Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TBall is over! Woo Hoo!

Just in case you thought I was joking about how uninterested Hope was in Tball...that would be her laying in the dirt. The last game, Uncle Wes for some reason (I am sure he was only trying to be nice) took Hope away from her position in the outfield and put her at second base. Only seconds after this picture, he put her back in the outfield. I wonder why?

Monday, June 29, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Just For Fun

This week at I ♥ Faces, there is a catergory for "Just for Fun." Any picture, just as long as it has a face in it! I have gone back and forth between this one, and the one that is the header on the blog.
The story behind it for those who haven't read it yet... Hope can not/ will not just look at my camera and smile. It just never happens. She will either look at the camera and not smile, or not look at the camera and smile. This makes me very sad! Not too long ago, we decided to take a day trip to Memphis with my parents to go to the zoo. She woke up the morning of the trip so happy and said "Mommy, I had a dream that I looked at your camera and smiled!" While we were at the panda exibit, Hope climbed into a hollow tree trunk and I started taking her picture playing. Then I asked her if she remembered what her dream was about...and she looked right at my camera a smiled her sweet smile. It totally made my day. I will always treasure this picture!
(and, just in case you think this might have been like a breakthrough moment for her and that now she smiles at the camera all the time...um, no.)

Your turn! Click on the link to enter your photo, or to look at all the other fun entries at I ♥ Faces!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

7 Long Years

Crested Butte, CO during our first year of marriage.

John and I were married June 22, 2002. 7 years seems like a long time. I know that it is relatively not a long time, but a lot has happened in 7 years.
  • we have lived in 5 different homes, 4 different cities, 2 different states.
  • between us we have had 11 different jobs
  • we have been to beaches, skiing, Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, just to name a few places
  • We have added to our family with an adopted dog, a beautiful daughter, and an adorable son
  • We have owned 5 different cars
  • We have played countless games of scrabble, blokus, Guitar Hero, and most recently, paper toss
  • John made it through grad school
  • We have made our own menu orders for what's for dinner (#1- breakfast for dinner, #2- grilled chicken and green beans and potatoes, #3-grilled cheese sandwiches...) I will say that we are now able to fix more things than this, but for at least the first 2 years of marriage, we survived on those three meals! They are still favorites!
  • We have lost (and found!) our crazy dog no less than 100 times. Seriously.
  • John's car has been broken into more times then I care to remember
  • We have both done really stupid things: ie... John-left his laptop on top of his car and drove on the interstate until it fell off. Jill- wait, I guess I haven't done any thing THAT stupid! ;-)
  • We joke around a lot.
  • He has put up with ME for 7 years!
  • I have put up with HIM for 7 years! :-)
  • He is still my very best friend!

On to my story...

I was pretty bummed that John was supposed to be out of town on our anniversary. We don't go on many date nights anyway, but an anniversary is a special occasion, right? Last weekend was just really busy and draining. We had a garage sale, a birthday party, a funeral, Father's Day, church... no time to celebrate our anniversary. So, while John was taking his Father's Day nap (4 hours!) I started scheming. I called my mom and asked if she would watch my kids Monday night. She is the best, so she said yes. Then I called up Adam, one of John's oldest friends. Adam lives in Northwest Arkansas, where John was to be working. I asked Adam to call John and ask him to go to dinner with him on Monday night at Bonefish. John bought it, hook, line and sinker. He got off the phone with Adam and started talking about how good it was going to be to see Adam, and how much he loved Bonefish and the shrimp he was going to order. I am just dying on the inside! I even said something about him spending our anniversary with Adam. So, I worked until about 3:00 on Monday, and then I headed up to NWA. I got to the restaurant early, hid my car, and just waited inside. When he came in the door, he was just shocked. He could not even speak for a few seconds, he was still trying to figure it out. I got him good! It was a great date!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This little boy is in.to.every.thing. Non stop, all day and night. Any nook you don't think he can fit in, he's there. The drawer you don't think he can reach, got it. The toilet? Yep, looves to splash in there. He climbs on the coffee table, the chairs, all his toys. Empties every basket of laundry that even thinks about getting near him. And, whatever you do, don't leave your drink anywhere that he might be able to reach it. We have all learned this lesson the hard way. And, the wipes container can no longer be stored on the bottom shelf on our buffet. . .

"Ok, maybe if I give my goofy cheesy grin, I won't get in trouble..."

Yes, the goofy toothy grin always always works. You got me. My sweet sweet baby is nearly 14 months old now! He took his very first steps to John on Father's Day. It was perfect! I was so worried that John would be out of town when he took those first steps, so I was soo happy that he was here to see it! Pretty special! We were all cheering like crazy, and Noah was just so proud of himself! Super cute.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

She jumped!

Ok, well, the first time she was pushed, but the second and third times, she jumped!

Friday was "Diving Board Day" at swim lessons. The kids wear their life jackets, and "get" to jump off the low dive 3 times. Hope said from day one she was NOT doing this. Do you have any idea how stubborn she is? Really, she is sooo stubborn (she totally gets that from John, right? :)) So, when she said she wasn't going to do it, I really had no doubt, she wasn't going to voluntarily jump. I did know ahead of time that going off the diving board is not an option. If you don't jump, they push. Mimi offered up a little incentive for her to jump... a Barbie. It definitely helped! She came up grinning after the initial push! Then she had very little hesitation going the second or third time. So proud!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Sepia

This week at I ♥ Faces the theme is Sepia Toned. This was the first picture I thought of. We have a big one of this shot in our house, only it is a full body shot of Hope. She is wearing cowgirl boots. It is the picture I used for moving announcements when we moved to Texas. I have jokingly refered to the picture as "Don't Mess With Texas."
I decided to crop in on Hope's face because I wanted to make sure you would focus in on that
lip of hers!
Man, can she work a pout or what?!


John and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage this month. I got a text message from John last week that said,
"iphones dropped to $99. His and hers iphones for our 7 year anniversary."
I responded with,
It was sooo romantic!

So, in honor of my new iphone, all my pictures for this post were taken with my phone.

Very first iphone pic: in Wal-Mart. It is amazing we made it through the isles safely as John and I were both checking out our phones as we walked.

Daddy is hooked.
Hope took these at church this morning:
Tonight, we went out to my sister's house to grill out. As usual, there are kittens!

Noah took a turn on Uncle Wes's tractor.

Dear Noah,

If you are 16 and again ask me why you aren't allowed to drive, I will give you this picture as well. You are a crazy dude when you get behing the wheel.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Noah at Toys R Us

I sent this picture to John from my phone yesterday. Noah has a new love for the little rides at Toys R Us. He was sooo excited!

When I took this picture, we were all still blissfully unaware that a tornado was about to come through. We soon found out, and waited out the storm inside. They had a great time playing while we waited!

Friday, June 12, 2009


I always always always wanted curls when I was a little girl. My friends all seemed to have curly hair. Then, there was the time that I begged my mom for a perm. Heaven only knows why she let me do it. I guess to learn a lesson. Thanks mom.
Anyway, Hope was born with straight, straight hair. I thought she might have a chance for curls because her dad's hair is curly (He says wavy, nope, it's curly.) She has had straight hair until about a year ago. Her hair just seems to get curlier every day! I looove it! (For the record, she does not love it. Isn't that funny? I guess the grass is always greener...) When her pigtails spring up like, well, pigtails, it makes me smile.

Swim Lessons

Hope is taking swimming lessons every day this week and next. She was so super excited about taking them. The first day she had a blast, but every day they push her a little more, and if you know Hope, she resists the push! Today (Friday) is diving board day. Mommy knows that it is not going to be pretty. Wish us luck! These pictures were from Monday!

Cousin Clara is taking too! We learned early on that Clara was way too advanced for this group! The first thing they asked them to do was to walk across the pool. Clara dove (yes, dove!) into the pool and swam strokes, face down, across the pool. She didn't want to leave her cousins (Zeb is there too!) and get moved up to the group she belongs in, so she has stuck around with them! She is such big stuff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Clara Sky

Our little Clara Sky (aka Clarabelle, Belle, Little Ripper...) just graduated from Pre-K! She is off to Kindergarten at her Mommy's school. Her Graduation was precious. She knew all of the songs and dance moves! She was given the Hershey Kiss award for being so sweet.

It was fun for me to see this class graduate because the class included the 8 babies that I had in my first group when I worked at Teacher's Pet! Clara was by far my favorite! These were some of Hope's very first friends!

Congratulations Clara Belle! You are growing up way too fast.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mom's Family Reunion 2009

Both sides of my family are big "Family Reunion" folks. We're not talking meet up for a cookout one afternoon family reunions. We are talking, let's all go stay the weekend somewhere together family reunions. Luckily, we have very fun families! My mom's family consists of her, her four brothers and everyone's spouses, kids, and grandkids. The five siblings (mom and her brothers) take turns each year planning the family reunion. We have been lots of places, but when it's Uncle Jimmy's turn, you can pretty much guarantee...we are going to Lobo Landing! It is on the Little Red River, and my uncles and lots of my cousins spend the entire weekend fishing off the dock. The rest of us non fishing type folks spend time swimming, talking on the front porch, playing cards and, um, eating! It really is always a good time! We could only spend one night this time because of me working at the church...Sundays are kind of hard to miss! :) We got in plenty of fishing and swimming though, and a fun game of Crazy Rummy (in which there was some definite cheating going on and rules being made up as we went along...)

Here are our cabins... Girls on the left, boys on the right. Usually the porch is lined with folks!

It really is pretty relaxing to sit on the docks. Even Hope becomes much more calm on the river. Maybe we really should take up fishing.

So, as you have surely gathered by now, John and I do not fish. My siblings are all very good at fishing, but I didn't get that gene. It is just gross to me. John really wasn't ever a big fishing fan either. Hope, however, decided it was her duty to catch enough fish for dinner for everyone. She said she would share with everyone, we would put Ketchup on it, and it would be DEEElicious! The fish did not cooperate. We never got a bite. She really did love it though.

The Little Red River is fed by a dam. At night the water is really high, and is pretty low during the day. John thought it would be funny (actually it was!) to get great big rocks and he and Hope would throw them into the mud to see how far it would splatter. They did it a few times and it was entertaining. My baby brother, Ross, however was doing some scheming. If you don't know Ross, he is always up to something and will not be out done. John thought it was pretty funny that Ross was gathering rocks to do the same thing he had just done and John was preparing to watch the show. I told him, oh no, Ross will have to do it bigger and better. I was right. We look up and there are Hope and Ross standing on a bridge with a huge boulder. Sure enough, here goes the boulder off the bridge and into the muddy river bed (bank?) Hope thought it was hilarious. (It was!)

Good times with Mimi.

Hope being comforted by two of her favorite comforters...Ooo Ooo and Mimi.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sneek Peak

Our Sneak Peek is up from Kelly at La La Photography! She did such an awesome job. Noah looks like a little stinker in some of the pictures. Trust me, he was! I had emailed Kelly the night before and told her that Hope didn't like to smile at the camera, but that Noah was a smiley boy. I'll be darned if the opposite wasn't true that day. He is such a mess. A good mess, though.

Kelly and I cheered together for many years, but I haven't seen her since high school. I found her Lucy in the Sky when we began looking into adopting from Vietnam. She has two of the most precious babies you have ever seen! It was fun to see her, and I am just so excited about the awesome pictures!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dear Neighbor

Dear neighbor (Wayne, is it?),

Please do not get drunk and try to come in my house in the middle of the night like you did last night.

You scared the bejeezis out of me.

This is indeed NOT your house (as we established.) Mine is brick. Yours is blue, and is about 10 houses down.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oldies But Goodies (friends, that is!)

On Memorial Day weekend, our friends Brian and Kerum were in town and wanted to get together. Woo Hoo! It is so much better now that they aren't all the way in Hawaii and we get to see them more often. In fact, I believe this was the 3rd time I have seen little Colten and he was less than 4 months old Memorial Day weekend. Much better. We were having a hard time deciding where to meet up because of the iffy weather. Hope's suggestion was Playtime Pizza. Somehow, we fell for it. My friends Stacy and Lisa were able to be there too, and they brought along their new baby, Preston. Brian, Stacy and I go pretty far back! It is fun to now see all of our kids together. I am thankful for their friendships and also thankful that they both married awesome girls who are now my friends as well. Look mom, I have friends who are girls!

Look at those sweet cheeks on Colten! Love them! Such a sweetie.

I wish I had those sweet pictures of Austin and Hope when they were babies nearby. I will have to look for those soon! They were (and still are!) so cute together!
And oh my goodness, look at baby P! This is Stacy and Lisa's new one. He is such a precious baby!

Dear Noah,
If you are reading this letter, then it means you are 16 years old and you have asked me why you are not allowed to drive. This picture of you as a 12 month old baby behind the wheel of a pretend car should pretty much answer that question for you.
Much love,
Your Mommy

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I am sooo excited!

Prepare to be jealous. I'm just sayin'. You will be.

I got the best email yesterday! The best!

Did I win the lottery? Nope.
Win a contest? Nope.
Mother of the year award? Umm, no.

It was and email from Kelly . Yeah, you know who she is! Her link is right over there to the right (Lucy in the sky.) She is mommy to the cutest baby girls, a Razorback fan, a fellow former Cheer Central Brave, and now, an amaaazing photographer.

Back to my story.
She is in town and she is taking Hope and Noah's pictures this week! Woo Hoo!!! I tell you this so you can know that she is in town, and all of you central Arkansans can contact her and set up your sessions too! See, you don't have to be jealous. Just make your own session!

And, if there were any doubts left in your mind about just how excited I am (um, and also what a dork I am!) I have to show you (and Kelly!) what I have picked out for them to wear for their shoot.

Now, you didn't think I forgot the accessories, did you?

Maybe a tad over the top with the lei (but Hope will love it even if we don't use it!)

So, that's what I have so far... but I am debating whether or not to go back and get red white and blue stuff after I saw this...

After she just emailed me again suggesting an urban theme, it really has me wanting these...

And, oh my goodnesss, what if I made a red white and blue tutu tomorrow to wear with those boots.

And, ooooh, what if we added a red Radio Flyer wagon.

Wait, I don't have one. Should I buy one? No, wait, I am supposed to be saving money for Disney World. (we are still standing at an 84% chance we are going. John loves percentages.)

I tend to get carried away.

But, really, should I go get the red, white and blue?