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Art and Lately

So here’s what we’re up to lately…

After Thanksgiving, Rand had some quality time with his cousin buddy Parker. They are only 9 days apart and it will be fun to see them grow up together and be friends.

Also, last week I did this. I’m still not sure what it will end up as but, for now, it is a pretty Christmas window display for Quality Upholstery in Aberdeen, NC.  Don’t you love that Trina Turk “Santorini” pillow in the middle?

I think it is funny you can see me, my car and my favorite Mexican restaurant all in this window reflection. Crazy pic.

Last night, I chose the winner of the giveaway!  Congrats Holly – I hope it is a blessing to you and your two little girls!

AND, I’m really looking forward to Thursday night – mom and I are having a girl’s night out and are going to stop by the Gallery Opening in Pinehurst in the Razooks Building for Jessie Mackay, Meredith Martens and Marilyn Arthur. Should be a fun evening – I can’t wait to see their new pieces.  If you’re around, you should come!

All are fabulous local artists and their work, while it would not be considered inexpensive, is affordable if you are looking to add to, or start, your art or jewelry collection. I have always loved Jessie Mackay’s art and I love Jessie too!  She is a dear friend who not only is a talented artist but a dedicated philanthropist and writer. Her blog, Karimu, documents her mission and travels in Tanzania, so go check it out while you’re at it.

When I graduated from college, my parents gave me this Jessie Mackay of a Tuscan countryside.

(note to self: lower the art…looks like it is hanging a little high from this point of view)

I also have one of Jessie’s rooster paintings hanging in my kitchen and a black cat (for Haywood – our 20 lb panther-cat) that was a gift, hanging in our master bedroom. I will keep you posted if I find anything new Thursday…

In fact, it seems like I was destined to go to this event because, coincidentally, we decorated Rand’s room around a Meredith Martens horse.  It is an electric blue chalk drawing and it hangs over Rand’s changing table.  It is a gift for Rand from his Grandmommie Smith – something he will be able to use in a “big boy room” and then in his own home later!

Apologies for the not-so-great pictures of the art. Rand is napping and so I’ve dug through photos to use what I already had. “Don’t wake the baby” is the new game I play. Yesterday morning, I saw Wes launch into an all-out sprint to stop someone from banging on the front door. With that, I’m off to price-check sound machines.

Hope to see you Thursday night at the opening reception (or if you can’t go then – the gallery is open daily all this weekend).  A portion of the sales will benefit the Moore County Empty Stocking Fund.

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Have I told you yet?

I’m thankful for Harris Teeter Express.

If you know me already, you may be sick of hearing how obsessed I am with the new Harris Teeter Express.  I’m convinced that this new service was made just for me. Both Wes and I have determined that the $4.95 fee actually saves us money.  How is that?  I usually have at least $4.95 in coupon savings, but mostly it saves me from the extra things I suddenly need once I’m inside HT.  Eggs? Check. Bread?  Check.  Yummy cheese, new brand of yogurt, extra bottle of wine, gum, magazine, oreos…hey, they were on sale…

I am a planner.  I like to plan out what I’m going to buy and what coupons I’m going to use.  The planning usually takes up to an hour to do…then I still have to go get it and shop for it which can take an hour or longer (especially if I’m using coupons or if it’s senior discount day).  But now I just make one list.  When I’m done with the list, I just hit “order.”  Right after I delete a few things to get my total down to what I want it to be, of course.  Then I  just pull up in front of Harris Teeter at the time I chose (you can order up to 6 days ahead) and someone loads them in the car and swipes my debit card.  So far, I’ve spent less time and a lot less money grocery shopping.  What has impressed me even more:  I always get a phone call prior to my pickup time notifying me my order is ready early and asking if there is anything I forgot or would like to add!  Harris Teeter did not pay me to say any of this, I promise.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Thank you Harris Teeter.

Okay…on to other things.  I’m guest blogging today about the Pinehurst Turkey Trot (a race sponsored by FirstHealth) over on, so go check it out.  Thank you awesome November weather.
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Also, I’ve been meaning to post this photo of Rand and Jonathan.  It was my favorite photo from our recent trip to the mountains.  Not only is it a fun moment captured, but also wows me because I never would have imagined that my sweet friend from way back in the 5th grade would be holding my son one day.  AND that our sons would be 1 week apart AND that his wife would become a great friend of mine too.  Thank you Lord for old friends!
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Look what I found

This afternoon, I went to heat up Rand’s sweet potatoes and guess what I found…I used to always wonder how on earth my mom could put her morning coffee in the microwave for a quick reheat and then totally forget about it until who knows when.  Guess I know how that feels now.

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October Recap

October has been a full month…I’ve been a little slow in writing all of the fun things that have been going on around here.

So, October began with a trip to the beach

and then ended with a trip to the mountains.

In between, we celebrated lots of birthdays…
On my 30th (whoa!) we had a nice family party at my mother-in-law’s. The weather was perfect so we squeezed in some quality back-yard time before the yummy dinner and dessert. Best of all, my cousin Elizabeth lives in Durham now and can meet up for family events – so fun to have her close by!

These were the favors my mother-in-law, Carolyn, made for everyone who came to my birthday party – pumpkin bread wrapped in a cute fall dishtowel. She sure knows me! I made THIS maple cream cheese recipe to go with our bread. (Note: I also made the “Health nut brownies” but they tasted like Cliff Bars to my family…so I won’t be making them again.)

We wished Uncle James and Aunt Mary Devon Happy Birthday.

And we celebrated Wes’ birthday and Aunt Jax’s birthday (yep – same day as Wes…just 6 years apart). This is the only photo I have from the birthday dinner. A lot has changed in the last year. Dinner was over by 7pm and these two rascals took over the table.

Grandmommie Carolyn is getting good at her animal sounds. Rand loves it when you ask him what a cow says…or what a doggie says…

MJ is very talented and is teaching Rand lots of new things like multitasking. Here he’s showing Rand how to drive a Buzz Lightyear truck while politely asking for a cracker.

And this is right after he showed Rand how to “swap pacis”

We hung out with all the cousins at Eddie & Emily’s wedding

This is my favorite photo from the wedding…Grandfather “Bebo” breaking the rules…

We had some quality time with Uncle Sam – actually, I think this subject deserves its own post when I get around to it.

And some quality time with Aunt Mary Devon

Rand is gearing up for Thanksgiving and cut both bottom teeth. While they don’t show enough to photograph yet, check this photo out of Rand in his new highchair. With sweet potatoes and oatmeal under our belts, we branched out to some new solid foods…pears, apples, peas and whole grain rice cereal.

And most of all, we missed Geah…although I can’t help but wonder if she had something to do with my favorite birthday present. On Sunday, October 9th, while we were having coffee in the kitchen, this butterfly landed right outside on one of my zinnias. I can’t believe it stayed there long enough for me to go get my camera and come back. It was a sweet and beautiful moment – a gift – from the Lord.

November has a lot to live up to.

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One Year Later

Every year we take a trip to the NC mountains to spend a weekend with the Butlers and the Kings.  Jonathan and Ryan’s folks – Chip and Debbie – are dear friends who have the God-given gift of hospitality.  It is always a fun weekend of fellowship, great food, worship and even a few competitive board games.  Last year, all three girls were pregnant – due dates all within six weeks….so we took this photo:

And one year later…a lot has changed:

While the weekend wasn’t full of mountain climbing or sightseeing or even staying up late like we usually have done in the past…it was full of sweet memories (and sounds!) and we are already looking forward to next year. I wish I’d taken more pictures – especially on Saturday because it snowed.  It’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago we were at the beach! I did snap this one with my phone…Rand was pretty bundled up thanks to cousin MJ’s snuggly hand-me-downs.

Jackson and Rand had a lot to catch up on.

It is nearly impossible to get 3 little boys to sit still. I think we had too many people making faces and it was cracking Rand up. He giggled the entire time (his new thing is to cover his face when he laughs). If Jackson looks a little stunned to you, just cut him some slack. How would you be looking if you’d just woken up to 6 adults with cameras making crazy faces and animal noises at you???

And here’s one of our sweet hostess Debbie. We added THREE new people to the mix this year – she and Chip were such good sports to have all the babies there at once!

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Happy Birthday Wes

Happy 33rd birthday to my sweet husband Wes!  He’s one awesome husband and father.   I tried and tried to think of something that could make his day extra special but still couldn’t come up with something more fun than hanging out with Rand. Wes would tell you that even though our birthdays are in October, we’ve been celebrating and jumping for joy since April.

“We’re thanking you, God, from a full heart, we are writing the book on your wonders.  We’re whistling, laughing and jumping for JOY.“

Psalm 9:1-3


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Weekend fun

This past weekend we walked to a local crafts festival. I found some really cute handmade puzzles – Rand will get it for his 1st birthday so don’t tell him. We also found the funnel cakes…

And we found Grandmommie…and Nina decided to catch a ride.

All the weekend fun landed me in bed Sunday with a sore throat.  Rand (in his new Mater Onesie) had a little cold himself but he wasn’t letting it get him down.  I chose this photo because it shows his sweet little dimple (and it isn’t too zoomed in on the piece of dog hair on his cheek! Errr!)

I almost forgot…last week we took belated 5 month photos before Rand grows even more.  This one’s for you Auntie Jax!



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Home away from home

We just spent the past two weeks at our 2nd home – New Smyrna Beach, FL.  We’ve visited every summer but, this year, due to my grandmother’s illness, we pushed the trip back to the Fall.  I think we’ll visit in the Fall from now on.  It was nice to have temps in the 80s and low 90s vs over 100 degrees. The water was definitely warm enough for swimming.

Plus, we almost had the beach to ourselves (I even took this photo on a Saturday!)

We visited all of our old favorite restaurants (with no wait time!) like JB’s Fishcamp, the Spanish River Grill (just ask Wes about his Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Maple Bacon and a Fresh Farm Egg that he had for brunch…) and a new addition, the Taco Shack. It is exactly what it sounds like, except for Monday night we lucked out with $1 tacos, yummy queso and sangria!

Ocean’s Seafood was still crowded…

Not just with people…


But most days we just ate in.  I’m obsessed with Publix and wish we had one here at home.  We got some great things while we were there but my favorite had to be the Wheat Italian 5-Grain bread.  We stocked up before we left.

We had an entire week all to ourselves and enjoyed showing Rand the beach, relaxing and being a family of 3. Since Rand wasn’t really ready to “beach it” all day, we did some other fun things like visiting the local farmers’ market

where we bought some yummy mangrove honey to have on our Publix Wheat Italian 5-grain toast, experienced the local life

and lingered around to watch the boats sail in.

It was a full week of sunrises, sunsets and sea air.

After a whole week to ourselves, the family arrived and that was fun too. Rand got some quality time with his uncle Sam

He cheered up his “Beebo” who had lots of good stories about Florida

He met his Granny (on the Franklin side) – they really hit it off












And we hung out with uncle Sam some more.

After our “Geah’s” memorial service in Orlando, Rand got to meet lots of family.

Including his cousin (twice removed???) Rand. Here are some of the “Rands.”

It was sad to not have Geah with us – singing the songs and reading the scriptures she chose.  Rand cheered us all up with lots of kisses though.  His Geah would be proud.


We also tried to get a good family photo, but I just finished looking at them and there wasn’t a single one with all 3 of us looking at the camera.  Oh well.

The only downside to the trip…it was the end of “love bug” season. The Tahoe really took one for the team.

Is anyone still here?  This post is almost as long as our trip.  I still have a wildlife kayaking adventure to tell you about, but I’ll save it for the next post.

Finally, it was time to go home just as the rain set in.  Which made leaving a little easier.

Reminds me of a song I sing to Rand each night before bed…

Jesus, let us come to know you,
Let us see you face to face.
Touch us, hold us, use us, mold us,
Only let us, live in you.

Jesus, draw us ever nearer,
Hold us in your loving arms.
Wrap us in your gentle presence,
When the rains come bring us home.
(by Michael Card)


And so we’re home. For now.

Update: Speaking of bedtime songs…check out my guest post on fellow mom Johanna’s 101 Things I Love Blog

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TOP 10 and SOME

Several folks have asked me for my recommendations on baby gear, diapering, etc. so I’ll devote a few posts to what has worked for us. Note what I just said: WHAT HAS WORKED FOR US.  One thing you learn the hard way when you have a baby is that just because something works for someone else, or the book you are reading “says so” doesn’t mean it will rock your baby’s world. You have to do what works for you…or, in some cases, what GETS YOU THROUGH!

Okay…so if you are only going to get one thing, we recommend a car seat & base (all photos click to product details). That way, you can bring your baby home from the hospital as well as be able to drive over to grandma’s to drop the baby off. There are way too many options out there. We asked around and decided to go with the smallest weight car seat. Apparently, most babies outgrow the length of the seat before the weight limit so you have to get a new size sooner than the weight requirement anyway, so the smaller car seat is much easier to lug around. We went with the Graco Snugride Platinum + Base.  It can be used until your baby is 22lbs or too long for it.  I would highly recommend it!

We did not realize it until the sun was shinning in Rand’s sweet little face one day in the car…but you will also need one of these:

Also, you might want to get an arm-saver. My friend Jane Smith gave me a super cute one from Oh Baby. Here is a similar one from Etsy:

Second, you need a stroller.  Your baby can ride in the car seat on the stroller from day 1.  By day 14 (or so) you’re gonna want to get out of the house and start walking. The Graco Snugride Car Seat snaps on to many different strollers, just pick the stroller you like and it will list what seats are compatible. We use the Bumbleride Indie Stroller in Black. I can’t tell you how much I love it. It is easy to open/close. We take it everywhere. It is expensive but worth it. If you can’t afford it or don’t have generous god-parents like we do to give you one…check craigslist!  Here’s a pic of Wes, Rand & the Bumbleride Indie at our cousin’s outdoor wedding (you can also see the graco snugride on top and the arm pad!).  In a few weeks, we’ll probably stop using the car seat on top of the stroller and just put Rand forward-facing in the stroller – he’s almost big enough!

Okay…now that you can take your baby with you wherever you want, the number 3 thing you’ll need is a breastpump so you can go somewhere WITHOUT your baby.  I lucked out and was able to borrow one, but this is the one I use and while I won’t get into all the details, it makes life easier.  All I had to do was order a set of tubes/shields/bottles.

You are also going to need some bottles.  We got the 5oz and 9oz Born Free bottles.  They have worked great for Rand.  Be sure to try one out before you open them all though – some babies are picky.  Also, we never used a bottle warmer.  If the milk is not already room-temp, I just stick it in a cup of hot water or hold the bottle under faucet for a few min to take the chill off.  It is key to not have a child who will only take a warm bottle!  Also, here is a helpful site a friend sent to me:

While you don’t HAVE to have these next two things, we use them every day.  Rand did not start really enjoying them until about 2-3 months old, but now he loves them….

This “Treetop Friends” playmat

Rand invited Jackson over to his playmat one day:

And his Bright Starts bouncy seat. Click here for the link to it. It is a good deal at $20.  This is where Rand sits each morning while we have our coffee and eat breakfast as a family in the kitchen.  You can’t see much of the seat in this photo, but checkout that smile!

We have also just started to use the Ergo baby carrier.  We have it in “camel” color and Wes has really enjoyed wearing Rand around the house in it.  And, who would have thought that things like vacuuming and dusting could be so much more fun if you have a baby to wear while you work.  It is also great for trips out where you can’t use the stroller.

For clothing, don’t buy a lot of small sizes!  They outgrow it fast and you end up using the things you like the most over and over.  If you are going to get a few items, I suggest footie pajamas with snaps (the zipper ones bunch up), rompers with snaps, onesies, a few pairs of pants (to go over onesies if it is cold) and some socks.  Rand has yet to wear a pair of shoes and he is 5 months old.  In the winter we’ll probably need to wear shoes but, just so you know, it’s challenging to keep things on a baby’s feet. has good web specials and their onesies fit Rand well.  I have found that Baby Gap stuff runs wide/short on Rand.  Here are some other short and long-sleeved options…all babies look cute in stripes:

We have found some good deals on designer brands and swim stuff on Zulily (it is free to join).  They currently have some cute stuff by Mooncakes…

Also, not 100% necessary, but items we have used daily include this bottle-drying rack and this OXO Dishwasher basket.  I have to admit, I chose the drying rack because it looked the “coolest” to me…and it works great/doesn’t clash too badly in my kitchen.  I have it in white/orange.

In Rand’s nursery, we also use a humidifier.  Something I thought we wouldn’t need, but ended up having to get.  He got so stuffy as a baby, we used this from day one.

You also need something “kind” to hang on your front door to make people go away.  People at the door during nap time are your worst enemy.  Just imagine you have spent an hour trying to get little one to go down for a nap.  Finally, you succeed only to have the friendly Fed-Ex man ring the doorbell (we disconnected ours) or bang on the door (which is what happens when your doorbell is disconnected)…if you don’t want to buy something you could print a small sign and laminate it.

Currently, we put Rand in his footed pajamas and then one of these sleepsacks at night.  They help prevent SIDS by keeping your baby warm without having a blanket that could accidentally cover the child’s face.

Since Rand has been sleeping in his crib, we have used the heck out of the baby monitor.  We did not go for one of those snazzy video monitors and haven’t missed it.  You go in and check on your baby so much anyway, you don’t really need it.  Instead, we went for the distance factor and got a monitor with a long range so that we can be out doing yard work (aka by the pool) and still hear him if he wakes.

Blankets…chances are if you have a baby shower, you will get a TON of blankets.  We especially liked these blankets by Aden & Anais.  I have used them for all kinds of things and they are thin and dry quickly.   Not gonna lie, they are pretty “up there” on the stylish baby products list too.

Drumroll please…we could not have survived the first few months without this magic potion.  Our friends Rob & Katie Barrett gave us a bottle of this with their baby gift and it got us through some colicky days with Rand.  When he would go into “wild scream” mode we’d give him a few drops of this and it would calm him down enough so that he would take a paci.  It is all-natural.  I guess the best way I could describe it is like baby ginger ale minus the fizz.  It worked wonders for his little hurting tummy.  It is also hard to find in stores.  CVS has it, but Rite Aid and WalMart do not.  We usually order it online or go to our local pharmacy, The Prescription Shoppe.

Bibs and burp cloths.  You need a lot of these.  Rand has been drooling his face off since he was 3 months old.  So we put him in a bib and it cuts down on how many times a day we have to change his outfit.  Also handy to put on baby in the car so that when you arrive somewhere you don’t have to immediately change the baby’s drool-soaked clothing.

If you are pregnant, or have a friend who is pregnant, tell her to put down the pregnancy book right now.  I think I spent 8 months of pregnancy reading about pregnancy when I should have been reading up on how to take care of a baby for the rest of its life!  The book “Happiest Baby on the Block” taught us some helpful soothing techniques.  We also read “Healthy Sleep Habits” and “Baby Wise”  – both have some great nuggets of wisdom but can also make you feel like you and your baby are not doing things right when you do what it says and it doesn’t work.

Rand has been teething since about 3 months and he loves this teether named Sophie the Giraffe.   Only thing I wish is that it didn’t squeak because while Rand is not really interested in the noise it makes, our dog Nina is all about it.  It is made by Vulli.  He also loves these teethers made by the same company.

Last but not least is the swing!  A sweet friend gave us this lamb swing at a baby shower – it is awesome.  Every time I look at it I wish they made one in my size.  Don’t tell our pediatrician, but Rand still naps like a champ in it.  (I don’t feel too bad now that I’ve found this image of someone else’s baby sleeping in the swing)

We also just purchased this travel crib. It is a little pricier than some of the other travel cribs but after doing some research I was confident that we needed something that packed up really small and was easy/quick to set up and take down (on the website, it shows people assembling it in less than 30 seconds). One reviewer said they used theirs until their child was 3 years old. When we get back from our trip, I’ll let you know if it is a winner.

Next up: nursery & diapers.  When I get around to it.  I can hear my little bubs waking up…

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Photo Dump

Yesterday my sweet grandmother Elizabeth “Betty” Pfeiffer went to be with Jesus.  I will miss her terribly.  You can read more about her here.  Anyhow, I’m not ready to write about grandmother yet so, instead, here’s a photo dump from last week:

Happy Gafford, a dear friend, gave “Ema” a jumperoo thingy for Rand to play with at her house.  The first time he ever sat in it, the smarty pants figured out that if you hit the little figures, they light up.

After putting in some good playtime, he downed a bottle and then fell into a milk coma in his daddy’s arms at the dinner table.  Obviously, we are still working on manners…

Last week I almost snapped a good photo of Felton, the hummingbird, who comes to my window almost everyday. So far, this is the best shot I’ve been able to get of him. His is one quick little bird. I will keep trying…although I don’t think I have to many days left before he flies south for the winter.

We also went to Raleigh last week and, while I had a fun lunch with my old North Hills crew, Rand hung out with his cousin MJ and his Auntie Jax. Good thing his Auntie Jax loves him and doesn’t mind doing laundry. 4.5 month old kiddos spit up a LOT! Somehow Rand managed to keep his outfit (borrowed from his buddy Jay Halbert!) all clean.

This past weekend, Rand and Wes were having some good “daddy time” when I noticed Wes was walking around the house like this…last time I checked, the baby’s feet are not supposed to hang out of the bottom of the Ergo. This did not seem to bother Rand or Wes but Nina does look a little worried. Leave it to us girls to worry.

Speaking of worrying, I was slightly worried the other day when my caterpillar escaped from his parsley jar. He hasn’t been named yet, but Houdini might be a good one. Found him!  More on Houdini and his parsley-eating friends later.


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Evening Confession

It’s all I can do right now to refrain from going into the nursery and waking up this little cuddle bug. Is it wrong to hope that he’ll wake up and cry so I have to go in and kiss those chubby little cheeks?

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63 Years

NSB July 05 120

Happy 63rd Anniversary to my sweet grandparents Betty & Fritz who met 65 years ago when they were 19 years old at UNC-Chapel Hill (what a great Tar Heel legacy Rand could be…). The photo above was taken in 2005 at their 80th birthday party.

Grandmother is near the end of her battle with cancer and today, as I watched my grandfather lean over my grandmother’s bed to hold her hand and give her a kiss, I realized that although it is their anniversary, I am the one who they have given an anniversary gift: The gift of love and family and the example of a lasting marriage built on a foundation of faith in God.

Wes and I met when I was 19 years old and I look forward to following their lead to 63 years of marriage. Perhaps every Sept. 8th we will make a toast to their unending gift.

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Chubby goodness

Last night, after we took Rand by to visit our Geah (my grandmother), we had a fun dinner with great friends Mike & Windy.  Rand was perfect until Wes and I ignored his “I need to go to bed now” cues.  A combo of Windy’s brownies being too good to skip and us being a little too lenient (guess we’ll be the parents who let the kids stay up too late on special occasions…sorry Dr. Weisbluth).  In the middle of Rand’s meltdown, Wes commented that we had waited and prayed for Rand for so long that we didn’t mind meltdowns – we are just so thankful to have him.   (And thankful for friends like the Pratts who let us leave them with dirty dishes, ringing in their ears and spit-up on their shirts.)

I still wonder why we had to wait so long for Rand and have to catch myself from playing the “If only” game – especially now with Geah being so sick.  Although the Lord may never show us all of His reasons, He has encouraged us along the way by surprising us with two sweet friends for Rand.  Ryder was born 5 weeks before Rand and Jackson one week after.   When I look at this picture of the three best buds, it reminds me that even though our trials can be tough, we can still be surprised by His goodness.  Right now, it is goodness in the form of six chubby little lined-up legs.

Rand, Ryder and Jackson. July 2011.

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Where am I?

The past few months have been quite an adventure with Rand in more ways than you might know. In fact, on days where he has fussed and fussed and I haven’t been able to figure out what to do, I would just load him up into the car, pull through Starbucks for a grande decaf iced coffee with soy milk, crank up the country music (Rand especially likes Randy Travis or Zac Brown Band) and we’d hit the road.  No directions, no maps, no plan. I think I have driven most of Moore County.  Wes was okay with the extra gas miles I logged now that I know 3 different routes to the Pik N Pig.

We like to take it slow because lots of deer, rabbits, squirrel, a fox, ducks, cats and plenty of mangy dogs have crossed our path on these country-road drives…and it is a good thing we take our time because then we don’t miss things like this:
Sunflowers in Carthage NC

Sunflower Field Carthage

Carthage Sunflowers

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Highlight reel

As promised, here are the highlights from MJ’s Mickey Mouse-themed 1st birthday party…but first, a few from our weekend:

Rand has discovered Nina and is fascinated by her.

Remember the “great day” I blogged about earlier…well, It began AFTER this early-morning moment in the nursery that Wes captured. This photo was taken just seconds before the little drooler threw up all over my neck/face. Yep. He was going in for a sweet morning kiss and blahhhhh. Looking at the photo takes me right back to that very moment. And it also makes me wonder if I need some sort of face-tone evening and zit zapping treatment. Or maybe just the works. Spa anyone?

Okay, on to the good stuff…MJ’s Birthday was a big hit – everyone looks great in mouse ears.

Rand got to meet his cousin Joely Beth (she is exactly 20 days older!)

They are both pretty chilled-out kids

They must take after their cousins Joel & Trey

The bright mickey mouse cupcakes were a big hit

We sang Happy Birthday,

skyped with the Capassos in Pennsylvania,

and gathered around to open gifts

But most importantly, no one enjoyed the party more than the birthday boy himself.

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Good morning

Wes’ left-over NY Strip steak breakfast sandwiches + Bubs (Rand’s nickname) made for a good Labor Day Monday morning.

A typical morning in our kitchen…

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Goodbye August

Dear September, please keep the peaches coming.

Happy Birthday to our fun-loving nephew MJ.  What fun the past year has been watching this full-of-life little boy grow, crawl and now walk.

These next few days are full of birthdays…my beautiful, artistic cousin Miranda’s birthday is also today and my sweet mother’s birthday is tomorrow!  And, in case anyone is interested, Haywood and Nina also celebrate birthdays this month (Haywood is celebrating the big 50 in cat-years, and Nina is 24).

Time for some cake-eating. If I was a better baker, I would attempt to make this beauty:

photo via:


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Uncle James

A few weeks ago, my brother who we don’t get to see very often (he is in seminary in Austin, TX) came to visit for a few days.   It was such a wonderful few days and I’m so thankful he got to spend some quality time with my grandparents and also with Rand.

In addition to him spending some quality time with Rand in the pool, he weeded our garden, fixed my neglected (yet blooming away) roses that were falling over, cleaned up our kitchen and I even got in a few naps while he and Rand played. Although Rand is missing two grandfathers, he is truly a blessed kid to have such wonderful uncles.

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Wednesday Idiom

Is it really only 9am?  It feels like it should be lunchtime already.  I can vaguely remember the preggo days when I would just be waking up at 9am…

9:00am is naptime for Rand and “do whatever I can as fast as possible time” for me (if the little rascal goes to sleep).  I have learned that the 9am morning nap is pretty universal for babies and now I feel terrible for all the times I’ve been oblivious to this with my friends who have young children.  My new rule: Don’t make plans prior to noon.

In other news, Rand has found his feet.  Who needs a pacifier when you are flexible enough to fit your big toe (or both big toes) in your mouth?  Wes says we are keeping this picture to show him the first time he ever “put his foot in his mouth.”

Also, today I’m blogging on…check it out.

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Hey friends, family and anyone else out there who is interested to know: I’ve officially hoisted myself onto the blogger bandwagon (although it feels like one foot is still dragging the ground behind me – setting up a blog myself is taking some time – especially when I only have 10 min. here and there to do it). Rand has inspired me to keep you up to date on what we’re up to…and, of course, it helps to have a shiny new computer to play with.  Here we go.

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