Monday, December 5, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dancing with Daddy

I don't have much time to write at the moment, but you really don't need to hear much from me with this video.  It was obviously taken before Dan's surgery, so it's a few weeks old -- but I don't think you'll mind too much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Post Operative Patient

Okay, so I uploaded these pictures last week with the intention of getting this post up right away...and now a week later, I still haven't written in it.  Oops!  Things have been a little busy around our house.

For those of you who didn't know, Dan had surgery on his shoulder almost 2 weeks ago now.  He has had issues with his right shoulder since college -- probably an old throwing injury from his quarterback glory days -- and since Miss Ellie helped us meet our health insurance deductible, he decided to go ahead and have an MRI to see what was going on.  What they found was a bit of a mess, a torn labrum (the same injury Drew Breeze suffered before his time with the Saints), and surgery would definitely be in order.  Long story short, the surgery went very well, and we are thankful to be on this end of things and not have it looming over us any longer.  The first few days post surgery would pretty rough as a result of a bad reaction to either the anesthesia or pain meds (or both), but now we're both adjusting to his one-arm-edness :-)  It's amazing the simple things that become monumental tasks without the use of your [dominant] arm!

But any of you that know Dan know that he's one of the most capable & determined people you will ever meet, two traits that are serving both of us well right now.  He even managed to get socks & tennis shoes on and tied by himself this morning...just think about doing that with only your left arm for a second!

We've also been incredibly blessed to have his wonderful parents living so close.  Both stayed with us in the days following the surgery, and his mom has continued to come and go since then.  I honestly don't know that we would have survived all intacted without their help.  And the girls have both loved having lots of Memaw & Pepaw time!!  I don't know how to begin to thank them.

And these two are truckin right along like nothing ever happened.  And because of that, let me again say...THANK YOU MEMAW & PEPAW!  (We also we're blessed with the company of my dear old Mom this past weekend, giving me yet another break.  I'll write more about that in my next post.)

On Tuesday last week, after quite possibly the longest 4 days of Dan's life, he was itching to get out of the house.  We had not yet been down the Natchez Trace this year, one of our favorite drives in TN, so he decided he'd like to just sit back and watch the world go by from the window of the van.  And of course, do a wee bit of hiking (because Dan can't possibly sit still for that long!).  So we loaded up the van & Memaw and headed down the Trace.  I'm quickly running out of blogging time at the moment, so I'll just let these pictures speak for themselves:

We had a wonderful time, and I really felt like this was a turning point for Dan in his recovery.  God is gracious in the midst of challenging times!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Doctor is OUT...

like a light.  As in, in bed.  And the cute little duck is too, for that matter.  But I thought you'd all like to see a few pictures:

Dr. Caroline

She was way into this Dr. business

Ellie...not so much into the duck costume

She has had her eye on this pumpkin for weeks now.  A close up was a bit more than she could stand...she literall screamed in excitement when we took this picture!

We did some trick-or-treating for about a block, but handing out candy on our front porch was way more fun.

Caroline took her job very piece of candy per kid, and she had to be the one to put it in their bucket.  Oh, and she decided it was a good idea to hand out all the candy she didn't like and keep the M&M's for herself.

Ellie decided the duck wasn't so bad afterall.  But she still didn't feel much like smiling about it.
Happy Halloween!  Hope you all had fun and don't make yourself sick on candy tonight :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I try

I try to take pictures that might be worthy of a frame some day.  Heck, even worthy of printing.  I have thought so many times, "How hard can it really be to get a good picture?  As long as I have a cute subject (which I do), surely I can capture the beautiful picture I see in my mind's eye!"  But alas...I can not.  Oh every once in a great while I get lucky and the camera magically falls to the right angle to capture the right lighting and the perfect smile, but it's rare.

All that to say, I have to rely on the artistic eye of others (namely my sister) and their wonderful lenses to capture my family when I want a picture worth framing.  After several repeated attempts on my part to get some cute pictures of the girls together in their matching dresses (which I'm afraid Ellie has officially outgrown now), I off-handedly asked a friend of mine with one of those magical "eyes" and the use of a great camera if she'd take a few for me.  She went above and beyond and even brought her husband for help (because he's got one of those really great eyes, too) for a real-deal photo-shoot of our family this morning!  It was an interesting experience as Caroline was up around 5 am and Ellie was not in the best of moods (of course), but I think Amy still managed to get some great shots.  I'm so excited to see them!  While I wait for those, I thought I'd share a few of my best efforts here.  For a good laugh (mostly for my sister who will find many of these quite humorous), and because my girls are cute no matter how poor the photographer's skills.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Before Fall passes us by altogether, I thought I'd get up a few pictures from some of our recent Fall activities.  And since I'm hopelessly behind on this little blog of mine, we're just going to start with last weekend.  We'll see how much updating gets done on what I've already missed!

We have a wonderful pumpkin patch about  5 miles from our house, so with the gorgeous weather, we have already made several trips.  Caroline LOVES this place!  And I really think the farmer that turned his farm into a childrens autumn paradise must be a genius...because I'm pretty sure he's making a pretty penny.  They have hayrides, slides made of giant pvc pipe, a "train" made of plastic tubs pulled by a lawn-mower, hay bales to jump around on, a corn maze and hay maze for the little ones, plenty of farm animals to see up close (imagine...cows right in front of your nose!), and of course pumpkins as far as the eye can see.  It's an interesting thing for a former small-town girl who has since lived in the city and now lives in a semi-small town that almost qualifies as the suburbs - people paying for dead corn stalks and a chance to jump on some hay bales.  But I guess that's another story for another time.

You may remember a similar picture from last year...but I don't have the time to go look it up and give you a handy dandy little link at the moment :)

This picture is a little blury, but she was moving so fast it was the best I could do!  After I crawled through tunnels and hay bales with her a couple of times, she decided she wanted to do this one by herself.  And she did...about 5 times!

Daddy & Ellie with the new tree Dan just planted in our back yard.  And see those gigantic rocks?  He dug those out of our garden (I need pictures of that, too) and moved them across the yard by himself.  And he's slated to have shoulder surgery next it any wonder?  (I'll explain more about that soon - he's alright)

Then on Sunday we were able to go to an open house at Avan's Farms, a beautiful rural farm about an hour from here where we've stayed a couple of times (Thanksgiving in 2009 for the first time).  It was another beautiful October day, and we enjoyed the time outdoors immensely.  Here's me and my beautiful girls:

Daddy thought they needed walking sticks for a hike:

Can you see the pigtails??

While we reveled in the beauty of nature, Caroline's highlight seemed to be this little toy train with Elmo as a passenger.  Here she is telling him good-bye.

Actually, this was the highlight of the day for everyone...Caroline and Daddy on a horse!  I'm not sure who enjoyed it more.  I was so proud of her - she wasn't scared at all!  She's been talking about that horsey ever since.

Welp, I hear Ellie...that's all for now!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ellie girl

My sweet Ellie-girl is growing like a weed these days.  A very cute weed though, of course :)  I took these pictures about a week ago and I feel like she's already changed some more.  She hit the 7 week mark on Tuesday, and this week we have started having some nice long stretches at night - including one that was 10 hours!!!  Her schedule isn't nearly as consistent as Caroline's was at this age, but I suppose that's the nature of a second child and the slightly more chaotic circumstances of living with 2 small kiddos. 

She seems to be a rather serious baby, studying the world around her as it is slowly coming into focus.  She's not as content as Caroline was (few are, I realize now), but as she falls into a more predictible pattern she's also starting to smile often and coo occassionally.  I find myself snuggling her whenever I have some quiet one-on-one moments and just propping her up on my lap to "visit."  Caroline has always been such a "people person" that she never minded being passed around, but Ellie is already starting to prefer Mama and that's just fine with me.  Sometimes I don't really feel like sharing anyway ;-) 

Just had a few minutes and thought I'd share.  I have lots of fun pictures from Caroline's big birthday bash and our visit from my Dad & Grandparents (which was so wonderful!), but that will have to wait for the moment.  Miss Ellie seems to be hungry...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Caroline Harper!

ARTICULATE (for a 2-yr-old)
NICE (mostly)

September 26, 2010:

September 26, 2009:

2 years ago today while I labored for hours towards my prize, I poured over these words from Psalm 139:

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

My sweet Caroline, you are truly a beautiful creation of God.  I count myself incredibly blessed to be your Mommy and have been blown away day after day these past two years as I have watched you grow.  You have changed our lives forever, and I cannot wait to see what days ahead the Lord has ordained for you.  We love you forever!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My almost-2-year-old

My sweet Caroline Harper will be turning 2 on Monday.  TWO YEARS OLD!!!  I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around that.  But I'm not here to talk about me, I'm here to talk about this little fire cracker:

She is such a little ball of energy these days.  Sleep may be alusive, but energy?  No sir-ee.  The energy is here to stay!  (By the way, THANK YOU all so much for the encouragement on my last blog post.  You have no idea how many times I've gone back and re-read them this week.  And chanted my cousin Barb's wise words, "It gets gets better..."  We're having good days and bad days right now with the sleep.  I'm hopeful that she'll settle into more of a normal pattern again soon, but until then I'm just drinking lots of coffee.  Sorry Ellie.)

 A few days ago she decided she wanted Mommy to take pictures of her in order that she could then see herself on the camera.  She did lots of posing:

(hugging her "dobbles" - weeble wobbles from Aunt Kelsey & Uncle Brent)

 ...and then she'd run over to me to look through the new pictures.  Crack me up.
 She absolutely LOVES being outdoors.  Digging in the garden, playing with sidewalk chalk, going for walks, whatever.  The girl is in heaven when she's not contained by walls.  Last weekend we hit up a local park and she was about beside herself with happiness.  It is so much fun to do stuff like this with her now!

 We end up with lots of bumps and bruises, though.  She's not the most graceful kid (let's hope this is just a phase and not an inherited trait from her mother!), but she is tough.  Skinned up forehead & nose, bloody knees - we've seen it all lately.  But she usually bounces back faster than me in these situations.

She also loves animals right now.  Yesterday Memaw (Dan's Mom) came over and went to the zoo with us. Ellie slept the whole time snuggled up in my wrap, and Caroline had a BLAST.  Here she is checking out one of her favorite exhibits, the mere cats (which if you ask her about the animal at the zoo, she's likely to tell you about the monkeys & the mere cats). 

I believe there were leopards in there...and Caroline really wanted to go inside with them.  And she wanted to play in the creek.  Mommy was firm on both requests. 

Memaw even took her on a train ride!  I'm not sure who enjoyed it more :)

That's all for now.  I need to run and finish cleaning up a little incident involving my 6 week old and lots of poop.  Our days are certainly full around here!  Full and busy and exhausting...and some of the sweetest I've ever experienced, too.  I love my girls so much.  And this almost-two-year-old of ours brings more joy and laughter to our lives than we ever thought possible.