Sunday, February 26, 2012

The One, The Only...

It's that time of year again...Tif's birthday!  This year has been especially amazing.  I mean, why wouldn't it be?  We got to spend another year with our wonderful wife/mommy!!!  So Tiffany (aka mommy aka Tifalicious aka Tiffy Bear aka beauTIFul aka, wait, you sure do have a lot of aka's), we celebrate you!

You will never know the joy you bring me when I get to sit and watch you interact with our kids.  You are truly an incredible mother and Eli and Ileigh are more blessed than they will ever know.  Your awesomeness with our kiddos is overflowing, and you are a pretty amazing wife, too!  My heart melts when I watch you.  My heart skips a beat when I'm with you.  Sometimes I see God looking down on me and the kids and see him smiling.  He's thinking, "I did that."  But then he leans down and tells me "I did that...I did that for you.  I did that for Eli.  I did that for Ileigh."  You represent each day the wife and mother that God designed and intended, and you are a light to us, you are our city on a hill.

Happy Birthday to our most awesomest wife and mommy!  Happy Birthday, Tif!!!

Love (an immeasurable and indescribable love),

Beaker, E-man, and Smiley Ileigh

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who needs a double stroller anyway?

Oh, this kid. An awesome perk to being a mother of little ones is that they make me laugh out loud every single day.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, so we took a short bike ride and then Eli wanted to just walk. I asked if he wanted to walk over to the elementary school close to the house and play for a bit. He was very excited and we ran home, locked up the house and he helped me push Ileigh about 5 blocks to the school up the road. It was really sweet because he stayed right beside me and every time we came to a street or ally he reached up for my hand...I love holding his hand.
We had a great time. Ileigh just loves to be outside, so she was content the whole time and Eli loved playing on the playground. He kept saying, "When I get big, this is my school."

When it was time to go, we made it about half way across the huge open field beside the playground and Eli announced he was tired.

This was his solution.

I KNOW! I could believe he fit down there, let alone was comfortable. I kept asking- "Are you okay down there?" He would say "Yeah!" 

I laughed the entire way home- how could I not?

Here is a little picture of Ileigh! She loves to be outside! 

A better picture of Eli... 

I guess I should've thought a little more before I bought that double stroller off of Craigslist. Clearly, I didn't explore all of my options. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


We had a hard beginning to the year. Not that we aren’t totally, utterly blessed, but it has just been a little hard. January was a hard month for us.


My grandfather was put in the hospital on New Year’s and then moved to rehab here in Amarillo for 5 weeks. Since everyone lives outside of Amarillo, I took it upon myself to go check on him twice a day, almost every day. Surely, it was some of the best hours of my day. I enjoyed hours of conversation with my grandfather that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

It was hard though. I got up early every morning to go sit with him at breakfast. Chris watched the kids and was late to work. As soon as he came home, I headed out the door to go back to the rehab facility. I don’t know if Chris and I had a full conversation for weeks. Definite strain.

Chris also traveled for about a week between Eli and Ileigh's birthday. I am really bad about worrying with him on a plane, but throw in the fact that our back fence blew down and every night he was away I would just sit in bed, staring at the back door looking for any movement at all, sure that someone would walk right up to our backdoor and take my babies.

Chris got home safe and sound and Papaw was happy to go back home two weeks ago and our daily schedules have fallen back into place.


In the middle of all of that, Ileigh still hasn’t been sleeping through the night. It was REALLY bad for about half the month. As in, Chris would lay with her on the couch and they might both sleep for 3 hours. The rest of the time, she would scream. Do you know how frustrating it is to have a screaming baby while a 3 year old is sleeping in your house? Eventually, Eli would wake up and start crying too. So, I would be lying on the floor next to his bed or he would be cuddled up with me in our bed.

Now let me just say, we let Eli “cry-it-out” and he did great. We can’t let Ileigh do that because she will pass out and hit her head if she gets too upset. Ileigh is completely different than Eli. Totally. I really feel like God gave her to me to break my self-righteous attitude about how calculated, carefully and “correctly” we raised Eli- seriously, she is bringing me to my knees and I find that my attitude towards other mothers and their baby strife is softening.

Everything escalated to the weekend of Ileigh’s party. That Thursday Ileigh had her one year checkup. It didn’t go very well. I told the doctor our concerns and she could offer few answers, only the staple, “she’ll grow out of it”. One of the concerns was that Ileigh will hold her breath and pass out when crying if she gets really upset- which she displayed for the nurse practitioner after her shots. Holy lord; the nurse flipped out and called the doctor back in the room. Again, the doctor said it was normal and that she would be fine. Overall, I am not that worried; I just thought that she should have grown out of it by now.

Then went I got up to the receptionist, she told me the doctor wanted to see us again in 3 months for a 15 month visit. Apparently, that is rare for this doctor to do because the receptionist seemed very confused and kept asking if something was wrong with our baby. “The doctor just never does that. I better call back to the doctor’s nurse to make sure. Is something wrong with your baby? Are you sure there isn’t something wrong with her?” On and on and on. I left crying. I guess we will see in a few weeks.

Anyway, later that day my aunt and cousin from Florida came into town to see my grandfather in rehab. They stayed with us. They said they couldn’t hear Ileigh screaming the entire night; I don’t believe them. They were gracious. I stayed up until 1 or 2 cooking, cleaning or decorating for the party. Chris was with Ileigh.

The pattern continued until Saturday night. Ileigh had a reaction to the shots she was given on Thursday, so we were trying to control her fever with medicine. After 3 days of fever and zero sleep Saturday night, I knew it was time to head back to the doctor. Thankfully, they had office hours on Sunday. We left Ileigh (asleep) with my mom while Chris, Eli and I headed to church. As soon as we were out I called the doctor. Ileigh had an appointment for 1:15- plenty of time to go and be back for her party at 3:00, right?

I walked in the house and picked her up- no fever what-so-ever. Dang. I couldn’t believe that after 3 solid days of 102, she had nothing. But, because of the lack of sleep, we opted to keep our appointment. She had a double ear infection. Her ears were perfect Thursday at her check-up. Because of the lack of sleep she was asleep when I got back home, 15mins before her birthday party started. Chris had done all of the cooking, my cousin and aunt finished my decorating and my mom cleaned up the pile of tissue paper mess from the poms.

It was nice to have everyone over; Ileigh slept through most of the party. We could tell that a few were annoyed that I was letting her sleep through it, but they obviously had no idea what we had just been through. Finally she woke up and instead of the adorable smocked dress I picked out just for the occasion, I asked Chris to put her in her sun onesie and leggings outfit- it looked more comfy.

After the party, Chris' oldest brother, Steve help him and my dad put up our fence that had been knocked down for almost 3 weeks. That was a relief!

The next week Chris and I were looking forward to plans to go out of town ALONE for a night. It has been over a year since we have been alone together overnight. Eli got strep; we stayed home. We were way bummed.

Now, things are settling back into a better rhythm, thankfully. Last week was really the first week of the new year I was able to head to the gym. I am a much happier person when I get out and get to the gym. Chris will agree.

I don’t write this to complain about what we dealt with, but more as a reminder to myself. With Eli, I don’t think I wrote down the hard times for fear of being judged by others and Chris and I rack our brain to remember the hard times with him. It is all a part of our experiences as parents and I don’t want to forget anything-even the bad. Also, I never want to give the appearance that everything is always picture perfect in our lives; it’s not. :) We are thankful for the experiences we go through and for the grace extended to us as we grow through it all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

We had a low-key Valentine's. We are all still recovering from various sicknesses; maybe by the end of the week we will be back to 100%.

Eli was very excited to help mommy make heart pancakes to celebrate Valentine's.

Ileigh was happy to watch. (She does have her own toys, by the way. She just chooses things like sink stoppers instead.) 

Impressive, huh? Not really. I used a metal cookie cutter and filled it with batter. Next time I will just cut the hearts out post-grilling. 

Daddy had to eat and run to get to a meeting, but the kiddos and I got dressed for our weekly venture to Walmart. We were all smiles until I pulled out the camera for some pictures... 

Gosh, when he is cute, he is cute. 

So sweet! 

Man, she loves her brother. 

"Okay, mommy. You wanna hold her now?"
If you look close you can see the veggie puff in her mouth- she was apparently starving. She wolfed down a banana after these pictures. Oooops. 

She only smiles like that for Eli... 

I couldn't find her bow- I am such a bad girl mom. I need to work on that. 

Here is Eli showing off his V-Day art from church.  

We talked a lot about love and loving one another and the love Jesus has for us.
We rounded out the evening with Eli's gymnastics class and a heartshaped pizza- I think we have had heart pizza for the last 4 years! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lost Pumpkin Pictures...

Back in November our hard drive went out. Actually, it crashed on our kitchen floor.
We were devastated.

We had four client sets waiting to be edited and all of our personal pictures since August.

Economically, it would have been smarter to give back everyones' money and re-shoot the sessions we lost but my heart was broken for Ileigh's baby pictures and a few weekend trips we had taken.

These in particular. The lost pumpkin pictures. Worth every penny. They are her 9 month pictures

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ileigh's First Birthday!

*Consider yourself forewarned: tons and tons of photos follow.
We celebrated our little sunshine Sunday. It was a very eventful week/weekend, and a birthday party was a great way to wrap it up! (Get it, wrap-up. HA!)

Lynsey made/decorated the cake. It was perfect. And fabulous. I made the tissue poms- we had a great time laughing and chatting well into the night...

You can't see her pennant banner very well, but just imagine with time I will make better color choices. :)

Didn't she do an awesome job?!? It was so cool and went perfect with our "sunshine" theme! 

I love her little banner. Sorry I don't have a better picture, but trust me, it was cute.
Thanks for cutting it out, Heather! 

More of the cake! 

Ileigh's tie-dyed cake! 

Abby, Megan and Morgan... 

Mema, Uncle Steve, Abbi, Kaylee and Papa... 

Kaci and Robin... 

Sheldon and Pey... 

My Aunt Tammie and cousin Heather were in town! They are from Florida so we were thrilled that they could join us for the party! And of course, Lynz was there- she had to tell me how to cut that cake!

The most awesome daddy ever. Seriously. And the guy who cooked ALL the food. 

Can't get enough of the cake. Also, if you look closely, I made little rainbow crayons for her favors- you know the ones; they are all over pinterest.

Eventually, our little sunshine decided to wake up from her nap and join us. We found out that morning that she had a double ear infection. More on that in another post. 

Eli jammn' with the birthday gift from Uncle Tim, Aunt Amber, Morg, Pey and Addy Grace... 

Eli was such a good helper with Ileigh's gifts. I guess he really could care less about all the clothes she got, so there was no fighting over toys...I guess that will start next year... 

Tammie and Memamaw... 

Tammie, Memamaw and Gramps 

Mema and Papa... 

The new chair from Mema and Papa... 

Gramps surprised Eli with a big tractor... 

and Ileigh with a pony. Just wait Gramps, in a few years she will want a real one...:) 

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Miss Ileigh Grace. We are so grateful that she has so many in her life that love and care for her!