To My Sweet Girl on Your First Day of Kindergarten

I can’t believe I’m writing about your first day of Kindergarten. It just doesn’t seem possible. I can still remember snapshots frozen in my mind of rocking you as a newborn…I can’t believe 5 1/2 years have passed. As a baby I NEVER put you down. You were always in my arms. Your baby swing, bouncy seat, and crib were only good for collecting dust. We would gather with friends and family, and I would hog you to myself. I couldn’t get ENOUGH of you, and today I was forced to let go. I couldn’t shelter you any longer.

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We pulled to the red light at “the big road” as you call it, and while we were stopped I said a prayer aloud to calm both of our nerves. In that moment that I was begging Him to be with you today, I was reminded how inferior I am. I can only love you and protect you so much. We serve a God that loves you 1,000,000,000 times more than your Daddy and I possibly can….and that blows my mind. I literally cannot grasp it.

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We pulled into the school, you proudly walked in your classroom, and didn’t look back. You made Daddy and I SO PROUD. As I walked out wiping my uncontrollable tears, there was a peace in me knowing you were going to be okay….because HE is always with you- and YOU know that.

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I will only be able to hold you on my hip so much longer, you probably won’t let me call you “Honey” or “Sweet Girl” too much longer, and I can only ease so much pain, but He will be with you forever- in every situation and His healing is unlimited. Throughout all my love, cuddles, and mothering I pray that I always do my most important job- raise you to love Jesus with your whole heart and turn to Him for everything. That I can learn to back away, and always make Him the superhero in your life… that I quit hogging you, and turn you completely to Him.

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You had an great first day…I think you were a little overwhelmed and in shock, but you did great! Your class is full of little boys, but you’re used to that, and I’m sure you’ll have them playing Prince & Princess on the playground in no time. One of your goals for tomorrow: listening for your name at pick-up :) I love you, Honey!  I know you are going to have a great year.

All my Love,

Mommy

Our weekend with Kelsey!

My sister, Kelsey, came up for a visit a few weekends ago…it’s always a party when Aunt Kelsey comes to visit!!!!!

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I went to the post office and grocery right when Kelsey got here, and when I came back home they were racing on their 4-wheelers. The “winner” got a popsicle….I didn’t even ask how many times they each won ;)

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Brooks made us a fire pit over Memorial Day weekend. I am IN LOVE. Anyone that knows me knows I’m NOT an outdoorsy type girl AT ALL, but I love sitting out here at night. It’s so peaceful, and making s’mores makes it even better! On another note, I will be doing a separate post and Pinterest pin for this. This pins on these DIY fire pits are SOO misleading! I’ll be doing a post on the DIY fire pit done by a real person- not the supernatural ;)

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Every time Kelsey spends the night, the first thing Kaleigh and Bowman do when they wake up is race to wake Kelsey up. Once we were all dressed and ready we headed toward Helen. It’s SO close to our house, but we rarely go. We stopped and ate lunch at Yonah Burger. It’s this tiny hamburger shop that makes REAL hamburgers. There’s not a lot that can beat a good cheeseburger.

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We went to Helen, intending to zip-line, but Kaleigh took one look at the zip line for kids, and said- no way, so we headed toward downtown Helen. Kelsey loves fudge, so we went in the candy shops, walked around, and played on the playground.

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Kaleigh and Bowman LOVE chocolate covered strawberries, so we had to get a few of those, of course. We all had a great time! Maybe next trip we can talk Kaleigh into the zip-line. The rest of the weekend I was in the bed with a fever, chills, and aches- so I was super thankful that Kelsey was in town to help me out!

I’m so mad at myself- I video taped Kaleigh and Bowman swinging and my finger was over the microphone. Bowman was laughing so hard the entire time- it was hilarious! I don’t expect anyone to watch this almost silent video (or most personal things I put on here), but I know their grandparents will enjoy it and I love having a blog to look back at!

Happy Summer & a Giveaway!

Happy Summer! I am almost caught up from being backed up. Thank you to everyone for your patience during this time! I’m working on uploading pictures, and catching up on all my blogs. I’ve been worried mostly about getting orders out though, so after a couple more good days of working I’ll update the blog!

For now, let’s celebrate Summer with a giveaway!!! FIVE winners will be chosen to win these GORGEOUS bracelets- yes, you get all you see above! I’m in love. Southern Elegance at it’s best.  Follow the instructions below (please make sure you follow all the directions AND are commenting below or the entry will not count).

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Congrats to Lisa Nicholson for winning the Emerald Handbag! So glad you love it as much as I do! Thank you again to everyone for being so patient with the order delay. Hoping everything is caught up by tomorrow at the latest. HAPPY SUMMER!

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Kaleigh’s Preschool Graduation

Bowman and Kaleigh had their end of the year program Tuesday night. It was super special for Kaleigh because she graduated from Pre-K, and is offically a kindergartener now!

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 I don’t think I’ve really accepted or fully comprehended what is coming in the Fall. I’m not even going to let my mind go there until it’s time.

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Bowman was so cute during his performance. He was singing and doing the dance moves until he spotted me waving my arm off like a crazy lady- then he just starred and smiled- it’s was precious though! Very proud of him for doing so well at his age.

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Here is the big graduate getting her certificate! She was so funny- she was on a mission to get down that aisle. The picture on the top right is with her teacher Ms. Brooke. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher for Kaleigh. She has 3 precious little girls, and happily indulged in Kaleigh’s talk of princesses and fairytales. Kaleigh LOVES her. She also spoiled me during the year- she would always send me pictures of Kaleigh doing activities and let me know how the day was going.

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My Dad, my sister, and brother came up to see these two perform. Bowman was so funny- he kept covering up his face with his end of the year money during the pictures. I think it makes the picture perfect :)

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Bunny and Pop-Pop also came to celebrate.

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I know many people think the whole cap and gown thing is silly, and I’ve heard many people say, “What are they graduating from?”. Sure, this may just be a big fuss over preschool, but from this point on I can’t pop-in her class just because I want to. I won’t be able to show up late everyday because she…ahem…we like to sleep in. And I’m sure her teacher won’t be texting me a picture every time Kaleigh does something cute.

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 Starting next year, it’s going to be full days, homework, and CRCT testing. Their innocent little years are numbered. Kaleigh has gone from a shy, timid little girl that cried the first 3 months she started the 2 year old class, to a social, brave little girl that doesn’t look back for me anymore.  THAT is graduating.

She has grown into her own- she’s now a Jesus-loving little lady that loves to help others. For me, THAT kind of IS something to celebrate.

The End of the School Year, and the end of Kaleigh’s Preschool Years.

How did this happen? How are Kaleigh’s preschool years already over?

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The picture to the left is her VERY FIRST day of preschool, and the VERY FIRST day I started to let  my baby grow up. I didn’t start her until October because I kept going back and forth with whether I wanted to send her or not. It was terrible. She cried… I cried. I can remember the first week…ahem…month she went to school-I would walk around the building and peek through the windows of her classroom just to make sure she was okay. I called the poor preschool director every hour seeing how she was doing, and worried about her the entire time she was there. She needed this though, and little did I know I needed it even more. We BOTH blossomed into the community we were still so new to. We BOTH made life-long friends that we now consider family. We BOTH grew so much.

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This guy was a totally different story….I sat him down his first day, and as you can see, he was fine. He was easier to drop off-I knew from experience with Kaleigh that he would be okay, he would do better socially because of going, and I would be a better Mommy because I had time to recharge. However, after being cried FOR by Kaleigh, it was kind of a blow to the heart knowing he knew he was okay without me! ;)

On a side note, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at pictures of him at this age without laughing…that hair!!!!

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 These are some pictures from last week’s end of the year party.  They had Papa’s Choo Choo there, a bouncy house, popcorn, snowcones, a balloon maker, and face painter. All the kids had so much fun. The top left picture cracks me up. The  little girls with Kaleigh belong to two of my very best friends. They look at Kaleigh like she is “the big girl”. Kaleigh has such a motherly nature to her. I pray she always has that love , compassion, and willingness to help others as she grows older.

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  As much as we love school and seeing everyone daily, I am SO EXCITED for it to be Summer. I’m ready to sleep in, not feel rushed, and play outside with my babies.

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And just because I LOVE seeing the change in them…here is the comparison from their first and last days of this year.

Throughout our years at preschool, we’ve all grown so much more than pictures will ever be able to show. I’ve grown as a mother and they’ve grown into themselves. Thank you so much to each of their teachers- for all your hard work,  for loving Kaleigh and Bowman so much, and for always making me feel like my babies are in the best of hands.

Kaleigh’s Dance Recital

Kaleigh had her first dance recital on Saturday. I was so proud of her!

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She thought it was so fun that they got to put blush and lip gloss on. She wasn’t a fan of the hairspray though…I don’t blame her- I NEVER use it!

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Their tap routine was done to a song from Chicago and they are dressed like flappers. Loved the little bow on their bottoms and those precious headbands.

                                                    

Here is the video of their tap dance- I’m so glad this was posted to the dance facebook page. My video turned out dark. Thank you so much!

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Their ballet dance was to “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, so of course this was Kaleigh’s favorite!

                                                       

She had never performed in front of a big audience before (besides singing at church) so I was VERY proud of her! This made me realize how BIG she is, and how FAST she is growing up. Not too long ago she would have never done something like this.

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We were so glad Bunny and Pop-Pop (Brooks’ Parents) were able to come watch!

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Bowman greeted “Honey” with flowers, and Daddy took us out for lunch after to get Kaleigh’s favorite: Mexican…or really, just Cheese Dip!

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She has been talking about it all weekend, and has watched the video over and over.

I am trying to soak this stage of her life in. Everything is so exciting, and she is literally “enchanted” by everything. Life in her eyes  is a fairytale. I wish I could keep it that way forever. We are all so proud of you, “Honey”!!!

Because there just aren’t words…

I’ve gotten a lot of emails from a small group of followers that read the blog, and I just wanted to let you all know why I haven’t been working/writing.

Last Saturday night I got the worst phone call I’ve ever received. One of my best friend’s precious baby girl, Arden, passed away at just 6 months old.  I knew I loved all of my friend’s children, but I didn’t realize just HOW MUCH. My heart is crushed into pieces.

Photo: Don't just hug your babies extra tight hug all the ones you love.

The day of the memorial service, we all painted our nails blue to represent Arden’s beautiful baby blue eyes. Her eyes were breath-taking, and she had a sweet, angelic chuckle that would melt your heart. The last time I held her she just laughed, and laughed for me. I am so thankful I have that precious memory of her.

I am also so very thankful for the 7 other hands above.  These girls are my family, and would do anything for me. Blessed beyond belief to call them my sisters in Christ.

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The memorial service honored Arden, and glorified God to the fullest. I am amazed by my sweet friend, Abigail, and her faith. She has gone through MANY trials in her life, and through it all she continues to glorify God and trust in Him completely.  The pastor closed the service by stating that Arden’s life was anything but normal. In her 6 short months here on earth,  she touched and changed SO many people…including me.

I’ve realized “Normal” doesn’t change lives. “Normal” gets too comfortable and we take things for granted. “Normal” is easy and doesn’t take effort. If there is one thing I’ve taken away from Arden’s beautiful life, it’s to live anyway but normal…to stop right in the middle of cooking dinner for freeze tag…to close the computer in the middle of the work day and join the after school dance parties…and to turn off “my shows” and spend more time talking and laughing with my husband-even if it messes up our “normal” routine.

Thank you, Arden Piper,  for changing my life FOREVER. As I told you when I kissed your sweet head for the last time- I will see you again one day! Until then, I will look at the blue sky, think of your gorgeous eyes, and replay that angelic chuckle in my head.

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. Squeeze your babies and your loved ones tight, and please keep my sweet friend, Abigail, her husband, and their precious little girls in your prayers.I will try to resume blogging later in the week. Talking about recipes and DIY projects just seem insignificant right now. Thank you for understanding, prayers, and for those of you that noticed something was wrong :)

Resurrection Rolls – Not just for Easter Sunday.

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I found the idea for these Resurrection Rolls floating around Facebook. We made these Easter Morning-Kaleigh and Bowman had SO much fun making them. They were excited about their Easter baskets, but this really was the highlight of the morning. Since Easter, we have made this at least once a week-sometimes more because they are just THAT good.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough (represents the linens Jesus’ body was wrapped in)
  • 8 large marshmallows (represents Jesus, white and pure)
  • Melted butter (represents the oils anointed on Christ’s body)
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixed together (represents the spices anointed on Christ’s body)
  • The Bible or a Kid Friendly Version of the Easter story.

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First, get your crescent rolls out  and put everything in front of your little helpers.

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Give each of your helpers a marshmallow, and tell them it represents Jesus. Have them dip it into the melted butter, and then roll it in the cinnamon/sugar mix. These represent the oil and spices used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.

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That part is messy, but they have so much fun doing it.

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Next,have them wrap up the marshmallow tightly, pinching it closed as much as possible. The roll represents the linen cloths that Jesus’ body was wrapped in.

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You may want to step in and make sure the rolls are sealed tightly at the end- if you not, the marshmallow will ooze out everywhere.

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The recipe I saw didn’t call for this, but I use the remaining butter and cinnammon/sugar mix to sprinkle on top of the rolls. If gives it more of that sticky, gooey, sweet roll taste-yum!

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Place your rolls into the oven, which symbolizes the tomb. Bake according to package directions.

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While they are cooking, you can tell the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Since we’ve done this many times, we do different Bible stories each time.

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We also use this time to make sure all the leftover marshmallows don’t go to waste ;)

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Open the oven (or tomb) and you’ll see the only thing left are the cloths Jesus left behind! The marshmallow has melted leaving an empty “tomb”. Isn’t that cool?! Jesus has risen!

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Celebrate His sacrifice with your babies with these fun and easy resurrection rolls. They really are super easy to put together, and Bowman approved ;)

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I hope you have as much fun teaching your kids the true meaning of Easter as we did! God bless! :-)

His timing is Perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I am REALLY  impatient. I like things done a certain way (which of course is the right way-ha!) and want them done immediately. I get frustrated when things aren’t finished and checked off my to-do list….and most of the time, I’ll turn my back on whatever it is and just forget about it because I’m THAT impatient.

I think every girl (at one time or another) has planned out just how her life is going to happen. Go to school, get married to prince charming, have beautiful babies…and everything will just fall into place, right?? I mean, if all that happens your life has to be perfect, right??? Unfortunately, the answer is no. No one has ever lived a perfect life besides Jesus. I don’t care how perfect someone’s “Social Media Life” looks…it’s NOT.

I get so wrapped up in my daily life that I forget how much hurt is in the world…or maybe subconsciously I’m just trying to ignore it and hope it all goes away. Have you ever done that with a situation or relationship that hurts your life? I have…and just recently learned a powerful lesson.

I had turned my back on dreams and relationships because I felt like they were so broken that no one could fix them. Not only was I turning my back on hopes and relationships- I was turning my back on God, His mighty healing, and power. I got impatient. Things weren’t mended in MY time and MY way; therefore, it was never going to happen, right?

After almost 13 years, I had forgotten about what now seemed like crazy dreams and unrealistic relationships- BUT God had NOT forgotten. They were ALWAYS on His mind, and His hand had ALWAYS been working. After 13 YEARS, God knew EXACTLY when to make His presence known, and EXACTLY how to fix EVERYTHING in HIS OWN TIME. I was able to see first hand that He knows when to sweep you off your feet and let you know He is there in the darkness. Once again, He grabbed me with His commanding love and let me know He will NEVER leave me, and He will always take care of me.

Time needed to pass, wounds needed to be healed, and relationships had to be gained through Him to be fixed. I was so frustrated, irrational, and impatient during the years that my vision wasn’t clear, and then finally I had just given up. When God brought healing in HIS time, I felt like He was probably shaking his head with a chuckle (knowing how impatient and stubborn I am) saying, “Katie, did you really think I’d forgotten you?” It was one of those moments when I wish I could just run to God and embrace Him. I was numb. I couldn’t talk. All I could do was cry. I lost hope in the Lord, but He continued to take care of me after it all. He is so merciful, and so forgiving.

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers, dreams, and desires? Maybe you aren’t waiting for God, but still life isn’t happening the way you had hoped or expected it to. Does it seem like your hopes and dreams are never going to come true? Maybe you are waiting to meet the man you can call your husband, or you are longing to have that sweet baby? Or maybe you just need reconciliation with someone that wronged you? Psalm 37:4 tells us …

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why God doesn’t allow things to happen right away or give us everything we want.  An important lesson that I am continuing to remind myself each day is that God works things out in His own perfect timing. Whatever you are going through, I encourage you to lay it upon the Lord.  He hears all of our prayers…no matter how long it has been, how hopeless, or impossible is seems. Psalm 37 goes on to say

If you take anything away from this blog post, and my personal short falls in my faith, I hope you can remember God has plans for your life. He knows everything about you. He made you. He loves you, and wants the best for you.  He knows what you need more than you EVER will. He allowed his Son to die so that our sins could be forgiven. Jeremiah 29:11 says …

Even when it may feel like He’s not, He’s ALWAYS there. He will NEVER leave or forsake you. Trust in Him and His PERFECT timing.
I sing this song below on Wednesday nights with our youth band. I don’t think I’ll ever sing it without chills. BLESSED.

Emerald Green : The Color of 2013

Emerald Green is the color of 2013.

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It’s really everywhere. In make-up, fashion, and home decor. Every magazine I’ve picked up has a section about emerald green.

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I can’t go with the green lipstick, but I do like the nailpolish, glasses, purse, and shoes. I don’t think I could pull off the eye shadow either, but I saw a few tutorials on pinterest that used it and it was very pretty.

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It’s also HUGE for weddings.
Looking at all this wedding stuff makes me wish I could go make and plan mine all over again. Looking at all this stuff was so fun! I LOVE the hydrangea bouquet. It’s so clean and pretty.

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SOOO…to keep up with fashion, Get Dolled Up is giveaway this GORGEOUS Green Handbag!

I loaded my new green handbag today. It’s HUGE and I love love love it. Can’t wait to share one with one of you!

Just follow the instructions in the box below to enter.

Congrats to Lyndsie Booker for winning the Keurig! Contact me so I can send it to you, girl!

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