Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shopping Day

Well, today marked the first of I am sure many shopping days with the Mizell girls. Carrie and I planned last week to take the girls to have their Valentine pictures taken. Of course we'd pick the nastiest day we've had in weeks... it rained all night and pretty much all day. Not to worry though, we met under the overhang at the mall, loaded Allie and her stroller in my car, then I followed Carrie to park her car, then back to the overhang where we unloaded both strollers, both girls, and all their gear... Carrie waited with them while I parked my car and made a run for it in the rain.... Whew, we were breathing hard already and the day had just begun!
Our appointment was at 11:00, and we were on time, but unfortunately the Picture People were not. After waiting about 20 minutes, being coughed at by some sick toddler, and nearly being hit in the head with his balloon (by the way, if the mom of that child stumbles across my blog, I am very lovingly encouraging some different discipline ideas in your home, because whatever it is you are or are not doing just isn't working....and I am REALLY glad that I have some volleyball experience (well, not really, I played (more like sat on the bench) in middle school, but still....) because had that ginormous bouncy balloon ball thing hit my baby girl or her best friend, Allie Claire, well I might have suggested the discipline thing right then and there and it might not have been so "lovingly"... ANYWAY... 20 minutes of waiting and chaos in the waiting area, and we were up! We decided Belle would go first and she was a doll... Then we got both girls together and they were precious... it was something trying to get them to both look and smile at the same time and it was hard to find a pose that they could both do. (Annabelle's not really doing much except laying--and Allie's been holding her head up by herself since birth, so her neck muscles are a little stronger than ours). So, the photographer thought it would be cute to make Allie lay on her tummy and then Annabelle lay on her back. Well that sounds cute, but here's the thing--Allie doesn't much like being on her tummy, and to make matters worse, when we put baby Belle on her back, well, we thought the girls were going to have their first fight right there! That pose didn't work... this one did though. (this is a picture of the picture, because I am pretty computer illiterate and I don't know how to use our scanner).

We also got individual Valentine shots of the girls and both got Valentine cards... and both turned out super cute!

Finally around 2:00 we hit the food court for some Mommy-nourishment... aka Chik-fil-A... I know, I know, for someone who is trying to get back to their pre-preg size, Nature's Table would have been a much more sensible choice, but after all that picture jazz, we needed something fried and dipped in sauce. (Have yall tried the new Chick-fil-A sauce? It is awesome. It's like a creamy honey mustard mixed with BBQ sauce... mmmmm, it was great...)

Next it was onto our other missions... a church dress for Belle and some shoes for Allie. We stopped in Gymboree and just look who had to try on sunglasses for summer! You KNOW I had to buy them!!! HOW CUTE?!?!?

After today's shopping trip Carrie and I have observed and are wondering why the elevators in all the 2-story stores are on the opposite sides of the stores (and in the men's department) and why don't they open into or close to the baby/children's department?) Here are the girls waiting to get on the elevator, which was located on the top story by the lingerie department and on the bottom floor by the men's department... oh well, what's more walking, especially when you're needing to walk off the Chick-fil-A you had for lunch! ha...

Whew, after looking in almost every store, we found what we were looking for and it was time to head home. Here's Carrie & Allie getting packed up and ready to head home.

Of course we had to make the traditional stop at McAlisters for a sweet tea for our drives home... and Carrie, I'll pull a Forest Gump on that one...."that's all I'll say about that"-- hee hee!
What a fun day!! Thank you Aunt Carrie & Allie Claire for coming and spending the day with us!
We can't wait to do it again.

How blessed I am to have such a wonderful best friend and how excited I am that our daughters will grow up together so close in age! Speaking of blessings and being thankful, while we were driving to meet Carrie this morning, I looked in my rear view mirror and got a very familiar feeling. When Cooper and I would be in the car, I would look back and see him looking out the window, being so sweet, just staring out. Many times, in those silent moments in the car, I would be overwhelmed with love for him and gratefulness to God for my sweet boy. Today that same feeling came over me, when I looked back and saw that big red bow on top of the sweetest baby girl head I've ever seen. She was just staring out the window just like her big brother loved to do. I am so thankful for both my children and I am so very thankful that God chose me to be their Momma.

On a very random note, will someone who watches American Idol answer me this... What's up with so many of the contestants auditioning barefoot??? Have yall noticed that?


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I apologize, Snuggie

It seems I have "eat your words" moments quite often. This week I posted about my love of infomercials and in that post, I very so slightly poked fun at the Snuggie.

Well, this very morning, on Good Morning America, GUESS who was on? THE SNUGGIE... they did an entire report on the Snuggie, and had everyone in the studio wearing them. The funny thing (well other than the weather girl giving the weather report in her Snuggie) is that they were slightly making fun of them, too. Even as silly as they seem, they reported that over 4 million, yes 4 MILLION Snuggies have been sold since September! And, if you are wanting to order one of the wonderful Snuggies for yourself, well, you will be waiting...seems they are are on BACK ORDER for months! It appears that "silly" sells.

You cannot possibly watch the Snuggie commercial and not chuckle... One GMA reporter said she had never seen anyone have such a hard time staying under their blanket, as the lady in the commercial who hasn't yet gotten her Snuggie... Bill Weir, another reporter for GMA gave his opinion on the Snuggie, "this is the garment that screams you never want your spouse to touch you again." As hard to believe as it is, Snuggie is selling, and well, I guess I owe it an apology. So Snuggie, I'm sorry for thinking that you were ridiculous and for thinking NO ONE would ever buy you.

And if for some reason my husband stumbles across and reads this, this does not under any circumstances mean that I WANT one now! (But I would still like a set of those "Sham-WOWs!") ha...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No freebies for us...

Did yall hear about the class action law-suit filed against several major department stores? There was a whole list of stores that had gotten together and set prices higher than they should have been or something like that (I wasn't paying attention to the charges against them, all I heard was the verdict... FREE makeup)... its no secret, I love hair products and makeup. I think it's the little girl in me that loves the idea of "dress up," and every time I hit up the M.A.C. counter for some new eyeshadow, well, my heart kind of skips a beat with excitement! Anyway, the thought of anything free is exciting, but free makeup just really excites this girl! After the segment on the news about the lawsuit was over, I immediately looked it up...
Here's the site, if you want to read it and see what they were giving away:

My friend Grace works until 1:00 on Thursdays, so I called her to see if she wanted to meet up in Gainesville and go claim our free makeup... we agreed that we'd meet at Target and drive over to the mall together.

We decided we'd hit up both of the stores that were part of the lawsuit and are in our mall (Dillards and Macys) and REALLY load up on all of these freebies. We hit Dillard's first. As we walked up to the cosmetics area, there was a table set up with lots of boxes and packaging surrounding it, I assumed this was where we needed to be. The oh-so helpful saleslady asked if we needed help... I explained to her that we had heard about the lawsuit and had come to claim our freebies... with a frown on her face, she gave us the bad news...they had just given out the last of the free products FIVE minutes earlier... FIVE minutes.... If only we'd been FIVE minutes earlier!!!
We decided to try Macy's but no luck, they were all out, too... So we ended up at the M.A.C. counter and Grace made a purchase...I was too sick about missing out on all those freebies, that I certainly wasn't BUYING anything! (Except a really cute top for Annabelle at was marked down so low, and then extra 25% off of that, so who could pass that up?)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

$19.95 plus Shipping and Handling....

I have to admit that I am the girl who falls for TV infomercials...since I was a small child I have been intrigued by anything and everything that you could buy for the low, low, price of $19.95 (plus shipping and handling). I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to "call within the next 10 minutes" to claim my free gift with my order. I am a sucker for a free gift (before I switched make-up, that Clinique counter would get me EVERY time). Back to my infomercial obsession... I had a book when I was little and I would write down the phone numbers for the products that we NEEDED, desperately NEEDED for our home. Better judgement told my mom otherwise, and so I never got to become the owner of my own TV infomercial product.

These days, not much has changed, I still find great pleasure in watching infomercials. Only now, it's more like entertainment. We laugh often about the things people are selling... the peddipaw, the Sham-Wows(which in all honesty, I really would like to have a set of those), that ridiculous looking hearing aid that looks like a blue tooth headset (which allows you to hear birds outside and even eaves drop on conversations without anyone noticing...SERIOUSLY?? No one is going to notice you standing there with this spy gear looking gadget in your ear??? RIGHT..., and of course the beloved "Snugglie". Now, WHO is going to really use that thing in public??? Have y'all seen it? It's a blanket that looks more like a cloak that allows you to stay warm while being able to eat, type, watch sporting events, and do anything with your hands free. It's hilarious to see those people wearing them at football games. I can't help but giggle at the thought of buying Devin and his daddy and brothers a set so they could wear them to Gator games... ha! Oh, the best part is of course, they are "one size fits all"... so Lord help you if you are short and petite. I guess you'd have to get your snugglie hemmed. Anyway, on to the point, Annie!!!

The point is that after all these years, I have experienced a product that lives up to it's "As Seen on TV" awesomeness and my Mom is the proud owner of this product. Now, granted Mom didn't order this off the infomercial, she got it at a drug store (but I am certain there had to be one of those "As Seen on TV" red signs by the bin that housed these treasures.)

It's the PedEgg.

We were over at mom and dad's on Sunday night and I was complaining about my horribly dry and cracked heels. (My attention has been focused on something other than these neglected feet of mine for the past six weeks, and before that, I had something in my belly that prohibited me from seeing, much less REACHING my feet, so they were in pretty bad shape). Dad told Mom to go get me the "cheese grater" (I know, I know, gross)...anyway, Mom went to the back and returned with the PedEgg (she made sure to inform me that she had changed the blade for me). The PedEgg doesn't look like much, and in fact it does strongly resemble a cheese grater, and I was a little reluctant about using it... mainly because I am a chicken and I don't like pain. But I did it! And it didn't hurt one bit! And it WORKS! You scrape the blade over your heels and it gets all the dead skin off, then you take the other part of the PedEgg that is kind of like a file and it finishes it off. So I am happy to report my heels are no longer cracked and neglected and I am thinking maybe, just maybe, my first purchase of an infomercial product might be the PedEgg.

Look who started smiling at the end of last week...

Is that precious or what??? Needless to say, we spent the weekend watching her, trying to make her smile and trying to catch it on film. Sometimes I will be holding her and look down and see that she's just looking up smiling at me-- unwashed hair, no make-up, and in my that's love. Be still my heart...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prayer Request

Please say a prayer for this sweet family and thier precious baby girl, Harper. I have been reading Kelly's blog (along with I think EVERYONE else in blogville) for a couple months. I am praying my heart out this morning for Harper's healing and for Kelly & Scott...

Funny how you have never met someone face to face, or even ever spoken a word to them, yet they feel like such close friends and I am praying for them like they are my closest! Please join me in lifting them up.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Guessing Game, Massive Diapers & Sweet Dresses

Guess, just guess who slept FOUR hours between feedings at our house last night?!?!? "Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, let the people rejoice" --- I hope yall are rejoicing, even if it's just because you can't hear me singing! When Little Miss woke up at 2:00am, I felt like I had slept for days and was ready to run a marathon! Well, maybe not a marathon, but I was totally feeling good! THEN when she ate, went back to sleep and didnt wake up until 5:45, well, I was beside myself! I haven't had much more than two hours sleep at a time, in 6 weeks!
On a more serious, little less happy note, guess, just guess who has moved up a diaper size at our house? Since Annabelle is the only one wearing diapers at our house (I better clarify that), you guessed right! We have packed up the last of the size "N" (newborn) pampers to save for her baby dolls and so that she can see just how tiny she once was, and have replaced them with the ginormous size "1"! Break my heart... thankfully she still has growing room in those size one monsters, so she still seems little!

As far as how this week has been, well, talk about being productive!!!!-- I hate to be self-aggrandizing (do you not LOVE that word? It means to praise one's self highly... I learned it from a buddy of Devin's, who's like a walking thesauraus...we went on vaca with them this summer, and all week, I had him give me a different "smart sounding" word of the day... in true Annie fashion, I can't remember one of them except that one!) Woah, the ADD is creeping up, FOCUS, Annie, FOCUS! Back to the point... not to be self-aggrandizing, or to "toot my own horn" as my mom would say, but I have been quite productive the past few days. I have kept the house straight, cleaned one of our four bathrooms (i know, REALLY? FOUR toilets to clean.... GROSS..), I have done laundry every day, and I have finished all of my thank you cards! Not to be too proud, but I am feeling pretty good about myself after that, so just indulge me this and let me have a slight self-aggrandizing moment... okay, so I totally just wanted to use that word again! ha...

Well, actually, about those thank you cards... I have finished MOST of them... got another gift last night, so I have that one to write... which leads me to these next pictures.... these are sweet gifts, including the one from last night, that we've gotten this week... This first is from one of our Aunts & Uncles. How sweet is it? Its so old fashioned looking and southern, I cant wait to take Belle's pictures in this one! It's going to be so cute with a solid color dress under it, so you can see all of the cut outs and detail on it!
This next one, is the gift from last night... HOW darling is this? It's a gift from the kindergarten teacher that I did my internship with, and whom I adore! Mrs. H is the BEST teacher I have ever met, and she also has wonderful taste! It's pink and white seersucker, with smocking and ric-rac... just pinch me now! Of course she bought us the matching pink bow, too! Belle will be quite adorable sporting this at the beach this summer! I am thinking it will be a definate photo op!
Speaking of the beach and summer, the bff, Carrie and I were laughing that we've already bought the girls bathing suits and are planning our summer beach trips and its FREEZING outside! Here's Miss Priss bundled up yesterday, when I had a moment of weakness and wanted a cheeseburger and french fries for lunch, so when Daddy got home, we made him take us through the drive thru... I know, gross and bad-bad Annie! I won't tell ya'll about those homemade chocolate chip cookie bars that I made yesterday with pecans that were amazing!!! Somebody better start praying for me to get some serious self control or I am never going to get back to my pre-preg. size and clothes again! I think I will pack up all those cookie bars and send them back to the office with Devin when he comes home for lunch...but I better keep one for myself for an afternoon snack... WILLPOWER, pray for WILLPOWER!!! :)
Back to that little Annabelle Whitehurst, well she's the sweetest girl I know and we love EVERYTHING about her, (even if she wakes up every two hours to eat--) except the fact that she's growing up and changing way too fast!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birthdays & Brothers

Yesterday was my brother, Beau's birthday. I had already planned on cooking lasagna for dinner, which was kind of funny because growing up, that was always Beau's request for his birthday dinner. (Well, when he got a little older, his birthday dinners turned into our very own Wild Beast Feast... mom and granny would fry up all the game Beau had killed, cleaned and loaded the deep freezer with that year... we'd have everything from deer, rabbit, and quail to dove and SQUIRRELS... yep, SQUIRRELS... have you ever seen a fried squirrel leg? Only in the deep South for sure... :) Anyway, back to the point in hand, it was Beau's birthday!

Time certainly flies and it's hard to believe that my brother and I are full grown adults with families of our own. It seems like only yesterday we were sumo-wresteling in the living room, or Beau was holding me down doing the "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" "shum-da-gum" heart removal ceremony or he was chasing me in the yard on his 4-wheeler... sounds like torture and it really is a miracle one of us never got hurt (besides that time my sophmore year when I punched him in the face and bloddied his nose.. not my most lady-like moment, but it was totally self defense.. ha ha) anyway, fact is that growing up with Beau was an adventure. It was ALWAYS something... he was either dragging home some random animal or trying to tame snakes (if Ellie Mae Clampett had been our neighbor, she'd have been his heart-throb for sure)! Of course, if she could fight off all my friends, who ALWAYS seemed to have a crush on him...

He never took much too serious and you could always count on him to crack a joke and make you laugh. He was notorious for bending the rules, sometimes not his best attribute, but in those minor rule bending events, a good time was always had by all...His Sr. year of high school, he got the big chain that was in the back of his truck (which by the way, I never understood why men always have a chain in their truck until this past October, when my SUV was stuck in the ditch on THREE wheels in the mountains...where was a man with a chain that day?!?!?) anyway, he took that chain and he chained and locked the main hall doors of our high school...for sure a fire marshall violation, but it was pretty funny when the bell rang and no one could get in or out of the main hall... Beau was definatley a boundary tester, I am sure my parents would testify to that, but I know they'd also agree with me, in that life with Beau was and still is NEVER dull, boring, or "normal"... it's always an adventure... an adventure I am glad to have been a part of.

For the past seven years, Beau has lived in North Georgia and come to think of it, he hasn't been home to celebrate a birthday since then. So on January 13th, we all make sure to make that call and wish him a happy day... and when I made the call yesterday, I made sure to tell him I was cooking lasgana for his bday....

Here we are when we were little...and then at my wedding, May 2003. Sadly, I dont think we've had a picture of just the two of us since then! We'll have to do that next time he comes to Fla.

Here's to you and your adventures, Beau....


Friday, January 9, 2009

Slumber parties, jeans, BFF's, & a National Championship

Well yesterday and today were eventful days for sure! We had our first "outing"... we went to the mall to buy some jeans (for Belle). I kept her in her carrier secured in her stroller with the top covering her, to keep the germs off. We are still sticking close to home these days to avoid getting sick, but we HAD to get some new things to wear... Yes, she does have a closet full of clothes, but not much in her size right now. That's all Momma needs is an excuse to do a little shopping! (Plus Daddy was headed to Miami for the BCS Championship Game, so when Daddy's away, the girls will play (well, shop anyway!) We had some gift cards to use, so don't worry about me getting into too much trouble with Devin for shopping already this year! :) The shopping trip proved successful, and we ended up with the most darling pair of little jeans you've ever seen! They are sweet and soft and have ruffles at the bottom...RUFFLES on jeans... sweetness!!! Of course we couldn't be that close to the Gymboree and not go in there, too, and browse. And would you believe it was the Semi-Annual Sale and they were just GIVING stuff away! (Devin never buys that line, but I still try it anyway!) Needless to say, we picked up a few cute things from there, too... Our last stop was at the Baby Gap, where we too, made a purchase--- So, Miss Belle should be set for a while. She was the perfect little shopper and slept the whole 30 minutes that we were in the mall.

After we got home we packed up and headed over to my Mom & Dad's house for a "slumber party." Here are all of our bags for just ONE night away....

Devin was gone to Miami for the game, and I dont stay home alone when he is out of town, so Annabelle got to try out her new bed and bedding at Grammy & Pop's house. Here she is in her bed cute is her bedding??? As cute as it is, I dont think her new cousin, Garrett will like sleeping on pink polka dots surrounded by pink flowers when he comes to Grammy & Pop's house from Georgia to visit, so Grammy said she'll have to get out the bedding she used for the boys when he comes! :)

Mom cooked dinner and then we waited for kickoff... here's Belle decked out cheering on the Gators...

This morning we got up and Aunt Carrie and Allie came over for a visit. We propped the girls up in the big club chair for a photo op.... how cute is this?

I was so inspired by Belle laying in her crib at Mom & Dad's, that I thought I would lay her in her crib at our house for a nap once we got home this afternoon. She slept so good and how adorable are those jeans?!?!?

Her daddy got home late this afternoon and was ready to see his girl! Here they are on the front porch at our house when Devin got home...

It was a big 2 days around here for sure!

Happy one month birthday today to our baby Belle and Go Gators!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Packing up & Pondering....

Well, I FINALLY started taking down our Christmas decorations today. I know, I know, I am a little "tardy" for "Christmas Clean-Up" this year.

While packing away the ornaments from the tree, I found an ornament that someone had given us last year. It was unopened last year and when we put this year's tree up, it didn't get opened either. I couldn't help but smile as I picked up the unopened box and looked at the ceramic cross inside and read the painted words.

What did the words say, you ask?
"May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace" Romans 15:13.

If you read my New Years Day blog, you see that this is the verse I am praying for my family this year. How awesome that God is in EVERYTHING we do, even the much dreaded packing up the Christmas decor.

I love that God knows how into little details I am... and that He reveals himself to me in little details like this one all the time. In the past, He has even went as far as to let me get caught in traffic so that at the exact moment I got up to the counter at the Krispy Kreme to order, the HOT light came on! True story, I promise... I don't know who wouldn't claim that blessing....Yep, He's everywhere and He knows us that well....

Here's the ornament that did not make it back into the Rubbermaid Christmas containers (which are labeled, of course). Instead, I am going to hang it where I'll see it every day this year and be reminded of how desperately God desires to be a part of everything in our lives, especially in the "little things."

I can't do a new post without an Annabelle update. She was 4 weeks old yesterday. I can't believe she is already 4 weeks old! She's already quite the little lady... she loves to sport big bows (well, she doesn't really have much choice at this point, but she doesn't fuss when I put them on her and she doesn't pull them out, which to me, means she LOVES them!)

And look at how she holds her hands... so dainty and sweet....

She had her 3 week well-check appointment last Tuesday and she weighed in at 7 lbs. 7 oz, so I am certain by now we have hit 8 lbs.! She's a good baby and rarely fusses... she loves to be held, thats for sure, so that's what we're doing, just holding her and loving it....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 - The Year in Review

Is 2008 really over already? For me, the past year feels almost like a haze--- I feel like I was in the back seat and someone else must have been doing the driving all year. Then while thinking about the past twelve months, I realized a lot of big things happened in our lives and I WAS here for them, so maybe I didnt spend the past year laying down in the backseat...

2008 held lots of “firsts” without Cooper for our family. Holidays went uncelebrated and even the good things that happened were and always will be bittersweet. I have learned a lot about my God and myself this year and I am still learning to practice my trust and faith in Him. Thankfully, even in the times when I don’t do so well, He waits patiently and faithfully for me. He has answered our prayers and continues to bind our broken hearts, and provide us with the hope we need to face the future.

My prayer for my precious little family this year is Romans 15:13;

“May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.”

I praise God for the hope we have in Him, the peace He provides, and the joy He has promised! I am relying on Him to fill me with great joy and perfect peace as I continue to trust him in 2009.
2008 was a year with lots of tears and pain, but it was also a year filled with blessings, laughter and joy. Here are some of those highlights from 2008….

In March, Mom and I met my aunts and cousins in Atlanta to have a girls weekend and shop for the most important dress that Stephanie would ever pick out! This was also the weekend Steph asked me to stand beside her when she wore that dress and be her Matron of Honor!

Here are all the girls... Becky, Krissy, Amy, Me, & Steph at the shop she found THE dress!

In May, we got a new sister-in-law! Adam (Devin’s brother) and Lauren were married on May 3rd! So the months leading up to May were filled with showers and parties to honor and celebrate the happy couple. Devin and I were both in the wedding and enjoyed so much getting to be a part of their special time! This picture was actually taken in March at Sam's wedding... Devin and Adam were both groomsmen.. I am telling you it was THE year of weddings for our family!

May was also a big month for us for other reasons. I finally finished my bachelors degree! At the party to celebrate my graduation, Devin and I made a big announcement--- A BABY was on the way!!! What a special time for us, and we were so blessed to get to share the news with so many of our family and friends at the same time!! This picture is at graduation with my parents. My Mom would kill me for putting this one on here, but its the only one I have with them at graduation!

Like I said earlier, 2008 was the YEAR for weddings in our family! In June we got another new sister-in-law! This time, on my side! My brother, Beau and Kristy were married in June. Their wedding was so sweet and very much about the joining of their two families. Kristy has two children and Beau has one, then we got the news just a couple months after they were married that a new “surprise/blessing” was on the way! We just found out a few weeks ago that it’s a BOY, and Garrett will be here in the late Spring.

The summer months for us are spent around the water. Devin & I enjoyed a week long vacation in Perdido Key, FL with some friends in August. We had a great week, and even took a day trip to New Orleans (we enjoyed the good food & sight seeing, but we were sure to get out of town before dark, though!) (PS, we also found out in August that we were having a GIRL!! It would take months for us to decide on a name, though!) Here's my sweet honey and me in New Orleans at the aquarium.

September was Stephanie’s wedding! What an honor to be a part of her special time! She’s not only my cousin, but she truly is a sister to me. I love her SO much and there are no words to even describe how special she is to me! She and her husband are living in Houston, TX and I am just itching for the opportunity to go visit them! (Annabelle will have to be a little older, though!)

October brought us Allie Claire Mizell! How sweet and fun it was to be pregnant with my BEST FRIEND!! Adam and Carrie got their sweet Allie on October 8th! She is BEAUTIFUL and has a head full of bow-ready hair! (Lord, forgive me for being a little envious of all that hair after Annabelle was born, but thank you for allowing me to find those sweet headbands with the big bows already attached!) Back to Allie… I of course, along with a whole bunch of other family and friends was there at the hospital waiting to see that sweet girl! I couldn’t wait to meet Annabelle’s future BFF. This picture is Allie at 8 weeks old on December 3rd (just 6 days before Annabelle was born), she and her Momma came over for the day to have some Ivy House take out and wrap Christmas presents… we didn’t wrap the first present, but we did go and pick up the chair for Belle’s room…THAT was a trip and a half! We nearly lost that chair 3 times! I was driving 40 mph the whole way home. We had to pull over like 5 times to let cars pass us! Wow, how did I jump from October all the way to December and picking up the nursery chair? Can yall tell I am a HORRIBLE story teller? Well, actually I can tell a story pretty good, I just get off on 10 other ones before I can finish the first one! I have serious A.D.D. moments.

Devin spent every Saturday of the Fall, watching the Gators play football, either at the stadium for home games or with the crew watching them on TV... (he DOES NOT miss a home game! Well, he did miss one this year (the first since he was like 12 or something crazy like that), for Stephanie’s wedding… the Gators lost that game, so it’s still a touchy subject…ha) But I spent my Saturdays working on Annabelle’s room and planning for our sweet girl’s arrival! Here’s a picture of her room! I cant take all the credit, though... Of course Annabelle's Daddy & Grammy was here to paint and refinish furniture and we even had her Pop hanging wallpaper in her dressing room and bathroom the weekend he got back from Australia!

As November got closer, I got BIGGER! I had really changed when my Dad came home in November from a 12, yes I said 12, week trip to Australia (for work). My mom was able to fly out mid-way through his trip to see him and spend a couple weeks “Down Under.” We picked him up from the airport in Jacksonville and we were so glad he was back! Here he is sporting his authentic hat (I don’t remember the name of it, but his friends in Australia bought it for him for his birthday, since he was there on his B-Day). This picture was at baggage claim and his “Digaradoo” (spelling?) was the first thing off the plane… it’s an aboriginal music instrument… I thought I was going to go into labor when we got it home and he played “Jingle Bells” on it for me!

Thanksgiving was our last “first” without our sweet Cooper. Then, on December 9, less than 3 weeks after Thanksgiving, our God blessed us with our baby girl, Annabelle Peg. Christmas could have brought no better gift and I am so thankful that we serve the God of restoration. We are so thankful and blessed to have another child to love and to parent. I never understood the way my momma described the ability to love more than one child equally. After we had Cooper, I was convinced there was NO way I could ever love another as much as I love him. Annabelle has proven that her Grammy indeed was right again—Mom always talked about your heart just gets bigger and the one child moves over and makes room for the other. That’s exactly how it is… So this Christmas I feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas! (When his heart grows three sizes, of course!) I looked into that sweet face on December 9th, and woah, did this “Momma Heart” of mine grow! Cooper and Annabelle will have my heart forever, just like my Mom said they would, EQUALLY! Have you ever seen such a sweet girl? Me either!

I am looking forward to all the great blessings of 2009. And I am thankful that in fact, I do know who was “doing the driving” in 2008, even when I was too weak to look out of the back window! Thank you, Lord for carrying me through this year and for all of your many blessings.
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2009!