Monday, April 23, 2012

Little Cowgirl

Mattie was invited to a birthday party for a friend this weekend that took place at a local ranch. We were blessed with gloriously beautiful weather and cool temps, and a fun time was had by all. Mattie declared it the best party ever.

The girls got to do lots of fun things including a 300ft zip line and a hayride, but the hands down favorite of Mattie was the horse riding.

Each girl had a horse and each horse had a cowboy, and the cowboys walked the girls around a huge fenced in corral area. They did this for close to an hour. Mattie made fast friends with her cowboy and I think she talked his ear off. Every time they circled by me either her mouth was moving or his was : ). There's just something about a cowboy, isn't there?

These are just some cute pics I took with my phone. Of course I didn't have my big camera with me! Mattie insisted on dressing the part, so I pulled out a plaid dress for her, jean leggings, and a cowboy hat from VBS several years ago. She was a cute little cowgirl : )

Monday, April 16, 2012

Presley Kate

I was just noticing that my last several posts have been all about Miss Mattie, so I thought I'd post a few Presley pics from last month to balance that out some : ) 

She may be small, but her personality is somewhat large.  We spend our days and evenings in laughter over her antics.  She has a huge vocabulary for her age, and speaks pretty clearly, with some exceptions, of course, but for the most part, she's a great talker.  And she understands humor, knows what it takes to get a laugh, and she knows her comedy strengths.  These things put together make for a funny, funny child.  She's definitely our little clown, and no one makes me laugh like her.   

Presley is 2-1/2 now, and is looking like such a big girl to me.  She's quite tall for her age, and she really looks about a year older than she is.  Oftentimes in my head, I think of her as a 3yr old. 

But at the same time, there is lots of baby left in her.  Even though diapers and highchairs are a thing of the past for us, she is still in her crib, and I may let her stay there until she's 5 years old.  She loves her baby bed, and is a champion napper and sleeper, so I refuse to mess with a good thing.  Mattie was in a full sized bed at this point, but I'm trying to hold on to my baby a little longer this time.  We also still rock every night before bed, and wheras I would have probably seen that as a hassle when Mattie was this age, I savor it and drink it in every night this time around.  Childhood, particularly "babyhood" flys by faster than this mama's heart can catch up, so I'm holding on to what I can.
Don't judge me, but she also still has her "pappy" (pacifier) for sleeping.  I know I should take it away.  I know that we had taken Mattie's away long before she had reached the age Presley is at.  And I know the longer I wait, the harder it will be to do it.  But....but, but but.  She's my baby, and I'm extending her a little more grace in this area than I did Mattie.  Matthew said just this week that she has to be rid of it before we go to the beach, so I guess the countdown is on : (  I dreaded doing this with Mattie because she was very attached to hers, much like Presley.  I just knew it was going to be a huge ordeal, and she'd regress in her potty training, and she'd stop sleeping at night, and she'd cry for weeks over it.  But what happened was, we took it away....and nothing happened.  She cried for about 30 minutes over it, and that was that....never mentioned it or begged for it again.  And I know it will be the same with Presley......but....

The above picture sums her up pretty well....such a little mess, and knows it!  We adore her, and can't imagine a world without her. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mattie turns 6!

Our little Mattie-girl turned six years old on the sixth of this month.  Unbelievable.  Will my heart ever make peace with the passage of time?  I think no. 

Her birthday was on a Tuesday, and then we had her party that following Saturday.  But, these pictures are completely backwards and all jumbled up and I'm too tired to fix them....which sort of makes them a metaphor for my life.

This is what ended up being the cakes for Mattie's party. 

Not what I had originally planned, but does a party ever come off without a hitch?  The ones I throw certainly don't.  Mattie originally wanted a "rainbow" themed party, and the cake idea that we agreed upon was to have cupcakes frosted in a rainbow of colors, and then arrange those cupcakes in a rainbow shape.  This was completely doable and even easy in my mind, and it would've ended up looking something like this (picture via pinterest):

 But the day before the party she told me she decided she hated that idea and instead wanted an actual cake with a rainbow made out of frosting.  Long story short, I burned the cake the night before the party, and it had to go in the trash, and I ended up at Walmart at 7:00am and had to buy 3 of their bakery cakes and come home and paint the rainbows on them myself, finishing *just* before we had to leave to get to the party.  So, so, so very typical of my life!

Mattie had her heart set on having her birthday party at our local gym's swimming pool.  It is a great party spot, but not the cheapest, so we told her we would do this, but the party was her gift from us (mean parents, ha!), and she was all for it!  I went really light (weak!) on decorations and just had a banner from The Dollar Tree and tableware in rainbow colors...she loved it! 
The present table....we are currently working through writing thank you notes for this haul of gifts:

Mattie opening:
Group pic of all the kids at the party.  We were thankful for a great turnout and so many friends there!

Blowing out SIX candles....I can't get over it. 
I took this picture because in all the hustle and bustle of slicing and handing out cake to 20+ kids, I lost track of Presley for a second....when I looked up, she had found a spot at the table right in the middle of Mattie's friends.  She thinks all of Mattie's friends are her friends too....and they are all very sweet to her:

OK, now back up a few days to the actual day of Mattie's birthday, which was Tuesday, March 6th.  I wanted to do something fun for her so that her actual day felt special to her, so after she fell asleep the night before her birthday, I hung baloons in her doorway , and in the doorway leading into our living room, and above our kitchen table.  I cannot say enough how easy this way but what a HUGE deal it was to her....she thought it was the greatest thing ever and felt very special when she woke up...goal acheived!  I will now have to do this for Presley in October, and for both girls birthdays from now on, that's how much they loved it. 

We had spaghetti at my parent's house that night,and I made her a little cake to have there.  Here's a pic of her blowing out six candles....we were Face-Timing w/ my sister at the time, so she actually took the pic:

Mattie's party invite:

And here's my six year old.  So, so proud of what a precious girl she is.  Hands down the smartest, cutest, funniest, sweetest, most adorable six year old I've ever known, and to think she belongs to me just blows my mind.  Blessed, blessed mama am I.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

The girls had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday....lots of fun, sweets, and partying, which is what makes all kids happy, right? Here some pics of our festivities.

I saw this Valentine idea of Pinterest a while back and thought it was so cute and thought I'd give it a try. This was SO, SO super easy and cheap (about $2.50 for the prints and $2 for the suckers), and Mattie absolutely loved them. I was kinda thinking they were the cutest thing ever, and then I started seeing all this backlash on blogs and facebook about mom's who do too much on holidays to make themselves look better, and you should let your kid do their own valentine's, and blah blah blah. To all that chatter I say, this is the fun part of being a mom to me. Did Mattie hand make these all by herself? No. Did she help? Yes. When I told her the idea, did she love it, and then when she saw the finished product, did she say "best valentine's ever, mom!"? YES! So, whatever....we liked them. Mattie would hand out signed headshots of herself if it were up to her, so this was kind of a version of that.

On Sunday, we decorated a box for Mattie to take to school for all her Valentine's to go in. Lots of fun, and I let her pull out whatever she wanted to use from my craft stash, and I expected it to look pretty hodge-podgy, but she's got some decor ability about her, I think!

I had to take a picture of the card Mattie made for her teacher because I thought it was so sweet. We have been blessed with what is the absolute best Kindergarten teacher to ever walk the planet, and Mattie absolutely adores her:

The inside is what I thought was so precious, ha!:

These are the cookies I made for her class party...another Pinterest inspiration:

I ended up having to take Presley with me to Mattie's class party. Not my ideal situation, but it turned out OK. Mattie was so thrilled to have her there, and Presley felt like such a big girl. She begs me to take her in Mattie's school ALL the time, and she knows Mattie's teacher, so she felt like she was one of the students for an hour yesterday.

We finished our day with daddy bringing home balloons and candy for both girls, and we had a very routine, nothing-fancy dinner, BUT, I turned off the kitchen lights, and we lit candles on the table, so we had what Mattie calls a "Candle-Night Dinner". And daddy did bathtime even though it wasn't his turn, which is about the most romantic thing I could have asked for. Hope everyone enjoyed Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Last week Mattie participated in her school's History Parade. I was the proudest mama ever! This was not a required activity, completely voluntary, but Mattie really wanted to do it, and she could not have performed better. She really suprises me sometimes because she can be so shy and bashful, but give her an opportunity to get on a stage, and she's all over it!

We debated long and hard about what character from history she should portray, and finally we decided upon Pocahontas. Mattie loves Pocahontas and we had a Native American costume that I was able to alter to fit her, so this worked perfect!

Next we had to come up with a "speech". Mattie is my first child to go to kindergarten, and I have never been to the History Parade before, so I had no idea exactly how much of a "speech" we should prepare for her. Should it be long, should it be short....I had not idea! So I wrote up a brief Pocahontas life summary and we set about memorizing it over the next week.

On the day of the History Parade, Mattie was nervous, but she had an awesome costume and she knew her speech inside and out, so I kept reminding her of those things, and she ended up doing SO GOOD!

Here's my little Indian girl:

Mattie was about the sixth child to go in the parade, and every kid before her just got up on stage, and said who they were, and walked off. No speeches! I worried for a second that Mattie would panic and do the same, but she walked up and did her whole speech, and I almost levitated out of my chair I was so proud!

Here is her speech, which I'm putting here mainly so I can remember it:

Hi, My name is Pochahontas.
I was born in Virginia in 1595.
When I was a young girl, settlers came to my area.
A man named John Smith was taken prisoner by my people.
But I saved his life!
After that I visited Jamestown frequently, and became friends with the settlers there,
and there was peace during this time.
Later, I moved to England, and I died there with small pox in 1617.

Obviously, there is much more to Pochantas' life, but we were trying to hit the high points!

Here is Mattie on stage:

So, the History Parade is actually a competition, and they give awards by class in several different categories, and then the top performers from each class are invited to participate in the History Parade showcase at the end of the week at The Arts Center. Mattie won all the awards for Kindergarten (best speech, best costume, most creative, best essay) and she was asked to participate in the showcase!

Here she is that Friday on the big stage:

She had to go very first, but she rocked her speech again!

I was so impressed with ALL the kids that did the history parade. Tons of talented kids at her school, and lots of really, really good performances. We love our school!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashback Friday

I've seen this on a couple other blogs, and thought I'd do it too. These pictures are a "flashback" to 2008...nearly 4 years ago. This is Mattie as a 2yr old...she's about 27months here, which is about what Presley is now. I love looking back at pictures of Mattie and comparing them to Presley now. They are so different!

Big blue eyes!

Mattie had SO much more hair than Presley has. Presley's is just now reaching her shoulders, and at this point Mattie had already had several haircuts, and it was still down her back:

Happy little 2yr old!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I finally got Christmas pictures uploaded!
We had the best, most wonderful, most blessed Christmas ever.  Family, blessings, happiness, togetherness…all the things that Christmas should bring abounded for us, and I hope for many more Christmas just like it!
We did our first Christmas gathering at my in-laws…so fun!   The girls got some great presents, and we had a fun time together.
Mattie loves Barbie movies, and she got two that night…happy girl!
Presley got the cutest pair of “blinged” Converse shoes.  She loved them and had to put them on immediately.  They’ve gotten lots of wear since Christmas!
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to the Christmas Eve service at church.  We never miss it, and for me, it’s the perfect way to really get your mind and heart focused on Christ at Christmastime.   I didn’t get any pictures before, but afterwards we came back to my parents house, along with my in-laws, and had a wonderful time together eating and letting the kids entertain us!
My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew always come at Christmas, and to say my girls adore their cousin may be a slight understatement.  They absolutely love him, rightfully so, because he is precious and sweet.   He is five years older than Mattie, but they get along so good, and he is such a good big cousin to her. 
Here they are being silly.  Christmas Eve had all the kids particularly amped up:
I really wanted to get some good pictures of the cousins while they were together, but this turned into mission impossible.  I have about 150 outtake pictures of the three of them in front of the Christmas tree and either someone is giggling, someone’s eyes are shut, or someone is getting up to run away in ALL of them! 
I also tried to get a good picture of my mom with her grandkids (my dad, like Mattie, felt the need to immediately get into his PJ’s after dinner, so he was not camera ready).  We got lots of outtakes from that as well. 
Here is Presley wanting Jolie (the Goldendoodle) in the picture:
Finally get all the kids wrangled, and Presley won’t quit loving on the dog:
Finally, success!  Mimi and her grands:
Presley was watching me while I edited these pictures, and she wanted to know why she has her finger out in the picture above.  She kept saying “What I saying, mom?  What I saying?”, and she finally answered herself and said “I saying ‘no cwib fo’ a bed, Mom’”.  Which, no she wasn’t, but how cute is that?
Presley is one of the most loving little people I’ve ever known.  She loves everybody, and I have never seen her be mean to anybody (except Mattie, on occasion).  As much as she loves people, she also loves animals, and she is particularly dog (and cat) obsessed.  My brother’s family always brings their dog, and Presley LOVES her…we joke that this is her favorite cousin:
Diamond is a golden retriever that they got from a shelter, and she’s sweet as can be. 
PJ-clad Mattie and daddy:
My precious and adorable nephew who gets more handsome and photogenic every year:
So we finally get home on Christmas Eve, and Mattie puts out the reindeer food:
And then we put out cookies for Santa.  I wanted a cute picture of the girls in their Christmas pj’s by the cookies for Santa, but Presley threw a huge fit that we wouldn’t let her eat Santa’s cookies, so this is the pic I got….memories!:
I love, love, love playing Santa after the girl’s go to bed.  We have been parents now for six Christmases and I really cannot remember what the fun was in this holiday before we had kids.  We turn on The Christmas Story marathon (thank you, TBS), and start putting together Santa stuff, and stuffing stockings.  This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas to spend with Matthew…love it!
Awesome daddy working hard on the baby doll bed:
Santa has been here!
This is Mattie’s side….she got an Easy Bake Oven and a Nintendo DS (on the arm of the couch):
This is little Presley’s side.  All during Christmas, anytime we would ask Presley what she wanted Santa to bring, she would say “COOKIES!!”, every single time.  We got the biggest kick out of this, and I knew Santa would bring something else, but he better deliver on the cookies too.  So she got a sweet bed for her baby dolls, but notice the oreos (her fave) on the arm of the chair:
Just waking up to see what Santa brought….please notice me in the mirror reflection because that is the only photographic evidence that I was even around on Christmas day.  I’ve got to get better about handing the camera to someone else every now and then!
Love this….Mattie amazed that Santa actually ate the cookies and drank the milk:
Tearing into presents!  I wish I had a video of Presley opening this baby doll….she kept saying “ohhhhhhh!  oh, oh, ohhhhhhhh!!”…so cute!
Santa brought the cookies, and she immediately tore into them!  Happy girl:
Operation for Mattie…big hit:
Presley was pretty uninterested in opening gifts once she realized her stocking had candy in it:
Helping sister open:
Mattie is a textbook Choco-holic….loves, loves, loves Chocolate.  Sour and sweet candy like skittles, starburst, etc….she can take it or leave it, but she loves some chocolate.  So Santa always brings her a huge, 1lb Hershey Bar, and this is her when she pulled it out of her stocking:
We spent Christmas lunch at my parents, and the girls got more fun stuff there as well. 
Mattie has a Bitty Baby that Presley is kind of in love with, so Presley got her very own Bitty Baby from Mimi and Poppa:
Loving her new baby:
Mattie also got a new baby doll that she’s holding in this picture.  It’s very realistic looking, and she is in love with it. 
Presley got a penguin named “Eric” that is from the Happy Feet Two movie….he sings and dances, and she has loved it…I need to video her dancing with it:
We have another Christmas tradition I love, which is to go to the movies on Christmas night.  We have done this for many, many years now.  Some years I’ve missed because of having Christmas gatherings on Matthew’s side of the family, and every other year my sister misses b/c she does Christmas with her in-laws.  But every Christmas, my dad and whoever else can go, goes to the movies on Christmas Day.  This year it was just me, my dad, and my brother.  We saw Mission Impossible 4, and while I fought hard for us to go see Sherlock Holmes instead, I really enjoyed this movie.  Totally not something I would have ever picked (I don’t think I’ve seen any of the other MI movies), but this was pretty good. 
A few days after Christmas, Matthew and the girls, and I loaded up and went to spend several days with my sister and brother-in-law in Memphis since they didn’t get to spend Christmas with us.  We had tons of fun, but I didn’t take one single picture.  Angela and I shopped till we dropped….I think we went to every Target in the greater Memphis area, and we hit some great after Christmas sales.  We rang in the new year with them, and then it was back home to start the new year!  I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did!