Archive for the ‘family’ Category

The Beach- June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

There is a mason jar of sea shells on my kitchen countertop. Each shell was lovingly plucked from a shore full of treasures. It was hastily rinsed in the waves and placed gritty and glistening in my hands. My daughter and I walked the beach in search of shells each day last week. It was our time.

Beach 15 5

Every family member that called our rented beach house “home” had their special times. My sister watched her son’s first steps in the ocean. My sister-in-law played with her niece and nephew and then got lost in the mystery novels she loves. My mom got all her kids around a table to eat together before late nights of loud board games.

We took five more minutes on the beach. We hugged a second or two longer. We ate another cookie. We had another beer. It was vacation. The best part about this trip was how full my heart felt the whole time.

They won’t remember, but I will. I will remember their kisses sticky from ice cream and their hair salty from the sea. They will roll their eyes when I remind them I hosed off their sandy, bare little tushes on the walkway in the open air. I will remember watching my 1 1/2 year-old son nod off in his high chair at lunch because he was so exhausted from the sun and pushing his trucks through the sand. I will remember the first time she flew a kite. I will never forget how he chased seagulls, laughing loud and leaving a trail of the tiniest footprints on the beach.

We are back, but the memories remain in our subtle tan lines and locked away in mason jars to stay in our kitchen until next summer.

beach 2015 collage


The Magic Number? Deciding to Have Two or Three Children- May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I came across another woman with kids the same age as mine. She proudly posed with her newborn as well. Her third baby. Then I saw another friend pregnant with her third. Last week I got the same question two days in a row from friends, “So, are you done? Or are you going to have more kids?”

Oh, wow. I really don’t know, ya’ll.

mother of two or three

I ask myself that everyday. I look at my kids’ faces and think, “We make the most adorable babies. We already have two, why not have another?!” I love babies. I love being a mother. I soak up the sweetness of my children and wonder how a third child would change our dynamic.

I’ve read the articles about how families with three kids are the most stressed and heard how miserable and awful middle children are. I don’t believe any of that! First of all, I’m not buying that “middle child” garbage. I know some amazing middle children. My husband Greyson is an amazing, well adjusted middle child who grew up to be a successful business leader in his company after following his dream of becoming a sportscaster. He’s a loving husband, father and provider. My Aunt Wanda is a middle child and is the glue that holds our family together. She raised twins, welcomed another child into her home to raise, had a career as an educator and has been married to my uncle for more than 30 years. I pray my children, no matter their birth order, are like these middle children. Recent studies show middle children are pretty much as well-adjusted as the rest of the family and “Middle Child Syndrome” is totally exaggerated.



Some people have told me that they assume we’re done having babies because we have a girl and a boy. I see friends with two of the same sex who may try for another. I get that. But, the friends I’ve seen lately are just like me. They already have one of each. Of course there is always the friend who…surprise! Just gets pregnant with baby #3.

But, I want to know. How do you/did you come to the decision to have, or not have, a third child? We’re not ruling it out, it’s just not as obvious as having two kids, you know? There was no question we would have at least two. SO MUCH goes into deciding about the third. Our ages, money, obstetrical health, parenting, careers and sibling relationships are just some of the things we weigh when thinking about this. Please, don’t think I don’t realize how freaking lucky we are that we COULD have a third. I know the struggles of infertility stop many parents from having more than one or two kids. We’re very blessed to have two healthy children. I have to imagine the impact of caring for sick children or kids with special needs may alter some parents’ decisions on family planning as well.

If we don’t have a third, I don’t think I’ll feel incomplete or anything. Life will still be great and our family will be fine. Again, we’re so blessed. Do we want to add another little blessing?

Last week in the car Charlotte asked from the back seat, “Mommy, are we going to have any more babies in our family?” I gave the answer I give everyone, “I don’t know.” I returned her question, “Do you want another baby in our family?” She said, “Yes! I want it to be a girl and I want to name her Starlight!”

Then she said, “How do you get a baby in your belly, anyway?” Oh, yikes. Maybe I’m not ready for another. Then my husband says, “Well, if we have three, we have to have four kids. You know…balance.”

Sure. Starlight and Fourthkid. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I will say, if we have a little Starlight, no one is allowed to buy him/her anything. We have everything. Starlight will live in hand-me-downs. That’s just part of being the youngest. (Says the oldest child with a smirk, as she writes this blog post.)


Plastic Grass- April 6, 2015

Monday, April 6th, 2015

I thought that I had Easter basket grass already. I was quite certain I had seen bags of some pastel shade or another piled in the cluster that is the third floor of our house. I bought extra last year, not realizing you really only need one bag per basket. I got the paper kind last year, not the slightly translucent green plastic we had as kids.

You know the stuff. We found pieces of plastic grass wound up in our dog’s poop when she ate candy from our baskets. I was about 9. I was pissed. Why couldn’t the dog have eaten my sister’s jelly beans instead of my chocolate egg?

Well, I couldn’t find any of the paper kind left during my third Target run this week. I settled for the classic plastic, but in different colors for my kiddos. My one-year-old son made sure that I knew just how far the stuff goes.

This was after church on Sunday:

photo 1 (42)

This was Easter Monday morning when I ran upstairs for two effing minutes to put my contacts on:

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I don’t think the dog has eaten any, but I saw some hanging out of the top of Henry’s diaper after he rolled around the floor in it.

I took the mess in stride this Easter. I think it’s because I was happier and more grateful than I’ve ever been. I look at these pictures and realize that THIS is my life. How is this possible?! These people are mine and I feel like the most blessed woman on earth, even with plastic grass tangled in my toes.

6 Easter 2015

5 Easter 2015


Spring Break- March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Phew! We’re back in town after a four day spring break getaway to the beach with friends. I feel like I learn something every vacation. I always get introspective while away. Even when we’re busy making memories, vacation causes me to pause and think. The change of scenery and different routine cause me to reflect on life.

When I was working and I went on vacation I would ponder my career path and make goals for myself when I got back to work. Sometimes I would make a point to not think about work AT ALL and bask in a weekday on the beach. I always said the worst day of vacation is still better than the best day at work.

This vacation I reflected on my family. I looked at them and noticed all their eccentricities, their nuances and changes. They are remarkable people.

My Husband- He needs vacation. He doesn’t stop enough. In the calendar year 2014 he took no days off until his boss noticed. He took off 3.5 weeks in December. He had to use the time. This year we’re spacing out the time off. He needs more than just a football game or a video game to unwind. He wanted to take out the laptop. I didn’t let him. I assured him work would be there when he got back.

He walked down to the ocean with our daughter and carried her on his shoulders through downtown Savannah, GA. He took dips in the pool, drank beer and laughed. Sometimes he doesn’t know he needs to stop.

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My Daughter- Sometimes all the fun and change of routine can be more than a 4-year-old can handle. Back home today she was delightful. On the trip? Eh. She had some rough moments. Her good friend was with her and sometimes it’s hard to share and get along when you’re always together. Little people get tired quick and meltdowns happen.

But in the great moments I realized how big and capable she is now. I watched her jump in the pool with little fear and ask to take off her life jacket. I listened to her entertain herself and her brother in the car. She “read” a book to her friend by going through the pictures and making up the story.

Charlotte vacation

She chased all the seagulls on the beach, grinning between piercing screams. She caught a football and laughed. I caught her in a quick moment of stillness. I wondered if she was reflecting too.

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My Son- This growing, smiley boy made our trip even better. My busy little man notices everything. In this week alone he added “apple” and “car” to his growing vocabulary. There’s no way he couldn’t add “car.” We spent so much time there, it’s fitting.

photo 2 (41)

All things considered the kids did great during a 5-hour car ride. The way back was 6 hours due to back-ups on I-95. I even caught this:

car hands

Me- All the working out and healthy eating I’ve been doing is great. But, I enjoyed a few days of indulgence. Fries and ice cream on vacation are good for the soul.

We’re back. Our cups refilled, our souls reflected upon. Onward…until our next getaway.

fam vacay pic

Hilton Head, SC March, 2015 It was humid.


The Worst Holiday- January 2, 2015

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

I love most holidays. Christmas is my favorite. I’m not alone there. It doesn’t get better than presents and food in honor of Jesus’ birthday. As an optimistic extrovert I do enjoy almost all the other holidays too. I made the most of single Valentine’s Days and 100 degree July 4th’s in the past.

July 4, 2009. It was insanely hot, yet I am so happy. (And young. Geez.)

July 4, 2009. It was insanely hot, yet I am so happy. (And young. Geez.)

There is one holiday, however, that I don’t like. New Years. I hate it. New Years Eve is the sad, cold and drunken let down to Christmas. I had no problem working the New Years shift when I was a TV news reporter. No social plans I ever had on December 31 came through. No one in the group could ever finalize plans. Someone always drank too much. I always spent too much money and was left too tired the next day. No thank you.

It got better after I got married and had some chill restaurant-then-champagne-toast-at-home evenings, but New Years still symbolizes the holidays being over. Twice in my life it meant I had to go back to work because maternity leave ended in January.

I spent all day January 1, 2015 being cranky and bummed out. Part of that was because my one-year-old is feverish and snotty. I was cooped up with him as my nose got stuffier. I lashed out at my well-meaning husband who did absolutely nothing wrong. I sulked at the Rose Parade, which sucks compared to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving, now there’s a holiday.

I think what I hate most about New Years is the insane amount of pressure we put on it to “start over” or “resolve to be better.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking through friends’ “Year in Review” or “Best of 2014″ videos and collages on Facebook or Instagram, but I don’t like making empty resolutions.

I think I hate it more this year because I don’t really want to make any changes. I’m happy. I’m blessed. I feel almost too lucky, like something is going to happen if I make changes. It’s easy to be complacent when you’re in a good place. I’d rather just enjoy myself and watch my sweet babies grow than force myself to make strides. See…look at them! This picture makes me want to freeze time in December, 2014 instead of leaving the holiday season behind! Ugh!

xmas professional 7

I owe it to myself and my family to keep getting better. So with a giant eye roll to the institution of New Years resolutions, in 2015 I resolve to:

  1. Write more.
  2. Take more risks.
  3. Be more patient with my family.
  4. Have a better attitude about New Years.

Happy 2015.