Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Goes Up Must....

So, when you have had an incredibly high month like October--loving all the family fun and harvest events--you don't expect to be brought back down to earth quite as quickly as we experienced.

The first week of November consisted of a speeding ticket (not mine..whew), a flat tire, a little family drama, a paycheck reality check, the putting down of our dear little Lila bean (may she rest in peace), and some $400+ car repairs. They say things come in sets of three, but SIX? Really?

It has been a little trying, and although my dogs are definitely not my life anymore, when you have to put down a loyal and trusting part of your family, it leaves holes of emptiness that echo with twangs of pain every now and then. It didn't help trying to explain things to Savannah. When I told her that Lila was very sick, and that she would not be coming home because she needed to go home with Jesus so He could take care of her, Savannah promptly dropped to her knees, angelic hands folded, head bowed, propped on the rocking chair ottoman, "Dear Jesus. Please take good care of Lila and help her to feel better. Amen." The sweetness stole my heart.

Gratefully, Savannah offered complete acceptance of the change in circumstances from that point on. When asked what happened to Lila, she would simply say, "She went to live at Jesus' house, so He could take care of her." It was sad the other morning, when she woke up in tears a week or so later. She threw her dramatic little self into my arms when I went in to get her up, and little body shaking, she cried for about two minutes, saying how much she missed Lila at Jesus' house. Broke my heart. Just goes to show that nothing is lost on little eyes and little ears. Their little hearts feel things the same as we do, but on such a more tender and innocent level.

Parts of me long to recapture that innocence. Every day I am aware of the truths of this sinful world that chip away at my children's innocence, solely for their safety. "You can't go running all the way down the sidewalk away from mommy. Not every person is a nice person. They could take you away from mommy." What a sucky conversation to have to have with your three year old. To be the one that has to steal their joy of freedom in order to protect them, yet I'm still the one that will inevitable jade their view about the perfect world they live in. My guidance and protection and offerings of truth and reality will forever color how they see the world. "Lord give me wisdom. May my children grow in the perfect peace of Your presence and knowledge of Your truth without having to live in fear, nor ignorance."

Let the balancing act of life begin little ones. There's so much more to come!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

October Finale

So, the end of October came racing to a halt with a glorious weekend in Amelia Island with the extended fam. The GA/FL game has become an almost tradition. Each year different sets of couples seem to be able to make it, but no matter what, it always makes for fun times and great memories.

I did not attend the University of Georgia, but I am a proud Georgia southern belle, born and raised. With so many of my family actually being graduates of UGA, it was only natural to fall into the category of a fan for the Dawgs. Plus, UGA ladies are just swanky, with good southern class and style, and who can deny the appeal of a cute red and black number?

Hoping they win.....

Sad that they lost. But what a great game to witness and be at! No boring football here.
And last, but most certainly not least, I can finally proudly announce that Grandkid #3 will be joining Savannah and Weston in our family's ranks come May of 2011! I am so inexplicably excited for my brother Matthew and sister-in-love Emily. They will be amazing parents, and their child will be truly blessed.

Congratulations!!!! Looking forward to having some company in the parents ranks=)

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There is a sense of complete peace and utter unworthiness at the oceans edge. How is it you are made to feel so insignificantly small yet so unconditionally loved by a very big God when standing before this masterpiece of motion and power and glory. I could stand in awe in its midst forever. I hope Gods presence in heaven feels just like this. Maybe it does. Maybe this ocean is just a glimpse of what life with Him is really meant to be. Speechless and loved.....always in awe. Thank you Lord.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Party to Remember

I must digress. Although October to me does begin with Savannah's birthday, in reality, April, my dearest cousin, will always own the month of October with her October 2nd birthday=) And as usual, it may be a national holiday for me, but it's the event of the year for her=) I would expect her to celebrate in style no matter what decade. So she kicked off her third decade by paying homage to her first. Throw back to the 80's, and enjoy these pics. They make me smile every time I see them=)

Of course it wouldn't be an event for April without a change of clothes. In true style, Amy won best dressed for her splatter-paint mini dress, and this poofy prom dress number of April's is so NOT her that I giggle every time I see these pictures. Larry "Andrew" Byrd stayed in character for every picture, even with his little Madonna princess Macy on his arm. Love them! Also, channeling a little Madonna and Cyndi Lauper (after much research, I might add), I showed up with the hottest date in the house that night. No lie, I'm all about the rolled up sport coat look. My Miami vice man was smokin'! Love this picture of him 1) 'cause he's staring at me=) 2) because he is workin' it! Love that we both still know how to have a great time together. Me and my adorable mom. Love her! Not that my mom EVER looks old, but I can't get over how a side ponytail instantly removes twenty years=) Gotta love the dads. Uncle David you will never live this one down, even though best impersonation award was duly earned. I love that you love April enough to make her feel special by going all out--and of course making it hilariously fun for the rest of us=) And dad, if you were president, I totally would have voted for you=) Glad you stepped out of the box, even for just a little bit. Love you too so much. Love, love, love this pic. Not only does it fabulously show off outfit #2, but I'm lovin' the hair crimp action and the show of her fabulous dance skills=)

It was a night to remember to be sure! Can't wait to do more life with this chica. Happy 30th cousin! You make it look good=)

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Matters

So, once Savannah's birthday was celebrated on the 8th, it was time to jump into a fun family weekend=) We started Saturday morning off early with a 5K Make-A-Wish Foundation run for the annual Cobb County 5K around the Marietta Square. This was my mom's first 5K race, and my sister's first in a while. I was so proud of them both! It was a tough course, and one I will have to do again for the Gobble Jog on Thanksgiving morning, but twice! since I will be doing the 10K. Whew! Tired just thinking about it. It's so nice to do these races with family. We have a Palooza Clan running the Gobble Jog! My official time for this race was 29:25:63, which I think was better than my 5K I ran back in March. Next up on the fun family weekend was our annual trip to Amicalola Falls, except this year we really made a day out of it on Sunday. We hit Burt's Pumpkin Farm first, not too long after it opened for the day. Did the hayride, picked out some pumpkins, took a few pictures, then with boiled peanuts in hand, headed for the classic family picnic at the bottom of Amicalola Falls.(This is my son's typical face these days. He's not much for new things and constantly fussy. Right now I attribute this to teeth and his frustration with his inability to communicate. So we grin and bear it for now...this to shall pass, all too soon, right?)
Now, I say this is an annual trip. Truthfully, we've been very sporadic from year to year holding to this tradition, but I'm hoping it's one everyone continues to make an effort in the future to hold onto. My mom had quite a spread for our picnic, which was delicious!

Once the food was eaten, it was time to work it off, so half of us hiked to the top, and the other half drove to the top to keep my sister company who was unfortunately suffering from a stomach bug this day=( But even just hanging out on the blankets at the top of the falls was a lot of fun, and surprisingly the kids were holding up great even though we were slowly encroaching on naptime hours.(Yes, this is my LITTLE brother and sister....Love them!)(Every kid should have an uncle that will toss them in the air=)

Pushing our luck a little more, we all headed over to downtown Dahlonega for some around town shopping. We were WAY past nap times at this point, but Savannah did great, and as long as I carred Weston, he was fine as well. Needless to say, I got a workout on this shopping trip=)

(He takes three steps these days before hitting his knees! So close to walking!)(So Uncle Matthew taught her how to climb up, get a big mouthful of water, then spit it into the dirt....what was hilarious was watching her chase him and try to spit the water on him=)(The men...mostly=)

All in all, the day was a success. I enjoyed every moment with my family...playing, laughing, catching up, resting, just hanging out, shooting the breeze. This is our kind of family tradition. Nothing fancy and nothing over the top exciting, but just some good 'ole southern, fall mountain fun. My family is the closest thing to my heart outside of Joey and the kids. I know that when push comes to shove in this life, they are the ones that have my back. With Matt & Em in Augusta and Tim & LA in Orlando, it's hard to get together as much as we like, but I'm thankful for the simple fact that we all still do want to get together. It's not something we dread, just something that's hard to orchestrate, and for that I am thankful. Most families don't have the blessing of being able to say that. Love you all from the bottom of my heart. Looking forward to all being together again at Christmas!

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Savannah Lee Turns 3

October....this is one of my favorite months out of the year, but it never fails that no matter how many festivals I want to see or mountain paths I'd like to hike, the month just sails by like a breath of wind.

(Savannah's birthday party...we had a great turn out of her school friends and church friends for the party...and this look on her face really says it all. She loved every minute of being the girl of the day.)

October always begins with Savannah's birthday. She was due October 29th of 2007, but she arrived early on October 8th. From the moment she was born, our lives have been one mass of a whirlwind of golden hair and energy a marathoner would be envious of. I love every inch of this kid=) Her sing songy voice and mature intonations. The way she can turn a phrase like a teenager. The way she can squeeze your neck off and make you feel like the most special person on the whole planet. I'm telling you, I love every inch of this kid. The good, and the bad...but today is about the good.

(She is all about the princess dolls these days...LOVES them!)

I snuck into her room last night to check on her, like I always do, before I went to bed, and I was overwhelmed by how big she was. Her dirty blonde tendrils sprawled all over her pillows, with her little pink lips slightly open, resting peacefully under her blankets. I could almost see her toes about to peek out from under the large fleece blanket my Dot-Dot had made for her when she transferred to a big girl bed. That blanket use to consume her. I choked back the tears that burned in my throat, and I said a quick prayer thanking God for a beautiful little girl who brings so much joy to my life.

Some days I feel I might take her for granted. Not spend enough time with her. Not give her the patience a three year old deserves (because let's face it...she acts six.) But she always forgives me. Her arms are always open and waiting. I've had to apologize already for being ugly and mean and uncaring, and she's only three. I have a feeling I have A LOT of apologizing ahead of me in years to come. But even with sad eyes and a little quivering lip, she always says she'll forgive me, gives me one of her golden hugs, and makes me feel unworthy of this little girl gift God has given. A three year old makes me feel unworthy. Oh the tools God uses in our lives to keep us humble.

(A little upset that she can't play with the big boys...they just want to pitch the football, and she just wants to be part of the action.)

Favorite moments/Savannahisms in the past month:

I was sick and throwing up one morning. I promptly run to the toilet. Savannah isn't far behind. As I'm emptying my stomach, she stands over me, holding back my hair. She gently rubs my back and says, "It'll be ok mommy. Take a deep breath. It'll be ok." She is definitely the little nurse. Always the first on the scene with ice and a paper towel or rag or a band-aid if needed. The extremes of her personality keep me guessing. One moment she's my wild, dancing child, singing songs at the top of her lungs for the whole neighborhood to hear, and just as quick, she will turn around soften immediately in the face of a need. I am not a nurturer, so this is definitely a God-given gift for her.

(Scarecrow day at school.)

We were driving to a friend's house one Saturday afternoon. Weston had kicked his usual screaming into a new gear, and we were all gritting our teeth, hoping we reached our destination quickly. In exasperation, we hear Savannah over Weston's din of noise,"Mama, Daddy! Hey!" "Yes, Savannah?" She then takes her hand and waves it toward Weston in a gesture of emphasis, "This kid...this kid over here! He just won't stop screaming!" We both broke down in laughter...what else do you do?

(Our classic Chick-fil-A pumpkin.)

(Ha! I told her to open her eyes for the picture=)

Hope you enjoyed the peek into my little girl. She's a fire cracker for sure!

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