Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Bradford Store

This is Alathea's real smile...
...and this is Alathea's I'll smile if you promise no more pictures face!

Reba and I made our seasonal trip to the Bradford Store a week or so ago. It is a fun adventure. The girls love running around outside, smelling flowers, playing with the kids toys inside, petting the dog, and so on. Reba & I enjoy taking pictures of them doing all that. I also love buying the fresh produce and bread they sell. This year the girls were old enough we bought them ice cream and ate it on the front porch.  Abigail was a trooper. She even "posed" for me in odd places, like this vintage coke machine. Alathea, in typical Alathea fashion, didn't want to miss out on fun Abigail was having, so she wanted to lay on top of it too. Fun memories. I'm sure we'll bring the girls back again soon.

Introducing Baby Jason...

Steve & Lizzy Honea just brought their adorable son, Jason Andrew, into the world last night around 8:30pm! He is sooooooo cute! I went to see him this afternoon, and at less than one day old he already seems like he'll have quite the personality. He made so many cute faces and yawns and stretches. It reminds me of Alathea's spunk & energy, even as an infant. Lizzy is doing great, and as you can see, looks amazing for giving birth after 10+ hours of labor and NO epidural. This didn't sound like a quick & easy labor either!! She is amazing. 

It was fun bringing Abigail to meet yet another baby who will Lord willing be her friend as she grows up. She's already had her cousin Caleb and two little girls, Audrey and Eva born these past two months. What a blessed little 3 month old girl! This was no surprise to me, but Abigail looked 3x Jason's size. 

I am so excited for Steve & Lizzy!! I feel like another nephew was just born :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Girls and the Bumbo seat

We got this awesome seat for Abigail last week called the Bumbo seat. It is like a 3 month old's lay-z-boy. It was quite funny at first seeing our little baby sit up like a mini grown up!  But it has proven to be quite helpful, especially when the girls "play" together. Alathea likes Abigail sitting up right rather than laying down.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Joe's Garden

I call Joe my "Renaissance Man". He can do it all- cook, clean, garden, decorate- all while being an athletic man's man too! He LOVES to garden. As you can see in the pictures I am the one who benefits most from this hobby! We spend a good chunk of every day out back on our patio having devotions, playing with kiddo's, having picnics and my favorite, sitting out back together watching the sunset after dinner. We've even got some tiki torches for after dark sitting :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thoughts on Mom's Day

It's hard to believe that this will be my 2nd Mothers Day without my Mom. I've missed her more intensely recently as I've been learning life with two kiddo's. I sure miss her advice!! I've been thinking lots lately about the kind of Mom she was, and all the things I want to emulate about her. Really I could say everything. She was that kind of Mom- truly the best. But I've been thinking of the little things she did for us when we were little. Here are a few things I've come up with: 

1. Make the most of every moment. Mom made everything fun. We'd "help" her cook and she'd give us our own giant apron and let us really think we were helping her. She'd use driving in the car as times to teach us a new song or teach us about God's creation. She always made us feel like her priority (as she would say, next to God and Daddy). She'd drop anything to spend time with us. She also loved to laugh and have fun with us!

2. Keep an eternal perspective. This meant Mom prayed and prayed for our souls & taught us about God since we were little. But it also meant she didn't get upset in the little things. A spilled glass of milk and she'd laugh and joyfully clean it up. No problem. She never got upset at us for just being kids. I loved that so much!

3. Make lots of memories. Mom was SO good at this. We did all sorts of big fun going to the zoo, ice skating, vacations. We had tons of traditions and birthdays and holidays were huge! But most of all it was the every day stuff like playing soccer as a family in the back yard or sledding down our hill in the snow (she'd do both with us!). Mom was such a big kid!

4. "Mommy Dates". I love this one. Mom would make special time for each of us kids every week. Sometimes we'd go out on a special date and sometimes it was a simple "date" at home. No matter what it was, it sure made us feel special to have ALL of Mom's attention! This carried on even when I got married and moved away. We'd have "phone dates" every Friday morning for an hour! I love taking my girls on dates already.

5. Journal for your kids. At my baby shower for Alathea Mom gave me the most precious gifts. One was a handwritten journal she kept for me from the time I was born until Alathea was born. It was all about my life, development and her thoughts and prayers for me as a Mom. Little did she know she'd die at such a young age and leave a priceless treasure behind for her daughter! The second gift was a blank journal for me to keep for Alathea. I'm already on journal #2 for her and have one started for Abigail already.

Well, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Mom was amazing. The most godly woman I know. I wrote a tribute to her on Mothers Day 2 years ago on the girl talk blog speaking of her character. You can read it by going to and searching for Kathy Bowers.

I'll leave you with this quote from Mom that she wrote in her journal before she died. I think this shaped her entire life! Happy Mothers Day!!

"When you focus on the cross the cares of life don't seem so overwhelming. An eternal perspective puts everything in the right perspective".  

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

3 Months

Abigail turned 3 months old today! Can you believe it?? Not a little newborn anymore. Thankfully she's still my snuggly baby girl. And she laughed for the 1st time today! Any tips on how to make time stand still?? :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sweet Surprises in Asheville

This story begins at 10:30pm on Saturday night. I called my Dad to ask him how my sisters "Senior Challenge" went at the youth meeting that night. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was looking online to find a hotel for that Sunday night (yes, I know that was only 24 hours away!!). Long story short, he insisted on blessing Joe & I with a night at a really nice hotel- one which we could have never afforded to pay for. Our trip would have never been possible without the amazing generosity of my Dad (pictured below)...

So Sunday after church Joe & I (with Abigail) left Alathea with Steve & Lizzy (she was way too excited to see us go) and headed to Asheville! Our plan was to have a little overnight get-a-way while Abigail was still young enough to sleep on the go. We chose Asheville because we already had season passes to the Biltmore.

We ended up staying at the Grove Park Inn! Incredible! We felt like we were "pretending" to be rich for a night. It was beautiful beyond words. We booked the cheapest room at the Inn, and when we arrived they upgraded us for free to the Mountain View room! They also included a free $15 per person breakfast! The Lord was blessing us left & right! The 2nd picture below is the view from our room! Not bad!!

We spent all of Sunday exploring the resort and like I said before, pretending to be rich :). It had incredible waterfalls, rocking chairs and views of the Mountains. They also had an antique car museum we enjoyed.

We ate dinner at Sunsets. I couldn't believe how incredible the view was from our table! 

I LOVE this picture of Daddy & his baby girl!

We spent the rest of the evening sitting in rocking chairs, talking until the sun went down!
The next day we headed to the Biltmore!

We walked around the gardens and enjoyed a Roof Top tour of the house! This is a long story, but we actually got 2 free passes to go on that tour too (normally $15 each. Amazing, huh?) since the tour we wanted was booked. It was fun seeing the house and incredible property from the roof!! Then we were tired, and went to my favorite place in the entire house...this back porch/cabana. The view is incredible from here. We kinda all took naps and relaxed and talked here for an hour. It was a fun time enjoying little Abigail too. She was amazing the entire trip. It was special having time alone with her.

I LOVE this picture too :) Our sweet little Abigail and my AMAZING husband!

After our nap, we walked around the gardens some more, then headed home. It was a wonderful adventure, an enormous blessing to our marriage and full of sweet suprizes from the Lord. We are happy to be home with our Alathea now! Although she didn't miss us one bit :)