Friday, June 10, 2011

It's a...

G I R L !

If I haven't emailed, texted or tweeted you by now you must be living under a rock.  But just in case I haven't let you know...we are having another baby GIRL!  We are so excited over here at the Ratliff house (not sure which one that is these days-in the middle of our move)!  Margaret was with us at the doctor's office and got to see her baby sister on the ultrasound screen.  It was truly one of the more special moments of my life.  Jackson was all grins all day!  I have been trying not to think about all of the drama that will fill our household in the tween and teen years.  So, more pink for us and we couldn't be happier!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a cozy corner of the world (for my little peeps)

When I was growing up my mother always told my sister and I that she would never say no to buying us a new book.  It didn't matter how much money we had she would find a way to get us the books we wanted.  She is an English teacher, her mother was a teacher, her sister is a teacher, my Grandfather worked for years for a textbook publishing firm-so you see where it comes from.  Education, particularly reading has always been encouraged (if not forced) upon my sister and I.  My sister took to this very well.  I always remember her reading-all the time.  Me, well it took awhile for me to have the want to read.  I loved riding my bike around the neighborhood with the boys and playing in the creek.  I would have lived outdoors in my playhouse if my parents had let me.  But then like magic, one day in the 3rd grade my teacher Mrs. Hood introduced our class to Matilda by Roald Dahl.  I couldn't help but read ahead.  I could not put that book down.  I became a part of the story-Matilda and I were friends.  Reading finally brought a story to life for me.  After that I read every book that Roald Dahl wrote.  And then I moved on to The Little House on the Prairie books, all of the old Nancy Drew novels and I just kept reading.   I was not the coolest kid in elementary school.   I had just started to get serious about my ballet lessons.  So I was busy every day after school with dance class and most weekends too.  I was a bunhead for sure.  So the escapism that reading provided was important to me.  In the library at East Side Elementary (my distinguished Alma Mater) was the most wonderful reading spot.  Someone had taken an old claw foot tub and filled it with pillows and blankets.  My bff at the time, Laura Hardy-wonder where she is these days?-and I would snuggle down in that tub together and read all of the mystery and ghost stories we could get our hands on.  This special little memory has been carried with me all this time and I am now on the hunt for a unique reading spot for my little ones.  I would love to find an old claw foot tub for the playroom and refurbish/paint it and fill it up with pillows and give them a little slice of my childhood heaven!
What do you think of a reading tub?  What was the first book you fell in love with?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

oh the places she'll go

Tonight I am reflecting and getting a little emotional.  Sure the pregnancy hormones are surging but I have a happy-heavy heart tonight (if that's possible?) for another reason.  My little sister-in-law is graduating from high school tomorrow.  You can see from these pictures that she is obviously a knock out-but her beauty goes far deeper than just her looks.  I first met Sarah when she was still Sarah Elizabeth :)  Jackson and I had just started dating and his family came to Tuscaloosa for a football game and Sarah was along for the ride.  All of 7 or 8 years old-gah, is that right??  She is fiercely protective of her brothers (she is the youngest and the only girl of five)  and I could tell even then she was keeping one eye on me at all times!  I did have something going for me, I worked part time at a toy store every summer so whenever I would come visit the Ratliff's in Birmingham I would be well armed with the latest toys for Sarah.  After college when I finally moved to Birmingham Sarah was my best buddy-we would go shopping together and to all the girly movies that her brother refused to go to with me.  But as the years have passed and Sarah has grown up she has become more of my confidant and equal- she gives me advice!  She is much more mature than I ever was at her age.  She is an incredible student and the best aunt in the world.  I trust her implicitly with Margaret.  I know when Margaret is with her she will not only have a blast but Sarah makes sure she actually gets to bed on time (Nana-not so sure she believes in a set bedtime..haha).  Sarah graduates tomorrow and then Sunday she is leaving for Ukraine for a mission trip.  I'm pretty sure I spent the summer after graduation working at said toy store and laying out.  Sarah never ceases to impress me!  Jackson, Margaret and I are so proud of you Sarah! Selfishly I hate that you will no longer be here in Birmingham but I am so excited for you to go to Tuscaloosa and pledge Chi Omega (ha, had to throw that in there).  Truly, I can't wait to watch the next chapter of your life unfold.  It will be amazing! I know this because you have such a pure heart and truly love and trust the Lord.  The best is yet to come sister!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

surviving summer

Is it even officially Summer yet?  I don't think it is and already today it is going to reach 90 degrees!  I have been trying to compile a list of things that will help us get through this summer cool and comfortably.  Here are a few of the things Margaret and I love to chill out with...

Melissa and Doug's grub scout sprinkler
Margaret and our neighbor friends love running through this cute sprinkler.  The dogs also enjoy cooling off with this fun toy.

The lil' squirt baby pool

We love this pool/splash pad.  And it is not just for babies-toddlers and adults love it.  I enjoy it because you can watch your little ones easily (no high sided pool) and it gets just enough water to splash but not enough for parents to worry.  If you have a little one who is not crazy about being submerged in the pool this toy is great.  I also love it to cool myself off with the tikes!

Zoku Quick Pop Maker
Zoku quick pop maker

OK, we don't actually have this as it is a bit pricey.  But it is on my wish list!  It makes popsicles in 7-9 minutes!  How great is that!!  I want to start making icy treats for Margaret using Kefir and fruit puree, and herbal fruit tea pops this summer.  This tool would make it quick and easy!

Strawberry Vanilla Red Tea Bags
Little Citizens' Herbal teas
your local grocery store or

Skip the sugary juice!  If your little one isn't crazy about water or is around friends or cousins who are allowed juice- try an herbal naturally decaffeinated, sugar free fruit tea instead.  Pour it over ice and they will drink it up! Freeze it in the above mentioned ice pop maker and they will have a cool sugar free treat.
I Play Ultimate Ruffle Swim Diaper
I Play swim diapers
$12.00-$13.00 or locally I get them at Swaddle in downtown Homewood

Not only are these swim diapers reusable and work wonderfully they come in the cutest fabrics for boys and girls.  They also have a built in SPF 50+.  They have never let us down-no leaks-enough said!

Do you have anything to add to this list?  Please share!

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a mother's compass

**DISCLAIMER** this post is real and honest and I'm laying it all out there.  If your not up for that you may want to stop reading now.

....alright, I warned you.

This post has been "sitting" with me for awhile.  I have taken up the strange habit of using my voice memo app on my iphone as I drive along I20 (my usual long trip) to record ideas that pop into my head.  This one came to me as I was driving along and reflecting on how and when I should discipline Margaret.  I started to wonder what was driving me to make certain decisions as a parent. Why is it not ok for Margaret to do one thing but then another mother finds that certain behavior acceptable in their child?  Yes, there are so many different schools of thought when it comes to parenting.  But what is really driving my parenting?  What makes me make the decisions that I make for Margaret?  I think as a christian it is easy to say that God and prayer are what drive your decisions.  And while I believe this to be true and I think prayer is/should be a HUGE part of a Christian's life-it is how we apply the information/guidance that God gives us through this prayer that directs our lives.  I guess this is where I should place a second disclaimer: I am in no way a theologist or am I trying to be.  I am just a christian, wife, mom sometimes wannabe philosopher who really enjoys discussing the gray areas of life.  And on this particular day a few months ago I got to thinking about what was prompting me to make certain decisions for my child and family.  I was and still am trying to make sure that my compass is being guided as authentically as possible.   I think a "misguided" compass was part of the reason I struggled with postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression.  I set out on the journey into motherhood really wanting to do everything naturally and just "right"- just perfect.  I knew that I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth so I started to read everything I could get my hands on in the way of natural parenting.  I ordered a subscription to Mothering Magazine the second the pee strip on my pregnancy test had a plus sign!  When my beautiful baby arrived in just the beautiful, natural way I planned it I was ecstatic.  I could put a pretty little check mark in that box of my perfect natural parenting list.  Are you beginning to see where I am going with this?  So, when I got my baby home and co-sleeping was not working for us, and I wasn't comfortable wearing my baby every minute of the day something in me started to say you are failing.  Look at your check list!  It's not complete!  And then I would go on the message boards and read different blogs and articles and every little comment kept bouncing around in my head.  "leaving your child alone in their room is the equivalent to a mother wolf leaving her cub in the wild for a predator to attack"  "my friends and I refer to exersaucers as the circles of neglect" I started to doubt myself and my choices so much I became literally frozen in fear - fear that I would make the wrong decision.  Two particular incidents stand out in my mind.  One I was in my daughter's room and had just put her down to sleep for the night.  I couldn't decide wether or not to turn her night light on or off.  I had read two conflicting opinions on this and I was literally standing in the middle of her room frozen not knowing what to do.  Secondly, when I finally went to my doctor for treatment he prescribed me to Zoloft.  I immediately went online and "researched" all I could look up on Zoloft and breast feeding.  Although my doctor assured me Zoloft was safe I had to find out what my natural community had to say.  My husband looked at me (literally, bless his soul)  and said "Meghan, you are anxious about your anxiety medicine.  Shut the computer now"  Best advice ever.   Somedays you just need to shut the computer, put down the parenting book or magazine, tune out the well-intended friend, pour a glass of wine and say a prayer.  (Call me blasphemous but I pray and drink at the same time *gasp*)
Don't get me wrong, I still practice a lot of natural parenting ideas.  And I often refer to my natural online community for info and help with my parenting.  But I have also learned that I am never going to be perfect by anyone's standards-even Margaret's.  And truly, I don't want her to think I'm perfect or that I'm even striving for perfection because that will only let her down.  I want her to know that I am doing the best that I can for her and her daddy and her siblings to come AND for me.  I want her to see me trusting God to give me the guidance and direction that I need.  Yes, I may sometimes let my compass get out of wack and there are even moments that I will just be standing still not knowing which way to go.  But I know that God will never leave me alone on this journey.

Friday, May 6, 2011

to all the moms I've loved...

This post is dedicated to my favorite moms out there.  I have so many wonderful moms in my life.  I want to take this post to spotlight a few of the women/moms who have and continue to inspire, motivate, encourage, laugh and cry with me, share their knowledge and love.

to Nancy for showing me how to make a beautiful meal and home
to Cynde for having a heart that bursts with love
to Vicki for encouraging creativity in all of the children you come across (remember the big tub of art supplies you gave me?? best gift ever!)
to Jeannie for making us all laugh so hard we sometimes wet our pants
to Melissa for encouraging and nurturing me during my pregnancy and beyond (not to mention owning an amazing business while mothering a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old set of twins-all EBF!)
to Meredith for showing how strong and dedicated a single mother can be
to Kate for making sure I knew where to go and what to do with Margaret and for inspiring me with her continued strength and love of Christ
to Kristin for encouraging me and telling me I am a great mom and for her determination to breast feed even though she was recovering from a c-section and had barely any BF support
to KJ for her strength in managing a baby who didn't sleep and was colicky.  For showing me that I was not crazy and I was definitely not alone!
to Alima for being my nursing buddy and being my nutritional/parenting style advice line :)
to Brooke for always making sure Margaret and I have something to do and being the most creative and energetic mom I know!
to SK for encouraging and inspiring me
to Cristy for helping bring our sweet baby girl into this world in the most loving and peaceful way (not to mention homeschooling her 6, yes 6 children)
to Aimee for fighting for the health of her daughter and other children with heart conditions
to my friend CH who is fighting right now to have her precious daughter returned to her.
to my beautiful friend who wants nothing more than to be a mommy but for some reason God is having her wait.  I'm praying for you.

to my sweet mother in law who managed to raise 5 beautiful, God-fearing children with enough class and grace to fill the world up!  And for always treating me as one of her own.

To my beautiful mother who made being a mom her only ambition.  Who built us forts out of blankets, signed us up for every art, dance, music class available, let us spend the whole day in our PJ's if we wanted and basically just loved the snot out of us.

And to so many more moms that I couldn't fit on this list.  To the moms who gave me a pat on the back and said way to go for breast feeding, to the moms who have come forward and shared their own struggles with post-partum depression/anxiety.  To the moms who smile and give me that "I've been there" look when Margaret is throwing a fit in the grocery store and I don't know what to do.  To an old high school friend who I reconnected with on facebook that gave me nursing advice, to my birth class instructor who took my tear-filled call at 10:30pm despite having children and a job of her own.  Really, I could go on and on about how wonderful you moms are!

I hope all of you have a beautiful Mother's day that is free from doubting your abilities, comparing yourself to other moms and truly just filled with love and gratitude for all that you do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

blue for a day

I have been all up in arms over the FDA food-coloring debacle.  I have been trying to follow the hearings and wrap my mind around the idea that our government could decide that food coloring in our food is safe. Although other countries have already been labeling these additives as dangerous for awhile now.  So, needless to say this all has been at the forefront of my mind.  Flash-forward to this Tuesday-story time at the library.  The Misfit and I arrive to find out that it is the library's anniversary celebration.  There are balloons everywhere-which have become a recent favorite of M's.  Once we are seated at story time Miss Nay-Nay (the librarian who heads up story time) announces that she has a special treat for all of the children.  Mind you no child in the room is over 3 years of age.  She brings out a cart of cupcakes.  Turquoise, purple, yellow and hot pink iced cupcakes.  Internally I sigh.  Here we go...First off let me say that for Margaret's first birthday she did have a cake.  A hot pink bug covered cake.  She got to have a piece.  I am strict with her eating but I do make exceptions.  But this day it was 9:30am and I just didn't want her to have one.  So, I sit there holding Margaret in my lap as all of the other mothers walk by us with their children jumping for joy.  And then M starts to scream.  "Margaret's turn!" Margaret's turn! pupcake! pupcake!" So, I get all sweaty and try to calm her down and then I feel all the icing covered faces turn our way.  And then I just fold.  I march up front and grab a turquoise god-awful looking cupcake and hand it to my sweet baby girl.  She swipes all of the turquoise icing of the top and mushes it in her hands and wipes it on her shirt and then down the front of me.  Immediately following this she hands me the cupcake and says "all done."  Even though I folded and let the pressure of a toddler meltdown turn my good judgement in to mush my daughter had the presence of mind to know she didn't want to eat that crap.  That, or she just thought it was playdough.

Do you make exceptions in your children's diet for parties and special events?  What has worked for you and your family in these type of situations?

Friday, March 25, 2011

here we go again...

Can you hear Ray Charles crooning in your ear??  "Heeeerrrrreeee we gooooo again..."  That chorus has been playing over and over again in my head for the last few weeks.  Why, you ask?  Not only because I love Ray Charles-there is just something about that emotion-filled, scratchy ol' voice that gets me-but because we found out some surprising and exciting news over here in the Ratliff home.  Baby Ratliff #2 will be joining us in early November.  Yup, we are pregnant...again! We are very excited, surprised, a bit overwhelmed ect.  I will keep you posted on any updates.  Until then please pray that I begin to feel better soon.

I was so shocked by this near immaculate conception that I spent almost $50 on pregnancy tests

Friday, March 11, 2011

faux food friday

I love alliteration (yup I'm a big geek).  I also love food.  I love healthy yummy food.   The misfit loves food.  The yummy type-just not so much the healthy type.  So I try to get sneaky.  I have taken some recipes from Deceptively Delicious and tweaked them until they meet my kitchens guidelines (Jessica Seinfeld likes margarine and low fat reduced calorie things-I prefer REAL food. She also doesn't specify organic-my kitchen does)  Here are a few things that have been winning over even the more picky eater in my home.

mighty protein mac and cheese
1 box Gluten free pasta or whole wheat pasta (prepare from instructions on the box)
1/4 cup organic cheddar cheese (or any cheese for that matter cheddar is good because it gives the orange color and a good flavor) shredded
1-1 1/2 cups  cooked organic Navy beans (or 1 can if using canned)
a dash of garlic powder (to taste)
a dash of onion powder (to taste)
salt and pepper

dump beans, cheese and seasoning in food processor.  Add about a 1/4 cup hot water to food processor and blend until creamy.  Pour onto pasta while it is still warm and stir together.

The Navy beans give this pasta dish protein and fiber.


Do you have any healthy toddler friendly recipes that work at your house?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

4 generations

Here are some pictures from our trip to Atlanta.  My grandfather and aunt flew in from Madison, WI and finally got to meet Margaret.  It was such a precious time!  And the misfit and Alexander had a blast together as usual.  The weather was gorgeous so we spent the majority of the time outside.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

why it matters

this image is from the LLLI website

Finally today I have gotten my internet back.  After an unfortunate serious of events (mainly involving Butter chewing through our outdoor cable wires) all connection to the outside world has resumed.  So, I have been chomping at the bit to share this post with you all.  I had the most amazing experience last week.  It has touched me so much and reiterated to me that it is so important for us as women, mommas, people to share our experiences (good and ugly) with one another.  So hear is my story-or really a girl's- whose name I don't even know-story.
This past Sunday I had just returned from a long visit with my family in Atlanta (pictures from that trip coming later this week).  I was unpacking and getting ready for the week ahead when I realized I had a missed call from a sweet mom in my play group Mandi.  I called her back and could tell she was a little distraught.  Come to find out she was in the car with her sick son Jake returning from Florida earlier than she had planned.  She was visiting her very best friend who had just given birth.  Her friend was in a hospital in the Destin area and had a healthy baby. Yay for that God is good!  But she was really struggling with breast feeding.  She had been informed that lactation resources where unavailable because it was a weekend (WHAT?!)  She had barely been visited by a nurse in a 10 hour period.  Her sweet baby was not latching and the momma was afraid he was not getting enough to eat.  She didn't know what to do and Mandi was equally upset having to leave her friend in this state.  She was calling me to see if I had any advice.  This is a tough one as I am not in the same state as the momma and baby. I gave her what information I could over the phone but suggested she should contact her local Le Leche league chapter for support.  So, while Mandi drove along the highways with her sick baby boy (bless his heart, he really is just the sweetest baby ever)  I looked up the Destin LLLI chapter.  My geography is not so great so we had a bit of trouble trying to figure what county/area chapter we should contact.  So I went with the closest I could get.  That is where we found Michelle.  I gave my friend Mandi Michelle's phone number so she could pass it along to her friend asap.  A day or two later Mandi called me to say that her friend had called Michelle and she came out to her home and helped her and her baby breast feed.  It gave me chills to hear this.  I am attaching the correspondence I shared with Michelle a few days later.  To me this was a perfect example of why it matters to ask for help, to give help and how special the bond between women really is.

Dear Michelle,
You do not know me and for that matter I don't know you either. But our paths recently crossed in a strange way. I live in Birmingham, AL and am a mother to a 17 month old little girl. Through my journey in this mothering process I have experienced a lot of ups and downs. I struggled greatly in the beginning of my breast feeding relationship with Margaret and eventually was diagnosed with PPA/PPD. After coming through this (my daughter and I just mutually weaned) I have become so passionate about helping new mothers. This past summer I even took the DONA postpartum doula training course. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, my friends know me as being slightly obsessed with helping mommas-especially in the way of breast feeding. So this past Sunday I received a call from a mom friend of mine who was returning from visiting her best friend in the Destin area who had just given birth. My friend was clearly upset and did not like the state she had left her friend in. Her friend was really struggling with breast feeding. She had given birth over the weekend and was told lactation support was not really available at this hospital on the weekends and had barely been visited by a nurse in a 10 hour period. Her baby wasn't latching and she was scared that the baby wasn't eating. The last my friend heard was that they were giving this 2 day old full-term healthy baby a bottle. Being in a completely different state and not knowing this mother at all I gave her the best advice I could-Get someone out to the hospital/her home to help her asap. So as my friend drove I pulled out my laptop and opened the LLLC website and searched for the chapter closest to her friend. That is where I found your name and your number. I just heard from my friend this afternoon that you went to this moms house and helped her and her new baby breast feed. She said you were so helpful and kind. I got chills when she told me this. I just wanted to send you a note and let you know that what you do is so important and that you have touched a stranger a few states away!

Thank you,
Meghan Hesse Ratliff

Dear Meghan,
I can't tell you how much your email touched me.  I read the email while at a long red light and it touched me so much that I had to pull over into the parking lot because I couldn't see through my happy tears.  I've also sat down several times to write you back but nothing seem adequate or enough for the kind words you said to me.

You know if you are so passionate about breastfeeding then you should think about becoming a leader!!  :)  You would be great at it! :)

I also have taken DONA training but as a birth doula which I have been doing for the last 2 years!  LOVE IT!  

I'm so thankful that you were able to find my information online and send my information to your friend's friend.  She was such a sweet sweet lady!  Her husband was so sweet and caring too and their baby was just precious!  He did latch on and nurse very well while I was there with them.  I plan on calling them tomorrow to make sure he is doing well still.  
THANK you for caring enough to get online to look and THANK YOU again for your very kind and sweet message to me!  I am very grateful!

Thank you,
LaLeche League Leader of the Central Panhandle

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

musings of the misfit

I have decided that once a week I am going to let the redheaded misfit take over my blog.  Ok, she really isn't capable of using the computer (or forming a complete sentence for that matter)  but she does say/do some of the funniest things.  For the first entry by my guest blogger I give you "butt-kiss peas".  What are butt-kiss peas you ask?  Misfits way of asking for "breakfast please"

gimme some suga'

The misfit has a pretty decent sugar tooth.  She loves fruit.  For awhile that was all she would eat.  Fruit and yogurt.  I was really struggling with this.  Even though she was having what most people would consider "good" sugars I did not want this to be the mainstay of her diet.  So I have been trying to get inventive.  If you haven't looked at the label of your yogurt (or anything processed you eat) you should.  Its amazing the stuff that's in there!  Anyway, the organic baby yogurt I was feeding Margaret had a lot of sugar.  Even the "good, healthy" stuff can pack in the sugar, sodium etc.  Organic does not equal healthy.  I have for the last year been attempting to greatly limit the amount of processed food we eat.  Baby steps here... I do take shortcuts more than I would probably like to admit-but hey I never said I was perfect!  This little shortcut has been a good one for my sugar, yogurt lovin' babe.  I take a high quality, organic plain Greek yogurt(I like Greek yogurt because it is double the amount of protein as regular).  I mash up a quarter of a banana and add strawberry or blueberry puree plus carrot puree(I make the purees ahead of time and keep it in my freezer).  Lastly I stir in some milled flax seed for Omega-3s.  Delicious!  Margaret gobbles it up.

Monday, February 21, 2011

from the big easy to the bay

 some very interesting street performers.  You can barely see the man in the purple unitard crawling on the street with a kazoo in his mouth.
 I had to text my friend who has fabulous fashion sense to make sure I looked not so stay-at-home-momish.  I wanted to add leggings and a sweater-she said no.
the gorgeous view from the point of The Grand Hotel
The beautiful sunset

Our trip to the Big Easy was a great one full of spontaneity, amazing food and a little retail therapy.  I have not been to New Orleans post Katrina so this visit was way over due.  This city is the picture of resilience-there were few signs of the catastrophic events of the storm.  NOLA was its usual mix of beauty with a good dose of quirkiness.  We spent more time on Magazine Street than we did on Bourbon.  I fell in love with this quaint little street with trendy boutiques and bed and breakfasts tucked behind the camellia bushes.  We ate at one of the best restaurants I have ever been to called Lilette's.  From the blood orange margarita to the poached pear with goat cheese creme freche- I kid you not this place alone is worth the trip.  Saturday morning as we were crossing over the bridge leaving New Orleans we decided that we just were not ready to go home.  So we decided an evening at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL was in order.  We got there just in time to watch the sunset over the water with a cocktail in hand-and shared maybe a kiss or two.  It was a great trip and a wonderful chance for Jackson and I to reconnect.  On Sunday morning we were very ready to get back to our baby girl.  When we pulled in to Nana and Daddy Bill's house to pick Margaret up we both yelled "I get her first!" and leapt from the car.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ok, we never do this.  never ever.  Jackson and I decided last night (Wednesday) that we are going to New Orleans this Friday.   Let me preface by saying that Jackson is going for work to check out a new restaurant concept that his company is bringing to Birmingham.  He and a co-worker are driving down and then the wives are flying in to meet them for the weekend.  Jackson called me from work Wednesday morning (as I was getting Margaret ready for school and myself ready for work-picture oatmeal, mascara and shoes everywhere)  to ask if I would want to fly to New Orleans for the weekend.  Wha?!?  you don't have to ask. book the flight.  Now I just need to figure out what to pack for the beautiful 70 degree weather.  Did I mention we are staying at the Ritz (this must be on the company's dime or we got one heck of deal-I didn't ask questions). One happy momma here.  I can smell the beignets...

ps don't worry about the misfit she will be with her nanna and daddy "boo".  I'm pretty sure she loves them a little more than us ;)

stylish co-sleeper

I just saw this co-sleeper on one of my favorite interior blogs.  Who would have thought that style and earthy-birthy parenting would collide in such a beautiful creation?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My sweet friend Brooke took this picture of her son Luke and Margaret at the zoo yesterday.  Margaret loves her two boys "Uke" and "Coopa" ie Luke and Cooper.  Brooke is the best mom-she is so creative and is always doing such fun things to entertain her boys.  She is the reason Margaret and I have such a wonderful playgroup and she always invites us to her house to play and feeds us yummy snacks.  She is a beautiful friend inside and out!

p.s. I don't know how they look so calm in this picture.  literally 2 seconds prior to this they were both running in different directions screaming at the roosters.

Monday, February 14, 2011





ps this bow is yet another wonderful creation from giddyupandgrow.

signed. sealed. delivered.

I decided that for Valentines this year I would hand my 16 month old a few bottles of finger paint, a couple of crayons, some old cut up stationery and let her go hog-wild. Can you blame me with all of the snow, ice and downright chilly to the bone weather we have had here?!? After we had an insightful conversation(in which I asked Margaret "You know who makes the rules around here?" she didn't miss a beat in shaking her head up and down and saying "Dada". I kid you not this truly happened) on why eating paint and sticking paint brushes up our nostrils is not exactly the best thing to do-I think we got the hang of it. When the valentines were finished I realized that toddlers using red finger paint ends up looking a little more Valentine's Day Massacre than Valentine's Day cute craft. So I stepped in and added a little glitter and bows to the final product. They turned out pretty cute.

are you silently praying for my silk drapes? thank you-they survived.

Can you spot the streak of red paint near her mouth and her right nostril?

These precious kitty crayons are from etsy seller kittybabylove.

Margaret's adorable bow is from etsy seller giddyupandgrow. I am sad to say that it died a slow and painful death by the mouth of Butter. Anyone looking for a lab puppy?

finished result. not too shabby.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

i'll have what she's having

Lately I have been feeling spiritually stagnant. For longer than I would like to admit. I have just felt unconnected to God. I've been going through the motions (although sometimes just barely). I can't get excited about anything related to my spiritual life at the moment. Let me preface this by saying I love God. I love Jesus. I have always considered myself a follower of Christ. But I have always had a difficult time calling myself a "Christian". I just feel that there is so much that we do within the church (and most of the time I believe that we have good intentions) that turns so many people off. I have been one of these turned off people. I personally want to walk the walk. I never want anyone to look at me and say she is faking it. I pray (literally) to live my life here on earth in such a way that people will look at me and say "I'll have what she's having"-I want what she's got. Not so people glorify me or what it is I am doing but that people will glorify Christ. I want people to say look at the joy and love that radiates from her entire being. I want it too! I'm not there. Not even close. And lately it is feeling like an unattainable thing while here on Earth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

crafty things

I have to share a few crafty things with you all. For the Holidays Margaret and I made gifts for her Grandparents. We got the idea for this little Angel from the class above her at Sonshine Valley. I think they turned out really cute and the grandparents loved them. Try one with your little ones on a rainy afternoon. They could possibly be done in Valentine's day colors and used with a verse on Love.
Also, this Christmas we did not have a tree. Have you collected yourself off the floor yet? We were in Atlanta for Christmas and it just seemed too much of a hassle. So, instead I decorated with different non-perishable items. Like this burlap banner from Etsy seller funkyshique. Check out her shop for adorable stuff for Valentine's Day too.

okay-2 posts in one day. Have I redeemed myself yet?

clean slate

Can i have a do-over? I haven't been great about blogging lately. hmmm, this sounds familiar. I think I have said this before. But I am coming here with a renewed sense of discipline. Kind of...I have a lot of new "things" up my sleeve for 2011. I am hoping I can bring these ideas I have to fruition. More to come on that though. For now I will say this-I have missed putting my thoughts down here. I'm pretty sure only a few people read them but thats ok. Its just the getting them out of my head part that matters. Also, I know that the majority of readers are family and you really just want to see pictures of the little redheaded misfit and her cohort. Ok, here ya go...

yeah, these are from Christmas and it's February. get over it!