Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Laughter is healing

In November, my big sister Catina and I attended a Women's conference in Uptown Charlotte called Sweet Sisters. When I registered I never dreamed I'd be taking a two week old to the conference (because that's just plain nuts), I'd planned on taking a four week old and c'mon - that's a big ole difference. Well, the Good Lord (as y'all well know) had other plans and Micah came at 42 weeks taking his sweet ever loving time to make his grand entrance and thus I had to decide whether or not I could take a 2 week old to a Women's Conference in Uptown Charlotte. I mean, I really struggled to decide what was best. I knew the conference would be uplifting in ways I couldn't imagine and I figured chances were good that he would nurse and sleep and repeat approximately umpteen times during the course of the weekend. So: in the end, I decided to go and I'm so incredibly glad I did. I mean, I was in the throws of sleep deprivation and milk leakage and post partum frump but I knew if I could muster the strength to put it all aside, the Lord would meet me there and He absolutely did. I laughed, I cried, I worshipped and I learned and all along side my big sister with a sweet sleeping baby on my chest, all wrapped snuggly in my Moby Wrap: what could be better?!?! I'm going to tell you - not much. As an added bonus one of my really great friends from high school came up with her Mom and it was a special treat to get to spend some time catching up with her too.

The draw to the conference were two of my favorite people in the blogosphere. Sophie Hudson (Boo Mama) and Melanie Shankle (Big Mama) were the headliners for the conference and I was thrilled about the opportunity to hear them speak. I've been reading their blogs since I started blogging (like 7 years ago - that's just crazy in and of itself) and mostly their posts make me laugh but they've also inspired me and informed me and touched me and all in a way that made me laugh til' my sides hurt. They've both published multiple books in the last several years and I've read them all. They are very different writers but their books are all wonderful, easy, uplifting and quick reads. They are just real people who love Jesus and have insanely hilarious senses of humor.

Here are just a few pictures I snapped during the event.

This first one is of my friend from high school Casey and I. She was getting in lots of baby snuggles because she (along with most of my other friends) is "done" but still loves a good "baby fix".
 Here is my sweet sister Catina along with Melanie and Sophie. I tried to act really cool when I met them and not be completely star struck and act a fool but I was totally geeking out on the inside. Just keepin' it real. They were so nice and complimentary and were like "oh my word...how old is that tiny peanut?" and then I told them and shared he was my fourth and they were like "oh........." and knowingly nodding like mmmmhmmm, if that was your first there ain't no way you'd be here and that thought is 100% correct. He was an angel baby and I'm so glad I went - it was awesome.

I would love to go and see them again at some point in the future if possible but in the meantime I've been enjoying listening to their podcasts on my phone. I feel like I've opened up an entire new universe of things with the whole podcast situation. I'm extremely technologically challenged so the fact that Podcast has even become part of my vocabulary is something to behold. The next time you go for a walk or run or car ride or even clean your house, put in your earbuds and prepare to laugh hysterically - their Podcast is called The Big Boo Cast and it will literally make you laugh until you cry. So funny! It is also informative in all things fashion and skin care but even those topics are laced with tons of humor. Anyhow, these ladies were and are tons of fun. So glad I got to meet them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Every November there is an air show at our local airport. When I say local, what I mean is a teensie little airport literally less than a mile down the road from our house. It's basically a place where flight lessons are given, people store their little puddle jumpers to fly and then some big wigs store their private jets there so they can get in and out easily without the hassle of the Charlotte airport. 

Anyhow, we've watched the air show every November since we moved into this house because the kids love it and we can pretty much just hang out in the parking lot next to our house and the kids can play and we just make it an all day affair. It's really neat too - it's mostly old war planes. The show is actually called Warbirds over Monroe

I was in and out this year because of having a newborn, but Tim and the kids stayed out almost all day and as in years past Tim took an insane amount of pictures of just sky and planes and more sky and more planes and well...you get the picture. Pun intended. 

 My sister brings her kiddos out for the day too. Declan loves planes. 

 The planes have such character, it's just really cool to admire them and know that they've seen things we can't imagine. 

 Because we aren't actually on the airport grounds we don't have a schedule or itinerary but there are some pretty big pauses between flights and the kids tend to get a little restless but then they just drag everything out of my garage and things like this happen: 

 It's insane to me how close these planes will fly to one another. I realize they are trained professionals but oh.my.word.
 Just to give you a little perspective. There is the corner of our house right there. Mmmmhmmm...we are that close to the action. We've been contemplating going onto the airport grounds this year because the kids could see the planes up close and personal and actually get in them and when the planes do their free fall craziness we could actually get the whole picture without having some of it cut off by a tree line. 
 Micah did come out for some but mostly he was inside because he wasn't about the windiness and the brightness of it all. To be fair - he probably was still depressed over being evicted from my uterus. 

 Greyson was ABOUT the helicopters this year. I can't blame him...they're pretty cool. I mean, this amazing face of mine says it all. Ha!
Hard to believe this event is right around the corner. I'm telling you...these last 9 months with the addition of Micah are like a blur...it's just nuts how time flies when you're this busy. I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's cray folks! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trick or Treat

Last year we trick or treated with the Englar's and it was a win, win: the kids had a blast and got tons of candy AND we got home at a decent time. So: this year (especially since we'd be trick or treating with a newborn) we opted for the same plan. Here are the kids before we left:
Avery was Barbie Island Princess, Kennedy was Ariel and Greyson was a cowboy. 

This little pumpkin was just that...a sweet little pumpkin. 
Here are all the kids together. Jennifer's girls were witches and Will was a zombie soccer player. Oh my. I'm so glad we aren't discussing zombies yet. Kennedy was totally creeped out by the entire ensemble and I can't blame her. Ha! Clearly he was "in character" as well. 
These girls are such sweet little friends. 
I believe at this particular point, Micah was crying in the stroller so we took our family picture without him. 
Greyson was way more into trick or treating this year than last. It was so cute watching him get his treats. He did want to pause momentarily after each house and taste his bounty though - so funny. 

When we wrapped up with trick or treating, we headed home and were greeted by some more company! The Vaughans arrived in time to see the kiddos in costume and they stayed a couple nights to get to know little Micah. Here's Catherine holding him. 

and then Maggie

The next day everyone got lots of time snuggling the lil' man. 
or shall I say "men"

Greyson is a dude's dude. I'm telling y'all...any chance he gets to Bro out and he's going to. If there's a guy around - he's with him. I don't think Uncle Kevin minds too much. 
Just when I thought picking out Halloween Costumes was a big enough job as it was...this year we'll add another to the mix. Heaven help me! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Company & Chaos

It was crazy loading these pictures to blog about them because since these pictures were taken, Chelsea's little tiny peanut that was barely noticeable at the time has since been born. Time.seriously.flies. Sigh. I'm thankful that before Chelsea had her own, she came time to meet my sweet baby bear. We were SO EXCITED to see her (as usual). 
Trying to keep the other children entertained while I was on 24/7 baby nursing duty was and is always difficult but thankfully since we had company I could curb the chaos a bit and do some things they'd been asking me to do - like painting. 

Kennedy is super artsy and she loves all things crafty and creative, but she is super meticulous about her projects. Avery, on the other hand is a bit more free spirited in her creations (I know y'all are shocked). Like Kennedy though, Avery does seem to love to create. They got that from their Momma ;). 
She's a baby whisperer!

Exhibit A why I need reinforcements to tackle such "fun things". 

Where it all began and where it shall end. Blessings. 

Well, I'll say this about her: she's photogenic. Love her. 

I love these sweet snuggly pictures. Now he won't fall asleep on me no matter what - the boy loves his crib. 

Let me be clear though - he loves NOTHING in this life more than his big sister. I mean: adores her. 
I mean, I can't help but getting sentimental when I look at these pictures. I can't imagine my life had I not met this gal. I simply can't. I would not be who I am today though - that's for sure. So thankful for her encouragement, support, wisdom and love. Who knew when she was taking care of my firstborn that we'd be friends until and beyond she had her first. Thank beyond measure. 
Mom came over a good bit in those early days which was much appreciated. My kiddos love a visit from their Honey and Big Jim - planned or impromptu - always fun. 
I took this next picture because - this...this is what happened when I didn't have help but had to feed the baby. They had a whole "hair salon" set up. Makes me laugh...their little imaginations are so incredible. I'm so happy that these two get along the way they do. 

So...the nice thing about being this far behind on the blog is that it can be sort of a reflection time. It reminds me that the chaos I feel now because of life with four kids pales to the chaos that was then in those early weeks. It's like I tell brand new Momma's all the time - "it gets easier and easier" and it does.