Thursday, December 27, 2007

woo woo! oh man!

Christmas morning was fun. L went to bed swearing that she heard reindeer. And after we tucked her & the kid in & said our prayers - Lee & I were downstairs relaxing & I remembered that we had forgotten to leave Santa his cookies! So we got her up. She was so excited but not totally sure about what.

When L enters a situation she tends to take it all in & when she's got her bearings, she just lets loose. This morning was no different. She saw toys, but she didn't react immediately. She stood there & was quiet. We asked her some questions, "Do you see the toys that Santa brought you & B?" She nodded. It wasn't much longer after that - it was like we put coffee in her sippy cup or something. She was wired. When she was opening a present that daddy & I gave her, she actually said, "Woo Woo!" & then, "Oh Man!" She's a crack up. I didn't know she knew those terms & she used them so perfectly in a sentence. I have it on video. CLICK HERE

I'll translate for those who may not totally understand what she's goes something like this..."woo woo. oh man! I have seen this before"

Merry Christmas everybody! And...Woo Woo!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

It was an interesting night. We've known for 2 years that tonight could go either way. It could be a joyous occasion - one for the memory books, or it could be full of tears - a chance to be brave & still one for the memory books. We visited Santa & it was the latter.
2 years ago, I dressed my precious little angel in her Christmas dress & I had big ideas for what this moment would hold. Looks of amazament & wonder - the magic of Christmas. None of that was present - at least not with our little party of 3. We had screams, tears & eventually the camera took a picture of L on my lap on Santa's lap. Embarrassing. But a really funny memory. The things we do for our children. I was totally unprepared for that....I had not even taken a shower & I chose to sit on Santa Claus' lap in front of 50 other onlookers so that I could have it documented forever? My brain wasn't functioning properly at that moment, because now whenever we talk about L's 1st traumatic visit with Santa we pull out a picture of ME sitting on Santa's lap with my daughter. Needless to say, we skipped Santa last year.

However.......we had been really working up for this year. We have been to the mall SEVERAL times to see what other children do when they meet Santa Claus, we've talked about who the big man in the red suit is & how he brings toys to little boys & girls on Christmas, how mommy & daddy think he's a good man & that we'll be right there watching....and then we talked about being brave & that even if you're a little afraid & even if you feel like crying that it's important to try anyway.
Ugh. Not fun.
We are in line & she is a little uncomfortable. We've made the list for Santa & she's a little bit interested in this man who might have some pull in bringing these amazing things to her house for her to play with. I thought we had a shot. We got closer & I even heard the man behind us say, "She doesn't look so sure. She looks like she really wants to, but not sure she can." He was dead on right. She wanted to succeed so badly - we could tell that she wanted to conquer this. So we put little brother on Santa's knee- no problem. Laid back little man, just chillin' out with Santa Claus & his sister sits down .... no, she was placed down after her arms & legs were pried from her father's body....screaming, crying, not thrilled. I look at Lee & say, "What do I do?" We agreed to let her go through it. I turned to the faces behind me & said, "I am a terrible mother".

But I have to be honest, & I am not just saying this to make myself feel better (though it does)....she was proud of herself. We sat her down afterwards with her & her candy cane & said, "You did it! You sat on his knee just liked we talked about! It's ok that you cried! You were scared & you sat on his knee anyway! So brave!" And she puffed up a little bit. All grins from that moment on. I, personally, am exhausted from the experience & I think I may make an effort to avoid Santa for the remainder of this Christmas season. But next year....I have high hopes for 2008.

funny funny

I'm sure I'm biased, but my kids are funny. In fact, i think my 3 year old is the funniest person I know. The things that she does totally crack me up....and I know that it is partially because she's my kid because I tell stories & other people don't laugh as loud as I do...but trust me - she's really really funny. I caught her dancing today & actually had the camera take a gander at my funny little girl in her element.....hilarious.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the best day

My girl seems to love time more than anything. If life gets a little hectic, she responds to that with tantrums & sudden loss of hearing...but if you give her undivided quality time.....she snaps back. Before Bo came, she & i were together a lot. She is most fun to run errands with, have lunch with, grab coffee with.....she & I had a lot of time & a lot of fun together. We don't get as much of that 1 on 1 anymore & we both miss it. So for her birthday - the actual day, the 3 of 3 birthday parties - I decided to see if someone could be with the boy so she & I could hang out for a day. We had breakfast together at McDonald's & then we picked up her best friend & her mother. We went to Sketchy's Art Pad, which is the coolest place ever! An open art studio for kids. There is a plexiglass easel & chalk boards & paint & glue & noodles & glitter & clay & just everything fit for a kids creative mind.
And so went birthday party #3. The final birthday party. And it's a good thing. She was getting a little too comfortable in the spot light. Life will be back to normal just in time for Santa's visit & then I suppose we'll be back to square one.
I can't believe I have a 3 year old!

two of three

So birthday party #2 happened & was much fun. Lu's highlights are too many to list - but the balloons were up there. She had 3 balloons, 3 pizzas & 3 friends...well, 2 cousins & a brother. She was fun to watch - she has an enthusiasm that is contagious. She actually ate her pizza AND her cake with her face. Not kidding. She actually did this last year, too. I'm not sure what stops me from correcting her. Maybe I'm envious. I would love to feel that freedom. No fork, no fingers....just her face. She blew out the candles & I, once again, forgot to tell her to make a wish. Next year we'll hit that point. When we got home we gave her an "extruder kit" - i'll explain. The family business that Lee works with is a ceramic manufacturing plant. One division of the company extrudes ceramic play dough. So we really gave her a play dough kit....but it's much more fun to say we got her an "extruder kit" - & we'll keep on calling it that. Lee & I were talking after the kids were in bed about the party & one thing he asked me was, "did you see L going around the table eating everyone else's leftover cake?" It explains a lot actually.

Friday, December 14, 2007

one of three

So my precious little pumpkin is turning 3. And for many different reasons, she will have 3 birthday parties. All small, mostly with just family. She will spend her actual birthday with her very best friend - but as for the blowing out the candle will just be family. A friend made total sense of this for me by saying, "Well, I mean, she IS turning three. So it makes perfect sense that she should have THREE parties" What am I setting myself up for here? It can't be good. 10 parties for the 10th? I just don't see it.
My dad, sister, etc were all here this week so we celebrated birthday party #1. Such fun. She LOVES cupcakes, And she totally "gets" the opening presents thing. Seems to thoroughly enjoy that part. And it seems for me that December, which already held its own challenges to the waistline...great food, someone always baking cookies, every excuse in the book to just indulge, has gotten worse for me. We threw a birthday in the mix. With cake, pizza, candy, & on & on. And with the whole 3 birthday parties....well, i'm doomed. It's sure to be a disaster for me & my relationship with my blue jeans. But I digress. The cupcakes were a hit. The scooter & the tee ball set given to L by her granddaddy are also a hit. The books that her aunt, uncle & cousin gave her....i just finished reading them to her & put her in the bed. It's been a blast & will continue to be a blast...I'll keep you posted with birthday party pictures :). Here's birthday party #1!

And this is what we had to put to bed that night.......ahhhhhh the joy of sugar.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My dad has been here & my sister & her family also came to visit for a few days - they actually headed home just yesterday. My little girl is so bummed that her cousin is gone. They have lived far away for quite a while & this is the 1st time they are really old enough to play together & enjoy it. It was so much fun to watch. They truly had the best time! Here are some pictures of the girls....

the show's over

It's been a while since I posted so there may be a few back to back coming....lots going on. Hence the lack of posting. So.....what's been happenin'.....well, the show for one. And it was a blast. As always - the best one yet. I think it will always be that way. Each year those who have done it before have gotten to know each other a little better & each year there is someone new with something so unique & creative...this year there were many of these people. It seemed to be a success for all & Wendi & I can't wait for next year! Here are some pictures from the day & I have posted contact info for all of the vendors on the Market Page.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

christmas tree

What a great day! Most of the day was spent with family & extended family from all over at The Mitchell Family Christmas Party. Santa visited & handed out some toys, we ate lunch, played a gift game & the Lee Mitchells came home to bake cookies & decorate a tree. LuLu got a pair of slippers (that sort of match Mommy's :) )

My sweet Father In Law asked me a question yesterday. He asked if I liked Christmas. I had to admit that Christmas was not always my favorite holiday - don't get me wrong - I always had that excitement in my stomach each Christmas eve & there are traditions I always looked forward to, but there was definitely always a little stress added to this holiday for different reasons. But God is so good & has restored it for me. When Lee & I married - life kind of "stabilized" for me. He's so steady & he brings that to our family. I am the dramatic one & can over think or over emotionalize just about anything. He keeps us all steady. Christmas began to feel .... steady. And then on December 17th when we met our little girl for the first time....well, Christmas has become something I look forward to all year long. Hot chocolate, marshmallows, a new Christmas CD, old Christmas music, pulling out the ornaments....all of it. I am so excited for all of it! The best part for me, is getting to tell Lu about Santa Claus & all that goes along with that....but to remind her that Christmas is about Jesus being born & that being good is not what makes Him love her....or me. What a gift to be reminded of that with all the effort put forth to pleasing others know that God knew that we could never do it on our own....we needed help. And so Christmas - such a special time to focus & get a little girl to hear a little bit about unconditional love & saving grace.

So, may you enjoy this Christmas season as much as I am.

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Elves

This has to be one of my favorite things. Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remembering Will

Many of you know that many years ago I worked with children who were in the hospital. I was a Child Life Specialist & during my internship my supervisor asked us to come up with an "elevator answer" to the question "What exactly is a Child Life Specialist?" And to this day I still think about what that answer might is a job that is too much to explain on an elevator - unless that elevator is stopped for a long period of time. We basically were able to be with children/teens & their families through medical experiences - helping them learn to understand & cope based primarily on an understanding of development - but a lot just on who & where that family was. It was an AMAZINg time in my life. My dad & others often asked how I could handle this job - why would I want to do it. It's true that many of the children I grew to love are not alive today, but what a privaledge it was to walk along side such brave young people. I learned a lot. More than many people learn in a lifetime.....
I was sorting through some old emails & I found this one from a girl I used to work with in Baltimore. Many of us knew this boy named Will. He was something. He died after I left & our friend wrote this about him.....I had to share it. Will had many things to teach & we should all pay attention & learn from a wise little boy.

What Will Taught Me
June, 2002
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: 8pm, Wednesdays
Beware of certain Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood
Matchbox cars can make a boy very happy
There’s no excuse for smelling bad
It’s okay to say you’re scared
It’s okay to cry when your feelings get hurt
Talking can be recreational
Listening can be the most important thing there is
Sometimes children know their bodies better than doctors
Love exceeds professional boundaries
Just because you’re waking up from anesthesia’s no reason to be rude
Bad things happen to good people and it’s nobody’s fault
Bad things can bring out the best in people
Love is always worth it
Compliments go a long way
Angels sing when they talk to God
It's fun to remember Will. The world was better when he was in it. But it makes me smile to think of him whole & happy & free in heaven. Singing his heart out....cause the boy can sing :)
Hope you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

THE Show

If you are reading this & it's Saturday Dec 8th - follow the link below & COME TO THE SHOW :)
See you there!
Click HERE for more information

Monday, November 26, 2007

they're heeeeeeeeere. finally.

We've been waiting for months! And they finally made their appearance. Two adorable little teeth. And so without further Bo's new teeth.

Friday, November 23, 2007

not the Christmas card

So I had big plans for yesterday. We would certainly get the Christmas card picture taken. Easy. We will have all showered & there will be plenty of people available to just snap the picture. Well, I'm not sure if we got it or not - but I think it's funny to look at the pictures that will surely NOT be the Christmas card.....and thought "why not share those pictures with the faithful blog readers"? So here goes....the gallery of photos that will definitely NOT go on the Christmas card.....but certainly a more honest snapshot of life as it really is.

So, here's to finding the perfect picture.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well, i'm up late making a few things for Thanksgiving & I am just thinking about how grateful i am & how I don't want to take anything for granted. And i know I do & it stinks to know that. How could I ever be ungrateful? Not only for what I do have but for the things that I am not even aware that I may have been spared from...or the things i wasn't spared from that all play a role in a bigger picture. Gratefulness. I have been wondering how to instill a heart of gratitude in the hearts of my children & I am becoming so aware that it must start with me. A wonderful teacher posed the question to me as to whether or not I am allowing opportunities for my children to be grateful....or am I hindering that by providing all of their needs before they even know they need it? Do they even know how incredible it is that there is a hot meal on the table of a heated home with family always around? Do they know that we should be grateful for this? Do I? I do. I really do - but I forget to say thank you. So i can list all of the things I am grateful for & it would go on i'll spare you & start writing it in my journal. But on this Thanksgiving I hope I will remember that all I have is simply a gift that I did not get for myself. And I hope to never forget that I have more than enough - so much that maybe another would be grateful if I would share. All of these important lessons that I am going to teach my children - will apparently have to first penetrate my own heart again & again. So, Lord make me grateful...may I never forget that every good & perfect gift is surely from up above.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I got an email from a fellow mom about a good activity for small kids.....or really any kid. The idea is to grab a piece of tupperware, put some oatmeal in it with some measuring cups or a little sandbox. Well, the little man woke up earlier than I had hoped & I was up to my elbows in dinner. So I put him on the floor with the oatmeal sand box. He loved it. It was great! And then it was all over the floor. To which I thought, "No big deal. I have a vacuum cleaner."
But I apparently don't have a vacuum cleaner that works. It actually sucks things up & shoots it out the back, making a much bigger mess than what you started with. So now there's not just oatmeal all over the place, there are tiny shredded pieces of oatmeal all over the place. I'm not sure I"ll ever get it all up. Soooooooooooooooo I would say - make sure you have a reliable vacuum before you enter into the oatmeal sandbox.

But well worth the smile - wouldn't you say?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My sister & her family have been living out in Colorado for a while. They lived there once & then they moved to Georgia & then they moved back to Colorado & now they are back! Sort of. They are in Tennessee. Which is definitely closer. They have a little girl - so adorable & lots of fun. Kids are funny - i wondered if they would really remember each other & I'm not sure if they did or not, but they just played like they did. So here's to being glad that you're closer to home!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

washing clothes

Today has been a fun day. And I must admit, I wasn't expecting it to be. This past week has been especially exhausting & I am seeing the effects of it all around me. Literally. The kitchen needs cleaning, the fridge needs replenishing, the clothes have GOT to be washed, the kids....well, they are actually pulling me through today. I had declared today THE DAY WE WILL ALL HAVE CLEAN CLOTHES AGAIN day. So I got to work early, got the washer going, then the dryer, then the washer & the dryer, etc... During one of these loading & reloading sessions, I put B in the exersaucer in the playroom with L & I checked in on them. This is what I found...
She loves him more than I ever dreamed. & she's a gift giver. Kind of like a golden retriever. We had a golden when I lived in Jackson - actually, I think it was the neighbor's dog - anyway, he would bring us anything when we walked up....empty cans of tuna fish, my socks, my dad's socks, you get the picture. L is similar with her brother, as you can see from the picture of him sucking on an Elmo slipper that she brought him.

So, things seemed to be going well - I went back to the laundry & returned to check on them. And these are the faces that greeted me this time.

How 'bout them pink bunny ears. Look-in' snazzy there kiddo. And you can thank your sister when I pull this out for your rehearsal dinner.

Monday, November 12, 2007

my southern girl

I'm originally from Mississippi. I lived in a couple different parts of that state & have a real affection for it. I moved to Baltimore after college & became aware that I had an accent. My roommate, also from Mississippi, shared this accent & we were singled out on a regular basis because of this "twang" we shared. Because we lived together, it was easy to hold on to it. But Cappe moved back home before I did & I have been told since that I don't have much of a Mississippi accent. Which is fine, I don't care one way or another. But here's the thing. Somehow, my daughter has a very thick southern Mississippi accent. Much more than I EVER had. So how in the world? Are there accents in our genes? Is this something that should be researched? From the day that I heard the words "Rat thar" come out of her mouth, I have been a little shocked. It's cute, don't get me wrong....but where is it coming from?

"Where are your shoes?"

"Rat thar"

O - K?

"What color is your shirt?"


Excuse me?

Now, as far as I am aware, I have never spoken like this. Maybe I do, & this entire post will be filled with comments of people explaining to me that my accent is simply a blind spot & that she is talking just like her Momma. That's fine, I'm from Mississippi, I'll claim it.

I feel like she is moving away from it a bit - another little sign that she is getting bigger which tears my heart again & again. But it's good. It's a season & we're growing & that's good.

And then yesterday, we were leaving for Target & I asked L to grab her shoes so we could go.

"Where did you put your shoes, L?"

"Oh, Thar 'em are"


I'll call Jeff Foxworthy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Team Steckler

Note: I wrote this post a few days ago & was waiting to put a picture with it. Since then, the person that this post is written about is no longer suffering, but is with the Lord. Please keep her family in your prayers. If you had known her, you would know what a void there is right now in their lives. But Heaven no doubt welcomed her with open arms & what a joy to know that she is whole & at peace.
I have a dear friend from college - her name is Jennifer Steckler. She has always been a little famous in her own rite. There is just something about her that people have always been drawn to - a genuine joy, a true concern for others & a desire to have a good time. I remember just sitting around one evening in college & the idea to go & tie cans to the back of a friend's car just came to her mind then the words came out of her mouth & because she is Steckler - I followed. We did it, then we asked the friend to run an errand - we sat on the side of the road in Starkville, MS & watched that car drive by. It really is one of my favorite memories from college. Kool Aid in the shower heads of the Kappa Sig house was also her brilliant idea.....and I followed. I wonder how many stories there are that start with, "& then Steckler suggested we....."
Steckler is fun & kind & generous & caring & beautiful & all the things you would ever want to be.
And she is sick. Steckler has lukemia. I was at church a few weeks ago & Louie Giglio preached a sermon on HOPE in the midst of trouble. He ended the message by telling us that when trouble comes, & it will come, you are handed a megaphone. Your message, whatever it is, will be broadcast when trouble comes your way. This is true for all of us & it is true for Jennifer. Trouble has come her way & she has praised God & prayed for us through all of it. She has had her moments of "why"? But, her life has built my faith stronger. The light of Christ shining through her makes me stronger. And as a kids get a glimpse of that light. You see, it's just not hard to stand tall when life is going well & people aren't too impressed with the standing tall in the midst of all-is-going-great. But when someone stands firm when things are falling apart......that's a faith I pay attention to. That's a life I want to live. LuLu prays for Steckler, & the "life" that Steckler lives will live on in my daughter's life & will live on in my son's life. A legacy that Jennifer never expected, I would guess. Jennifer Steckler's life has been broadcast across the WORLD! It's true - her caringbridge site (type jennifersteckler) proves that & God is speaking loud & clear through her. I'm not sure that right now, in this life, that I can say that it has been "worth it" for her to be sick for this to happen. But I believe with my whole heart, that so many more hearts have met the Lord by knowing her. And many of those only know her because she got sick.
I know this - she has set an example that I could never totally get through to my kids with just words. Lessons about the importance of giving, and being grateful, and being honest & true - even in the midst of a major struggle. I whine about not getting my way - from time to time :) - but the silliness of that is brought into the light because I know this girl. This special amazing girl who has been dealt a hand that totally stinks & even in the questions & the "shaking her fists" in wonder, she stands firm. I want to be like her. Which makes me want to be like Him, like Jesus. I want to be more like Christ because of Jennifer Steckler & the light that shines through her. And so we wear these shirts as a reminder that we are a part of "Team Steckler." A special team, that has learned from the example of a girl who fought the good fight & followed the Lord all the way home. The world would be a better place if we all were a little more like Steckler.

Monday, November 5, 2007

meet Lucy

As soon as the little girl was born I made a conscious effort to make sure that when she became attached to a favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal - that it would be replaceable. So I was strategic. I only put certain things in her crib. I actually hid the ones that i knew were irreplaceable with the thought that we would bring them out when she was older. And it all worked out well....for a while.
One day, I was going through some baskets & boxes & Lu was with me. She pulled a lamb that the Shannon Low & family gave to her out of the basket. It was love at first sight. She hasn't gone many moments without "Lucy." Lee & I get a sick feeling in the pits of our stomach every time we have to "give Lucy a bath." The fear that one day she will simply come out in shreds.
I have looked for replacements, just to have a back up, & all that I have found is a photo of a "lucy" on ebay by a user looking for the same thing I am.....a backup. Some insurance. This is just a heartbreak I know I will never be ready for her to go through. I do have a soft heart.
So Lucy goes with us everywhere & it's become kind of humorous to me as I look through pictures to see all of the places she has been with us. Many times by accident. And I have begun to take some on purpose.
Because Lucy is such an important part of our family, i felt it necessary to introduce you all to her. So without further's Lucy.

Lucy has really been there through it all & she is grateful that you took the time to "meet" her :).

I've picked the paintbrush back up!

This painting thing has really taken on a life of its own.....I started full force, then L was born & I stopped. Life felt more settled so I started painting again & then a renovation, pregnancy & morning sickness called for another halt. And now I'm learning that I will most likely always paint at some time or now!
I've picked 'em back up! It's been so much fun. L is at an age where she will actually sit with me & paint. How great is that?? So calming - & cherished time together. I actually, after almost 3 years, painted a board for her.

Quite an accomplishment I must add. Not that I have hung it on the wall. We do pray for her each night, that she would grow into her name & be "righteous" & not really in the 80s sense of the word :). Im sure you all got that, but for whatever reason felt it necessary to clear that up. Nevertheless, we should hang it as she is getting older, it will be nice to have that visual. And as for B.......well, we'll get there eventually :). Those 2nd children.

If you want to check out other things I have been working on - I have set up a blog for the boards.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Our halloween festivities were pretty simple this year. Lu is so unaware of it all that we just kind of let it be that way this year. Trying to simplify things & also figure out how to "do" halloween in our family is another reason to put it off one more year. When this time of year comes around, we see so many gruesome things that tend to make light of death or human life, in general & I know I can over-dramatize just about anything, but I have this strong desire to just hold on to their innocence for as long as I can. So we took the year off, probably more for ourselves. We so look forward to the excitement of both of these kids dressing up in their costumes & walking around with their friends in the neighborhood to greet other neighbors with the "trick or treat!" & then the sleepless night after too much sugar, of course. No halloween is complete without THAT, right?

Anyway. Next year.

But we had a great time. Lu & her dad carved a pumpkin ... & did a great job I would say. She was so excited she literally didn't know what to do about it. She kept running inside & outside & chattering the whole time. She helped me clean out the seeds & we roasted them & it was all very fun.
Lu went to a mother's morning out & they ate way too much of a lot of I don't even really want to know, but she had a blast & it made me smile. When I picked her up she had bright orange frosting all in her hair. No party is complete without it.

Then that afternoon we walked over to our friends' (Grace, Heath & Ashton) house & she sort of trick or treated for a piece of candy corn :). Without the costume, a little illegal, i know. But she had a pumpkin on her shirt & pink cowboy boots - which has got to count for something!
Last night, she helped me make a pizza for dinner & then she greeted the trick or treaters & gave them candy. All of this will help the excitement for next year.
One funny thing that happened last night - we live on a hill, so Lee was on the porch beckoning people to "Come on up! We have candy!" & they would make the grueling trek up the hill for a snicker bar. Lu walked down the steps & helped hand out the candy to one of her friends who was dressed up like a pumpkin. I noticed she just gave a "here you go" & turned to walk back up the stairs. So I said, "That's Luke, honey" & she stopped dead in her tracks, whipped her head around & just looked shocked - a look like "no mom, that's a pumpkin!" "How could it be Luke AND a pumpkin?!" She hurried back down the steps to just make sure. What I would give to climb inside her head just for a moment.

I hope you all had an enjoyable night as well.