Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

This year, we packed up the car and traveled to west TN for Christmas. I haven’t spent a Christmas in Jackson since before I was married. It’s hard enough to split holidays between your family and your spouse’s family. But, try having divorced parents who live 6 hours away from each other. There is no way to see everyone at one break.

We stopped in Rockwood for the night on our way to Jackson to visit my sister and grandparents. It was a very strange feeling to be celebrating without mom there with us. I’m certain it will be less strange as the years move forward but this one was a tough holiday. AR did get some quality play time with my grandparents which I believe helped to ease the pain.

On Sunday, we were off to Jackson. We all survived the long car ride and were happy to be there. I got to visit with some of my family that I had not seen in many years. Because I grew up in Jackson, all of my childhood Christmases were with these people. I loved having Clint and Anna Ruth peek into my past.

Christmas morning was a fun time with Anna Ruth seeing what Santa brought her. Keep in mind that she is only 16 months old. The picture where she is sitting in front of a tea set and 2 baby dolls is all that Santa brought. We had a few gifts wrapped for her to open, but for the most part it was a very modest Christmas. Clint and I only felt a twinge of guilty (and I mean for like, 2 seconds) when we would see pictures of other kids Christmas morning “spreads.” But, we quickly snapped out of it. Y’all, she isn’t even 2. She has no idea what presents are all about and could care less how many she gets. Heck, she doesn’t even get into opening gifts. We made a conscious decision not go all out and buy gifts that she wouldn’t care about or play with often. She already has a room full of toys and our house is not big by any means. Storage becomes a huge issue when you start accumulating children’s toys. So, we asked our family to give to her college fund. When she is 18, she is going to be way more grateful for that college fund than she will be about a Tickle Me Elmo bought in 2013. Plus, why would we want to out shadow the real reason we celebrate?

I pray that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas being with those you love and remembering that if it were not for our Savior, we would all be lost!

AR with my Nanaw

Last hour of the trip we resorted to the DVD player--never say never, especially when you are taking a 7.5 road trip!
Helping Daddy pick up sticks in Coe's yard
Childhood friends with kids of our own
Annie and Anna Ruth
Checking out her new toys
Daddy helping
Christmas lunch
Picking pecans
Coe and Anna Ruth
Watching the cows with Pop
Hanging out with Aunt Brooke and Uncle Ben
Pappy helping AR
Cousin love
Opening gifts at Nana and Pappy's house--all this girl cared about was "cookies" (aka graham crackers)

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Miracle

I think our Santa practice paid off. We took Anna Ruth to the mall yesterday to meet the "real" SC. Don't let this picture fool you. There were tears before this shot but I have honestly never seen her stop crying so quickly before now. The flash started going off and she pull herself together. Of course, Mommy and Daddy looked like the biggest idiots behind the camera jumping up and down, waving our hands and saying silly things, but that's normal for us now, ha!

Santa Picture, Year 2= Success!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Month Difference

It is really hard for this momma to believe that it has been 10 months since AR first used a spoon to eat and now she is feeding herself with one. My big girl!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Anxiety

Last weekend we stopped by a local Christmas tree lot to get a wreath. We saw they had a Santa taking pictures with kids. I told Clint we should see how Anna Ruth does this year with Santa before we pay to get a picture with the Santa at the mall. Last year she did really well (granted she was only 4 months old). I think these pictures speak for themselves!
Not a fan this year!
This is as close as Santa could be without her crying.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Our family certainly has so much to be thankful for this year (and always, really). Hoping each of you will take the time to thank God for all you have been blessed with because so many are not as fortunate to have families that love them, friends to call upon, warm homes to snuggle up in, an abundance of food or jobs to provide for themselves. Things may not always be great, but we are always more blessed than we may realize!

Our Little Turkey

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Middle TN Fun

A few weekends ago, we traveled to Nashville to visit Brooke and check out her new townhouse. (Which is so cute!) This was Anna Ruth's longest car trip to date. I'm not going to lie, the ride down was not very pleasant! My child hates her carseat and being confined in any way. (I think this holds true for most toddlers.) However, the trip back was wayyyy more manageable! It makes me not so nervous about our holiday travels.

Brooke blessed Clint and me in the biggest way anyone of a small child could...she watched Anna Ruth while we went out on our own. And I mean all day and all night on Saturday. She pretty much qualifies for sainthood in our book now! Clint and I had such a nice time exploring around Brentwood and Franklin in the morning and downtown Nashville that night. We felt like we were back in college. We love you Aunt Brooke!
On the way back home Sunday we decided to make a small detour to Murfreesboro. (AR was behaving so we took our chances!) We wanted to see the new buildings on campus and introduce Anna Ruth to a very special place. We can't wait to tell her all about how Mommy and Daddy met at MTSU and how much we loved our time in the 'Boro. We stopped to pick up lunch and had a picnic on campus.

I also feel the need to give props to our other passenger. We took Chloe with us and she is a dream traveler. There was even one point where we thought we forgot her back at a gas station simply because she was so quiet... turns out she had hidden in the floor board to avoid books being thrown at her head by a certain 1 year old who enjoys that kind of entertainment. We started her on the road very early on when we lived in Clarksville and were keeping I-40 in business. Chloe Belle, you get no recognition anymore but we do still love you!!

It was a quick trip but was positively worth the drive!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween

This year Anna Ruth was old enough for us to dress her up and start her on some Halloween fun. The Sunday before Halloween we all went to out church's Trunk or Treat. She wore a ladybug costume that I found at a garage sale for $1! It was perfect because the temperature wasn't too cold. On Halloween we put her in a sweet lamb costume that my friend Katelyn let us use. We weren't sure if she would keep the head part on but she made it around to our neighbors before ripping it off! Clint and I took her to some of our neighbors to show her off (she LOVES our neighbor Joyce who feels like part of our family). Then we went home to wait for our trick or treaters or "trick treats" as Anna Ruth kept saying. By far her favorite part was seeing all the kids coming to our door. She got very excited every time, it was so cute!

Monday, October 21, 2013


I usually dress Anna Ruth in clothes that are either classic or look like little girl clothes (pinks, floral, pastels, etc.) I try to steer clear from the baby clothes that look like teen/adult trendy clothes. Now, that's not to say she doesn't have some clothes like this but that is my general rule. And I love, love, love dressing up my little blonde haired blue eyed doll!

Clint dressed AR and brought her to eat lunch with me last week. She was so cute in her little jean jacket with pink bow and sunglasses! I believe daddy secretly loves dressing her as much as mommy. I can already tell the teenage years are going to be trouble because she was rocking that little Hollywood glamour!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Family Visits are the Best

AR and I packed up the car and headed down the road to Rockwood last weekend while Clint stayed behind to study for a big Anatomy test he had on Monday. We spent most of Saturday with my grandparents. I loved seeing her interact with them. There was no way to avoid feeling sad because Mom wasn't there but I am thankful that AR has this time with her great-grandparents.
We stayed with my sister on Friday/Saturday night so she also got some one on one with her Aunt J too!

Representing out MTSU Blue Raiders

Clint and Anna Ruth met me for lunch last Friday and it was pretty obvious by our

outfits who we pull for at our house.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall means Football

In our house we cheer for MTSU 1st, Vols 2nd and if Clint has a say Florida would be 2nd. But, as I told him, AR wears the outfits she has and her momma has appropriately bought MTSU and UT apparel. If you happen to see her in gator gear then you know daddy dressed her! But, currently she has none of the such and if she did, it might happen to end up in the depths of her closet somewhere. :)

Last Saturday we got really excited when UT made the first touchdown (see picture) and then things began to go downhill. At least MTSU won!

Monday, September 9, 2013

End of Summer Boat Ride

On Sunday we went over the Joe and Lo's house to spend a little time with them on grandparents day. Turned out to be a nice afternoon for a boat ride, AR's first time. She was not a fan of the life jacket which was a tad too big, but by the ride back she had warmed up to the new adventure.

Smooshed cheeks cuteness

Life jacket a bit bulky but next year should be perfect!

Dipping those toes in the water

Driving the boat with Pappy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On the Fuss Buss to Trouble Town

This is the terminology Clint and I have been using lately for when Anna Ruth is cranky, fussy or pitching a fit. Y’all it has started! Not the fussy part, remember, my child was born fussy. No, I’m talking about my precious baby who is now a toddler is beginning to act out when she doesn’t get her way. She is in the beginning stages of really testing her limits to see what works on us and what doesn’t.

Oh me oh my, let the discipline begin. I have found that Clint is so much better at this than me. For months all I wanted was for my crying baby to feel better and be a happy girl. We had a few months of straight smiles from her…it was bliss! And then, bam! We saw a temper for the first time and I mean to tell you it took both of us by surprise. I believe we had a moment when we looked at each other and without saying a single word we had the same thought cross our minds, “Where did our sweet, little baby go?” Yes, we knew it was going to happen just not at 12 months old. (Remember, we are new, naive parents here.) I try not to base her timeline off of any other babies I know simply because I learned very early in her life that every single child is different. So no matter what age my friend’s children started acting out, I knew she would surely be different.

I know that discipline is going to be hard; it’s going to be one of the toughest things we will have to do. But, I am thankful that we are one the same page. We are going to parent according to what we feel is best and how God leads us. I pray every day for AR’s safety, but I also pray that she grows up to love the Lord, all His children, and be a productive citizen in this world. And, those things can’t happen if she is a brat who always gets her way and never knows consequences for her actions. So for now, I guess she will just have to ride that Fuss Bus and it may sometimes lead her to Trouble Town. But, I pray that the Lord will prepare Clint and me for how to best handle her and guide us to showing her not only our love but His love as well.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Celebrating ONE!

Even though you don't need a reason to get together with family, it is always nice to have those you love in one place at one time to celebrate happy occasions. We couldn't think of a better reason to have folks over than Anna Ruth turning the big 1! It was such a fun day and already at one, she clearly enjoys being the center of attention..we may be in for it in a few years, ha!

Thank you to everyone who came and all of you that want to but could not make it. We love each of you and are thankful to have you in our lives. Here are just some of the few pictures taken at the party.