take the traditional hand over hand pic at our wedding.  I've been searching through a million pictures trying to find one good enough to turn over to insurance company.

I've learned way more through this process than I ever wanted to.  If my ring was 'endorsed' by my insurance company, we would not have had to pay our regular homeowner's policy deductible.  So, if you have rings or furs or guns at your house and you want them on your policy, talk to your agent. Take them to her. Get them appraised. You can bet that's what I'll be doing if I ever get a new ring. I might have to stick to my $10 replacement from Belk for a while.  Diamonds were WAY cheaper 11 years ago when this one was purchased.

If you have anything of worth in your house, take pictures. Get them printed and store them on a hard drive somewhere.  Also, talk with your insurance agent to make sure you have everything listed that needs to be.

You never know when you are going to need them. I sure never thought I would.

July 7, 2012

I think I've said it before...

But whoever (or whomever) invented shift work is an idiot.  And was not a family person.  He/She was a freaking workaholic.  Or it must have been someone in management that wouldn't ever actually have to WORK those crazy hours.

So let me explain to you what schedule my husband works.

For 7 days, he works days which is 7 am-3 pm, but he really works from 6-2.

Then he's off for 3.5 days. His only weekend off. 

Yeah, 1 weekend a month off.  Terrible for planning, vacation, well pretty much anything.

After his 'long' weekend, he starts nights on that Tuesday. He works from 11-7 (10 pm to 6 am) for 7 days (til Monday, technically Tuesday morning). Then he will be off for 2 nights (Tues. and Wed.) before changing to the next shift.

Are you keeping up?  It took me about 3 years to keep up with it.

On Thursday, he starts my LEAST favorite shift, 3-11.  He works from 2 pm to 10 pm meaning he goes 7 days without ever seeing his kids and sometimes me.  Luckily, I don't sleep much and get to see him when he gets home.

So after 7 days of the shift from you know where that lasts til the following Wed., he's off for 2 days (Thurs. and Fri.).

After only 2 days off, he starts back working days, which is 7 am to 3 pm (6 am to 2 pm).

Hope you were able to follow along with all that...

How can anybody get used to that schedule?  They say that people that do shift work have terrible stomach problems due to the ever changing schedule and eating times.  In 2009, my husband had his gall bladder out.  Yeah, stomach problems.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, IT SUCKS. Plain and simple.

They work in the heat and the freezing cold.  They get laid off when the MS River floods.  The work even longer hours when they have a 'shut down' which is when they shut down all the big equipment to clean it, change parts, etc.

The employees there work extremely hard in very dangerous conditions.  Conditions I choose to not think about or I would go crazy every day he goes to work.  I don't like when he rides his motorcycle to work (although it's the most fuel efficient vehicle on the face of the earth) but I realize it's more dangerous for him to be AT work than going TO work.

They've tried to go to 12 hour shifts, which would allow them more time off, but the older guys don't want to work MORE (even tho they would really work less).  So for the time being, this is our life.

It's hard for me with 2 kids, I won't lie.  My kids miss their Daddy.  I miss my husband.  I miss the extra set of hands.  I miss his cooking.

It's hard to plan events like bunco and some things at church.  I have to count the days to see what schedule he will be on before I can commit to make sure he'll be home to watch our kids.  Plus, (and he won't agree with this) but I try to not load the kids off on him every time he's off.

I can't just run out to the store while the kids are already in the bed. I can't drive Baby Sister around when she won't go to sleep (which luckily is rare) because someone has to be at home since Big Sister is sleeping.

It's frustrating for me.  It's frustrating for him.  But it's our life.  So we deal with it.  We are super blessed to have friends and family all close by.

That's the main reason we moved back home when we did. Before kids. We hated to leave Starkville.  We hated to leave our friends.  Our family.  Friends that became family.  My Goddaughter. 

It wasn't an easy decision.  BUT, it was the best decision for us.

God will never give you more than you can handle.  I agree with that.  I just think sometimes he likes to see us squirm a bit!

So thanks for letting me rant.  Shift work sometimes gets the best of me.  Very few people can relate.

So today starts his long weekend.  We are headed to the lake with Big Sister for some sun, fun, and relaxation (And no rings will be worn!).  And no further plans other than eating and swimming and maybe a boat ride, but most importantly, hanging out with friends we haven't seemed to be able to hang out with lately.

Thankful.  Blessed.

July 6, 2012

Flashback Friday

This picture was only from a year ago.  We can't WAIT to reunite with our Starkville family at the end of the month!

21 days to be exact, but who's counting?

This girl!  And no, I haven't told Big Sister yet.  I learned my lesson telling her about our beach vacation months in advance. I don't want to hear every single day, "Mama, is it vacation time?"

I'll tell her in about 20 days.

July 5, 2012

It's Official

I'm addicted.

To Dr. Pepper.
 I'm a Pepper. 

I've tried to cut back but since it's my only caffeine, I can justify having one every day or so. 


I know Lincee is proud!

July 4, 2012

July 3, 2012

Tip Tuesday

I posted a blog on May 4th about Commitment. I'm reposting today as your tip.

TIP:  Don't commit to something you can't fulfill.  It's better to say no up front to something rather than yes and not live up to that yes.

According to my friend Merriam, the definition of commitment is as follows:
1. an act of committing to a charge or trust: as
(1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution
(2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee

2. a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially: 
an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date
b : something pledged
c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled

Disclaimer: This post is not directed at anyone, just my generalizations.

I always think I can fix the world's problems. Or someone I know can.  I realize that's not the case in most things.

But please, I beg of you to read the definition above and do what it says. If you know anything about me, you know I'm not about doing anything halfway. If you make a commitment, stick to it.  

It only hurts the people you committed to when you don't follow through.

July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Blake!

Today, my nephew is 4!

Happy birthday Blakers!  You have grown up to be such a GOOD big brother this year!  You are so well behaved that you need to teach your cousin a thing or 2!

We love your silly grin and fun laugh!

We hope you have the best day ever!