Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ice Cream Sundae Baby Shower for Josie Kate

I'm a new aunt again!  I already had two nieces and three nephews, and now Miss Josie Kate has been added to the mix.  She was born on November 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces and she was 19 inches long.  Before she made her swift entrance into this world, we celebrated the anticipation of her arrival with a baby sprinkle.

Let me back up a little.  I discovered that there are two groups of people in this world—those who know what a sprinkle is and those who've never heard the term.  If you are in the latter, think of it like this: if it’s raining just a tad, you are likely to say “it’s just sprinkling”.  A baby sprinkle is usually given when this is a second, third, etc. pregnancy.  Typically the guest list includes just immediate family and close personal friends.  Laura’s baby sprinkle was no different. 

When I hear the word sprinkle, my word association brings up ice cream sundaes, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and a big juicy cherry on top.  Thankfully the momma-to-be my sister-in-law obliged and allowed me to throw her a Sundaes-On-Sunday Baby Sprinkle.  It all started with this gorgeous invitation that she designed herself:

This quote, paraphrased from something I found online attributed to the late actor Paul Walker, was a great mood-setting display:

We played the always-fun "Don't Say Baby" game and the winner received an amazingly wonderful holiday scented candle.  Always a safe prize.  

Sadly, I was so excited about noshing on all the yummy goodness, that I didn't take any great pictures of our ice cream sundae bar.  Here's the best I could do:

We also had some food munchies and Laura's favorite family punch recipe (not pictured).  

My advice to anyone who wants to throw a Sundae Shower is to just Google or Pintrest the subject.  There are so many wonderful ideas in bloggerland these days.

Josie's nursery will feature this gorgeous pink wooden monogram.  It made a great mantle centerpiece, too. 

Big brother Mason, my nephew, showed up just in time to help with some gifts.  He is not yet two, and has a lot to learn about this new baby entering his world.  Lord, please help him transition well.

Like I said, I'm a new aunt.  Josie's here!  Welcome to the world, Josie.  There are so many people who are glad to meet you and thankful for your perfect health!

Josie with her Daddy and Mommy... 

Josie with her (soon-to-be) favorite Aunt Em and big cousin Rob:

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Helena Huskies Youth Football

We have just wrapped up a great football season in Helena.  Our middle school had a strong season and our brand new high school qualified for the playoffs - only the 2nd school in Alabama history to do so in its first year as a team.  But I really want to brag on our city's youth football program.

Let me take you back to late June when my sweet, charming, non-confrontational, only semi-athletic oldest child announced he wanted to play football.  Bobby and I both explained to him the good, bad, and hot of football.  We then reminded him that if he signed up for football he would see the season through from hot beginning to cold end.  Yep, he still wanted to play.  So our next step was to call the youth sports director and ask him if there were any way he would still accept a late registrant.  "Oh, by the way, Bobby is willing to help coach the team" I casually mentioned to said director.

 --Insert screeching tires sound now--

Not only was Rob able to sign up for football, but the team had plenty of assistants.  It needed a head coach.  I couldn't NOT mention this to Bobby.  And he, naturally, couldn't NOT accept the position.. Suddenly I was a coach's wife.  Again.

We learned we didn't have enough registrants to field both a 1st and 2nd grade team, but too many registrants to not field any teams.  So we combined.  Due to the weigh-class registrations, we were forced to play up, not down.  Therefore about two-thirds of our players were painfully smaller than our opposing teams.  Every week.  Nevertheless, Bobby and his crew of coaches drew up plays, ran drills, and turned these boys into men players.   We were officially the 80-pound Helena Youth Huskies.  Let's play ball.

"Who let the dogs out?"

We played our hearts out.  We really did.  We ran towards the goal many times.  

Bobby couldn't be prouder of every kid out there, especially number 12!

Despite our best efforts, we only posted two victories.  This is one of those times where the Win/Loss record doesn't tell the whole story.  Not even close.

It was a great season.  All of the players showed dedication, tremendous improvement, and a love of the game.  At the start of the season there were only three players who had ever played organized football before.  I would be sad to see any of them not play again next year.

For more about the season, click here.  And, as always, Go Huskies!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Blessings - Part 1

Because many people spend the entire month of November listing what blessings for which they consider themselves thankful, I decided I would participate too...sorta.

One of my all time favorite teachings from Jesus is when He gave us the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-12.  I love the Beatitudes so much that they were one of the readings during my wedding.  I also keep them posted on my refrigerator.  Nevertheless, I often need a reminder of what really matters.  So in reminding myself during this thankful month, I though perhaps all of you would like to come along on the journey.  

Each Sunday this month I am going to list a couple of the Beatitudes and then try to relate it to my own daily life.  Perhaps you will find this helpful as well.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

The word poor seems to represent an Aramaic 'ányâ (Hebrew 'anî), bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor; while meek is rather a synonym from the same root, 'ánwan (Hebrew 'ánaw), bending oneself down, humble, meek, gentle. Some scholars would attach to the former word also the sense of humility; others think of "beggars before God" humbly acknowledging their need of Divine help. But the opposition of "rich" (Luke 6:24) points especially to the common and obvious meaning, which, however, ought not to be confined to economical need and distress, but may comprehend the whole of the painful condition of the poor: their low estate, their social dependence, their defenseless exposure to injustice from the rich and the mighty. Besides the Lord's blessing, the promise of the heavenly kingdom is not bestowed on the actual external condition of such poverty. The blessed ones are the poor "in spirit", who by their free will are ready to bear for God's sake this painful and humble condition, even though at present they be actually rich and happy; while on the other hand, the really poor man may fall short of this poverty "in spirit". [source] 

This is something I struggle with almost daily.  Growing up I was outgoing, boisterous, a stereotypical a cheerleader.  There was a bounce in my step.  Over the years, some very specific life experiences chipped away at my confidence.  My entire facade has evolved into something my younger self would not recognize.  I have trust issues. I shy away from opportunities that I know I would love, because I'm scared of the rejection that may come my way.  Because I know my own worst faults, I assume everyone I meet carries just as grievous flaws.  I am definitely "poor in spirit".  Does this make me more blessed?  In a word: no.

To truly be poor in spirit I need to learn not to care so much.  The only true opinion of me that matters is God's opinion.  Yet I have a very hard time with this.  I think it is perfectly fine to be among a group of thousands and have people wanting to imitate your every move.  But I also think that you must take that role very seriously.  God wants His light to shine through us.  Humility doesn't have to turn you into a shrinking violet.  It simply has to make you give all the glory of your position to God.

I really care what people think of me.  Selfies done and redone to find the "perfect" shot; clothing purchased for special occasions, the quantity of social invitations, the number of social media followers; these things "matter" to me.  But why?  What really matters is that God is pleased with me.  And I'd be lying if I said I always pleased him.  Sure, I now duck my head down in public, but maybe I shouldn't.  It's not sinful pride to hold my head high.  I just have to make sure His image is visible.

So this week I am thankful for God's grace and mercy.  And I desire to live my nice, quiet life more for Him and less for me...whoever "me" is these days.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Interviewing the Diva - A Caroline Update

My sweet, precocious 4-and-a-half year old went back to preschool this week.  She's now in 4K - her last stop until big girl school.  It's been a while since we checked in with her here on the blog, so I thought I would share some of the inner workings of her heart and brain.  I did this in interview form.  Y'all ready to jump right into this?
Me: What is your whole name?
Caroline: Care-whine E-whizabiff Mowis

Me: What is your favorite color?
Caroline: purple and pink

Me: What is your favorite movie?
Caroline: Frozen

Me: What is your favorite animal at the zoo?
Caroline: My favorite one is the water splash. (she means the sea lions)

Me: Who is your best friend?
Caroline: Christian and Lexie

Me: What is your favorite food?
Caroline: ice cream

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Caroline: Um, I want to be...(pauses) a bike racer! (what?!?)

Me: What is your favorite toy?
Caroline: A big Elsa doll

Me: What do you want to be for Halloween?
Caroline: Elsa (Do you notice a theme here?)

Me: What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?
Caroline: Go to the beach

Me: Who is your favorite person in your family?
Caroline: Mommy (Aww...wonder if her answer would be the same if I weren't the one asking the question, haha!)

Caroline, I am so proud of how you are growing up.  You are turning into a beautiful, Godly young girl.  Have a great year in 4K at Children's Center for Creative Enrichment (CCCE)!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eight is Great (When You are Rob)

My precious first-born son, how did we get here so fast?  I remember the shock and awe when I found out you were growing inside of me.  I don't think I have ever had so wonderful a wish come true as that one.  It was a dream to be a parent.  Someday you will understand that some grownups who wish to be parents have to keep wishing for a long time.  God knew exactly when He needed to send you to us and for that I will never lose gratitude.

But enough about that for now.  Robert Corry Morris, Jr, you turned eight years old today!  Eight is great and here are eight reasons why:

1.  You are growing like a weed - one that we never wish to pluck from our garden!

Currently you weigh approximately 70 pounds and you are somewhere around 4' 4" give or take an inch.  It's hard to believe that a 5-pound baby would turn into the tallest kid in his age group.  Then again looking at your Daddy it's not so hard to believe.

2.  You are such a good big brother - well, when you want to be.

After the joy of parenting you, we added a sister and a brother to the mix.  Our family is complete now and it is so wonderful to watch you love on your littles and to watch them love and adore you.  I know it gets annoying sometimes having them always want to be near you.  I know you need your space to cultivate your own self.  But you display as much patience as can be expected and for that I think you are great!

3.  You are so neat!

At two (2) years old you knew that B.B. King was one of the greatest guitar players of all time and that his beloved Lucille should be immortalized.  At four (4) years old you knew how to pronounce and correctly identify certain dinosaurs that many adults cannot do.  Yet you are still a cool kid and fun to be around. 

4.  You are very smart.

You are an excellent reader, writer, and math student.   You are currently an average of 1.5 - 2 levels above 2nd grade expectations. I hope that you continue to be challenged in school so that you never grow weary of learning.  You are capable of doing very important things in life, my sweet son.

5.  You are a well-traveled kid.

Different sets of grandparents have taken you via airplane to Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA without your parents.  You reportedly were an excellent traveler.  You have also flown to New Orleans, LA.  You love the beach the most, but you are very excited about another upcoming trip to New Orleans (again with grandparents) wherein you are scheduled to take an airboat swamp tour. I'm so envious!

6.  You are a great example of leadership to others.

The story goes that your seat gets moved around and others' seats get moved around in class.  Why?  Because teachers know that you are very influential and model good behavior.  I know this can sometimes be burdensome.  You just need to be a kid.  You don't need the responsibility of modeling manners on your shoulders.  But it comes so naturally to you that it happens, nevertheless.  It is so refreshing to know that you are infamous for goodness, rather than being the "dreaded" child.
7.  You are a diverse, well-rounded child.

You have book smarts.  You have interests in science, including space, planets, and dinosaurs.  Speaking of dinos, you are a lover of animals.  We have had a fish, a ladybug farm, a frog, and a dog.  You enjoy interacting with animals and watching them exist in their own habitats.  You can rock a zoo like nobody's business.  You have participated in - and enjoyed - piano lessons, a soccer team, baseball, and now football.  You like both Disney cartoons and the National Geographic Channel.  You love Duck Dynasty.  You are not scared to take a risk.  I am so proud of you.

8.  You are being raised in a Christian, stable home.

Rob, you are being brought up Christian.  I know that your dad and I falter - it's true that every saint was a sinner and every sinner is forgiven.  Currently our worst flaws are consistency when it comes to attending Mass and exposing you to potty-language.  We're working on correcting both of those.  But I know in my heart that your foundations are solid.  As blessed as we are to have you, I can honestly say with no sense of vanity that you are blessed to have us as parents.  Your dad and I will make mistakes with you.  But we do so with only good intentions.  You are great because you are you.  And you are you because God knew exactly what He was doing! 

Happy birthday my sweet, sweet son.  Eight is Great!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bookshelf Simple Facelift

I have a love/hate relationship with yard sales.  I love finding great deals.  I hate driving from sale to sale in search of said deals.  I love seeing what other people consider "junk" that I see as a great future project.  I hate buying what other people consider "junk" and discovering only after I get it home that it is, in fact, junk.
Several weeks ago at a sale, I stumbled across this sad-looking little bookshelf that I decided had tons of hidden personality and good bone structure.  After paying full asking price for it - a whopping $2 - it sat in my garage for a couple more weeks.  I wish I had the thought to take a true before picture.  I knew I wanted it to go in my daughter's whimsical bedroom.  Unfortunately, before I could get down to the business of its makeover, I haphazardly threw on a solid coat of white spray paint and borrowed it for a work conference mom and I attended.

So, with no further ado, here is the new before that I had created:

Whaddya think?  Are you team-Bobby who said "Well, there goes a wasted two dollars"? Or are you team-Emily who said "Hellloooo, Gorgeous!"

Off came the layers (there were about three at this point) of paint, revealing first what I saw when I purchased and then a naked shelf waiting to be refurbished...
Caroline's room has an eclectic mix of textures, patterns, and colors which incorporate pink, yellow, green, and white.  So below are the colors I used:
I really wanted the letters on the sides to "pop" but I didn't want to do the shelf white again.  Not after the power-sanding battle I endured.  Here is a progression picture of my work...bonus points if you noticed the photo-bomb from Sparky!
Side note: yikes!  Time to pressure wash the driveway!

I am so happy with the way it turned out; it fits in perfectly to her room décor.  Caroline and I love it!