Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2003


It was exactly 8 years ago today that DW and I stood before God, family and friends and promised to “love, honor and cherish each other till death do us part.” SCAN0005[1]

I remember choking back tears as I repeated my vows. For richer, for poorer…In sickness and in health… in good times and in bad… As much as I thought I did, I had no idea what those vows would come to mean to me and I’m pretty sure 8 years from now, they’ll mean even more.

The other day I came across our wedding program. DSCN3907

On the back page, we’d sat down together weeks before and written out “our story” to share with our guests. DSCN3905

Here’s what we wrote:

Our Story…

Devin and I met through the bank. He called the branch office where I was working at the time, to get some information from us.

The first time I talked to Annie was when I called the branch and they transferred me to her. I had never met her or even talked to her before, so I had no clue about her. She was so easy and pleasant to talk to and she sounded pretty cute, too…

We talked for about 45 minutes and just clicked. We felt so comfortable talking to each other even though we were perfect strangers. He was so sweet and there was just something about him. We didn’t talk again for several months, then we met in person when he was visiting the branch one day. Eventually we started e-mailing at work and got to be really good friends. Months went by and I thought he would never ask me out…

She was so special and we had become such good friends that I didn’t want to risk that, but eventually I took the chance. We started dating, and one year, one month and one day later, we were engaged!

For some reason when Devin and I had first started dating we were talking about others couples and engagement rings and I had made the comment that, that kind of stuff really wouldn’t matter to me. If I loved the person I would say “yes” to a lime rock… well, on Christmas Eve, Devin proposed with what else but a lime rock ring he had made…it was priceless!

She thought she was getting a puppy for Christmas, so she was really surprised to see the lime rock! Annie is the type of girl I always thought I would fall in love with. I just never thought I would really find someone as perfect for me as she is. Every time I look at her and am around her, I am reminded of how lucky I really am. I cant wait to spend the rest of our lives together. I know she’s my gift from Heaven.

Devin is such a genuine person and that’s one of the things I love most about him. He cares so much about my happiness. He knows me like no one else, it’s the most amazing connection ever. He is such a good person and God has blessed me with a husband-to-be that I can be so proud of and I am. He is my true Prince Charming and has given me the fairy tale that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl.

We are so happy that you could just us tonight. Thank you for being a part of our story by being here when our “Happily Ever After” begins.

Love,  Annie & Devin”

I can’t help but smile at how cheesy and blindly innocent we were. We didn’t have a clue. Our “Happily Ever After” certainly hasn’t gone exactly like we thought it would,  and while there are things I wish we’d never been through, there is NO ONE I’d rather have gone through it with then Devin.

He is STILL my Prince Charming and I can still say that the best decision I ever made was saying “yes” to that lime rock ring. :)DSCN3513[1]

I’m so proud of the husband who chose me to be his wife, and with every year that passes, I find another reason to love him more.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All the Interstates….

We logged some miles this past weekend! In fact, we figured up that by Sunday afternoon, we’d seen all the major interstates in Florida! I-75, I-10, I-95 & I-4.

On Friday as soon as DW got off work, we headed for the beach. It was our first trip of the year, and we were so excited to get some sand between our toes.

We made a pit stop for dinner and got to the condo around 8:30. AB was all kinds of wound up and ready to see the beach! She was super excited that we brought our jammies and were staying the night with Pappy, Granny (“Nie-Nie”) & Aunt Kels.

We finally got her settled down and in bed, but she woke up early and raring to go! DSC_0164

We all walked down to the pier and had a yummy breakfast on the water.

Miss Priss was excited about the beach, but wasn’t quite so sure about that COLD water at first! Beach 2011 119

She did enjoy making some sand castles and having a tea party on the beach, though. Beach 2011 009

Bless her heart. It’s a shame she doesn’t have any beach toys to play with. :)




We went back and forth to the pool and she had lots of fun swimming with her daddy & Aunt Kels, while I fell asleep laying in the sun. It was glorious until I woke up because I felt drool running down my chin.

We grabbed lunch from one of the stands on the beach in between one of our trips to the pool.

After all that playing and swimming, an afternoon nap was in order.

My in-laws are so great and always make sure they do everything possible for everyone to have a good time. They always plan food they know we like, plan fun stuff, and this time even volunteered to keep AB for us to go see a movie after dinner. I’m used to having parents like that and I totally lucked up and got really great in-laws, too!

That evening, we headed to Red Robin for dinner. It’s the closest one we have to us (and we just discovered the RR goodness last summer when this one opened at the beach), and I’ve been craving some jalapeno coins since around September!!!!

We watched the Kentucky Derby while we ate and cheered for the horse from our hometown! So neat… He didn’t win, but it was really neat that he was in it.

After dinner, Pappy & Nie-Nie took AB with them. They took some pictures on the beach, had a grocery cart race in Publix, and went to see some replica ships. They had a big time, I’m sure. :)Beach 2011 018

Beach 2011 051

DW, Kelsey and I saw “Something Borrowed…” I can’t tell you the last movie we saw on opening weekend. It was weird being in a packed theater! It was a really cute movie with lots of funny parts…so DW wasn’t totally miserable. Ha…

After the movie, we picked AB up and headed home. After a good night’s sleep in our own beds we were ready for our Mother’s Day adventure.

Mother’s Day will never be the same for me, as I know is true for many others. It’s just not one of my favorite holidays. Certainly not because I don’t have a wonderful mom who deserves celebrating, because I do. Truth is, I’ve been surrounded by great moms my whole life. Mother’s Day just seems to shine the light on the part of me that will always be missing…this side of Heaven, anyway. Of course I think of and miss my Cooper EVERY day. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. There isn’t a day, and certainly not a holiday that we don’t ache for him and that we don’t wish he was a part of. As the years pass, those have become more bearable, but there are still those few days a year that are just harder than the others. Mother’s Day is one of them for me. What better thing to do than run away on days like those, right? So that’s usually what we do.

This year, we planned to go to the Jacksonville Zoo.DSC_0351 I’ve been wanting to take AB to the zoo, and the day just seemed like a great one to do it. My parents had been in St.Marys/Cumberland Island for the weekend, so we met up  there to spend the day.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the Choo-Choo train. We rode twice. :)DSC_0338


AB loved seeing all of the animals and I was impressed with how nice of a zoo it is! There’s even a splash park… we didn’t dare let AB see that, though. We didn’t pack her bathing suit, so Mom & I said we’d have to take her back one day this summer.

There were lots of mothers in the park, including these birds. DSC_0208They may have been our favorite of the day… There were so many nests all in the same tree, and you could hear all of the babies screeching for food. The mommas would fly in and they’d pop their heads up and eat.     DSC_0211It was so cute.

Something that wasn’t so cute? This warthog… DSC_0240She did have babies, though, that were loving on her…and it reminded me no matter how ugly we are, our babies will always love us. Ha… :)

When we made it to the other side of the park, we came up on the Snow Cone stand, and let me say it was the highlight of my day. DSC_0334After DW and I shared one, I may or may not have had to get my own. They were THAT good. YUM. Totally worth the 30 minutes that my Dad & DW had to stand in line. :) It’s a good thing, too, cause I wouldn’t have wanted to hear what they’d have to say if Mom & I said it wasn’t! Ha…

AB also got up close and personal with a giraffe. DSC_0258

And while we’re on giraffes… I NEED a baby one in my life. HOW stinking cute is this little guy? Those little tufts of hair on his horns?!?!? DARLING…I’d just about pay to tie some bows on them…DSC_0248

Of course seeing real-live “Bumbos” was a hit!


Even the “Bumbo” statues were, too!


DSC_0269We did a little bird watching…DSC_0300

And some bird chasing…DSC_0281

When we saw the carousel, of course there was no getting away without riding it. Grammy took one for the team and rode with AB. They were going to get the gator, “Albert” (as AB calls EVERY alligator), but someone beat them to it… so what did she pick? The big deer. DSC_0314

When the ride was over, she yelled, for “Moe”.. (more), so what does any kid who’s got their grandparents around get? MOE… This time Pop rode with her, and they got Albert. :) DSC_0316

Prissy was a carousel pro this time around and waved every time they passed by us. We got so tickled at her face, too… she did the tiny little- keep your teeth covered- smile. It was hilarious… DSC_0324

It was a fun day and just what I needed. DSC_0188

More like a fun weekend, and what we all needed! :)


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


It seems like it’s been at least ten years since I’ve been to one. Rightfully so, since it HAS.

When I started dating DW, his baby sister was seven years old. From the very first time I met Kelsey (which I will never forget), I loved her. Soon after our introductions on that first day, she took, “Bubba” (what she always called DW), into the kitchen to announce that I was “perfect and he should marry me.” Hello, how could I NOT love her?!?!? She was a tiny little thing with thick curly red hair (that I’ve always hoped one of my babies would get one day) . It’s hard to believe that she’s a JUNIOR this year and this past weekend went to prom… with, might I add, the BEST prom hair ever. :) 

It has been my great privilege to watch her grow up and be a part of all of her big milestones. She is like a little sister to me, too, and DW and I are both so proud of her.

I don’t know who was more excited about Prom this year…Kellee (my MIL), Me, or Kelsey (who was actually GOING!) ha… We’ve been counting down the weeks for months!

Since Kelsey was on prom committee, we were asked to do a fruit cascade and decorate the food tables. SO FUN, and right up my ally.

I’ve done a few fruit cascades in the past, and carved on a few melons for different things, so I was up for the challenge. :)

The prom theme was “Almost Paradise.”  This is how the fruit table turned out…DSC_0131

My FIL took some pictures of some fruit displays on a cruise they took a couple months ago. One of the pictures was of a monkey made using an egg plant, bananas and oranges. I knew we had to try the monkey when I was asked to help! 

I also googled to get some more ideas, which is where I saw the palm tree made from pineapples and ferns. It turned out so cute.

DW built the stand at 9:00 the night before. DSC_0067Such a good big brother & the best husband ever.

Saturday morning we did all of the setting up and decorating the food tables. Then it was time to come home to get Kels ready and then everyone met at the lodge for pictures. DSC_0086There was a group of her friends that all went together and the limo was picking them up there. So fun!

All of their families came, so it was a huge group taking pictures and oohing-and-ahhing over how beautiful ALL of the girls looked! I didn’t take many pictures, there, but did get one of AB & Kels. (The one of all of us with her is on my FIL’s camera… )DSC_0082 AB & “Aunt Kels” in her “tincess dress” as AB calls it.


we had an “Emergency Kit” in the limo for the girls… Stocked with mints, bobby-pins, hair spray, shout wipes, lip-gloss, etc…

Once the girls (and a few boys) were on their way, we headed back to do last minute touches before anyone arrived.

The fruit/chocolate fountain table: DSC_0102



DSC_0073We did the fruit, chocolate fountain and then lots of different dippers…DSC_0105

Little miss was excited to be at the “pa-ty” and walked right up to the fruit display and helped herself to a strawberry.DSC_0108 Ha… She also named the Monkey, “Elmo”--- DSC_0120I’m not going to lie, I was so proud that it actually turned out looking like a monkey! If yall can’t tell it was suppose to be a monkey, don’t tell me, okay? I was a little worried at first… “Elmo” was also nearly the cause of a heart attack when I was pinning grapes that morning and he decided to get all top heavy and topple over! Thankfully, I caught him and we weighed him down (along with doing some serious praying over him) before we left! I was so worried he was going to on the floor in pieces when we got back that afternoon, but he held up and made it through prom…whew…

We also decorated the cupcake table. One of the mom’s made the mini-cupcakes, and they weren’t there yet when I took this pic… I made sand using organic raw sugar mixed with brown and regular granulated sugars. Then we just scattered some shells around to make it look like the beach. Easy, easy, easy!DSC_0110


I loved seeing everything all decorated and ready for the prom go-ers! The junior class did such an awesome job putting on a prom that I’m sure the seniors loved.

They decorated the main ball room with lighted palm trees, had a photo booth with all kinds of silly props, and the centerpieces were tall vases with floating candles and goldfish! So cute… (I didn’t take any pictures of that…dern…)

I threatened to try on the prom queen’s crown, but thought better of it. :)

We hurried to get gone before anyone showed up, and spent the rest of the evening hoping they were having a great time… which Kelsey said they DID!

I cant believe one of her two proms is over, and next year she’ll be a senior. Time flies, and I know it’s going to be this girl in the blink of an eye…DSC_0101

I’m sure we’ll have to put DW on the prayer list when that time comes. :)