Monday, May 31, 2010

Just Hangin' Out

Well, just ask Jesse "What ya doin?" And she would say...
"Just hangin' out."

I believe this is coined from Ms. Kelly and I love it.

That's what we did this Memorial Day Weekend. Just hung out with Family.

There was a little of this..

but more of this.

We made it to the pool where all my picture taking concentration turned to little Miss Ella.

It's great to have kids. Wonderful excuses to take tons of pictures, make Rice Krispy Treats, buy Moon Pies and count to 3 and all go under water at the same time.

I just can't get enough.

And summer is just beginning.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sandra's Daughter

Last night really got me to thinking about her. So, here it goes.

I am a Mom, a Wife, a Sister, an Aunt, a Friend, a Super Duper Multi-Tasker, a Full Time Engineer, and I will always be.....Sandra's Daughter. Yes, I am also a Daughter to a woman who left this earth 10 years ago this past April. A fantastic woman. Every day when I sit down at work, I read this passage. I'm not a super religious person, but this gives me comfort. My sweet mother-in-law gave me a little angel holding scriptures years ago, well before my mother was even sick. I've always had it on my desk. There was a time that I was not working, and I moved it to my desk at home, but it has always been there for me. After my mother passed, I returned home and a new verse was in front. I had not changed the angel to a new verse in so long. I usually forgot to. I stood there in total shock.....reading the verse over and over.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Did she leave this here for me? I asked my love, "did you change this?" He said something like "No, but you know what, I accidentally dropped the angel while you were gone. All the verses fell on the floor, everywhere. I shuffled them up and put them back on her. I didn't pay attention to what the verse said that landed on top." Oooooohhhhhhh, I thought. But wait a minute, doesn't mean she or God didn't have a part in this. Smile. Thank you. I miss you every single day. I wish you could see the woman, the Mom I have become. I hope you would be proud of me. I love you.

I have never changed the verse sense that day. I never will.

April 2000...some day that month. I never understood why people remembered those days in time when a loved one passes. I have no idea which day it was. Isn't it more of a joy to remember her birthday, Christmases together? The April day was not a beautiful day to me. I guess I am still angry. Not at her. Just was never ready to let her go. But I did, and I told her it was OK. I told her I loved her and it was OK....I told her I was going to be OK. And I am. I'm changed, but I am OK. No, I'm great! I'm great because of her!

This moment defines me in so many ways. So, here I am blogging about my blessings in life and it doesn't feel complete without telling this story. I lost my mother too young. But you know, I would rather have had her for the time that I did than anyone else. I lost my father even younger...almost too young to remember. So, I go through every day and thank God for this opportunity to see the beauty in it all and appreciate it.

Mama, life is good. Wish we could sit down and have margaritas and watch the kids run in the back yard. They have so much of you in them. I love that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mama's Tea Cakes

I wish I had some sort of recording device to record everything that was going through my head tonight. Seriously. My mind was all over the place. So many things I want to say and I feel like I am going to burst if I don't get some of it out! What's up with me! I'm an engineer, not a writer! I did Cori's math homework...she did my English. Something is not right in my universe. But I'm sure enjoying it.

My little angels are asleep.

My love is out of town.
And what am I doing tonight?? Baking.

I'm baking for Mr. Clark (Jonah's bus driver)...or so I thought. Actually, it turns out it is a lot for me. Mama's Tea Cakes. I can remember just like yesterday sitting at our kitchen bar and watching her go through batches of these things. The frustration when a batch came out of the oven not just right. I'm smiling. I miss that. I think I have found her recipe. Actually, it's not exactly the recipe, but I think she used this one and added vanilla. They had to have vanilla!! So I added it!

As I was fantasizing about being a food photographer...I almost burned my second batch of tea cakes. But how fun would it be to smell freshly baked cookies every day and take pictures of these perfectly still subjects! But I'm not kidding myself here. I'm no photographer. But if I could start over and go that route I would.

Ahhhhhhhhh, perfection. Look at those beauties! Mama would be so proud. Not too crispy, not too soft, not too brown....just right. Man, I think Mr. Clark is going to love these! Although, Jonah might be disappointed they are missing the chocolate chips. Ooops.

Mr. Clark, you're the best!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pretty Please

While in Destin recently, I was unprepared. I didn't know if we were going or not! Didn't know if the beaches would be covered in oil. But they were not, and we had a fantastic vacation! I was a little unprepared for beach portraits. Well, I had Jesse the typical white dress. Which I do still love, but I needed the typical white shirt for Jonah. Didn't have one! So, I left the kids with my love and ran to a cute little store in Sandestin....Pretty Please. I walked in asking for a white shirt. None to be found. But what I did find was a lot of beautiful! Wow! So, with the help of a fantastic lady, Paige, I found Jonah something a little different. And then oh, the little girl side of the store just called my name. And there it was. Jesse's beach girl outfit. I fell in love with it and ran out the door with them both. I told Paige, "I'll send you pictures if they turn out good!" And I did. And they put them on their facebook page. And I am so excited! Super nice people. Super wonderful store.

Thank you Pretty Please! Can't wait to visit again!

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks....

The Finally.

He plays for the incredibly fitting.

He has really good friends that have been with him sense the first day of baseball. And he's made new friends this season. As he says, "my baseball friends." He's so proud of them.

Jonah is so happy out there. Whether he gets a hit or doesn't seem to phase him. He's just having fun. I love that. I love that he's loving life and not worrying about being the best right now. I'm just letting that soak in really good.

This has always been my favorite shot. Just after shaking hands. Good game. Time for snack!

Game Ball...the anticipation and the pure joy of receiving this award! On this last day, it was Jonah's turn.

No words can describe the joy in his smile.

And the trophy party! Can you remember being young and receiving a trophy for anything? Doesn't matter if it is made of's, well, as good as an Oscar! And I am just as proud of him as if it was.

What a fantastic season.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It was Jonah's weekend...a weekend of celebration of many things.

But I'll just start with this...


Seems like yesterday we put him on the big yellow bus for the first time.

He was so brave and excited.

Fast forward to this weekend. On this graduation day....rain. He looks forward to rainy mornings. Isn't that great? Maybe we all should have dinosaur umbrellas?

His favorite people were there. There was singing. Months of the Year his class performed. He was so handsome dressed up in his khaki pants and polo shirt. My little blonde hair, blue eyed man...looking so grown up.

Cousin Kadee hung the moon. Did you know that? She can do no wrong. She's Kadee! Perfect in every way! Both of my kids love her tremendously...and as the same as her love for them. It's obvious. She was the first to speak and make sure Mrs. Sheffield had an award for Jonah. Jonah was second to say if Kadee could have one too?

And oh, Aunt Kelly was there. She lifts Kadee up to hang the moon. She's the one that spoils them and gives them unconditional love always. She would give them the moon to keep if she could.

And time for awards.

I held my breath as children received awards for perseverance and such. Not sure what in the world she would recognize in our boy. It's been a roller coaster year! And then it came....


Smile. I sat there taking pictures and thinking to myself....he's so honest. When's he's a bad boy, he tells me, ha! He tells me exactly what went wrong.

"Jonah, how was your day today?"

"Not good Mommy."

"What happened?"

"I was talking in the hallway."

It is so incredibly difficult to discipline a child who is so honest and truthful. Most of the time I just say, "Well, try harder tomorrow!" We always tell him to just tell us the truth and he will not be in trouble. Did we actually accomplish something here? So proud.

"Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children." ~Oliver Wendell

We've been blessed with the best nannies in the world! They have loved our kids like their own and even left their wonderful, special marks on them. It's a wonderful thing when your kids don't want their nanny to leave when you get home. It truly is. We love you Laura and Kelly! We were so glad you both could make it!

And...there's something special about a Grandparent's love. I see it through their eyes when they look at them...all four of their babies. I look forward to feeling that myself one day. I just don't think I can truly understand it till I get there....but I got a good idea anyway.

Spoil 'em good!

Our proudest Kindergarten moment is right here. If you haven't seen this, it is Jonah's performance in the Avery Elementary Talent Show. It was all his idea.

There were tears when he was done. Happy, proud tears. I tear thinking of it right now. Looking at my love and seeing the same familiar joy in his face. That's our boy. That's your big brother Jesse! You rock Jonah.

So, back to honesty.

In the words of Mark Twain, "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

I like that. Jonah's got it right.

We love you.

First grade sounds so serious, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Slow Down Sister

She has her Daddy's eyes. Yep, that's pretty much Daddy's Girl.
Can I claim any of that?

Our Jesse is having a great year. Much deserved.

She's been through it for sure. Last year, our beach trip was cut short with her third major asthma attack and third stay in the hospital. That will always be the year we watched 4th of July fireworks from the upper parking deck of Scottish Rite. That was the 4th we were counting our blessings, because unlike others there, we knew she was going to be OK.

This year was a much different story.

Running, Laughing, Playing, Screaming, Oh the Eating, Living, and Breathing.

Lover of shoes, princess pajamas, necklaces and bracelets. Now, let's don't forget chocolate and cheese. Follower of Jonah. Independent, Strong, So Funny and So Loving. That's Our Girl. Jesse Girl.

Here we go...something from me. Lover of Strawberry Daiquiri.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1, 2....That's About As Far As She Goes

Want to be back there so badly.

Would love to see them play one more game of hide-n-seek at the village in front of the fountain.

So tonight after homework and before bath, we played a game in our own backyard. No camera. Just play. They had just as much fun.

So that makes me happy. It makes me happy to see how hard my love works to help me get them to sleep. And to relate to the familiar frustration when they are just too wound up and it's a tough night getting them down. We don't have to say anything...just pick up when the other needs a break. That's something.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why can't I stop...

gazing at these pictures? We're home. It's nice to be home.

The curls are gone. Oh, I'm going to miss those.

No more sea shells.
He found over 300. Mostly broken, but he didn't care.

I'll miss the feel of the sand in our toes.

Too many pictures to count.
I take thousands and hope to get a few good ones.

The truth is that some of the best moments are when...
I just put the stupid camera down.

But, it's so nice to have these. Gold.

More to come.

Wish I didn't have to sleep.