Monday, July 29, 2013

Swim in the Sad

Sometimes you need to swim in the sad,
To let hope diminish when things feel too bad.

Sometimes you need to drown in your tears
Let them fall freely and hold tight your fears.

Sometimes the weight of the world is too much,
The storm rains upon any traces of luck.

Sometimes the blue has all faded to grey,
The promise of happy's just too far away.

Sometimes the hurt stabs straight to your heart,
This life isn't fair.The world falls apart.


Always know this, when your world is too dark,
I'll weather your storm, I'll hold tight your heart. 

When the darkness, the heavy, the tears just won't end.
Shower your desparation on me, my dear friend. 

I'll hold you afloat as you drift in the sad,
Be your shield as you pelt the world with your mad.

I'll offer a light when yours just won't shine;
And when your heart breaks, gladly give you mine.

I'll offer my faith as a safe place to hide,
Until sadness and hurt and mad all subside.

So, swim in the sadness, but also please know, 
One day, your own light will once again glow.

Until then, sweet friend, I will keep you afloat,
And offer my strength and my prayers and my hope.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sometimes It's Hard

It is easier for me to deal with hard things by not dealing with them at all. 

There are certain dates, certain situations, certain events, that are just HARD based on my own childhood and life experiences. 

These things? I just can't think about them too long. I can't let myself get lost in thought about the couldas, shouldas, or wouldas. I can't let myself experience the full extent of emotion that I feel tugging on my heart, begging to force it's way into my life. Because the truth is? I worry I will crumble under it.

So. I put up this barrier. And it's strange-I can actually feel myself physically building this barrier around my heart. It's my own form of self-preservation, of self-protection. And then I force myself not to think about what's going on around me and what's trying to invade my heart. 

It's not healthy to not deal with these things. I mean, good Lord, I have a doctorate in psychology. I know what is healthy coping. I know what is unhealthy coping. But. I don't want to cope sometimes. Sometimes, I just want to shut off my thinking, build up my barrier, and escape into the easy.

One day, I'll face it all.

But not today. 

Today, I'll focus on the sunshine, of the beautiful life I'm living, of the love and laughter that surrounds me. And breathe deeper knowing my heart is safe for now.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Coffee Date Friday: From the Road

Hellooooo again! I am linking up with Rags to Stitches for my third Coffee Date Friday. Today, were we to share some caffeinated delights together, we would likely have to FaceTime or Skype while we did so, as my little family o' four and I are headed to Winston-Salem for a weekend with one of my sisters, her hubby, and my niece. While chatting and sipping on sweet, sweet caffeine, hopefully without spilling, here's what I would share with you today:

...This week, one of my best friends and her two sons came to stay with us for a few days. We had a great time, complete with trips to the playground, fresh Fort Mill ice cream, a trip to a local farm, a fun poolside playdate with another one of our college friends and her two precious girls, and another playdate with one of my closest Fort Mill friends and her two boys. My favorite parts of the visit, however, were at night, when our kiddos were tucked away and slumbering soundly while we drank wine, chatted, and discussed all things Royal Baby.

...I would say that I got up extra early 4 out of 5 days this week to go for early morning runs. It was amazing in that, during the clear-sky mornings, the moon would be shining on my right and the sun, rising on my left, as I ran. Quiet. Peaceful. Breath-taking. My favorite new way to start the day.

...I would tell you that my precious Raleigh now sings the dinner blessing with Banks, and it is one of the best parts of my day. I think I may have mentioned to you a time or two that she looooooves to sing. And that sweet baby voice just kills me every time. 

...I would tell you that I have this stereotype in my head of what a stay-at-home momma is supposed to look like: She is supposed to independently keep the house spic-and-span at all times, cook delicious, made-from-scratch, healthy meals, constantly teach her children new concepts and promote cognitive development, garden, iron all laundry, and on and on. You know what? I think supposed to can be a very dangerous phrase. Who determines what things are supposed to look like in my world? In yours? Some out-dated ideals? Some modern ideals? What makes them ideal anyway? I am going to attempt to strike supposed to from my vocabulary. 

...I would share that Banks thoroughly enjoyed his first (of many) fishing trips with his Daddy and Pop last weekend. And I totally teared up, in the middle of a restaurant, in the middle of lunch, in the middle of a Bachelorette weekend, when my hub texted me photos from the fishing excursion. 

...I would also let you know that, while I have been on a roll with my Bunco winnings for many months in a row, I was not so successful last night. That's okay, though. My neighborhood girls and I still had a great time rollin' dice and drinkin' wine. 

...I would tell you that you that next weekend my stepbrother is getting married. And that exactly three months later, my baby sister is getting married. And that six months after that, my stepsister is getting married. We are in wedding overdrive in our family for the next 9 months. WooHoo!

...I would share with you, most importantly of all, that I AM GOING TO BE AN AUNT AGAIN!!!! Yahoo!! This time, it's my big brother, Damon, and my sister-in-law, Jamie, who will be growing the family. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!!!

Of course, before signing off on our virtual coffee date, I would sit quietly and happily listen to you sharing the latest scoop from your life. I would cross-my-heart and promise to keep your secrets safe with me, all the while looking forward to our next get-together. I would wish you the happiest of weekends before signing off. 

Until next time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Bride and Her Girls

Over the weekend, eleven of us gathered to celebrate the last single days of my little sister, Whitney, who will marry the love of her life, her high school sweetheart, in November. While I will not share all of the intimate details of our weekend away in the mountains, nor some of the more graphic photos of the party decor/games/desserts(!), I thought a fun recap of our weekend was in order. 

We gathered Friday night for a girls night in. When the bride and all her girls arrived, there were handmade, bedazzled, personalized cups waiting as well as a soundtrack that was created and given to each girl and played on repeat for most of the weekend. There were also some graphic decor and snacks awaiting the party guests, but I'll leave those photos to the imagination. We dined on order-out pizza, enjoyed quite a few adult beverages, played some games, and talked the night away, reminiscing and laughing until our stomachs hurt. It was a great start to an awesome weekend.

Relaxin' and waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive in our GORGEOUS home for the weekend. All credit to my amazing sister-in-law, Jamie, for finding this mountain estate. 


Soundtrack for the weekend, made with love by my sister, Jessie

Drink up!

Saturday was spent enjoying a homemade breakfast before heading out for an afternoon of wine-tasting, dining, and shopping. After freshening up back at our mountain estate, the bachelorette shenanigans and pre-partying began. There was a menu of heavy tapas that was devoured (both pre- and post-party), a special outfit supplied for the bride to wear, lingerie gifted, a large (self-made!) dice rolled to determine the order in which many (fun! and many, original!) games would be played, and even more adult beverages consumed while said games were going on. Next, a van arrived to whisk us away to downtown Asheville, where the fun continued at several different stops and ended at a gay and lesbian dance club. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it was awesome. 

Ready for a day on the town!

The vintage view that greeted us upon arriving at the winery

Apparently, Hendersonville's mascot is a bear? They were everywhere. 

The beautiful bride, getting ready for a girls night out!

So easy to make this large dice: Buy a styrofoam block from a craft store. Use Modge Podge to adhere cardstock to each side. Write on each side. Voila. 

My favorite game of the night: JeoPARTAY! (and the only one I'll describe for PG purposes): The bride had to answer questions that were pre-answered by her fiance. There were four categories for the questions. She selected the category and the penalty given should she incorrectly answer the question, which was written on the flap of the envelope [e.g., "Take a Shot"; "Finish Your Drink"; "Avalanche"; "Drink for 3"]. To prevent her from having to drink too much for this one game, the penalty for each question was assigned to one of the party guests. Thus, everyone was involved and participating. Fun!

Ready for a very fun and very memorable night on the town with her best friends

All the sistas :) 

Without a doubt, it was a weekend I'm sure none of us will forget (right, Whit, Jess, James, Shelbs, Clare, Lauren, Hannah, Shelley, Manning, and Madison?)! 

And now, I will continue to attempt to recover from the weekend and all its celebrations. Whew! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Coffee Date Friday: From the Back Porch

Hi! You're back! So glad we can enjoy a cup o' Joe together again this morning for Coffee Date Friday (linking up with Rags to Stitches). 

Today, I'm opting for an extra large cup of some homemade Dunkin Donuts coffee along with the same.exact.breakfast. I eat every single morning: two slices of peanut butter toast with honey. So, pull up a chair and sit alongside me on my back porch as we enjoy a little catching up before the kiddos wake up. What I would tell you as we took in the view would be...

...This whole back porch coffee thing is becoming a regular morning routine for me. I've been getting up a few minutes earlier than my typical 6:00 am alarm so that I can get ready for the day and still have 10 or 15 minutes of alone time on the back porch before anyone else in my house stirs. It's just me, my thoughts, and my coffee. And it's quite peaceful. Although, I am also proud to say that twice this week, I used my early morning wake-up time to go for a me-only jog around the neighborhood. Although it's hard to motivate myself to run 2.5+ miles first thing in the morning, I always feel great afterwards. And what else can beat a sunrise view?!

...The Bachelorette weekend has arrived!! While I will not spill the secrets of all that lies ahead for my baby sister as all her sisters and best friends spoil her rotten, I will tell you it is going to be a weekend of epic proportions. 

...Yesterday afternoon, we met with a very, VERY reasonably priced (!) interior decorator to help us try to figure out how the heck to make our grown-up home (when did that happen?) not look like something a fresh-out-of-college-newlywed couple threw together. Need evidence that I need a little help in the home decor department? There is a crooked floor lamp, from Target, that serves as the sole lamp in our family room. It is almost 10 years old. And this is just one example. There are many more. Yep-it's time for some updating and growing-up-ing. Of course, I have hundreds of Pinterest pins taunting me. I am just scared to pull the trigger. So, hopefully, Frances isn't gun shy. 

...My little boy, my baby boy, is turning FOUR in just over two months. Say whaaa??? Pure craziness, I tell ya. I am doing something a little different for his birthday this year and am excited to watch it slowly come together over the next couple of months. 

...I had three glorious weeks, back-to-back, that my hub didn't have to travel over night. Pure bliss. But, this week, he was back to his travels, and was gone Monday through Wednesday. Whew! I'm glad he's back home...just in time for me to take off for my girl's weekend...ha!

...But also? I am excited for what this weekend holds for my hub and my kiddos. My trio is headed to my in-law's, where my son will go on his first ever fishing trip with my hub and his Pop. If you know my father-in-law, you know that, aside from family, fishing is his passion. So, bright and early tomorrow morning, three of my favorite guys will be hitting the lake on Pop's boat in search of some fresh catch. Meanwhile, my little lady will be soaking up lots of one-on-one time with our Nana. And right about that time, I'll be wine-tasting. Sounds like a win-win for all! 

...I am spending the next three weekends out-of-town. And that will take us in to August. What the what? Where in the heck did the summer go?

So, after also hearing about all the comings and goings and plans and non-plans (which are, often, the best plans!) for you this weekend, I would bid you adieu as the first of my early risers made his way to top of the stairs to await his Momma's morning hug and kiss. 

See you back for more coffee soon! Have a great weekend. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Happy Blogiversary to me!

I published my first post exactly one year ago today. At that time, I was a full-time working momma, a pediatric neuropsychologist working in a children's hospital in Atlanta and, while loving my job and the people with whom I worked, I was missing my babies like crazy every minute of every day I spent working.

Now, I have a new job: I am a stay-at-home momma. I live in a new house, in a new neighborhood, in a new town, in a new state. I would say a lot has changed in a year.

I love blogging. I love sharing snippets of life with old friends and new. I love documenting the comings and goings of my days, as I know these will one day be distant memories. This blog serves as my own personal scrapbook. I love the connections I have made with other mommas through this blog. I love that I am able to use this blog as the forum to try and have my children's book illustrated and published. I love that I have learned so much about who I am as a wife and momma and daughter and sister and friend. I love that I can mostly share the beautiful moments of my life but also the hard truths of what it means to be a wife and momma and daughter and sister and friend.

I love writing. Thank you for reading. 

On to Year 2...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Let's Be Honest: Pick 3

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Namely, about what it means to feel less than. To feel not good enough. As a woman. As a wife. As a Momma. To feel like others do things so easily, make things look so easy. The biggest "other" who makes me feel this way: Pinterest. And Facebook. And Instagram. And bloggers. Hell, social media in general. 

I hope I have never made others feel this way. If I have, please accept my deepest, sincerest apology. I certainly do NOT have it all together. 

Want to know a dirty secret that may make you feel better? For Mother's Day, I asked for one (big) thing: to have a housecleaner come, every two weeks, and clean our home, from top to bottom. This wish was so graciously granted by my hub and kiddos. So. Since mid-May, every two weeks, someone has been cleaning my house for me. I just wanted to make sure you knew that. You should also know that the overwhelming guilt I feel over not doing it myself now outweighs the gloriousness of the feeling of coming home to a clean house. I feel like it is part of my job description. In fact, just this week, I informed my hub that we needed to stop this service. I feel too guilty about it. So. We will be...after just one more cleaning session. But. I just wanted you to know. I wanted to use this as an example. No momma can do it all. Sometimes, we need a little break help. 

And I know, we should all know, that social media is good/bad. And/both. It is a wonderful way to keep up with others-family and friends, near and far. It is a fabulous way to share, vent, document, update. It is what it is. And I am a big fan. Most days. 


Some days, social media makes me feel like less than. Because, as we all (mostly) do, we share the highlights of our lives through these venues. We don't share the whines, the cries, the Am I good enoughs?, the exasperations, the siiiiiighs. 

So. As viewers and sharers of social media posts, we begin to have doubts about ourselves. How in the world is she able to cook, craft, clean, blog, spend quality time with her children, work out, and maintain a fabulous relationship with her hub ALL IN ONE DAY? 

Well, the truth is, she doesn't. 

Nobody does. 

Not one of us mommas, who gives each day our absolute all, should ever feel less than. Hell, not one of us mommas, who gives each day even half of our all, should ever feel less than. Some days are only half-of-our-all-worthy. And there's nothing to feel ashamed of if today is your half-of-your-all-worthy day. We all have them.

Here's the thing. 

I do not know one single, solitary momma, not even ONE, who is capable of doing all of the following well on a regular basis:

Actually playing with her kids (i.e., not just turning on cartoons; not just handing coloring books. Actually. Playing.)
Cooking (and, ahem, not of the frozen food into the oven variety. Even if it is organic.)
Cleaning (actually cleaning, not just picking up.)
Laundry-ing (washing, drying, folding, putting away)
Exercising (which does not include chasing ever-moving bodies around the house. Although maybe it should...)
Spending quality time with the husband (actually in-ter-act-ing; not just sitting side-by-side; maybe even having a non-kid-related conversation?!)
Crafting/reading/writing/photographing/gardening/etc. (i.e., personal hobbies)
Staying-up-to-date and in regular contact with family members and close friends
Working a paying job (outside or inside of the home)

Seriously. Not even ONE momma that I know can do all of these things, well, on a regular basis.


Why do I feel like I should be able to do all of these things, well, on a regular basis?

And why do I feel like when I don't do all of these things, well, on a regular basis, I am less than. 

Well, let's be honest. Not even ONE momma, this momma very much included, can do it all. Not even ONE.

So, here's what I propose: Pick 3. 

Pick 3 items from that list and know that that's enough each day. That. Is. Enough. Then, give yourself a high-5, pour a glass of wine, and call it a day. 

And if it's a half-of-your-all-worthy day, pick 2. That's it. Just 2.

For example: 

One day last week, I spent real, actual playtime with my kids. I left my phone in another room, and played, down on the floor on my hands and knees, and in the backyard, and at the pool, with my babies, for three hours straight. It was awesome. When they were napping, I did something I enjoy: I worked out. It was glorious. I also cooked dinner for my family. That's 3, and I think that's a pretty good day. 

Tomorrow, I'll pick 3 more (or just 2 if it's another rainy Monday. Those are the worst, aren't they? Please, for the love, let it stop raining). 

Of course, my goal at the end of the day is always to get in some quality time with my hub. But honestly? Some days I just don't feel like talking to anyone by the time the kids' heads hit their pillows. Why do people always want to talk? So. Sometimes, sitting side-by-side on the couch, with "Big Brother" on, just has to suffice. Sometimes, not. But sometimes, that's enough. 

Some days, I'll substitute cleaning for exercising. Some days, I'll make phone calls and catch up with friends while my little ones sleep. Some days, I'll do dinner prep during nap time. Some nights, I write blog posts, while sitting next to my hub on the couch, without, honestly, really interacting with him. But. I need that sometimes: To do something I really enjoy doing while sitting right next to him. Sometimes, I put the computer away, snuggle up, and soak him in. 

I will say, for me, actually playing with my children will ALWAYS be in my top 3,, although the percentage of time devoted to that play time may fluctuate depending on the other needs around my home. 

Regardless of your preferences, your needs, your wants, your desires, your must-do's, your to-do's: 

Let's stop trying to pretend like each of us can do it all. 

The truth is? We can't. Not even ONE of us. 


Let's pick 2, or if we're feeling really up to our game, 3, each day, and just focus on doing our best job in those areas. And if you manage to accomplish 4 or more of that list in one day, and do it all successfully, congratulations! But. Also? Kindly keep that information to yourself. 

The rest of us are just trying to do the best we can. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coffee Date Friday

Soooo I'm trying something new this week. I'm doing a "link up" with another blogger, Rags to Stitches, who does something called "Coffee Date Friday." Basically, for all you non-bloggers who aren't an internet nerd like me, this means that a blogger will throw a topic out there (a la "Coffee Date Friday") and you can write on the same topic and then link your blog to hers so that others can click on the link to read your post. Make sense? No? Oh well. Let's move on. 

If we were going to stop in the local Fort Mill Starbucks (which is about 10 minutes from my home and thus not really a convenient trip for me. But. #1: It's Starbucks. Throw convenience out the window for a sip of their intoxicating elixir. #2: If I have to drive 10 minutes to chat with you, so be it. I am always up for good conversation with you), I would share the following during our chit-chat while sipping away on my (Iced) Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte with an extra shot (Hey! I neeeeeeed all the caffeine I can get. And also, I seriously doubt that's the right "order" of the words per the Starbucks lingo. But. You get the point.):

...I swear this has got to be the rainiest summer on record here in the South. Rain, rain go away. I have two kiddos who want to play. And a momma who neeeeeds to help those kiddos burn off some energy so good naps are ensured for all parties involved.

...I love family more than life itself. Last week, I was so lucky to spend a full three days with my momma, one of my sisters, and her fun-loving, sassy daughter (aka my fun-loving, sassy niece) while our hubbies were golfin' it up in Charleston. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned a time or two or hundred how important girl time is to me and my life and my happiness and my sanity. Now, when that girl time involves family time, too? Well, I am one blissful lady. 

...And speaking of girl time, I am about to be able to bathe in it, soak it up, and hang it up to dry. Because next weekend is a weekend 'o bachelorette fun, soon after one of my best friends (and her two adorable boys) are coming to stay in the Mill with me for a few days, followed by an evening of Bunco with my neighborhood ladies, and then I'll close out the summer with a full weekend with all of my best college girl friends. Yippee!!! Soaking it in, down to the bone. 

...I would not trade my stay-at-home momma gig for all the money in the world. But. It is very strange to hear of changes taking place in the neuropsychology community and being so removed from it. Scary, even. It was just such a huge focus of my life for so long and now I learn of the changes second-hand, from afar. It feels strange. I feel guilty to not be in the midst of it. But honestly? I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I am right where I am supposed to be at this stage of my life. I'll be back in that community again, one day...

...We got our photos back from our surprise Clemson swing family photo shoot. I love them, mainly because of the meaning and memories they hold for me. My favorites? Surprisingly, the ones of just my hub and me. Because we haven't had professional photos of just the two of us since our wedding day, over 9 years ago! 

...Despite all the rain, we've been having fun checking off items from our 2013 Summer Bucket List. Update coming soon.

...I am working hard to try and finish up my book. There will be LOTS more work ahead of me in the upcoming weeks. But. I am hoping. I am praying. I am wishing. I am crossing fingers and toes. Oh, please, let it be all that I dream it to be. 

And with that, dear friend, my coffee cup hath runneth empty. I'm off to kick off a summer lovin' weekend, that is sure to include plenty of family time, bachelorette party prep, a joint birthday party for two awesome new friends' adorable little boys, and relaxation. And adult beverages. Let's not forget those. Ahhhhhh...TGIF. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Banksisms, Part 7

It's just too bad my 3-going-on-16-year-old Banks has absolutely no personality to speak up. Y'all. I swear. I just need to keep a video camera on him at all times ('Cause I'm sure anyone who is not his Momma would just love that. Right? No? Okay then. Moving on...). Half of his hilarity is the inflection and facial expressions he uses when he speaks so emphatically on a topic. But a few quotes will have to do for now. So. I present, the latest round of Banksisms:

Banks: "Mom, do you see that deer?"
Momma: "No, what deer?"
Banks: "That pretend deer in our backyard."
Momma: "Oh. Okay. Sure! Yeah, I do! What's his name?"
Banks: "Percy Jenkins."

Aunt Jess: "Banks, what's your favorite vegetable?
Banks: "PopCORN."
Nice try, little buddy. Nice. Try.

Momma: "Thanks for getting that spider, buddy. You're my hero."
Banks: "You're welcome, Mommy. All in the day's work."
Where does he come up with this stuff?!

Banks: "I can flip over and do a tummy salt!"

Banks: "Uncle Tim, my lip hurts."
Uncle Tim: "How did you do it?"
Banks: "I think I hurt it when I was running. My lips don't like running."
Neither do mine. Maybe it runs in the family. No pun intended.

Banks: "I don't like bad guys very much."
Momma: "Why?"
Banks: "Because they put fire on everyone and turn off the news."
Those bad guys are just cruel. I mean...turning off the news?!

Banks: "Is this farm called a pharmacy?"

Banks: "Mom, I just got a little sting by a bug."
Momma: "Are you okay, honey?"
Banks: "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm still alive."
Thank goodness!

(While flossing his teeth, stops suddenly, smiles and says):
Banks: "It tastes minty fresh!"
Seriously?! I mean, maybe he hears this stuff on tv??

Banks: "What kind of truck is that?"
Momma: "It's a pick-up truck." 
Banks: "Does it get a lot of hiccups?"
A pick-up hiccup truck. Maybe he's on to something. Someone call Disney.

Keep 'em coming, sweet boy!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Long days. Hard days. Tearful days. Whining days. Slow-ticking days. Tired days. Am I good enough? days. Timeout Days. Frustrating days. Tantrum days. Patience-stealing days. Overwhelmed days. Am I doing it right? days. Trying days. Deep breath days. Exhausting days. I should be better days. 

These are the days that make up much of Mommahood. 


Joyful days. Laughing days. Hand-holding days. Confident days. Smiling days. Purposeful days. Kissing days. Learning days. I am enough days. Meaningful days. I've got this days. Life-giving days. Hugging days. Memorable days. Happy days. Blessed days. I'm doing this right days. Heartfelt days. Peaceful days. Beautiful days. Loving days. 

These are the days that I will remember most about Mommahood. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Raleigh, One Point Five.

Please allow me a moment to pause, take a breath, and shed a tear. 

Because I cannot believe my baby is 18 months old today. I just cannot believe it. 

It's true, though. She is 1.5 years old. She is 18 months old. She is 543 days old. She is halfway to being 2. 


I could swear, that this was yesterday: 

Celebrating the big 0-1

And wasn't this just last week?:

Day 1 of Life

My baby isn't such a baby anymore. For the sake of my own memory, here's what she's up to these days. She's changed quite a bit in just six months!:
  • Raleigh continues to be long and lean. Although I won't know her current height and weight until her 18-month well-check next Tuesday, she is definitely a growing girl, getting taller by the minute! She has graduated to a Size 4 diaper and typically wears 18-24 month clothes. 
  • Although she will still out eat her big brother at times, she clearly burns off almost everything she eats because she NEVER.STOPS.MOVING. She is a climber, this one, and will be enrolled in gymnastics and dance the very second she is old enough for classes! She also recently started jumping. It is the cutest thing. She will focus all of her attention on the task at hand, bend down, and then jump with all her might, usually getting about 0.5 inches off the floor, sometimes on one foot, sometimes on two, and often falling on her hiney at the end.
  • Raleigh is still rear-facing in her carseat. This is a BIG difference from her big brother, who was a horrible car-rider as a baby. We actually turned him forward-facing around 9 months old so he would please.stop.screaming every single second we were in the car. Raleigh, on the other hand, is perfectly content to ride rear-facing. Maybe because she can see her big brother better this way? All I know is, she is a dream car-rider and LOVES when we go on long car rides, since that's the only time her Momma lets the kiddos watch cartoons in the car (Elmo's World for this little one, of course!).
  • Raleigh loves, loves, LOVES "nongs" (/songs/). If she had it her way, all we would do all day is rotate between singing songs and reading books. She can sing all of "Elmo's World" by herself, which is, in a word, adorable. She also loves "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Old MacDonald," "Skinna-ma-rink," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Jingle Bells." She also recently started singing our family blessing before dinner with Banks, which just melts my heart into a puddle on the floor. 
  • Raleigh is a really good eater and has not shown a picky-eater-side...yet. Her favorites are eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, goldfish crackers, any and all fruit, corn, and pizza. Oh, and who am I kidding, treats, treats, and more treats, especially of the chocolate variety. 
  • Our sweet girl switches between being a Momma's girl and a Daddy's girl, depending on her mood. I'm not sure which is sweeter to me, seeing her run up to be with her arms outstretched for a big hug or seeing her run up to her Daddy with her lips puckered out as far as she can get them for a "diss" (/kiss/). 
  • Raleigh is a friendly little lady, often waving 'hi' and giving her cheesiest green to passerbys. She loves being around other children, but her best friend is very clearly her big brother. He is often the first person she asks for upon waking up in the morning. 
  • Raleigh has four top teeth, three and a half bottom teeth, two top molars, and two bottom molars (that just broke through). She loves brushing her teeth and is a very good girl when it comes to brushing, letting her Momma do the initial cleaning before brushing by herself to her heart's content. She is a big talker, this one. She knows pretty much all of her body parts and talk, talk, talks, from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed. She also knows how to count from 1 to 10 all by herself (although often she'll skip over 4 and 5)!!
  • Raleigh's hair is still coming in slowly but surely. And it is very light and blonde, just like her big brother's used to be. It is also curly (!!), particularly when it is wet, just like her big brother's used to be. I can't wait to see two little blonde pigtails on that sweet head, although it may be awhile before that day comes...
  • Raleigh still takes one nice long nap each day. Her naps usually range from 90 minutes to 2 hours. She is a happy awakener, too, both in the morning and after naps. Well, about 98% of the time. She will also just lay in her crib and sing or talk or play with her stuffed monkey, "Ah-Ah," for awhile after waking up. It is the cutest thing to listen to over the monitor. 
  • Raleigh is also starting to get an at-ti-tude. This girl, I swear, has been the easiest baby ever. BUT. This girl, I swear, may give us a run for our money once she hits the teen years. She has this little temper that will flare up at times. She will vehemently tell me, "No!" when she doesn't want to do what I tell her to do and will promptly throw her little body on the ground if I attempt to pick her up and "help" her do it. She is also a BIG toy thief. If Banks is playing with it, she wants it. And she won't hesitate to grab what he's playing with and then either (1) hide the toy behind her back when I insist she give it back, or (2) throw it across the room, away from him, so he has to go fetch it. Uh-oh. This could be trouble...
  • Raleigh Jane is every Momma's dream. She is my best pal. She is my little bit. She is my sidekick. She is my little love. She is my Rals. I just absolutely adore this little girl with every ounce of my being. And I can't wait to see how she grows and changes over the next six months of our lives together. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Back in February, I wrote a post about what was currently the haps in my life (Oh man. That last sentence makes me sound like I am trying WAY too hard to be cool. Way too hard. Just pretend you never read that, okay?). Anywho. I thought this was as good a time as any for an update. So. Off we go:

Loving...Summer time with my babies! This is my first summer as a stay-at-home Momma, and we are taking full advantage of the great outdoors. It is so nice not to be cooped up inside our home, or other places, during the day, especially because 3.5-year-old boys have a LOT of energy. So, we play outside every single day: we pool it, we walk it, we kick it, we sport it, we run it, we bike it, we wagon it, we stroller it, we slip-n-slide it, we playground it, we jog it, we sprinkler it, we sidewalk chalk it, we rock-hunt it, we picnic it, we not-inside-it, at some point every day. And I am lovin' it. 

Reading...Sadly, nothing right now, except for my usual blogs. I'm in need of a new book. I've heard Sparkly Green Earrings is good; so, I'm thinking that may be next. 

Waiting for...Football season to start. Go Tigers!! We've had the same season tickets for many years now, and we try to go back for as many home games as possible. This year, our season kicks off with a HUGE night game against Georgia. We've already arranged for sitters for our kids (thank you Bammy and Digby!) so that my hub and I can stay the night in Clemson after (hopefully!) cheering the Tigers on to victory. 

Excited about...Fourth of July festivities this week!! My Momma and my sister, brother-in-law, and niece are headed here on the 4th to go to our big neighborhood pool party with us. Then, the men are headed to Charleston for the weekend (minus my little buddy, who will be playing the role of the man of the house for a few days) and the ladies are going to get in lots of playtime with our kiddos while we sip adult beverages and chat away. Heaven on Earth! I can't wait. 

Trying to...Think more about the impression I leave on others. I hope it's a good one, not because I am trying to impress anyone around me, but because I want to be a positive influence on the world. I think that looking first to the impact I have on any one in my immediate vicinity is a good place to start. And I have recently been questioning whether there is a discrepancy in how I think I am perceived versus how I am actually perceived. I am trying to reconcile the two, with the hope that the ultimate impression is a true, genuine perception of a true, genuine person. 

Working on...Incorporating productive feedback into personal changes. See above. 

Enjoying...Putting myself out there: Scheduling playdates with people I've never met before. Sending in a submission to be an extra on Homeland (If you don't watch, stop what you're doing. Pick up your remote. Start watching it On Demand or through Netflix. You're welcome. See you in 25 hours). It can be a little intimidating to do new things. But also? Fun. Even when I don't get the part. 

Using...My Rodan + Fields regimen religiously and seeing really positive results! Honestly. I get no kickback from this endorsement. I just think it works. 

Wearing...My new "L" necklace almost every day. I love it. It is small. It is simple. It can be layered with more elaborate necklaces. Oh, and it was cheap. Thank you online bargain shopping.

Planning...The final details of my baby sister's bachelorette party. Woot! Woot! The secret's out. We are headed to Asheville in just a few short weeks to spoil a very deserving bride and soak up some much-needed girl time. And, thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, Jamie, we will be living it up in style in a gorgeous place. That's all I'll say for now since my littlest sister reads this blog. But it is going to be F-U-N.

Singing...My baby girl her nap and bedtime songs and listening to her sing with me. Makes me smile every time. She's going to be a singer, that one. 

Needing...To capture the last few photos for my book. I'm getting closer. Much, much closer. But. There is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done even after all the photos are collected. So for now? I am just focusing on gathering the final photos. Baby steps. 

Learning...To stay calm when I feel frazzled. To remain cool and collected when my temper starts to flare. Trying, trying, trying to be patient and understanding. I've made some progress, I think. But. Still. Miles to go before I sleep... 

Listening to...The ocean waves...of my babies' sound machines while they nap. Boo (for fake waves that is. Not Boo for good naps.). A girl can dream, though, right?! (see below).

Wishing...For good things for good people. 

Doing...Some planning with regard to home decor. Did I mention that ONE room in our house is done after almost nine months of living here? Yeah. That's about to change. 

Dreaming of...One last beach vacation this summer. I am itching to go back, even if just for a long weekend. I don't know if we'll be able to pull it off this summer (it's amazing how quickly summer weekends fill up!), but I'm keeping my fingers, toes, and bikini strings crossed...