Thursday, February 28, 2013


The other day my Dad delivered a big box containing some of my very favorite things in the world: Grandma's old photo albums! As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by them. I loved looking through them and getting Grandma to share her old stories and memories with me, and now I'm very much wishing I had written them all down. When Chris came along, he used to tease me about how much I loved digging these albums out and looking for certain pictures to show him! I'm not about to risk taking out the pictures and scanning them for fear of ruining them somehow, but here are some of my favorites via iPhone, in semi-random order:

AHHH!! One of my all-time favorite pictures. This is Granddad and Grandma back in their dating days. Grandma always said she was pretty sure this picture was taken at Anderton's, which is a very special place to us! It was always one of their favorite date-night spots, and in 2004 it was where my (deleted) scene was filmed for Walk the Line! (At least we made it to the DVD! :) (By the way, she let me wear her jewelry for the scene, and the costume people LOVED it and let me get away with it! She truly loved the fact that I was in that scene and that it was filmed at Anderton's, and she kept that DVD near her TV. So precious!) Also, Anderton's closed for good before Chris and I were married (SAD!), but we enjoyed going on dates there too back in our early days.
Grandma's high school graduation photo. I absolutely love this picture, because this was the same gorgeous smile she always had. I mean I saw this same smile on her face last month! I'm sure any of you who knew my Grandma will instantly recognize this signature smile on her much-younger face!
Grandma's senior picture. We won't really get into how vastly inferior to this my senior picture was, but I'll just say it was nowhere near this sophisticated and graceful.

Here's one of the windows she decorated, probably for Bry's. The most impressive thing of all is that this mannequin isn't wearing actual clothes -- she's wearing pieces of fabric Grandma strategically draped and pinned around her to look like a finished outfit. That's because department stores back then used to sell fabric, since so many people made their own clothes! 

Grandma in one of the dresses from Hollywood that would come to her store in time for the Cotton Carnival.

Granddad in his Navy days. I used to play dress-up in his old Navy hats!

Grandma (AKA Glam-ma) in another swanky Cotton Carnival dress. I'm loving the cotton bales in the background too! :)

This is Grandma's mom, my Grandma Pearl. I was blessed to have her around until I was 10 and she was 97.

In case you've ever wondered where I get my scrawny frame from... :) Of course, my Grandma was super tall, but it's the same idea -- especially when I was that age!

My beautiful Grandma in high school

I thought I'd throw in a few of Mom while I was at it! Here she is in elementary school! :)

Mom's senior picture... very 70s!

Granddad as a little boy. I can't get over how much the picture on the right looks like Evie!

Granddad in high school
I want that dress. I think she said she made it! (I know you can see my phone reflected in most of these, but alas.)
I hope you've enjoyed a little glimpse of some of my favorite pictures on earth! In other news, my dear friend Becky has been in town this week, so I hope to update soon with the few pictures I thought to get while she was here... and to continue the story of the Vaf and me too! :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

The T&E Times

I'm hoping to get back on track soon with the story of how the Vaf and I started dating, but for now I have way too many pictures on my camera! This past week has been a bit of a blur (due largely to the biggest teething situation the girls have ever faced), but here's a look at some of the highlights.
Where one is, the other must be!

They methodically took out each toy from this box and then climbed inside together.

I said it must remind them of their good old days.

See no evil, hear no evil? Really this is what they did when playing Peekaboo the other day! Tamsie apparently thinks you play Peekaboo by covering up your ears! 
Carissa and Cliff came to visit last week... SO much fun, as always!!!

Tamsie riding her horsey that Papa Herbie surprised her with last weekend! They looove their rocking horses!!

Tams being cute

Saturday morning with their Daddy... Evie looks maximally comfortable here, doesn't she?

Saturday night we took the girls downtown for a little bit before meeting up with my parents for dinner at Molly's. This was the view from the parking garage... not bad, huh? :)

Walking the girls around the Peabody lobby. They love it because there are, of course, ducks everywhere -- including these rubber ducks in a display case! The pianist really took a liking to T&E and played a snazzy version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for them. 
Tamsie giggling at dinner at Molly's Saturday night. They split their first non-Chick-fil-A kids' meal item: a cheese quesadilla! They also had ice cream for dessert for the first time ever, and it was a huge hit. Tamsie kept smiling and saying, "Mmmmmm!" very dramatically.
Chris and Evangelyn, who is truly enjoying her night on the town
After dinner, Mom was holding Tamsie, who was hugging her as tightly as she could. It was pretty cute.

Sunday morning we went to see Cliff get dedicated at his church! I know this is hard to see, but such are the wonders of iPhones at times like these. You can see Carissa and Roy up there with Cliff, who did an outstanding job being sweet, as always!  

Roy, Cliff and Carissa with Carissa's mom and dad

With Roy's mom (and dad in the background... somehow he must have missed the memo that it was picture time!)

After church, we all went out to eat at Red Robin, where we ordered the girls' meals from the kids' menu for the second time! They also attempted coloring for the first time, as Tamsie demonstrates here.

Evie also enjoyed scribbling with the crayon, as well as picking it up and dropping it. It's the little things, y'all.
One other major development this week: Tamsie went back for her kidney check-up. She had another ultrasound, and this one made it look like the situation has gotten even worse. The doctor is more sure than ever that surgery will take place around her second birthday. For now, we'll wait three months and repeat the scan. If it still looks like it's on a downward slope, she'll have to go back in for another VCUG (the big test she really hates), which we had hoped to delay until November. So all of that to say, we're praying in faith for surprisingly good results this next time she goes in!

Well that's all for today. Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dedication Day

Yesterday was T & E's much-anticipated baby dedication day at church! I was really wanting to make this a big celebration for them, complete with an after-party at our house, but circumstances lately prevented that from becoming a reality. Plus I've been sick for nearly two weeks now, so that hasn't really helped me be any more productive. (Now bear all of that in mind when you see the pictures if you think I'm looking a little rough/sick/etc. I was... all of the above. And probably then some!) Yesterday we pledged before our church family (plus some dear family members and friends) to raise these girls in a loving, Christian home, and our church family committed to do their part to help us along toward this goal. 

And it was a big celebration. Maybe it wasn't the complete event I would have wanted it to be, but it wound up being perfect, because of the meaning of it all, and because our precious friends and family were there with us. And even though there was a gaping hole in the family section of the auditorium where Grandma would have been, I know she was doing some celebrating in Heaven that far outdid anything we could have ever pulled off here at my house. 

Melissa came along as a dear friend and honorary aunt of the girls, as well as our official photographer! Here are some highlights that she captured for us:

Tamsie talks on Daddy's phone while listening to the speakers at the reception at church.

Evangelyn was getting a little squirmy, so Grandma came to the rescue and removed her (slightly) from the scene. I need to pause here and say how amazing it was that Mom made it through the entire dedication ceremony. My poor mother has had a crazy migraine ever since everything happened on Wednesday, but when I mentioned the prospect of postponing the girls' dedication, she wouldn't hear of it.

My daddy and Evangelyn

Tamsie and one of the bears from the centerpiece

Evie, her Grandma and bears

Tamsie... are you following this OK? I feel like I'm confusing everyone with them dressed alike! You know I hardly ever dress them exactly alike, for this very reason!

Tamsie kept herself amused during this portion of the reception by playing with her dad's phone, ...

... Melissa's camera lens cap (Melzar, what's the technical name? I'm rather ignorant in this area!), ...

... and a combo of both. It really looks like she's contemplating going for the gold itself: Melissa's camera!

And then her Daddy kissed her.

My sweet Tams

My Daddy and my Evie Rose girl


Evie was so excited! I love this face.

E takes a bite of cantaloupe, courtesy of her Dad...

... and then proceeds to make this random face.

Girls from the Life Group represent! From L to R: yours truly, juggling Tamsie and Evangelyn, Sara and McKenzie, and Lauren with Hunter and the man of the hour, Ryder

With the guys: Chris, Matt and Ryan
I love what's going on here between Chris and Evangelyn

Up in front of the church

McKenzie on the big screen!
I LOVE this sweet family more than I can ever say!!!!!!!! They were there for me this entire past week, and they mean so much to me. They also meant a lot to my precious Grandma, who loved them dearly and was very much looking forward to seeing Miss McKenzie on this big screen!

It's almost our turn!

And here we are! I'm holding Tamsie, who turned out to be quite the squirmer instead of Evie for once!

There's our sweet Evangelyn!

She was mesmerized by the lights. She would point up and say, "Light!" She also did her version of the ebbysees (ABCs) and talked back and forth with Tams a little bit while in front of everyone. Tamsie started laughing at one point, which made me start to laugh -- and it was kind of a vicious cycle there for a while. But on the whole, they did very well!

T and her Grandma. Only a short while later, my mom checked into the ER for her headache, which was a first for her. We're thankful her CAT scan results turned out fine and hopeful that her new medicine will finally make this headache go completely away! I, for one, have really missed having my normal non-medicated Mama around.


So sweet.
Also, this weekend, my wonderful in-laws came to town and were there for the dedication service. I truly wish I had taken pictures of the girls with them, but I was laid up on the couch for a good bit of the time with body aches and generalized yuckiness. I pretty much felt like the worst hostess in the history of hostesses, but Chris really stepped up to the plate and took over for me. I'm thankful for all of their help with the babies too, as I truly was either gone for memorial events or sick as a dog (but nowhere near as sick as my Mom!) the rest of the weekend. My Dad has also completely wowed me, although I'm not surprised at all, with his ability to be strong and steady for the rest of us while we've been hit with waves of grief and sickness. I love each and every one of my family members (blood and in-law), plus my friends who have proven to be more like family than friends once again throughout all of the recent events in our lives. While my heart feels so empty without my Grandma here, it also fills full to the brim with all the love we've received from all of these dear people in our lives. And I am thrilled for everything this service symbolized in the lives of our family, our church, and Tamsie and Evangelyn.