Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cooling off at the Zoo

Today we planned to eat a picnic lunch at the zoo then go into the splash pad. When we arrived we sat down and started pulling out all our food only to have a bunch of bees swarm us...so we ended up eating off the back of the suburban...I'm sure people thought we were crazy since we were parked beside all these rows of picnic tables, but honestly the bees were everywhere!

Here's all my boys!
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The Spash Pad is a nice place to go because there's shaded seating for you to enjoy while you watch your kids. It was fun to have Adam with us!
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The kids loved splashing in the water and running around getting wet!
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And here's my sweet lil' monkey...how adorable is he?!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

And Then I Had Kids...

My Mom recently gave me this book, "And Then I Had Kids". I've started reading it and several times I have either broken out into laughter or lots of tears...I can relate so much with what the author is saying! Motherhood, while being the fulfillment of so many of my dreams, is quite challenging at times and some days are just plain yucky, mundane and at the end of the day I'm COMPLETELY spent!
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I've found great encouragement from Susan Yate's book and I wanted to share a few excerpts with you, my Mommy friends!

She describes how frustration for Mom's can be caused by monotony, lack of accomplishments, seeing others acquire recognition, etc. She says, "Every day is likely to be the same, and there appears to be no end in sight to the runny noses, dirty diapers and cereal all over the floor! Days run into weeks. Weeks run into months. Life begins to blur into one long mind-numbing series of chores!"

I think most of us can relate with the fact that with small children, it's diffcut to do anything that lasts. It seems that just as you've mopped the floor one spills their juice, or after you've rounded up all the toys and put them away, more are dragged out downstairs, and that pile of laundry just keeps on coming...so the feeling of accomplishment quickly fades!

She goes on to say, "There's a sense of feeling overwhelmed with things that have no "lasting value". The tendency is to equate progress with self-worth. In the home with young ones, there is often little progress to see. I've wondered about how much we talk about material progress and accomplishments in this century. In a sense, progress seems to have become an idol. Progress is considered to be inherently good. According to the logic of the day then, what she's doing is not particularly worthwhile, and consequently she's not particularly worthwhile"...the Mother struggles with the feelings of lack of accomplishment.

Later she says, "As we attempt to cope with frustrations common to all mothers, we need to see ourselves as God sees us. We must realize afresh that our self-worth is not dependent upon seeing material progress, success, or accomplishment each day. God's love for us is not dependent on how much we seem to get done or how successful we seem to be. He loves us just because we are His, and nothing we do or don't do can change that! In times of frustration I have found it very comforting to curl up with one of the Psalms. They are full of frustrated pleas, and yet peace always is within reach as we focus on God's goodness and faithfulness. His joy is far greater than our frustrations. So when those inevitable moments come, we can be encouraged by meditating on His love for us."

Psalm 145:8-9 "The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works."

Hope you are encouraged a little. As you focus on God's unconditional love for you, you begin to realize that all the little frustrations pale in comparison! Hallelujah, praise the LORD!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Tribute To Our Pal "Tucker"

Well, today was a very sad day in the Head house hold, we found out our sweet Tucker-Man had passed away. It was such an unfortunate chain of events that were completely out of mine and Adam's control, we have to keep reminding ourselves of that with the waves of questions from the boys and floods of memories in our own minds.

Last night we were having a terrible thunderstorm with lightening and loud claps of thunder, and if you've spent any time with us during a bad storm you know our dog has severe storm anxiety so we let him into the garage to sleep. Around midnight our electricity started going on and off then randomly both of our garage doors came up (on there own). Adam went down to check on it and found Tucker had run off. That's when it all started...our neighbor called my cel phone because that's the number on his tag to say he was out running (in the rain and lightening), for some reason she didn't hold onto him! Adam quickly got dressed and started calling for him to no avail. After 45 minutes to an hour he came home with no Tucker-Man. We woke up this morning, I made signs and took 20 to all the stop signs around our neighborhood, I was almost finished getting them out when I got the phone call, "Ma'am, I think your black lab with a blue collar may be on the side of Shades Crest Road." Unbelievable...I was stunned. Then my phone started ringing again and it was yet another person relaying the same message. I immediately called Adam and told him the news...he came home and took care of picking him up and burying him.

I've cried off and on all day, it seems silly but when an animal walks through life with you, you kind of get attached I guess. It honestly surprises me how emotional I've been since I wouldn't consider myself much of an "animal lover"...but Tuck was a good dog! He obeyed on most occasions, and except for the few times he's run off and had to be tracked down, he was easy! He loved our boys and would let them hang and love on him!

Tucker's been apart of our family since Peyton was 6 weeks old, when we lived at Fort Benning, GA. He would run around Post with Adam in the mornings and play with our neighbors dog, Dixie. That's where we took him to a pond for the first time to let him swim and he acted so afraid of the water...we were like "what is wrong with this dog?"...turns out that alligators lived in the pond, which is a good reason not to want to get in...but he also wasn't a huge fan of water, which confirmed what we already knew, that he wasn't all Lab!! Here, he did get in water to cool off in a tiny baby pool...but it was a hot Georgia day!
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He grew along with Peyton, then he followed us to Little Rock and befriended both our boys! He even got to enjoy a beautiful Arkansas snow!
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He finally followed us to Birmingham and had a life of ease, taking runs with Adam in the morning and walks in the evening with our family...he had balls to play with and bones to chew...honestly, life for Tuck was easy, and unfortunately cut short!!
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It's been a good life lesson for all of us: first, that we must live each day to glorify God, because we don't know when our time will be up and we'll have to give an account of how we've lived on Earth, but secondly that we must make the most of each moment of every day because we are definately NOT guaranteed tomorrow! It's been difficult to explain the finality of death to Peyton because he has many many questions, but we're facing them head on.

We are grateful to have had such a loving dog! "Tucker, we will miss you!"
There is Peyton with his dog, Tucker!!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Time Back Home!

We all had a wonderful time being back home! We got to enjoy some fun in the sun at the pool with Gigi, Grammy and Aunt Whitney!
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Fearless Lawson was jumping in off the sides, twisting off the diving board and giving most of us a heart attack a minute with his crazy moves... but he was having a blast!
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The boys had such fun with G-Dad, they were spraying each other with the waterhose and running around being chased by him in the backyard! When you can't find a swimsuit, just run around naked!
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Their favorite thing to do is to ride Dad's 4-wheeler...they would stay on it 24/7 if we'd let them!
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Emerson and Gigi watching the boys get sprayed...he looks so serious!
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Friday morning Peyton went fishing with Adam and Poppy! He caught over a dozen fish and thought it was "so much fun!" They tried to get him to put his fingers in the mouth to hold it up, but he'd have nothing to do with it!Picnik collage

We even got some down time at Lake Ouachita. The boys had the best time going out on the boats...just jumping off into the water over and over again kept them quite entertained! We all enjoyed skiing and tubing, Dad got up on the first pull, Adam got up on a slolome ski and Bill did too, thankfully there were no broken bones this summer!
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Whitney's nannying and brought one of her sweet little guys down to spend the day with us. Ross and the boys had a great time together...here,
G-Dad was helping to pull them in!
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Whitney took these pics from the party barge, even with Mom's zoom they're still far off...but shows that Mama's still got it! Had such a good time sloloming!
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Our last night we went into town to have dinner and play! The boys road go carts with G-Dad and Daddy, they really liked it, then we decided to played a few games in the arcade...I love making fun memories!
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Playin' a little skeet ball with Dad...notice who has all the tickets!
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Summer lovin' had me a blast! I love my family...God has blessed me so richly with a wonderful immediate family and terrific in-laws as well, love you all!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Girl's Night Out!

I had such a great time being back in Little Rock last week. Getting to catch up with friends and family was such a treat! The kids and I got to enjoy a playdate everyday...it was fun for the boys to see their friends and for me to catch up with people!

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Friday night I got to celebrate the upcoming birth of Baby Henry with some old and now new friends with a delicious dinner at Cantina Laredo!
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A lady sitting at a table near ours leaned over and gave Jenn a lei...saying she'd obviously been laid, how random is that? I carry a lot of things in my purse, but NOT a lei!!
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After dinner all of the girls from my old Community Group were going to Hot Springs to hang out at a condo on Lake Hamilton! What a treat to get away with good friends and just have some down time as mom's! We tried to do a little shopping at William Sonoma and Pottery Barn but just as we stepped up to the doors the lights went out...unfortunately all we could do was window shop...but hey that's something I never get to do anymore, so even that was awesome! After we got to the condo and settled in a bit I decided I needed to do my motherly duty with my "friend" the breast pump, I pulled out the bag with my pump only to realize I'd forgotten the bottle and parts that are a necessity so we made a late night run to Wally World...it felt like we were back in college...all except needing parts to a breast pump!!
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The next morning we "slept in" which now adays, is somewhere in the vicinity of 8:00 then put on our swimsuits and went to breakfast. We ate a delicious down home breakfast at the English Muffin and thoroughly enjoyed uninterrupted conversation!
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Next we headed for the pool to lounge around and relax! It was so nice to simply have to think about putting my own sunblock on, grabbing a magazine that I actually got to look through COMPLETELY and being able to take a relaxing dip in the pool!
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When we'd had enough of the suns rays, we got cleaned up and enjoyed lunch and shopping at some local boutiques! I found several fun shops one of which is Material World, it has beautiful fabrics but also great gift ideas and adorable jewelry all with affordable prices which makes me happy!
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On our way back to Little Rock we stopped to see Harry Potter, I'd not seen any of those movies so a friend had to catch me up, but I really enjoyed it and the 3D experience!
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What a blessing good friends are! Thanks girls for letting me tag along, it was such a blast! I love making memories with you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Good times in Nashville!

Recently we spent the weekend in Nashville celebrating my Aunt's 60th birthday, the great part was that she had NO idea that lots of family and friends had come into town, it was a complete surprise for her! My whole family, along with her cousin and his wife (from Atlanta) and two of her best friends (from Ft. Smith) were all at a Mexican restaurant when she came in with her family for just a regular dinner out! She was shocked and it was fun to be apart of it!
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The boys did great at dinner, we just kept the cheese dip flowing!
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But the surprise didn't end there! My cousin had planned a pretty elaborate party for that Saturday evening. The story Aunt Debbi knew was that she and several friends and family were gonna take a little boat cruise on the lake then stop off at a nice restaurant for dinner...however, the stop off "for the potty" was really to join the rest of us who were at a rented out pavilion in a beautiful spot on the water. She realized what was happening when the band started singing "Happy Birthday!"
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Lindsey had a cute display of pictures of her Mom for people to look at and reminisce over!
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It was a country western themed BBQ that had a full out band, Loretta Lynn's band in fact, and they were TERRIFIC, with everything from a steel guitar to an awesome fiddler...it was SO much fun and very entertaining!
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Baby Emerson enjoyed stretching out on the quilt in the grass!
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Gigi dancing with Lawson and cousin Aiden.
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I even got a lesson in two steppin' and brushed up on my line dancing too! Aunt Debbi's friend Jill is a dance instructor and after I took a very brief lesson from her she asked the lead singer, Bart, to take me around the floor...he's very good and I am quite the amateur! When we started he said "just trust me" and he had me spinning and twirling all over the place, I had a really fun time! Adam even gave it go with the birthday girl...it's inspired us to take some lessons together, I'll let you know how that goes in a future post!
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Dancing with my man!
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Two Steppin' with the birthday girl!
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Aunt Debbi, thanks for giving us a wonderful reason to come to Nashville, and Lindsey, thanks for throwing such a fun party, you pulled off quite the surprise!

CARTI: Festival of Trees

This past week was filled with wonderful events that all benefited CARTI. CARTI, is THE cancer treatment facility that provides hope and he...