Monthly Archives: August 2011

Growing Boy.

Last night I sat down to blog about my soon-to-be ten month old, but got distracted and ended up not doing it…opps. I had a smallish freak out moment this past Friday because I realized in one week, Harp will be ten months old. That leaves two months to plan his birthday party. When Friday rolled around, I hadn’t really done anything besides pinning birthday ideas on Pinterest. I had a lot of ideas for invitations, cakes/cupcakes, party favors, etc. but I had one major problem – I didn’t actually know where I was going to have the party. Our house is a great size for us, but it wouldn’t be suitable for his birthday party. Not having a location was the main reason I hadn’t done any “real” planning, but on Friday, I decided I needed to do something beyond Pinterest!

Pretty much out of nowhere, the idea to have Harp’s party at a local pumpkin patch came to me. His birthday is in late October and a lot of the kids attending will be older children, so having it at at a pumpkin patch would be perfect! I wasn’t sure if pumpkin patch farms do birthdays, but I researched it and luck would have it that the one closest to our house does – thank you, Jesus! Through just a couple of e-mails, I managed to get a date booked – Yippee! It’s a really great price and they pretty much do everything for you. The package includes a party hostess, themed decorations, plates, cups, napkins, etc. They also provide cupcakes/donuts and each child attending gets to pick a pumpkin from the patch to take home – it was just too good of a deal to turn down. This leaves me with sending out invites (I’ll probably make them myself) and getting/making his personal birthday cake. So it’s going to be easy breezy and I am WAY excited!

Here are some things Harp has going on for him nowadays:

* He has four new teeth coming in on the top row. Two (his k-9s) are already through the gums and the other two are just beneath them, but visible. He also has one coming through on the bottom row. They all started coming in at the same time, but he has managed fairly well…thank goodness! I didn’t want a repeat of Mother’s Day weekend 🙂

* He appears to have a favorite color. Any time we give him a choice, he always picks green. It’s really cute.

* He has super curly hair. He’ll probably need a haircut soon, but I’m going to let it grow out because I think little boys with long hair are adorable.

* He is very verbal. He isn’t saying words just yet (beyond da da), but when he is mad or upset, he’ll make a series of noises and it sounds just like he is yelling at you. It’s hilarious!

* The kid hates having his diaper changed. Oh…my…gosh. Throws a fit every time.

* He’s starting to pull on us to stand up. This is really neat because he hasn’t started crawling yet. I’m beginning to think he may skip that stage (Benji did).

*If you take anything away from him, he gets very upset…and he lets you know about it.

*He loves to swing with mommy and daddy

*The last one is actually a little annoying…especially when we are out to eat. If he sees anyone eating, he wants to eat…even if he has just eaten and is full. I made a video of him doing this tonight. He had already eaten and Benji and I sat down to eat and well…he didn’t like it:

So…there you have it! I can’t believe he is about to be TEN months old! Time is flying!!

Nite y’all.

The Photo Bomber

Harper’s “photo bombing” is never intentional. I’m not sure he can really be considered a photo bomber since he doesn’t actually plan it out, but I like calling him that anyways. This is just one of several pictures he has bombed. Most peeps probably wouldn’t want to frame this, but I do! It’s real…that’s why I love it. Don’t get me wrong, a smiley one would’ve been just as real, but there’s just something about this photo that speaks to me. I think it captures parenthood perfectly – ya know…going with the flow when things aren’t going as planned because well…they NEVER do go as planned when you have a little one (at least that’s been the case for us so far lol). Anyways…I’ll cherish this photo forever, and I imagine Harp will have a good laugh at it one day too.

If any of you are wondering why he is crying, here’s the scoop. I put him down for his 9AM nap and he played instead of sleeping. These photos were scheduled for 11AM, so by the time they rolled around, he was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY grumpy! That’s life 🙂

Here are two of my other favs from our photo session with Kathryn Adams (Our Tiny Big Life):

^^^He reminds me of a dove in this photo. I just love it. So sweet, gentle and innocent.

^^^ I love his hair in this one (it’s just like his daddy’s)…and the fact that he is sucking his thumb.

 Kathryn, thanks so much for capturing my life and my loves! You did an awesome job!

Wanna Know How Much I Weigh?

Well sit tight, and I’ll tell you!

Today is my 1st Weight Watchers monthiversary. I decided about a week and a half ago that I would do a “weight reveal” on the ole’ blog to celebrate it. It seems an odd way to celebrate because telling everyone how much I weigh honestly scares the hell-o out of me, but I HAVE to do this! There are several reasons why, but mainly I’m just tired of worrying about someone finding out.

I remember when Benji and I were dating/engaged. I was seized with fear before the wedding. Oh…this wasn’t the typical fear that comes into play when you’re making a HUGE life change. Not the “will I be a good wife” or “am I cut out for this” type fears. No. I’m talking about the fear of Benji finding out what size pants I wore.  Or worse, finding out my weight. Looking back, it seems so stupid, but I was seriously afraid of him seeing proof that I was well…fat. It was as if the actual number, or pants size would say or prove something that my chunky figure didn’t.

I’ve come a LONG way since then. I no longer hate my body. I’ll be honest though…I don’t love it either. I’m almost there though. I think the biggest shift has been in realizing – truly realizing –  that my body doesn’t define who I am.  I’m much kinder to myself nowadays. Having Harper helped too. I have some serious appreciation for what my body did for those nine months. I could never hate my body after it carried and protected my sweet Harp for so long. It’s a gift.

Back to the magic number though. I told Benji the magic number back in 2009 and he could’ve cared less – duh. I don’t know why I was terrified of him finding out.  I am just as terrified of you, my readers, finding out. I felt so much better after I told Benji though, like I didn’t have to hide anymore. It was just a great feeling, and that’s why I’m telling you!

So…without further ado here’s the magic number: 246

That’s down from 265 a month ago. I weighed 296 at my highest (when I was pregnant with Harper) and oh my geez…that was a scary minute for me. I never want to be that close to 300 again.

Here is a picture of my progress so far:


I made this black and white because I have since changed my hair color and the two different color tones took away from the actual progress. I just wanted to share this because my double chin is gone!!!! I am pumped about this. So so pumped!

Weight Watchers has been super easy so far. I signed up for it with the intentions of doing it forever. I really want this to be a life change. For some reason, I just feel like I can do this weight loss thing now. Before having Harper, I thought it was impossible for me. That’s no longer the case though. I don’t know what changed when I had Harper, but I no longer feel like food and weight problems have power over me. It’s a pretty great feeling.

And in case any of you are interested in my weight watchers plan, I currently get 39 points a day, and 49 flex points for the week. I usually allow myself to go over once a week and dip into my flex points. Benji and I also walk four miles a day…EVERY day! 🙂

This is just too good not to share…

Okay. First, I found this on Pinterest. It claims to be a quote from Tina Fey. I didn’t bother to verify this because regardless of who came up with it, it’s still good stuff, and oh so true! It’s a mother’s prayer for her daughter. I don’t have a daughter, but it still touched the warm fuzzies of my heart 🙂 Here ya go:

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be beautiful, but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty. When the crystal meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half, and stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called ‘Hell Drop,’ ‘Tower of Torture,’ or ‘The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,’ and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from acting, but not all the way to finance. Something where she can make her own hours, but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need not lie with drummers. Grant her a rough patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, for childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – and adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. ‘My mother did this for me once,’ she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. ‘My mother did this for me.’ And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen.” -Tina Fey

So so good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “My mother did this for me!” I think I even made a mental note to call and say thanks once and I DID forgot. So this is for you mom! Thanks for all you did for me, Curtis, Matt and Amanda. Thanks for all the poop diapers (and clothes) you changed! Thanks for the sleepless nights you had. Thanks for the tantrums you put up with. And thanks…thanks for not killing me for my MAJOR teenage attitude when I was in high school 🙂

Love Always,

This day last year…

was a horrible, HORRIBLE day! Benji had just gotten hired to work for Memphis City Schools and was leaving Tuscaloosa to start school the next day. I remember everything so well. I remember going to church, crying, going to lunch, crying, going home and loading the car, crying some more, watching Benji drive off and thinking these would be the longest three months of my life, and then falling apart in our bedroom once he was gone. I think I laid in bed for a good hour and a half after he left and just cried. It wasn’t pretty. Some people would refer to it as ugly crying 🙂 At one point, I remember my cat coming in and just staring at me…I guess because of all the racket I was making. It really was a horrible day.

(In case you didn’t already know why, we had to spend the last three months of my pregnancy apart so I could work and keep my health insurance. I’m glad we did it – having two insurances kept us from paying $1,500 out of pocket for Harper’s birth – but it was VERY hard!)

The first week that he was gone, I managed to rent our house out to someone – and she has been an excellent tenant! It was a huge stress reliever, but it left me with nowhere to live. I had planned on staying with my grandmother, but she lived about 40-45 minutes away from my office. My wonderful friends, Stephen and Susanna, ended up inviting me to come and take up residence in their guestroom. I really don’t know how I would have made it through those three months without them. Their friendship and company made everything bearable. We would watch movies (or reruns of What Not to Wear!!), play video games, cook, laugh about my cankles, sing horrible songs by Carrie Underwood and Rihanna, talk about conspiracy theories, etc. – time passed by quickly and before you knew it, Benji would be back for the weekend! I would fall apart again whenever he had to go back to Memphis and they would allow me to cry. Then they would usually take me to dinner, followed up with small group which always made me feel better! Once Monday came around, Susanna would start a countdown for Benji’s return. Seriously y’all. They were (and are) the best! Even now they have someone staying with them who lost his home in the tornado. These two are Jesus to everyone they meet. I love em’!

It’s hard to believe all that was a year ago. It was the best AND worst time of my life. There was so much anticipation for Harper’s arrival and so much regret that Benji couldn’t share those last three months with me. He lucked out though. If any of you have every slept next to a pregnant woman…you know what I mean! Tossing and turning all night, getting up to pee almost ever hour, lying awake imagining every little detail about your new baby (insomnia), etc. Who could possibly sleep next to all that? I feel sorry for dads-to-be in those last few months! It’s a tough life…one that Benji didn’t have to live. Good thing there’s always next time around! 😉

God has brought us through so much….and he’s provided EVERYTHING along the way. Whether you’re looking at last year or this year…he’s given us everything we need. Now we’re a family of three and living in beautiful Virginia. We aren’t rich by any means. At least not in terms of money. If you’re measuring love, peace, and joy though, our cups runneth over! We…are…blessed.

I’m so glad that on the anniversary of a horrible day, a day that meant separation for me and Benji, I can hold my curly-haired little boy and hug his curly-haired daddy, and just be thankful for the fact that we are together.

We serve an awesome God.