Tuesday, January 24, 2012



So no, January did not slow down after the holiday and leave plenty of time for relaxing and long Sunday afternoons for blogging and sipping coffee. That must have been in one of my dreams from my early twenties when I had all the time in the world and wishing I knew what I know now. Fast forwarding to 35 and life couldn't be busier and definitely could not have imagined it could ever be this rewarding and overwhelming all in one lifestyle.

I must admit, I am looking to a fresh start. I can say 2011 exposed me in a way that makes me more aware of so many things. I'm not sure if it is the combination of choices I make or my genetic makeup but I will say...being a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Neighbor Friend, Career Warrior, Blogger, Blog Reader, Traveler, Pen Pal, Volunteer, Decorator, Memory Archiver, Recycler, Gardener, Facebooker....has overwhelmed me just a tad:) OK, so maybe I can chalk it up to the choices or just give it a better sense of priority this year. Either way I am sure you have heard the term..."Something's Gotta Give"...well it also happens to be a movie I really love with Diane Keaton. I adore almost anything she does but that's for another time.
The movie is all about how she has her life figured out and sort of "in control" and then this man (Jack Nichelson) comes along and throws her all "out of control" for all the right reason. I sort of feel that is how my life has changed. Having a child certainly does just that creating "controlled chaos" on your best days and for all the right reasons.....

The Magician, The Cheerleader, The Chef, The Fashion Model, The Baller

Harper's little moments.....

As I read her books to her, I catch Harper staring at my face out of the corner of my eye. She says, "what are dose?" She pointed to my freckles and so I tell her what they are!
She looks at me and says, "Frankles?"...."I like you Frankles!"

She woke up last Monday and asked to wear her big girl underwear to school and has not taken them off! She has done amazing, takes herself to the bathroom going Number 1 and Number 2..along with that letting you know she needs her "privacy". This kids shuts the door and goes to potty all on her own....sometimes taking 10-15 minutes to go. But she goes...weehoo!

Skyping with the family. Harper is a moving target when it comes to Skyping.... We are usually Skying at night and which could be one of the hardest times but we do it anyway. Amazing the relationship she has with her family probably because we stay so connected on Skype!

Do you love the undies or the shoes the best??

Harper and bedtime
Yeah yeah, we have a child sleeping in her bed throughout the night since last Friday and one happy doggy snuggling beside her! For some reason, she was getting up so much we had to ask Doc Mukundan what are the options for sleep. He suggested Moss sleep with her and what a gift. We have sleep!

Miss Independant
Harper has taken it upon herself to go into the bathroom at night and start her own bath. This little spit fire is a natural born leader and likes teaching her Mommy

At school today, I got a report that her "teacher skills" are in full effect at school and she has each kid playing and singing Harper in the Middle! This song is one of many that she sings at random and apparently she had her whole class corraled and chanting with her!


Chicago in January.....YES, it was so cold. I arrived in Chicago with the most perfect day for strolling and shopping on Michagan Ave. It was gorgeous, bright, and sunny with a light jacket.....such an amazing day to catch up with some of my work buddies! We had a full day of training and then I got to spend a couple of days with one of my dearest friends Breags!
So on to the cold part.. the day after I arrived Chicago got their first snow of the season, 8 inches. In Nashville, that would shut down the city for an entire month! I am not joking.
But not in Chicago, we watched the beautiful snow fall all day and then went out to the most precious place for Dinner and Drinks to celebrate one well awaited birthday. Breagel turned 36 but as you may have read or known, last year he had a life changing event that could have caused him not to see 36. He is getting stronger by the day and looks great. He has so many struggles and obstacles on a daily basis and still remains with this spirit like no one else probably could.

The birthday bash was perfect. The Hubbard Inn was perfect. Spending time with my friend was food for the soul.

Super Bowl

Homemade Onion Rings... "The" Wings...... Piggies in a Blanket.....

Need I say more about the day we had for Super Bowl.
Thanks Honey! Bob worked it out for the afternoon of football and "fun food". That's what we call it when we basically pig out and starfish out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas again and again

Christmas In Kentucky

New Year's Weekend we headed to KY for Christmas with the Terry's!

We went up the weekend before for Christmas with the Qualls family (my Mom's side of the family that is up to about 75 plus people...12 brothers and sisters) and Harper was officially introduced to EVERYONE. She sat on my lap, or E Lee's (my sister Lee Ann) almost the entire afternoon. Therefore I didn't take a single picture!

Here are the shots from one hysterical family Christmas. I bought my nephews a practical joke kit and I wished I would have done this years ago. We had so much fun during our marathon gift opening that I may have found a new annual gift idea for these boys. As they get older, it is a bit harder to surprise them with something they actually like.

Harper powered through all her gifts like a pro. One of her favs were her baby sisters! She opened a box of twin baby girls and shouted,
"Baby Sisters! I love you!"
My Mom and I looked at each other and cracked up in laughter!
Well maybe I'm off the hook for awhile:)

My Nephew Baylen is so OLD......16 Years exactly!

This observation is clearly a better reflection of how I am feeling but that is the reality. He is so adorable as a very new driver/mini adult. He is such a good brother and loves his family...I am so proud of him! He is also 6'4" and I got to see one of his basketball games at my old high school over the holidays!

Ok ok, that is why I am feeling so old. Going back to that gym and seeing the gym lit up like it was (18 years ago) was nothing like it was 18 years ago! The kids look like babies and the rattle of the crowd was lack luster.
I don't know why but I do feel this way about many things as an adult. Things do not appear the same through your older and wiser eyes as they were through your young nieve ones.
Either way, I like being there and look forward to seeing Baylen and Benjamin have their experiences!

Baylen and Benjamin

Dinner was planned for some of our old favorites and it ended up as a disaster really. We have no idea what happened but we decided to scrap it and move on to the good stuff!

Nana's Gift Extravaganza!:)

We have always given her a hard time about how many gifts the kiddos get but it is her true generous heart that keeps on giving no matter what we say.
There is a stocking for all to continue that Santa spirit for children and adults alike!

Since the Dinner really didn't hold us over...Harper busted out an apple during Nana's Gift Extravaganza and filled her craving. I love this kid and how much she eats....I'm sure you have already picked up on that!

My Dad is a wood worker and every year makes a "piece" at Christmas for my sister and I for about......7-10 years! Not sure now but I am planning a better display of his work in my home... somewhere!
Being in the wood and farming industry for over 40 years, he is an expert on wood and finding the rarest pieces.
This is a candle holder made of Boxed Elder and is truly more beautiful in person but I had to show it off!

Seconds anyone!

The Terry Family

So my Dad's side of the family (The Terry's constitute about the same or a few less than my Mom's family....about 50-60....my Dad is one of 6) brought lots of old familiar faces as well. I will say, being with both sides of my family does actually keep me young because I am the baby on one side and closer to it on the other!

On a more important note, the one thing I loved about being with both of my families was the constant that you may sometimes miss in your life. It brought to me the very memorable feeling of constant, unconditional love. I have been lucky to have both sides of my family that could provide enough love for the next 3 generations!

The Terry's

My Dad and his Siblings
My Sis and My favorite Cuz, Christopher!
My Dad, Poppie, and his oldest sister Alvaleen. Looking at her is like seeing my Granny Orine and I love that everytime I get to see her!

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

This holiday season was so special to see it through the eyes of a 2 year old. She thoroughly enjoyed talking to Buddy Patch (Elf on the Shelf) each day to understand if he had been watching over her, all the holiday celebrations with family and the cookies that were served, she was desperately afraid of this Santa character, and absolutely enjoyed all the gift opening.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning were spent right here in our home, just the four of us and we couldn't have enjoyed the rest and relaxation it provided.

Since Auntie Stephanie sent her gifts first, we decided to open just one before Christmas. We were thrilled we did! She flipped over this ensemble and it was fabulous watching her be a fairy princess for a day, and another, and another!

I captured this pose because it is one I often see and I suppose I hadn't stopped to get it yet . She loves to wait by the window for Daddy or watch Moss go outside and make sure she comes back in:)

Merry Christmas Eve!

We celebrated that evening at a neighbor's annual Christamas Eve Bash with friendly faces, good food, and lots and lots of cookies! Harp did not venture upstairs with all the kids but decided to stay close to Mom and the dessert table.

Christmas Morning

I found these two at the top of the stairs ready and waiting to see what Santa had brought.

No paparazzi, no thank you!

"My own Market"! I think Harper was surprised to get this because all she asked Santa for was a Pink Cupcake!

Christmas from New York

We did not make it up to New York for the holidays, but they definitely came to Nashville! Harper had so many gifts from Grandpa Bob and Grammie, Aunt Mo, and Auntie Stephanie....she couldn't have been more spoiled from New York! We skyped and opened our gifts and after plenty of earrings, rings, princess crowns, American Girl boxes, books, movies and a monogrammed backpack....Harper had no idea where to begin. We are so thankful to be able to see the family, even when they can't be here and I know Harper will stay so connected to them.
Thanks for everything and Harper thanks you even more!

Was Harper a good girl this year?
She got her Pink Cupcake from Santa and enjoyed every last bite of it.

Merry Merry Christmas.........

Friday, January 6, 2012


Mini Mommy

Harper loves to "Mother" her babies, take them to the market, change their diapers, and place them in random areas throughout the house. This particular morning, I walked into the playroom and they all had their spots for Harper to figure out who was going to the park, who needed to eat, and of course...who was being naughty!

Dressing Herself

Do you love it, this is her ensemble for a day outside!

First Haircut

Yes, it was time. Some may have disagreed. I couldn't resist this fancy little kids place "Divas and Dudes" for the first snip. I knew it may be a struggle but I turned out to be wrong once again. She was mesmorized by all the beautiful little girls getting mani's and pedi's, walking on the runway with their hair and makeup, and braids galore. She wanted braids but after I got her in the chair, a blowout is all she could really handle. Obviously the princess crown made her day!

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