Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Latest News

On Sunday afternoons, my Dad always sits down and reads the newspaper. This has gone on for as long as I can remember. I remember sitting on the floor and looking through adds and the "social" section while he read the rest. Sunday afternoon, Olive decided to get in on the newspaper action too!

So interesting...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Backyard Shenanigans!

Our backyard is really nothing special or extraordinary. It is just a big yard with grass, a fence, and a cute little building. But, Olive thinks it is the greatest place in the world! Every time we go out to get in the car, she runs the other direction toward the back yard. She would spend all day out there if we would let her. Last night, she and Stephen were playing and having such a fun time, that I had to take some pictures.

Her latest favorite backyard game is a little game that is similar to fetch. It goes something like this:
Stephen bounces a golf ball off of the concrete out into the yard.
Olive squeals with delight and runs after it, then brings it within about 2 feet of him and throws it back! They play this over and over and over!

Love the "action hair shot"!

This time when she returned the ball, she noticed a little blister on Stephen's hand and had to check on it.

And make it feel better with a kiss!

When "Ollie fetch" was over, they started a game of chase. This game also involves a lot of squealing!

Then chase turned into "hop! hop!"

And then a little more chase!

Can you tell Stephen has been working in the sun a lot lately? I am SO JEALOUS of this tan!

Thanks Daddy for all of the fun in the backyard. We can't wait for you to work your magic on it and turn it into the most beautiful back yard in town!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Disclaimer: This post is not really about Olive and I am sorry there won't be any cute pictures of her. It is just my rambling. So, you are welcome to stop reading now.

Have you ever heard something and you know without a shadow of a doubt that you were supposed to hear it? That happened today and I felt like God was talking to me out of a loudspeaker that was cleverly disguised as our preacher, Rusty Tugman. It's a pretty well known fact that we have had bad things happen to our family. I know that every family suffers, it just gets to me sometimes because I feel like we have suffered a whole lot. And, honestly, it isn't fair. (please imagine that being said in a five year old whiny voice)
But as we know life isn't fair.

After Stephen's Mom, Grandma and Aunt were taken from us so brutally, I was the one who carried on. I was the strong one. I knew that it would all work out. That is what I had to do. I never once doubted that we were going to be okay. It was horrible and not easy, but I never doubted. And I prayed for strength.

Then Stephen started having medical problems. I carried on. I was the strong one. I knew it would be okay. It was heart wrenching and hard, but I never doubted. And I prayed for healing.

Then God blessed us with our greatest gift, Olive and I knew without a doubt, we were going to be okay. I never doubted his goodness. And I prayed prayers of gratitude!

Then we went through a triple murder trial. I was the strong one. I knew it would be okay. I never doubted that the jury would do what was right, and they did. And I prayed prayers of thanksgiving!

Then my Papa passed away. I was strong. I knew he was in a better place. I never doubted. I prayed for peace for all of us who miss him.

Then we had 3 people pass away and my Granny was diagnosed with breast cancer all in the same week. And I lost the ability to pray. I would try, but I couldn't do it. I would pray prayers of gratitude for Olive. But I was unable to ask God for anything because I really felt like it didn't matter what I asked for, he would do his will. I couldn't pray for his will, because I didn't mean it. This was the worst feeling I have ever had. DOUBT? ME? My whole life was based on my faith and for me to doubt that God had our best in mind was not acceptable for me to think. I guilted myself, I tried to pretend I didn't think that way. But I did. I cried gallons of tears out of guilt that I was not being faithful, that I wasn't trusting the God who had already brought us through so much. I would try to pray and no words would come. I would pray with Olive on the way to school every day and that was all I could bring myself to do. "Dear Jesus, Please help Olive to have a good attitude and be kind to her friends. We love you Jesus. Amen" everyday. This got us through for a while.

Then my Dad was diagnosed with leukemia. And the doubt reared it's ugly head again. Only this time it came in the form of why would God do this to us? Doesn't he know we have already been through enough? Is he punishing me for not being able to pray? Is he punishing me for having doubt? This is my fault. If only I had the kind of faith I was supposed to, this wouldn't happen. So what do I do now? I forced myself to pray for very specific things for my Dad. That he would have strength, that he wouldn't feel sick, that he would have kind nurses and doctors. And this helped a little. I thought if I didn't ask God for too much, maybe we would be okay.

The bottom line is, I was doubting he would listen to me. This internal battle has been being fought everyday since January 17. And I couldn't feel worse about myself. I was a terrible Christian who doubted God's power. And then God let me know that it is okay. Rusty's sermon today was titled "Is Doubt Good?" You can listen to the whole thing here http://www.alamedacofc.org/node/819, but I promise if you listen to it, you will be changed. He left us with this "twitter" version of the sermon "If I am certain that God is good, then I don't doubt that God can bring forth good from my doubt."

Thank you God for being a God who forgives us not only our sins, but our doubts and who carries us through even the toughest of circumstances!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Those Silly Squirrels

Daddy was weeding the flower bed last night and of course, someone had to help! Daddy was explaining to her that the squirrels hide the acorns for the winter and when they forget, little trees pop up in the flower bed. He handed her a "tree"...
at first she wasn't sure what to think of it...
and then she loved it! "My tree, Momma!"

She would bring me the trees and leave them on the porch and then go search for more.
More than a few times, she was mistaken and pulled off a couple of flowers, but I am sure she will get the hang of it!
Getting a helping hand down. Thanks Daddy!
Disclaimer: Yes, it was May 14th, but the high was only 68 degrees! She has been really sick this week, so I had to dig out her sweats so she wouldn't freeze!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I LOVE this giggle!

Stephen has started acting like it is super hard to push Olive in the swing and she thinks it is the most hysterical thing ever! I can't get enough of these giggles!

Frozen Yooogurt

Olive's favorite thing in the whole world is "yooooogurt". We love the way she drags out the "yo" part when she asks for it in the morning. A couple of weeks ago we hopped on our bikes and headed over to the Orange Leaf for some frozen yoooogurt.

Olive had to "haylp" and she and Daddy got some Coffee Lover yogurt.

Picking out their toppings....oreo it is!
She couldn't wait to try it!
"Thanks Daddy, but can I do it myself, please?"

She tried my chocolate, but it didn't compare to the yummy coffee lovers and oreo concoction she and Daddy had made.
Such a big girl!

This is soooooo good!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Had No Idea...

I had no idea that the words "I yove you Mommy" could make my heart want to explode every time I hear them!
I had no idea that hearing the step step step of her feet running down the hallway would fill my heart with joy!
I had no idea that seeing her face every morning could make me want to squeeze her with excitement because I missed her so much during the night!
I had no idea that I could be so happy when someone else did something!
I had no idea what an incredible blessing it would be to be Olive Kay's Mommy! Thank you Olive for making me the happiest, proudest and most in love I have ever been. Thank you for making our lives complete! Thank you for making this a wonderful Mother's Day! You are my precious girl and I love you the most!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

21 Months...How Is This Possible?

Olive turned 21 months old on Friday! That is 1 3/4 of a year! 3 months and she will be 2! I can not seem to wrap my mind around this. When people ask how old she is, I kind of want to cry. How has it gone this fast? Everyone said it would, but we didn't believe them.
Here are a few highlights of our little sunshine at 21 months:
*Still loves "Team Umi Zoomi" and watches it every morning with Daddy.
*Is very into jumping and has become quite a skilled little jumper!
*LOVES to count, everything, especially steps and can count to 13 on her own.
*Wants to be outside all the time
*Recognizes the letters in her name and a few other random ones like W.
*Sings along to familiar songs. A few of her favorites are: The ABC's, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Jesus Loves Me, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, This Pretty Planet and her Praise Baby DVD
*Learns at least new word a day and blows us away with some of the things she says! My personal favorite "Oh my gooness"
*Continues to be a picky eater, but has been branching out lately and at least trying things.
*Is a "little helper" for us and at Miss Terri's house.
*Loves playing with special friends.
*Is obsessed with bubbles
*Is the brightest spot of every day for her Mommy and Daddy!
We love you Olive Kay!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Olive absolutely loves our hallway! It has become our number one place to play ball or silly tickle chase games. It usually starts a little something like this:
Olive: (carrying giant red ball over her head) "Daddy! BALL!"
Daddy: Takes ball from Olive and bounces it off her head and then the fun begins...I don't think these pictures need any explanation!

After becoming exhausted from running up and down the hall a gazillion times, she sat down and figured out a new way to roll the ball with no hands...