Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 2009

And the Winner Is...

According to random calculations at After 134 entries (included the ones that got 10 entries for blogging about my drawing on their blog). The winner is Jay at Janey and me, Happily! Congratulations Jay! and though I do love you with all of my heart, this was a totally random drawing and cupid smiled on you today!

I wish I had a copy for all of you! Thanks for those of you that participated! I hope to do more of these in the future. The book is not yet available in stores but you can order it from amazon by clicking on the icon below.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! I hope you steal a kiss from your honey!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Most Expensive Free Vacation Ever

Emma at her school Thanksgiving program before we left

For some reason, God has found it fit to wake me up every day at 4:30 a.m. When Emma was a baby, I was just convinced that I was a hero mommy because I followed the instructions of "On Becoming Baby Wise" to the T and she was sleeping through the night by six weeks. Six weeks! I was so proud of myself. And if I ever begin to feel proud of myself... In steps God for what you can be sure will be the most humbling experience. Don't get me wrong, I still think "Baby Wise" is a wonderful book with a great philosophy. But, it just so happened that when I had Chloe, we had some circumstances in our lives at that time that gave the flawless plan a run for it's money. Lot's of traveling, an older sister that brought home lots of colds, ear infections, stomach viruses, you name it. And Chloe, like her mother gets stuck in these little cycles and something done once becomes a habit.. So, after many different times of letting her "cry it out" (which is not easy for me), she is back to sleeping through the night (until the next crisis). I don't mind waking up with a newborn for feedings in the middle of the night. Somehow, though exhaustion does set in, I treasure those in the middle of the night feedings when everything is quiet. I don't mind comforting a child after a bad dream or being up with a sick child (if they are truly sick the drama that a five year old brings to the table makes you really evaluate these situations)But waking up in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep, now that's just wrong...

But since it has happened as it often does, I'm going to use this opportunity of quietness to record a vacation that we had a while back. So go with me if you will, back to Thanksgiving. Adam's parents have a timeshare in Gatlinburg. It is at a super nice place that has recently added an indoor waterpark! Since everyone's lives have been crazy with having babies and stuff and they hadn't been able to vacation much in the past couple of years, they had banked a few weeks at this timeshare. They offered to us, our own cabin with a connected studio apartment and told us that we could invite whoever we wanted to come with us. So, we invited my parents and since my sister was on a trip to be in the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York with the dance team she coaches, it worked out great that my nephew, Justin was able to spend Thanksgiving with us. It had also been quite some time since we had had a vacation because all of our vacation time while we lived in WV was spent visiting family. I thought we were going to get our cake and eat it too! And really we did. We got to spend Thanksgiving with both of our families and have a vacation at the same time.. But as you might have learned about me by now, nothing can ever go that easily so, let me tell you about how we got to Gatlinburg...

We never map out a destination. Adam got me a GPS for Mother's Day and we now heavily rely on our trusted friend (I call her Beyonce because she's always saying, "to the left"), so we punched in the destination and pursued on. So, after five and a half hours of travel, we see a sign that says, Gatlinburg, 30 miles. I turn to the children in the back seat and trying to build their excitement just a little more, I exclaim, "Thirty more miles until we see Nana and Papa"! And then, just a few minutes later, we saw it.. THE SIGN.. "Roads closed due to ice". And so... I kept driving of course. I mean surely this had to be some sort of mistake. They must have left that sign out by mistake. It's not THAT cold out is it? But then, the road became more narrow and the sides became more steep and I began to have visions of my family plummeting to our death in our little silver minivan and so my motherly instincts won the battle over my will and I turned the minivan around. We turned to our trusted friend again, punched in a detour route and there you have it... two and a half hours.. "This must be a mistake", Adam exclaims! So we stop and a convenience store to have our lot confirmed finding that the only way to not go over a mountain is to go around it. Hmm, who would have thought it. Thankfully, my children have gotten pretty used to having to be flexible and it wasn't long before they were both sleeping soundly in the back seat. Determined to not let our vacation be ruined so early on, I say to Adam, "not a big deal! we haven't had a chance to talk much lately and the kids are almost asleep" It will go faster than we think.. So, I got Adam's dad on the phone and laughingly told him the situation saying that we were having a "National Lampoons Vacation". And at that point he said, "well, I'm glad you didn't go on the icy road because if you have a wreck, on a closed road, your insurance won't cover it". To which I said, "oh, speaking of insurance, I hope we don't have car trouble because I left our roadside assistance cards on my desk at home". I hung up the phone and Adam and I continued our conversation about life and death and heaven and hell becoming more and more convinced that in our brilliance, we had discovered the answers to all the deep questions that brilliant people have asked for centuries.. and then, not five minutes after hanging up the phone, it happened... I pushed the accelerator to go up a hill and there was no acceleration.. It just wouldn't go. I pulled over to the side of the road. I distinctly remember thinking... Did this sort of thing happen to Confucius? I mean seriously, I have heaven and hell pinned down, couldn't I remember to put our road side assistance cards in my purse? Adam dug through his wallet and thankfully had his card. To spare you a lot of details of what happened while we sat on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere North Carolina by a "flea market" (and by flea market I mean a little shack with a lot of broken toilets and camper shells in the yard) for about four hours, I'll just sum it up by saying, that Adam's dad made a long trip to come get us, our van was towed to a transmission place, we arrived at our destination at 3:30 a.m. just 7 and a half hours later than Beyonce predicted and Adam and my dad made a trip back to NC to get the van a few days later and we came home with a new transmission and a $2600 charge to our credit card.

I told Adam that we might as well live it up because after the Disney trip (which I already had booked and paid for or we wouldn't have gone) we were going to be sitting on our tails. And so we did! And I was so proud of us because through the whole ordeal, we didn't say one unkind word to each other... Did you catch what I said earlier about what happens when I start feeling proud of myself? Well, stay tuned for the piece of humble pie that I ate on the Disney trip...

Oh and in case you didn't catch the fact that my comments about figuring out life and death and heaven and hell were seeping in sarcasm.... The topic boggles me. I have lots of theories on the subject that come and go, some which might get me disowned by The Church. But the only thing that I'm quite sure of is that any small idea that I have about God's wonderful creation is more wrong than right..

Anyway, here are some pictures of our trip and our attempt to have $2600 worth of fun.

And, because it's difficult to be both a mother and a photographer, as I usually do, I missed getting pictures of some people that were there with us. So... not pictured: Pawpaw, Justin, Uncle Kevin and Aunt Vicky and Paul.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


We now have pigtails. Being the child of both a barber and a beautician, this is a monumental time for us!

And since I didn't start blogging until about a year later, here is a picture of Emma sporting the do for the first time. Both of them at right at 17 months.. See how much bigger Emma was. You would never know it looking at her little string bean frame now. Oh and see that sneaky look on Chloe's face? Perfect depiction of her personality!

PS: Don't miss my give away in the post below!