Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday's with "The Storm"...

The Storm Story:

Christmas 2004 -- This Christmas was special for several reasons...

1) We had just found out that I was pregnant with Palmer...we announced this to all of the family via special Christmas cards.
2) This was Peyton's first "real" Christmas and his last as an only child.
3) This was the Christmas we decided there would be no more traveling for us at Christmas time. We officially outnumbered those we were going to visit, so we decided, let them come to us. Santa has a hard time keeping up when we go other places.

This was such a fun Christmas since it was Peyton's first "real" Christmas -- he got tons of toys...too many, in fact. It was also very exciting b/c of the baby announcement!

Oh and it was especially cold -- which is always good at Christmas time. Great memories!!!!

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite Christmas stories!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One word...


That is the sheer simple reason I haven't updated the blog since last week!

I'm addicted to this series of books. It has become an obsession. One that needs to end soon. I need sleep. Reading till 11 p.m. every night does not accomplish the sleep need. Not to mention the fact that I am sure my family might be feeling a little neglected!

I bought the first book and read it in a week. Then I discovered the movie...watched it 3 times within about 24 hours (thank goodness it was a rainy day outside). Then I bought the second book, read it in two days -- 600 pages. I am not sure if that qualifies as "sad" or "weird!"

I must clarify -- I don't like blood and gore. These books are a love story where one of the main characters just happens to be a vampire. No blood or gore! Plain and simple...a very sweet love story!

So, in between my reading...we have been busy. Brent was in Dallas last week, so it was the boys and I. Me and my sweet babies. It was crazy. Last week of school, kindergarten graduation, holiday weekend, baseball...craziness.

So, in an earlier blog, I know I said there would be no baseball for Palmer and I, but since Brent
was out of town, we ventured out and took Peyton to his game. Surprisingly, Palmer did great. I was even able to get some pictures of my favorite firstborn playing..intensely. He is just so cute in his little uniform (with sheer determination on his face)!

And then, the long weekend was finally here. Nothing like a three day weekend to get the juices flowing again. The pool opened on Saturday and wouldn't you know...the Florida people were the first ones by the pool! Yep...we pretty much lived by the pool this past weekend. With the exception of a rainy day (this was the day I watched Twilight three times) and a neighborly get together, we lived by the pool...oh, an I was productive...I did get the boys toys and closets cleaned out. That was my accomplishment for the weekend (laundry included)!

This coming weekend is Brent's 40th birthday! He'll be 40, but rest assured...he doesn't act it (and that's ok...that's why I married him. Ok, sometimes it's aggravating, but I knew it going in)!

Stay tuned for pics of the party!

TRULY BLESSED to have holiday weekends where I am able to spend time with my family (and enjoying a favorite hobby -- reading)!

PS...Forgot to mention that I also read another book this was for work, so it doesn't count as "pleasure reading."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shutterfly Sunday for May 24, 2009...

May 26, 2007 -- Destin, Florida. This was our first trip home after being in Nashville for two months. We met up with Aaron, Nicole and Tyler and played on the beach all day. Palmer was still small enough that naptime came relatively easily (the kind where they would literally just fall asleep in my arms.). He slept for about three hours underneath the umbrella -- I think it had something to do with the heat and beach breeze (salt air). Peyton, on the other hand, was full of energy. Although he had been to the beach many times, this was the first time he really got into playing in the sand! He and Tyler had a great time digging to China and playing in the surf!
Such great times!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturdays with "The Storm"...

The Storm Story:

April 15-16, 2006 -- Palmer's First Easter Weekend, Destin, Florida.

I love Easter. Short of Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday. This particular Easter, Mr. Palmer was eight months old and Peyton had just turned three. What a wonderful Easter weekend it was.

Six-ten months old is my favorite time for babies! They are just so cute and chunky. Palmer was so cute and overly chunky (his cheeks were so cute and kissable). Peyton had just turned three and was such a big boy! He was still young enough that I could dress him in cute smocked outfits -- I think this particular year was the last year I was able to get away with that (of Peyton)!

We celebrated Easter "Saturday" at Brent's Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Linda's house in Gulf Breeze. The entire family was there, including Brent's "Gran the Man." Even today, it is always a great time when all the Aunts, Uncles and Cousins get together, especially at Jimmy and Linda's...they live pretty much right on the water, so scenery is just an added bonus!

Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny delivered the boys baskets, and as you can see, even a little eight month old knows candy is good! This particular year, we skipped we were at Meme's house, so we celebrated by enjoying the beauty God gave us by going to the beach. After a little while there, we ate Easter lunch at my favorite restaurant in the entire world -- The BackPorch in Destin.

It was a great weekend. Wonderful memories (and cute pics) were made! Easter's are always wonderful -- no matter what age!

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite Easter pictures!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Mom...

The ROCK of our family...

No, she didn't serve in the military (military tribute week), but the US would have been lucky to have her...After all, I can still here her singing (very badly) the Navy song, "Gee Ma, I wanna go home."

Brent calls her a ROCK. I call her MOM. She's my Mom. You can't have her!

My mom is amazing. There is no one else I know in this world that has been through what she has been through in her lifetime and not complained...even a little bit.

She's always taken care of everyone. My grandparents. Her brothers and sisters. My Dad (she got smart about that one). Me and Chris. The boys. There's no one she hasn't worried about. Taken care of. Given money to. And she does it with all of her heart!

She has sacrificed soooo much for my brother and I. She would do anything for us. ANYTHING! She made sure we had everything we wanted. The best education (which by the way, not going to college was NEVER an option for us). Activities (best dance studio, best golf clubs, best wedding). She sacrificed, so we could have...and she is still like that. My children are so lucky to have her as their B.B.

She's low maintenance. She goes with the flow. She rarely gets upset. She's encouraging. She's stubborn. She's funny. She's caring. She's loving. She's beautiful. She can be mean (if she has to be). She's a bad singer. She's everything anyone could want in a Mom. She's everything anyone could want in a B.B. (grandmother).

She's gotten more laid back with age. Brent always asks her if I will calm down one day -- her reply, "She is just like I was at that age...There's hope." Brent loves my mom. I'm thinking he got really lucky in the mother-in-law department.

A few of my favorite memories:

1) Sleeping with her when I was little (until my Dad came home from work). 2) Her coming to get me from a sleepover when I decided I didn't want to stay. 3) Watching Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas with her on Friday nights, including the night she went into labor with Chris. 4) Coming home to her when my brother was born (I had to stay with my grandparents). She was so happy to see me and I was really happy to see her! 5) Her being so proud of me after dance recitals (I still remember the one where I slapped her -- I was tired -- and she didn't get mad). 6) Teenage years -- those were a blur...I'm sure I remember something good:) Oh yeah, her going with me to dance competitions. There was more, I was just a stupid teenager. 7) We had braces at the same time. I always complained. She never complained. She's still like that. 8) Christmas' when every present was right, but wrong. 9) Her going with me to celebrate my 21st birthday. 10) Graduating from college and how proud of me she was. 11) Going with me to do wedding stuff -- our only fight was over the food -- funny now that we think about. 12) Her reactions when I told her I was pregnant with the boys...priceless! 13) Her staying up all night waiting for Peyton to arrive. She stayed in the room with me when Brent needed a break. 14) Her walking around Thomasville with me on the day Palmer was "supposed" to be born and then both of realizing, I probably didn't need to be doing that. 15) Her helping us all the time when the boys were little -- especially staying with us for the first week after they were born. 16) Her leaving me by myself with both boys -- right after Palmer was born. I remember crying, saying "Don't leave." and her telling me "you will be fine!" Yes, I was 30 years old. 17) Her going with me to Peyton's first gymnastics classes to help with Palmer. 18) Her letting us live with her for three weeks until we moved to Nashville. That was a very stressful time, but she handled it well. 19) The way she had the "magic" touch with getting Palmer to sleep every night. He would melt in her arms. 20) Her helping us move to Nashville and then leaving...that was a sad day! 21) Her coming to visit us in Nashville and proceeding to give Brent and I a "break" from everything. 22) Her reassuring words of encouragement when Brent lost his job. 23) Our trip to Disney World (without Brent). Not only did she pay for everything, but she never complained and trust me, that trip would have given anyone a reason to complain. It was fun, but man, were we tired. TOOO MUCH! 24) Our conversation on the day her divorce was final! 25) Our trying to plan Chris' engagement. Planning, wrapping, schemeing, we had fun! 26) Her coming to the beach with us this past Spring Break. Fun times. Good times. Especially, the dive-in-movie night. 27) I love it when she spoils the boys and gives them Krispy Kreme doughnuts, coke and anything else that is bad for them. She has so much fun doing that. 28) I love the way she always made the boys look so comfy and cozy when they were little and sleeping. 29) I love her reaction when she opens "the book" on Christmas day. 30) Her face when she sees the boys for the first time in a while.

There are so many more favorite memories. One day, I'll try to write them all down!

Most importantly, she's an example. She's a believer. She loves the Lord. She knows he has plans (which include her winning the Lottery) and is patient enough to wait for those plans to be revealed. She reminds us to be faithful and trust the Lord's plans. She is an example of what the Lord had in mind when he created Mothers. Her house in Heaven is going to be massive!

She's AMAZING and she's my mom!

TRULY BLESSED and so thankful for my Mom and all she is and does on this Thursday afternoon,

PS...These are some of my favorite pictures of my mom! There's so many more, but I'm keeping these to just her and I (and one with Chris for good measure)!

PSS...I hope I look half as good as she does when I get to be her age.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Graduation Day...

from Kindergarten was today...(forgive me...deviating from the "United States" theme for a day)!

I can't believe it. This is such a cliche, but it seems like only yesterday that I left Peyton at his new school to start his first day as a kindergartner...and today, I watched as he ran to get his certificate declaring him a kindergarten graduate...He is moving on to first grade! I have a first grader (OMGoodness)!

It's been a great year for him. He had a great teacher -- Mrs. Smith (she's been teaching for more than 35 years). His best friend, Cannon, was in his class. He can read. He can write. He is extremely smart in math (he gets that fine quality from Brent...definitely not me). In fact, he got all Es on his last report card. WOW! Pretty amazing for a kindergartner.

As for self-control...he managed to only get three greens the entire year. Blue is the best (he brings home an agenda everyday that tells us how he did). Green, well it's not the best, but it could definitely be worse. To be a little boy and only get three of those the whole Proud! So Proud!

Did I mention he only missed one day of school?

I took pictures this morning so I could compare how much he has grown over the past year. The white shirt is him at the beginning of the year. The garnet shirt is him at the end of the year. You can also see him getting his certificate and then opening his graduation present -- he was SO EXCITED about this. He was the only child to get a present at school, so he thought he was all that and a bag of chips. Oh, and there's a photo of the graduate and me, the proud Mommy!

Now, we just pray that he gets a great teacher next year. That over the Summer, he will not forget everything he has learned. That next year will be just as good! Prayers are already being said!!!!

Truly Blessed and so very proud of my little kindergarten graduate on this beautiful Wednesday,

PS...On the very last day of school, tomorrow, he is going home from school with his best friend. They are going to Chuck E Cheese...what a great way to end the school year. Summer YMCA Camp starts on Tuesday...

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Brother...

Chris... or as I like to say, My Big, Little Brother! This is dedicated to you, my big, little bro...

If you didn't know us, you'd NEVER guess we are brother and sister. He is tall (thanks to my Mom's family) and I am short (thanks to my Dad's family). He is tan (again...Mom's family). I am white (again...Dad's family). He has brown eyes (ha...Dad's family). I have green eyes (ha ha...Mom's family). Personalities...pretty opposite (except for on the things that matter). Of course, Brent will tell you we are EXACTLY alike (personality wise)...I DON'T THINK WE ARE (ok, maybe a little if you count being anal)!

He's my HERO (besides my mom). Why?? Why not?? I mean after all, I didn't voluntarily go to a War zone...he did! That's what he is doing right now...serving his country in proud of my little bro!

As a kid, we weren't sure about him. In fact, I used to tell him he was adopted (he believed me one time...yes, he cried -- don't let him tell you that he didn't). As a teenager, we definitely wondered about him. Come to find out, he was just trying hard to not be related to me, so much so that he did everything opposite of what I would have done. Man, if only he had put that energy into making good grades, etc... He finally "came into his own" in college. And look at how he turned out. GREAT! Thank goodness for Kevin (shout out to Kevin)!

He's smart! He's an ass! He's a smart-ass! (only I can say that...anyone else, I'll beat you up!)
He's amazingly patient with women (thanks to all the dance classes he had to sit through). He's not too patient with men (my husband and boys fall into this category). He's good at what he does (I hope so, otherwise, he's in trouble). He's good at Politics, which I think is funny, b/c like me, he tells you how it is... just more sneaky about it. He's going to be President one day (and then he'll be really mad that I wrote this). Ok, if not President, at least a Senator! Did I mention his favorite holiday is "The 4th of July." I'm pretty sure only Presidents and Senators say this!

My Mom and I say "We did good!" and "We created a monster!" Those are our two sayings. He's patient. He's smart, intelligent and relatively good looking (oh yeah, gross...I'm his sister). He's high maintenance. He's a hypochondriac. I think after being in Afghanistan, maybe he'll be cured of a most of the latter two "issues!" Yes, those are called "issues."

He's getting married when he gets back. To a wonderful woman, Jody! She's patient (with men and women). She puts up with his "issues." I think I need to have a "sit down" with her (just kidding). Oh, and she likes my kids (that's a must). He is going to be a great husband to her (we know this without a doubt). She got lucky (or so we think)! But then again, he also got lucky to find her -- we were a little worried!

I'm calling it...He's going to have three girls. I can't imagine him with boys. Of course, GOD knows what he needs...goodness help them if they are boys!

With all this being said, Chris, I am so proud of you. You are a great brother and when you're not, I can still beat you up!

Can't wait to have you home!!!

Truly Blessed to have a great little brother doing something so noble on this Monday morning (Monday night in Afghanistan),


PS...These are some of my favorite pictures of Chris (thanks for letting me steal some of these from Facebook)!

PSS...Pretty sure I won't be asked to say anything at the wedding...I think this got me vetoed from any kind of wedding toast!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Uncle Allen...

Since this week is Memorial Week, I am dedicating this week to my family members that have served in the military (or similar...that's for Chris)!

Today, one year ago, my Uncle Allen past away. So this is dedicated to him.

Uncle Allen served in the U.S. Navy and somehow managed to never leave the state of Florida -- I find this funny...not really sure if he did!

Uncle Allen was Mom's oldest brother. He was quiet. He was sarcastic. He was loved! HE IS MISSED!

I am so glad he was able to meet the boys and play with them. Without a doubt, he loved them. He thought I should have dressed them more "boyish," but no matter what, he loved them -- smocked outfits and all.

I had the priveledge of writing his obituary. I'll always remember having the honor of doing this! I've posted it below...I want my boys to know who he was to our family!

Clifton “Allen” Brock
January 24, 1951 – May 17, 2008

Clifton “Allen” Brock quietly and privately passed away at his home in Panama City, Fla. on Saturday, May 17, 2008.

To all who knew Allen, he was a man of few words, but a very large heart. He was reserved and humble, yet sarcastically funny with a dry-sense of humor worthy of roaring laughter. He was a private man who would have wanted today to be kept short, sweet and to the point.

At the young age of 17 and during the Vietnam War, Allen followed the path of his father,
Eldridge Clifton Brock, by joining the U.S. Navy. He wanted to serve his Country, while also seeing the world, which he did – through the eyes of Orlando, Jacksonville and Pensacola, Fla., never to leave Florida. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, Allen lived in various towns throughout South Georgia and North Florida, including the wonderful town of Wewahitchka, before finally settling in Panama City, Fla., his home of more than 15 years.

Allen was a devoted son to his parents – In fact, he’s either fishing with them right now, helping
them with the garden, or helping his mom, Emma Jean, put up some of the vegetables. He’s going to thoroughly enjoy his Sunday lunches. Barbara’s cooking was good, and he always enjoyed going to her house for special occasions, but as we all know, Emma Jean’s cooking was the best!

Allen was also a caring and aggravating brother to his siblings, Barbara, Maynard and Leola –
After all, isn’t it an older brother’s job to love and aggravate at the same time. We know he enjoyed spending time with Maynard, doing things brothers love to do!

He was a wonderful uncle to his nieces, nephews and nephew-in-law, as well as his great-
nephews – who today, are dressed in clothes Allen would have wanted them to wear, not the girly clothes Chasity would normally have dressed them in just to aggravate him!

Allen was also a dedicated employee and hard-working service-technician. He loved his job and
his colleagues – we know they will miss him tremendously. We know it will be hard to replace him!

And lastly, as we celebrate Allen’s life, it must also be said that he loved to read. His love of
reading made him a smart and intelligent man. In fact, he had quiet the talent for being able to eat and read the newspaper at the same time – it really is hard to do!

So, as we say “See You Later” to Allen today, we know without a doubt that in his own quiet
way, he will be looking out for each of us, while “simply” enjoying the beautiful life he now has in Heaven!

Shutterfly Sunday for May 17, 2009...

May 19, 2007 -- Daddy's little help, Palmer. We had just moved to Nashville and was in the process of paining EVERY room in the house. This was the day Brent was painting our front dining room area -- otherwise known in our house as the "Blue" room (the room is painted the exact shade of blue found in Peyton's 3 week old baby portrait that is one of the main pieces of the room) -- which is NOT a dining room, but rather a "Baby Shrine" as Brent likes to call it. I caught Palmer on camera trying to help was too sweet. He was 21 months old and just way too cute (especially with his night night -- see it in his hand).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturdays with "The Storm"...

The Storm Story:
August 15, 2005 -- The day our little surfer, Palmer Bailey, arrived to join "The Phillips Surf Shack."

Mr. Palmer arrived at 12:42 p.m., just in time for lunch! Although I have to say, he was awfully cozy in my belly! So much so, Dr. OBryan decided he needed to come out early (that's what I get for having such large babies).

Palmer's delivery was nothing like Peyton's (except that they were both planned and they came out natural, I know...Ouch!). Peyton was born at 5 a.m. with only Brent and I in the room (Dr. and nurse included). The room was dark, no lights, very calm...hence, Peyton is the "calm" child. Palmer was born to a room full of people...full of laughter and excitement in the bright sunshine of the day (I was laughing while pushing)...hence, Palmer is the "active" child. I truly believe this is why he is drama, drama, drama!

Now that Palmer is not a baby anymore, I decided I needed to stop and look at his baby pictures! He is my "favorite sweet baby." Palmer and I understand each other. He is my drama child. He is loud and does everything at 100%. He loves, laughs, gets mad, cries, hugs, plays, sleeps -- all at 100%. There is no gray area with him...and that is ok! I love him even more because he is like this!

Having two little boys is absolutely amazing. I can't imagine my life any other way -- I mean afterall, I am the Queen of the house! I don't even look at little girl clothes anymore (shocking I know). Well, I did get a pink and green room, but that's a story for another day...for now, I think I'll love on all my boys and enjoy every moment of God's amazing sense of humor!

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite pictures of Mr. Palmer's birth!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Today was PJ Day...

at Palmer's school!

He was so excited! In fact, for the first time in his little life, HE GOT DRESSED ALL BY HIMSELF!!!!

Last night, we picked out which jammies he was going to wear to school. At first he chose "Mickey Mouse," then I reminded him about his "Spider Man" jammies...and Spide Man won (thank goodness b/c the Mickey Mouse jammies are long sleeve and he would have been hot). So this morning, what did I do...I forgot it was PJ Day...I was very quickly reminded. In fact, the conversation went something like this: Me: "Palmer, let's get your clothes on." Palmer: "No Mommy, it's PJ Day and I get to wear my jammies today." Me: "Oh yeah, forgot...can you get your jammies on?" Palmer: "Yes Mommy. Thank you Mommy." HOW SWEET IS THAT?!

He got dressed all by himself. No complaining. Are we actually growing up? Out of the complaining phase? WOW! We made a big jump in maturity today. Will the 4s be the magic age for Palmer?

I told him on the way to school how proud I was of him (Palmer's Love Language is "Words of Affirmation.") In fact, I was so proud that I took his picture when we got to school. Jammies, Sleeping Bag, Puppy (and the silly little Aflac duck I got from work --it really quacks). He was ready for the day! I've been ready for this day...but now, I am almost sad that he is growing up!

Such a big boy! No babies in our house anymore!

Truly Blessed and so proud of my little man on this Friday morning!

PS...The other one had his first Field Day at school! He was so excited that he might get an award for being the fastest runner! Then he asked me, "Mommy, if I get an award, do I get a special surprise from you and Daddy? Maybe a box of Legos?" It's clear -- Peyton's Love Language is "Receiving Gifts."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Musical Beds...

That's what we play in our house!

Since we moved to Nashville, it seems the only people in our house that actually sleep in their own beds are myself and Palmer. For two years, Peyton (for whatever reason) slept in the guest bedroom with Brent. He doesn't like sleeping in his own room...we can't figure out why, I mean, really, who wouldn't want to sleep in a recreated Pottery Barn Kids room?

So, we painted the guest bedroom pink and green -- 1) To get Peyton back to his room (what little boy do you know would want to sleep in a "girly" room? 2) I needed a "girly" room. What happened?! Peyton could have cared less that the room was pink! So, we got bunk he and Palmer "somewhat" share a room. Peyton goes from his room to Palmer's room. We never know where we are going to find him in the mornings (sometimes we even find both of the boys sleeping together in the bottom bunk). Good news...he seems to sleep good wherever he is.

Brent and I are back in the same bed, except for last night when my dear sweet hubby decided to give me a night alone -- with no snoring, no talking, no cover stealing, etc...I must confess, he's a terrible bed partner (although he will never admit to this:)...I've been kicked, hit and once, I even woke up to him ready to punch me. Yep, I get abused at night!!! In all fairness though, I am the world's lightest sleeper...I wish this was not the case, but it is. So, last night, after a week of sleeping about four hours a night, Brent gave me a sleeping pill and sent me to bed at 7 p.m. Man, it felt great. 10 hours of sleeping. Amazing!

To round out the story, this morning at 5 a.m., I had a partner in crime, Mr. Palmer, came and climbed into bed with me and fell back asleep. I captured this on camera
(I also included a picture of him covered up when he was a baby!), as he was out (and completely covered by the covers...which was how he slept when he was a would scare us half to death, but that's how he slept). I found Brent in Peyton's room and Peyton in the bunk beds...Musical Beds, that's what we play! At least, there's a bed for everyone!

Truly Blessed and awake on this Thursday morning,

PS...Right after I took these pictures, I did what I used to do everytime I would find him like this as a baby! I yanked the covers off quickly and prayed that he was still breathing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shutterfly Sunday for May 10, 2009...

May 12, 2003 -- This was my very first Mother's Day (2003). Peyton was only 1 month old and just the sweetest baby. I, of course, still had weight to lose (which is obvious in the photo)! It was a very special and memorable Mother's Day nonetheless! We spent the day at my grandparent's house...

I wish...

Everyday was Mother's Day...

You see, today, I've been able to say to the family "Today is my HAVE to do whatever I tell you to do without arguing or complaining!" So far, it's working (almost...)

Ok, so my Mother's Day started at 5 a.m. when little Palmer climbed in bed...proceeded by him coughing, sneezing and sniffling...GREAT (just when I had the thought that it had been a while since the boys have been sick). So much for sleeping in!

I'm not much for big to-dos, so we are keeping today simple...All I asked for this morning was "Peace and Harmony." Brent did a great job trying to make sure I didn't have to deal with arguments, etc... We took the cheap route for breakfast -- Cracker Barrel -- vs. my favorite restaurant of all time -- Cheesecake Factory! Nap, Pool and finally, Crockett Park for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Just spending time with a peaceful family is more than enough on this beautiful day!

Mother's Day is all about celebrating the joys of motherhood! I'll say it again, I am blessed!

I have a wonderful Mom! She is amazing! My inspiration! My Best Friend! I have a beautiful family filled with all boys...and I can't imagine it any other way! The Lord knew I needed boys in my life. They are happy, healthy and the joys of my life (sometimes a little spoiled, but oh well)!

What more could a Mother want? Here's to many more year's of celebrating Mother's Day!!!

Truly Blessed with the most amazing family on this Sunday morning, Mother's Day 2009!

PS...Pictures were taken this was as challenging as it looks:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009


It's hard to do! I hate doing it!

So, it has been raining here for two weeks straight! I've never seen the grass or the trees so is beautiful. But seriously, the rain has got to stop. We have landscaping to do. AND, I have two little boys that are going absolutely stir crazy (and driving us crazy in the process).

By 9 a.m. this morning (amidst the Flash Flood Warnings and Tornado Watches), the boys were already driving each other crazy. One was in time out, while the other was aggravating the one in time out...definitely a "CALGON Take Me Away" moment!

So after aerobics class literally kicked my butt, I had a brilliant idea...take the boys to the indoor pool at the Y. Let them get out some of their energy. PERFECT! So what did I do...I told them. Complete bribery on my part! "You guys take a good nap and after nap time, we'll go to the pool!" How awesome...they'll be so excited they'll listen and then peace will fall upon our house! OH, if only that were true...

30 minutes later, two crying children, two aggravated parents and the decision was made...NO POOL (and they have to stay in their rooms for the rest of the day). I hate it. I REALLY wanted to take them to the pool!

I've come to the decision that, sometimes, punishment is harder on the parents than the kids! Why is this? Is it because I know they will be missing something fun? Is it because I really wanted them to get rid of some of their energy? Is it because I wanted to spend time with them doing something they love to do?

No matter what...we'll all punished. YUCK! Now, I get to clean out my closet...going to the pool would have been way more fun!

Truly Blessed with two little boys full of energy (and being punished) on this rainy Saturday afternoon,


PS...Tomorrow is Mother's Day, so I did promise them if they are good (that includes Church), we'll go tomorrow. We'll see...we might need some luck! Also, the picture above is a reminder to me that, sometimes, they do get along!

Saturdays with "The Storm"...

Welcome to my newest blog addition...Saturday's with "The Storm."

A little background: We are called "The Storm" by family members that we often stay with when traveling! You can imagine this b/c with two little boys (and Brent, ha! ha!), they are like bulls in a china shop. Nothing is safe. Therefore, it seems we always come in like a strong thunderstorm...loud, destructive, chaotic...then we leave! And guess what, there's a huge mess left to clean up (or at least I always feel like there is, even if there isn't).

I have a million pictures that are my "favorites." I needed to find an outlet for these, since I have all but given up on scrapbooking for the time being. This is my new creative outlet, so with the help of a some special software...I am adding this post as a way to share all of my favorite photos!!

The Storm Story:
Oct. 11, 2008 -- Brent was out of town for training and Peyton was out of school for "Fall Break" -- which by the way, I don't ever remember having when I was young...sorry, I digressed -- so, we packed up the car and headed to Tallahassee...Florida, that is. B.B., Disney World, Palm Trees. You name it. Mom joined us for our adventure (which I am not so sure she will do again...). We visited Downtown Disney (where Peyton thought Lego Land WAS Disney -- which by the way, makes Brent really mad since Peyton has been to Disney at least four times and doesn't remember any of the visits), ate breakfast with Lilo and Stitch (and Mickey) and then visited Disney World, all in only two days (talk about a very long drive back to Nashville)! A little tired to say the least. Oh, and how could I forget...Palmer had his first haircut at Disney World (he was 3 years old). We had a blast and I just love these pictures!

Thanks for letting me share some pictures from our latest trip to Disney World!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

So Proud...

of Brent!

This is a total shout out to Brent for being ranked #1 in his district and region (we got the news yesterday)!!!

This has tons of meaning...why you ask?

A while back, Novartis sent out a pamphlet giving details about the highly-coveted annual sales trip for people that are ranked in certain percentages (president's club, etc...). In the pamphlet, it details where the trip will be, who gets to go, awards given out, etc... This year, the trip is to St. John's Virgin Island. Spouses get to go. All expenses paid!

The one award Brent can possibly get is the "Rookie of the Year" award. He told his boss that "Rookie of the Year" award is his goal. Now his boss knows his goal. This #1 thing definitely helps! When it comes time for his boss to nominate someone, I pray he will write in Brent's name, since he knows this is Brent's goal.

We are so thankful for this accomplishment. I am so very proud of Brent...he is working harder than he has ever worked since we've been married! I want him to get "Rookie of the Year." He deserves it! We also deserve a trip to St. John's (or at least I think we do, given the fact our Honeymoon was not so great -- to put it nicely).

For years, Brent has done a great job at all of his jobs...I just really want him to be acknowledged! My prayer...please let him continue to do a great job, move up in rankings and be acknowledged for his hard work!!! If all things work together, who knows where this will lead..._____________ (feel free to help us fill in the blank)!

Truly blessed and so very proud of my hubby on this Friday morning,

PS...please continue to keep Brent and his job in your prayers!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Our Blessings...

are many and my worries are few!

I love this saying! For Brent and our family, this is so true...

I had to write about this, as today was a huge reminder of how blessed our family is during this time when the economy...well, sucks!

Today, we got the terrible news that one of our close friends here in Nashville was let go from his job. Like us, his company moved him here. He received a promotion while here. He had been with the company for eight years. He and his wife have a four year old little girl and a 5 month old. And like us, they have no family here. When will this sadness end?

All of this not only reminds us to be thankful, but it also reminds me of the power of prayers and how great the Lord's timing is...

It seems like only yesterday that I was laid off from St. Joe...what a scary time, but then again, it was really a blessing in disguise! You see, I stayed home with the boys for four months. I was one of the first people laid off, so I had first pick of jobs (this is when there were still jobs to be had). Three months later, the entire company was gone.

Two years ago, Brent's territory went away, which is why we are in least he still had a job!

And how can we forget last April 16th. The day Brent was fired...what a scary time (especially for me...someone that needs security). We still remember all too vividly the feelings we went through. Even though it was only six weeks, it was a very scary six weeks. Stressful! Every interview Brent went to, felt as though I was interviewing with him. We said a lot of prayers...We'll never forget: Patience, Strength and Wisdom -- these were the things we prayed for during that time. Looking back, how lucky were we that it happened when it did? Companies were still hiring...competition was less...Brent got a BETTER JOB, BETTER BOSS, BETTER Company! Best of all, it made our relationship as a couple stronger. We cried together. We encouraged each other. We worked together. We prayed together.

Tonight, our prayers are with the Rudolph family. We know how it feels and don't wish it upon anyone. We do know that Art is a great person and will find something so much better. I just pray that they will be faithful and look to the Lord for guidance, strength, wisdom and so much more!!!

We are SO VERY THANKFUL for the blessings we have. I pray everyday that I won't forget the blessings we have been given -- First, we have God on our side! Second, we have a happy and healthy family! Third, we have wonderful jobs! May we never forget this! May we always be thankful! May we always remember the Lord knows his plans for our family!!!

We are TRULY BLESSED on this Tuesday evening,

PS...the pictures above were taken during a very scary time for our family, but it does remind me that there is nothing like the love of family! Also, the picture of Brent was taken on the day he was offered a job:)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shutterfly Sunday for May 3, 2009...

May 6, 2007 -- This was the picture we used for our "We've Moved" Cards. We had only been in Nashville for about 3 weeks. We love the view from our back deck...having been in Florida all our lives, we were so excited about having "hills." This was the first of many pictures taken with the tripod! We learned very quickly that we had to take our own one else around to take the pictures for us:(

Palm Trees...

I miss them!

Not exactly sure why this is! I came to this realization last week and had to write about it.

It could have been the new Lilly Pulitzer book I got or it could have been the fact that when I asked if it was possible to plant a Palm Tree in Tennessee, I was told it wouldn't survive (I might have to try it anyway). Either way, I discovered that I need Palm Trees in my life.

They remind of me of Florida. Sunshine. Beaches. Salt Air. Beach Cottages. Simple things. Happiness. Laughter. Grilling Out. My children...yep, they even remind me of my children (hence the pictures above). Even Palmer has Palm in his name!

The Lord has us in Tennessee for numerous reasons, so for now, I'll have to miss Palm Trees. I think I will definitely appreciate them more. Their beauty and everything they stand for.

Isn't it funny that something so simple, can mean so much?

Truly Blessed (but missing Palm Trees) on this very rainy Sunday,

PS...I'm serious about planting a Palm Tree. Just watch. There will be one in my backyard!