a reminder.

The day was wrapping up and little man started acting unusual.  Very tired but particularly sensitive.  He cried a lot, which is pretty much the opposite of him.  We gave him his bath and put him to bed with the suspicion that he had come down with something.  Sure enough, when he woke up the next morning he had a cold.  It’s that time of year.

Over the weekend he worsened.  A bad cough and lots of wheezing.  He made us nervous but he was so happy.  We have the happiest child in the world, of that I am convinced.  Monday morning, first thing, we made a doctor’s appointment.  Little man has bronchiolitis and reactive airway disease.  He’s now taking steroids and we’re doing breathing treatments 4 times a day.

I’m sure every parent knows how I feel.  No one likes to see their child struggle, to hurt, to ache.  I want to fix it.  I am pretty good at handling ear infections by now.  I’m used to colds– hate the junk in the nose, makes me so sad for him, but we’ve dealt with them.  But this– this is scary.  It brings back scary moments from the past, and I’m not sure how to process it.  I’ve shared before how Jack was critically ill shortly after he was born.  I’ve shared his story a lot.  It’s a miracle and I pray that I never tire of singing God’s praises in healing Jack.  We never want to forget where he was and where God brought Him.  We never want to be anything but thankful.  Those were hard days, but they taught us a lot, both as people and parents.  I’m not sure where we’d be without those days, without that trial.  I am thankful for it.

This respiratory stuff Jack has now, it hits close to home.  I don’t want to watch him struggle to breathe again.  I don’t want to bring up those memories of early NICU days, those images that I’ll never get out of my head.  But at the same time, I am thankful for the reminder.  Too much time has passed since I’ve thought about the healing work God has done in Jack.  It’s been too long since I really prayed over my child.  Too long since I gave songs of thanksgiving for his health.  Too long since I watched his chest rise and fall with ease, amazed at how smoothly it was all going.  I don’t want to take these things for granted.  So while I hate to watch my baby in pain, struggling, I will remain thankful for this reminder, painful as it may be, and I will expectantly wait for healing of Jack’s lungs.


take a helping of my own advice.

There have a been a few times in my adult life where I’ve needed my nutrition knowledge for myself.  Right now is one of those times.

I’m having gallbladder problems, I think.  I had my most recent attack a week ago, and it was miserable.  So I sought out some help.  My Dr. sent me to have some tests done, so we’ll see how those turn out, but in the mean time she told me I need to eat a very low fat diet and that I’d know what to do.

Honestly, I didn’t think it’d be too hard for me.  I really eat a generally low fat diet anyway, but right off the bat I started having some dilemmas.  My doctor’s office is downtown.  Also downtown is a Zaxby’s [the food love of my life].  Since I don’t make it downtown very often these  days I plan it out to take advantage when I’m down there.  In fact, my doctor’s office has a West location which is much closer to my house, but I choose to schedule my appointments downtown so I can go to Zaxby’s.  Do I have problems?  Maybe.

So I called Tommy as I was leaving telling him I had a big dilemma.  He thought it was something medical and serious.  But no, I needed to know whether I should have Zaxby’s or not.  He  only laughed at me.  He wasn’t much help.

So I stopped by my mom’s office.  She works in the hospital where I had my appointment.  I told her my dilemma.  She said just don’t eat the fries.  Oh mom…  the fries dipped in the Zaxby’s sauce is my favorite part.  Meanwhile, it was Pharmacy Week and they were having a lunch so she had a crockpot set up in her office to keep warm the macaroni and cheese she had made.  Paula Deen recipe.  People.  Talk about fat.  I sat there right next to that pot of mac and cheese and just stared it down.  The last time mom made this was 5 years ago.  Small tragedy, actually.  It was for Thanksgiving and she made a ton of it.  The leftovers stayed in the crockpot and the whole thing went in the fridge.  The next day my little brother went to get it out and dropped the crockpot.  The lid shattered, thus sending glass shards into the macaroni and his legs.  We had to bandage him up but I swear he was more upset about losing the macaroni.  So needless to say, this macaroni is rare and special.  But I didn’t eat it.  I ever so perfectly followed my low fat diet restriction and left the mac and cheese behind.  And then went to Zaxby’s.  Compromise though– I only ate half the Zaxby’s and brought the rest home for Tommy.

This was last Wednesday.  Since then I’ve been faced with the low-fat conundrum several times.  Warm brownie, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup.  Crap.  Mom cooked country ham yesterday.  Country ham.  Hello favorite food.  Hello awesome memories from childhood.  Hello deliciousness.  PS- if you don’t live in the south and are judging me now— come down here and I’ll show you good food.  Hershey bars out for Halloween.  Sunchips– did you know they have fat in them??

I didn’t eat the brownie and ice cream.  I really wanted something sweet.  So instead I got up and got myself some applesauce.  True story.

I couldn’t resist the country ham, and I don’t feel bad about it.  Good news was I didn’t have a gallbladder attack last night.

I’m eating a true serving size of Sunchips.  Never really done that before.

Last night Tommy fixed us up a very healthy very, very low-fat dinner.  It was delicious, filled my belly, and met my health needs.   Great thing about it was that it’s something we have every fall anyway.  I was encouraged that I do like low-fat foods 🙂

Mashed sweet potatoes.

Amazing acorn squash.  He does this every fall and it is so so good.  Very sweet, very satisfying.

[sorry for the terrible picture. i was too excited about eating it to take a picture of it before i dug it out of the skin.]

Fresh salad.  I choose the low-fat dressing, too.

14g of fat in the Ranch vs. 4.5 g of fat in the Italian.

Reading back through this, I realize it looks like I always eat high fat foods, and I don’t.  But I REALLY enjoy my favorite high fat foods, so it’s been hard to turn them down– even when I know it’s for my health.  Another way I’m learning to see more like my patients do.  It’s easy to know what’s right– it’s hard to choose those things.

17 and counting.

Jack Thomas, you are 17 months old today.  Where has the time gone?




We love that we get to spend our days with you.  You make life so much fun.


Some of the words you say:



Car — favorite word!





“I go” when you are ready to go somewhere.

“Dada”  ALL DAY LONG.  And every variation of it.  You say it in several different ways meaning:  “Where is Dada?”  “Is Dada going to come up here and get me up from my nap?”  “Why is Dada at work?”  “When is Dada coming home?”  “Can Dada play?”  “Dada’s shoes.”  “Dada’s shirt.”

In fact, today you wore a shirt that looks like one of your daddy’s dress shirts and you pointed to it and said “Dada”.  You LOVE your Dada!

Lately you’ve been interested in naming the people you love in your life.  You point to your daddy and say “Dada”.  You point to me and say “Mama”.  You really want to call your grandparents by name but can’t say them just yet.  You’ll get there though!  You point to them and say something; it’s hard to say Nan, Pops, and Grandma.  You did say something that sounded like Lindsay (or some variation of it) to your Aunt Lindsay the other day.  Still working on Uncle Bud, too.

Your favorite things:

Playing outside

Riding in the red wagon

Pushing the red wagon

Pushing toys around outside

Singing and dancing


Spinning in circles

You love going to preschool and have so much fun there!

Happy 17 months sweet boy.  We love you!

Your Mama and Dada

choosing to buy.

Honestly, I’d never given much thought to where I bought things or the line of what it took to get it into to my hands and who benefited from my purchases and who didn’t.  I just wanted to get what I wanted to get and that was as far as it went.

Recently I’ve been convicted about where and how I purchase things– gifts in particular.  I’ve come to realize that purchases I make can make a difference.  Maybe not anything big, but I would much rather support a family business, a charity, women in other countries who are working hard, than a corporation.  Does that mean I’ve left my Target love behind?  No.  But it does mean I’m thinking extra hard about each and every gift I’m giving and where it is that I get this gift from.

These are just a FEW of so so many options to be a good steward with our spending.  So if you’re a family member of mine, don’t look any further because you’re likely getting a Christmas gift from one of the sources below.


Scarves.  Beautiful.  Warm.  Life-giving.  FashionABLE states: “Your purchase of a FashionABLE scarf  creates sustainable business for women in Africa”.

Raven + Lily

Jewelry.  Accessories.  Paper products.  Clothing.  It’s all beautiful!  I am such a huge fan of this company and have already made several purchases.  In their words:  “Raven + Lily is a socially responsible brand dedicated to empowering women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities.


Shoes.  Toms has given over 2,000,000 pairs of new shoes to children around the world who need them.  Buy a pair of Toms, they give a pair to a child in need.  Awesome.
I would encourage you to check out these great businesses and please share with me more!  I’m always looking for better places to support!

our old house part 3: the mudroom

This week I’m on the our old house train and jogging down memory lane thinking about all the work we did in that old place.

This is the back door of the house.  You walk out into the back yard and a very, very sketchy “patio”.  We let our dogs in and out here, which worked really well for us.  Because of the location of the door, a lot of dirt, mud, grass, leaves, etc. got tracked into the house, so Tommy decided to tackle one of my favorite projects and built us a mudroom!

Yep, this was our back door in all its glory.  Look at those lovely curtains and the mismatched silver and gold door latches — breathtaking.  Classy, people.  Classy.  Anyway…  You can barely tell here but when we bought the house there was carpet in this hallway and all downstairs actually.  We ripped the carpet in the hallway up and installed some really pretty Pergo flooring which classed things up a bit.

Notice the closet doors on the right.  The first closet was very small.  It had shelves in it but was really not a practical space to us.  The second closet [closer to us in the picture] was much bigger.  It had 2 sliding doors and long shelving.  I’m sure some people would love closet space like that but it felt closed-off, cluttered, and impractical for us.  So we demo-ed the closets!  We ripped out everything.  The doors, the wall between the 2 closets, those door frames, all of it– gone, gone, gone!  And it really opened up this space like crazy.  Next step, Tommy got to building a custom mudroom.

The pups chillin by the work-in-progress mudroom.  Here Tommy had the wood all in, including the bench [which he also built].

This was before the bench went in.  He built every piece of this and it could not have been more beautiful.

Shiny, pretty, sparkling white mudroom.  I LOVED this area of the house.  I was so proud of the job Tommy did.  This added such a nice, modern touch to our old home.  Who knows, maybe we’ll add a mudroom in this house one day…

Part 1:  the kitchen

Part 2:  the bedroom/back room

our old house tour continues.

We made several changes to the back bedroom in the old house.  We had 4 bedrooms, and at that time we had set up a guest room, the master, and an office.  We didn’t have furniture for another guest bedroom, so we decided to make this last bedroom more of a den so that we could keep the living room more of a formal living room.  And by formal I mean pretty much the opposite of formal — it certainly wasn’t pretty and formal, but it didn’t have a tv and we did read and nap in there so that counts as a living room.

This was the first phase of this room.  Well, technically the first phase of this room was a painting area for our kitchen cabinets.  But once it became a real room it looked more like this.

We had to cut the legs off this couch to get it in the door.  It also had a few bumps and bruises from that push through the doorway, too.

The other side of the room looked like this.  That picture eventually went up on the walls.

And that cord is for the air unit.  Classy, I know.

We rang in the New Year of 2010 by painting this room.  It was a pretty big, empty-feeling room, and we thought some paint would go a long way.

It is one of those really fun memories for us.  We spent the day with games on tv in the background, listening to music, and painting.  And we went bold and were really happy with how it turned out.

We’ve never painted a room such a dark color, but it really worked in here.  I especially love the color we painted on the lower part of the wall.  It went so well together.  Tommy added the chair-railing around the room, which also added a really nice touch to the room.  The whole room felt warmer and more welcoming.

When we moved into the house we put our room in the room that had traditionally been the master.  It had a bathroom attached, so that was nice, but it was small.  The bigger issue with it was that it was right off the dining room and kitchen, which made it kind of awkward when we had guests over.  We decided to move our room on down the stairs to this one, which was much bigger and gave a better layout.

We kept paint colors the same and just moved our bedroom furniture down here thanks to the help of some great friends.  We finally had to say goodbye to that old red couch.  It served us well and was VERY comfortable but we had no where else to put it.

Apparently I have no pictures of that room as a bedroom.  This is the only one I could find, and it obviously doesn’t show the room but it is precious.

The first “old house” post I wrote was about our awesome kitchen renovation.  Read more about it here.

when life slows down.

After more than a week off of blogging, I am back.  I took a sick week last week.  It became one of those times where I quickly learned I can’t do it all, and life slowed down.  The getting it all done became just getting through the day.  The cooking good, healthy meals became a feed yourself, good luck, don’t forget Jack, kind of thing.  The laundry piled and piled up.  The floors were dirty.  Cheerios and Goldfish decorated the upstairs.  It was a lesson in appreciating help from family and enjoying the gift of life.  Even though I hate being sick, I really do appreciate the reminder to slow down.  Enjoy life.  Take care of my family.



In the meantime, Jack started preschool!  He loves it and has been doing really well.  This morning he cried for the first time when we left him.  The first 3 days he did great, today he was sad.  Here are a few pictures from his first day of preschool:


I wanted to get a picture of him with his lunchbox, but he was too fascinated by it to stand with it in hand.



Standing up big and tall for 1st day of school picture.



Say “cheese”.  Sweet, smiley, preschooler.