Monday, May 28, 2012

Holiday weekend fun

We had such a great memorial weekend, just spending time as a family with great friends!
We started off the weekend with a trip to the Columbia, SC zoo with our great friends the Kirks.  I cannot believe we didn't get one picture of us all together.  We all piled into our mini van for the two hour drive and everyone did great!

Clare REALLY wanted a frozen pink drink...until she saw the carousel.  We made her pick and of course the carousel won.  I was worried she would have a hard time when it ended, but she handled it like such a big girl!

My little monkey!

Then on Monday we went to our great friends the Watt's.  The recently moved into a home with a pool (yay for us!!!).  It was such a treat to spend the day swimming!

Clare wanted so badly to go off the diving LD took her!  She did great!  She is turning into a little fish!

Here is Elle in her full swim gear.  She isn't quite sure of the water this year, so she just wandered around most of the time.

But Clare didn't want to get out of the water for anything.  She's super independent this year as long as she has her swimmies.

The girls and their friend Jayden eating some grub before hopping back into the pool.

This is my great friend Jodi and her beautiful little girl Lelia.  Lelia and Clare are the best of friends!

And this is Elle's little bestie Mae.  Elle calls her "mae-mae."  And on Sunday mornings all I say is that we are going to church and for the rest of the morning and the entire drive there all I hear is "mommy, mae-mae??"  It's so sweet.  They really are cute little buddies!

Such a fun day to spend in the sun!!!

And we were definetely worn out after such a fun day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A little paint goes a long way

We have been in our new home almost two months!  There are SO many things I want to do and projects I have in mind.  But I am trying (REALLY HARD) to be mindful to our budget and mindful to LD's leading that I need to slow down.  So the only projects I have taken on have been painting projects, because paint is cheap!!  But I am happy with the way things are looking!

Fireplace before:

 Fireplace after:

Dining Room before, please notice the one extra large stripe....

 Dining Room after (hopefully the next pic will include some furniture!) :)

 LD's Man Cave before....

 And after!  My friend Kirsten came and drew with chalk on the wall and I painted it.  I'm so happy with how it turned out.  This room still has a lot of work,  but the painted wall is fun!

 The copper backsplash before.  Let me just say I LOVE the whole copper/tin look for a kitchen, but it just was not working in there for me.  To the point that it was making me slightly crazy!!

 And after!!  This was the project that made me the most nervous, but I'm happy with how it turned out.  I still hope to add a new backsplash, but now I feel like I can wait a few years before it needs to be done.

Our home is starting to really feel like ours!!!  We are loving it!!  The projects are never ending though.  Next its on to the girls rooms!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today was my 30th birthday!  That is a big one!  Last night on our normal Friday night walks to get ice cream at Chick Fil A after dinner, LD and I were talking about my decade in review, which is the same for him since we starting dating at 18.  I will say...we have packed a LOT in the last decade. 
Here is a snapshot of the decade in review:
20 - Got engaged
21- Spent a month in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and Graduated college
22 - Got married
23- Moved to Charlotte and got a dog
24- Bought a house
25 - Took a breath ;)
26- Had Clare
27 - Took another breath
28 - Had Elle
29- Moved to our second home

I have no doubt the next decade will slow down and I am already excited about less change in my life.  We spent my birthday at Dan Nichols Park, which is in Salisbury, about an hour and a half away.  We hadn't been there yet and it was a super fun place!

They have a carousel, train, paddle boats, wildlife area with bobcats and bears, a barn of farm animals and a ton of places to play!  The best part is everything is 50 cents or a dollar to ride.

This was Clare at the eagle exhibit seeing how big her wing span was!

And of course we had to participate in the little goofy photo areas...

I was impressed with how well Elle did with the mission.

And we stopped for some popcorn and lollipops.

And all four of us rode a paddle boat, which was an adventure to say the least!

It was a perfect family time morning adventure.  The entire day was filled with surprises of great packages in the mail, little gifts waiting at my door, and surprise visitors.  We ended the evening with a great dinner out and after the girls went to bed some wine and The Vow!  I have to say, it was a day all about me, filled with my favorite things.  I'm one happy girl.  Blessed to have been given an amazing 30 years and cannot wait to see what else God has in store!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Give Love Away

I am incredibly blessed for many, many reasons, but one of my favorite blessings is that I get to live out a passion on a daily basis.  My parents taught me incredibly young the importance of sharing Christ's love in action through service, not as a requirement or obligation, but as an act of obedience and honor to God.  That lesson manifested into a full blow passion throughout high school and in college where I studied social work. 

The most beautiful part now is that while I stay at home full time with my two sweet girls, God has allowed me to be a part of a church staff, where my role is to facilitate ways for others to be Christ's love in complete passion!

This unbelievable and talented group of people that make up the Home Makeover Team has become a little family.  I am SO incredibly proud of the way they serve, the way they love each other, and the way they give of themselves sacrificially to make the Home Makeover happen each year!

This team meets bi-monthly from January til March and weekly through the month of April, pouring over the details of this ministry.

And when you give yourself away sacrificially for the glory of God...He always shows up!  And he did again this year in the 5th Home Makeover, through changed lives, through media coverage that brought a new family to church, through incredibly generous donations of materials and resources, and through 250 volunteers who now understand what it means to Give Love Away freely.

And at the end of the day, this is the result.  How can anyone question God's work when a group of believers do this for a family in need with no strings attached, just as a simple expression of love?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One and a half

With a very busy few months behind us and a very busy weekend coming up there has been a little lingering "to do" that just needed attention.  My sweet little baby girl is now a year and a half old and I can hardly believe it!!
Since turning one Elle has consintued on her same little spit fire route.  Everyone who meets her says the same thing...she is nothing like her sister!  While Clare was content with puzzles, coloring, reading and still is very content with those things, Elle would much rather be throwing things in the toilet, climbing on top of the dining room table and hiding in closets or rooms.  I used to think when these crazy things happened it was due to the parents not paying great attention or not having control of their children.  Well, God has taught me through Elle that some children are just busy and curious, which causes chaos!

Just like her big sister Elle is incredibly social and walks around waiting for someone to pick her up and love on her.  I cannot tell you the number of people who say "she just walked up to me with her arms up, it made my day!"  I love that she enjoys people so much and with her gosh darn cuteness she draws a crowd everywhere we go!

Elle is the exact same weight as Clare was at this age, which is a surprise to everyone because of those chubby cheeks and she is one inch shorter.  She has dropped to one nap a day and it is THREE hours long (we love it!).  She is all of a sudden talking up a storm with a lot of words we are starting to understand.  Just the normal hi, bye, up, down, all done, milk, juice, water, shoes...etc.  One of our favorites is "yes ma'am"  She has heard Clare say it so many times she found it easy to mimic.  If she is misbehaving I grab those little cheeks and say Do you understand Elle?  And I hear a little "yes ma'am" which sounds like "me, me"  I LOVE it!

Just a few weeks ago when we were moving, I was packing boxes in one room and LD was in the other.  All of a sudden I realized Elle was gone.  My heart was beating double time as I searched for her, yelling her name.  Clare just kept saying "did we lose her??".  Finally I found her...sitting quietly in Clare's closet, in the dark, waiting to be found!

Ever since that little game, Elle really enjoys disappearing and can open every door in our house.  Whenever I start yelling for her Clare says "Oh, no, did we lose her again?"

Elle is fabulous sleeper going on 12=13 hours most nights.  She loves her little paci (wub a nub) with a passion and stands at the bottom of the stairs yelling "PAAACCCIII" as bedtime gets closer.

I cannot wait to see what God has in store for this little angel face.  I cannot tell you the number of people who stop us to tell us how beautiful our little girl is with those big brown eyes.  She is a mover and a shaker and I have no doubt this little girl has the potential to change the world.

So blessed to be her mommy...