Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So, does anyone want to take Annabelle off my hands for a week or so?

Honestly, I need a little break from her. A recurring theme in parenting for me has been "this stage will pass" so I am constantly reminding myself to just hang in there and be strong. I have already said many times that Annabelle is different from the boys, but it needs to be said again.

She is sooooo different from the boys.

Generally speaking, Annie has been easier than them as a toddler, but oh-so different. The battle is still over clothes and hair. (I remember blogging about this but don't have time reference the link). Here is our latest typical scenario: Time to get dressed. I don't particularly care what she wears as long as it is weather-appropriate. Nope, she can't do it. She doesn't want to wear tights.....or leggings.......or pants.......or socks. So I spank her and get the clothes on. Here is where she differs from the boys; rather than rebelling and immediately taking the clothes off, she just pitches a fit and cries for a half hour. If I tell her to stop crying and spank her for not complying, then the heaving and crying just continues. Same goes for the hair. Ugh. I am trying to plan ahead for adequate time to deal with this situation before we leave to go out for the day.

And yes, I know it is a control thing.

So don't let this sweet smile fool you. Seconds later she will be collapsed in the floor distraught over who-knows-what. poor little emotional wreck of a gal.

Dear Lord, Please send us spring weather soon. Flip flops and sundresses sound so good to me right now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Wedding Shots

Lorie has the coolest boots among us hands down.

Some of my favorite shots were taken back in the vineyards. Aren't the colors gorgeous?
I wish I had gotten the message "everyone look at the couple". What a goober!
We were watching the guy shots here.

I have always been a huge fan of black and white pictures but I have picked out very few to post here. It is just because the colors are so pretty in these photos.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Bear Creek

If I don't get this weekend recorded on the blog there is a good chance it could disappear into the black hole that IS Julie's memory. I had sworn off the Harrison family's hunting land in south Georgia, Bear Creek, for Annabelle and me a couple of summers least for a few years. The last time we went down she was a about 18 months old and I spent the weekend catching her before she fell into the pond or campfire or trying to get her to take a nap in a camper. It was just not a good fit for the Harrison girls at that point in time. I figured we might try it again when she was four or five and would just enjoy weekends at home without the boys until then. However, this past Thanksgiving we gave it another go 'round. The plan was to go down Wednesday night, see how it went, and then drive to Acworth the next day for Thanksgiving dinner where we would regroup and decide whether or not we should return to camp. Well, this time, it was love at first sight for little Annabelle when we pulled up to the three 40 year old campers set up in the middle of acres and acres of woods in LaGrange, GA. She thought of them as little play houses and was happy as could be running to and fro' between them all. We cleaned our family's camper out, made beds, and Seth and Adam set out hunting that afternoon. Caleb, Annabelle and I made a lovely campfire and got the little charcoal grill started for dinner while they were gone. It is quite rare for us to be out doing something different all alone as a little family and it turned out to be something pretty special. After roasting marshmallows and having hot chocolate, we turned in early where I read aloud (favorite pastime of mine) from The Silver Chair until everyone had drifted off to sleep.

So obviously, we drove up to where the rest of the family resides the next morning for a delicious Thanksgiving meal at Seth's aunt and Uncle's house and then went right back down to Bear Creek.

I have tried to put my finger on why exactly the weekend was so pleasant and enjoyable. Here is what I have come up with:

1. First and foremost the kids were completely happy and occupied. They and their cousins played for hours on end in the forts they made up on the hill next to camp. There is nothing I like better than to see my kids outside using their imaginations, getting lots of energy out and being happy.
2. I scrubbed our camper until it was as clean as it could get without some serious gutting and rebuilding. Everything around me was tidy and done which is a rare occurrence at home. No, actually I don't think there is ever a time at home when I have completed everything.
3. I had a great book that I got to read out in the sunshine at midday, by the campfire in the afternoon or in the camper all alone if need be.
4. Did I mention it was in the upper 60's during the day and nice and chilly at night for the fire?
5. We hung out by the campfire after dark and played some tunes which is indeed my VERY favorite pastime.

Annabelle didn't join the kids playing in the fort. She spent her time playing with Nana's chihuahua, Max, and just hanging out being satisfied. aaaahhhh, and Moma sighs happily

I made lots of plans for revamping the camper for future cushions, curtains, mattresses, etc. Adam was all about hunting with Seth in the evenings while Caleb preferred hanging at camp. Oh, how could I forget that there was some 4-wheeling during the afternoon time..... though I will admit that is the only time in life that I worry about the boys safety and feel pretty nervous. (normally I leave that to Seth)
Drew, Seth's cousin shot a couple of does so we also packed the freezer full of all-natural, organic, FREE venison. Ever since Seth butchered deer meat within a few hundred yards of me while I was pregnant with Caleb, I cannot bear the process but the boys got a huge kick out of it all. Give me a baggy labeled roast and I will cook it right up for dinner but beyond that.....

As soon as finances and weather permits, we will be traveling back down for another weekend of laid-back outdoor fun.

Next subject. Here we are decorating gingerbread houses with everything that a dear friend so graciously brought us. I love that Adam is licking his finger in this true to the events, so true. And even more-so, Annabelle has no pants on.

Gotta love the boots shots!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leslie and Paul wanted to get pictures taken care of before the ceremony so they had a special meeting time for them on this cool bridge where they would see one another alone (plus the photographer) for the first time that day. My Dad took Leslie there where Paul was waiting for his bride. She said it was the most incredible moment of her life.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The reception included lots of DANCING!
The Bartlett girls (along with everyone else) tore the dance floor up!

Wedding Picture

These pictures take a really long time to load...partly because they are really great quality shots from the photographer herself and partly because my computer is pretty slow. I will just give you one at a time for now. Leslie's dress was a bit too long so she had the choice of either getting it hemmed or wearing very tall heels. She went with the shoes option and wore these super cute cowboy boots under the dress. I love this picture!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Love January

It is true. Despite the bitterly cold temperatures (especially this year), I welcome January because the holidays have come and gone and life can start functioning at a productive rate.... and my aerobics classes are packed. More than that, the new year seems like a fresh start and I am often (always) in need of that. I know that setting resolutions can get you down since they tend to set us up for failure, but honestly, I feel like I have to deal with my failures each day whether I make a conscious effort to make goals or not. Thankfully my worth doesn't lie in my own abilities or accomplishments.

With that said, I'll opt once again to go with that percentage-fact (see previous year's post) which hopefully raises my chances to achieve the goals by writing them down and making them known.

Julie's 2010 Resolutions:
1. Get up at least 30 minutes before my first child (Caleb) wakes in the mornings.
2. Take my yoga mat to the gym for cleanliness reasons.
3. Take my cool metal water bottle to class as well to help save the earth.
4. Keep the car cleaned out and tidier.....should I even go as far as making a "no eating" rule? What the heck- No more eating in the car unless we are on a trip.
5. Continue reading books alone. I have been on a pretty big reading kick lately. I read to the kids at night but also read myself. The only problem is that I have a hard time finding books that I like, and when I do find them, I cannot put them down which cuts into sleep time majorly.
6. I made a long list of songs that I love and want to learn play on my guitar.
7. Write and/or finish writing a few more songs. (Gotta keep the compilation going so when my kids come of age I can go out on the road and become a famous folk singer :) )
8. Speaking of music, I just had to go and ask for the banjo back from Aunt Jeanie a few months ago so that needs to be on the list too. Learn to do the claw-hammer thing on the banjo.
9. On the domestic end of things, I want to bake more often because (long story) I now own Moma's awesome mixer. Top things on my list to perfect: banana bread and oatmeal raisin cookies.
10. What else? Oh yes, I hope to help Lorie celebrate her big Dirty Thirty in March.
11. Stay on schedule. Keep on keepin' on.
12. Never ever speed. I just had to pay a horrid traffic ticket Monday for being careless and driving 60 in a 45 on Old 70 Hwy. (which is a horrible speed trap and who made that a 45 mile/hour zone anyhow?!)
13. Get back to open mic a couple of times a month. You with me Becky? I talked to Parker at the White Horse a few days back and he said we could even call to get our names on the list so we could get the kids in bed first.

With all that said, it's certainly a good thing I don't place too much stock in achieving my new years resolutions. I just took a look back at the posts from my 2008 and 2009 Resolutions and I haven't done too well on accomplishing them.....I didn't run a half marathon (and decided I may never run one unless I quit teaching aerobics), didn't sell the house, didn't finish Annabelle's scrapbook, I still need to make the kids help more around the house, and I still need to organize some things and cook more. Thank the good Lord that His mercies are new every morning and not just in January.

I will just have to keep those things one the list for this year too. Never give up, right?

What is a blog post without a picture? boring, right. How about this one:

I got this obnoxiously sequined shirt to wear to kickboxing class right after new years and she has been wearing it for the past few days. It fits me a little better.

I am still working on a home school update for the blog. Well, just mentally... but I am thinking of what I can share about our recent struggles.... and changes...... and the realisations that have followed from it all.