Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

I cannot believe that it is this time of year again. It seems like last month that I was adding in all of our 2011 memories. This year has been full of so many great memories, and lots of great changes too! Our family has been more blessed this year.

In January, I started working for the County Attorneys office in the county that my family now lives in. It was a lot different than what I had been used to for the past four years. Paperwork and a desk job, or in court constantly was very much out of my norm but I loved the new people I was working with.

My Mom and I hosted a Valentines day party for some of Charli's friends back home in February. They had tons of fun doing crafts and eating sweets. Mom did such a wonderful job! I met the 90's pop singer, Tiffany at my work - even though I had no idea who she was at first, she was super sweet!  Charli and Curtis enjoyed their first Daddy Daughters dance for Valentines day as well. The three of us also went to our annual trip to the Lonestar rodeo. We are excited that Bryar will be able to join us in 2013.

March and February were full of sicknesses for both of the littles. Bryar had to go on breathing treatments for a while and Charli had link eye in both eyes.  Bryar also had his first ER trip in March.

April is always such a fun month of celebrations for us. It includes Charli Beth's birthday on the 6th, Easter and Spring break!  We celebrated Charli's birthday in cowgirl style with a "horse" themed party. She still tells us that it was the best party, ever! Curtis, Charli and I also enjoyed her first concert at WKU seeing Casting Crowns.

Charli started her second season of Softball in May. She made major improvements during the season, and also became the catcher for the team. We also made it through her first year of school. Kindergarten was over and my Mommy heart was sad that she was growing up so fast.

As soon as softball started, it practically ended in June. Our family all went through our first case together of a stomach bug. It left the babies very poorly for a few days. Curtis and I celebrated our one year anniversary, with a night out to eat together. Charli also helped take care of a calf named "blacky" that she fell quickly in love with. Although, as he got bigger and time passed by she now sees him less and less, but it was a great learning experience for her that I know she will never forget.

In July we enjoyed our first family vacation together to Clearwater, Florida. This trip was also the kids first plane ride. Charli absolutely loved it and getting to see the clouds from high above. Just before we left for our trip, Bryar learned to crawl. After returning from our trip and much discussion it was decided that I would leave the Attorneys office to stay home and provide child care in our home. Even though I hated to leave a place I had just started working at, I was so excited to spend more time with my family.

August quickly approached and it was time for first grade to begin.

Charli started to have headaches after school and had to get glasses in September. She only wears them to do school work but she looks super adorable in them. Bryar and my nephew Trace had their first annual NICU reunion. It was wonderful to see so many of our favorite nurses! Charli began her third season of softball during Fall ball. During September, one of the best days of my life happened, in which Charli Beth was adopted by Curtis. As stated in the post, I cannot even begin to explain how blessed I felt during these moments.

October was a huge month for us as we celebrated Bryar's first birthday! It was such a cute and fun party! Charli had her first field trip of the year and I was able to host their class party at school. We
also attended my favorite Glendale Crossing Festival with my Mom. The kids were so adorable as a lion and Dorthy in their Halloween costumes.

In November I took the kids to the Veterans Day parade and loved being able to teach Charli about our history. We also took a family day trip to Patti's in Paducah. Delicious food and even better family time! I became a red head and fell in love with darker hair for a while. Curtis and I went on our first deer hunting trip together, even though we did not see a single thing it was a great time!
At the end of the month all of our family went to The Polar Express together and was wowed by the amazing Santa at the end.

December has been such a busy month that hardly any blogging has taken place. The kids and I enjoyed parades in my hometown and one that Charli was in near our community now. I held our first annual cookie exchange in our home. It was a major success and I was left with tons of cookies to share with my family. We went to see the Santa at BassPro and loved watching Bryar cry at him while Charli dazzled him with her sweetness. After getting the lists into Santa, we took the kids to Opryland Hotel to see the beautiful lights. I am very sure that I dream of staying there at least once in my lifetime. It is such a beautiful hotel. During the entire month of December, the kids and I enjoyed our first year of Christmas Book Advent or 25 Books of Christmas as some may call it. Our Christmas holiday was such a blast with both kiddos this year. Charli's imagination was amazing and so fun to enjoy! I hope that she never quits believing and we have many more fun Santa adventures!

2012, as all years had it's up and downs from sickness to jobs and I know that 2013 will be just the sane. We will rise and fall at times, but the one thing that will never change is our love and our family. We still have years of growing to do in our marriage and us as parents, so I am excited to see where we will go from here.

My goals of 2013:

- Be a better servant to the Lord.
- A better wife, mother and friend
-Eat Healthier but not be obsessively of course... (Mama has got to have her Taco Bell some days!)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Book Advent

Christmas was such an amazing holiday for our family. We celebrated in so many ways and finally started a tradition that I hope to continue in the years to come.

At the end of November I wrapped 25 books and put in a bucket. Each night Charli would pick one out to unwrap then we would read at bedtime. It was such an excitement for her. A lot of the books were very easy for her to read as well.

It was not in our budget to buy all new books so many of the books we used were from when I was little to $1 books from the Mighty Dollar. She could not tell a difference in any of them but loved our new tradition.

I was so sad to see our book times together go. But am so happy to look back on the funny and cute photos that I captured during it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Just Keepin' It Real

It never fails, someone has to stand out except with my two they both do. Bryar screaming his head off and Charli poising like an angel. Welcome to my life...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Opryland Hotel & School Party

 After our Santa adventure at Basspro we had promised Charli to a night at Opryland Hotel to see the lights. When I visit this hotel, it still never ceases to amaze me that it was underwater during the floods. It is such a beautiful building and they whipped it right back into shape, so quickly.

But $20 + taxes to view their lights and walk my legs off was a bit ridiculous - all while carrying a diaper bag and taking turns of Bryar.

Best thing of our walking in circles adventure had to be this beautiful mirror. Bad thing is it costs $9,000 so Curtis shot it down pretty quickly. But he did buy Charli and I something from this store for Christmas.

I was really hoping that we could of made more of trip to Opryland but it was late and we were all very tired so we exited out pretty quickly. After searching for our door exit for 15 minutes..lesson learned to look at signs a tad bit better.

Sunday night when we returned from our trip to Nashville, Bryar very quickly came down with croup. Thankfully, on Tuesday since I was not able to keep kids since Bryar is contagious Curtis was home to watch him and I went to Charli's Christmas party for her classroom.

I was so surprised when I walked in and could see this jolly old man sitting in the front of the room. He was great looking and was able to stay for the entire party. He read the Night Before Christmas, and The Christmas Gift. He honestly read them outloud wonderfully and seemed so "real" except for his green binder that he pulled out a time or two.

 He let each kids come sit on his lap and tell him what they would like for Christmas. Charli picked to tell him that she wanted a horse. Yikes...

Before I left from the party, Charli's teacher told me about a card that she had made for Curtis and I. She said that it was "truly a treasure" and reminded me how sweet Charli is. I did infact make Charli ride the bus home from school so she could give her bus driver a Christmas gift. They are sometimes not thought of as much as other staff. But I remember how much I loved my bus driver as a kid, and hope that Charli's just as great as he was to my sister and I.

Curtis and I read her card together, and I cried like a baby...

"Dear Mommy and Daddy,
I hope we ge lots of presents, Gunner too. I have the best Mommy and I have the best Daddy and the best brother and the best dog. I have every thing I want.
Love, Charli"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Off to See Santa.

 The other day I went to the mail box and noticed a bright red envelope addressed to Charli Beth. Another party invitation I thought? But it didn't have a return address. So I quickly opened it, then got the oh crap feeling when I read that it was a letter from "The Desk of Santa." I ran inside, found the tape and taped that sucker right back up. When she arrived home from school I told her of the mysterious letter she had received and wondered if it was an invitation that she knew of. We opened it together and let the glitter fall all over the floor, then started reading.

I quickly asked her if she was getting a letter because she had been on the naughty list. Her face turned red and she said "Nooo Mom." When we finished reading the letter, she wanted to call and tell everyone that she was at the "top top" of the nice list.
...and why of course we all must recognize that Kevin Bacon is ecstatic for her as well.
(Thank you Groopdealz for these great letters!)
After church we headed to Nashville's Oprymills to BassPro because their Santa is suppose to be the REAL DEAL. I give the jolly fella huge props because he was pretty great. But I must give BassPro a huge thumbs down for their "Bass Pass" technique they have for kids to get tickets to see Santa. By the time we had arrived, all tickets had been give out so we had to spend 3 hours at the mall to then stand 45 minutes in line when he was free game.

We would of had one very upset girl if we would of left there without a photo. But instead we left there with one very upset Bryar.

 "Bryar you are so going to be on the naughty list."
You can go ahead and say "aww poor Bryar" but I laugh every time I look at these pictures. Seriously. I may be a mean Mommy but crying Santa photos are my favorite! I hope next year he cries just as hard.

Charli's letter for Santa this year included 3 items but she "knows that if you're like really really good, then he will bring you extra."

- Horse that she can sleep with (because she doesn't have 10 already or anything)
-Easy bake oven
-Bike without training wheels (and money for an ER trip just in case.)

..We shall see what she gets :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Days Of Fear.

Lately, I have been avoiding my blog and mostly this post like there is no tomorrow. But I cannot run from needing to get my feelings, my frustration and my hurt for these families out. I avoided the news the day the tragedy of Newtown took place. Why you may ask? Because my heart simply could not handle it. I am not strong enough to watch these children be so scared and these families frantically cry out for the safety of their babies.

My daughter is 6 and she is the light of the my life; along with her brother. I can never imagine the pain of loosing her, like so many 6 year olds lost their lives in a very senseless way on Friday. Do I blame gun control, religion, his mother for teaching a person with mental illness how to use such a weapon, or the bastard himself behind this tragedy? I'm not sure. But I do know that God is the one who can take the pain and the fear that we all now stuck with away.

I sat in church Sunday with my arms wrapped around Charli and just cried. She is oblivious to the mass shooting, because I never want to take her sense of safety at school away. It isn't fair to her. It isn't fair to anyone that we are living in a day of fear. When I go to the movies, walmart or any other place my mind has always wondered off to a safety plan. But now I look for the nearest exits and the quickest way to hide my little ones or to get on them to protect them.

I understand living in a day of fear only because Curtis is a police officer. Daily I fear getting a call that something has happened to him. Two times, I have but thankfully they were from him and he was just fine. I have lost friends in car accidents. But living in fear of sending my daughter to elementary school is nonsense. It is completely the devil works and he is quickly taking over if we do not get back to the ground that our forefathers founded our country on.

My heart hurts for these families more than I can ever express in words. I am very sure that anyone who reads this can understand, especially if you have kids. But our pain and the media is not going to make things better for these families. Do I think it is okay for the media to be filming the processions of the funeral? Of course not. Let these babies and heroic teachers rest easy. It is their time to fly with Christ, not to be posted on every tv, computer and facebook page. I do want to know what was going through this mans mind when he acted upon is evil aggression but we will never really know.

But I do know that it will never change from this day forward that I will hug Charli with extra tight Momma bear arms as she heads out the door. I have cried as I sent her away and I will probably continue to do this from time to time. Even though she is literally at the back of the farm she is not close enough for myself to keep her safe. But I do know that her teacher who loves her babies with all of her heart will protect her. She sent all of the families the sweetest email on Monday morning explaining to us that she understands our fears and her first priority is our children when they arrive. I have prayed for Charli to have an exceptional teacher, and that prayer has been answered.

I know this Christmas we will all be hugging our families more gently but I also think we should be hugging our teachers a little more too. This is a prime example for all who have not seen before just how much of heroes our teachers really are.

I may be preaching to the choir but I ask you to pray for Newtown; most of all the families of the ones who went to be with the Lord on that senseless day for we will never really know their pain.

Monday, December 17, 2012

1st Annual Cookie Exchange

This weekend I hosted my first ever cookie exchange. Even though I knew it would be a crazy time for a lot of the friends and family I have, I wanted to give a chance for a few of us to get together. I was so very thankful for everyone that was able to come out and put forth the effort in making their cookies.

I honestly have never made homemade cookies before. I found a cute Pinterest reindeer recipe and went with it. Although, Charli and I may have had a flare up or seven because she hates peanut butter. But with a lot of reminders that there would be plenty of others to eat she was okay. My cookies turned out a little silly looking and probably were laughed and made fun of at all of the reindeer games, but they were tasty!

All of the cookies were so delicious, and even after everyone packed baggies to go I have a dining room table still full. I am sharing with Sunday School teachers , bus drivers and doctors offices (Bryar was diagnosed with croup this morning. Please pray he gets well quickly) I had a great time spending girl time with the ladies and listen to the kids play so hard.

I am excited to continue to tradition and let it continue to grow in the coming years. Now I shall go get a sugar high while baby B is resting.

Story of Mommy

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I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. A wife to the 5oh, and Mother to Charli Beth and Bryar. This is my story of Motherhood, life experiences and sometimes even my overwhelming heart all typed out. I believe in second chances, yet the firm hand of parenting. That sweet tea is of the comfort food category. Chickens belong in every backyard. Children should each have a responsibility of their own while helping take care of duties in the home. Sports are a must for our family, and we spend many nights on courts or fields. We consistently feel new to each of the experiences that are brought into our lives. But we are always excited for the journey in which God has given us.

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