Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hank's First Birthday

We celebrated sweet Hanky's first birthday at my in laws a few weeks ago.  The birthday boy was in great spirits and we had so much fun planning, decorating, and just spending time with friends and family.

My MIL made Hank a birthday hat and bib-isn't she so talented?!  And I relied on my internet friends for some other things.  Ashley at PBK made Hank his cute anchor outfits and Ashley of Ashley Brooke Designs designed Hank's invite. They are both such talented girls.

I tried to keep the decor very nautical.  Melissa at 5M Creations made my banners and my sweet sister and SIL always come up with creative ideas.

I made Hank's chalkboard sign and swear I'll never do another one! 

We displayed all of Hank's monthly hippo pictures.

 We served lemonade, anchor shaped pb & js, goldfish, and mini mac n cheese cups for the kids.

My sweet, umm 5 month pregnant, sister made Carraba's copycat sangria for the adults..Sorry sis!

The treat bags had anchor tattoos and nail stickers and cookies.  The cake pops melted ;)

I'd have to say Hank's favorite part of the day was eating the cake!  He ate the whole thing!

Love this picture of my grandmother and dad with the kids.

Dad made this cute photo prop and Shane's family painted it! Hank loved it!

We love you so much sweet Hanky! Thanks to all that attended!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fear's a powerful thing, baby

So, yesterday's message in church really got my wheels spinning...I love it when that happens.  And I connected what the Pastor was saying to one of my favorite Springsteen songs.  

I'll get to that later.

I'm weird like that, I guess.  

And I'm glad the Pastor doesn't read my blog because I'm sure he'd think I'm cuckoo.

He made us turn to Mark 4:35-41 in the Bible and look at the story of the storm when Jesus calmed the wind.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

There are two words which collide here: Faith and Fear.

Now, fears reigns pretty supreme in my house.  W grapples with the all consuming fear.  Fear of financial stability, fear of death and leaving the babes too early, while I'm the opposite.  My fears are like little insecurities which nag me all the time.

I firmly believe its in His hands.  I really do.  When I was about to have Carsyn my blood pressure went through the roof and I'm fairly certain I had a mild panic attack.  It was by far the scariest moment of my life.  I survived.  The Lord blessed me with that sweet baby girl and fears took on a whole new meaning.  

I dealt with fears like I'd never known for that first year of being a mom.  Sleepless nights and worry all but consumed me.  I think its like that with all first time moms, but I could be wrong.  When I found out I was expecting Hank I prayed like I'd never prayed before.  I really wondered why I became pregnant with Hank when I was so overcome with anxiety raising one child.  Carsyn would throw a fit and we'd both meltdown and I'd just look to the Lord and say "And you think I can raise two?!"

And then along came Hanky and I saw God's plan.  His plan for me to appreciate every sleepless night.  To appreciate each sigh and each cuddle.  And to laugh at every fit thrown and toy tossed.  A plan for me to experience the joy of motherhood.

I'm really working on shutting my fears down and letting my faith work its magic.  

I'm so used to being afraid in public...what if I scold my children too harshly and the lady at the checkout counter thinks I'm a bad mom?  

And afraid when I lay the kids down at night..Hank will not sleep without his blanket..what if he gets tangled in it?  

And afraid I'm disappointing my parents..Does Dad need me to help more?  Does Mom think I'm a good mom?

Back to Mark.  Do you know this is the only reference in the Bible of Jesus sleeping?  He is resting and his ship is about to sink!!!

Should we not use this as a guide?  Should we shoot down our fears no matter how large or small simply because we have Faith?

I think Bruce wrote Devils and Dust from a soldier's perspective and while its one of his darkest songs its one of my favorites.

I got God on my side
And I'm just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear's a powerful thing, baby
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
And fill it with devils and dust

You see, fears to me are like little joy suckers...And I think they can build up and build up until they consume you. 

Do your fears consume you?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five On Friday

I am sitting here at the computer on a late Friday night, collecting my thoughts and linking up with Darci for 5 On Friday- no surprise there!

1.)  Maddox is Five

 I cannot believe my sweet nephew is 5.  We celebrated his birthday at mom and dad's last weekend and had so much fun.  My sis did an amazing job decorating with the fish theme.

2.)  Nike Free

I've seen several running friends on Insta post how much they love these shoes and I couldn't agree more.  I'm super picky when it comes to shoes and these are perfect.  I've switched between the Asics Gel Nimbus (too heavy & cushioned- better suited for walking) and the New Balance Minimus (not enough cushioning) and these reign supreme.

3.)  Lunch Dates

My friend Ricarda and I took our babes on a lunch date Wednesday and it was too much fun.  We plan to make it happen more often and hopefully next time with Kyria in tow.  The kids were as well behaved as kids can be and I think we rocked it.  Ricarda is the only momma I know who juggles a babe on one hip with 4 inch heels and never misses a beat.  Did I mention her lipstick never fades either?

4.) Germs

Mom and I went shopping this week and turned the kids loose for probably an hour in one of those horrendous mall playgrounds..You know, the ones you swear are full of kids with way too much energy and snotty noses?  Yeah, I'm totally mom of the year.  I passed it up for 2 1/2 years with Carsyn, but I"m living dangerously these days!! Do y'all just give in too?

5.)  Fall Clothes

Forget women's fall clothes...the kids clothes this fall are to die for.

Does this come in my size?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five On Friday

Its Friday and that means I'm linking up with Darci again!

1.) Monogram Necklace

I was on a quest to find a big, white, scrolly monogram necklace. I found it.  Moon and Lola are just the prettiest...And, if you're local Monkee's in Lexington can hook you up!

2.)  Dollywood

We went to Dollywood this weekend to celebrate Maddox's birthday (per his request and my delight).

We had so much fun and rode the Blazing Fury ride, which I think was my very first roller coaster ride.  

3.) Minnie Mouse Birthday

Carsyn has been insisting on a Minnie Mouse party for about 10 months.  I've finally agreed..Can I make this cute? Will y'all help me?

4.) Bowling

I love to bowl.  I am the world's worst bowler.  I decided to take Maddox and Carsyn to our Young Republican's Club bowling event.
As you can see, they both beat me.

5.)  This Outfit-

Being tall is pretty nice 90% of the time. But, I grieve over not being able to wear some of the lace shorties I've seen for this Fall.  Has anyone seen any that might work for this long legged momma?

Happy Friday Friends!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When the Lights Go Out

 My kids are adorable.

See? And darn lovable if I do say so myself.  I catch myself being one of those moms who stare at them with adoration in public places.  Who catches herself telling strangers "my daughter knows all the words to pontoon!"  (Yes, I'm aware that's a lame thing to brag about, but the girl's got talent ;)

But, on days I work they go with me.  On days I shop they go with me.  When I pee or shower, they go with me.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

I cringe when I hear myself utter or think "I need a break from my kids." But, I'm human. And I do.  I've spent a handful of nights away from Carsyn and none away from Hank.  I'm ok with that.  If W came home tomorrow and told me he booked us a trip for 2 to Jost Van Dyke would I take him up on it? Yeppers. But do I need it? Not really.

You see, there's this little space of time when all of the lights are out.  After the kids are asleep and W is adorably snoring on the sofa (just kidding don't snore).  Its me time.  And truthfully I've always had my me time..even before I was married.  In fact it dates back to my teenage years.  Mom and dad would go to sleep and I'd tiptoe to the kitchen.  I'd make a scrambled egg sandwich and watch Baby and Johnny for the 277 time or talk to my friends on the phone until 2 in the morning.

In college I was the same way.  Luckily my roomie was too and he'd go get us Hardees breakfast at 4 after pulling all nighters.  (Yep, I cohabitated with my male cousin and sister throughout college.)  She'd be dressed and sipping her coffee when I scrambled out of bed at 8:15 late again for my 9:00 am class.  Old habits people. I always envied her ability to be a "morning person."

I'm just a night owl.  An affectionate term my mom gave me when I was teensy after sitting up with dad late at night watching Bond movies.  Truth is being a night owl works for me.  I pour a glass of wine and catch up reading blogs.  Sometimes I watch the latest Real Housewives episode.  Sometimes I work on scrapbooks.  Sometimes I watch youtube videos of Springsteen for hours.

I kid.

Not really.

Sometimes I read on the front porch and listen to the frogs.  Sometimes I take a really long bath with a stack of neglected magazines.  And rarely I throw a workout video in the dvd player and get some endorphins going.  Usually its 2 in the morning and I realize I really need to go to bed!

The mornings one of the kids decide to get up before 8 are a little rough, but usually they sleep til 9 or so.  I'd love to be a morning person and be up hours before them, but then I think, what's the point?  I'd probably just sip coffee and try to be quiet.  Though it would give me time to try out another hairstyle beside the side braid or ponytail...

How about you?? Are you an early bird or night owl?

Happy Wednesday friends!! I'm always happy when a blog post title is a Springsteen song!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five On Friday

It seems by the time Friday rolls around I can manage to collect my thoughts and write on the blog.

Perhaps Five on Friday speaks to me because I can be random. And I LOVE being random.

So, here I am linking up with Darci again!

1.)  Picnics-  Tuesday morning Carsyn declared she wanted to have a picnic and basically in attempt to let her have anything she wants I obliged.  After we went grocery shopping which (not to freak you out moms of 2) is the most horrendous task ever, we headed to the lake.  Hank is SO happy outside and it was a great way to expel some energy before nap time.

2.) The Marion Satchel-  I flipped through the Fall Tory Burch mag the other day and saw this.

She spoke to me.  She said, "Jen, you need to come to grips with the fact W is NEVER going to buy you a Chanel.  I'm a nice substitute."

3.)  Laziness-  Hank's first birthday was 2 weeks ago and I still haven't got all my pics uploaded.  Maybe I'll just post one a day until I've shared them all.  The ones of him eating his cake are the best!

4.) Kacey- Do you have the Kacey Musgraves album?  If not stop what you're doing and go purchase right. now. You're welcome.

5.) Big girl bed-  Carsyn has started fighting bedtime again.  After I put Hanky down at 9:30 I tell her she can watch TV until 10 and then we'll read stories and go night night.  She plays me like a fiddle.  At 10 she says "But I want to watch Jake really bad!" (Darn you Disney Jr).  At 10:30 we go to her room and sing and read approximately 3 stories.  Around 11 I tell her its time to sleep and I leave the room and watch her on her monitor.  She proceeds to sing and play with her dolls sometimes until 1.  Crazycakes.  I have no problem with her sitting up.  She's pretty nice company.  But the mom in me tells me I need to make some boundaries.  I'm thinking of switching her into a big girl bed and putting her in her room with lights out around 10.  She can read or watch TV and do whatever the heck she wants.  Is this a bad idea?  She sleeps so well once she goes to sleep right now.  Am I opening a can of worms?

Thursday, August 8, 2013


We went back to Watercolor several weeks ago and despite baby boy coming down with strep mid week we had a great time.

We stayed at the same house as usual, laid on the beach all day, visited a few new and several old familiar places.

We ate ice cream with extra sprinkles..

We took strolls on the beach at night..

We let Rosie spoil us rotten..

We shopped at local boutiques..

We visited Baytowne Wharf and Carsyn and Hank had their first carousel ride (I think I enjoyed it more than them!)

We attempted pictures of happy loving siblings..

(And Failed.)

But managed a few grins for momma..

See you next year 30A!!