Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pillowcase Dresses

Y'all may remember that my friend, Jenny, has an awesome sewing blog featuring items for women, children and the home.  Although she is very modest and won't tell you herself, Jenny is a real life designer and her patterns are available internationally (yes, you read that right) AND she just started selling dresses in a local boutique! 
Well, guess what? 
She made the sweetest dress for Charlotte and asked her to be a model for the design! 
*fun fun, fun*
So, you can see Charlotte and Jenny's sweet Miss Catherine swinging and holding hands on the Classic Pillowcase dress pattern :)
I recommend that you start following Jenny's blog ASAP so you can say "you knew her back when" before she becomes an internationally famous superstar. 
 But, I just want to get on record now that I've already put in a request to accompany her to Paris Fashion Week, should the need ever arise.  Sorry, you missed out.  I held a vote, and I won.  Unanimously.  That's the perk of being a professional hand model (see below).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hippity Hop

Easter was so much fun this year~~

Barrett really hit his stride with egg-hunting and Charlotte got to wear her pretty bonnet and see several bunnies, a consistent favorite in our house.

Barrett didn't show much interest in his first egg hunt of the season with his Mother's Day Out class...this is probably my fault because we hadn't practiced at home.
Walking to the playground egg hunt with his class
He dropped a few eggs in his dump truck basket and then was off to play with the playground dump trucks and slide. 

Time to slide!!
He was a little more interested by the time we went to the alum Easter egg hunt at the DZ house, but was distracted by fudge striped cookies (I can relate...) and mostly ran around the yard and tried to flee to the Kappa house next door.  I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere...

Charlotte ~loved~ sitting in the Easter bunny's lap and cried when she had to give up her turn.  Luckily for Charlotte, Barrett (and several of the other children) wouldn't go near the bunny, so she got to have several turns :)

Charlotte also learned to put eggs in her little basket~~  big girl!

By the time Easter morning rolled around, everyone knew the drill.  After the kiddos opened their baskets from the Easter bunny, we packed up for Easter church and spent the rest of the day enjoying each other and spending time with family.  He is risen!
The Easter bunny brought goodies!

Easter egg hunt in the church garden.
Barrett had his egg-hunting mojo by now and was too busy filling his basket for pictures!

~Hoppy Easter~

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish

I know it's been a while. Here's what we've been up to lately:
:: Kristopher and I celebrated the anniversary of our first date by going to the same restaurant where he took me for the first time 10 years ago.  And I surprised both of us by not mentioning that fun fact to our waitress.  In case you can't tell the difference in the pictures below because we look the exactly same (ahem...cough, cough), I'll date them for your convenience.
2002: old picture taken in Kristopher's truck.  Not sure why we look so orange.
Please notice the cowboy hat rack mounted to the roof.  He swears the truck came that way.  Ummmhmm.

2012: grainy cell phone picture taken in the car on the way to dinner
No cowboy hat rack anymore, but we do have two cowprint carseats in the back, so that's something.
:: The annual pediatric cardiology tennis tournament was a major success!! This year, I organized the silent and live auctions, which consisted of over 95 items and raised appx $20,000 for our cause. The weekend overall raised about $100,000! Hooray!
"Heart Moms" on the LPCF Committee
Barrett's wonderful cardiologist asked us to join a committee of parent volunteers and it has been an extremely rewarding experience. It is somehow therapeutic to work for a cause that is so dear to us, and sometimes a little emotional, when we are reminded of grave statistics and how close we came to being on the wrong side of those odds.
Barrett's cardiologist, working the gala check-in table
I was deeply moved by how many of our friends and family reached out to show their support for our cause during this event. I am hesitant to push our cause on anyone because 1. I know that everyone has their own cause that is special to them and 2. I never want make anyone I care about feel obligated. I think this is why I was so overwhelmingly moved by all those who reached out to us -- our amazing family and neighbors, friends from the park and the gym and Junior League, a ton of Kristopher's business associates, friends of friends who became involved when they heard Barrett's story...the outpouring was overwhelming and we are so thankful :)

Now that we've had some time to process Barrett's journey, I think that I speak for both Kristopher and I by saying that Barrett's near-tragedy ended up being a blessing to our lives in unexpected ways. Of course, I am not saying that I'm glad that our precious boy went through this, but I do have enough perspective to realize it has made me a better mother than I might have been otherwise. I have a tendency to rushrushrush to get things accomplished and move on to the next task. This experience taught me about the fragility of every moment and that I had better slow down to cherish the small things before they are gone. It really can slip through your fingertips whether you are ready or not.

I never planned to stop practicing law to be with my babies.  Initially, it was difficult for me to step away from work when Barrett wasn't eligible for daycare. Not because I thought being in the office was more important than caring for my sweet boy, but simply because it was a huge part of my personal identity and I had not PLANNED it.

Well, this was a clear lesson about how God's plan is always better than your own. It is scary to go from two incomes to one -- budgets and economies aren't fun. But I would not give one single deposition, brief, or hearing for a second of the time I've been blessed to share with my children from staying home to care for them. It's not all lollipops and rainbows all the time, but these are MY moments with MY children and I'm glad I'm around to experience them.
Plus, (brace yourself for a shock), it turns out that litigation is stressful. I find that I'm more patient, nice, and calm without it. And I no longer count my time in 6 minute intervals. (let's see, I spent .1h changing Charlotte's diaper, plus .3h fixing sippy cups and snacks, and .2h finding Barrett's shoes and wrestling the kids into the car all so we can spend .6h feeding the ducks and going to the park....but, hey, it's worth it!)
I realize that the choice to work v. stay home is controversial and polarizing. I don't mean to say that one is better than the other. But, I found what works for me, and although part of me struggled about the decision, I've come to embrace it. I don't think things would be the same if it weren't for Barrett's struggle. But now I can accept it, and in a way, move past some of the pain we felt in that tough time. So, we will continue to participate in the pediatric cardiology foundation. It is an important cause to support, and it keeps supporting us :)

:: In the happiest news in the history of ever, my sister is having a baby BOY!!!! Hooray!!! We are so over the moon and I can't wait to meet this precious boy. As soon as she finalizes the name, I'm going to be monogramming up a storm. Although I briefly doubted whether we were related because she has gained about two ounces and looks ultra-amazing as she approaches her third trimester, I really couldn't be happier for her and I know that she and Micah will be amazing parents. Just amazing. What a lucky little peanut :) I love you already, sweet boy * * *
Yay for baby Peanut!!!
:: Barrett, Charlotte, and I took a trip to Birmingham to visit my family. We had a blast and went to the science museum and zoo. Separate blog post and pictures to follow!

Spoiler alert: We rode a camel! Named Daisy!
:: We participated in the American Heart Association heart walk and had a great time! We had a team of pediatric cardiology survivors and even had special t-shirts with the survivors names :)

Hanging out at the PCA tent after the walk
Our "heart baby"
:: The kids and I rescued a puppy. We found him running around on a busy street with no collar. The neighbors in the adjacent area didn't recognize him, so we took him to a nearby animal hospital to see if he had a micro-chip. He did!! And it turns out that he was even a patient at that very same animal hospital!! He was a 5m old long-haired dachshund mix named Shipley. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't need me to take him home and play with him until his owners came to get him, but this is probably for the best because Kristopher might have killed me for bringing home a lost puppy. Farewell, Shipley!! Glad you made it back home!

:: Easter!!! Barrett got the hang of egg hunting and Charlotte loved being around Easter bunnies. Separate blog post to follow.

:: I've started sewing and monogramming again after a hiatus and have made 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of ruffle girl shorts, 3 pairs of ruffle pj pants, 6 appliqué shirts, and three pocket monogram shirts in the past week for friends kids (except for the pj pants -- those were for Charlotte).

:: We are going to flip a house and we close in a few days.  The plan is to remodel and add on appx 1100 square feet. It is exciting to plan the remodel and we are super busy with a million details.  we want to get on the market in August. That will be a major feat on a short timetable. Wish us luck!

:: The kids and I survived a stomach bug. It was fast and furious and I'm glad it is gone. Enough about that. Ugh.

Those are the highlights~