Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boy Time

Cullen decided that he wants to be a big boy again, so we are back to his regular using-the-potty bathroom habits. After a whole lot of tears and frustration from all parties involved, I think it has been an absolute sigh of relief that things are looking up. 

On Friday night, we headed out to Katy Mills to do a little bit of shopping. I have a love-hate relationship with Katy Mills. Some of their stores are great, but the parking is generally ridiculous, the food court is miserable, they have those awful pay-per-use stroller carts, and they have one of those really great (sarcasm intended) train rides. 

Up until this Friday night, Cullen never got to participate in the strollers or the train. I can almost guarantee a tough time next time we go to Katy Mills. When I pulled into my parking spot, someone had left one of the strollers out. We decided to let Cullen climb in for a stroll through the mall. We may never be able to skip that step again without tears. 

After some light shopping, we decided to just grab dinner in the food court. Cullen wanted pizza, and there's a pizza place. It's like a match made in heaven. While we waited for them to finish cooking the cheese pizza (which they ended up forgetting about and burning), Cullen asked if he could go on the train ride. Why not, right? 
Cullen was so excited about riding the train, and he was even more pumped about riding the train with Daddy.
This kid was loving life. 
Then the guy at the pizza place burned the pizza, and Cullen was forced to eat chicken for dinner. Tragedy.

On Sunday, we started out the day at church. After the initial battle with Cullen and getting there late, I took a second to love these boys as we left. They are too cute together. 
Right next to our church's parking lot is a baseball field, so James took Cullen out to look at the bases and "play" a little bit. I'm hoping to get Cullen signed up for soccer or tee ball in the fall. I'm not sure which member of our household will be most excited! 
This weekend, we'll be finishing up a few more projects around the house and going to pick strawberries with some precious friends of ours. I love family time, and I'm really looking forward to some quiet moments with my boys.

xoxo ashley

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catching Up In My Own Time

Things have been ridiculously busy lately. And when I say they've been busy, it basically means that I need a nap. Busy for our little family is busier than usual, and our usual is busier than most people live with. We do a lot, we take on even more, but we live with the reminder that we are blessed to be able to do as much. so blessed. 

What would a post be without a picture of Cullen asleep in the car? Since giving up naps, Cullen sleeps and/or pretends to sleep in the car on an almost daily basis. 
Just before Valentine's Day, I got an order for these precious cupcakes from a friend of my mom. Karen feels like a second mom of mine, and I was so excited that she trusted me with a fun dessert for her event.  
I've been getting a little bit less detail-oriented for some of my personal activities lately. Like this one. I decided to make Cullen's homemade Valentine's for school. And then I forgot to buy bigger bags to hold lots of Teddy Grahams. We have three boxes, if anyone needs some snacks. Cullen is not even mildly entertained by the tiny bears. 
On Valentine's Day, I got some sweet carnations from the building I work in. I'm not usually a carnation fan, but it was so nice that each woman got two as she walked into work. I trimmed them and put them in a Styrofoam cup at my desk. Just keeping it classy. 
The next morning, I got on a plane bright and early headed for Nashville. For posterity purposes, we have a photo of the plane. Cullen requested proof. 
Katie and I pretty much hit the ground running once I was in town. It was so much fun to see and do so much around Nashville, but it was the best time to spend with Katie. We were college roommates, and I can say, with a significant amount of confidence, that we will be friends for the rest of our lives. I'm beyond blessed to have a girl like her in my life. If you don't have a Katie, go get one. Drop what you're doing. Katies are too important to not have. **To be fair, I have some other really awesome friends. This post is about my Katie time, so I had to brag on Katie today.**

After dropping off all my luggage at home, we went out to lunch at Loveless, followed by the Parthenon, downtown Nashville, Katie's place of work, Vanderbilt, and various attractions. I'm still wanting to go back to Loveless for the biscuits. So much trouble.
In lieu of dinner, we ate popcorn at the movie theater while watching Safe Haven. The last time I saw a chick flick in theaters? I was probably with Katie. And we were probably still Baylor students.

The next morning, we headed out to way too much breakfast and the Country Music Hall of Fame.  
I particularly enjoyed the Taylor Swift display. Shocking, I know.
Katie and I ate a lot, laughed a lot, and spent a lot of quiet moments together. It was such a great weekend. I missed my boys so much, but it was nice to have a weekend away.

During my Saturday night dinner, just hours before I was set to head home, James let me know that the oven caught fire while he was making corn dogs. I actually said before I left, "Don't burn the house down while I'm gone." Joke's on me. Once James confirmed that everyone was fine, the fire did not spread, and the gas was not leaking, I decided not to worry about it until I got home. 

After some of the best hugs I've ever gotten from my boys, we took apart the oven, used a whole lot of Fast Orange, and re-assembled the oven. Then we went out to dinner. While James was at work on Monday, I braved using the oven for the first time post-fire. Luckily, everything went fine, and I managed a dozen breakfast muffins and a few dozen brownies for an order. Not without my own version of courage close at hand. 
Today, I got to buy Cullen a bunch of new underwear. Because he is our child, he is stubborn. He recently decided that he would poop his pants just for fun. I got tired of cleaning them and threw them out like disposable diapers. The new threat in our house is that we're throwing away a toy for each non-accident he has. Let's be honest. They aren't accidents. Anybody want a three year old for an afternoon so I can take a nap? Anybody? 
This weekend is the Rodeo Cookoff, so I'm hoping to take Cullen to the parade Saturday morning. Other than that, it will be re-organizing the closet in our guest room and catching up on DVR. If I'm really lucky, maybe I can get that nap.

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When A Heart Breaks

I've been holding off on making this post for almost a week now. We've had things happen in our home, happy and sad over the last two weeks, but I've really had my mind on some very good friends of ours lately. The weekend before last, their four month old daughter went to be with Jesus. No matter how hard I've tried, I really can't wrap my head around that. 

I think what makes it worse for me is seeing how very much Meredith seemed so together at sweet Emma's funeral last week. Meredith was calm and collected and grounded in her faith. I'm not questioning God's existence, but it sure is tough to wonder what He was thinking. Why don't good moms get to keep their sweet babies? We want a baby. We hope and pray for a healthy baby. We just want to raise that sweet baby. Why don't those of us that want to do so just get to do it?

More than once in the last couple of weeks, I've been reminded of the movie Steel Magnolias. I think about M'Lynn crying over losing her daughter. Crying about the things she can do that her daughter can't. Realizing how blessed she was to be there to welcome her sweet daughter into the world and to be there as she drifted away. I'm reminded of something we should always keep in mind when a loss occurs. "We should handle it the best way we know how and get on with it. That's what my mind says. I just wish somebody would explain it to my heart."

And so, we try to get on with things. I try to remind myself that no amount of my own heartache will bring that sweet little girl back. All we can do is pray and love on her precious family. And so, we will. Because I love and adore Meredith. Because our husbands are friends and brothers. Because my sweet little boy is crazy in love with their adorable little Maddie. 

As you take time to pray in the coming days, weeks, and months, please pray for the Coe family. Pray without ceasing. There is such a healing power in prayer.

xoxo ashley