Friday, January 28, 2011

Move over Michael Phelps...

...cause there's a new kid in town. She may not have your wingspan, but she looks a whole lot cuter in goggles than you do.

This swimming thing is kind of fun.

It's okay, Brodie. I'll hold your hand so you won't be scared.

I'm a little bit nervous Mrs. Laurie. I might hold on a little tight.

I'm doing it, I'm doing it!! With the help of flotation devices, but still....

Okay, come on peeps. Is she not the cutest thing? Not everyone can rock pink goggles and a wetsuit like my girl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Things I'm loving right now

1. Downtown Abbey- This is a wonderful show that airs Sunday nights on PBS. It is brilliantly acted and a true delight. Check it out if you get a chance. The show follows the life of the "upstairs" family who are an aristocratic bunch. Their lives are full of lies, betrayal, and drama of course. Then it follows the lives of their "downstairs" servants who are a rather sordid bunch and their lives are full of lies, betrayal, and drama. Of course.

2. My 18 month old son. I love this age so much! He still looks enough like a baby to make him feel like one, but he's old enough now to understand what I am saying, play with his sister, communicate his needs to me, and be independent. Yet he still cuddles with me and really needs his Mom. He's the best of both worlds and I love it. Oh, and he's slightly quirky. But what gave that away?

3. Fearless by Max Lucado. This is the book we are reading in our Bible Study and I am already learning so much from it. I love when Lucado writes, "No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear. His most common command emerges from the 'fear not' genre. The gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, twenty-one urge us to 'not be afraid' or to 'not fear' or to 'have courage, 'take heart, or 'be of good cheer.' The second most common command appears on eight occasions. If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement he said more than any other was this: Don’t be afraid."

4. Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand. Oh my goodness. Louis Zamperini is my hero. I am not really into biographies and much prefer reading fiction, but this book had me captivated from the first page. If you ever want to read about a true American hero, this is the book for you. I am in awe of the resilience and strength of this man.

5. Snow Angels outside my window. When it snows we always take the kids outside to play. On this latest round we taught Bennett how to make snow angels. I didn't think about it at the time, but Rob and Bennett were making them right outside of my bedroom window. And now whenever I wake up in the morning I see the imprint of two of the most special people in my life and I am reminded daily of God's blessings.

6. Oscar Nominations. I love love love them. Always have and always will. I still need to see two movies on the list, but right now I am pulling with all of my might for The Kings Speech. And Mr. Darcy of course in the acting category. But I would have him win every year. Just because.

7. My daughter's imagination. We do not have a daughter named Bennett anymore. We now have a little girl named Bo Peep. You must call her that at all times. I do not have a son anymore. His name is sheep. And Bo Peep chases her sheep, corrals her sheep, carries her sheep, and terrifies her sheep. At other times she is Ariel or Dorothy. But never Bennett. And I love it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mama, I'm a big girl now

Pardon the Hairspray reference in the title of this blog post. Sometimes I like to let my musical theatre freak flag fly. Actually, I take back the pardon. If you got the reference, then we shall remain friends. If you didn't know what I was referring to, then you should stop reading now. We are not friends. Just kidding. Kind of.

Anyhoo, we finally decided to cut Bennett's hair. Yes, she's almost 3. But she still has this baby hair in front that makes it look like I've given her bangs and I have been waiting for her hair to get to one length before I cut it. However I kind of got tired of her giving Billy Cyrus a run for his mullet money, so we decided that it was time.

Sitting like such a big girl while we decide how much to trim.

Last look at her "baby hair" as we call it. Sniff Sniff....

Will always steals the show wherever we go. He hung out in another car while big sis got her hair cut and this is what he does when we tell him to say, "Cheese." Ladies and gentlemen, I have another ham on my hands.

Here we go! The first snip.

She was so still and patient. I was so so proud of her.

A little pampering and then.....

..... Voila! Bennett's first hair cut.

What a beautiful (and big) girl. Milestones are always a little hard on Mom. But she looks so incredibly cute that I guess I'll stop being such a sentimental sap and admit that it was time.

I just hope Will stays bald for another year.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dazed and Confused

This was my conversation with Bennett this morning.

Me: Bennett. Let's get dressed. You're going to church this morning.
B: Yay!! Amelia gonna be there.
Me: No. You aren't going to school today. You're going to church.
B: Maybe I see a puppet show?
Me: No, honey. You aren't going to Sunday School or school. Today is Wednesday and Mommy is going to her Mom's group. You will be in the nursery today.
B: I tell Ms. Judy that I eat a waffle for breakfast.
Me: No, honey. Ms. Judy isn't there today. Levi will be there today.
B: Levi not go to my school.
Me: Honey, you're going to the nursery. Not school and not Sunday School.
B: (sighs) Just get in the car, Mommy. I not know anything.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Two Horse Open Sleigh

In our quest to find fun wintery things to do in Kansas City, we stumbled upon sleigh rides. We couldn't quite find a one horse open sleigh, but we'll settle for two horses. But I mean, how cool is this? I felt like I should be in a Dickens novel.

If you live in the KC area, check out Mahaffie Stagecoach in Olathe. They have sleigh rides every time it snows and afterwards you can warm up with hot chocolate in front of the fire. Sounds like a deal to me.

Meet our guides, Barney and Burt

Daddy with the eldest

Mommy with the youngest

Just put us on a Christmas card right now. You know you want to.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surprise Visit

I will just go ahead and say it. Auburn won the National Championship game. Sigh..... this was the sporting news I was referring to in my post below.

The Bad News: Everything about it.
The Good News: Our best friend went to the game in Arizona and had a layover in Kansas City on his way home. Then his flight home was canceled due to snow and he and his Dad got to spend the night with us.

I'm not sure if getting to see Corey for a night was worth Auburn winning a National title, but it did make it a little more bearable.

You see, we are fans of Corey in this house. We have been friends for a long time now and he is one of the friends we had the hardest time leaving in Montgomery. We love him because he is

a. an awesome friend
b. a kid at heart just like us
c. he has agreed to take Meg if anything ever happens to me or Rob

We dislike him because

a. He is an Auburn fan
b. has not agreed to take Kirby

The three have us have been known to drive spontaneously to Atlanta to see a concert at the last minute, roll houses in the middle of the night, register for wedding presents together, film Dolly Parton look a-likes riding Go-Karts in Tennessee, take out little kids in kickball games, write dozens of scripts for a kids TV show, go to every movie imaginable, appear in Rooms-to-Go commercials, stand in line at midnight to buy the newest Harry Potter, perform in too many skits to count at church, obsess over our Oscar ballots to make sure we knew more than the others, e-mail our thoughts on every episode of LOST, laugh until we cried while playing tetris at midnight, and so much more.

He came out to Kansas to visit us when Will was born and Rob has flown to DC to see Corey argue before the Supreme Court. He drove hours to be there when Bennett was born even though he was working on a case in North Alabama. We have been to his baseball games and even sat through Montgomery Maulers games just to hear him doing the announcements. And he was the first one at our wedding reception site helping to decorate and he was the last one to leave after helping to clean up.

Needless to say, we are pretty fond of CMAZE.

So having him here really did take the sting out of the game. Just a little.

He and his Dad entered my house all decked out in their Auburn gear. I tried to counter a little by wearing my Alabama shirt and hat, but it was just too depressing.

Once I got over having that terrible #2 jersey in my house, we decided to do what the three of us to best. Act like kids. Here we are in a very competitive game of fishing.

It got pretty intense.

We had built a castle out of building blocks for the kids. Corey decided that it wasn't good enough and that he could do better. Such a nerd.

We had some pretty serious snow here so we took the kids out for some sledding the next day. Here is Corey and his Dad making a pretty sweet run with the little ones.

Bennett was having the time of her life. Even if she was squashing her little brother.

If you're going to pull a sled, commit to it 100%

Obligatory group shot. But this time even Meg jumped in. She and Corey have a history as well. She may like him more than we do. But don't tell him that.

Friends for life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I just don't like Slater

This may be the most awesome article I have ever read. In my life. Maybe it's because I always was a Zach Morris kind of girl.

In other pop culture news, by beloved Boston Rob will be back for another go at Survivor. That means that I also have to deal with sleazy Russell, but I'll take it just to see Boston Rob.

Go see The King's Speech. If you want a master class in acting, then you must check it out. Geoffrey Rush wants to be my best friend. He just doesn't know it yet.

In sporting news, I am not happy. That's all I can say about that.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How can you not see God?

I have heard many people say that they see God in nature. I too have marveled at mountains and canyons and wondered how anyone could doubt that these were created. I have rarely seen a sunset or stared out at the ocean without praising God for being the ultimate artist.

However, I have also wondered how anyone could miss God when looking at an urban landscape? As we were driving home this past week, we passed many cities along the way. I think it was while I was staring at the St. Louis skyline that I became emotionally overwhelmed by God's creation.

I know many people get that feeling while looking at the Grand Canyon rather than a smoggy skyline, but how can one deny God's existence when looking at a city scene?

Man was put on this earth with nothing. Nothing. Just the land, rivers, oceans, and vegetation. Now think about Times Square. Every single thing that you see in Times Square came from what God put in and on our earth.

God gave us everything we needed to create what we have now and he just waited for us to discover how to mine it, extract it, plant it, and use it.

Through the years man has figured out how to make textiles, harness electricity, mine minerals, make rubber, metal, cotton, plastic.... and everything was here from the beginning.

Lights, airplanes, LCD screens, every electronic imaginable... it can all be found in the earth, the water, and the sky. And God put it all here for us to discover.

It is astounding and I cannot look at any city without praising God for His creation.

That is artistry. And it is amazing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

Well, we're home. After a 27 hour round trip car ride, 4 days at the beach, 5 nights in Montgomery, and 2 different nights in hotels, we're home. I don't have the energy yet to write about our trip. I think I am still wondering, "What in the world did we just do?" My fridge is empty, my van looks like Santa's sleigh exploded in it, there is mail all over our counter, and I have laundry up to my knees, but we did it.

We started our Christmas vacation in Seaside, Florida. We pulled in after a very long journey on Christmas Eve and my parents and my sister's family were all out in the streets waiting on us. It was probably the best moment of the whole trip. My nieces had my van door open in seconds and were pulling Bennett and Will out and hugging them. We immediately went caroling all over downtown Seaside and my sweet nieces handed out candy canes to anyone who passed by.

We went back in the beach house where my Mom had prepared the most wonderful dinner. It was just so good to be with family and catch up and laugh. Bennett got to sleep in a room with her cousin in twin beds and she was so excited about that. I was NOT excited though when my nieces were up at 5:30 on Christmas morning. Agony.

Poor Bennett didn't know what was going on and I had to wake Will up from a sound sleep when we finally let them downstairs at 6:00 am, but they had a great time seeing what Santa brought. I think my kids were a little overwhelmed. They weren't quite sure what to make of everything. But then Bennett saw her horse and Will saw his train and it was all over. They got it.

My brother-in-law cooked our traditional Christmas breakfast and then the rest of the day was bike rides, family presents, naps, and an amazing dinner that night.

Unfortunately it was cold at the beach. I mean, COLD! In Florida. How annoying is that? So we didn't get to get out and enjoy the beach as much as we would have liked, but we still had a great time. Here are some pics from part 1 of our Christmas vacation.

The five cousins all back together. Finally!

Will with his beautiful and sweet cousin

Christmas caroling in downtown Seaside on Christmas Eve. It doesn't get much better than that.

We came back to the beach house and everyone decorated their own cookie for Santa.

The finished result.

Reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and snuggling with family on the couch

And here they come. We finally let the insomniacs out of their rooms.

My nieces are about to die to go downstairs. Bennett is in the middle of a yawn and Will looks like he wants to shoot the person who just woke him up. Merry Christmas!

Isn't this great? I love this shot of them running down the stairs. What a classic Christmas moment.

Hmmm.... a train and a horse? I can get used to this Christmas thing.

I wish I could just freeze time and hold on to moments like these forever.

She's really not girly at all. I promise. Not at all.

And they're off to the races. Because in my house you need two of everything. Or there will be a fight every day. So we have two horses. Sigh.... but they still fight.

This picture is my daughter. It just is. A princess riding a horse. Sums her up to a tee.

Will is thinking, "I don't know who this Santa fella is, but I like his style."

Happiness is children on Christmas morning. I love every second of it.

Bennett and Will with their three older cousins who adore them and whom I personally miss so very much.

My parents with their five grandchildren.

Bundling up for a really cold bike ride

A little cold weather can't stop us. We are cycling fools.

Will getting a sweet ride on a horse. Pantless. Both Will and the horse.

We'll hang out on the beach no matter the weather. You just watch us.


This was Will's first trip to the beach since he started walking. He didn't know what to think about the sand.

My favorite fella.

Even though it was cold, Bennett absolutely loved playing in the sand. When you ask her what she liked best about the beach, she won't hesitate in telling you that it was the sand. She would have stayed there all day.

Braving the cold for a bike ride with Dad.

We'll eat ice-cream outside in December. We have no fear like that.

I think my daughter is actually licking the large disgusting cone. I don't know where she came from.

Hanging out on the upstairs porch of our house.

Me and my girl

My Family- Christmas 2010