Saturday, August 30, 2008

Time flies.....

Us at Bryan's high school graduation. (10 years ago)
Five years ago today Bryan and I went on our 1st date for the second time. You might ask what exactly do I mean. Well, we dated for a short time in high school, but let's just say that I wasn't as smart as Bryan back then. I'm a little "slow" and it took me a little longer to get my act together and decide what I wanted. Bryan may kill me for saying this, but I think it's so sweet that he's always told me he knew how much he loved me even then.
We went to separate colleges and dated other people. I know my parents are very thankful that I didn't marry one of the jerks I dated in college. LOL I came home in July of 2003 from finishing my degree at Lipscomb. Bryan was working at Wal-Mart full time while going to school full time at Tennessee Tech. I saw him at work one day and just knew one compared to Bryan. Needless to say I've been his since the day he told me "there has never been another." He is still the best person I know. He is my best friend, a wonderful husband and the absolute BEST FATHER I HAVE EVER MET.
Anyway, our first date was August 30th, 2003 the wedding of Chad and Tara Young.
(Happy Anniversary, guys and congrats on baby #2 who is on the way!) We also got engaged on August 30th, 2004. So, we celebrated 5 years by going to another wedding. Congrats Jeff and Courtney. We decided we have to go to any wedding that we're invited to on August 30th.
I love you, B. Thank you for last 5 years. It's still such an honor to share my life (and now my child) with you. ~L
August 30th is also a special person's birthday, my oldest friend.
Happy Birthday, Lyndsey Lora Cook....aka Aunt Weezer!
PS...I've tried to correct the spacing of this post, but blogger is not cooperating tonight.

Updated pics and a sweet face video :)

Baths are much harder these days.
She trys to crawl up the wall and out of the tub (which usually ends in a big slip and slide).

I thought this was a sweet picture of Ella Claire at my grandparents house.

She is such a happy girl!

But she's into everything and all over the place. She loves crawling under tables and in between the furniture.

Thursday night I left her with Bryan. When I got home she had broken a picture frame, two blinds and torn tabs off of a diaper (and the house was destroyed).

She loved Daddy's strawberry popsicle today.

We have had such a busy week. I've not had time to answer e-mails, clean house or do much of anything extra. I've barely managed to cook dinner and do laundry. This is also the end of the month. So, I have to get everything turned into the office by Tuesday. If you're one of my buddies (who have sent me a text or e-mailed me and I haven't responded), I'm not ignoring you. Hopefully by Tuesday I can get caught up and things will settle down.

I just wanted to post a few pictures of Ella Claire. She got her 1st boo boo today at Gran's house (my mom's). We ran by there for a few minutes and were looking something up on the computer in the kitchen. Ella Claire managed to crawl over to the bar stools, pull up on them and pull it over on top of her. She hit her head on the tile floor as well. I'm not sure who was more hysterical Ella Claire or Bryan.

Here is a short video of Ella Claire's new "sweet face". She does it all of the time. Of course, we think she's adorable, but it's funny to see how "cute" she thinks she is when she does it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We are a little sad to see the Olympics go at our house. We loved watching the swimming and gymnastics. I became a fan of Michael Phelps and Shawn Johnson. GO USA!

Bryan and I counted up this year that we were dating 12 years ago during the summer Olympics. WOW! I was 15 and Bryan was 16. I went to the Atlanta games with my mom and aunt to watch the gymnastics that year and brought Bryan back a t-shirt. Who would have thought we would eventually end up getting married and have the sweetest little girl in the world together?!?! :)

Ella Claire turned 8 months yesterday. She started waving today while she says "bye bye." She is saying, "ma ma, da da, bye bye and hi." She is at a really fun age even though she is into everything. She has started eating fruit puffs (only so I can try and teach her to self feed). At first she really didn't like the texture, but now she is feeding them to herself. We've also moved up to #3 baby foods. She has started making this excited face whenever she sees baby food coming her way. She'll close her eyes and give us a huge grin all while laughing. It's hysterical! She is sleeping from about 7:30 pm to 7:00 am. She still loves being outdoors and her bathtime. However, bathtime is becoming harder because she wants to roll over, stand up and climb out. She absolutely loves her playtime with her cousins Bree and Jax (Alli too). I miss my tiny baby, but am enjoying all the new stages with her.

I'll try to post some updated pictures soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My little helper!

Ella Claire has to be right in the middle of things these days. I started folding clothes yesterday morning. When I heard the dryer stop I went to get a few more things out and came back to find this.......

Her Daddy didn't think it was as funny as we did. LOL :)
We love you, B!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the big 2-7!

Well, yesterday I turned another year wiser. LOL My husband had a little surprise birthday party for me after church Sunday. It was so sweet of him. I don't tell him often enough, but I really appreciate his thoughtfulness. Bryan always tries to make my birthdays extra special. He also gave me sewing and smocking lessons (which I started last week). I have always wanted to learn to sew. Having Ella Claire has motivated me to get busy with this item on my bucket list. He and my parents made my birthday even more special by giving me my own sewing machine. Thanks to our families for all my sewing supplies also.

I made Ella Claire a corduroy jumper on Monday night. I hope she'll be able to wear it this fall. I'm thinking she'll need some cute little tights and a matching long sleeve t-shirt.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful "hump day."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I have been doing some real soul searching lately. I guess I have Ella Claire to thank for giving me a little push in the right direction. It is something that has become more and more important to me since becoming a parent. I have started running recently and that time with myself (and my God) has allowed me to really focus and take a look at my life. Here are a few of my thoughts.

One thing that has been weighing heavy on my heart is how I treat others. I don't consider myself a mean person, but I have been asking myself DO I REALLY TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WANT TO BE TREATED? It is of the utmost importance to me for Ella Claire to have a model of how to treat others. (regardless of how they treat her) I happen to be pretty shy, especially at first and have been very insecure of myself at times. I tend to hold on to feelings of anger, hurt, resentment and get my feelings hurt pretty easily. When someone has wronged me, talked about me or hurt me....Well, it's been just plain hard to forget. However, that is not what I want Ella to see and emulate. My Grandad has always told us "to have friends, you must be a friend." I really hope that Ella Claire learns how to be a good friend and how to treat others (even strangers) from me and Bryan.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus called us to be like little children? They forgive others so easily. They don't care if someone has the same kind of crayons that they do. They don't care about the kind of house they live in or kind of car they ride in to Grandma's house. They don't care if little Johnny down the street wants the same kind of toy. They don't care if their clothes come from Wal-Mart or are name brands. WE teach our children to feel these things are important (maybe because they are too important to us)! I pray Ella Claire finds her worth in Christ Jesus and knows therefore that she is priceless.

I am currently reading a book on self esteem which has also provoked some reflective thought on my part. It's about helping children build self esteem. In my line of work I see so many children with poor self esteem. This, I believe, is the root for so many other problems. What amazes me is....we learn how to feel about ourselves and others at such an early age. Adults, but especially parents, need to be careful about everything we say to and in front of our children. I know Ella can't repeat things that she hears Bryan and I say (YET), but she can pick up on our tone of voice and emotions. I am constantly amazed at the things that Breelyn says and to the depth of how she understands such serious topics at almost 3 years old. Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit.

I remember discovering the word sex in the 2nd grade. I attended a Christian school and looked up the word with some friends in the encyclopedia. (THE 2ND GRADE-and I consider myself to have led a pretty sheltered life.) I was curious about it after hearing it that first time. So when my mom and I left school, I was very proud to tell her I could spell the number 6. (S-E-X) LOL As a child I was begging my mom to address this important subject by bringing up the new word the only way I knew how.

We, as adults, also inflict such a feeling of jealousy in our children. We start at a young age instilling in them that they have to have and be the best (and to OUT DO EVERYONE). It seems now that it starts even before the 1st birthday party. We decide that our kids must have the most toys and the nicest clothes (which they can't possibly be a kid in and actually play because they might get them dirty) and then we teach them to feel this way also.

I also want Ella Claire to know it's NEVER okay to lie. Not about where she's been, who she's been with, what she ate for lunch.....not about anything. Our children hear us talk so much and they pay attention even when we think they aren't. So, when we aren't honest sometimes our kids are the only ones that know. Lying by omission is another issue all in of itself. Kids watch their parents lie day after day for years. Then, wonder why they lie so much when they are older.

Don't get me wrong. I want the best for Ella Claire. I want a life full of everything she will ever hope for, but more than that I want her to be kind to others and honest no matter the cost. I started this blog because I hope to make a book from it and share with Ella Claire one day all the joy that she has brought us. I have wanted to document all her little milestones in a fun way, but also years from now be able to give her a glimpse into my heart.

Dear Lord, Please help me teach Ella Claire, by example, the kind of woman that you would have her be. Please create a clean heart within me, help me watch my tongue, be kinder to others, as well as, be a better friend. Help me train my daughter in a way that she shall not depart from. I understand my responsibility as a mother and need your help daily. Amen

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I wanted to be you.
Better. More.
Until I learned that
I am not alone.
Each of us is a
Be Yourself.
Aspire. Be.
Create. Dream.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And the winner is.........

Well, I guess Ella Claire is going to be Ella the Elephant for Halloween. Everyone that voted chose it. I even received some texts about the elephant costume. Thanks to all of you who voted. I was leaning that way, but appreciate you helping me decide.

Today Ella Claire and I went to Granny and Grandad's house to visit with them. We had such a good time and came home with lots of fresh fruits and veggies from the garden.

This afternoon I went to a consignment sale across from the Farmer's market. It is called Our Kids Consignment and continues through the end of the week.( This is the 1st time I've been able to take any of Ella Claire's clothes to sale. I was a little sad to let go of some of her baby things, but found a few things for this fall/winter. I'm also really excited about the NEW jogging stroller that I found there. I've started running and have been wanting one. Ella Claire and I can't wait to try it out in the morning.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Help me decide please!

Okay, I really wish that I was like my friend Marian and could make all of Ella Claire's Halloween costumes, but I can't. (Not yet, anyway. I am working on it though.) I have been debating which costume I like the best, but haven't been able to decide. I love the idea of Ella the Elephant, but most of the elephant costumes are just not "girly". This is the cutest that I have found for a girl. So, I need your help. Which do you like the best?

Ella the Elephant or Ella the flower?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Too Cute!

My big package did not come today like I was hoping. However, I was super excited when I opened this cute little lunchbox for Ella Claire. Yes, I know she's not taking her lunch anywhere yet. I am planning on using this little box for lots of things, not just as a lunchbox. I also got some waterproof sippy cup name labels that are so cute as well. I just had to show you my new purchase. Hope you all are having great weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2008

and she does pull-ups too!

Bryan went to get Ella Claire this morning and he found her standing in her bed. She pulled-up all the way to her feet for the first time. I also found her this way after her nap. I'm so glad we lowered her crib earlier this week. I thought she might be getting close. This is such an exciting time, but I am also a little sad. She is just growing way too fast!

She likes to move it!

She is getting faster and faster everyday. We are having to childproof our home this weekend because she is into EVERYTHING!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Slide show is up

Julie has posted Ella Claire's 6 month slideshow on her blog. See for yourself how sweet my baby girl is at
Bryan started back to school today and boy did Ella Claire and I miss him. This was the best summer because the three of us were home so much together. We made a short stop at his school today before Ella Claire and I came home for lunch and her nap. I have a feeling we'll be making lots of visits on Daddy's planning or lunch break. We love you "Da-da"/B and hope this is a good school year for you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Daughter.....My Life

Oh, how I love that smile. Julie has posted a few pictures of Ella Claire from her 6 month session. Slideshow to follow.

Be our friend......

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About Me

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The two most important things about me are that I am a wife to Bryan and mother to Ella Claire. I have been married to my best friend for 3 1/2 years. Bryan teaches at the alternative school in our hometown and coaches high school wrestling. I enjoy my job, which allows me to remain home with Ella Claire alot, but also help other children as well. I love spending time with my family, cooking, traveling, reading, watching movies, UT football, gardening and stamping. I love my life!