My Hands to Hold

I love these tiny hands.




A Sweet Gift for Daddy


I hadn’t involved Sweet Emory very much in selecting her Daddy’s Christmas gift this year, so decided to give her a little chance to choose something of her own for him.  Judging from success I had letting her spend a dollar in Dollar Tree in the past, I thought this was just to place to turn her loose (kind of) and see what she selected.  To set the record straight, I want to point out that Brandon’s other gift is quite nice and that we didn’t get it at Dollar Tree.

So off we went on our mission.  She was excited about the prospect of choosing something for her beloved Daddy and I expertly steered her to the “household things” aisle.  I showed her a number of very useful items, such as a microfiber cloth to clean electronic devices (now is  probably a good time to point out that Emory often sneezes on her Daddy’s iPad).  “Look Emory!  This could clean Daddy’s iPad!”  “Look Emory, these are called bungees!  Daddies love to use bungees!”  “Look Emory!  This is a cloth to clean your car.  Daddies love to clean their cars!”  She buzzed right through the aisle with little interest, so I asked her if she would rather look for a treat for Daddy.  Yes!  Yes!  A treat for Daddy was what she wanted.

On our way to the treat aisle, she spotted an end cap of Fireside mini-marshmallows.  “Marshmallows!  I want these for Daddy!”  Certainly, this couldn’t be what she really would want.  But we needed some marshmallows at home (it IS hot chocolate season, after all), so I tossed them in the cart over the carseat containing snoozing Meredith.  I showed her a Mrs. Freshley’s peanut butter and chocolate wafer delicacy, a chocolate chip cookie mix, chocolate bars, granola bars.  All kinds of things.  Each time, she told me she chose the marshmallows (the girl knows what she wants!!).  She began to get a little exasperated and it was clear we were going home with the marshmallows, so I gave in and we paid for the cute little guys.  On the drive home, I decided to buy a nice hot chocolate mix to pair them with.

Brandon met us in the garage when we got home to help carry things inside, and I carefully hid his gift in our mudroom.  That was obviously a waste of time, because as soon as Emory had removed and stored her shoes, she ran into the kitchen and said, “We got you marshmallows for Christmas!!!!”  Brandon looked perplexed but kept quiet as I whispered to her that maybe we should wait for Christmas.  Wait for the hot chocolate.  Wait until they were wrapped.  She insisted on giving them to him immediately.  I decided we had to do it up right, so I took her to the Gift Command Center (formerly known as Papa and Grandma’s Room, which is known to normal people as the Guest Room) to select a nice gift bag and tissue paper.  I explained to Brandon what he was receiving and she proudly handed him the festive and full bag.

He was thrilled and so was she.  It was perfect.  Best dollar we’ve spent in a long while.  And maybe we’ll still pick up that hot chocolate after all.

Becoming Sisters

Of course, they’ve been sisters since there were two of them…but it is precious for me to watch these two little girls interact and love on eachother more and more.  I should know…I have two older sisters so I know the joy it is to have those deep sibling friendships.  Meredith adores Emory.  She watches her every move and perks up when she hears her voice.  And that Emory is protective of her sister.  She runs for a burp cloth the second Meredith drools (and trust me…there is A LOT of drool) and gives a proper dirty look to anyone that suggests Meredith might come live with them because she’s too cute.  Emory says, “No.  She lives with me.”  They are connected and happy and I am so grateful that they have eachother.

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We’ve got Christmas in 3….2….1….

I was thrilled to be invited by my creative girlfriend Kate to participate in an Advent ornament exchange with 23 other ladies from my church.  Called A Meaningful Christmas, each woman creates 24 themed ornaments that correspond with their assigned devotion to be read on a particular day in December.  Then we met at a swap party to exchange ornaments with eachother, each coming home with 24 unique ornaments and a cute keepsake box for our family.  Kate and another friend Allison had seen the concept online in a variety of fashions, and took the initiative to purchase devotionals and get us organized.  And especially after our Swap Party last night, I am so incredibly glad they did.  I am beyond excited to share these gorgeous little ornaments with my sweet girls and I am grateful to the ladies that hand-crafted each one.  I pulled out each of the ornaments to share with Brandon as soon as I got home and wrote each lady’s name beside their day in the devotional.

Each day, we will read the appropriate devotion and hang the corresponding ornament on the Christmas tree.  Initially, I was going to wrap each ornament but we’ve decided instead to place them inside a snowman canister that we’ll hide around the house each day for Emory to find.  It will be our own “Elf on the Shelf”, which is a concept that I love…but more fitting for our home since we are not planning to introduce Santa (thus no need for a stray elf from the North Pole).  Brandon grew up with Santa and I did not, and each of us feels that Christmas is magical either way.  Our little Emory is very logical and tough to fool.  When we do something silly to surprise her, like placing one of her toys in a silly spot in the house, she quickly realizes that Mommy or Daddy did it.  So it almost seems awkward to begin talking about Santa, when we’ve been trying to teach her about Jesus.  So for now, that is the direction we’re headed.

But I digress…

I was assigned the devotion about Promises and was to make an ornament with a rainbow.  After searching high and low for a complete rainbow (when I was a kid, the world was COVERED in rainbows…where are they now???), I was forced chose to create one with strips of scrapbook paper, stick-on rhinestones, and lots and lots of modge podge.  (Modge Podge is my spiritual gift.)  After much cutting, glueing, and quite a few episodes of Duck Dynasty, I love how they turned out!  Other favorites are a meticulously pieced and glued wooden donkey, a felt sheep, a puffy paint grape vine, and my very favorite — an inverted solo cup with an elephant and giraffe inside (representing God’s creation).

Here is a link to pictures of the original ornament exchange:

So, we’re off on our Meaningful Christmas adventure.  I’ll post another time to show our completed tree and share how it went.

The Crafters

The Crafters

Keepsake Boxes

Keepsake Boxes

Rainbow Ornaments

Rainbow Ornaments

Rainbow for God's Promises

Rainbow for God’s Promises

Our Ornament Delivery Vehicle

Our Ornament Delivery Vehicle

The Times They Are A-Changing

Life has been wild these past few months, and today I had a moment to finally download some old photos from my camera and look through them.  I loved these two, which relate to one major change in our lives.  These are pictures of Emory swinging from the tree at our old house, in our old yard.  In other words, we’ve moved.  And although the new house and yard are lovely, we no longer have a tree from which to hang our swing.  By next summer, we’ll have to rectify that.  But in the meantime, these are two pictures that represent the sweet, wonderful life we started in our first home.

Everybody is Loaded


I find it surprising that Emory never took on a “lovey” or a “blanket” as a baby, given how she has turned out. Since the fateful day I let her pick out a tiny doggie at our local Hallmark store, it has been downhill. Our “friends” get carted all around the house, on trips, and all but two if the creatures pictured sleep in her bed.  I guess we’d better just get a larger bed.

I’m a Lucky Mama

Emory wrapped her arms tight around my neck tonight, leaned to whisper a “secret” in my ear, and said, “I! Love! You!”  I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her too.  Then I said, “That’s so sweet, Emory.  Go tell Daddy.”  So she walked up to him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and whispered in his ear “I! Love! Mommy!”