Laura Jernigan

The Curly Life

Dear Ashley….Once again, I’m WAY behind.

Dear Ashley,

It’s the beginning of November  which means in just over ONE month, I will have a preschooler. Yes, you will be 25  3 soon. The question of, “Where does the time go?” comes up a lot. People are always saying, I remember when she was born or I remember that 1st birthday party. Time does fly. But the time is filled with memories of each day and how it’s so neat to watch you discover this world. I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop. I LOVE being at home with you. People still ask me if I enjoy it, and my answer never changes. Yes, I love it. I have never thought twice about that decision and your dad can tell you, I am a worrier, so that’s a big deal! I feel like each year has been significant, but this year has been really special. You went from being a toddler that spoke a lot of random words and phrases to a little person who is soaking up everything mommy tells you. It’s so funny, sometimes, when you forget your role and ask me if I understand you, or that I need to obey you, or I need to say ‘Yes ma’am.’ To those I quickly remind you of who you are and who I am and how we need not forget that. You have so many funny things you say and do and your personality is just so much fun. You love music and to sing and dance. Right now, you are pretty obsessed with Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and also Lecrae’s “Nuthin'”. They get requested most often, but sometimes I can get you to listen to Passion or Hillsong or JUST SOMETHING ELSE, PLEASE!!

Because we are usually listening to those in the car, I can’t always get videos of them, but you know e v e r y word. You are a lot like your mom in your ability to memorize lyrics!

Here is one of your favorite songs

Since you are so good at memorizing things, I have started teaching you some scriptures. You may not fully understand the verses, but if you know them now, you will grow to understand them later. They will be so hidden in your heart that you won’t have any problems recalling them when you need them in the future. I do know you are grasping some of it because one of the verses is, 1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands. The other day, daddy was talking to you about obeying mommy and daddy and when he said that you said, “Like obeying God’s commandments?” That confirmed in my heart that you are not only memorizing the Word, but it’s taking root!
So far, these are the verses you have memorized:

  1. Acts 16:31 – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved #
  2. Psalm 145:9 -The LORD is good to all. #
  3. Genesis 16:13 – You are the God who sees. #
  4. Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! #
  5. Psalm 27:1 — Jesus is my light and my salvation
  6. Numbers 6:24 – The Lord bless you and keep you
  7. Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
  8. Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
  9. 1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands
  10. Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
  11. Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
  12. Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Most of the time we go over these in the bathtub because that’s when I can usually keep your attention long enough to go over them!

This summer we sold our house and moved to a new house that we are renting until we get our house built. During that time we also transitioned you into a big girl bed. That was one of the more easy things we’ve had to do and I was so thankful it worked out so well. I thought it may be hard since you would be in a new room and a new bed, but it didn’t even phase you. It’s a lot more fun now too because we can lay with you in your bed and read books and cuddle and pray at bedtime now! I love that time because it’s so sweet to hear you say your prayers and tell Jesus all you are thankful for. We still sing your two favorite songs each night as well, Jesus Loves Me and Jesus, Only Jesus. “You will come back, the highest praise….”

We are in your 3rd Season – as I call it – of ballet. You have fun while you are there, but I’m not sure if this will be something you love or just like. So we will see if your ballet show gets canceled or if your contract gets renewed for more seasons! This class is a lot more structured than Mommy and Me ballet. I was a little bummed when I learned that I had to stay outside of the class and watch you through a 2-way window now instead of participating with you. I guess that means you are growing up! You will also be participating in a recital in the Spring….That makes me giggle to think about! I think you’re probably one of the cutest ballerinas I’ve ever seen and I especially love it when y’all do your tapping!!

Working on Flexability

Costume Day

This was some at home dancing to Shirley Temple!

My little tapper!

I forgot to mention that this summer you took swimming lessons for the first time. As much as you love swimming and going to the pool, I thought these would be a breeze. BOY was I wrong!! The lessons were for 5 days and Day 1-4 you screamed almost the entire time. Now to give you SOME credit, you did participate in all the exercises, you just cried through them all. But something happened on Day 5 and it’s like you suddenly realized we weren’t trying to kill you and you had the best day!

Day 1

Day 5

I’ve made a list of some different phrases and words that are funny to us:
Paper toilet
Brike (Bright)
Heaby (Heavy)
Doc McStuppins
There’s not some more left
Bumpity Bump Bump
My eyebrows hurt (she has a headache)
Chicken House (Mexican food)
Eleben (when she counts)
T zero Y zero T A for Ashley (spelling Toyota on the back of my car)
Whipe (White)
I’m Pookey!!
I’m not a baby, I’m a little girl!
I don’t feel so bad (I don’t feel good)
Fowlers
Belt seat
Hipad
Daddy is my boyfriend
Mommy is my best friend
Anytime you see an “A” it’s always, “A for Ashley”

You are so smart and learning so much each day. I know I should be doing a lot more to tap into that, but you will have MANY years of school and so, I guess I’d rather you enjoy being a kid! We do work on your letters and numbers a good bit, though. You can identify most all of the alphabet and the numbers through 10. You are also starting to grasp writing them. You definitely have writing the letter A down!

As always, your daddy and I love you so much. You are the most precious gift we have ever received and we take being your parents as the greatest job God has given us. We always want you to know we love you, we are your best friends and advocates. We believe in you and know that the Lord has BIG plans for you. We pray every day that what we do always points you to Jesus. If we don’t do anything else, let that be said of us.

Here are some pictures since the last post!

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Easter Sunday 2014

Easter Egg Hunt with Blake and Brooks

Easter Egg Hunt with Blake and Brooks

Hanging with a fav, Miss Jodi!

Hanging with a fav, Miss Jodi!

Your first time to be a flower girl was this past April at Mrs. Katelyn and Mr. Luke’s wedding!

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Katelyn and Luke's Wedding

Katelyn and Luke’s Wedding

We spent many days and evenings at Alabama Baseball games to support Coach Andy!

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Last game at The Joe before they rebuild it.

Last game at The Joe before they rebuild it.

Daddy took you to meet Anna and Elsa for the first time and it was a magical moment for you! He said you slowly raised your little hand up and just pointed at them in amazement! Ever since that day, it’s been princesses non stop! 
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Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa

Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa

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Target Fun with Jane Allen

Cinco De Mayo at Taco Casa!

Uncle Sean’s Wedding. Flower girl for the 2nd time.

Hily and Ashley

Hily and Ashley

Exploring the Compound with daddy.

Exploring the Compound with daddy.

Last days at our neighborhood pool before we sold our house.

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Exploring Huntsville with Chloe and Mrs. Debra

Exploring Huntsville with Chloe and Mrs. Debra

Lunch with daddy on the closing day of our house in Northwood Gardens

Lunch with daddy on the closing day of our house in Northwood Gardens

4th of July with KK & Pop

4th of July with KK & Pop

Serve Day with friends

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servedayfriends

Buddies you made at Servday – Dante and Tristen

Swimming Buddy, Prueitt

Swimming Buddy, Prueitt

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Summer fun and birthday celebrating for Hannah with Emma!

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2 things you love: driving in the neighborhood and Taco Casa

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Ready to go visit Pop at work!

Ready to go visit Pop at work!

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Visiting Pop at Phifer Wire before he retired this summer!

Tell Me WHYYYYY? Singing Frozen!

Tell Me WHYYYYY? Singing Frozen!

Summer Fun at Seagrove Beach

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Making beach friends

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More Beach Fun with our Jernigan and Venettozzi Cousins in Pensacola!download (72) download (73) download (75) download (76) download (77) download (78)

Dream Team Summer Party

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Cheering on Cousin Blake and the Cowboys this fall!

Cheering on Cousin Blake and the Cowboys this fall!

Tailgating with one of our other favs, Miss Kara.

Tailgating with one of our other favs, Miss Kara.

Your very 1st Alabama Football game. We played Texas A&M and beat them 59-0! I guess we should take you to more games!! Roll Tide!
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Visiting the Zeta House
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Halloween 2014 – We went as Monsters Inc as a family!
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halloween

download (87) download (89) download (90) download (91)My beautiful ballerina

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ballerina

Shooting guns with Mrs. Kelly and Mommy

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Best Friends!

Best Friends!

Love Expressed

The question is not if you are a worshiper or not, because we all are worshipers of something. The question is what are you worshiping?

Pastor Chris gave us the best message I’ve ever heard about worship and why we worship God a couple of year’s ago. We got to talking about worship in my small group this morning and I brought up this message because it explains why worship is so important and why Satan hates us so much. We took his job as worshiper and he forever hates us because of this.

Check out the message and just examine your life. Do you truly worship God in the way He deserves?

http://www.churchofthehighlands.com/media/message/why-worship-is-important

What Does Worship Pastor John Larson Say About SUCCESSS — congregation of 27,000 and growing

I love my church and the leadership. The example they set makes me want to grow and be better every day in my own walk and ministry.

understandingWORSHIP

If you could get behind the curtain — so to speak — of one of the fastest growing churches in America, what would you see?  What is the key to their success?

 I personally love to study churches, to see what lies behind their success or lack of success.  I have been a worship pastor and very passionate about worship for a couple of decades.  I have led crowds of a few to crowds of thousands.  But in the last couple of years, I have been making a transition from being a ”player” to being a “coach”.  Eventually all of us should, at some level, make this transition.  It’s God’s design. Look at any team:  the coach may not be able to play as well as the players (sports, music, debate — any team), yet the coach is still crucial to the success or failure of the program.  The…

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You are 2 and I am way behind!

Well, baby, you are two now….actually you are past 2. I’m just behind.

Last time we left off, you were about to start ballet. We did that and it was appropriately named. “Mommy and Me” ballet means mommy does everything the teacher does in hopes that “Me” will follow along! Ha Ha! The best was when daddy had to fill in for mommy! If only we had video of that!!
You did really well for the first 30 minutes, the last 15, you were ready to do your own thing! If anything it was just so cute to see you in a leotard and ballet slippers! I just signed you up again, so we’ll see if 4 months makes a difference!

First ballet shoes

First ballet shoes

Getting ready for her first class!

Getting ready for her first class!

Excited!

Excited!

Ribbon Time!

Ribbon Time!

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Miss Hannah giving out stickers!

Miss Hannah giving out stickers!

Stickers for a good job!

Stickers for a good job!


All the holidays came and went quickly including your birthday. It’s so hard to believe you are already T W O! Saying it flies by is an understatement. I feel like it just all happens in a blink of an eye. Like I tell people, the days can seem long sometimes, but the months fly right by.

For your birthday this year, we Yo Gabba Gabba’d it up! I figured since it was such a love for so long, we’d give it one last hurrah! We had a blast and our house was JAM PACKED with people who really love you! I just never can fully grasp how it is that God has blessed us so much with the most loving friends and family. It was awesome, but at the same time I made the decision: No more birthday parties at the house! WHEW, it wears me out!
Never the less, it was your day and all about you, so mommy did whatever she could to make it perfect! Daddy is also a very good licorice cyclops maker! We celebrated early so that it wouldn’t be too close to Christmas. On your actual birthday, we had a night of Taco Casa, Krispy Kreme and driving around looking at Christmas lights with the Phillips Pham! That was a blast….not the lights bc they were lame, but definitely the company. One day I’ll explain to you about U-turns and why I’ll always giggle when I think of them!

Your birthday came and went quickly just like Christmas did. It seems like we anticipate all these things and then like a flash, they have come and gone! This year, Christmas was a bit more magical. I imagine, it will just continue to get more fun as you understand more and more. This year, you loved the Christmas tree. It was so fun just to watch you stand there mesmerized by the lights and all the ornaments. You also loved our lights out front and every time we would go somewhere, you would always talk about the lights. Christmas morning was fun as well. You still didn’t quite understand why there are presents or that they are even called presents, but you had a great time ripping them open and playing with some new stuff! After we opened our gifts, we went to Hily’s and Jeremy’s to see them and Blake and Brooks. KK and Pop came over there as well and we all had breakfast together. Every year, we have the same breakfast. It’s something I always look forward to. Every year during the holiday season, KK and I make Great Grandmother Perren’s Hiram College Sweet Rolls. They are so delicious! So on Christmas morning, we have those along with cheese grits, bacon and egg casserole. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s just something we’ve done since I can remember and I love the tradition of it. One day I will teach you how to make them!

We are in the new year now, actually in the second month of it. Did I mention I was behind?? Usually in January, your daddy and I go to Atlanta to serve at Passion. This year, they had to move the dates and it was a smaller conference so they didn’t need as many volunteers. We didn’t sign up in time so the slots filled up. It actually worked out because daddy had to go on a work trip and I was invited to go along! It was a cruise which we had never been on one….and probably never will again, unless it’s a Disney one because Disney does everything better than everyone else….but any way, we left on a Wednesday and you stayed with KK and Pop. I was able to talk to them and you until Thursday evening when we shipped out. Once we were at sea, our phones were roaming so we had to turn them off. From Thursday – Monday morning, I had no contact with you. That was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done!! That could be why I didn’t enjoy the cruise as much because all I thought about was if you were okay. Of course, I worried for nothing, but I just couldn’t help it! I missed my baby!! It’s funny to me because there are so many days I think about how much I could use a break and then as soon as I get one, I can’t take it! I have a problem, I am addicted to you! HAHA! Admitting that is the first step, right?

Well here we are in February, oh yeah, last week we had Snowpocalypse. The south got a sudden, freak snow storm that pretty much paralyzed us. Daddy was in Las Vegas for work and couldn’t get home because of it. People had to abandon their cars and walk places, babies were born in cars, Chick-fil-a was getting passed out on the streets….it was nutso! Meanwhile, you and I hung out at home and I decided I would try to potty train you. Dear Lord help me! It’s still a work in progress, but we’ll get there, I hope!

So we are updated on life. I always try to include something I’m thinking about for you spiritually and right now I’m leading a small group about praying for our children. I started it based on a book by Mark Batterson called, Praying Circles Around Your Children. The book is great and I’m hoping that what I’ve already been doing plus what the book talks about will help me in raising you. I may no longer work in a traditional job, but I do have a job and that’s to raise you in a way that glorifies God. I see so much favor on you and I know your little heart is already being prepared for mighty things, little girl. The Lord has HUGE plans for you and all I want to do is prepare the way. I believe in prayer, that’s why I’m on the prayer team at church and the small group Prayer Hub leader. I believe it has the power to change anything and everything. I believe that to be a successful parent, you have to be a praying parent. Ashley Kathryn Jernigan, you are covered, my love. You were prayed for long before you were even formed in my womb. I know your Grandparents prayed for you long before I even became pregnant. You come from a legacy of prayer and I believe that because of that, you will lead a life that honors and pleases God. That’s all that matters to me. It’s not about what you look like, what you wear, where you go to school, what neighborhood we live in, what car you drive etc. If it’s all about that, then it’s worthless.

1 Peter 3:-4 says: Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

That’s what it’s all about little girl. A gentle and quiet spirit that is SO precious to God. I love you and pray for you constantly.

Things to Remember:

Bes Best – breakfast – you love breakfast. Oatmeal, waffles, or a breakfast bar and fruit, TONS of fruit

Tickle Tickle – you love to come after us and say “Tickle Tickle” you don’t even touch us, but if we react in a way like we are being tickled you just laugh so hard

Jessie – You love the show Jessie on Disney which is about  5 years ahead of your time. You sing the theme song and it cracks us up! Hey Jessie! It feels like a party every day….

You also spent some time being OBSESSED with Vanna Banana on Veggie Tales. You have memorized the entire movie.

If you don’t like that something has happened, you’ll say HEY!!! – You crack your KK up with that one.

When we are leaving somewhere and you are saying goodbye, you’ll say BYE Y’ALL in the most southern of southern accents.

You love going to the gym and playing. You also love church.

Meemos are still the favorite food at this time.

You love to hug mommy and daddy. When I get you up in the mornings we first have a big hug. Whenever I am drying you off after a bath or changing your clothes on your changing table, you motion me to come close so that you can hug and snuggle me. The best part is the little pats you give to my back. They are so tender, it’s just the sweetest thing ever.

You are so smart it just amazes us. The things you know and say and remember just show how much potential you have. You are even going on your 10th day of wearing panties all day! Potty training was something that scared me, but you have been doing so well with it!

Here are some pictures from your birthday party and Christmas:

Yo Gabba Gabba Snacks

Yo Gabba Gabba Snacks

Balloons!

Balloons!

Ashley is 2

CAKE! Delicious strawberry cake made by Chris Harris

CAKE! Delicious strawberry cake made by Chris Harris

Ashley is 2Ashley is 2

Details

Details

Photo Booth Fun!

Photo Booth Fun!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Muno Straws

Muno Straws

Muno Straws

Muno Straws

Foofa's Fruity Punch

Foofa’s Fruity Punch

It's my birthday!

It’s my birthday!

Ashley is 2

So excited to see all her guests arrive!

So excited to see all her guests arrive!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Baby Luke!

Baby Luke!

Party People!

Party People!

Ashley is 2

Presents!

Presents!

Hey Sarah!

Hey Sarah!

DSC_0068Ashley is 2

Singing Happy Birthday

Singing Happy Birthday

Make a Wish!

Make a Wish!

Your daddy is crazy!

Your daddy is crazy!

Rare unicorn sighting

Rare unicorn sighting

The future Meadows and Kristen Bowers

The future Meadows and Kristen BowersAshley is 2

MMMMM CAKE!!
MMMMM CAKE!!

The messier the better!

The messier the better!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Giving Pop some love!

Giving Pop some love!

Jaquita!

Jaquita!

Love my girl!

Love my girl!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

The men-folk

The men-folk

Kerra Jane!

Kerra Jane!

KK, Hily and Parker!

KK, Hily and Parker!

Chloe and Ash

Chloe and Ash

Pop and Parker

Pop and Parker

Chow time!

Chow time!

Ashley is 2 Ashley is 2

Emma Grace!

Emma Grace!

Photo Booth Time!

Ashley is 2

BR is a Good Sport!

BR is a Good Sport!

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Pop and KK

Pop and KK

Hey look! It's DJ SEAN!

Hey look! It’s DJ SEAN!

The Perren boys!

The Perren boys!

The Smith Fam

The Smith Fam

Love you two!

Love you two!

Photo Booth!

Photo Booth!

The REAL Foofa

The REAL Foofa

The Hudgins nuts, I mean family!

The Hudgins nuts, I mean family!

All the cousins at Ashley's party!

All the cousins at Ashley’s party!

Loving her new kitchen

Loving her new kitchen

Birthday present from mom and dad!

Birthday present from mom and dad!

Post party cousin time!

Post party cousin time!

CHRISTMAS

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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KK & Ashley opening presents!

KK & Ashley opening presents!

Christmas

What is it??

What is it??

I think she loved the couch from Aunt Hily and the Smith boys!

I think she loved the couch from Aunt Hily and the Smith boys!

Dear Ashley,

Wow, it’s been 5 months since I last wrote to you. I just looked back at the last post and goodness how time flies. To an adult, 5 months doesn’t mean much, but to a child, 5 months makes a huge difference.

Beginning of Summer

Beginning of Summer

From then to now, such a difference!

From then to now, such a difference!

You have taken on the name, “Toddler” by storm. It’s so crazy for me to think that this time last year, you were a baby. You were pulling up but not walking, you weren’t feeding yourself, you still took a bottle,  you were babbling but nothing much more than “Mommy and daddy” Now you can run, you count, you sing your ABCs, you make sentences – even though I can’t always understand them – you feed yourself, you bring me your plate when your done, you do your “chore” – feed Biggie, you play so sweetly, you love people and you think you are either a 10 year old or a 20 year old.  Those are mostly the ages you are around so I’m not sure you really believe that you are in fact a toddler!

BOO!

BOO!

Beloved Mr. Worm and the Pumpkin Patch

Beloved Mr. Worm and the Pumpkin Patch

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012

And now, this is you!

And now, this is you!

There is really no greater joy than to be your mom. The love and bond we have is so precious to me. We are best friends and we do pretty much every thing together! I know I need mommy time every now and then, but I really couldn’t see it any other way. It still baffles me when people as if I STILL like being at home. Umm yes, why would that change? I’ve said this from the start, that’s what the Lord called me to do. I worked outside the home from the time I was 15 until I had you. Now I work inside the home and get to spend all my days with you. What’s not to love?? Why would I lose interest in that? I guess I should return the question with, “Do you STILL  like working in your field?” Maybe that’s the problem, people aren’t happy with their current situation and wish they could do something different. Oh well, that’s their problem! Back to YOU!

Best Friends

Best Friends

Breakfast Date with Mommy

Breakfast Date with Mommy

Ready for Sports Night at First Wednesday!

Ready for Sports Night at First Wednesday!

Morning Cuddle Time

Morning Cuddle Time

The summer has passed and we did a lot of swimming at our pool. You still love the water and loved pool time. You did NOT like your Puddle Jumper vest though, so we mainly played on the steps of the pool. Maybe next year you will like it more! We’ll have to find a new spot next year when we move since we won’t have a neighborhood pool any more. Speaking of moving, we bought land this summer so that we could move a little further out and have some space! Right now, we go up there on week nights or on the weekend and just take a walk around the property. It’s a great time to enjoy each other as a family and just walk and talk and watch you discover nature! I can’t wait until we break ground and begin building and then live there permanently. Watching you grow there will be so much fun!

Bathing Beauty

Bathing Beauty

Pool time with Cousin Blake

Pool time with Cousin Blake

Pool Fun!

Pool Fun!

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You took your first airplane ride to see Papa and Nana in North Carolina. You were such a great passenger. Mama and Daddy were worried you would get motion sickness, but it didn’t even phase you. A mini tootsie roll pop and ginger ale kept everything A-ok! We had such a fun time in NC. Papa and Nana had a really fun kiddie pool in their neighborhood and we played there a lot!

Ginger Ale & Yo Gabba Gabba on the Flight

Ginger Ale & Yo Gabba Gabba on the Flight

Playing Bubbles with Papa.

Playing Bubbles with Papa

The coolest kiddie pool!

The coolest kiddie pool!

Miss Too Cool

Miss Too Cool

We took you to the beach for the first time this year and you loved it! I wasn’t sure how you would react to the sand, but you loved it and the Gulf. Waves would knock you down and you just got right back up went back to playing. It didn’t scare you at all! We went to Pensacola with your Jernigan cousins and got to have some fun time with the Jernigan and Venettozzi clans!

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ROLL TIDE with Cousin Olivia!

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L O V E the BEACH!

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I LOVE THIS!!

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Pensacola Beach

Daddy & Cousin Dabo with you

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Yummy Watermelon!

LOVE the BEACH!

LOVE the BEACH!

This summer we also had our church’s college internship group over here. We had about 40 college kids here and they all became your best friends! That’s part of the reason you don’t know you are a toddler. You were quite the socialize and a great hostess! We love our college friends at Highlands and we spend a good deal of time around them!

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Miss Schuyler was quite the fav of the night!

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Blowing kisses to Miss Kaitlin!

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You still love Gabba Gabba, but have developed a strong love also for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You really love Minnie and that’s who you will be for Halloween! It’s funny now because when Gabba Gabba comes on you say each character’s name as they are being introduced in the theme song and you do the same with Mickey Mouse. You actually call Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Hot Dog” when you want to watch it because they sing the “Hot Dog Song” at then end of every episode.  You love to dance to both shows and it cracks me and your daddy up! You are so full of personality and you always entertain us.

This summer you have also developed a deep love for Taco Casa and it makes your mama so proud! A snack combination burrito is your favorite and we’re about to have to move up to a regular size one! Every time we pass a location, you point and cry if we don’t stop. I totally understand. Mommy feels the same way!!

You have loved music since you were born and always get excited and dance when there is music on, but something that is so precious to me is that you really get into the music when it’s worship music. You dance and are giddy when regular music comes on, but when I turn on worship music, your face gets so serious and you try your hardest to sing along. Sometimes you raise your hands too. I always have the most recent Passion cd in my cd player in the car, so right now we have “Let the Future Begin” in there. You love all the songs and sing to them all, we also love to listen to Matt Redman’s new cd “Your Grace Finds Me”. It blesses my heart and makes me tear up to watch you sing along. It’s like you know the difference between worship and non-worship music! Of course, Lecrae is still a favorite and we have to throw him in the mix!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe-QHVciXME

Little girl, you really are the apple of our eye. Yes we know you are not perfect and that you will probably do something that will upset us at some point. You are OUR daughter after all :). But here is the truth of the matter, we will always love you no matter what. Nothing you could do would ever change that. We always want to have open communication with you and be there for you. Our goal is to coach you in life and always point you to Jesus. I never want you to feel like you have a standard to live up to or that we have expectations for you. You always hear parents tell their children to be leaders and that people look up to them. That’s great, but to me that puts way too much pressure on a child. My aim for you and what I’ve already started telling you is to “Be sweet and do your best.” I can’t ask for more than that and I won’t. I’ve also mentioned before about the things I pray over you. I’ve added a couple more to those:

Isaiah 54:13 (NET) – Ashley will be a follower of the Lord and she will enjoy great prosperity (My paraphrase)

Psalm 5:12 (NET)  – Certainly you reward the godly, Lord. Like a shield you protect them in your good favor.

Micah 6:8 (NET) – He has told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord really wants from you: promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.

I always pray that the Lord will draw you in at a young age to a real, right relationship with Him. I already see his favor on you and I know that He has great plans for you. I know I can’t be with you for every decision you make or every step you take, but I do know that I can pray fervently for you and trust that the Lord will answer those prayers.

Your mommy and daddy SO love you and we will ALWAYS be here for you. Tomorrow you’ll be 22 months old and ready to start your Mommy and me ballet class!

I love you, Little Girl!!

Mommy

Here are some things I want to make sure we never forget:

You have finally started telling us you love us. I think I’ve told you that I love you about 15 times a day every day and you now say “Luh You” back to us. Talk about melting our hearts!!

It cracks me up when you say, “Biggieeeee, wuv you!” I don’t have the heart to tell you that the feeling is not mutual. When ever you wake up in the mornings or from a nap or we come home, you say, “Hi Biggie!” It’s the cutest thing!

You love to go out in the backyard and just walk around or sit next to Starr’s pen and just explore. A lot of times you’ll wear daddy’s grass cutting shoes out there as well. It’s so funny to watch you try to keep them on!

You have developed a deep love for shoes as well. Any opportunity to put mine on, you do and it’s very entertaining.

You love your KK and your Pop and you get really southern when you say KK, It’s more like “Kaya Kay” Draw it out baby girl!

You still love Bake (Blake) and finally said “Hily” for Aunt Hily the other night. I think she teared up a bit.

You say “pease” and “tank tou” almost always without us asking for it.

You still do scrunchy face and now it’s on command.

I love that you say “Hi!” instead of “Hello” – I don’t know why, I just think it’s so cute! You say “Hi mommy!”

You love “Cukee” and “Mo” Translsation:  Cookie Monster and Elmo

I love that if you want us to “get you” your squint your eyes and put your hands up and start wiggling your fingers. – That might not make sense to anyone reading this, but it makes perfect sense to us!

You are basically a mini me of your mommy and try to mimic every thing I do. You even yell “Go” at the cars while we drive! Hee Hee!

When something doesn’t go right or you drop something, you say, “Awe man”

When I ask you if you want to do something and it is something you want to do, you’ll say “AHKAY” for “OK”

When you give us a kiss you pucker up and end the kiss with a “MMMMUAH!”

When we hug you say “OHWEEE”

More pictures from this summer through now:

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Naked Snack Time!

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BUBBLES!!

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Watching tv with Ariel

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Catching up with friends at church

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Pony Tail!

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Fun with KK!

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Worshiping with mommy at Summer Blast

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Summer Blast Finale with Chloe J

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Serve Day with Miss Kayla

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Serve Day

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Lunch Break at Serve Day

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Love Muffin

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Waterpark Day

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Good Morning Sunshine!

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Putting on make up like mommy

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Fun with Blake and Brooks

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Sam’s Birthday

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Spirit Night at First Wednesday

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Pig Tails

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Mr. Benson and Miss AK’s Wedding

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Miss Katelyn helping you wear AK’s wedding shoes!

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Isaiah’s Birthday!

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Football fun with our friend Chloe!

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Future is SO Bright!

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Ready to Tail Gate!

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ROLL TJ YELDON!

Sick Day

Sick Day

To Now, Such a difference

After church snack time!

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Being silly with Aunt Hily

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Breakfast, MMMMM!

Making friends at Outback America

Making friends at Outback America

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Cousin Love at Church!

Entitlement Plague

This post is a little more of a rant, so I apologize if it’s not what you want to hear!

Today some friends and I were discussing some issues we’ve noticed lately with people. Recently different events have occurred in the lives of some friends of ours which got us talking about how much life has changed.

I’m not old, I’m 30. But I feel like in today’s culture, I’m miles away from the next generation.

What happened to people having common courtesy? What happened to being appreciative for the things you have and things that people do for you? What happened to surrounding someone with love when something tragic happens?

I was taught that you speak to someone when they enter a room or if they come up to a group of people where you are standing/congregating. Old or young, you show courtesy and speak!!
I was taught that when someone gives you something, you say thank you at that time and then write a thank you note after that. That also goes for when someone does something for you or just send one to someone just because you wanted to bless them, period!
If you are getting married, you aren’t owed parties just because you are getting married. People throw them for you because they want to and love you. Don’t EXPECT them and don’t be upset if you don’t think you had as many thrown for you as you feel you “deserve.” Same goes for baby showers, graduations, birthdays…. You are not ENTITLED to anything.

The other thing, this is the major one, if someone has a baby, take them a meal. If someone has a major surgery take them a meal. If someone has a death in the family, loved one in the hospital whatever it is, take them a meal. If not that, visit them, call them (YES, CALL….not TEXT), check on them. Show people you care! Your life is not so busy that you can’t take a moment to make sure someone is ok. New moms are overwhelmed, people who lose loved ones are hurting, people with a family member in the hospital are completely off schedule.

If there is a visitation for a death, GO. Does anyone really like to go to those?? No, but it’s called honor and respect. You do them because you honor the person who died or who lost a loved one. You do it because You care. You do it because it’s called being a decent human being.

I’m so tired of seeing such a selfishness in people to where if it doesn’t benefit them, they don’t show up. If it doesn’t benefit them, they don’t participate.

The thing it boiled down to in the conversation today is that people feel they are entitled. I guess because you breathed today, you deserve a cookie. No, you don’t. God gave you that breath to use and bless others. Not yourself.

Life is about serving the Lord and serving people. Guess what?? When you do that, you get blessed in the process. And no, I don’t mean you get something, I mean you get that warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart because you understand what scripture says when it says. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” How about, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Give and it will be given back to you. Good measure, pressed down , shaken together and over flowing!!

Life is about so much more that what you see. What you see is temporary, what you don’t see is eternal. Be eternally minded. You may lose a Saturday because you sat with someone in a hospital or you went to a funeral for someone you didn’t even know, but you knew their loved one they left behind, or you were in the kitchen making a meal for someone in need. I guarantee you, that you won’t remember what you gave up, but you’ll definitely remember what you gave – Yourself.

I am sorry to be so harsh, but it’s the truth and the truth doesn’t always sit well with folks, but if it makes you stop and think or change, then I guess it was worth saying.

Write that down,

Laura

New Decade, New York

So this year’s birthday was a big one for me. I turned 30. I thought I would have a negative emotional feeling about it, but I didn’t. It actually feels really good. My 20’s was a decade of learning about who I was and wanted to be and now that I know, my 30’s can be about living it out! Kyle and my sister planned a huge surprise party for me and even had my mom in on it and she didn’t tell me!! Way to go, mom! The party was perfect and I was absolutely clueless and shocked! It took a few minutes for it to register that everyone was there for me! I had never had a surprise party and so that meant the world to me for Kyle and Hilary to do that and for all my friends to come and celebrate! Y’all are the best!

Only the best cake...Edgar's Strawberry cake!

Only the best cake…Edgar’s Strawberry cake!

Three and a half years ago, I got my first taste of New York City.  I loved every inch of the city we explored and I had been itching to get back ever since. Since my big 3-0 was coming up I thought what better way to celebrate it, then another trip to NYC?! I knew Kyle would be on board because he loves it just as much as I do. So we booked our trip and my mom & dad agreed to keep Ashley for us!

Leading up to the trip, everyone kept asking what our plans were going to be when we got there. My response, was always, I don’t know! Of course, I compiled a list of places to eat on a Pinterest board, but other than that I didn’t want to be on a schedule! We did that on our first trip to where we had to be somewhere at a certain time to where I really felt like we didn’t enjoy the city. This trip was all about whatever we felt like doing and it was a BLAST! Our friends, Kyle and Jackie Hudgins also went to NYC during that time for their anniversary, so we met up for dinner one night and also took them on our Brooklyn adventure!

One of the days we went from Midtown, to Brooklyn, back to Midtown, to the Bronx which is pretty much the entire length of Manhattan. I had my hair cut & styled at the Curly Hair Mothership -Ouidad. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and wandered around Brooklyn to find an eclectic diner with amazing doughnuts and southern cooking. We walked all through Central Park. Waited in line for an hour a juicy burger and milkshake. Played in F.A.O Schwartz, pizza in Little Italy, meandered our way through a Jewish parade, ate Waffles & Dinges from a food cart, watched the Yankees get beat by the Red Sox, Times Square, had cut with a spoon, amazing steak with 3 different sides of potatoes….yes, I’m serious, 3 different sides of potatoes! The end cap of the trip was my birthday celebration at our favorite restaurant with cannolis for dessert and a trip to the Marriott Marquis Lounge to overlook Times Square.

This trip was so much fun to me because we just woke up each day and set out to do whatever we felt like! I think we saw so much more of the city by doing that! I can’t wait for the trip where we can take Ashley! She is going to love it!!

– Laura

Here are the Surprise party and NYC pictures….Yes, there are a ton. I believe that life is only well documented if there are pictures to accompany the journey.

Very Surprised!

Very Surprised!

These 3 were quite proud that they got me!

These 3 were quite proud that they got me!

The Group!

The Group!

Best Sister-Friend ever!

Best Sister-Friend ever!

These two didn't make the group pic bc they were part of the trickeration and brought Ashley behind us.

These two didn’t make the group pic bc they were part of the trickeration and brought Ashley behind us.

The baby angel joined the party too!

The baby angel joined the party too!

NYC

Traveling with the Jernigans can be comical to the point of asking, “Where are the hidden cameras because this is absolutely crazy?!?” So these faces can tell a few different stories of travel experience!

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We stayed 2 blocks from Grand Central Station. It was great because we could either walk to where we needed to go or jump on the metro! Super convenient!

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Our flight got delayed leaving Chicago, so we got to NYC 3 hours later than expected. We threw our stuff in the room and ran out the door to catch dinner at John’s on 12th St. It’s a place we saw on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. Pretty good food, even better view!

My Man

My Man

Friday morning, I got to make a dream come true by visiting Ouidad Salon. Got my hair cut and styled by people who actually know how to cut and style curly hair. Probably the first time in 30 years that I’ve been to a salon where they styled my hair and I didn’t go home, rewash it and style it myself! It was truly a magical experience!! And of course, the product junky bought products!

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After Kyle patiently waited for me to finish up at the salon, we headed to his favorite pizza spot, Lombardi’s Pizza in Little Italy. They have delicious coal oven pizza. Probably the best I’ve had in NYC.

A little excited for pizza

A little excited for pizza

Lombardi's Pizza

Lombardi’s Pizza

Little Italy

Little Italy

After pizza, we walked around the city and ended up in the Financial District. Neither of us had ever seen the Bull so we decided to check it out….I’ll spare you the angle that that most people were getting their picture made with it, but here is Kyle with the bull.

2013-05-31 13.36.45The last time we visited NYC, the place where the WTC towers was still a big hole in the ground and it was still eerily quiet around that location. Now the Freedom tower is being built and things seem to be more positive because of it. I hope to visit it when it’s completed!

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The next stop was the most important stop on our trip….

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Yes, it is candy heaven

Yes, it is candy heaven

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That evening we made reservations at Delmonico’s Steak House based on recommendations from my friend Bethany and it did not disappoint!! I had the Delmonico Steak – a rib eye- and it was so tender I could cut it with a spoon! We will definitely go back when we are in the city again. Kyle and Jackie joined us there for dinner. Afterwards we hopped on the subway and hit up Times Square since Kyle H. had never been. I don’t care if it’s nothing but a tourist attraction, I love the lights and all the people! I think it’s great!

Ready for Dinner!

Ready for Dinner!

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Broadway

Broadway

These lights will inspire you!

These lights will inspire you!

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Jay Z who?

Jay Z who?

We went from there to Magnolia Bakery (which we thought was way over rated) to get some dessert. The dessert may have been over rated, but this view wasn’t!

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The next day we decided we wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Probably one of the neatest and fun things we’ve done in NYC. Just a word to the wise, stay out of the bike lane if you are not on a bike.

Typical.

Typical

Typical, again.

Typical, again.

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Looking back towards Manhattan.

Looking back towards Manhattan.

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Manhattan

Manhattan

He just loves taking pictures!

He just loves my sense of humor!

Subway Artistry

Subway Artistry

After we crossed the bridge, we went on our Brooklyn adventure to find another Diner, Drive-Ins and Dive location called Pies ‘N Thighs. It was a soulful southern comfort place tucked in the middle of Brooklyn, NY. I’m so glad it delivered because they might have killed me if it wasn’t good after our little hike! We had their doughnuts for appetizers and then chicken and waffles for the main course!

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Seems to be a reoccurring thing with him!

Seems to be a reoccurring thing with him!

Raised Pecan Crunch Doughnut. A-MA-ZING

Raised Pecan Crunch Doughnut.          A-MA-ZING

Fruit Stand in Brooklyn

Fruit Stand in Brooklyn

After our adventure in Brooklyn, Kyle and Jackie went on their own way and we headed to Central Park!

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields

The lake in the park

The lake in the park

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After meandering across the entire park, we headed back to our place to rest up for the game that night. Definitely a bucket list item. Not only did we go to a Yankees game, but they were playing the Red Sox. Since we are really Braves fans we like both the Sox and the Yankees, but when in Rome…. The Red Sox won which did kind of stink since we were there to see the Yankess win, but oh well! It was fun any way!

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Two hands in the air for the big city

Two hands in the air for the big city

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Subway ride after the game. PACKED.

Subway ride after the game. PACKED.

Sunday-fun day was my birthday and we started the day off with FINALLY finding the Waffle and Diges truck. We had been following them on twitter and found a truck nearby. We did have to find our way to it by way of a very large Jewish parade, but where there’s a will, just walk through the parade!

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Yes, that's Nutella drizzled on top!

Yes, that’s Nutella drizzled on top!

After that we went to Crate & Barrel where I got my birthday present, measuring cups and measuring spoons. Yep, that’s what I wanted and they are awesome! Then we headed over to F.A.O. Schwartz and had a little fun!

Jackpot!

Jackpot!

Too Big?

Too Big?

Kyle is Ironman

Kyle is Ironman

Wasn't too impressed with Lego Land until I saw him! I heart Batman.

Wasn’t too impressed with Lego Land until I saw him! I heart Batman.

Any BIG fans? shimmy shimmy coco pop....

Any BIG fans? shimmy shimmy coco pop….

After that we headed up to Madison Square Park to get a burger and shake at the Shake Shack. It was an hour long line to place our order, but it was worth it. The burger was delicious and the shake was excellent!

Flat Iron Building near Madison Square Park

Flat Iron Building near Madison Square Park

Empire State of Mind

Empire State of Mind

Shake Shack - yes, we are in line.

Shake Shack – yes, we are in line.

For our trip finale, we had my birthday dinner at Tratorria Dell’Arte. It’s a place our friend Vincent introduced us to the first time we visited NYC and Kyle has been back multiple time for business dinners. I’ve been dreaming of going back and so I finally got to go back! We had an antipasto plate for an appetizer and then I had the chicken parmisiana for dinner. BUT, dessert was the real treat. They have the best cannolis I’ve ever had. So So Yummy! They even put a sparkler in them for me -that wasn’t embarrassing at all!

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Yes, that's one portion.

Yes, that’s one portion.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Best Birthday yet, with my best friend!

Best Birthday yet, with my best friend!

We ended the night with a trip to the Marriott Marquis Lounge for a night cap and a view of  Times Square!

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Thanks for reading – as you can tell, I love NYC! 30 is great and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead!!

Picture Perfect Father’s Day

So it’s Father’s Day, and this year I didn’t want to give Kyle a present that was ordinary. You know, a new shirt, new shoes, a tool or something like those types of things. I wanted it to be thoughtful and something he would appreciate more than a material type thing. I had thought about doing a picture collage of Ashley with the letter’s “D-A-D” but then I thought it would be hard to try to do that on my own. See, I didn’t think outside the box of asking someone to help me….I’m not like that! I am “A-type” personality. Everything is supposed to fit inside my box and if it doesn’t, I get frustrated! That’s a whole ‘nother therapy session.

Thankfully, my friend Bethany had the bright idea of asking me if I wanted to do a picture collage with her! Oh well, there is a novel idea. Ask a friend!!! DUH, Laura. So we decided that we would meet at the Riverwalk Park and have a nice photo session of our two precious angel children who would sit perfectly and hold the letters just how we planned…..Silly us. You see, Pinterest only shows you a final result. There’s never a, “This is what it took to get this to look this way.” Pin. Nope, everything is picture perfect on Pinterest!!

Final Product

Final Product

Final Product

Final Product

 

Oh and it’s really hard to take a picture of a picture frame without getting a glare in the picture!!

So Wednesday came and we met up to get these pictures. We let Ashley go first. She would sit in the chair long enough for me to turn around and get into position to take the picture and then she was gone! I chased her up and down the bridge we were on. She would sit back in the chair, but then wouldn’t hold a letter. I snapped several with the D and then the A and then we gave Will a shot. He did much better because he isn’t walking yet. So he sat so nicely in the chair and held the letters! After we took some on the bridge, we decided to move to another location where there was grass. “Maybe she’ll sit nicely on the grass and hold a letter.” HA! Silly mom. Did I mention that it was sweltering hot and humid as well? There was a tropical storm somewhere nearby and so we were getting all the humidity from it. I mean suffocatingly hot. So we moved to a new location and the results were about the same; running off and not interested in sitting nicely in a chair holding letters. By the end, both kids were completely over the photo session as were the mothers!

BUT, all that effort made a really cute photo collage to which got the exact response I was hoping to get! Kyle loved his frame and cannot wait to hang it in his office! He also got a certificate from Ashley for a day of doing dad things like fishing and playing with Starr all day with no complaints from us girls. He deserves it. He works so hard for this family and has made it possible for me to stay home with Ashley. Therefore, I’m able to have the freedom to make gifts for him that he’ll hold on to forever! Happy Father’s Day, Kyle! Your girls love you beyond measure!

 

Here are some pictures that didn’t make the frame….

Holding the letters are optional!

Holding the letters are optional!

Not going to sit down!

Not going to sit down!

I'm outta here!

I’m outta here!

Hey Will! Whatcha' doing?

Hey Will! Whatcha’ doing?

I'm done, right mom?

I’m done, right mom?

 

OVER. IT.

OVER. IT.

Hand over the goldfish and no one gets hurt!

Hand over the goldfish and no one gets hurt!

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ashley….It’s been a while

Well baby,

It’s been a little while. We’ve been so busy I have not had the time to sit down and write to you. I was just reading the last entry I wrote to you and so much has changed since then!

At the first of the year, mommy and daddy left you behind for the first time. I thought I was a little crazy for our first trip away being 4 nights, but we did it and we all survived! Thankfully your KK and Pop were able to keep you while mommy and daddy served at Passion 2013. Mommy had a hard time about a week before the trip, because it hit me that I was going to be away from you. I prayed and asked friends to pray and the Lord calmed my spirit and I was able to have peace about it! I knew it was just the devil wanting to distract me because he never likes when we serve the Lord. Too bad (for him) he ALWAYS loses! KK said you only got sad a couple of times, but they were able to distract you and you quickly got over it. By the 3rd night, mommy was starting to have withdrawals. We pushed through and completed our trip and returned to you as quickly as possible.

So happy to see our girl!

So happy to see our girl!

One thing I worried about was that you were going to start walking while we were gone. I knew you were on the verge and I really didn’t want it to happen while we were out of town. Thankfully you waited, but daddy ended up missing it. After we got back from Passion, daddy turned right around and left for Miami to go watch Alabama play Notre Dame in the National Championship game with Mr. Caleb. The day of the game, I was preparing for KK & Pop to come over and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I had to take a double take and sure enough, you were taking steps! I quickly whipped out my phone and got to record you do it again! I took that as a sign that we would win the National Championship and we did. You’re welcome Alabama Nation! Roll Tide.

Walking with daddy after church.

Walking with daddy after church.

From that day on, there was no stopping you. You’ve gotten sturdier and sturdier on your feet. Now you are practically running and constantly a night mare to Biggie! He still doesn’t like you….sorry, it’s true. But, he has never tried to bite you or anything. I think deep down he knows, that he’s gone if he ever touches you. So instead, he takes the torture of you chasing him, playing with his toy monkey, dumping out his food and water bowls, and now sitting in his bed. It’s quite comical.

Poor Biggie

Poor Biggie

You are so smart, it amazes me. I know it’s a matter of time before you start really talking. You are constantly babbling….I’m pretty sure I know who you get that from -Cough-daddy-Cough! Every morning the way I know you are awake is because you start having a conversation with yourself. I love that you are happy. Every. Morning. I can’t think of a morning where you are not happy when you wake up, that is, if we don’t have to wake you up. You are still such a good sleeper. 12 hours, every night. Such a dream!

You have begun to master my iphone. You know how to unlock it, and find two things you love. 1. music – and somehow you always manage to get it to Lecrae. He is still, by far, your favorite. and 2. “Gabba, Gabba, Gabba” – that’s what you say as you are looking for it. You don’t take it too kindly when I take the phone from you….there’s a slight temper coming out of you. But I’m praying that out! Ha!

It truly is a joy watching you learn and grow. I am just so blessed to be able to be with you every day. Someone asked me the other day, if I missed working. There was no hesitation when I said, “NO!” I don’t miss it. I wouldn’t change our decision for me to stay home for anything. People say I am blessed to be able to stay home and I am. I do not take it for granted. Is it a sacrifice? Yes, but it’s one that I know is worth every penny I’m not making. We get to do whatever we want every day. Usually it consists of the gym and play time around the house. It took you about 3 weeks to get used to the gym nursery. You cried and had to be held the first few weeks, but now you walk in there like you own the place and play with all the children. One day this week, I walked in to get you and you had a princess dress on and no shoes! I knew you had a ball. And it’s good for you to be in there and interact with all the children and nursery workers. All the while, mommy get’s a little bit of time for stress relief!

Me and my girl!

Me and my girl!

love this face!

love this face!

Wagon Riding!

First Wagon Ride!

The past few weeks, we’ve joined a homeschool group from the church and have done some really fun things! We’ve played at a park, went to see The Little Mermaid, Jr. at which you had a ball. Your favorite song was, “Under the Sea.” You danced along with it and clapped at all the scene changes! Today we went on a tour of Krispy Kreme and it ended with a hot n now doughnut! Mommy thought we’d share it, but as it turned out, Mommy got 1 bite! You killed that thing! Next week, we are going to visit a honey farm! We got visit CHOM for the first time also. It was a monumental day for mommy because I grew up going there and LOVED it. So taking you there was such a special day for me! Of course, you had so much fun and Blake, Brooks, Jackson, Maddie and KK went too!

Driving the Truck at CHOM

Driving the Truck at CHOM

Fun in the Soda Shop

Fun in the Soda Shop

Little Miss Soda Jerk!

Little Miss Soda Jerk!

Small Group at the Park!

Small Group at the Park!

Krispy Kreme Tour

Krispy Kreme Tour

You are still a great eater and you have pretty much mastered the spoon! That’s a milestone just like you holding your own cup was. It takes you less than 5 minutes to wolf down your oatmeal in the mornings. You still love strawberries and eat them every morning. There are some fruit and veggie pouches that I give you when I feel you need a few more nutrients for the day. The speed at which you take them down is impressive. I think your favorite food is still my spaghetti sauce. I have had fun hiding different veggies in it too. Even daddy can’t tell they are in there! I have also made mashed potatoes with squash and parsnips. You gobbled those up as well. I’ve learned I have to be creative if I want you to eat certain things! It’s good though, because it helps mommy and daddy eat better too!

Probably one of your most favorite people is cousin Blake. Whenever you are around him you want to be right next to him or you want him to hold you. It’s so sweet how much you love him and how much he loves you. When I see that connection it reminds me of the day you were born. Cousin Blake stayed right by your bassinet and just watched you. He loved you from the moment he saw you and he even cried that night as he and Hilary drove home because he loved you so much! Fast forward to today and that feeling is mutual. It makes me cry to type about it, because it makes me so happy to see!

Dancing with cousin Blake

Dancing with cousin Blake

Love!

Love!

Some things you do and have experienced that I don’t want to forget:

You experienced your first snow. It was wet and didn’t last long. You kept wanting to sit down, but I didn’t want you to get dirty! HA!

The blow whale face and sound! You puff your cheeks up and blow and it’s so funny!

You love to say bye-bye and it’s usually followed by “KK.” It started when I was getting off the phone with her and you heard me say bye and now every time I say bye, you say, “Bye-Bye KK!”

You went on your first Easter Egg hunt and knew what to do! But you did try to give all your eggs away!

You still crunchy face smile and now it happens almost on command.

You hug me and love on me so much. It’s the best! I stop whatever I’m doing and just cherish those moments. When you hug me, you say, “Ohhhhhhh” It’s the sweetest!

You’ve learned to spin around and that’s fun to you

You’ve also learned to open the doors now. You aren’t quite tall enough to reach the handles well, but you are a determined little girl and you reach on your tippy toes until you get it.

You love to dance still and especially love the “Hot Dog” song on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

When you say, “Daddy” you say, “DA-deee” and the DA part is high pitched.

Sometimes when you walk around you walk with your arms behind your back. It’s like you are inspecting things. It’s so cute!

I know there are somethings I’m forgetting and I’ll have to update as I remember.

You’re life began with prayer and we still pray over you every day. I feel like there is nothing too small or unimportant to pray about for your life. I am already praying for your future spouse. Praying the Lord will guard his heart and prepare his heart for the day he meets you. I pray he will love Jesus first and then love you like no other. I pray he honors you, and respects you and saves himself for you. I pray that you two will be world changers together and have an incredible ministry. I still pray Psalm 1 over you every day too. I pray that the Lord captures your heart at an early age and that you will follow the path He has laid out for you. You are precious to me and your daddy. I love you so much, but Jesus loves you more. He died so that you may have life. There is no greater love than His and I pray you know that and live life telling others of that great love!

I love you little girl,

Mommy

Here are a bunch of different pics from the last 4 months:

Our Fam!

Our Fam!

She loves her daddy!

She loves her daddy!

Dance Time!

Dance Time!

Scrunchy Face!

Scrunchy Face!

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

Going to Church - First Day in the Bees (walkers)!

Going to Church – First Day in the Bees (walkers)!

Mr. Ross shared his doughnut at First Wednesday!

Mr. Ross shared his doughnut at First Wednesday!

An apple a day...

An apple a day…

Hunting Eggs with Mommy

Hunting Eggs with Mommy

EGGS!

EGGS!

So. Much. Fun.

So. Much. Fun.

All the egg hunters!

All the egg hunters!

Easter outfit mommy & KK made!

Easter outfit mommy & KK made!

Wagon Time!

Wagon Time!

First paddle licking!

First paddle licking!

Sweet Love

Sweet Love

Bath tub art!

Bath tub art!

 

Hidden Gems

Dear Ashley,
Just wanted to document a cute phase you are in right now. You currently have some favorite people in your life; little wooden bus people and Sesame Street characters. Throughout the day you have at least one of them in your hand while playing. Since they are constantly in our hands, that means they constantly end up in the spot where your attention span took you in a different direction.
It cracks me up to find them because much like a desk in a school where people sign their names, it’s evidence that, “Ashley was here.”

These are, “your people” and here are some places of reference!

 

The Elephant, that you are supposed to put balls in to his ears.

The Elephant that you are supposed to put balls in to his ears.

But, instead of balls I find Big Bird!

But, instead of balls, I find Big Bird!

Not only have you pulled out the baking bowls & measuring cups, but you left behind evidence that you had been there.

Not only have you pulled out the baking bowls & measuring cups, but you left behind evidence that you had been there. See the pink lady?

Poor, Mr. Blue man...Buried in the baking supplies!

Poor Mr. Blue man…Buried in the baking supplies!

 

 

Love,

Mom

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