Thursday, September 29, 2016


Crimson-colored sunsets;
A crisp Fall breeze;
The laughter of a child;
The swaying of the trees;

Freshly baked cookies;
A steaming cup of tea;
A warm and cozy quilt;
A calm and tranquil sea;

The full, glowing moon; 
The humming of a bee;
Freshly picked lillies;
The morning's first coffee;

The soft smell of a newborn;
An eagle, wild and free;
The graceful dance of snowflakes;
The changing of the leaves;

The best life has to offer
The best that's meant to be;
All pale in comparison
to what you mean to me. 

Banks Alexander, you have always been, and will always be, my sunshine. Your joyful, bountiful, zest for life, your kind and loving spirit, and your hard-working and ambitious attitude are exactly what makes you, you. Thank you for making me a momma on this day, at 5:27 pm, exactly seven years ago. Thank you for being exactly who you are. I love you more than you love football.

With All My Heart,


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wee One Wednesday: Telling Our Kiddos

"How come some children don't have mommies and daddies?"

That's a good question. And a hard one. It's a question my 4-year-old daughter asked me while we were sitting at the pool earlier this summer.

After my hub and I had made the decision to adopt, we knew our decision-making process wasn't over. There were three little beings we also needed to talk to to ensure they, too, were on board.

We had talked about it in hypotheticals with them as we were going through the decision-making process: "What do you think it would be like to have another sibling?" "How would it feel to have to share your toys with another brother or sister?" "What would it be like to have to split mommy and daddy's time and attention even more with another sibling in our family?"

Their reaction every single time? Pure excitement and joy. Not an ounce of hesitation. Ever.

During this time, we talked a lot about how there are so many other children in the world who don't have mommies and daddies. We talked about how we have been given SO much and how it is our job to share the blessings we have been given with others

Their reaction?: How soon can we do this? When can SHE (because they wanted their new sibling to be a girl so things would be even and fair ["Two boys and two girls, Momma!"]) come home? Can she sleep in my room? Can she come home on my birthday? 

In other words, pure excitement and joy. Not an ounce of hesitation. Ever.    

We videotaped the conversation the morning that we told them we would, in fact, be adding a little sister to our family. It was Mother's Day. I was going to get to be a mother for a fourth time. They were going to gain a new little sister. I will treasure the video forever. They were SO excited.

Fast forward to now, and we talk about her all the time. Every day. What they think her name should be (I haven't told them yet). Where she will sleep. How old she will be. What she will look like. How soon we can get her here, with her family. 

We pray for her every night. We ask God to please take good care of her until we can get her home, until we can wrap our arms around her.  

They love her already. We all do. 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Party in the Valley: Banks Turns 7

Anyone who knows my Banks knows that he eats, sleeps, lives, and breathes football. It is his PASSION. So, when deciding what we would do for his 7th birthday party this year, it was a no-brainer: a football party! And what could be better than celebrating that party in one of his favorite places: Death Valley, where our Clemson Tigers play! Although Banks' actual birthday isn't until the end of the month, we knew that Clemson vs. SC State would be the perfect game to take him and his buddies to for the celebration since it was a pretty low-key, afternoon game. And, because we have season tickets, and were able to secure a couple of extras since my brother and a few of our friends wouldn't be making the game, we had enough tickets for Banks to invite two friends and for one of his friends' dads, my hub, and I to also go. Perfect! Raleigh and Harrison made the trip, but we dropped them off at one of my best friend's houses (which is in Clemson) with a sitter so that we could just focus on the birthday boy for the day. 


We were ready to party, and party we did! And now, a few pics and details from his 7th birthday party in the Valley: 

The invitation, made by Momma (have I mentioned how much I LOVE putting my Silhouette Cameo to use?!): 

Because there would only be two party guests and Banks, I wanted to make some personalized favors for them. Silhouette to the rescue again! I made each a jersey shirt to wear (with the #7, since Banks is turning 7) as well as a personalized water bottle. I topped it off with some "Go Tigers" eye black and the boys were dressed to impress. ;) 





I also wanted to make some fun cookies for the occasion, and decided to do a field with the (sprinkle!) crowd in the background as well as some personalized cookies for each boy. 

While we are saving the cake for the birthday boy's actual birthday, I still wanted to have something to hold the candles he would blow out. Because our oven is broken (ugggggghhh), I wasn't able to make his cupcakes--BUT--I tried to do the next best thing. I bought some chocolate cupcakes, scraped the chocolate icing off, and homemade some green buttercream icing, which I then piped on as grass before adding a football gummy on top. They were a hit!

I also grabbed a football field table cloth and football napkins and plates for a little extra decor. Easy peasy!

The morning of the party, we picked the guests up bright and early at 7:30 am with Tiger Rag blaring. They quickly changed into their shirts and we were well on our way. We stopped for biscuits on the way and then headed to Clemson! Don't let this sweet, innocent pic fool you: 

It was a WILD and LOUD and CRAZY car ride with three very excited boys (and two very well-behaved younger siblings)

We got to our tailgate spot in enough time for the boys to play a little football and get some energy out before we headed into the game:

It was SO fun to watch the boys take in the game. While it was hot, hot, HOT, we had a blast cheering on the Tigers and eating lunch in the stadium. 



Because it was already a blow-out by halftime (Go Tigers!), we ended up going back to the tailgate early, where Banks opened gifts and blew out his candles. On the way there, each boy had a Tiger paw painted on his cheek. :)

Finally, we headed out to pick Raleigh and Harrison back up before making the drive back home, with Banks' favorite movie ("Star Wars") playing both on the way to, and from, the game for the boys to enjoy. Whew! We made it back in one piece and I can assure you we ALL slept well that night! 

Happy, Happy Birthday (party), sweet Banks! We hope it fulfilled all of your football-loving dreams. <3