Wednesday, October 31, 2012

They are precious in His sight

Not this past weekend, but the weekend prior we had Greyson dedicated at Elevation Church, where we've been attending for a while now. It was crazy trying to get us all dressed and decent looking for the service, but we were blessed to have Courtney, Tammy and Chelsea here that weekend not only to help us that morning but to celebrate with us as well....very special. Let the picture sharing begin!

I had to share this one because just when we got everyone in place and ready, Greyson spit up everywhere: awesome! A day in the life....I'm constantly wearing spit up as an accessory.
I'm not sure why Kennedy is like stone cold Steve Austin in this picture but whatev...they're all looking and that deserves posting. It's crazy how much I feel like my kiddos favor each other. Tim and I clearly have some strong genes.


They made sure in all the information emails sent out prior to the ceremony that parents were aware this was going to be a kid/family friendly event and it really was (kiddie size glass containers filled with goldfish, chocolate animal crackers and fruit puffs).
It was so nice to have Melissa and Declan there to share in the special event. Yet another blessing of living closer to family because none of my family members have been able to share in any of my kids dedication services and I'm thankful that this time was different in that regard.
This church handled dedications a little differently than we were used to but it was a really cool different. They had each set of parents watch a video about trying to imagine the think about where you want your child to be when they leave you...what you want their heart to be like and who you desire for them to become. We were tasked with writing a letter to our child expressing those desires for them. At the dedication ceremony we shared our letter with our family and friends. As awkward as it can be to share your heart at times, I was happy to share with some of those closest to us and I am happy that we will have a copy of this letter to share with him later in life.
After the ceremony I got picture happy (shocking, I know). These little outfits the girls are wearing are from Matilda Jane. Unfortunately Matilda Jane is a tad out of my price range so I rarely get to purchase MJ outfits, but every now and then I get invited to a party and when I do I try to purchase pieces that I think will last a long time. I will say that in my experience with the few MJ pieces I own - they are quality and oh my heavens are they cute too.

My Mom purchased these sweet little shoes for Greyson's coming home outfit but they didn't fit then like they do now...they were precious!

The ceremony was really special...I felt like all the thinking ahead of time just kind of "got our minds right" so to speak about what we really were declaring and it just felt it should. We are so blessed and thankful that we've been given the responsibility to raise these little people and lead them to the Lord. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sisters & Friends

I adore everything about watching the relationship between my girls develop, change and grow. I don't know if I'm so in love with it because I love them both so dearly, and so naturally as their mother I want them to love each other too. Maybe it's because I am so very blessed to have amazing sisters of my own (whom I cannot even begin to imagine life without). Regardless - it's precious. Currently, Avery is interested in EVERYTHING that Kennedy is interested in. She mimics the way she dances, the way she eats, the way she brushes her teeth, and anything else she's able to mimic. Kennedy loves all things creative - coloring, crafting, gluing, cutting, etc. My refrigerator (inside and outside) is literally covered in Halloween "decorations" she's made for me. Because she's been so busy coloring - Avery has wanted to join in.

Thankfully, Kennedy is an incredible big sister - not only to Avery but to her baby brother too. She asks often if she can hold him. This past week she was holding him and he was sitting perfectly contented in her arms and she began just rocking back and forth (undoubtedly because she's been watching me) and he just drifted off to sleep.

Avery wants to be sure that Kennedy knows that her lap should mainly be for her, and so as soon as brother moved and Kennedy switched chairs Avery moved in. 
I mentioned in my last posting that all of our critters are back with us and I think Kennedy may be more excited than anyone. Well...maybe she and I are tied ;). I missed them even more than I knew and now that they are all back it feels like we are complete again. Tim's parents have had our dogs and my dear friend Courtney has had our kitty Sylvester. Oh my word what a blessing their hospitality has been - don't know what we would have done without their willingness to care for our four legged children while we got situated. Every night Kennedy has requested permission to walk the dogs and we've happily obliged.
This past weekend Courtney, Chelsea and Tammy came to visit and bring Sylvester back to us. My girls were on cloud nine with those girls here. They were most excited to introduce Chelsea to their cardboard creation...aka fort.
Tammy was a favorite around here all weekend - both Avery and Kennedy gave her all kinds of snuggles. I have a feeling if she lived closer girls would be mighty spoiled by her :).
~oh my heavenly sweetness - seriously...the love~
I think my dogs may have been equally as happy to be reunited with Courtney as they were with me. Check out Molly's "I'm in heaven" face!
I've been trying to talk to Sylvester daily about how I'm his mother, not Courtney and it's time for him to start acting like it. He's been staring and meowing outside of our guest bedroom door on and off since she left - NOT KIDDING. I've opened it a few times just to show him that it's empty. Courtney has some kind of crazy animal magnetism. I keep telling them (dogs and cats) that I saved them all and even have my degree in how to care for them. Just because they've been spoiled the past few months doesn't erase all the years I've cared for them - Sheesh!  Thank goodness I love em' like my kiddos.
I tried to convince Chelsea to come back and Nanny for free. I'm not sure what I would do if she took me up on it, but it would be AWESOME...she's not lost her touch!

Having some extra hands around made it easier to do some things specifically with Kennedy. We straight up broke out Twister and it was a riot. This game will be even more fun one day with Kennedy can get her left and right straight...oh my. 
This is way, way harder at 32 than it was at like 10. Shocking revelation - I know, but I'm just sayin'. Tons of laughter was shared during this game. The $1.00 I spent on it at a yard sale 5 years ago was completely and totally worth the fun we had.

It was so fun having them all here for the weekend. Greyson was dedicated on Saturday morning and it was really special to share that event with good friends. Pictures to come from the service soon.

On Sunday morning we rose early to tag along with Chelsea for one of her training runs. Courtney was a trooper and did the entire 14 miles, and Tammy and I wrapped up the last 5 with them. That run was my first since early on in my pregnancy with Greyson and boy did I feel it later that afternoon. I was seriously sore in places I don't know if I've ever been sore in before. I did it though (btw...the plan was to do 3 and the reason that turned into 5 is way more information that you'd care to have) and now I know I can keep on keepin' on. I got up bright and early yesterday morning and did about 2.5 and then went walking tonight. Baby weight be gone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Buckle your seat belts

Because this post - it's going to be a long one! We have been in our new digs for a little over two weeks now and I've not posted since prior to that so I've got major picture back up!

My Dad and Kathy came in bright and early on a Friday morning to help us move the next day and before we got to work there was some fun had between the girls, their Grandaddy and Gigi:

Saturday was moving day and it was interesting trying to juggle three kids and be of any assistance at all. Tim and my Dad did all the heavy lifting while Kathy and I were on the ready to direct and unpack in the new house. Luckily, Greyson cooperated by doing a little bit of this here and there so we could actually unpack boxes as my Dad and Tim delivered them.
The moving weekend was interesting to say the least. We realized a few days prior to our move-in date that our county was being hit by some kind of random insect infestation and when we did our final walk through I feared what kind of situation that would create for move-in day. Well, the little critters called Kudzu bugs (which you can learn more about here) were worse than I anticipated...they were ALL OVER our new home, all inside our new home and all thick in the air. Because they were in such high numbers, they came in on all of our belongings too (as you can imagine I was super enthused). Here is a picture of one of the columns under our front porch...every speck you see is a kudzu bug. Although some of these pictures show the severity of this really just can't grasp it until you're here.

Despite our new friends the kudzu bugs - the girls are super pumped about their access to our pool and playground...this is the view from our guest bedroom - they are literally in our backyard.
These are some close up pictures of the bushes and trees in our yard.

 Crazy, right? Thank heavens they don't bite, but they do stink to high heaven when you kill them. They are in between the glass and screens of all of our windows, they are in the cracks of our car doors, they are on our ceilings, they are EVERYWHERE and I'm so ready for them to be gone. Sadly...there's not much information on when and how they will go but I'm praying it's sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the fly swatter and shopvac are both kept handy.
On one of our last nights at Aunt Melissa's house the kids played with giant glowsticks that she found at Target. These pictures are kind of funny but I think they are cool:

Thank goodness for the help of family during our move. It was absolute craziness and without my Dad and Kathy coming in to get us out of our storage and into our house and the help of my Mom and Jim getting some things put together and away there's absolutely no way we could have gotten into our new home within a desirable time frame.
After everyone left to go home and Tim went back to work it was really hard not to just feel overwhelmed by my cardboard heaven. The only thing that kept me sane was knowing Tim's parents were on their way. Oh my word what a blessing having their help was. I essentially asked Marlene to be Nana so I could just scurry around here between feedings and get things done. Clearly she did just that:
She not only was a tremendous help with the kids she was a tremendous help around the house too - she and Dad both worked tirelessly around here getting boxes unpacked and broken down, organizing to the best of their ability and just willingly helping in ANY way they could. I can't really say how thankful I am...when they left I felt like I could breathe again and things were in enough of a working order that life could start to be more normal.
She and this little sweet pea got lots of time to bond and hang out while she was here.

Until we had the toys in some sort of organized fashion, trying to keep the girls entertained has been tough. We had some big boxes left over that I decided to turn into forts and oh what fun those little forts have been.

We decided to make those boxes the most fun possible so the girls would be able to have some way of entertaining themselves. They have been so good and so patient and so tolerant and easy going with all of this, so I'm glad we could take some time away from unpacking to have a little fun with these boxes:

Do you like how Kennedy added (in her own way) that essentially grown ups weren't allowed? Too funny!

She's even decorated the inside!

It has been so nice to have all our family together again (the dogs and cat are back...more on this later), to be in our own place and to start making it ours. There is much to be done but I keep trying to remind myself of the advice my big sister Angel gave me: "it's a marathon...not a sprint". Oh how true those words are and I keep reminding myself of not only that but also that my job right now is to be with my kids, pouring into them and nurturing them and managing our day to day needs (laundry, meals, etc.). So...this will be a LONG project but a rewarding and fulfilling one. Every time I start to feel anxious about all that needs to be done and all I want to do I try to remember that there's no need to hurry...we're going to be here for a while and we can take all the time we need to get it just right. I think we're going to love living here...the house just fits us right where we are and I'm so thankful.