Friday, August 29, 2014

Epic Lime Green Broccoli Transformers

Summer 2014
Inaugural member of the Epic Lime Green Broccoli Transformers swim team
See sign below...

Hayes was 'the silly one'

Madison was his teammate and she loved him.
I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.

His job at the swim meet was very difficult.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shake your sillies out

I love it when BeBe stops by randomly and makes my children laugh.  
It is just so much fun.
I love this little chubster and her sweet dimples.
Her smile is quite possibly the best thing ever.
Ohhhhh... and Percy.
Well, he's sure to insult me and make me laugh at the same time.
I seriously enjoyed the time I had this summer to soak up some time with my babies and my grands.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Late with Labor Day

I figured since we were about to celebrate Labor Day that I should load my 4th of July pics.  Just keeping it real time here people.  Real time with 3 little people under the age of 5.... means that the blog is about halfway down on the list of things that will get done never.  
Spencer spent part of the day sampling a delicacy of her fists.  Apparently they are delightful. 
Fun fact about that swim suit... its a 2t.  And we made it shorter than normal, but it still mostly fit her.

We got a surprise visit from my Uncle Gene who lives in Memphis TN!  He didn't tell anyone he was planning to stop by, he just showed up!  It was the best part of the day.  He walked into the kitchen at the lake house and my dad and my aunt spun around to see him standing there... Everyone cried.  It was awesome.  I hadn't seen him since PaPaw's funeral and I was thrilled that we were at the lake house to visit with him!  
Libby hamming it up and Hayes refusing the photo. 
We enjoyed the fireworks, but the ride back to the house on the lake was super scary. 
6500 boats+idiots who can't drive+dark=scary.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beach Babies

I loved our last minute summer vacation.  I love that my job allows us to be able to escape real life for a week.  We enjoyed beach time and sun shine.  My kids have been able to put their feet in the sand every single summer they have been alive.  This summer was so much fun though.  This trip was memorable for lots of reasons.  There was more fun had with plastic shovels and buckets.  There was a sweet sleeping baby who nursed on the beach while her siblings played.  She slept on the beach while we all explored.  We saw strange beach creatures and dead beach creatures and played until we were exhausted.  We spent every single day on the beach and the kids didn't leave the property one time.  
It was heavenly.  

Minus the giant mosquitoes and their vicious bites... 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweet Reunion after 750 years.

Sometimes life comes full circle.  You spend time loving children who don't belong to you.  You wake up early and go to their house to care for them.  You sleep over and have them sleep over at your house some too.  You travel with them to the beach and to their great grandmother's funeral.  You change diapers, help potty train, paint, bake cookies, and practice being a parent.  You love them, like they are your own.  You worry that as they grow up they will forget you.  You pray that doesn't happen because you love them so much.  
And then, they meet you at the beach on that random vacation.  The youngest one yells your name as soon as she sees you and then sprints down the beach to hug your neck.  You cry as she's running towards you because you remember that she used to be your Elizabeth's size and now she's in middle school.  She jumps up and gives you the best hug ever.  Clearly, she hasn't forgotten you.  Maybe she doesn't remember the hugs, the diaper changes, the endless hours you spent together... but she remembers you.  

This is my Elizabeth James playing with my Morgan Elizabeth.  I was thrilled for them to meet and spend time together.  I was overjoyed to be able to see those girls and their daddy!  I was honestly worried that they might forget me and my sisters.  I have faith that they won't forget me!  I'm SO thankful for that reassurance.  
And they h ave gotten SO big.  Too big.  And they look like little ladies now... not little girls.  

Handsome scruffy BHess.  

My heart goes pitter pat at this picture.  I love those girls!

They loved Spencer too.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Driveway Derby

This is normal, right?  
Your Friday nights look just like this.
Road races with dress up hats in the driveway...

Prepping for the derby in her stylish car.

We didn't have to worry about these two going too fast.
Safety first.

Pure joy on that boy's face.
Oh, how I love him so.

Pretty much the best sisters ever.
I don't know what I'd do without them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Daryk discovered this half dead crab on the beach.  He thought he would be bringing it home.  It smelled like a decaying animal and he thought it could just ride in my van on the way home.  Isn't that sweet?

We left that crab in Hilton Head... but it was a great idea.  

Little sun baby.

Big sun baby.

Siblings playing peacefully for a minute...
Love of my life.
Celebrating 5 beach vacations with my family... and we are still married!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happiness=Hilton Head

Some more pictures from our adventure in Hilton Head.  I am so thankful to my parents for including us in this spontaneous vacation to this charming island.  We spent every day on the beach with limited interruptions.  Swimming in the ocean, followed by lunch on the beach, and then a nap, and finally more beach time.  Minus the giant mosquito bites we got between the house and the beach, it was a lovely time!  I had to leave the island one night to scrape up some Chick fil A for the kids and I.  I also got to sample their frosted lemonade drink and let me tell you that it was simply lovely!  
The pictures below chronicle the time of day that is my favorite at the beach.  I used to call it happy hour because we had adult beverages while we sat in chairs on the sand.  Now we don't sit down, but rather chase small children around.  We play in the tide pools and discover new things while we stroll along the beach splashing and laughing.  Children put a new spin on everything.  

Papa and his crew.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Seriously Special People

These are two of my favorite Elizabeths....

Meet Jordan Elizabeth and Elizabeth James...
We had a beach adventure to Hilton Head this summer and Jordan was able to meet us and spend the night with us before we came back home.  She goes to school in Savannah and that's not too far from HH, so we got a combo beach trip and special visit.  Jordan is very special to our family because she's our favorite  babysitter... possibly because she was our first babysitter.  She has been around as a part of  our lives since before we even had Hayes and she continues to be a part of our family.  Jordan is someone who I can count on to be consistently part of our lives.  She loves my children as though they are her siblings and she cares for them just like we do.  Watching Jordan and my kids brings me SUCH joy because they truly love her and they love playing with her.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

my best friends

Every now and then you find a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

These girls are some of my favorite people ever.  We have been friends as long as I can remember being a friend to a human being.  They are both younger than me and their parents are dear friends of my parents.  I'm sure that's how we became friends... by default because of our parents, but we are friends now by choice.  We are all grown up and living life together as parents of our own children.  Christy on the left, is a member of the Air Force and is currently living waaaaaaaaay far away from us!  Melissa on the right lives about 15 miles from us, but we don't see her terribly often either.  We are always busy!  Thankfully Christy and her crew came to visit this summer and I was able to squeeze in a swimming date while they were here.  I was so thankful to spend a day with these ladies, their children, and their husbands.  It is astounding how similar we are to our own parents and how much we are able to love each other's children.  Spending time with these women makes me feel a lot more normal about my own parenting experience and parenting skills.  I love having them around.  They were a fun crew in my childhood as well.  We spent many days playing in creeks, deer camps, campers, and peanut fields.  There are embarrassing pictures of us in swimming pools with bad haircuts and awful swim suits.  We survived childhood, middle school, graduation, babies, marriages, a divorce or two, and ultimately large families.  

These two are top tier friends y'all.  Top tier.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Parties with Friends

We have several friends from the ELC that have summer birthdays.  We are so blessed to be able to attend their fun parties each year.  Hayes and Libby are BFF with another set of siblings, Walker and Charlee Kate.  They love each other fiercely.  This was Charlee Kate's art party... 

Elizabeth is painting some canvas art for our home with her friend Smith.  Love her!

Art is intense, just ask Libby.

Here are the boys.  Hayes and Walker working diligently on their art squares.  Hayes was very careful not to mix the paint colors on his canvas.  Perhaps he's a tiny perfectionist?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Family Fun Days: Chattanooga Sundays

Somewhere on the internet I learned of this farmer's market  festival day in Chattanooga on Sundays.  We took a Sunday afternoon to visit and see how it went with 3 kids.  Adventurous... and worthy of an adult beverage is how it went, but it was fun!  It was a kinda rainy, hot and humid, and sunshiny day.  We dodged the rain as best as we could to enjoy the day.
Spencer ate as soon as we arrived and was a sweet girl being pushed in the stroller while we shopped and browsed the festivities!  Produce, crafts, food trucks, toys, face paint, AND balloon animals.

Day made.

I swear Elizabeth had fun.  

We got our faces painted as well!  She loved it!  Hayes got a transformer face... 
Lesson learned about facepaint....
We should have done that as soon as we arrived and NOT when we were leaving.  Also, Hayes didn't really like the whole face painted thing...  You know Rain Man...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Swimming and Splash Pads

The next 2 weeks will be 'catch up on the blog because I spent summer WITH my children instead of ON the computer....

June:  Hayes started swim lessons/team.  Hayes started the summer timid and shy, terrified of the water.  He refused to jump off the boat, dock, and the side of the pool.  He completed his summer confident, fearless and most importantly... a SWIMMER!  He now loves the water as long as he has his goggles on.  We are still letting him swim some with his puddle jumper because we don't want to watch him like a hawk and the pool is often crowded.  Kingfish Swim Lessons were successful!  

We also traveled to Chattanooga in June for Daryk's cousin's wedding.  In Chattanooga we got to enjoy some family time and my kids got to play with some of their cousins!  I was honored to meet Uncle Bud, who my Spencer is named after.  He was such a kind and gentle man.  I so enjoyed that weekend.  The time with Daryk's family is so much fun.  I love visiting with his aunts, uncles, and cousins.  My children loved spending time with their cousins as well.  We swam, ate, and visited until bedtime.  Sunday morning we spent some time with the family again and then ventured into Chattanooga for a few hours.  

The splash pad and the cupcake shop were on the agenda.  We also had a lovely lunch!  

I felt like a terrible mother because I FORGOT to pack sunscreen and put it on them for the splash pad playtime.  They were a little bit pink for a few days and I learned my lesson!