Friday, May 30, 2008

An Inside Look

I'm taking a cue from Leigh Ann, who took a cue from Kelly and I'm writing about my favorite room in my house. It's been really interesting to see everyone's favorites. I think you can learn a lot about a person by seeing the inside of their home and the special touches they put into their living space (do I sound like a realtor yet?).

My absolute favorite room in mi casa is Dawson's nursery, but since I've already written about it in a previous post, I decided to go with my second fave. But, is it ok if it's more of an "area" than a "room"?

It's my foyer and I adore it. It's one of the main reasons I decided to build this houseplan...I think first impressions are the most important, and I wanted to set the tone of the house by what you see when you first walk in the door.

I LOVE anything remotely tropical, exotic or you can see by the paint color! It's called "Pirate's Treasure"...doesn't that just make you want to put a flower in your hair and sail away with Capt. Jack Sparrow?

The brick arch was actually supposed to be drywall and square, but we had a lot of exterior brick left over, so I told our wee Mexican foreman (I love you, Jose!): "Why don't we just slap some brick on there and see how it looks?" He humored the crazy white lady and I think it turned out pretty well!

The painting hanging in the arch is an original oil on canvas from a street artist in Rio de Janiero...oh,wait! I didn't tell you I just got back from Brazil? Heh. Kidding. Actually, it was a gift to us from Eric, our team broker, when he visited there last year. The artist signed it on the back and everything...I love it.

So, there's a little sneaky-peaky into my second favorite room. Please come visit anytime...Jack Sparrow and I will be waiting!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Botox For My Blog

My blog needed to have a little work done...something about it just wasn't quite perky enough for me.

Enter Ashley Wages, designer extraordinaire. She totally did a complete facelift on my site and look at the results!

She is very creative and talented. This is the only direction I gave her when I asked her to do a custom design for my blog:

"I love anything aqua and brown, anything beachy and anything 'girly.'"

She has done designs for Megan and Lena and theirs look amazing, as well.

I adore creative people. Something about them just makes you thankful and energized at the same time.

Oh, and? I'm not going to tell you how much Ashley charges for her Beverly Hills Blog Makeover.

You'll have to visit her site, to find out.

Thank you, Ashley!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Let the Little Children Come to Me"

I was having lunch with a couple of friends yesterday when I overheard a conversation at the next table about Steven Curtis Chapman losing his young adopted daughter in a freak accident. A man said, "When you start wondering if there is a God, remember instances like this." The comment shocked me a little; it also made me sad to know that someone has such a cynical view of my God.

However, the comment also got me thinking. From an outside and worldly point of view, that is an appropriate reaction. What kind of "loving" God would allow such a thing to happen to a child? Why would He, who wants only the best for us, allow parents to go through hell on earth while he watches from heaven? The Chapmans and my aunt and uncle are not the only ones...our blog friend Angie has lost a daughter and a nephew within weeks of each other.

I can honestly say I truly do not know the reason for their suffering. I don't see what He sees; I would never even begin to understand Him. But He doesn't ask me to understand Him. He asks me to love Him.

Why didn't He heal Brooke? Why didn't He heal Audrey Caroline and why did Baby Luke die suddenly? He made the blind to see and the lame to walk...and that was thousands of years ago. Modern medicine not withstanding, what's one more miracle when You created the world?

Sitting at Brooke's funeral, I did not break down until the pastor illustrated my Papaw seeing Brooke and holding her in heaven. I selfishly and angrily thought, "You know, God? If you would have allowed both of them to live? We could see him holding her right now. My Papaw could hold my son, his great-grandson, right now. What joy that would have brought."

But again - I am not asked to understand why people live and why they don't. I'm only told to love and to obey the One that created us all.

What I do know is that in the 172 days that Brooke did live, she changed people's lives forever. From her tiny hospital bed, she made a lasting impression around the country and the world. I also know for a fact that people came to Christ during her funeral service. Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter didn't live long enough to have her first date or a new car or countless other things we deem special. However, she did live long enough to cause people to ask questions and allow the Chapmans to praise God, even in tragedy.

If becoming a mother has taught me anything, it is this: We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Every breath we take is truly a gift. And we do not know it all. Only He does.

And so yes, Dawson slept for a while in my bed with me last night. Why? Because I wanted to watch him sleep and hear him breathe. I eventually put him in his crib, but not until after I held him for a least an hour. He will never be this small again.

Jesus told us to come to Him with faith like a child. With no doubts, no agenda, no second-guessing. With reckless abandon, hope and wide-eyed wonder.

If you ever doubt that He is a loving God, or wonder why tragedies happen, remember this: God is no stranger to suffering. He knows what it's like to lose a child.


Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

"I wish each color was a different flavor."
"Ahhh, Myrtle...only a true friend lets you gnaw on their appendages."
My sweet son is not a wee baby anymore! Ok, so, he's never really been "wee," but you start to realize how fast he's growing when he's almost 5 months old and beginning to teeth!

He is chewing on everything in sight and drooling like me watching an Antonio Banderas movie.

He LOVES his turtle toy that his Uncle J and Aunt K gave him....she (he?) has been officially dubbed "Myrtle the Turtle." Myrtle has plastic hands that he loves to chew on.

Any advice on dealing with the affects of teething would be appreciated by a new mom currently soaked in drool.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lauren Fletcher and the Curse of the Fourth Indiana Jones Movie

Dawson and Mommy outside the movie theatre
Don't get me wrong. I love me some Indy. So much so that I know lines from all 3 previous movies and had what could be classified as a slight crush on the youngest Prof. Jones. So it was with anticipation and high expectations that I eagerly went to take in the movie on Friday night with mi familia (Dawson's first cinematic experience, yay!).

(Sigh.) Ladies and gents, I must tell you...I was not impressed.

It was great until the alien part. Mama doesn't do aliens. Or spaceships. Or anything remotely related to sci-fi. Which, unfortunately, describes the entire last half of the flick. (If you haven't seen it yet and I just ruined it for you, sorry! Maybe I saved you $8! Or $45 if you include snacks!). (By the way? E.T. is excluded in this. He's too cute. And he eats Reese's Pieces.)

When a movie bores me or I'm just not into it, I find my mind wanders. If you were to have sneaked a peek into my brain during the movie, you would have encountered the following thoughts:

"Man, Harrison looks old. Wait. He is old. I wonder how much plastic surgery he's had? Do you think he carried his whip into the O.R. with him in case things starting getting dicey?"

"Speaking (thinking?) of whip, I wonder if it's hard to snap that thing around like that. I bet if I did that, David would move a lot faster when I ask him to pick up his dirty clothes."

"Crap. Did I remember to get the sausage? I don't think you can make sausage balls without it. Yeah, that's right, I did. I think."

"Oh, geez!!! It's about aliens????!!!!!!! You've GOT to be KIDDING ME!! Steve, Steve, oh precious Stevie Spielberg...what were you thinking???"

"Well, that just totally ruined it. Do you think if I complained to Mr. Personality at the box office that he'd give me my money back? With interest since I had to sit through the first part in order to get to the part about the aliens?"

"It's over. Yay. I can't believe Dawson slept through the whole thing. Oh, wait, yes, I was about aliens."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Choc-wut Pooooding!"

A man after my own heart! Easton likes my stilettos...

...and chocolate!!

Isn't it amazing how chocolate makes everything better, even when you're a kid?

After the funeral on Monday, we went over to Jeff and Leatha's house to chill and eat...Eli and Easton couldn't wait to have their "choc-wut pooooding!"
Thanks again for all of your prayers and thoughts for their family over the past few months. I can promise you that they were felt.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Tiniest Angel

Brooke McKenzie Eaves
November 28, 2007 - May 17, 2008

It is with tears and a heavy heart that I write this post. My tiny cousin Brooke passed away this morning in Chattanooga. To be so small, she was so strong; doctors and family alike are truly amazed that her life lasted as long as it did. She did have so many odds stacked against her.
The beautiful ending to this story is that although there is much healing to be done for her parents, brothers and sister and family and friends, she is finally completely well. There are no ventilators in heaven, no needles and monitors and tubes. There is only perfection.
We will be traveling to Chattanooga on Sunday for the visitation at 4 and the funeral Monday at 10 at Silverdale Baptist.
Thank you once again for all of your prayers. Please keep them coming, as Jeff and Leatha will need them for many days to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Freak of Nature

I was scrapbooking today when I came across this picture. I laughed for 10 minutes. Can you BELIEVE how HUGE I was?? Note to self: When you look like a huge circle? There is no need to wear them all over your body.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"How's Yer Mama An' Em?"

Today was wonderful because Krystal and Jason came over to watch Dawson while I ventured out to run errands and (yay!) go to the tanning bed. I love being with Little Man, but I must confess that it is rather nice not to have to cart him and his car seat/stroller around.

Towards the end of my Mommy Escape, I stopped in at a gas station to spend Dawson's college fund to fill up my Expedition (read bus). The pay-with-your-card-here option wasn't working at my pump, so I had to go inside to pay. I usually refrain from doing this for two reasons:

1) I don't enjoy smelling like an ashtray just to get gas.

2) The kind of people you run into at said gas station are usually the kind who a) smell like an ashtray anyway and b) insist on taking up too much of your precious time by standing in front of you in line, spending 20 minutes debating which kind of Skoal to buy. Regular? Wintergreen? So many choices!

I'm glad, however, that I had to go inside to pay today because I actually heard a man say to the cashier, "Hey, Lois! How's yer mama an' em?" I'm. Not. Kidding.

It's great because although I've heard people mockingly say this, I've never actually heard someone be totally serious when asking it.

I laughed myself back to my car and spent the drive home thinking of other Southern (redneck?) phrases that I've heard/used/never understood. Enjoy!

1) "Jew eatchet?" Meaning: Have you eaten yet?

2) "How we doin'?" Meaning: How are you?

3) "Purt near" Meaning: Pretty near, as in "close to" or "in the vicinity of"

4) "We might could." Meaning: Maybe we could.

5) "Going to town" Meaning: Running errands, i.e. grocery store, shopping, etc.

6) "Are y'all kin?" Meaning: Are you related?

7) "Can I hep you?" Meaning: May I help you?

8) "Over yonder" Meaning: Over there, far away, not close to, opposite of "purt near"

9) "She can talk the hind leg off a mule." Meaning: She talks a lot.( I'm not sure how one can talk so much it causes the leg of a donkey to fall off, but whatever.)

10) "Yont to?" Meaning: Do you want to?

11) "Where you been?" Meaning: I've been waiting for you.

12) "That's a fur piece." Meaning: That's a long way. Again, opposite of "purt near."

13) "Gimme some sugar." Meaning: Give me a kiss.
14) "I'm fixin' to. " Meaning: I'm about to.

15) "Kah-wit-it!" Meaning: Stop!

16) "I'm gonna go gitcher mama!" Meaning: Oooh, boy, you're in trouble.

Feel free to add some of your own!

Monday, May 12, 2008

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

...then I really don't need to say anything, do I?

My First Mother's Day

Sleep? Is the Best. Mother's Day Gift. Ever.
We went to Chattanooga to see my mom. Dawson, for some reason, decided to play bashful when his Gran was holding him! It was a very relaxing, low-key day...just what I think everyone needed (as you can tell by Jason rubbing his eyes in the background)!

My mom gave me a really neat journal for my first Mother's Day. It asks questions that you answer so that your kiddies will know more about you, and what you were like growing up. I loved it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The "I" Profiles

I've been tagged by my bestest Meagan to complete the following...

I am...happiest when I'm productive and busy.
I think...that it takes guts and courage to be a mom.
I know...that I would be nothing without my family.
I wish...that life would slow down.
I hate...manipulation, insincerity, selfishness.
I grandmothers and my papaw.
I fear...those I love not knowing how much I do.
I feel...loving is an action, not something you just say.
I hear...Dawson breathing.
I crave...the tanning bed. And chocolate. And the ocean.
I wonder...what Dawson will be when he grows up.
I family, my friends, my job.
I ache...when I think about Jason going overseas.
I care...for a hand-made card more than a store-bought one.
I always...wear lipstick.
I am a good mood if I don't drink Diet Coke and listen to Elvis. Every. Single. Day.
I Dawson in Spanish.
I private.
I don't always...say what I think.
I write...for fun now. It wasn't fun when I did it for a living.
I win...when I get clients the house they want.
I lose...when I think negatively of myself.
I never...think my house is clean enough.
I friends when they need to talk.
I am scared of...the day when Dawson says "It's ok, Mama...I can do it without you."
I husband's hugs.
I hope...I'm the kind of mom my son thinks I am.
I tag....Rosie and Amanda.

Dawson is Four Months Old!

As a gentleman of leisure, Master Fletcher enjoys traveling....
...catching up on the latest novel....
and sampling the finest of cuisine!

Dawson is growing SO FAST!! He can hold is head up wonderfully, rolls from his tummy to his back and grasps objects and brings them to his mouth; he laughs out loud all of the time, and smiles constantly. He LOVES to eat...his favorite is bananas! Dawson is very laid-back and good-natured - he doesn't mind when I cart him to the office and he loves being passed around and loved on. We are very, very proud!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

...I found out I was pregnant!
This is a picture of me at Dr. Wesley's office on cloud nine! We had just been told that my blood test was positive and I was so excited because I thought I already had a little "tummy." Heh. Um, really? Someone should have so told me, "Yeah, sweetie? That little pooch you've got goin' on? Is gas. And water retention. You haven't even begun to see what a 'tummy' is."
We left Dr. Wesley's office and headed straight for our 3-year anniversary mini-vacay in the Smokies. Had you looked inside our car careening down I-40, you would've seen two very excited people not saying anything to each other; both, rather, on their cell phones, either talking or texting, telling everyone and their third cousin that they were "pregnant, dude...really pregnant!!!"
I remember being SO HUNGRY on the way to the bed and breakfast...I inhaled TWO roast beef sandwiches, a bag of M&M's, a large Sprite and a chocolate milk. And that was just between Lebanon and Crossville. Nevermind that it came back up the next morning.
The hardest part of our trip (besides feeling like my toes were going to come out of my esophagus)? Not telling my mom and dad about the baby. Sunday would be Mother's Day, and I just had to wait until then. What could be a better Mother's Day gift?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Tiniest Warrior

What progressed into a dark day eventually turned into a bright twilight as Brooke went from terribly bad to a little better yesterday.

At 2 p.m., doctors were unsure that she would live until the end of the day. My aunt called my mom, who works near the hospital, asking her to please go there to be with Brooke in case she and my uncle couldn't make it in time.

At 5 p.m., my dad called to let me know that she although she was back on a ventilator, Brooke was opening her eyes. Here is an update, posted by a family friend on Erlanger's CarePage website:

"I just talked to Leatha. Brooke is 'a little less unstable'. She was laughing and she even grabbed Jeff's lip. The doctors are baffled, but God has baffled many a doctor in the past I am sure. Brooke is not out of the woods. So we will have to just keep praying for God to work a miracle. We will give him all the glory! I will keep the updates coming as I get them. "

Please continue to pray for Brooke and my aunt and uncle. It is amazing the power that prayer has, and how quickly just one request for intercession can transform into a life-changing chain of hope. How thankful I am for friends who, after just one text message, not only begin praying, but ask people at their work, homes and even the ballfield to pray.

I believe that situations like this teach us faith, humbleness and how to see God's love even in the most trying of times. I believe that those who we see as sick babies, cancer patients and the elderly man in a wheelchair are really warriors that God uses to challenge us and make us more dependant upon Him.
Miracles happen; every life is an example of one. And it will take a miracle to save this tiniest of warriors.

So, This Baby Walks Into a Bar...

...and says "Aay, sweedhaahht....gimme a shot o' your top shelf milk, ya know, the good stuff...

"...yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about....that was good! Gimme anudah..."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

In the Army Now

Our Hero and the Littlest Patriot
Becoming Decorated
Two Generations of Service
The Proudest Family
It's official: our Jason is now a soldier in the United States Army!

On Friday, MTSU ROTC held its annual commissioning ceremony in which cadets are promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant and officially commissioned by the Army. They receive a certificate, coin, and medals; the medals are pinned on by family members. It's also a tradition in our Army that newly commissioned second lieutenants present a silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier who salutes them. The coin symbolically acknowledges the receipt of respect due the new rank and position. The first enlisted enlisted soldier to salute Jason was our grandfather (he served in Japan at the end of WW II), and in turn, Jason gave him a silver dollar. Tears!!!!

My parents, Brandon, Krystal's mom and step-dad, and Jason and Krystal's close friends were there to celebrate his success. We are all so proud of him!