Thursday, August 27, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Sweet, sweet Wes. He'll be 30 on September 10th, but because of football season, my surprise party planning pulled me all the way back into August. It didn't seem like it would be at all obvious to invite him to a function 3 weeks befor the big day that would actually be his party, but I was still worried he knew. Worried someone had slipped, worried he had accidentally seen an invitation on someone's fridge in the meantime...
Not to worry. If he had known, he likely would have gotten there on time. Instead, he went to the office. At 5:30 on a Saturday. It took a zillion phone calls and a brother that's a very good liar (thank you, Justin!) to get the boy there. Nearly an hour after I told people he'd arrive. Oops. BUT, it was definitely a yay! We had a fabulous time. Great weather, great food, an absolutely killer birthday cake, and wonderful friends and family to celebrate one of THE best people I know. There's no one else I would have rather done it all for!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School!

This little precious started 2nd Grade today. 2ND GRADE!!!
Happy First Day, Spencer!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bruce Baby Shower Rewind

I have gotten out of order here...Baby Addison caused me to jump the gun on the last post because I was so dang excited that he was here. :)

On August 9th, we filled up my parents house (again) for a special occasion - Baby Bruce! Kelly, Stephanie and I hosted a brunch shower for the Pea and all that love her, and we had a fabulous time.

I do so love the traditions that I have with these girls. The other 3 do the hosting for the "honoree" - I haven't been this yet, but eventually, when all of their children are in high school, maybe they can hand out programs at my wedding or something. :) I also love, when it was time to get a picture of the 4 of us, no one said a word and we all automatically headed out to the front yard to get in front of tree the that has seen posed photos for proms and homecomings and graduations and weddings and baby showers and everything in between. LOVE IT.

And for the first time, we got one with our moms - these are some AMAZING women. We all know we could call any of the others just as if she were our own and she'd drop everything and come running. And I love that, too.

You talk about not being able to wait on a baby to get here?! Everyone east of the Mississippi may hear me squeal and shriek when sweet baby Bruce gets here in November. Not much longer! Elle, Terry and Little Pea, we all love you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aunt Chicken

That's what this little guy will probably call me...Chicken is a college nickname that Shanna had for me that has just stuck and now seems to be quite permanent. :)

Meet Addison Harker Ashley. Eat your heart out.
Shanna headed to the hospital in the middle of the night on Friday, and I promise you that half ot the Triad area was awake and so stinkin' excited that they couldn't stand it. I got a call at 4:45 am and couldn't get back to sleep. :) She was a total rock star. Baby Addison took eons to get here (she pushed for a solid 2+ hours after a bazillion hours of labor) and he was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21.5 inches long. There's still not a single person that can figure out how she was carrying that much baby!

Brian and Shanna didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl, and they hadn't even hinted at names, so waiting on baby Addison to get here was like Christmas morning on crack. I couldn't handle it. Watching Brian come in waving his blue arm band after midnight is one of those things that will be seared into my memory forever and ever.What a treat to get to be there! And there is nothing sweeter than meeting a baby right after birth. Addison was wide awake, just looking all over the place trying to figure out what was going on around him.

Shanna and Brian, Congratulations! Sweet Addison, Aunt Chicken loves you!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Cox Crew

It took about 4 tries for me to finally get the chance to meet up with the Coxes to get some pictures of their 5 GORGEOUS children. First Poppy gave Troupe a battle wound to the face so we had to cancel. Then it rained. Then it rained again. Then we thought once it was going to rain and then it didn't. But then, last night, we finally made it work. And Oh. My. Gosh. I can't get over these beautiful children.

Here they are in order from youngest to oldest:

Sweet Little Piper - only 8 weeks old. :) This girl is very go with the flow. She has no other choice!
Poppy - she is a total firecracker. But she's 2. What else would you expect? She is more of a rough and tumble child than any of her brothers.

Troupe - I'm fairly sure this kid was born to be in front of a camera. What a little heartbreaker. His eyes will make you melt.

Banks - he's too cool for school. Such a great kid, and I particularly notice how much he loves his little sisters and I LOVE that.
Scout - what a stud. He's almost 9 and may be one of the nicest most tolerant big brothers I've ever seen. That takes a lot of work in this crew!

I had just finished a pretty long week at work, and playing with these kids after work on Friday out at Old Salem made all the difference. Turned my day around 180 degrees. Here are several more favorites. Because there were lots.
Precious sisters - kisses for Piper!
Could you just die over her little thighs?!

If someone were to calculate how much time I have spent with children (and I'd love to see that math...) I have feeling I've spent much more time with boys than girls. And in taking pictures of boys, I've quickly learned that all you have to say is "Should we do a silly picture?" and you instantly get this...
That's a little better. :)

I love this of the boys with Piper. Do you think she has bodyguards for life?
Oh Poppy...
While we were out there wrangling the kids into poses, Kris said to me "You're going to put on the blog that 5 is HARD." And I don't doubt that for a split second. But 5 is also amazing. Thanks, Kris and Chris, for letting me spend time with y'all again. I had a blast!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Year Ago This Very Day...

...I met these little monkeys, as they are often affectionately referred to now.
(Jack on the left, Will on the right)

Don't ask me why I remember the date, it's just one of those things that I do.

But I think part of it is it because for me it was one of those days I will remember forever. I remember the beeping at each floor on the elevator heading up to the NICU. I remember meeting Katie out in the hall before going to see the boys. I remember meeting Will first and then Jack. I even remember what skirt I had on and how blasted hot it was outside that day.

I remember that they weighed 3 pounds, 1 ounce (Jack) and 3 pounds, 3 ounces (Will) the day that I came to visit. I remember seeing their little inked feet on a Good Luck card for William, who was taking his real estate exam that week.
If anything, I have a good memory.

They were such tiny tiny little things. I can recall putting my hand on Will's back to keep him from sliding down his bed as they were changed into their Twinkie outfits and my already long hand looked HUGE. They made no more than a squeak when they moved around during my visit that day, and were sound asleep to all of the beeping and chiming from what seemed like dozens of monitors in the room that kept them safe.

They were doing well at that point, but were certainly not 100% out of the woods yet. Going to see them was as anxious as it was joyous. I can remember crying the whole way home and praying that they would keeping growing and getting stronger and healthier.

And now look at them.

Please tell me children aren't miracles. I dare you.