I love being a mom, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. But man, let me tell you some days are just tough. So today was one of those days. Thank God he will give me tomorrow to try it again!
Well let me tell you something this weekend was action packed. Filled with fun with the kids, great friends, good food and too much red vino for sure!!!
The weekend was kicked off Friday night with a wild rice and shrimp casserole and spending time with my friends Colleen and Mary Nelson. MC was full of herself, starting a story to them with "One day when I was picking my nose on the sofa... (I was one proud momma for sure)!!! They spend the night and stayed a good portion of the morning on Saturday.
Saturday brought another wonderful supper club. Wonderful food and great company. Jack D even was there to keep B company!!!
Sunday started early and ended late. We had a birthday party for Clark that ended at 2:30 Monday morning!!! The boys where in rare form for sure. Have you ever seen 4 grown men play shirtless beer pong? (They thought they looked amazing, not so sure if I agree).
Here's to epic weekends that keep us Laughing, Loving and Living!!!
Just a warning, I am on a soap box for this post!!!! I just saw an article on the Post & Courier website about knock off sweetgrass baskets and the fear of the local basket makers on what this mass produced over-seas fake will do their business. Let me tell you one thing this makes my blood boil.
I LOVE sweetgrass baskets (see pictures above), I have a great collection that B has gotten for me (ten years in the making). Both girls have their own hand-made basket for their Easter basket (a start to a collection I hope).
A handmade sweetgrass basket from a road side stand is a part of my heritage! I grew up riding my bike to the four corners of justice and watching these gifted women make these baskets to life. Each basket is a piece of living history. A tradition passed from generation to generation. Can you put a price on that?!?!?
Apparently Ballard Design and Southern Living thinks you can, what I have to say to that is I have canceled my subscription to Southern Living (don't think I am kidding) and Ballard design can kiss my big white fanny! I will never buy anything from that catalog ever again! The thought of homes being decorated with fake, mass-produced over-seas sweetgrass baskets makes me sick to my stomach.
I encourage you to buy the real thing, a real sweetgrass basket is worth saving up for. Ask the wonderful Lowcountry lady that made the basket to tell you her family history. Remember that story each time you use your basket. Ms. Jameson and Ms. Henrietta have made all my baskets! I cherish this part of the Lowcountry and hope that everyone else who feels the same way will do their best to make everyone around them understand the importance of buying the real thing!
I love my kids they are my world (just needed to make sure everyone knows this before reading any more of the post)!!! I am super excited thought for the first time since babies Momma is going out of town without KIDS!!!
Tomorrow morning I am packing in the car and headed to Myrtle Beach with 12 wonderful ladies. We are all running either the Diva hlf-marathon or the 5k race Sunday morning. Saturday will be spent going to the expo for the run, some shopping and a great dinner. The best part is I don't have to keep track of anyone except for myself.
This is huge for me, since MC was born almost 3 years ago, I have spent 3 night away from my home, 2 of them being when I had Riley. I am so excited!!!
Here's to the little breaks in life that keep us laughing, loving and living!
After patiently waiting MC got to pick veggies from the garden for the first time yesterday! A small harvest, but soon we are going to have yellow squash coming out of our ears. B was insistent on planting two huge rows, you can see are squash blooms everywhere!
I am waiting for our big heirloom tomatoes to make tomatoes pies but most of all bacon, avocado and tomato sandwiches!
Here's to my backyard garden that keeps me laughing, loving and living!
Everywhere I look this week, I have seen something or read something about being present in your life. It is so easy to do, not to be mentally here even when you are physically here.
Because I work from home I do find myself sometimes not being present to my kids, I grab my phone as soon as I get an email because I want to make sure I am doing my job because I know I could not get a gig like what I have anywhere else. It was this week after reading a blog post that I realized that almost all of it can wait until nap time, I get 2.5 hours of quite time a day where I can be present with work and not sacrifice any of the precious time with my kids (which is perfect because with my job, I only have to work 3 hours a day to meet my hour requirement).
So today I after Little R's morning nap I took the moment to be present with my kids, like in their faces I am the coolest mom in the world. I bolted into Little R's room music blaring from my phone, MC was already in Little R's crib with her and started dancing to Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Both the girls eyes got huge and then they started laughing and then started dancing too, Little R was the best trying to dance then falling down in the middle of it. It was the best 3 minutes and 42 seconds of the morning. MC thought it was so funny she climbed out of the crib and said "one more time we need to dance party together", so we did for 20 minutes.
The smiles and laughter from my kids was amazing, I actually started to cry at one point because it was that awesome. I thought to myself, this is what it is all about, the love and laughter of my kids.
Here's to the little moments in life to be present that keep me laughing, loving and living.
There are certain things you learn growing up here that turn into some of your fondest memories as you look back and then even more precious when you share them with the next generation. Crabbing is one of these in my book.
I remember countless days crabbing all around the Lowcountry with my dad, mom, grand-parents and my sisters. I remember sitting and watching my grand-mother Nana pick a crab over a pile of newspaper telling me "child one thing for sure you leave no meat." The taste of fresh boiled crab is something all to itself also.
Today was MC's first day crabbing. She was so excited. She woke up this morning talking about it.
I sat on the top of the dock with Little R listening, watching and soaking in the wonderfulness of B showing and teaching MC the art of crabbing on the floating dock. There is nothing in my opinion that watching a manly man softly and kindly explain something to his daughter. I look forward to the day that Little R is right there in the mix with them.
Here's to the little moments in life that take you back and keep you laughing, loving and living!
A picture is worth a thousand words right? Well I think in the case of the amazing pictures taken of the girls by Chris Smith of Chris and Cami Photography, these pictures are worth a million words.
Chris has turned into our family photographer, our relationship started over 6 years ago when I first booked him to shoot our wedding. My bridal portraits, rehearsal dinner/party, the wedding, my maternity pictures when I was prego with MC, MC at 3 months, MC at 6 months, MC at a year, now Little R as at 3 months, Little R at 7 months and cameos of MC during Little R session.
Two weeks ago we met at Charles Pinkney Place in Mount Pleasant and had a great session. It is amazing how Chris is able to capture the personalities of the kids. I truly believe he is preserving memories for not only myself & B and the girls but for generations to come.
Check out Chris' website at www.chirsandcami.com. Also seriously consider using them, you will not regret the decision at all.
Have you ever had one of those days that when it is all said in done you are just drained. That was today for me for sure. I pretty much flunked this Monday. My kids, husband and everything else today tried me and I gave them my all but still managed to get an F when it was all said in done.
I am exhausted and border line sad, but tomorrow is a new day right?!? I sure hope so! Send positive thoughts my way I am in need of them and a big glass of red wine!
Yesterday started out with a great trip to Target! We were out of food for the cats, big dogs and puppy. We needed some other things as well. When I pulled into the parking lot, parked right in front of the spot where I parked was the buggy pictured below (please ignore MC's finger in her nose). I thought this is a sign, this big thing was what I needed to push to make sure I could get all I needed with both of the kids. In a regular cart there is not a whole lot of room left over if I take Little R in her bucket.
So I load both kids in and head towards the front of Target. As I start to push this "super cool buggy" as MC was calling it, I say man this is a huge shopping cart. That is no exaggeration, I really felt like I was driving an 18-wheeler through Target, and thanks to the addition of groceries to the Mount Pleasant Target, I have not clue where anything is, resulting in lots of u-turns which was a little challenging. Please keep in mind the whole trip about every 45 seconds MC is going "Momma this is a huge buggy" or "Momma is this the hugest buggy her?" It was pretty darn funny, I think every other shopper we passed got a good chuckle out of it for sure! I felt like a needed a bull horn announcing "wide load coming through, watch out!"
Here are the trips to Target with kids that keep us laughing, loving and living!
I know I have said this before but I love living in Huger. There is good quality family fun to be had all the time! MC had so much fun with her daddy this weekend, I think Little R is still getting use to the thought of tractor fun!
So I know many of you know that B and I made the decision 2.5 years ago to make the move to Huger, a little town right outside of Mount Pleasant. We are just a far enough out of town to have peace and quite but close enough to go grab a quick bite. At first I felt a little disconnected but quickly realized how awesome it is out here!
Three weeks ago, at our friends wedding we (B and I) spent sometime with a great young man from South Africa that was in town for the wedding. John D is the most incredible kid in the whole world. (I hope we can be the parents that Ken and Jo have been to their kids and have MC and Little R turn out like theirs.) B spent a ton of time talking to him about hunting and everything under the sun. John D was so animated, respectful and endearing I found myself choosing to talk to him over some of the adults (he is that amazing). I thought to myself several times, this is the type of boy I want MC and Little R to fall in love with, then on second thought I remembered he lived in Africa and that I could not have my girls that far away!
I spent several days after the wedding thinking about how great this kid was and how being a great parent really shapes your kids from the very beginning. What was Ken and Jo's secret, after some major thinking I came up with my own conclusion (Jo if you are reading this, I hope you take this as the greatest complement in the world). My conclusion was simple the value of family is so strong in South African families. You spend quality time with your family, you teach them and lead them by example. When they ask questions you answer them.
In America we have gotten so self-consumed with the gluttony of our society that the value of family has suffered greatly in my opinion. We want to raise great responsible kids, but how many of us actually eat and pray as a family? Do we take the time to answer questions? Do we teach our children by our example or do we think that is it is someone else's job?
Okay here is the point were I am going to tie all this together I promise. The Ball's run the family farm together with love for each other and God. They spend more time enjoying the pleasures of life than the new video game or trying to keep up with the Jones' next door. This time together is one of the main reasons B and I made the move to Huger. It was just spending the time with John D that reminded me of my focus as a mom and a wife. reminded me the importance of what we teach our kids and how we do. I am excited that MC and Little R will learn how to plant and harvest a garden, kick a ball in the yard, ride the golf cart to go see the neighbor's horses and most of all spend quality time together as a family.
On my way to work this week I saw these billboards and I this sums it all up, I just want to instill in the kids the importance of getting unplugged...
Here is to the family that keeps us laughing, loving and living!
Well it was like herding cats this morning trying to get out the door for school. MC was freaking out because I threw away her two blueberries that she left on her plate, Little R was not having her swing and Quinby was going with us this morning because after school drop off was a trip to the vet. It is days like this I question why in the hell I thought it was great timing to get a puppy! Sometimes I feel like my life is mass confusion, your only young once right?!?!?
Anyways this is how Quinby rode to the vet...
Here's to the confusion in life that keeps me laughing, loving and living!
I love to cook, it is something I use to be miserable at. The first meal I ever made B was a disaster, when he went to serve the mashed potatoes with the serving spoon that I in them the whole bowl lifted up and I swear in college I use to botch easy mac in my microwave!
My friend Amanda was like my food fairy, she taught me how to cook and how much fun it could be. In my kitchen cooking with a glass of Pinot is one my happy places. I am that freak that cooks to re-leave stress.
B and I have a rule, you must try it once and after we get done eating you can tell me your honest opinion, but you have to eat one meal of it before you tell me it sucks. Making him eat it some how makes the thumbs down easier to swallow!
However this rule is out of the window when it some to cooking for kids, the brutal honesty of children you have to love it. With that being said MC has turned into my little food critic. Tonight as we sat down for Eggplant Parmesean I looked at MC as she ate the first bite of eggplant (which is something she has never had), her eyes got huge and she exclaimed "Yummy in my tummy, I love eggsplant" (we will have to work on the correct name). I took a large sip of my wine and leaned back in my chair with a smile on my face and thought to myself victory!
Here's to the little food moments in life that keep you laughing, loving and living!
One of the coolest things about being a parent is doing all the great things there are out there for kids to do and people don't think you are a weirdo. Well today we visited on the coolest places I think Charleston has to offer, The Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium. I will go ahead and tell I am 100% sure I liked this experience just as much or maybe even more than MC.
We are members of the Aquarium and we go there a good bit, MC has it memorized and had her own little path she takes. We did our normal run through (yes it is a run through, we can cover the Aquarium in no time flat). We normally view the Turtle Hospital from the flat screen TVs on the second floor, but today we saw it live in person face to face. We bought our tickets for the 11:30 tour and MC waited patiently for our time (Little R just slept in her stroller)!
When our tour time came I swear to goodness I think I had bigger butterflies than she did. Growing up here I have seen all my life the sea turtle nesting process happen on barrier islands. Summers on the beach we learned about turning the lights off so the little turtles can follow the moon to the ocean and not think the ocean front houses are the way to the sea. (Did you know that is why the new Cooper River Bridge turns its big lights off at a certain time every night). I have been on the ocean and watched a loggerhead come up for air in the mist of a calm day, but I had never seen then this way before.
So down to the basement we went. When you first enter the TH, it is super warm, due to the fact the turtles, being reptiles are cold blooded. We had a great tour guide Jacque. She educated us on the 4 types of Sea Turtles on the East Coast region and then she showed us the turtles themselves.
Right now they have 11 turtles and hope to return all that they can back to their natural habitat. Each turtle has a name, a brief bio and a story above their tank. I was amazed about the amount of care that the volunteers and doctors give these animals. It is amazing to hear and see the rehabilitation process.
I could blog for hours about this experience and never be able to tell you how cool it really was. The TH sparked the kid and nerd in me. I have decided when I have some free time (not quite sure when in the world that will be) the TH will be the place that I give my time. It is amazing. Do yourself and the turtles a favor pay the extra 7 or so bucks and take the tour! All the money from the tours goes right the hospital itself.
Today might have been my first visit however, I know one little girl and one her Momma that will make this a more regular part of our visits to the Aquarium. For more information visit the Aquarium's website: www.scaquarium.org or directly link to the TURTLE HOSPITAL here.
Here are to the awesome things we get to do as parents that keep us laughing, loving and living!
Over Christmas I got crafty (or at least tried to). I made several homemade gifts this Christmas, but my favorite was the puppet theater I made for MC. I had no pattern and just winged and it worked! It turned out so much better than I thought and I had all the supplies I need in my house except for the 1 yard of pink pom poms.
MC loves to put on shows for us. Little R thinks her sister's shows are very funny! Which is all the encouragement MC needs to keep the shows coming daily.
Well the crafty itch has come back, so all week I have been on a quest for which DIY Pin I am going to do next. All week I have been looking through my boards trying to figure out what pin will satisfy this need for crafting. Come up less than inspired, lots of great things but nothing was that one thing I want to try next!
Well I had the great idea, while lying in bed Wednesday night. I would make a puppet theater for Reese one of MC best little friends, whose birthday is coming up on Easter weekend. Reese and Merritt are 2 months apart so I know she will love it. The idea was settled however, I now need to find the fabric that would be just perfect for little Reese. When I made MC the fabric was easy it matches her rocking chair my mom gave her for her "Big Girl Room", it was a no-brainer. After searching the web for fabric, I found the perfect one. Pink, orange and yellow brunette ballerinas. Reese like MC is very petite she had the wonder brown hair just like her momma and she loves to wear tutus! When I saw it just said "hi I am the perfect fabric, buy me now!" So I did I have 2.5 yards on the way to me as we speak!
I think I am going to try to take pictures as I do this one, so I can out a tutorial up on the basics of the construction process. I can't wait to show y'all the finished product! It is going to be similar, but different for sure than MCs. (P.S. making stuff for kids is so much more fun than for yourself)!!
Here's to the little craft projects in life that keep us laughing, loving and living!
Well today was a roller coaster of emotions at the Payne house. I guess with three females this is a mild one compared to what we will be having in another 12 or so years (poor Brad, he might move out)!
Our morning started early, MC was wide awake at 6:15 screaming, "Momma come get me, I am ready to go to the Aquarium." I did go get her, however we did not venture down to the AQU until 9ish. We dropped Little R off to my mom and MC and I had went on a momma/MC date, the first one since Little R was born. The date was great, the fish were great, MC got to see the live feed from the turtle hospital and then we finished off with Dora in 4D.
We then went to and picked up Little R. I was in desperate need of a strapless bra for a wedding I am in the 2 weeks! So I decided to go to Chantilly on my way home (this is were we took our down hill spiral). I talked with MC about using her good manners before we got our of the car, and she said "yes momma, I will use my manners in that bra store I promise. So here I go into an upscale lengerie store with both my children (I think it would have been better if I had opted to take the 12 week old puppy instead). My first sign that things were not going to be so great, should have been when MC jumped into the biggest puddle I have ever seen in the parking lot, and started laughing her ass off (lets face it I should have just got back in the car and said well there is always another day, but no I continued in). The look on the fake blondes' face when I entered the store should have been the 2nd reason to turn around, I could already tell she was annoyed at our presence. So I get the only 2 strapless bras they had in my size (pretty sure she just gave me two to get the hell out of there faster) and then Little R starts screaming while I half naked in the dressing room, there was nothing I could do than just let her scream while I got my clothes back on. When I say scream I hope the loudest most piercing scream is what you have in mind, because I want you to multiply that by 10! I have never in my life heard her make such a fuss. So I frantically get my clothes back on and pick up her carrier and she shuts up and starts smiling, like the sweet angel she is. I grab the one bra that I am going to get and head out the dressing room. MC takes off and almost knocks a huge rack of dressing robes over. I go to get her and she takes off running through the store, by the time I get my hands on her she is in the front window about to knock the whole damn display down. I grab her and pick her up as she is kicking in screaming (please keep in mind the whole time I have R in her bucket car seat on my right arm). Another sales lady had be totaled for the bra, I quickly gave her my card hoping to get out of the store as soon as possible. When I signed the slip, I looked down, in my frantic uncontrollable moments with my children, I had just purchased an eight-four dollar bra!!!! I hope it makes me look great, that is an insane amount of money. So basically I was that mom who could not control her kids that temporarily lost her mind and spent an obscene amount of money on a strapless bra. To add insult to injury, the nice lady working insisted on carrying R out to the car for me. I am sure the whole time going, this poor woman she is in over head!
So after a good two hour nap and some good quite time for me, things were looking up. We loaded in the car to go to a local fundraiser and the girls were angels!!! Thank goodness since we were around people that know us. We came home and had dinner together, it was wonderful. Little R went to sleep and MC and I came back down stairs. She started talking about the turtle hospital that we had seen on the TV at the aquarium this morning. She was asking a million questions. All of the sudden she folded her hands and tucked them in between her legs. I thought to myself, here we go back down hill, she is getting ready to pee on my counter top (we have just started the big girl patty thing, just in case you are wondering potty training sucks)! When I asked her what she was doing she looks up at me and says with the most endearing look on her face "Momma I am praying", I then asked her what she was praying about, she said "I praying for those turtles in the hospital, that the doctors fix them all better". All of the sudden the screaming wild blonde monster that took over the bra store was gone, I smiled to myself and thought God gives you those crazy times in life so you appreciate the ones that matter the most like my little girl praying for the sick turtles.
Here are to the roller coaster days that keep us laughing, loving and living!
This might sound weird, but I do think about my eulogy at my funeral. How my actions in life everyday shape the legacy that I will leave behind for my friends and family. The memories that will comfort them through the times of sadness. There are three things that I hope I will be remembered for: wife, mother and friend. The times I have with these three facets of my life are a gift from God and I think it is gift to Him to be really good at them!
This poem/story listed below is super cool, it puts a really neat perspective on the a simple dash on a headstone.
"I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?"
I know this is a weird post, but I have never claimed to be normal!
Well this past weekend we did it, we got a new puppy! I know as some of you read this you might think I have totally lost it. Why in the hell would I agree to a new 8 week old puppy when I have a 2.5 year old, a 4 month old, two other dogs and two outside cats?!?!? I can't blame it on sleep deprivation because thank goodness, R is a great sleeper! It is plain and simple it was just the right time!
Drake our wonderful 10 year old lab is still kicking it with us, however he has hunted his last hunt as Brad's loyal companion. This makes me a little sad to say, Drake is an incredible hunting dog, really one of the best out there, however just like a human there comes a time when you have to just hang it up. After an incredible hunt on New Year's Eve Drake spend the next 7 days hardly being able to move :( So we decided as a family to let that be Drake's last hunt. I immediately started looking for new puppies before Brad could change his mind, know that once we had a new pup he would not be so focused that Drake could not hunt anymore.
So we found a litter in Dalzel, SC (which is outside of Sumter, SC). There is not much to the town at all, and I am pretty sure the breeder had never left the town of Dalzel. She was an interesting one for sure!
Brad has started to work on her a little with fetching, she is really doing well. He is super pleased to say the least.
So here's to my four legged children that keep me laughing, loving and living!
Our little princess is growing so fast! It is hard to believe she is already four months old. She has brought so much to our lives, she gives us a lot of reasons everyday to keep on laughing, loving and living.
Each day she does something new. Each new trick she learns and developmental milestone she achieves makes me so proud to be her momma!
MC is such a great big sister and it is so dear to see them together. It melts my heart when MC tells her she loves her and she is her best friend.
I look forward to watching their friendship as sisters grow and hope they stay best friends forever!
Well it is safe it say that I have been an awful blogger lately, like the last six months.
So since my last blog, RMP joined the world on August 31st. She is a beautiful, healthy little girl. We are so blessed!
As part of my 2012 goals (not resolutions, I break resolutions, however I like to achieve my goals (this is how I play tricks on myself to keep me doing what I am setting out to do) I am going to blog again. It was a wonderful outlet for me and with 2 kids, a husband and a job, it is good for my mental health to have outlets for myself.
I hope maybe once my followers start reading my blog again, that maybe I will get a few more followers for 2012. So here's to 2012!
I am a wife and mother who loves her family and friends. I have a passion for cooking and great red wine. I was born and raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Salt air, pluffmud and sunshine are all near and dear to my heart.