2.5 years later…

I have no idea how it happened.  None.  Two and a half years have passed by since I last posted anything here, and that just blows my mind.  It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  Maybe a year, year and a half at most. Nope.  Two.  And a half.

A lot has happened in those three years, too.  School years, birthdays, and recitals have come and gone.  We moved into a larger house and a different school zone.  I returned to college (again) for a nursing degree…which I will finish in December.  Meredith started middle school, stopped taking dance, and started playing the flute in the  band.  Lilah is in third grade, in gifted classes in school, and is taking dance.  Ellie is almost five now and starts PRE-K next year (how did that happen??).

Two and a half years.  It’s amazing how quickly time flies.

 

 

 

Letters to My Daughters | Fall Fun

Dear Girlies,

September and October have come and gone, and November is more than half over.  Fall is waning, but it’s been a good one this year.  We’ve enjoyed the nice weather, the beautiful foliage (it’s so much nicer here than it ever was in MS, and you love to rake up and jump in the vibrant leaves that have fallen), watching football games, playing soccer, birthdays, and all the fun little fall activities that we’ve done.

Late last month, Daddy and I took Lilah and Ellie to the pumpkin patch.  That was the weekend Mere went to Chattanooga with Nana and Pop Pop to celebrate her birthday, so she missed our trip, but she had a fun trip all her own.  We try to go to the pumpkin patch every year, and we picked a wonderful day to go this year.  We had a wonderful time seeing all the animals in the barn and the larger livestock outside, playing in the corn crib, bouncing in the bounce houses, sliding down the huge slides, wandering through the corn maze, and riding the cow train.  We had so much fun and did so many things that we didn’t make it out to the pumpkin field to pick pumpkins, but we found some nice ones in the farm shop to take home.

Novletter1 Novletter2

Everyone had a pumpkin, even Mere.

A few days later, you painted your pumpkins.  I think it worked out so much better than trying to carve them, and all three of you got to participate so I think you enjoyed it more.

novletter3

Fall is our favorite season for so many reasons, and this year’s has been no different.  We still have a little more to experience and it’s full of events, like Janell’s wedding and Thanksgiving.

Winter will be here soon, perhaps we’ll get a little bit of snow to play in.  We’ll have to wait and see!

I love you, girlies!

Mama

________________________________________________________________

This post is one of several in a Letters to Our Daughters blog circle.  Please visit Jennifer Vititoe‘s blog and read the letter she’s written to her daughters, then follow the circle around to each of the amazingly talented members of the group.  These ladies are awesome photographers and wonderful mothers, and you definitely don’t want to miss their letters!

Letters to My Daughters | Visitors

Dear Girlies,

We’ve had a fun month!  All three of you are fully involved in all of your activities, school is going well, and all three of you have had your birthdays!

You’ve also had visits with your Aunt Janell and Uncle Bryan and Aunt Mandy.  We don’t see them very often, but it’s nice to see them when we can!  Bryan and Mandy visited first for a few hours as they passed through town on their way home.  They chatted for a bit, then gave you birthday gifts, and chatted for a bit more before needing to leave to make it home with time to rest before getting back to work.  It took Ellie a bit to warm up to “Bo Bo”, but you did and gave him and Mandy big hugs before they left.

bryanvisit

Your aunt Janell came up for a weekend, just to spend time with you and to see you play and dance.  She came to Lilah’s soccer game, went shopping with us at Target and played with all the fun Halloween stuff on display, gave you birthday gifts and showed you how to use them/played with them with you, watched Mere dance, and enjoyed seeing and spending time with her nieces.  All three of you enjoyed seeing her too!

janellvisit1

target1

target2

Janellgirlssm

Janellgirlssm-2

Janellgirlssm-3

Janellgirlssm-4

Janellgirlssm-5

We’ll see them soon at Janell’s wedding next month, along with your Aunt Karri and Grandma and Grandpa, so not too much time between visits with the Mississippi family!

As for the rest of this month, there are a couple of soccer games left, school, Halloween, and perhaps a visit to the pumpkin patch.  Hopefully the weather starts cooling down more so we can enjoy more outdoor activities, too.

Have a good October, my girlies!  I love you!

Mommy

________________________________________________________________

Go read Kami Chaudhery‘s letter to her sweet daughters, and then follow the circle around to letters the amazingly talented ladies in this circle have written to their adorable little girls.  Seriously, these women are fabulous, and I’m so grateful I’m able to participate in Letters to My Daughters with them.

Letters to My Daughters | Happy Birthday Meredith!

Dear Meredith,

Ten years ago, you were born and I officially became a mommy.

I remember the day I found out about you, and remember the days leading up to your birth.  When you decided it was time to be born, you didn’t wait around at all.  My water broke at around 2:30-3ish that morning, and the doctor caught you a few hours later at 6:45.

I remember the first time I saw you, all pink and small and beautiful.  You cried for a little while, then calmed and started studying the fuzzy shapes and shadows you could see.

You came home with us a couple days later, and we started figuring out how to be a family. Feeding you was the easy part, figuring out why you would scream for hours every night even after you were fed, bathed, changed, swaddled, worn, swayed and shushed, driven around Starkville multiple times, and whatever else we tried to calm you was not as easy.

We loved watching you figure things out, from rolling over, to sitting up, to walking, to reading (which we figure out you could do very well when you read the poster for Bridge to Terabithia at Blockbuster one night.  You were about three, and we figure you’d been able to read for a while before that but cleverly didn’t let on).   We loved your first dance recital (you were the cutest, bossiest little bumble bee on the stage!), the artwork you brought home from school, and watching you grow into a beautiful little girl.

And now, at ten years old, you are still beautiful, still very clever, and starting to realize your many talents.  You still love to read and dance.  You’ve discovered crafting, and will spend hours crocheting outfits on your doll and making bracelets for your classmates.  You were introduced to theatre over the past summer, and were bitten by the acting bug. You’re enjoying school, even if it seems to be a bit boring at times.  You enjoy riding your bike and playing with friends.  You definitely have your own sense of style and aren’t afraid to rock it.

I have enjoyed being your mommy for the past ten years, and am looking forward to seeing how you grow in the upcoming years.

I love you!

Mommy

mere ten

mereslide

Letters to my Daughters | September

Dear Girlies,

Summer break is over, and we’re still adapting to our new routine.  School and extra curricular activities have been in session for a little under a month, and so far, so good!

DSC_1098

Other than our usual day to day activities, not too much else has happened.  We’re usually busy with something…soccer (two practices a week + weekly game), dance lessons (twice a week for Mere, Mommy and Me for Ellie), school activities…but we’re back into the school year grind.

So far, you’ve enjoyed the school year.  The two of you in school seem to like your teachers, and seem to like being back with the kids in your classes.  Ellie misses you when you’re at school, but is slowly getting used to being the little girl in charge while you’re gone.  I hope you both continue to have a wonderful school year, and that you end the year with knowledge beyond the basics they teach you in the classroom.  🙂

I apologize for this month’s letter being so short.  There haven’t been too many things that have happened that I haven’t planned other posts for, and I’m writing a letter to each of you on your birthday (Ellie, your birthday letter is here).  I’ll try to do better with next month’s letter.  😉

2013-09-16_0001

I love you to the moon and back,

Mommy

________________________________________________________________

Please visit Jessie Wixon | Jessie Wixon Photography‘s letter to her daughters, and then follow the links around the circle.  I love reading everyone’s letter every month, and am so honored to be able to post along with these amazingly talented women.

Letters to my Daughters | Happy Birthday Ellie!

Dear Ellie,

You are two years old.

Two.  Whole.  Years.

I have no idea how that happened.

I remember the day you were born very clearly.  Your birth was different than your sisters’; you decided to come a little more gradually.  I’d been having painless contractions off and on for a few weeks before you were born, but the night before I was able to time them.  I gave up trying to figure out if they were just Braxton Hicks contractions, or if they were perhaps beginning labor contractions and went to sleep.  I didn’t notice them the next morning when I woke up, but I felt differently.  Your grandmother says I was grouchier than normal, and that she thought something was going on when I fell asleep on the couch soon after I got up from bed.  I thought I was just tired.

Contractions woke me up from my little cat nap on the couch.  They weren’t terribly painful, more achy.   I realized that you were ready to meet the world about half an hour later when they became stronger and faster.  I texted your daddy telling him I wanted him home, got my water bottle, and made sure your sister was ready for school.  Daddy got home very quickly, and he put all of our stuff in the car.  Grandma realized then that you would be born soon, and helped make sure we have everything we would need at the hospital.  Then we dropped Lilah off at school, and drove to the hospital.

You were born at 2:45, after a smooth, uncomplicated labor. 2013-09-13_0001

And now, two years later, you’ve become a sweet, smart little girl who’s quickly figuring out how things work and what things mean.

You’re already asserting your self and your preferences in food, activities, and even fashion.  You’re beginning to realize that you are your own person, but you still love to cuddle and be carried.  Toddlerhood is an interesting time that, thankfully, you won’t remember too much about but the things you’re learning and experiencing now will help shape you later on.

We didn’t do much for your birthday this year.  We went to visit your great grandmother the day before, and weren’t sure we were going to be back home.  So, we didn’t plan anything special.  Sorry.  We met your Nana and Pop Pop at a local buffet restaurant for lunch, then went back to their house to visit for a while.  Nana had a cake and candles for you, and we all crowded around their table and sang to you while you just looked at the candles funny.   Ellie birthday

Then you ate cake. Ellie birthday 2

I think you liked it.  🙂

And now, sweet Ellie, I’m going to write down the things you are doing and like the most. Maybe one day you’ll find these things neat.  🙂

I love you, my little two year old!

Mommy

Ellie at Two Years:

Words: Mama, Dada, Lilah (sounds kinda like ryra), Mere Mere (meh meh), Pop Pop, Nana (only when she’s not listening), mine (you use that one a LOT), stuck, shoes, hat, duck (used for all birds, but you know a duck when you see one), phone (sounds like bone), bowl, cup, butt (also used for bus and bug), Cat/Kitty, doggie, stop, gone, cheese, apple, nana (for banana), juice, thank you, no, that, this, what is it, what’s that, book, ball, mouse, ow/owie, and several others.  Plus, you’re learning more every day.

Food: Cheese, apples, carrots, sweet peppers, broccoli, pasta, tomatoes, pickles, hot dogs, green beans, chips and salsa, guacamole, roasted brussels sprouts, crackers, cookies, chocolate chips, jelly beans, apple juice, salad, pepperoni, tater tots, french fries, and lots more that I’m just not thinking of right now.

Activities: Dancing (you’re in Mommy and Me at the dance studio this year), drawing, singing, reading books, playing with Lego, cuddling, rolling/kicking/throwing balls, going on walks, climbing on things, playing with your sisters, playing toddler apps on my phone

Color:  You don’t seem to show a preference yet, but you did pick out some nice sparkly pink sneakers at Target the other day.

Stats:
Weight: 22.5 lbs
Height: 33″
Teeth: 15.5 (one of your canine teeth just broke through)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde, wispy, gently curly, to your shoulders

Letters to My Daughters | Summer Days

Dear Girlies,

Summer is fully upon us.  The weather this year has been easier than last, but it’s still summer in the South.  It hasn’t slowed you down one bit, though.

This month, I was planning on posting a “Day in the Life” sort of thing, photographically chronicling a typical day around here.  However, we don’t have any sort of schedule other than camps and clubs, so a typical day for you all can include watching TV, arts and crafts, having picnics in the back yard, playing dress up, building with blocks and LEGO, riding bikes, running amok with the neighborhood lot, naps, catching fireflies, playing in the sprinklers, swimming at the neighbor’s, playing games, and much more.  So it’s hard to photograph your entire day.

Instead of a summer day in your life, I have numerous photos from several days over the past couple of weeks that show what a typical day may include.  This isn’t possibly everything you’ve done or will do this summer, but it’s a good bit.

2013-07-11_0001

2013-07-11_0002

2013-07-11_0003

2013-07-11_0004

2013-07-11_0005

2013-07-11_0006

2013-07-11_0007

2013-07-11_0008

2013-07-11_0009

2013-07-11_0010

Summer break will end for you, Mere and Lilah, in just over a month.  Pretty soon, we’ll be shopping for supplies and new clothes, finding out who your teachers for the year will be, and getting back into the school day routine.  But until then, we’ll just take it easy and enjoy the time off.

~Mommy

________________________________________________________________

Follow the link to the letter Laura Mood | Everyday Blessings Photography has written to her sweet little girl.  Then, follow the rest of the links around the circle.  There are some wonderful mommies in this circle, all with beautiful daughters and wonderful words to them.

Vacation 2013 | Dollywood Day 1: Country Fair

More vacation photos!

Before vacation, L saw a commercial for the Wild Eagle ride at Dollywood and was adamant that she was going to ride it.  It looked awesome, and she “always wanted to ride a roller coaster”!  While looking at the Dollywood map and figuring out which areas we really wanted to see, we discovered that L was too small to ride it and the other large coasters at the park.  She was really disappointed, but Hubby told her that she would definitely ride a roller coaster by the time she gets to high school or he’d build one she could ride himself.

Thankfully, he doesn’t have to build one.  🙂

rollercoaster

There was a kiddie coaster in the Country Fair, and of course L had to ride it.  She rode with Aunt LaLa (they’re in the yellow car…if you look close enough, you can see her hat), and loved it!  Sure, it wasn’t a big coaster, but it went fast enough for her.  M rode with Hubs in the green car, and said it was pretty fun.

One of the things I really liked about this part of the park is that there was something for everyone, even the young members of our group!

Duckies1

E’s first ride! The really cool part is that the ride lasted a good while, and she had fun steering the duck and pressing the little buttons that played music and made the lights flash.  I think this ducky played “Anchors Aweigh”.

Duckies2

L enjoyed the ride, too!

bees

L and Cousin L riding the Busy Bees.  They were so cute!

After leaving the Fair, we found a Victorian Style carousel and went for a ride.  E picked a pretty horse, and Aunt LaLa helped her on it.  She wasn’t too sure about it when it started moving up and down, but after a bit she liked it.

carousel

Afterwards, we ate and waited to ride the Dollywood Express.  I’ll blog about our train ride and more of our vacation trip in future posts.  Maybe I’ll be done with the “vacation slideshow” before the end of summer!  😀

Letters to My Daughters | Dance

Dear Meredith,

When you were little, you liked to dance.  So, I signed you up for dance lessons.  You loved dance class and your teacher, Ms. Allison.  Your first recital was awesome, and you were the cutest little bumble bee on the stage.

When we moved, you stopped taking dance.  We tried a studio that some of our friends here recommended, but for some reason you didn’t like it and chose to stop taking classes.

But you didn’t stop dancing.

About year ago, I watched you dancing in the living room, and asked if you wanted to take lessons again.  You said you were going to ask me later on if you could, so I started looking for a studio that had space and would place you by your ability.

The first class you tried was going too fast for you to keep up.  It had been a while since you had taken a class, but the instructor saw your ability and suggested trying a lower level to ease you back into form.  You were horribly upset.  You’re so ambitious and strict with yourself that you’d thought you’d failed and didn’t want to consider anything different.  You tried to tell me that it was not big deal, and that you really didn’t care. But you did.  You were so upset, and people usually don’t get that upset over things they don’t care about.

Once you realized this, took a breath, and let go, you went back and tried again.

And you danced.

DSC_4122

One

Two

The Spring Recital was a couple of weeks ago, and I was so happy to see you, my little dancer, up there on stage.  I loved watching you during the Christmas ballet, too, but the big recital…you made it through the year.  You enjoyed it, and have learned from it.  You set your sights on the next level, and you got there.  Next year, you’ll be in the class level you originally tried this year, plus you’ll be able to take a couple of other classes.  You didn’t fail at all….you met Disappointment, you shook its hand, and you left it behind.

2013-06-11_0002

2013-06-11_0003

2013-06-11_0004

You’ll run into Disappointment again, many times.  Always remember that at first, Disappointment makes you miserable, but what matters is how you deal with it.  You can let it get to you, or you can find a way around it.  There are many roads to get somewhere; some are well paved highways and others are paths of trampled grass.  Don’t discount any of them.

2013-06-11_0001

When you feel sad, dance.  When you’re happy, dance.  Just keep dancing.

~Mommy

_______________________________________________________________

This month, follow the link to Laura Mood’s post to her daughter.  Then, follow the links around the circle.  Over the past few months, these talented ladies have shared beautiful images and letters to their little girls, and you’re missing out if you don’t visit their pages.