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Friday, January 29, 2010

Look What Daddy Brought You!

My sweet hubby brought home a bouquet of flowers for me today.

No reason. Just because he loves me :)

fyi - I am a flowers girl. For Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, just send me flowers and I am happy. I especially love pink roses - and lillies of course :)

As sweet as his gesture was and as much as it meant to me, more importantly is what it meant to my daughters.

When Chris walked in the door with flowers, Ann Catherine said, "Mommy, look what Daddy brought you!"

Lily Baker came running and just had the most precious look in her eyes as she looked at her daddy and the flowers in his hand.

At that moment, they not only knew their daddy loved their mommy. They knew he was doing something nice for her just because he loved her. And they were absolutely beside themselves over it.

What a powerful moment for them as girls. I have often blogged about the HUGE role that I believe daddies play in the lives of their daughters.

How a man treats his wife is how his daughters will expect to be treated.

And don't think they don't notice things. They notice how daddy talks to mommy. They notice when he hugs and kisses her. They notice when he does nice things just because he loves her.

And one day, I hope they'll grow up and expect those same things when they fall in love.

What an awesome responsibility God has given to daddies of little girls. What an impact the first man who ever loved them makes in their lives.

Now. And forever.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are We Related to Wolves?

Apparently so.

Today at school LB made a valentine and was supposed to put the names of her family members on it. She put Mommy, Daddy, Ann Catherine, Ally, Will (her cousins) and Chaos and Ruckus.

Apparently they are members of our family now.

This should come as no suprise to me. At Thanksgiving, she made a turkey at school and had to put on it who she was thankful for.

Did she put me?




Ann Catherine?


Who did she put?

Yep, you guessed it.

Chaos and Ruckus.

Luckily, one of her teachers is a Havoc fan and knew what she was talking about because the other teacher could not have been more confused.

What can I say? AC loves the hockey players and LB loves the mascots. Go figure :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty

AC and LB had Chapel at school today. This is where they learn their Bible story for the week.

Today's story was Daniel and the Lions Den. I asked LB about it when she got home and this is what she said.

"There were these big lions. ROAR!! ROAR!!" she said in her most ferocious voice.

"Then God came and the lions said 'meow, meow,'" she said in a very quiet and sweet voice.

Kind of sums it up, doesn't it? :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Praying for our Kids

I pray for my kids every night before I go to bed.

But I have to confess, I often don't pray for them in the morning before they start their day. I guess I just get caught up in the craziness of getting them fed and clothed that I forget the most important part.

I began thinking about this yesterday because Ann Catherine didn't have a good day at school. Nothing major, she just seemed to be a bit "unsettled" all morning. The way her teacher explained it was that instead of being at school, she just wanted to be with me and Lily Baker. I can remember those days of just wanting to be with my mommy.

On the way to school today, we passed Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and AC said, "Mommy, that's where the babies and children are."

"That's right," I answered. "And every time we pass by we should pray for those babies and children."

Then she asked, "Did you pray for me when I was in the NICU, Mommy?"

My eyes filled with tears and my voice cracked as I said, "Oh yes I did, baby. Every day."

That very well may be the understatement of the year. I felt like I was praying for her constantly while we were in the NICU.

"And did Daddy pray for me too?" she asked.

"Oh yes he did, baby. Every day."

When we pulled into school, I told the girls we were going to start doing something new before we went into school each day. We were going to pray. So I turned around and faced them and told them to close their eyes, and I prayed. I thanked God for them. I asked him to give them a wonderful day. And I asked him to send his angels to protect them while they were at school.

When I said "Amen" Lily Baker opened her eyes as wide as could be and said, "Wow!"

It was the most amazing thing.

I don't know who felt better. Me or them.

What a wonderful way to start their day. And shame on me for not doing this already. It took a total of 30 seconds, but it set the tone for their entire day. That's not to say they won't have bad days, because they will. But I want them to know that we can talk to Jesus before we start each day and ask for his grace and protection.

Isn't it amazing that the Creator of the Universe hears our prayers? Isn't it amazing that He loves our little ones so much (even more than we love them, if you can comprehend that. That one always throws me!)? And isn't it wonderful that we can go before the throne each day and ask Him to take care of them?

I think it is. And I am so grateful for it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Perfect Night

After her bath tonight, Lily Baker and I snuggled on the couch and watched her Princess Songs DVD.

I buried my nose in her wet, watermelon-smelling hair as Snow White sang "Someday My Prince Will Come."

Life does not get any better.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chasing Tornadoes

photo by Michael Mercier, Huntsville Times Photographer

A tornado touched down in Huntsville last night.

Growing up in this part of the country, you become accustomed to tornado watches and warnings.

But the most amazing thing happened last night.

We were watching Channel 19's coverage and the station's camera on top of the Saturn V Rocket got video of the tornado as it was moving through our city. Chris and I sat in our living room and actually watched the tornado spinning and moving through Huntsville. It was surreal.

As all of this unfolded, I looked at Chris and said, "Can you imagine how miserable I would be..."

He nodded, because he knew exactly what I was going to say.

"...if I was at the station right now while my kids were here?"

When I was a TV reporter, I loved covering storms. Six weeks into my first job at WMBB in Panama City, Florida, I covered Hurricane Opal. The category five hurricane devestated the Panhandle. This is the famous hurricane where Dan Rather was reporting while holding on to a palm tree about to be swept away by the winds.

When I moved to Huntsville, tornados were the storms of choice. At the first hint of a tornado, I would jump into a news car with a photographer and hit the road looking for it.

I was never afraid. It was just something you did as a news reporter. Maybe the adrenaline rush helped us ignore the danger that we driving towards.

I first noticed something was changing inside me shortly after Ann Catherine was born. I was back at work and it was the first tornado warning we had had since I had returned. Instead of wanting to drive into the storm, I wanted to drive straight home and hold my baby.

Storm chasing had lost it's luster. I was a mommy now.

As we watched the television coverage last night (luckily we were not in the path of the storm), I looked at my children who were playing on the floor next to me. The only hint they had of something wrong was when our sirens went off and LB came running out of AC's room saying, "There's a loud beep in Sissy's room!"

Since I left Channel 19, I've hunkered down in my closet quite a few times with my family. Like a mother hen, I can put my wings around both of my children and know they are safe.

How do I know?

Because I am with them. I can look straight into their eyes and hold them close to me. Because I am here.

Right where I'm supposed to be.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I had that Game!

Is there anything cooler (or that makes you feel older) than your children receiving a toy you had when you were little?

Sheena, our babysitter, gave the girls a Lite-Brite for Christmas.

Did you have one?

I did.

And I loved loved loved it!

So do my girls.

They did it this afternoon...

Wait! Who's missing?

That would be my sweet child with the 5% attention span who had moved onto something else. LB stayed and patiently finished hers. Look at that snail!

Then LB decided to finish Sissy's guitar and Daddy got down on the floor to help her. What a masterpiece!

Later tonight LB was working on her Lite-Brite race car and I got down on the floor to help. She said, "Mommy, You're the best mommy ever."

If I had known that's all it took, I would have gotten down there sooner :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

She Loves You So

Dear Ann Catherine,
Do you know how lucky - no blessed - you are to have Lily Baker in your life? When Melissa died, I wanted God to send you a sibling so badly. I wanted you to have someone in your life who would love you unconditionally and without boundaries.

He answered.

Last night, you two were running through the house (after Daddy had told you about 18 times to stop!) and Lily Baker fell and bonked her head on the ottoman. She began to cry, which in turn led to tears of your own. You always cry when Lily Baker gets hurt. You never want to see her sad.

I picked her up and started loving her. You sat down on the sofa next to us, crying your little eyes out too. Through her tears, LB put her arms around your neck and said, "It okay, Sissy. It was an accident."

You then began to calm down.

On the way to school today, the sky was an ominous shade of gray/blue. It was going to start raining any minute and when you looked up at the sky, you were afraid. Lily Baker said, "It okay, Sissy. It just clouds. God needs to water the plants!"

Then I looked in the rear-view mirror, and she was holding your hand.

She may be younger than you, but she has a way of letting her big sister knows it's going to be alright.

I guess you could say God did the same for our family when he sent her to us.

Never forget how much she loves you. And never take for granted the blessing God has given you in having a sister who loves you so.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A No-Show

You know Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game?

You know the event we have each year in memory of my daughter to raise money for Melissa's Fund?

You know the night I've been posting about and urging everyone to come to?

You know one of my most favorite nights of the entire year?

I didn't go.

Yeah. I couldn't believe it either.

Last Saturday started like any other day. We had pancake breakfast. Later in the day, I took the girls to a birthday party.

All was fine.

Once we got home, I told Chris I wasn't feeling great and wanted to lay down. I fell asleep and when he woke me up, I felt terrible.

Still I was determimed to go to the game.

I told Chris to go ahead and I would be there by the time the game started. I got ready - all the time feeling as if I would hurl at any moment. I finally got dressed, got my makeup on, stood up and immediately had aches and chills running through my entire body.

That's when I realized - I was going to miss this most special night.

Oh, it's not about the game (although I was looking forward to watching it and spending the evening with our good friends and their families). It's about the way I feel when I'm at that game.

I feel so close to my daughter.

To see these guys wear special NICU jerseys and to see people in the stands wearing the ones from years' past just makes me feel so close to Melissa. She is so a part of that night.

And that is what I didn't want to miss.

I called Chris and told him I couldn't make it. Then I crawled into the recliner next to the fireplace and felt very sorry for myself. But once the gas logs reached 82 degrees and I was still shivering, I realized it was time to go to bed.

Stomach viruses are never fun, but on that night of all nights? I just couldn't believe it. I was just so depressed.

But my sweet husband and sweet friends took plenty of pictures for me, and Chris came home with so many heartwarming stories.

First of all, we raised close to $40,000!! We will use that money to purchase a Giraffe Warmer and other items (to be determined) for the NICU. I couldn't be happier about that!

My most precious moment of the night involved AC and her "boyfriend" Travis. When it was time for him to auction his jersey, he asked her to come on the ice with him and help. As you can see from the pictures, she was beaming! What a great guy!!

Also, Travis recently had surgery so while he has been out, #82 Justin Rohr became her favorite. After the game, Justin gave LB an autographed game puck and he gave AC his stick! He autographed it: "To Ann Catherine, you're my biggest fan!" AC was beside herself. Those tough guys have such big hearts!

Thankfully, that nasty virus has made its way through our home (we all four got it at one point) and it is gone. Good riddance!!

Here are some pix from that night:

How cool are these jerseys?! Those footprints are of actual babies who have been in our NICU. I just love them! AC and Melissa's footprints are on there. That makes me happy.

Ann Catherine dropped the puck with Lily Baker by her side. This year we invited everyone who had purchased a jersey on Melissa Night in the past to come on the ice for the puck drop. I love that! We are so grateful to those who have supported us in the past by buying jerseys and were so touched that they could join us for the puck drop.

AC and LB with Chaos (AC hugging him?! She has come a long way!)

Chris and his girls

This is one of LB's classic looks. I love that face!

LB and her daddy!

A team photo! On the front row are some special families who support our NICU each year and their precious NICU babies. Thank you Brandy, Anna and Melissa!

And to all of you who support Melissa's Fund, Thank You from the bottom of my heart! You are the reason why the fund can provide life-saving equipment for the NICU. Thanks for your support!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's Not a Lunchbox...'s a drum!

Or at least in Lily Baker's book it is.

She was playing her drums the other day and asked me to get her Havoc lunchbox. When I handed it to her, she put it on the floor next to her drums and started banging away!

Don't forget - the first 1,000 fans who bring at item for the NICU to tonight's Huntsville Havoc game will receive one of these adorable lunchboxes. Items can include blankets, hats, premature clothes, socks and disposable cameras. After the game, we'll auction off the players' jerseys with all proceeds going to the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund.

The way I see it, if you are going to be cold tonight, might as well be cold at a hockey game!! Puck drops at the VBC Arena at 7:30 p.m. We'll see you there!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Jinx Us!

I married a hockey player.

By virtue of that, I am superstitious.

Hockey players, if you didn't know, are among the most superstitious people on the planet. Before each game, Chris ate the exact same meal, drove the exact same route to the arena and taped his stick in the exact same seat in the arena before each game. Once I drove him to the arena and took a different exit than he usually took. I thought he was going to come unglued.

I guess a bit of that has rubbed off on me. Especially where Bama football is concerned.

I typically wear the same red sweater to each game (when it's cold and the same red shirt when it's warm) and so does Chris. So before last night's big game, we donned our outfits. Chris made the same dip he has made before each game this season.

I told the girls it was time to get ready. AC threw me for a loop. Instead of wearing the shirt she had worn to most of the last games, she opted for the Bama dress she wore in the beginning of the season. I was a little thrown, but then I remembered we didn't lose any games when she wore that dress so I gave in.

Then it was time for LB to get dressed. Leave it to LB to always rock the boat.

"No, Mommy! I want to stay in my pajamas!"

The child loves her pjs and had put them back on before her nap.

"No, Lily Baker!" I said. "You have to put on your Bama outfit. It's game day! And this one is kind of important!"

"No, Mommy! I want to wear my pjs! And my Belle dress!" she told me in no uncertain terms while she played with her blocks.

You have got to be kidding me. All of I could think of was that scene in "The Wedding Singer" when Adam Sandler's ex-girlfriend shows up wearing his favorite Van Halen t-shirt and he tells her, "Take off my Van Halen t-shirt before you jinx the band and they break up."

I just knew it. LB was going to jinx the Crimson Tide. We were going to lose the National Championship because Lily Baker refused to put on her Bama clothes. (Because of course, that's why you lose games. Not penalties, turnovers, dumb mistakes. You lose because a 3-year-old won't take off her pajamas and put on her game day clothes. Right?!)

I finally gave up because LB has an iron will. Then five minutes before the game she comes running in the den saying, "Mommy, I'm wearing my Bama dress!" I asked Chris, "Did you make her do that?" "No," he answered, "it was all her idea."

Vintage LB. Not doing something until she's good and ready to do it.

Even though she would rather play with her Handy Manny tools than watch the game,

she wore her game day outfit.

And AC watched the game in the recliner with her Daddy...

And Bama won!

And all is right with my universe :)

Oh yeah, then there was time in the second quarter when Trent Richardson scored a touchdown. Chris threw both of the girls high in the air. A few minutes later, AC threw up everything she had for dinner. After that, the new rule was only high fives after touchdowns.

It's okay. AC knew that sometimes southern girls have to take one for the team. :)

Roll Tide Roll!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It Snowed!!

Or at least this is what we call snow in the South (please don't laugh Gammy and Gramps!) :)

Yes, in the South this dusting actually causes schools to close. Crazy, isn't it?!

The girls had a blast playing in the snow today. AC kept throwing snowballs at me and LB had a heck of a time keeping her mittens on. But it was all worth it. We are inside thawing out and I thought I would share our pix.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Check out the Jerseys!

My good friend, Jerry Hayes, did a terrific job showing the jerseys for Melissa George Night on NewsChannel 19 last night. The players will wear these jerseys Saturday night and we'll auction them off after the game. Check out this video to see them.


And my friend, Lisa Washington, showed off the lunch boxes on NewsChannel 19 at Noon.


Don't forget to call the VBC Box Office to get your tickets! It's going to be a great night!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Lunchboxes are In!

How cute is this?!

This is one of the retro tin Havoc lunchboxes that we are giving away on Melissa George Night this Saturday! The first 1,000 fans who bring an item for the NICU to the game will get this lunch box. I have to admit, when the Havoc staff first came up with the idea I wasn't so sure, but once I saw them I loved them!! Plus, it reminds me of my Peanuts lunchbox that I took to school as a kid. Ahhh...the memories :)

Here's the info:

Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game
Saturday, January 9th at the VBC Arena
Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

What items can you bring?
premature clothing
disposable cameras

Why disposable cameras? Because NICU parents can't be with their babies 24 hours a day and sometimes they miss special moments. For example, AC got her first bath in the middle of the night and we weren't there. We left a disposable camera at her bedside and the nurse captured this special moment for us. Providing disposable cameras are a great way to reach out to parents in our NICU!

Now to the jerseys!! I wish I had taken a picture of them when I was at the Havoc office last week. They are awesome! We took the handprints of actual babies who were in our NICU and put them on the jerseys - in blue and pink! They are so neat! After the game, we will auction them off and all of the proceeds will go to Melissa's Fund. We will also auction off the pink sticks that the players will use during warm-ups.

To get tickets, call the Havoc office at 518-6160, the VBC ticket office at 534-3603 or visit We hope to see you there!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Need a Little Girl Time!

For AC's 4th birthday, I took her to Spoiled Rockin' Kidz Salon. She absolutely loved it and since then she has asked me about 10,000 times when I was taking her back to get a manicure and pedicure (she is such a girly-girl!).

So the week after Christmas we went back, along with both of her grandmothers, LB and my niece Ally.

Oh my what fun!! A girls-only Spa day!

I didn't know how LB would do, but let me tell you, she loved it as much as AC. She took very seriously my warning to, "Don't move or you'll mess up your polish!" The kid was like a statute as she got her manicure. So precious! During the pedicure, she didn't know what was going on, but in typical LB fashion she sat so still and just took it all in.

I love having girls!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello from the Partridge Family!

For Christmas, Santa brought us (among other things) a drum set, pink guitar and a saxophone!

We are now booking parties and special occasions. Call us if you need a band for your next wedding, birthday party or Bar Mitzvah. LB has been practicing feverishly since Christmas! Our playlist is limited, but boy are we entertaining!

The holidays kicked off with our annual tradition of going to the Christmas Eve service at church. I absolutely LOVE going to church on Christmas Eve. I just feel like after weeks of shopping and parties, it really puts into perspective what Christmas means. After the service, we had dinner at mom and dad's house and we read the Christmas story from the Children's Bible storybook I had as a kid (another tradition). Then, the grandkids got to open one present. The girls both opened these precious pjs...

...which just happened to match the ones their Bitty babies were wearing (which they opened on Christmas morning)!

AC has been wanting an American Girl doll (like her cousin Ally) but I told her she was too young (I want to make sure she's actually old enough to take care of it and appreciate it. They aren't cheap!). So instead, Mimi and Poppy got her and LB the American Girl Bitty Babies. They love them! AC also got a Princess CD player (with microphone!) which she loves using to sing Taylor Swift!

Can you imagine now how loud it is at our house these days?!

This was also the year of games - Hungry Hippos and Candyland, which Chris' dad now calls the longest game ever after endless rounds of playing it :)

The day after Christmas, Chris' parents came in town - which meant MORE presents! Like a Leap Frog learning game which AC loves...

Hannah Montana art supplies that contain glitter!....

and more fun games to play!

Not to mention AC's flapper costume that she wore for three days straight!

We hope your holidays were as wonderful and exhausting as ours! Happy 2010!