Sunday, August 21, 2011

We Love And Miss You, "Snacks"

It's so numbing to think that it's been two years since my precious mother in law, Adrienne, passed away.  It feels like she was just here jumping up and down with the most shocked look on her face when we told her on Mother's Day 2009 that we were having a baby.  I swear she almost passed out.   I am so glad we got to have that memory...amongst millions of others.  She so longed for us to give her a grandchild.  My heart aches that Hill was 5 months in utero when she died.  He would for sure be a Snook's boy.  I love that Hill looks so much like Chip, it's as if her legacy lives on and reflects her presence through my tiny boy every day.

I miss her so and make a point to tell Hill about her so he will know how special she was to so many.  Yesterday Chip, Hill and I went to her grave site.  I couldn't decide if it was strange that we caught a few sweet pictures of Hill playing with her flowers with tombstones everywhere so we will keep those personal.

We talked to "Snooks" and told her how much we love her and miss her.  Since Hill is at the saying what you say stage he was trying to say "Snooks" and it came out "Snacks."  If you knew my mother in law you know that she was laughing so hard that she probably had tears running down her face as she slapped her knee and shook her head.  In her sweet Southern dialect she was probably saying, "Lawd, boy - you know that's right!"  She would love it that he calls her "Snacks."  I firmly believe that all the angels in Heaven have officially heard her retell the story a million times about her grand baby calling her "Snacks." Cracks me up.

We have all missed her presence, but we all know she is here with us everyday.  The other day I was thinking about her and upset that Hill will never know her, but then the song "I'm Already There," by Lonestar came on the radio.  I hadn't heard that song in years but the words spoke to me as if she was reminding me that she is here with Hill...

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground

I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend
And I know, I'm in your prayers
Oh I'm already there

She knew just what to say to make me feel better, she brought those words to me when I needed them the most.  

Shine on Snacks...we love you.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Circus & Fair & Everything In Between

Last Saturday, Chip and Hill's first real circus experience was fun, we had a good time.  We went with the Warrington's and the Pettit's and it was very entertaining.  
Just call me Debbie.  I hate to be a "Debbie Downer" but I have to admit that even though we all had a great time, it was not what I expected from Ringling Brothers.  It's been 20 years since I've been to a Ringling Brothers performance.  I remember the ring leader in the top hat with impressive lions and tigers.  Again, don't get me wrong we had a great time and their 'tricks' were phenomenal.  The ladies spinning and doing tricks connected by hooks in their hair was beyond entertaining.  The elephants were awesome, but the cats and dogs instead of lions and tigers left me feeling like I was at the Kosciusko circus sans the kangaroo.

The performers were talented and not bearded lady-ish in fact they were quite the opposite.  My only way to sum up the guys and girls was Telemundo/Univision game show girls meet Jersey Shore guidos,  I swear I saw a couple of fist pumps and cha cha moves.
It did not lack in entertainment, it just wasn't what I expected.  Fun was had bay all.

The Hawkins

The Pettit's


The Warrington's
After the circus we came back to Koz for Baylie Rea's 2nd birthday party.  I'm patiently waiting for pictures of the party from one of the mommies (cough, Jennifer, cough.)  We were so glad we got to celebrate with Baylie.  She sure is sweet and her mommy and daddy are the sweetest too.  I'm pretty sure that Baylie and Hill will go off to college at Ole Miss together and grow up playing in the Grove.  Fun stuff, fun stuff.

 Since we had been in the car all day Friday to Nashville, then Saturday to Jackson and birthday party...we woke up Sunday morning to stretch our legs a bit and swim at the Country Club.

My guys
Monday was our second to last day of swim lessons.  One. More. Lesson. then Hill and Harvey 'graduate' to the next level.  Which I think we can personally build on from here without the weekly travel.  I will sure miss our Monday trips together.  The boys are always so funny and I love my girl time with JJ.

Thursday, book club was held at my house.  Please stop laughing.  Why is it every time I tell someone I'm in a book club they laugh?  You are right, I don't read.  I have started to though and really like it, when I have time.  Sometimes I can even add to our discussion.

One of my favorite customers and I were talking Thursday and he asked what I was doing.  "I am in the car running errands for a party at my house tonight," I said. He said, "Oh, party!  What time should I be there?"  I informed him that it's a book club and this month it is at my house.  The other end of the line got quiet.  Then he said to me in a tone like he was having to break bad news to me, "Rachel, you don't strike me as a book club kind of girl."  I don't really know what that means and I never put book club girls into a stereotype, but evidently there is one?  My defense was..."I read!  I mean, I can read.   Well, I like to drink wine and hang out with women I never get to see."  He digressed.  I was surprised that this surprised him though because we always talk about how big of a nerd I am with data & analytical stuff.  He once told me that my being a nerd wasn't really a secret once you get to know me.  He cracks me up.

Anyway, as I was saying, book club was at my house.  Chip and I entertain a lot, but for some reason we got in this craze where we just cleaned and organized the whole house.  It was a mission impossible, but I have to say that it hasn't looked this good since we moved in.  Seriously, we busted out touch up paint and everything.  It was a serious clean.  Not sure what possessed us but hey whatever.  How long it can stay that way is a different story.

The ladies came and we had a fabulous time and I can't wait to read our next book.  Again, why do you laugh? I read!

So, Friday - yesterday.  Whitney and I took Hill and Tanner to the Central MS Fair located in good ol' Kosciusko.  Since the bank is a corporate sponsor I had free admission passes, thanks to the boss man.  Whitney- who is with child due in  November, Tanner - who is a good sport, Hill -who is not tall enough to ride the rides, and me - who hates creepy carnies and drunkenly put together any rides.  Needless to say, us mommies were really not on our mommy 'A' game.

Ikes, again.  It's me, Debbie...Debbie Downer.  The stick in the mud.  It was hot.  Like hot as H-E double hockey stick.  I hate hot and I hate rides -- I also hate sand and glitter, but that's neither here nor there -- but I was going to do this for my first born.  I love him and that's what mothers do, they deal with carnies and are rewarded with funnel cakes.  There were 3 kiddie rides and we did them each once.  Which was still too much.

Oh, Yay Mommies!  Look how fun! Can we ride?
 Proof I rode all three rides

My holding back the vom so that my son could hold on for dear life.

Yay!  Isn't this fun?

Wheew, a roller coaster!
 Proof that Whitney rode all three rides



 The Kids

Ok, so this is a lot more fun looking at than riding.

I think Hill said his first full sentence,
"Get me the hell off this thing!"

Mama has lost her mind!
Hill has lost his shoe!

Before: This is a what?

Afterwards: Oh, a roller coaster.  No thanks!

We will stick with picking up ducks in the water.
That's safe.
 This next pictures sums up everything...
I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
 So, here is how it really went down.  Whitney should not have ridden the mini roller coaster.  I thought the carnie and I were going to have to birth Emory Hart right there at the fair.  It wasn't a bad roller coaster, there was just one jerky turn that isn't good on any human, especially those in utero.  I lost a little skin on my elbow from making sure Hill didn't jolt out.  All Whit and I could do was laugh as tears ran down our faces trying to be strong for our boys.  Show no fear, right?  We are weenies.  Whitney was scared to ask the carnie to stop the ride worried that he may never let us off as part of his evil plan.

The carousel made me dizzy.  Be quiet.  I know it's harmless, I have no explanation. Even if I wanted the guy to stop the ride I don't think he would have understood me because all he knew was "Dew Dickets" (two tickets) and "Dank You" (thank you.)  I don't know the international sign for get me the hell off this ride.  So if any of you know it, please comment below.

Then the bee ride.  Or as I like to call it...The Killer Bee. I have to explain the engineering of the bee ride.  It's a bee and it lifts up and goes down.  Simple as that, right?  Wrong.  Hill and I get on the broken one...of course.  Ours only goes up - we never went down.  So the whole time I'm in panic mode watching Tanner and Whitney in front of us gracefully going up and down in their sweet little bee while Hill and I are just down...ever.  Whitney is cracking up because Hill and I are just there - in the air.  I'm plotting how I am going to jump out of the bee once it stops and we are still stuck in the air.  I had decided I'd dangle Hill by his arms for a carnie to catch, since Whitney is pregnant.  Then I would jump out and probably sprain my ankle, but it's better than the alternative which was calling the fire department and causing a scene.  By the grace of God when the ride stopped our bee came down.

So, we called it a day.  An hour of our lives we totally could have done without.  I forgot to reward myself with a funnel cake I was so stressed.

We came back to our house and the husbands grilled us steaks, which I almost got to use a fire extinguisher for the first time, so that was exciting.  We had a little grease fire on the grill - no harm, no foul.  Steaks were still cooked perfectly.  

The only rides that the boys and mommies liked.
Hill on Foster and Tanner on Foxy Mama

Nashville Trip

Friday, August 12th Chip, Hill and I traveled to a funeral visitation in Nashville, TN.  Lyndsay & Craig are our really good friends and have had a really tough past month.  Sometimes when there are no words you just need to give someone a hug, feel their presence, know they care.  It doesn't matter how near or how far they are, you love them and want to be there, even if only for a second.

It was a family adventure.  It's always an adventure when we are involved, right?  So we made the 7 hour trek to Nashville...on the Natchez Trace.  Go ahead and string me up by my toenails if I ever agree to do that route again.  It's nice like the first 30 minutes, but then even though you are 31 years old you become the annoying 3 year old.  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?  Although I do have to say Chip gave me special kudos for not drinking anything all morning so I didn't have to pee every 10.5 seconds.  It's a good thing because there aren't any gas stations on the Trace only little rest areas.  Rest areas that you read about in murder mysteries where killers wait in the woods or in the stalls of the bathrooms, rest areas that urban legends tell of witchcraft and sacrificial lesbians. It's desolate, prime murder-esque scene.  I always tell Chip that if I'm not out in 5 minutes to call 911...don't come off and save our son.  Ok, so I have a creative imagination.  The rest areas are nice and clean, although I won't deny their creepiness, they are safe.

This is what Hill did for 75% of the trip
We stopped to stretch our tiny legs a bit, at an afore mentioned rest stop.
Hill said, "Peace out, parents! I'm not getting back in the car"
I'm serious folks.  I'm done.
Then I reminded him about the scary people hiding in the woods, the witches and sacrifical lesbians and he came and got back into the car.

Dada's snack time
We stopped for lunch at Chick-fil-a and as soon as we pulled up Hill started talking about Harvey.  He knows his buddy Harvey loves some "chick chick" from Chick-fil-a.  Funny how their little brains pick up on the most random things.

Then there is the fork...

While Chip was driving I looked out of the corner of my eye to him busting out random motions.  We were so delirious that he was testing his 'cat like' reflexes by sticking the fork in the airbag / steering wheel crease then snatching it out really fast and stabbing it around in the air and return it to its crease (or sheath.)  Yes, it was to that point.  The Natchez Trace gets in your head like that hotel in The Shining.  My description of the fork cannot do it's hilarity justice.  I was ready to use the fork to stab myself in the eye.  It's a good thing that AT&T service is crappy on the Trace or I'd have used my cell phone to google the fastest way to die by using a plastic fork.  So as much as I hate to admit it, I guess in a way AT&T saved my life.

Hill on the other hand had the Pettit's portable DVD player.
Two words.  Life Saver.
About 30 miles before civilization to Nashville the roads get curvy.  I'm not really one that gets car sick, but as I'm feeling queazy and sticking my face in the A/C vents Chip announces how the Porche that he's been wanting would handle fantastic around these curves.  I guess he was in the zone pretending the ol' Toyota Camry was his dreamy Porche Cayman because once we were 20 miles away from civilization I looked in the back seat where Hill is as white as a sheet and immediately starts vomiting.  Seriously.  Let's just say I was able to contain it in a blanket - the blanket now lives in a dumpster.

We made it to Nashville.  We went to the visitation and got to see our friends and give them hugs and love. They weren't expecting us, so the pure shock once they saw us was heart warming.  Sometimes you just need to stop and put life on hold to let someone know you truly care.

We didn't linger around, we simply waited in line to give our respects and then Chip, Hill and I went to eat dinner and headed back home.  We took the interstate this time.  Chip drank coffee while Hill slept and I was just sort of there for moral support for Chip.  I think I was a zombie.  We got home at 3am and prayed that Hill would sleep late.  He slept until 8am.
Even a week later I'm not too sure exactly how we are still alive and contributing to society.  I'm so happy that we went to Nashville.  It was a long drive, but well worth it to see our sweet friends.

Our weekend adventure doesn't end there - - we went to the circus Saturday afternoon.  More on that soon.

Orange Beach Pictures

As you know my camera, the one that fell in my glass of tea, went to go live with the camera Gods.  It had it's sporadic moments of life while we were on vacation, but I didn't have any way to get pictures off of the memory stick....until now.  I got a new camera from our reward points at work.  We have this system that we do referrals, etc through and get points.  I scraped by enough points to get a new camera, it's like the little brother to my old camera...not as fancy, but does the trick.  So, yay!  Here are a few pics from last month in Orange Beach.

We took the fishing boat to a little island to lounge and fish.  Hill was just as impressed with the sand as I was...he spent 99% of the time in the boat where he wasn't 'durr dee.'

Thanks, Mom.  This is great.  It's the thought that counts.
Can we go now?

Hill, Hannah and Chip waiting on the big fish. someone going to help me get in the boat or what?
(hat and sunglasses in hand)

Hannah, will you lift me up in there?

Mimi trying not to touch the sand too.

Hannah, Mimi & Papi
(my niece, step mom and dad)
It could have really been a nice outing if any of us liked sand.  I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person that dislikes grit in crevices.  We all enjoyed the boat ride there and around the bay though!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Becuase You...

take my breath away...

are the epitome of love...

know that God is bigger than any of us...

are genuine...

ask questions...

find the silly things in the most simple things...

make my heart sing...

think deeply...

conquer curiosity...

listen to your heart...

love details...

know who is the boss...

tackle obstacles...

teach me how to live life...

use your noggin'...

have experienced humility...

choose adventure...

make sure your head is on straight...

play whole heartedly...

have determination...

laugh when I need it the most...

are my world...

Thank you Sukie for always making your photography go beneath the surface to reflect my sons most inner beauty as well. 

Hill's 18 month photo shoot.
August 6, 2011