This is the week I have looked forward to and simultaneously dreaded at the same time. He's turning 3. How is that possible? On one hand, I am ecstatic to be leaving the two's, but I'm also keenly aware of the fact that the "baby" in him is slipping through my fingers everyday. Yes, I'm sentimental. Perhaps overly sentimental, but I'm ok with that.

Here's a short interview I did with him a few days ago:

What is your name? Carter
How old are you? Two
What is your favorite color? {looks down at shirt} Blue
Who is your best friend? Mommy, Daddy, and Cooper
What do you want to be when you grow up? A big boy
What is your favorite animal? Just lions
What is your favorite movie? Mickey
What is your favorite book? the Little Einsteins pirate one
What is your favorite tv show? Little Einsteins
What makes you happy? Mashed potatoes
What makes you sad? Boo boos
What is your favorite food to eat? Mashed potatoes
Favorite thing to drink? Chocolate milk
Where is your favorite place to go? Starbucks

Here's a little more about where he's at:
{according to mommy}

-Carter loves to talk and talk and talk and talk. This is most evident around his family, as he tends to clam up in new or unfamiliar circumstances.

-He has been fully potty trained for a couple months now. I am very thankful for this!

-He adores his little brother. He wakes up asking about him and wants to know where he and what he's doing at all times.

-Carter is extremely opinionated. (NO idea where this attribute came from..ha!) He knows what he wants, when he wants it.. and isn't afraid to say it.

-That carries over into bossiness.. especially when he's tired, frustrated, or in need of attention.

-He is an absolute sponge when it comes to learning. I'm baffled every day that a kid with his energy level (think energizer bunny ++) has any desire to sit and sound out every letter to every word in a book (no joke). His favorite toys are educational and I have to admit that I LOVE this about him. He is so easy to teach and constantly wanting new, challenging activities. I'm hoping to start some at-home preschool lessons with him in January!

-He does not love crafts. Or coloring. This makes me a little sad, but I'm continuing to try these things on a regular basis.

-Current obsession: Spiderman and Captain America. Allll day long he asks, "What's your favorite person who wears a mask, mommy?" "Do you like Spiderman? Batman? Ironman? Captain America? The Incredible Hulk?" "Who is daddy's favorite?" ... and on and on.

-The most unusual, standout characteristic about Carter is his love for music. This goes beyond normal kid music or lullabys or songs he learns in church. He is absolutely obsessed.. specifically with country music. The artists, the songs, what they wear, what instrument they play, their videos... you get the point. He can identify just about any song on the CMT top 20 countdown within 2 seconds of hearing and/or seeing it. He sings these songs all day long. At home, in public.. it doesn't matter. He turns any, and I do mean ANY, object into a guitar or microphone. I've seen him turn a dustpan, plastic shovel, pillow, place mat, and even a pretzel stick into a guitar. His favorite "microphones" include a remote control, nasal aspirator, and bendable coaster. We reached a new level of creativity when last week at Starbucks he turned the "Wet Floor" cone into a microphone so he could sing Michael Buble (whom he currently LOVES).

-Needless to say, this year for his birthday and Christmas he is getting several musical things (one being a black guitar "like Keith Urban's") and LOTS of Spiderman stuff.

-These are really just the highlights. I could write for hours about the funny stuff he's said and done, but I'll refrain. He is such a unique child and I couldn't love him more.

Sweet Carter,

You are my funny, charming, precious boy and I cannot imagine my life without you. You are the sunshine in SO many people's lives and I know God's plans for you far exceed anything I could possibly imagine. I am beyond proud to call you my son.


*Photos by Amelia Hambrook Photography


Gettin' Crafty

Having a baby has forced me to put any "craftiness aspirations" on the back burner, but I decided to make an attempt at a few SUPER easy projects.
Don't laugh when you see these pics...
I'm telling you they were like elementary school easy :)

Carter showing off his turkey cookies from a play date with friend, Addison
Mod podge + food coloring + glass =
More colored glasses
I found these foam blocks at the dollar store. Carter loved this activity, though it was way too easy for him. We also did cards with different numbers on them and he had to count out the appropriate number of colored blocks for each card. That activity was more on his level.

"Bob the Turkey" according to Carter
Autumn tree


Food for Thought

I saw the following, "10 Thoughts on Whole Living", in my most recent issue of Whole Living Magazine. Every one of these points resonated with me, so I thought I'd share.. in hopes that they may impact you too.

1. Warm your soul: Savor a hot drink.

2. Be aware of the difference between anticipating and living.

the most delicious moments are often the messiest.

4. Living better doesn't always mean trying harder. Ease up.

5. Avoid getting trapped in someone else's story.
Be the author of your own life.

6. Forgiveness isn't about them.
It's about you.

7. Make something, ANYTHING, from scratch.

8. You can remember good times
without losing yourself in nostalgia.

9. The best gifts let someone know how much you love,
not how much you spent.

10. Rest is not a luxury,
it's a necessity.

*Number 2 was my favorite. What about you?*


Thank You, Pinterest

Awhile back, I pinned this picture to my "DYI" board on Pinterest:

The instructions for how to make this card super cute card can be found here.

We celebrated my mom's birthday last night and
I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

What do you think?

Not bad, right? Give this easy, fun (and cheap!) card a try.


2 Months

I cannot believe this little nugget is already 2 months old! {10 weeks to be exact} He is the most precious little boy and I seriously cannot imagine our life without him.

Here are a few updates:

  • He has the most wonderful disposition. He's very laid back and loves to be held and snuggled.
  • Cooper is a wonderful sleeper. I secretly prayed for this and God heard my request... knowing that I probably couldn't handle another Carter (a.k.a. "the child who doesn't sleep"). Swaddling is a must at night.. he loves it.
  • Cooper typically goes about 8 hours between feedings at night. Again, a small miracle when compared to my first born!
  • His feedings are still 3-4 hours apart during the day.
  • This boy l.o.v.e.s. his mama :)
  • He smiles nearly every time he sees a familiar face or hears a familiar voice. He also coos and "talks" if he is really excited or happy. It's precious and absolutely melts my heart.
  • He's very strong.. and is working on holding his head up for longer periods of time.
  • We took 2 trips (St. Louis and Chattanooga) during the last month and Cooper was an absolute angel. His brother, on the other hand, proved a little more challenging .. but what's new, right?
  • Speaking of Carter, he ADORES his little brother and for the most part is very loving and gentle with him. Cooper responds to any attention from Carter and often just stares at him with a big smile on his face.
  • He recently found his thumb. He hasn't found it since, but he loves to suck on his hands, fingers, or anything he can get to his mouth!

We are so thankful for our sweet little man!



Last week I snapped this picture of our Cooperman ...
(or "Tooterman" as Carter says... his "C"s sound like "T"s)
I thought there was something strangely familiar about it
and I couldn't put my finger on what it was until...

I dug up this picture of Carter at about 2 months old...

I have never thought these two boys looked ANYTHING alike, but when I see these pictures it makes me think that they might grow up to look like brothers.. not twins.. but brothers. Carter obviously had more hair and was MUCH smaller than Cooper, but do you see the similarity?
Or am I just over-analyzing?


Life As We Know It

After taking care of both boys while my husband was out of town this weekend, I sent him a text last night that went something like this, "Please come home alive tomorrow. I really don't want to be a single mom." I seriously have a new level of respect for single moms. I have no earthly idea how they do it... and stay sane!

Here's a glimpse of my day today (and it's not even 3:00):

-Miraculously wake up before Carter and quickly decide to forgo a few extra minutes of sleep in order to drink my coffee/eat breakfast in the beautiful quiet of the morning.

-Feed both boys. Dress both boys. Shower and dress myself.

-Oh wait, only one boy got fed.

-Give Carter Cheerios to eat in the car.. on the way to the airport.

-Park, go in, and find daddy in the airport.

-Head to Chick fil A for lunch. Wait for Carter to eat all 8, yes 8, of his nuggets.

-Drop daddy off at work.

-Drive to a house in Franklin to drop off formula for baby orphans in Africa.

-Debate whether or not get Starbucks, but decide against it.

-Head home. Change and feed a starving newborn. Change newborn again.

-Realize big brother had an explosion in his diaper (we have majorly regressed on the potty training). Change big brother's nasty diaper.

-Put big brother down for a nap. Clean up his dirty clothes.

-Eat 3 chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer. Immediately regret eating 3. Should have stopped at 2.

-Order 50 free prints via Shutterfly.

-Change Cooper's diaper AGAIN.

-Type a blog one-handed because a certain little someone thinks the only place he belongs is in his mama's arms :)

NOW.. time to brew some decaf Dunkin' Donuts coffee, figure out what to have for dinner, finish laundry, and mop very dirty floors... all before Carter wakes up. I really do love my life. But I'm also REALLY glad my hubby is home!!


Hold On

Five years ago tomorrow my husband (of less than 5 months) and I entered a doctor's office with the expectation of hearing our 12 week old baby's heartbeat. Tragically, we never heard that beautiful sound and instead were left with the silence, the numbing silence, of grief. The days, weeks, and months that followed were dark- so dark that I only know now how devastated and truly depressed I really was. It took a long time to heal and, as with any wound, I will always bear the scars on my heart. I was left with a hole in my soul so vast that only God knows the depths of it. There was an emptiness, a longing, that I knew only He could fill.

Here's the good news though... There is a God who makes everything new. He heals the broken-hearted and offers living water for our dry and thirsty souls. That same God knew what He was doing when He called our babies home. And He also knew that on December 11, 2008 and August 15, 2011 he would bring two little boys into my life that would fill my cup until it was overflowing. He gave me everything I was missing and more.

I don't know what burden you are carrying today, but hold on. Hold on in hope that He will fulfill His promise to work all things together for good.


10 Years

Follow THIS LINK to see 25 of the most powerful 9/11 photos.

Many of them I had never seen before...

And many of them are breathtaking...

In a horrific sort of way.

Let's not forget the lives that were lost 10 years ago today

or the families that are still grieving the loss of those they loved.


My Sweet Baby Boy

Here is the latest on this little guy:

-So far, he is a laid back little dude...already so much more chill than his big brother ever was!

-He is eating consistently every 3 hours and will go 3-4 hours between feedings at night.

-He does not like having his diaper changed or his clothes off.. this is really the only time he screams.

-He is a snuggle bug for sure :) He loves to be held and snuggled in a blanket... mommy's dream come true!

-We've had people ask about his middle name.. Solomon. When we were trying to decide on a middle name, I was pretty adamant that I wanted either a family name or a name with some sort of significance (preferably a Biblical one). Carter's middle name is David.. and both Carter and David are family names. As we looked into names on both sides of our families, we couldn't find one that we both liked and one that fit with Cooper. We turned to the Bible in search of one that would hold a special meaning for our new little man. Both Jeremy and I kept coming back to Solomon for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because of the connection between King David and King Solomon. I mean how can you go wrong naming your sons after two of the most influential Biblical kings, who also happened to be father-son? Also, the meaning of Solomon is "peace" or "peaceful", which was VERY appealing to me.. and so far this little guy has been nothing but the epitome of peace in our lives.

-Carter is adjusting remarkably well to having a new little brother. The only signs of jealously are directed toward me, which I guess is better than taking it out on Cooper. He tells me repeatedly throughout the day to:
"Stop doing ____. Just feed Cooper."
"Just leave him alone, Mama."
You get the idea. I'm sure part of this is him just being two... and a total, 100%, bossy first born (who is being raised by 2 first borns.. poor kid).

-Carter's favorite things to say to Cooper are:
"Ohhhhh, it's OTAY Baby Coop! Carter is here!"
"I DO love you, wittle brother."
"Come here, Baby Coop. I need to love you."

-One of the most amazing things is that from the time Cooper was just hours old, he has responded to the sound of Carter's voice. True brotherly love.


My New Love

Seriously, does it get any sweeter than this?
I'm in love all over again. And it's wonderful.


He's Here!

Our precious little angel
Cooper Solomon
arrived on August 15th at 2:23 pm
7 lbs 10 oz. 20 inches.
He is pretty much the sweetest boy you'll ever meet. So far, he's a very good eater and sleeper.. and that makes for a happy mama :) He looks NOTHING like his big brother, which has taken some getting used to! Carter came out with a head full of dark hair, while Cooper has just a little bit of blonde (or honey blonde, as I like to call it) hair and very different features.
Carter adores him, as do the rest of us.
God has blessed us more than we deserve.



My never ending to-do list is finally finished.
All the preparations for Cooper's arrival have been made.
So now we sit and


I'll admit this part has been difficult for me. I've had a lot of time to think and prepare for our newest addition and I feel completely ready for him to join our family. With Carter, I was much more distracted due to work and not knowing what to expect from a newborn. I was also expecting that he would hold out until his due date (or longer) and he came 8 days early- a total surprise.

I'm 38+ weeks (10 days from my due date) and just 3 days away from my induction date. My last dr appt went well yesterday- I am dilated 2.5 cm and 80% effaced. I was thrilled to find out that my pain has not been in vain! My dr (who isn't fazed by much due to years of experience) was absolutely shocked by how far down Cooper is... I'll spare you the details, but trust me..
he is ready to go!

I'm still holding out hope that I will go into labor on my own this weekend. If not, my induction is schedule for 5 am on Monday morning. Would you pray for us? The last two times I've had to be at a hospital that early were for reasons very different than delivering a healthy baby boy. Please pray for peace and a smooth delivery on all accounts.


Mid Year Book Review

I like to keep track of the books I've read throughout the year and since we are over half way through 2011 (unbelievable!), I thought I'd post some of the books I've enjoyed so far.

It's worth noting that these are the books I've actually finished. I started many others, and for one reason or another, didn't finish them. I know, shame on me.

Have you read anything good lately?


Getting Ready...

Our little man will be here before we know it! I am due in less than 3 weeks, but will be induced on Monday, the 15th, if he isn't here before then. Jeremy is supposed to be out of town for work (I know, I know, but it IS the NFL) the 5 days before my due date, so instead of risking him missing the birth ... we decided to schedule an induction a week early. I'm not really excited about the possibility of being induced and am praying Cooper comes before then. I was dilated 1.5-2cm last Wednesday, so we'll see!

Take a look at a few of the special things we have for our sweet boy:

I've been doing a lot of consignment sale shopping these days. Here are some of my favorite finds... Baby Gap, Kissy Kissy (my FAVORITE baby brand), & matching Gymboree vests :)
Possibly my favorite find so far...
a Christmas Kissy Kissy set that I paid $9 for...
Retail Value: $45-55
My sweet sister-in-law made a ridiculous amount of stuff for Cooper...
all of which I am in love with :) Here's a sampling of what she sent:
Fabric book, wipes case, & newborn burp cloths
She also made these matching shirts for my boys. LOVE.

And last but not least, she made this AMAZING quilt complete with chenille, minky dot, & Cooper's name embroidered in the center

I ordered these from etsy. Love love love.
And finally, here's a peek at Cooper's room. The lighting was kind of funny this morning, so I hope to take some better pictures another time of day. It isn't quite finished (missing mostly accessories that can be added later) but it is ready enough to handle a newborn baby!

We are using Carter's old crib, dresser/changing table, & rocker.
I somehow managed to put this room together for less than $150!
{Including paint and supplies}
The bedding and mobile are Pottery Barn Kids via ebay.
The curtains are from Target.
And the letters I made myself ... instead of paying $7-$9 a piece on etsy.
Nearly everything else I had laying around the house. Love that.


Pregnancy Comparison...

This is me (almost) 33 weeks pregnant with Carter:
And this is me (almost) 35 weeks pregnant with Cooper:


Hello, Terrible/Terrific Two's

This little man officially turned 2 1/2 last month. I have heard about the "terrible two's" but thought, naively, that we might avoid them. Ha ha ha ha! Silly me :) This is, without question, the most exhausting and challenging stage of parenthood we've had since Carter was a newborn. That being said, it's also the most exciting and fascinating stage we've had yet! Here are a few highlights:

-The boy loves to talk. And talk and talk and talk. My mom thinks this is some form of hilarious payback/karma for how much I talked at this age too. She likes to remind me of how I wouldn't shut up the entire time she was in labor with my sister, Ashley. (I'm afraid that history might repeat itself in a few short weeks) Considering that Carter didn't really start talking until February of this year, I'd say he's making up for lost time.

He's extremely inquisitive and asks lots of questions. His favorite questions to ask when he hears ANY song are: "What are their names?" {the people singing} and "What they singing about?" And we aren't talking about Sesame Street songs... Have you ever tried to explain this to a 2 year old? Good thing I'm pretty creative :)

He also likes to ask me the name of every single toy he owns. He's not looking for an answer like, "That's a block" or "That's an airplane" .. he wants to know the NAME of the airplane. Like Bob or Fred or Larry. It's a bit ridiculous, but I really can't do anything but laugh since I was the little girl who also named every doll and stuffed animal I owned with a first, middle, AND last name. Ha!

Other funny things he's said recently:

{While crying because he didn't want to go to bed} "I don't like my big boy bed ANYMORE! I just like LIONS!!"

{At Sonic} Me: "Carter, do you like your milkshake?" Carter:"No, I just like lions"

{Walking out of Whole Foods}: "I just love you so much, mama!"

{At church when my dad called him on stage, Carter said right into the microphone}: "Hiii, Poppy!" As you can imagine, there was a collective, "Awww" by the audience. After we left the stage, he said to me, "Mama, I need a microphone!" Oh, Carter.

He LOVES to call me April. (In a very cute Southern accent, he draws out the "A" so it sounds like Aaaaapril) He often calls out from his room at night, "April! April! Come here, April!" One night he even said, "Jer and April! Come here, Jer and April!" It's honestly too cute for me to get upset about. I pick my battles these days.

-A few weeks ago, Carter decided he wanted to start potty training. I was planning on putting it off until after things were settled with Cooper, but he had other plans. The final straw for getting me to start was when he told his Sunday school teacher twice (the same day) that he had to go potty. We weren't working on potty training at all at this point, but you better believe I ordered a potty via Amazon the next day! I've heard that you'll "know" when they are ready .. and I took this as my sign. We have had pretty good success, in spite of my half-hearted attempts some days. I'd say he's about 75% of the way there.. not bad for a boy who isn't even 3.. and is pretty much training himself.

-We moved Carter to his big boy bed a few nights ago in order to put his crib in Cooper's room. Most days he says that he loves his big boy bed, but sleeping in it is still an issue. I have no further comments on his sleeping habits.. and only ask that you say a prayer for us over the next few months. I seriously have NO idea how we're going to manage Carter's lack of sleep with a newborn.

-As I mentioned before, Carter ADORES stuffed animals. If you knew me as a child, you wouldn't be surprised to hear that he has inherited this trait either. He has TONS of them.. both old and new.. and loves each and every one. He sleeps with them (when he actually sleeps), feeds them, makes them sing, reads them books, makes them cry and then rocks them.

-He also LOVES music. His current favorite (other than anything Sesame Street, which is still his total and complete obsession) is Taylor Swift. When he asks for her music it sounds more like, "Tay Sift!" He specifically loves the song, "Mean", to which he will belt out the chorus. He also is a pretty good dancer and will "shake his booty" to any beat. He did not inherit this from me. Or his dad.

-Words I would use to describe Carter at this age:


Honeysuckle Giveaway

Honeysuckle, one of my favorite blogs, is having a giveaway!

Enter here and you could win some SUPER cute stuff! :)


Pinterest Love

Have you joined the awesomeness that is Pinterest? If not, you should! Check out Pinterest.com to see what all the fuss is about :)

I LOVE good quotes, so here are a few of my favs from my pinterest quote board:

*If you are interested in where these quotes came from, please visit my pinterest page and click on the individual pictures.. it will show you the original website.*