Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Tad Late

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! Hope you had a wonderful holiday celebrating the birth of our savior!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas wish.

Hi friends.

I have a prayer request for you- hope you don't mind. I know God hears those who earnestly seek his help and care, and I can't help but selfishly ask for some more prayers on your behalf.

In October, my Dad called to tell me he would be driving through town on the way to see my grandmother. He was going to "stop by" and say hello for a few minutes. I told him Eli and I happened to be free, and we'd love to join him.

I am so glad I went. It's a rare occasion that I get to spend time with my dad alone these days, and for a few days, it was just me, my dad, my 87 year old grandmother, and my baby boy. When I first saw my dad, he looked skinnier than he had in years. He also looked really tired and worried.

As soon as we got to my grandmother's and were sitting down to visit, he told us some stressful news about his work. I knew that wasn't the main topic he wanted to tell us though. After we discussed that issue, he then informed us that he was diagnosed with high-risk stage four cancer in May. He didn't want us to worry, and wasn't even going to tell us if he could have gone through treatment and chemo in Nashville. Instead, he is now in Florida undergoing a clinical trial treatment. He has been there since November 1 and will remain until January.

He is doing well so far, and has had minimal side effects so far. He's rented a beach front condo and is busying himself by reading lots of books and fixing up the condo for his renter. He's replaced blinds and fixed kitchen backsplashes, etc. She's happily knocking his labor off his monthly rent. He's hoping it'll be free by the time he leaves. :)

Would you mind praying for the effectiveness of his treatment, for his health, for his loneliness, and that he uses this time to really grow closer to God and learn to really rely on Jesus during this time? I hate that he'll be all alone for Christmas and I hate that the only thing on his wish list this year is to be free from cancer. Pray with me, friends?

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Young children, fresh uncluttered minds, the world before them - to what treasures will you lead them? With that will you furnish their spirit?
Gladys Hunt- Honey For A Child's Heart

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fair came to Town.

The fair came to town. We waited until the very last day and took Eli for his very first East Tennessee fair experience. I hadn't been to one since probably high school, and let me say, it did not disappoint. It was even Latina day at the fair, so we enjoyed hearing hispanic music there too.

There was every kind of meat on a stick and fried food you could imagine. We ate two hot dogs, and were disappointed, so Matthew went back and got himself a giant sausage on a bun. We were pretty satisfied with that. Everyone wants you to play their game, and one guy kept calling out to Matth, "Oh look, it's Mr. Hollywood. Show us what ya got Hollywood." I told Matth he was a little too nicely dressed for the fair.

 They had a petting zoo set up in the middle of the fairground, and Eli was in love. He touched almost every animal, and would stand and stare at the camels when they stood up. He's never seen anything so close up before.

This guy was so mean. Ostrich? Emu? They had sharp beaks and would crane their necks far out and try to peck the food out of your hand. We didn't stop long to visit with them.

Eli was too small for almost every single ride there but two of them. He just made the cut-off for the inches requirement, but was definitely the youngest child on them. Other parents were watching my reactions b/c I was so nervous for my tiny toddler riding alone.

He LOVED the rides. His tiny hiney would slide off the seats, but I told the man to strap him in for dear life, and then I double-checked it to make sure he wasn't going anywhere. It was so much fun to see him having so much fun.

Next, we splurged and let Eli try his first funnel cake. He actually wasn't too impressed, which isn't news to me. He chose lima beans over creamed corn and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. He likes to eat healthy, that boy.

I'm working on using our self-timer more. It's nice to have shots of the three of us together every now and then.

Mr. Hollywood enjoying his second lunch at the fair.

I'd say our first fair together was a success. I'm not so sure we'll make it a yearly tradition, but we enjoyed showing Eli part of his redneck roots. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Well, Hello!

It's been so long, hasn't it?!! We finally bought a new computer this past weekend, and I am excited to be back in the social world; although, I must say, I've been much more productive around the house lately.:)

I'm not even sure where to start...back in September, I guess?

We are doing much better since our break-in. I came home that day to find our fence gate wide open. I thought that was kind of strange, but thought maybe Matthew had come home from work and maybe left it open. I had only been gone about an hour though, so my senses were on stand-by as I went in the house.

As soon as I got in, I went and sat Eli in his highchair for lunch. I walked into the living room and our flat screen tv was sitting on the floor, like someone had carefully placed it there. Matthew and I had just talked about changing our cable company the night before, so my mind started racing with reasons that the t.v. was down. Maybe Matthew had called the cable man today?

Then I noticed my laptop was missing from the coffee table, and two pieces of my jewelry were randomly laying on the floor. Then I remembered I thought I had heard something close shut as soon as we had entered the house and my heart started pounding. I ran into the kitchen, grabbed Eli and ran out the front door. I called Matthew right away, and asked if he had been home, and told him what I saw. I called the police and ran next door to our neighbors to get Eli out of the rain.

The police showed up, along with Matthew, about five minutes later. They said it looked like they had rang our doorbell, and when no one answered, they went through our back gate, and opened our bathroom window. When that was too small for them to go through, they opened our bedroom window and climbed in. We made it easy for them with two open windows. There was dirt and fingerprints all over our windows, and they rifled through our closet and took my jewelry box. They think they were getting the t.v. down when I pulled up. I shut three car doors before I ever started towards the house, and they had opened our shutters in our guest room and saw me and Eli. They left the t.v., grabbed the jewelery box and laptop, and ran out our back sunroom as I was walking in the front!!

There were pieces of my jewelry littered down our driveway that hadn't been there when I walked up. I am SO VERY thankful that we were protected that day. It turns out it was two young males looking for money for their prescription pill addiction. We never got the laptop back, but we did recover some of the jewelry they tried to sell at a store. I still hate I lost all of those precious baby videos, but am so glad that is all that was lost or harmed.

Also, I had to appear at the court date as a victim for the two guys. When they brought in the jailed inmates, I started looking for our robbers. Instead, I saw two of my previous students. One of them I knew was bound to end up in trouble one day, but it certainly was disheartening to see him in stripes and hand cuffs. He caught my eye, and looked so surprised to see me, and gave me the biggest smile and wave. I smiled back and shook my head at him, but really wanted to go over and give him a big hug and tell him to straighten up. I still have a note he wrote me telling my I was "da best teacher eva". :) After sitting in court for 3 hours, they had to postpone it, and I still don't know what punishment our robbers got.

Enough about about some pics??
Way back in September, Eli and I had a jammie play morning in the back yard. He loved filling up my water pail and dropping rocks in it.

This picture below makes me laugh every time I see it. That hair!! He has inherited my hair's ability to frizz in humidity. He had a hair cut right after I took these. Poor child.

Glad to be back!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Robbery and No Pictures.

Good Morning friends. I've been completely missing in action due to some slight technical difficulties. Those difficulties are called, two robbers broke into my house and stole my laptop difficulties. Last week, I returned home from a few errands with Eli and we headed in the front door while two robbers headed out the back door. It scared my pants off, but we are all safe and okay, and thankfully, they only made it out with good ole' STUFF. They stole my laptop (otherwise known as my daily connection to the outside world) and with it took EVERY baby picture and video I've ever taken of my sweet babe. I'm glad in times like these I have stayed up to date in ordering pictures and blogged about them, however, I didn't ever transfer the videos to a dvd, so I'm afraid all my baby videos are gone, and that breaks my heart. I remind myself that I still have the real thing here in my house, and that's one million times better than home videos. :)

Just wanted to let you all know why I'm not here and why I won't be for awhile. No pictures to go with this post unfortunately. I hope those two thieving kids enjoy all my home videos.

P.S. Two very nice policeman knocked on my door at SIX this morning to let me know they caught the guys last night. They said they didn't find my laptop, but we're glad they are now in custody.

P.P.S. Don't worry, the alarm system is already in progress. Hope y'alls week has gone better than ours! :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

25 randoms- 2009 vs. 2011

Well, today I was waiting on Eli to wake up from his nap so we could run some errands, and came across this list on FB I wrote in 2009. Remember these 25 random lists? I thought it was funny, b/c most of this is still very true, and some of it has come true! So, here it is again. I think you all should write a list too, and so can read yours!

1. I love making lists...I make lists for everything. This includes the grocery store, my ten year plan, furniture I want to buy, future baby names, future baby shower invites, and I'm not having a baby. Matthew finds these lists around the house and questions my obsession to plan. (2011- still making lists)

2. I used to write all the time--mainly poems. I don't even know if I could anymore. I think I wrote when I was not happy, but now that I'm super happy, there's not much to say. (2011- by not happy, i mean teen angst.)

3. I love my's true. He's the best man I know. He is such a good complement to me--When I'm serious, he makes me laugh. When I'm sick, he's the best caretaker. When I'm mad, he makes weird faces and chases me around the house until I can't be mad anymore...which makes me mad. Most of all, he's my best friend and loves God more than me. (2011- still a good man, but goodness, how we've grown and molded to eachother's needs over the past two years. A baby will do that, I think.)

4. I sometimes love my job. Highschoolers are a different bunch--they are insecure, immature, awkward, and try to pretend that they aren't. I am very glad I'm not in high school anymore. (2011- different job, different challenges, although I can say now I LOVE my job)

5. I am horrible at communicating and keeping in touch. I love my friends, and need to be better at it. I have good intentions to call them weekly, but then it becomes two weeks, three weeks, etc. (2011-still very true)

6. I've never heard my dad pray out loud...not once. This is only to say another reason why I love my husband--he prays all the time, out loud, to himself, and with me. He's definitely a good man. (2011- still no prayers from dad, but many prayers from my hubby.)

7. I can't wait to have kids. Matthew needs to get on board, which is why I'm not pregnant right now, but I can't wait for it to happen. I need to stop watching baby shows b/c I get more terrified every time I watch the labor, but I still can't wait. I have all four names picked out already. (2011- one baby down, three to go. My baby name list is a'changing a little. One was taken (cough, Corinne, cough). :)

8. I love my brother. He is a sweet, sweet man and so is his wife. My mom used to always say that John and I would always be able to have eachother, no matter what else was happening. I'm glad I have my big brother to talk to...usually about my crazy parents. (2011- John and are totally different, but are okay with that now that we're older)

9. My favorite place to travel is the beach. This can be any beach, anywhere. I love simply lying on the sand, listening to the waves, and roasting in the sun. I know that it's horrible for me, but I love it. I'm already planning our summer vacation... and yes, I'm making a list. (2011- still my favorite place, but not a lot of laying and roasting going on with a baby)

10. I want to do something bigger with my life. I want to be able to work for God every day. My job has lots of perks, but lots of paperwork and trivial tasks and behavior issues that don't always make me feel like I'm in it for Him. (2011- still true)

11. I hate the winter time. I don't like the cold, or big heavy clothes, or winter wind. Spring, summer, fall--those are all great, but I just can't stand the winter. I hope that spring gets here soon. (2011- still so true)

12. I love to dance. I've only recently started liking it; I guess b/c I stopped caring what I looked like. If you've seen me dance, then this makes sense. I'm not very good at dancing, but I love to do it. My favorite is when Matthew dances with me. He's equally as bad, maybe even worse, but we do have fun. (2011- we haven't gotten any better at this either.)

13. I want a dog. We now own a cat, and he's wonderful. What I really wanted was a dog, but we settled on a cat for our apt. Now that we have a house, I'm ready. I'm pushing for a golden retriever, although Matthew wants a lab. Once we settle our disagreement, we'll be getting one. (2011- we got two dogs, and the cat went to live with his grandparents for awhile)

14. I've always wanted glasses. When I was younger, I would buy the reading glasses at Walgreens and wear them to school. I felt cooler wearing glasses. I still am a little envious when I see someone who actually needs glasses and wears a really cute pair. Maybe one day. (2011- still want them; still don't need them)

15. I wish I could sing. I love songs and lyrics, and singing to them. Unfortunately, God did not grant me this gift. I am forever amazed at the sound that comes out of my sister-in-law's mouth when she sings...don't get me wrong. I still sing, sometimes the loudest I can, but I can't do it well. (2011- still true- have y'all heard Kelci sing? ridiculous.)

16. My mom is irrational, nutty, flaky, and drives me crazy. She is also loving, fun, goofy, and very smart. I get lots of these traits from her. I lose my keys about once a week, and many other random items. I'm messy, and without fail, will spill something on myself whenever I eat. Thanks mom. (2011- she's still nutty and i lost my favorite bracelet just yesterday)

17. My dad is stoic, unemoting, and a horrible conversationalist. He's also rational, sane, organized, and very handy. I get a few of my traits from him. I think I'm a decent balance between the two of them..I hope. (2011- still unemoting, but has been awesome at our home repairs)

18. I love my in-laws. It's true. I guess some people don't, but I do. They are generous, loving, smart, and fun. Plus, they raised my husband to be an intelligent, fun, loving, christian man. (2011- still love 'em. They're coming today actually.)

19. I love owning a house. We hardly have any furniture, and it's constantly messy, but I love it. It makes me feel like a grown-up, which I'm realizing I am. I can't wait for spring to be here, so we can do yard work and play outside. We have a weather vane and a mail box, and it's all ours. Sometimes I wish it was in Franklin, but it's our first home, and I can't wait to have a little family in it. (2011- we've bought some furniture, but still have a long way to go. Houses are a lot of work!)

20. I'm addicted to coffee. I have been sick all week and drinking tea, and I'm craving some caffeine. My favorite drink is a non-fat grande vanilla latte from Starbucks, sometimes with an extra shot of espresso. I think I will go get one today. (2011- same addiction, same fave drink. Maybe drink them even more now that Eli is here, and I've discovered PW's iced coffee recipe.)
21. My pet peeve is bad grammar. It must be the teacher in me, but I sometimes cringe when I hear the word "ain't". (2011- still so true.)
22. I've learned a whole new language since marrying into the Bills family. They have phrases and saying that I've never heard of. For instance, my husband calls his dad and greets him with, "What you know good?" Then, my father in law will respond, "Not punkin'." Or, my mother in law will say the store had a "blue million" of an item. These are some of my favorites. (2011- still a lot of redneck sayings going on between those three, although I don't think leah and anthony partake, just my redneck husband.)
23. I hate grocery shoppping. Before we got married, I was very excited about going grocery shopping together and then I envisioned us cooking all of our dinners together while we chatted about life and how much we loved eachother. Ha. We still talk over cooking, but mostly now I grocery shop alone. (2011- still hate it, but have definitely gotten better at speed shopping, and cooking meals.)
24. I love any form of potatoes. Mashed, fried, roasted, scalloped, baked, etc. I love them all. My favorite are rosemary red potatoes. Slice them thin, drizzle them in olive oil, salt, and rosemary, then bake for 40 min. So good.... (2011- mmmmmmmm)
25. I love to cook. I have been getting tired of cooking the same meals, so I've been branching out lately. Got a good recipe? Send it my way! Whew...25 things is a long list! (2011- still love cooking, and matthew does too, so we like cooking and trying new things together, and eating out twice a month for dates!)

Okay, ready.....go!


Thursday, September 1, 2011


Just a quick drop-in today. Wanted to tell you about a friend of mine who just started her own website. Go check out

Caity makes just about the cutest wedding invites I've ever seen, and makes me want to get married all over again just to use hers!!

She also designs precious stationary that make me want to write thank you notes and sweet hellos all day long.

Caity also makes her own hair pieces and jewelry. Seriously, she does it all. Go check her out!! she's also doing a pretty sweet give-away:
Caity's Awesome Give-away

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8 Randoms

Good morning! I have a whole bunch of randomness for you this Wednesday a.m. Hope you don't mind.
We had a giant limb fall down the other day. It scared our pants off, and we are having some trees and more limbs removed as we speak. I awoke this morning to the sound of chainsaw and one of those chopping trucks going to town. Eli is mesmerized and terrified at the same time. Currently, he's attempting a nap while the chain saws and chopping truck (technical term) go at it. I hooked him up with a heater sound machine and turned on his fan full blast in hopes he doesn't sweat his cute bottom off. I should really invest in an actual sound machine for him. Anyway, this picture below is my baby's blond head. Do your babies do this? At your feet all day long? Eli is incapable of spending time by himself. If I leave the room for a second, I hear pitter patter feet running down the hall to find me. If I'm cooking, he's right under me. If I'm sitting, he climbing me. I tell him it's good and fun to play without mama, but no dice. Suggestions?

2.Eli is sort of following orders now. I hand him a wet diaper and tell him, "Take this to Daddy." And he does. I'll hear Matth in the other room say, " Oh, well, thank you bubba." Ha. ( Yes, we call him bubba. Not in the redneck way. It started out with me calling him babuh ( like baby) and somehow morphed.) My MIL is not a fan of this nickname. He'll also help me put clothes in the dryer, go get his shoes, etc. It's fun. He won't follow directions like the word, "no". Selective hearing.

3. He got this tractor for his birthday. He LOVES it now. He can't figure out how to sit down and push around with his feet, so he just stands up and walks around on it while standing. So cute.

This is his concentration face. He was focused.

4.Matth and I got our for our very first movie date since I was about 8 months pregnant. We saw Crazy Stupid Love. I was a little uncertain at first with the divorcing and womanizing, but the end kind of redeemed itself with the making amends. Somtimes I get awfully tired of every movie having cheating or divorce in it. I'd still say it was a good movie.

5. Eli is cutting about 7-8 teeth right now, all molars and incisors. Some days the don't bother him, some days they really bother him. Some days they really bother me. They take forever to come in. Hurry up and give him some relief please. That will make about 16 or so total teeth. Goodness.

6. I bought Eli his first pair of crocs the other day, and I LOVE them. They are perfect for outdoor play. He can get them filthy in the muddy puddles he seems to be a magnet for, and I simply rinse them off. I used to scrub his little shoes and hang them to dry for hours. Man, the things you learn as you grow into this mama thing.

7. Eli's newest obsession is cats. He still LOVES dogs, but he's recently added cats to his faves list. We used to have a cat, Rivers, and this cat is the neediest creature ever. Most cats like their space, but Rivers wants to be in your lap all the time. He's a talker too. If he wants outside, you hear it through the whole house, usually around 4 in the a.m. We love him, but when Eli was born, Rivers wanted in my lap specifically when i was feeding Eli. He would leap from the floor onto the boppy, with his nails, and basically be a huge nuisance. He wake Eli up around 3 in the morning, when I was feeding him in his nursery. Matth's parents acccepted the challenge, and we now get to visit Rivers at their house. Long story longer, eli is obsessed with rivers. He'll meow all day, only wants to look at books that have cat pages, points to his picture on our gallery wall. (yes, we put our pets' pics up). Obsessed. We've also been told 1 million times about cats possibly causing asthma in children by a family doctor. Have y'all heard that?

8.Eli's favorite song is "This little light of mine". He sticks his teeny tiny pointer finger in the air, hides it under a bushel, and blows it out. The cutest. He'll also sign "more" until we sing it 10 times straight.

I just heard a loud bang and some hollering. I'm fairly convinced tree-cutting may be one of the more dangerous jobs out there. There is a man way up high in the sky clinging to a limb and cutting it at the same time. I'll be back to show you some pics of the difference. My yard might see some sunshine for the first time in about 50 years.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Faves.

Good Morning! I survived Monday, and thought I'd share a little of what I'm loving this Tuesday. Did anyone get outside yesterday by the way? The weather was just about perfect--slight breeze, clouds and sunshine, 87 degrees...ahhhhh. I could almost feel Fall coming. If those pesky mosquitoes would leave, it'd be perfect. I LOVE me some summer, but am slowly getting ready for some crisp fall days, jeans, sweaters, boots, and soups!! These items below have absolutely nothing to do with fall, but I am loving them right now all the same.

Bib with clear plastic covers and pockets- genius! I remember my friend Jeanna told me these were on her must-have list for babies, and I never got them. I used cute cloth bibs and spent hours soaking them in oxiclean to try and get food stains out. These are great for washing food right off, and usually catch most of what Eli throws on himself during a typical meal session. They have saved me hours of laundry time.

The other day I was cheap and bought off brand all-purpose cleaner with bleach, and it literally burned my throat when I used it. I cleaned our bathroom floor with it ( our bathroom floor is 50 years old, and you must scrub it with a rag and spray to get it clean- no swiffering or mopping will work), and you could smell the bleach out in our kitchen, which is the completely opposite end of our house. I couldn't stand using it on our kitchen counters, and I definitely didn't want it on Eli's highchair that he eats off of. This Seventh Generation spray is what I usually buy, and I LOVE it. The Lemongrass and Thyme smell is so nice, and I don't worry about Eli eating anything off the counter, chair, (or floor) after using it!

These are hand-down my new favorite pens. I have always loved school supplies, and being a teacher, you have to have the perfect pens to make grading a little less painful. I discovered these, and only ever want to write with them. I will search the whole house for 10 minutes to find one instead of picking up another pen to make a list. I'm totally a nerd, but these pens make everything more fun- calendar events, grocery lists, you name it. :)

Our small groups are at our house this year, and this is the first book we are studying together. Y'all. Matth and I are only into the second chapter and we are already challenged. We listened to one of Platt's sermons online, and sat in bed until 1:30 a.m. discussing what Platt says. He makes me think about our so-called american dream and if my idea of a nice, safe life in my suburban neighborhood is really what Jesus called me to do. I certainly don't have the answers, but this book already has me hemming, hawing, and praying on my knees about living intentionally.

While you're reading Radical and taking notes with your new Sharpie pen, make you one of these cold coffees by PW. I might even like these better than Starbucks iced vanilla lattes. I'm too lazy to do her version though, and I simply grind and brew some hot coffee in the morning, have a small hot mug for breakfast, and pour the rest in a mug that goes in the freezer. An hour later, it's cold enough for a tall iced glass for brunch, with some left for my afternoon slump. Oh, and I always put in the sweetened condensed milk- it's delicious.

Okay, your turn. What are you loving right now?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My To-Do List

“There is nothing more important on your ‘to do list’ today than to be the heart of your home. it is no accident if you are a wife and mother. you have been given a special gift, God has entrusted you with taking earthly care of your spouse and children. use this day He has given you to show them love…grace…compassion…and the value of family. make your home a warm, loving and welcoming refuge. their safe haven. ask God to help you do His will for your family. show them the love of Christ, through you.”

“maybe the greatest gift you could ever give your children besides Jesus Christ would be the gift of time.”                                                                              anne ortlund

found my quotes on this blog: