Thursday, March 21, 2013

Caroline Monthly Letter: Month 80

Today you are 80 months old.

You have had a busy month.

You have landed your cartwheel a few times.  This is a huge accomplishment for you.  You have worked so hard on that cartwheel.  You are getting so great at it.  You are proud but more importantly, I am proud of you.

You are amazing, kid.

You never give up and that is pretty awesome.

Aunt Lucille passed away March 10, 2013.

Your little heart was broken.

I explained to you that God just give us Earth bodies.  They grow old and they die.  But the best is yet to come.  After our Earth bodies die, we get our Heaven body.  We get to be God's angels and that is a very happy time.

We talked a lot about you taking part in the visitation and funeral.  I let you decide if you wanted to go.  Of course you did.  I would not dare deny you that.

I think this month you have matured a little bit more.

I introduced you to "Blackbird" by the Beatles.

We rocked out to it today while you did your homework, as a matter of fact.

I am sure you will know every word in the next few days.

Have I ever mentioned your ability to remember song lyrics?

I feel like you get it from me.  I am pretty awesome at remembering lyrics too.

You have been checking out informative books from the library lately.

You love learning new information and sharing it with all of us.

A few weeks ago, you got a book on the water cycle.

You explained it all to us.  You also taught us that a cloud is water vapor and dust particles.  When they stick together, they form clouds.

You are smart, kid.  Sometimes you are too smart.

You truly thirst for knowledge.  You want to know answers and not the BS answers that most parents can get by with.  You want the REAL answer.  How do babies come out?  You want the real answer.  What are clouds?  You want the real answer.  How old would your great, great, great grandfather be?  You want the real answer.

You LOVE Judy Moody and The Not Bummer Summer.

You have been watching it on Netflix over and over again.

Judy gets a mood ring in the movie and you have wanted a mood ring ever since.

You got one the other day and to date, it is the best thing thing anyone has ever bought for you.

It has only turned dark blue and green.  You say you can't wait for it to turn orange.  That means you are crabby.  Ha!

You at constantly looking at it and examining it closely for any color change.

You think it is great and we love that you love it so much.

Today you are 80 months old.

These past 80 months have been an adventure.  You have taken us on an amazing adventure that we wouldn't trade for anything in this world.  I can't see where else you take us!

I love you!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend update.

After the nasty Heman-woman-haters virus and the death of a family member, we were ready for a relaxing weekend.

Friday night I went to an event with my mom.  It was fun to get dressed up, eat yummy food and drink a few glasses of wine.  I was also able to see a dear friend and that is always fun!

This photo is verification that I am an actual person.  I know that you rarely see me in photographs.  This is mainly because I hate pictures of myself.  This photo is also verification that I can't hold my shoulders back to save my life, my fingernails need painting, and I need to shave my head and just start all over again.

Saturday morning we headed to Hampstead, NC for the day.  Ryan's mom went with us.  We went down to eat breakfast with the Easter Bunny.  It was a fundraiser for my niece's school.  Cool fundraiser, huh?  I thought it was a great idea!

It just so happened that when we got there, the Easter Bunny had a flower in her hair.  Therefore, we actually ate pancakes with the Easter Bunny's sister.

The girls actually took there picture with the Easter Bunny's sister without shedding one tear.  They are growing up, people.  Can you believe it?

They had games, face painting and awesome crafts outside.  We went out and soon the Easter Bunny's sister followed.

Of course the girls stared at the Bunny playing a game.  Suddenly Caroline noticed something.

She noticed that the Bunny was in fact an imposture.  She did a small gasp and quickly turned around to inform us that she saw inside the Bunny's head when the Bunny bent down.

"I saw it!  I saw the hair!  It looked like Mrs. Arthur!"  (Mrs. Arthur is her teacher.)

I don't think she ever announced that the Bunny was a fake loud enough for anyone else to hear.  She totally ruined it for Emma though.  Emma would have never noticed the detached portion of the head on the costume.  She didn't seem to mind that the Bunny was a fake though.

After the Easter Bunny fiasco 2013, we went to visit my SIL's house and sat on the beach for a little while.

The girls and I have definitely been longing for salt air in our hair.  I could have stayed out there all day.  The breeze was really cool though and the girls decided to get in the water a little.  Their dresses got a little wet so we left soon after because they were freezing.

Saturday ended with 800 hush puppies, a half pound of spicy shrimp and a glass of wine (with ice).

Later in the evening, I met this creature...


They didn't even kill him.

He is just roaming around the shop were the boys are always working.

I dreamed of spiders crawling in my ears Saturday night.

Ugh!  I still get the chills looking at that thing.

I created a poster that I need to print and send with Ryan to hang up over there.

Our great weekend ended with Preschool Sunday.  Emma sang at the church where she goes to preschool.  She is awesome and we were all so proud of her.  We had a great lunch and a relaxing rest of the day.

We are already looking forward to this weekend.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



I was plagued with the Heman-woman-haters virus for a full 12 hours Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.


It was bad.

We are all MUCH better.

We have our appetite back.

Sheets are washed.

House is Lysoled.

I may have even Lysoled the girls a few times.  Just their clothes.  Don't judge.  This virus is TERRIBLE.

Here are a few randoms for you:

- I am trying to catch up on monthly letters for my girls.  I write little bits at the time so that I can publish them on their "month birthday".  I obviously didn't write them for February.  *Insert eye roll*  Just when I tell myself I am going to get something done... I don't do it.

- I am reading a few things right now to accomplish my 28 books that I want to read this year.

- I am currently addicted to Prison Break.  So is my husband.  We watch episode after episode.  We accomplish NOTHING with our lives these days.  It is kind of sad.

- I got a new camera.  I have taken some pictures to play around.  I LOVE it!

- Caroline has a gymnastics recital coming up soon.  She is super excited about it.

- Emma has a dance recital coming up soon.  She doesn't talk about it much.  I am trying not to make a big deal out of it and freak her out.  So, when all else fails... just ignore it altogether.

- Zoey Pearl (our dog) turned two this week.  She is still am 80 pound puppy that thinks she weighs 10 pounds.  She is still a lover of ducks and chewing EVERYTHING.

- It is midnight and I must go to bed.  Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spotlight: Weeping Willow Boutique (AND A GIVEAWAY TOO!)

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”

—Sophia Loren

Everyone is abuzz that our small town is finally getting a boutique.  Can you believe it?  A real life, super-chic boutique.  Living in a small town with a population around 21,000, this is pretty much our first clothing boutique. Excited does not even begin to describe how we are feeling.

In a quiet, quaint area of town nestled between the local framing shop and a lunch eatery is home to the new Weeping Willow Boutique.  Laura Blake and Cathy Goodman decided to open a lifestyle boutique together as a mother/daughter team.  Their mission is "to help women affordably achieve their dream closet with clothes they adore."  Count me in!  Who likes affordable?  Who wants to achieve their dream closet?  Who adores clothes?  Laura and her mom are super sweet and are excited about helping "customers find stylish pieces to add to their wardrobe."  They are committed to providing superb customer service so be ready for a fabulous shopping experience at their boutique.

Weeping Willow Boutique is a family business "dedicated to the details of making your shopping experience pleasurable and relaxing."  We are counting down the days until their doors open on March 16th.  It will be stocked with super cute dresses, tops, jeans, etc.  They will carry lines like DL1961, Ego Girl, Lilla P., Escapada, and Karlie.  The boutique will also carry a local line of adorable dog bow ties, Dapper Ducky.

Weeping Willow Boutique is located at 212 North Heritage Street in Kinston, NC.  It will be open Monday-Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Please mark MARCH 16th on your calendars.  Stop by Weeping Willow and say hello.  Maybe even go home with a dress or two or three or four.  You deserve it!  If you don't want to buy anything for yourselves, my birthday is March 26th and I will be more than happy to take anything you purchase.  I am normally a size small, sometimes medium.  No worries if you don't live close by, Laura and Cathy will be doing Facebook sales!  So, you can shop at the fabulous store with us too!  Aren't you stoked?

In celebration of Weeping Willow's grand opening, they are giving away a fabulous Monogrammed Beach Hat.  You can choose between a white or natural beach hat and you have a choice of monogram.  The lucky winner will be picked Friday, March 15th!!

It is super easy to enter...

1.  Go to Weeping Willow Boutique's Facebook page and like it.

2.  Go to this link and fill out the entry form.

3.  Share the giveaway with all of your friends!!

4.  Feel free to tell Laura that I sent you ;-)

Good luck!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Decima Lucille Anderson

Today a beloved woman passed away.

A woman born on April 12, 1916... the same month and year the light switch was invented.

She has pretty much seen it all.

She was the toughest, most courageous, strong-willed woman I have ever known.

Hans Christian Andersen once wrote that "a human life is a story told by God."

God told an amazing story with this woman's life.

We are sad.  We are really sad.  We want her here with us but I find myself thinking about how full her life was.  She saw things, experienced things, and lived 96 wonderful years.  For that, I can only celebrate.

Not many of us will live to be 96.  We can only hope to stay on this Earth for that long.

It is hard explaining death to a 4 and 6 year old.  It is hard for grown-ups to wrap their minds around the concept of death.  How do you explain it to children?  Today, we have talked about our memories instead of trying to explain.  Memories will be with us forever.  Caroline and Emma will always remember feeding her fish.  They will always remember the pieces of candy she would give them.  They will always remember her kind, loving spirit.  They will always remember.

I will always remember her hands.

That sounds weird but her hands were amazing to me.

I remember sitting quietly in her house one afternoon.  I am sure Caroline was rummaging through something and Emma was probably on my lap.  We would talk and we would sit in silence.  It was never weird or awkward.  During one of those silent times, I remember looking down at her hands.

There was a blanket laying neatly on her legs keeping her small frame warm, hands gently folded on her lap, ring slightly turned in resting between her fingers, painted nails slightly chipped on the corners.

I remember staring at those hands.  I remember thinking her veins and wrinkles were like a road map to life.

To me I felt like those hands probably held answers to questions I have about life.  Honestly, those hands probably held answers to what most of us wonder about life.

Hands that sewed millions of stitches.

Hands that made hundreds of banana puddings and cakes.

Hands that killed snakes that fell out of her chimney.

Hands that loved the warmth and comfort of a dog.

Hands that helped birth babies and change many diapers.

Those hands were love, patience, trust... and almost always painted.

Her fingers were so slender that her rings would always turn all the way around.  She never seemed to notice.

I noticed.

I noticed a lot about her hands.  They were beautiful.  I hope that my hands will one day be a road map.

I will always be in awe of what her hands have seen and done in her 96 years of life.


That was her first name.

Decima is Latin for the 10th.

How ironic that the 10th would be the day that she was reunited with all of her loved ones in Heaven.

Lucille is the name everyone knows her by.

Lucille means light.

She will forever be a light in my life.  I will do my best to keep her light alive in my girls too.

We will miss her a lot but like I told Caroline and Emma, she is an angel now and that is so awesome.  I just hope God kept her beautiful hands the same when she got to Heaven.  Oh, and I am pretty sure her nails are painted in Heaven too.


"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."   Matthew 5:4

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Garlic, honey, cinnamon, vinegar...

OMG it has been a month since I blogged.

Where has time gone?

I knew I hadn't blogged in a while but OVER A MONTH?


Well, you haven't missed much.

We were all sick with fever/colds/heman woman haters funk.

Mine lasted much longer and turned into a sinus infection that I thought was going to be the death of me.

I mean, at one point, I reached an all time low.

I was in such pain that I was eating straight minced garlic.  Did you know that garlic is an antiseptic and antibiotic, because of its high sulfur content?  You are welcome.  There are a million home remedies using garlic.

I drank honey, cinnamon, lemon mixtures.

I took shots of vinegar and liquor.

I was dying and I was going down with a little buzz AND smelling like garlic, cinnamon, vinegar and whiskey.

So, I finally broke down and went to the doctor.

After being on antibiotics for a few days, my torso started itching terribly.

No rash.

Just itch.  Constant terrible itch.

I was dying again.


I am finally over it all though.

We were all good until yesterday when Emma all of a sudden decided she would blow chunks everywhere.

After vomiting for 7 straight hours, totaling 8 vomit episodes... I thought we were on the mend.  UNTIL she decided to vomit one more time after drinking too much Gatorade.


Fingers crossed she is really on the mend now.

I got a phone call this morning that Caroline was throwing up.  She spent the night with Ryan's parents.  She threw up twice and now she is napping.

Ryan has terrible body aches.  He hasn't gotten out of the bed.

My house smells like Lysol and Clorox.

I am next and I am scared out of my mind.

I have already been taking vitamin C, drinking honey/cinnamon mixtures.  Bless.  Maybe I should go ahead and take a shot of whiskey so when this virus takes me down, I do down with a buzz.

Keep me in your prayers.

PS- if you know any great home remedies to boost your immune system, please share!!