Friday, July 30, 2010

A Beautiful Morning

Ya’ll, I just have to tell you about my morning. It is mornings like these when I KNOW we serve a GREAT God who loves us, knows what we need, and provides it ten fold!

This morning, Cori Belle woke up at 6:30 am. As I rolled over to check the time I sighed at the thought of having to wake this early when there was much needed sleep for me in my bed! I walked to her room, changed her and fed her. As soon as she had her fill of warm milk in the morning, she literally rolled over in my lap, tucked her arms and legs beneath her (one of the cutest things in the world!) and went back to sleep. I put her back in bed and then walked back to MY bed to finish some much needed rest.

I woke at 8:00 feeling refreshed with no sounds of crying in the background. There was still a sleeping baby across the house. :) In the kitchen I brewed some warm Starbucks coffee, the kind that warms my soul as I like to tell David, even though he thinks coffee warming your soul is a load of you know what! After my cup was filled, I sat down for some much needed time in the Word. Some of my dearest friends and I are doing a bible study on the book of Ruth. Today was lesson 1 of week 3.

As I neared the end of my study I was prompted to read Psalm 91, vs 1-16. Coincidence? I think not! Ya’ll, I have really been struggling with fear lately. Fear of losing my husband, fear of losing my daughter, fear of something happening to me and not being able to raise my daughter or grow old with my husband. Fear of the night, the unknown, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR! I think a lot of it has to do with the losses in the Smith family we had a few weeks ago. It must have affected me way more than I thought it did.

My summer bible study “siestas” and I were just talking about this when we met on Wednesday afternoon. My friend Kristy, who is so very near and dear to my heart, had me turn to Psalm 91 during our conversation and reminded me of God’s TRUTH. How funny that our study on Ruth had me reflect on Psalm 91 just 2 days later.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
       and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
       nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
       nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
       ten thousand at your right hand,
       but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
       and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
       so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
       you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."

What peace that brings to my soul to know that God knows my heart and he knows how to give it ease. There is no reason to fear and God has made that very clear. Thank you siestas for praying for me and thank you God for delivering me!

Well, it’s 9:30 and my little one is waking in the background. It was just enough time to sleep a little, feel the warmth of coffee, and be refreshed by the Lord and His Word. What a beautiful morning!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I love about you… week 29 & 30

Ya’ll I tell you what.. The day seems to end just as quickly as it starts! Cori Belle is 7 months old today .. yes, 7 months! Can you believe it?!? She is full of life and just the most precious thing I have EVER laid eyes on!

what i love button week 29 & 30


  • Playing Hide and Go Seek! It was so funny to walk into the living room and find little miss under the couch! HAHA! We have also found that she likes to put her toys under the couch as well. What does that say about her?? :)

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  • That this girl LOVES to swim. Here she was getting ready for the pool and then here she is swimming. She kicks her little legs faster than I have ever seen when she is in the water – like a little frog! It’s so stinking cute!!

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  • That we have FINALLY captured some crawling on video! Go CB! **Sorry I didn’t upload it for you to see**
  • Going boating. Cori had her first experience on the boat the other weekend at Mama Smith & Papa Joe’s house. She LOVED it – wind in the face and all! She also got to hang out with her Aunt Jamie unexpectedly, and she loved that too!
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  • Mommy and Cori time! Thanks Aunt Jamie for taking these AWESOME pics! :)

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  • 2 piece PJ’s! CB wore her very first shirt and pants PJ’s last week. She still wears her all in one PJ’s with feet most nights, but it was fun to wear something that a “big girl” would wear to bed! .. We also love Soothie paci’s! Cori loves to bite them and pull them quickly out of her mouth. Great stimulation for her gums!!

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  • Princess pictures! We went over to Ella and Audrey’s house to play last week and little miss had a ball wearing this princess Tierra!

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  • Play dates with friends! North Florida hospital has a Postpartum Luncheon for moms with babies from 2 weeks –16 weeks. That’s where we met some fabulous friends who we still get together with once a week. Friends for life, don’t ya think?!?

Cori eating and other things 102 Brandon, Cori Belle, Claire, Aaron

  • Group baths! It was hilarious to watch all the little ones take a bath together last week. Cori and Madeline (4 weeks apart) sat so nicely in the tub. Willie (10 months) wanted to crawl all over everyone! And, Michael (2) was having fun pouring water on anything he could find that needed to be watered, including Cori! Haha!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the Go!

Well, at 6 1/2 months old we’ve got a CRAWLER!! I knew from day one that we had a special little girl on our hands. We started tummy time EARLY and I have a picture of her at 6 weeks with her head lifted off the ground. I could already see the strength inside her little body as she worked week after week to lift that head higher and higher.

Cori before Wedding 014 6 weeks

Fast forward 6 months later and she is on the GO! It really started last week. David wanted to call her crawling a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until she was moving significant distances. Lo and behold, the time is here! Last week Cori was playing with her toys in the living room and David and I were in the kitchen making dinner. We could hear Cori “talking” as she was playing and her “talking” kept getting louder and louder. Finally, I peered around the wall of the kitchen to see what was going on and here comes little miss, rounding the corner into the kitchen. Now, that’s what I call CRAWLING! Go girl!!


Not only is Miss Priss crawling, she is pulling to STAND! I know I blogged about that last week, but she sure is getting good at it now! You wouldn’t think that those little legs could hold her up yet, but they sure can! Just the other night I read her a bed time story, said our prayers, and put her to bed -- like we do every night, but that night for some reason she did NOT want to sleep. So, I let her cry it out. Well, after 30 minutes of non stop crying, I went in to check on her and this is what I found…

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This is why I need a video monitor!!! Sweet baby girl .. she just wanted to practice her new skill! I’m just such a mean momma that I made her go to bed before she was threw practicing for the day. Needless to say, we spent the next 20 minutes lowering the crib! She got all her practicing done and went to bed pretty easily after that. However, we did find this when we woke up in the morning. **Note to self … when you lower the crib, make sure you pull the side back up to the top or it defeats the purpose of lowering the crib!** HAHA! At least she was happy in this picture! :)

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I love watching my baby girl hit milestones with leaps and bounds! Some people say she is growing up too fast. There are days when I agree, but most days I sit back and watch her with pure JOY in my heart. Praise God for a healthy, strong, beautiful, and sweet baby girl. I LOVE her so much I could just eat her up!

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Until next time…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Tribute

Well, it's almost been a week since I have last blogged. To some, that is nothing, but to me, that is a LONG time!

Last week was a difficult and tragic week for the Smith Family. Last Monday we got a phone call from David's parents letting us know that their next door neighbor in Tampa had passed away. His name was Dominic and we all called him Mr. Rizzo. He lived a full life and left this world at age 85. He left behind his darling wife, Ananda, and his two grown sons. To the Smith kids he was very much like a grandfather. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met. He loved to garden, he loved his wife, and he served others every chance he got. Even in his last days he never let anyone know just how much pain he was in as his body fought the cancer again. It was more important to him that he show others love and a tender heart than complain. What a selfless man! I know he is serving the Lord in heaven and that helps my heart rest a little.

Here we are at our wedding in March 2006 with Mr. and Mrs. Rizzo

Later on in the day, after hearing about Mr. Rizzo, we received another phone call letting us know that David's aunt Peggy was admitted to the hospital. Aunt Peggy (David's mom's sister) was a woman after God's own heart. Every summer for as long as I can remember, Peggy served the people of Ghana while on a mission trip with her church. She built relationships with the people, befriended them, and showed them God's love and mercy. During her most recent trip to Ghana, just a few weeks ago, she contracted Malaria and a nasty parasite. Upon arriving back to the states, she had not been feeling well and was finally admitted to the hospital. Her body, already weak and deteriorating, was just not strong enough to fight it and she passed on Friday afternoon. Thankfully, David's mom had flown to Huntsville to be with her sister and was able to be there when she went to meet her Lord and Savior. It was such a privilege to know Aunt Peggy and see the way she loved others. I know she served an amazing purpose while she was here in this Earth and I know God is so proud to have her with him in Heaven.

Here is Aunt Peggy, David's mom, and Aunt Colleen walking down the aisle at our wedding

And, here is Aunt Peggy and Uncle David dancing at our wedding. This picture makes my heart smile :)

We feel so blessed to have known both of these wonderful people. Of course the question always comes .. why did they have to die? But, while I was reflecting on that the past few days, I was reminded of the Esther study I did a while back about how faithful our God is. Even in the worst of circumstances, God is still faithful. At the end of the day, he wants us to pick ourselves up off the floor, stand up, and remember that even in death, GOD IS FAITHFUL! I am so thankful that I serve a God like that. A God who gives me purpose to live and something to stand for. A God who reminds me that while our time on this Earth is short, the choices we make while we are here are crucial. And, a God who assures me that when we die, we don't just rot away in the ground, we get to stand next to Him in eternal life in Heaven. I am so glad that Mr. Rizzo and Aunt Peggy are feeling no pain and are rejoicing with their Savior in Heaven. May they rest in peace until we can all be together again ...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Cori & Claire 009

I thought this would be a fabulous picture for Wordless Wednesday, even though I am typing WORDS! oh well! :)

No, your eyes are not deceived. This girl is STANDING UP! The other night at family group, little miss crawled her little self over to where I was sitting. She then placed one hand on my leg and one hand on the person’s leg next to me, pushed herself up into a push-up position, and then walked her legs in underneath her to standing. She was so impressed with herself and so was our family group as we all praised her and took lots of photos. This little girl is growing so fast! I can’t believe it!


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She also got to play with her friend Claire at family group on Monday. In this picture she decided that Claire’s pacifier was much more fun to suck on than her own. See her purple pacifier tucked underneath her? That’s okay because later on that evening Claire decided she liked Cori’s pacifier better anyway. Our girls are sharing already! :) haha!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I love about you … 27 & 28 weeks!

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what i love button

   week 27 & 28


  • Spending holidays with you! I just LOVE this pic of us!!
  • Introducing solids! You have tried pureed bananas & blueberries, pureed squash (a BIG hit!), and another fav – bananas with the top cut off so you can eat it like a push pop! haha! I think next we will try pureed avocados.

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Something you started doing yesterday that I think is really funny .. sucking your thumb in-between bites! P.S. who needs a high chair when you’ve got a Bumbo with a tray?!?!

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  • That you are drinking from a Sippy cup! You aren’t too sure about the water inside the cup, but you LOVE drinking from it.
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  • Taking you to lunch. “Welcome to Moes!” Mommy and Daddy’s favorite restaurant!

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  • That you are figuring out how your body works. You are attempting to pull up in your crib. I have yet to capture it on camera, but I will get it one of these days. It’s so funny to walk in your room and see your cute little head poking up above the bumper as you try to stand up. This, however, is your attempt to pull up on the ottoman!

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  • Watching you open gifts from friends and family. You liked the paper more than anything else. But you sure did look cute in this new Giraffe hat you got from Mama Smith.

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  • Reading Barnyard Dance with you. It is such a great book! I wish I would have had it to read wit my kindergartners a few years back. They would have LOVED it!

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  • Your attempts to crawl. You are still trying very hard and you are definitely moving from point A to point B – you move by pushing up on all fours, throwing your body forward, landing on your tummy, pushing up again .. and the process continues!
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  • Watching you play in the grass! You were very intrigued and interested in the way it felt.

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your feet got dirty while you were playing..

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and we had to wash them off in the sink..

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Other milestones…

Today was CB’s 6 month check-up. She weighs 13 lbs 2 oz and measures 25 inches long. She definitely is a petite little thing and we LOVE her so much!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jewelry & Blog Friends!

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Well, I did it. I started my own business through Premier Jewelry. It's kinda funny how life goes because I NEVER imagined doing this in my wildest dreams. Many of you know I am a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom and wouldn't want it any other way. As much as I miss being in the classroom at times, I know God has called me to be at home raising my sweet baby girl. Even if our pockets are a little dry, it's SO WORTH IT!

Speaking of dry pockets and being a stay-at-home mom -- that's where Premier came into play! My good friend Lacy (who I went to college with and taught elementary school with) went from teacher to stay-at-home mom after only one year of teaching. She, like me, felt the calling to be at home with her little one, but also, like me, felt the need to contribute financially to her family. Hmmm... "Is that even possible" you might ask?? Yes in deed, it is!

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Lacy and I at my Training Show

Premier Jewelry is a Biblical Based Company that was established 25 years ago specifically for stay-at-home moms to be able to raise their little ones AND contribute financially to their families! It also supports many ministries and missionary families around the world, which in my book, is a big plus!! Lacy started up her own business through Premier last year and when she told me about it, I knew this was the answer to my dry pockets!!

Just to give you a small window into how the company works ... it is run through Home Shows. So, you would sign up with a Premier Jeweler (like me!!) to host a show at your house. You would invite all your friends over for a girls night out where we would have snacks, play games and try on jewelry! You would receive 30% of the retail show in FREE jewelry plus some other incredible perks and benefits, and I would receive 50% of the retail show in profit for my family! Now, that's an amazing job if you ask me! Not only is it good money, it's flexible! I can work as much or as little as I want with no quotas to meet. And, unlike other Home Show products, jewelry sells itself! Sign. me. up!! :)

This past Thursday I had my first Premier Training Show at my house! So many of my sweet friends came to support me and I cannot thank you all enough!! We had fun, food, and fellowship while trying on some BEAUTIFUL jewelry! I am looking forward to all the future bookings I already have on my calendar and am enjoying the time spent at home with my family until then! This really is a DREAM job!!

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My sweet friend, Kristy, and I

My Training Show also turned into a meeting of some of my favorite blog friends! It’s funny how those things works out. When my friend Annie walked in, I immediately introduced her to Lacy by saying, “Annie, this is Lacy. She was so glad to hear you were coming tonight. She reads your blog and has been dying to meet you!” From there it was blog connection after blog connection. I LOVE the blogging world! I happen to know all of the blogger women who came to my training show, but it was so much fun to see how each one of my friends had stumbled upon one another’s blogs in the past and were so ticked to finally meet one another in person. I can’t wait to meet a blog friend I don’t yet know sometime in the future! What fun!!

Cori & Jewelry 022 Drum roll please…

Kristy, Lacy, me, Lauren, Annie, & Mandi

Stephanie, Grace, and Emily weren’t there when we took the picture, but they were there amongst the blog friends! My SIL, Missy, was there too!

Thank you to EVERYONE who came to support my new thing as a Premier Jeweler, blog friend or not, I LOVED seeing all of you!!

P.S. I figured out how to use Live Writer! It really does make blogging SO MUCH EASIER!! Aren’t you proud of me, Annie?? :)

Until next time…

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sigh :) .. I LOVE my God

Check out the bible verse for today ...

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” - Ephesians 3: 20-21

God is so good. I just started a new business selling Premier Jewelry (which I will talk about in another post coming soon!) My training show was last night and it was so much fun! I hopped on the computer a few minutes ago to input all the sales from last night. However, before heading to the Premier site, I decided to check my blog page first. (The first place I go when getting on the computer EVERY TIME!! hehe -- obsessed much?!?) Anyway, the point of the story is ... I opened my blog page to read the verse of the day and saw that it was Ephesians 3:20-21. Coincidence? I think not!! God is so good! Thank you Lord for reminding me that you are able to do so much MORE than all I could ask or imagine. Starting a new business can be scary, but my God knows me better than I know myself. What reassurance, peace, comfort, and JOY that verse brings me. I know God is in control. And, he certainly is in control of the new business venture! Sigh :) .. I LOVE my God!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nashville Fun!

Whew! Another trip under the belt and this time we had a sleeping baby! Wahoo!! Last Friday we hopped on a plane and headed to Nashville, Tennessee for a wedding and some 4th of July festivities. It was a wonderful weekend of fun! Cori Belle LOVED all the excitement of the airport and airplane. My kid sure is an outgoing people person to say the least -- I wonder where she got that from? ... ahem, her daddy!! She talked to random people, made googley eyes with them, and laughed uncontrollably. She was an absolute JOY to travel with!

Here she is, ready for take off!

We landed Friday night and headed to downtown Nashville on Broadway Street for a rooftop dinner party with the bride, groom, and family. That statement just made it sound way more classy than it really way because basically I took my baby to a BAR!! Yes, I was that person .. with a baby.. in a bar! (Movie quote anyone??) Luckily, the actual dinner party was on the rooftop of the bar, away from all the smoke and hustle bustle of a bar, but I did feel like a whack job of a mom as I walked through the streets of downtown Nashville with my baby attached to my chest in the Ergo pack. And then, I felt even worse when I actually had to walk through the front door of the bar to get upstairs to the dinner party. I can just imagine what people must have been thinking!!

Here I am .. with my baby .. in a BAR!!
She was sleeping so soundly though!

Here she is waking up in the morning!

Saturday we strutted around town to the Nashville History Museum and to lunch with the family before getting ready for the wedding ceremony. I think this was the most beautiful wedding I have EVER seen. The church was gorgeous with it's intricate stained glass windows and cedar archways throughout. Wow!! And it only got better from there! The reception was out back of an art gallery under a big white tent. Now, my reception was under a big white tent as well, but this wedding put my wedding to shame! I mean I LOVED my wedding, don't get me wrong, but this one was over the top, exceptional in all ways possible. First, let me start by saying that they had the same band that played at Jenna Bush's wedding. Now do you get the picture?? The centerpieces on the tables were beautiful floral arrangements, there were crystal chandeliers hanging from the center of the tent, buckets of flip flops on the stage for the ladies when our heels started killing our feet, a lounge area behind the tent with couches and chairs to relax in under beautiful flowing linen tapestries, a cigar station, an espresso station where you could get iced or hot coffee drinks much like Starbucks coffee, an open bar, and a sit down dinner to die for with a strawberry and Gouda salad, cooked shrimp on a bed of southern grits with steak and asparagus on the side, and a delicious wedding cake. Oh, my mouth is melting just thinking of it! .. It was I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!! I wish I had taken more pictures to show you.

Gorgeous seating area!

Seating area over looking the coffee bar and the city

Here come the bride and groom..
YES, she is wearing PINK shoes! :)

Love this picture of us!
Honey, I LOVE being married to you!!

On another note, Miss Cori Belle had a wonderful time at the wedding! She did miss the ceremony due to the fact that it was her nap time and little miss couldn't hold it together. We did get a cute picture of her in the pew before she had to be escorted out by her daddy! :) After her nap she was awake and ready to party it up at the reception! She danced with her grandparents, chatted with people she had never met, took PLENTY of pictures (as if you couldn't imagine that with her crazy momma who loves to capture every moment possible!). After a few hours she was pooped and went to sleep in her stroller. She slept the rest of the reception, the whole walk home, and went to bed without a hitch in her sweet party dress and all! I was NOT gonna wake that girl up to put her in her PJ's, especially after the week we had at the beach. Little miss was GOING to sleep and she sure did!!

Waiting in the church for the ceremony to begin

After the ceremony..
I guess those wedding vows wore her out!

Waiting for the party to start!

Dancing with Aunt Rebecca

Hanging out with mom and dad

Dancing with mom

Dancing with the beautiful bride!

Here we are .. pooped!

Missy and I hanging out after CB went to sleep

Sunday was a 4th of July celebration at Uncle David's house. We had the best pulled pork I think I have EVER had and some other delicious appetizers and sides. This weekend was filled with so much good food!!! Cori had a great time too as she got to meet lots of family members and go swimming with her Papa Joe. He just adores her and the feeling is completely mutual! :)

CB swimming with Papa Joe --
Yes, we have FINALLY coined a grandpa name! :)

CB hanging out with Mama Smith
My sweet naked girl after swimming in the pool

CB with Mt. Grandma --
her GREAT grandma on David's mom's side

CB with her momma and Aunt Missy
I LOVE this picture!!

And, another pic of CB and her momma!
Pure Sweetness!!

Cori watched fireworks for the first time standing on a bridge overlooking the Cumberland River and downtown Nashville. It was an AMAZING firework show -- the best I have ever seen, I think! Cori did great with all noise and watched with awe for the first few minutes. Towards the end of the show bed time set in and she was trying so hard to go to sleep. As soon as the fireworks stopped, little miss was OUT and it was another great transfer to bed once we got back to the hotel -- another FULL nights sleep! Wahoo!!

Here we are watching the fire works!

Traveling was a success, but I am SO GLAD to be home! We have been on the go for the past two weeks and I am looking forward to a little R and R with my sweet family of 3.

Until next time...