Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stella is 2!

Sweet Stella Bella is 2 now.

She opened presents, she ate pumpkin cupcakes, and she enjoyed all the extra love and attention on her birthday.

Stella is....in a few words.... determined, affectionate, hardy....and full of life. She is high-spirited and strong-willed. You can't hurt this girl. But she can hurt you.

She is the cuddliest of all of my kids. Even more so than Cora. She loves to hug, snuggle, and kiss. But only on her terms. If you ask for it, forget about it.

She has a mind of her own. She knows she is a princess. Most of the time, we all concede to Stella. She gets her way far too often.

She is happy to tag along and join in with whatever everyone else is doing. She is clueless most of the time, as to what we are doing or where we are going. But she just jumps in her car seat and comes along for the ride.

She is still a mama's girl at heart. She always has been. No one can make her happy the way mama can.

Surprisingly, Stella has become a very loving and sweet big sister. Honestly, I was most worried about her transitioning into not being the baby anymore. It never worried me with the other girls, but it did with Stella. But she LOVES Cora. Adores her. Wants to kiss her and hold her every chance she can get. She carries her bathroom stool around so she can watch while I feed and change Cora.

And inevitably, this happened the other day...

Lucy and Annie did it too. And I was waiting for it to happen with Stella. She loves her baby doll but she isn't quite as....nurturing...or gentle as the other two girls were at her age. So I guess it took her a little longer to decide she wanted to breastfeed.

Eventually she made the choice though. She's in.

I can't believe this girl is two. She is my baby and I still treat her like it.

Happy Birthday Stella.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Because I know you've been dying to see more pictures of this love muffin...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finally a Family Update

My poor, poor neglected blog. It takes a while to put together a blog post, even a crappy one, and I just now have the capacity to attempt one (which means these will probably be crappy). I was so sick towards the end of the pregnancy that I didn't have the energy, and now that baby is here I don't have the time.

But it's a Tuesday morning, Lucy is at school, a precious friend has my two middles, and the baby is asleep. I'm sitting at the kitchen table since we don't have a place for our computer yet, drinking a cup of coffee and realizing how incredibly blessed, and tired, I am. I'm enjoying the quiet and relishing the moment.

Some of these are quite old. From earlier this summer. But I still wanted to post them.

Remember that time I said I would post more pictures of our beach trip? Well....it finally happened.

Hilton Head Part 2

Sweet Summertime

I'm so proud of Lucy and all that she has accomplished in the past few weeks

Lucy Lu

And finally, with much anticipation, introducing our newest addition. A girl.

Baby Cora

Monday, August 18, 2014

We had a baby!

So....we had a baby!! Amongst all the moving and birthdays and school starting and just general busyness of being a family of five, we added a new one to the bunch. 

Last picture of these three the morning before the baby was born...

If you remember correctly, this baby's gender was a surprise....but we really weren't THAT surprised when baby was born and the doctor announced....it's a GIRL!

Sweet Cora Mae joined our family on August 13th.

She was my biggest baby at 7lbs. 4oz. She made quite an entrance with her screaming and wailing. The surgery for me was very eventful and probably one of the worst things I've ever experienced. There were lots of complications and issues, all of which I am mostly recovered from now....but it was a very difficult first day or two. Fortunately none of my health issues affected Cora. She has been healthy and beautiful from day one.

Everyone was at the hospital to meet Cora, (and let's face it to hear the gender), but they had to wait a very long time because of my issues in surgery. The girls were well past naptime and Stella was borderline a train wreck, so I didn't get the first sibling meeting pictures that I dreamt of but they were excited to see and hold her nonetheless.

We had a handful of names picked out...a few girl and a few boy, but nothing we had decided on concretely. We finally decided for sure on Cora for a first name, which was my great-grandmother's name. We still had a few boy names we were throwing around on the way to the hospital but nothing really felt right. I don't think either of us could commit to a boy name because we expected it to be another girl. Good thing we didn't have our hearts set on a boy name. Cora felt right. The girls loved it and we loved it. We decided on a middle name after she was born. I looked at Mark and said, "Cora Mae??". He said, "Cora Mae." And that was that.

Annie likes to call her by both names. And while I didn't intend on her having a double name, it does flow together well so we'll see what happens.

My oldest and my youngest!!

After everyone met her and went home....hilarious. Being a daddy is hard work.

Beautiful Cora Mae!!

One of my favorites from the hospital. Lucy and daddy just hangin and talking and holding Cora.

Despite the fact that we didn't know the name, let alone the gender of the baby, my friend Carolyn still managed to get us something monogrammed. Leave it to her.

Cora has been sweet from the start. Fairly easy to please and happy to just eat and sleep. I prayed for that. No really I did.

Headed home! Finally!

When we got home everyone had to hold her. Some did better than others.

Sweet baby stretches

Her one week picture...she doesn't have a special stuffed animal yet so just the sign for now. She reminds me a lot of Lucy as a newborn.

Stella had to get in on the action. Giant one week old. 

Cora joining our family has felt so normal and expected. Like she has belonged in our family since the beginning. We are so thankful for another healthy, beautiful girl. We know we are so fortunate and blessed to have this many babies. The Lord has shown favor on us and we are filled with joy.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lucy Lu

My baby turned 6.

I'm not sure how I'm old enough to have a six year old. It seems like yesterday this girl made me a mama for the first time. All of my children hold a special place in my heart for different reasons. Lucy is my oldest. My first. And let's face it she's pretty much a carbon copy of me.

Once again, her birthday happened during a time of transition. This time we were in the new house, barely settled....but I did have the kitchen unpacked enough to make her monkey bread muffins for breakfast, which is what she requested.

Typical of our birthdays around here, we don't make a huge deal or throw a big party. Just hang with family and friends and make the day special. We went to Monkey Joe's in the morning with cousin Abbie and left Stella at home so I could focus on Lucy for the day. Annie tagged along of course.

Then I took the girls to Claire's to spend Lucy's birthday money. Oh my word they were in heaven. I thought Annie would be too young to appreciate the girly explosion that is Claire's, but I was wrong. They went pointing from thing to thing asking the price and if they could have it/wear it/buy it. Eventually they settled on the make up stand and stayed here for a while exploring all the cosmetics. They each went home with some great stuff. Daddy was thrilled.

That night we took the golf cart to El Ranchero for Lucy's birthday dinner, complete with grandparents and family. I didn't make her birthday cake this year. I let the great people at Publix do that for me.

Annie enjoyed Lucy's birthday almost as much as Lucy did.

Lucy got to be the guinea pig newborn. We didn't have a clue what we were doing (not that we do now....) She had to endure us learning how to feed and care for a baby. And now she has to be the guinea pig again. I sort of feel like I have this baby thing somewhat nailed down, but a big kid, a school aged kid....well I've never done that before so it's brand new territory. We get to learn through you again Lucy. Thanks for letting us experiment on you.

Have you ever seen a more glamorous six year old? She is learning the art of accessorizing.

A week after she turned six, Lucy started her first day of 1st grade! This is her first year at a real elementary school. Big kid school. All day!!!

I was a little worried about her that first day, but she has done awesome and has loved every minute of school.

Leaving for school in the golf cart, true Peachtree City style.

She is riding the bus home this year, and the bus stops right at the end of our street so I can walk to meet her each day. I can't believe she got on the right bus and got off at the right stop. She's so grown up!

Telling me all about her day over a plate of cookies was my favorite part.  

Lucy has had to go through so many changes all at once this year. Becoming a big sister again, moving, and starting school in a new city and making new friends. She has handled it beautifully and has taken on new responsibilities without skipping a beat. I'm so proud of how she has chipped in and helped me.

She is my shopping buddy, my diaper fetcher, my little sister entertainer, and my chatty little shadow. She loves to help, loves to talk, and loves to be independent. She is nurturing, considerate, and full of life. She is moody and girly and sparkly. I'm so proud of you Lucy and all that you have become!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sweet Summertime

Since I've been horrible about blogging lately, I'm gonna give you a quick run down of our summer in pictures. This summer went by way too quickly....and also crawled in a way since I was huge and pregnant and sick and had a super good attitude. 

I tried to enjoy the moments I felt good, and not too feel guilty during the moments I had to lay down and stay out of the action. 

 Enjoying a morning walk on the cooler days. How sweet are they all snuggled up?

We spent a lot of time in the back yard playing with water. I had big plans to use our neighborhood pool but we didn't make it there as often as I would have liked. Getting three kids to the pool and supervising them all by myself just felt a little daunting so most days we just stayed home.

Grilling and eating outside. One of the best parts about summer.

Mark and I also celebrated our 8th anniversary this summer. EIGHT years??? How is that possible? And that's just the time we've been married....we dated 4-5 years before that. We have almost reached the point where we have been together longer than we have been apart.

Again, celebrating pregnant and with three kids is about as glamorous as you would expect....but we did enjoy a night out just the two of us and hope to take a trip maybe in a year or two for another anniversary. Life with little ones is restricting sometimes, but also so rewarding.

We left the littles at home, and Mark, Lucy and I drove to Virginia for my cousin's wedding. It was such a nice getaway and we enjoyed the time with our oldest for a change. Lucy had a blast getting all the attention for the weekend. We enjoyed exploring Virginia and spending time with family.

Mark and I celebrated our 30th birthday! Just another excuse to get a cookie cake....

Lots of days of playing indoors when it was too hot, and enjoying each other with no school and no agenda.

July 4th was spent with friends and family in Peachtree City. Thank goodness it was a nice, cool, breezy day because we spent a lot of time outside at the parade and watching fireworks.

The girls enjoyed mommy's craving for chocolate milkshakes...and lots of popsicles outside.

At the end of the summer, right before baby, we MOVED. Because you know, adding a 4th child to your bunch isn't a big enough change. You need to change your address too. Not just your address, but school districts and cities too. And pack a bunch of boxes. And then unpack them. Its super fun, you should try it the next time you have a baby.

We got moved in thanks to fabulous family and friends who packed, unpacked, brought meals, entertained the girls, and help me get my house livable. We still have a lot to do....don't look in our garage please. But the essentials are done and we are enjoying living in Peachtree City. We have wanted to move here for a long time and while this wasn't the best timing in the world, the opportunity presented itself and we felt like it was the best move for our family. We are in an awesome school district, a nice, quiet neighborhood, and while the house is old and smaller than what we have, it has suited our needs just fine. I'm all about simplifying anyway.

Lucy and I enjoyed a date night out, shopping and eating. I love spending one on one time with her. She just comes a live with personality.

Happy Summer!