Category: Home Sweet Home

telling a story

Well, we are officially moved into our new home!

I’m so glad we lived in the neighborhood and house that we did for the past 8 months because it has made me appreciate this house SO MUCH more.

Honestly, this is the first house of ours that I feel is a “grown up” house. Does that make sense? I’m decorating exactly the way I want (within a budget, of course) and am having such a fun time with it. I still have a long way to go, but I think the rooms are coming along nicely. My favorite part is that every room has pieces that have such meaning and sentimental value to me. I love getting to incorporate these pieces and getting surges of memories when I see them. I love that they tell old stories in a new home.

Today I will show you a few rooms that are somewhat finished. Before you see the pictures, though, I want to remind you that I am no photographer, so these pictures are a bit lack-luster. So forgive me.

Rory’s room – I’m about to redo Rory’s dresser and nightstand, so when I get to that I will show you better pictures. She has some shelves that I didn’t get a picture of (and my camera battery is dead) that have a lot of sweet handmade gifts on them that I got when she was born and also a super sweet picture of the girls with their playdate group in Texas. The initials above her bed are from my high school friend, Jodi and they go perfectly in the room.


Ryder’s room- This room will eventually be painted. Her room is the least “done” because I have a lot of things I’m going to put up in her room that are sentimental too. The “R” hanging over her bed is from my dear friend in Paris, Caroline. It is so special because Caroline was my ROCK during Ryder’s first six months. She was, and still is!, my sanity saver in crisis moments! ha!



Rory and Ryder’s bathroom- Rory picked out the shower curtain and towel colors herself! And man was she so proud!  I will paint this room too… eventually.


Playroom- I decorated this room with pictures we bought when we were first married. And also, I included the pictures of Andy and I surfing in Maui! ha! I LOVE this room because it is the only room upstairs and I can close it off and forget about all the toys if I need to. It is a really nice size and has a full bath which is REALLY helpful with the whole potty with the toddler thing. And best of all, it has a large closet that I am using as a toy closet to try and keep things more under control with the toy situation and the teaching toddlers to clean situation.





Proof that the toy closet was organized at one point in time.

playroom collage


Dining Room- I LOVE having a dining room again. We didn’t even have a table in the last house because there wasn’t room for one. In this house I have a dining room and a breakfast nook. Heaven! My table in the dining room is the table I grew up eating on. I am about to re-do the table (my first of about 10 furniture projects, ha!) and I can’t wait. I will definitely show you more of this room when it is done!



Entry/Hall – You can’t tell from the first picture, but the decor above the door is a key as well. I bought the one above the door for our first home we ever bought way back in Louisiana. Seems like a lifetime ago. The big hanging key I bought the same week we found out we were for sure getting this house. I love both of these key decorations and I LOVE my front door.


This bookshelf is one of the first things you see when you walk in our house. It is at the end of the entry hall and I am loving how it is coming together. One of my best friends in the entire world, Cassidy, made this piece for me right before I left Texas. I love how it is a piece that you can’t miss when you come into our home. The camera is the first “real” camera (not disposable) that I used when I was younger (it was my parents I believe) and realized you can actually take good pictures. One day I will learn to take great pictures with my current camera, ha! The birdcage and coke tin came from a local “junk” store. I’m not into fleur de lis, but I love this one because it reminds me of our years in Louisiana.


And finally, the living room. This is, so far and probably will remain, my very favorite room in the house. It is so bright and airy and yet so cozy. I started with my obsession over getting a grey couch. From there all the pieces fell into place perfectly. I still need to add throw pillows for more color and the hutch behind the chair is another piece I am re-doing very soon.


living room

Shelving in the entertainment center- there are a lot of things I purchased just for looks, but a few things are special. The picture frame in the top right (that I have to put one of OUR pictures in) is a gift from a new friend here in town and I LOVE it. The jar of buttons on the bottom left aren’t my grandmothers, but they remind me so much of her. At $1.50, I knew I had to have it. The frame on the lower right cabinet is actually from my grandmother’s funeral. Sounds morbid, but I love it. I love that scripture and it has helped to see it in a frame more times than I can count. There is a picture of my two amazing friends, Kayla and Misty, that I love seeing every day. And I put Rory’s first year blog book in there too so I can easily pull it out. I need to make Ryder’s so bad!


This piece is my favorite piece in the house. My dad made this shelf (my “end table” of sorts) for me for Christmas. It is made out of wood from my grandparents’ house that recently had to be torn down. What a precious gift it is. I love seeing it and thinking of them and all the many, many wonderful memories from their home. Some of my most favorite memories of my childhood came from that home and I’m glad part of it is in my own home now. I am working on getting some decorative things to put on it, but haven’t found the right pieces yet.


Ok, that is all for now. I am still working on perfecting the master bedroom, kitchen, laundry, and breakfast nook. I will post those rooms very soon! Hope you enjoyed the little tour of most of our new house and for listening/reading the stories behind the decor. What stories does your home tell?

spring break plans

Its Spring Break in Paris, and actually most of Texas it seems, so that means no MDO to break up our week. So I planned some fun things to keep us busy this week!

Yesterday we went to a inside playground/jump place in Sherman with like 20 kids and 7 moms or something like that. It was exhausting but Rory had an absolutely blast. I will definitely take her there again. She just ran and ran and ran and had the best time.

Yesterday afternoon I let Rory play outside despite the mud and she was in heaven!

and what would be playing outside with Rory without a little dirt tasting?

Ryder watched Rory the whole time she was driving her fourwheeler. Oh, by the way, she’s not “scarey” of it anymore because its outside! (???)

my little dirtball

Then she discovered the water hose and how much Jackson loves it. So that gave me a babysitter for about an hour while I sat in the chair and soaked up the sun and beautiful day.

Here’s a little clip of them playing with the water:


Ryder’s just been her usual happy, flirty self.

“I’m so excited I can’t keep it in!”

Today some friends came over and all our kids played outside until they were muddy head to toe. Rory, again, was in heaven.

Both girls are napping and I’m about to veg out on the couch and go into a mommie coma for approximately 5 minutes until someone wakes up. Sorry I don’t have anything clever to say today, but I had to blog because my dear mother texted me “ok it is time for a post on your blog”… which means, “IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SEE PICTURES OF MY BABIES”.

Hi, mom.

And just for kicks before I leave, here is another video of Rory doing somersaults and acting her usual crazy self:



you are doing a great job

This week has been hard. Tuesday and Wednesday were really hard days trying to get things back in a routine and back into our normal discipline habits. On Tuesday when I picked Rory up from MDO, her eyes were swollen from crying and the teacher said it was her worst day ever. I left and had a total breakdown and we both cried in the WalMart parking lot for about 20 minutes before going in.

But I was persistent and refused to give up on getting us all back to normal life. On Thursday when I picked Rory up her teacher said she’d had the best day ever, not even a single time out.

And then she said what is music to ANY tired momma’s ears – “Whatever you are doing, keep it up. She was a different kid today and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.”

It totally made my day and gave me the confidence boost I needed to finish out the week.

So, I want to say to ALL of you momma’s reading this blog who are so tired mentally, physically, and emotionally from being a Mom, chauffeur, cook, secretary, disciplinarian, teacher, friend, doctor, and whatever other hat you are wearing- YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. I mean that with everything in me, you are doing a great job. No matter if you lost your patience today, no matter if you fell asleep for a minute on the couch and let the TV babysit for you while you dosed off, no matter if you gave your kids crap to eat today so you wouldn’t have to cook- you are doing wonderfully.

As a celebration to our success and to Rory’s good behavior, we had a fun afternoon yesterday. After school I took her to get a drink at sonic (cherry slush which she LOVED), went to the park, and then I took her to PetCo to look at the animals. She had a blast and so did I and it was so refreshing to be in the sunshine and have some fun after such a tough week.

Enjoying her first slush.

“Watch me, Momma!”

I think this is her “ain’t skeered” face.

Sweet girl.

Picking flowers.

Rest assured, Ryder had a fabulous time too.

This is her excited face. No, I’m not kidding. When she gets so excited, she makes the face and shakes her hands up and down. She is hilarious.

No matter how hard it is, at the end of the day I go to bed exhausted but happy because God entrusted me with these two precious gifts. I’m so thankful for my sweet girls.

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend!

We started the party on Friday night by going to see Santa. We talked Santa up the whole way there, telling Rory he was our friend and that he brought presents, etc.  She was SO EXCITED to see “Claus” as she calls him.

And then we got there and she had a little freak out and said, repeatedly, “oh no Claus! oooohhhh no Claus!” and clung to me with all her might. It was hysterical.

Ryder sat in his lap like a big girl and pulled his beard as hard as she could the entire time.

So all in all- completely successful, no?

And then Christmas came!

It all started at 2:oo AM when Rory came into our room saying “a Claus? a Claus?” and I said “oh no missy- Claus hasn’t been here yet!”.

So then at 5:45 she woke up and was ready to go. We went into the living room and opened all the wrapped gifts and then we showed her the new playroom and her big presents.

The “before” pictures of all the presents.

The kitchen we made Rory. I will do a whole blog post about this one sometime this week!

And the opening of presents/after pictures. She didn’t stop for even a second the entire morning. It was wonderful seeing how excited she was all day long! She cooked up about 9823 cheeseburgers and served a whole ton of tea!

and of course, we learned how to climb into the kitchen and hide really quick!

And then about an hour after Rory woke up, Ryder decided to wake up and see what Santa had brought her as well! She was EXCITED! Of course, Rory had to help open the gifts.

I tried, in vain of course, to get their picture together in their pjs on Christmas morning….

And then Ryder almost jumped out of the bumbo trying to get to her dog!

We went to church and it was a wonderful service. I’m so glad we went! Ryder wore the dress her Aunt Telena got her for Christmas! (again, the tongue is always out these days!)

After church, we ate a huge lunch- ham, potatoes, pasta salad, corn, and cornbread. (Too bad we skipped out on carbs this year- HA!) Then we all took a long nap and it was so nice. Afterwards, Rory woke up and played so hard until she crashed at about 8.

This was the end of the day. She told me she “cean up kitchen mommy”… ???

Its been a wonderful, quiet Christmas! Hope yours was wonderful too!

Thanksgiving Trip: Part One

Well I am having to break up my Thanksgiving post into parts because I just uploaded 776 photos from my camera and there’s no way I can go through all of them today and put all of them on one post.

Anyways. We had an absolute blast in TN/MS last week! Rory and Ryder were so good most of the time and both enjoyed all the extra spoiling love and attention.

On Saturday we met my dad half way in AR. Rory was so excited to see him. She kept calling him “Papa Mimi” instead of just Papa. It was so cute.

Sunday we went to my parents church and it was wonderful to get to see everyone there. I’m so thankful for my dad’s church family and all of their prayers for Ryder during her surgery. After church I met up with one of my best friends from high school, Jodi, and we went to a Holiday Mart a school in my hometown puts on every year. It was great to catch up with her and hang out without kids.

Monday morning, the girls and I headed over to our great friends’, Katie and Sam, house. They have a little boy, Brooks, who is about 14 months old  who is ADORABLE. Unfortunately, my child refused to share and was so rough so they didn’t have the greatest time playing, but I enjoyed getting to catch up with Katie so much! Oh, and we tried to get pictures of all three kids together. It went so well.

“Stop touching me!”

“Please stop touching me!!!!!!!!!!”

“I’m outta here!”

Monday night we went and hung out at my sister, Telena’s house. Rory absolutely loved playing with Jacks, Jacy, and Riley the whole time.

Tuesday was nasty all day so we just stayed home and had a lazy rainy day.

Wednesday we headed to Dumas, MS. I’ve been informed that its not the middle of nowhere but instead the center of the universe.

Touché. Touché.

We had such an amazing time in MS. Its truly home to me, even if I don’t get back there much. I have dreams of living on my grandparents’ land one day.

My aunt and uncle live there (actually two aunts and uncles) and they have miniature horses. Let me tell you. They were a big hit! Here are all the kids getting to ride one of the horses. My Uncle Frank led them around and all the kids LOVED it. (Uncle Frank is loved by all kids. ALL kids.)

I had to include this. Do you see the boys pointing and laughing? Yep. The horse was peeing and they thought it was hysterical, of course.

Ok, can I just say I want to move Jacy in with me so I could have a babysitter on hand all the time? She was SO MUCH help the entire week with Rory. And Rory absolutely adores her. Jacy- you are the best niece EVER. Please come stay with me this summer… PLEASE???

Landon and Rory rode the pony together. They are the cutest.

My niece, Riley.

Sweet nephew, Jacks.

Cousin, Sadie Beth.

Beautiful niece, Jacy. (Notice that her legs almost touch the ground, ha!)

Cousin, Elizabeth.

Cousin, Maleah.

Sweet nephew, Landon.

Everyone took turns holding Rory… too bad she refused to look at camera.

Okay! That is all I can do today. My house is a DISASTER and we are having company this weekend. I will post part 2 tomorrow!

weekend recap

A while ago I had told Andy that if he ever wanted to do something extremely romantic, all he had to do was book me a night at a hotel so I could sleep all night and sleep in.

Well, folks. He did it! Friday night he booked me a room at a hotel and it was WONDERFUL! I went to a birthday dinner with friends and then went to the hotel and slept all night and slept in until nine. Bliss. He knows the way to my heart!

And bless his heart… he had a rough night. This is what he looked like that afternoon:

The whole weekend was fantastic. Andy had Friday off (and I wish he did a segment on this blog to tell you how his hunting trip went on Friday morning… lets just say HILARIOUS!) and it was great to have a long weekend together.

Saturday was the local Festival of Pumpkins and I was so excited to take Rory this year. She had a blast too!

The first thing we saw walking up was the dogs from the local humane society. Y’all. This girl LOVES her some dogs. She would see a dog and yell and kick until she got to pet it. She met the sweetest blue tick hound you’ve ever seen. And he was so handsome. His name was Blue. I wanted him and so did Rory. (I had a dog named Blue once too. There is a song about him- ask my dad.)

After that we went to ride the ponies. And oh my word. I’ve never seen so much joy come out of Rory. She giggled the entire time. If I hadn’t of been holding onto her she would have giggled right off that pony!

That night I invited my friend, Julie, over for supper since her husband was out of town. Grady and Rory are friends and I knew Rory would love to play with him.

We were your average heathens on Sunday and skipped church. We didn’t leave the house the entire day and stayed in our PJs. It was wonderful. Church has been so stressful because we have to take Ryder in with us so we decided to just stay home since next week we can (hopefully!) leave her in the nursery.

This morning was rather rough. Rory didn’t sleep good and so she was GRUMPY. She fell asleep at 7 and took a little nap and thankfully woke up happy. I brought Ryder (aka Sister) into Rory’s room so we could play and Rory thought it was AWESOME. She showed Sister all her toys and it was so cute watching Ryder’s expressions as she watched Rory.

This moment made me tear up a bit. Rory went and got her play stethoscope and listened to Ryder’s heart. I told Rory that Ryder had a special heart and she kept saying, “Sister special”. So sweet.

Rory sat her dog that sings up and then sat by Sister to watch. So funny!

And seriously… how cute is this picture?!

Then I got a few pictures of Rory laughing because Sister burped. ha!

Its the small things.

And if you haven’t noticed… Ryder is just your regular old chubster! I told Andy her new nickname is Ms. Piggy. She is all of a sudden eating. Her normal bottle now is 4 oz in 15 minutes. Today she ate 4 oz and was still hungry. She ended up eating 6 oz in 30 minutes! And she’s not spitting any up! Such a miracle!

Have a great week!

Southern Sundays

We got to go to church as a family for the first time in over a month today. It was wonderful!

Andy’s parents were here over the weekend (will blog that tomorrow) and so we went outside to take pictures.

As I was looking at these pictures, I had to laugh and say “what a typical southern Sunday!”. How many times in my life did my family growing up go outside in front of the house and take pictures? How many times will Rory and Ryder do the same with us?

I’m so thankful that I was raised going to church and raised LOVING church. I had some years after moving away that I didn’t love church so much. But now I’ve fallen in love again because we absolutely love our church and church family. We have been to some WONDERFUL churches (First Baptist Starkville and Calvary in Alexandria) but First Baptist Paris is by far the most we have ever felt apart of the church. It is home. It is family.

I’m also thankful that I was raised by parents who were in love with Jesus and showed it through their marriage and parenting. We have a wonderful relationship now and its because of that love for Jesus. I hope that Rory and Ryder see that in us as well.

Hope you are having a wonderful “Southern Sunday” too!

back to the usual

Well today is my first day alone with both girls. I was nervous at first, but we have had a wonderful day.

I can’t tell you how invaluable my parents’ help was while we were at the hospital and coming home. Rory had such a wonderful time with them and is still asking for them constantly. I was so worried about how she was handling being away from me and then I realized that she was having the time of her life getting spoiled by all the grandparents!

She became such a Papa’s girl while he was here. She would wake up every morning saying “Papa! Coffee!” and still is waking up saying that. On Saturday night after they left she woke up at 2 wanting her Papa and it was so sad to see her realize he wasn’t there. It was a long night for all of us!

Her favorite thing about the grandparents being here was playing outside. She had such a blast in the cooler weather. When my dad came back on Thursday they played and played outside.

And she LOVES swinging on her belly now that she learned how!

And she’s a speed demon down the slide!

As far as today goes- its been going really well!

I mean, of course, Rory is her usual stinker self…

Man, my life was so dull before Rory. HA!

And as for stinker #2, Ryder…

Don’t let that little smile fool ya! She has become awfully demanding with her new heart and all. When she wants to eat she means NOW. There is no warning or prep time. Its getting more and more clear that I will have two stinkers on my hands. Please pray for me.

And on a serious note- Please, please pray for my friends Emily and William. Their father, Rhea Dabney (who by the way is the sweetest man on earth), has terminal cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer. My heart is breaking for this family.

Also, sweet little Ruby Harris has been scheduled for a surgery much like Ryder’s to fix her heart. Hannah, her mom, and I “met” over the internet and I’ve been following their struggle of eatings, infections, etc. Please pray that Ruby gets to have her surgery soon and that the whole family gets well soon!

Thanks, friends!


Rory Fun Days

We decided to not make the trek to TN this past weekend because we haven’t had a long weekend just at home in so long. So we decided to declare it Rory’s weekend! We dedicated the weekend to doing fun things with her and just being together all weekend long.

(I guess I should warn you that this will be a rather long post with probably too many pictures. But I want to document all of it for myself, so hopefully you don’t get bored, ha!)

So Rory Fun Days were born and I can’t wait to do it again! We had the absolute best weekend. It could not have been any better. Rory had a blast and she was so sweet all weekend long!

Friday we just stayed at home and had fun together. I went and got my hair cut for the first time in over a year and decided to try something “fun” and get purple put in it! Its so cute… or at least I think so!

On Saturday we went to the Children’s Museum in Commerce! It was so fun! Rory had an absolute blast. She played in a boat, space ship, airplane and fort! She drove a cattle driven wagon and rode a horse! Then she did some grocery shopping, cooked some great food in a kitchen, and freed all the dogs from the local kennel! She drove a train and played with all sorts of other things!



On Sunday we went to church and stayed home the rest of the day. Both girls took 3+ hour naps AT THE SAME TIME so Andy and I napped and rested as well. It was wonderful!

Yesterday we woke up to the most gorgeous weather. It was such a nice break from the 100+++ heat we have had since June.

First we went to Grady’s first birthday party and then played outside!

Please note that the lady put 1th instead of 1st on Grady’s cake! HA!



You may be wondering what little Ryder did the whole time….

Well its safe to say she had a great weekend too!

trip to TN

Sunday we got back from a 6 day trip to TN… and man, I am exhausted!

So exhausted, in fact, that Sunday night when Ryder woke up to eat at 1:00 am I put the formula in a bottle and went to shake it up without putting the top back on and it went EVERYWHERE. It was very funny… Andy wasn’t laughing as hard as me though.

Andy had a business trip in Memphis and since our hometown is only an hour away from there I decided to go along to have some help with the girls. We had a great but stressful time and it was definitely hard to leave.

It was perfect timing for us to go too- my sister, Tasha, came into town for the week as well! So Tasha, Telena, and I all went shopping on Wednesday afternoon and it was wonderful. We hadn’t been together and spent time together like that in over a year. I’m so mad because I forgot to get a “sister picture”. Oh well.

Anyways! Here are the pictures from the trip:

Cousins Ryder and Clayton- only two months apart! Ryder was impressed with his size, can’t you tell??

She was mad that Clayton was stealing her “current family favorite” (check out the shirts!) role! Poor Clayton is going to have a rough time being between my two girls!

We had these grand plans of taking Clayton and Ryder’s pictures together and them being so so cute. Well. Clearly this did not happen. One day we were all at my parents house and all afternoon it was a chain affect of crying babies. Ryder would cry, then Clayton, then Rory… and it happened over and over. It was a tad overwhelming.

Tasha and Ryder

Telena and Ryder

Josh (my bro-in-law) and Ryder

Telena, Josh and Ryder

Then on Thursday I drove back to Memphis to pick Andy up and then we drove to the TN River where Andy’s parents live. On Friday we took Rory out on the boat for the first time. You will see that she absolutely loved it. Andy’s sweet grandparents were able to come up to meet Ryder and see us and we were so glad!

Sunset on the river

Marlyce, Steve, Ryder, and Rory

Austin and Ryder

Papaw, Mamaw, and Ryder

And here are the pictures from the boat ride- think she liked it?!

The wind was her favorite part! She looked like she was mimicking the movie Titanic a little, ha!

Then we decided to try and get a picture with me and Rory…. it went so well.

Rory learned to drive the boat.

And she got to play on the beach/in the water just a little.

Basically, she loved everything about the river! We had a great time!

Then on Saturday we were back at my parents house. My Aunt Brenda and Uncle Frank came to see us! Jacy had been at church camp all week so she finally got home and I was so glad to spend some time with her.

Rory and Jacy

Jacy and Ryder

Mom, Jacy, Aunt Brenda, Ryder and Jacks

Down the street from my parents is a new little park area, so Dad and I took them there for a minute. It was so hot though so we didn’t stay long. Rory loved it though!

Jacy and Rory

Okay, little side note: the above picture is so crazy to me because I can’t get over how grown up Jacy is now. Especially because of this picture of us back in the day- I was 15 and she was Rory’s age:

And now she’s taller than me! So sad.

Anyways! Back to the trip!

Rory and the dog she wouldn’t leave alone

Riley and Rory (these R’s are getting ridiculous!)

Just Jacks

And then Rory drove us all back (with Papa’s help) to Mimi and Papa’s house

Whew! I’m worn out just recapping the whole thing!

We had a great time though! But I will say, its so nice to get back home and into a routine again!