Monday, December 29, 2008

Sweet Sweet Schultzes

(This post should have happened so long ago that it's embarrassing. My "best of intentions" blogging mentality has clearly not worked out so well. But 2009 is just around the corner, so let's hope there's a resolution to do better, okay?)

Will & Ben. How much fun do they look like they are? I first met the Schultzes when Will was about 3 1/2 and, as usually is the case with painfully cute children, I was sold. And when Ben was born in 2006, he quickly turned into the rolliest (word?) baby you have EVER seen. I LOVE rolls on a baby. L.O.V.E.

Will is one of the most congenial kids I've ever met in my life. I have the most vivid memory of him being 4 years old and in a little sweater vest at the Festival of Trees, tugging on my pant leg and saying, with his little hands in his khaki pockets, "So Rebecca, how are things at your house?" The kid eats, sleeps and breathes Legos and knows about Star Wars. You think I'm kidding. And instead of calling my parents Mr. & Mrs. McNeely or Wayne and Jill, he calls them "Rebecca's Dad" and "Rebecca's Mom" I know, I can't stand it either.

Oh Beeeeen. Oh how you make me laugh. You yell - YELL - "HI!" at anyone and everyone nearby - stranger or old friend. You make their day. You eat like there's no tomorrow, and you apparently don't care for folks who sing Happy Birthday, as you started screaming whenever we tried at your 2nd birthday party. As a baby you were happiest upside down, and you flat out, absolutely adore your big brother. You, sweet boy, are precious.

I would do a disservice to this wonderful family to not mention their middle son, Thomas, who was born in January of 2005. Thomas was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and lived a short (but SO very full of life and love) 12 days in the hospital. Mary and John have made helping families who have lost a baby during pregnancy or during infancy a mission in their own lives, and all who know them have experienced true grace by witnessing their journey. Thomas is seen in bluebirds in the sky and is celebrated with cupcakes on his birthday. He is honored through ornaments on the Christmas Tree. His pictures grace the bookshelves of their home and he is talked about all the time. He is absolutely their angel.

Thomas' candle at the 2008 Heartstrings Walk to Remember

"Thomas' Team" at the walk in October

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When I Grow Up...

When they're little, kids want to be astronauts, ballerinas, firefighters. They get a little older and the focus shifts a little - athletes, singers - whatever they're interested in at the time.I have known, ever since I was little, what I want to be when I "grow up" (I don't think I'm there yet - I wonder if anyone ever actually gets there.) I want to be a mom. Some people truly feel what they were put on this earth to do - for me, it is to be a mother.
I know, I know, it's not looking like it will be any time soon. Prince Charming has apparently made a pit stop in, oh, I don't know, China or somewhere - I think his white horse has broken down. But I hope that, when he does FINALLY get here, he'll be gung-ho about the pitter patter of little feet, because I want to hear lots of them.
As I've gotten older and gotten to see so many amazing mothers in action, I know that I want that even more. The love in these photos is like no other love in the world, if you ask me...I absolutely want the SUV full of carseats and cheerios and cheesy sing-a-long music. I want lots of birthday parties and school plays and even want the tears and the skinned knees and teenage broken hearts. And I thank all of the moms that I know now that I'm older for being such amazing examples. Way too many to cover here.
But, I think that one of the main reasons that my heart is so sure of all of this is because of my own mother. I want to have the relationship with my kids that she has with us. My sister and I are as different as night and day, but I know we can agree on one thing: we've got one HECK of a mother.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Petronzio Princesses

(Listen, Becca can't be funny all the time...)

These are some of my favorite people in all the world. I met their family by way of an out of the blue phone call offering to babysit when I heard they had just moved to town and didn't know anyone. Who knew where that would lead... At that point they were about 10 months old. Now they're two and a half and have made my world a different place. Here they are one by one...

Soph is the definite ring leader. First born, first to come home, first to walk, talk, pretty much everything. She has this funny way of sounding like she's in high school or so when she says things like "Ok, yea!" Funny funny funny. She loves to read books and I love when, if asked how she feels, she replies with the peppiest little "HAPPY!"

Gabby, the middle of the pack, is a hoot. She's the peanut and will without a doubt win the "Class Flirt" award when she's in school. She has an absolutely contagious laugh and eats any carb that isn't nailed down. Don't count her out because she's little - she makes up for it in plenty of other ways.

Oh sweet Caroline...she's the snuggler, the thinker, the one that will likely take the fall when it comes to finger pointing later in life with two sisters, but will have been the one saying "I really don't think we should do this!" all along. The gap between her teeth makes me smile, and I will never tire of the little dance she does when she hears any kind of music.

Sweet girls, Becca loves you!

Precious Preston

Meet Preston. I met Preston and his mom, Cristi, a couple of weeks ago out at Reynolda Gardens on a very chilly Sunday morning before church. But cold certainly does not deter a little boy from running around like crazy. Preston is friends with my precious favorite triplet girls (more on them later!) and was the Big Bad Wolf to their Three Little Pigs this year for Halloween. Can you stand the thought of that?
He wasn't too sure about me at first - but by the end of our time he was talking up a storm and laughing at everything. SO cute.

Thanks, Preston, for being so much fun!

Happy Birthday, Elle!

This is Ellen - my very best friend in all the world - and today, she is 28. We've known each other since we were in elementary school, right after my family moved to Winston. We've had a million sleepovers, cried over more boys than were ever worth it, and even managed to be roommates for 2.2 seconds one summer in college. She let me be there every step of the way with everything having to do with her wedding a year and a half ago, and short of nearly having to sedate me during the ceremony, I hope that she feels I was more helpful than not. :)

There's a part of me - a BIG part - that just wouldn't be right without Ellen in my life. We're so "Frick and Frack" sometimes that it's scary. We have been asked countless times if we are twins (why do people argue when you give them an answer to that?) and when we say no, they then try to take us to the mat about being sisters. Well, we aren't really, not by blood, but it sure feels that way. She's been there for everything in my life, good and bad, big and small, and I can't imagine it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Dear Friend! I sure do love you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There's a Mouse in the House

I rather enjoy all of these mice. How can you not love Stuart Little? Who didn't root for Jerry when Tom tried to kill him 48 times an episode? And what person on the planet doesn't think Mickey is the greatest?

Two nights ago I met a mouse that I do not care for like I do all of the friendly NOT REAL mice above. Sitting at my home computer, minding my own business, when a funny tickling on my B-A-R-E foot revealed a mouse under my foot. Right there, fur-to-skin! How I made it through that without having a coronary I am not sure... Had there been a hidden camera somewhere I could have won a zillion dollars on America's Funniest Home Videos, but it would have needed to have been a muted clip as the language used was not, *ahem*, family friendly.

I made it to higher ground (my bed, thank you) and did what any girl would do: I called my daddy. I have no shame - I DON'T DO MICE. Whilst on the phone the little creep came scooting out of my bathroom. Great, the place that I use to get clean has now been mousified.

Off to Home Depot to what is the grossest display of advertising graphics ever. Whoever has to design the images for rodent control product packages should probably be on constant suicide watch.

I decided on a lovely enclosed mouse condo (meaning that I will not have to see/touch the nasty thing) and was on my way. The checkout lady said "Oh no! You have a mouse! What are you going to do?" You see what I'm buying, lady - I'm going to kill him.

The traps have not worked yet. The peanut butter last meal hasn't coaxed him to his demise just yet. But I hold out hope. The best part - the package from the trap says "Please dispose of dead mouse properly" So, I hope to invite you all to a very nice rodent funeral very very soon...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Loves of My Life

If I had to take 10 people onto a desert island with me, these two would be at the top of the list. They make me laugh harder than anyone else and are the sunshine of my days. I could write a novel - two novels - about them, but here are just a few quick thoughts...

Spencer is almost 7 and is quickly becoming smarter than I am. I've known him since he was 2 and I've loved him ever since. I love how excited he gets when I pick him up from school (this is because I am well known as the after school Milkshake Queen, but that big smile makes my day none the less). He dips everything in ketchup and may very well turn into a plate of chicken fingers and french fries one day if he's not careful. He knows that I will always always rub his back when I put him to bed, giving me an instant head start when he has to pick who will tuck him in. If he really gets the giggles he puts his little hand in front of his face and makes my heart smile. He gives me dating advice (you heard me) and is a natural at every sport known to man. I heart him.

Sam. I mean look at him. I met this kid when he was carried in the front door from the hospital nearly 3 years ago and he has had me wrapped around his little finger ever since...I have a feeling he always will. He loves the ladies and is quite the preschool stud. He does a little dance and comes running when he's glad to see you, and it is so cute that it will make you hurt. He eats a chocolate covered donut face first and can recognize any Josh Kelley song about 2 notes in. I love that he can kill a bowl of black beans and that in his school play last Christmas he saw me from the stage and came flying over to give me a hug before going back to sing his song and ring his sleigh bell. This little guy has my heart on a string.

I thank their mother for letting me be there so much as they grow up - I'd without a doubt want her on that island, too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Annabel & Teddy

Yes, they're adorable, I know... When Mama Rae called me about these two I was thrilled. I took their photos last year and the camera loves them because they LOVE each other. Annabel's older but you'd hardly know it. She's a shy, petite little thing. Teddy is her protector, you can tell just by the way he acts around her. But he's still her little brother - who else would try to lick you during a photo shoot?

We headed out to Runnymede on Sunday, and it was so fun to be in the park in all it's gorgeous leafiness. There's so much to be found out there - great stone walls and beautiful ivy and trees that look like elephant trunks and a creek that I spent the better portion of our time making sure Teddy didn't fall into. It was a good day. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

And as a reward, the kids got to go to Target - now that's bribery after a girl's own heart right there. :)

Meet the Coxes

If you looked up "cute" in the dictionary I feel sure a picture of these kids might accompany the entry. I mean seriously. This right here is why I want 4 kids.

When their mom called to ask me to do their pictures I thought "How will this work with 4 kids? Will it be crazy?" But I was excited. I headed to Graylyn in a skirt and heels in the smack middle of the day on Halloween to see what I could do.

From left to right they are Banks, Poppy, Troupe and Scout. Poppy thinks her brothers hung the moon and she's not so sure about that silly bow. The boys, in turn, might think she walks on water. They call her Pop Tart and are so very gently playful with her. Melt. Me.

Taking the plunge...

"How does someone who takes so many pictures not have a blog?"

I get asked this all the time. It's embarrassing. The answer is because I have the patience of a two-by-four when it comes to technology. But, I will deal with it. I spend WAY too much time with great families and amazing kids to not show them off.

And, occasionally, I have a little fun too. So maybe a little of that will end up on here as well.

So buckle up! Let's see how this goes. :)