Friday, December 10, 2010

Photo Wall - Check!


Another project completed! Yay! This is a big deal when you're lucky to get the essential things done during the day, like eating, much less a whole project! Thank you to those of you who put your 2 cents in when I couldn't decide what kind of arrangement to do. I absolutely love it! (Sorry about the lamp glare in the picture. I took it at night.) The frames are huge (25x25) and I got them from Pottery Barn, my fav store!

On a side note, Brian is home, and I'm so thankful to have him back. I'm also really glad he gets to experience the Christmas season in the States this year! Sage was so happy to see her Daddy, and she hasn't stopped smiling at him since. His fear that she would not remember him was quickly put to rest :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Funny Girl

What Mom? You mean you can't change my diaper like this?






I'm sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you wanted me to empty the diaper bag.






But Mom, it's only fun if I can get messy.





I don't particularly like being strapped into this thing, but from this standpoint, it's quite fascinating.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Time!!!!

Please forgive me . . . I wrote this post 2 weeks ago and forgot to post it!

After having Sage, every little thing in life is faaaaaaar more exciting than it ever was. Like holiday decorating. I've always been a stickler for waiting until after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations, but not this year. The other day Sage and I turned on a little Christmas music, dug through the attic and got started! I just couldn't WAIT for her to see all the lights and colors. This year all she could do was watch (and whine for me to pick her up), but one day she'll help me, and I'm betting she'll love it!

Speaking of holiday decor . . . I was on the hunt for the perfect stockings. My problem is that I like too many. I like the traditional, the cutesy, and the casual (not so much the fancy ones). My ridiculous habit of being unable to make decisions finally got on my nerves so much that I just picked some and went with it. We'll probably have to buy different ones anyway when/if we have more kids, if we want them all to match. So cutesy won out this year:




Merry early Christmas everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Come on Home Babe!

My friends are so sick of hearing me say it, but I'm just beyond ready for this man to come home to me.



So I'm saying it again. I am ready to see my hubs!!!!!! December 13th can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mom is 60!



I'm sure my mother will be pleased that I'm announcing her age to the entire blogging world. But it's a milestone, and it was celebrated well, so I thought I would share . . .

Dad and I wanted to do something special for Mom, you know, because she is so special. Besides, you only turn 60 once. So we set up a weekend in the mountains with our entire family as a surprise. Dad rented a huge 7 bedroom house in Black Mountain, made reservations at a great lil restaurant called Que Sera, and I made the birthday cake. Mom's nickname within the family is "Cat" (because her full name is Cathy), so this is the butter pecan cake with cream cheese icing I made:



(I also made a Southern Sweet Chocolate Cake because we all know that celebrations are not complete without chocolate.)

I found the cat cake on the Betty Crocker website, but my good friend, Sage, introduced me to a great site that has a lot of super cool "do it yourself" cakes. It's www.familyfun.go.com if you're interested in getting creative! Although, I highly recommend baking and decorating a cake after your kid goes to bed. I might have learned that lesson the hard way.

Anyway, back to Mom . . . Happy Birthday Mom! We love you and are so glad we got to celebrate your birthday together. You make 60 look good!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bye-Bye

I have not been good about writing things down in any sort of baby book for Sage to look back on one day. Therefore, I figure maybe this blog can be a good substitute for a "memory book." With that said, Sage did something for the first time yesterday. Just a few days after turning 8 months old Sage actually waved bye-bye to someone! In fact, it was to the nurse who gave her the flu shot! Guess it's good to know she didn't hold a grudge :) I did what any proud, first time mom would do. I freaked out (in joy) and told the nurse, "That's the first time she's ever done that!!!" We've worked on it a few times, but I certainly did not realize she would catch on so fast. This is what genius looks like:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ouch.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when he could do something about it . . . but I'm afraid he might ask me the same question" - Anonymous


I read this quote today and it knocked me between the eyes. Hard.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reunion

Fun fun fun! That was the name of the game from Oct. 15-Oct. 24! We started out in Atlanta for my sweet friend, Melissa's wedding. Some of my best girlfriends from college and I were bridesmaids, and we had some major laughs over the weekend. Like when I ran into the middle of the highway to grab a rather large portion of Shannon's dress that got ripped off by a tire because it was hanging out of our car on our way to the reception! Can you imagine seeing a woman in a purple strapless dress and heels running in the middle of the road? I'm sure it was quite a sight. But I was glad to do it for my precious, and pregnant friend. Ain't no shame in my game.

I also LOVED watching Melissa and her new hubby dance at the reception. You have never, in your life, seen a couple get down and live it up the way those two did. It was truly inspiring. And dramatic. They are two peas in a pod. It was such a privilege and incredibly entertaining to see them enjoying each other and their reception, no holds bar.






Dad played the piano for the wedding too. It was great to have him accompany me. I can honestly say this was the first wedding I sang in where I wasn't extremely nervous. I have no idea why, but I'm thankful.




So after the wedding our friends rented a house near Clemson for the week and it too was sooooooooooo fun . . . a college reunion of sorts. It was so refreshing to spend some quality time with these folks that I love so dearly, but rarely get to see. On Saturday we all went to the Clemson/GA Tech game, where our Tigers made us proud and gave those jackets a good old fashioned butt whoopin'! Seeing these precious friends brought back some really great memories, and to find out where some of them are now, what their doing with their lives, what God has taught them, etc. was priceless. And of course the laughs flowed freely too :) We've all vowed that we MUST do this every year!



To top it all off, I had the joy of singing "Lead Me to the Cross" by Hillsong on Sunday, which is one of my favorite songs. As I began to sing my eyes were closed, but during the middle of the song I opened them to find our entire congregation whole-heartedly, and some very emotionally, laying their financial commitments to the church at the foot of this huge cross. Literally, there was this enormous cross center stage. It was moving. Such a privilege. So humbling.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just Peachy :)

Since we were having a little trouble with Sage showing interest in baby food, the doc suggested we let her try to feed herself. Oh, and that it might get a little messy.







It was definitely the trick! Over half of the peaches ended up in her lap, and clean up took forever, but she really enjoyed it. In fact, she's been eating baby food much better over the past 2 weeks since we started letting her play a stronger role in feeding herself! I let her hold the spoon and help guide it to her mouth. She thinks she's such big stuff.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

She's Done It Again!

My sweet friend, Heather Knowles, aka "The Best Photographer EVER" took some pictures of our family before Brian went to Mexico. I cannot wait to see all of them, but for now, here is a sneak peak from our session. Thank you so much Heather. It means the world to me to have these images, and you seriously are the best!

To see these pictures bigger, or more of Heather's work, just visit her blog here.









Monday, October 11, 2010

The No Good, Very Bad Day



Remember that book, "Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day"? (I think that was the title.)

Anyway, with Brian flying to Mexico today, (hence the a hole in my heart, and generally sad overall feeling) I keep thinking this is just a "no good, very bad day." We'll get through it. After all, every day can't be your best day. Some days just stink, and it's one of those days . . .

but God.

I love it when the phrase "but God" appears in scripture. Stories throughout the Bible are filled with defeat, despair, or frustration and then those two beautiful words appear, "but God" and suddenly there's hope. God is involved, and He's about to do His thing. He's about to turn the situation around, or teach 'em a little something, rescue, or revive, or refresh etc. etc. whatever the case may be. God changes EVERYTHING. He's a game changer.

This separation as a family is no walk in the park. But God has His purpose and plan for us. So while it's difficult, I am truly excited to see what He does through it.

Up to 3 months without my hubs and Sage's sweet daddy is unimaginable and depressing. I've cried my fair share of tears today, but God . . .

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Birthday Boy

We celebrated Brian's 33rd birthday last week. Jerry and Marilyn drove up and we all went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with Darren, Wava, Brayden, and Oliver. It was a great time, but somehow I never pick the right thing and whatever I order ends up being rather bland. Brian's food was tasty though! And the red velvet cheesecake was delicious!!




Brian and I also had the opportunity to go to the Clemson game this past Saturday thanks to my parents who gave us tickets and free babysitting as Brian's birthday present! It was the first game we've been to in a loooonnnng time. We were majorly over due for some TIGER TIME! I just adore Clemson, and have so many wonderful memories from that place. I always wish we had more time to walk around campus, reminisce, and see what changes have taken place over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, our Tigers lost to Miami, but it was still a fun day.




We caught up with B's sister, Lori, at half time:



Happy 33rd to the most wonderful hubs and Daddy in the world! We love you!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Brain Dump

I've noticed a little trend in the blogging world. People write one post about a bunch of different thoughts or events taking place in their lives, aka a "brain dump." I've enjoyed reading my friends' brain dumps, so I think I'll do one of my on. Starting today . . .

1.) I have a cold. I think Sage gave it to me. We've both been feeling rather rotten lately.

2.) Summer baseball is over and fall/winter baseball is about to begin. I have mixed emotions about this because Sage and I aren't going to Mexico with Brian and we do NOT like to be away from each other. Trying to see the silver lining . . .

3.) I've got to learn the art of applying eye shadow. You know, for those special occasions when you need a little extra make-up . . . like a wedding or photo session. Both of which are coming up very soon.

4.) I've been a running fool lately! I run 3 or 4 times a week, 3 miles each time. I'm really enjoying it. Although, I'm still waiting for the physical results to show up :)

5.) I keep trying to re-design this blog. I spend a fair amount of time experimenting with colors and designs, then end up with something I'm not crazy about and revert back to this old black and white theme. And then I feel guilty for wasting so much time on it.

6.) Have I told ya'll how ready my hubs is for baby #2? He was ready like, yesterday. If I gave the okay, I'd probably be pregnant faster than you can blink. But don't worry, I'm not ready so nothing will happen soon. Unless God decides differently. And He is entitled you know.

7.) I adore fall . . . for many reasons: the colors, cooler temps, fun fall sweaters, Clemson football, play-off baseball, Thanksgiving, etc. I picked up Pottery Barn's fall issue the other day and it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now as long as this weather stays cool, we'll be golden!

Ok that's it for this brain dump! Hope you enjoyed it!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Do Photo Walls and Mexico Have in Common?

Nothing really.

I love photo walls. I'm creating one in our house because we have big open spaces that need filling and I need a fun project this fall while Brian is playing in Mexico. Since I'm not comfortable taking Sage down there (for numerous reasons I won't go into), she and I are staying back in Charlotte. This will by no means be easy, and will probably be the last time we attempt being away from Daddy. EVER. But anyway, back to my photo wall . . .

We have a big blank space to the right of our television that desperately needs filling. I figure a photo wall is just the thing, but I can't decide what kind of arrangement I like best. The 3 options are:

1.) Extremely streamlined/symmetrical, like so:




2.) Still symmetrical, but with more interest, like so (sorry I don't have a better pic):




3.) Or a mismatched arrangement like this:



I like all of these styles! But which one will look best in the space I have? I just don't know. I'm leaning towards arrangement #1, but ask me tomorrow and I will have changed my mind.

I welcome any opinions or suggestions my readers would like to offer!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"The Itch"

Sometimes I just crack myself up.

Over the course of the past say, 3 years or so, I periodically get this "itch." An itch to dye my hair dark. As in, a little darker than my natural color, which is already dark brown. If I thought I could pull off black hair I would try it because I love black hair, but I'm not that stupid. Maybe crazy, but not stupid.

So anyway, I'm in the middle of one of those itches, just dying to dye my hair. DYING I say! But I have no courage. what. so. ever. I keep thinking Brian should get a job in another country next year and then I'll have an excuse! If I dyed it dark and it looked awful it wouldn't matter because I wouldn't know anyone. Who wants to mess with highlighting your hair every 2 months when abroad anyway?

A while back I did a post about a website where you can upload a pic of yourself and "try on" different hair color/styles. (You can find that post here.) I keep looking at the pic below thinking, it's not so bad. Ahhhhhhhh, but can I bite the bullet and do it? Melissa, if you're reading this don't panic. I won't do anything drastic before your wedding :)


Friday, September 10, 2010

100 Eagle Nest Trail

Saying good bye to your childhood home isn't easy. This is the latest battle I face as my parents build a new house and move to Spring Island, South Carolina.

The house they've/we've lived in since 1986 has been sold, and my 24 years of living and visiting the brick two-story at 100 Eagle Nest Trail has come to an end. Mom keeps reminding me that the memories we made there are precious, not the place itself. But I'll still miss it. I know I will . . . my childhood pets are buried in the back yard. My 8th grade dance pictures were taken on those front porch steps. It's where my friends and I would slide down the stairs in our sleeping bags, and where I locked myself in my room when I didn't want to go to piano lessons. It's simply, where I grew up . . . the old familiar, if you will. I would know it's scent from a million miles away. There's a comfort to the place. I'll miss that. I think I'm also scared that I'll forget what it was like.

I don't expect my parents to stay there forever. Whether good bye takes place now or later, there would eventually have to be a good bye. That's the way life goes. And despite the morbid tone of this post, I am happy that Mom and Dad are building a house on the coast. It will be a place we all thoroughly enjoy. And if many years are spent there, it will become dear to us in it's own right. It is quite a gorgeous place, evidenced below.





But as for this little jewel . . .


I said my good byes. I took pictures of every room. I shed some tears. And while someone else may live there now, it will always be, "the house that built me."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

6 Months

Lately the blog seems to be all about Sage. It will probably be like that periodically. But have no fear, I've got some posts in the works that are about other things going on in our lives. So stay tuned . . .

In the mean time, Sage is 6 months old and I figure that's a milestone, right? Half of a year has already flown by! My goodness. I kind of wish she could eat solids already because I'd love to see her dive into some yummy cake with lots of icing! Here are the many faces of Sage that I photographed today, her "half birthday."






At 6 months of age, here's what's going on with Miss Sage:

I'm pretty sure she's teething even though I can't feel anything breaking through yet. The drool is out of control and at times she seems cranky for no apparent reason. Laughs and giggles still abound too though.

She's still not thrilled about eating food. She'd much prefer a bottle. We try to practice spoon feeding once a day, but she literally shows no interest. Anyone else have this issue?

Gone are the days of sitting still. Sage is ready to get down and go . . . even though she can't "go" anywhere yet. I do believe crawling is on the horizon.

She really likes the sound of her own little high pitched voice. In the mornings, some times the squeals are a little too high :) but we still love to hear her "talk."

I took a little 6 month video that you can see below. It's not terribly interesting, but we needed live footage!




video

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Beach Trip

What a little diva


Not sure what to think of that water


Ended up lovin' it!


With cousin, Bridger


And Tucker

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

5 months old


People say this all the time, but it couldn't be more true. Kids grow up so fast. Our little Sagey is 5 months old today! Sometimes I feel like she changes right before our very eyes. I miss how small she used to be, but she gets more and more beautiful every day. I'm not biased or anything :)

At 5 months old Sage:

Is starting to get the hang of eating rice cereal with a spoon.

Lets out some hearty cackles and giggles when you hit her tickle spots, which include her ribs, under arms, neck, sides and thighs.

Has rolled over a few times, but not regularly.

Still sleeps 12 straight hours at night (lovin' this!!!!)

Adores her jumperoo! You should see her go to town in that thing!

Enjoys feeling different textures.

Periodically decides to be quite "chatty" and at other times very quiet.

Is one smiley girl!!!

Sage is such a good baby. The only thing she's not good at is napping, but the fact that she sleeps so well at night makes up for it. She is becoming more and more active and I can tell that it's only a matter of time before I have a hard time keeping up with her! Happy 5 month birthday baby girl!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mama/Daughter Time

Ok, here's the deal. There are some things that just come easily to certain people. Like my friend Katie. She's smart as a whip, works very hard and therefore has climbed the corporate ladder quickly, all the while making it look very effortless. And then there's my aunt, Bunny, who hosts all 15 members of our family at her house for several days and graciously coordinates meals, laundry, etc. and somehow never seems stressed or overwhelmed, just glad to do it.

Other women have even pointed out a few things I've made look effortless. (Shocker, I know). I kind of thought motherhood would be one of those things. However, I can tell you with all confidence that I DO NOT make motherhood look effortless. I'm pretty sure that if you could have been a fly on my wall over the past 4 days, you would agree. (Please don't mistaken me here. The love and adoration I have for Sage overwhelmed me the minute I laid eyes on her - that was completely effortless and natural. I'm referring more to the "reading your child" and "knowing what's best for your infant" gift some people seem to possess that make caring for a baby look easy).

Brian left last Monday for a 4 game road trip. That left Sage and I back in NJ, a little bored. I was pretty concerned. Let's be honest, when your child won't let anyone hold her (as in, screams bloody murder when a stranger even gets close), and your husband skips town for a few days, it can leave one a little concerned about his/her sanity as the sole care taker. Sage and I have also never been alone for days on end, in a small apartment, in a town where we don't know many people. I was genuinely a little nervous.

I made my fair share of mistakes, like not paying enough attention to when she needed to nap, which meant I ended up with a very cranky, overly tired baby at the end of the day. But we also had several giggle/tickle sessions where she laughed so hard it made us both delirious. A "girls night" after Sage went to bed, complete with cupcakes and good conversation with sweet friends helped me feel sane too. Sometimes you just need a little adult conversation :)

Sage is such a good baby (until she's around a big group or a stranger, then she freaks out, but I've been told she'll grow out of this), and the other day I was thinking about how I want to really enjoy my time with her. These next few years are precious and irreplaceable. They may be the only time we get, just the two of us, especially if Brian and I have more kids. In a few years when life is crazier and more populated, I'll probably relish and adore the idea of getting 4 uninterrupted days with my sweet daughter. So I think I should start appreciating them NOW.

Here's a little pic of our sweet Sage that I took this past week. Could you not just eat her up? Or as Daddy likes to say, "Sage, I could slop you up with a biscuit."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gone Baby Gone

Well, it was so nice while it lasted . . . a summer at home that is. Our sweet time hanging out together as a family 24/7 has come to a close. Brian's foot is almost completely healed and we're heading to New Jersey in a few days so he can start pitching again. It's so hard to leave our family, friends and community in Charlotte. Although I do look forward to watching baseball again! It will be so much fun when Sage is old enough to enjoy it and understand what's going on. We have some sweet friends in NJ that I'm looking forward to seeing as well. Here's hoping that Sage does really well on the 12 hour drive up there!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I Wanna Do It All!!!!

Do you ever find yourself just wanting to do and be everything? There are so many hobbies I'd like to take up and be really good at them. Like photography and sewing. I just adore good pictures. They can tell such a powerful story. And wouldn't it be nice if I could sew my own drapes instead of having to pay someone else an arm and a leg to do it? But how and when would I take a sewing or photography class when I can barely squeeze the most important things into the day? I have "everyday goals" like spending time with the Lord, with my precious family, taking care of my home (which includes cooking, cleaning, and shopping for my loved ones), exercising, the list goes on and on.

I found a website recently called the Pioneer Woman. I seriously think this lady does it all. She must not sleep. She's a photographer, homeschools her 4 kids, just finished writing a cook book, and updates her website all the time with how-to articles. She's pretty hilarious too. Check her out at www.thepioneerwoman.com. I'm not sure whether to feel inspired or intimidated . . . but like her. She was a high heel wearin' California girl who's world drastically changed when she married a cattle rancher from Oklahoma. To hear her tell it, life couldn't be sweeter. I like that. I get that. What I don't get is how she accomplishes so much while raising 4 kiddos!

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Fun 4th Weekend


It was fun to finally experience a July 4th! Since Brian is usually playing ball, we don't get to celebrate like the rest of the nation. The 4th ends up being like any other day because there's a baseball game to be played. But this summer is different! This year we got to do so many fun things.









Our neighborhood had a little bike parade. As you can see it was pretty simple, but Sage was quite entertained by it.







Then we had our good friends Jeremy, Heather and Mason over for a cook out! Mason and Sage are buds. She kept reaching for Mason, it was really cute.





And finally, on Sunday our church had a big patriotic service where Mike Huckabee was the guest speaker. I always get emotional when we honor all the men and women that have so valiantly served our country. On a side note, how big is that flag? Holy cow.



This has nothing to do with the 4th of July, but I thought you'd all like to know that Sage is fascinated by her feet. She's constantly staring at them in amazement (see pic below). It's pretty hilarious. She'll strain to sit up in her car seat just so she can get a better look at them! Happy 4th everybody!!!!!