Monday, May 28, 2012

With a bang!

That is exactly how I would sum up how I "went out". So many months, weeks and days have gone into getting ready for this move that it's just been one project after the "to do" list followed by an entire new one...longer than the last. Despite being crazy busy with prepping for the move, some VERY DEAR friends made it a point to ensure we knew how loved we were and I want to remember each and every special thing that was done for us before we said "goodbye" to Lexington, KY.

First, the MUMS steering committee I've been a part of since last summer decided that on our last steering meeting of the year they would mix in a little baby shower love for Greyson. They went way overboard...bringing breakfast and gifts and sweet cards wishing us well on our was really touching. I mean...honestly - I wasn't anticipating receiving any gifts for this baby.....solely because he is coming so close to my last and traditionally there's not much done for someone expecting their second, third, etc. babies, you know? Needless to say, I am very appreciative because they got me some really fun and really needed items. I have a picture of the spread, but not of us girls (I did make sure to get one at our last meeting's coming later in the posting).
My MUMS small group planned a farewell luncheon that same afternoon so this girl was feeling seriously LOVED. One of the members offered up her home as the place and boy did the kids love it - it was like a wonderland (in the country, tons of outdoor toys, a barn with chickens, etc.). The weather could not have been more perfect that afternoon so we got to socialize and relax on the covered porch and watch the kids play.
More and more people raise chickens nowadays as a way to have farm fresh eggs...I think the concept is so cool and would love to have the space to do that someday but for now it was fun to experience it at a friends house. Kennedy was in awe......
The girls inspecting the outdoor portion of the coop:
and running back to play some more:
It was such a nice time and it was so relaxing to just hang out with everyone and enjoy each other in our small group setting one more time. I've said it before and I'll say again - MUMS is something I'm the most nervous about leaving. The friendships I've made in that group of fellow Mom's....they are awesome and I'm just really going to miss having that to look forward to each week. Luckily, Charlotte has something similar called MOPS and I've already signed up for the fall.....I figure I should jump both feet in, right?

After the luncheon, Kennedy and I stopped by to see one of her best buddies: Matthew. Matthew broke and dislocated his finger a couple days prior and on this particular day he'd had surgery to re-set and cast his finger so I thought he might like a bit of company. Aren't they so cute? I love that they've been friends for so long.
On Friday, Janine, Josh, and Keagan came in to visit us once more before we left KY and when the kids woke up on Saturday morning it was time for PLAY. I love this picture because Avery's like: Yo! Who are you and why are you all up on MY door? Ha!
Saturday AM we got ready to head out for a yet another baby showerish/get together/ brunch. When my friend Janet insisted on doing something I was a bit hesitant but she said it was happening whether I liked it or not and I was and am certainly appreciative and humbled. I told her the only way I'd agree was if she promised it would be super low key and at a restaurant so she didn't need to fuss over doing anything at her house. She obliged so here we are getting ready to head out. No...we did not bring our kiddo's but wanted them in a picture. It's kind of hard to believe that come August there will be two more little people in this group!
2 due in August bumps...hopefully our boys will be the best of friends: just like their Mommies!
The wonderful women who attended my brunch at Dudley's and showered me with the sweetest outfits, blankets, plush toys, personalized items, books, and the list goes on...such sweet and thoughtful things. The entire week prior to my departure and especially this day in particular I was just feeling beyond blessed and trying to soak up every single second. Janet put on a lovely brunch and spending this morning with this group was so special.
The love just kept on coming as we went from one event straight on into another (literally: I'm not sure how Abby and Billie pulled it off)...a farewell cookout at Billie and Derek's hosted by Abby and Billie.
 How cute are these invites? Shannon at Restored to Life always creates such cuteness! 
 I shouldn't say Abby and Billie "pulled it off" because it was way better than that. Check out this awesome spread:
We thought we'd have more time between the brunch and the afternoon cookout, but we wanted all our kiddos to be a part of the cookout and when you're planning an event to include kiddos it must start early! The kids hit the ground running or should I say "riding" .......the Gator. This is what I got when I asked the kids to "say cheese". Eli clearly has the cheesing skill down to a "t"!
So does Adalyn: bahahahahah. What can I say: homegirl knows how to rock a pouty face and rock it she does. Don't let her fool you - she's a smiley talkative sweetie when you're on her own turf. If you are out of her usual get the pout, as pictured here:
Some of my favorite people in the whole wide world: Abby, Courtney and Janine! Spending the afternoon amongst people I love to pieces was the perfect way to spend our last weekend in Lexington.
The Bentley's. Y'all - this girl had a baby a WEEK prior to attending our shindig - that is L.O.V.E. She looks amazing, right? Her baby was so stinkin' sweet...I got to snuggle him while they ate supper in peace. I was so pumped they came I squealed out loud when I saw them pull up in the driveway. Rockstars I tell ya - rockstars!
Family photo
We had to take advantage of another opportunity to get some bump photos...all boys...all due the first week of August...still hard to believe but SO.MUCH.FUN!
Janine's idea...Billie's photographic expertise and artistry (Thanks Billie) and FYI...don't drink the water. Ha! Cute, huh?
Avery was sick earlier in the week so she was a bit out of sorts but this girl loves some bubbles!
Water hose fun...watching these two play gave me a glimpse into what life will look like with a boy in our little family. Tim is an amazing Daddy to our two princesses but he is ALL BOY and I can't wait to see him play with Greyson one day. Clearly he's up for the task...he had Eli cracking up:
His girls will always turn him into snuggly mush though and I LOVE it!
The good thing is...both of my girls can hang with the boys! Avery's looking at Keagan like: "are you sure you got this because I'm not buckled dude".
I'm telling you: Praise the Lord for the Gator and the entertainment it provided.
Whenever I'm around my friends and their kids I sometimes feel bad for my "big girl" as she's in a sea of little people. Luckily she is a trooper and plays with them all despite being told by her Mommy like every ten minutes: "Kennedy share, Kennedy be careful, Kennedy give that to the baby, etc. etc.". She's just looking so grown up to me these days and I want her to be little for longer.
It took some tickling, but I caught grin on sweet Adalyn:
The cookout was honestly amazing...we all had such a good time. Billie's yard is unreal - it's like a flippin' tropical oasis or something. She has it landscaped meticulously and there's great shade and comfortable seating and lots for the kids to play with and do and I could go on and on. Let's just say the afternoon/evening was just what we needed for time with our good friends and just a chance to hang out before heading out...thanks so much girls: we loved every minute of that afternoon.

Thanks large in part to Janine and Josh - we got all packed up on Sunday and Monday morning this beauty arrived to load up our belongings. I seriously looked out my front door and was like "yep...this is totally happening". Tim and I learned that packing these trucks is an artwork and honestly whenever you're entrusting everything you own to strangers - I'm pretty glad they are as meticulous as they are because it made this Momma relax a bit more than I thought I'd be able to.
Once the truck departed Tim and I were kinda like: "now what"? Our kids and dogs were in WV, our Sylvester kitty was with Courtney and our sweet Kirby had gone on the day prior to begin life as a farm kitty so it was just he and I and an empty house. We went out for supper and then got a redbox to watch on my laptop from the comforts of the only item left in our house...the air mattress. We knew the next day would bring a whole new whirlwind of "to do's" and it did. Tuesday I cleaned until every muscle in my body ached but I had the house spic and span for the new owners. We temporarily moved in with the Burns's on Tuesday evening and Wednesday we closed on the house. Tim left KY for NC on Wednesday evening but I stayed in Lexington for our last MUMS meeting of the year. Here is a picture of our steering committee. Such an unbelievable blessing these women have been to me...there are no words:
Abby and I took the opportunity for one last bump picture. The next time she and I see each other...these boys will be in our arms. I did ok saying goodbye to almost everyone except Abby. I know we both have crazy wild hormones, but we also have a crazy long history of friendship and therefore there was nothing to do but ugly cry and ugly cry we did...oh it was tough but we are going to try our hardest to nurture our friendship despite long distance!

I left MUMS and drove to WV where my girls were. I stayed the night with my in-laws on Thursday night and then drove to NC on Friday. We have been just getting adjusted in our new digs (my sisters basement for now) and just trying to acclimate. I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster - holding on for dear life and trying to stay as calm as possible for fear that if I cry or yell or get too stressed it will be like taking one hand of the safety bar and will create a not so pleasant downward spiral. My sustaining force has been the confidence that God wants us here and made it possible for us to be here. I'd love to know what he has in store for us next or honestly at this point I'd love to know if there's going to be a house that will suit us and be available before Greyson arrives. Sadly, situations like these are where faith kicks in - blind faith! I'm working to surrender my fears and worries each day knowing he'll provide in his perfect way...not our ways or my way but HIS way.

Despite getting "moved in" we have had a fun filled weekend and you know I've been just snapping picture after picture of these cousins sweet moments. The first day I was here, I got a catch in my throat when I saw the kids playing and interacting and was reminded...this....this is what all this was all about and it's going to be amazing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

This past Friday we had some crazy amazing weather and I'm so thankful that Janet and I made plans to take the kiddos to Centennial Park in Wilmore so we could soak it up! Our kids always have so much fun together and it makes our Mommying job so much easier because they just play and we get time to visit. She is among the many I'm going to dearly miss when we go but we are making a point to get time together when we can and I'm so glad for that.
I love watching my girls play together: 
Avery & Hudson just a swingin'
Avery is a straight dare devil - she literally will bail off a slide whether I'm ready or not so I have to be "on guard" while we are playing at the park. This was her first experience with a play tunnel and soon after she tried crawling through the 2nd or 3rd time she fell and busted her sweet little lip. Clearly it didn't deter her from going back for more (fat bottom lip and all):

Kennedy & Hayden just seeing what's over the bridge: turns out it was pretty much just algae: yuck!
Not to get all emotional on y'all but all that afternoon when our kiddos were having precious interactions (and there were quite a few) I kept thinking about that song "make new friends but keep the old". You know which song I'm talking about? Kennedy always lists Hayden when she talks about who she is going to miss when we leave KY, but she quickly follows her list with the statement: "But, we'll make new friends and we'll come back and visit these friends too". I'm always quick to agree because I want lots more memories like these:

There's way more of this in our future - their Momma's will make sure of it!

I am officially 28 weeks this week and boy am I growing! I keep telling people I feel huge and their all "no, you look great...yadda, yadda, yadda". Don't get me wrong - I'm totally ok with people continuing to lie because it makes me feel better in the moment ;). So...if you're one of those people: LIE ON! Ha!
 Well, just see for yourself this boy is a growin' BIG time!

Sadly, on Mother's Day Kennedy and I went to church solo because Daddy stayed home with a sick Avery :(. Even though she was puny I wanted her in my bump photo:
I've convinced myself that although I'm feeling HUGE I'm surely not bigger than my prior pregnancies, right? Well...I decided to do a little picture digging and the results are in - I'm not just feeling HUGE...I AM! Sigh, sigh, sigh! You know what: there will be a baby at the end no matter what and then after he's here I'll worry with the rest.Seriously!

Here I am pregnant with Kennedy:

And with Avery:

We are being forced to get creative with play around here because there are boxes EVERYWHERE & lots of toys are already packed away! Yesterday we taped some packing paper to our coffee table, got out some crayons and it = fun!
Honestly, watching them play like this was the best Mothers Day "gift" I could have received! Love my girls and although I know our lives are about to be even crazier I'm thrilled we will have another addition to our family in just 12 weeks.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The last little bit

Most everyone who reads this blog knows that we are moving. I had intended to write a blog about it all, but the last time I did that...we didn't move and it was devastating. This time though - it is officially happening. We have movers scheduled and half of our belongings are in boxes strewn about my house so I'm fairly certain -  it is not a is a reality. We will be moving to North Carolina which will put me much closer to family than I have been in over 10 years! I am very excited about the move, but mostly I'm just happy that God seems to have orchestrated it all and you know when that happens: good things lie ahead! I will miss so many things about Lexington and miss so many people I've developed relationships with here, but I've chosen to just buckle up and enjoy my last few weeks here without dwelling on the "goodbye's" that are in front of me. Maybe my choice isn't  a wise one, but it's the path I've chosen for now just to get through.

One of the things I will miss the most here is a ministry I've been involved with since my pregnancy with Kennedy - MUMS (Moms Understanding Moms). It sounds similar to MOPS, or at least that's what others who've experienced both have told me. This year I've been on the steering committee and it's just been a spiritual intimacy with not only God but with other God following friends like I've never known. Last week the steering team got together at a local park and had a picnic and play time. The girls had so much fun...we sweated and laughed and ate and then all came home and took solid naps (it was glorious). Us grown up gals had fun too - it's always good to hang out with them and again although sad thoughts crept in about it possibly being the last outing I'd have with them...I pushed them aside choosing rather to focus on how grateful I am for the time spent and relationships developed with them....despite moving, those bonds will be there forever and it warms my heart to know that to be true!
One of the things I packed up this week is Avery's old car seat. I decided I'd take it completely apart and wash it so that when I unpacked it, it would be ready for Greyson. She kept pointing at it and grunting so I finally put it in the floor after I was done re-assembling it and before I got ready to pack it up and this is what she did. I swear y'all - she played in this thing for like 40 glorious minutes while I busied around the  house doing other things. It was like she found her long lost friend: ha!
Kennedy decided to come in and get in on the fun...she was just rocking her and Avery just sat there...chillin'.

Kennedy then decided to play like Avery was her baby and proceeded to bring her a blanket and toys and Avery never.moved.a.muscle! I was crackin' up!

What happened next is really to sweet to put into words, so you'll just have to see for yourselves:

On Saturday our women's ministry at Southern Acres had their first annual Spring Banquet. The decorating theme was Breakfast at Tiffany's so although I didn't even think about it when I donned a black dress that AM - there were lots of us there in Audrey Hepburn like little black dresses. This is me with my Erica - love, love, love her!
                           Here are the women's ministry directors, Erica and myself.

The speaker's name was Margie Sims and here she is with her daughter and Joan (the leader of Women's Ministry at our church).
The message was about the seasons of a woman's life and it was SOOOOO good. Margie has 10, yes you heard me...10 children. I know people think that is crazy nowadays and you may be one of those people but I think it's amazing. Now, I'm not talking about lack of birth control and leaning on the government for assistance kind of having 10 kids - I'm talking about obedient well cared for and God fearing children - very respectable in my opinion and I say rock on! Now, physically I don't know how on earth women do it but I think character-wise it's just unreal. She shared so many precious little nuggets of wisdom and I just felt really thankful and blessed to be there.

Sunday I got my girls all dolled up in their church clothes and couldn't resist making a photo op out of it. Chelsea gave me this sweet little dress for Avery a while back and when I was shopping in Old Navy here recently I saw it in Kennedy's size on clearance and it was just to perfect to pass up - I love it when they match!

Oh my word:

As I've kind of shared before...Avery's not such a huge fan of grass so she was basically leaning on Kennedy the entire time we were in the yard.
Thankfully, Kennedy is an awesome big sister so she didn't mind at all - love their little hands together ;).
Not much else going on around this neck of the woods outside of packing, labeling, taping, and repeat. It's going to be a cah-razy next few weeks but I want to try my best to cherish it even in the insanity of it all!