It’s been a while…

I thought because I wasn’t crying anymore that I had moved on….of course it wasn’t that simple.  Tears are only one symptom of grief.  Lately, I have been unfocused, unmotivated, and generally a sloth.  I found out yesterday that I have a vitamin D deficiency so hopefully when that is straightened out, the fatigue part will get better.  But the ache in my soul is still there.  The disappointment lingers.  That’s why I haven’t been writing.  It’s not that things haven’t been happening.

We spent Memorial Day at the lake with friends.  Here is a video of Lynne coaxing me to jump off the dock.

My super sweet neighbor Trudy brought me flowers from her lovely yard.

We painted our bedroom walls and trim.  It’s not ready to share, but here’s a sneak peek (mid-process shot):

We went to Dillon to celebrate my beautiful niece’s 8th birthday and made snow cones.

We went to see Lion King at the Peace Center.  I couldn’t take pictures but this video captures how completely spectacular it was better than my camera ever could.  The music, costumes, scenery, and atmosphere made it an unforgettable experience.  The first few minutes alone were worth every penny (and it was a BUNCH of pennies) we spent on the tickets.

Despite all of the great things that have been happening lately, there is a numbness in my heart that makes it hard to live in the moment and truly be present for the memories being created.  I hope that changes soon.  I have a beautiful life and I want to suck out every bit of its marrow.

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My Love

The love of my life is 30 years old today so in honor of his 30 years of life, I made this list:

30 Reasons My Husband Is My Favorite Person on Earth.

  1.  He keeps my feet warm at night.
  2. He gives out free massages on a regular basis.
  3. He likes me best in sweatpants.
  4. He doesn’t mind painting a room every time I get a whim.  And again when I change my mind.
  5. He encourages me to pursue my dreams.
  6. He enjoys cooking together.
  7. He takes out the trash.
  8. He kills spiders and roaches.
  9. He is AMAZING with kids!
  10. He can cheer me up on my worst day.
  11. He knows how to let me grieve.
  12. Sometimes he says he is sorry even though we both know it was my fault.
  13. He makes me feel beautiful, smart, and talented.
  14. He proofreads my blog posts.
  15. He doesn’t have any enemies.
  16. He cooks me breakfast.
  17. He comes back to bed to cuddle with me on Saturday mornings.
  18. He plays with my hair to get me to stay up late and watch NBA basketball.
  19. He is a good partner for games and sports because he doesn’t get angry if I’m causing us to lose.
  20. He enjoys going to visit my nieces as much as I do.
  21. He is a loving brother and son.
  22. He and my mom are best buddies.
  23. He helps keep me mentally stable.
  24. He makes everyone feel loved and special.
  25. He tolerates my driving tips.
  26. He enjoys intense political discussion.
  27. He is always asking questions because he loves to learn.
  28. His sense of humor is unmatched.
  29. He can handle me when I’m needy and whiny.
  30. He can bust a move on the dance floor.

Happy birthday, Love!  Thank you for making the last 6 of years of my life utterly amazing!  I look forward to growing old and ornery with you.

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Things that make me happy lately…

My first nephew!  You can’t see it in this picture, but there’s a baby in that belly (the one on the left for clarification purposes).  In fact, Whitney didn’t even know she was pregnant when this picture was taken.  I’m sorry I don’t have a cute baby bump picture, but I haven’t seen her in a couple of months.  Give me two weeks and I’ll have an update because we are scheduled to see them really soon.  Also for clarification purposes, my husband is not the father, but this happens to be the most recent picture I have of Whitney.  We are super excited to meet the little guy in September and also excited because it means the Smiths will be moving to SC in the near future.

Spending time with friends.  We had a date with the Tissots a couple of weekends ago and it was good for my soul.  Kimberly is one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever met, so spending time with her is a good kick in the pants to remind me to take off the cruise control, quit letting fear and self-doubt get in the way, make a plan, and go after it.  Not to mention that I always enjoy the laughs and delicious cuisine from Mr. Tissot, and the sweet hugs from Carter.

Answered prayers.  We went to a baby shower on Saturday for a couple that has had many heartbreaks in their journey to have a child, and they are set to have a little boy in early July!  It was such a sweet and endearing gathering.

Beautiful weather.  While my sinuses absolutely hate me right now, my heart loves playing outside in the springtime.  Maybe I should just wear a gas mask?   That’s a look that will coming to a runway near you as soon as the trend catches on.  I’m also trying to bring pale skin back, so be on the lookout for that as well.

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Ah, sibling love

More house projects coming really soon, but in the meantime….

Interaction between my nieces Brylee (2 and 1/2 years old) and Raylin (almost 8 years old), and their mom, Nichole:

Brylee is yelling in the car.

Nichole:  “Brylee, please be quiet; Mommy has a headache.”

Brylee continues despite the request.

Raylin:  “Mama SAID be quiet.  She has a headache.”

Brylee dives at her sister, clawing at her face.

Raylin screams and starts to cry loudly.

Brylee: “Be quiiiiiet, Ray-Ray!!  Mommy’s got a headache!!”

And yet she looks so sweet and innocent:

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Sometimes life is unfair.

I’m sure you already knew that, though.  Last year, my 7 year old precious angel of a niece was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, or Type 1 diabetes.  Type 1 is the one that is genetic and has no cure….yet.  Watching a 7 year old check her own blood sugar levels, tell you what the numbers mean, and take a shot everyday with no tears is very impressive, but also very sad.  No 7 year old should have to be that grown up.  I guess I should be used to it since she’s already wearing bras and talking about “hot” boys.  🙂

Raylin has had a tough year.  She broke her arm, which led to the diabetes diagnosis, and then she got food poisoning that was so bad that they almost had to put her in ICU.  However, she has grown immensely and become quite the advocate for increasing awareness of her disease.  She was featured in a local magazine and this past weekend we went to Walk for A Cure at Darlington Raceway.

Raylin raised almost $3000 for diabetes research.  I believe her team raised the most and it was only her first year!  She also designed her team’s t-shirts, which were really cute.

We had a great time out there walking and spending time with family.  My mom had surgery earlier this month and spent a week and a half in the hospital, but she was out there, walking like a champ.  I am very proud of her!  She has lost over 30 pounds since November and is looking great!

So I guess the moral of the story is when life gives you lemons, you get your face painted and go on a walk with your family.  It makes life feel a little less bitter and a little more sweet.

Because even though I want to lock myself in a room and cry about how unfair life has been for Raylin (and maybe I already did that when I found out about her diabetes), my niece is strong and brave and can teach me a thing or two about dealing with adversity.  So can her mom.

To Raylin–you are my hero and I’m so proud to be your aunt.  I love you more than the whole wide world and back again.

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Oh Mockingjay….

What our evenings have looked like this week.  So sad that I’ve finished the series.

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Beauty and the Beast

Please indulge me, as this is going to be a picture heavy post written by an obsessive aunt.

There once was a beautiful princess whose clothes were way too big.

This princess’s heart ached because she wanted to dance, so she told her dog about it.

As you can see, this princess did not take no for an answer when she asked you to dance.

And so she found the only male in the castle, and held him captive while she forced him to dance with her.

They twirled, he lifted, he rested, she ordered him to resume dancing, and the cycle continued for about an hour.

She sang so loudly (and so off-key) while she danced, the servant workers in the kitchen, whom the princess called Mama and Granny B, came out to see what was the matter.  Here is what the princess looked like when she was singing.

The princess had a grand time, singing and dancing, all the while watching herself on television.

Her captive had a pretty good time too.  The end.

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Day’s dear sweet granny passed away this week.  I am sad that our children will never get to meet her.  But I know that my husband is going to be an amazing father because he has an amazing father, and that is all because of this woman.  So I thank her for being the loving, gracious mother and grandmother that she was.  The impact of her love was unmistakable as friends and family gathered in Georgia this weekend to celebrate her life.

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The Newest Member of our Family

I mentioned in my year-end wrap up that my cousin (the youngest) Blair got married the week before Christmas.  He married a sweetheart named Lindsey.  Lindsey and Blair have been together even longer than me and Day (and we have been married for four years!), and the entire family adores her.

picture from Blair’s college graduation celebration

Lindsey loves my two nieces as much as I do, and they are smitten with her as well.  In fact, the night we got back from Blair and Lindsey’s wedding reception, Raylin and I were getting ready to go to sleep.  (Raylin insists that she and I have a sleepover when we visit Dillon, so she and I sleep in her double bed while Day gets bumped to the couch or the single bed in Brylee’s room.)  After the wedding, Raylin and I are lying in the dark and she reaches over and throws her little arms around my neck.  She breathes in deep and says, “You smell just like Lindsey; that’s why I love you sooo much.”  Isn’t that precious?

Pic of Raylin and me from their rehearsal dinner, dressed like twins (unplanned)

So, welcome to the family, Lindsey!  We may be dysfunctional, but we make up for it in love!

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last Christmas post this year…I promise…until Christmas.

My homemade gifts…..

Sports coasters.  My family is full of sports fans so I made these out of scrapbook paper and porcelain tiles. I learned how to make them from this girl:

Who happens to be sporting another one of my DIY Christmas gifts…a t-shirt scarf…while making her typical awkward picture face, which I adore.  Tutorial (for how to make the scarf, not the awkward picture face) found here.

First Christmas Wedding Invitation Ornaments for my newlywed cousin and his beautiful bride…Inspiration found here.  Wish I would have taken a before pic of the invitation…I adored the navy and yellow color combo.
My mom and I also made fabric beaded necklaces a la here, and sadly, I seem to have forgotten to snap a photo.
I spruced up the plain white and brown paper gift bags from the dollar store with my Hobby Lobby (half off) stamp.

During our visit to Dillon,we danced via my nieces’ Kinect.  Isn’t that the most precious picture?  My three loves.  I took about ten pics and someone was blurry in each of them.  Mostly, Brylee just ran around in circles while Dora the Explorer politely told her to stay in view.  Sidenote: Isn’t my cousin’s mantle absolutely beautiful?

Every year, my church does a live nativity scene outside before and after the Christmas eve candlelight service, so people can observe as they enter and leave.  This deceptively sweet-looking rascal took the baby Jesus (a baby doll) out of the manger while the rest of the nativity actors (actual humans) were inside listening to the sermon.  When they came out to resume the nativity scene as the churchgoers were leaving the service, it took a while to find and recover the baby Jesus from my niece.  Don’t let her within 20 feet of a baby doll unless you don’t plan on getting it back.

And with that, I’m officially closing out the 2011 chapter and opening a new one for 2012.  I’ve got big plans, y’all!

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