Friday, September 27, 2013

Memories of Simplicity

It always comes, even though through those hazy summer months that wring me out and leave me wondering if it will be ninety degrees forever. Fall always comes. It comes to me with a subtle awakening in my spirit and the promise in those cooler late summer nights. I feel the need to sweep my house clean, put everything in order, and dig out the leafy wreaths and candles smelling of cider and pumpkin pie. I don't love winter, exactly, and I would be ok if Christmas were still six months away. Fall, however, can come and stay with it's golden afternoons and new perspectives.

Surely some of the good feelings we have as adults grow from our fond experiences as children. So many of those memories that I have revolve around my grandparents, our family having been fortunate enough to be so close to them. I remember my Grandmother decorating the house for every occasion. I know she made some of my early Halloween costumes-a clown and a black cat are two of those that I remember. Then she would bring out her Fall and Halloween decorations. One that I vividly remember was a wax skull candle, with a friendly expression of course because everything was more friendly back then, that would sit on her coffee table. I would dig out my favorite Childcraft volume-the one that gave you ideas about making your own costume and make my own version of dress up.

Of course then my sister, brother, and I would pile in the car while my mom drove us around town to collect candy. She would drive to a neighborhood and we would run from house to house, meeting up with her down the street because, of course, back then you could do that. We lived in a small town and we would inevitably visit the houses of school principals and Sunday School teachers. We would give our Halloween greetings and thank-yous to the the Ferrells and the Roses while collecting our candy and moving on to the next house. And this was all before suppertime.

One of the best events of the season was, of course, Thanksgiving. My grandparents' house (wherever else would we go) was the gathering place for the days leading up to Thursday. Turkeys and pies and the fruit tea were made. The dressing-we called it dressing, not stuffing-was prepared and we all headed out to gather with cousins and aunts and uncles for our Thanksgiving lunch. There were so many of us that we usually met at a community center for our meal. It was definitely a different Thanksgiving experience but, looking back, I am so thankful for those times and family and sense of heritage. I'm thankful for those memories of simplicity.

Only after Thanksgiving would we even start to think about Christmas. I'm sure there were after Thanksgiving sales, but I can't remember the Black Friday madness that exists now. (Does this make me sound old?) It is shocking, and kind of sad, that stores start stocking Christmas items while it's still September. Do they really get that much of a jump on sales?? I have come to the conclusion that the holidays, for our family, can only be what we allow them to be. It's easy to get caught up in the "must have for Fall" or "must have for _____" temptations that come with these next few months. Instead, I want to enjoy each beautiful Fall day, cherish the days at home with my family, and make memories of simplicity that our children will always remember.

Haha. That was way more than I set out to write. It just kept coming. Here's a photo of me, dressed up as "Tom" from Tom and Jerry many Halloween moons ago. :) Happy Fall!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Missing You

I think about you a lot these days. I think about how much you would love Jackson and how Jackson would adore you. I think about the things you would talk about and I think that my boy must have gotten his blond curls from you. 
I take joy in remembering you but can't help but wish one more of these bear hugs. You are missed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Zoo!

 Jackson really liked brushing the goats this time---and chasing the sheep around.

 Big enough to slide on his own!

 This kid is a mess...and it's a blast!!

 Jackson loves his Dada.

This kid is always on the move!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Day in the Country

Disclaimer: I know I'm a "nerd". I accept this fact and have come to terms. :)
For the past few months I have been researching my family history. I'm not sure what made me start being interested in this, but the more I have learned, the more I just have to know! 

Jackson and I were in Nashville last weekend to attend a couple of baby showers for my sister (Chris stayed home to get some work done on our house.). We had a free day so I convinced my mom and uncle to join me in a little researching in my hometown. 

I'm from Ashland City, and small town in Middle Tennessee. After just a little research, I have found that my ancestors were some of the first settlers in this town, not to mention the Middle Tennessee area! I will spare you the many details but we had fun visiting different places and finding out more family information.

The first place we saw was the house my mom first called home.
This house is very simple and unassuming. Uninteresting-unless you know the story about my granddaddy accidentally backing the car over my grandmother who was sunbathing in the driveway!! Or the story about my uncle, when he was a small boy, getting into the family car, somehow putting it in drive, and rolling it down the hill into the river!!

I wish I had taken a current photo of this house that was built by Jackson's great-great-great-great grandfather. My third cousin lives there now and maintains the home and farm. It is almost a 2-century farm, meaning the same family has lived and worked the farm for 200 years.

 My great-great grandfather, who was known as the "Squire" around the area because he was a judge and did a lot of work in the community.

 My great-great-great Uncle "Button" who fought and died in the Civil War.

Grandmother and Jackson checking out the mules. This was seconds before one of the mules wanted to see what Jackson's fingers tasted like and nibbled on the ends of them. I'm pretty sure his feelings were hurt more than his fingers. :)

No family research is complete without visiting at least one cemetery. This is Lorenzo Dow, my 4th, Jackson's 5th great grandfather. I mean, that's pretty old! Of course I don't know anything about this person and most likely never will, but it's interesting to me to imagine those people whom I have come from, who may have had some of the same personality traits, interests, and mannerisms as me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm Still Here

I haven't fallen off the blogesphere! I'm just taking some time loving every minute of our little 14-month old ball of fun. I'm also doing some rethinking about this blog, deciding about a possible direction that I might like to go in. We'll see.

Monday, February 4, 2013


One year ago, baby boy, you arrived! We never could have known this kind of love until we met you. You are smiles and laughter and cuddles. You are mischief and persistence and joy. This last year of our lives has, without a doubt, been the best ever. We have watched you grow and can't wait to see what you are going to do next. At one year old:
  • You weight 22 lbs and are 30 inches long, 50th percentile in both.
  • You are a great eater. Some favorites are blueberries, mac n cheese, ravioli, bananas, and mandarin oranges.
  • You are a climber! You are lightening-quick on the stairs and you can be found pushing your trailer to climb on tables and reach things you want.
  • You are not walking yet but you are cruising everywhere. 
  • You have favorite books you like to read. Some of your favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Goodnight Moon, and I Am a Bunny.
  • You have cut down to only 1 bottle before bedtime. 
  • You play pat-a-cake and The Wheels on the Bus.
  • You have 6 teeth and definitely have some more on the way.
  • You are pretty consistent with two good naps a day and 10-11 hours a night.
  • You give awesome cuddles. When I get you out of bed, you curl up on my chest with your head on my shoulder. These are the best times.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Finally Friday! (February Style)

Chris and I joined the gym last night and I was so excited, planning my workout class time for this morning and planning mine and Jackson's day in my head. Then...guess who woke up with the yuckiest nose and the crankiest disposition EVER. I would not be happy if another mother brought their child looking like that to childcare at the gym. Alas, we are at home. After putting the screeching child down for a nap I am sitting down for just a moment to collect my thoughts and try to put the last couple of hours behind us. Mama said there'd be days like this.

Anyway! It is a beautiful sunny day (although I don't think it's supposed to reach much over 30 degrees today) and I want to get some things done. I can think of about 1.5 million things I'd rather do than clean, but I love having a clean house. Therefore I must clean it.

It's February! Usually a humdrum month in my book but it's starting off bright and sunny so I have high hopes this year. We finished January with a fun birthday party for the little guy and I have to say this year has started off quite well. I'm so thankful for family and friends and God's love that surrounds us.

Welcome February. I hope you're bringing some warmer days with you (I can hope!), bountiful tax returns, and some energy and optimism. Is anyone else ready for Spring?!? 

Thank you February for letting me be random today. It's time to get up, get some work done, and enjoy a nice Friday evening with my boys. I'll leave you with a sneak peak from an upcoming birthday post. Happy weekend!