summer randoms

Somehow I missed these photos from over the summer

(I say that like summer was so long ago but it to those of you who actually get seasons, right now it is fall - here it is pretty much summer until about January when we go straight into winter...but I digress...)

Love that smile - he gave me a real one for a change :)
Love this little smile too - she got seven teeth a couple of weeks ago and looks so different to me now.

This was Lauren's favorite place to play this summer - she loves that little playhouse so much.

When the Thaxton kids stayed with us for a couple of days we finally got some use out of the slip-and-slide.
My kids were totally clueless as to how it worked so they ended up all playing together in the sprinkler part at the bottom.
They all had a total laughing fit putting swim goggles on Lauren
(and she absolutely loved all the attention)

(You just can't help but laugh...)


I have been procrastinating on editing Logan's birthday party pictures...since it was a pool party (actually he asked for a "surfboard" party but we elaborated on the theme) there were lots of random bathing suit shots, pictures in the bright (blazing) Florida sun, pictures that were dark from being on the patio, and pictures that were blurry from me getting in too big of a hurry....so I got lazy, decided just to grab a few of them, forget the editing and TADA!!!!, this is what you get.  I also have a thing about posting pictures of other people's kids so I am going to keep those to a minimum...

(so yeah, I guess you are getting short-changed if you weren't actually there but you get the idea).

Logan actually caught a really bad stomach virus (the same one that Lauren and I had a few weeks before)and so did several of his friends from pre-school (along with their parents) so we were kind of nervous as to how he would be feeling and just how many of his friends could actually make it.  (Turns out he was perfectly fine by then). 

I admit I was pretty stressed out and didn't do what I said I was going to do, which was just relax and soak it all in....but I did take pictures and Ryan spent the whole time with the kids in the pool so I think overall it was a success. (Having a party was all he asked about this year - he never really talked about wanting presents...every day he would ask us "how many days until my party?!?" So we really wanted everything to go well for him, and I think it did).

my mom made these sandcastles from scratch.  She never ceases to amaze me.
Hot stuff and her brother, wearing his wild "swim" suit
(it attaches to a floatation vest which gives him the ability to jump into the deep end)
*not to worry, the netting was missing on this side and they improvised with "CAUTION" tape. Nice.
eating sandwiches
Seriously, we make some pretty babies in our family.
I am not at all biased.

love that one.

(that only took about 47 takes)

Happy Birthday, buddy. 
We love you.


this morning

This morning I was taking the kids to pre-school, flipping through the radio stations looking for something to listen to when this song came on....

and my kids went NUTS.

absolutely insane...

kicking their legs in excitement, squealing, giggling, arms thrashing, head banging....anything they could to "dance" to it strapped in their car seats.

completely hilarious and like nothing I have ever seen them do before.

It was even more hilarious when the woman behind us at the light started cracking up
and then proceeded to pull her minivan up next to our SUV and give me the thumbs up...



last night

After dinner and bath Logan got to open his presents.
He was just a little excited...
(actually I think I was even more excited than he was because I knew he was getting the one thing he had been asking us for...the Batcave...one just like his best buddy Russell has at his house).

and even though I hate the flash and the red-eye (to be fixed later...)
I love, love love the look on his face.
(oh, and Lauren's hair.  That is pretty awesome as well).

Love this.  He just realized what it is.

He just could not stop smiling
(and neither could we...)



That was the day that changed my life (as I knew it) forever. 

Before then I never really had a clue just how great life as a parent could be.
I had no idea how much I could really love someone who I didn't really know at all.
I had no clue what it was like to really worry, to literally feel disconnected when he wasn't with me...
(Just ask my mom and sister how much I panic if I dont have a kid at my side).

I was amazed at how much I undervalued my parent's parenting
and my husband's parent's parenting
and my grandparent's...

I never realized just how selfish I was
or how routine my life had become
how those little ordinary things turned into things I never knew I cherished
(brushing my teeth...taking a shower...and heaven forbid, reading a book)

I never knew that parenting could be so hard....so frustrating...so different.
It took a long time before I gained the confidence to say "I know he's crying non-stop, but he is okay."
I had never really changed a poopy diaper before then, much less had it run down my arm.
I had never even considered the fact it may take three straight months for my child to stop screaming.
I had no earthly idea how much I valued my sleep.
I thought the doctors had all the answers. Nope.

I admit - I worried, I stressed, and eventually I learned.
I took advice from strangers (and snarky comments too).
I listened to my mom and mother-in-law, my friends with children...
and I was amazed at how they did this -- with more than one!?!?!
and eventually I gained confidence in my own parenting skills, those I didnt know I had.

I also finally came to a point where I had the most important realization of all -
that I was wishing his little life away....
I could not wait for that next step, the next milestone.
I realized he was not so little anymore
and I cried
and I wished for those days back
even with the colic and the frustration and the sleeplessness,
I'd take every second back,
back to the very second he was born
and I'd soak it all in...
every baby breath, every coo, every milestone...
and I wouldn't rush it,
I would savor it
cherish it,
and remember how my life changed because of it.

It sounds dramatic I know...
to say that my life changed forever...
but it did.
He did.
His birthday makes me both incredibly sentimental and insanely proud.
In his short life I feel like I have grown with him
and he makes me better for it.

He is the greatest gift.
The most entertaining, hilarious, crazy kid,
and I love him
more than I ever thought possible...

Happy Birthday, my sweet Logan.
(Despite my rambling on this post, today is really all about you buddy).

I love you so much!


on this labor day:

Went to the grocery store.  Ordered cupcakes for Logan's birthday party while I was there.  Picked up some "special" foods for his big day and a few other things...

Came home and made this times two.  (With chicken instead of shrimp.  One for my hubby who is allergic to shellfish and one for a friend on bedrest).

(Meanwhile Daddy entertained the kids by building track on the floor and playing toys)

Then I decided (after I had cleaned the kitchen) I'd make a berry cookie cobber (pretty much my go-to recipe for a quick, super easy and delicious dessert)....and of course I had to make two because my hips really needed the extra weight.

Now I am making chocolate seashells for the birthday boy's cupcakes.

(Lauren is napping and Daddy and Logan are watching a movie).

And then?  Then I am taking a nap.

I think I've had enough labor for one day.

Hope you are having a fun, relaxing day with your family today :)