Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunshine Cattle

Sunshine Cattle, has been a name that I've known about for the past twelve years. It was the name of the dairy that Travis' family owned when I first met him. He has proudly worn the belt buckle with the farm name since the day I met him. I know he has so many memories wrapped up in that name and that life. When deciding what to name our farm, it just seemed right to carry it over. So, there you have it, we are Sunshine Cattle.
Back around Thanksgiving I attended the Christmas Made in the South, which comes to our town each year. It's a huge craft/art show that I just love. This year there was a new vendor that was making belt buckles and imprinting the leather belts. I stopped and didn't really see what I was looking for, so being the loud gal that I am I decided I wouldn't know if I didn't ask. I asked the gentleman working the booth if he had any cows. He pulled out five different emblems and after texting a picture of each one to Travis we came to a conclusion.
I asked the gentleman to make me two small belt buckles for the boys and to also put our farm name on the buckle. He agreed but said he would have to mail them to me since he didn't have any leather pieces small enough for what I needed. I patiently awaited the package in the mail. The day it came it was cold, and rainy when I checked the mail.... but there it was!  I ripped that package open and couldn't wait to get back home to show Travis.
When I came home, he loved them! We agreed that we would go ahead and let Carter open it that afternoon. I hurried along and wrapped the buckle. When Carter opened it he said, "are you kidding me" He loved it too! Tucker has his in his room, waiting the time he can fit into his little belt. I don't foresee that being too long, LOL!!!  Carter has worn his proudly since he received it!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So, I'm trying to update you all on our holiday happenings, but for whatever reason I can not get my pictures to load. I always use flickr but now when I click on the picture tab, the option to add the photo's url does not let me paste it from flickr. Can anyone please shed some light on what I'm doing wrong?! They change a few minor things and it throws me clear out of whack!!! Once I get this little glitch figured out, you'll have some updates on us.... promise!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy 3 year anniversary!!!

Chris and Rosalind are friends of mine. They are local photographers, and I love their work. A few weeks back I received an email from Ros asking me to give her a call she had something to ask me. I called her, and to my surprise she asked if I would be willing to do a session with them for their wedding anniversary.
I was shocked, honored, and very hesitant to reply at first. I could not believe that out of all the photographers in our area they asked me to do their session. I agreed, and I'm so glad that I did. They made me feel at ease, and they really taught me some things that I had been struggling with. For example, sun flare. I have tried numerous times to accomplish this in a picture, no luck. Then there are those times I load my pictures and when I was even attempting to get sun flare... there it is.
Chris and Rosalind are probably the most loyal, honest, God-loving, Christian couple I know. They are truly what you see is what you get. You can see the love in their eyes for one another, the way they talk to each other is always respectful and caring. They have two very precious children, who are loved very, very much by their mom and dad. As we walked around The Plantation, in Fernandina, I couldn't help but smile at the vibes these two were giving off. True, true love. There was one point when an older gentleman was passing by and he said, "Love..." Chris replied to him, "yes sir, we're in love. We've been married three years!" It was just sweet to hear him chime in and let the world know he was not ashamed to show that he loved his wife.

I hope that I captured what Chris and Rosalind had in mind. They were a complete joy to work with, and I'm sure you can tell by their pictures that they are a great pair!!

Chris & Ros... thank you again for asking me to be a part of this special time in your lives. It is my prayer that God will continue to bless your lives together, and your family. I am grateful for your friendship. Enjoy your pictures, and thanks for being a role model for so many couples today!!  love..Jen


Each year my cousin hosts our family Christmas party at her home. Each year the tree seems to get bigger, and bigger. Seriously the tree is so big that our local news station did a story about the tree last year. My cousins husband is in a wheel chair but that doesn't keep him from finding the biggest tree he can find each and every year. They travel to North Carolina to bring home the beast, I mean tree.

When you enter their front door, you see nothing but this massive tree. Millions, and that is no exaggeration, of strands of silver tinsel hang from the branches. Countless colored lights give the room a reddish/pinkish tint. If I had to guess I would say it would take at least 35, if not more, of us to make a circle around this tree. How do they have a tree this size you might ask.... well, their home is wheel chair accessible, and the ceilings are some of the tallest I've ever seen. So somehow, again this is something I've not figured out, they manage to squeeze this enormous tree in the french doors and finally get it to stand.
My cousin, Becky, has to be the most patient, understanding person I know. She never grumbles about anything. I can only imagine the grumbling I'd be doing if a tree the size of Texas was coming into my house. Thinking of the millions of needles that fall off that tree that she has to vacuum up, just makes me shutter. Hosting a party for over fifty people, another reason I'd probably run from the thought. Not Becky, she embraces it. You can feel the hospitality the minute you walk in the door. It's nice each year to know that we will see the extended family that we usually only see once a year. There is a line of food that goes on forever. There are more sweets then the local donut shop has to offer.

My grandmother comes from a family of eleven siblings. This party is for each of those siblings and their extended family. There is always a house full. If my great-grandmother, Leona, were living it would be right up her alley. She loved a crowd, she loved family gatherings, she loved, loved, loved seeing the children play. I can't help but think of the joy she would get from sitting on the couch watching the children run circles around that massive tree. I can hear Grandpa too, "Leona, those young'uns are going to get hurt or tear that tree down!" Makes me smile to know that our family is still sharing the traditions that Grandma and Grandpa left behind.

Happy Holidays!

PS...I still have over 100 pictures from Christmas to load to my computer... check back to this post for the tree picture!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sweet Sixteen

Do you remember turning sixteen? I remember thinking it was the door of opportunity, the door of freedom, the door that would lead me to finding my prince charming, my door to be away from my parents. Oddly enough, it came, it went and not much changed. I still had rules, I still had to answer to my parents, and low and behold prince charming was not on the other side of that birthday. That magic day did however lead to me getting my drivers license which still wasn't as cool as it was cracked up to be. I couldn't go and come as I pleased, I may be that magical sixteen but I was still living in my parents house. Duh, what was I thinking?!
Tonight I had the opportunity to photograph a sweet 16 birthday party. Our friend Jessica was turning that 'magical' age! There was hot pink, and zebra print everywhere! Sweet 16 candies, and more good food then you can think of. Jessica and her friends enjoyed the evening line dancing, laughing and just hanging out.


Jess, hope your sweet 16 birthday was all you hoped it to be. May your new adventure be filled with fun memories, good times, great friends, and happiness. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas parade

This year we missed our town parade because of yucky weather, and I had a baby shower to host. We were bound and determined to make it to the one in the town where Travis grew up. It was probably one of our coldest evenings yet, but we bundled the boys and ourselves up and off we went. We found a spot with some of Travis' old buddies and enjoyed the parade.

Carter was excited to see the lights, and get candy. I guess I'm just a huge sap but I absolutely love watching his eyes sparkle and watching the way he gets so excited over such little things. It amazes me that four years have passed by already. I remember Carter's first Christmas and the night we stood in the freezing (well, freezing for this Florida girl) cold to watch the parade. I had him bundled in three blankets, a sweater, a cap, you name it.
I enjoy doing things like this corny as they may be to some but it's the little memories that I love to watch develop. There's just something about spending times like this with family that make the holidays special. Tucker enjoyed the fireworks, the lights, the people, the food (would you have expected anything less from Bear?), and the sirens from the fire trucks. I'm sure next year our hands will be really busy trying to keep up with two running around!

You better watch out, you better not pout 'cause Santa Claus is coming to town!!!

I get an award!!!

For being the most forgetful, unreliable, horrible preschool mommy out there. I bought the goodies for Carter's class, bought each child a little gift, bought the teachers a gift, but low and behold... I forgot the party! How exactly does one do such a thing? I mean, my child is only in preschool for one year and I MISSED THE PARTY! I was so upset when I pulled in the pick up line to get him and he came walking out with this big brown bag full of Christmas stuff. His mouth covered in green icing, and his teacher saying, "do not let him go to his room with this bag, it's full of candy!" I looked at her a little strangely and she reminded me that today was the day of their party.

My heart sunk to my toes. As I pulled off, I apologized to him and he said, "Momma, you weren't there to hold my hand!" UGH! Kick me while I'm down kid!! I really did feel horrible. I still feel horrible. I called my good friend Traci who tried her best to make me feel better. She said there's always next year, it's not like he's starting kindergarten. Umm, hello... Traci... news flash, he WILL be in kindergarten next year. Then she proceeded to remind me how ashamed I should be of myself. Good friends are hard to come by these days! :) (((Just kidding Traci, I LOVE YOU!)))

I know it's nothing huge, but it still makes me sad. I missed it, something I can't go back and relive. Carter doesn't seem to mind too much, although he does keep asking me, "where were you that day momma?" Lovely, just lovely.


Is it love?

While my friend Kari was taking our family pictures, her daughters Delaney and Avery were on the sidelines watching. Carter is just smitten by Delaney! He wanted nothing to do with pictures, but once he realized that I was going to let him get out of it, he hammed it up for the camera so that we could get done and he could play!

While taking a quick break, Kari snagged this picture of the two of them. They are absolutely precious. We have come to the conclusion that in another ten years or so, we are in t.r.o.u.b.l.e!!!! Just look at Mr. Man being all smooth... lord, help me!!!

The Higgs 2009

Shamefully I have to tell you that the pictures you see here, are the absolute first family photos we have as a family of four. I know, not acceptable. Trust me when I tell you I've given myself enough grief about it so I don't need any comments from the peanut gallery, thanks anyways.

My dear friend, Kari, came to the rescue when I called her and told her I had procrastinated and needed family pictures for our Christmas cards. Luckily Kari was available to squeeze us in, and I am so grateful that she did. She always gives me just the shots I was hoping for. I've yet to be disappointed with anything she's done for me. You will not meet a more laid back, go with the flow kind of gal. She's up for whatever, whenever! Thanks again for giving us portraits that I'll treasure forever!!

As you can see, the pictures scream "The Higgs"! It shows our life on the farm, my life with three boys, and all the goodness we have here on Cow Bird Lane. From silly smiles, endless giggles, to Carter spitting grass in my hand... would you expect anything less from this group? These pictures havethree very special things I'd like to point out. First, the shirt Travis is wearing is one that Granny Vera gave him. It belonged to Papa Joe, and therefore it has a very special meaning to it. Secondly, the barn pictures and the fence pictures those are all Papa Cotton's. Travis grew up on the dairy farm that was once here, and to have our family portraits taken here really means a lot to me as I'm sure it does to Travis. And last but most certainly not least, our dear old gal, Lulla Belle. She just happened to be standing by the fence watching what was going on. I wasn't about to walk away and not get a picture of me and my favorite cow!!

Hope you enjoy our family photos. I've made a promise to myself that this once a year family photo stuff stops as of this year! At least twice a year should be legit, right?? Thanks again to Kari, I can never repay you!!

Happy Holidays!
Love & blessings... The Higgs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Preschool Christmas play

I am so behind, I forgot to even post about Carter's Christmas play. It wasn't until about two days before the play that he informed me he was going to be a donkey! Umm, son... how did you get picked to be the donkey?!  That was my initial thought but he made the cutest donkey I'd ever seen!!
We made cookies that afternoon so that all the grandparents could come by afterwards and enjoy a few minutes with my little preschooler. How is it that a preschool play can make a mother so very proud? Camera in hand, of course, I found a spot on the floor in the aisle (along with several other moms), to get a few shots of my little donkey. He came through the door and I couldn't help but gleam with joy. He's a handful sometimes, but oh my stars that child is such a blessing to my soul. He made his way on stage and was waving to Travis and the rest of the family. They started singing their songs and he was singing his little heart out!!
I sat there on the floor trying to figure out where on earth the past four and a half years have gone. How on earth did I go and get myself a five year old, close enough. He's so grown up about somethings, and somedays I just want to put my hand on his head and push him back down a few years. Would that be considered child abuse?! I don't think there was a parent in that auditorium that wasn't proud that night. There's nothing more precious to me then a child that sings Christmas carols, and recites John 3:16 to a room full of people. God uses even the youngest of children to touch hearts all during the year. To hear a group of twenty or so four year olds recite John 3:16.... touching. Then to hear them sing Silent Night, it brought chills to every inch of my body. Tears streaming down my face, I was so touched to hear those little voices singing about the true meaning of Christmas.
I give kudos to the preschool teachers, and all teachers for that matter. They are helping to instill in our children values that they will take with them forever. I've watched Carter learn so much this year in school. It's bittersweet, but it's a blessing also. This holiday season I've read many stories about children that are battling cancer and their families are holding on for one more day. Praying that God gives them just one more day. I'm so thankful for my children. Even the days that I feel like I should be admitted to a crazy farm... I'm grateful.
***Do you see where his finger is?! Oddly enough he did the exact same thing last year during the play! N.I.C.E***

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Oh my sweet niblets!!! I have one hundred followers, how on earth did this happen so quickly? I know I've promised updates, and I promise I'm working on them, but for Pete's sake... I'm so far behind and still have a million things to do before we set sail tomorrow. I have the boys stuff packed which I'm sure I'll unpack, and recheck, before it's all said and done. I have an 'idea' of what we need to pack, but I still have errands to run, lists to make for the Grandma's (like they've never raised kids before), and I STILL HAVE TO BLOG!!!

I never dreamed that my blog would become what it has. I just wanted to take a quick minute to say thank you to all of you that are now following, and to all of you that have been following. It makes me smile to know that our little farm life interests other people, and that the crazy things that go on here make other people laugh! I hope that each of you will continue to check in with us, send your friends over for a visit, and I will eventually get around to repaying the favor of following your blog as well!

And here's just a little something to hold you over until the updates come! Two of my favorite pictures from our family shoot with Kari Vennard Photography earlier this week. THANKS KARI!!! We love the pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just to hold you over

Here's a little peak at a cutie I had fun with today!!! Meet, Brigdon. He is so tiny, and cuddly. Little rascal gave me a run for my money though! He did not want to stay balled up or close his eyes. He's still a cutie patootie in my book though!!!

Believe it or not, I'm still here!

I know, I know, call me a slacker! I am so far behind with blogging it's ridiculous. Life has been slammed full this past week with things to do and this week is no different. I promise to update soon with the Higginbotham happenings... just maybe tomorrow! Come on, you can wait another 24 hours to hear and see what we've been up too, right? I know, the suspense is killing you! :)

Check back soon... I promise updates, lots of updates before Travis and I set sail on our cruise Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO, it's time for a vacation!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Jason!

My brother celebrated his birthday on December 6, and we were there to help eat the cake! Carter enjoys chocolate, although I do not enjoy the affects chocolate has on my dear child! We enjoyed a nice lunch prepared by my mom. Tucker thoroughly enjoyed the green beans as you can tell by one of the pictures. He also enjoyed the fried chicken, and the cake. Don't forget the cake!

Happy Birthday! I can't believe how old we are. Somewhat depressing, eh? I remember aggravating you when we were little... always messing up your ever so tidy room, or just being the annoying sister that I was sent here to be! I am so thankful to have you as a brother. You are one of the most genuine, caring, reliable people I know. I pray God's many blessings in your life in the year to come! Hope you enjoyed your birthday! We love you!!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Baby Brayden is on the way

My dear friend, Amanda, is expecting her first child in early February. I have been waiting for her to have a baby for so long, and now the time is finally here. She and her husband, Justin, are going to be wonderful parents. There little one is not even here yet, and already he is so blessed!
This weekend, we celebrated by having her a shower for family and friends. The turnout was wonderful and she received so many nice things. It took me back to my first shower with Carter. Seriously, I think a baby shower is better then Christmas sometimes. As I watched her open her gifts, I thought of how soon her life would be changing and all the joys she would soon experience thanks to this little tiny person. Onsies, bottles, blankets, diapers, the cutest tiny little shoes, all the stuff she would need to welcome baby Brayden.

I'm sure her mind is going a hundred miles per hour thinking about all the what ifs, the do I have this, do I have that, will I need this, will I need that? My best advice Amanda is this... relax. Everything you will need to know will come to you. The stuff you are still unsure of, just call your mom or any friend that has kids. You will get a million different ways to do things, but choose what works best for you. What worked for some, may not work for you. Enjoy the innocence of your sweet child. Hold him as much as you can, sing to him, take in every moment and don't wish it away. Even when he's crying, hold him close and remember how truly blessed you are. The days pass too quickly, and before you know it he'll be walking, talking, and ruling the roost! ;) I am so extremely happy for you. I can not wait to meet him, and spoil him rotten. Hmm, I may have some competition on my hands with your momma near by!

(((And incase you are wondering, the cake is in the dump truck. Dirt cake, to go along with her construction themed nursery! If you've never had dirt cake, you don't know what your missing. Email me if you'd like the recipe!)))

Congratulations to you and Justin! Enjoy your last few weeks as two, soon you'll be three and you will wonder how on earth you lived without that sweet baby boy!! I LOVE YOU, God bless!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy 9 month Birthday Tucker Bear!!!

In three months, I will have a one year old running around! Yes, I said running... he took his first step yesterday. Granted I know that's not a huge deal, but it is if your a mom! Nine months have gone by quicker then I remember it going by with Carter. Is it because I'm busier as a mom of two, or too exhausted to remember that I need to remember? Did that make any sense (see my problem here)?
So much has changed in nine months with Bear. He's a big chubby wubby, cuddly bear. He's definitely still a momma's boy, and adores his big brother more then anyone else. Carter can put a smile on his face like you've never seen! He has these little rosey cheeks that I just love to kiss on. His chuckle makes me laugh so hard sometimes that my cheeks hurt! MmmMomma is the word of the day most days, but he will throw out a Da-Da occasionally. The cats can walk by and he freezes, and if they barely touch him he gets this big 'ole grin! He loves for Cowboy to lick his feet, and to watch Cowboy chase the ball. Anything and everything goes into his mouth...and I do mean everything! Socks tend to be his favorite, maybe he's a dog?! He's getting better about sleeping yet he still has me giving in to his middle of the night cry.
I snuggle with him as much as he'll let me before putting him to bed. He's so stinkin' independent. I want him to want me to rock him, he's got better things to do I suppose. I'm enjoying watching him explore and learn new things. He pulls up on anything that will support him and then lets go and teeter-totters then PLOP! down he goes. It doesn't bother him though, he goes right back and tries again. He loves toys that play music, or light up. Oh and matchbox cars, he even does the vroom sound, not perfectly but he knows that the two go together!
He had his 9 month check up earlier this week and he weighed in at a whopping 21.11 pounds and 29 inches long!! 70th percentile for his weight, and 75 percentile for his height! GO BIG GUY GO! Baby food is by far old news. This little bear wants real food, and he'll let you feed him for a minute or so but you better be putting some grub on his tray before he goes postal on you! I've not found much that he won't eat. Mustard greens, cool whip, and dirt cake (which I could not believe) are the only things he has made horrible faces about, and turned his head if I tried them again. Oddly enough, he did like the red wine vinegar I had the other day. Weird, huh? He kicks, and snorts and gets all sorts of excited when he hears anyone making him a bottle. It cracks me up, he's like an addict going through withdraws!
The trials I blogged about a few weeks ago, seem to be getting better. Thanks again to all of you that have sent encouraging words and the prayers. You are wonderful! I've come to the conclusion that I just have a child that needs my attention more so then Carter bug did. I did talk to the pediatrician to see if she thought there was anything else we should be concerned with. Her suggestion to go back on Zantac for three weeks straight, if that doesn't calm his crying and fussiness down then she is going to send us to an E.N.T specialist for the "seal bark" cough that he has. He's had this since birth, so I suppose we'll soon figure out what exactly is going on, if anything.
Bear-bear, you little cuddle bug you. You are growing too fast. What I would give to go back and hold you on the day you were born. To hear your little baby sounds, and have you snuggle on my shoulder. You are too inquisitive for that now! :) Busy boy.

You are on a new adventure each and everyday. With each day, I love you more, I appreciate you and your personality more, and I thank God for sending you into my life. Now a simple request, please stay away from the Christmas tree, have mercy on the poor cat, and be safe as you learn to take your first steps! I love you dearly Tucker Bear!
Love you to the moon and back.... Momma