Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Elana!

My baby is one.

That's right.... my tiny, 8lb, 6 oz little newborn is one, and I now don't have an infant anymore.

That's right... I now have a toddler (two toddlers actually, but who's counting? Oh wait, I am, and I'm officially freaking out about that, but that's neither here nor there). 

This is her favorite face. Mouth wide open, yelling.

So anyways, Elana is a toddler. A non-toddling, feisty, momma loving, crawling sweet little maniacal toddler.

We love you Lanie!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Party time!

So Leah has been talking about her four-year-old party for about a year now. You know, ever since she turned three. She has been inviting people for about a year now. Like everyone. So needless to say, this party has been long anticipated, and I was ridiculously stressed out about it. You know, as if the future of her childhood happiness depended on whether or not this party was a success. Crazy, right? Don't judge me.

Really, though, planning for this party definitely brought out the "first world problems" side of things. "OMG, do you think it's okay if the cupcake garlands don't really match the lanterns?"

Or, "should we have hotdogs, chips, dip, and and veggie tray, or just hotdogs and chips, or maybe a pizza???"

Or "Why, oh why is this icing such a funky green color!!!!!! I wanted it to be bright green, not teal!!! Why do bad things always happen to good people!!!!!!!!!!"

Seriously, I was actually stressing about these things. But, the very worst fear of all, one that has plagued me since childhood, was the fear that no one would come. However, this could not possibly happen, because my parents, Beka, and Carpio arrived on friday night, so I had 4 guaranteed guests :) They helped me out a ton! Not only that, but we played a fantastic game of Settlers of Catan (or is it Katan?), one that I should have won, but Beka snatched my victory from my grasp right at the last minute. It was brutal, but I'm moving on. And, she helped out immensely at the party, so it's all good.

Okay, so I digress. Back to the party.

It was fall festival themed, so we played some amazing games.

There was the pumpkin races ( The kids rolled the pumpkins to the finish line). This game was successful.

The ball toss. The kids tossed balls through the window of the house. You know, hence the name ball toss.

Hanging apples. This game is virtually impossible. You have to take a bite of the apples without using your hands. It was hilarious to watch.

And the bike races. This game was a huge fail.

And finally, pumpkin painting. This one was a hit as well. Note to self: more tiny pumpkins, less bikes.

Oh, and this was a costume party as well. Leah was rapunzel, Tony was the man with the yellow hat, and Elias was hit uncooperative monkey.

Leah got a fantastic rapunzel hairpiece from her aunt Sarah, which just makes her outfit complete.

So anyways, the party was super fun, and a good time was had by all.

Monday, October 29, 2012


So Leah turned four the other day, and this post is a couple of days late. I have been working on it for quite awhile, but I just can't seem to put everything into coherent words. How can I possibly express all my thoughts about this little person who has brought me such joy, such frustration, and has been the agent of so much sanctification in my life? How I can possibly begin to describe the delightful little fireball that is my firstborn. It's very very hard.

On the one hand, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, and that she is just the most incredible thing ever to come out of a woman's uterus. On the other hand, I don't want to dwell on all her faults or make it seem like she makes me want to pull out my hair on a daily basis. So I'll just do the best I can.

Leah is hilarious. I don't know if she means to be, but she is hilarious. Her facial expressions, the things she says make me crack up and laugh constantly. She is truly a joy.

She has this incredible spirit and spunk, one that I hope never goes away. She is a true extrovert, always asking me "what we are going to do today", and "who are we going to see today?" She has never met a stranger. She invites everyone we see, from the mailman to the cashiers at Kroger, to come to her birthday party. She will talk to anyone and everyone, and wants to... all the time. At church she is like a little butterfly, walking from person to person, saying "HI!" "Do you like my shoes?" "I'm turning four!" "Do you like princesses?", or anything else that comes to her little mind.

She loves all things beautiful. She wants to be beautiful all the time. She asks people if she is beautiful all the time. She cries if the little boys that she is friends with tells her they don't like pretty things. Before we leave the house she "needs" her sparkly shoes, her crown, her headband, her ring, her necklace, and at least one stuffed animal friend.

She says she has 5 best friends: "my charlotte friend (a spider), annie (andrew and Krista's dog), Lucky (a dog down the street), dumbo, and God." Hey, at least God made the list.

She is incredibly sweet.

She is incredibly smart. Her memory is pretty remarkable. She will recall random conversations or events that occurred two years ago.

I could write pages and pages about the things that I love about Leah.... I really could. But she is not perfect. Far far from it. I never want anyone to read my blog and feel like I try to portray my life in a perfect light, because it is not. I'm a sinner, married to a sinner, raising sinners. It's difficult, challenging, exhausting, and brings me to my knees daily.

All this to say: I love you Leah, my precious four year old!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Embrace the camera

It's been a while since I have done the whole embracing the camera thing. Today Elana got up from got      up from her afternoon nap very very early. Apparently she is so over 2 naps a day. So in true awesome mom fashion I turned off my trashy netflix tv show (one tree hill.... stop judging me), and spent some much needed, rarely had, quality time with my feisty almost one-year-old.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the last picture out of 22 that I took, and this was the only one I deemed decent enough to put on the blog. I really am vain. Oh, and about 30 minutes after I took this picture I put Elana back in her pack-n-play for another nap..... cause she was being all cray-cray. And then I turned One Tree Hill back on.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Leah Grace photography

All of these pictures brought to you by Leah Grace Photography.  (Some of them have been semi instagramed by me, though)


Friday, October 19, 2012

poor sissy

Leah loves her sissy so so so much. She is constantly holding, hugging, carrying, pulling, tickling, and playing with Elana. This is great. The only problem is that sometimes poor sissy does not reciprocate this affection. Sometimes it's a little bit overwhelming for her :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The fair....

So it's that time of year again. That's right, folks, the Georgia National Fair was in Perry, Ga these past few days. It's definitely the most anticipated event of the year here in good ole middle georgia (I say this in complete seriousness, there is actually a huge countdown calendar in Perry counting down the days till "fair time").

We were able to enjoy this experience this year with my parents, who were visiting for the weekend.

It was pretty nice having the extra pair of hands.

Daredevil Leah rode on the Ferris Wheel, a little roller coaster, and on the jumping Jumbo ride.

The jumping Jumbo ride was not jumping, and my mom deeply insulted the carnival worker by asking why Dumbo wasn't flying. This is evidently a sensitive issue around the fair.

Elias absolutely loved this train. He also loved watching Leah ride a sheep.

Unfortunately I did not get any good pictures of Leah actually riding the sheep (which was hilarious, by the way) because she was only on said sheep for about 2 seconds. I took a video, but the video didn't really come out very well. Sad, but the image is burned into my memory forever, so that's okay.

She was really proud of herself, and loved it! How proud we must be.

After a healthy dinner (fried pickles and friend onions), and a deep fried snickers,

some walking around, avoiding awkward eye contact with workers entreating us to pay 10 dollars to try to win a 1$ prize,

A visit to the dairy barn, petting zoo, and a horse show,

we decided to call it a day. Because Elana and Elias were just not having it any more.

Seriously though, this was definitely the most fun we have ever had at the fair!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

camping trip

So this past weekend we took a family camping trip to Chehaw state park down in Albany Ga. I would like to say that it was awesome, and that we had a fantastic time, but that wouldn't really be the truth. The truth is, at this point, pretty much everything we do is incredibly hard. and exhausting. and hard. and did I mention exhausting?

Elias is pretty much like a spastic puppy left off of a leash. He runs as far away from us as possible any time we are out in the open and then has to be chased down. We're working on this... but it's not going too well.

Leah threw up all over the tent at 1:00 am, so that was fun. Luckily, Elias and Elana did not wake up during this time, even when I was picking vomit out of his hair. Then, at 3:00 am, Elana woke up and decided that she wanted to play.... for 2 hours. Then she finally fell asleep on my chest, and woke up an hour and a half later. So, I got a grand total of about 2 hours of sleep. In a vomit smelling tent. With an almost toddler on my chest. I guess it could have been worse, but not by much.

However, there were some amazing moments that really made worth it. Or almost worth it... I'm not quite sure yet.

Like playing on the most awesome playground ever... 

Hanging around the campfire and making smores in the evening,

(We went with friends... this is their dog, not ours)

And early morning, snuggling by the fire,

and on the hammock.

Elana spent about 2 hours climbing on a off this little chair. She was ridiculously cute.

We also went to a little zoo that was there, but I deliberately forgot to bring the camera.