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Saturday, December 13, 2008

The time is drawing near...

We met with our builder today and finally things are looking up. We walked the property and made some decisions about location and which trees we will be able to save. Even though this preliminary process has taken a lot longer than we had anticipated, I think that the final outcome and price will be worth it. I am finally letting myself entertain the idea that we may be in our new home by May! This timeline sounds ambitious, but I know they are committed to building this as quickly as possible. I cannot wait to be able to post photos of turned up dirt on our lot!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finally Friday

I think this has been the longest week I've had in awhile. I am hoping that I can muster up enough energy finish my chocolate truffles for Sara's treat exchange tomorrow. As I type this it is 9:41 PM and my kids are STILL up! I am letting them get away with a little extra play time tonight.

So, I was on my way home from the grocery store, passing the Aquatic Center when I see a deer standing in front of me. There is a ditch to my right and an onward coming car to my left. I ease onto the breaks because I don't want them to lock up thinking "OK, this deer is gonna get out of the way, I just know it". Nope. I hit him Hard with the right front of my car. I've lived in Haberhsam County for 5 years and I truly cannot believe this is the first deer that I've hit- it was inevitable I guess.

I felt terrible of course- more for the deer than for my car. It was pretty scary and sad to know that I left a deer suffering on the side of the road. I got home and Derek surveyed the damage- my light is falling off, my bumper is broken and the right front panel of my will have to be replaced. There was blood too...that was the worst. I cannot get over feeling terrible for that sweet little animal that was frozen in fear as my car approached. He could have possibly survived the impact, but is, no doubt in pain.

Tomorrow is a busy day. Derek and I are going to church to get screened as bone marrow donors. There is a lady in our church that is in desperate need of a marrow donor, so all of the members of our church ages 18-60 have been asked to get tested. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be a match for her- or if not me though, then I pray that someone is.

After the screening, Derek is dropping me off at Sarah's and then taking the boys to Johnny Gunn's for haircuts. When they come back to get me, we are meeting our builder at our lot to stake out where our house is going to go. I know I haven't mentioned the house latley- it has been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong process that is a bit frustrating to talk about- just know that things are progressing (finally). Later on we are meeting my Dad, Step mom, brother and sister in Cumming at the Kani House for dinner. I imagine we will crash Saturday night. :-)

Well, if I have a stalker, now he or she knows where to find me tomorrow!! :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Came Early Today

Since day one of my career at Initials, Inc., we have been designing the new Spring/Summer 2009 line. We've held conference calls, requested run-offs, approved samples, made changes, inspected fabric tuns, matched Pantones, etc. Well, today the bags finally arrived!! It was almost like the birth of a child (OK, we all know that childbirth is WAY more exciting, but work with me here). We have spent all of this time planning for this new line, designing each piece with care and consideration and making sure that it will all "fit" into the new catalog. It's pretty cool to see something come to fruition that you helped create. I wish I could show you the new designs & fabrics...March 1 seems like a long time away!

Britney and I went shopping today for all of our photo shoot props which is on Monday & Tuesday- bless the ladies who will be modeling for us in their best spring outfits in the middle of December. We've spent countless hours deciding which items will be on what pages, what props we will use, what copy will appear on the pages, etc. I feel like all of our hard work is beginning to pay off as we see this new line come to fruition. This truly is my "dream job" and I am thankful as ever to have it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I have a friend...

I have a friend who cries every time she talks about her children. She lives her life putting her kids in front of herself. She makes sure her daughter has Pumpkin Parties at school and packs the healthiest lunch I've ever seen for her children. I have a friend who never lets you cry alone. Empathetic.

I have a friend who's made dinner for my family when I've been sick. Who's taken my children when I've been weary and who unselfishly cheers on my every success. I have a friend who is brave and confident and I recently saw her become a mother for the very first time. I've spent my whole life wondering what a "friend" is...she is the definition of this kind of unselfish devotion. Devoted.

I have a friend who credits me with starting a ministry for young mothers but without her, none of it would have been possible. The day I met her she was caring for someone else's child on a daily basis for free. She has three children of her own. This friend is the sister I always wanted. She can take truth and honesty even when it hurts- and I take it just as well from her. This friend is in unimaginable pain right now and my heart feels like someone has a death grip on it- oh how I grieve for her. My friend will use this for God's glory- His alone. Magnificent.

I have a friend who lights up a room when she enters it. She spends her life much like I do, trying to balance life and work and motherhood. I tell you that there is no one I would rather leave my child with on his first day of preschool than her. She is genuine and loving and precious to me and all who know her. Genuine.

I have a friend who shys away from the spotlight. She is calm and funny and knows more about college football than I could ever hope to. She's the reliable one- the one that will always be there, no matter what. She knows you for a minute a day or a year or more and her devotion is the same. She has a quietness about her and a heart that I long to know better. Selfless.

I have a friend who would give you not just the shirt off of her back, but the earrings and the shoes to match. She's thoughtful and listens and catches the details of you that no one else will. She's is as reliable as sunset. Her heart is still mending from almost a year's worth of hurt- she heals by helping others. She is as neat and clean as I am messy, yet she'll still ride in my car and call me a friend. Loyal.

I have a new friend that has a contagious laugh. She is warm and kind and seems to be all about the fun in life even though she's had her share of pain. She's light and hilarious and shares her heart freely. Honest.

...oh how much fun was that? I've got lots more friends to share with you but the minutes in my day that I get to devote to blogging are almost up. I'll write more later...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Beach Photos

We went to the beach this year with our friends James, Andrea & baby Andrew. I think we were all a bit apprehensive about what it would be like to be together 24/7 for a week straight- I mean, sure we love each other, but you never know what can happen when you spend hours on end with the same family. Well, our fears were completely unwarranted, because we ended up having the best vacation that I can ever remember. We all had so much fun together and despite 3 people under the age of 5, it was very relaxing too. Now, only true friends won't give you a hard time if you want to go to bed before 10- and Andrea and I were happy to doze off by then a night or two. It was just so nice to be able to be ourselves- no agenda or "plans"- just be and enjoy our children and each other's company. It was so relaxing, in fact, I didn't take a million pictures like I normally would, but below are the moments I managed to capture on film...

The house we stayed at had a chess table- this kept the boys busy for hours. What can I say, Derek and I breed geniuses!

Brit plans his next move.

Tate trying to explain to Britton why it really is fare that he is master of all the chess pieces.

Baby Andrew is excited about one of his favorite things....FOOD! He flaps his "wings" when he gets is so cute!

Stair steps

Not sure we want to know what's going on right here...

Tate being chased by Britton

You lookin' at me?

Andrew & James brave the icy water....brrrrrrrrrrr

Tate models his mama's glasses

Tate's pretending that he is solving a mystery with Scooby Doo by his side.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Beach Bound!

Tomorrow we leave at 6AM for St. George Island in the panhandle of Florida. We've been looking forward to this trip for awhile- we've never been to the beach this late in the year so we are crossing our fingers, hoping the weather will be mild enough to enjoy the pool and ocean. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our trip will be cut in half- we'll be coming back home on Wednesday. The reason for us coming back is good, but unmentionable at this time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

This is dedicated to the one I love...

Have I mentioned my husband lately? Why do I always neglect to give my life partner credit where credit is due? This week has been extremely busy at work and he has provided for my every childcare need! I love him. I love him. He is the best Daddy in the world to my boys- his true calling in life, I believe is to be a father. He is wonderful and tender and strong and the most driven person I know. Thank you, D for picking up my slack this week. I love you!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday Nights In Habersham

I grew up a Blue Devil, turned into a War Eagle for a few years and have ended up a Radier. This is how we spend our Friday Nights...


So, almost two months into the working mother world and still experiencing absolute JOY at work, cherishing PRECIOUS moments at home, but always fighting the guilt monster that lives under my bed. Something tells me that will never change.

At work we are in full swing with the Spring/Summer 2009 line. I am so excited about the new designs, fabrics and collections we are working on. Our business has grown by 500% compared to last year. In this economy, that is amazing! I am working on 2 different marking campaigns, connecting with new Creative Partners and constantly seeking new opportunities for growth. Every day is full and every day is fun!

At home, we've been relishing every daylight hour of cool weather. I love the fall!! We made our first attempt at camping on our lot this weekend. Unsuccessfully. Britton whined from the moment we opened the marshmallow bag til the moment we stumbled flashlight-less to the car at 9PM! Poor Tate was crushed, but spending an entire night in the company of a crabby 2-year old ain't my idea of fun! We promised Tate another adventure (sans Britton) in our 2 1/2 acre wood soon.

Derek is still having health issues. Please pray for him. He has seen every doctor and specialist under the Atlanta Sky and we are still no closer to an answer than we were a year ago. Whatever it is, my specific prayer is for him to be either healed or that we find out exactly what is wrong with him by November 1st. His job is going well, but has not been shielded from the economic mess the United States is in. I am THANKFUL that he even has a job at this point.

A drawing of our new home is in the hands of our builder and he is working out pricing. Now we wait.

I have two unspoken wonderful things that are going on in our life. Both to be revealed in due time...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blogging Disclaimer

Faithful readers- please forgive me for how the appearance of my blog. I don't have time to fuss and fiddle over pictures and captions and making sure everything lines up...or is even legible! I am so frustrated with the blogger format for posting. I know the blogs a mess, but it will have to do for now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"The Bestest Day I've Ever Had..."

... is what Tate told me last week on our way home from the fair. This was our third trip to the annual Peachtree Fair that comes to Habersham County every September. Britton has never been old enough to go with us before, but we included him on this family-tradition of an adventure this year. We met the Garretts and part of the York was fun to see their babies look at the lights and at us crazies who rode the rides.

As usual, we stopped off at the animals first and let the boys feed them. Tate was comfortable letting the goats eat out of his hand. Brit kept his distance and threw his cup of food into the goat cage. We came up to this odd looking creature and Brit started backing up in fear shouting "Lion! Lion!"

Derek, Tate, Brit and I got warmed up on the Ferris Wheel and then we let the boys ride a few rides. Some of the rides were a little intense for two little boys...they loved them though.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

New Life, Continued

As I mentioned in my previous post, week 1 of Working Motherhood went better than I could have imagined thanks to best friends and Derek.

Week 2 was another story...

Monday was the first day of Preschool for Tate and Brit. Derek and I went together to drop them off and my deep sadness almost knocked the breath out of me. Sad because I saw all of the little sweeties that I had taught the year before, sad because I saw all the ones I would have taught this year and sad because I saw the fear in the eyes of my babies who did not want to go to Preschool. The practical part of my brain had shut off (you know, the part that should have said "Even if you were still an at-home mom, Tate would still be starting Pre-K and a few days a week of preschool would be great for Britton"). Oh, no, I was in full throttle mother-guilt land. I lingered outside of each of their rooms until I was satisfied that they would survive the next 8 hours without me.

I went to work with a pit in my stomach- but through prayer and the reminder that I was still in His will, my day got better. At 4:59 I was out the door and then arrived at Sonya's in under the 8 minutes that it would take a responsible driver to get there.

Alas, they were fine! I was greeted by smiles and sunshine.

So, the days got easier, but the week nights were rough. Derek left on Monday and didn't return until Saturday night. I was a virtual single mother and I didn't fare well. Mind you, I am not one of those "Can't function without my husband" whiny, wives. I survived over 400 days without Derek while he was in pre-deployment, then Iraq. And baby Tate and I managed to make the best of life without Dad when Derek used to travel for weeks at a time early in our marriage. The combination of work, making lunches, boosting toddler's self confidence, fatigue, strong-willed children almost did me in. I try not to cry in front of my children, but I did shed a tear or two that week.

Tate says all Confucius-like at the dinner table weeks later at a large family gathering: "Sometimes mommies and daddies cry. Like mommy cried when I wouldn't get in the car to go to the restaurant." So much for my "got it all together" facade.

Fast forward to weeks 3 & 4...I couldn't be happier and neither could my husband & children. The job is everything I could have ever wanted and my kids are so happy at Preschool and "Mrs. Sonya's house". Every minute that I have with them, I cherish. I am teaching Tate to read and encouraging Britton as he learns his colors, shapes, etc. We are blessed beyond measure.

This is not to say that we do not have difficult days- don't we all. But all in all we are doing great- individually and as a family. I cannot wait to see what the rest of 2008 has in store...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Well, I guess its about time I blog about my new adventure as a working Mother. I've been "on the job" for almost a month now and we've pretty much settled into our new routine.

The unofficial start to my day usually begins some time between 3 & 5 am. This is when one or more of my little 'wonders' decides to pile in with Derek and I in the double bed we share in our temporary love nest. After reclaiming my pillow and my fair share of the covers, I'll sleep until I have to officially rise and shine at about 6:45.

The its juice and cereal bar for Britton and the biggest cup o' joe Mommy can find.

Brit watches The Wiggles while I shower and dress. I start waking Tate up around 7:45 and by 8:00 he's (hopefully) munching on a semi-healthy breakfast of Lucky Charms and fresh fruit.

At 8:30 we are out the door and in the car headed for preschool. Our trek to preschool usually includes a winding, rocky back road in which we religiously stop every morning, roll down the windows and "moo" at the cows. It is a happy day when we actually receive a "moo" back from our new brown & white friends.

By 8:50 I am kissing the boys goodbye and trying to escape from the preschool building without getting trapped in conversation by another mother or preschool teacher. (NOT that I do not love to chat- we all know that I do- its just my days of endless chatter are over- at least between the hours of 9 & 5)

9 am finds me pressing the round black button on the Dell Desktop (yes, I do LOVE my commute) then scurrying off to the kitchen for my first cup of Office Coffee- which, thanks to Deidre, ain't half bad!

From 9 until 5 or after, my day is a whirlwind. Meetings, meetings about meetings, conference calls, planning sessions, drafts, phone calls, emails, office banter, etc. Most days I still cannot believe my eyes when my computer screen reveals 4:45 pm. I'm typically out the door by 5, especially when I am the one picking the kids up.

I pull into Sonya's driveway about 5:10 and am greeted at her door by two little happy shorties dying to hug me and tell me about their day.

By 5:30 we're barreling into the front door- all papers, bookbags and juice cups- the boys are running to find their toys, I am flinging my shoes off and putting on PJ's.

Dinner is now around 6 and has been great since we're living with "Gram"- the saintliest woman I know. Sometimes she will cook- sometimes its me- my favorite is leftovers because I don't have to cook and I don;t have to feel guilty about her cooking either.

After dinner I let the boys play outside or in- whichever they choose. Sometimes we will go to our new neighborhood and play tennis and fish. The boys LOVE tennis- and I LOVE to teach them how to play.

7 pm is bath time and after that, if Tate has had a "sunshiny" day- he is rewarded by a 30 minute dose of his favorite cartoon- 'Tom & Jerry'.

8pm is 2 story books and 2 "stories without words" as Tate calls them. The ones without words are what I make up and 9 times out of ten have to do with "Two little boys, a dark cave and a treasure chest". What can I say, usually by this hour my creative juices have run dry. I sing 2 songs (Godspeed & I will be Here), give lots of hugs, snuggles and kisses and then, fingers crossed, I'm out the door.

It is a rare occasion these days that the boys actually stay in bed without being "scared" or "thirsty" or "hungry". Unfortunately, we typically do not see the last of them until around 9- but we're working on this. "Boundaries", Laura- yes, I know!!

So.....what goes on between the hours of 9 & 10 pm??? I'll never tell!!! (I'll give you a little hint- draft paper, square footage and building materials).

If I'm lucky I'm in bed with a book by 10, if I'm being realistic, I'm usually up making sandwiches, packing lunches and getting everything ready for the next day until 11.

Then it all begins again the next day. Same time, same place.

So, that is what I do each day. Now I'll address what you really want to do I feel?

The first week was pretty guilt-free since my children were cared for by a combination of best friends, family and my husband. Life was great really- I gave myself my job during the day, then was "Supermom" at night.

INTERNET mini novel was just deleted due to connectivity issues...will continue thoughts in a later post...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Job and Opportunity for YOU!

Hello everyone!

Monday was my first day as Executive Coordinator at Initials, Inc., a company that sells personalized gifts through direct selling (Creative Partners that do home, catalog and fundraising parties). I am working in their home office which happens to be in Clarkesville, GA (where Derek, the boys and I live). My job consists of product development (picking out styles, fabrics, products) and Sales & Marketing support.

We currently have Creative Partners in 35 states, with more being added each day. Everyone I know absolutely LOVES the products (purses, stationary, tote bags, jewelry, back packs, assorted gifts etc.- that ALL come with free personalization through monogramming, engraving or print)- you can view their Spring/Summer 2008 catalog online at . They are offering their “Business in a Bag” starter kit for as low as they will all year during this month’s “Join With a Friend” promotion. The flyer attached will tell you that if you join with a friend in August, the Starter Kit will be yours for $79.99 (1/2 off the regular price).
· The average Creative Partner makes $200 per party.
· Set up/take down is a breeze- just setting out products- no cooking, cleaning, etc. involved.
· Perfect job for SAHM’s, Military Wives, Teachers...or anyone looking to make some extra money.
· These products truly sell themselves- people stop me all the time and ask me “Where did you get that bag?”

We are encouraging people to give this opportunity a try- even if it is just to earn some extra money for Christmas. The founders, (Britney & Ivy) of this company are FABULOUS! They began their business as Stay At Home Moms just like I have been for the past 4 ½ years. I feel blessed to be on board with Initials, Inc. and the opportunity for growth as a home office employee as well as a Creative Partner is tremendous. I know we all have our individual opinions about the Direct Selling Industry, but let me assure you- I would not have come out of my situation as a SAHM for just any company.

I attended their annual Conference in Buckhead last week and it was really hard for me not to sign up to be a Creative Partner- in fact, I may still do it or at least host some parties to get a better handle on the ins and outs of the business. If you are interested in any aspect of the business, whether it be purchasing product, hosting a party or becoming a Creative Partner, please send me an email at . This will be my first and last “mass email” about the opportunities within Initial’s Inc. unless you tell me to keep you on my mailing list. Also, please forward this email to everyone you know that may be interested in any of the opportunities I mentioned above.

I am SO VERY excited about the Fall Catalog that is coming out September 1st! If you would like me to send you one in the mail, I will be glad to offer you a “sneak peak”- just send me your mailing address and I will get it to you asap!

Also, if you live in the North GA area or want to head up to the mountains for an evening, we are hosting an Opportunity Meeting on Thursday, August 21st at 7pm at the Home Office here in Clarkesville. This would be a wonderful way to check us out and to hear all about the business and the role of Creative Partner.

*Don’t forget to email me at if you are interested in purchasing product, hosting a party or becoming a Creative Partner!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I wonder, is moving like giving birth? It is so painful during the act that you swear in the moment you will never do it again. And then, almost hours later you think- hey that wasn't so bad?

My pack rat ways have definitely caught up with me, as my husband warned they would over the past nine years of our life together. At this point, I don't think I'll ever buy my favorite "yellow lotion" during Clinique Bonus Time ever again! Who needs 50 small pouches with mini tubes containing creams you never even heard of?

Aye! I'll have to get a snapshot of the pile I've left for our trash man tomorrow...I'm thinking I'll leave him a tip!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cha Cha Cha Changes....

If you are my friend, you already know the changes that are going on in our life right now. I will spare the details and cut to the chase. Two weeks ago we bought land on Monday and on Thursday we got a contract on our house and I accepted a full time position at Initials Inc.

We have to be out of our house by August 5th but I start work on July 3oth with a 5 day/night stay in Buckhead for the Initials Inc. yearly sales meeting- "Celebration". If I did not know that all of this fast paced timing was ordained by God, I think I would be checking into an insane asylum right now. Instead, I have the greatest sense of peace and purpose and I know I am being sustained by prayers from family and friends and the will of God.

So, why does a happy & blessed stay-at-home mom/Coordinator of MOPS decide to go back to work? I have no idea. I cannot give you a single reason for going to work full time- all I can tell you is that I am following the plan God has given to me.

In the coming months I will document my transition from "at home" to "at work". I am sure that there will be a vast range of emotions as our whole family embarks on these changes. I can tell you that I already look at my children in a new light of appreciation and adoration. My patience with them is beyond any I've had over the past 4 years. I am treasuring every moment, every smile, every tear.

As mothers, I believe we all set out to do what we feel is best for our family. Whether that be to work or stay at home. I am absolutely certain that I will be judged for my decision to work- after all, I was constantly judged as a stay at home mom. How sad that 99% of the time those who judge mothers are actually other mothers! I can tell you that there will be difficult times of sadness when I wonder what my children are doing "right now". Hopefully there will also be a sense of confidence as I know that I am contributing to my families' future as well as helping other mothers realize their dreams of staying at home and earning extra money through Initials Inc.

Dear friends- I do ask you that you pray for me- for Derek and for Tate & Britton. I still have to decide where the kids will go after preschool. Praise God for the three Christian women who have offered to keep them. I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that I have gotten from my closest circle- I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!

As for MOPS, I will remain on the Steering Team as we transition Missy into the role of Coordinator. I absolutely cannot wait to see how the Lord will use her this year and how AWESOME the rest of the Steering Team will be.

For now, I am packing and moving and preparing for a new carreer. Check us out at .

Love & Many Blessings....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

On this day It is only fitting that I send praise and thanks to the three fathers in my life.

David, my father. The quiet intellectual with a tender heart who was the rock of my childhood. You were the image of strength, composure and patience. You encouraged Independence and life lessons. I understand a little better now, the sacrifices you made for us. I miss the way we used to be. Time and distance is between us but I will always love you.

Derek, the father of my children. The way you melt when you hold our babies and the way you always want to be a better man for me and for them. The way you provide everything we need and so much of what we want. You take your job as father so seriously- the way a Christian man should. Thank you for the guard you let down as you raise our boys to be men who are not afraid to love freely. Thank you for the fishing trips, the vacations and all the fun things we do as a family. You are making our boy's childhood rich with memories and love. Thank you for sharing Jesus with them and being a glimpse of our eternal Father here on earth.

God, the Father and Savior of my soul. The way you tell me "it's all right" when it doesn't seem like it is. The way that you assure me and bring peace to my heart when I am walking in your will. The way you have been so very real to me the last 5 years of my life. I only wish I'd longed for you sooner. The beautiful earth you created for us to enjoy- I am amazed by your beauty daily. You've blessed me with everything I have ever wanted in life. Thank you for giving me eternal life and for giving meaning to my days here on earth.

My cup runneth over...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This Month In History

June 2004

Wedding Weekend In Kentucky

Thursday we headed out caravan style with the extended family to Lexington KY for my cousin Josh's wedding. The morning was crazy- trying to leave the house "show ready" and making sure we hadn't forgotten anything. Luckily last Summer I took the time to make the most detailed packing list you've ever seen- so we NEVER leave home without all of our essentials. If you want a copy of it- email me and I will send it to you.

We pulled out of the driveway at about 12:10 pm and headed North. The drive wasn't all that bad actually, and the mountains we drove through were truly breathtaking. The boys stayed busy with various electronic devices (yes, all the modern conveniences I would have loved to have had as a child but swore as a mother "I would NEVER let my child have one of those..."). We stopped a little more often than Derek and I are used to but it was good for the boys to get our and stretch their legs. At 7:30 we arrived at our hotel and by 7:45 we were out the door headed for dinner.

I was a little nervous about the wedding because Tate was the ring bearer. He had been excited about it and looking forward to wearing his "awesome" tux as he described it. But you never know with kids, how they are going to act. I am happy to say that he did GREAT! He smiled appropriately and held onto the pillow despite uncle Alan's request to have him throw it over his shoulder. I have posted a video of his walk down the aisle on Youtube:

I was relieved when the ceremony was over and all the post-wedding pictures had been taken. We had survived. We left the wedding and arrived at the reception only to find that it was open-air (outside) and a little warm in the 90 something degree weather. Tate headed straight for the drinks and downed 3 cups of sickeningly sweet tea. 5 minutes later he was throwing up all over his tux! So, with no other clothes to don, he paraded around the reception in his undershirt and Thomas The Tank Engine underwear. Every now and then he would shout "I am about to pass out!" which meant- more drinks, please. He is SUCH a drama queen!
Hopefully we did not offend anyone by letting him roam around in his underclothes- we were sure to skip town as soon as the cake was cut. 5 minutes after we got into our hotel room, this was the scene:

All of my boys- reading, relaxing and looking so adorable in their t-shirts!

At about 7:30 am On Memorial Day, Derek and I were sipping our coffee out on the front porch leisurely enjoying the morning while the children played in the yard. It was the last time we'd so anything "leisurely" for the next seven days.

You see, my neighbor and Sorority Sister Audrey and her husband were out walking their dogs and strolling their son Cole. She came up to the porch and we exchanged pleasantries and then she asked me how the "land hunt" was going. I told her that Derek and I now know the Northern part Habersham County like the backs of our hands and while we'd found several lots that we liked- none were without fault.

My favorite so far had been a lot in Heyden Ridge- a 3 acre lot with a 180 degree mountain view. In fact, I just knew that is where I wanted to live. Well, when Derek and I talked about it over the course of three months, we came to the conclusion than a mountainous subdivision just wouldn't work for a 4-year old who loves to ride his bike. I digress.

So, Audrey asked us if we'd been into Grand Oaks Plantation? There was a wooded lot by a pond in there that she and Scott loved but the location is just too far away from Scott's work. So I said no, but we would have to check it out- she had us at "wooded and pond".

Audrey (did I mention she is a realtor) also mentioned that now would be a great time to put our house on the market because first time home buyers are still buying. Derek and I sort of laughed that off and said good bye.

Not 30 minutes after she left, I gave her a call and by the end of our conversation, Derek and I had decided to put our house on the the following MONDAY! Needless to say, we have been working ourselves to the bone, day in and day out to get our house ready to show. In one weekend we mulched the yard, pressure washed the exterior of our home, painted all the interior walls, cleaned out closets, had a yard sale and threw out approx. 20 yard bags of trash/junk!

People who know our "Wedding in Week" and "Baby in no time" history, know that the Shaws don't do anything slow. So, here we are, living in our own "show home" with me chasing the kids with a broom in one hand and a duster in the other. The scent of Clorox permeates the air daily and all my knick knacks and useless kitchen tools are packed away. It has been pretty stressful knowing that our house could be shown at any time with only a few hours notice. My plan was to spend as much time outside with the kids as possible, but the heat has kept us inside the past few days.

So, I have no idea when or if the house will sell- if nothing has happened by the Fall, we will probably take it off the market and put it on again in the Spring.

Oh, and we have decided to purchase the lot that Audrey told us about in Grand Oaks. It is beautiful with a small creek in the back. We are just waiting on the Health Department to approve our septic site and footprint of our home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mountain Laurel Festval

The Mountain Laurel Festival was this past weekend- what else are we supposed to do for fun ina small town? Anyway, we all got together on the Gailey lawn and watched the parade. Here are a few shots from the day (I stole a few from Beth's blog and some I took myself).. Madeline and Brit check out the's a little too loud for Brit.

Jack things that mom is WAY more excting than the dinky parade.

Where did all these kids come from?

Amy & Hudson and Stacey's sister with her second born.

Andrea and little Andrew.

Hudson would rather nap.

A rare glimpse into Andrew's eyes.

"Look, I found the candy!"

Cora Clayton

Hayden grabls up the candy as fast as he can.

What's Your Mama's Name?

Britton's attempt to say my name...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy First Fourth!

We celebrated Tate's Birthday with a family gathering on Mother's day since my mom was in town. This is his first Fourth Birthday party- the second 4th will be in two weeks with his friends. I am sad because a few crucial picture files got corrupted (the one where he excitedly opens the Leapster that Derek and I got him, among others). We managed to salvage a few shots though. He was so excited about the cake that GG got for him and was very appreciative of all the gifts he received. He even lat Brit play with all of his new CARS.

I cannot believe it has been almost 4 years since I became a mama. I am enjoying Tate SO much at this age. He has such a great personality and is usually very well-behaved. I look forward to many more years with him!