"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Sweet Caroline,
Tomorrow baby girl you are turning 3! That's a big number! Just within the last three weeks daddy and I have seen you as so much more grown up, especially when it comes to your communication skills! Your talking is unbelieveable. You can carry on a conversation with just about anything. Your art of verbal difference will come in handy too, one day, but for right now mommy and daddy are right! There are many favorite Carolineisms that I love to hear you say! My number one is "I love you mommy" (and as you say it, you immediately rest your head on my shoulder and start sucking your thumb) followed by "your the best". Then after that we get into a tuggle with saying who thinks who is the best! I always win this one because you are the absolute best!
Besides talking away you are also the sweetest! I love how you come up to daddy and me and ask "wanna play with me mommy and daddy". Then you grab our hands and lead us to whatever toy you want us to play with you with. It's almost always the puzzles. You have mastered all the puzzles you have. You are now working on your magnetic dolls, arranging their clothes and shoes, etc, but they are like puzzles and we know how much you love putting things together and tinkering with what all they can possibly do (ahem, the buttons on my or Pop's shirt).
There are many many things you love besides mommy and daddy! You love your kitty! You think he's one fluffy pillow and he doesn't even flinch when you pull his hair! You love your Big C! She hangs the moon in your opinion! I would say there is something to be said about how special your relationship is with her. You love your grandparents, especially when they come to your house to visit! You love having them play with you whether inside or out. You love talking on the phone to Aunt Rhonda and you love asking mommy about your littlest twin cousins! You think every time we buy something it's for them or you! You also love Sunday school (who could forget Ms. Andrea's and Mr. Kevin's lovebot)! You make a big deal about your SS crafts each week. Don't worry! When they are removed from the fridge they go into a special art case that I bought for you earlier this year! I frequently go through it to see how much you've grown with your coloring!
WOW! There are so many many more things that you love like chocolate milk, sunny days when you can play in the sandbox, going to the library on Fridays and finding the scratchy books, eating at Chic-Fil-A for dinner, and at McDonald's for our usual Saturday morning breakfast! You love to draw (especially on antique chairs), paint and color!  You love playdates with Morgan Kate, Nolan, Charlie, Anna Claire, Sarah Ann, and Reece! You love new clothes and hair bows! You love saying that you want to be a dancer girl when you're a big girl! You love being read to every night and when it's time for bed, you love reminding us to leave the hall light on, which we do!
I love you so so much, even when you are a sassy girl, and right now you are pretty S-A-S-S-Y and you so dislike being proved wrong. You are stubborn too and I'll appreciate that when you are a  big girl, like say 21, and at college! You are as strong willed today as the day you turned 2! That hasn't stopped. I'll be thankful for this personality trait too, one day, but not so much right now! We aren't wanting to snuff your strong will we just want to channel it in another direction (ask the spanking spoon or Ms. Leah), ha! Speaking of Ms. Leah, oh how we love Ms. Leah and all the friends you have to play with while at her house! Ms. Leah has really been a strong support in helping you to learn and play as you grow! Ms. Leah is defintely a blessing to our little family and we are so very thankful for the time and love she invests and gives to all of us!
I'm thankful little girl for all these wonderful and sometimes trying moments that you bring into our lives. You are a pure joy! I love hearing you laugh when daddy chases us up the stairs when its time to go night night! I love hearing this same laugh when you get embarassed and cover your face with your little hands. I love this same sweet laugh that you do when somethings so funny that you bend over in laughter! You amaze us everyday with your spunk and vibrant personality. I never want to miss a moment if it means that we're getting to know you more! You are defintely sunshine on a cloudy day!
I could go on and on about how special you are to us and how much we love you! I'm thankful to have the opportunity of even writing this to you right now!
You will always be momma and daddy's big girl baby! I hope you always think of yourself that way too! Year two rushed right on by so let's slow down year 3! I'm excited to see all the things year three is going to bring for our little family! I'm so very proud of you and I'm thankful that God allowed daddy and me to be your parents. I'm still amazed that He saw fit that we would be what you would need for parents on this side of Heaven. I hope that you'll one day know and understand that He's all you'll need sweet girl.
Happy 3rd Birthday baby girl and never forget that you're the best!
Love and Prayers,

Monday, March 26, 2012

I've been feeling a little scattered lately! There is so much going on and so many things to fulfill and tasks to complete! I love busyness! It means I'm healthy and happy and I'm needed! I am excited about all the happenings going on in my life right now; with Caroline turning three this Thursday being the most important. We are super excited that this precious little girl is in our lives, and she's growing and thriving and becoming smarter by the second, literally. She fills our lives with so much joy and I can hardly believe that its been three years. My little one is no longer an infant nor a baby nor a toddler. She's a little girl (but she calls herself big girl baby)!
It's going to be bittersweet to blog her three year old letter from this proud momma later on this week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Since it was a very warm day for this time of year I thought I'd better post these cute pics of my sweet girl! She's making me hot just looking at her in her turtle neck and jeans, but she's super cute with her big black bow and hello kitty band-aid!  These pics were taken on February 8th and I'm not remembering what we were doing or where we must've been going, but a lot of pictures just like these were taken. Speaking of pictures, I have fallen on the slack side of taking weekly pictures of Caroline since February. I think it's more with being super busy with juggling all the gizillion roles that I have and including adding two more things on my plate like training for my first 5K and taking some courses to finish up my plus 30!
I'll do better with getting back on schedule. I have a lot to post and you know how I dislike not posting frequently about my girl and how much we enjoy her!

 Sweet Miss C!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm very late in posting this year's Valentine's Day pics, but it's never too late to post about one of my favorite loves, Miss C! The weekend before V Day my mom and stepdad came to visit Caroline. Sam and I had a SS social that we wanted to attend Saturday night so my parents had a date with C. They took her to dinner and had a blast playing with her at our house afterwards. I'm thankful for the moments that C gets to spend with all of her grandparents.
C and Pawpaw PC!

Nanny with one of her loves!

I love watching C open up gifts! Her smile is so big and she gets so excited. I have a lot more "fav" pics from V Day but I narrowed it down to this one. A couple of weeks before V Day we brought home the book "Princess Baby" from the library! Caroline wanted to read it over and over and over! I saw it in one of the Scholastic flyers and I knew she had to have her own copy! She lit up like Christmas morning when she saw this book in her goody bag! It's now one of my most favorite bed time stories to read to her (along with Duck on a Bike)!

I always try to make holiday photo cards of C for family and friends. This year I decided not to make a V Day card, but at the last minute I did. I found some white paper in my coat closet and I punched different shades of pink hearts out of cardstock and placed them randomly on the white paper. Amazingly, (well after many many tries), C smiled for the camera and I took some great photos. It was a lot of fun and I quickly turned the photo into a card for our family.

I didn't know what I wanted to do for C's friends at Ms. Leah's for Valentine's Day but I knew I wanted something cute and special. I just didn't want to send the traditional Valentine's Day card with candy. C's Aunt Rhonda sent these really cute V day Barbie cards complete with tatoos and accessories and I loved them. After making the card for our family and friends, and with some help of a friend, I made the smaller sized photo card. I wanted to make cupcakes as the treat but sometimes cupcakes are more hard for the smaller children at Ms. Leah's to handle. So I stole my same friend's idea and made Rice Krispy heart treats. This was so not my idea and I do not take credit for it at all.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Many of you have church families and I'm so thankful that you have found a church home where you can grow spirtually. Sam and I are blessed beyond measure to have found a church home, (Lexington Baptist Church or LBC), that meets our family's spiritual and growing needs. We were first introduced to LBC by being invited to a wedding two weeks after our own. We knew that after we married we wanted to quickly find a church home (just didn't know how quick it would be for us to find a church we both so loved. But, we all know that God has a plan and He is on His timing not ours). We both grew up in the church, however, in different dominations, (Sam- Nazarene and me- Presbyterian). We both are very grateful for our childhood churches. Sam's grandfather began the church in which he grew up and the one in which his parents still attend! He will always have special memories and ties to his home church. I love the people at his childhood church and I'm so thankful for how they have shared their faith and love with me all these years (every summer I look forward to going to SC Nazarene Church camp! Some of my best time's have been at this camp). Although my grandparents were not pastors I'm so grateful for the church home in which my parents elected for their family to grow and attend.
Since dating, and now married, we have both enjoyed learning about each other's churches' beliefs. When my church offered a Presbyterian 101 class, before we were married, we joined! It was an opportunity for Sam to learn about my church's doctrine. Even I learned a few things that I didn't already know.
The next morning (after the wedding) Sam and I went to the worship service at LBC and left the service feeling like our souls were fed. It was the type of feeling that you get when you realize that something is missing from your life (not negatively) and you wanted what the elder lady behind you had or desired what the gentleman sitting across from you had. We visited LBC for two and a half years. Before joining, we wanted to make sure that LBC had several things in place. There were so many things to consider before walking down front to announce that yes, LBC, was the place for our now growing little family. We wanted a devoted children's program where many opportunities were available for our child(ren) (nursery, choir, Sunday School, VBS, children's programs, small groups, Wednesday and Sunday night programs, etc). We also wanted to find a couple's Sunday School class that would help us grow in all areas of our lives (as new parents, in our still new marriage, in the Bible, and many many other areas like witnessing to others, praying, serving Him abundantly, helping to make His name more famous, being spirtual leaders (for Sam within our home), to help us be accountable, and there are still just so many many more ways in which we want to continue to grow. In search of a church, we desired a church home that would help us to be what He wants us to be for Him, our family, our jobs, our community, and our world.  We offically joined in March of 2009 (two weeks before Caroline was born)! I cannot say to you how thankful and blessed we are for all the people at LBC that God has allowed our paths to cross. I know that I can't live each day without having a personal relationship with God. I need Him! I need Him to walk me through each day of this life, everyday. I am not pefect nor do I pretend to be someone that knows the Bible from cover to cover and all the stories in between. I am not saying that my church is better than anyone else's church nor do I think that there isn't another church that can't do what LBC has done for our little family. I am just thankful for LBC and all it has invested in our little family! We have gained more than we ever thought: ways and desires to serve, give, and share, new friendships, new opportunities to grow in His word, and many opportunities to give of self for others (still working on the latter).
I said all this to say, (its always like that isn't it...going in way too much detail just to make a point, ha), that our church's worship services are now on our church's website and are free to download! Dr. Mike Turner, our pastor, is currently doing a sermon series on leadership and I thoroughly enjoyed (like every service) this past Sunday's message and I wanted to share it with you! I was so thoroughly pleased to read in the bullentin Sunday that each Sunday's service can be heard online! In every service, I love how Dr. Turner helps me to think about my own life! Just click on the link that says listen to sermons on the homepage. Mike also has a blog that you may be interested in reading as well!
I am a work in progress. My life's desire is to know Him and to do what He has called me to do for the very short time I am here on this Earth because I want an Eternity in Heaven! I hope that's your desire, to live a life that is pleasing to Him. I want Him to tell me at the end of my life, "well done good and faithful servant".

Friday, March 02, 2012

In mid January we celebrated my friend Michelle's daughter's second birthday! It's always nice to catch up with Michelle and we seem to only do this at birthday parties. She has two precious daughters, Ansleigh and Abigail!
Happy 2nd Birthday Abigail!

I didn't post this last year, but here's Abi celebrating turning one!