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Pickler & the Space Carrier

For Torin’s 11th birthday present, her MeMe and PaPa bought tickets to the Grand Ole Opry for her to see Lennon and Maisy Stella (they’re the girls who play Rayna’s daughter on the t.v. show “Nashville,” and Torin goes to school with Maisy).  PaPa got sick at the last minute, so I graciously hopped in the car and took his place.  Unfortunately, the Opry schedule also changed at the last minute, and the Stella sisters weren’t there, but we still knew we were in for a treat.  Plus, my mother said that our seats should be “pretty good.”


Evidently, when my mother says she has seats that are “pretty good,” that means FRONT ROW SMACK IN THE MIDDLE.


My first thought was, OH MY GOSH, I just saw a camera pan the audience and I hope my hair looks good.  My second thought was, if Diamond Rio is telling me to clap, I’d better clap, because they’re staring right at me.


Even though Torin didn’t get to see the Stella sisters, she enjoyed every minute of Kellie Pickler, who is just the cutest thing.  The fact that Kellie was close enough to be invading our personal space made it even more fun.


I’ll admit, it was pretty hard to top Friday night at the Opry, but we shifted gears on Saturday and focused on something that Parker is very passionate about.  LEGOS.  There was a huge contest at the library, and nothing brings a community together like little plastic bricks.


His entry was called “Space Carrier,” and it was a vessel with weapons, people, fiery things, and other cool stuff that I know nothing about.  He didn’t win, but that’s okay.  Sometimes you work really, really hard, and still walk away empty-handed.  It can be tough to swallow, but you still have to hold your head high and be proud that you tried.  (I’m sure that’s what Peyton Manning’s mom told him.  Because this is exactly the same kind of situation, right?)


He did get lots of cool ideas and is already thinking about what to enter next year!




It’s that time of year again.  Time for the annual Lighting of the Krispy Kreme.


She’s eleven.  Or as she told me this morning, “That’s only two years away from being a teenager, and only five years away from sixteen.”


For now, I just want her to enjoy eleven.  I know that it will be gone in a heartbeat.

two little reasons that 2014 is going to be fun

Our little cousins are now home from the hospital!  Torin and Parker love to hold them.  That’s Camryn in the pink and Brooklyn in the green.  (I think.)IMG_9526-January-01,-2014Dave prefers the hands free approach.Dave_BrooklynMy first attempt at holding two at once!  I’m going to need more practice.


Parker got a little worried here.  He thought she was trying to use the Force on him.


I tried to talk Sabrina into letting us take them home, but she said no.IMG_9529-January-01,-2014I know one girl who can’t get enough of these sisters!  Well done, Uncle Matt & Aunt Kristen!IMG_9545-January-01,-2014

let’s talk turkey

Since Christmas is less than a week away, I figured it was about time I posted our Thanksgiving pictures.  We drove up to Illinois over Thanksgiving for a few days.  The first person we got to see was our little nephew/cousin, Landon.  He has the biggest, cheesiest grin of any one-year-old, and I love it!


This was Dave’s first time meeting Landon, so they had a lot to talk about.  They started with some stretching.thanksgiving2013_02

And then a staring contest.  They’re good buddies now.


The next day we woke up to temperatures in the teens, so I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to take some pictures of my family outside.  However, I forgot that my husband was raised in Phoenix, and he turns into a popsicle when the mercury drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Doesn’t he look toasty and warm here?  Maybe not.thanksgiving2013_04

My mother tried to console him.  “It’s ok, Dave, once you lose feeling in your toes, you’ll forget all about how much your face hurts.”thanksgiving2013_05

Plan B.  Leave the coats on.thanksgiving2013_06

Since we consider ourselves to be true Southerners by now (who can’t handle the Midwestern cold), we rushed back to Tennessee the next day and celebrated Thanksgiving at MeMe and PaPa’s condo in Nashville.  (Next year, they’re going to have to make room on the couch for two more… Sabrina now has twin baby sisters!!!  Stay tuned for pictures of the babies as soon as they get out of the NICU!)thanksgiving2013_09

After stuffing themselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, the girls worked off some calories by doing a little Twister.thanksgiving2013_07

And finally, as tradition requires, the girls finished Thanksgiving with a little tackle football (indoors, and minus the football).  It doesn’t matter how much MMA training Parker has, when these girls gang up on him, he doesn’t stand a chance.thanksgiving2013_08

And there you have it!  I’ll be back soon with the Christmas update!



Harry & Hermione

Look who came to visit!  It’s Harry Potter and Hermione Granger!


They are such sweet little Hogwarts kids.  And they are the best of friends, as long as Harry does exactly what Hermione says.


Hermione can be a bit bossy.  I’d listen carefully, Harry.


When you don’t follow her instructions, you get an elbow jammed into your ribs.


Harry looks so innocent, doesn’t he.


But photobombing your sister is not very sweet, Harry.IMG_4840-October-05,-2013

Dude.  She noticed.


And this brings us to the end of our little Halloween photo shoot.  Harry has made Hermione mad.


He must suffer the consequences, which I’m sure involve some kind of evil spell.  Nice knowing you, Harry.


a new start to an old routine

In less than 48 hours, I will put this girl on the bus as a 5th grader.  Go ahead.  Let that sink in.

There’s nothing wrong with being a 5th grader.  It’s just weird, because it was like 2 days ago that I put her on the bus as a kindergartner.  Remember that?

And remember her little brother?  The boy who got his heart shattered into pieces when she left on that bus?  Bless him.

Little brother isn’t crying anymore.  He’s getting on the bus, too, as a 3rd grader.  They’ll be at the same elementary school for one more year.

He’s ready for 3rd grade, but I’m not.  I’m going to miss his random-middle-of-the-day-hugs-for-no-reason.

I have mixed emotions as I always do.  On the one hand, I love the structure and routine that fall brings.  On the other hand, we have had a fabulous homework-free summer, and I’m not quite ready to let that go!

fried shrimp & hushpuppies

We drove down to Santa Rosa Beach again this summer.  I love going back to the same place… every year seems to get better and better.  We always spend the morning at the ocean and the afternoon at the pool.  In the evening, we eat our weight in fried seafood.  That pretty much sums up the entire week.  And now I am counting down the days until next summer when we can go again.