What I Learned This Week

When he was thirteen months old, Alex played Baby Jesus in our church Christmas play. As he sat on “Mary’s” lap in the nativity scene, he ate a handful of Ritz Bits crackers with peanut butter.

Minutes after the play, Alex puked violently five or six times. Once we arrived home, he seemed to be fine. I chalked it up to a virus or food that didn’t agree with his stomach.

The next day, it dawned on me that he had eaten peanut butter for the first time. I called his Pediatrician and she suggested we have him tested for food allergies.

As it turned out, he was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and soy.

We were heartbroken. I have prayed many nights that the Lord would take these food allergies away. We are so thankful that his allergies – though very pronounced – do not / have not seemed life-threatening.

I received a call today from Alex’s Allergist today. The nurse was reporting the results of his latest blood test to see if any of his allergies have gotten worse. I was expecting to hear, “no change.” Instead, the nurse said, “I am just calling to report the results of Alex’s blood test. There was no change in the peanut, cashew, pistachio or egg allergy. Tests for almond and walnuts were negative.”


That. Is. A. Big. Deal.

I praised the Lord right in my kitchen!!!

How did we celebrate?

With Little Debbie (and her walnut brownies) of course!!!

I learned this week (in more ways than one!) that God is faithful in all things if we just trust Him.

Here’s what I learned this week.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


Alex Ryan

Alex Ryan

  • is excited to be a 3rd grader
  • has come a LONG way, but can still be very stubborn
  • keeps his momma on her toes
  • is missing several teeth
  • has neat handwriting
  • almost always takes his Bible to church
  • can match clothes better than most adults

  • would always choose red and black over any other color combination
  • can run fast
  • loves to read
  • was awarded a special reading award for earning more AR points than any other student in 1st or 2nd grade
  • has been complaining of abdominal pain for a few weeks
  • is playing his iPod as I write this
  • loves his critters (stuffed animals)
  • is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, but not doNUTS
  • doesn’t mind eating a jelly sandwich

  • enjoys playing with cars
  • is right-handed, but bats and throws a ball with his left hand
  • has a great laugh
  • still likes to cuddle with his momma on the couch
  • is extremely independent
  • can tear up something in no time flat
  • just recently tried Blueberry pop tarts and deemed them his ‘favorite’
  • was ten pounds at birth
  • has eyes that seem to change color depending on what he is wearing
  • is a shoe fanatic

  • has a double crown that drives me crazy when his hair gets too long
  • is pretty tough
  • didn’t even cry the last time he had blood drawn
  • calls his favorite Thomas The Train blanket, Tommy
  • looks much different without his glasses
  • likes to do flips off of the diving board
  • is a good little 1st baseman
  • is almost as tall as his (older) brother
  • can wear his brother’s shoes
  • almost always orders water when we go out to dinner
  • is loved very much by his momma!

I love you, Alex! I’m glad you’re mine!

Back In Time

The past few weeks, okay, months, I’ve been participating in Throwback Thursday on Facebook. Throwback Thursday probably started over on Instagram, but to be honest, I decided to call it quits with Instagram when I started seeing all the same Instagram pictures on Facebook, anyway.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I love the run-on sentence.


If you are Facebook friends with me, I apologize, because you’ve probably seen these pictures over there, but they are still so fun, and OH SO SWEET, and can we please stop time?

At a friend’s wedding. (2007)

Stevie was the Ring Bearer at McDaddy’s brother’s wedding (2006)


Melt my heart. (2007)


Stevie having fun in his Jeep (2008)

First Haircut (2006)

Watching a chick flick. (2005)

Sharing the Good News. (2006)

Ok, I need a tissue, now.

Really, can we stop time, pretty please?

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Eight Is Awesome

Dear Alex,

We just celebrated your eighth birthday.


How did that happen?

Just last week, I was holding you in the labor/delivery unit wondering what in the heck I was gonna do with TWO stinky, smelly, peeing all over the bathroom BOYS.

Here it is, eight years later, and I am so stinkin’ sad that you are growing up so quickly because soon you won’t want to cuddle on the couch, and you won’t call me mommy, and you won’t tell me “I love you more, and that’s final” ever again.

And just like I tell you every single day, IT IS NOT final because I’m the boss of you.

But the truth is, I love it when you say that to me. I love it because it brings a smile to your face when you say it, and there are fewer things cuter than your sweet, toothless grin. That grin melts my heart every. single. time. and I think you know that.

You can match clothes and accessories better than most adults, and if you had your way, you’d have a pair of tennis shoes in every single color because, YOU ARE SHOE CRAZY.

You enjoy life.

And you are a crazy, fast, daredevil.

Tricks like this one?

Have made me gray before my years.

But I love that you are fearless and independent and loving and A MOMMY’S BOY. Can we just make a pact that you will be a MB forever? Pretty please? After all, you are sweet and impatient, with a side of stubborn, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, YOU GOT THAT FROM ME, PAL. (And I turned out okay!)

I enjoy seeing the world through your eyes.

And I totally enjoy your random questions throughout the day, even though I rarely have the answers.

I am so proud of you for wanting an iPod, saving for it, and then buying it. Trust me when I say that you will appreciate things so much more when you buy them yourself.

Oh, and just for the record, I think you’re awesome, too!

Happy 8th birthday, sweet boy.

I love you more, and THAT’S FINAL.

Love, Mama


This sweet boy:

  • has been reminding me about his birthday for the past month.
  • loves Cookie Crisp cereal
  • carries a stuffed animal around most of the time.
  • prides himself in having the most Accelerated Reader points in his classroom.
  •  has a good old-fashioned fit every now and again.
  • picks Tom & Jerry every. single. time.
  • has a double crown that gets out of hand when his hair gets too long.
  • is missing several teeth.
  • did not cry the past three times he had blood drawn for allergy tests.
  • is tougher than most kids his age.
  • refused to wear glasses the first year they were prescribed
  • wears a size 2 shoe
  • gets on my every last nerve sometimes
  • greets me with a hug every morning
  • has a sweet little hand that fits perfectly in mine
  • prefers my iPad over his iPod
  • sings sweetly
  • was baptized this year
  • is allergic to nuts and eggs
  • loves jelly sandwiches
  • makes a crazy face when I ask him to pose for a picture
  • has been to 26 states
  • ate breakfast at school for the first time today.
  • loves to laugh
  • is excited to be OUT of a car seat
  • likes to cuddle
  • has two speeds – wide open and asleep
  • asks any number of questions everyday
  • has really neat handwriting when he takes his time
  • can make a jump rope whistle.
  • is so excited to be eight!

Happy birthday, sweet Alex!

I’m glad you’re mine!

Filed Under Great Kid

My boys are very good buddies. They enjoy playing together, and more often than not, they get along very well. A few weeks ago however, my boys spent what seemed like the entire day – arguing.

I threatened to ground them.

When that didn’t do the trick?

I threatened to sell them.

Not that I would ever do that, of course, but it made me chuckle thinking about what all I would include in the ad.

Cute, sweet, seven-year old boy, comes complete with massive critter collection and lots of shoes. He gives great hugs and loves to cuddle. He is stubborn, fiercely independent, and sasses his mother on occasion. He fights with his brother, loses glasses frequently, and changes clothes MULTIPLE times per day subsequently increasing the laundry load.

He has a beautiful smile even though he is missing several teeth. He is a good back-scratcher and all-around goofball. He can knock the heck out of a baseball, and runs like a lightning bolt. He enjoys reading his Bible and loves to play his darn DS.

He is a great kid who loves to have fun.

Serious inquiries only.



Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

My fellas and I spent the weekend camping with McDaddy’s sister, her four kids, and another family from our church.

When I picked up Alex from school on Friday, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well. He told me he was just sad because his class didn’t get to go out for recess, but I could tell he wasn’t his normal, smiling self. We had an hour at home before it was time to pick Stevie up from school. My heart sank when he said, “Mom, I’m freezing.” I got out the thermometer and my suspicions were confirmed.


Just great.

We were literally walking out the door to pick up Stevie and hit the road, and now we had to make a split-second decision about whether Alex and I would go or stay.

McDaddy and I decided that Alex and I would drive a separate car. That way, if his fever didn’t go away or he started feeling worse, he and I would make the hour drive back home. He slept the entire way to the campground, and by the time we arrived, his temperature was 102. I put him in a cool bath, and within minutes of the bath and the Tylenol kicking in, he was wound-up like an eight-day clock.

The fun was short-lived because by bedtime, he was hot again.

If you know me in real life, you know that I am a straight-up crazy person when it comes to the medical issues. Especially, medical issues involving my kids. I realize that a fever is not uncommon in young children. I also realize that I am very fortunate to have healthy kids. Still, I can barely stand the thought of my boys feeling bad. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make them all better. It is, in my opinion, the worst part of motherhood.

By Saturday evening, he told me that his throat hurt when he swallowed. His fever had been up and down all day, and it seemed to be hanging steady at 101. I made a trip to the Google to find the nearest Med-Express and away we went. I was pretty sure he had strep because his throat was red and raw, and strep is “going around” at his school.

We made our way to the clinic, and I was relieved that there were only three others in the waiting room. We were seen rather quickly, and much to my surprise, he tested negative for strep. The Doc – citing his raspy cough and raw throat – handed us a prescription for an antibiotic, and we were in and out in about an hour.

We are now 56 hours into the fever, and 24 hours into the antibiotic. I am hoping we’re on the downhill side of this thing. I don’t like it when my babies are sick.

And speaking of babies, look what I found in my picture files.

I love this sweet child so much!

I hoping he feels better tomorrow.

And pleading with time to slow down.

A Letter To My Baby

We have had a crazy busy day. The boys asked if we could go to Chuck E. Cheese on this last day before school begins. Lucky me. And, as is usually the case with this bunch, we went to eat first. I tried to talk them into Mexican, but they chose iHop. I was sure that Chuck E. Cheese would be a friggin-free-for-all, but surprisingly, it wasn’t all that crowded. I left with all of my sanity and then made the mistake of walking into Wal-Mart. I realized why there was hardly anyone at The Cheese.

After fighting the crazy crowd at the Wal-Mart we hurried home, got changed and made the three-minute drive I have been dreading all summer.

Middle School Orientation.

I could easily sit here and give you 48,516 reasons why I’m dreading this year, but I’d bet the farm that none of you stopped by today to hear from Saddy McSadderson. Instead, I thought I’d focus on something happy and shiny.

My sweet Alex.

Dear Alex,

Tomorrow, you will embark on the next mile in your academic journey. You are excited and I love that you are so confident. I hope you have a wonderful year in second grade. Your teacher will no doubt enjoy your bright personality, and I have a feeling you will shine this year!

Your independence brings me great joy. Well, except when you take something OF MINE apart or tear something OF MINE and give me the whole “I didn’t know that’s what would happen!” You are my little bull-in-a-China-shop. The sooner I accept that, the better off I’ll be.

I have never enjoyed change, but thankfully, it never seems to bother you. I wish I could be as carefree as you are, sweet boy.

I always assumed that we’d have two kids just alike. Son, I have never in my life been so wrong about anything.

Without a doubt, you are your own person. And I wouldn’t have you any other way. You are strong and oh my word, STRONG WILLED. You and I go round-and-round so often probably because we are so much alike. You are most definitely the kid my mama hoped I would have. You are also the kid who always wants to sit beside of me in a restaurant, and the kid who loves to climb up on my lap just to cuddle.

I love that you are fun, entertaining, and exciting.

And I love that you are a compassionate boy who – even at the age of seven – has a deep concern for others.

Your giggle is contagious, and your smile warms my heart. (Even with half your teeth)

I think the thing you are looking forward to most about school starting is wearing your new shoes and carrying a new backpack. Weeks ago, you claimed you “hid your shoes from yourself so that you wouldn’t keep asking me and daddy if you could wear them.” Oh sweet boy, I’d love nothing more than to give you ten pairs of shoes – in ten different colors – so that your shoes would always match your clothes because I get it.

It is the night before second grade and you have your clothes, underwear, shoes, socks and backpack all laid out ready to go. I can’t wait to see you all decked out in your new duds. And I can’t wait to hear all about your first day of second grade. And your new friends. And how much you love your new teacher. And how much you love your new shoes. And sweet boy, I will miss you tomorrow. I will miss fussing at you and your brother to quit. And stop. And behave. And more than anything, I will miss the random hugs you give me throughout the day.

Tomorrow, I will wait patiently for 2:30 PM. I will be so excited to pick you up. Oh, and I have a secret. Most days, you and I will have an entire hour alone before we pick up bubby from school. As bad as I hate that he is going to middle school, I look forward to having an entire hour independently with each of you everyday because we don’t get nearly enough one-on-one time.

Remember – and you knew this was coming – always do the right thing, even when no one is watching.

I love you,


Divide And Conquer

*I began writing this post on June 17, 2013. As I was writing it, I began experiencing a sharp pain in my lower back. I recognized the pain immediately and knew I would not be finishing this post that evening. Less than an hour after shutting my laptop, I was headed to the emergency room in search of a strong narcotic. Thanks to my third (and most stubborn) kidney stone, I totally forgot about finishing this post. And now, more than a month later, I’m finally getting around to finishing it.*

When we decided to have a second child, McDaddy and I realized there might come a time when we’d have to divide in order to conquer.

For us, the whole divide-and-conquer thing typically happens as a result of a crazy-busy thirteen-week period of time known as baseball season. Alex plays in coach-pitch league, and Stevie plays in player-pitch league, and for some reason the powers-that-be here at our small town Little League couldn’t care less that McDaddy and I have to juggle these two schedules. If only they’d let me make the schedules, things would be so much easier for us.

But alas, such is life.

This past weekend was Webelos Weekend for Stevie. It is the also the weekend that Alex’s Little League coach-pitch team was playing its first all-star tournament. Deciding which kid I’d be accompanying this weekend was a no-brainer when you stop to consider

  • 1. Campers are not allowed at Webelos Weekend
  • 3. The “toilet” at the campground looked like it was about 416 years old and hadn’t been cleaned in roughly 413 years. (And if McDaddy wasn’t in bed, I would include a picture of the toilet here on the blog for your viewing pleasure. Since he is the only one in the house who has a J-O-B, he is fast asleep at 10:58 PM.)

McDaddy and Stevie left out of here around 11 AM on Friday morning.

Alex and I left home about thirty minutes later.

In this…

Sweet mercy, have I mentioned that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this car?

And we drove it almost everywhere we went last weekend, except when we invited Alex’s friend Tanner to dinner, and to ride the grand prix cars.

My mother-in-law took this picture when we met them for dinner before Alex’s first all-star game.

I didn’t realize how different it would be having just one kid for an entire weekend. There was no bickering. No fighting. No refereeing.

Plus, we got to ride in the SKY all weekend, because HELLO, only ONE KID! We ran non-stop all weekend, but we had a great time.

I have just one thing to say about the all-star baseball process.

And All-Star baseball game is like any other normal baseball game.


There is so much excitement. And yelling. And cheering. And clapping. And whooping. And pressure. And heart banging.

Holy cow, I didn’t think I was going to make it.


From the way my heart was banging, you would have thought this little fella was playing for the New York Yankees.

Instead, he is a seven-year old who has played coach-pitch baseball for all of twenty weeks, when you add in the fall ball season.

His team lost their first game 15-11.

And then we won. (And by we, I totally mean HIS team!)

And then, we won again.

And just when I didn’t think things could get any more nerve-wracking, my sweet boy suited up in this…

Holy hallelujah, I thought I’d have a heart attack right there.

It was the first time he had ever played the position of catcher. And the even crazier part is that within seconds of taking this picture, my sweet, stubborn little boy decided it would be easier getting the head-gear off if he took his rec-specs (sports glasses) off. So, he ended up playing catcher without his glasses.

But wait, there’s more…

After his coach observed him looking out the side of the rec-specs to bat, he was convinced he couldn’t see well with the rec-specs and asked me if I had his regular glasses (of course we didn’t). When he got up to bat, he didn’t have one bit of trouble seeing the ball. Who the heck knows what that was all about. All I know is that he seemed to be doing just fine without any type of visual assistance, and so we went with it.

I am still perplexed about the rec-spec mystery, but once we are home long enough to have them checked out, I intend on taking the rec-specs to his eye Doctor to make sure the prescription lenses are correct.

I thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience. When his coach asked us if he would be trying out for all-stars, I was taken by surprise. When we first mentioned it to Alex, he was adamant about NOT trying out. (I was serious when I told you he was stubborn!) By the next day he had made up his mind that he would try out. It added another two weeks onto our baseball season IN THE DEAD HEAT OF SUMMER, but it was so worth it. He was thrilled when he got to choose his number, and he lit up when he discovered that his name was on the back of his jersey. And I hollered and whooped like a straight-up crazy person in the stands. It was an awesome experience for all of us!

An experience which also thankfully included clean bathrooms.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Holding On

As I sit on the couch, I hear a thud.

I am startled.

I hear a whimper. And then footsteps.

He stumbles through the hall holding his head. When I ask what happened, he mumbles something about hitting his head on the bed.

In flannel Diary of a Wimpy Kid pajama pants, he climbs onto the couch and slides across my body. He settles in – on my lap. His lanky arms wind around my neck and he holds on tight.

I tickle his bare back. I close my eyes. I bury my nose in his hair and inhale until my lungs fill with air. I run my finger down his cheek and try my best to count his eyelashes. I take note of several light freckles scattered on his cheeks. There is a faint mark on his nose, no doubt left by the black glasses that he couldn’t be talked out of. He is missing three teeth (must get a picture tomorrow) and needs a haircut.

I want so badly to soak up this perfect moment. I long for the image of his sweet face to be engraved forever in my brain. I want to remember the ease with which he slid into my arms and how perfectly my arms wrapped around his little body. I want to remember his smell.

There will soon come a day when he will no longer want me to hold him. Even now, he rarely sits still long enough to count his fingers, much less his eyelashes. He is fiercely independent and strives to be good at everything he does. He can match clothing better than most adults. He is the tallest kid in his class, and takes great pride in his work. He is rough and tumble and cuddly and loveable. He is a responsible allergic kid and would want you to know that he has the most Accelerated Reader points in his class. He loves to play Legos with his big brother and taught himself to ride a bike. His laugh brings joy to even the worst of days.

A whopping ten-pounds, five-ounces at birth, he was the biggest infant in the nursery. At his most recent well-child visit, his pediatrician charted his growth to be well above average. At his current rate of growth, he is slated to be a 6-foot, 4-inch man averaging 220 pounds. That seems impossible. He will always be my baby.

This child – this sweet, lovable child – is like me in so many ways. I see myself in so many of his mannerisms, and I smile. He is the child my mom hoped I would have. The one who would be just like me.

It is late. I should send him back to bed, but I don’t want this moment to end. I hug him a little tighter, I hold him a little longer, and I take a deep breath.

And then I exhale thinking I am the luckiest mama in the world.

I love you sweet boy! You will never ever know how much you mean to me!