52 Faces: 3/52 – Elizabeth

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Elizabeth is my brother’s second child. She turns five this year (I still cannot believe that!). She is sooooo full of personality and spunk, and she’s been letting us know that she has a mind of her own for as long as I can remember.

She has such a vivid imagination, and a flair for dramatics. You should see her version of “Let it Go” or hear her sing her preschool’s Christmas song. Although, don’t expect to go to any school production and see her full performance. Elizabeth does not perform on command.

My favorite (most recent) Elizabeth story: her Grandma Margo was trying to get her to put her coat on, and she was refusing. Margo tried to convince her by telling her how cold it was outside that day. Elizabeth’s response?

“The cold never bothered me anyway.”

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Hometown: Born in Waco, TX…now gracing Huntsville, AL with her presence.

Education: Planning to start half-day kindergarten in the fall, where it looks like she’ll be the only girl in her class. She’ll have all those boys whipped by day two.

Occupation: Middle Sister

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What’s your favorite food? “Macaroni and cheese.”

Favorite color? “Purple. Like you!”

Team Elsa or Anna?  “Elsa.”

If you had to pick one, what would you say is your favorite toy? “Mermaid.”

But, I thought Babydoll was your favorite. “Aunt Hannah! Babydoll is NOT a toy…Babydoll is a person.”

Ok, right..sorry, I forgot. Who is your best friend? “Babydoll…and Emma and Lily.”

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How was your holiday?

We just got back from a few days at my parents’ house on Murder Creek. In total, there were 6 adults, 2 children, 1 baby, 4 dogs, 1 cat, 1 kitten, 7 chickens and 2 roosters. The one hogging the camera below is named John the Baptist.

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John (my husband, not the rooster) and I drove down Wednesday night, and arrived around 10pm (as we do). Jacob and his family were a few hours behind us. As we waited on them to arrive, we wound up watching something on tv about sockeye salmon. This led to Dad requesting that Mom cook him some salmon…at that exact moment. He was determined he was going to have some salmon at 10:30pm, logistics be damned!

(He settled for scrambled eggs)

Lindsay, Jacob, Helen, Elizabeth, Maxwell and their dog (Sugar) arrived around midnight. The girls seemed completely unaware that it was well past their bedtime. Apparently the long car ride left them well rested and ready to PARTY.

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I hugged them hello and then went upstairs to attempt to fall asleep.

Reasons that sleep seemed impossible:

  1. My parents’ house is made entirely of wood, and the living room ceiling is shaped in such a way as to send all of the first-floor noise rolling up the wall and smacking the inhabitants of the second-floor right in the face.
  2. Greta was whining incessantly because she was convinced we had no idea that these new people had brought a dog with them…because surely if we had SEEN the other dog, SOMEONE would have let her out so that she could examine it.
  3. Elizabeth had misplaced her “inside voice”.
  4. The sound of my mom’s flip flops flopping as she walked (what seemed like laps) around the house to make sure everyone had everything they needed.
  5. John snoring, because he had taken two Benadryl…

Somehow, sleep found me, and the next morning we woke up to celebrate my Dad’s 60th Birthday! (oh..and, also Independence Day…)

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Helen shucked fresh-picked corn with Poppa. And, when that turned out to be very short-lived, Jacob and John helped him finish.

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Helen helped Poppa feed the chickens and both girls took turns gathering eggs.

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DSC_0759Elizabeth was not a huge fan of the feeling of dirt in her shoes, but was mostly ok with it when she went barefoot. However, occasionally she would only be consoled if someone carried her when she was outside.

This is her “I’m upset that my feet are getting dirty…pick me up!” face.

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Here’s Nonna obliging her, on a different day. Elizabeth looks pleased with the situation, don’t you think?
DSC_0791It was overcast and rainy the entire time we were there, so we didn’t kayak. Although we did spend some time (in-between downpours) wading in the creek. Helen was pretty fearless in the current, as long as she knew someone was close by in case she needed a hand to grab onto.

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Elizabeth was less inclined to get in on her own, and for that I was thankful. She is so full of bravery in other things, that I can’t imagine how many times I’d have to fish her out of the creek if she ever became convinced she could conquer it.DCIM100SPORT

Even Greta took a swim or two in the cold water. Although I’m sure she’d have me let you know that she much prefers digging in the sand.DCIM100SPORT

This was Max’s first trip to Nonna and Poppa’s house, and I have a feeling he enjoyed it…even if his crazy Aunt Hannah kept putting crayons in his pocket and toy guitars in his lap for her own amusement.IMG_4795

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Uncle John was always there to provide a cozy place to nap. And, I do mean ALWAYS. Every time I turned around, John was holding Max, and it usually looked something like this:

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On the rare occasion that John ever put Max down, someone else was always there to scoop him up.
IMG_4830 And, as usual, Mom and Dad fed us well! Dad cooked ribs on the 4th, while Mom was in the kitchen frying okra and cooking peas, cornbread and squash. Yum!

The next night, Jacob and I “helped” Dad cook some chickens. We just followed his instructions on the seasoning, and then stepped back while he worked his magic. It was delicious.

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And, we all enjoyed the veggies from Poppa’s garden.

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No pictures to post of Lindsay or I, although I assure you we were present…either behind the camera or elsewhere.

Until next time, Murder Creek!


Two!

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Elizabeth June!

I never thought I could love a little girl as much as I love Helen.

…then came you….

Where Helen is cautious, you show no fear. When she is playing dress-up, you are bending down to get a closer look at a bug. You love to push her buttons…but, even now you’ll stand your ground to defend her.

At Helen’s birthday party, some older boys snatched a toy from her…leaving her in a fit of tears. Poppa was watching you to see how you’d react. I love to hear him re-tell the story of how you sprang into action, running after those boys…wagging your finger at them…scrunching up your eyebrows as you completely told them off in jibber-jabber…

I’m so proud of the little person you’re becoming.

Happy Birthday, Junebug. I love you to the moon and back.

-Aunt Hannah


A skirt for Junebug

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My youngest niece turns 2 tomorrow! I decided to make her a twirly skirt for the occasion.

Her favorite color is yellow…I know this because anytime she sees the color, her face lights up in glee and she points to it while exclaiming: “Yellow! Yellow, yellow…YELLOW!!!”

I personally detest the color yellow, although I occasionally make an exception for certain shades (i.e.: mustard). But, since I am the best aunt ever, I put my personal feelings aside & incorporated as much yellow as I could when choosing fabrics.

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I’ve done quite a bit of sewing, but I’m definitely not that experienced at making clothing…and this was my first attempt at such a small piece of clothing.

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I was definitely frustrated with gathering it all together at the waist. I also had to hand-stitch quite a bit more than I had originally planned in order to make it look as neat as possible. But, I think I am fairly pleased with the way it turned out.

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The original plan was to mail this to the birthday girl in time for her party, but I’ve changed my mind. I’m waiting until I see her in a few weeks, so that I can see her open it and try it on….and, so I can be there to say “yes” when her older sister asks for a skirt of her own.


June, thus far

Tomorrow is my birthday…which means I’ve reached the end of my 20 by 29 challenge. I’ve only lost 5 of the 20 lbs I wanted to lose, but it’s not like I’m giving up when the sun rises tomorrow. I’m continuing on, and not letting myself get discouraged.

Now, for a slew of pictures from the past couple of weeks:

Lindsay flew in with the girls to visit my parents the first week of June. I drove down to see them for two days.

Helen & Poppa in the garden…probably the cutest pictures I’ve ever seen…

Lindsay & I slipped away and went kayaking, just the two of us.  SO. MUCH. FUN.

Some of our extended family came over for a day in the creek.

I loved seeing my nieces and my cousin’s kids get to play together.


(Her little legs kill me)

All of the ladies went out to dinner…Helen & Elizabeth had to bring their purses.

I was sad to leave, but I’ll see them again at the end of July.  This is apparently the year when we see each other more than ever…and I am definitely NOT complaining!

Last weekend I got to spend my Saturday with John’s parents and my sis-in-law, Mary.

Mary & I went to Jones Valley Farms FreshFest. We ate some delicious food from local food trucks…

I got to see the produce stands and wash station that Mary’s rural studio group built for Jones Valley!

We met up with friends, watched a goat milking demonstration, had some popsicles from Steel City Pops…

Our trip ended with the purchasing of produce, and me carrying a watermelon for a block or two back to the car.

Then it was back to Mom & Dad P’s house for dinner…and a game of fetch with Oscar.

Thanks for spending your Saturday with me, Mary!  I love days spent with you!


I left my heart in Texas

 I spent a long weekend in Texas recently with my brother and his family. I adore my brother…I have all my life. Seeing him as a dad is so incredible.

 We filled our time with adventures.  We played at a local park..where Mommy & Aunt Hannah may have had more fun than Helen & Beth….

Jacob & I took the girls for a jog.  We took turns pushing the stroller. One time (while I was pushing) Helen said, “Daddy, if you want to run really fast…we’ll miss you!”

Baby girl knows my limits.

The next morning, we all went to the zoo.  We got there pretty early, and the weather was AMAZING. It was in the 70s and slightly overcast.

All of the animals were in an extremely good mood. It was the most fun I’ve had at any zoo. Ever.

That night we had an impromptu water fight with the neighbors.

(Let the record show that they started it….)

My favorite part was when Helen kept shrieking, “Get them! Now’s our chance!”

She eventually turned on us and started tossing buckets of water on Jacob, Lindsay & I.

Some other wonderful things that happen during my trip:

Lindsay made amazing food…..

We caught the ice cream truck!!

In a sudden role reversal: I got a manicure from Helen.

We took a pretty entertaining trip to Target.  The look on Elizabeth’s face in this photo cracks me UP…such a little troublemaker.

On a tip from Aunt Angela, we made some sharpie tie-dyed shirts!  Here’s Helen’s:

Speaking of shirts…I made this one for Jacob.

He’s the rocket scientist…I’m the theatre major…but we’ve long agreed we’re equally brilliant…just in different ways.

On my last night in town, Jacob set up a slip’n’slide that my parents sent.

Helen was unsure at first.

So, Lindsay & I donned bathing suits and threw ourselves down a piece of plastic…..all in the name of summer-time fun.

The girls caught on quickly.

I feel so lucky to have such a great relationship with my brother. I know most siblings aren’t as close as the two of us are, and I definitely don’t take him for granted.

To top if off, he married a truly incredible woman who has become one of my best friends.  And, I can’t even describe how much I love Helen and Elizabeth..there are no words.

This trip was just what I needed. The only thing that could have been better was if John could have come along.

Lindsay and I are trying to figure out a way to eventually live next door to one another…or, at the very least, the same state.


Playing catch-up

I’ve been keeping up with my 52 Projects resolution, but seem to have failed at blogging as much as I would like to. Whoopsies…

Instead of boring you with a wordy, detailed report of everything I’ve been up to, here’s a visual update of life lately…according to my phone.

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……I love my life….and the people in it………..