Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This World Is Not My Home...

This is Davis Hutson - we go to church with the Hutson family. Davis passed away last Thursday - he turned 6 in December. He was sick, I believe, from the beginning of his life. His parents are incredibly strong and have been amazing throughout the past 6 years. Mark and I, obviously, have only known the Hutsons since last Spring, but Davis is a little boy that you only have to meet once to have a lasting impression. He loved to sing and was really good at it and is best known for singing "This World Is Not My Home." What a fitting song. I always loved watching him pick up the attendance cards during the closing song. When you saw Davis, you couldn't help but smile - doesn't he remind you of the cute kid in Jerry MacGuire? This Saturday is Davis Day and we will be celebrating the life of Davis Hutson. The family is doing well right now, but after Saturday and next week when things settle down I'm sure it will get harder - I can't imagine what they are going through. Davis is not hurting now and Davis is not having to deal with illness - he is well now and is in a much better place. We can only hope to be with him one day.

The reason that I wanted to post this is because of a conversation with my mom and Randi last week late one night. We were discussing Randi's conversation with Heather about coming up with a word or a theme for the year. Ever since I read Heather's blog, I've been thinking about a word - honestly I wanted Heather's a young mother of 2, it's so hard to balance everything we have to do in 24 hours. I feel like I have so much to do in a day and I never get it done and I'm pulled in a million different directions, trying to be a good mother, wife, friend, daugher, and Christian. But I didn't want to copy Heather, so I've been thinking about this since then. Randi and my mom were trying to help me come up with a good word, but I didn't think of one until tonight at church when I was talking to Dana, Davis' mom. Impact. I want to have an impact on everyone that I come into contact with the way Davis did- I want people to say that I had an impact on their lives. I can only hope and pray that the obvious people say that - Mark, Ethan, Nina, etc... but I want my friends, family and church family to say that about me too - not when I'm gone, but now. I want to make a difference. I want to be the person that is always there helping, serving and giving, and with a smile and a cheerful heart. I want to be the person that has a lasting impression on many lives, the way that little Davis did. He impacted EVERYONE that he came into contact with, and that's what I want, for this year and every year. I feel like I do a good job, but I could do a better job. I could impact more - so in Davis' honor, that's what I want to do! Thank you to Randi and Heather for making us think about this. Thank you to Davis for impacting me and for making me want to impact others!

Please keep this family in your prayers this week, next week and the following weeks to come. They are so strong, but even the strongest person feels sorrow over the loss of a child.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Home Again...

We made it back to Memphis Monday evening. The trip to Georgia and the trip back were both easy with the kids and the drive is getting easier and easier. Since I was without stops to feed Nina and get the kids out of car seats were at TJ Maxx (Anniston and Tupelo) - both great TJ Maxx! We had a wonderful time at my parents house all week. I was dreading tonight's bedtime routine because for the past week Ethan has fallen asleep with Nona reading to him, rubbing his back and telling him stories. Nina has fallen asleep with Poppa rocking her in the rocking chair and then moving to his chair where he watches TV for awhile and she is laying on his chest...thankfully tonight has been smooth sailing so far! Both kids are asleep without major meltdowns. While we were gone, Mark cleaned the house top to bottom so it was nice to walk into a completely clean house. Too bad once we unloaded it didn't stay that way.

We had a great time in Georgia celebrating Poppa's birthday and visiting around town. No matter how long we stay it's never long enough to do the things we want to do and we never get to see everyone we want to see. Saturday evening we went to Arlington's Homecoming and to the basketball games and that was fun - Ethan and Allie had a great time together. It was nice to see some old friends and it's fun to watch Chris King in action - he's doing a great job at ACS! Of course we visited Poppa at the bank and Nona at her school. Everyone enjoyed seeing the kids and Ethan had a ball at both places.

We are glad to be home! We'll be back in GA in February for Ethan's 3rd birthday and are looking forward to that trip! Having birthday cake at OK Cafe for Poppa's birthday
Some intense blowing bubbles on Nina's part This is one of Ethan's favorite places to play church - on Nona's hall tree in the kitchen Nina learned to patty cake this past week and was very proud of herselfOne of our trips over to the King's house - all Ethan and Allie wanted to do was wrestle each other - Allie has him on this round
Ethan playing at Chick fil-A before going to ACS Homecoming - he finally started climbing to the top and sliding down
Very proud of himself! Mandy and Melanie - 12 years later in our old stomping ground
Ethan and Allie having fun at the basketball games
Chris, the head of school and the First Lady of Arlington before the Homecoming activities
Nina slept in Poppa's arms through some of Homecoming
Ethan and Nina enjoying their Sprite together
Everyone having a good time! Notice Nina trying to get to Austin Ellis - she loves sitting next to him at Sunday School at Nona and Poppa's church Ethan and Nina playing the piano
...some serious noise going on!
Before leaving Chris and Melanie's Sunday night, I tried to get a picture of the kids - this wasn't a bad attempt - aren't they all so cute?!
What's wrong with this picture - Ethan in Allie's purple hat and Allie in Ethan's John Deere hat! They had a wonderful time playing together and it was like old times again! We miss them so much and will never replace that friendship!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Poppa!

Ethan, Nina and I are in Georgia for the week to help celebrate Poppa's birthday. We arrived on Sunday and there was still snow on the ground. The closer we got to Georgia is where we started seeing the snow on the ground and I would tell Ethan to look and see the snow - after 2 times he told me "Mama, I saw it already." Today, we got up and there was still some in the yard - so we got bundled up and went out for awhile. Ethan and Nina loved it. I can only imagine what they would do in much much more than this. Maybe we'll see a big snow this year in Memphis.

Tonight was Poppa's birthday party (Tuesday is his birthday). The house was full and we had lots of fun. Ethan loved having a large crowd around to entertain and Nina was as lady like as always.

We are looking forward to our week here at home. I've had 2 of my "must haves" while home - Partners and Publix. One thing I miss more than anything is Publix! Tomorrow night we're heading into Atlanta to go to the OK Cafe for dinner - is this Poppa's week or mine? Hmmmm!Mark is in Memphis and is on call this week, so he had to stay there. I'm sure after one night without us he's already well rested! Don't feel too badly for him! We miss him - but it's nice to be home!

So this is snow?

Ethan throwing a snowball into Nina's hat...and looking mighty proud of himself
Nina loved the snow and loved wearing her hat too! Happy Birthday Poppa!!!
Ethan helping Poppa blow his candles out

After everyone left, I went up to put my pjs on and was going to come down and get Ethan ready for bed. When Randi and Ed were leaving Ethan was getting sleepy, so I thought he might go down easily and quickly tonight. As I was upstairs I heard Poppa say something to Ethan about some jelly beans, so I ran to the top of the stairs and yelled down that he was to have NO jelly beans and for him to drink his milk. When I came downstairs, this is what I found....Ethan had pulled a chair up to the bar and climbed up and was taking is finger and licking the chocolate icing AND was drinking tea, not milk. Nona was in charge. He did go to sleep quickly though - he's worn out!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WE WANT DADDY!!!!!!!!!!

Mark had to go to Maryland for a funeral - his best friend growing up, Bill's father passed away early Sunday morning. Mr. Chedester was a wonderful man and will be missed by many!

Anyways, while he's gone, I'm holding down the fort....well, let's just say we're here. Nina is cutting her first 2 teeth and has a little runny nose. Ethan is Ethan....did you know his airport is closed on Sunday and it's far away so he has to drive there? That's what I just learned! Oh, and he has kids - his kids go everywhere with us and they sleep in the guest room and he will go in there and wake them up. He is a wild thing with a very vivid imagination!!! Every sound or noise for the past 2 days he thinks that it is Mark coming home. He misses his Daddy - we're all of a sudden so used to having him around.

I haven't gotten much done around the house, but I did make homemade chicken pot pie last that should count for something, right? Mark will jumpseat on FedEx and arrive back in Memphis Thursday morning - I will be leaving for the Carribean shortly after that (just kidding)!

It's amazing how I have gotten used to having Mark around - he is such a HUGE help with the kids, dinner, or whatever else around the house. Don't get me wrong, it's been nice having a little time for myself - oh wait, I can't go anywhere in the house without Ethan yelling, "Mom, where are you?" "Mom, what are you doing?" Then when I tell him what I'm doing, I get..."Why?" I'm so tired of WHY - and I know it doesn't get any better - it just cracks me up that everything is why. Why is it dark, why is it cloudy, why is Elmo not on, why are we having sandwiches, why is Nina asleep, why is Daddy in Maryland, why why why... but we are ready for Mark to come home!

Ethan having a naked sing along after bath time...lately he thinks it's funny to clear his throat before telling everyone what number to sing and before starting to sing. I don't remember our song leader doing that Sunday...but then, he probably pays closer attention to that sort of stuff than I do!Ethan's pitiful face...I even tried to get him to love me by wearing the I love Mom pjs...but he still wanted DaddyPitiful Nina last night after bath time - she just wanted to go to bed! Brother finally made her smile though
I don't know if you can see this or not...but if you look closely behind Ethan you might see white swirl marks all over the red walls. Mark and I noticed this the other night as he was walking out the door for the airport. Yesterday morning I asked Ethan what was on the wall. He stood there and said, "um, um, probably it was, actually it, it's scratched." So I proceeded to ask him how it was scratched and he said he used his fingernails. CAN YOU IMAGINE scratching a wall with your nails??? Then he said to me, "Go get the camera and take my picture." So I did. It came off, no big deal...but I told him we don't color on the walls with anything!

WE WANT DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

8 Things About Ethan and Nina....

Ryan tagged Ethan and Nina earlier this week and I've just been dragging my feet posting it - then my mom and Randi informed me this morning that I needed to post it because they've been here it goes.

1. No matter what kind of prayer - bedtime or night time - it's ALWAYS, "Thank you God for Chris and Melanie, Allie and Avery" first. ALWAYS!

2. In the morning I have to have a cup of OJ and milk, and I down the OJ but sip on the milk all morning long.

3. I LOVE to lead singing and play church.

4. I am a really good eater, but blueberries are my favorite (thanks to Nona and Poppa's blueberry bushes)

5. I know a lot about airplanes - flaps, slats, spoilers, landing gear, etc...and I love to fly!

6. I love to stall at bedtime - and I love for Daddy to put me to bed (probably because I know I can stall at bedtime with Daddy and not with Mommy) because he will read lots of books to me and let me turn the light off and close the door, and oh wait, I need a drink of water, so he'll get me a drink of goes on and on and on....I've got him snowed!

7. I think that the Hampton Inn in front of BooYa's restaurant here in Memphis is Chattanooga and Mema's house (Mema lives in a retirement home that is an old hotel).

8. I know the difference between the FedEx truck and the UPS truck and when they (or anyone else that comes to the house) deliver something I always go talk to them and then I have to stand on the front porch until they have turned the corner at the end of the street. Then and only then will I allow Mommy to close the front door.

1. I love my feet and shoes.

2. I already love to talk.

3. Bananas and Carrots are my favorite.

4. I can be perfectly fine and Mommy will walk into the room and I fall apart.

5. I love watching my brother jump around and sing - he's funny.

6. I love my Johnny Jumper and lately have learned to swing myself in it.

7. I like to be in my own bed to fall asleep.

8. I love taking a bath with Ethan and splashing with him!
I tag Allie and Avery, Houston and Harrison, and Gracie and Hadyn!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Mark, Elvis and Nina

Today is Mark's birthday. Yesterday was Elvis' birthday - he would have been 73. Also, Nina was 8 months old yesterday. She is waving now and it's so cute and is very vocal. She's also started reaching out for you to pick her up - so sweet. Tonight after church, Mark had Nina in the crib while he was putting Ethan's pjs on and I came in to find her pulling herself over and trying to pull herself up....NOT ready for this at all. We are celebrating Mark's birthday Friday night, but I could not let today go by without making some sort of dessert - so I made a homemade chocolate pie. Oh my goodness! It was soooo good - glad I went running this afternoon. There is a Viking store and cooking school here in Memphis, so I gave Mark cooking classes. He's excited and is looking through the class schedule to pick out what class he wants to attend. I'm pushing for the Parisian Pastry class....

Ethan helping Mark blow his candles out
Enjoying Mark's homemade whipped cream
Happy Birthday Mark!!
Mommy and Ethan eating chocolate pie
How cute is this face???
I love this hat Nona and Poppa brought Nina from Austria
Not ready for this....Nina trying to see what's going on down below
So proud of herself!
I can see you...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Walking In Memphis....

Round 2 of family to Memphis....we had 1 day to recover, change the sheets and wash the towels and Pa and Ro Ro Noble flew into Memphis. We had a couple of days with them before Carl and Jaime came into town. Saturday morning before Carl and Jaime arrived, we went to The Peabody to see the ducks walk in. That is always fun - Ethan wants to go all the time. It was the day of the Liberty Bowl - so the players were all staying at The Peabody, so it was packed. But we still had a great time and enjoyed the hotel and a little shopping afterwards. After Carl and Jaime arrived we went to Corky's BBQ (Mark and I hadn't eaten there in months....we've now had it 4 times in a week) and then the group (I took the kids home for a nap) went to Graceland. They had so much fun and really enjoyed the tour. They still use all of Elvis' Christmas decorations inside and outside the house. I was disappointed I didn't get to go, but I did NOT want to take either child with come visit me sometime soon so I have a reason to go to Graceland.

Mark cooked chicken Parmesan and homemade Alfredo and that was our Christmas dinner together. Then we all had fun opening presents. Ethan actually opened all of our gifts for us - he got into it this time. After our Christmas together, I had made a caramel cake for Ro Ro's birthday (which was Christmas Eve), so we sang to her and celebrated her birthday. Ethan also loves birthdays!

New Year's Eve we just couldn't decide what to do. I am in a family of poor decision makers...well, I'll just say that Mark and Carl aren't the best at making after going back and forth about going out or staying in, eating out or eating in...we finally made a decision and started our night out on Beale Street. Mark and I had not been down there - it was a lot of fun and we want to go back! We stayed there for a little while and enjoyed some good food and some great music. Then our friends Amy and Dave were having a little get together to watch the Auburn/Clemson game, so we headed to Mud Island for that. After the game and after watching that crazy guy make his motorcycle jump in Vegas, we headed to Donnie and Cathy's house to end our night. Carl and Jaime had to get up early New Year's Day morning to get to the airport, so we made it an early night....well, we got home and Nina decided she wanted to stay up until 4am. Happy New Year's Mommy! Carl and Jamie left that morning and then Pa and Ro Ro left that afternoon. While we were sad to see them go....we're happy that our house is now vacant!

2007 was a great year for us! We're looking forward to 2008 - Ethan turns 3 and Nina turns 1 and my dad turns..._0! Mark is still loving being at FedEx and has some great opportunities in the training department - who knows where that will take him...or us. We'll be going to Mexico in June for Carl and Jaime's wedding and we are certainly looking forward to that trip! We wish all of our friends and family a very Happy New Year!!! Come visit us in Memphis!!Mommy with Ethan and Nina visiting the famous Peabody DucksDaddy and Ethan on the roof of The Peabody

Enjoying the wonderful Corky's BBQ
Doesn't this make you want to redo your tv room????
Carl....being Carl

Ethan and Mommy making the last batch of 7 layer bars for the year

Aunt Jaime with Ethan and Nina - notice Ethan's adorable outfit Ro Ro got him at a children's boutique we found here in Memphis....maybe I won't have to rely on over the phone shopping at Mud Pies so much anymore???!!!
Enjoying Mark's wonderful cooking
Carl spoiled Nina - she would belly laugh at him and it was so funny!
It was a John Deere tractor year for Ethan...he loves his tractors and trailers!!!
How cute are these caterpillars that cousin Erica made for Ethan and Nina! So cute and they love them - thank you Erica!!!Nina sporting Daddy's new bike helmet from Carl and Jaime - he got a bike for Christmas/BirthdayThis is a funny story...after Ro Ro's visit in October, she left this vest hanging in our laundry room. I forgot to tell her she left when Mark was talking to his dad about what she wanted for Christmas, he told Mark that she wanted a new vest because she had lost her blue one...I then remembered it was hanging in our laundry room - so I wrapped it up and gave it to her. It was a Ro Ro moment for sure!!Ethan singing for us with his new microphone - I thought you were supposed to imagine your audience in their underwear...not actually do it yourself?!?!
Nina LOVED playing with the bows and paper - cheap entertainment

Pa and Ro Ro gave Ethan a sit and spin
Ethan's surprised face
Pa helping Ethan as fast as he can open the new tractors
On our way out the door...Happy 2008!!!