Southern Momma to two handsome boys. Welcome to my crazy monogrammed life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lucky Me, Lucky Boys

As I was chatting with my mom this morning, she said something that really made me stop and appreciate my partner in this crazy game of life. She said, "You know what I loved most about bringing the boys home on Sunday?"

I replied, "You finally got to sleep?!?!"

"No, I loved getting to see Jared's face when he saw his boys walk through the door. His face lit up!"

She is so right!  Everyday when he comes home from work, Jared's face lights up when the boys run to him and jump in his arms. This is a scene I've been taking for granted. Not anymore!  These are the small moments that should be treasured, perpetually reminding us of our blessings.

My boys have a Daddy who saves energy to play with them when he gets home. They have a Daddy who loves to read with them at night, say their prayers, and tuck them into their cozy beds. I have a hubby who helps me around the house, cooks dinner if he's home in time, and lets me get some quiet time when needed. Beyond his help, he's my greatest cheerleader (that's quite a visual, right?!).  He's the one who doesn't laugh when I verbalize my dreams and goals, but instead he brainstorms with me a plan to make it happen.

At our wedding, our pastor recounted a story of Jared as a young boy. Bob had just had a heart attack, so Jared made a card for him that read, "I hope your heart feels better!"  He delivered it to his office at the church. This is just one example of the big heart inside his 6'5" frame. He always puts others before himself. He is one special guy, one that I'm so honored to call my husband and the father of our boys.

As my sappy post comes to a close, I challenge you not to let life's craziness blind you from seeing the small moments in life. Be vigilant as you look for the multitude of blessings that surround you.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Need a Silent Night

After the hustle and bustle of the days leading up to Christmas, we were completely and utterly exhausted.  Thankfully, we planned to go to the beach on Friday the 26th with the family.  It never fails that the salty air and crashing waves leave me feeling revived.

After organizing our personal Toys-R-Us (more about that later) and tidying up the house, we hit the road for Folly.  Traffic was a little slow, so we spent some time on the back roads.  This route definitely set the tone for a slow-paced, relaxing weekend.  Due to our evening arrival, we put the kids to bed after dinner and just hung out with the family.

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!  We spent time at the beach playing, running, and building sandcastles.

Parker wore himself out and fell asleep on our walk.  Talk about a workout...carrying a 24 pounder while walking in the sand!!!

We tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather.  After naps, we took the kids to the park.

Later in the afternoon, our extended family came over for an oyster roast.  Then, when the sun set, we loaded up and went to the James Island Festival of Lights.  Wow!  I was not expecting a light show of this magnitude!  No wonder it is ranked #3 in the nation!  In addition to the lights, there is a section that you can walk around in that is complete with a Christmas sandcastle, a train ride, and a carousel.  Hamilton and Allie rode the carousel with DeeDee and Papa.  Ham was kind enough to let his papa ride the tiger!  

 Walt enjoyed everything from his marsupial pouch!  

Sunday brought departures for my sisters, but we spent the day with my brother and parents.  Sunday was even warmer than the day before, prompting the boys to take a dip in the Atlantic.  They are crazy!!

While we were at the beach, the porpoises put on a show for us.  They were jumping and riding the waves.  If you look closely, you'll see them in this next picture.

Monday was our family fun day.  My brother and daddy had to return to the grind at Merrill Lynch, so we stayed down at the beach to take the kids to the aquarium.  Hamilton was surprised to find out that the IMAX theater was showing his favorite movie, The Polar Express.  Both kids LOVED the show although they didn't like the water in the face.  Ham couldn't get over that the chair squirted him!

This weekend was exactly what our little family needed!  Since it's frigid outside today, I'm reminiscing and planning another little excursion to the beach!!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Deck the McCalls

There's something about decorating the house for Christmas that instantly makes it more cozy.  All I want to do is enjoy a cup of coffee and snuggle with my boys (which lasts about 2.2 seconds) while watching Hallmark movies with the glow of the Christmas tree in the background.  It sounds delightful, right?  I hope you enjoy our holiday mini house tour.

Our little Christmas cottage looks adorable dressed for the holidays.  It makes it a little treat to take Chloe to potty every night before bed.  I'm no longer begging her to hurry up; I can enjoy the view while she takes her sweet time.

I love our console table all decked out with fresh greenery, lights, candles, and a nativity figure.

The dining room is my favorite room in the house.  The pops of red that I added this year make all the difference.
 Close up of the buffet
Close up of the tablescape

The living room has a few new touches as well.  We added the large wreath over the TV, new pillows on the sofa, and a new throw.

The breakfast nook is very simple, but it works well with our somewhat rustic home.  Just as a little side note.  This area contains two very special pieces to me.  The antique table was a wedding gift from my grandmother to my aunt; the baker's cabinet was the last piece of furniture that my grandfather refurbished before he died.  You just can't beat pieces of furniture that tell a story!

Even the boys' rooms are decorated.  Jennifer Haynie is so talented; she created the signs that adorn their doors.  Inside their rooms, they have their own mini-tree with their personalized Santa hats as the toppers.  I also hang their Santa stockings on their dressers until Christmas Eve.

In our next house, I want a large staircase to decorate.  I think they can be so grand when decorated with garland.  For now, our little banister works just fine!  :)

Upstairs in my "sweat shop" office, we have the kids tree that holds all of our childhood ornaments.  Hamilton loves to play with his Polar Express train while I work.  It drives Jared nuts that he always takes the figurines off to visit the North Pole or put the little boy to sleep under the tree skirt.  

From our home to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas!  Enjoy the blessings of the season!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In the past year...

Today leaves me a little weepy and a lot reminiscent.  One year ago today was a day of many lasts.  It was the last day that I stood (ok, maybe sat--I wasn't supposed to be at work) in front of my students sharing my knowledge.   It was the last day that I ate lunch with my team in the cafeteria as part of our tight-knit group. It was the last day that I cried with Shelby in Jane's office. It was the last day that I picked Hamilton up from daycare.  It was the last day that I locked up our house and drove out of the driveway as a family of three.  It was the last day that we went to see "Juannie" with only one high chair.  It was the last day that my heart only physically knew one child.

In some ways it feels as if this only happened yesterday while in other ways it feels as if this happened ten years ago.  So much has changed since December 9, 2013.  It's funny looking back at the last year.  I wouldn't change a thing; we learned many lessons through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.

One lesson I learned while I dug in my stubborn heels, adamantly protesting the change that God had planned for me and our family.  I never imagined myself owning my own skincare franchise; however, He saw it differently.  Every event in my life was preparing me for this next step.  My basketball career taught me the discipline I needed to stay true to my goal.  My knee injuries taught me to doggedly fight for the outcome I desired.  My mom taught me to be strong and independent, never relying on others for my success. My dad taught me to be fiscally responsible and to chase my dreams.  My Converse College public speaking professor taught me strategies to overcome my anxiety of speaking in front of a crowd. My teaching career taught me to deliver information by captivating my audience  and to use technology to efficiently handle tasks.  My husband taught me that it is okay to take a risk; he will always have my back.

No matter how life might be changing before your eyes, rest in the affirmation that although you may not be able to see what's around the bend in the road, you will be prepared.  You will always be prepared.

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Here is the last picture that we have as a family of three.  I was about to POP!