Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 {Our Year in Review}

We moved! Boxes, chaos, crying at church {both Caris & me} and meeting new people
We took a total of 8(!) trips back to South Carolina. The second one was to meet our nephew/cousin Cruz! 
C Baby turned ONE!
We thought we sold our house so we took a "Here, take a picture of me jumping off the front steps looking happy" picture. We still own that house.
We celebrated Bennermen's graduation from USC! 
Caris learned to walk! And talk and climb and count (one, dooo, phree!) and eat big girl food can one kid change and grow so much in one year? 
So many new things! Like brushing her teeth!
She enjoyed her first airplane ride to Philly to surprise the Hiatts and meet Baby E! 
Speaking of babies, we saw Baby #2 for the first time! 
We took two large family vacations: the beach and the lake. Screaming toddler in the sand, screaming toddler in the lake.
We celebrated 10 years of dating and 5 years of wedded {usually} bliss! 
Kent became a pastor! 
We perfected the top knot and she perfected the tantrum
And a few more exclamation points !!! just because! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Q: What do you get when you travel and hang out with extended family?
A: A sick child {We are on day 6}

Q: What do you get when someone beats the phone/internet box thing outside of your house to a pulp and takes all of its innards?
A: No internet 
 Q: What do you get when you pair a housewife with no internet?
A: All of the travel bags unpacked in record time and all of her shoes pulled out of the closet
Q: What do you find .005 seconds after opening the new snot sucker that you just bought?
A: The old one

Q: Who rescues a dresser from the trash on a Tuesday afternoon?
you guys...
details to come

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Pregnancy Update

Because I like reading them and maybe you do too?

You may have noticed that I stay pretty quiet about my pregnancies. It's me, not you. Whenever I think to write about it, I find that there really isn't much to say and it'd be easy to complain, but how can I complain when I've been given the opportunity to GROW A LIFE?

Buttttt, if you cornered me in a dark alley and threatened to beat me with a wet noodle if I didn't complain, I'd tell you that I have heartburn and reflux (Pass the Tums, please) and by the end of the night my back and feet h-u-r-t.

I've experienced more of the "normal" pregnancy symptoms with Baby #2. I started to realize that Caris hardly ever moved because she had no space and this baby moves all of the time. It's a crazy feeling.

Thankfully, as of now, we're on track to have a healthy baby and end to this pregnancy. With Caris I was  in the hospital at 32 weeks and we've passed that mark ,with an ultrasound to check. Everything looked okay.

I'm glad, so so glad, not to be teaching. At this point with Caris, I was still pacing the gym floor at 7AM trying to get 250 3rd graders to stay silent. Taking care of a toddler isn't the easiest, but I have the freedom to stay in my bathrobe until 1PM 9AM if I want to.

Although it feels like I've been pregnant for forever (And not in the bad way. In the, "Wow, babies take a long time to bake" way), it's hard to believe that we're nearing the end (1.5 months to go). Kent and I were watching TV last night and I turned to him and said, "I just need to tell you. I am about to FREAK OUT." There's so much left to do. And no energy to do it. But first. Christmas.

a few months ago. stretch this picture a lot little bit
and it'll be more accurate 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Merry Toddler Christmas

I had some lofty ideas of what Christmas decorating would be like with my 21 month (today!) old. I pictured us both oohing and ahhing over the tree, the lights and the decorations and then all coming together for a GROUP HUG.

And... cue real life 

Here she is running with the string of lights in the opposite direction. It might be tempting at first to put on your best stern Southern Grandmother voice or stern 1st grade teacher voice and say, "Um, no m'am. Lights are for trees. No m'am."'s Christmas and she's a toddler. It'd be a long, uphill battle for 25+ days. So, I whined a little and then packed up half of the decorations with hopes that they can reappear in ten years or less. Our tree has bald patches where ornaments once hung and nativity people are scattered through out the house. 
She liked pulling things out of the boxes for a little while. There was hope! 
And then I found her like this. It's getting framed and displayed for years to come. She inherited her Dad's disdain for decorating. Whaaaat? But she was digging the Rudolph socks. 
I found this in the midst of unpacking boxes. Love YOU, Ma! 
I emailed a video of Caris pulling on ornaments (just to watch them bounce around on the limb) to my parents and my Dad's response was, "Isn't payback great?"  

If you live with a toddler (God bless you) I hope you're able to enjoy Christmas with all of the toddler-ish-ness and for my friends who have toddlers-in-training (Not to be confused with Toddlers and Tiaras), start scouting out places to decorate that are 33 inches or higher.
Yes, that is a gingerbread dog toy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dear Santa

All I want for Christmas this year is...

1. A cute accessory to hold my Tums. Perhaps a locket? Or a fanny pack?

2. To sleep through the night

3. An all access pass to local restaurants so I can stuff my face as needed

4. For someone to follow me around my house and pick up things off the floor

(Or just a Nifty Nabber Pick Up Tool)

5. Two energizer-bunny-worthy hands that will rub my feet without stopping. This may sound creepy, but think of it in a magical Harry Potter sort of way...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Our Trip

When packing for South Carolina, I took all of our long sleeve shirts and pants and threw them in a suitcase. I'm (finally) almost done with the laundry and it will get folded up and put back into the same suitcases. Super simple!

So far I've skipped on buying Miss C a winter coat or fleece. We're making it work with layers. 
We were able to meet up with Becky and (finally) meet her sweet boy, James. He is a cutiepatootie and makes me wanna whisper, "Excuse me while I get a spoon so I can eat you up" I love that our kids are making the same annoyed face in this picture. 
We stayed at Caca's (Aunt Casey) house for a few days where we watched too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and only broke one thing- a tin turkey. 
We ran away to Asheville while Kent's mom watched Caris. The trip included shopping, dinner at the Grove Park Inn and a zipline course for Kent.
Patch came with us and stayed outside the entire trip. This is how I found him for the entire day when we got back to Florida..thawing off in the sun.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Wes and Sara hosted and we're getting pretty good at our Siblings Only Thanksgiving! Everyone contributed tasty food for a delicious feast. We followed it up with a lazy afternoon. We had a lot to give thanks for this year...

Cruz's birth and adoption
A graduation
A new job
A pregnancy announcement
A new school adventure 
An ordination service
Thankful for my two turkeys! 
(Even the one that won't smile)
Playing Slide-A-Ring with Uncle Ben
(Anna was there, but you'll just have to take my word for it)
The Mamas feeding their babies 
Cruz' first taste of his Mom's infamous apple pie! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letters {to my daughter}

Dear Baby Girl,

If we don't make it through the toddler years together, we have a lot of nice relatives that you can live with.

Listening to you repeat letters while watching Wheel of Fortune is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

When you clung to my legs and then insisted that I put the 7 week old baby that I was holding back down on her blanket, I was suddenly completely overwhelmed and FREAKED OUT about February.

Sometimes when you get up from a nap, you look like you've aged YEARS in just a couple of hours.

The scratch on your face? Sorry, I was trying to catch you.

Your Daddy sometimes texts me and asks me to keep you awake just a little bit longer so that he can see you before you go to sleep.

Why don't you enjoy shopping?

It seems like you and I eat all day long. This won't always be the case, but let's enjoy it while we can.

Some days I count down the hours until bedtime only to miss you a few hours later.

I can't wait to watch you experience Christmas this year!

toddler meltdown

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frugal Friday {Shoe Edition}

I've been on the look out for a pair of quick and easy shoes for my #1 girl. Just something to throw on to get the mail (one of her favorite activities). 
Crocs $1.99
The color is less than desirable, but they're in perfect condition and just the kind of thing I wanted- quick and easy! 
 "Show me your shoes!" 
{Pants are optional around here}
 When our family first moved down South 14(!) years ago, we had extra play money for the first time ever (Thanks to my Suga' Daddy, Chuckles) Ma and I made many trips to the mall just for fun. I mean, we bought things full price from The Gap.
Those were the days....
We usually checked out the shoe collection at Dillards and I acquired two pairs of shoes from the designer, Gianni Bini. A few years later, while thrifting, I found a pair of Gianni Bini flats. And just like that, I had  A SHOE GUY (I've always pictured him as some old Italian guy, but maybe it's just a brand name?) A few weeks ago I added to my collection with these sandals. 
 You guys. These are my THIRD pair of Chacos that I've found in Florida. Every time I find a pair my heart jumps into my throat, I have a sudden urge to YELP and piddle in my pants (This is a new phrase from our Pastor referring to his new puppy). Piddle. Try it out. 

When I find Chacos, I lunge for them in a socially acceptable way and then hug them to my chest. 
They retail for about $100. I would crown myself the Queen of Chaco Finding, but my friend SJCP is just as good (better?) than me. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Starting around November 1st we have had some mornings and evenings in the upper 50's/lower 60's. The first few mornings we threw on hoodies and other cozy clothes and ran outside just to be outside and actually enjoy it. We still get into the mid 80's some days so we've decided that layering is the way to dress.

I've dug up some winter-y clothes that have been stashed away- like these slippers
We hung up the hammock
It's funny to watch people in the neighborhood reappear after about 6 months of summer. Over the weekend I found THIS in my front yard. I don't think anyone else on the street has one (the neighbor next door has a palm tree) so I am calling it God's Autumnal gift to me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

10 Things I'm Learning

If you actively try to keep up with your home, "A place for everything and everything in its place", Your desire to shop and fill it with stuff will diminish. This is lame, but also freeing.

After a long shopping hiatus you might get hit with the shopping bug so, so hard.

Bending over is no big deal  until you are quite pregnant.

The chicks on You Tube make crocheting look easy but it is, in fact, HARD.

If I sit down after my toddler goes to bed (both for naptime and bedtime) I will never get back up again.

When fall {finally} arrives, Florida weather isn't so bad

There will always be a dishwasher to fill and empty (insert pathetic, whining face here).

The trip to church is 5-7 minutes if I'm alone. The trip is 8-11 minutes if I have my co-pilot in the back seat (and I usually do).

Maternity shorts and pants in good condition are slim to none at Thrift Stores.

Rattling off head knowledge about the bible and the gospel to your (PASTOR OF A) husband or ladies in your bible study is different than sitting still and letting buckets of grace fall onto your head while you let the good news of Jesus, a friend for sinners, seep into your soul.

Friday, November 7, 2014


This is what the morning after Halloween looks like 
This is what cool looks like 
This is what reading in her soon-to-be big girl bed looks like
This is what cute crossed legs look like 
This is what cutting vegetables looks like
And this is what bird watching looks like 


Making: A handful of Sunday School lesson plans for our church  Cooking: Y'all...I made spaghetti noodles with scrambled eggs and gre...