Monday, May 31, 2010

mean momma (sometimes) = good momma

Well, I had to "pull the rug out from under Reilly" the other day, as Kevin Leman (author of "Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours") would have put it. And to continue the name dropping, I would have made John Rosemond (author of "Parenting by the Book") very proud. We have been trying to teach Reilly about making good choices and are constantly saying "Good choices=Good consequences" and "Bad choices=Bad consequences". She was invited to her best buds birthday party last Monday and I was willing to pick her up early from school so she could go b/c all of our neighbors, her best friends that are all on opposite school days as she is so she hardly ever gets to play with them, would be there too. I went to the school to get her around 12:30 and her teacher met me at the door to let me know she had had one of the hardest days with Reilly of the entire school year. Oh boy, my blood pressure shot straight to the roof. She explained that Reilly was being defiant all day long and almost to the point of being disruptive to the rest of the class. I had heard enough. I grabbed Reilly by the hand and we walked straight to the car. As we got outside, she looked up at me all excited and said "yeah mommy, it's sunny out for Kate's birthday party! i can't wait to go!". Hmmmm....I responded and just said, "let's just get in the car Reilly". After we were all in, I turned around and told her that unfortunately she decided to make some really bad choices at school and since bad choices=bad consequences, she wasn't going to be going to Kate's party. Instead, I told her she was to go to her room until naptime (roughly 1.5 hours). She didn't really cause much fuss with this, but definitely was a bit upset. I tried to call a couple of the mom's that I knew were at the party to let them know we weren't coming and neither of them answered. and then, the most genious idea every popped into my head. I turned around again and said to Reilly, "you know buddy, we're going to go to Kate's party. And when we get there, you're going to get out of the car, carry the birthday present over to Kate, and very kindly say to her 'Kate, I'm sorry I can't stay at your party but I made some bad choices at school today and I have to go home'" And that's exactly what she did! We got to the party and Reilly saw all of her friends playing on the playground and having a grand ole time. I held her by the hand and lead her straight to Kate and she told her exactly what she was supposed to tell her and we turned around and walked right back to the car! The moms were all looking at me and giving me these "you go girl" type looks. After we got back in the car, she then began to get sad and cry b/c she wanted to stay and play at the party and it was at that point that she finally said, "but mommy, I don't WANT to make bad choices anymore!!!". Exactly what I wanted to hear. Maybe I did make a little bit of impact?? Hope so! Parenting is so hard sometimes!!!

(MANY NEW POSTS---Keep scrolling down!!!)

Nana and Grandma visit!

We had such a fun week when Nana (Shawn's mom) and Grandma (Shawn's grandmother) came for a visit from Indy! The talk of Nana, Aunt Kelly and Shaun-y moving to North Carolina has been going on for about 5 years now, but it looks like now it's actually going to happen! Debbie came down a couple weeks ago and vowed that she would stay here until she found a place for them to live! And that she did!! She and Grandma set out every day with a list of places to go and check out and areas to look into and schools to visit. They finally landed on a place in Mooresville and we are super excited! While they were here, we had lots of fun....especially Reilly!!

Reilly LOVES to dance and set up a "girls stage" and a "boys stage" one night....she and Nana and Grandma did the Hokey Pokey on the "Girls Stage"...

popping bubbles with Grandma

Braxton enjoyed some blueberry pancakes I made while they were here!

We were lucky to get to celebrate Grandma's birthday during their visit! Reilly insisted on her having a pink cake and pink candles! I made a strawberry cake with rainbow chip icing and we totally pulled off a surprise for Grandma! She had no clue and boy was she so happy....happy tears even :)

Of course we had to take Nana and Grandma to the pond to feed the ducks one night...we were greeted by several families of geese and hardly any ducks. Better luck next time!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Poppi!

The other weekend, we headed to Greensboro for a fun day at a great new park by mom and dad's house. Since they live kinda "in the country", there really aren't many options of places to go hangout within a 15-20 minute drive. This new park is fabulous, with playgrounds, picnic shelters, boating/cannoing/kayacking, and lots of hiking trails, and it's less than 5 minutes from their house. Mom fixed an awesome picnic lunch for all of us and we had fun celebrating dad, "Poppi" for his 59th birthday. After stuffing our faces with chicken, beans, deviled eggs, and fruit, we had some super yummy birthday cake and then played on the playground and tossed some horseshoes. Mom has been itching to get out on the canoes, so she finally got her chance! Brandon and Shawn took a spin first and then mom and dad set out for an hour long adventure! We had a blast and the weather was awesome.

Reilly's 2yr-old Preschool Program

I never thought I'd find myself a little teary-eyed at Reilly's 2yr-old-preschool program this week. I think the realization and the constant reminder that life is going by SO FAST, and that it seemed like just yesterday I was dropping her off for her first day of preschool caused the emotions. Given the fact that Reilly is so much a "I'll do it only if I want to" kind of girl, I was super anxious about whether or not she would perform on stage for the program. Her teacher had already warned me that during the practice the day before, Reilly insisted that she stand beside her best friend, Sophie, or she refused to do any singing. Pleasant. As she walked out on stage with the rest of the 24 two-year-olds, the look on her face was shear and complete terror! I can't imagine what it looks like from up there looking out over the audience of some 100+ moms and dads and grandparents and VIDEO CAMERAS?!! After just a few minutes of scouring the crowd, she locked eyes with Shawn and I and immediately had a grin that spread acorss her whole face. And from that moment on, perform did she ever!! She was center stage, both literally and figuratively! It was awesome. Here are the two songs that the 2's performed....

We really were so grateful for the awesome teacher that Reilly had for her first ever exposure to a school setting. Ms.Yascur was perfect for Reilly's strong-will and continually challenged her learning. Not only that, Ms. Yascur truly loved those kids just like they were her own...and it showed. We couldnt have asked for a better teacher for Reilly. It will be hard to walk past Ms. Yascur's door next year and continue walking down the hallway to the 3-yr-old class!!

Ms. Yascur

Ms. Jones
Cayden, Gia and Reilly
Asher and Reilly

both 2yr-old classes (Reilly in the very center)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Taylor's Finish Line Festival

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of watching 8 months worth of planning, coordinating, and organizing come together for one awesome event. Back in August, Melissa Gibbs was mentioning to me that her and JD wanted to have a some kind of carnival to celebrate the ending of Taylor's 3.5 year journey through chemotherapy for Lukemia. She said that she felt like it was something that she may need to talk to an "event planner" about. Having an uncle (Clarke) who owns an event planning company, I quickly put the two of them together! A couple of weeks later, I found myself agreeing to Melissa's ask for help by signing up to be the "Live Entertainment Coordinator" for the event. After one gigantic brain-storming session with about 15 other key folks, several event-naming discussions, and lots of prayer, "Taylor's Finish Line Festival" was officially locked in place, with LOTS of energy!

My job involved contacting and booking a variety of entertainment, from roaming acts to stage shows. I spent hours for the first couple of months looking into different kind of entertainment; everything from stilt walkers to jugglers to clowns to magicians to comedians to caricaturists to mascots/dressed characters to bands. I had two stages that were my responsibility and I had fun designing the line-up for each of them. After all was said and done, here's the run-down of all the entertainers I booked: 3 clowns/balloon twisters, 4 caricaturists, 2 magicians, 1 juggler/stilt walker, 1 juggling group, 7 dressed mascots/characters, 4 Carolina Top Cats, 3 bands, and 1 comedian/ventriliquist. Since I LOVE these kinds of things, I had a blast putting this piece of the gigantic puzzle that was the Finish Line Festival together.

The event overall honestly quadroupled in size from the first conversation Melissa and I had about it back in August to the final day. Melissa and JD were offered so many things from so many different companies and they just had a hard time saying no! By the end, a $25 ticket was a STEAL when considering all that you got to enjoy! Set-up for the event started at midnight the morning of, after the parking lots were cleared from the All-Star race the night before. I arrived at the track around 9:30 and quickly got to work! I had to secure and prepare three separate "Green Rooms" (hospitality suites) for my entertainers and get the stages, sound equipment, and volunteers ready for my folks to start checking in around noon. It was amazing to me to see how many people had a hand in the day and how much fun we all had while putting it all together! Shawn was my handy-dandy assistant and he and I flew around on our little golf cart like nobody's business taking care of anything the moment it came up! The Main stage entertainment started about 7:00, and since that was all coordinated by Charlotte Arrangements, I got to sit back and enjoy the remaining events! Shawn and I were grateful to enjoy dinner and cake up in the VIP suites with the Gibbs family and friends and then headed out to the grandstand to enjoy a ridiculous X-Games Motorcross stunt show and an awesome concert by TobyMac, with fireworks following. We got to hang out with our good friend, Moose (old YL Area Director when we were leaders), so that was an added bonus. Needless to say, I was exhausted by 10:30 when we arrived home, but it was so worth it! We ended up with about 6,000 people in attendance and tons of money raised for Make-A-Wish and Levine Childrens' hospital. Awesome day.

Here is a video of the entire day, beginning with some shots of the space in the early morning hours before much was there.....enjoy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Shawn and I LOVE to do landscaping projects!! We really do! We were "hired" by one of my YL girls' parents when we first got married to take some plans that they had a landscape architect draw for them and implement it in their yard on our own. It was a huge job and we loved every minute of it! Last season, having just been in our house for 6 months or so, we didn't do too much to the landscaping that the builder installed. Quite honestly, when compared to the rest of the houses on our street and even in our "village", we got much better plants/trees than they did, for whatever reason! Anyway, we knew we wanted to do more so this year we decided to get it done! Projects like these ALWAYS end up being a tad more time intensive and money intensive as originally planned, but in the end, I'm SO excited about what we accomplished! Here are some before and after photos, as well as some "in action" shots throughout the project....

first of two loads of dirt to fill in and build up beds:

Daddy's little helper...our neighbor had a miniature wheelbarrow and she LOVED it!

Oh, the plants!
One of Shawn's employees, Roger, came to help, along with Shawn's dad. Such HUGE help!

I must interject a brag on my husband here....just minutes after this shot of me planting one last perennial, I headed to a SPA for a 3 hour treatment! Shawn gave me this gift for Mothers' Day and had already arranged for both kids to be in Greensboro with my parents all day Saturday/night. It was heavenly! After I returned from the spa, Shawn and I headed downtown for an awesome dinner at Rock Bottom and then to see Dave Koz (Shawn's FAVORITE sax player) in concert. It was an awesome day/night! Thanks babe!





Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day

What an honor and a blessing it is to be a mom. After years and years of wanting nothing more than to have a child, I still find myself in awe of the fact that God has entrusted me with two of His precious children and that they call ME their mommy. Yesterday, I started the day getting to lay in the bed until 9:15!!! Wow. That was a gift in and of itself! I was then treated with pancakes in bed and a stack of cards from my two babies. Reilly LOVES coloring cards right now and she had decorated every card and envelope that she could for me. Shawn also gifted me with a spa treatment and already scheduled it for Saturday afternoon while the kids are away in Greensboro (which he also arranged!). Can't wait!! We headed downtown and hopped on the Lynx train and rode down to Pike's for their unblievable Sunday Brunch. It was such a gorgeous day and it was so nice to sit out on the patio,

Last Wednesday, Reilly's class had a special little time for mommy's first thing in the morning. They had made sweet little flower pots with their picture and a lady bug poem for us. So cute. Then Ms. Yascur had them sing all the moms a song. So so sweet.

Reilly and her buddy Gia

Sweet sweet Ms. Yascur

Sunday, May 9, 2010

our little princess.

I had so much fun the other night, taking some "big girl"/3 year old pictures of Reilly. I can't believe how big she is getting, and LOOKING! It's just crazy to look back at the last 2 attempts at her yearly pictures and see how much easier this one that she will sit and look and even smile on command! :) We are so proud of our little girl. I can't wait to paint our walls with photos of our children.