Thursday, October 5, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Thank you all who messaged, sent cards, texts, etc. after my grandma's passing. She was OH SO loved, and is a treasure we will miss daily. Honestly, it's hard to come back to the blog after that... and get back into the swing of things. I think of things daily I would love to find the time to share or document, but insta and facebook had to do for awhile. :) Forget playing catch up... I'm just going to share some of my FAVORITES from these past (non documented) weeks for FRIDAY FAVORITES! *Linking up with Andrea, Erica, and Narci!

First up... baby Claire arrived and is absolutely precious and our new FAVORITE!



The pic below sums up HM's feelings about the new addition. :)


Burke made a book for Claire while we were waiting for her arrival. 
Y'all... the title was "Baby Claire is Safe"... it was a story about Baby Clare's birthday, and a tornado
tearing everything away except a Christmas tree... and Baby Claire. She made it through the storm... and oh... how looking back on that story... how much of it was true.









They found Claire had some scary heart complications. They did a procedure and she stayed in the NICU at Children's for a bit, but is home and doing great now!


We are dying to get our hands on her again soon! 


Another favorite... our Tigers!
Auburn has been a top priority around here... What a joy it's been to work with these girls!







And as a result of all the AU runs... more sleep has never been so needed. :)


Burke's favorite these past weeks, has been the fact that he lost his bottom two teeth! Only 2 days after his portraits! (Yeah... close call ya'll.)

We were wrestling in the floor and he literally hit the edge of the pillow, and seemingly spit at me! lol 
Me- "Did you just spit at me???"
B- "No, I think my tooth just came out!" 

Sure enough we found a hole in his mouth and the tooth in the floor. :)

Kissing up^^^

A favorite time last week was had when we went to Disney on Ice with Burke's K class!
Sister was in heaven. #obviously

 Burke may have been more interested in using his 15$ plastic binoculars. :)

And on of my favorite things that happened this week, includes a sweet shout out from Burke's teacher.

 So proud of this sweet boy.


Now... onto our Friday Favorite this morning... Coffee and Friends Friday morning tradition!

Have a wonderful weekend!





















Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Going home.

(*Please excuse the screenshot pics... #computerproblems)
I have not been able to blog for awhile... but it's nights like tonight, where this blog turns into more than just a keepsake or scrapbook, or a place to share with family and friends. Tonight it serves as my outlet. My place to share a hurt inside that I knew would come ... one day... but now that it's here, I want to push reverse on the life remote and bask in "the good ole days."


Last night, a little after 10pm, I got word that my Grandma Bartlett had a stroke, and by the sounds of it ... it was bad. After a second phone call, of urgency that she would not be coming out of this, I threw on some clothes and drove to Cullman. 

That drive.... while it was hard. I am thankful for it.  I had two hours to weep, think, and cry over a person that I love so dearly. 


Just this past week, grandpa and grandma called while I was bringing groceries into the house, and I missed it. As soon as I realized I had missed their call, I phoned back... and heard a very sad grandpa on the other line. He said he called to thank me for the Chickfila gift card that we had included in our present at Christmas, but I quickly knew that was not it (and once again realized he has a killer memory!). I asked about grandma... and his voice began to crack. Oh how at that moment I wished all I had to do was run up the one hill that separated our homes and give him a hug. He just said that grandma was not doing good, and she was talking about going home constantly... 

She has been talking about "going home" for awhile now. Much like her sister, Mildred and Dean. You see Alzheimer's is a strong trait in her (our) family... one that Dean's daughter is documenting and starting a forum to help others cope with this terrible disease.( Find https://www.mommahasalzheimers.com and follow Paula Jean and their amazing story.)

Of course, I called Jon as soon as we finished talking, and he was able to go over and catch up with them for an hour or so... medicine to their soul I know. 

That day... as I hung up the phone, I cried. I cried because I knew the time was coming, I cried because I hurt for my grandfather who loves her so, I cried because our time was coming to an end with grandma in it. And then what dioes God do... but plant hope and beauty...


This butterfly sat with me inches from it for about 10 minutes... Grandma filled my mind as I watched this beautiful sign from above.


While on the drive to Cullman to tell Grandma goodbye,
I was able to reminisce.

I have memories of rolling around in her living room floor with Jon and our cousins, Adam, Amy, Tyler, and Drew and having to watch The Days of Our Lives while we ate lunch at the kitchen counter. :)

I vividly remember grandma picking me up from the bus stop when I was in elementary school before we were old enough to stay alone. She would often be on the four wheeler (until that one time when we flipped it, and she was sent to the hospital with a broken wrist!).

I remember often joining in on grandma and grandpa's Hardee's breakfast morning with all their retired friends at 7am in the summer months while mom and dad went to work. 

I have long scar stretching down my right shin because I because I decided to ride down her red brick front porch steps.  

I can taste the Kraft mac-n-cheese summer lunches (Vienna sausage with peanut butter, if cousin Adam was there) to feed all the cousins quickly and happily. 

I can hear the laughter on her front porch while we watch dad, Uncle Greg, Uncle Herm and Adam putting on our 4th of July fireworks display in the front yard... and then having to pick up all the bottle rocket casings the next morning. 

I can taste her famous chicken and dressing and chicken and dumplings (which Tyler and I fight over till this day.)... and then there were the desserts. My favorites were homemade strawberry ice cream, and her strawberry dessert pizza.  

I can smell the honeysuckles growing behind her little house where my brother and I would pick and eat "the honey" once spring arrived and I remember picking and eating the sweetest muscadines from their backyard in the summer.

And through these childhood memories... I gathered why I loved her so much. Why EVERYONE loves her so much... why, although Alzheimer's took most of her memory before this day, all who loved her will have a hole in their heart when she passes,...


She put herself second. maybe third... often rock bottom.  The verse "He must increase, but I must decrease" John 3:30 immediately comes to mind... she exemplifies that proclamation. 

In all my days, I watched her do nothing to glorify herself. Instead, I watched her serve her family, friends, and lift others up. I NEVER ever heard her say a bad word about anyone. She would always be the listener, just laugh, shake her head, and study you intently... all while never passing judgment, and making you feel heard, understood, and loved. I know what you're thinking... HOW is she human? :) 


She had the patience of Jesus. Seriously... we packed 100,000 million people into her and grandpa's small home every Christmas of my life... and I never saw her get flustered. 


She handmade blankets for her GREAT grandchildren... and tucked them away long before they were ever in the picture... most likely knowing that Alzheimer's would take away her ability to crochet. 


And despite this terrible disease, she taught us all something in her illness. She is showing us there is HOPE and BEAUTY in the end. She is made whole, has her memory, and is just waiting to fix us chicken and dumplings when we meet her there. 
She was a Proverbs 31 woman... who was worth far more than rubies.


I promise myself that I will strive to be like her. "Decreasing" to let Jesus shine right though, is the model she has set before me. Giving me hope in what's to come.


I pray I make you proud, grandma.
You are" who I want to be like when I grow up," and
I can't imagine being any more lucky to have snagged you as my grandmother. 

So we "honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
Proverbs 31:31

Go in peace sweet grandma... for you have heard "Job well done."
xoxo,
Jessica












Saturday, August 26, 2017

Kindergarten!

So right after summer ended *tear, and school began, I jumped right into Auburn's band camp, and it was basically survival mode for 3 weeks. hahaha
So, I'm going to try to back up and document some important happenings!
This boy started Kindergarten!

We decided to keep him at First Methodist for 1/2 day Kindergarten this year, for numerous reasons, and we are so glad we did. He is LOVING school and has already started learning so much in two short weeks!
He met his teacher, Mrs. Meade, the Friday prior to school.

They didn't want to leave her classroom. :)

In honor of this huge Kindergarten sized milestone we held a family Kindergarten Kickoff Party. :)
I got the idea from Andrea at Momfessionals, and tweaked it a bit!

The kids went to my parents for two nights, and that allowed me to clean house (Hallelujah!... it hadn't been scrubbed well since the last day of school!) and decorated... which didn't take long, it was just taking the time to gather all the things!




The banner was from the Target bargain bins (LOVE THAT SECTION!)
All the other things we had on hand.

Centerpiece were my Dr. Seuss books stacked high with a globe my mom found at a garage sale a while back.
Cardstock for place settings, and orange napkins left from one of Burke's parties completed the look.

Any reason to throw a party!



We have a super talented cookie baker (and retired teacher!) that made the cookies! Follow Sugamomma on Instagram! They were perfect!


Afterwards, daddy helped fill out his All About Me poster for his classroom. On it, he included what he wants to be when he grows up... which has changed from architect to American Ninja Warrior. hahaha


Also, laid out was his Ready Confetti and First Day of School book!


So the ready confetti has been on my radar ever since I became a teacher. There is basically a poem that goes along with it that explains how this confetti (if sprinkled under your pillow) will help you get a good nights rest (mom and dad too!) to start Kindergarten off right. :) It worked. :)

I have the file I created... but it won't let me download. If anyone would like a copy, I can email... just comment with your email!



He was so excited. haha!




I'm just glad I used "big" confetti... because I still think we will be finding it at Christmas. hahaha
*One friend suggested they put it inside their pillow case to keep it contained! Good tip!

After putting him to bed, I made sure he was ready to go the next morning.
Backpack, poster, and cookie for his teacher!
I can't believe he's old enough for this!


The next morning, he woke up extra early... first day of school clothes in hand. He was ready to go the moment he woke up! ha!





He must have known momma's heart was hurting, because he said, "Momma will you snuggle with me and watch George?"
 Ummmm..... YES.



*snuggling* 





We had our traditional first day of school breakfast of alphabet pancakes and fruit... (except this time I cheated and found alphabet cookies to spell out the message).
And just to show how tired and in a hurry I was... 
I didn't even notice my mistake until I was flipping back through these digital pictures. hahaha




We walked in the school doors with Burke's best bud, Jack.
These two are the best of friends!


NO tears from anyone! Whoohoo!


When I picked him up that day he was All smiles and a huge hat. :)
He is in love with school. So thankful for a great teacher, school, and friends!