Summer Service Group

This summer we were invited to join a Summer Service Project group with a group on Mom’s from our church and their children. We had a busy summer and couldn’t go every week (vacations, swim lessons, etc) but we were able to serve in two projects, and buy supplies when we couldn’t go and serve! Our first project, a lemonade stand and bake sale, was the week that we were in charge of. We raised money for the family of a missionary who was serving in Uganda, Africa and contracted malaria, had complications, and later died as a result. Hayley helped me bake goodies (Will you didn’t participate this summer, you are too young) and, along with with other moms and children in our group, set up outside of a boutique to sell lemonade, sweet tea and all of our baked treats. We realized over $300 to help that family! 

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The second project we did was helping buy, sort and pack food boxes for the food bank of Northwest Louisiana. We went to Sam’s and bought needed food items, and took them to a church and you (Hayley) helped pack the boxes with food to give away to those in need. I am so proud of how you help! 

Another way I served (Hayley and Will you are both too young to help on this one) was helping to decorate a “dream room” so a sick little girl through the Pay It Forward Network. She has a disease that leaves her sick, tired and with no energy all day so she has to spend most of her time in bed in her room. She has a lot of medical equipment that goes along with taking care of her. Her “wish” was to have a princess room and I was asked to help paint pictures and create a canopy above her bed, so I jumped at the chance. Other people helped to bring this whole room together with cabinets to hide her medical supplies, paint for the walls, a chandelier, new flooring, new toys, bedding, and so much more. It was a magical experience to see how greatly this act of kindness meant to her and her family when the room was revealed to them. I am SOOOO blessed to have healthy children and I thank the Lord for that every day. I cannot imagine what the parents of Jolie (the sick little girl) go through day in and day out, all knowing the outcome doesn’t look good for their baby girl. It breaks my heart and it makes me cry happy tears just to know that a little bit of time and resources given by all of these wonderful people changed that little girls world. That is what giving back is all about. You get so much more out of it than you give. 

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Although you are young, and cannot grasp all the reasons why we need to help those in need, I feel it is important that service and giving back to others in the name of Lord should be a thread woven in your upbringing. “To whom much is given, much is expected.”  We are SOOOOO incredibly blessed, blessed beyond words and so the Lord calls us (all of us) to serve and be His hands and feet in the world. I want you to always faithfully and joyfully serve those around you, in every way that you can.  Pray for the Lords provisions in your giving so that it will all be made possible. Humbly give, without need of recognition. I pray that the Lord will break your heart for the needs of this world and that you will have a passion for serving His people. We will continue to go out and serve as you grow up. For now, we will serve our local community and I pray that one day we can go out and serve a greater area, in our country or abroad. 

With all my love,

Mommy

A Family Hierloom

I recently just finished Hayley’s needlepoint stocking and I couldn’t be more excited! I have been working on it non-stop (a little bit almost every day) since October! It has taken me almost 10 months and I guesstimate it took about 450 hours of work (if not more!!!) I am so proud of it! 

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I decided a while back that I wanted to needlepoint you kiddos (and possibly daddy and I) a stocking for Christmas, but I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Aunt CaitCait’s mom has done one for everyone in their family (11 stockings total!!!) and I wanted to give it a try. Little did I know how much time it would take, or how much I would fall in love with the craft! I am obsessed! Every night when you kiddos go to bed and some nap times, long car rides, etc) I pull my canvas out to needlepoint. I absolutely love it! And just to give you an idea, the canvas and thread all together cost over $500! This is a huge investment in time and money and I pray that you will cherish it forever! I made it with the intention of it being a family heirloom that you will use every Christmas and will pass down to your children one day. I will eventually make one for everyone in the family, and one day make them for your spouses and children. 

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I also plan to stitch an ornament (or two or three) every year for our tree. I hope one day, when I’m gone, you will all fight over (in a nice way…ha!) who gets what ornament and that they all have great meaning to y’all. I have put so much love into all of my needlepoint projects and I pray you will always see that. 

For your daddy’s birthday this year I decided to needlepoint him an LSU belt. I hope he will cherish it too, and since it has his initials, Will, you could have it too one day.

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My next big project is making Will a stocking, and a large nativity! I am so excited about them! I am working on one of the camels to the nativity now (and learning new and fun stitches!) and will start on Will’s stocking at the first of next year so that you will have it by next Christmas. The nativity will probably take me a few years to finish. Ha! 

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I pray you will always keep and treasure these keepsakes that are made with love especially for you! 

A Sunny Sunflower Day

One Sunday we decided to visit the Sunflower trails in Shreveport for a fun afternoon outing. We had fun playing in all of the golden yellow flowers and exploring the sunflower trails! Life is fun with my family!

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The Wooden Anniversary

5 years of marriage in the books! And each year continues to get better and better! Bill, you are loving, kind, amazing father and provider, my comfort and my rock, a voice of reason, my biggest fan and my forever love! I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us!

The 5th anniversary is known as the wooden anniversary so I decided to create a bucket list for us to visit all 50 states. With the help of my dad (building the board out of reclaimed wood) I painted a map of the United States and put pictures of us in each state we have visited (pictures taken in each state). I also made a bucket list of things to do in each state so that we can spend many years to come going on adventures to see this wonderful country!

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Bill planned a wonderful weekend “staycation” for our anniversary. Grammie and PawPaw kept the kiddos and we went to stay the Margaritaville casino hotel and had an afternoon at the spa. Then we got ready to go to dinner at Superior Steakhouse (where we ate after we got engaged, even at the same table). We had a wonderful dinner and night away!

Rosemary Beach 2016

Our family beach trip this year was…challenging to say the least, but so much fun!

Hitting the road!

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We left a few days early for the beach and drove to Fairhope, Alabama to meet Grammie and PawPaw for two nights at the Marriot Grand. It is such a nice and beautiful place! We got down there Thursday night right about bedtime, but we let you kiddos stay up a little later and we went walking on the pier, ran and played on the putting green. We finally got in bed about 9 but Will woke up at 3am and SCREAMED his head off for two hours! Since us 4 were all in the same room, we were all up too. Hayley, you finally fell back asleep after an hour. Around that time, after trying everything, I loaded Will up in the stroller and took you outside to stroll you around in hopes it would put you back to sleep. It was 4 am and I was in my robe and house slippers strolling you around this very nice resort…it was a sight! But I was so afraid we were going to get kicked out of our hotel because you were crying and carrying on so much! I finally found a swing by the bay and rocked you back asleep. As tired and frustrated as I was, I got to watch the sun come up when we were outside swinging on the pier and it was so beautiful. FINALLY after two hours, I got you back to sleep and I was able to catch a little bit of sleep because Grammie came and got Hayley to let us sleep in. Daddy had gotten up early to go play golf with PawPaw.

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Swinging will on the Pier at 4am

The next day we went swimming at the pool, and at the little beach that was there (with PawPaw) and Grammie and Mommy went shopping. That night, in Fairhope, we went into town to eat and then walk around to shop, listen to live music, and get ice cream. There was a small band the Hayley loved and danced to. That night, Will still cried in the middle of the night. Luckily our two night stay there was over and we didn’t get kicked out. Ha!

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Saturday we left Fairhope and drove down the beautiful and scenic 30A to Rosemary beach. We stopped along the way to grab a burger, got to Rosemary and checked into our house. What a beautiful, fun little town! We spent that night getting settled in and walking around to discover the town. We even walked down to the beach! The next couple of days were rainy and a wash out, but not without excitement! Ha! Sunday (before the rain started) we want down to the beach for a little bit. Hayley had asked for a Band-Aid for a bite that was itching. We didn’t see a bite on her leg, just thought you wanted to put a Band-Aid on (as your often do), and gave you one. Later that night you were in the bathtub and we took the Band-Aid off and it was really red and swollen and looked like a spider bite, or something of that nature. So we called the doctor and she told us to mark it with a marker to see if the redness and swelling was spreading. In fear that it may be an infection, she called us in an antibiotic. the only problem was that it was Sunday night in a small town and there were no pharmacies open anywhere close to us. So we did what any good parents would do, we drove 45 minutes away (one way) to the only 24 hour pharmacy within 60 miles, and then back again. Oh the things we do for our kids 😉 And since it was raining all the next day, we stayed in and let it rest. Just as a precaution we took you to a quick care, they checked you out, and they told us not to get it wet (Which would be impossible since we were at the beach). But our doctor said it was fine to get wet, so we spent the rest of the week doing just that….playing at the beach and pool!

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The rest of the week was nice and sunny so we spent most of our time playing at the beach and the pool!

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Will still cried out in the middle of the night every night and got up VERY early every morning. We were exhausted! You liked the beach, but were easily frustrated since you are not completely walking without assistance and would see Hayley up running around. You also tried to eat sand. Yuck! Hayley, this age is perfect for the beach (3 years old). You LOVED every second of it! You ran, played, dug in the sand, buried Grammie and PawPaw, collected sea shells and swam in the pool a lot!

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All I wanted was to get a couple of pictures of you two together, but Will cannot stop pulling hair long enough to make that happen. (queue the eye roll from mommy).

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You two just love your baby cousin Samuel!

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One night, Grammie and PawPaw were so sweet (and brave!) and watched all three of you kiddos so we could go on a dinner date with Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dee. We went to the Pearl and had a great date night out.

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We all went to dinner one night and then to watch the Luminaire Circus in the town square. Hayley you loved it!

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We would also take breaks from the beach during the day to ride our bikes around town and to “The Sugar Shack” for candy, ice cream and snow cones! It was so much fun!

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Daddy and I took the bikes to breakfast one morning for a little mommy-daddy date. While we were there we picked up a cake from the bakery for PawPaw’s birthday. Daddy was so talented, balanced it on his bike and made it all the way home with it in one piece!

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We attempted family beach pictures. Lets just say, they could have gone better….Will, you were a little bit of a trouble maker. Ha! You just wanted to pull your sister’s hair, not sit still, or look at the camera. But what did we expect? You just turned 1. But our photographer was great and with a lot of patience and Photoshopping, we were able to pull of a few good pictures! We have one good looking family!

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On the last night, we cooked dinner at the house and Grammie and I took Hayley to the movie on the green. It was Frozen and Hayley, you love it!

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Rosemary Beach is such a beautiful town and I couldn’t help but snap some pictures!

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Someone was worn out after a long and fun trip to the beach!

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An old post (insert by last Christmas)

As I have said many times, I write these blog posts in the notes on my phone and later transfer them onto the blog later when I have time. Tonight as I am going through the notes on my phone as I am catching up on our summer blog posts (it is early September), I ran across one from Chrsitmas that never made it to the blog. It is too good not to share, so I am posting it now. Even though I wrote it on and about Christmas, it applies every day. So read, enjoy (and pretend this is posted by the former Chrsitmas post).

 

My little loves,

It is 3am in Christmas morning. Will, you just called me up out of bed as you do every night around 3 or 4 or 5 for a middle of the night feeding. You seemed to not be so hungry, but rather just wanted warm snuggles from mommy. As I rocked you and you stared up at me with that adorable round face, I couldn’t help but feel my heart bursting with love! After putting you back into your crib, I snuck into your room, Hayley, to check on you (as I do every night). You were sleeping so peacefully with your soffie curled up in your hand by your face, and again, my heart was bursting with love! No one can prepare you for this kind of love. Something I never knew I was capable of feeling until you two came along. I have felt a lot of big emotions in my life… Happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety, hurt, and even big love….but a mothers love? There’s nothin that comes close to it. It is something I can never physically touch, but that I cling to every day. This big love, and you two, amaze me every day. 

As I sit here thinking about Christmas Eve, and all those years ago when Mary was preparing to give birth to Jesus, I can’t help but think she had no idea how strong her love would be for a baby who’s love for us is bigger than any mothers love. That thought rocks my world. A love bigger than a mothers love?!?! Is there such a thing?! Only in Jesus…and for that I cannot be more thankful. I pray you both know how much I love you and more importantly, how much the Lord loves you. You two will always have a warm cuddly place in me, either rocking you at 3 am, snuggles on the sofa, or a quick hug. But always remember, Jesus died for you so that you are permanently snuggled right in his heart, and he in yours. 

I love you both more than words can ever say. 

Mommy 

Hayley-isms

You are so funny and miss personality these days. You keep us laughing all the time with dancing around, playing and the things you say. I try and make not of all of the funny things you say. Here are some from lately. 

“Nufting” for nothing 

“Um, I dunt know” with finger on your cheek

“Panny-tail” pony tail

Making up your own language. 

“Body” for booty 

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Screaming it over and over again when I made you get back in bed during nap time

“I wanna be nice”- when you get in trouble you say this so you can get out of time out or not get a spanking 

“Ipe-ad” for iPad 

“Wast year” (last year). You say that for everything that has happen, even if it was yesterday or earlier that day. “I did dat wast year” or “I wore dat wast year”

“Cheeza-louis-a” what you say so be goofy and smile. You smile really big, kick your hip out and throw out your hand to the side. It is so cute!!!

“Watch me” about 1000000  times a day.

You call me “Mom” now instead of mommy. you are too young for that!

You LOVE to play hide and seek, play outside, ride your bike, paint and watch the iPad. 

We love to hear you talk and hear all of the new things you come up with. You are such a joy in our lives!

Our Tiny Dancer

Hayley,

I am so proud of you my tiny dancer! You had your first dance recital with Vicki’s School of Dance and you did AWESOME! I seriously couldn’t be more proud of you! 

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I was a little nervous for you because it was your first time and such a big venue with a large audience (at the CenturyLink center). I tried to talk to you about what it would be like many times before it was time for you to perform. When we go into your dance classes on watch night you are always off to the side and get nervous and don’t always do your dances, or you just make up your own moves, so I wasn’t sure how you would do. When we went to dress rehearsal the curtains opened and you rocked it!!! You were front and center you did the moves and looked SO ADORABLE!!! And not only did you do amazing at rehearsal, you were the star of the show again at the recital! I was SOOOO happy to watch you up there having so much fun. You cried when it was over because you wanted to go back out there and do it again. Ha! After your number was over, we watched the older girls perform and you loved watching them, and you even get me to play “Forever” by Kari Jobe so you can dance ballet style like the older performance group did. You love to dance!

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I will always remember how happy and care free you were up on that stage and I pray you will always feel that way…wether it be dancing on stage or doing anything you love. I pray you always have fun no matter what you are doing. There is a saying “dance like no one is watching” and you did! I pray you will always dance and dance like no one is watching. I am SOOOO proud of you baby girl!!!

Murph 2016

On Memorial Day weekend, Daddy completed a huge challenge at his Crossfit Box (gym). It is called the “Murph”. It was created by a US soldier killed while protecting or country in Afghanistan. It was his favorite workout and Crossfiters honor his sacrifice every Memorial Day by pushing themselves to complete this grueling workout. Daddy set a goal to not only finish, but to try and finish within one hour, and he did it!!! He put on a weighted vest and ran one mile, did 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 pull ups and then ran another mile…all within 58 minutes!!! We all went to cheer him on and I couldn’t be more proud of him!!! He gets up several mornings a week before the sun comes up (5:30) to go to the gym before work, then goes to work and works so hard for our family, then comes home and is such a hands on daddy. I am so in love with him and proud of all he does and all he has accomplished. He is such a stud muffin Way to go daddy! 

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Happy Birthday Baby Will!!!

Happy Birthday Baby Will!!! One whole year old! I cannot believe you have made our lives so much sweeter for a whole entire year! I know this sounds cliche but time is flying by!

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You had a big month! We celebrated your birthday with a “Will is O-Fish-ally One!” Themed birthday party! All things fishing at Will’s tackle shop, including goldfish crackers, fishing rods, catch of the day, chicken of the sea, fresh water, worm bait and bobber cupcakes! So many of our friends came to celebrate, including all of your grandparents, and two of your great grandparents too! The best thing about your party is that you took your first steps!!! Out of the blue you just started walking! Gappy was holding you had walking you around while you held onto his hand for balance and you just let go and took some steps! He yelled “Meg look! He is walking!” It was awesome!!! You were showing out at your birthday party! And now that you are walking, you are trying to pull up too. 

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On your actual birthday (a couple of days after your party) we celebrated by going to play at the park/splash pad and going to Chic Fil A (your favorite) for nuggets and ice cream!

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You have also learned to wave and clap! If we wave and say bye-bye, you wave back to us. And if we say “Yay, Will!,” you clap! It’s so adorable!

And you are definitely living up to the “boys get into everything” stereotype I was warned about. You are literally into everything! You pull books and toys off of your sisters shelves, you open drawers in the kitchen and remove their contents, you love to “help” me empty the dishwasher, you are ALWAYS in Dixie’s dog bowl, and so much more! Always into something! And the not so good thing is that you live to mess with your sister! Always pulling on her clothes and pulling her hair. And she SCREAMS at the top of her lungs when you do. Geez! Things are about to get really busy at our house with you two! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Happy Birthday baby boy! I pray for a ton more birthdays for you!