organizing the chest.

We didn’t have a TV in our bedroom until last April.  Tommy gave it to me as an early birthday present because I was almost bedridden while I was pregnant with Gabriel because I felt so physically bad.  We experimented with where to put it and ended up rearranging some furniture so we could put it up on the chest and out of Jack’s reach.  The satellite box was a challenge because there was no way it was going to fit on top of the chest, too, so Tommy got creative.  He took out the top drawer of the chest and we placed the Dish box in there.  It works really well for us and looked alright except on the left side where junk would just pile up.


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Tired of the junk, I went on a search for something to help organize this area.  If we still lived in the DC area I definitely would have started at the Container Store but no such thing around these parts.  So I went to my favorite store – Target – and found this tray.


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I love the way this tray looks.  It’s sophisticated and fun, and I knew it would look great in our bedroom.  So it came home with me.


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It works as a nice area to hold the Wii, remote controls, and a few other random things.


This project took me less than 5 minutes and makes a big difference in how that area looks.  Just one reason why I love organizing – it makes a big impact!


happy valentine’s day.

Happy Valentine’s Day dear friends!  I hope today is full of joy and love for you and your loved ones.  We were supposed to have a fun little party over here this morning so the kids could have some V-day fun.  But I am not feeling well, so we had to cancel.  I hate that we aren’t having fun decorating cookies and making fun cards now but am super thankful for precious friends.  When I texted to cancel this morning, I had so many friends offer to bring me something to help me feel better.  We are so blessed!


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happy valentines 2014 Happy Valentine’s from our little family of 4!



Last year we were celebrating Valentines with our sweet little baby G around.





Last years post is here.

a broken heart.

One year ago, with Valentine’s Day looming and the worst news of our life a few weeks behind us, all I could focus on was the heart.  People were decorating with hearts all around, living this normal life, and all I could think of was that my baby had a broken heart – literally.  This child growing inside of me had a heart that was a terrible kind of broken – one that couldn’t be fixed.  And it was every where.  And it was always on my mind. 


This year looks different.  I see hearts all around this year and I remember our sweet baby G.  And I also see hope.  Our sweet G has a healed heart now.  He has been made whole and he no longer has a broken heart.  This year I even find myself putting up hearts, wanting to celebrate this day.  It’s amazing the difference when you don’t have a broken heart anymore.  And while my heart might just always be a little bit broken because I lost a child, I can also see the hope that comes with healing.  The hope that comes when you’ve celebrated hard days, held on tight, and are maybe just a little bit better for it.  The hope that comes when you see some more joy alongside the pain.  The hope that sits on each little construction paper heart – because you know each one of those represents something greater – love. 


As I reflect on a lot of heart issues of my own this week, I am reminded of my brokenness, my broken heart, but also just how much I have been healed.  Thankful for a week of reminders and the blessing of seeing healing in our lives. 


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tuesday tuesday.

Today has been quite a day.  I’m getting this post out late tonight because it is the first chance I’ve had all day to sit.  Tommy took off of work today to go with me to the rheumatologist.  So this morning he and I dropped Jack off at preschool – one of his favorite places – and then headed out Knoxville for my appointment.  The world of rheumatology is new to me.  I know nothing about it but have quickly learned it’s a very busy field.  In October my awesome doctor got me a first available appointment with a rheumatologist – for June.  Until then, it was just pull myself up by my boot straps and muddle through.  In fact, I’ve rather become accustomed to not feeling well.  Not to do a whining post, but I do realize that I haven’t shared too much here about my health issues.  Since so many of you have asked, here is my update. 

An opportunity arose for me to see another rheumatologist in February, and my awesome doctor jumped on it for me.  He and his nurse got me set up, and today was the day.  My appointment went really well, and I am very thankful I was able to see this doctor today.  I am feeling so blessed to start a regimen to help me feel better.  And after all of the blood she ordered today, I’m hoping there will be some more definitive answers. 


I went to the hospital to get my blood drawn, and the technician drawing my blood said she had never seen so much blood.  Not exactly what you want to hear.  24 vials of blood later, I was on my way.  She said I was going to need a blood transfusion after wards.  I am thankful that I am feeling really well, even though they did draw a large amount of blood.  I snapped this picture.  [That’s all my blood.] 




After all of that, I went by Target to pick up my new prescriptions and then headed out to the Knoxville Moms Blog first Moms Night Out.  It was a nice evening, and I got to meet some lovely women.  It’s been a busy and eventful day!  Now I’m going to go sleep and try to make some more blood 🙂 


And also, I’m rooting for snow!  Lots and lots of it!  Let’s hope this storm shifts more and the temps are really cold tomorrow and we get a mass amount.  Fingers crossed 🙂 

it’s a monday.

We had a good weekend – 2 kid birthday parties, church, basketball, and I stayed out late last night for a birthday girls’ night for one of my friends.  It’s Monday.  And boy does it feel like it.  My day is packed with things like grocery store, cleaning, meal planning, cooking, working out, and a whole lot more cleaning.  Anyone else? 


Hope you are having a good Monday, and here’s a little pick me up.   Isn’t he the cutest person you’ve ever seen drinking Starbuck? 

cutest little starbucks kid


Also, I’m new to iphone world so I don’t know much.  Is there a way to get pictures from my iphone to the computer and post on here that don’t look so grainy and blurry?  This picture looks great on my phone but terrible on here. 


Happy Monday! 

trip to chattanooga + week in review.

Four years ago we lived in Maryland, I worked in DC, Tommy in Rockville.  Tommy traveled a lot.  He spent some time in Chattanooga.  I was pretty jealous because he was so close to our family and friends while I was up in DC.  While he was in Chattanooga he met Casey.  She lives and works in Texas but spent a lot of time in DC right around the time when Jack was born.  Casey and her husband Brian are great.  We got to spend some time with them while Casey was in DC.  They had also pretty successfully convinced Tommy that we should move to Texas. 

Casey and Brian have the cutest little girl, Emery.  She is something sweet.  And we got to meet her for the first time in person yesterday.  Casey is on business in Chattanooga, and her mom came with her to watch Emery while Casey was in training.  So yesterday, I picked Jack up from preschool and we hit the road.  We picked Tommy up at work and then went to Chattanooga where we got to see Casey again and meet Emery and Casey’s mom, Amy – or Mimi as she’s probably more commonly known as now. 


We had a pretty awesome evening for 2 little ones.  Dinner at Cracker Barrel, playing in their hotel, and then swimming.  Jack was loving it and loving his new friends, too! 


Nikon D3200 913 Watch out world, you’ll see this little girl in Olympics 2032.  She loves swimming so much!  And has no fear of the water. 


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Nikon D3200 923 I told Jack and Emery to look at the camera and smile.  Jack closed his eyes and refused to smile.  0 for 2 buddy. 


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It was so fun to see our friends again.  We’re hoping to get to see them, plus Brian, and more of their family again in September. 



This week has been pretty crazy with sickness at our house, so it’s kind of slipped away from me.  It’s been a good week on the interwebs – lots happening. 

First of all, the web address for my blog has changed a little.  We are now officially !  You can still get to the site with the old address, but it’s not necessary any more. 


On Monday, I shared over on the Knoxville Moms Blog a little about my experience feeding Jack as a newborn and baby


On Wednesday, I was back at KMB where I shared some Valentine’s treats and snacks, including some healthier options. 


And today I’m sharing some thoughts about spending time on my Mamaw and Papaw’s farm when we were little over on Jenny’s blog.  Her writing is lovely, so I’m happy she asked me to share there today.  Head over and check it out. 


I hope you have a very wonderful weekend!    Thanks for being here and reading. 

four generations.

My aunt and cousin were in town recently.  We took a few pictures while they were here.  Here’s 4 generations of Grangers and Morgans. 


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Hope you’re having a great Thursday! 

9 months.

Nine months ago we met our sweet baby G face to face and loved on him while he was here with us.  And then 9 months ago we held him back out to the Lord.  G’s view is amazing now, and he is no longer sick.  Praise be to God. 


Gaby 9 months


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And thank you to my sweet friend, Becca, who made this banner for me to celebrate our baby boy. 

when you watch the world go by.

There are these moments in life that happen that are the worst.  It’s that feeling that you’re sitting there, looking out the window and the world is going on totally normal outside and you are completely frozen in time.  You feel like you can’t move, you can barely remember to keep breathing in and out.  You can’t understand what’s happening out there – how it’s so normal and looks like the world you used to know, but that world is totally gone for you.


This was my life a year and a few weeks ago.  I sat here on my couch, right where I’m typing from, and I watched out my window as the day turned to night and the night to day.  As neighbors came and went and cars drove by.  As there was rain, and sun, and much more rain.  Even as it snowed.  I watched it all happen wondering how on earth it could be so normal out there.  Why didn’t the outside look like how I felt on the inside?  Why was life moving on at normal speed while I was crumbling and wondering how to make it through a day.


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It’s weird how we have those moments.  They usually hit us in the midst of tragedy.  When our world has been rocked and what we’ve known has been taken.  My moment was in our greatest tragedy, after learning that our baby had Trisomy 18.  I was shaken to the core.  And life looked different to me from every angle.


But the weird thing about these moments is that they make us appreciate life so much more.  They make us enjoy and love the season of living, tremendously.  They make us humble, I believe, as memories of those moments flood back to us without warning.  And we remember that life is a gift, and each day precious, and that we are to appreciate it.


Those were the hardest days and the most challenging times, certainly.  And I wouldn’t want to go back to them.  But I do find myself sometimes reaching back to those days.  Those were days of brokenness.  A terrible time, but a time that taught me so much.  A time where I was desperate and just surviving, and I learned how to rely on only God to get through.  Now that a year has passed since we learned of G’s diagnosis, I lead a pretty normal life, and I’ve fallen back into a pattern of relying on myself a lot.  A year ago, I knew I wasn’t strong and I needed God’s strength to carry me through each day.  Now I feel stronger.  I feel like I can do things again.  Like I can manage life ok again.  But in reality, I should be just as desperate for God now as I was one year ago.


And as I sat looking out my window, remembering what it felt like one year ago to watch the world go by, I was reminded of all of these things.  Thankful for reminders of my brokenness and my need for a saving, grace-giving God.

sweet treat.

Yesterday I had to take a sick day.  I may have laryngitis – not sure and totally self-diagnosing there.  But I have no voice and my throat hurts pretty badly and I have swollen lymph nodes – one so big it’s sticking out of my neck and keeping me from being able to turn my head.  Thankfully, Tommy was home yesterday because he got called in to work Saturday evening and didn’t come home until Sunday late afternoon.  Even though he missed a night of sleep, he spent most of the day yesterday taking care of Jack and allowing me to rest.  I haven’t had anything that’s kept me laying down in quite awhile.  But the sick day did allow me to get some posts written, and this is one that I’ve been wanting to share.


I experimented with this sweet treat a couple of weeks back.  I noticed this picture pinned on Pinterest

2014 diy valentine's day food gift, Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day


and decided to try and make a similarly pretty but much healthier version.  This is what I came up with…

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This is so easy to make, takes very little time, and is a much healthier alternative to a very rich dessert.  This dessert is under 100 caloriesCompared to my inspiration picture which is cake and frosting and at least 300 but maybe as high as 500 calories. 


Here’s how I did it:


Pint of strawberries
1 container of light Cool Whip [I used the Kroger brand]
Mason jars



1.  Wash strawberries
2.  Cap strawberries and halve or quarter, depending on how big they are
3.  Place a layer of strawberries on the bottom, followed by a layer of cool whip.
4.  Repeat until you reach the top.

Hint:  For an even lower calorie dessert, add more strawberries than cool whip, and for a richer dessert add more cool whip. 


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In less than 10 minutes you have a dessert that is healthy and looks great, too!  Enjoy!