Practically Perfect!

Better late than never for a Halloween pic, am I right?
We had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time!
Emmalyn was super excited to be a little Poppins’ penguin, and enjoyed every minute of her first “walking” Trick-or-Treating.
My *almost* two year-old had no problem waddling right up to the doors all by herself, proudly boasting:
“Trick-or-Treat… Happy Halloween… Thank You!”
 
           
The best part was when she gave out all her candy to the remaining trick-or-treaters at my in-laws.
Halloween is definitely way more fun as a parent!
Loyally,
Katie
Oh, and in case you were wondering… yes, I made her costume 😉

Flashback Friday

There are many… I repeat, MANY things I have anticipated sharing on my little piece of Interspace {i.e. Our Wedding Celebration… Emmy’s 1st Birthday… etc…} but for some reason or another I never got around to it.
Instead of feeling bad,  I’m just going to present this as: Flashback Friday. It’s a time where I will get caught up on important events from the past. Will I do it every Friday? Probably not. So it’ll be extra special when I do! 😉
So here’s my first…

What? Emmalyn’s 1st Birthday Party
                     {guess I better high-light this before she turns 2 in two months!!}


When? Saturday, November 19, 2011 (actual bday is 11/17)
Where? Our backyard {a.k.a. Emmalyn’s Enchanted Forest}
 
Who? So many of our family and closest friends came to celebrate our daughter’s first year of life. First birthdays are more for the parents, don’t you think? The invites should have said something like, “Come celebrate Katie and Blake’s first year of parenthood–they made it out alive!”
^ That’s my Dad! ^
yes, we like to dress up for celebrations.
& yes, that was my ballet recital costume from when I was 12.
Why? Go big or go home, right? I have never been one to comfortably enjoy celebrating my own birthday (I just don’t like being the center-of-attention), but I LOVE celebrating other people’s birthdays. & now that I have my daughter… well, that just makes me want to go crazy overboard! Planning, organizing, and creating events like these fulfill me. I love everything that’s involved in the process. It gets my creative juices flowing and is a sort of cheap therapy for me! 
In lei of gifts, we invited people to bring an item to contribute to Emmalyn’s “Time Capsule” to be opened on her 18th birthday. We received such creative things: from grocery store ads, to an iPhone case, to video diaries… some were wrapped up so even I couldn’t sneak a peak for another 18 years!
 
 
How? The whole party could not have been possible without the help of our super generous parents!
Before digging in to all the grub, we invited everyone to hold hands in a circle. It was by far my favorite part of the whole party. Blake opened up with a prayer of thanks, always knowing the perfect words to say. I, someone who barely speaks publicly, thanked everyone for all of their patience and support over the past year.
Everyone who was present knew of the postpartum nightmare I went through, and many of them went above and beyond to unselfishly take care of my new little family and me. It was such a surreal, emotional, humbling, and out-of-body experience, standing in that circle. In a second’s time, my mind flashed-back to all of the joy and pain I endured. But mostly, the circle of prayer brought me hope. Hope that I could make it through anything, after surviving the past year.
*
All I needed was a little faith, trust, and pixie dust 😉
*
loyally,
katie

Stop! Being! Lame!

Lately I’ve been asking myself, “Has being a mom made me lame?”
Reason being
The hubs and I acquired (free) tickets to our alma mater‘s home game a couple of weeks ahead of time, but we waited until the day before to call anyone to see what their plans were. {we’re last-minute like that} This whole time we had been planning on taking Emmy with us, although we never really discussed the logistics of bringing a toddler to a college football game. Until the morning of. When it was raining. Then reality set in & I began premeditating the scenario in my head:
Do we bring the stroller? Or wagon? Or neither?
She’ll probably be okay with holding our hands for all of two minutes. So that means, she’s either on Daddy’s shoulders or Mommy’s hip.
I thought… it will be fun to *show*her*off* to people, but then I rethought that one through… they’ll all be shwasted any way…
Then, I continued in my daydreaming mental state… Is she really going to sit and watch the game? 
Oh, but wait. I forgot that it was raining that morning. That posed a whole other list of logistics:
How would Emmy feel with a soggy, rain water-filled diaper?
The thought of handling a wet diaper bag, and a wet baby… no, scratch thata Wet And Very Wiggly Toddler… made me question going to the game altogether! 
I looked at Blake and said, “Well, if you want to go, I’ll go.” To which B responded, “Well, I was only going because I thought you wanted to go.” To which I asked, “Well then why are we even going?”
All of these scenes played out in my mind made me extra sleepy; and wasted a lot of time, let me tell ‘ya! Instead of putting a plan into action, B and I ended up taking a nap with the babe. 
How lame are we!? I even said to my husband… “Is this what we’ve become? Why are we so lame?” Then I satisfyingly drifted off into dreamland…. sleeping through the first-half of the game.
Yep.
When we woke up, we realized just how pathetic we were being; threw ourselves together, and within ten minutes we were out the door. Baby in tote. No stroller.
We walked in just after the third quarter, and while we didn’t get to tailgate with our friends, or show off our pride ‘n joy, we did have a fun time as a family of three. & Emmy was a happy camper the whole time.
{even though she looks so serious in this pic}
I learned a great lesson here, people: 
STOP! BEING! LAME! 
Plan ahead 
& make things happen! 
You cannot recover the occasion after it’s missed, nor the time after it’s gone.  
{via}
Never again will I let life pass me by like that!!
***
If you’re a mommy, do you ever feel like motherhood has turned you into a lame-o?
a73a12c1

mad.

i am mad. downright fucking pissed, to be perfectly honest. 
my mom has cancer again. 
for the third time. 
in six years. 
seriously, who the hell gets cancer three times in six years? 
it’s just not right.
i feel helpless. 
i feel so sorry for her. 
& i hate that phrase… “feeling sorry” 
…but i don’t know what else to say. 
i don’t know what to do. 
hot tears seared my hidden face, as i unintentionally expressed wet blotches of black mascara on my white pillow. 
it was a difficult cry–a struggle against the antidepressants in my system.
“mommy! mommy! maaaaahhhhmmmmy!” i heard my daughter cry out on the other side of my bedroom door. 
her cries for me coincided with the cries i had for my own mother. 
as if it were my inner voice.
what a surreal and eerie moment it was–my young daughter crying out for me, while i silently cried out for my mommy, praying emmalyn never has to cry for the same reason.
as much as i want to crawl out of, and shed my skin, i know my mom wants to a hundred times more.
 i can only imagine how she is feeling right now, and i bet it involves a few choice curse words.
what do i do for her? 
what do i say? 
we’ll find out more tomorrow, but she will definitely have to endure both chemo and radiation.  
again.
but my mom? 
she’s a fighter. 
& a hell of a good one, at that!
each time i found out my mom had the big c, we allowed ourselves to convulse into one another with harsh tears, then promised that was it. 
no more.
my mom got through it twice before, and she’ll get through it again.
yes, i am mad. 
but i’m also inspired. 
inspired by my best friend who won’t let anything stand in her way of living.
loyally,
katie 

p.s. thank you for allowing me to be honest. & explicit. although, i apologize but not really for the explicit part 😉

:::


Summer Lovin’

*Family Vacation
**2nd Wedding Anniversary Getaway
***Art of Animation Resort @ Disney World

:::

loyally,

katie

OBSESSED.

Obsessed does not even begin to describe how I feel about this girl…
 This chick has been growing & learning like crazy, y’all!
She’s over 15-months old now. Can ya believe it?!!?!
Every night before bed, I quickly jot down whatever it was we did that day. I also write down the day’s “First’s” if there were any. & most of the time there were!  
It’s hard to keep up and remember e v e r y l i t t l e t h i n g Emmy is learning.
‘They’ say, Early Walker, Late Talker, right?
Well, around these parts, we have an Early Talker, Late Walker.
Emmalyn took a couple of steps right around her first birthday, but had absolutely no interest in taking things further. Honestly, I could care less because I wasn’t ready to chase after her. People at playgroups would say things like, “She’s not walking yet? How old is she?” & sometimes I’d respond back with a, “Nope. Not yet. But have you ever seen a five year-old who wasn’t walking because they didn’t start right at 12 months..?” Seriously, people.
What Emmy lacks in the mobility department, she definitely makes up for in the verbal department.
Girlfriend can talk! and talk… and talk… and talk…
& not only that… she can identify all the words she can say!
It would be practically impossible to remember all the words she knows if I didn’t write them down.
Thankfully, I have a little Type A in me, and have conveniently kept a journal.
My Little PSA: This is a total ‘braggy’ post about my girl. What mama doesn’t like to brag every now and then? Am I right?! So yeah, consider yourself warned 😉
Without further adieu, I present to you…
The vocabulary of Emmalyn Grace:
Auntie
Ava (her baby bff)
ABC’s
all right
all done
Amen
apple
again
*
BopBop (what she calls my dad)
ball
bell
bless you
bear/grrr
baby
bunny
(ba)nana
bye bye
butterfly
book
brush teeth
bath
big
belly/button
(Chicka Chicka) boom boom
 
*
chicken/bak bak
cheese
cheers (clanks cups together)
cat/meow
cow/mooo
(Ch)eerios
cool
choo choo
*
Dada
duck/quack quack
dog/ruff ruff
dragon
dance
down
*
Emmy
Em-me-me (Emmalyn)
eyes
ears
eggs
Elmo
*
fish/(moves lips up and down)
*
GG (what she calls my mom)
good girl
night night
good morning
goody goody (like in the song)
gorilla/ahhh (while thumping chest)
good job
grapes
*
head
hello
hi
hungry
hug/aww…
hi baby
here you go
*
Indy
I love you
Itsy Bitsy
I missed you
*
Jingle (the husky pup/book)
*
kiss (kisses, blows kisses, eskimo)
*
Lucas
lion/rawr
lady bug
*
Mama
Mimo (what she calls my MIL)
more
Mick(ey) Mouse
make up
monkey/ah ah
mouth
*
necklace
nose
no
*
(“How old are you?”) one/holds up one finger
oh no
out
owl/hoo hoo
one, two, three
okay
*
Papo (what she calls my FIL)
please
peaches
potty
pretty
pear
pat-a-cake
peek-a-boo
pumpkin
poop
(p)iano
*
row row
*
Santa/ho ho ho
stand up
see ya
bah-berry (strawberry)
 moomie (smoothie)
uh-ghetti (spaghetti) 
shoes
socks
*
thank you
turkey/gobble gobble
Twinkle, Twinkle
tree
toes
that
*
Uncle
uh oh
up
*
water
(purses lips together and blows out air to whistle)
walk/ing
weee…!
*
yee haw
yes
yellow
*
Songs Emmy can sing/sing-a-long to:
ABC’s, Wheels on the Bus, Barney’s I Love You, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row, Pat-a-Cake, Selena Gomez’s Love Song
& honestly, those are just the words I’ve remembered to catch/write down. It’s unbelievable to me just how much information my daughter retains!
Happy Sunday, Y’all!
xoxo

Expectations

Often times, I wish I could have better relationships with certain people in my life. When a friend doesn’t call me for weeks (or even months) my feelings are hurt; and I feel unloved and rejected. You know how the old saying goes… Don’t worry about what other people think about you. Instead of trying to disprove the latter statement, I have recently learned to embrace it.
There’s no question that subconsciously we place expectations on other people. Personally, I try to live up to the Golden Rule of Treat Others the Way You Would Want Them to Treat You. Because of this *lifestyle* I super glue expectations to people, only to feel disappointed when they don’t meet them. For instance, I like to send friends and family random, sweet and/or funny texts/pictures every so often. It’s my way of saying: Hey You! I’m thinkin’ bout ‘ya! Thus, my Golden Rule alter ego expects So-&-So to do the same every once in a while. And if they don’t, I feel like I’m no longer important to them.
Now I have come to realize that these kind and thoughtful gestures may not be in So-&-So’s personality. But just because they didn’t act the way I wanted them to, doesn’t mean I should assume they don’t still think about me, or appreciate me any less. Furthermore, I shouldn’t even worry about why So-&-So doesn’t call me anymore, or write on my Facebook wall. These expectations I place on people are binding, and leave me feeling frustrated and sad. Letting go of the strings has helped me see what is really important…
I feel good about myself when I shoot So-&-So a thoughtful text. Trying to wish someone to be different or change is not going to make me feel any better. I wish some friends from college would call me when they’re in town so we can get together and catch up. I wish I had a closer relationship with some family members. I wish. I wish. I wish. 
Through prayer, and a lot of reading and thinking, I’ve learned to let go of these wishes demands. Would it make me feel good if I had these better relationships? Yes. Do I need to have these better relationships in order to make me feel good? No. It is not necessary for people to acknowledge me. Obviously I think it’s undesirable, but it’s not terrible. No one can determine my happiness. Only I can.
We tell ourselves we’re supposed to be appreciated for what we give to others. But true giving doesn’t need acknowledgement, or anything in return for that matter. All that is important to me is how God views me. Now that I have stopped wishing for people to act differently, or in a particular way, I actually feel better! I’ve trained my thoughts to accept that I do not have the power to change others. & just because So-&-So doesn’t do what I *expect* him/her to do, doesn’t mean I don’t like So-&-So for who he/she is!
Do you place expectations on other people? How do you deal with the disappointment?
Loyally,
Katie

8 Months

Emmalyn Grace
You are 8 months old!
{July 17, 2011}
My Sweet, Sweet Angel Baby,

The past month has been one of many changes and milestones. You are now not only crawling, but cruising through every room of the house. We can’t take our eyes off of you for one second–because if we do, your puppy’s raw-hide conveniently finds it’s way to your mouth. (yes. yuck!) 

You have met so many new faces over the last few weeks, including lots of cousins. Over The Fourth, Mommy, GG, & Grandpa, took you to Tybee Island, Georgia. It was your first vacation, as well as the first time out of Florida. I must brag say, that you were quite the star traveler. You were content either sleeping or playing with books and toys in your car seat. Mommy was a little concerned about how you were going to react to spending a week with 25 family members in ONE beach house, but you loved it! You sucked up all the love and attention. What was most wonderful about the trip, was that your great-grandma was there, along with all nine of her great-grandchildren.
You were especially fascinated by your three year-old cousin Carter, watching his every move and hanging on to his every word. You were entranced by his Lightening McQueen and Holley Shiftwell, swiping them from Carter every chance you got. You weren’t too sure about his little brother, Will, though. It was the first time you had been around someone your size, as Will is one month older, and you just didn’t know what to think of him. Will is a Professional Speed Crawler and I think it may have intimidated you. When the two of you were in the pack ‘n play together, he would literally use you as a stepping stone to get to the other side. I thought it was kind of hilarious and adorable. You–not so much.
The sand was where we could find you. You much preferred sitting in a puddle of water on shore, digging your hands in the sand, over splashing in the ocean. You only tried eating the sand a couple of times, making a sour face when you did. It was remarkable to me how easy-going you were. You made it stress-free for me to lather you up in sunscreen, tote you down to the beach for a bit, then let you splash around in the pool to cool off. Mommy even gathered up enough courage to ‘dunk’ you under the water for the first time. Even though I used to teach swim lessons for years, the thought of putting my OWN daughter under the water gave me butterflies. But I did it! [twice, in fact] And you were a champ! You didn’t even cry or suck up any water. Thata-girl!
This past month has also brought a lot of curiosity. (Some have been known to call you “nosey.”) Before you were even born, I told myself the importance of letting you roam and explore for yourself. [with supervision, of course] Well, Emmy, you must have heard me say that because you are not holding back! You love to venture off, touching every texture, & grabbing anything and everything you can get your hands on. Often times, you are happy to play with your basket full of toys in your room; grabbing each individual toy, looking at it, putting it to the side, then picking up the next one. You do this until all the toys and stuffed animals are sprinkled across the floor, then move on to pulling books off your shelf. 
My favorite part of your growing are the new faces you make. Lately, you’ve found your “surprised” face, widening your eyes and stretching your mouth into a perfect oval. You know you tickle everyone who sees that precious expression. You’ve also begun shaking your head “no,” which has Mommy bracing for the future & already dreading the teenage years 😉 There’s not a day that goes buy where I don’t hear you laugh. Your giggles are contagious, especially when Daddy throws you up in the air, or Mommy finds your ticklish spot.

Mealtimes are going very well. You know how to recognize the sign for “milk.” You start humming, “mmmm…”, followed by fussing until you grab a hold of that bottle. Yogurt melts are a hit in this house. You delicately pick them up with your thumb and pointer, but you haven’t quite figured how to completely get it in your mouth. Apples & sweet potatoes mix were a hit this month (mommy agrees!), as well as pears & blueberries. You eat solids 2-3 times a day, in addition to your bottle. There were a couple of days where you just weren’t interested and I thought maybe you were cutting teeth, but nope! Not yet! Your mama was a late bloomer in the teeth department, so no high expectations here.

Thank you, dear baby, for continuing to sleep through the night. 11-12 hours! wowza! There were a few nights where you stayed up to nine or later, but you mostly lay down by 8; and don’t wake up until 7:30 or 8:30. Oh, how I love you for this. I absolutely never get tired of greeting you in the morning. In fact, I actually get excited about it the night before. No matter what kind of day I’ve had, I know that when I wake in the morning, I can always count on your smile.

Your face lights up and a huge smile emerges every time Daddy comes home from work. The same goes for when you see your GG, Grandpa, Mimo, & Papo. You love climbing all over your daddy, touching and smacking his face. Another one of my favorite memories from this month is your new love of dance. I’m guessing you got it from watching your animated cousin Lucas, because now every time you hear music, you bounce up and down, kicking your legs to the beat–smiling from ear to ear. Do you see tutus in the future…?
A slight challenge this month as been our errand expeditions. I’m convinced a mother must have been the first to say, “You live and you learn.” Now that you’re older, you’ve embraced your mobility ability, and demand to be unconfined to your car seat. This means extra planning and cleverness on your mama’s part. Strip malls are the worst because do I keep you in your car seat and transfer you from cart to cart? But what if one store doesn’t have a car seat-friendly cart? [ehem, Stein Mart] Which store do I go in first? The one closest or furthest from the car? If I put you directly into the buggy, am I going to have to put you back in the car seat to drive to the other side of the strip mall because it’s one-hundred-and-five-freakin-
degrees outside? Oh, but wait, now it looks like it could rain! Are you as exhausted as I am?! With that being said, you really are well-behaved when we go out in public. I attribute it to the fact that we took you out from such a young age.
This past month also brought your first cold. Poor thing–you were snotty and stuffy for a good week. The boogie wipes could not keep up! But we made it through without a doctor’s visit, and I’m grateful we made it seven months before catching your first cold.

Becoming more boisterous has been a new hobby of yours. You discovered the volume of your voice while we were in Tybee Island. Maybe it’s because there were so many people, and you just wanted to be heard? Well, we’re listening Little One! & so was everyone else in church last Sunday. In addition to being a wiggle-worm, you were bellowing out “Da-Da” in harmony with the organ. I’m still waiting on “Ma-Ma” 😉

My wish for you, Emmalyn Grace, as we head into this eighth month, is for you to continue exploring and pushing your limits (even if mommy isn’t ready), and to never stop showing off your gummy smile!
You light up my life. 
I love you! 
Forever your mommy…

I Heart America

I’m so thankful we are free to celebrate our country like this:
& this is what happens when you let your little cousin in on some picture-making fun:
we’re having a blast!!
loyally,
katie

From the Mind of Me

Written last night…
There are so many random things on my mind. All throughout the day, I’m constantly ‘writing’ eloquent blog posts full of clever alliteration, metaphors, & all that other School House Rock stuff in my head. And all day I look forward to the peace and quiet, when my little love rests her sleepy eyes, and I can sit down and blog. But what happens? I’m too tired to think. Too tired to try and be all witty and clever–because truth me told, it doesn’t always come so easily to me. During the day when I’m elbow-deep in sweet potatoes and bubble baths? Yes. But not when I actually have the time to sit down at my computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if what I was thinking would just magically appear in text on a screen? Well maybe not everything, but at least the good stuff 😉
*

And instead of running to my computer when I feel like I have something important to say, or share, I just become stagnant and do, well, nothing. And I really hate that. Blogging is an outlet for me. Growing up, I always kept a diary or journal of some sort. The earliest I can remember keeping a diary was in first grade. I remember my grandmother giving me many diaries throughout my childhood. One with a cartoon dinosaur on the front. Another with Disney princesses. And of course, all of them had a lock and key. There was something so fulfilling about pouring all my thoughts out onto the crisp wide-ruled lines. 
(BTW, I highly dislike wide-ruled. I much prefer college-ruled.) 
*

I’d write about anything from the “scary gorilla at the farmer’s market during Halloween” (True story; circa first grade) to feeling left out at school, to what boy I was crushing on that month. There’s something so therapeutic to me about it. And if you’re a blogger, I’m sure you can attest to this, too. I still hand-write my private thoughts from time to time, but with modern-day technology I’m able to share more with family and friends. I blog not for popularity or bragging rights, but as a way to document my life for family and friends, living throughout the nation. I never knew I’d ‘meet’ such friendly and kind people along the way. I don’t think I even realized how beneficial other blogs could be to me. I have read so many inspiring, funny, and informative posts. 
*

I believe in freedom of blogging, but personally choose to steer away from negative and over-ranting posts. There’s enough negativity in this world. I don’t need to read about it every time I sit down to my computer. If I can’t say something nice, I’ll simply say nothing at all. (Thumper’s daddy was a smart bunny!) Negativity just leads to more negativity and bad moods, in my opinion. What started out as something I wanted to try, and received little support from skeptical friends and family members, has turned into a necessity in my life. Now, I am constantly encouraged by others to keep on keeping on.  

*

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

Loyally,
Katie

***For the remainder of the day, I’ll be putting on the final touches of packing for a week-long vacay at the beach! Last year, about twenty family members of mine from Florida, West Virginia, & North Carolina met at Myrtle Beach over the 4th of July; and this year, the gang’s headed to an island off of Georgia, where we’re all piling into a beach house.
Emmalyn & I will be shotgunning with my parents for the five hour drive tomorrow morning. And per usual, the hubster has to work at the hospital 🙁 We will miss him dearly!!!!!!  It’s Emmy’s second time to the beach, but first time on a long road trip, and first time on a real vacation. Wish us luck! 
And if there’s wi-fi like there should be, I’ll be sure to post pics!
Have a safe and memorable Independence Day!!! God Bless!! YAY USA!!!!!!!!!!