Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Adorable Crochet Hats - Only $1.99! 1 Day Only!

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Expires November 1, 2012

Redeem your offer at Snuggle Luv by entering facebookhat when you check out.

Isla got the red one! So cute.

Trick or Treat?

Do you remember getting more treats or playing tricks on Halloween?

Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve Halloween. I remember my costumes thoroughly. Some of my most memorable costumes were homemade. One year I was bugs-bunny and chewed on a carrot all night. One year my brother and I were hobos/clowns and one year I was a cat.
We never had extravagant costumes, but my mother always did a great job pulling our costumes together on a little budget using things we already had. She would paint our faces and make sure we looked good... even sacrificing her own clothes for the cause. I remember the year we were hobos, I wore her sweatsuit and stuffed it with pillows. We always got bags and bags full of candy. (Treat!) It's funny...even to this day, I remember some of the treats I got and from which houses they came from. One of our closest neighbors never gave candy. She always gave us an apple, small can of Donald Duck orange juice and a Little Debbie's oatmeal cake.Trick?) Some of the elderly ladies in our church would make homemade candy. (Treat!) My great grandmother was one of these ladies. We always stopped at her house last. She would make homemade fudge. (Treat again!) It's unheard of for people to do that today...

While we always had plenty of treats...we had our fair share of tricks too. I remember our parents always letting us pick our top three pieces of candy out of our bags, then we would go to bed.  Little did we know, while we were sound asleep... mommy and daddy were pillaging our bags of treats and picking out their favorites too! (Trick!)

I also got tricked several times while trick or treating. One year someone was hiding under the steps of a house we were trick or treating at. As I walked up the steps, the man grabbed my ankle... to his surprise I quickly kicked back and kicked him in the face (accidentally of course). (Trick!) Another time I was trying to be brave and walk in to a haunted house. My cat tail got caught in the screen door while leaving and fight or flight kicked in. I ran out of the house and down the road. When my mom caught back up with me, I was so scared I didn't recognize her and punched her in the face. (Trick!) Yikes! I'm pretty sure we went home after that house.

Trick or treating was always so much fun for my brother and I. I remember being devastated when he decided he was "too old" to go anymore. I'm looking forward to Isla having plenty of cousins to go trick or treating with and hopefully a sibling or two one day. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My little mini-me: Teaching in ways that glorify God

Lately, Isla has been mimicking everything I do. If I smack my lips together, she smacks hers. If say "ohhh" she says it back. It got me thinking about all the things I do and say in my every day life. I started questioning myself... Would I want Isla to say that? Would I want Isla to do that?

I've really been trying to glorify God in everything I do lately. Remembering Him before I speak, Thanking Him constantly, Praising Him in All things and situations, Asking for Forgiveness, Giving myself to Him and His Will. I'm normally quick to react, but in order for me to glorify Him, I need to slow down and think about my reactions beforehand.

Isla is my little mini-me and I want her to always act in ways that glorify Him. I love teaching her new things and watching her copy me. I just need to remember as she gets older, she will be copying EVERYTHING I do. Which means, EVERYTHING I do needs to always be an act of grace.

Being a parent makes you reflect and look inward so much. I realize now that the things I do and my well being is not only a reflection of me, but a reflection of family, mothers and Christians. It's important to realize that being a mother or parent means that you are also a teacher and a leader to your children.

When I was growing up I used to always play like I was a teacher. I would line my stuffed animals up and teach class. I would mark their name on the board if they were too chatty (much like I was growing up) and give them homework assignments. While I didn't grow up to be a teacher in a classroom, I am a teacher every day, hour and minute of my life now with the one goal to teach and grow my children in a way that always glorifies God.

Mommy's little mini me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baby Photo Prop Ideas

I have been taking pictures non-stop since my husband gave me a professional camera for my birthday/mother’s day/anniversary/push present (ha!) this year. It’s become a hobby of mine and Isla is always my subject. I love taking pictures of all of her facial expressions and capturing the moment. I have really enjoyed going back and looking through her changing expressions and growing little body.

We used to have a photo shoot every morning when she woke up. That’s when she is the happiest and also when we would have the best lighting in our bedroom. Since I’m back at work and it’s now dark when we wake up, we only take pictures on the weekends. I’ve had so much fun using props, positioning Isla and thinking about ways to capture her growth.

Our first prop and the one we have continued to use on a monthly basis to track her growth was the picture frame. We used this frame in the photo booth at our wedding and it was such a hit. After the wedding, I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but once Isla came along, it had a new purpose. She has been growing so fast that she will soon be overlapping the frame! I love looking back at the first few weeks and seeing what a difference it is from now to then. 

Another thing we used was a wrap that we used for her newborn pictures. We've wrapped her in this same cloth for several months and seen how much her tiny (and chubby) body is changing.

I’ve seen a lot of other cute ideas to track monthly growth on Pinterest such as, putting your baby in a clothes basket, laying your baby beside the same stuffed animal, the month stickers that can easily be stuck on any onesie, and many more. We didn’t plan on doing the frame, but after our newborn photos I fell in love with it and decided to keep doing it. 

Another one of our first props was an old bucket we were using in the house to stack magazines in. Isla fit down in it perfectly with some nice plush cushioning from a blanket. This isn’t one we can keep using as she has already grown out of it, but she loves sitting down inside baskets or anything that gives her extra support. I can tell when I prop her up to a sitting position, she knows she is doing something special and I can see the delight in her facial expressions. 

We’ve since taken her pictures in a hamper basket, picnic basket and a decorative basket. She looks so cute with her little head peaking out. 

Once she’s sitting up more on her own, I want to take her picture sitting down in a hat box we used for cards at our wedding. I plan to put one of my big floppy hats on her and sit her in the round hat box. I know there will be a lot more options once she is sitting on her own.

Another idea is to use vintage items or heirlooms. We have a stool passed down from my great grandmother and we used this in a couple newborn photos. We also have several exquisite quilts my grandma made for me and I’ve used these as a backdrop. It’s special too because my grandmother loves to see pictures of Isla on the quilts she worked so hard to make. It warms her heart to know these items will continue to get passed down and cherished.

I also love to use books. Isla loves for me to read to her and she loves looking at all of the colors on the pages of the books. I love laying her next to a book and watching her as she makes curious faces. It makes such cute pictures. 

All of the props I have used have been things we already had lying around the house. I love that they all have a double purpose and now when I look over at the basket holding our blankets or my grandmother’s blanket, I think of Isla. I see her in everything around the house.

Monday, October 22, 2012

On the day you were born... June 4th, 2012

  • June 4 was the 156th day of the year.
  • You were born on a Monday at 6:50am.
  • When you entered the world, we were listening to Adele's song, "To Make You Feel My Love." Your dad and I had picked this song for you before you were born and it happened to be playing the moment you were born. Wasn't even planned! I barely recall hearing it as I was focused on the pain, but I have a small memory of hearing the beginning of the song and you can hear it in your videos.
  • You spent the first two hours of your life lying on my chest wrapped up in my arms.
  • I had just turned 29 and your dad was 26 1/2. (Yep, that 1/2 matters!....Mommy is robbing the cradle)
  • Your grandparents were your first visitors, Mamaw & Papaw then Papa & Gigi
  • You sucked your thumb for the first time when your Papaw held you.
  • The #1 Song in the US on your birthday was "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye
  • There was a full moon and partial lunar eclipse. It was partly visible from western United States and Canada. People in Hawaii, New Zealand and central and eastern Austrailia was able to follow the whole eclipse.
  • It was the greatest day of my life.

Scripture for Isla

Bible verses to teach your children.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nugget love!

I can't even begin to describe how much I miss Isla during the days. I count down the minutes until we're home together again. The daily commute has been tiring on all of us.

Once we're home, I only have a handful of minutes until she is ready for bed. Luckily, this week, even though I've been extremely tired from the lack of sleep, we've been able to wake up earlier and have more time together in the mornings. She is always so happy in the morning. I love waking up beside her smiling face everyday.

She has become so loving, cuddly and snugly. In the mornings, she grabs my face and smooches hers against mine. She takes her soft hand and rubs my cheeks and pats me. I love that she is so loving.

When I hold her now, she holds me back. She wraps her chubby baby arms around my neck and its the sweetest feeling. Though our time together is a lot shorter than before, I make every single minute count and God continues to bless us with precious moments together.

Look at my growing baby. Sweetest smile in the world to mommy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae

Dear Isla,

We have been busy busy bees lately! Our lives have definitely picked up speed since I started back working.

My days are busier than ever and you have been busy growing! My how much you grow and change every single week.

You've been spending the days with your cousins since I'm back at work. You love them so much. You smile and laugh at Macie. She loves making silly faces at you and getting you to laugh. Emery says you are "berry special" to her. We are so thankful for your Auntie Alexas. She takes such good care of you while we are away. Mommy wishes she could be with you all day every day.

This week you have really took interest in feeling things. You have started rubbing daddy's beard, pulling my hair and love to rub our shirts. Its so amazing to see the curious faces you make and to see your eyes light up when you discover something new. You raise your tiny eyebrows up and smile so sweetly.

Your laughs and cries have started to change too. You have become quiet the giggle box recently. You laugh before I even tickle you now. Your giggles and squeals are so cute. Your cries have changed too. You've lost your newborn cry and replaced it with a much louder one. You don't cry too much these days (except if you are in the car seat) and if you do cry its always for a reason. Most of the time its due to gas pains or sleepiness, but you are a good baby.

You are growing off the charts. Seems every day it gets a little harder to diaper you because of all those rolls. You are so beautiful.

I'll never be able to explain to you how much I love you and how deeply I care for you. When you have your own baby one day...then you'll see. I never fully understood my mother's unconditional love for me or God's love for us until I had you. It's breathtaking.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Growth Chart: Growing off the charts!

They literally told me at Isla's 4 month check up that she is growing off the charts! She was 95-100% for height, I believe 97.5% to be exact. It looks like she is not going to be a shorty like her momma. She was 90-95% for height, but was below average at 25% for her head circumference. She still has her little peanut head! We got a great report that our beautiful girl is healthy and apparently very well-nourished!

Look at the difference from week 1 until now. Her legs are so much fuller. Love my chubby happy girl!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Baby Milestones: 4 Months

Cancer. Its such a dirty word to me.

With the recent Stand Up 2 Cancer program that aired on NBC, the thoughts and memories of my experiences with cancer flooded my mind. I've lost two great grandparents my grandfather and grandmother to cancer. Many of the men in my family have struggled with prostate cancer and are still battling it.

My step grandpa is currently battling bladder cancer and my doctor recently discovered I had melanoma. Luckily, we caught it early and it didn't spread. I now have a nice scar along my side and back to always remind me that God is looking out for me.

This time of year always makes me think of my mamaw. She passed in October after spending nearly 60 days in the hospital and battling ovarian cancer for several years. She was the strongest most courageous person I have ever known. Never once did her faith waiver while she was so sick. I admire her and miss her so. I pray my family and loved ones can all be done with this terrible disease. Praying one day there is a cure and no one has to suffer from cancer anymore.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy 4 Months Isla Rae!

My sweet girl is 4 months old tomorrow! I can't believe how fast the time flies. Seems like just yesterday we brought her home for the first time. She has given us so much joy in the past 4 months. She is such a happy girl.

My little cupcake loves face time with mommy, rolling over from her back to her tummy and jumping! She loves her jumperoo. It's so much fun to watch her as she discovers new things, her toes, my nose, how she can kick and jump and all the little noises she is finding out she can make.

We are still settling in to our new routine. It's been hard on both of us, but we are adjusting. The good news is, she is finally starting to ride a little better in the car and is doing better overall with her gas pains.

A baby does change everything... but everything changes for the good. I couldn't imagine my life without her.

Here's a preview of our home photo shoot from Sunday morning. I miss doing these everyday!

Hey Daddy