Happy Thanksgiving eve to you! Thanks for the chance to win a spot in this class. It looks really great!
Happy Thanksgiving eve to you! Thanks for the chance to win a spot in this class. It looks really great!
a year ago i gave birth to two baby girls. one was 6 lbs. 4 oz. and we named her Lucy Claire. one was 4 lbs 12 oz. and we named her Catherine Bennett.
i was scared. i didn't know how i was going to handle two babies.
i didn't know how i was going to handle four children under five.
one year ago they wheeled me into the operating room and i didn't know what to expect. i certainly didn't expect to deliver two babies in three pushes! i certainly didn't expect to not even know i was in labor (the babies were so big, i ALWAYS felt like i was having contractions!!). i certainly didn't expect to have no pain or recovery after the delivery. i think God knew i'd need my strength,ha!
a year ago jimmy and i had a quiet thanksgiving in a hospital room as we looked at our two daughters…marveled over them…and talked in hushed tones about the future.
everything about them, EVERYTHING…has been unexpected. from the moment they told us they saw two heartbeats…everything has been a surprise.an adventure.
they have turned our worlds upside down.
they have taught us all more than we ever could have known.
and i NEVER could have anticipated how FUN this would be. watching them together is a blessing. it is so interesting, and wild, and exhausting, and funny, and scary, and did i mention exhausting?
i became a better mother this year. i became more patient, more loving, more able to just soak it all in.
they are proof that WE CAN. every time we think we CAN'T handle something as a family, we do. they are proof that we are stronger, better than we think.
they are beautiful. they are wild. they are EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING. they have taught me that my love can MULTIPLY. my love has not been divided. i now love four little girls with more love than i knew i had.
they are our saving graces.
happy birthday, cate.
happy birthday, lucy.
thank you for lighting our lives and filling our hearts.
i don't even know where our christmas decorations are, they aren't remotely close to coming out of the attic and being put up.
my stockings aren't hung by the chimney with care…there are still pumpkins on my mantel.
i have NO plans for our thanksgiving meal. more than likely we will end up buying something pre-made from fresh market.
i have dreams of bucking tradition and eating out. 🙂
the babies turn one on thursday, i don't have their cakes yet or know where i am getting them.
i just got their birthday presents yesterday.
i'm not doing a december daily, i never have.
i don't have christmas dresses for the girls nor do i have any idea when or if i'll be getting them.
i haven't bought any christmas gifts.
we don't have a photo of all six of us (except for one in the hospital a year ago) so i'm not sure if i'll be doing christmas cards.
i haven't played any christmas music yet (i don't even know that i love christmas music all that much).
i have the ranger ball coming up on dec. 3. i don't have a dress yet, don't have a hair appointment or nail appointment. i don't know when to look for a dress with four kids under five with me all the time.
and here's the big confession? i'm feeling a tiny bit inferior this year.
but that tiny part of me is overshadowed by the part of me that's okay with it. i'm proud we are making it in the day to day.
my girls are happy and healthy, we are all together, we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. SO much more than SO many people.
i HAVE a family, I don't need a photo to show me that. christmas is in your heart, not in the stuff. the babies will be okay and won't even know what their cakes look like. i HAVE healthy baby girls that are turning ONE. what a gift! the girls can wear their dresses from last year. jimmy is home again this year, safe with us again for one more year.
it's so easy to get caught up in the have-nots isn't it? the things we don't have or haven't done. when in reality, none of it matters.
perspective is something i'm constantly trying to give myself.
i think today we need to find an angel tree. or give a kiva loan. i need to concentrate less on me and more on others.
the rest? is just the fun stuff. it's not the meat and bones of what life is all about.
the rest will just come together.
isn't it silly what i tend to get caught up in? after looking at this list all typed up…all i could think is WHO CARES?
happy tis the season, y'all!
**first, i want to take a second to say THANK YOU to all of you that tried to help me figure out my technological issues :). i guess it was just a glitch…i was just worried that i had done something to erase your feeds to my blog b/c i'd been playing around in reader. thank you!!**
so this weekend we packed up the car and headed to st. augustine, FL for a strong bonds marriage and family retreat.
collages made using iphone and diptic
i am so grateful that the army is still investing the money (b/c i know it's very tight for them these days) to send ranger families to retreats where they can spend quality family time, one on one marriage time, and learn how to work on and improve their marriages.
no mater how fireproof you think your marriage is, no matter how much you think you know…this quality time and this instruction is INVALUABLE. and sitting in that huge room with that many amazing couples and talking about how to survive deployment…well it brought tears to my eyes. i am so grateful to be amongst the people we are amongst here. so humbled.
i feel like we came home exhilarated and eager to communicate better, encourage better, love better. and that is a priceless gift. so thank you uncle sam.
on this same note…i have a new friend named beth kingston.she stumbled on my blog and emailed me b/c it turns out we have a LOT in common. not only is she very involved in the crafty world (she works for xyron) but she is also married to a ranger. we have been the same places several times and have JUST missed each other :). we are hoping to be the same place when we move this summer, which would be fabulous b/c i just know i adore her. to make a long story even longer…she wrote a blog post that i identify with more than any blog post i've ever read. PLEASE take the time to read it. whether you are a military spouse or want to know how it feels…go read it.
have a beautiful monday.
Quick question today…do you subscribe to my blog using google reader?? It looks like my readers all suddenly disappeared and I have no idea how it happened. I'm thinking maybe it has something to do with my .com vs my typepad??
Any way, I wanted to ask y'all if any of you are reading this through Reader. Or if maybe you USED to read through reader but then your feed disappeared?
HELP!! 🙂 any advice/ideas would be greatly appreciated.
it's complicated, this mother/daughter dance.
i expect so much out of her,yet i don't want to project my expectations onto her or crush her with the weight of them.
she frustrates me so much because she is exactly like me.
all of the things i don't have patience for in myself, i don't have patience for in her.
the fact that she is high strung.
the fact that she worries too much about what other's think.
the fact that she wants to please others so very much.
she's very self aware…
the fact that she never ever stops talking and that all of her life is one
the way she always wants to help SO much but sometimes just gets in the way…
she is me.
i have so many hopes and dreams for her. she will soar,this one. she's smart and observant, kind and generous. she's beautiful with a beautiful heart.
i feel so much pressure to teach her to respect herself,and to respect others and their feelings/wishes… but never to be a doormat.
these days are a bit rough. she's prone to dramatic fits of wailing, inconsolable crying.
because she's still so LITTLE but yet she seems so capable.
i love her so much it physically makes my heart hurt. but she drives me nuts at the same time.
i have to be sure to always praise her, but not over praise her.
i make mistakes. i lose my patience with her. i snap. i coddle her. i have no patience, i have too much patience. i ignore her when there's really something wrong and indulge her when nothing is wrong.
this girl made me a mother. we are learning together, feeling this thing out together.
but there's this.
at her kindergarten parent/teacher conference her teacher told me she is so smart and well behaved (except for a bit of talking out-again she gets that from me)…but above all she is KIND. she plays with everyone, befriends everyone, encourages everyone.
and also, there is this.
when she got out of the car today, she walked/pranced up the school sidewalk with a bounce in her step. i held up the carpool line for a minute…just watching her and rejoicing in the gift of her.
suddenly she turned, ran back to the car and motioned for me to roll the window down.
she yelled "I love you mama and i'm so proud of you!!!"
and my heart was calm in the knowledge that the two of us are doing just fine.
this past weekend was so much fun.
j had a four day weekend for veteran's day…and the girls had friday off from school. friday evening we picked BB (my mom)up from the airport. to say the girls were excited would be a MASSIVE understatement. 🙂
we took her to b matthews for dinner. b matthews is on bay street (one street up from river street) and is a sweet little restaurant. there was a live jazz band and just a great,energetic vibe in that part of town.
saturday we headed down to city market. city market is the more touristy part of town (think paula deen's restaurant, cobblestone streets,street bands,and horse drawn carriages). my mom had never been in that part of savannah and we really wanted her to experience it!
we sat in ellis square and watched the girls watch the fountains and dance. i mean really…wouldn't it be awesome to be 3 and 5 and dance your heart out regardless of who is watching?
the big girls have wanted to go on a horse drawn carriage tour of savannah since we've lived here, and my mom decided to take them on one. this photo makes me laugh so hard i cry every single time i look at it. HAHAHAAAAAAA
you may be shocked to know that we didn't think taking two one year olds on a horse drawn tour sounded fun. so while BB toured with the bigs, we hit up the telfair art fair with the littles.
there were white tents set up everywhere, feauturing work of local artists (jewelry,photography,paintings). i think the babies enjoyed their first cultural outing. hehe!
saturday night j and i had a DATE NIGHT!!! yes, you heard me correctly. DATE NIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!! okay, sorry…i got a little carried away. but seriously…so blessed to have a mom who loves my girls so much and encourages us to go out.
we ate at ele, a thai fusion restaurant i've been wanting to try for months. cross one more off of my savannah bucket list.
sunday we went to church,walked down habersham a bit (i'd like to live here please,thankyouverymuch).
and then had brunch at firefly cafe. i have no fabulous food photos or photos of the restaurant because….
i was outside. the entire time. with these rascals.
turns out that *they* were NOT in the mood for a leisurely brunch. shocking, no? 😉
sunday night j and i went to see moneyball. TWO DATES IN A ROW!!! score! 🙂 for the record, moneyball was fabulous.
and then monday i wrapped up a glorious long weekend by meeting up with my favorite ladies in the world for a baby shower (back at b. matthews).
i have to tell you that these ranger wives are the most amazing women in the world. strong, capable, funny,beautiful, and smart women and mothers. i adore them.
have a beautiful wednesday!
double the "peekaboo" head stands
double the sipping:
double the pulling up on EVERYTHING:
if you want to know what i do all day…really only one word describes it.
i chase, i pick things out of little mouths, i pry things out of little fists. i run,i pull babies off of stairs and out from under tables.
and you know what? those little stinkers go in opposite directions every single time!!!
they sure are giving me a run for my money. and they aren't even walking yet!! but we are dangerously close. 🙂 teetering on the brink of DISASTER!
and my hair? is a lot more gray than it was a year ago.
but i am also 2x happier and 2x more blessed.
happy monday y'all!
1.come listen to me on this week's paperclipping roundtable. the topic is scrapbooking military moments. the fabulous elizabeth dillow was the other guest, and i just love her. please excuse my man voice and awkwardness…that's just how i roll. 🙂
2. thank you so much to amy perez for sending me a link to the joyful life library project. please go read about this amazing cause.
We feel strongly that reading a favorite story to a child is an act of love that's comforting to the child and the caregiver alike, and is especially important when your life has been turned upside down because of a little one's critical illness. As a parent of a hospitalized child, you often feel helpless because there is so little comfort and care you can offer. Being able to sit and read a book, just like you would do at home, helps to make the entire family feel a little bit better. Because of this we have set out to put books in as many PICU's as we possible can.
how can that NOT just warm your heart and motivate you to GIVE? i plan to add a bunch of extra books to my Christmas shopping list and i hope you will too.
3.Like TinyPrints on Facebook and receive a free military card to send your favorite veteran (through November 15)!!!
4. love this image. more people could stand to live by this quote, don't you think?
that's it! i hope you have a beautiful weekend!
to my veteran, and to all of the veterans past and present…
i could never put into words quite how deep my gratitude is. i couldn't sufficiently express how full my heart is of thankfulness.
i can't verbalize the emotions that i feel that he and so many others have the bravery and selflessness to do what they do.
this portion of a letter he wrote his daughter (along with a flag he sent) tells you the kind of man he is:
daddy carried this flag especially for you while conducting operations in afghanistan. i carried this flag on my back while climbing the mountains in the korengal valley. this flag represents the strength of this country. and the people in it. but more than that…it represents the love i have for you.
so jimmy, thank you. not only for the seven times you've served, but for the example you are. thank you. thank you for the father you are, the soldier you are, the man you are.
and thank you (from the bottom of my heart) to every single soldier,marine,airman,and sailor out there.
thank you for fighting. thank you for being strong enough to leave. to miss years of moments, of firsts. thank you for overcoming your fears and standing strong. thank you for continuing to deploy over and over and over. thank you for loving US enough to do what you do so that WE do not have to do it, so that we can be safe.
and to their families who wait at home…thank YOU.
and to all of you reading, if you want a way to do something…a way to say thank you, here are some ideas.
happy veteran's day.