no I don’t get free wieners for life

We are officially one month into summer and once again the saying, “The days are long, the years are short,” applies here. Most days I am longing for Andy to get home and yet I’m sitting here feeling BUT I DON’T WANT SUMMER TO END. Rory will be starting Kindergarten in just 7 weeks. WHAT!?!

The best part about summer is that there is no set schedule and we have been very much enjoying that. We come and go as we please and our days are filled with fun.

Our typical summer day is getting up and going between 6:30-7 (I know, right?! My kids are sleeping in!) and watching a tv show or two and then the girls do some sort of art project while I clean. Usually by the time that is over we are ready to eat lunch and head to the pool for a couple of hours. Then we have a rest time and then Andy is home. At some point in the day, Rory goes in the backyard and plays for an hour or so while Ryder heads to her room to play barbies or what-have-you in her own little world. Our only real struggle this summer that is about to make me a bit insane is the fighting. Good gracious these girls can THROW DOWN.

I will say though, this summer is the first as a parent where I feel we are relaxing AND having fun all at the same time. There are no diapers to change or mandatory naps or bottles to make/wash. It is a whole new world of parenting for me!

I mean…. y’all…. I DON’T EVEN CARRY A DIAPER BAG ANYMORE.

I have a tiny purse now. CAN YOU EVEN?!

I seriously never thought this day, or summer, would come. We are so carefree!

So a few months ago I got an email from a company asking if I would be interested in having one of my photos from Instagram in an ad campaign from a “major company”. Before they gave me any details they made my sign a non-disclosure agreement. So I did and then they told me it was Oscar Meyer and they showed me the picture that would be in the campaign. I literally laughed out loud when they sent it. So I had to sign a bunch of papers and then keep my mouth shut and wait for over two months before, FINALLY, last week a friend of mine sent me a text saying, “Tiffany! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! ARE THESE YOUR KIDS?!” and then two seconds later another friend sent it too.

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I seriously crack up every time I see that picture.

The best part is that there was compensation for the picture….

Sadly, it wasn’t free wieners for life.

But it was enough money to send us on a family beach trip that will be going down next week! Holla!

This past weekend was Father’s Day Weekend and we spent it mostly cleaning the garage and house and unpacking even more boxes…. and we still aren’t done. But I can finally park in the garage, thanks to Andy’s hard work, so I feel progress is being made!

Saturday night we went to Chattanooga to dinner and a Lookouts game. When we got there the sun was BLARING ON US and I wasn’t quite sure if the girls would make it past the first inning. Thankfully they did and as soon as they sun went down enough to not blind us, they had the best time EVER.

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Rory won this hat right when we walked in and she hasn’t taken it off much since. ha!IMG_0639 IMG_0640

Somehow Ryder managed to sneak some Coke from her daddy………….. IMG_0642 IMG_0643 IMG_0646

This is what Andy and I referred to as – “Ryder is coked out.” She cannot- CANNOT- handle caffeine.

After the game they let the kids run the bases and much to our surprise Ryder wanted to do it too.
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Rory was at the start of the line and ran so fast she beat two older boys, which I shall say gives me so much pride. That chick is fast. Ryder wasn’t exactly sure what “running bases” meant so she ran like a chicken who had escaped her coop for a minute but finally got the hang of it. AND SHE RAN THE ENTIRE WAY AND HER LEGS WORKED THE ENTIRE TIME. I’m telling you, the girl is getting more brave by the minute!IMG_0653

Last week I wrote about my 30th birthday and I have kicked myself ever since because somehow my OLD brain completely forgot one of the biggest highlights of the week!

The day after my birthday my friend, Amber, and I had plans to go to dinner. I was so looking forward to a girls night with her and ….. welll…… my actual birthday wasn’t really that fantastic. It was okay but I mean, just another day.

You should know that Amber drove so slow that she even stopped at a green light. I didn’t think anything of her slow driving until that point and then I just thought, “Chick has lost her mind.”

We get to the restaurant and Amber tells the girl her name and I heard the hostess say, “the rest are over there,” and that is when I saw it- a table full of friends!

Y’all. It was everything I could do to not cry! Amber didn’t even know these people but she still got on facebook and got together a group of girlfriends to throw me a surprise dinner. It was just the best.

The dinner was so much fun- we just sat there and laughed until I was certain I was going to pee my pants. I was also just overwhelmed by how thankful I was that all these women came to dinner and not all of them know me well. I just couldn’t get over it. It was the very best birthday dinner.

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Every time I move somewhere I always pray the same prayer- “God please send me one great friend.” He has always far exceeded my expectations and sent me several great friends. We have lived in Cleveland for almost a year now and I’m feeling so blessed that God has already sent me great friends. Amber has been such an amazing friend to me for many years now and now I have all these new friends to be thankful for too.

In my 30 years I have realized that some of the greatest blessings in life are your girlfriends. I’m so thankful for all of mine, new and old.

 

dear Jacy, on your 16th birthday…

Jacy,

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Today is your 16th birthday. At the risk of sounding completely cliche…. HOW?!

I will never forget turning 14 and knowing you would be born at any time. I couldn’t wait to hold you. I couldn’t wait to dress you up and play with you.

The first time I met you was the first time I realized what babies did to people.

For starters, you made me fall madly in love with the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. I was giddy the entire time I got to hold you. I immediately was sad knowing I would have to leave in a few days.

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But man- nothing could have prepared me for what I saw in your mom. Your mom has always been one of my biggest heroes, but that day I saw her happy – unconditionally happy and in love – for the first time. I wish I could describe adequately how her face looked when looking at you, holding you, feeding you, showing you off to others…. I have never in my life been more proud of your mom than then. She was a changed woman. And even at 14 I knew that you were the best thing that had ever happened to her and that you two would have an incredible bond.

I’ll never forget when y’all came to live with us and how exciting that was for me. I always wanted a little sister and now I had one! I remember rocking you for hours (and hours……) and singing to you. You would look up at me with those big blue eyes and just giggle. Oh, how I adored you. I loved putting your hair in a water spout on the top of your head and buying you cute clothes with the babysitting money I would make. 10354145_1446410642343120_2697102144342400222_n

 

Seeing you grow up has been one of the highlights of my life, Jacy. I think about how tiny you were in your preemie Gap overalls Tasha and I bought you. And now, 16… with your license! With your own car!

There are some things I want you to know as you turn 16. I know you’ll probably roll your eyes but just hear me out, okay?

You are beautiful. No but seriously. It isn’t at all fair that you skipped the bad hair and the bad outfit choices. WE SHOULD ALL HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT STAGE, OKAY?! But you didn’t. Instead, you blossomed into the most beautiful teenager I’ve ever seen. (Also. It isn’t fair that you have those long legs when I’m stuck with these stubby disasters.) I look at you and hope that you know you are beautiful. Not in the conceded way that no one wants to be around, but in the way that you don’t try to find that validation from others. I just wish that you could know in your core that you are beautiful and never seek anyone’s approval about it. I spent way too much of my life (especially teenage years) trying to find my beauty through others (read:boys) and well, that never worked out for me. I don’t want you to struggle through that like I did. So just listen to your wise aunt and know, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

You are loved. More than anything else, I cannot stress to you enough how loved you are. I know that this is something I should say more often to make sure you know- but I love you. Unconditionally love you. And that’s not even important compared to your mother. Jacy, your mother loves you more than she loves herself. She loves you more than you could ever know. She loves you enough to make up for the lack of love you could have ever felt from other parents in your life. You never needed him because YOUR MOM LOVED YOU ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF THEM. And the greatest loss is his because, man, did he miss out on the most wonderful kid on the planet. When Josh came into the family like a saving grace, I saw how much he loved you too and I knew he would be one of the best things that ever happened to you. One of the best decisions your mom ever made for herself and for you was choosing to let Josh love you. Then there is your grandparents. You couldn’t possibly know the love from them. Of course there is your amazing aunts too. We all love you enough that you should never have to feel like you missed out on anything because you haven’t. We have all been so madly in love with your big blue eyes and beautiful soul since the first time we laid eyes on you. Unconditionally, we love you. The best part is that we don’t hold a candle to the way God loves you. Even when we fail you and you feel unloved by us, God is always there showing you how much He loves you.

I hope that today is a wonderful birthday. I hope you enjoy driving as much as I did when I turned 16. Remember to pay attention and DO NOT TEXT. (Sorry, the mom came out for a minute.)

Oh Jacy, I am so insanely proud of you. You are growing into a wonderful woman and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

I love you so very much,

Crazy Aunt Tiff

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the big 3-0 and a weekend at Dollywood

Well hello there. I assume I have lost all faithful readers including my mom at this point because who likes a “blogger” who doesn’t blog?

I don’t either.

But I do have a good excuse, or 47 actually. My laptop is having issues and is being quite moody. The desktop was acting funky too. So instead of being angry at either, I choose to pretend none of it was happening or that I didn’t have a blog at all.

Unfortunately for all of you, ha, I can’t quit the blog. I JUST CAN’T. I have too much to say and too few friends to talk to. Also, have you met my beloved husband? Not really someone who likes to talk…. and that is the understatement of the century.

SO I HAVE TO LET ALL THIS INNER DIALOGUE COME OUT SOMEWHERE.

I have no idea why I went off on that whole tangent. But I did and I don’t have the energy to erase it so I apologize.

Andy fixed the office up for me to be able to type all my words and I’m choosing to ignore his hasty approach that confirms his need for me to stop talking to him and start talking to you all.

OKAY ENOUGH LET US DIVE RIGHT IN TO THIS EPIC UPDATE OF THE LAST WEEK.

Let’s pull the bandaid off and talk about the elephant in the room.

I turned 30.

Last Tuesday was the big dirty thirty birthday. The girls and I spent the day at the pool and doing a little shopping. It really was a fun day. BUT SO LONELY because Andy was working. That night I took the girls to VBS and Andy got off in time to eat dinner which was a miracle.

I mean. When you get to be my age….. your birthday is just a day. IT IS SO SAD but so true.

003One thing I decided was that you know what…. I could look worse at 30. I could definitely look much better (ha) but IT COULD BE WORSE.

You should know that one of my best friends, Erin, wins the birthday award. She sent happy birthday texts all day. These are some of my faves.

010She knows the way to my heart. There is nothing I love more than a funny ecard or meme.

The best thing about last week was all the sleep I got.

No but seriously.

VBS. Verified Beautiful Sleep.

Er. I mean Vacation Bible School.

Rory went to our church in the morning and then at night they went to a friend’s church.

THEY LOVED IT AND SO DID I because OH THE SLEEP. Twice they took naps AND slept through the night.

Which makes me ask- IS THERE A VBS EVERY WEEK THIS SUMMER?!

It was blissful. The girls had so much fun and I did too.

130 070 011On Friday I got to have lunch with Erin as she passed through Chattanooga and my kids were CRAZY. Like I figured they would be but Rory was on another level. 141I decided to go ahead and make my planned trip to Sephora even though I was certain it would be torture.

Luckily for me, the children discovered the art of swatching makeup. And I’m sure everyone was being all judge-y and rolling their eyes but HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN TWO GIRLS TO SEPHORA BEFORE!? The staff all raved about how sweet and cute the girls were (tricky kids) and I got to shop for a minute without worrying. (Side note: The girls adored the Too Faced Contour Palette and therefore it’ll be my next makeup purchase. Also they loved their blush.)

164For my birthday, Andy got me family season passes to Dollywood and Splash Country. Saturday morning we woke up and headed to Pigeon Forge to conquer both parks!

Except then a weird thing happened…….

We were standing in line to one of the rides and Andy and I were talking about how much fun we were having and how good the girls were being when all of a sudden he says, “let’s just get a hotel and stay here and do the waterpark tomorrow.”

I ALMOST FAINTED.

Andrew does not do spontaneous. It isn’t in his nature.

This is why we make the perfect couple. I do spontaneous 98% of the time. It is how I function. We balance each other perfectly. Without him I would have no stability, without me he would have less fun.

So he booked a hotel and it was settled. We were throwing caution to the wind and staying the night.

And then it hit me. Never in a million years did I think we would make it to this stage in life where that is even an option. I mean. I had a baby and then had a baby. Meaning I had two babies at once on very different schedules and milestones. I had two in diapers. I had two that DID NOT SLEEP – FOR THE LOVE. 

Suddenly I felt like I had been transported into a space of time that I never thought possible. No diapers. No bottles. No need for 2309230239230923092309230923032902939230923092320390293029302930923029309230920392390294302842048029402930912309103298203904 baby items for an overnight trip.

WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!

So we stayed at Dollywood and rode every ride we could manage. Rory and I loved hitting up the rides together. It is so fun when your kids start to be able to ride more than kiddie rides. We did the log ride, a few roller coasters, etc, and had a blast together.

Ryder and I did some kiddie rides together too while Andy rode the ferris wheel.

Little fact- I don’t do ferris wheels. No. I cannot.

Here are some pictures in no particular order:

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Before:
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During:
228 253 265 284 292 293 296We, of course, tried (and failed) to get a family picture in front of the DollyWood sign. So I got just the girls which is better anyway.

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Being at Dollywood reminded me so much of my grandparents. Oh how I miss them. The hardest thing is knowing my kids won’t know them. I know my Granddaddy would have gotten a kick out of them and my Grandmother would have loved on them like she did all her grandkids. The little one in the middle was me. Rory’s twin. Telena is in the shades and Tasha is the one who refuses to smile. I’m guessing it was because her socks were rolled unevenly and the sun was glaring on the all white getup she had on.

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So we get to the hotel at 8:30 (bedtime) and there are two things you should know – 1) we had not eaten dinner and 2) I was getting a migraine.

I go into the room to make sure it was okay and it was one of those times in life I will never forget going from the start of a migraine to wanting to puke my head hurt so bad in just one second. The room smelled so badly of smoke. I could not get out of it fast enough. Andy went in and felt the same. So at this point I have a full blown, gonna puke from pain migraine. And no dinner or hotel room. This was the point I started doubting our spontaneity.

We finally got the hotel thing figured out- shout out to Best Western in Sevierville, TN for going above and beyond to make up for their smokey room. They had no vacancy and called every hotel in town to find a room for us. After all of that, we headed to TGIFriday’s because it was the closest thing and I barely remember it because all I could do was repeat, “Do not throw up,” because of the migraine. I ended up going to the car and wrapping a beach towel around my head and putting earplugs in for about 10 minutes to dull the pain.

We went to Walmart to get me some pills (thank you lord for ExedrinPM) and underwear. Oh yes. I love spontaneous things but I gotta have some fresh underwear, okay? I’m classy like that.

It took almost the entire night but the migraine finally subsided and we were up and ready to hit Splash Mountain.

(Sorry if I’ve lost you on account of all those boring details. But seriously I don’t want to hassle with erasing it all.)

I had no expectations on the water park because I hadn’t heard much about it but y’all it was good! I only took one picture which I can’t deny might be the highlight of my photography career since I clearly captured something beautiful.336

That back tatt tho.

I’ve zoomed enough times that I feel I can professionally say that the lower tattoo (some call a tramp stamp, I call it 18 year old rebellion) is a whale tail.

Let us compare.

whaletail

 

You’re welcome. Call me Detective Tizzy.

Rory took turns with Andy and I riding the big slides (the child has no fear and it is amazing). Ryder and I rode the lazy river at one point a total of 13 times consecutively. I was sore from the lazy river. Because FYI- there is no lazy in that river with a toddler.

We decided to leave around 3ish because we were all exhausted.

354This was before we even started the car to leave. Side note: toddler potty still ridin’ dirty in the minivan. And still the best decision of my life.

For those of you wondering:

If you live close enough to drive to Dollywood (Gatlinburg area) for a day or two- DO IT. My kids loved every second and I plan to take them back as many times as possible.

Now. Let me tell you the terrible thing that happens when you eat hotel faux eggs and go into the sun all day…….

Andrew was up the entire night yelling into the toilet.

I describe it that way because we all know that men do not simply throw up.

They shout into the toilet so that the entire world can hear.

I say this with all the love in my heart, by the way.

It is just humorous to me how loud it is when a man pukes.

He was completely fine and over it by noon.

Thank you, Lord.

So I will say this. While I love a good spontaneous decision, I feel as thought maybe next time we will plan instead because it ended up being half a hot mess. But we had such a good time and it was the perfect getaway for us after two weeks of chaos.

This week is going to be hot as heck so I shall spend my time in the pool with the kids and work on my mom tan.

“What is a mom tan”, you ask?

A mom tan is when the front half of you is much tanner than the back because

1) Who has time to lay out evenly?

2) Who has had a kid and enjoys laying butt up in the air?!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

your typical outage update.

Today is finally (Allegedly) the last day of the outage.

Please, Lord, let it be true.

This has for sure been the hardest one for Andy. He’s worked longer hours (he’s nearing 100) and had more problems than normal. Worst of all, a contractor he has worked with before (but not on this particular job) fell from 30 ft and was killed. Andy has been so shaken up over it and we both are so sad for his family. 

It is hard to send your husband to work after something like that happens. 

Luckily for me, I had some awesome distractions! My parents and sister’s family came in for the weekend! It was so welcomed to get my mind off missing Andy and to help with the girls.

Friday was Andy and I’s 11th wedding anniversary. He was so sweet and got me an “outage survival kit” with cokes, chocolate, magazines, and a Starbucks gift card. He knows the way to my heart! 

On Friday my parents and sister got to Chattanooga approximately 5 hours before I thought they would – ha! I was so glad though! We met at Coolidge park and spent the afternoon playing there. Then we came home and had my aunt and cousins over for dinner. We told old stories and laughed until we were certain we would be sore the next day. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in life better than that.

Saturday we woke up and headed to Benton Falls which isn’t too far from our house. We hiked the mile and a half there and back and Ryder’s legs worked the whole way. Miracle! We swam at the lake and picnicked. It was such a beautiful, fun day.  

   

We came home and grilled out and stuffed our faces and had a lazy night at home. Oh. And we celebrated my upcoming 16th birthday. Okay, okay. Jacy is turning 16 and I’m turning 20. 

 Sunday morning Telena and Josh left early so we decided to have a lazy day with my parents. We went to lunch and played on the slip-n-slide. Note to self: it hurts at almost 30 20 to go down the slide. 

It was such a fun weekend and I wish it didn’t go by so fast. We missed Tasha and her kids and Andy the whole weekend. Hopefully we can all get together soon.

Yesterday we started noticing that the house was getting warm. Every second seemed hotter. 

Then we realized the air was not working. At all.

Because WHY WOULD THE AC WORK LONGER THAN TWO WEEKS IN OUR NEW HOME?!!!!!! And WHY WOULDN’T IT QUIT DURING OUTAGE WEEK?!

So I wallowed in despair this morning for a minute and then I perked up with a trip to Starbucks and Target. Ah, yes. Much better now. 

 Hopefully I will have my air back today and have a happier post tomorrow. 

Until then I will fix my thoughts on this fact: 

 Can I get an “amen”?!

eventually.

We have a saying around our house right now about 99.99999% of things.

Eventually.

Me: “I really want some floating shelves here….”

Andy: “Eventually.”

Me: “I want the entire downstairs to be painted grey.”

Andy: “Eventually.”

Me: “I want a Land Rover/Kate Spade purse/trip to Europe.”

Andy: “Eventually.”

HA HA HA HA

No but seriously. Eventually is like the key word around these parts.

We are too sore and tired to think of doing anything crazy right now. We have 200 boxes in our garage waiting to be unpacked.

Eventually.

I’ve gotten around to sprucing up some rooms the best I can for now, so I thought I’d show you what the house looked like before and what we have done so far.

And eventually I will show you the entire house done.

Eventually.

But it won’t be too terribly long because we have family coming in two weeks so I’m sure this weekend will be filled with projects.

Enjoy our new home that is a beautiful mess and will eventually be a little less messy and have a little less beige.

Things to note- I’m having computer troubles with my computer and have no editing software so these are unedited and not great pics. You’ll have to excuse that. When I post pictures later I promise to have them edited better. Secondly, I forgot to take after pics of some rooms so that’ll be done eventually too. I’m too sore to walk up and down the stairs an extra time.

Front Living room- Before & After:IMG_0424 IMG_0427 IMG_0455 IMG_0457

Kitchen/Dining Before (aka mid move):

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The kitchen is the only room in the house I plan to completely redo. It is my fixer upper compromise.

Eventually.

Powder Room – Before & After:

IMG_0428 IMG_0444 IMG_0442 It is a version of Tiffany blue. Because I love a cliche.

Bedrooms Before- none of these rooms are completely done but are very close so afters will be soon:

Rory’s room-

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This was on the wall in Rory’s room and I immediately took it down because I felt it was tempting fate a leeeeeeeettle too much. Am I right?!IMG_0400

Guest room/office:

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Ryder’s room- it is a burnt orange and she loves it much to my dismay. Eventually it will be a melon orange.IMG_0407The reason we knew this was our house was because of this next room.

You come down the hallway….IMG_0429Turn to the left and go up the stairs….

IMG_0450And all of a sudden you’re in this unexpected enormous family room. When we looked at the house this took my breath away. I hadn’t seen the master or upstairs yet but knew it was our house at that moment. I even proved my love of cliches by tearing up. I just could see ourselves living in this room as a family. Playing games, watching movies. Pictures can’t do it justice, but I triedish.

Before:

IMG_0423 IMG_0421 IMG_0420 IMG_0419 IMG_0418Afterish- eventually there will be a sectional instead of mismatched couches:IMG_0446 IMG_0447 IMG_0448 IMG_0452

So that is it for now. I am sad because I know these pictures don’t touch what the house actually looks like. Soon I will have it all done and take great pictures.

But that’ll come eventually.

Follow me on Instagram – @tiffanymcharris – for more updates! I posted a picture of my in progress coffee bar yesterday and it isn’t done but I love it already.

Happy Monday!

 

 

I’m going down!

I feel as though the last two weeks have been a complete blur. 

And I currently cannot move I am so sore from ALL THE STAIRS.

Last week I ended up having to go to the doctor for a hangnail.

I know. I KNOW. So random. So gross. So embarrassing. So frustrating because I NEVER go to the doctor so it has to be bad.

Well, they had to cut it open. He says that first he’s going to spray it with a freeze thing and then cut it. 

Y’all. I could not have been prepared for the pain. 

The freeze part was probably the worst. And then when he cut I couldn’t handle life anymore.

So much so that when it happened I said, “oh crap! Everything is black! I think I’m passing out! I’m going down!” 

And out I went. OUT LIKE A LIGHT.

Unfortunately I passed out 2 more times that day from pain. No joke. Blood and all that doesn’t bother me. It was from sheer pain.

I told the doctor that I would rather be having a baby than doing that. Ha!

So the pain and misery of that lasted way longer than I wanted but I seem to have healed up fine.

Except my ego is still bruised from waking up to nurses and the doctor laughing hysterically over my proclamation of, “I’m going down!”

As you know, we closed on our house Monday. And we have been overwhelmed with the moving process all week. 

The only downside to our home is that the garage is in the basement. So you can imagine the stairs involved to get up to the girls’ room upstairs. My butt muscles are ragey right now. Not a sentence I thought I’d ever type. 

I also bought so much paint to paint all the rooms in the entire house. And I’ve painted Rory’s room and am thinking the beige/brown color is looking better and better in some of the other rooms. 

The poor children are so tired of going here and there and back and forth. Rory has informed me she doesn’t want to leave the house for “a hundred days”. I don’t either.

Of course, she said she would be willing to leave for Disney World. 

Today I woke up to the realization that we had not even begun to touch the ENTIRE STORAGE UNIT FULL OF BOXES AND FURNITURE. I literally almost wept. 

Instead, I got on groupon and hired movers. Then I called Andy and informed him of my actions. 

I feel like, in this case, asking for forgiveness will come easy when he realizes what I’m saving him from. Because if my glutes are ragey, Andy’s are sure hating him in the worst of ways. He has moved 3/4 of the apartment alone. All of this moving has been done after his long work days too. He is an incredible man. Tired, incredible man.

But sometimes he is also cheap and I am not. Therefore I will hire the movers and he will end up loving me more for saving him the time and trouble.

The end.

bless this house

Today we bought a house.

IStwckrl59yyq11000000000

A beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a gorgeous deck and back yard for the girls to play in.

Rory has a chandelier in her new room and a wall of mirrors to dance in front of. What could suite her better?! Ryder’s room has the perfect nook to create worlds in with her vivid imagination.

Andy and Ryder went to get the power and water turned on while Rory and I went to the new house to unload a few things.

But most importantly I needed some time to bless our house.

I know a lot of denominations have priests or pastors to come bless the house and I think that is wonderful.

For me, I just knew that it needed to be just me. My heart. My words. Just time for me to bless the house.

I walked through each room of the house and touched every wall.

“Lord. Bless this house.”

My words were soft and genuine. The more I walked and said those words, the harder the tears fell and the louder my cry was.

“Please, oh Lord. Bless this house.”

I got to the front door and put both hands on it as tears started flowing hard down my face.

“Lord, bless this house and everyone who walks through this door.”

I started thanking God for every opportunity we have had to lead us to this house: married young, college, first job and move to Louisiana, pregnant with my first baby and the big move to Texas, all those sleepless nights and two babies, Ryder’s surgery, Rory’s ear tubes and night terrors, our decision to move to TN, moving into our dream house in Savannah, two very hard years and being broken over things I could not change, Andy’s surprise phone call for a new  job, moving to East TN, nine beautiful months in a tiny apartment, and finally home in a gorgeous neighborhood and a beautiful house.

“Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us here. Thank you for every single hard thing we have endured along the way. Thank you for every single victory. Thank you for Andy’s job and his work ethic. Thank you for letting me be the ‘manager’ of this home. Thank you for this gift. Lord, let me lead well here. Let me create a joyful atmosphere for my family. Let the laughter and love run rampant in this home.”

I walked upstairs and saw Rory dancing in her room. Such joy on her face. The tears fell harder.

I went into Ryder’s room and touched every wall.

“Lord, bless this house.”

Then I literally fell to my knees. Put my face on the ground. Sobbing. Tears of joy and thankfulness.

“Lord, thank you. Thank you for Ryder. Thank you for saving her. Thank you for every single hard and terrible thing she has endured and that we have had to go through to get her where she is now. Thank you, Jesus, for Ryder. My joyful, precious baby. Lord, if there is anything evil and not of you in this room GET IT OUT. Anything that is not of you is not allowed in this room. Lord, help Ryder to feel safe in this room. Let her sleep well in this room. Please dear Jesus, let this be the room she grows in her desire for you. Lord, let this be the room we pray together in. Let this be the room she that she asks for her Salvation in You in. Let this be the room that she grows in her relationship with You. Let this be the room she finds her confidence in through You. Oh Jesus, bless this room. Bless this room.”

Rory is no longer in her room so I take the opportunity to go into her room. The tears fall even harder. I have fought for Ryder’s health, but I’ve fought harder for Rory in every single way. Again, I fall to my knees and choke back sobs.

“Jesus, oh Jesus. Bless this room. Thank you for my gorgeous, smart, precious Rory. Lord, thank you for her life. Thank you for every hard thing we have endured with her in her life. Thank you for every single time you made me fight for her. Thank you for her tenacious and strong-willed spirit. Thank you for her charm and witty nature. Oh, Jesus, bless this room. If there is anything in this room that is not of You, make it leave NOW. If there is anything that could cause harm to Rory, get it out. Help Rory to feel safe in this room. Help her to finally sleep well in this room. Please, oh Lord, let her sleep. Oh, Jesus, let this be the room she gives her heart to you in. Let this be the room we pray together in and that she asks you for Salvation. Lord, let this be the room that she flourishes in. Let this be the room she discovers and explores who she is in You. Let this be the room where her mischievous spirit is warped into wanting knowledge in good things. Lord bless this room. Oh, God, bless this room.”

I walk downstairs to go into the master bedroom to pray and find the most beautiful sight on earth.

There she is, my tender-hearted Rory, on her knees in the middle of the room. She has tears on her face. And then I hear it.

“Jesus, bless this room. Thank you for this room for mom and dad. Help them to be happy in this room. Help them to sleep in this room. Help them to feel safe in this room. Thank you for the two closets and the bathroom just for them. Thank you for the tub mommy can relax in. Lord, bless daddy and mommy’s room.”

I’m not sure if I have ever cried such tears in my life. Tears of joy, thankfulness, and pure love.

Rory watched me bless the house and she blessed me the most by going to my room and blessing it for me.

Then she asked me if we could go bless the bedroom Papa, Mimi, Gigi and Grandpa would stay in.

“Lord, let this room have my Papa, Mimi, Grandpa and Gigi in it all the time. Let them come to my house and love coming here. Let them sleep good in this room. Let me have slumber parties with them. Let this be happy. Let us always have friends and family in it. Thank for for this room. Bless this room, Jesus. Amen.”

I could not have asked for a more perfect day blessing my house with my precious Rory.

“Oh, Jesus, bless our house.”

 

the best parts of motherhood

This past week I’ve been contemplating my mother’s day post and how I would approach it this year. Mother’s Day is so tricky. We definitely want to celebrate moms loud and proud, but the pain of infertility is at its height on this day too, so you always want to be sensitive to those suffering.

Here is what I know. Motherhood is the most beautiful, amazing, and hard thing I have ever done. As each year passes I appreciate it even more. I realize what a gift it is and how precious life is.

So today, I will tell you my very favorite things about being a mom.

First picture with Rory

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First picture with Ryderfirstryderpic

The snuggles. OH. THE SNUGGLES. I remember having Rory and it being just me and her all day every day of the week and I’m pretty sure all we did was snuggle. I remember just staring at her for hours and thinking IT COULD NOT POSSIBLY GET BETTER THAN THIS. And I was so right. There is something so magical about that time with your first baby in the first weeks and months. There is nothing like it. And now I’m five years in to the snuggling and still enjoy the more rare opportunities to get on the couch and all snuggle up.

The firsts. Every.single.first. gets you so excited. First time you hold them, first feeding, first poop (no joke… you have a baby you’ll be excited about a poop), first smile, first family outing, first giggle, first words, first time they eat baby food and solids, first crawl, first words, first steps, first boo boo, first birthday….. AND I DIDN’T EVEN COVER EVERYTHING. Every single time they do something for the first time is the most exciting thing of life! I felt that way with BOTH my girls. I enjoyed every single first so very much. The best part is that even though they aren’t as frequent as they are the first year, you always have firsts. Rory’s first day of Kindergarten is coming up soon! My niece, Jacy, will be 16 next month and my sister will experience the first time she drives off by herself. *sob* Firsts never end and I love that.

The humor. I thought I lived a humorous and fun life before kids. OH HOW I WAS WRONG. There is so much humor in motherhood. And let me just say- if you can’t find the humor in motherhood, you need to seek medical attention. Every single day, multiple times a day, I laugh until I cry (or pee my pants because let’s be real… I am a mother of two). From things my kids say, to getting crapped on at the doctor’s office, to potty training woes…. there is just never a day that is dull. Even when Ryder was so sick, there was still so much humor. Laughter has saved me from drowning in diapers and sicknesses and all the crazy that comes with having two little girls 15 months apart. The most important advice I have for moms is to keep the humor. Because you can either cry or laugh, and y’all know I’d rather be laughing at the crazy that comes with having kids.

The unconditional love. Some days with my girls are hard and ugly. But even when they deliberately disobey and do things that disappoint me- I love them just the same. It is so true that once you are a mom, you loved your kids no matter what. Mothers see beauty in their children and in their hearts even when they do the very worst things.

But you want to know what is more beautiful than loving your children unconditionally? Being loved unconditionally by your children. 

Every single day I struggle with loving myself. It is something I have always struggled with. There are times that I just hate, HATE, hate the way I look. There are times that I don’t like my attitude. There are times I hate how I gave up on some dreams and ended up “just a stay at home mom”. There are times I want to run away.

But every single day, my precious girls remind me of just how important I am to them. They love me even when I don’t love myself. They look at me in my nightgown with their snot rubbed on it and tell me how beautiful I am. And when I dress up? “MOMMY!!!!! YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOM EVER! LOOK AT YOU! YOU ARE SO FANCY!” Who could feel ugly after all that?! They see me lose my temper. They see me frustrated. They forgive me and love me anyway. They want to be with me. They want to make me proud. They love me even though they see all my flaws.  They see me for who I am and that is so dang scary- and they love me with their entire hearts anyway.

I always expected to love my children unconditionally, but man, I never expected the beauty of being loved unconditionally by them. This is, hands down, the best part of motherhood.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful moms in my life. Each of you have encouraged me and helped me to be a better mom. I love you all so very much.

And to my mother- I love you more than I could ever express. Thank you for teaching me the importance of laughter and grace in motherhood. You are the best example of both of those things. I’m so blessed to have you as my mother.

mombw mombw2

softball, twerking. same thing.

This week has partially flown by and drug on.

I’m not sure if it is a full moon or PMS settling in early on the girls or what but MERCY. Attitudes and fighting have been in full force this week and IT IS MAKING ME A LITTLE INSANE.

Or maybe the walls are closing in on us.

Yesterday I set Rory up to color and set Ryder up to play barbies and it was the most blissful hour we have had in a long while. Sometimes it seems we are just a little too close all.the.time.

You will be delighted to know that IT IS MAY which means IT IS THE MONTH THAT WE GET A HOUSE which means YOU ONLY HAVE 18 MORE DAYS TO HEAR ME COMPLAIN ABOUT THE APARTMENT.

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Makes me giggle every time.

Now, I know all of you are DYING to know more about me playing softball. Heh.

We have played really well this week- our spirits are way up after the first game playing the team who wouldn’t even attempt to swing a bat.

Last night we even *gasp* WON A GAME.

I’m gonna be honest, I was a little worried when we showed up last night as to how the games would go. Several people attempted to pitch and …. let us just say I almost peed my pants from laughing while watching the “practice”.

My friend, Amber- y’all know Amber…. she’s the only friend I talk about on here because until recently she’s been my ONLY friend, ha!- decided to attempt it and we were all like YESSSSSS because she was good! She had never pitched before last night and she was so good. I’m totally impressed. She’s not only crafty as heck, homeschools, and runs a travel agency… she can also pitch. SHE IS THE DEFINITION OF A PROVERBS 31 WOMAN.

(Amber is now rolling her eyes.)

Well, I was asked to catch which I thought, yeah I can do that- NBD. Like whatev! Of course I can. Pshhhhhh.

Y’all.

Catching with no protective gear is no joke. I have three large leg bruises to prove it.

But more so than that….. THE SQUATTING. I basically did squats non stop for an hour. Needless to say, I AM HURTING TODAY.

The second problem with catching is this…

I’ve got people I barely know and then people I do know like Amber’s dad and husband sitting behind home plate. Here are the thoughts running through my head.

1- I will channel Sir Mix-A-Lot when I say:

Oh, my, gosh. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big. [scoff]
She looks like one of those rap guys’ girlfriends.
But, you know, who understands those rap guys? [scoff]…

I mean, her butt, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like, out there, I mean— gross. 

(Yes I realize I left out some of it…. 99% of you will know it by heart and not have to read anyway.)

2- Twerking.

You see the problem with having a big butt is no matter what you do, when you bend… it looks like you’re trying to twerk.

Stop laughing. I’m being serious here.

And the biggest problem with catching is that THE UMP IS ALL UP ON YOU LIKE WE ARE IN THE CLUB OR SOMETHING.

No kidding. Every time I bent over or got up to catch a ball I felt as though I was twerking on him.

IT WAS WEIRD.

I mean. Softball. Twerking. SAME THING BASICALLY.

So not only is catching physically hard- IT IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY EXHAUSTING.

It is pretty scary where my mind goes, isn’t it?

Aren’t you glad you aren’t me?

The girls are out of school today and I’ve had to stop writing this blog 2300 times because FOR THE LOVE THEY WON’T STOP FIGHTING.

I’m thinking of locking them in their room and letting them have at it while I sip some coffee.

Good parenting, right?

People say boys are rough…. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Girls not only fight like boys but there is also emotional and psychological warfare too.

“YOU’RE NEVER BEING MY BEST FRIEND AGAIN!”

“I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU PLAY ELSA ANYMORE!”

“YOU CAN’T WEAR MY TUTUS EVER AGAIN!”

I’m gonna need a xanax with this coffee if they don’t calm it down.

I have a fun interview today so send prayers that I can get a conversation in without being interrupted. We all know that a mother on the phone is like a moth to a flame. I’ll let you know how it goes and more details soon hopefully!

We have lots of really fun things going on this weekend and I can’t wait to spend some time out in the sun! Hopefully Rory will decide to play soccer instead of do a dramatic reenactment this weekend because she has some special people coming to surprise her at her game tomorrow!

Happy Weekend!

You are sports people, I is not.

Our lives have been taken over by all-of-the-sports this past week.

Rory has had soccer, and by the way, SHE IS ROCKING IT. Though, on defense she has more of a flare for the dramatics than a flare for actually getting the ball. But man. On offensive that girl is fierce.

Sunday afternoon Andy went and played golf with some guys from the Sunday School class. That left me to go to soccer games alone with the girls. I survived, barely, in case you were wondering.

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Ryder felt the need to run out onto the field and turn around and look at me like, “what? am I doing something wrong here?” before freaking out thinking someone would bring a ball near her and running back to the sideline. She also ate approximately 17 snacks- including bumming one from someone sitting next to us while I was yelling at Rory to stop twirling and GET THE DANG BALL FROM THE OTHER PLAYER BEFORE THEY SCORE.

Not that I am one of THOSE intense soccer moms or anything………..

I call it passion. I’m not intense. I’m passionate.

Yours truly has also gotten back into “the sports” and has joined a softball team.

Last week we played a team that under no circumstance at all would ever swing the bat. When you are playing church league and start off with one ball and one strike already- the odds are in your favor to get walked. So they feed off of that. They literally never swung. It was pretty miserable and, in my opinion, absolutely crappy sportsmanship.

I am extremely competitive and “passionate” but I’m there to play and HAVE FUN. So last night we had another game and we had A STINKING BLAST. We didn’t win. But we PLAYED. Both teams played hard and had so much fun. I’m excited about the season now!

This morning Ryder asked me about the game (it was at 8:30pm so they stayed home) and I told her how it went.

Then she said to me, “You are sports people, I is not.” And I laughed until I almost wet myself because BLESS IT she is so right. She is surrounded by people who enjoy all things sports to the highest level. At least she knows herself and has no qualms about not being “sports people”.

In other news, Rory was sent home with a sheet that told how high she could count unassisted. The answer was 49. She saw me look at it and she said, “Mom, don’t even look at that. That number is unacceptable. I can count over 100 and we know it. I just gotta practice some more.”

And practice she has done. She has counted to 100 all day, every day. In fact, last night she came into my room at 2:53am and whispered, “Mom! Hey mom! I just counted to 129! I can count even higher than 100!” Bless.

I will say this a million times over her life, I am sure of it- Rory is MOTIVATED. I’m telling y’all. I’ve never met anyone as motivated as her and her daddy. She completely 1000000% gets that from Andy. She decided that 49 was unacceptable and immediately started practicing until she beat her own goal. It is just little things like this that make me so proud of her.

Last night at dinner I told Rory to get her hair out of her face so she didn’t get food in it. As you can imagine, this was followed by the most dramatic hair flip OF LIFE. Andy and I got tickled over it.

Then she did it a few more times, because there is nothing more important than getting the perfect hair flip. I’m telling you- she is motivated.

She then says to us, “when I have a boyfriend, I’m going to flip my hair like this and he’s gonna be like WOW. YOU LOOK GOOD.” I nearly spit my food out. Andy and I were in tears from laughing. She has got it all figured out, hasn’t she?

The boxing up of all the things has begun and I have felt this cleaning bug in a huge way. So I’ve been cleaning out filing cabinets, closets, makeup drawers, and pretty much anything I deem NOT ORGANIZED. I’m a woman on a mission. I refuse to move CRAP. Especially because we will be moving ourselves this time. *sob wail sob*

TWENTY MORE DAYS! I’m not going to know what to do with all my time when I have 3 toilets to choose from instead of waiting on a chance to use it. I mean I might even *GASP* get to lock myself in and go alone.

DREAMS DO COME TRUE, PEOPLE.

Happy Tuesday!