Monday, June 29, 2009

Samuel the All-Star

Samuel is an All-Star once again!

A baseball All-Star.

This is his 4th year to compete with an all-star team. He has only been eligible to play on an all-star team for 5 years. So 4 out of 5 isn't bad!

Being on an All-Star team is a commitment. A commitment of money and time. We have to pay for new uniforms, tournaments, and travel. That isn't too hard for us.

The commitment of time is the hard part for our family. We believe in commitment. We believe in following through, not letting your team down. We also believe in church on Sundays. During all-star baseball our two beliefs clash.

Samuel has never played on a Sunday. (Except for 2 weeks ago when he took the field at 12:40AM Sunday morning) The all-star coaches know from the very beginning that Samuel will not play on Sundays.

It has been heartbreaking for us to leave on Saturday night knowing that the team would play without him the next day and that it could possibly be the last game of the year. I have shed many tears. I have been really mad. I have tried, in my best feminine way, to coerce Stephen into letting Samuel play. But through all of that, I know that our biggest commitment is to the Lord.

We made our commitment to God long before we made a commitment to any baseball team.

This year has been different. Samuel and I haven't cried. We haven't been upset that he couldn't play. I guess since we have been through this so many times we now realize that our commitment to God and His church is greater than baseball.

I have heard all the arguments, all the persuasive tactics. I know many Christian families that play ball on Sunday.

This is what our family has decided. Our family has decided to not play any sport on Sunday. We are honoring God by being at church on Sunday. We pray before the services that our minds are kept on God and what He wants for us during that service. That we wouldn't be thinking about the baseball game or the team. I will tell you that the first year my thoughts were not on the worship service or what God wanted to say to me. They were on the game.

But over time it has changed. It is easier to miss the Sunday game and go to church. It is where our commitment is. It is where our heart is.

People may talk bad about us. People may question us (and they do). But God doesn't and He is the One we answer to.

Samuel is so proud to be a member of the 11-12 all-star baseball team from Star City. But he is even prouder of the fact that he is a member of First Baptist Church and a player on God's team!
(Don't think I just made that up. Samuel and I were just talking and that is what he said.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh, Happy Day To My BFF

Our Travels together have been many
(matching pillow cases to prove it)

Our destinations have been large.
(Disney World 2 times, even...this was taken on our 2nd trip)
Many years shared and many more to come
(this was the last year we rang it in together b/c this is the year the hubbies appeared)

And for 2 weeks we were both brides to be, together.
(this is a pic of the brides to be sporting the rings)
God just knew we had to do things together in order to survive.
Happy Birthday, my sweetest & bestest friend.
I am so glad God gave me you!
Abby



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peaches, Tomatoes and Summertime

These three things take me back to a very special place, with my Meemaw & Peepaw in West Tennessee. They always met Mama & Daddy in North Little Rock at the Holiday Inn to pick Julie and me up for a couple of weeks.
Us with Meema, outside of the Holiday Inn in NLR
They were our paternal grandparents. As Julie got older, I started going by myself because she wanted to stay at home with her friends or go to camp, etc. It was always such a fun time and summer always makes me think of all the memories made every summer of my life for 23 years. Did you get that....I went for 23 summers, until the Lord took both of them home .

Us outside of Peepaw's church.
My Meemaw loved peaches. We would stop in Clarksville and buy peaches at the stand right off the highway (which is no longer there). She always put them in a brown paper bag to ripen them up and then sat them on the kitchen counter. She would peel and slice them with a knife while resting the peach in her soft, feminine hand. We ate them plain, in Special K, on vanilla ice cream, peach yogurt, in pie and cobbler form. The woman adored a peach and because of that, I do too. I bought some yesterday from the produce man and when I washed the first one and took the first bite I caught myself smiling and almost shedding a tear (remember, I am pregnant and hormonal). I love how a peach can take me back to such a special place in my heart. My Meemaw and I shared a special and rare bond. My "Meep" died when I was 23, on a cold winter's day. It has been the saddest day of my life and I still find myself missing her, especially in the summer and when I eat a peach... see a cute pair of hot pink shoes, look at Sunday circulars, or sleep on a satin pillowcase that was once hers. Man, I miss that lady!

The "proverbial" porch photo Peepaw took on all of our visits.
My Peepaw was a Southern Baptist preacher for over fifty years. He pastored a church in West Tennessee from the time I was 1 until I was 10. They lived next door to the church and I can still smell the way that beautiful church smelled on a hot summer day. It is a comforting thing, in an odd way. The man loved a fresh grown tomato and we ate lots of them each summer. Often during the day, he and I would ride to town to do banking, or go off on country roads to visit ailing church members or deacon friends. A lot of these nice people gave him the tomatoes he adored. He also had a good friend that worked for Hostess. I think that is why I was a chubby kid….lots of snowballs and honey buns were bestowed upon me because I was the preacher’s baby girl. I would get sacks full of them each visit. This man spoiled his granddaughters rotten. He would give the carousel operator $5 and say, "let her ride until it runs out" (It was 25 cents a ride!), take me to the mall just so I could ride the glass elevator, and he always took me to Shoney's because I thought the waiter was really cute. My “Peep” died the week of my thirteenth birthday and a part of my childhood died with him.

Don't hate the hair or the broach on my scarf!
I Love the memory of this picture.
I could write a novel on my summers spent in West Tennessee and the memories I made with these two most special souls. I am sitting where I am today because of those summers in West Tennessee (St. Jude internship, Randall, etc). I will spare you the time of reading the novel and just leave you with these few little memories of what a little heat and fresh produce can do to a girl. Crazy, but true.
The funny thing about all this is that just about every summer I went home with a rash on my tongue from all the acid from the peaches and the tomatoes. Today my tongue started tingling a bit from the peaches and my very own homegrown tomatoes, and I found myself laughing…..after all these years I am still the same girl!

I can't wait to get to heaven and enjoy a little produce with "My People"

Abby



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Fun

Jules' crew and I all went to Daddy's house in north Mississippi (Memfrica) for a quick visit on Saturday and stayed until today. We had fun shopping and being together. We also got to see Aunt Babs, Hollye, Claire and the rest of the crew, but forgot to take pictures because we were having so much fun.
These sweet children are with their Grandaddy & Mrs. Connie until Thursday while Jules and Stephen are at the Convention. The kids will be a rotten, tired mess when they return home, that is for sure! As you can see Grandaddy is already a sweaty mess from all the activity. Jules and I had fun shopping for maternity clothes and we were glad Daddy's step-daughter, Ashley came along with us. Julie was in a mid chip chew in this picture....just so you know.
Time with my Daddy is always full of activity and heavy on humor.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy.... WE LOVE YOU!
Abby & Julie


Friday, June 19, 2009

The Growing Belly Update

4 Months
(taken 1 week early)
My belly has grown so much in the past week or two. I feel pregnant when I roll over in the bed, get out of the bed or bend over real quick to pick up something. Fun, fun. Leaving the first trimester has been a blessing. I feel like Abby Jo again, finally. I think Baby Daddy is also glad to have me back. I was beginning to wear on him and it was getting too hot outside to stay in his garage all the time. Ha!I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks and then the first week of August I will find out if this baby is a girl or a boy. I wish I could know today. Waiting is so hard but fun at the same time. People ask me if I want a boy or a girl and I really don't care. I just want a healthy baby. Everyone predicts a boy, so I am anxious to see if they are correct. A little Randall wouldn't be so bad. He is awfully cute, you know!
I am getting excited about Christmas and driving my family & friends crazy about it. Christmas tree theme ideas, card ideas, family get together ideas, what one really special ornament to buy for Baby L, and on and on and on and on. I know, I know...crazy. It is hotter than hades in July outside, and I have ginger plums dancing in my head. I love Christmas and the thought of having a baby in the slap-dab middle of it is both a stressor and exciting for my OCD self.

Baby L's Loot
These are all the nice things Baby L has acquired in the past 3 months. Baby L's Marmie, Nana, Aunt Juju, great aunt Sissy and a few friends have been buying odds and ends. I have asked them all to take it easy until we know the sex of the baby. I don't think I can handle anymore green at this point, though I am most thankful for all the green that we have acquired. It is fun to have baby things in the house and I am anxious to have much more in due time.
We have ideas for our nursery but are waiting on the sex of the baby to move forward. Custom bedding made by Nana (she is nervous but I have full faith in her), a mural painted by "aunt" Genia, and fabulous decor with Baby Mama's mad skills will make for a fun and lively room for Baby L.
Abby

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Its time for a confession

I've waited long enough.

I can't hold back any longer.

I must confess.

I don't like to garden.

I know Abby said it was "therapeutic" and made her "heart glad", but it is neither therapeutic or making my heart glad to garden.

It is in my blood to garden. My great grandmother ( who really was Great!) and my grandmother (who also is Great! but isn't called great grandmother by me, just my kids) and my very own mother (who, yes, is also Great, but who has ever heard of anyone called great mom?)
enjoy gardening and their flowers were and are beautiful.

Their yards are yards to envy. Made beautiful with all the color that God thought to put in flowers. There are small flowers, large flowers, bushes, and even little flower bed do-dads.

But, I don't like to garden. For two reasons.

1- I don't like to sweat.
2- I don't like to get dirty.

There. I've confessed.

I will only sweat when I'm sitting by the pool. And I won't do that very long. I will jeopardize my tan if sweating becomes an issue. I just can't stand it. It stinks, its gross, and very unbecoming on a southern lady.

As far as getting dirty goes. I just don't like that either. I don't like my hands dirty and grimy. And you know when you dig in the dirt you can find worms. OOHHiiee.

I am a part of the family. A full biological part of the family. But the gardening genes got overridden by the reading genes. While everyone else is slaving away in their gardens, I will be in the cool of my house reading a book.

Julie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A list!

I have many thoughts rambling around in my head.
Instead of writing them in some cohesive form I will make a list.
Because I don't think I could make them into a cohesive form.

** VBS is this week. This will be night 3 of the week and so far so good. The decorations for VBS stressed me out to the point of fever blisters, acne and sleepless nights. They aren't anywhere close to what they should be or what they have been in years past, but I think VBS will be a success anyway, despite my lack of creative juices. Thank you LD for your help!!!!!!!!!!

** Regular season baseball is over! Can I hear a scream from the crowd?! Samuel made the all-star team once again. So, we are still playing some tournaments. And when I say playing tournaments let me tell you that Sam and I made it in from a game Sunday morning at 2:30. Did you get that? 2:30 in the morning. And the game was just 30 minutes from us. His team took the field at 12:40am. Crazy, but fun!

** I am suffering from pool withdrawal. I haven't been to the pool since Wednesday. I am going today.

** Last week VBS kicked my bottom, ate my lunch, and called me ugly. I was never so glad to see Sunday night at 6:00(start of VBS) get here. I knew the hardest part of my job was over. Oh, to relax is heavenly!

** We are going to be out of town next week, so I am trying to get the house clean and laundry caught up(so that I can pack!) in between facebook, blogs, pool, and VBS.

** Do you know that although I complain about all of this stuff I really love it? I do. I love being busy. Its the times that nothing is going on that makes me think. And thinking has never done me much good. LOL!!!

Well, I must run and pick up Stephen so he can pick up his truck from our mechanic/friend. Yes, we have been a one vehicle family for the last 5-6 days. The family that rides together stays together!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Has Only Just Begun

Today I bought our first box of wipes. Everyone has been telling me to start stocking up on diapers and wipes as I go to Sam's & Walmart. Well, I started today. We are the proud owners of 720 baby wipes, yet we have no baby bottom to wipe just yet. We will be prepared by December, for sure.


And this is how I feel....like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka. I know, I know...I have a LONG road ahead of me. I am at that "I feel like a big ole lump of frump" stage. I am seeing the light bulb go off in peoples eyes when I say "Yes, I'm pregnant" because they have been staring at me thinking, "A little too much buffet or is that a baby bump...hmmm?"
Blueberry Girl, that's me. That is the best way to describe how I feel this week. This in between stage of not looking really pregnant yet but feeling every bit of it is an odd place to be.
Was it odd for you? Let me know how you did with it.
Abby

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Girl

Looking at my plants/flowers is therapeutic for me. I remember going through a rough spell some years back and a wise man telling me to go dig in the dirt. I never realized how much truth there was to that until then. The women in my family have a love for planting each Spring. I never understood that love until I started digging in the dirt myself. Granted, Randall likes to do most of the digging and planting around here, yet I still do enough to make my heart glad. I am realizing that I need to be out with the plants more. I am not spending as much time in my flowerbeds as I did in Byhalia. Life is different here, my priorities have shifted and the mosquitoes are insane. Yet, I must make it a priority to get outside more often and enjoy the beauty in my very own yard.


Oh, bell pepper, What color will you be....red, orange or green? This year we planted 3 different types of bell peppers.
Can you count all the tomatoes on the vine?
We are excited about all these 'maters. We did not get to plant any last summer due to our massive transition. It is really the simple things in life that make one happy, you know?!

This is an eggplant in the making.
Eggplants make me think of my Granny, her red iron covered pot, and my Mama's favorite casserole/dish. I can't wait to cook the infamous eggplant casserole with my very own eggplant!

The Aunt Mitt Plant. This plant is well over 50 years old. It is from an aunt I never met. I think she was a great, great aunt maybe. We took a cutting off my Mawmaw's plant and with Randall's green thumb and love of fertilizer, it is about to bust out of the pot.

Elephant ears. Every yard needs them. My Granny always planted them and my mama always plants them. In Byhalia we had big ears underneath my kitchen window facing the driveway. Now we have them in front of our house. I love it.

The St. Bernards mum from the fair last year is coming back with a vengeance. I bought mums to decorate our exhibit booth last year. I brought one home and planted it and never expected it to come back. I am most impressed.

The Oklahoma Rose lives on! If you are an avid blog reader you know I had a LARGE rose bush in Byhalia that Randall planted for me. It was an Oklahoma Rose. He bought it as a joke because he likes to tell people I am from Oklahoma (not that there is anything wrong with that...it is just an inside joke with us). When we moved I was so sad to leave it. A few weeks back we were at Home Depot and we were at the checkout. I glanced over and someone had left their Oklahoma Rose on the end cap. It was a joyous occasion at the Home Depot for us! This is the first bloom on our new Oklahoma Rose.

This image is enough to make my heart swell. I ADORE blue hydrangeas. They remind me of my Mawmaw. Our sweet neighbor in Byhalia bought me a blue bush and we planted it to have it turn pink. We put tons of nails in it and all sorts of other remedies to have it turn white. So, we all laughed about it and enjoyed what did decide to bloom. Randall found 2 fabulous blue bushes for me and planted them in the front flowerbeds here at this house. They are doing great and blooming in a vibrant blue. I am so excited about enjoying these for years to come.

Thanks for taking a gander at my plants. They truly do make me a happy girl!
Abby

Friday, June 5, 2009

536th Post

I have had the best beginning to these past couple of days.

Yesterday morning my friend Cindy Lou called me first thing in the morning. Well, not first thing in her morning (she must be an early riser), but first thing in my morning.

I haven't talked to her in so long. A couple of months. Too long.

Can I just tell you how wonderful it was?

It was wonderful.

And today? She called me again this morning.

Two mornings in a row getting to talk to my bestest friend.

Are you kidding me?

These have been the best two mornings I've had in a long time!

I'm not big on keeping up with old friends via phone. I know it isn't the right thing, or even the friendly thing to do, but I just don't keep up communication with old friends like I should.

I guess I should follow Abby's example. I think she probably talks or emails everyone she knows every day.

She is a really good friend.

And she is going to be a great mom. I just can't wait to see her holding that baby.

It will be sad for her though when I take that baby home with me. But I'm sure she'll call and email it everyday!
HA!

Julie

Monday, June 1, 2009

My First Trimester

Here is a recap of how it went:

Cravings:
Chips & salsa
tacos
Pickles
Popsicles
Oranges

Aches & Pains:
Cramping
Nausea
Heartburn
Breast tenderness
Exhaustion

First Doctor's Visit:
We went to see the doctor at 9 weeks. We had our first ultrasound. We heard our baby's heartbeat and saw our baby moving all about inside of me. It was amazing to hear the heartbeat, to see that little baby, and know that it was really real. I cried tears of joy and relief, and Randall giggled and smiled from ear to ear. It was at that moment that it was reality for both of us. After 6 years of it being just about us, it was now about much more than just us.

What I Wore:
At about 8 weeks I was officially too big for my regular pants and my dresses were starting to hug me pretty tight in the midsection. Maternity clothes are still a little too big. I am still in that awkward stage where it looks like I have eaten too much when actually it is a growing baby in there! I have worn my regular pants with the bellyband over them and worn lots of dresses.
I had fun shopping in Motherhood Maternity at my 9th week with Mama, Sarah and Aunt Janet. It was interesting, for sure. Finding maternity clothes in Jonesboro is a chore. I am ready for a trip to Ross Dress for Less in Memphis!
At 12 weeks I am ready for maternity pants. They fit a little too big but they are more comfortable than the alternative. My work out shorts and t-shirts are even snug in my mid-section…it is wild. I am wearing lots of my empire waisted dresses to get me through this awkard stage.

Baby Items We Purchased:
3 pair of Robeez shoes at the resale shop in Star City. I bought 2 girls and 1 boy. I will sale the ones we do not need. There has been a lot of "window shopping", but we haven't bought anything because we want to know the sex of the baby first...then we will go crazy.

Baby Items and Maternity Items Received:
Rock a Stack (the plastic colored donut looking things on the stick) – Julie and her crew
Pregnancy Book – my friend, Kemberlyn
Pewter bear shaped picture frame – Mama (she gave it to me for Mother’s Day)
Ultrasound photo frame – My boss, Laura
Black maternity dress - Aunt Janet
Denim maternity skirt – Mama
Sack full of maternity clothes from her very own closet – Sarah
“My Daddy Loves Me” Sleeper, bibs and burp cloths- Molly
Cuddle Bear - Diana
green polka dot sleeper set - Memphis friend, Mandy

What I am Looking Forward to:
Not looking like I have eaten too much but finally really looking pregnant
Finding out the sex of our baby
Picking out the fabric for the baby bedding
Decorating the nursery
Kissing my baby's sweet face in December
Abby