New Neighbors

Sort of.

Aunt Britty and Uncle ‘Map’ {as Kenley pronounces his name} recently moved to ‘our side of town’ and are now a whopping 8 minutes away. Uncle Map, I’m sure, is thrilled to have his doting sister-in-law and adoring nieces so close!

With baby Whit arriving in the coming weeks, it truly does take a village. Uncle Map’s mom spent nights upon nights, along with Matt, painting trim, bathrooms, ceilings, bedrooms and closets.

My girls love Allie Boone’s new play area. I could have all these toys in my own house, and they would sit. Put them in someone else’s home, and voila- kids suddenly want to play with the very same toys that have been sitting at their own home.

Sassy took some time off of unpacking to love on her favorite grandson. Favorite grandson- I say that while I still can, seeing that Raynes is the only grandson on both sides.

AB’s new room
Pops has put together cribs while Mom, Fancy Nancy and myself unpacked boxes and hung pictures.

Our little man- chillaxing and sucking down a bottle.

Three out of the four five of us are on antibiotics- I hope this summer funk disappears along with the school days soon.
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Silver and Gold | MHH Baby Shower

Thirty five years. That’s how long I have been friends with Mary Heather.
We were in a Brownie troop together, she took a chunck out of my cheek with her jaws, rode go-carts in her back yard, pedaled on our bikes to the Sing store in the summer time, and climbed onto her parent’s roof to sunbathe. 
She taught me how to make Periwinkle soup at the coast, and introduced me to the band Sister Hazel. She almost got us on the MTV Spring Break show, but instead took a job with them and moved to New York.  We cheered together, drank together, and feel like I grew up in her house knowing every square inch as good as my own.  She set up me with good guys, bad guys, and eventually stood by me at my wedding, and again at my father’s funeral. Years later, she would stand by me once more, for my daughter’s baptism, her Goddaughter.
Now, MHH is about to be a Mommy for the first time. 

Against my advice, my always think she knows everything but I love her anyway friend, refuses to find out the sex of the baby. Opting to call him, “Bobcat”, instead.

 MHH and my Godmother {and her Mama}

Although, for the record, I already know it’s a boy.

The Hostess with the Mostess’

 MHH with her Godmother, Aunt Prissy

 And this is how a southern baby shower is done folks.

I think my favorite part of the shower was watching Mary Heather’s face as she opened each gift, and with a puzzled look on her face, whispered to my Mom “what is this?”

Priceless.

Love you, MHH! We cannot wait to meet your little Bobcat.

Week Recap

I had a nice, happy go lucky post that was drafted talking about the many perks of having children spaced out in age. It was intended to have been published on Saturday– here it is Monday, so I will go with what I have.

It started with…..  Free babysitting.

And went on to talk about other weekend events:

Not to be overshadowed by little sister, B had her last drama performance this week. She was sure that parents and grandparents, alike, knew about the play and were instructed to bring flowers. Because, well– Kenley received flowers.

She did fantastic, once again, never one to shy away from the spotlight.

Mike scored free tickets to a country concert this week– it’s been a long time since I was able to wear my cowboy boots, drink some cold beer, and sit back and listen to some good ol’ music. It was long overdue.

While the post had started with the perks, I’ll end it with one of the drawbacks of the ‘free babysitting':
Little Raynes had his first trip to the ER this weekend. While ‘someone’ in our family was babysitting (shall not name the person in observance of our witness protection program- but I will say it ’twasn’t his mama), they decided to put him on our high queen-sized bed, then became sidetracked.
And down little Humpty Dumpty fell.
Needless to say, when I got to the phone call, came racing him to find a very upset, inconsolable baby crying, it got me a little worried.  Auntie Anna was worried about her  my baby too. She sent me to the ER and told me to keep him awake, and watch for vomiting.
On the way to the ER he fell asleep, and once we arrived he began vomiting. Again, and again.  A CT scan and several x-rays later confirmed that this is one tough little boy. 

I think he just wanted some one on one time with his Mama and Sassy… before baby cousin arrives.

How is it that in almost 9 years with girls, we have never been to the ER due to an accident- and 7 months later baby boy has made his first trip to the  hospital?
Goodness. What a weekend.
Almost….
Everyone is fine, forgiven and enjoying the nice weather today. But I don’t believe I will be drafting any more about the perks of having kids spaced in age– that’s just asking for trouble.
It’s a new day, new week, new lessons to learn.

Seven Months

Mike and I were talking tonight, when I realized that in another 5 years we will have been together for half my life.
What that has to do with Raynes turning 7 months old, I have no earthly idea. Maybe it’s the continuous astonishment at the quickening pace of time.

‘Ray nay nays’ is so close to crawling it hurts- my guess is that next week at this time, he will be a certified crawler.  Not that I am pushing for his imminent mobility, I know what comes next.

With feet this size, he will be walking soon enough.

Happy 7 month birthday, ever happy Raynes.

You are our sweet baby boy who is just happy to be here.

Before & After | Kitchen Update

With a 14+ year old house, Mike and I are slowly attempting to make improvements to our house in an effort keep it young.  The latest ‘makeover’ was the kitchen counters-  replacing the Corian with granite.  Nothing is ever as easy as it seems, but we have been happy with the end result. 

I am thinking about painting my kitchen island, but cannot seem to commit to a color.

Before:

I think what I enjoyed even more than the counters, was getting to know the gentleman that installed them. You never know what people have been through, until you get to talking to them. This guy, Travis, was about 8 years younger than myself- and I noticed immediately he loved children when he took notice of little Raynes. I asked him if he had kids and he said yes, he had two children, a little girl who was  4 and boy, age 2. Like any good father, this young, skinny boy pulled out his phone to proudly show me their beautiful {and they were gorgeous} faces.
It wasn’t until about 5 hours into the job, when he was once again gave onlooker Raynes the old, “hey buddy, what you see?” that I asked him if they were planning on having any more children. Let’s face it, any man that smitten with kids should have about 17 kids.
He told me that they had three children, but that his daughter, Brooklyn, who would have been Britton’s age, had died this past July from severe cerebral palsy. After talking to him some, I went on to learn that he had previously owned his own, successful welding business, which had since dissolved- and that he and his wife had dated since they were teenagers.
I was speechless.
Here is this guy, not but 28 years old, couldn’t weigh more than 120 pounds wet, lifting this big old pieces of rock, trying to make a living for his sweet wife and two young children.  He recently faced the biggest devastation that ever parent fears, yet more content than anyone we’ve come across in a long time. 
The human spirit is capable of anything- and in the midst of adversity, here is a go that keeps on going– and not only that, goes with a smile and good attitude.
How is that possible? Mike and I were so taken with him, and his– what’s the word, modest, life story, that every time we look at the counter tops it reminds us that if we think we are having a bad day, think again. Instead, kiss our three healthy children and thank God for our blessings .
We have such admiration for this gentleman, whom we will probably never see again.
After:
 
Because, ‘There but by the grace of God, go I.’