Thursday, February 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I’ve been lacking for blog content this week so today I’m going to share a few oldies but goodies in pictures!

In October 2009, Ava fell at school and broke her wrist. You can read more about that experience here and here!broken wrist 1 IMG_0612

In 2010 we took a trip to Lake Michigan. Ava wasn’t a fan of the sand! Hopefully she’ll like it more when we go to Florida this summer!LM110

One of the funniest pictures I have of Ava – she was SO excited about her new tennis shoes that she fell asleep with them!IMG_1005

This was the first time Ava got to meet Reed on the day he got out of the hospital at 10 days old.IMG_3653

I love this picture of Reed because he always grinned with his mouth wide open!IMG_0103

And these are a couple of my favorites from Reed’s professional 6 month photos!reedbasket reed basket 2

I LOVE looking back at old pictures and reminiscing! Looking through some older ones of Ava made me teary eyed because the time has just gone so fast! Do you like looking back and remembering?!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

I can’t believe the weekend went by SO fast! It was a good one but, man. I’m not ready to be back at the beginning of another week!

It was such a fun weekend. Friday afternoon our new mattresses were delivered. Ahhhhhh. Heaven. Earlier yesterday afternoon I was playing with the kids and hadn’t seen Zach in a while, and found him just laying on the bed. haha

Friday evening we went to a party at the home of one of Zach’s co-workers. It was a fun get together. I don’t know all of his co-workers and their spouses very well, so it was a nice chance to get to know some of them a little better since there was a smaller number of people there. It was fun. When we got home, we had some tired kiddos. It’s very rare that I can get tired snuggles with Reed so I had to catch this for memories.IMG_8388

Saturday morning we got up and did some stuff around the house before heading out for the afternoon. Before we headed over to see my family, we stopped to visit our friends Adam and Sandy, and more importantly their little baby girl! I loooooove snuggling a baby!IMG_8390

After visiting there a while, we headed over to Stephen and Leslie’s house to meet up with everyone there. We had fun visiting with everyone and it was fun to see these little cousins get to play together!IMG_8401

These boys both like to eat and they were both more than ready before it was time!IMG_8403

Yesterday morning we slept in a little bit and then got up to get ready for church. While we were getting ready the kids enjoyed a little Chuggington.IMG_8406

After church we made a family trip to Sam’s. Reed was almost asleep when we got there so we decided to have a quick lunch, knowing he’d go home and go right to sleep. When we got home, both kids went right to bed and slept two and a half hours! It was awesome!!! Since we’d worked hard earlier getting the house clean and picked up, we shut ourselves in our bedroom hoping the quiet would enable some longer sleep! We caught up on some DVR’ed shows and I think I even dozed a little. Wish those long naps were a regular Sunday occurrence!

Last night when I found Zach hanging out in our room, I sat down for a few minutes before Reed found us! He crashed our party but that’s ok b/c he’s so cute!


We have a normal week, in that there are no unusual events scheduled for the first time in a long time. I think it’s the only week for the next few, so we’re going to enjoy it! Hope your week is good too!

Also – it’s the last day to enter to win the My Memories Suite Digital Software!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fabulous Friday!

Hi friends! We made it to FRIDAY! WOO-HOO!!!!! I love me a weekend and with some fun things coming up and I’m ready for it!

I’m linking up for the first time ever with Laura at The Everyday Joys for Fab Friday!!!


We’ve had a good week. Monday, Reed started his first day in his new classroom!! Here he was right before we headed in!

IMG_8338 LOVE, LOVE this boy!!! He is SO much fun right now. He really likes his new class. I think he feels like a big boy sitting at a table to eat, and laying on a cot. He’s learning SO many words. It amazes me at what he can say. Wednesday morning while I was getting ready, he came into my room and I said “Who’s that coming in here?!” and he patted his chest and said “REE!”

Tuesday I arrived to pick up Ava and found her looking like this:IMG_8353 I almost flipped out! I asked her what happened and she said she had scratched herself! She looked like her face had been pulled across the pavement! I realized that the scratch she was talking about was under her eye and the rest of it was dirt and markers. She had gymnastics and had lost her pony tail holder and was just a mess! I was just glad she was ok, but man!

Wednesday morning, Reed asked to take his “bay-bee” to school. He loves picking the baby up and hugging it, and carrying it around. I couldn’t tell him no!IMG_8355 

Later Wednesday morning, it started snowing!! We saw quite a bit of snow fall Thursday! I love the view outside my window at work, and it’s especially pretty in the snow!IMG_8364

Zach and the kids had a snow day yesterday. The roads were actually not that bad and they probably could have made it, but they enjoyed a day at home. They did get out to meet me for lunch and that was a nice break in my day!IMG_8376 IMG_8377 Reed his such a ham. I said something about a picture and he said “Cheeeeeese!” Crazy boy!

Our exciting weekend starts this afternoon when our new mattresses will be delivered!!!! EEEEEEK! I am SO excited for our new bed. It’s a shame we have plans this weekend, otherwise I might be tempted to lay in bed the entire time – ha!

Tonight Zach and I are going to a party with his co-workers. We typically have a good time at the get togethers and I’m sure it will be no different this time. It will be fun to get out for a while without the kids.

Saturday, we’re heading to NWA to visit with our friends and then to see my brother and his family. I am looking forward to it and know we’ll have a fun time! Wishing you a happy weekend!

PS – Don’t forget about my giveaway for My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software here!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Giveaway: My Memories Ditigal Software

Several months ago, I came across a giveaway for My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software. I’m not a big scrapbooker, but I thought it would be fun to use for making cards, labels, etc. I didn’t win the software, so on Black Friday, I saw it was a good deal and purchased it!

I’ve had fun working on a few projects, though I haven’t gotten deep down into it to learn all the ins and outs! I have managed to come up with a few things using it though!

My friend Paige was looking for a printable for Valentine’s Day, and I came up with this little printable for her to print:

Shooting for points-001

I also created some labels I thought I could use at work. I hate when I come back to my desk after being away and find something sitting there and I don’t who it’s from. And if I have questions, I don’t know who to ask. So when I drop something off, I typically try to leave a note. These labels will work great for letting someone know who left them something!
Desk Labels-001 I know there are so many more things I can do with this software (the problem is finding the time to sit down and play with things to get them EXACTLY as I want them!).

I was contacted by the people at My Memories Suite asking if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway for a set of software! They offered me a copy of it, as well as one to give away to my readers. I said yes and since I already have a copy of the software, there will be not one, but

My Album 1-001

Not only have they offered to give away two copies of the software, but they have also provided me with a code to share with my readers.This code is good for TWO things:
1. If you do not win the giveaway, you can enter STMMMS16094 to receive $10 off the My Memories Suite software
2. If you win the giveaway or if you already have it, you can enter STMMMS16094 to receive a $10 discount off an order (or several!)

MANY of their digital kits go on sale and are $3 or less! So even if you just want some kits and elements you might be able to get 2 or 3 with the $10 coupon!! What a deal! They also offer many FREE pages, elements, alphas, etc so you can really get some great stuff to use for nothing!! You MUST check them out!

If I’d been on top of my game, I would’ve made some Valentine Day’s cards to send to our family and friends. I foresee lots of cards and other homemade tags in our future and I’m so excited about it!
So, now for the giveaway! You can enter with the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway end will end on Monday, February 25th at midnight. TWO lucky winners will receive the My Memories Suite software.
Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Lent?

Usually on this blog I love to share about our family, recipes, fun stuff. Every once in a while I’m compelled to write a more serious post, and that’s what you’ll get today. This isn’t a post to preach to you or at you, but rather to explain my thoughts on Lent and what it means to me.

This past week was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is typically practiced by the Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Presbyterian faiths. While I certainly understand not observing Lent, it bothers me when I continually hear negativity and condescending comments regarding Lent. If it’s not for you, that’s totally ok, but it’s not ok to be rude and negative about those who do observe.

Lent is a period of 40(ish) days from Ash Wednesday to Easter and is used as period to reflect and grow. It’s a season of conversion, a time to renew my faith and to make myself more like Christ. It’s a time to do something more in efforts to draw closer to the Lord. It’s about sacrificing, fasting from something, and when craving that, to instead, turn to the Lord. It’s moving the focus off of worldy things and turning to Heavenly things. It’s a time to do a little extra, for others or for my spiritual self, and hopefully make the world a little better place, even in a small way.

On giving up: Giving up something I like is hard. The first few days I think about what I can’t have. Oh. and when I choose something to give up, I’m TEMPTED. Yes, that’s right. I’m tempted. I WANT what it is that I gave up. This is a form of fasting, a sacrifice. “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12 Giving up something is a way to draw closer to the Lord. Depriving myself of something and replacing the time or the desire for it with prayer and meditation, helps my focus go back to where it needs to be. My friend Brittnie said it SO perfectly: it’s a sacrifice as we focus on Christ’s ULTIMATE sacrifice for us so that we may have eternal life.

On taking up: Lent doesn’t have to be only about giving up or sacrificing. It can be about taking something on, doing something to make us better. We all have good intentions for living as God calls us. The reality is, though, that we often fall short. I know I do. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 This verse is so true. It can apply to the desire to give up something, but I feel it speaks strongly about doing something more. Lent for me is a time to prayerfully draw myself closer to the Lord. It’s not that I’ve grown away from Him, but through my actions, thoughts, words, I’m not always a person the Lord would be proud of. And while this desire to be closer to Him, isn’t prevalent ONLY during Lent, the time before remembering Christ’s death draws a desire to improve myself in anticipation of celebrating His Resurrection!

More or less, for me, Lent is a time to better myself, to cleanse my heart, repent of my sins, and prepare myself for the celebration of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Committing to something for the 40 days of Lent can initiate good habits that continue on throughout the year. It’s a time for bettering oneself and helping us to be more like the Lord wills us to be.

If Lent is not for you, that’s ok. But please don’t be negative toward those of us who use this time as a period of renewing faith and rejuvenating ourselves. “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Romans 14:13

Thanks for reading along. If you agree or disagree, that is fine and you are welcome to do so in the comments. If you disagree, please be respectful.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend recap

We had a really good weekend! When Zach is gone on school mornings, I have to readjust my schedule a little to make sure we are on time. We had an uneventful Friday morning, and were on time!   IMG_8292

5:30 – I woke up to get ready. 7:18 – We left for school. 7:31 – Arrived at school and dropped the kids off. 7:42 – I got to work. We even had time to take a picture to send Zach to say good morning!IMG_8293

Friday evening after Reed went to bed, Ava and I played some rounds of Princess Candy Land. All went well to the third game and Ava realized I was going to win. She got a little angry and had a fit over losing again, so it turned into an early bed night for her. I hated that it had to end that way, but I had a few QUIET, ALONE hours which are so rare for me to have. I enjoyed them. IMG_8301


Saturday morning we lazed around for a while and I made the kids breakfast. This boy is pure sweetness. IMG_8303

The kids and I made a morning trip to Sam’s and Zach got home right around the time they laid down for naps. Ava never did nap and Reed only took a short nap. After they did that we ran a couple errands. When we were home, Reed decided the best new toy was Zach’s suitcase. He wheeled it all over the house all afternoon and evening! i’ll remember this when we need a distraction. Ha!IMG_8315

My sister was in town to for the weekend and she stopped by for a few minutes Saturday evening to see the kids. Reed was wild and loud and had fun climbing in and out of a box. He posed for this picture and I’ve never seen him show this much cheese!!IMG_8317

Sunday afternoon we had a wedding shower for my cousin and his fiancée who are getting married next month. Ava went with me and wanted to pose before we left. IMG_8323

Ava had fun playing with some cousins at the shower. She loves playing with the little girls in our family. I’m grateful she has these as her “friends” as she calls them. :)IMG_8325

This next week should be a fairly easy one. Zach and Ava are both off school Monday. Reed starts his new class Monday. Hopefully the transition will go smoothly for him. Zach and Ava are going to go make our big mattress purchase tomorrow (we hope). The one we have picked out is on special from the manufacture and we’re going to save some money by getting the king for the price of a queen! SCORE! Next weekend my brother and his family will be in town so we are going to see everyone and I’m excited to squeeze on my nephew. I’m looking forward to a quiet, mundane week (I hope!)!  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Deep confessions

It’s time again. Time for confessions! Link up with Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition if you want to join in!

So let’s see. I confess that when I sat down to help Ava write out her Valentines, I was equally impressed/proud and annoyed/ticked that she had copied To and From where she was supposed to write her name and the names of her classmates.IMG_8220

Also? I think the way she is writing right now is SO cute. She doesn’t quite understand that the letters go on the same line or in the right order.IMG_8257

I confess that when I asked Ava which Valentine she wanted to give the boy in her class that she is sweet on, she said “I want to give him one that says love!” Agh!!!! She also told us she chases him on the playground! Guess we have some work to do!

I confess that these are two of the sweetest Valentine’s I could have! Their daddy is, too, but we didn’t have time for a picture! I ordered these plates for them from Zulily a few weeks ago and when they came in thought I’d save them for Valentine’s Day. Ava loved hers and Reed thought he was a BIG BOY to sit in a real chair to eat his pancake!


I confess that Zach is out of town until tomorrow and cheesy at it is, I almost always watch this movie at this time every year since he is always at the same convention at this time. The movie? Fireproof. I love it! Also, I can’t wait to try this when he returns. Saturday night, this is on!IMG_8255

I confess that I am ready to wrap this week up! We are getting closer to March and spring and I am READY! What do you need to confess today??

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day – Our Love Story

I’m hooking up with Leah at The Crew Blog to share our love story! I’ve posted this once before but it’s always fun to share again! So here we go!


My friend Sandy and I met in 7th grade and have been friends since. We lived together our freshman year of college, have traveled together, and I’m grateful she is still in my life to this day.  In 2005, my last semester of college, she started hanging out with (her now husband) Adam and his roommate, Zach. One night they were going to dinner and Sandy invited me and our friend Natalie along. We met for the first time in March of 2005. It was NOT love at first sight, or even second, third, etc. Not that we had anything against each other, but as we all began to hang out over the next couple of months, Zach and I did not seem to get along very well at all. We seemed to form a group those last few months I was in college, going to baseball games, having dinner, game nights, etc. When we’d be around each other, Zach and I always seemed to be arguing about something. When we would all hang out, we would pick at each other. I will honestly say that never once did it cross my mind at that point that we would ever be anything more than two people whose paths crossed for a brief period of time that year. I think it would also be fair to say that neither one of us probably really even liked the other as a person. ha!

After graduating, I got a job and moved about an hour away. Over the summer one night, I was bored and decided to log on to AIM (remember that?!). Zach was at home for the summer and happened to be online and he IM’ed me. I thought it was a little weird just considering our past, but we chatted that night. We chatted off on every once in a while that summer but it was just mostly small talk. During this time, I had been talking with another guy and thought things were moving toward something but they just never really materialized. The guy ended up being a jerk and I was way better off, even though I was hurt by it all. By the end of summer, Zach and I were talking a little more but it was still fairly innocent. There was a little flirting going on but nothing much. I mentioned to Sandy at one point that I wondered if he liked me. She did a little digging and found out that he was interested in me. I was slightly hesitant just because of what I’d just gone through but thankfully kept an open mind.

During that fall, I started a managerial MBA program at the U of A where we had class one Saturday a month and assignments in between. On the first Saturday class, I headed up the night before to stay at Sandy’s so we didn’t have to get up so early. At this point I knew Zach liked me (though he hadn’t openly admitted it or asked me out), but I wasn’t sure how I felt since we hadn’t gotten along so well earlier in the year. We all planned on having dinner and as it turned out, that afternoon, Zach just randomly lost his voice. He seriously couldn’t talk! Kinda funny! :)

After that night, he and I started talking more and we made plans for a weekend where Zach, Adam and Sandy all came down to my house for the weekend. We hung out with everyone for the early part of the evening, and after the others left and went to bed, Zach and I stayed up ALL night talking. Seriously. All night. We sat out on the deck and watched the sun rise. And even though I wouldn’t give in or admit it for a while after that, I knew we were going to be together from that point on.
Six months to that day later that we stayed up all night talking, he proposed. Before arriving at my house to pick me up, he stopped at my parent’s house and asked my parents’ blessing. We went to a nice dinner and while we were gone, he enlisted the help of my best friend to decorate my house. There were roses scattered all over, candlelight, other various wedding themed decorations and letters that spelled my new initials. We got back to the house and he proposed. It was perfect and beautiful and one of the happiest nights of my life! We lived an hour apart the entire time we dated and were engaged. We didn't live in the same city while we were together until we got married!


We got married 8 months later and I’m so grateful for this man that the Lord made for me. I feel so blessed to be walking through this life with Zach. He’s an amazing husband, a wonderful father, and my best friend and strongest ally. I think our story can be one of encouragement for those still waiting because you never know who you’ve met in your past that could become part of your future! I’d never have guessed in a million years when we first met that Zach and I would end up together.


Happy Valentine’s Day, Zach. Words can’t express the love I have for you! Thank you for making my life a million times happier!! Love you always!

Monday, February 11, 2013

It didn’t last long…

… the break from sickness, that is.

That’s right, our house has been plagued again. Poor Ava has a double ear infection (in spite of JUST finishing antibiotics for one), and she has the dreaded flu. Oy.

The weekend started out fine. Everyone was happy and normal. Saturday morning both kids woke up much earlier than normal. They were good and happy in the morning though and Ava did say she was tired. She took an afternoon nap which isn’t abnormal. Saturday evening she got to go over to my grandma’s for a while and play with several of my cousins who were there.  I went to pick her up around 7:00 and when we got home I noticed she felt warm. I checked her temp and it was about 101. I gave her tylenol and put her to bed. She woke up in the middle of the night from thunderstorms and when i felt her at that point, it felt like her fever was gone, but when she woke up in the morning it was around 101 again.

In the midst of this, Reed felt like this would be a good night to wake up ALL.NIGHT.LONG. He woke up around 9:45 and whined off and on and then started crying. I got him out of bed and we stayed up for about an hour. I put him in bed and he was quiet for about 30 minutes. I got him out again and rocked him and he seemed pretty out of it. He slept until around 2:30, when he woke up yelling again. Zach got up with him this time and held him while he slept. Around 5:00, he went to sleep in his bed and slept until after 8:00.

Zach and Ava headed to the walk in clinic around 9:00, to find that the one by us was closed today to move to their new location. By the time they got to the other location around 9:15, there were many ahead of them and they were there until after 12. Zach also got checked because he didn’t feel like he completely got over the stuff he had back in December in his chest. He had a chest x-ray and is on some pretty strong antibiotics to help him knock that out, as well as an infected throat.

By late Sunday afternoon, Ava seemed to be feeling much better than that morning. I’m praying that she can get over this quickly and that the rest of us can avoid it.

Before we headed into another sick weekend, we were anxiously awaiting a relaxing weekend. Ava and I were happy for Friday!


Before coming down sick, the kids also got to show that they are ready for Valentine’s Day!IMG_8211 Aren’t these little loves cute?! They can be my Valentines any day!!! I’m praying that Ava is better by then because she is really worried that she will miss her Valentine’s party!

And even though Ava was sick, she was still in pretty good spirits on Sunday.IMG_8217

So. All that being said, the winter of 2013 can officially hit the road and take all its germs with it! I’m ready for a healthy family!!!!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Randoms

A little randomness for your Friday:

  • We had a rainy morning earlier this week and Ava always jumps at the chance to use her umbrella. IMG_8121
  • We had to send a couple pics to Zach this week while he was out of town. Monday night bath time provided a good one!IMG_8144
  • Tuesday night Ava asked if we could watch a movie. Dad was gone and little brother was in bed so we settled in with the Little Mermaid and some popcorn.IMG_8173
  • Reed turned 16 months old yesterday. Time is not slowing down and I can’t believe my baby is almost one and a half. Hold me.
  • On the 18th, Reed is moving up to the Toddler class at school. (Cue sobbing) They are working on things right now to help make the transition easier. They are taking them in there in the afternoon for snack time and yesterday he ate a snack at a table and a chair like a BIG BOY!
  • Yesterday he also slept on a cot for the first time and they sent me this picture. I melted!IMG_8193
  • Zach made it home finally on Wednesday evening. We sure missed him but I must say, I was proud of how well we managed with him gone. I got up at 5, managed to get my workout in and get ready before the kids got up, and then got them ready and to school early. I had a little help in the evenings from my mom who cooked us dinner two of the three nights. We get to do this again next week when he will be gone Thursday – Saturday. One of the nights we had dinner, Reed enjoyed the mashed potatoes tremendously.IMG_8149
  • This morning we got to school a few minutes early so Ava and I had a photo op.IMG_8191
  • It’s predicted that we have a weekend full of rain. I am probably in the minority, but I love a good rainy day, especially if it’s one where we can stay home. I’m hoping it stays dark in the morning and the kids sleep in! Last weekend we all slept until 7:30! I realize this is not late but when Reed had been waking up at 5:00, 7:30 is paradise!
  • Lastly, I’m so glad it’s Friday! BRING ON THE WEEKEND!!!!!!!

The Edwards Family

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