Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Just hanging around, waiting on Santa!!

It's been so long since I have updated this blog. We have been really busy and I just have not taken the time to update what we have been doing.

As Christmas nears, and 2011 comes to a close I have been reflecting on all that the boys have done this year!

Andrew and John have finished half of their kindergarten year already. It's gone by so fast and they have learned so much! Andrew has grown so much since the beginning of school. His handwriting has improved so much and his confidence has grown tremendously too. John has started reading and writing sentences. Wyatt knows the alphabet and numbers and is already getting prepared for kindergarten too! It's amazing to watch their little minds soak everything in.

So many exciting things have happened since school started:

Nana and Papa moved to Lexington! We love having them so close! It's been wonderful being able to pop over to their house in 5 minutes!

Granny Meg and Pop moved from Florida to Atlanta! Driving distance...woo hoo!

Andrew and John finished another season of soccer! The Green Lanterns had a great season and it was such a joy to watch the boys out on the field. Both of them have just started Upward basketball for the first time which they are super excited about. Ashley is not coaching basketball and I am selfishly happy that we will be able to sit and watch their games together.

The highlight of our Halloween was Wyatt getting stitches. Unfortunately he fell in the tub after the Anne Pitts Halloween party and had to get 5 stitches in his forehead. He was a good patient and got this awesome headband.

Thanksgiving was wonderful too! It's a tradition that my brother and his family come spend the long Thanksgiving weekend with us and each year it gets more and more fun (and easier). We used to dream of the days when our kids would be at the age that they could be left alone in a room to play while the adults sat in another room enjoying adult conversation! Those days have officially arrived. Andy, John and Wyatt had a ball with their cousins.

I have the week of Christmas off from work and it is s nice to be home with the boys. We started our holiday by heading to Atlanta to Granny Meg and Pop's house to celebrate Christmas together. It was so fun. The boys got many wonderful presents and had an awesome time at the Georgia Aquarium!!

Now we are getting ready for our Christmas celebration with Nana and Papa; the boys can not wait! I've been baking and wrapping; my helpers have been eating ingredients and taping random things to walls. :) I love seeing the Christmas season through the eyes of my children. It's easy to get bogged down with the pressure of life but when I take the time to think about the gift of Jesus' birth and the gift of my own three children, it certainly puts things in perspective. Humbling.

I can not wait to see what 2012 has in store for our family.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Countdown to 5K

We are less than three weeks from the first day of school. Today was class assignment day and I saw a girl from our old church. She said, " your boys should be three and sitting on carpet squares; are they really starting school?". Dude, tell me about it.

Andy and John are in two different classes-Ms. Cagle and Ms. Thomas. I filled out paperwork and bought t-shirts today. Exciting stuff!

I'm still trying to get used to the idea of my child spending his day with someone whose references I haven't personally checked. Maybe it's the recruiter in me?

So, I've got three weeks to get my game face on!! My boys are ready.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding bells are ringing

I love weddings. I can cry at a wedding even if I do not know the people exchanging vows. Just remembering that feeling of saying my own vows to Ashley and reflecting on the excitement of starting off on our life together is such a sweet it.

Two of my youngest cousins are getting married this summer, this month, two weeks apart. I am so excited to see extended family, share this exciting day with my cousins and also reminisce about my own big day (8/18/01).

The boys are invited to one of the weddings. The inclusion of those three names on the invitation has proven to be the source of added excitement (and anxiety) for me. We let them sit in big church with us for practice (I keep telling myself that the wedding ceremony will likely be shorter than the church service) and we are doing some serious role playing at night. I should probably relax.

When I started telling the boys of my excitement that they were going to go to my cousin's wedding, they asked why I love weddings. I told them that weddings are sweet and touch a person's heart and that I also like to dress up.

Me: I am so excited for us all to get dressed up and share this special day with Kathryn.
Andy: (hands up in the air) I am going as buzz lightyear!!!

WOW! That would be hilarious. I won't allow it even though I could probably use the comic relief. It'll be so crazy to see these two, who I used to babysit, get MARRIED. I remember when they were born for goodness sake.
This takes me back to what seems to be the central theme of most of my blog posts. Life goes by so fast....seems like you can't look down for five minutes or you miss something.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The More Things Change...

To say that our hall bath needed a redo would be a gross understatement. Pun fully intended. The old pedestal sink was stained. The bronze fixtures screamed 1984. The toilet- well I won't go into detail about it, but it needed replacing.

I told Ashley that I *really* could not handle that bathroom anymore and that man went to work. He went to Lowe's and picked out new stuff, painted (walls and ceiling), dealt with the subs from Lowe's who so efficiently installed the toilet and sink (yeah, right) and installed new light fixtures, TP and towel holder and a mirror himself.

This kind of reminded me of a guy I worked with 15 years ago who helped me remove wallpaper and repaint my DISGUSTING Gregg St. room in my college apartment (although "helped" implies that I pulled my weight) which required sanding with an electric sander and hours of elbow grease. It was WAY more work than most guys would do for a friend. But then again, Ash is not like most guys. Lucky for me.

I love my new bathroom! Thank you, Ash! You're the best.

June highlights

We have so much to celebrate in June...

June 3rd- Ashley's parents celebrated their anniversary.

June 16th- I turned 29 again. :)
June 17th- My dad turned 49 again. :)
June 18th- Father's Day
June 24th- My mom and Kenny celebrate their anniversary.
June 26th- Nana's birthday- 39 again?? :)

The week of June 11th, we went to the beach. This year marked a lot of firsts for us on our beach trip. This year was the first time we took our boat down to the beach (Ashley trailered it down and we put it in the ICW). Even more exciting, this was the first year that the relaxation outweighed the work on our vacation. Andrew and John can swim now (almost) in the shallow end. That takes the stress level at the pool from a 12 (on a scale of 1 to 10) to about a 5. (Wyatt still wears a puddle jumper at all times!)

This was the first year that the boys enjoyed each other on vacation. They were so cute- playing soccer on the beach, holding hands jumping in the pool, building sand castles together, etc. It was so wonderful.

This was the first year that we didn't have a wagon strapped to the top of our car. We didn't have a pac-n-play; we did not have any sippie cups or bottles and we did not have to bring high chairs. I guess I am a glutton for punishment because when we packed the car without any baby items, I actually felt a little sad. Ridiculous, I know.

Ashley and I enjoyed the week immensely! Nana and Papa were with us most of the week and we all had a ball together.

As we wrap up June, our house is cheering on Carolina in the CWS!! Two games away from another championship...go Gamecocks!
My sweet babies eating ice cream at Barefoot...celebrating Wyatt's success on the potty while on vacation! Whoop Whoop!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Little Graduates

May 27th marked a special day for Andy and John. They graduated from Anne Pitts CDC and officially became rising kindergartners. The production that their class put on for graduation was wonderful! Their class has had a circus theme all year so of course, the graduation ceremony was circus themed as well. After the parents watched a slide show of Mrs. Ashley's three ring circus, all the kids came into the gym dressed in their gowns and clown collars (sans caps since all good clowns have crazy hair) with painted noses. They paraded around a bit before taking their places in their seats at the front of the gym.

Then, in front of an audience of 75, one by one they each took the microphone to perform their speaking part of the program. Each child got a chance to show off a little something that he/she learned over the year.

My precious Andy started the presentation by asking the audience to join in the pledge. Then, of course, he let everyone know when it was time to be seated!

Halfway through the presentation John took center stage and recited numbers; he counted by 2's, 5's, 10's and backwards! It was so impressive.

Later Andrew took the mic again and gave us all a lesson in the alphabet (and in stacking cards in a very organized manner). He did amazingly well!

My cheeks hurt by the end of the presentation from smiling so hard. I had shed so many tears during the week that led up to graduation day, but during the ceremony I held them beneath the surface. Ashley and I watched our boys in awe of all that they have learned and in disbelief that the time has come for them to begin elementary school.

August will bring many more tears (from me) but for now we will just enjoy the summer, revel in our little graduates' success in pre-school and reminisce about the morning of May 27th...when we saw The Best Show on Earth!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Take me out to the ball game

This was Andy and John's first season playing tee ball and it has truly been a blast. They have grown so much over the course of the season. Their skill has improved dramatically since we started and their confidence has grown as well. It's been a wonderful experience- we have a great team with very patient coaches and I am a little sad that the season is almost over.

May 3rd, Andrew won the game ball! Here he is with John and Ashley (asst coach!)...I love these boys!

May 11th, John won the game ball! Wyatt got in the picture with the MVP that week!

With all the the excitement in the house related to baseball, we decided it would be a good time to take the boys to their first Carolina Baseball game! It was a wonderful night (Gamecocks won) and the big boys thoroughly enjoyed watching the plays. Wyatt mostly enjoyed seeing Cocky and hitting the concession stands...but a good time was had by all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

What a wonderful day!! Ashley and I took the boys to Nana and Papa's house for a day of fun by the lake. Sandra and Granny made an amazing meal and we spent most of the day outside; the weather could not have been more beautiful! Ashley and the boys made me feel so special. I am so blessed to be a mother. Andrew, John and Wyatt are truly awesome boys.

There was one thing that was was missing this year: my own mom was not here. This is the first year that we have been apart on Mother's Day since my birth (as far as we can remember). My heart was a little heavy, but I am looking forward to her visit at the end of the month. Even though we were separated by miles, we were together in spirit.

Your Mother Is Always With You
~Author Unknown

She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She's crystallized in every tear drop.
She's the place you came from, your first home.
She's the map you follow with every step that you take.
She's your first love and your first heart break.
Nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space, not even death...will ever separate you from your mother...
You carry her inside you heart!
Thank you, Mom, for all you have done for me throughout the years. I know it has not always been easy and I appreciate all the sacrifices you have made for me so that I could have every opportunity. Thank you, Sandra, for raising a man that puts faith and his family above everything else. I am so blessed to have you as my mother-in-law!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

With a family of 5, it's nearly impossible to get a good picture where everyone is:


looking in the same direction

wearing nice clothes (I'm happy with decent)

not crying (smiling is an added bonus)

This is close...

And this is even better!

I am so glad that we took the time to take pictures on Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

When Ashley and I were newlyweds, eager to establish our little family, we went out and got a puppy. I remember meeting the breeder half way between Chapin (where we lived at the time) and the upstate (where she lived). She brought two Rottweiler puppies for us to chose from and I remember it being hard to make a decision. They were both so cute. In the end, we chose the one that seemed most interested in us and she became our first baby.

I emailed our families announcing our new addition and we spent hours doting on her. We read books about training Rottweilers and bought her lots of toys and treats. Sweet little Lou. She could fit in the floor board of the front seat.

Not long after adopting Lou we moved to a house downtown. It had a sun room for her but she mostly had the run of the house. She grew and grew and played with Fudge (our neighbor's spaniel) at the park across the street.

We adopted a kitten and Lou accepted her into our family. Later we got another dog so that Lou could have a better companion. Then we moved from our downtown house to an "adult" house in Irmo. We found a place with a big yard for the dogs and built Lou and Sammie (our second dog) a fence so that they could run. The four of us went for boat rides and went swimming in the lake.

We made them stay outside when we moved. Lou never complained.

Then we had twins. We threw the ball less and less. Still, she never complained.

Next came Wyatt...and with the third child came the weekly, "did you remember to feed the dogs?" But, sweet Lou still loved us and was happy with the attention she got. Sammie followed her around like her shadow so she had constant company. The years went by. The old girl started to limp a bit and her face aged with time. She still loved to play ball.

Finally we moved to Lexington and this time got an underground fence. Such a smart girl: it only took her a couple of days to learn the limits of her new yard. She slowed down even more. Little did we know, cancer was taking over her bones.

Finally the day came when we had to let her go. April 11th.

Almost 2 weeks ago.

It's taken me this long to write about it. I do not think Ashley or I realized how truly brutal it would be. Saying goodbye is so hard.

Rest in peace, Loudie. We all love and miss you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

5 year olds


April 10th Andrew and John turned FIVE! They are getting so big and changing so much!

Fewer mispronunciations.

More independence.

Stronger opinions.

Bigger vocabularies.

I had all these thoughts and fears that five year olds were big boys...not toddlers anymore. I feared that the boys would go through an overnight change marked by the need for privacy and that they would be too cool for mama all of the sudden. Thankfully, I was wrong! The changes that are taking place in the boys have been slow and steady. They still hold my hand crossing the parking lot, still give me kisses goodnight, and still hug me in front of their friends.

The boys had a big birthday weekend! Friday night and Saturday morning they played tee ball games, then Saturday afternoon we went to Frankie's with some of their friends from school; it was a little over the top for Ashley and I, but the kids had a ball. Granny Meg and Pop took us all for a birthday dinner and then Sunday the boys had their end of the season soccer party (on their actual birthday) and got trophies! I brought cup cakes and their team had a little birthday celebration for the special boys.

Our sweet boys have come so far in 5 years! It still amazes me when I stop to think about the way our family has been blessed by those two...and how strong they have been- right from the beginning.

Ash and John riding go carts

Nana and Jack ridingFour silly boys- Andy, Jonathan, John and Jack!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bedtime Prayers

Tonight at bedtime Wyatt said, "I say my prayers."
We both folded our hands and closed our eyes and he prayed:

"Lord, I am phankful for Andrew, and John, and chips, and Mama, and Daddy and cereal. Amen."

Ashley and I may rank below chips, but at least he is praying!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's been a long time...

Wow. It has been so long since I have blogged that I think the look and feel of the site is different. And I had to stop and think of what my password is. So much for my online baby book/memory book for the boys. It seems like the older that they get, the busier we get and I have not taken the time to stop and write about what we are doing.
I have thought about it numerous times, but was too lazy to go upstairs and get my laptop. Tonight I had the energy, but then got so annoyed with the speed (lack of) of my lap top, that I almost gave up. Thankfully Ashley got his MacBook for me and I am back in business...but I digress.

A major part of the aging thing that I wanted to share is that our sweet "baby" Pizzie turned three. Our happy go lucky, laid back little bear has definitely found his voice. He is quick to say "NO" these days, but that is part of being three, right?!? And hey, you gotta respect someone who knows what they want!

On February 18th, we celebrated our sweet P's third birthday. It fell on a Friday this year, which meant that John and Andrew had soccer practice that night. After practice we went out for a celebratory dinner at the restaurant of Wyatt's choice. He picked "Buffalo Wild Wings", his favorite because of the many TV's and delicious mac n' cheese. Those two things are definitely at the top of Wyatt's current Top 10 list.

The next day we had a few of Wyatt's friends over for a Buzz Lightyear party. Buzz and Woody are also high on the Top 10 list currently. The idea originally was that the boys would all dress up. They were all game in the beginning. As it turned out, John dressed as Handy "Mandy" (LOL!!) and I dressed as Jessie (think Jeans, boots, sheriff badge and cowboy hat) and everyone else came as themselves. The day was gorgeous and we were able to stay outside for the party (you never know in February what the weather will be) much to Wyatt's dismay. Spending time outdoors is not one of his favorite things to do. He prefers the comfort of the couch when possible.

After the party, Wyatt retired to the den to catch one of his favorite movies and then took a nap on the couch. That was the perfect finish to his birthday.

The next day we started potty training. Ashley and I had been talking it up for weeks and Wyatt promised that after he had his Buzz Lightyear party, he'd be ready. He kept his promise and has done really well. Unfortunately, he did break the lid off of the upstairs potty, so we effectively have a urinal in our hall bath.

All you can do is laugh.

Wyatt definitely keeps us laughing. That child says the funniest thing! Some recent Wyatt-isms include:
  • "Look at me, I'm extracising" as he moves his chunky thighs back and forth as if he is doing calf raises
  • "Let's watch Harryel" (meaning Ariel)
  • "I'm Bafiki"...or "Bufasa" (Lion King characters)
  • Don't Double Dip (talking to his brothers when they share cheese dip)
There are so many other things that I could go on and on. I can not wait to see how our little P bear will change over the next year. It seems like going from two years old to four years old is really the transition from baby to little boy...which is a little bittersweet for me. Of course I am excited to experience the next stage of parenting my little pumpkin.

Check him out!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Last Name, First Name, Middle Name
Social Security Number
Emergency Contact

Skills Assessment
Use this space to tell us about your child:


My boys will go to kindergarten next year. How could I ever describe these two amazing boys on 5 lines? Do I start with a plea not to let anything happen to my precious sons? I could begin by describing my boys as strong-willed, but the person reading would have no idea just had strong they are. As their mother I guess I will always go back to those first days and how my little scrapers proved everyone who said that there would be setbacks wrong.

After completing their registration forms, I realized that I had made no mention of their prematurity anywhere on the forms. I've got to let it go and move on. They have.

Instead I stuck to the relevant facts about their academic progress in the small space provided for comments...even though there was just enough room for me to ask if I could still call every day.

I left the school with a few fliers that gave some hints like "read to your child this summer" and "take a trip to the public library". But alas, no hand out for how to face the fact that your child is growing up (and you're not getting any younger). Hopefully by the time Wyatt enrolls at Midway, that will be available. I am definitely going to need it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Birthday Boy

Happy birthday wonderful husband, great dad, and best friend!! Thanks for all you do for our family! You mean the world to me and I'm so happy to be kicking off 2011 celebrating your birthday. I'm looking forward to spending the next 35 with you (and more)!!

Happy 35th Birthday, Ash!!

We all love you so much!