Monday, September 15, 2014

Paper Towel Paradise!

We loaded up and headed out for Orange Beach this past Labor Day weekend. We have been looking forward to this trip ever since we got back from our first trip in June. We are beach people.
Our beach trips with my family are always so relaxing and full of nothing but gourmet food! I always gain a good 5 pounds on this trip because all my family wants to do is lounge by the pool and eat fancy foods!  But trust me...I am not complaining!
We had to make a few extra stops along the way for Mr. Weston Hayes. He still is not a fan of traveling and he lets us know it by screaming the entire trip.
Once we arrived though, he was all smiles! Weston was cutting two teeth and wasn't really feeling well so I would say he had the least fun. Being hot, sandy and sleeping in a pack and play is not his idea of a great time.
My brother and sis, along with their three girls joined us for the trip and let me tell you...those girls were SOOO excited to see each other. The moment the elevator doors opened it was deafening. They screamed and hollered and jumped up and was priceless.
We settled in for a fantastic five days doing nothing but going back and forth from the pool, to the lazy river, to the beach and then to the table for food!
We always stay at Turquoise Place and it is just gorgeous. This year we had a room in the first tower by the lazy river and it worked out perfectly.
The kiddos loved the balcony although it quickly became apparent that Aubrey is not to be trusted 8 stories up. The girl thought it was loads of fun to throw everything off the balcony! I can't count how many times we spanked her, but she just kept throwing things off!  Toys, food, name it and it went over! She's lucky I didn't toss her butt over...just kidding!!!
I decided to bake my special strawberry shortcake cake one night and I went on and on about how it is my specialty and how everyone loves my cake. Well, my sis was helping me get it together and she put paper towels down lining the cake pans instead of using Pam. Totally fine. I baked the cakes, and went to frost them. I took the paper towels off the cake and went ahead with my icing. That evening I presented everyone with huge slices of my delicious, fresh strawberry cake. My daddy devoured his and boasted how yummy it was. (He is always one to compliment his baby girl) My hubby started to eat his and very loudly proclaimed, "babe...there is paper in my cake!" He went on to pull out a huge wad of paper towels from his cake! Now that I think about it, I think he could have been a little less loud and dramatic about calling me out on this. LOL. Anyway, everyone else began to inspect their cake and much to my horror...each pulled out a paper towel! I was horrified. I thought I had removed every bit of paper but I didn't realize it was two-layers thick! I only removed the first layer of paper towel! OOPS!
We died laughing because A.) I had made such a big deal about how wonderful of a baker I was and I messed up royally and B.) my dad devoured the whole cake...paper towel and all!!!! It is the true love of a father to eat his baby girl's cake, paper towel included, and still proclaim how amazing it was!
Our first year with 5 grandbabies! My oh my how precious are these kiddos!
It was an awesome of our best! Full of tons and tons of laughter and many special memories. Each trip we take, I am always a little sad at the end because I hate to see it come to a close. I have to remind myself that these memories are something that will forever be with us. These special times spent with family are so priceless to me and I want to keep these memories in my heart forever!
Moments and memories with family are what I live for. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family to spend my days with...there is no one else we would rather be with!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dancing in Freedom

I've shared on my blog in the past about my struggle with my eating. By the grace of God, I have come out from the trenches of dealing with anorexia. I am by no means healed completely, and I struggle with bad habits on a daily basis...but overall I would say my progress has been nothing short of a miracle.

I have struggled lately with realizing that even though I may not restrict my intake in huge ways, my small behaviors are still affecting Aubrey. She is beginning to be extremely aware of what I do and don't do, and she is seeing that sometimes I do things differently than her. That was exactly what I have feared for the last 3 years. I never want my struggle to be passed down to her. I want nothing more than for her to have a healthy and strong view of her body, and her relationship with food to be only positive.

Christian and I recently went and visited with a Christian counselor to discuss some ways to move more towards complete freedom. My eating and body obsession affects my whole family and sometimes it is difficult for Christian to know how to handle things. Our session went very well and we both walked away with useful tools for promoting healthy habits in our family.

One thing I knew I needed to tackle was the scale. I had gotten into the habit of weighing myself every single morning and that is NOT something I wanted Aubrey to see. I would try and do it when she wasn't around, but it never failed that she would walk in and see me. It may not seem like a big deal to her now, but she will remember what I do and I don't want her to think that a number is what makes it a good or bad day.

So Christian and I talked and we decided it was time to get rid of our scale. This was huge for me. The scale is like a lifeline for me and it has been offering me a false sense of security for as long as I can remember. We thought about just throwing it away, but we wanted to do something a little more symbolic of our strides towards freedom. 

So we decided to smash our scale...and let Bre have a front row seat. I tried to explain to her that scales aren't important, but what is important is to love ourselves no matter what. To know we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe...and He doesn't make mistakes.

I can honestly say I felt a physical release when I brought that hammer down onto the scale. Almost like chains and bondage were being flung off my body. It was so liberating and freeing for me to make a real, tangible step towards healthiness.

I think with any bondage or stronghold, when we make one small step towards freedom, God meets us and carries us another ten steps. I think when we make little attempts to let go of satan's grip...God steps in and takes huge strides on our behalf.  I never thought I would begin to find peace without knowing exactly how much the scale says, but I honestly am finding a sense of calmness and joy in not having to be a certain number. There is such entrapment in satan's lies, and it takes walking out into the light to see just how far in the dark we had really been.

Again, it goes back to the truth that when we move a allows God to move in monumental ways. He sees our willingness and wants to prove Himself faithful. I believe my chains will continue to fall off the more small, uncomfortable steps I take towards Him. I honestly don't think complete freedom will come easy or quickly but with each step, I find joy and satisfaction. I know that only comes from moving away from the lies and garbage of the devil...and more towards a Holy God.

So on behalf of my sweet girl, I will continue to make strides in the direction of freedom. Not on my own, but with God carrying me through and my family cheering me from behind.

And speaking of new beginnings, my sweet girl started dance class last week and is loving it! She is still very shy and timid, but I know she loves it because she continues to ask to go back! If nothing else, she sure is cute in her outfit...and they get a sucker at the end of class so that is nothing short of the best thing in the world to her!

SO here is a shout out to my sweet girl...let us both continue to dance freely...without cares or concerns and remember that with each step we make...we are dancing towards joy and freedom.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Things I didn't know...5 years ago

5 years ago I was just a 24 year old naive girl...following her heart. I didn't really understand the hugeness of my commitment. I really only knew one thing that day...I knew I loved that boy. There were so many other things I didn't know at that point. So many things I wouldn't find out til later on this journey we would walk together.

I had no idea he would eat so much or have such expensive taste.

I had no idea he would use so much toilet paper or spend so much time in the restroom.

I had no idea he would be glued to the TV every Saturday night in the fall and be oblivious to even a house fire if the Tigers were playing.

I had no idea golfing, play station, or tools cost so much money.

I had no idea how hard it would be to drive somewhere in the passenger seat with that boy. I had no idea keeping my "driving advice" to a minimum would take an act of congress.

I had no idea my dirty dishes, laundry and toilet cleanings would triple in quantity.

I had no idea that I would have to re-adjust my seat/mirror everytime I got in my car.

I had no idea buffalo wings were priceless and able to smooth over any misdoings.

I had no idea bodily functions were so hilarious for men to talk about.

I had no idea I'd never get my side of the bed to myself again, let alone a decent amount of the covers.

I had no idea men only required 5 minutes to get ready compared to my hour and a half.

5 years ago I was so clueless as to what I was walking into...

I also had no idea I'd have a built in carpenter, plumber, electrician and overall handman at my fingertips.

I had no idea I'd never go to bed scared after reading a suspenseful hero was right next to me.

I had no idea I'd have a best friend willing to go to 5 different stores to get me the perfect Diet Coke in a styrofoam cup. Or search all of Baton Rouge for a place that sells Otis Spunkmeyer cookies

I had no idea we would walk through a terrible misscarriage and come out stronger on the other side of the darkness and pain.

I had no idea that the young boy at the alter would cradle and kiss our newborn babies in his arms and love them so passionately from the first day they entered our lives.

I had no idea how awesome of a diaper changer, bath giver, baby wrangler he would be.

I had no idea how patient and understanding he would be when I give him a hard time for no reason or get emotional over silly things.

I had no idea how quickly he would apologize or how easy he would forgive me when I mess up.

I had no idea I would melt everytime he smiled or how much his laugh would bring me joy!

I had no idea how often we would laugh uncontrollably or giggle at our inside jokes.

I had no idea how many mornings he would get up with the kids and let me sleep matter how late he worked the day before.

I had no idea he would tell me I'm beautiful even in sweat pants and a tshirt.

I had no idea he would be the best father in the world to my children. I had no idea how great of a disciplinarian, leader and teacher he would be to our little ones.

I had no idea he would love me so unconditionally and with a Christ like love...year after year.

I had no idea our love would change, grow and mature over the wine getting better with time.

There were so many things I didn't know that day five years ago. I was so naive, so unaware, so clueless as to what I was walking into...

But here is one thing I know today...5 years later...

I love that man more today than ever before. I know now just how perfect he is for me and how much I cherish the fact that we know, without a doubt, we are soul mates and best friends.

I may not have known much that day...but
 sure do know a lot more today...and I know I am one blessed chick to have my man by my side.

Happy 5 years babe!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cute but Mute

My sweet girl started back to school last week and I have been an emotional wreck. I'm sure that is very normal for mamas...but it is just so hard watching my baby grow up!
Aubrey is going to school two days a week from 9-2. She is in what they call Toddler III. She is still two, but will be three in October so she missed the cutoff for Pre-K3. Since her birthday is later, she will have to do Pre-K4 for two years. They have a "young 4's" and an "older 4's" so it won't be the same class.
Aubrey is such a stinker when it comes to school. My girl is a chatterbox and doesn't usually meet a stranger; however, when it comes to school...she will not say a WORD. She is mute. She went the entire year last year without speaking to her teachers. I just don't understand it. She will talk to strangers, family, friends...anyone, but when she enters is zip zip for her. We have tried everything from bribery to punishment. Nothing works. We have also had some potty training issues at school because she won't tell her teachers when she needs to use the restroom!  Any of my teacher/mommy friends have any suggestions of what I can do to encourage her to speak...please let me know!
Her teachers are wonderful and her class is mostly made up of girls. I think it is like 12 girls and 2 boys. She loves that she gets to go on the big playground this year and she also loves center time!
Another struggle is she doesn't nap at school...she basically just looks around the entire time, so when I get her at 2:00, she is exhausted and extremely grumpy. She is not exactly "little miss sunshine" when I pick her up. I'm hoping and praying all these kinks get figured out and the year starts getting a little smoother.
She sure is cute...mute...but cute. LOL!
I love this little girl even if she is a handful!  Here's to a great school year.  Come on baby girl...get to talking!
And of course...this little cutie just loves having some one on one time with mommy. Waiting for sis in the carpool line is always a blast. (and no...Weston was not eating Doritoes!)

I'm proclaiming this verse over Aubrey Lane for the school year...
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7

Sunday, August 3, 2014

7 months...Weston Hayes

My little ham-bone you are now 7 months old! You are just the happiest, most laid back dude on the block and I couldn't love you anymore if I tried. You are a charmer and you love your mommy. 99% of the time you can be found on mommy's hip...with your two fingers upside down in your mouth. If you are situated like won't make a peep for hours.
 You are still nursing every three to four hours during the day. At night, you wake up at least one time, sometimes two to eat. You are napping two times a day, usually from 9:00-11:00 and then again from 2:00-3:30. You go to sleep around 8:00 at night and are up for the day around 7:00.
You started solid foods last month and are really getting the hang of eating big boy food. You love sweet potatoes and apples. You tolerate peas and carrots and bananas. I only give you one meal a day, but will soon add in another.
 You have stopped taking your noonie and have become addicted to your two first fingers...upside down. Your fingers are ALWAYS in your mouth. Even to sleep. I know we will have dental issues in the future!
You weigh 15 pounds and wear a size 6 month in clothes and a size 3 diaper.
You are chunky little guy!
You have two teeth on the bottom and have just the cutest little smile. Nothing makes you laugh like your sissy. You get the biggest kick out of her and she just eats it up.
You are sitting up unassisted and love to play on the floor with toys and balls. You are not exactly Mr. Independent, but will let me put you down for about 10 minutes or so at a time.
You are such a chill baby and you go with the flow no matter what we do. You can miss a nap and still be just as content as if you slept three hours. I just love that you are so laid back and calm. You do have a tiny bit of a temper but only when your sister takes your toys!
We love you so much, Weston Hayes. Nothing in this life could have prepared me for the love I feel for you. You are my sunshine and I cherish every moment spent with you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five on Friday- "B" Alliteration Style

This has been a great summer so far and we have totally had a blast just throwing caution to any type of schedule and making fun memories. It seems like we have had something almost everyday and we've had more playdates than I can count!
Just a few things that have been happening in our world...
1.) The Box: Aubrey Lane has become infatuated with this old box she found at my grandpa's house. It is wooden and weighs about 10 pounds...not exactly kid friendly. She has no concept of how heavy it is and just swings it back and forth without any worry about what is around. We have had quite a few dents put in our doors, walls, and maybe even Weston Hayes' head.  Aubrey has decided that it is the perfect place for all her "treasures". By treasures, I mean anything from clothes, shoes, old food, remote controls, money, toys, toothbrushes, soap, straws, name it and it can probably be found in her box. Can't tell you how many times this last week I have searched for what seemed like hours for something, only to ask Aubrey if she has seen it and her reply has been, "oh that's my treasure".
2.) Blueberry Picking: We went to the local blueberry farm last weekend and had a blast picking blueberries with our Uncle D. It was kinda hot, but the kiddo's did awesome. There was something kinda relaxing and addicting about picking fruit...I got into a groove and almost couldn't quit! Only bad thing was there was only a porta potty out there and much to my dismay, Aubrey thought it was the coolest thing ever! She kept telling me she needed to potty in the blue box. Apparently we don't need to waste our money on high end entertainment...just get the kid a toilet!
3.) Beauty Salon: Miss Thang desperately needed a haircut so I decided it was time to let a professional handle her hair. (I may or may not have butchered her hair when she was one...we won't go there). Aubrey did awesome and even though she refused to speak throughout the entire process...I think she had fun. No tears or tantrums, so I call that a success! Weston will need a cut soon, but Christian has already threatened to divorce me if I mess with Weston's hair. Apparantly he doesn't think I have hair cutting skills.
My beautiful girl...
4.) Brotherly love: I am so thankful that Aubrey loves her brother. She has not ever shown a lick of jealousy or resentment towards him. In fact, she is extremely protective and possessive of him. She has totally exceeded my expectations when it comes to being a great big sister. We have started to encounter some sharing issues, which I know will only escalate in the future. Aubrey may be loving, but she is no saint and when it comes to sharing...let's just say she has a lot of improving to do! Overall, I am so proud of her and I look forward to seeing their relationship grow. I am extremely close to my brother, so I know firsthand just how special brothers are. Aubrey will even tell me she wants two brothers...never a sissy...always "two brudders". We will see how that turns out!

5.) Broken Record: We have officially hit the stage where every single thing I say to Aubrey gets a reply of "Why?" It was so dang cute at first, but now I find myself quickly tiring of having to come up with adequate answers to quench her curiosity. Answer one why...and that will lead to another why...and then another is quite exhausting. I found myself coming up with funny answers just becuase it entertains me...and helps me not get angry with my inquisitive 2 year old.
"Aubrey we need to go fix dinner."
"Because daddy will be hungry when he gets home"
"Because his belly needs to be refueled"
""Becuase daddy has a bottomless pit, but I can't serve him cereal again for the fourth night in a row"
"Well...because we are out of Golden Grahams"
Since I see that this will not end anytime soon I turn to plan B...
"Aubrey would you like a snack?"
Aubrey has been eating lots of snacks lately! HAHA!
And to end this random post...a picture of my sweet boy.
This is how Weston and I both feel when Aubrey asks nine million "whys?"
...and when I have to cook a homecooked meal!
Happy Friday!