Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friends Like None Others...

Have you ever had a friend who nearly made you speechless? I do. I've sat here forever staring at the blinking cursor upon the screen, because words just can't seem to express how I feel right now...!

Let me just start by saying that I am SO blessed to have such wonderful friends & family. I'm even more blessed that my friends & family also have little ones that Livia will get to grow up with. And though I can't say I love some more than others (even if that were the case, I still couldn't say that!), I will say that some certainly amaze me and maybe even know me better than others.

My friend Jamie is definitely one of these people... First though, let me tell you a little bit about her.

I've known her literally my whole life, and our Moms are best friends.
Jamie & her Mom, Anne, holding little Olivia a few months ago.

Jamie's originally from here, but has lived in some neat places like California & Ohio. I was tickled pink when I found out that she was moving back to this area, though! She & her husband moved back here a few months before having their daughter, Olivia. I'm sure that Olivia & my Livie-bug will be wonderful friends as well someday!

Jamie's story isn't all sunshine & roses though... Jamie's husband, Warren, is in the Army, and he recently went back into active duty, as he feels that it is his true calling... My friend will obviously be moving soon :'(

Warren has a townhouse set up for them to move into down at Fort Campbell where he's stationed (about an hour & a half away). But next month, he'll be deployed to Afghanistan... His unit is already there, and plans are that they'll be back by December before Christmas.

Jamie is so optimistic and happy about everything. I'm so amazed & proud of her! And to add to her happiness, this sweet couple is expecting another baby! I was almost speechless with joy when she told me her wonderful news last week. They see it as a true blessing - with Warren being in the service, Olivia will have someone very close to grow up with.

So why does Jamie amaze me?

Well, Jamie absolutely has a heart of gold. In the midst of all the craziness in her life she still thinks of others so much. After she found out about Laura Belle's engagement, I told her that I eventually wanted to get Livia a little dress from Lid'l Dolly's for her to wear to the wedding.

Well, Jamie's Mom was on vacation in Tennessee last week, and you'll never guess what Jamie had her do...

She got Livia these adorable dresses from Lid'd Dolly's...!
(Back view)

And the colors of the one of the left are exactly what Laura Belle has in mind for her wedding! Livia won't actually be in the wedding - she'll only be two. But aren't these dresses both perfect choices for her Auntie's wedding?!

I can't get over how sweet it was of Jamie to do something so wonderful & sweet for me (and Liv). She is truly a blessing in my life, and I only hope that I can bring half as much happiness & love into her life as she's brought into mine.

She's truly a friend like none other.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Featuring Great Gramma Pat

...And four of her Great-Grandbabies!
(Clockwise: Gramma Pat holding little Raelynn, Jordan, Isaiah, & Livia)

For more Wordless Wednesdays, please visit 5 Minutes for Mom & The Wordless Wednesday Headquarters. Thank you!!! Much love to you all and God Bless.

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Artsy Liv

Sunday night, my Aunt Tanya emailed me this beautiful picture of Livia...

Isn't it absolutely stunning! I just love those blue eyes - and I just love the way my Aunt edited the picture. Now, skip on over to her blog & see some other pics she edited similar to this one! C'mon! Who doesn't love those triplets, huh? :o)

Much love to you all and God Bless!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Livia's First Haircut

Livia's little bangs were getting so long that they were beginning to get into her eyes. I especially noticed it Saturday on our way to my cousin's bridal shower... I looked back at her & she was grabbing at a piece of hair that was getting into her eyes. So I knew it was time to call in the pro - My Aunt Bonnie!

Aunt Bonnie used to cut hair professionally for years & years. She still gives cuts to close family (like the triplets) and I was tickled pink when she said that she would be glad to give Livie a trim.

She did a wonderful job! This is the end result:

Doesn't Liv look excited?

It took a lot of work to get to that point though! Let me back up...

Livia just turned one in April... I know, I should be able to keep track of her exact number of months. But after she turned one, I stopped consciously counting how many months old she is. Is that bad?

Anyway, I have a toddler who has a LOT of energy. She's very much on-the-go, busy, and doesn't care much for sitting down (sounds a lot like me even today!) It took both me sitting her on my lap, feeding her banana to corral her for just a couple of minutes.Can you imagine how hard it was to get this kiddo to hold still long enough to carefully snip all 15 hairs perfectly across her forehead? I'm still not sure how Bonnie did it, but she sure did! And she did a fabulous job :o)
And even though Liv was a squirm-worm, she did great. You can't even tell from these photos how unhappy she was about the whole situation!
Well, perhaps she's showing a bit of annoyance in this pic...
But this one perfectly shows her general attitude about the whole thing! Doesn't she look bored/annoyed?

I did save every little bitty piece of hair (that's what the envelope was for that may have seen in the above pictures) Hopefully I'll figure out a way to make them show up - and not get lost! - in a scrapbook...

Here are just a couple of photos of Livia & her Great Aunt Bonnie...

And finally, the many faces of Liv... I wish I knew exactly what's going through her little head in all these pictures (taken literally within seconds of each other)
I know in this one she's looking at her Auntie Laura Belle... maybe even saying her name? (She'll use her little tongue to say "La-la!")

In this one, I know Laura's talking to her - obviously making her quite happy.

And Livia was starting to get excited because she thought Laura was coming to get her (out of the pool). Laura Belle was actually going to get one of the triplets though...

And her was Livia's expression after Laura jumped back in without her:
She almost looks indignant, doesn't she! Like, "how could you get right back in there without getting me?!"

At least that's what I think she's thinking...!

Right now, I'm just thinking about how much I love Livie's little hair-trim! Much love to you all and God Bless!

Monday, July 28, 2008


It's days like today that I truly hope that Livia is blessed with much more grace than I am. Not the kind of grace that you give towards others, but the kind that's required for navigating one's body without bumps or falls.

I do not have that kind of grace!

Ever since I was a very little girl, I've been extremely clumsy. Sometimes it was because I got in too much of a hurry; other times it was just because I wasn't watching where my feet were going. Regardless, there was nary a week go by without a new bruise or scratch.

Even to this day, grace eludes me...

As I was going down the stairs last night to hopefully get some laundry done - and maybe get some pictures downloaded, I completely lost my footing and fell. Hard. It just about knocked the wind out of me, and I was quite dazed. After realizing that overall I was OK, I got up to assess the damage...

I was carrying my camera (in it's case) and no harm was done to it whatsoever. The cookie in my hand was broken in half, which I took as a sign to eat while I got over my ouchies. My big toenail bent backwards, and now the tip is purplish-black, and my elbow took the brunt of the blow. Luckily nothing's seriously hurt or broken (other than my pride that is)

So next time you're out & about and you see a Mom who keeps tripping over her own two feet, wave - she might be me!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jewelry Parties & Prissy Girls

Last night my wonderful little sis had a jewelry party, and all the girly-girls she knew were invited. No boys allowed! Except for Noah, and he's not even one yet. And he ended up with a necklace on anyway! She had a fantastic turnout (and won a ton of free jewelry!)...

But the party just wasn't complete til the prissiest girly-girl of them all arrived:

Laura's Bestest Littlest Friend, Meg.
(Megan a few weeks ago in the wheat fields)

When Megan and her Mommy - The Dairy Wife (AKA my Aunt Tanya) - arrived, Laura Belle took one look at Meg's sweet little dress and her face just lit up!

Totally out of character for Laura, she stole away from her other guests and went to do a presto-chango... And she and Meg were ready for a photo session! (Note: I still haven't even downloaded the pics onto my computer yet, so I've stolen these prefectly edited pictures from my Aunt Tanya's blog - she's a lot quicker at editing than I am!)
You can see why Laura Belle wanted to get some pictures in - they have perfectly matching dresses!

They went out playing and posing around the house, just those two girls. Jax the puppy could not understand why they didn't want him around them, though! (Perhaps because they didn't want their beautiful dresses ruined by puppy-paw prints & scratches?)
They even played peek-around & danced around the columns...

Laura & Meg love each other almost as sisters.
Even though Laura will be getting married in less than a year, these two will always be best friends.

ps - Thanks, Meg, for watching Livie for us! You did a great job of making sure she didn't get into too much trouble! (We had Megan follow Liv around for us while we finalized our jewelry order. Which meant a small break for me!)

Much love to you all and God Bless!

Flashback Friday ~ Liv One Year Ago

Just over a year ago, Livia was right at 3 months old... A very happy baby in the daytime, but colic-y at night. Lots of little baby noises & sounds, fascinated with her hands & feet, and usually full of smiles.

You sure wouldn't believe the smiling part from this photo session though!

(Imagine about 30 other shots much like this one, without so much as a hint of a grin)

Maybe she just wasn't having a great day... At any rate, I gave up on getting a happy picture from Livia this time and decided to focus on her sweet little hands and feet...
Held in my own hand, they still seemed so very small!

A few days later, I tried again to get some grins out of Liv. This day was obviously a different story!
That's the happy baby I know and love!

So contented & grinning for the whole picture session.

This was my husband's favorite shot by far.

We sent copies to many of our family and friends, and the photo seemed to be a really big hit.

So I guess the morel of the story is that even as a little bitty person, you have good days & bad.

The only difference is that she couldn't really object back then... Now when Liv doesn't want something or isn't getting her way, she'll say "No!" Luckily it doesn't happen often, and I'm trying to ignore this awful word in hopes that it doesn't yet stick into her vocabulary! I suppose every age has its benefits and drawbacks...

Anyway, that's Livie from a whole year ago! My how she's grown :o) ~ Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday! Love to you all and God Bless!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Country Kid...

They find excitement everywhere...

They're not afraid of heights - or hay bales...!

My Country Kid has the bluest eyes & sweetest blonde hair...

I love my Country Kid!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More of Liv in the Wheat Fields

Early, early this morning, I did a Wordless Wednesday with Liv in a sea of wheat... And I just couldn't resist putting up some more this afternoon!

At first she was pretty content playing with a piece of wheat.

But it's impossible to expect a toddler to stay in one place for very long - especially this one! About the only way we were able to get her to sit still was by going...

Oh my goodness!
(Which obviously made her put her hands on her head, and also made her sit!)

Or we'd find something fun for her to play with...
Maybe her Uncles will let her drive a tractor for real someday. Probably not if she ends up driving anything like her Mamma does, though!

And our last trick was to just strip her down & let her play in her diaper & bloomers.
Liv says: "I feel just a little bit goofy..."

"So I'm outa here!!!"

I have more, but these are some of the best - of what I've had time to sit and really go though anyway!

They were all taken about a month or so ago, and yes I'm just now getting around to editing them... I'm awful! My photo-flaws are endless, but a big one is that I just take too darned many pictures! And I constantly look for even more opportunities.

Am I nuts? Oh, wait. I think I established yesterday that I most certainly am!! Haha! Much love to you all and God Bless!!

Wordless Wednesday - Wonderul Wheat Fields

In a Sea of Wheat

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here & here.

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday - Country Trafic Jams

So, has anyone out there ever wondered what could cause a traffic jam out in the country? Wait - that's not even possible, is it?

Well, I didn't even think a country traffic jam was possible... Until THIS happened:


One of the cows somehow escaped from the fences, and she decided that standing in the road was exactly where she wanted to be. So how much of a hassle did she cause?

Not much to be perfectly honest. It just involved me, my parents, & my Uncle Von (aka Marlboro Man over at The Farmhouse Kids blog) My parents car is the one in the picture, I was right behind them, then my Uncle Von parked behind me (so he could round up that cow!)

I know this picture was taken several months ago, but I laughed so hard when I came across it that I thought it's worth posting. Hope you all get a kick out of it too! Much love & God Bless.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Am I NUTS?!!

Oh, most definitely YES.

But today even more so!

Several weeks ago, a good friend of mine asked me to watch over her future step-son, Sebastian, today. This was the only day she needed me, as she & her fiance were both working, and I had no problem whatsoever with doing so. Livie loves making new friends!

I had already decided that I was going to take him & Livia to the zoo today. I knew she really enjoys it, and what kid doesn't? What I didn't take into consideration is that today was forecast to be the hottest yet of the year!

So what were the actual temps?

Evansville's High Today: 100 degrees F
Heat Index: 107 degrees F !!!

So even though we got there right around 10:00 this morning, we were all sweating with minutes of our arrival. So it should come as no surprise that I let the kids do this:

Get Wet!!!

Mesker Park Zoo has an area just for kids that includes a jungle gym/slide, monkeys, otters, and (most importantly on days like today) a little water play area.

I could just see the looks of relief, and then of sheer joy on Livia & Sebastian's faces!

Livia loved getting surprised by the bursts of water.

She also loved 'tasting' the water... The Mom side of me was going, "Ung...! Ew-ish! Who knows if that water's even clean!!" But then my kid side argued, "Aw, come on. You'd be doing it too if you were in their shoes."

Shoot, if we were the only ones there, I probably would have been doing the same thing!

I literally had to drag Livia away kicking & screaming, even though she was absolutely drenched. I wanted to let the kids dry out just a bit before heading back home! So for the rest of our short visit, they were pretty comfortable it seemed...

While I could just feel the sweat dripping from my brow, back, and (ew!) forming a little river between my b-0-0-b-s (that's right, I don't want anyone Googling that word & landing here!) Thankfully there were a couple of cooled buildings that came to my rescue. Needless to say, we were outa there by 12:30!

But real quick - just a few pics of a couple of very friendly animals we saw while there...
A cute little otter

And a VERY friendly swan!

I don't know her name - or even if she has one for that matter... But I called her Sheila. :o) She ate animal crackers literally right out of my hand!

Which is how I got this great shot of her.

I'm sure we'll be going back to the zoo again soon... preferably when the weather's not fit for fryin' eggs outside! But definitely within the next month or so. I asked one of the workers while I was there if the Amazonia part of the zoo was nearly completed. And it's very close to being done...

So for all you out there who live in or around Evansville - Mesker Park Zoo will be opening it's brand new Amazonia section in 2 weeks!!! I'm SO excited!!!!

Hope everyone out there survived enjoyed this lovely Monday! Much love to you all & God Bless.

*Note - I didn't put any pics of Sebastian - Livie's new friend - on here since I didn't really ask if it was OK to do so... Even though I'm picture-crazy for my daughter, I promise I didn't leave him out!