Friday, December 10, 2010

New Man in My Life

Baby Jacob!
He is bigger than this now, but these are a few of the photos I took on the night he was born. What is funny (to me) is that he was born at 3:53pm on Nov 4th. Gracie was born at 3:35pm the year that she was born. Very neat to have two cousins who share a birthday!

And of course, we had cupcakes for everybody (except Jacob!) to celebrate Gracie's birthday. And Jacob's too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Halloween 2010

So for Halloween we divided up our time. We got to go to East Memorial Baptist church on Saturday night for their fall festival, followed by our church's first "Light up the Night for Jesus" trunk or treat.
Then we also went to Millbrook Baptist Church on Sunday night for another fall festival.

Here are some photos of the kids in their costumes. While Gracie had decided on her costume long before Halloween, James was another issue all together. I wanted to have him dressed as a pirate to kind of coordinate with Gracie's Tinkerbell. Then I couldn't find a pirate costume in stores to fit him. Then when I did find one online, it was $25 and would take four days to ship. I found it the Monday before Halloween.

So I tanked the pirate costume idea and called on an old friend, who had a costume from Toy Story that her son wore last year. James was absolutely adorable as Woody from Toy Story! We just couldn't get him to keep his hat on....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We are here!

Can I just tell you again how awesome Lori Mercer is? The photo you see at the top of our blog is courtesy of her! It was taken when we had pictures taken of Jacob. Keep reading to find out about him!

I am alive. I promise!

The kids are both well, although Gracie was having some kind of sickness over the weekend. I'm not sure what it was just thankful that it has passed!

Wow. There has been so much going on in the last month. Mawmaw arrived on Nov. 2nd, and to celebrate Gracie's fifth birthday on November 4th, we welcomed her new baby cousin Jacob into the family! We divided our time between getting to know our newest family member and then saying goodbye to Mawmaw when she left on Nov. 29th.

We had a revival at our church the days before Thanksgiving, with guest speaker David Ring. I will tell you more about that later. I just wanted to share with you that David's testimony and his messages really affected me. I think everything he spoke about can not only be applied to your spiritual life but to relationships outside of that as well.

We got our Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving, and I spent most of Black Friday shopping for Christmas gifts! I have only just had time to sit down and catch my breath!

There has been so much going on I am so sorry I haven't posted in over a month. Hopefully over the next several days, I will be able to catch you up on everything.

I just realized this morning when I uploaded pictures from my camera, that I haven't even posted Halloween photos! I will get right on that. Promise!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Milestone

I have always been a planner.

List maker.

Note Taker.

I couldn't leave on vacation without a list of items to pack, an itenerary of what I was going to see, and maps for both directions - getting there and getting back.

If it doesn't come with an instruction manual, I just can not put it together.

I function best when there is little chaos, no clutter, and I have everything I need laid out before me.

I planned both of my pregnancies. Those of you who have children know what I mean when I say that.

On November 4, 2005 at 3:35 in the afternoon, a pinkish purple 9 pound 5 ounce bundle of joy came into this world and into my life. For nine months I had planned a nursery and picked out a baby book, filling it in with information as I awaited the arrival of Gracelynn Kay. Her name even got here before she did.

But I wasn't prepared for the sweetest little miracle that God brought into my life that day. I wasn't prepared for middle of the night feedings and an overflowing trash can of diapers. I wasn't prepared for tiny fingers and teensy toes. I thought I was.

Being a first time parent is like opening yourself up to a world full of advice that you didn't know you need. Or wanted. People will share every detail they possibly can - even some of the stuff that leaves you wondering exactly why they might have thought it was important for you to know that.

As I'm writing this on the eve of what will be my only daughter's fifth birthday, I am flooded with a variety of memories.
I remember the smell of her cheek the first time I kissed her in the operating room.

I remember the night they wheeled her to me and I could see her dark brown eyes peering up at me in the dim light of the hospital room.

I remember standing in the Physical Education complex of AUM on the night of Tara's graduation. I had just changed Gracie's diaper on a blanket in the bathroom floor. When we walked out of the bathroom, I was looking down at her. When she smiled at me for the first time I think my heart literally melted.

I remember the first time she laughed.

I remember her first birthday like it was yesterday.

It is amazing the change that children bring about in you.

What is even more amazing than that is watching them change. You blink for one second and suddenly they went from being this totally helpless little creature who depended on you for their every need to shunning you when you want to hold their hand in a public place.

To rolling their eyes and making silly faces when you ask them to do something for you.

To crying helplessly when you break the news that they are not getting a baby sister but a baby brother instead.

From a time when you were affectionately known as "Mommy" to suddenly learn you became "Mom."

And even in those fleeting moments when it seems like you have lost total control, to be asked to snuggle in bed before saying our prayers at night.

To slipping that sweet little smile so that they get their way. And you know you've lost.

To loving so unconditionally and without any hesitation that it leaves you breathless.

Five years ago, I thought I knew what I was getting in to. I never could have expected the amount of change that one sweet little girl could bring into my life. I have enjoyed every single minute of watching her grow into this little person she has become. She is beautiful on the inside and out. She has the kindest heart and is very emotional. She loves her baby brother so much you would never know she had asked God for a baby sister instead.

She is smart.

She is stubborn.

She is spirited and silly.

She has a laugh that when she really laughs you can't help but join her.

She is more like me than I have ever been willing to admit.

Five years ago, God blessed me with one of the sweetest gifts I have ever known. And one that I have grown to love more than I could have ever imagined.

Happy birthday, Gracie. Mommy loves you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

First Field Trip (Pt.2)

We only live a hop, skip and a jump away from the Millbrook Airport in Elmore County. But I have never, ever, ever done anything other than drive past it.

So I was just as curious as the children when we arrived at the airport to find out some information about what is known as the Air Evac Lifeteam. Jayme (who is the father of one of Gracie's classmates) actually led the children through a guided explanation of what they do. One of the chilren even got the experience of being loaded onto the stretcher and placed inside the helicopter!

Having watched enough episodes of Grey's Anatomy to know what a life-flight helicopter is used for, it was definitely interesting to see one up close. The area in which the patient is placed on the stretcher is extremely small. Jayme assured the children that while it is very noisy that riding in the helicopter was very safe and it would get them to the hospital very quickly.

Jo-Jo, one of Gracie's classmates, being loaded into the helicopter on a stretcher!

Gracie with her Junior Flight Crew wings

Wiley, one of Gracie's classmates, with Mr. Jayme's helmet on!

Gracie in the helicopter

Mr. Jayme poses for a picture with the class

We ended the field trip at the Millbrook Park. The kids had a blast and so did the moms who went. I am looking forward to many more field trips with the kids!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Field Trip (Pt.1)

So on Monday, Gracie's K4 class at Victory Baptist School had their first ever official field trip! I normally work on Mondays, but requested the day off to accompany the class on their field trip. The children weren't the only ones who were excited about the trip. I'm sure some of the moms were as well!

The class not only got to visit the Pumpkin Patch of a local church, but they also went to the Millbrook Airport to visit with the Air Evac Life Team there. Then we headed off to the Millbrook Park to finish off an exciting morning!

But first off: The Pumpkin Patch! It was held at Trinity UMC in Prattville, and was just the right size of fun for Mrs. Eddings K4 Class!

The kids got to check out all the different colored pumpkins (they had yellow, red, blue, green, white and orange) and some of the kids noticed the different shapes and sizes, and even found some "Bumpy Pumpkins" which happened to be what they heard about at story time at the Pumpkin Patch!

A sweet sign greeting us as we walked through the Pumpkin Patch!

These are Winged Gourds, which are pretty much for decoration. But Gracie and her friend, Sam, though this gourd looked like a duck! Do you think so?

Gracie and her buddy, Sam (who is putting bunny ears up behind Gracie!)

Classmates! L to R: Randria, Aysia, Sam, and Gracie

This was during Story time, when they were read "The Bumpy Pumpkin"

Gracie with the Pumpkin we picked out!

Mrs. Eddings K4 Class

Check out our visit to the Air Evac Life Team at Millbrook Airport in my next post! The kids had a blast!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Have you ever seen a Peanut Pumpkin? That's what Gracie thought it was so, of course, we had to take her picture with it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Buddy Walk 2010

I met Rita Andrews through a mutual friend of ours.

Rita and her husband William have two grown children, Lyndsey and Michael, and they have adopted four girls: one from India, one from Guatemala, and two biological sisters from Colombia. Three of the four girls have Down Syndrome.

When I saw Rita advertising a Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome on Facebook, I realized that as much as I've wanted to do fundraiser stuff like this in the past - I never have. So for a total of $20, I signed Gracie and me up to walk. The Buddy Walk was held October 16th at the Riverwalk Stadium (home of the
Montgomery Biscuits). As members of the "Princess Team" the Andrews girls were decked out in yellow shirts and tutus, and walk participants got to wear a special badge made of a princess crown with the girls' group photo attached.

Gracie, James, and I headed out that morning to meet Rita and her girls for the walk!

A picture of Gracie in her princess crown, in support of the "Princess" Team.

Rita, William, and the girls with a friend at the Buddy Walk

From l to r: Giovanni, Gabriella, Lily, and Isabella with a group of cheerleaders from a local school!

A group photo of the Princess Team and the walkers supporting them!

Although the weather was a little warmer than we expected the walk was so much fun! Rita's girls are absolute dolls and it was a blast to get to watch them dance and just have a good time. Hopefully, this will be an activity we participate in every year into the future!

Monday, October 25, 2010

What's Up, Pork Chop?

I feel like it's been forever since I've done a post on James! And since I've discovered how to load my pictures onto the computer through my printer, I'll have to post more videos very soon!

At 14 months, James mastered the art of walking unassisted just last week. Although it takes him a second or two to get his balance and he can't stay up on his feet for long - he figured it out!

He is also completely off of baby food and formula and no longer taking a bottle! He can pretty much self-feed, although we've only let him hold a spoon while he's eating. He doesn't know just yet how to manuever the spoonful of food into his mouth. We are still holding onto the pacifier, but he is only allowed to have it at naptime (at home, not at daycare) and at bedtime.

Just recently I noticed him sounding out more words. There are a new words and sounds he can imitate: Gracie/Sissy, No no, That, Mama, Da Da, and other noises.

He also likes to dance when he hears music and more recently when I was singing to him, I noticed that he likes to make noises/sounds as if he's singing back to me!

We go for his next well baby check-up on November 16th, so I'm sure I'll have more updates then!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Luke Reid Spivey

My friend, Brooke, got married this past January. Gracie was her flower girl and her son Mason was the ring bearer. Just last month, Brooke and her husband Ryan welcomed a baby boy into the family!

Here are some pictures from our visit with Luke Reid Spivey as the newest member of the Spivey family!

It was nice to visit with Brooke, who I've only seen a few times since the wedding, but the real excitement was for Gracie and Mason (Brooke's son) to see each other again! Gracie and Mason go way back and according to Ryan and Brooke, he tells everybody at church and school that Gracie is his girlfriend! Watching them play and catch up was just as much fun as holding Baby Luke!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ah, ah, CHOO!

There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a baby giggling, unless it is his big sister fake sneezing just to make him laugh!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

You can barely see because it's so dark, but they had music playing before the circus started at the fair. James is gettin his groove on!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jalapeno's Princess Dinner

ETA: Sorry for the lag in posting. My USB cable for my camera is missing, and I literally just figured out how to get pictures from my memory card being connected through my printer. Yay me!
Gracie just loves being a princess! I don't think there is anything she loves more, unless it would be spending time with an actual princess!

Jalapeno's in Montgomery and a business called The Party Palace have done a wonderful thing-once a month, typically on a Saturday, they will have a character dinner. Families can come and spend time with whatever character might be featured. The particular weekend we got to go, it was Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel from the Little Mermaid!

We had SO much fun and had some great food! And for those of us with die-hard princess fans, the Party Palace does birthdays too! They have a wide variety of characters, so be sure to check out their website for more info!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Darkness Black Enough

There are no words. Just watch.

The Murphys from Frazer UMC on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

30th Birthday Wishes

Please make sure you take a moment to stop by Wade's World today and wish Amy a very, very happy 30TH birthday!!!

Amy and her husband Jeremy, pictured here with Pork Chop at his first birthday party

While I've got you here, I might as well tell you what an awesomely wonderful best friend Amy has been to me, especially over the last several months. Amy is alot of fun, and it's amazing how much time we can spend talking about nothing and everything. I can't even remember when or why we became friends, but I am so glad that God has blessed me with her friendship! She's not only a great friend, she's a great mom to Jackson (who is a cutie, even if he is - as Gracie says - a "War Eagle"!)

Amy, with James at his first birthday party, showing him how to use his new toy she got him!

So please help me wish Amy a very happy birthday today!


Saturday, September 11, 2010


We will never forget.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Some recent videos of the kids!

So this is not "official" first steps as in all by himself, but this is the first time he's used the new toy! Thank you, Mrs. Amy Wade!
PS - Turn the volume down, James is big on screeching/squealing right now!

I love seeing this kind of sibling interaction, especially when giggling is involved.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tub Fun

Showing off his teeth!

I like how he's peeking like "what are you doing?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jacob's Build-A-Bear

I've probably not mentioned this on my blog officially yet. But my sister, Jessica, is expecting her first baby this November. She is having a boy, and his name is Jacob.

Jessica has heard the story about how when I was pregnant with Gracie, we were in Florida visiting my mom and happened to be at the mall where they had a Build-A-Bear. So that night, I stuffed a Lamb for my then-unknown baby girl. She still has that same little lamb.

When I found out I was pregnant with James, Gracie heard the story of how I built her a lamb. So in order to carry on this sudden family tradition, I took her to Build-A-Bear to make one for her brother (who at the time, we did not know was her brother!)

Here is a picture of Gracie with James' bear:

So last week when Jessica was home, she decided that it was time to take Gracie to the mall to create a special bear just for Baby Jacob. I am very happy to carry on this family tradition!

Showing us the heart she picked out, just for Jacob's bear!

Washing him off so he's "all clean!"

Letting little brother give the teddy some love!

Aunt Jessica picked out a shirt and voila! - All done!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Baby Cone=BIG mess!

I totally was not aware that if children are four inches tall or less, they can get a free "Baby" cone from Bruster's. Since we have a location in Prattville, I decided to take the kids after dinner tonight.

James has had a few bites of icecream here and there, but never has he been left unsupervised with a cone. And he wasn't this time, either, until the last few bites. I got him birthday cake ice cream, Gracie had chocolate, and I had mint chocolate chip.

James enjoyed the icecream. Alot. The proof is in the pictures, people: