Tuesday, May 31, 2011

long trip home...

We arrived home late last night after driving 18+ hours from Indiana. It was an exhausting weekend- we drove all day Friday, visitation at the funeral home & time spent with family on Saturday(and celebrating my niece Elizabeth's 3rd birthday), my Mamaw Goldie's funeral(which was sad and beautiful at the same time) & more quality family time with aunts, uncles, and cousins on Sunday, then we drove home all day & night Monday, and today I went back to work teaching my 20 first graders who are counting down to summer...only 7 days to go!

We came together with my dad's family to remember and celebrate my grandma's beautiful life. It was a time that I will never forget. I was just looking over the slide show(thanks to my cousin Kyle for making me a copy) the funeral home put together and I have enjoyed looking at all the pictures and know that these memories will be with me always. I am beyond blessed to have such an amazing family. Although, the distance between us may be far, we are always so close in our hearts. There is no love like a family's unconditional love. It felt so good to hug my family, cry with them, and just be together.

My dad, Emma, Max, and I traveled together in the same car. Unfortunately, Damian had to stay at home and work. The kids did so well and so did my dad-ha! I wanted to record a few things that happened so I can look back and get a good laugh from time to time.

First of all, Max had the smallest bladder on the way up. As soon as we would take a stretch/bathroom break and get back on the road, he would announce...I have to go potty. This happened several times until we finally realized his seatbelt was a little too tight. (on his bladder) Not to mention the fact that I gave him a full bottle of water when he said he was thirsty. We cut off all liquids after that...just kidding-sort of!

I really don't know how my parents took road trips with 3 kids without portable DVD players. They are seriously worth their weight in gold! Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Anastasia, Toy Story 2, and Kung Fu Panda were just some of the favorites this trip. The kids also enjoyed coloring, reading books, and even took a couple of naps...much like their Papaw and Mommy when we weren't the ones driving.

Luckily no one asked "Are we there yet?" Instead Max kept saying "Where are we?" So I would tell him the name of the state. I said "Now we're in Georgia" and he would say, " I like this Georgia place...it's so green and pretty." Then when we got to Tennessee, he was so excited about the mountains. He said, "Mommy, Tennessee has the best mountains!" He and Emma were very excited when we entered a new state and they did keep asking tons of questions about each state and about our hotel--they love staying in hotels.

One of the funniest things on our road trip was a text from my sister (who was driving behind us) that said "what airline are you with because Dad is really flying." I was laughing so hard...because if you know my dad he drives soooo sllloooowwww. But apparently we were talking so much and just cruising along.

Another funny thing I realized on this trip is that it's not often I am behind the wheel and my dad is in the passenger seat. At times I felt like I was 15 years old and he was teaching me to drive all over again. He would say you might want to get in the right lane or you may want to slow down. Be careful there will be a lot of police officers out this weekend, and so on. It was pretty funny and we got some laughs from him telling me what to do...even though I'm 33 years old and a mom now.

When we left the hotel yesterday morning to begin our trip home. Emma moaned, " I just want my bed!!" so dramatically. That's my girl.

The kids really got along well and were sweet with one another. Let's hope they keep that up when I'm home with them every single day this summer. Especially considering that in four days time, they spent two of those days in a car, 1 day at a funeral home, and 1 day at church for the funeral.

On the way home Max was also much better about having to use the potty(I totally limited his liquids) but unfortunately I needed to stop every couple of hours! My dad may have rolled his eyes at me a few times.

I loved hearing the kids sing Justin Bieber songs, the b-i-b-l-e song, this is the day the Lord has made, and other preschool & kindergarten favorites for my dad, he got a kick out of them and may or may not have been looking for some ear plugs!

I also loved when we were only a couple of hours from home and my dad told the kids they needed to be quiet because Papaw is old. It was so funny! Because really 56 is not that old!

Although our trip was long, I enjoyed every minute of the quality time I had with my dad and my kids. Just like our weekend, I will always have fond memories of our time spent together.

~Sorry for this extremely long post without any pictures, I have some good ones of some of my family together from this weekend(but none from the car trip because my camera was packed in the back) but I am way too exhausted to upload them.~

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Way Back When-esday: My Grandma Goldie

I want to share a bit about my Grandma Goldie this week. This is really just for me but I want to record some of my memories and thoughts so I will have them written to share with Emma and Max as the years pass by so quickly(and my memory begins to fade).
She is so very special to me and as I think back on all of my memories of her...a smile comes across my face and my heart feels so full and happy. Also, I can hear her sweet voice tell me whether on the phone or in person "Well Melissa, bless your heart." It's been a while since she has actually spoken because her health has been declining the past couple of years. Last summer I spent some time with her and she spoke a little and I knew then it would be the last I saw her before her passing. I think of her so often and love her very much. I am sad because I know the end is very near for her. But, I am joyful that she has lived a long full 92 years filled with family, love, and happiness. She has told me many times that she is ready for when the Good Lord feels it is her turn. She has been an excellent example of what a mother, grandmother, and an incredible woman looks like. I only hope that I can make her proud and show that I've learned by her example. She worked so hard her entire life and has raised a family that is amazing! I am so lucky to have grown up with her just down the road in Southern Indiana for the first 10 years of my life. I can still hear her tell me the story of the joy they felt when my dad told her that I was born. You see, no one knew that my mom and dad were having twins --it was 1977 after all. So, when my dad called my grandparents, he said we have a boy AND a girl. My grandma immediately got to planning a baby shower at her house when she realized that my parents weren't quite ready for two babies. We were the first set of twins in our family and they were beyond thrilled. I also love hearing her tell me the story of the time when she tried to give my brother and I baths when we were infants. She would laugh and tell me that she could barely get us out of the tub we were so slippery. She would always get so tickled about that bath story. She also made my brother and I cute twin shirts when we were about 4 years old. Mine says "I'm Melissa...That's Michael"(and Michael's says the opposite-ha!) I still have it in my cedar chest.
After my parents moved us to Florida, I used to spend every summer(about 6 weeks) with her and my Papaw, and my Mamaw Jennie--and my many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Those summers are something I will never forget. The person I am today is due in large part to my grandparents and all the lessons they taught me as I was growing up.
After we moved when I was about 10, I began writing letters(this was waaay before email) to my Grandma and she was so good at writing me back. I have saved pretty much every letter and card she has ever given me. They are packed away in boxes but I know that I will share these with my kids someday. Not to mention all the pictures I have to remember our special times. She always told me what was going on in our hometown and she also told me how proud she was of me. You know, typical grandparent stuff, but it really means so much!
Here is my beautiful Mamaw Goldie and I celebrating her 90th birthday on August 11, 2008
My Grandma is so proud of her children: Danny, Denny, Deeanna, Sharon, Johnny, and Kelley

Max and Mamaw Goldie in August 2008

she just loves her great grandbabies too...

with her "kids" in the summer of 2006

Emma absolutely loves Mamaw Goldie...she talks about her, prays for her, and has been writing sweet letters to her about going to heaven and how much she loves her since I've been preparing Emma for what's to come.
Emma and Mamaw-- summer 2006--(this is one of my all time favorite pictures)

I only hope my sweet Mamaw Goldie will go in peace and not endure any more suffering. She has always loved angels and I know that she has been and will continue to be my angel watching over me throughout my life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tales of a Three Year Old

Can you see those freckles on his nose? I LOVE them and I LOVE him even more. He is so funny and smart. Oh my goodness, and those big blue eyes! Emma told him the other night..."Max-you're a great kid!" I couldn't agree more.

He always cuddles right up to me on the couch and I just want to hold him close and keep him this little forever. I'm sure in ten years I will look back at these pics with a tear in my eye because he will be a teenager....aaahhhhh!

Me and my boy being silly!!

He loves to give his Mommy kisses and I love getting them!

We celebrated my niece Elizabeth's 3rd birthday over the weekend at the park. Max loved this on the playground. His favorite color "lellow" and his favorite number "free"!! I love it!

first lost tooth

Well, it's happening...my little girl is growing up right before my eyes.
Last Thursday, she lost her very first tooth. After being wiggly for a couple of weeks, she ate some BBQ ribs for dinner and it was hanging by a "thread". Her daddy and I were very grossed out by the whole thing. I told her that I would pull it. (even though that's the last thing I wanted to do!) Being a first grade teacher there are usually-on average- a couple of teeth lost every other week. I have the kids rinse and clean their tooth off and put it in a cute little tooth treasure box. But I've never pulled any. In fact, I used to send them next door for one of my friends to pull them. Last year , one of my students even lost one down the sink drain in my classroom. My students show me daily their wiggly teeth or the holes where they've lost one--it's a Big Deal in first grade!!
Emma is so happy that her adult tooth is starting to pop up. In fact, I was asking her to do something over the weekend and she said "Mommy, that is for babies, you do know that I have an adult tooth coming in now!" Geez...that girl--she is only six! I remind her of that fact all the time!
She really hasn't stopped smiling since losing that tooth. I've got to find a picture and scan of her very first tooth popping up when she was 1 year old...the very same tooth she lost last week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Way Back When-esday...Baby, Baby, Baby, ohhhh!

I am having some major baby fever. It's all around me and I just.can't.help.myself! I have two very good friends who are pregnant...Cathy's due in August, Jennifer in September,my cousin Katie is due with baby #2 in September too. I just love seeing their babycenter updates on Facebook, is that weird? I also have my 6 month old nephew that I just can't get enough of...I seriously could eat him up!

Not to mention the 3 preggos at work-2 on my team and one in 2nd grade. When I see their baby bellies(every day)...I remember mine so well and I miss it. I LOVED being pregnant and carrying my babies. (There were some things I could have done without..heartburn among the few.)
But there really is nothing sweeter than pregnancy. I was pretty fortunate because both my pregnancies were textbook...I even delivered both on my due dates!
These pics were taken when I was about 35 weeks pregnant with Max.(all of my Emma pics are on a cd in some box somewhere!)

The first one was on my 30th birthday. I loved this dress!(and wore it often!) This was taken at my baby shower...wow-can't believe that side view and how long my hair was back then!

I love to look back and remember the fun times! I'm linking up with Cheryl at Twinspiration.

My Three Year Old

When we signed Max up for soccer we thought he would love it. Well, we thought wrong. At least for our 3 year old. I'm hoping in a couple of years he will change his mind. He has been telling me that her really wants to play baseball and I knew this, but in our area baseball sign-ups begin at 4 years old. So I thought soccer would be fun for him. Especially since every time we drive by the field he goes crazy telling me all about his soccer games.
I was so excited to see him in his little "uniform" and play an organized sport. Maybe I should have realized that having 3-6 year olds playing soccer is not exactly organized. He did fine the first week. Then the second week he played a little but was more interested in drinking water and telling me he was bored. I kept trying to encourage him and tell him how much fun he was going to have playing with the other kids. Here are some week 2 shots...

waiting to kick the ball

He really is a natural athlete...clearly doesn't get this ability from me...thank goodness his Daddy is athletic or our kids would be in trouble! ha!

This is where the pouting, whining, and "this is boring" began...fun times were had!!

So, enter in week 3 of soccer and picture day. We arrived early and Max took his individual pic and smiled like a champ. His team really is so unorganized and while we were waiting for them to get ready for the group photo. --It took forever and only half the team showed up and who even knew where the Coach was-- Anyhow...my 3 year old had a meltdown. I mean crying, buckle your legs so you can't walk...meltdown. I was horrified! How could my sweet little boy behave this way. Seriously, I did not even see it coming and both my kids are usually very well behaved. I was so unprepared for this. I grabbed my bag, told Damian to grab the chairs and marched the kids to the van and decided then and there that Max's soccer season was officially over. Clearly, he's not ready at 3 to play this team sport and even more clear is the fact that I will not subject myself to meltdowns that are not necessary.
We went home, had some lunch, and quiet(really quiet) time. Now our Saturdays don't have to be planned around soccer practice and games and meltdowns have been avoided. (for the time being anyway)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Six Year Old Sunday

I have been meaning to write a few things down about my very special six year old and figured I better get to it! First things first, her Daddy took her to get her cast off on Friday. Her arm looks terrific! I expected it to be really skinny, stinky, and dry. But it looks really good and is only peeling a little bit. The orthopedic doctor had a removable cast/brace made for her to wear the next couple of weeks when she's playing outside, riding her bike, or on the playground. She has done really well this weekend. We even went swimming today and she was ecstatic!
She had so much fun with her Daddy on Friday. They drove around the golf course, had lunch at the clubhouse, and went to the doctor. Then, Emma got a mani and pedi and they both got haircuts. I know they both enjoyed their daddy/daughter time together. She is so lucky to have such an amazing daddy. He loves her (and Max) more than anything!
My little girl is growing up...
This is right before they went in the doctor's office to get the cast off...Beary came along for support and comfort!

In other big new...Emma has her very first loose tooth!! Although Damian and I are both a little grossed out and neither one of us wants to pull it out. We keep telling her it will fall out soon. I have a feeling it will be this week because it is really starting to wiggle. I can't believe the loose tooth is also the first tooth she ever got. I still remember waiting and waiting for her to get her first tooth. She got it just a little bit before her first birthday. I'll have to look back in her baby book for the exact date. Thank goodness I wrote everything down! I will definitely have some pics of her toothless smile soon.

I cannot believe that in a few short weeks I will have a first grader. She has had such an amazing kindergarten year. I am amazed by everything she has learned. I look forward to next year too, but am sad that she's growing so quickly. It honestly feels like yesterday that we welcomed her into this world and now she's this smart, funny, tall, kind, beautiful little girl. I am so blessed to be her mommy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


After our Mother's Day Brunch and naps, Damian needed to go and water the golf course because it was extremely hot and humid today--not good condition for greens. So we all decided to tag along and the kids hit a few balls and enjoyed the golf cart ride. They always love to go to the Links!

even with a broken arm...Emma gave it a try.

I love this shot--jumping in the air!

and a one-handed putt...silly boy!

Mother's Day 2011

Her children rise up and praise her, her husband, too, extols her. "Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

~Proverbs 31:28-30
Mother's Day weekend has been pretty relaxing for us. I have enjoyed every minute spent with my sweet hubby and precious kids. Yesterday...a day spent at home & only running a couple of errands...was just what I needed after a crazy busy week! Although soccer for Max was a major bust in the am but I'll save that story for another time.
This morning Damian had to work at 5 am--I feel like I always start my holidays/weekends by saying that because the golf course is open 365 days a year! He rushed home--so thoughtful--and had a caramel iced coffee in hand. We hurried to finish getting ready and headed to the Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine and Basilica in Orlando. Although it was a last minute decision, we love going there for Mother's Day because they have over 10,000 roses on the altar to honor Mary and all mothers. I loved, loved, loved the choir and music-just can't get enough of the Ave Maria and Hail Holy Queen. It was beautiful! I also enjoyed the priest and his homily. The kids were well behaved for the most part-it's hard for my 3 year old to sit still for an hour but he colored, practiced writing his name, and drew shapes. He did his best! Emma followed along in the missal and read the readings and songs-(our church has a projector that they put the music up for the congregation to see & no missals) she thought it was the coolest thing and I loved watching & listening to her.
After mass, we snapped a few pics in front of the gorgeous roses, stained glass windows, and outside.

After church we headed to Mimi's Cafe for Mother's Day brunch with my family...party of 18.

Of course it only took seconds to get my hands on sweet Noah. I fed him his "lunch" and chatted with Mamaw Jennie for a few minutes. Thank goodness we made a reservation, we barely sat down to wait before our table was ready.

Elizabeth and I colored while we waited for our delicious food.

Uncle Michael said it was a joy to sit next to Emma...she was being a little silly here!

Best Cousins...Emma and Hannah

My Mom and Mamaw Jennie...beautiful ladies!

Brooke and Allie

I had to put Noah down when we were eating but Uncle Damian was cracking him up--what a good baby!

Max LOVED his pancakes-he ate 4 of them!

The Moms: Christine, Mamaw, Mom, Me, and Brooke
Mamaw and Mom

**Just imagine there is a cute pic of my mom and her three kiddos here--I deleted it by accident when I was typing...oops!**