Monday, August 30, 2010

Remembering why I blog...

I don't know if you have noticed, but lately I have been just blogging about the things we are up to, the things that we are doing. I have tried to leave out tons of emotions, feelings, and sentiment because this is a public blog you know? But, in doing so, I feel like blogging has not been as fun to me. It has become more of something on my to do list in order to keep my family and friends updated on our life. But, I need more. I need my blog to represent me so that someday when my children look back and read my entries, they will know who I was and who I was striving to become. They will know that I was human, that I had good days and bad days. Moments where I felt strong and others where I felt vulnerable and weak. Moments where I felt understood and others where I felt misunderstood. Moments where I saw things as they really are and as they really will become. Moments where I yearned to do more and become better, and then also moments where I felt comfortable with where I was and who I am. These are the moments in my life that define me. The moments that matter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hailey at 6 months

Y....yummy (wow, that was pretty lame for y...any other ideas for a y word?)

The first two pictures were taken last night when I went to check on her before I went to bed. She was seriously sleeping like that. The rest of the pictures were taken one after the other as she went from sitting to face plant. Then sitting to falling backwards. She is getting better and better at sitting each day. It is so FUN to have all day alone with Hailey. I seriously savor each moment with her as I rock her, sing to her, play with her, smile and laugh together, and even occasionally take a nap cuddled up together. It is like having one child all over again. I LOVE it! I also love walking to the bus stop at 3:00 and having my two little girls run into my arms and tell me all about their day.

Cloey just cannot get enough of school. Although, she is really bothered with the fact that they are not learning more and getting homework. She was also very upset yesterday because a lot of kids in her class got their stick pulled when they were supposed to "be on their best behavior" for the substitute.

And my challenge. She thinks Cloey is crazy for wanting homework because she absolutely hates it. She definitely keeps me on my toes as a mother, but that's a good thing. I wouldn't have her any other way (please remind me of that this afternoon around 3:30). Other than that life is great. I feel like Cory and I kiss in passing each day everyday as he or I are running out the door for meetings or presidency visits. But the great part about being anxiously engaged as a family, is that the Lord blesses you. He always provides a way, of that I am certain.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Big Surprise

If you know me, you know that I LOVE surprises. I don't love keeping surprises a secret (ya, I'm REALLY bad at that!!) but I love to be part of them and plan them. In fact, I love them so much that many times I secretly create scenarios in my head of people surprising me. Wow, that sounds so lame and embarrassing now that I just admitted to something so juvenille. Well, my family knows this about me (and loves me anyways) and so they decided to make one of my ultimate dreams come true this last week.

It was Thursday night and I was gathering all of the supplies that I needed for the games at the bridal shower that started in about 15 minutes. I was anxiously waiting for Cory to get home because I really needed to be leaving and I didn't want to take Hailey with me. He had ran to the store real quick with the girls to buy some upholstery cleaner (whole other story). Then I heard a knock at the garage door...which was really strange. I opened the door and there standing in front of me was my mom. It was a very surreal moment. I was just trying to process the fact that my mom really was there. Then I see my dad. I couldn't believe it!!! They had driven 12 hours, on a whim, to come and see us in Tennessee!! As if that wasn't the biggest surprise ever, then they told me to go and look in their car to see my next surprise. There on the floor were some of the cutest kids niece and nephew, Abby and Ethan. I was totally in shock. I was SO EXCITED!!! They ended up staying for 2 days and 3 nights. It was SO MUCH FUN to have them here. At first I was totally embarrassed by how messy my house was because I was in my "project mode" preparing for the wedding. Let me explain...when I am in "project mode" everything in my life is put on hold while I focus my attention on my project. The worst culprit is my home...oh, the disaster!! But, I quickly got over my embarrassment because I really was just so excited to have them here visiting. My mom helped me SO MUCH with wedding stuff, Hailey got tons of grandma and grandpa love, and I even let Katelund skip school one day so that she could have as much time as possible playing with her cousins.

I know that my mom would want me to clarify this, so I will. She told me that she would never just show up like that at anyone's home. She only did it to me because she knew how much I would L.O.V.E. it!!!! Which I totally did! It seriously made my year.

We even got some free babysitting in while they were here so that Cory and I could go to ward council AND they were here on Cory and I's 10th anniversary. Unfortunately, we didn't get to celebrate the day of because it was a super crazy day for both of us, so we celebrated this last weekend (and got more free babysitting thanks to my good friend Kristi).

More on the anniversary later.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wedding Decorations

Here is what I have been consumed with the past couple of weeks. I had so much fun being in charge of the decorations. It was A LOT of work but it was so worth it because I had SO MUCH FUN doing it. The best part was how cheap it all was. The centerpiece was around $4 total because I made the table runners (well, my good friend Natalie MAJORLY helped me with her awesome surger), grew the wheat grass from my food storage, used the leftover wedding invitations for the picture, and used mason jars and cute, yet cheap, flowers (thanks to Rhonda). The bride, Kelsey, wanted a casual country feeling but she also wanted it to be cute. I totally sold her on the damask (which I fell in love with at Stefani's wedding) and then used lots of lime green tissue paper to make tons of pom poms (big ones and small ones for the kissing ball look that I hung on the staircase and all of the doors. The pictures don't really capture it the way that I wish they would, but it gives you an idea.

The best part about last week though was my big surprise. But, I will tell you all about that tomorrow because I have three beautiful daughters who are demanding my attention. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What can you do with tissue?

For Young Women the other week, the girls split up into two teams and they had about 20 minutes to make modest wedding dresses out of napkins. It was such a fun activity and I thought the girls really outdid themselves!!!

Later that night....some of the girls decided that they just hadn't had enough fun with tissue. SO......they rolled our house. The next morning when Cloey saw it she said, "Mommy, it is so beautiful, please leave it! I love our yard decorated!"

Kate's Birthday Party and 7 favorites....

For Katelund's party, we took her, her sisters, and 3 of her friends to the Aquarium and the Imax Theater to watch the Wild Ocean. They had SO MUCH fun!!! They were super hyper and excited and I have a pounding headache this morning :).....but it was all worth it! :) And now, here are 7 of my favorite things about Katelund

1. her contagious smile and laugh
2. how much she loves, protects, and cares for her sisters
3. how much she loves and appreciates beauty around her...especially flowers
4. when she plays pretend
5. when she sings
6. her cute sense of humor
7. her faith and blooming testimony

Happy 7th birthday to the beautiful little girl who made me a mother.

Monday, August 09, 2010

what I've been up to

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. School starts on Wednesday, so we have been doing a lot of back to school shopping for both girls. I am still in shock that Cloey is starting Kindergarten. She is so ready, but I'm not sure that I am. I thought I was, but the closer it gets, the less excited I become. We registered last week and both girls are excited about their teachers.

Cory has switched positions within his company which is GREAT news because now he won't be traveling like he was. He was gone every other week with his last position, and it got old really quickly. We were so excited about the change and we both know that the Lord's hand was definitely involved because about a week previous to the change Cory was called to be Elder's Quorum president in our ward. He was sad to be released from his calling as Sunday school teacher over the 12 and 13 year olds. He LOVED that calling, but he is also excited and ready for a new challenge. So between his meetings and my meetings, we are staying pretty busy and having a lot of fun doing it.

One of my friends has a daughter that is getting married on the 20th. I have offered to do the decorations for the reception. I have been having SO much fun with it!! I'll have to post some pics later. One of the things that I am doing for the centerpieces is growing wheat grass. It is seriously beautiful, grows like crazy, and wonderfully cheap. I love it! This week I will be growing more of it, making 8 table runners, making tissue pom poms (has anyone made these before?), and working on the cute little tin favors that I am using my cricut to decorate.

I am also going to be in charge of the games at a bridal shower next week. Does anyone have any great bridal shower game ideas?

This last weekend was WONDERFUL!!! Cory's parents drove out to be with us and celebrate Katelund's birthday (her actual bday is tomorrow) and to start a new family tradition with us. Instead of writing it all out again I will just post an excerpt from an email I sent out to all of our family a couple of weeks ago.

"....When we lived in Asheville, we would occasionally visit Clairisa's grave. When we found out that we were moving from Asheville and would no longer be able to go and visit the place where our perfect little baby was laid to rest, we felt sorrow...but only briefly. Although her mortal body is buried underneath that plot of earth, she is no longer there. But, within the walls of the temple, we have found her spirit to be present on MANY occasions. It is the place where we feel the closest to her because not only is the veil thin within the Lord's house, but it is also the place where Cory and I kneeled on the altar and made possible the sealing bond that would link Clairisa to us for eternity. It is also the place where each of us have been linked together as a family because of our wonderful parents who knew and understood the importance of celestial marriage.

As Clairisa's Perfection Day rolls around each year, we would like to start a family tradition that includes each and everyone one of us. We would like to go to the temple on the Saturday before or after the 26th of July (depending on which one is the best for our schedule that year). As we do this, we would LOVE for each of you to do the same so that we may all be "together" in temples all over the country to celebrate not only Clairisa's Perfection Day, but also to look forward and prepare for our own.

It was an amazing day! In fact, too sacred to even share on a blog. How thankful I am for my family, for the gospel, and for Jesus Christ, who provided a way for families to be forever.

..........and that is what I've been up to.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Oh What Do WE do in the Summertime?

Pic 1...'09-drove cross country to Utah for Stefani and Nate's wedding
Pic 2...'10-spending a lot of time watching and smiling at Hailey
Pic 3...'10-riding bikes
Pic 4...'09-playing as a family
Pic 5...'08-playing on the beach with cousins in Cozumel, Mexico
Pic 6...'09-celebrating Kate's birthday in Utah with cousins
Pic 7...'07-fishing and camping trip
Pic 8...'06-boat ride on Lake Lure with Gma and Gpa Black
Pic 9...'07-cave exploring
Pic 10...'07-visiting at Gma and Gpa Mann's house
Pic 11...'08-picnics
Pic 12...'08-rafting on the lake
Pic 13...'07- running races
Pic 14...'08- remembering Clairisa
Pic 15..."07-climbing Mt. Mitchell (highest mtn east of the Mississippi River)
Pic 16...'08- Black family cruise
Pic 17...'10-climbing trees

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