Wednesday, December 30, 2009


"Christ is Risen" ~ Growing up as one of four there was always someone around, someone to do something with! Those "somethings" weren't always positive....there were lots of fights but there were also lots of GREAT times! I always remember our house being full of people around the holidays. It was crazy and fun all at the same time. This Christmas made me realize how THANKFUL I am to be one of four! All those fights and times we "hated" each other....just went out the window. I can't imagine what it would have been like to sit at the table with just one other sibling! It was wonderful to be around a FULL table and able to remember those old Christmas'! Sure we all wish this wasn't our reality.....but it just makes me SOOO very thankful for the family I have! How wonderful is it that His ways are so much better than ours!!! The Lord is oh so good!

Monday, November 30, 2009

My sweet baby girl is 2!

I can't believe it's been 2 years! Just 2 short years ago, we were traveling back and forth to the NICU daily hoping that that day would be the one she would come home! Three weeks later, she came home.......the BEST Christmas present I could have ever received! Now, two years later it's amazing how far she has come. Developmentally, she is right on track.....just a little petite! She is ALL girl. She LOVES to play with her puzzles, color, take care of her baby dolls and put clothes on! Oh, and she talks all day...I mean ALL day! I guess we go to Target a little too much since she asks to go "shopping" and will proceed to tell me where she wants to shop. I never knew how much of a blessing one tiny little girl would be! Thank you Lord for allowing her to be my sweet baby!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little to real......

This is a little bit of a longer story....just a warning! Yesterday I had to go visit with a specialist regarding some abnormal blood work. The abnormal blood work isn't anything new or too alarming right now. After Reese was born I was wanting to get on birth control but I was having headaches with loss of vision. Therefore, my doctor wouldn't put me on anything until I saw a neurologist due to the risk of stroke. So, I went to see the neurologist and he was the one who found the abnormal blood work. I then went to see a hematologist who told me I had a borderline blood clotting disorder but she didn't think I needed medication at this time. But she did inform me that I would need to be tested if I got pregnant again just to make sure there weren't any conflicts between development and the baby. So, that's how I ended up at the OB specialist!
I was a little nervous just given the circumstances and thinking that I didn't want to have another preemie that would have to stay in the NICU!
The doctor came in and ask about my first pregnancy and some of the details. I guess I didn't really think through the questions that would be asked at the time of the consultation but in hindsight I should have seen it's only normal in the medical world. I did social work for a number of years and during our "assessments" we would ask the same types of questions SO I should have known this was coming!
He then asked about family history. I think this might have been the first time I've been asked this question since dad passed and boy did it seem so surreal! He proceeded to ask about my parents, "Are your parents living?" Wow, for the last 10 years the answer has been, "My dad is"! I was getting to the point were it wasn't as hard to say acknowledge that he was our only parent. The question asked out loud just seemed too real.....almost like it made it permanent. I know it IS permanent but I think our defensive mechanisms kick in and guard us from the finality of it all. I'm glad of this "mechanism" because I think it allows me to continue on living and dealing with grief day by day rather than flooding me all at one time.
I know this is reality and I know he is so much better off. I know he isn't suffering any someone put it death is so much harder for the living. The ones who have passed on are where we all want to be!
So I PRAY the Lord blesses someone else through this event or through some way, somehow!
I guess I should also pray for health given my genes....I guess the doctor put it best when he stated the obvious....."Ummm, well, you don't have very good genes!" But God is good and so is His will!


Yes, that's right.....Reese is going to be a big sister come May!
I am 15 weeks so far and things are progressing as they should! Reese has a
little cousin Wade (my youngest sister's boy) and she LOVES to see him!
She also wants to "hold him" all the time. This is a little difficult given that he
weighs only 4 pounds less than she does! But I do get excited about her
being a big sister because of how excited she gets when she sees other babies!
I just keep praying that she will have the same excitement for her own brother or sister!
We are very excited and can't wait to find out what we are having!
So far Greg thinks it will be a girl while on the other hand I think it will be a boy.
Last time we both thought the same thing, well Greg was right!
Greg thinks he is going to have a house full of little girls!
I guess we will see here in a few weeks!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

May a little too much

To say I like Chick fil a, well that might be an understatement.
I guess this little story might help fill you in.
Greg and I went to Hawaii in September. Reese stayed
with Aunt Kristin and Nana flew in to keep her too!
One day they all went to the mall around the corner
from our house. The one that was close to my work
when I was working. When they pulled up and went in
Reese was yelling, "Come, Come Come Come" . To her that
meant "GO GO GO GO"! At this mall they have a playground
which she loves to play on. Once Nana
figured this out she got to play on it.
Well, they went to Chick fil A to order and the Chick fil A
employees said, "We haven't seen you
in a while little girl!" Nana was a little confused and they told
her they use to see me when I'd come in for lunch
when I was pregnant and then after I had her! Kristin and Nana
thought it was hilarious that the employees at Chick Fil A knew
who Reese was! It's probably because they have great
employees who never couldn't be me going
to Chick Fil A too much!!!!
Maybe I should look into
finding another favorite restaurant and branch out a little!
(by the way...that's where a great friend of mine took me for
my 30th birthday !!!!!)

Things that make Reese, Reese

1. Our back gate doesn't shut all the way and EVERYDAY when we pull away she demands that I "SHUT IT, SHUT IT, SHUT IT"! It seems to distress her that the door doesn't shut all the way!

2. Come/Go- She's a little confused with these two words. When she wants to go, she says "COME COME COME COME"!

3. Reese and I are very similar in that we both get frustrated pretty quickly. I've been trying to work with Reese and show her she can ask for help when she is a little upset. I ask her if she wants me to help her. I say,"Reese, do you want me to help you?" She has picked up on it and now she will ask me to "HELP YOU".

Apparently, we have you /me backwards too!

Just a few little things that make Reese, Reese!

Dad's luck.....

Since my last entry, Reese has continued to enjoy the potty. I think she enjoys getting
"cookies" (aka teddy grahams) after going. We are still wearing diapers because I can't bring
myself to put her in "big girl panties" just yet. She tries to get us to give her a cookie even
if she goes in her diaper. We've been explaining that's not how it works.
Our routine is the potty, lay down for the diaper
and then get a cookie. Well, one morning before church Reese had already gone to the
potty with the help of her dad. So he figured she could go around the house without a
diaper on for a little while. She would run into our room then
run down the hall into her room. We were almost ready when neither one of us heard her.
Which is NEVER a good sign with a 23 month old. So I went looking for her....I found her
playing in her room. When I walked in the room I noticed a very strong smell.
At first, I thought "Wow, the smell can't still be lingering from
earlier in the morning" and then that's when Reese spoke up!

Reese: "Ott, oh"

Me: "What is it Reese?"

Reese: pointing to the scene....
Me: pure laughter....."Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh"
Greg: running down the hall...."what what what"
in the corner of her room was a little pile of poop....
those of you who have dogs...
kind of like when a dog tries to hide it in your house....same concept!
I guess this is life and how it will continue to be! You live and you learn.
You trust and pray you don't make the same mistake!
And you just move forward. So, I must say after cleaning it up
(well, Greg cleaning it up) LESSON LEARNED!
Never leave a child un-diapered UNLESS you are willing to take the risk!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Potty, potty, potty, potty

We reached a milestone today! Reese and I had some friends come visit for the day.
Crystal (a friend from college) and her children Gracie (caroline, macy or anything else you'd like to call her) and Cooper came to visit. We met them for lunch and then they came over to play.
Reese and Gracie are about 3 weeks apart with Gracie being older. So Gracie brought her
"big girl potty" with her since she is trying to use the potty. Well, Reese was very excited
about this potty and wanted to sit on it as soon as she saw it. She kept saying, "potty, potty, potty"
over and over and over again! Finally, when we got home I took her pants off and let her sit on it
just to see if anything would happen. She was just sitting there "talking" to me about the potty.
I asked her if she was tinkling and she nodded her head. Then she said, "all done"! I never heard anything
so I assumed nothing had happend. We got off the potty and what do you know....
she pooped and pee peed in the potty!
I was SO amazed! I took pictures but won't post them. I'll just show you the potty and
her sitting on it later in the day screaming! I guess it's off to buy a potty tomorrow and
we will see where this leads us!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The beach!

Our trip to Litchfield was a wonderful time. We loved spending time with all the
Hudgens at the beach! Everyone was so excited to see Happy and Nana.
We are very thankful they were able to be there and what a sweet time it was
with all the family. It's like Christmas everytime Nana and Happy come to visit.
I really love spending all day on the beach doing nothing! It's so much fun when
the little ones can actually play on the beach rather than just sitting there.
But there is a price to pay for that change, no more sitting on the beach
reading a book! It's a price that I am more than willing to pay! I loved playing with
her on the beach and watching her explore the water and sand.
Here are a few pictures from the beach. Happy and Reese reading together!
Nana and Walker

Reese, Nana and McCrary

Walker, Nana and Reese.....McCrary playing in the water!

Reese eating sand.
Little Reese
Playing with her beach ball

Reese and McCrary washing off the sand

Monday, July 13, 2009

Praying for Happy.....

Thank you Lord for watching over Happy today during his surgery.....
For being with the doctors as they operated so closely to such
important "real estate" in the body.......
For sending people to the hospital to be/pray with Nana and the family......
For providing such a great place and great doctors to take care of him....
For your providence........
For allowing family to be with Nana.....
For the peace you give all of us during difficult and uncertain times.......
For continuing to watch over him and help him through the recovery.......
Lord, you never promise things will be easy but you ALWAYS promise to hold us in your hands!
Thank you for that promise!

The last season

This past soccer season (2009) was the last season for me as head coach.
It was a great team to end with and a good year to end on.
I am so thankful for the many lessons I learned over these past 7 years
and will never forget ALL the memories. Here
are a few pictures of Reese with some of the girls at the swim party
they had at the end of the season!
Reese with a few of the girls!

Reese with Meredith (who graduate a few years back)...
trying a sip of lemonade and pizza.

Just tall enough to see over the table.

Reese and Meredith after swimming.

Reese with Meredith while Claire (meredith's sister)
swims up to them!

This is what the girl's learned to do this year thanks to
Carlyn. And this is what they taught Reese!

Reese trying to make the "Carlyn" face!! After just a
few attempts Reese is successful!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Strawberry Pickin'

I was trying to show Reese how to hold the strawberry to eat it!
Jenny, Abby, Reese and me at the Strawberry Farm


Abby and Reese talking about how to pick strawberries!

Still working on the strawberry

Her basket of Strawberries!

Abby eating her strawberry!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Quite isn't always good!

On Sunday Reese was taking a nap. She had been asleep for about

2 1/2 hours and then she started to stir. We waited for a second

and no noise came from her room. We thought she had just fallen back

asleep. A few minutes later I went to check on her. I got close to her

room but didn't hear anything. I peeped in the door and

saw she was sitting in the corner of her bed with her back to me.

She was just sitting there not really doing anything. I slowly opened

the door to a stinch that I am quite familiar with, but she still didn't move.

As I got closer to her bed I noticed her diaper had been removed

THEN I noticed there was a little surprise missing from the diaper!

Yes, she had taken off her diaper and her little "stink" had fallen out

onto the bed. She was just sitting there in amazement looking at it!

Lauren: "Oh NO!!"

Greg: (running down the hall) "What, What, What is she ok?"

Lauren: "She's fine....we just have a mess!"

Quite, then straight to the bath tub!

Nothing a little washing machine and soap can't clean!

Does anyone else have a chipmunk?

Reese now has four teeth with four more breaking through.
Once her teeth came in she started using her crib
as a chew toy! A lesson for me....keep things
in perspective and keep a little toy
for her to use rather than her bed!

" Is this lead free paint?"

Easter - what a wonderful day!

As I look back, I am so thankful for our Easter Sunday. I know it was a while ago but I'm just
now able to write. Christ is Risen....He is Risen indeed! We had a great time at church where
a wonderful sermon was preached. We also were able to fellowship with friends and family
after the service. Then we went over to Mary Beth's house with the rest of my family.
Dad was living with Mary Beth so it was easier for all of us to just go over there. The weather
was wonderful - a beautiful day actually! The guys (Will, Rhett, Greg and Brett -
a friend of the family) played a little basketball. It started out as HORSE but then
turned into a 2v2 match. Allison, Mary Beth and I got the food together in the
house with dad. Nanny was playing with the little ones, as usual. And Dad just
took everything in! The little ones would walk in and out of the house,
stopping by his chair to "talk". At least they thought they were talking to him
and he would just listen to their babble :)
Everything was just as it should be, all of us together!
Dad was getting a little hungry and requested some food.
Dad: "I'm hungry"
Mary Beth: gives him some ham then says "Dad, EAT YOUR HAM"
(those of you familiar with Napolean Dynamite it's a familiar quote)
Allison and I thought it was pretty funny!
After his second helping of food, we decided to give dad his Easter basket so he could
finish the meal off with some fine candy and chocolate! Everybody else got their Easter
baskets too. We've continued the tradition of being together on holidays trying to be
together at most of them, knowing that mom LOVED holidays. I think it's something we
do without saying it. It's just a way to remember mom. I was surprised by how fast the
time flew. We stayed there almost all afternoon. All of us were having fun playing
around and laughing with/AT each other! Dad enjoyed just watching everything go on
and eating a good ole' meal with all of us! I do have to say Dad had to endure Greg's
story of his male massage therapist! I think Dad got a good laugh at Greg's expense!

For this day I am so thankful and it will be with me forever!
Christ is Risen.....He is Risen indeed!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Our family
Nanny with me and Reese

Give me a kiss!

My sisters!

Hey Reese, can you an Uncle Will say "Ahhhh"

Dylan showing her how to put eggs in a bucket!

Can I eat these eggs?

Uncle Rhett and Aunt Allison...."Little Jacque say weeeee"

Greg and Reese

The boys playing basketball.

Little Reese

Reese with her best friends.....Nanny and Emma

Reese giving Nanny a kiss.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Empathy.....something we have mastered!

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to,
and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another
of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience
fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner . (as defined by webster)

Reese has this mastered. She feels so deeply for the other kids, she cries too!
Or maybe she is just scared and confused! I like to think she has mastered
empathy but it's more likely the latter!
This past weekend we were in Virgina visiting her friend Emily Ruth
(actually, my friend since grade school - Lauren). Emily Ruth is a month
older than Reese. They played to together very well but Reese spent a lot
of the time crying. She cried when Emily Ruth cried and she cried when
Emily Ruth would scream. I guess this shows that Reese was either scared or
confused....or maybe both!!! But overall is was a great weekend. Reese and I
rode up to Virginia with Lauren's mother to surprise her for her 30th birthday.
We got to her house while they were on their way back from being out of town.
We decorated the house and stood in the dark waiting!! She opened the door....
we turned on the lights....yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY......she cried!!
Great birthday surprise.........I LOVE SURPRISES!
It's amazing we have been friends for 25 years!
We are starting Emily Ruth and Reese out early :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A little bug!

We have had our first experience with the stomach bug this week.
Reese is 16 months old and this is the first time she has EVER t
hrown up. I have been quite amazed that she never really spit up or
threw up much as a baby. This little bug started Tuesday morning and
hasn't been that bad. She got sick Tuesday morning but after she got sick
she seemed fine! All day she played around and seemed to enjoy herself
but last night around 3 am she got sick again. So, now we are just trying
to "sleep" it off! Hopefully it will work! I do have to say that I hate that she is
sick but I LOVE how much she wants to cuddle with me and be with me!
Hopefully this little bug will leave soon and all will be back to normal!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Feeling the beat~!

I've been noticing that over the past month that Reese has picked up on music.
Towards the end of February we were driving along listening to her CD when
I looked in the mirror and saw her clapping her hands. It took me a second to
realize she was clapping her hands to the song, "If you are happy and you know it!"!
She's been clapping for a little while but I was quite amazed she knew to clap
when to song said to!

This weekend while at the beach we were walking down the hall in our hotel when
Reese stopped in the middle of the hall and started bouncing! They were playing
music throughout the hotel and I guess the moment took over!!! So there we are,
standing in the middle of the resort and she's bouncing to the music. A few couples
thought it was pretty funny too! I did get tickled watching her "dance"!
Ummm...I wonder, might I have a dancer one day???

"I'm walkin' yes indeed, and I'm taklin' 'bout you and me"

On the 25th of February, Reese turned 15 months old. Just a few days before then,
actually on Valentine's weekend, Reese started walking. She has been moving
about the den holding on to the furniture but was very leary of taking steps. But, I
guess it was just something about the Valentine's day weekend that lead her to
walking. I do remember the advice MANY mothers gave me.....
"Don't teach her to walk!!!". WOW, it does change things once they can
start walking! She is such a busy bee! Not only does she like to walk every where,
she LOVES to talk! Most of the time I have no idea what she is saying
but there are a few occassions I catch a word or two! (Usually it's DADDY!)