the house that built me.

This is kind of a rambling post, but I just wanted to write down what's on my heart today.

For the second time in two years we are anticipating a move.
It is something that has been on our hearts & minds for a long time.
Today we are meeting with a realtor...
which is both exciting and scary at the same time
(it also doesn't mean we are absolutely moving either).

This home is where we started out.
We saw it change from plans on paper to concrete,
and from insulation, drywall and wood to a real place to live.
We picked out the cabinets, the flooring,
even the location of the trash can cabinet (which no one can ever find)
we planted the sod in the yard and watched a fence go up in record time so that we could get a certain little puppy ;)

we learned a lot about home ownership
and fixed a LOT along the way
And then just over two years ago we put this house up for sale,
we had a buyer and the deal fell through...
so we took the house off the market and said we'd stay a while
and now here we are again, knowing this time it really needs to happen.

But even though it really needs to happen
(and I want it to happen),
I know I will really really miss this place when we do [eventually] leave.

right now, at just the thought of moving I am so full of mixed emotions
because a house is never just a place to rest your head
it's where you make your memories...
where you paint rooms and plant flowers in the yard
where your A/C breaks in the summer heat
and the toilet overflows in the middle of a birthday party
where your puppies become dogs
and babies become children...

it is a magical place in its own way, really.

It all makes me think about the place I grew up.
I wonder if my kids will remember anything about this place (though I doubt it)
I wonder if they will remember anything about where they started out -
where WE started out,
where a couple became a family
where their growth is marked on the laundry room wall
where their cribs were turned into big kid beds
where I complained about stains on the carpet and marks on the wall
where meals were served as we watched people walk their dogs in the evening
where we did so much more than just slept and cleaned and ate and played...
this is where we grew up -- all of us.

And you have not heard it already, this song is something I think we all can relate to.
It is currently on repeat in the car...and every time it plays I get choked up...

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.



Today Logan had a picnic at his pre-school
it was extra special because Daddy, Mimi & Poppy and Nana & Papa all came too
Logan later told me it was "the best day"
which of course just melted my heart :)

He also said "I so glad Daddy came to my school today"
which I could not wait to call Ryan and tell him
because he has been working so much lately
I too was so thankful he took some time away from the office to do something like this
(and grateful for our parents to be there as well -yall are the best!)

Just thought I would share some photos...

waiting in the sun for everyone to get there
(we later moved closer to shade)
this picture makes me laugh - he had just told her "shhh I need to hear when Daddy comes"

We had Chick-Fil-A for lunch (yummm)
and sno-cones too...
I made Logan wear his sister's bib in hopes that he wouldn't ruin his shirt with that blue sno-cone
Nana and Papa
Mimi and Poppy
I dont know how he got him to sit still.
Lauren wishing she could open this bag of Baked Lays
(sorry mom, you can kill me later for not cropping you out)
and thank you Poppy for waiting in the reaaaally long line to get Logan's face painted
he loves his Batman :)
he asked me about eight times on the way home
"how about we dont take this off my face"

(Mimi I am sorry I didnt get a picture of you holding Lauren! You helped me so much today ~ thank you!)


the day you were born


Just five days before you made your arrival into this big world,
your cousin Connor was born.
The two of you were due a month apart (according to you due dates),
but he was two weeks late and you were two weeks early.
Connor was born in North Carolina, 
so Mimi and Poppy were there to see him 
(and Aunt Melanie and Uncle Anthony too!)
on the day that you were born.

Just two days before you made your arrival,
Aunt Corey and Uncle Matt were married.
(I was the Maid of Honor with a belly the size of a small planet).
They drove off into the sunset in a gorgeous red Mustang and left for paradise in Mexico.
They were at the start of a new life together on the day that you were born.

Just one day before you made your arrival,
Nana and Papa left for Aruba.
Had they known for sure you were coming they would have been there,
but they were far away (with little to no cell phone service!)
on the day that you were born.

On the day that you were born I woke up at 2 a.m.,
unsure if this was "the" day.
So we packed our bags, left our house
and headed to the hospital for an ultrasound.
We were pretty sure that when we returned home
it would be with our brand new baby girl.
We were so excited and nervous on the day that you were born.

On the day that you were born
almost everyone in our family was out of town
and we had to call your Uncle Todd to come and get your brother.
Not only did he come and get Logan but he brought food for Daddy.
We had so much peace knowing our sweet boy was in good hands
and our doggies had some one to take care of them.
Your Uncle Todd and Aunt Stephie were our heros
on the day that you were born. 

On the day that you were born
I kissed your "bubby" goodbye.
I knew our family was forever changed.
We had the most perfect little addition to welcome in with open arms
and we anticipated the very moment we could hold you
on the day that you were born.

On the day that you were born
your Daddy never let go of my hand.
You made your arrival in just 27 minutes.
I did not feel a thing
except your leg kicking/stabbing my left rib.
And when you made your arrival I cried
and your Daddy smiled the biggest smile
and together we rejoiced.
We were head over heels in love with you
the very second you were born.

On the day that you were born you weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces.
You were pink and crying and the sweetest little thing.
Your daddy stood in awe of you - 
then suddenly I told him
"take more pictures! take more pictures!"
It was, after all, the day that YOU were born!

On the day that you were born
you once again gave our life purpose
Your sweet face gave life new meaning
and I remembered what a precious, precious gift it is to be a mama...
to be YOUR mama.
I was forever changed the day that you were born.

On the day that you were born you had tiny red spots in your eyes
 (from arriving so quickly)
but oh, how gorgeous and amazing you looked
those sweet eyes just stared back at me
and I took in every inch of you -
so small and seemingly perfect in every way
Your daddy asked me "who does she look like?!?"
Well, you looked like none of us,
and yet you were one of us
on the day that you were born.
On the day you were born I'll never forget
when your brother came in the room
 as I hugged him tight, the memories came flooding back -
to that amazing day just three years before
when it was him I held in my arms, so small, just like you.
I thanked God for miracles. For my babies.  For life.

I will never forget those days - 
 the days that you were born.

On the day that you were born, your Uncle Kalen was leaving for Iraq
he tried to get to the hospital before he left
but he did not make it in time.
It is all just a part of his job,
(he's a hero, you should know)
but oh, how we wish you could have met him
on the day that you were born.

On the day that you were born
You were greeted with open arms
more people than you know wanted to see you,
to hold you,
to travel miles and miles to be with you...
but even though they couldn't be there physically,
their love was there with you
on the day that you were born.

On the day you were born you had visitors
and you were held and kissed and hugged and loved
you were told you were beautiful and precious and sweet.
You were celebrated and honored,
loved more than you can even imagine...
just for being born!

And now, today, it has been a year since you were born
and in this year I have really come to know you
and the more I know you, the more I love you
(even though my heart feels so so full!)
My dreams, my life is full.

 I am so, so thankful
for you sweet Lauren
and the day -
that glorious, beautiful day
that YOU were born!

I love you!



Just a few more from the birthday festivities....

After cupcakes and presents
(which I did get pictures of thanks to my husband but I swear he loves to take really unflattering shots of people talking and making weird faces so I'll save you from having to look at any of those)

I did manage to get one half-decent picture with the birthday girl
and one of just her
and a couple of all the kids together...
before we headed outside to take a walk down to the playground
don't ask what my kid is doing
he loves to ruin pictures by making weird gestures
I think Gracyn was pretty emberassed by him as well.

We brought our double stroller to make things a little easier
and Gracyn and Logan took turns pushing it for about
oh, one and a half minutes
and then we made it down to the park
where all the kids got to swing
(Lauren loves to swing
and this was Connor's first time on them -
I am pretty sure he was in love too)
I think this pretty much gives you an idea just how long Lauren's legs are
I really wish I could say she got those from me...
and Logan and Gracyn played on the big playground

It was a long day, but a very, very good one
Lauren and Connor both made it until the stroller drive back home until they fell asleep
(even I could barely stay awake at that point).

And now everyone is back home...
and we miss them like crazy
thank you Melanie, Anthony, and Connor
for always making the trip to see US
and making this weekend so great.
We love you!


Happy Birthday Connor and Lauren :)

This weekend we got to spend time with Aunt Melanie (Ryan's sister), Uncle Anthony and our sweet nephew Connor as they came in town to celebrate Connor and Lauren's birthdays.
And in case you don't know him already, this little cutie pie is Connor:

and no, that's not Connor's mama...
that's Aunt Stephie.
Don't get too confused now,
'cause this one IS Connor's mama:
I bet you are starting to get confused a little...
because yes, Stephanie and Melanie are twins...
and yes, my kids look more like their aunts than their own parents
it's true.
 Connor looks very much like his mama but has his daddy's Italian skin coloring
(so he's one really lucky boy)

And as for my kids, well, they may as well be allergic to the sun.

I am ashamed to say I never really did get a good picture of Lauren

but I did get several of Connor
(and I think that's ok since I see Connor far less often than I see Lauren)

Seriously, I could just eat him up
and his skin is like butter
which really makes it hard not to try to eat him ;)

It was fun to see them together
to watch them play and see their little personalities.
it still amazes me that they were just five days apart
(and look so different for being related)

Makes me wish they lived right down the street (sniff).

OK where was I?
Oh yeah, the party...

so we had lunch

and then it was time for cupcakes
and party hats...
which neither one of them liked too much
especially Miss Lauren,
who, smacked herself in the face with hers
then she picked up her cupcake...
and it fell on the floor :(

Not to worry though...
she got another one,
but still didn't love it.
Connor only liked his cupcake a liiiiiiiiiittle bit

I took many, many pictures,
but I dont have time to post them all tonight,
so I'll wrap this up tomorrow
but in the meantime I thought I'd share
what I think was my favorite picture of the day:

(that would be Connor's daddy, Uncle Anthony)

followed very very closely by this one: