Thursday, September 12, 2013

my sweet toddle tot

I'm feeling the need for a major kid update tonight.  She has changed SO very much these past few months (it's noticeable daily hourly now, y'all...).  I just sat there two nights ago and literally could not believe that she's a full fledge big kid now.  It just doesn't seem right...

Anywho, she is pretty much the coolest tiny human I have ever met in my life.  And she's absolutely gorgeous on top of that!  She's so fun, creative, well-mannered, curious, smart,and just plain awesome.

Let's chat a little about the fun things she does lately:

  • She dances.  Now this is nothing new because this kid has always loved to dance.  But now when she hears music and gets the urge to boogie, she wants to dance with someone...and she commands that person to dance as well.  She'll run up and grab both hands, shout "dance", and off she goes!
  • She just shouted "ready, set, go" for the first time tonight--too cute.
  • Nearly every time you ask what color something is, her reply is pink (occasionally we'll get a blue or green).  This is much to her "she can't have anything pink" daddy's dismay.
  • She is obsessed with loves all things Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  So much so that a song from the show came on Pandora today and she named out each character as they sang.  And we have 30 episodes saved on the DVR.  And we have 9 DVDs of the show...  You wouldn't think that was excessive if you knew how much this kid loves that mouse and all his friends.
  • She started counting a few weeks ago--1,2..6,7,8.  Every time.  And if you try to get her to say 1,2,3 she says "noooo!" and corrects you to say 1, 2, 6, 7, 8....
  • We have the saying "together is a wonderful place to be" on our wall above our bed.  Every night she points out the letters--she knows O (she can recognize these anywhere), S (she can recognize these anywhere), P, and sometimes E, B, and A.  We're proud :)
  • She also recognizes the numbers 2 and 8 when she sees them
  • When she leaves someone, she has started saying "you too" instead of "bye".  This is because when we go to a store or restaurant and the server ends with "have a good day", I always reply "you too"--and she repeats.  So now she says it on her own when she has to part ways.
  • Her favorite songs that she can sing (at least parts of) and do motions to are "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "If You're Happy and You Know It", "Old McDonald" (also know as Yi-Yi-Yoo...and the only animal Bella puts on his farm is the chicken), and "This Little Light of Mine"
  • She knows so many animal sounds that I've lost count.  I'm going to try to list them, but I'll probably forget one.  Frog, Rabbit (scrunches nose and sniffs), Lion, Tiger, Bear, Monkey, Bird, Elephant (lifts one arm and blows through her lips), Crab (pinches pointer and thumb), Alligator (clamps whole hand together), Rooster, Chicken, Dog, Cat, Fish (opens and closes her mouth real quick several times), Sheep, Horse, Cow, Bug (ssss...ewww...yuckies), Snake, Turtle (she recognizes them, but for some reason she insists they ribbit), Butterfly (flaps both arms up and down like crazy)...and I'm probably forgetting some
  • She loves to pray.  When we all sit down to eat, she asks for both of our hands, and says, "let pay".  Then she squints her eyes and bows her head (for about the first 5 seconds...); when it's over she squeezes our hands and shouts "Amen!"
  • She loves to shout "Amen!" in church at the end of every prayer as well (or if the preacher asks if he can get an amen...she always obliges).  You can always see the shoulders of everyone bouncing up and down as they chuckle at her.
  • That kid says "thank you" more often than anyone I've ever met (and in context).  You can be handing her each individual card in a full deck, and she'll thank you all 52 individual times.  This was her third full word (after daddy and Tech) and we never had to work on it.  She picked it up on her own and always, always shows her gratitude.  A lot of times when she's thanking me, she'll sneak in a "my" as in, "tank chu my mama"...Melt. My. Heart.
  • She also says "yes please" whenever she wants something or needs help or is asked to use her words.  "I hold you", "Help!", "Dat's Right!" and "I stuck!" are some of our other favorite phrases.
  • She climbed out of her crib for the first time today; and considering I walked in to her clinging to the outer edge for dear life, screaming in terror, I'm hoping she won't do it again.  We are however going to be switching to a toddler bed soon as a result.  I was going to use that as my clue that she was ready (unless she got to a ridiculous age to still be in a crib first!  Fret not, she wouldn't have started Kindergarten in a crib :P)
  • She loves to talk on the phone--they're one of her favorite toys.  And she actually talks!  "hwo! wcha doin?  baby jibber...K! Bye!"  
  • Books are a necessity, especially in the car and at church.  And at home.  And anywhere we go really.  I'm really hoping she'll have my love of reading and both mine and Hunter's love of learning.
  • She is still Hunter's little helper.  Whether he's reloading ammo, working on cars, fishing in the boat...that little tot is right by his side.  If he's in the garage and she's not with him, she stands at the door, beats on it, screaming "Daa-ey! Daa-ey!" until he lets her go play with him :)
  • She recognizes the LA Tech symbol and the state of Louisiana, pointing them out and naming them anytime she spots one.  Talk about make these parents proud!
  • She also loves football--going to the games and watching them on TV (Score!  No clue where she got that love from ;)  She recognizes the balls and their helmets as belonging to football.  She'll also say Who Dat! (and knows to go get our Saints football when we say that!)
  • Speaking of Who Dats and Fleur de Lis...Hunter has a tattoo on his shoulder of a fleur de lis and AJ, Arabella's initials.  He'll add to it with each kid we have, which I think is pretty sweet... Anywho.  Bella saw it a few months ago and asked what it was, so we told her "that's AJ!"  Now any time she sees a fleur de lis, she points out, "Dat's AJ!"
  • She calls me Angie and her daddy Hunter a lot of the time...  It's not said in disrespect so we let it slide and usually giggle about it.  Last time Hunter was out of town for work, she really missed him and struggled with him being gone.  However, instead of whining for daddy, she moped around the house saying, "I awnt Hunner...where Hunner...I awnt Hunner"
  • She knows the difference between a car and a truck and a motorcycle (calls it a bike) and a boat...however, they all go "voom voom!"
  • That little girl loves shoes.  She'll come stand next to me, grab my leg, and ask for my shoes--expecting me to give her the ones right off my feet!  And of course I do...  If she finds a pair of shoes out, they go on her feet (she's flopping around in Hunter's size 15 Crocs right now as I type this...).  She even takes the shoes from ladies at church!  

  • Last week, she started holding her hand to her ear and either whispering "lissen" or saying "herd dat?" anytime she hears a noise from a distance (a car going down the road, Hunter working on something in the other room, the washing machine, any little noise!)
  • She gives the absolutely sweetest and best hugs and kisses.  Actual squeezes in the hugs and puckered little binkie-less lips for the kisses.  She also gives butterfly and eskimo kisses--and that just makes me smile :)

There's so much more that I can't put it all in this post...  She's just a really stinkin' cool kid.  And we have no idea why we were the lucky ones chosen to guide her through this life.

I love my little weirdo...and I never ever want her to want to be "normal"...

Now I have to start planning her SECOND birthday party!  Time goes by much too quickly for my liking...

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our lives :)
love, angie

Sunday, September 8, 2013

happy Fall, y'all!

So down here in the south, we don't get a true fall.  Or Spring.  Or Winter.  It's pretty much chilly, warm, hot, and hotter...

But September 1 signals FALL in my brain!  And since it, all the way through winter/December, is my absolute favorite time of year, I don't care what the temperature is outside--it's fall, y'all!

Fall=football season.  Mmm Mmm Mmmm.  I love football season!  It might have something to do with my high school marching band career placing me at every Friday night game; it might have something to do with living in the south; and it just might be because I'm me.  But the rush of the crowd, the intensity and pace of the game, the support of the fans, the talent of the players, the thrill of a win--I just love it!  High school, college, NFL--I'll take it!

The fact that Sean Payton gives the pep talk at the beginning of this video just completely made me love it!  WHO DAT!!

My boy also jerked me on to the Fantasty Football bandwagon this year (along with his brothers and their ladies in the league).  I'm somewhat excited, simply because I love football anyway!  But I also got to name my team--and that's a big deal, right?  I mean, it's your name; it what people know you as.  Second to your drafted players, it's big! (not to mention I'm a major word maybe it's a little more important to me than most).  I wanted a pun, something witty and humorous, but nothing I could find or think of seemed to fit me.  Until I found this quote from The Great Gatsby:  "he would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game..."
Hence, my team "Dramatic Turbulence" was born :)

Fall=beautiful colors.  Have you ever really taken in the richness of the colors of fall?  My house is pretty much decorated in these hues year round because I'm drawn to them.  But bringing out my fall decor amplifies them and it makes my heart smile!  Not to mention the pumpkin patches, store fronts, and changing leaves (we get a couple of trees that change down here...but I can look at pictures too!)...

Fall=delicious smells.  It is amazing how busy a kitchen can become in the fall!  Between pumpkin and sweet potato pies; coffee and warm apple cider simmering; courses cooked with love and warmth.  My stomach, my nose, and my heart can't get enough!  Not to mention the candles...Oy, the candles!  Yum-O!

Fall=cooler weather (eventually...).  And therefore it equals boots and sweaters and scarves and sweatshirts and comfort.  All of this=snuggles!  And I love to snuggle (even if it's with myself...).  These are my comfort clothes, the ones I feel the best in...and I love getting to wear them!

So, I'm gonna turn my air conditioner down, put on some warmer clothes, and ball up on the couch with some candy corn while the scent of my candles wafts my way...because it's September, and that means it's fall, y'all!

love, angie

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


My heart is restless tonight, so I'm taking to my keyboard...

I mentioned a while back that we took some of our youth group kids to a camp at Lubbock Christian University at the beginning of the summer.  It was an incredible week that opened our eyes and hearts to so many elements of our relationship with each other and with our Savior.  Throughout the week, there are classes to attend (there are 20 or so offered, but you get to choose 15 to go to total).  These aren't normal "sit and listen to someone talk" kind of classes; they take on the name of the camp, "Encounter", in that they involve you in the message through role play and tangible truly encounter the material they are each presenting.

One of those classes was the peak of the week for all 10 of us, hands down.  The class was titled "Beloved", and it changed my heart forever.

I can't express every detail of the class because it is something you would just have to experience to understand.  However, I can tell you that we spent 45 minutes in the presence of God and His Holy Spirit was very present in that room.  The teachers talked of how we are God's beloved, and all that He wants us to do is love and be loved.  It sounds like such a simple concept; but if you really think about it and try to comprehend it, it is amazing.

The God of the Universe...He loves me.  And there is nothing I can do to make Him love me more; and there is nothing I can do to make Him love me less.

They played the song "How He Loves" by the David Crowder Band and we lifted our hands and poured out our hearts to the God who loves us.  The teachers came around and laid hands in prayer upon each of us.  I get chills remembering the moments.

And now, this song has become one that stirs my heart to its core every time I hear it (as does it for the other 9 of our group who were there).  None of us hear it without letting the others know--it's message penetrated our hearts that deeply.

A couple of months ago, my dad developed a blood clot in his leg (a week after have rotator cuff repair surgery).  It was absolutely terrifying...  Hunter and I drove over late Saturday night because I just couldn't not go see my daddy.  We sat with my parents and my sister, holding hands and crying and praying, and I was overcome with fear.  I went to bed that night nauseous and with a migraine, with almost no peace in my mind or heart.

Sunday morning, as my sister and I drove back to the hospital, "How He Loves" came on the radio...and tears flowed down my cheeks.  My God was speaking to me and calming my heart.  I immediately felt a peace come over me; my body warmed up and stopped shaking, my world felt focused again.

So now as I sit awake, struggling with matters of my heart, I play this song and know that I am held and I am loved.  In spite of all of my shortcomings, my problems, and my struggles, I am my God's beloved and He simply needs me to let myself be loved.

because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you...

rest in Him, friends
love, angie

This song has always been one I liked because of the vivid imagery and detail in its lyrics.  But after that week at Encounter, it holds a tremendous depth and spirituality.  Take a few minutes and read the words; let them sink in to your soul; listen to the melody; and feel the embrace of God's love.

And He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh, how he loves us, oh
Oh, how he loves us, how he loves us all

And He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

And oh, how he loves us, yeah, he loves us
Oh, how he loves us, oh, how he loves us
Oh, how he loves

And we are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking...
And Heaven meets Earth like an unforseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

Oh, how he loves, oh, how he loves us, oh
Oh, how he loves us, how he loves us all
How he loves
Yeah he loves us, oh, how he loves us
Oh, how he loves us, oh, how he loves
Oh, what love
Yeah, he loves us, yeah, he loves us
How he loves us, oh, how he loves us all