29 September 2012

Daddy's Girl

"I never knew how much I loved your dad until I saw how much he loves you."
Is there anything better than a father's love for his little girl?


28 September 2012

Happy Friday!

"You can choose to live your life with the joy of the front row or solemness of the third row."

(Photo credit: istock)

26 September 2012

Time Travel

It is amazing to watch our little chickie growing up and SO FAST! Sometimes I look at her and can't help but think, "Wow...I actually made that!" She is learning new things every day. And while there is a part of me that still sees her as the fully dependent baby she was just 14 short months ago, it is the other part of me, the active mom, that gets to experience life again in a whole new, FUN way; childhood, discovering new things, playing Star Wars in the toy aisle at Target (True story and proud of it). 

Earlier, I was cleaning up my YouTube account and enjoyed going back through Maddy's videos. They start at 2 months and go through today. It blows my mind to think that this time last year Maddy wasn't even able to sit up on her own, crawl, or talk. Fast forward to today and she is doing all three and MORE. A LOT more - walking, talking, dancing, running, eating on her own. She's amazing.

So, enjoy with me, a little video montage of 2 months to today. And slow down with the growing, little chicken. 

Two months old and enjoying her swing

Five months old and laughing with mommy

Nine months old and crawling for the first time

Twelve months old and walking for the first time

13 months and enjoying bath time with daddy

14 months old and making friends

25 September 2012


Thomas Jefferson once said, "I cannot live without books."

I feel ya T.J.

I have always had a love for books. From the time I can remember, my face was always stuck in a book. My mother would tell me to "Go clean your room!" and two hours later she would come upstairs to find either 1. My face planted deeply in the crease of a Sweet Valley High book with my room still looking like a tornado hit it or 2. My body laid out on my bed, asleep with a book in my hand. My how times change! Now I don't really have time to do either - thanks Maddy! :)

My favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald and fittingly, my favorite book is The Great Gatsby. I read this book at least once a year. Last year I read it in the hospital after giving birth to Maddy. Don't judge! It was my one and only last chance to get in some good quality reading while she was in the nursery. :)

At any rate, lately I've been able to indulge a little more in my love for books. It's amazing how time and options open up the older your children are. We are fortunate that Maddy can, and enjoys, playing independently. She doesn't always need us to stay occupied and happy. This is a TREMENDOUS help to us. It allows us the flexibility and freedom to be able to get things done around the house AND enjoy ourselves too. She can play with her toys and I'm able to relax on the sofa with a good book and Michael can work on his schoolwork or writing. It's a win-win for everyone!

Lately we've found a lot of joy in visiting our local Barnes & Noble down the road. Michael and I get to indulge in our love of books and Maddy gets to roam and play. Yes - here's a great tip for all you moms with toddlers or soon to be toddlers - Barnes & Noble is an excellent option for fun with the kiddos. Maddy truly enjoys the Lego station where she's able to sit and build as long as she likes and to her heart's content and recently she discovered the stage with an endless supply of stuffed animal friends. Needless to say it's not always a nice scene trying to get her to leave (Intro the crying, screaming, and squealing) but she is having a blast while she's there and that's the most important thing.

I never would have thought I'd ever be happy trading in my weekends of sleeping in and laziness for waking at 7:30 and taking early morning trips to the bookstore. It truly is trading your life in when you have a child; your life is no longer your own. Your schedule is no longer your own. And while it's not always a bed of roses, it's worth it. The trade in far exceeds any idle thoughts of your former life. I'm happy, comfortable, and doing what I'm meant for in my life. What could be better?

Wanting to make friends

Making new friends

Madeline and Madeline

Sweet kisses for Clifford the Big Red Dog

This is why our kid is so cool - out of everything she could have picked up, she chooses the Marvel Heroes. LOVE.

Maddy and daddy building a house


Train time!

All smiles after a morning of fun

18 September 2012

What We've Been Up To Lately

To quote Ferris Beuller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
        Here's what we've been up to:

Lots of trips to Barnes & Noble. For the books yes, but mostly for the Legos...

Dressing up in costumes...

Hitching lots of rides on her own personal pony...er...daddy...

Cooking lots of fresh, homemade veggie dishes...

Lots of football - cheering on the Vols (And daddy's Noles)!

As you can see, we're making a more conscience effort to slow down and smell the roses. Life is short. We've decided that the time we have together is OUR time and we are going to enjoy it. Sometimes we have plans and other times we don't. We've decided to stop scheduling so much for ourselves in the way of outside commitments and simply enjoy living, even if that means laying on the sofa as a family watching movies, tennis, or re-runs of Friends or if we decide to go out and about. The important thing is that we are a family and we are doing all of these things TOGETHER. For the most part, we are taking it one day at a time and enjoying the little things in life...taking time to breathe. Taking time to rest. Taking time to do nothing.

Because really, life is what happens when you're busy making plans.  

Love to all,
Courtney, Michael, and Madeline

13 September 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the tub...

Maddy's Thought for the Day...

Maddy's thought for the day going into the notorious cold/flu/pass your shit along because you're a thoughtless, won't cover your nose/mouth when you sneeze/cough, spread your virus to everyone ROUB OF A PERSON season:

"You mean to tell me that there are thoughtless parents who will actually drop their kids off at day care knowing they are sick but do it anyway and pass all their junk along to me and my family??! NO."


12 September 2012

Duck, Duck, Swings!

After three weekends in a row of sickness and bad weather, we were finally able to make it out to the duck pond in Salem. Actually, as I write this, I'm still fighting a horrible stomach bug. Needless to say this blog post will be brief...sorry...I'll update more later when I'm feeling up to it. In the meantime, enjoy these photos and video.

The Salem Duck Pond has about 100 or so ducks of all shapes and sizes who basically sit around all day defecating on the sidewalk and grass while enjoying the delicious niblets of bread and cereal that us humans graciously leave behind. I expected Maddy to be super excited about going to visit the ducks but she was pretty unimpressed abut the whole thing. 

Eating the bread herself. Screw the ducks.

Maddy finally decides to share her bread.

Just a chickie and her ducks.

After visiting the ducks, we went down the road to the local park for a little fun time. Maddy really enjoyed the swing. So much so that she threw an epic fit when we removed her from it. No, I didn't get that on video. But give me time...it's bound to happen.

06 September 2012

Maddy's Thought for the Day...

"You mean to tell me that there's an 8 ft., possibly pregnant python who hasn't eaten in a couple of days roaming Roanoke and I'm not supposed to think it's dangerous?" Uh huh. No!"