Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday.... dare I say I went?!

Thursday afternoon, I discussed going shopping with a few of the ladies of the Eddy family. There were a few things in the sale ads that I thought I'd try to get, but I wasn't bound and determined that I had to go. I'm a girl that's all about shopping, but before daylight? Is that even a reasonable thought, especially for a mother of a three year old, and 6 months pregnant with baby number 2? I debated Thursday night, to go or not to go. I asked Travis, "what should I do?" His response, "what time do you need to leave?" "I will be leaving at 3:15!" "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

I thought, and pondered, and thought some more. I wanted to go, but wow! 2:30 sure would come early!! I called Dee & Kati to let them know I'd go. I mean what is one day of sleep, right? The plan ended up being that I would meet Dee and go to Fernandina with her and her daughter Stephanie, and Kati would meet us later. Dee said she needed to be to Stephanie's by 4:00, not a minute later. There was something Stephanie wanted at K-Mart so we had to be there in plenty of time, they were to open at 5:00.

I tried sleeping. I was like a crazy person, still trying to decide what in the heck I was thinking by agreeing that I would be up by 2:30 to go to KMART?! Not to mention this lovely sinus/cold junk I have going on. If I did close my eyes, I couldn't breathe, so I tossed and turned and maybe got a total of 2 hours of sleep that night. Finally at 2:25, I said, enough. Just get up, make some coffee and get ready. Maybe the coffee would jump start me, nope didn't work at all! I know that Dee is always on time, and an early riser so I wanted to be on time, and not make her wait for me.

I drink one cup of coffee, and poured the second into a travel mug and out the door I went. The dogs scurried off the porch as if the house were on fire. They had not seen the likes of me at that time of the morning in, well, forever! I drove to Winn Dixie to meet Dee, it was 3:10 when I pulled out of the driveway. Again, what in heavens name was I thinking? I pulled in the good 'ole WD parking lot, no signs of Dee anywhere. I was shocked, and surprised that I beat her there. I waited. Waited, and waited. Finally at 3:38, I decided to call her because maybe I misunderstood the time I was supposed to meet her. Maybe I was supposed to be there at 3:00 instead of 3:15! I sent her a text message and she called right back and informed me she was, "sipping coffee!" She said she would be there in ten minutes.

Sure enough, ten minutes later she arrived. We were off. Both of us laughing at how crazy we must be to be on the road at 3:50 in the morning to go shopping. We picked Stephanie up and headed to Fernandina. K-Mart was to be our first stop. We passed the 24 hour Wal-Mart in Yulee, but we were on a mission..... K-Mart it was. We pulled in the K-Mart parking lot, and it was a complete and total ghost town!!! Where are all the people that should be waiting in line? As we turned in, Stephanie pulled the sales paper off the dash and said, "Umm, what?! They don't open until 6:00!" All three of us had looked at that ad numerous times and how on earth we thought they were to open at 5:00 beats me! We decided we'd go to the Wal-Mart in Fernandina, since they WERE to open at 5:00.

We parked, pretty close I might add, and got inline with all the other anxious shoppers. We were probably the 50th ones in line. Not to bad, I thought... since I'd never waited outside a store to buy something. We had ourselves about a 25 minute wait. The doors finally opened and people stormed to the most desired department... Electronics! Stephanie found the GPS she was wanting, I found numerous movies and toys for Carter and the cutest pj's. All three of us were shocked at the limited number of people, and how we really didn't see any rudeness of any sort. Most of all we were shocked, that we didn't wait in line!!!

Off to Target we went. I had to pull in at Chick-fila though to get me some of their tasty little chicken biscuits. I was starving by this point. We entered Target, and to much surprise it really wasn't that crowded either. I mean it was a little grid lock in the toy department, but nothing that you couldn't handle. Thus far, I was pretty impressed with my shopping adventure that started at 3:00 that morning! :) Our cart was loaded down. My stuff, Dee's stuff, and Stephaine's stuff, and don't let me forget to mention Stephanie's three year old Tyler was in there somewhere! Yes, we took a three year old with us shopping and I have to give that little guy credit, he did an awesome job! Another shocker... no waiting in line at Target eitehr!

After leaving Target, we dropped Stephanie and Tyler off at their house. Dee and I were just getting started. We hopped on I-95 and off to the airport shopping center we went. Michaels was our destination. Dee was on a Christmas tree hunt. She found "the one" but just to be sure, we ran across the parking lot to Wal-Mart (for the second time that morning) to make sure they didn't have a tree she liked better. Both of us loaded down another cart in Wal-Mart. Then it was back to Michaels to get her tree. We laughed at how loaded down my Expedition was at this point, and it was only 9:00 in the morning! We left the airport, headed to the Orange Park Mall. Neither of us really sure what to expect when we got there, except major chaos! That was not the case. As we pulled in on the Wells Road side of Sears, we drove towards the doors and low and behold there was a up front parking spot just for us! This has never happened to me on a shopping day like today! We entered Sears, and although their parking lot was not full there store looked like an ant farm. There were people, EVERYWHERE! Our goal in this store was a GPS for Papa Cotton. We went upstairs to electronics and I think that was the V.I.P area of the ant farm. Those people were in every area you could see. Fortunately we walked right to a sales associate and told him what we wanted. He said they had them in stock, that I could pay for it and go downstairs to pick it up. It was all of 5 minutes in the store and my mission was complete! We were both in disbelief!!!!!

We decided to venture through the mall, towards JCPenney. Once inside JCP, we found another ant farm. This one however looked like a three year old had gotten ahold of it and shook it for about 5 minutes. Clothes, shoes, you name it were scattered everywhere. It honestly looked like a tornado had blown through the store. Dee's mission: to find her a new coat! We walked straight to that department and she got the last one on the shelf, lucky girl!! We visited each department, and once our arms were full it was time for us to hit the road. We had all intentions to go to Christmas made in the South, but our feet and my aching, 6 month pregnant back, were not going to allow it! We slowly walked to the car because we were exhausted. We made it home around 12:45ish and both of us put a very good dent in our Christmas lists. I have four people yet to buy for, but everyone else were knocked out on the dreaded BLACK FRIDAY!

All in all, we had a good trip. An enjoyable time, and I'm not sure about Dee but I think the two of us should make it a tradition. We shop the same, focused and on a mission! Until next year, happy shopping and get the best buys!!!!! :) :)

Oh, I might add that when I got home Travis had worn little Carter out and it took all of about an hour to get him to take a nap with me. Two and half hours later he and I walked out on to the front porch to find Travis with his shotgun in hand, shooting birds.... again! :)

"Giving thanks always..." Ephesians 5:20

Thanksgiving. As the turkey day approached and families prepared I was reminded as I often am, just how truly blessed my life is. I spent Wednesday helping my mom and granny prepare for Thanksgiving at their house. We always eat lunch in Callahan with Travis' family and then out to my moms for dinner. I figure the least I can do is be there to help prepare the day before. There's always the cleaning and tidying up that can be done, and then don't forget about all the food preparation. Mom still had her grocery list to buy, so off to Middleburg we went for the goods. Wal-Mart was crawling with people. As we walked the aisles I noticed that four out of five people that passed were grouchy, or just plain rude. How could this be? I mean, aren't we supposed to be preparing for a day of Thanksgiving and fellowship with our families and loved ones? It saddens me to know that we let the holidays over take our joy. We let the little things like the meal, the desserts, the things that really don't matter steal our joy.

We finished moms list, and headed back to Granny's. We immediately started the chores that needed to be done. My 82 year old papa sat on the couch and watched. I started to vacuum and he would lift his feet for me to go around him. I thought to myself how lucky I was to be spending such a special holiday with my Papa. He has seen so much in his life, faced many trials far harder then any I'm sure I'll ever face. He's a man of very few words these days. This was not the case just 5 years ago. Age has began to set in, he has the start of alzheimers disease, and he's just quiet now. I often sit and watch him as he stares off into the field, and I wonder just what is he thinking about. There is so much to be learned from this now quiet man, his hands folded in his lap as he rocks in his chair. I wonder if his health were better what would he be doing rather then sitting in that chair? Just his presence is such a blessing in my life. I don't know how much longer God will allow my family to spend with this sweet man, but I know that God knew I would need a man like this in my life. I love you Papa!!

The kitchen was beginning to fill with the aroma of different foods, and how could I dare ignore the smell of Big Granny's coffee brewing. This little woman, all ninety pounds of her, drinks coffee like it is going out of style. I don't think I've ever been to her house and not seen a pot of coffee ready for someone to drink, usually her! :) Speaking of things to learn from such a knowledgeable person. Neither of my grandparents went to college, or even graduated high school for that matter but the knowledge of life that they have inspires me. I watch Granny prepare meal after meal for our family and each time it amazes me how she knows just the exact amount of flour, sugar, oil, or water to add to any recipe. When I say that I love her home cooking that is a complete and total understatement. My favorite meal of hers would have to be tomatoes and rice with fried potatoes and don't dare forget that frying pan cornbread!!!!! I've watched countless times as she has mixed up the meal to make the cornbread. I ask her for the recipe so that I can at least try, she just responds with, "Jenny, it's just a dash here, and a dash there. I don't really know the recipe." That's not much help to a girl like me that needs step by step instructions!!! Back to the Thanksgiving preparations. Granny started me with the chopping of the bell pepper, onions, and celery for the stuffing. They usually give me something easy, because they are aware of my abilities, LOL!! I was grateful that I sat at that table cutting those vegetables. A night spent with my little granny, a night I'll remember forever.

While my mom and I were stirring around doing all sorts of things, Carter was running and playing with Uncle Faron. He loves being at Big Granny & Big Papa's house. Watching him run circles through the dining room and living room another memory from my past popped into my head. The many holidays that I ran that same circle. We were loud kids, knocking things over, giggling and laughing, but Granny never harped or got on to us. She just allowed us to be kids. I thought to myself how blessed I am that my little boy is now doing the same things I did as a kid. The circle of life I suppose, pretty amazing. Carter brings more joy to my grandparents then I ever dreamed he would. There is a little sparkle that comes to their eyes when we pull into the driveway each time. Then as it's time for us to go, the say "now ya'll come back in a day or two now!" They just adore the kid, and I think they are pretty fond of me too! :)

Driving home that evening, I thanked God for my family. For the peace they bring me, the lessons they've taught me and for the ones I've yet to learn from them. I thanked Him for the simplicity of our family, the genuineness of each person, the humbleness of my family, and for the blessings that each individual one brings to my life.

The next morning, I surprised myself by getting up early. My boys, Trav & Carter weren't too far behind me. The boys shared a cup of coffee, Carter's new favorite drink (it's mainly milk, with a little splash of coffee!). Carter helped me bake cookies, and then Travis helped him finish his Thanksgiving cards for Nana and Big Granny. My holiday mornings are usually chaotic, busy, and just frustrating. This morning was far different. We were all relaxed, and enjoyed the morning. I was even ready to go on time, can you believe that???? Me either, don't worry. We headed off to Granny Noni's to visit before leaving for lunch at Granny Pullet's house.

Lunch was superb! I must give my mother in law credit, the woman knows how to cook! The family gathered, we ate and just enjoyed each others company. Once again, I was reminded of how blessed my life is. I married the man I love with every beat of my heart, and his family is welcoming, loving, and warm just as mine is. If you must join another family, what better one to join then one like your own?! Travis' grandparents are just as precious to me as my own. There's Granny Noni & Papa Cotton that we live behind, and they are just good 'ole country people. Love everything about these two. I love their love for one another, their relationship and their patience with one another. I love that they share everything, they finish each others sentences, and still look forward to spending each day with one another. Then there is his sweet little Granny Vera, and Papa Joe. Quiet and observant, Granny Vera. The joker, Papa Joe. Papa has always teased me by calling me by some other girls name, and sweet Granny always greets you with a hug and wants to offer you a plate of whatever she may have at the time. Granny Vera reminds me so much of my late Granny Colea. Her house always ready to feed anyone that will take a minute to let her feed you, regardless of whether or not you are hungry. Papa Joe, he loves to watch the great grands play, and ride them on the golf cart. Papa Joe was recently diagnosed with cancer, and actually has his first chemo treatment tomorrow morning. This has burdened the entire family, but my prayer is that each of us finds a way to let go and let God take care of Papa. Our God is in control and we just have to have faith that all will work out. Grandparents are such a special blessing to each and every person, what would our lives be without them? I pray that Carter's little memory will remember these precious days with such sweet people.

Then we were off to Nana's. The tradition always the same, we're usually the last to visit for the day but there is always still more then enough food to fill our already stuffed bellies. When we arrived, Big Granny, and Nana were on the back porch. That porch is where we are usually greeted when we arrive. Thanksgiving day, Papa was inside though. He said it was getting a tad bit chilly for his liking. Our visit was nothing out of the norm, just a good visit, laughter and togetherness. The home cooking, and desserts were yummy! Nothing like going home for the holidays!! Carter was all about eating Tom Turkey this year. He ate a belly full at Granny Noni's, Granny Pullets, and Big Granny's house. I think it's safe to say the kid is good on turkey until next year! :)

Our day finished earlier then usual with us being home before eight o'clock. We had a wonderful day. A memorable day, and a day filled with many, many blessings. Whether those blessings were the family, the food, the fellowship, or whatever, they were blessings nonetheless. My heart is over joyed, and so thankful for every aspect of my life. I pray that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. Now on to the holiday shopping and a season that is like none other!!!

Ephesians 5:20 "Giving THANKS always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Many blessings to all!

Much love,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Did you miss your shadow?

As Travis pulled down our road yesterday, Carter was patiently awaiting his arrival. When I told him to look down the road, he jumped in the seat of his John Deere Gator and said or I should say screamed, "MY DADDY'S HOME, MY DADDY'S HOME!...LOOK MOM, MY DAD!" The excitement that streamed out of this little guy was precious. His little heart was so glad to finally have his Daddy home.

As soon as Travis opened the truck door, Carter ran as fast as he could to get to him!! The dogs also joined in the welcoming. I just stood back and watched, and took the moment in. Before long, Carter will be in the truck with his Daddy! As any three year old that hasn't seen his Daddy in ten days would do, Carter immediately started asking questions. Following Travis' every move, and as soon as I approached Trav, he informed me to "go away!" Momma had officially become chopped liver! That's okay though. To see these two together, you know they have some sort of special bond. :)

I asked Travis if he felt like the ground hog, on ground hogs day. Because if he did, he would surely find his shadow if he looked! Carter was on his heels every turn Travis made. Once the truck was unpacked and we headed inside, it didn't stop. He wanted to follow him to the bathroom, to the kitchen, sat on the couch with him, talked, talked, talked! This little guy had a lot of catching up to do with his Dad.

Today, Travis had some things to take care of here in town and as he left this morning, Carter was extremely upset. He cried, and cried. He wanted so bad to go, but Dad had business to take care of. We promised him that we would meet up for lunch and then he could spend the rest of the day with his Dad. We met for lunch, and he made sure that he was going with his Dad. Unfortunately neither of us remembered that Travis did not have his car seat. So, Carter rode back home with me, against his will! When we got home, guess what Travis found.... his shadow, yet again! Like white on rice, Carter was there! They piddled in the yard, played with the dogs, rode the four-wheeler, and next thing I know.... Travis has a gun! Carter has his play gun and they inform me they are going bird hunting!!! Not what I was expecting, but hey, whatever. As they walked towards the front fence, I ran inside to grab my camera. I stood on the front porch to start with, just watching them. Carter mimicking his Daddy's every move. "Shoot 'em Dad, get 'em!" , "I've got my gun Dad!" I can't begin to explain to you what joy watching these two together brings to my heart.

I went and sat on the ground near them, and with each shot of Travis' gun... I got a ringing in my ear. The dogs would scatter, and I would flinch. Carter on the other hand, he was on the hunt! Those poor birds flying over. I've been watching them all last week while Travis was out of town. I guess I'll never understand the purpose, LOL! Our routine is getting back to normal. Wake up, Dad at work, do some chores, wait for Dad to get home, play outside, eat some dinner, play some more, go to bed, just to start all over again the next day. Not real exciting days, but it's our days and they mean the world to me. We are so glad to have Travis home. Until May, when he does it again, we'll keep playing!

Enjoy our pictures from today, there are quite a few. I couldn't pick which were my favorites!

Take care & God bless!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm 28 not 17, right?!

So, it's 8:35 and I'm as excited as a school girl about going to school to see her new beau! My honey is on his way home, and granted he is still a good five hours away... HE'S ON HIS WAY HOME PEOPLE!!!!!! Last night I was so giddy and excited about him coming home that at one point I had to ask myself, are you 28 or 17 again?

**Just so you can see where he's been for the past 10 days, this is the lake they stayed on**

I remember the days when we started dating and I was so infatuated with my new love! The days I would have to go to school, and he to work, I couldn't wait to get out of school to call him. Then the weekends, dare we even talk about the weekends and how wrapped up I was in this boy? Ask any of my family and I'm sure they will tell you (or ask his, I'm sure they could agree), I followed him like a bloodhound! I wanted to be with him regardless of where it was or what we were doing. I can't tell you how many times I road in the Osceola forest with this boy & his best bud looking for the "Big" deer! I'm telling you, as long as I was with him I was as happy as a kid in a candy store.

Last night I had to laugh at myself for just a minute because I felt like 'that girl' all over again. Like this is going to be the first time I see him or something?! I guess it's a good thing, that I still get giddy, huh? I mean 11 years ago I was giddy, I'm still giddy, and I pray in 11 more years that I still get giddy!!! :) Thank you Lord for the love in my life!! I'm so glad that he has had a safe trip thus far, unfortunately no deer was slain in the process (but I guess that is a good thing, huh ladies?), but regardless... my hubby will be home in just a few short hours!!! Dare I go look for that perfect outfit (you all know we did that at one point)?? Okay... that's a bit to far, I know! Besides, I'm pregnant and it's cold, he'll either love me in my comfy clothes or else! :)

Now all of you reading this, quit laughing at me!! Here's a picture of me that I found with a giddy face!!

Patiently waiting for my honey....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Newborn, 3month, 6month....

Lazy day around these parts. Carter and I are exhausted from our week of absolutely n.o.t.h.i.n.g!!!!! Today we've laid low, and stuck around the homestead and relaxed. We had a nice visit & lunch with the Burnseds. Always great to see such a sweet couple, and their soon to be little Madox (not much longer, Jill)! There's nothing better sometimes then just relaxing and doing nothing, you know? The house is clean, the chores are done, and I twiddle my thumbs and then I get the bright idea to sort through baby clothes, like Tucker is going to be here in a few weeks or something, LOL! :)
I pulled two huge boxes from the barn and brought them to the house. As I sat down and opened the boxes I just sat in amazement of how truly blessed we are to have so much stuff, for Carter and now for Tucker. I'm glad that I kept all the stuff!! I started to sort through everything, it started with 18 month clothes and as I neared the bottom of the boxes I reached the itty bitty tiny stuff! I surprised myself that I didn't cry. I just sat there thinking back to when Carter was that small and how really it doesn't seem like it was that long ago! Three years, that's not long but to look at those tiny little clothes and look at the rambunctious little guy running down the hall, I had that brief moment of, "WHOA! Where did my baby go?!"

I must admit that going through all the stuff really kicked my excitement and anxiuosnes into high gear about Tucker's arrival. Sleepers, tiny socks, the bibs, the blankets. Each piece that I pulled from that box, I could remember Carter wearing. I remember who each piece came from. Strange? I thought so, I didn't think I'd remember the times that he wore those little outfits and I mean down to like certain places that he wore some of them. Then those little blankets, the ones that I loved obviously slightly more 'used' looking. I can't wait to bundle Tucker in them like we did Carter.

Of course, Carter entered the room upon several occasions and informed me that those were his things, but Tucker could borrow them. It will be very interesting to see just how generous he is with "his things" when little Tucker arrives! :) Let's talk about shoes for a minute. I have a basket of shoes that would almost make a Payless look like they were out of shoes!! There are certain shoes in that basket that I've had to move to the bottom of the basket so that Carter can't see them. He's not very keen on sharing certain shoes, LOL! One particular pair would be his lace up boots. Those are "MY cowboy boots, NOT Tuckers!" I listened to that for about three days. Finally I said, well they don't fit you anymore so we should share them with Tucker. His response, "no momma! These are mine, Tucker can get some at the store!!" So like I said, it will be interesting to see how this sharing stuff goes in another 3 months!!

A little stroll down memory lane tonight. Our family will be a family of four before we know it. I can't wait. I know little Tucker is going to bring a ton of joy to us and I can't wait to watch Carter with him. Only 3 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days until we see our sweet little boy!!!
Enjoy the pictures from my stroll! :)


Thursday, November 20, 2008


What better to pray for then our children? This afternoon when I sat down to check my email and blog, I started jumping around from blog to blog and I came across, "Bring the Rain; The story of Audrey Caroline". As I read through the blog, it immediately jumped at me as one of my new faves to follow. I made it about half way down the first page and noticed the title, "Seven prayers a day".

Seven prayers a day, is a challenge to pray seven times a day for your child. If you aren't a parent, pray for someone you love or a need in your life. Ultimately the point I took from it was, "live my life in prayer". Prayer is so powerful, and God wants to hear from us. Prayer will draw us closer to Him, and if we will listen, He will speak to us. Prayer for our children should come naturally, but as I mentioned the other day we get wrapped up in our routine prayer. Break the routine, and choose someone that is extra special to your heart and pray for them seven times a day. I don't know about you, but personally I could use someone praying for me seven times a day!

As I read "bring the rain", she listed 7 prayers and suggested that we right them down on index cards and stick them where we would remember them at that exact time during the day. I think this is such a wonderful idea, that I hope that it touches one of you as much as it has touched me. Please check out Angie's blog and read her entry of Seven prayers a day. Here is the link

It is my prayer, that this will not just be a week long thing for me. I pray that it will be come a daily routine forever!! I pray that my children seek God's will. May they live their lives with pure hearts, and shine for Christ!!

Sending up prayers....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where are the days going?

This morning I had my routine check up. Everything is going exactly as planned still, thank you Lord! I am so blessed to not have any major complications, other then the normal wear and tear of pregnancy, LOL!!!

I dropped Carter off at preschool, and headed to the appointment. With Travis being in Canada, I decided that today I would record the heartbeat and send it to him in a text message. We all know that I'm not a 'technical' girl, so as I drove I scrolled through my phone figuring out the best way to go about this. I found the "my sounds" on my phone, which I forgot I even had. I pressed play on the first sound. As it started my mouth immediately dropped open. The farther the message went, the more the tears welled up in my eyes and started fall.

The message was of Carter sending his Daddy a hello message last year on his trip to Canada. His little voice, so small and squeaky. Following my every que he sent his Daddy a hello message which ended with "night da da da!" I was, and still am completely blown away at how much just his voice has changed in a year. When I started to type this, I decided to check the date of that message. Ironically enough, it was EXACTLY one year ago today! Talk about crazy!!

Last night I started a book called, "The Power of a Praying Woman". The book talks about how we keep ourselves so busy and on the go that we really forget to slow down and hear God. When we pray, we pray for immediate things, we pray for people that we know and don't know, or the normal 'watch over my family' prayer. Then it asked, when do you pray strictly for yourself, and for God to speak to your heart? As I pondered that, I made sure that when I prayed last night, that I asked God to speak to me. I asked that He slow me down, make me enjoy the little moments, and most of all to be a better mother to my child and a better wife to my husband. I asked that He let me not take for granted the days that I live. I will admit, and those that know me know, that I am easily frustrated, short tempered, and on edge a lot of times. I asked God to change those things about me, especially when it comes to being a mom.

I took finding that little message from my sweet baby boy, this morning, as God's way of telling me that the days are passing and things I'm fretting over are not nearly as important as the child(ren) that He has so graciously blessed me with. Just in one short year, my little boy has changed so very much. I'm with him everyday, but feel I've missed so much by trying to take on to many tasks, or keeping the house clean, and clothes washed. My mom has told me so many times that she would give anything in this world to have her three children under her heels, asking to play or to help with her tasks of the day. Today, I wish I could hit rewind and go back and just truly listen to his voice and etch each and every day in my memory forever. I suppose all mothers feel overwhelmed as I do today about missing something, or taking for granted the life we are living. As I have done in other recent blogs, I'm going to blame it on these pregnancy hormones.... but who am I kidding? It's God's way of telling me to stop...slow down...and just be.

I've played the message numerous times today, locked it on my cell phone so it can't be erased and I plan on using it as my daily reminder of what I owe to my little guy.
Love to all...

If you'd like to hear the message/clip that I'm referring to here is the link,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's only day 3?!

So, I've blogged about my husband going to Canada. He has only been gone for three days but already it seems like eternity! Granted, I'm usually the one that is with Carter so flying solo for the majority of the day shouldn't be a big deal... should it? I don't know what happens to me when Travis leaves. I guess it's just my anxiety of him being gone, along with pregnancy hormones but I feel like a complete and total basket case, already!

It's funny how when he is home I feel so independent and never feel that I am actually 'needing' his help. I catch myself a lot asking him to do something, then stepping in and taking over because I can get it done quicker, or just because he might not be doing it exactly how I would do it. Call me overbearing, controlling, whatever you'd like but that's just me. It's who I am. God makes it very clear to me each time that he is gone for more then a day, I need that man in my life. I need his presence, not necessarily his words, just his presence. As I've said so many times, he is a very quiet person not a lot of talking goes on when you're with Trav but the calm he gives me is something I suppose I take for granted. In a way, I guess it's good therapy for this high strung, 'do it my way' girl to be without her husband twice a year for ten days each. It makes me think, makes me appreciate, and snaps me back into reality!

I'm grateful for my husband, my friend, my rock, my sounding block, my support. Where my life would be without him, who knows. It's only day three, and he won't be back for another seven days... heaven help me! It seems like a month!! I'm praying that this week goes by fast and that I can keep myself occupied and try to keep my mind off of being by myself, flying solo! ;) Carter's great company but I wish my Trav was home!!

So, umm yeah, I'm sappy tonight. I'm not very good at being by myself... hurry home Trav!!!!!

Bored...and lonely! :)
Jen the way, I finally posted some blogs that somehow never got "posted", so if you see some old stuff popping up, that's why...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The wife of a hunter

It's November. That means three things in the Higginbotham house. One, it's Tom Turkey month! Two, it's Travis' annual Canada trip with the guys. Three, shopping begins for the holidays! All this past week Travis has been scurrying around finishing things here and making sure he has all the stuff he'll need for the frigid weather in Canada. This is the third year he's gone now, and for the life of me I still can't understand why on earth anyone in their right mind would want to go sit in a little tree stand in 15 below weather?! I mean, come on, if I had to shop in those conditions I think I'd be cured!! But, he loves it, so I guess I'll just sit in a state of confusion.

Yesterday he was packing his bag, stuffing every piece of warm clothing he had into one suit case. Carter's first question, "Daddy, where you going? I'm going with you!!" I told him I didn't think his Daddy would have room for him this time, not by the looks of that bag. Travis isn't much of one to show his emotions. You never really can tell if he's overly excited, annoyed, sad, happy, it's just always pretty much the same demeanor no matter how you look at him. Now after being with him for the past eleven years of my life, I have come to realize that although he doesn't say or show much I can see the 'little' signs that he's excited. He talks a bit more, and rushes around like a little mouse. :)

He's been on numerous hunts before, but since we've had Carter each time seems to get a bit harder and harder for him to go. Again, he doesn't say much about it, but it gets harder for me to watch him leave and now that Carter is talking full speed ahead he is sure to let us know what it is he wants. Yesterday, and this morning, it was that he wanted to be with his Dad. Ten days doesn't seem like a long time, but I know by the middle of next week I'll be ready for my husband to be home and I'm sure his three year old shadow will be too!

We opted to not wake Carter this morning before Travis left. We woke up at 4 a.m. and waited patiently for the other guys to show up. Anyone that knows my husband knows he is a stickler about being on time. That is probably one of his biggest pet peeves in the world. As we sat on the porch and I watched him get more antsy while he waited, I reminded him that if he didn't leave "on time" there was a reason and a purpose, to just slow down and be calm. Last thing I want is for him speeding and rushing on roads he's unfamiliar with and driving in snow and ice scares the heebie jeebies out of me. Justin arrived first. Travis jumped up like he was going to a fire. Tell me he wasn't excited to get on the road. Once they loaded Justin's things, he came back to the porch to tell me he was going to leave and fuel up and have Thomas meet him at Papa's.

Now, I'm usually pretty strong and I don't cry when he leaves, so what happened this morning I'll blame on pregnancy hormones. They do a girl so bad sometimes, LOL! I hugged & kissed him goodbye and told him to promise he'd come home in one piece. Then I also reminded him of "the plan" in which I had come up with last night. The plan was for the three of them that are riding together, to get with the program when they get there. Tag out, get their deer and COME HOME! He agreed that he would do his best to follow "the plan". Now I know my husband, I know he's done this too many times to take the first buck that comes along, so in the back of my mind I know my plan is not going to be on his priority list. What I'm saying is, he's not just going to take the first buck he sees, he's going to wait it out. So, all in all, my husband probably won't be back until the 23rd!!

As they pulled out the driveway, my eyes welled up with tears. What was wrong with me? I never do this!! As I watched them leave, I was reminded by the words of my granny, "Jenny, worry about nothing, instead pray about everything!" I immediately started to pray for Trav and the two other men that would be with him. I prayed that God will watch over them, guide them and keep a hedge of protection around them throughout their trip. I walked back inside, headed to my room and in this new house, full of windows it was impossible not to see the truck make it's way to Papa's. As I stood at the front door watching just the taillights of the truck, I assumed I was watching, and praying as I've so many times heard of my granny say she had done for her husband and children. She's always told me that God hears our every prayer, and when we are unsure we should talk to God. I'm not against this trip by any means. I suppose I'm just getting older and that thought of "nothing will happen to me/us" is not so true anymore. I continued to pray until I watched them drive out Papa's driveway and I could no longer see the taillights.

As I made my way back to the bed, for maybe 2 more hours of sleep if Carter would allow, I looked at the clock and it said 5:02. I smiled, thinking how Trav was stressing being on the road 5:00, not a minute later. When I talked to him around 8:00 I made sure to let him know that he only left two minutes late. He laughed and said, "I know babe, I know!" I trust that God will watch over them and keep them safe. I wish them a fun trip, and a successful hunt. In the words of Carter, "Get the big one Dad!" We love you Trav & we'll miss you very much. Hurry home, and be safe!

The Hunters wife...

These are just a few pictures I snagged of T & C's first hunting adventure together last Wednesday.

Nosey neighbors....

Don't you just love when people are nosey? Come on, don't lie, we are all nosey to a certain extent but sometimes it's so totally obvious and pretty much just down right rude. I know I'm personally guilty of being nosey, but to show up at someone's house unexpected in this fashion?! I must say, I thought moving would offer me and my family more privacy, boy was I ever wrong!

Yesterday morning, I woke up about an hour before Carter. Since that rarely happens, I decided that I would go ahead and shower and get ready so that we could be on time for once. As so many of you know we just recently moved and as with anyone that moves, things are still not unpacked, decorations are not on the walls, and not all the windows have blinds on them yet. The blind for our master bath is one of those windows. Now before you start thinking, what kind of peep show is she offering, let me add that we are in the middle of a cow pasture, on thirty nine acres of land, and at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, with heavy fog I doubt anyone is able to see through my windows. There are houses around us, but unless they have a supped up telescope, I doubt their getting a show through that window. Now, back to the story...... I get out of the shower and as I turn, I see them! These eyes just staring through the window, what on heaven's earth? PRIVACY please, do I need to post no trespassing signs? I was startled at first but then I just had to laugh at the site outside my window.

These girls heard there was a new girl in town, and they had to come check her out for themselves. I suppose they probably got the wrong impression of me at 7:00 in the morning, LOL! As I looked closer, I found that the nosey little heifers weren't looking for a show, they were really there to antagonize our dogs. They just love to stand there and act as if they don't even hear the dogs barking at them. Just like a women, aggravating men for the heck of it! :) As Travis always says, women and cows are a lot a like!!! Timone, my sweet little cat was my guard, he hopped in the window and acted as if he was going to charge them. Little does he know they'd stomp him in a heartbeat if he ever made it past the dogs!

I'm am off today to order the blind. No more peeping toms, or should I say peeping cows!! When I got up this morning, they were back for me. Nosey neighbors, they're everywhere you go!!!

Toodles, have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

17 weeks...119 days

Either way you look at it, that makes me 23 weeks pregnant today. Where on earth have the last 23 weeks gone? The old saying says, "time flies when you're having fun!" I, we've, been so completely busy with all we've had going on that it seems like at times I forget I'm pregnant for a second.

Tucker has been wiggling around inside now for about 8 weeks. Carter and Travis both have felt the little guy move on several occasions. Carter loves to sit beside me at night and feel the little 'hello's' from his baby brother. He often asks what Tucker is doing and if he's kicking. The first time he felt him he said, "MOMMA! He's better, let him out!" The wonders of a child, and if it were only that simple. Carter has also felt the need to remind me of my growing belly. We were sitting together one day and he pokes me in the stomach and says, "fat belly!" I was shocked, but laughed nonetheless. Even he realizes change, LOL!

So many people have told me that with your second child you aren't as "on top" of things as you were with the first. I was bound and determined that was not going to be me. Well, when it comes to taking pictures of my growing tummy, I fell into that slacker crowd. I hate to admit that today, at 23 weeks, is the first tummy picture I've taken. **Sorry Tucker, I'm going to kick myself into gear!**

Now that I've had time for my mind to slow down a bit since moving, I've really started to think what if this is the last time I feel those little flutters inside, or those flat out punches? I'm trying to do my best to not complain, and to enjoy each and every little movement. Anyone that is a mother knows what I'm talking about. The joy and reassurance that it brings to feel your little one kicking as you await their big arrival, is something I never ever want to forget. As I sit here and type this, I think he is having a party or something. Every couple of seconds he's letting me know he's there.

I can't wait to meet you. We've only got 17 weeks to go little guy, not much longer. Your big brother can't wait for you to be here, although he's a bit hesitant about sharing his toys with you! :) I already love you more then you'll ever know. I can't wait to see who you look like and to watch you grow. I pray that God continues to watch over you as you grow and may He keep us both safe. Until March my sweet boy, I love you!
Love, Momma.

Monday, November 10, 2008

PURPOSE... your one thing in life

Yesterday morning, I woke up and decided that since I had to go to my moms to get Carter, I might as well get ready and go with them to church. First Baptist Church of Maxville is where I grew up in church. It is where I was baptized and also where Travis & I were married. Going back there always gives you that feeling of home, and seeing all the people that watched you grow up is always interesting because they are shocked to see you, "all grown up!"

The church is without a pastor at this time, so they had a guest speaker. That's the only part of my notes I didn't write down, brilliant huh? Anywho, the title of his sermon was, "Purpse, your one thing in life" The title of this sermon perked me right up and I was tuned in. Nothing like going to church and receiving a message. So often we go through life wondering, what is my purpose? Why am I here? Does anything I do matter? Will anyone realize that I'm trying? All of these questions are answered in the pastors sermon. I took a few notes and this is what I wrote down and I just felt like I should share it. Maybe what I took from it, will strike a cord with one of you and you too can take something from this message. The bible verse was Phillipians 3:12-14.

My notes.....
*Purpose, gives us direction. It is powerful, and it provides drive.

**The life that matters has a purpose. Ask yourself, who am I, and why am I here?
....this question really stuck with me. I thought to myself, what a great question to ask when you have that feeling of, "should I be doing this?"

***How do I find my one thing, my purpose?
Romans 12:1-2 "...offer yourself..."
God has called each of us to do something. We have to pray and seek the answer from Him. Look for our God given shape.
S-Spiritual gifts
H-Heart, your passion
A-Abilities, each persons abilities are different
P-Personality, each is different
E-Experiences, the experiences that each of us have had can help answer your purpose

****Each and every person has a purpose in life. A reason that God has just for you and me. Not every purpose is the same, and we don't always have to understand our purpose but we do need to follow what we feel God has called us to do. For us to realize our gift we must first accept the gift that God gave to us. We must understand and believe that He sent his son Jesus for a purpose. Jesus' purpose in life was to die on the cross for the sins of each of us.
.....Now, with that being said, it is up to each of us to either accept that precious gift, or deny it. I can honestly sit here and say that I may not go to church each and every Sunday, but I know that if I were to die tomorrow that I would spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus. Would you?

*****God is not concerned with our past, or the wrongs in our life. His will is to have each of us follow Him & live our lives unto Him. All He asks of us is to accept His gift of eternal life.
....So many of us run and run from God and His knocks at our hearts door. I am so grateful that I have heard that knock and I pray that each of you that reads this also has a personal relationship with God. As Christians it's not our place to "save" people. That is God's job. Ours job is to be followers and let others see Jesus in us.

So, that was the sermon in a nut shell. Obviously more was said then this but this is what I took from it. I can't say that I know 100% what my purpose in life is but I'm understanding it more. I'm praying that God will open my eyes and my heart to what it is that He has planned for my one purpose in life. Think about it.... what is your purpose in life?

May God bless each of you today and always!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Daddy's helper

Yesterday Travis & Eric wired the barn and they weren't expecting extra hands to help but they sure got them! Carter woke up not feeling the best, but as soon as he saw Daddy & Uncle Eric outside he was suddenly 100% better! Out the door he went and it was just me, standing at the window watching him follow those men and mimicking everything they did. I would ask him if he wanted to come back in, and each time his response would be, "MOMMA! I'm outside helping my Dad!" Who am I kidding, seriously? I'm no where near as cool as "the boys" as Carter likes to say.

The morning passed, and I fixed lunch and told the guys to come in and eat. Once again, my little one informed me that, "MOMMA! We are busy!" I obviously don't listen very well, LOL! When they came in, I had to strip Carter to his Lightning McQueen roos. The kid was covered in black dirt from head to toe, luckily he had his rubber boots on. We had to scrub his hands before I was going to let him to the table. He hurried and ate his pizza, these big guys weren't leaving him inside with mom... no way, she's a GIRL!!!! How terrible! As soon as he finished, he wanted his work clothes back on and off he went, right on Daddy's heels.

I cleaned up the kitchen and went outside to supervise for a bit. By now, Travis had decided to get the tractor from Papa's and dig a ditch, trench, massive long hole in my yard (call it what you will) to bury the wires. As I made my way out the door, I noticed that Carter was unable to be seen. As I searched for him, I finally see his little head just barely sticking out of this ditch! He was in there driving his tractor and having the best time!! When I got closer, I could see that it was going to take the power of a fire hose to clean the kid off! There was black dirt, EVERYWHERE! His hands were stained, his face had black all over it. His little nose looked like he had been sniffing black dirt for hours!! I asked him what he was doing and he looked up and responded with, "Momma, I'm playing!" Duh, I'm such a genius sometimes!! :) Now anyone reading this knows that I cringe at the thought of dirty fingernails, and just plain old dirty. I'm trying to get better at this because, I'm obviously not going to win this battle. I just smiled at my little three foot tall walking pile of dirt and told him I loved him.

He jumped the ditch, fell in the ditch, rolled in the ditch, you name it. Then I look and Travis is at the far end holding this big roll of wire on a stick and I see little Carter pulling the other end with every ounce of his little being. As he winded his way through the ditch, he'd yell back to his Dad, "Daddy, this is hard, I can't make it!" Travis reassured him that he could do it and he just about made it to the end. These two are such a team already, hilarious, but a team none the less.

We finally talked Carter in to coming in and taking a bath, a major soaking is what this little ball of dirt needed! As he sat in the tub he looked up at me and said, "Momma, it's been a long day!" His Daddy worked him hard, and he was pooped! Once he was all cleaned we asked him where he wanted to eat and he said Long Horn. Off we went. Obviously, as any mother knows, he fell asleep before we made it 1/2 way there. He got a 10 minute power nap and woke up fired up and ready to go.

Today, a simple reminder to me that it doesn't matter how much dirt, or what might get too dirty or possibly ruined. I must let my little ones be little. The time is flying past me, and before I know it, my little ones will be my big ones and I'll be looking up to them! I'm blessed beyond measure, and God is slowly teaching me to just let go and have fun!

To another dirty day! :)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Farm living is the life for me....

umm, maybe not! Maybe I will take Park Avenue. No, that's just a joke, I just have so much about this farm life to learn. Today was quite a day, I witnessed things I'd never seen before. Travis received a call around 2:30ish and came to the door and said, "I have to go to Thomas' to pull a calf!" I don't know much, but being married to a man that has been around cows his entire life has taught me that this sentence means.... he's going to help deliver a calf for a dear mother cow that is having trouble. Witness a birth?! Of course, I wanted to go. I threw on my shoes, grabbed my camera (you didn't really think I would go without it did you?) and off we went. Five minutes down the road, we arrive and my eyes immediately find the poor mother barely able to walk. I thought to myself, ooh, this is not going to be good I don't think. My camera never made it's way out of the truck.

Travis went into the field and I kept our little Carter on the outside to keep from spooking the mother or annoying her any further. As Travis walked the cow to one of the gates, maybe it was just me, but you could see the exhaustion and concern in her eyes. Yes, all cows have those big lovable eyes but her eyes were tired. The people that were there with her said she had been in this state for almost two hours. I held Carter in hopes of keeping him quiet and still. He was full of questions, "where's the baby", "what's Daddy doing?", "I want to help him!". As they walked the cow closer she almost made it to the gate and she fell. It was time for my 'farmer' husband to jump in there and do what he knew to do. It was a matter of seconds and the baby calf was out! The mother gave a slight moo, but nothing more.

When the calf was delivered, I suppose maybe it was the "mother" in me I teared up. The miracle of birth, human or animal, just a simple reminder of how truly amazing our God is. Travis had helped this poor momma cow, but unfortunately her calf did not make it. That's what got me to thinkin' that this farm living might not be something this girl can handle. I'm such a softy, and again it is most likely that motherly instinct within me but I felt so sorry for this cow who lost her calf. Travis' eyes caught mine and he shook his head in a way to tell me that, no the calf was not alive. I quickly had to turn my head because I truly was about to cry. Then as my three year old grabs ahold of my leg and looks out to his Dad and says, "Momma, what's wrong with that baby?!" Oh my stars in heaven, how do you explain that to him? I just simply answered with, "he's sick baby. Jesus needs him in Heaven". The was enough for him, although he did later ask again, why the baby cow was sick.

My children, and myself have so much to learn. Thankfully, Travis has a mind full of knowledge about this farm stuff! Now, if you are reading this you are probably wondering why on earth would she post about this. Well, because it is a part of life, my husbands life, and I'm sure in a few more years, days like today will just be a part of the norm. The circle of life, right? Today as I watched my husband, it reminded me of his one true passion in life. There is nothing, besides his family, that he loves more then to be surrounded by those big four legged creatures with those big brown eyes. I'm so blessed to have him in my life and to watch him in his own element really does bring me joy. The man may be quiet, and quirky at times but he truly is one amazing person!! I'm sure that I'm not the only one thankful for his good deed today.... I mean you know cows just lay around and think how marvelous us humans must be! ;)
**This is not the cow, just thought I'd throw in a cow pic!**
So here's to the many more births I'll witness on Cow Bird Lane!! Moo, moooooo!

Many moos,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Goodbye Green Meadows, hello Cow Bird Lane!!!!

It has finally happened, the big move! We officially moved on Saturday November 1. Crazy, hectic, chaos, confusion, emotions of every kind, and sheer exhaustion is what this move consisted of. I think I speak for myself and for Travis when I say that we are both very excited and already feel at home here on Cow Bird Lane.

As last week started, I packed box after box into my truck. Moving a few things at a time, feeling as if I was doing absolutely nothing but in all reality.. I was. As "the day", Saturday, drew closer and closer I kept waiting for those feelings of this is it, or that long cry but each day passed and nothing. Friday morning, Halloween, I got little man up and as promised dressed him in his Woody costume for Halloween. The costume was at the new house so off we went at 9:30 and by 10:00 he was fully dressed in his attire! :) He couldn't have been happier.

He and I spent the day with some friends, and then it was time to go to the Fall festival at Nana's church. Off to the festival we went. Carter was excited, and those thoughts of my last night in my "first" house started to creep up in my mind. Luckily, chasing a three year old at a festival was enough to push those thoughts aside. After the festival when we got home as I sat on the couch I said to Carter & Trav, "guys this is our last night in this house" As I laid on the couch and they laid on the floor, as they always do at night, those tears and emotions that I had been wondering where they were started to flow. I kept them controlled for the sake of being made fun of by my boys. I laid there and thought about the first night that Travis and I stayed there and how excited we were to have our "first" house. Then there was the major milestone of bringing our precious little boy home. Watching Carter take his first steps, his first birthday, three Christmas' together, a little memory here, a little memory there. I actually thought about all that those four walls had witnessed, and heard over the past five years. Yes, I was having quite the moment and as I type this it's all starting to happen all over again. The part that saves me from all of that though, is the look on Carter mans face when we come up to the new house and how excited he is to be here. Life is about making memories, and holding them dear and cherishing each day as if it were your last. Do I always remember to do that, not always, but as I look back I can honestly say the years I spent on Green Meadows Lane will forever be days I'll cherish and hold so very dear to my heart.

Hello Cow Bird Lane, how calming and peaceful you are. We were up and ready to go by 9:00 on Saturday morning. Travis and the other 'helpers' had went hunting that morning so we were waiting for their arrival to get the move on the go. As the Higginbothams always go about moving, we used Papa's cow trailer. I'm telling you, when we do something, we do it right!!! :) Amazing how much junk you can fit into a cow trailer and it's not often you see a cow trailer pulling furniture instead of the usual cow! A great thank you goes out to each of our helpers, Daniel a.k.a "Son", Papa Donnie, Uncle Faron, & my precious mother. Without each of you the day would have been impossible. We asked a lot of each of you and with only a few complaints to me for having too much junk, you each helped us with a smile. We are very grateful for the kindness from you all. Piece by piece my old house, was becoming my new house. All those sappy feelings I had the night before were at the far back of my brain being flooded by the thought of "oh my stars, where did I get so much junk?!" As the sun began to set on our first day at Cow Bird Lane we were all exhausted and that is actually an understatement for what we truly were. We finally came to a stopping point and Travis, Carter and myself found ourselves on the couch.

As we sat there, exhausted and unable to move one more thing, we were all three content and happy. Who knew that in just a matter of hours everything that you own could be uprooted and transferred elsewhere but when you are all together it doesn't really matter where you are as long as you are, together. It was drawing closer and closer for Carter to go to bed. He crawled on the couch with Travis and it wasn't five minutes and I looked over and they both were laying there with their eyes closed. I picked my little boy up and walked him to his new room, his cowboy room. All day he was so thrilled about this new room, he couldn't wait to sleep in his big boy bed. Bless his heart, all he had was a new cowboy comforter but to him it was all new. I pulled back the covers and laid him in his bed and he said, "Momma, this my cowboy room?" "Yes sir, this is all yours!" "I love you momma!" All those memories that I hold so dear from my old house, have already begun in my new house. Most nights are rushed at bed time with me still having a million things to do but Saturday night I crawled in the bed with my little cowboy and laid there until I was certain he had fallen asleep. I laid there and prayed and asked God to watch over us as a family, to bless us, and to fill this home with countless memories and joy. The day had come to an end, and God provided me with a peace that He will bless our family and I look forward to the many, many, memories that are in store for each of us.

Day two, started with a cheerful good morning from our three year old. He was bright eyed and bushy tailed!! He was so excited, he had stayed in his cowboy bed all night!!!!! His first comment to me, as we walked through the kitchen, "momma, I've got to make my bed!" Does he know how to melt me or what? :) We made his bed, and since we didn't really have any real groceries in the house, we headed out to Winn Dixie and came home with pancakes and sausage. Yummy, our first breakfast on Cow Bird Lane. It was delicious, so delicious that it's had me craving pancakes every since. Yep, I've been eating pancakes every morning since!!! :) We continued to unpack boxes that day and get more settled. Even Tater & Cowboy (our dogs), are getting adjusted quite nicely to our new surroundings. I think they like it here as much as we do!

Cow Bird Lane isn't just any piece of property, oh no. It comes with memories already. Travis grew up on the dairy that once stood here and although he doesn't talk much about what that means to him, I can only imagine how special it is to him to settle down here and raise his boys (and who knows, maybe a girl one day...we are still debating whether there will be a third!!) in the same way he was. Watching him with Carter, as they watch the cows, or sit under the barn eating peanuts, I think about how truly blessed I am to be living this life with such a supportive husband that I love so very much.

I can't wait to watch our children grow up in this home and move on to start families of their own. I want this to be a place that they will always feel they have roots, and feel welcome, and may they always feel excited about coming home. May their days be filled with all the love that Travis and I have to offer them.

There were Green Meadows days that I'll remember and there a thousand more Cow Bird Lane memories waiting for me to discover. To many happy years ahead, God bless to all!

Much love,