Sunday, December 31, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

Grandparents & Cousins

5 grandkids with #6 coming in February! BLESSED.
Gotta snag a picture whenever you can  and hope for the best. 
No babies were harmed in the cramming of this pack-n-play
 We started Charlie Brown and quickly realized they all have the attention span of an ant
 Christmas nap for Pops
 and a makeover for Pops 
All aboard the Bubble Wrap Train! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


We adopted an overpriced tree at the start of December and my mom, along with the girls, have been decorating it off and on through out the month 
Click here to see last year's Christmas attire, but only if you want to die of THEY'VEGROWNSOMUCH-ness
We made some no-bake treats yesterday and I realized that microwaving is where it's at! Woot! So fast and so easy. I can picture them in 5th grade asnwering the question, 
"What holiday traditions does your family have?"
..."Microwaving. Every Christmas my mom microwaves a big bowl of chocolate chips"

Caris was preoccupied with icing on her finger. Can I lick it? Can I lick it now? Mama. Can I lick it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shout Out to the Mamas

On Monday, as I was getting ready (Side note: my kids always ask me, "Where are we going?" when they see me getting ready which proves that I'm WINNING AT LIFE. Maybe I'm just getting ready for life? Nope. You're right, we're going somewhere) A verse came to mind, the first part of Galatians  6:14, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.." I let it sink in and was like, "TRUTH" before moving on. Fast forward an hour or so later when I walked into the post office with my three girls. I noticed that there were 7 people ahead of us in line as I sucked in my breath and contemplated leaving. And then...a Christmas miracle...they.did.everything.right. The baby was awake, but silent. Liza stood by my leg and didn't pull on any of my clothing (up or down), Caris not only held our packages, but sang in a loud enough to hear but not loud enough to be obnoxious voice a made up song that went something like, "I'm so happy today, so happy today, Jesus is born today" AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH, my hair was washed and styled and the big girls were wearing leggings and boots. WHAT. I left thinking, "Is this real life?" But also, my verse from the morning came back to me, "May I never boast..." May I never boast in well behaved kids or how well we're dressed. So, shout out to the mamas today. Let's put our identity not in perfect trips to the post office or awful trips to Chick fil A when your kid is stuck and screaming at the top of the play place and you're the only person that can rescue them while sweating and gritting your teeth, but in Jesus. Only in Jesus. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Our drive home from Thanksgiving in the mountains had me singing "All I want for Christmas is a minivan, a minivan..." but until that wish comes true, here's my THANKFUL THURSDAY list

1. Mutual peace for Kent and me after we closed a ministry/job door 
2. FUDGE {Using the easiest recipe ever. Stay tuned}
3. A baby that's old enough to hang in the stroller while I peruse the library, zoo, etc.
4. A hard working husband
5. Christmas cards from Florida friends...they remember us!

Not on the list, but an honorable mention: Patch is THE best travel dog (see above) We forget he's even in the car until he opens his mouth. And then we open the windows. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Advent Blessing

Someday, when I look back on this chunk of time, I hope to have all sorts of praise hands and nuggets of wisdom a la Ruth Graham Bell or Elisabeth Elliot, but until then, I'll continue praying (a little) and stress eating (a lot).

May your advent season be filled with Jesus-hope. When you realize that you're 3 days behind on the kiddie advent or that you've eaten 2 pounds of fudge while standing alone in the kitchen, may you give yourself grace. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Letters {Audrey Edition}

Dear mom, you say that you have a blog but I never see you working on it
 Dear dad, thanks for keeping my hands warm
 Dear Caris and Liza,  I have two words for you: personal space

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Baby Suits 3

Audrey Anna Suits
Thursday August 24, 2017
@ 8:53 PM

6 pounds 10 ounces
19.5 inches
@ 40 & 4 days gestation
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
psalm 139

Sunday, August 20, 2017

3 Screenshots

Here's how we're wasting time these days...

Caris found A Child is Born, a book inherited by my hippie birthing center au natural mom. Although she didn't comment on her reading, I'm pretty sure my simple explanation of, "Mommy's belly will hurt and then I'll push the baby out" was brought to life with some uh, intense photography from the book. 
One night near midnight we sent this text to my dad and Anna, but we worded it wrong and it wasn't clear that the picture was my joke baby and Charles gave us a hard time. Sorry, Pops! 

When you wake up before 5AM hungry and restless. 

(Sung to the tune of Alive, Alive

Awake, awake, awake forevermore
This pregnant chick is awake forevermore

Awake, awake, awake forevermore
This pregnant chick is awake

Sing c'mon baby! Sing c'mon baby! 
This pregnant chick is awake forevermore
Sing c'mon baby! Sing c'mon baby! 
This pregnant chick is awake 
...and then I realized that I still had snowy mountains as my background. 
Time flies! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

5 on Friday

2 Pictures I took this week
{and 3 I didn't}

Comparing sizes at Winn Dixie 
 Self dressed up for a tea party 
(Where pumpkin bread sweetened with Splenda instead of sugar was served. Moment of silence for the potential goodness that could have been consumed)
 My Disney bracelet 
 Walking, walking, walking. True love is agreeing to walk waddle around the neighborhood with your pregnant wife in the middle of August
 Selfies on your phone are free game! Everyone say Hiiiii Shellyyyyy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Making: Plans for the girls for when it's GO TIME
Cooking: Not a thing. Thanks, mom! 
Drinking: Diet Dr. Pepper
Reading: Finished The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels A love story that was an easy read and made me laugh out loud
Wanting: An easy labor
Looking: Forward to watching Caris and Liza with their new sister 
Eating: Everything in sight 
Wishing: Moving trucks came in bigger sizes 
Enjoying: The last days of kicks and jabs in my belly
Thinking: About furniture I can get rid of
Celebrating: We had a girls only tea party this morning 
Loving: Tiny clothes cleaned and folded in drawers   
Hoping: To have a baby soon 
Needing: To have a baby soon (ha) 
Listening: To Pooh's Heffalump Movie
Feeling: Large 
Wearing: Jammie pants and a tank top 
Watching: HGTV shows with my mom every night
Texting: Baby updates to friends and family

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Final Days

do you hear that ticking sound? its ME. i'm a TICKING TIME BOMB

As we wait for the baby to make her debut, we've taken on the easy task of entertaining my mom. We took her to the science center (where Caris practiced her silly face for the camera) We've played Candy Land, Uno, Spot It and with Play Dough. We've written a letter to Pops and watched two movies.  
 In exchange, she's given us a date night (Chiptole + buying newborn diaperseeeek!)
 flowers and 
dessert under the guise winkyface of supporting the MOPS ministry at church 

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Tribute to a Sandwich

Over the weekend I had two of what I will call "cafeteria sandwiches" because they're what your ma might have packed you for lunch in the second grade. Or maybe what you packed yourself for work today if you're living life right. We're talking about 97 cent white bread, questionable ham and cheese, a heaping pile of pickles, a hearty scoop of mayo followed by a generous squirt of mustard. 

If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Baby Shower

In mid-June a handful of ladies from our former church threw a baby shower for us. I brought Caris along (which felt SURREAL) She watched a muted version of Alice in Wonderland (the cute theme of the shower) and ate too many sweets. Each person gave us a picture book and we took home a small fortune in gift cards. much money. They blessed our socks off and it was humbling and overwhelming. Diapers for life!

Disney Passes

Our passes include black out dates (around major holidays and then most of the summer). Our black out time was set to end on August 14, but we got an email telling us that it was bumped up to August 1st because two rides were closing forever. Kent and the girls are at Epcot today and it's a much needed distraction for all of us. The only rule is Kent has to keep his phone on him and turned up at all times. We're close to my due date and the drive home from Disney is almost an hour. Living on the edge, baby. winkyface


Money to buy splurgy-groceries (ice cream! oreos!), gas for our cars and to set the air conditioning on a comfortable 75 degrees (instead of 80 like these crazy Floridians WHAT?) We lack nothing.

Honorable mentions... Three car seats that fit in my car, Kent's hard work in looking for a job, Reef flip flops, freedom to plop my kids in front of the TV, friends who check in on us, a care package from my BFF, a book that brings laughter and distraction, the excitement of adding a baby girl to our family, a new diaper bag en route right now, our girls are awesome sleepers, a clean kitchen, my ma is coming soon!
bedtime storytime 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


I guess there's always a possibility that we'll return to Florida, but until/if then...

5 Things I won't miss about Florida

1. The heat, humidity & sun
I equate summer (5-6 months) in Central Florida to living in a frying pan. It's flat, it's hot and there's nowhere to hide. We can also use the (stolen) analogy of living in a dryer full of wet towels for the humidity aspect. Gross.

2. The lizards
We've had our fair share of them in our house and I've gotten use to them, but I won't miss them. Reaching for the water hose and discovering one, opening your front door and seeing them scatter.. no thanks.

3. The drivers
WHY IS EVERYONE IN A HURRY? But I have to admit that I've adopted one habit. We were driving to the park and the car in front of me didn't go at the green light (for a few seconds!) so I gave them a little honk. Caris asked, "Was that a love tap?" Ahh ha ha ha. I don't remember teaching her what a Love Tap was, but she went on to explain to Liza, "A love tap is when the light turns green and the person doesn't go so you give them a love tap."

4. The prices
Rent. Gas. Every time we go to South Carolina I dramatically acknowledge that "Gas is only $__.___ here!!" (Watch God move us to the most expensive city in the country just to sanctify me. Yehaw)

5. The daily summer thunderstorm
My kids are way less freaked out by the load thunder claps than I am.

5 Things I will miss about Florida

1. The parks
There are awesome, updated parks alllllll over the place. Bonus: clean bathrooms included.

2. The beach
55 minutes from my house? Can't beat that with a stick.

3. The winter
Because we endure May-October, we have developed a deep appreciation for November-April when it's gorgeous, breezy and like, 70 degrees all the time. Bonus: my kids have never known the long annoying bundling up process of hats and gloves and we wear sandals year round. (Watch God move us to South Dakota. Yehaw)

4. Mom friends/Bible study ladies
I have a handful of "let's meet at the park!" mom friends and I had reached the point at bible study where I was chatting with women of all ages and actually doing some of the "Have you met so-in-so?" This only took...years.

5. Our doctors
Don't get me started again on my allegiance to  ol' Virgil (my doc). We also have a sweet lady pediatrician who is a believer and doesn't give me grief for having small babies/kids.

Our lizard whisperer
That poor thing was still alive and living on a prayer
(most lizards are much bigger, I'm not being dramatic!)   

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Labeling Boxes

We were given a ton of free boxes (YAY!) from a friend's mom who recently moved here. The different between her labeling and ours had me laughing and secretly I was impressed

She knew right where to look for her raisin jar...microwave egg scarf 
 We threw stuff into boxes from our KITCHEN. 
(And now we're to the point of packing where boxes should really be labeled like, "1/3 toys, 1/3 craft supplies, 1/3 random junk")

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thoughts on Ending Well

35 weeks

Pregnancy is a blessing IAMNOTCOMPLAINING and children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) b u t for many women, there comes a time when things get hard. Physically,emotionally,PASSMETHATDONUT. So, I'm faced with a conundrum (college degree what what) of enjoying the last few weeks of the journey- a journey special only to me + baby and Wow, I can't feel my legs and why am I walking like my 87 year grandmother? The emotional swing can be steep and quick at times. THIS IS A MIRACLE, I AM SO THANKFUL to I CAN NOT GO ON, SOMEBODY HOLD ME in about 2 seconds.

Same goes for moving. We have a unique situation, but I'd venture to say that most people come to a point in packing and moving where they think, BUCK UP this isn't the end of the world hold on a second this is the end of MY world.

I'd like to end my pregnancy and our our move well.

Ending well for me looks quiet (because without enough sleep, I'm bound to say some crazy things and make my family want to run for the hills) and sad and occasionally super motivated and minimalistic (but only occasionally). It's allowing the two second swings to happen and moving on. Crying alone in the car after a doctor's appointment "just because" (but totally freaking Kent out when I get home muhahaha) Praying simple prayers. Smiling at overused advice like, It's in God's timing and He's got something better for you out there and eating too many french fries at IKEA.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Making: Plans with Kent about The Move on August 31st   
Cooking: Homemade mac n cheese, but not much else 
Drinking: Iced coffee, water
Reading: Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman 
Wanting: To be a capital i Introvert(-ed) hermit for the next 7 weeks
Looking: At things on the floor and ignoring them winkyface
Eating: Scrambled eggs with a slice of cheese on toast for breakfast 
Wishing: I had job news to share with you (I don't)
Enjoying: A day trip to the beach today
Thinking: About my nightly serving of ice cream. Next up: mint chocolate chip  
Celebrating: Aside from one potty break, sleeping through the night
Loving: Baby movement    
Hoping: And praying for a job 
Needing: To write thank you notes   
Listening: To a Strawberry Shortcake DVD 
Feeling: Belly-less when I'm in the pool 
Wearing: Jammies 
Watching: Master Chef
Texting: A group of moms about a play date

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Blessing {& Caris Quotes}

May your thankfulness be evident 

(after handing her a peach for breakfast) "GOOD THING I'm not allergic to peaches like Daniel Tiger is!" 

May your problems be small

"I need a comb. To fix my eyebrow"


May your compliments be heartfelt 

"Liza. I have to say. You're getting berry, berry good at coloring and painting" 

Sunday, July 9, 2017


The ultimate Time Out death stare

1. Potty Training

Is going well. Less accidents, more jelly bean rewards. It just involves a lot of bending over (ooph!) and huddling in public bathroom stalls together.

2. "Treat others the way you would want to be treated"

Would you like for her to take the toy out of your hands? How would you feel if she chased you until you were scared? Would you like for her to start singing while you're singing a song? The Bible says to treat others the way you would want to be treated...yatayata x a millionHOW MANY MORE YEARS OF THIS

3. "No one likes being ignored" 

I overheard my older, wiser, more organic (Jokes. But not really. She uses raw sugar and roasts her own peanuts) friend tell her child this when he was ignoring his sister. I like it much better than "answer your sister" as it makes them think of the other person instead of just following a command. Thoughts?

4. "Stay three feet away from me"

Don't poke my belly. Don't hug my left leg while I'm trying to walk in public. Don't try to sit on my lap. Let's settle for a side hug until September.

5. Outdoorsy play

We're in the middle of the indoor season here in Florida. Swimming has been a nice option, but I need to suck it up and venture outside. It's not too terrible if we're back inside early rather than later. We take a walk/bike ride and are home by 8:30 am or visit a park at 8 am and then the splash pad. It's less than pleasant, but the girls don't mind, and it's better than sitting at home having my belly poked. winkyface 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 4th

Hope you kids had a nice July 4th! Ours included swimming, Messy Pigs (BBQ+Cole Slaw+Bun) and wearing our outfits made from Kent's Grandma's skirt by Rachel C! 
See last year's outfits here

Sunday, July 2, 2017

4 Month/4 Year {Shots}

The days are long, but the years are short 
 The days are like, really long. It's only occasionally that you get a glimpse at "the years are short" part, but when you do, it takes your breath away, makes your eyes sting and makes your heart feel like it's getting pounded by a meat tenderizer. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A List of 3's

A friendly reminder that when my life gets overwhelming, I make lists in my head. 

3 Foods I’d Give My Right Arm to Eat

1. Mayonnaise
Lately it's been tomato sandwiches using white bread and extra mayo C'MON
2. Bacon
My love for bacon has grown at a rapid pace over the last couple of years 
3. Ripe fruit 
My recent fruit purchases have left me disappointed. I'm picturing a juicy peach, perfect watermelon, etc. 

3 Male Singers that Grab My Attention (*For their voices winkyface) 

1. Josh Groban
I can pick out his voice from miles away (Say, at Christmas time) This dates back to high school 
2. Keith Urban
Also from my high school years, he pays homage to my introduction to country music. Also the early years of pining for a boy named Kent
3. James Taylor
Hard to explain this one, but it probably starts with my first memory of good ol' James here

3  {Expensive} Things I’d buy

1. Letterboard
I have both life changing and quirky things to say
2. Leather bag
This will happen one day. My birthday money is burning a hole in my pocket 
3. A patio set
Why are these so expensive? <in my long practiced whiney voice>

3 Things that Trouble Me

1. Reflux and heartburn
It'ssssss backkkkkkkk!
2. Random "in-between" household items
The minimalists say chunk it, the hoarders say keep it and the stuff just sits there and STARES AT ME
3. Sisters yelling at each other in the car while i'm driving
I see a lot of pulling-the-car-over in my future 

3 {Rip My Heart Out Movies} I Would Watch Right Now

1. About Time
I can't recommend this because of language and a hussy scene, but I cry every.single.time. Dad and son walking on the beach towards the end of the movie? STICK A FORK IN ME BECAUSE I'M DONE.
2. Return to Me
I need to own this one
3. PS I love you
Eh, again, I can't recommend this one, but it always makes me yell LET'S VISIT IRELAND! while at the same time yelling at Kent, DON'T YOU GO DYING ON ME, NOW! 

3 Places {that start with M} that I Would Visit

1. Maine
I'm picturing a cottage, overcast cool weather, me wearing a cardigan while sitting in an Adirondack chair drinking tea. 
2. Montana
Here we have a cabin in a meadow with a killer view of the mountains. I'm probably eating bacon. 
3. Maryland
My best friend's second baby is TEN MONTHS old and I haven't met him yet. Unacceptable!  

3 Moments in Time I’m Looking Forward To

1. Meeting our daughter
2. September 1st
Kent will have a job. Either at a church or K-Mart. We'll be in a new place and decisions will have been made. 
3. Bedtime
Anyone else want to throw out some high-fives and smile when it's time for bed? 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Big Life Events

This week we have five big events

1. Caris is attending Vacation Bible School 

This is the first time we've ever dropped her off somewhere and driven away from the premises. Deep breaths. She is having a great time and although it's abnormally quiet without her around, we're enjoying our one on one time with Liza. (And I can see why moms sing the praise of Preschool. It cuts your day in half!)

2. Liza is using big potties 

We have yet to take the plunge into panties, but she's rocking potty training (It's all about the candy reward and Kent's help) Also included:: she gets to say phrases that her big sister uses like, "I need pri-ba-cy. Don't look a me." And so there I stand, pregnant and huddled in the corner of the library bathroom stall staring at the wall.

3. Kent and I celebrated thirteen years

I realized that this week is The Edge Summer Conference, thus making it the week that we met back in 2004. And by "celebrated" I mean I hugged him abnormally and awkwardly tight and exclaimed how LUCKY he was to meet me on top of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee and how our JOURNEY IS REALLY JUST BEGINNING and LOOK! we're going to see our THIRD BABY on a tv screen TODAY. (!!!)

4. We saw our third baby on a tv screen 

I'm not sure if every patient gets an ultrasound to check the baby's growth or if it's because of my pregnancy with Caris or if he thinks I'm paranoid, but we got to see our lil' lump of sugar yesterday.  She's cute. I think. Won't be long now!

5. Caris is swimming

Coach Kent has a done a great job teaching her again this summer and she LOVES swimming alone (Don't be fooled- we're talking swimming alone in little spurts. Wall to steps. Steps to wall.) The exciting recent addition to her swim career is that she can swim down and grab the dive toy at the bottom of the shallow end. Although I cheer like a proud mom, I can hardly watch and it takes everything in me not to yell COME UP AND BREATHE, CHILD!! (in my Paula Deen voice) Where is Liza usually? Standing on the pool steps giggling while naked (+ a puddle jumper)
 Arm floaties no longer needed! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Making: Progress with packing 
Cooking: Things from our freezer and pantry. Operation Empty Out has begun. 
Drinking: A Diet Sunkist soda yesterday 
Reading: Princess Cora and the Crocodile. We wish it was part of a series! 
Wanting: I still wouldn't turn down a Chipotle burrito 
Looking: For stuff to donate. Leaving no corner unturned 
Eating: Cereal with strawberries for lunch 
Wishing: I had a Nifty Nabber to help with cleaning 
Enjoying: Running errands alone 
Thinking: About sleeping and packing and sitting down   
Celebrating: Having completed my glucose test this morning  
Loving: The sound of the lawn mower outside- Kent hard at work   
Hoping: Kent secures a job in the next couple of months (or tomorrow winkyface)  
Needing: Deep and wide boxes for random shaped objects  
Listening: To both daughters call my name during NAP&QUIET time 
Feeling: Hungry 
Wearing: Coral tank top, grey shorts, compression socks and sneakers
Watching: Random 30 minute HGTV shows with Kent at night. Mountain House! Log Cabin! Lake House! Beach House! 
Texting: A friend- trying to give someone (anyone!) a free bed

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Family {at the beach}

This was the first year we had someone unable to attend beach week (Wes) but we had one new addition, Karyn, Ben's fiancee.  We had an average walk to the beach, but it was a mosquito death trap. Turns out it's hard to run with small children and beach chairs strapped to your back. 
 We spent quality time with each other
 Enjoyed books by Pops
 and ice cream with Uncle Ben 
 We kept it classy with an indoor hair cut
 A day and a half of rain threatened to break our vacationing spirits, but we forged ahead with the help of Finding Nemo. All in all, a fun week, woot! 

Waffle Wednesday

Choosing to temporarily forego your waffles, cool whip and blueberry breakfast to read an Insects and Spiders book and have conversations l...