Friday, April 30, 2010

Flashback Friday: Just Your Typical Bag O' Produce {May 1, 2009}

Now that Ann Peyton is over a year old, one thing I have had fun doing lately is going back and looking at pictures from today's date a year ago. We don't take pictures of her EVERY day, but I feel like we probably have footage from at least half of the days she's been alive....which I am so grateful for!

Anyway, these pictures are actually from a year ago tomorrow (May 1st, 2009). They've appeared more than once on the blog before, but they make me laugh every time. Peyton was just asking me last night "Sweeeeetie, are other people really not as weird and goofy as we are?". Um, no, they aren't.

Potato: Check. Tomato: Check. AnnPeytonato: Check!

"Catch ya later, Peeps!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Babykin Boutique: A Little Bit of Everything Collection

Well, I didn't get to go to the consignment sale that I was so excited about this week because it got canceled! They actually postponed it until the fall due to "technical difficulties" (I am really curious as to what that even means). Anyway, needless to say I was super bummed! I thought today would be a great day to do a post on some of the great things I have acquired for Ann Peyton over the past few months. It's a good reminder that I didn't need to spend one cent more on her closet right now!

I've been to two big consignment sales this Spring.

The first one was way back in February. I got her a ton of great stuff for this summer and for next. Surprisingly, though, I bought less and spent less than I did last fall. For this summer I got her a sea foam green bubble (that we now have in three colors), a lime and pink two piece outfit that I'm not sure I really like now, a blue smocked bubble that I just love the detail on, the little striped dress with goldfish on the bottom, and a cute reversible pinafore style dress. The smocked watermelon dress on the end and the the blue and pink flower outfit are for next summer.

The other big sale I went to was called Lollies and this was the first time I went. I did really well and didn't spend much money at all, but it was almost all buying ahead. I did get her the appliqued bunny bubble to wear this summer. She wore it to an easter egg hunt and she actually wore it to her birthday party, too, since her birthday outfit was too hot. It's one of my favorite brands (The Bailey Boys) and close to Easter they were selling on eBay for upwards of $40....I paid MUCH less for ours and it's in great condition!

I also got her the smocked Little Bo Peep romper and a chennile romper in an 18 mo. for the fall. The duck dress, Raggedy Ann dress, and sailboat dress are all a 2T, so she won't be wearing them for awhile!

I got these three outfits at a local consignment shop. The little two piece with the beach scene is a 9 mo and it fits her perfectly! The other two are 12 mo. and they are waiting on some minor alterations by Minnie!

I got a bunch of her summer clothes on eBay. I have been looking for this smocked sailboat dress on eBay since I saw it last summer at a boutique on sale for $60! I was so excited to finally get it!

I also got several other cute bubbles and sets off eBay. The Humpty Dumpty bubble, the ice cream bubble, and the bunny shorts set are all The Bailey Boys. Those three and the watermelon bubble are for this summer. I don't think she'll wear the sailboat or the "Plate Ran Away with the Spoon" outfits until the very end of the summer (can you tell someone's Momma likes nursery rhymes?).

I also got a polka dot bubble dress for the fall, a swimsuit and cover up for next summer, and another TBB outfit from eBay!

I'm sure it seems like I get everything for her used, but I have gotten AP a few things brand new! I got her these two dresses from Target (one for this summer, one for next) and this little retro looking swimsuit from The Children's Place.

I also got her several new pairs of shoes of her very own!

I went by TJ Maxx with Minnie a month or so ago and we hit the jackpot! I got her another striped Ralph Lauren bubble and a sleeveless t-shirt dress for this summer. The bright funky dress, the blue seersucker dress, and the coat (with a matching dress underneath) are all for next spring/summer. I love buying ahead!

I didn't have as much success at the Overstock Sale this Spring as I ussually do. I did get this funky romper that she wore for a bit when it was still cool and this precious bubble that is going to be her Fourth of July outfit once it's monogrammed. Really, the cutest part of the bubble is the back....

As you can see, it's really okay that I didn't do that well at the sale and the one today got cancelled. She's pretty set, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

This week's book is really special because it is Ann Peyton's very first favorite book. When she crawls over to her book basket, more times than not, she chooses this one....

In My Den
by Sara Gillingham
Illustrated by Lorena Siminovich

It is so neat to see her developing preferences.

We got this book for her for Christmas because we've always called her (in addition to many other nicknames) "baby bear". Peyton and I called each other "honey bear" and "little bear" when we were dating, so we called little Annie "baby bear" from her earliest days in my tummy. So, I guess, in addition to bunny books, we have started collecting bear books, as well!

This book if fun to read because there aren't very many words, so it is perfect for her increasingly short little toddler attention span. The pictures are really neat and she loves grabbing the little felt bear puppet that sticks through the die-cut openings in each page. And of course, I love that it's about a sweet, three bear family!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

A Year's Wages

I had a really inconsequential, shallow little post planned for tonight. It was another little thing someone tagged me for and I think surveys, memes and the like are super fun, so I'm sure it will appear later in the week. But, I had to share something instead about a really neat encounter I had with the Lord today.

I do want to say something first and I think you'll understand why when you finish the post-- I'm not sharing this because I want to brag about something that the Lord has placed on my heart. I just wanted to share what a felt like was a really special encounter with Him because I love reading about those on other people's blogs.

I have been in a pretty "dry" place lately in my faith. I know that most Christians experience those times and I know with certainty that even when God doesn't feel present in my life, He is always there. Lately, I have been trying to be more intentional about spending time with Him and I have been really asking Him to show Himself to me. I feel like I gained a lot from going through Cursillo recently and from the Beth Moore conference this past weekend, but I was really thirsty for something personal. I can't remember the last time I really felt like I had an experience with the Lord that was deeply personal to me.

Well, today I was reading Angie Smith's book, I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy. I will post more about it when I finish it, but it is basically the story of how she coped and is coping with the loss of her daughter, who died within hours of her birth. If you are familiar with Angie's blog, you will not be surprised that the book is beautifully written and beyond inspirational in it's message.

I feel like I need to backtrack a little bit before I can get to where I am trying to go....

First of all, one thing I love about Angie's writing is that she loves imagery and it seems like everything in her life is a metaphor. Her blog is filled with ways the Lord spoke to her through balloons, broken pitchers, scarves, and the hem of her wedding gown. Without fail, though, it leaves me really yearning for those little messages from him in my own life.

Well, today I got one. I need to back up again, though.

Awhile back (probably about a year ago), I was listening to one of my dearest friends deliver a message at a church gathering. The scripture that Morgan was preaching on was an account of when Mary anointed Jesus with an expensive jar of perfume. Morgan explained what a powerful act of worship that was and really dwelt on the fact that the cost of the perfume was at least equal to a year's worth of wages. Then and there something clicked in my head. When we left the service, I told Peyton that there was something that I really wanted to do one day.

I explained to him that I thought it would be so neat if we could make a similar sacrifice one day. I told him that if and when I go back to teaching school full time when our children are older, I would love to put that money aside and at the end of the first year find a very special ministry or charity and give it all away as an act of worship.

Over the past year, I have thought about it some. I'll admit, it is fun to fantasize about giving your money away in that way. But it's not something that is really in the for front of my mind on most days.

Well, today I was reading in Angie's book and I came upon the same story. In it she made a point of saying that the perfume would have costs about $30,000 in today's money. I had never heard that exact figure before, but I thought it was interesting. Immediately when I got home, I did some Googling and I came upon this:

Mississippi Base Teaching Salaries

Degree Level
Year 1 Teaching Salary Year 6 Teaching Salary Year 14 Teaching Salary
Bachelor's Degree
$30,000 $32,880 $36,720
Master's Degree
$32,000 $35,840 $40,960
Doctorate Degree
$34,000 $38,620 $44,780


I felt such conviction when I saw the number for the first year teacher's salary for someone with a bachelor's degree. Not that it would have made any difference how much I would make, but it was such a neat, personal moment with the Lord and I felt such excitement from it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #58 (April 19-25)-- Spring Has Sprung!

This week was really nice. It was just a fun, easy week. It wasn't too busy, but it wasn't boring, either. I LOVE that type of week! Also, I feel like Spring is really here. It felt so nice outside this week and we took full advantage of it. I'm sure it will get blazing hot any day now and not cool down until around October, so we're trying to soak up as much of the pleasantness as possible.

On Monday, we stayed home all day. After Ann Peyton woke up, I cleaned up the kitchen and made blueberry muffins (from a box, but they are SO, SO good). During Annie's nap, I straightened the house, did some laundry, and wrote notes to some of the people who were really instrumental in making our Cursillo weekend so special for us. It's amazing how much I can get done when I stay at home all day AND choose to be productive. When Peyton got home we went for a little walk around the neighborhood.

I made sloppy joes and french fries from scratch for supper and I also made some chicken salad for our lunches during the week. Seriously, what could be easier than ground beef and chicken salad? Not much, but I managed to mess both up. I meant to make burgers with the beef, but I was really absentminded and just started cooking it without making it into patties first. No biggie, though we just through in the Manwich stuff and it was fine. For the chicken salad, I just use Swanson's canned chicken most of the time (I know that's gross to some people and there are some things, like chicken spaghetti, that I can't stand it in, but that's how my mom made it growing up and I think it's really good). Well, I got in a hurry and dumped one can of chicken and one can of TUNA in it. You couldn't really taste a difference and I didn't even notice until later in the week. Anyway, a couple of fails on the cooking front. I will say between the fish the night before, the muffins, the sloppy joes and homemade french fries, and the chicken salad that's probably as much cooking as I've done in any two days of my life, save parties and such. Haha! After that I stayed up way, way too late (like, I went to bed between the 2:00 and 3:00 hours) reading Angie Smith's new book, which it totally captivating.

On Tuesday, we had Mother's Morning Out. That afternoon when Peyton got home, we played in the backyard and I read more of my new book. Tuesday night we had our Ultreya picnic and it was so much fun to fellowship with other people from our church that have been through Cursillo.

I'm glad Wednesday was a low-key day for us, because I was SO tired. I read somewhere once, that on any given day it is actually the sleep you got the night before the preceding night that determines your level of tiredness that day. I have, almost without fail, found that to be true in my life. Case in point- on Wednesday I was super tired from Monday night. Anyway, we didn't do too much. I did some laundry and then I took a nap when AP too hers. I did have my sewing class on Wednesday night. It was the last one and we finished the top we were making. I was not nearly as satisfied with the top as I was with the skirt. I think I just need to keep practicing, though! I went to bed almost immediately when I got home.

On Thursday, we had MMO again. When we got home, while AP napped, I spent a long time going through old pictures looking for a few to scan for this post. Peyton called that afternoon and reminded me that his parents were going to keep Ann Peyton that night while we went out on a date. What a nice surprise, I had totally forgotten! On the way to drop her off, we went by the cell phone store to get my phone fixed because it mysteriously stopped working (I say "mysteriously"; it was about three years old and it was my Dad's before it was mine; it was time for it to die). Our date was so much fun, even though we talked mostly about kid stuff, haha! We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Julep. It was so good! I had my usual, the Spinach and Sausage Quiche with Strawberry Pecan Salad and a cup of Tomato Basil Soup; Peyton had a sandwich, and we split a new appetizer- the Shrimp Toast, which was really rich, but so good! After dinner, we went to Renaissance to do a little shopping. Peyton did a little browsing at J. Crew and I found a dress MAJOR on sale at Anthropologie. I'll post a picture later if I end up keeping it. It was such a fun night!

Friday was fun because we had our little friends Aubrey and Evy and their Mommas over to our house. The morning was a little ca-razy at first, though. I had AP in her high chair and was sweeping and mopping the kitchen, because, you know, other people (even your best friends) may not want their children scooting around on the grime that has been there for the last week. She was playing with some toys and all of a sudden she was really coughing hard on something. Her face turned a strange color and I rushed over there, thinking "Okay, you don't Heimlich babies, you just pat them on the back REALLY hard....but not unless they stop coughing and are really choking". Well, praise the Lord, it didn't get that far. By the time I got to her she had coughed up the little piece of plastic wrap she had in her mouth, along with puking the entire bottle she had just drank. Girlfriend seems like she enjoys throwing up these days, huh? Anyway, I was right on schedule with getting the house cleaned and myself ready, but I had to slow down and deal with this issue. Well, I threw her high chair cover in the wash (it's covered in plastic, but there are times when you just HAVE to wash it. This was clearly one of them.) and cleaned up the floor and took her to the bathroom for a bath. She really hates baths and mostly, I just stick her in the tub with Peyton or myself now, so I was dreading it but not as much as I would have dreaded having her reek of vomit for her company. She did okay at first, but sure enough, she was wailing by the end. After she got out as I was drying her hair off in her room she leaned forward and bumped her head really hard on the rocker on the rocking chair. Ouch! She still has a big blue bruise! Anyway, I gave her some applesauce and put her in her crib, and she was so tired from all of it, she fell right asleep. I straightened the house really quickly, made some more (tuna-less) chicken salad and some Berry Tea and finished getting myself ready.

Once the girls got here, we had a blast and Annie was her usual, happy self! We tried to watch our wedding DVDs, but my DVD player was acting up (actually, I couldn't figure it out), so we just had a good time visiting. At one point, I let The General inside because he was meowing and the whether seemed to be getting bad (there were tornado warnings/watches all day...I can't ever remember which is which). Anyway, Aubrey started jumping up and down and crying and pratically shimmied up Carrie's leg. It was so sad and so funny at the same time! It's even funnier because she has a huge boxer that lives in her backyard and is pratically her best friend, but she was scared of our kitty!
(Not sure where Aubrey was, possibly hiding from the General)

When Peyton got home, it was gross and rainy outside, so we watched Grand Torino and I folded laundry.

We were about to leave to go to my parents for Red Beans and Rice and Peyton starting messing with something on the hot water heater. He ended up having to drain the whole thing, so we went ahead and he came late. When we got home I finished my Cursillo notes.

Saturday morning I got up early to go to the Beth Moore Simulcaste at Pinelake with Carrie, Ashley, and Ashleys friendwiththecutestnameever, Jennilee. It was all about saying "So Long!" to our insecurities and wow, that was a message I needed to hear. Of course, as usual, Beth definitely "brought a word". There were so women all over the country watching and it was neat to be part of something like that- espessially something that is so common to so many women. I just love Beth because she is so real; I mean she's a total randomite and all over the place and yet, she's one AMAZING speaker. It's like she just can't contain the infomation the Lord has given her. We had a nice break in the middle and we went to eat Mexican and had a great time talking about things like toenails, our OBGYNs, and some other important topics. Par for the course with Carrie and Ash, but I hope Jennilee didn't think we were a bunch of crazars!

After the conference, Peyton and I went back to the cellphone place and then to the grocery store. I got stuff for supper and had every intention of cooking (along with reading my Bible, writing some birthday thank yous and cleaning out my closet a bit), but Peyton and I both fell asleep around 7:00. I have no idea why we were so tired! We had put Annie down for a late nap at around 5:00 and she didn't wake up until around 7ish this morning! I didn't, either (of course Peyton woke up at midnight and couldn't go back to sleep, so he's been up ever since). I cannot believe I slept TWELVE hours!

This morning (Sunday) we went ahead and went to early church since we were up and then to Sunday School. After church, Annie took a nap and we finished the movie from Friday. Then, Peyton went to his parents' house to hang out with his youngest brother and I've kind of goofed off and cleaned up the mess in the laundry room from the hot water heater fiasco. We went to Target to get a new garden hose and a laundry basket and then I went by my parents' house for a bit. I cooked some pork and zuchhinni stir fry for the first time for supper and we had a nice relaxing night!

Next week is going to be a little busier, but not bad. Tomorrow we're going to Peyton's grandparents' house and Friday we're having a Sunday School class get together at our house. Also, there is going to be a fun consignment sale on Thursday that I'm super excited about and can't wait for (even though Annie's summer wardrobe is beyond complete).

Friday, April 23, 2010

When It's Cold Outside, I Got the Month of May {Nine Month Old Ann Peyton in Pictures}

I'm sure it seems like I'm never going to finish my journey through Ann Peyton's life. I will. She may be two, though. Ha! Here she is at NINE months...

"Posing wears me out!!"

Cotton Bowl....we didn't go, but we dressed for it!

love my Babykins!

There were perks about supplementing, namely saying goodbye to the (literal and figurative) device of suckage!

not my most glamorous photo op, but we were having fun!

No matter how tiny your baby is, nine months is probably too old for the bouncy seat!

sending birthday wishes to Cookie's BF, Conrad

She's like me- she likes to sleep curled up as small as she can get!

Well, sometimes she does!

Papa couldn't resist joining her!

Somebody enjoyed the new Snack and Scribble Seat!

Annie likes to play dress up! [And Mommy likes to play dolls with the Annie baby!]

One of my favorite pictures of her, EVER

getting a bath in Minnie's sink...

She loved the new chair I found for her!

curious little girl

Annie's boyfriend, Hank, making eyes at her

"See you later, friends!"

I've got sunshine
On a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside,
I've got the month of May.

Well, I guess you'll say

What can make me feel this way?
My girl. (My girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl. (My girl)

I've got so much honey

The bees envy me.
I've got a sweeter song
Than the birds in the trees.

Well, I guess you'll say

What can make me feel this way?
My girl. (My girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl. (My girl)
Ooooh, Hoooo.
Hey, hey, hey.
Hey, hey, hey.

Well, I guess you'll say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl. (My girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl. (My girl)
Talkin' bout my girl.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Show Us Your Life- How I Met My Husband

This week on Show Us Your Life, the topic is how you met your husband....


I am aware that this is REALLY long, but it's such a huge part of my personal testimony that I really couldn't shorten it. I promise you, it's a really good story! Also, I have shared bits and pieces of our story that probably make up this entire post on a variety of occasions (in fact, I C&P'd some of this from other posts-- LAZY!). So, if you are a long time reader, this is probably all old news. Feel free to skip it. Anyway, here is the story of me and Peyton.

Peyton and I met when I was fifteen years old- it will be ten years ago this summer. He was eighteen. I don't even remember that much about him from that first summer. I had my first job (outside of babysitting and working at summer camp) working at Briarwood Swimming Pool, here in Jackson. I was a substitute concession stand worker (the "lowest" job there) and I probably worked less than ten times that summer. Peyton was a lifeguard and honestly, I don't have any clear memories of him. I know I met him and interacted with him on a couple of occasions, but I don't have any specific memories. At that point, I had a boyfriend, but he was gone all summer. Plus, I was going into ninth grade and at Prep that is still considered junior high and Peyton was getting ready for his freshman year of college. He was REALLY not a prospect at that point.

Fast forward to the next summer. I was sixteen, had been cheated on and dumped by my boyfriend (whom I still consider my "first love"), and had a new boyfriend. The new boyfriend was also away for the summer and I was now a full time concession stand worker.
I developed a huge crush on one of the lifeguards at the pool (NOT Peyton) and was trying to decide if I should break up with my boyfriend, who I had never had a real connection with anyway. [He was really fun and we had a blast spending time together, but he was more of a best friend than anything else.] The lifeguard I liked kind of went back and forth over weather or not he liked me, and by the end of summer nothing had come of it. During this time, Peyton was at the pool, too, in the background. He was your "good time guy" and was always making jokes and splashing around being goofy. As that summer drew to a close, my boyfriend got back home and we broke up for a variety of reasons. I spent the next year of high school becoming more and more infatuated with the lifeguard I had developed a crush on, who happened to be a senior at Prep.

The next summer, the summer following my tenth grade year, I finally started dating the boy that I had liked for over a year. It was a fun summer, but even early on that relationship required a great deal of work. It was the first "grown up" relationship I'd ever had (Peyton is the only other one) and it was difficult to say the least. He and I were both carrying around big bags of crazy--he had anxiety equal to mine and thus, we really didn't compliment each other. One or both of us were basically always creating drama. If there wasn't anything to worry about, we'd analyze our relationship to the point that we made something up. It was just not healthy.

Peyton was friends with this fellow, so we became casual friends, as well. He was such a sweet, friendly person and was always so fun and good-natured. Of all the head guards, he was the laid back boss. He did a wonderful impression of Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes commercials and I loved to hear him go "grrrrrreat!" and see his arm shoot up like Tony's. My mom had seen at the pool and told me that he had the biggest smile and was so playful and easy going (so different from the way my old boyfriend and I made each other--I know I was partially responsible for that), she told me how cute he was. I totally disagreed "he's not my type", "I'm totally not attracted to him", "he's so OLD and sort of dorky". Besides, being in a relationship with someone like that would be too easy.

I dated the other boy throughout my junior year of high school. I knew the relationship wasn't the best thing for me, but I adored him. I seriously thought this guy had hung the moon. I thought he was perfect. I hung on his every word. It was really an unhealthy infatuation. He didn't treat me bad, but I let myself be in a place that was not good for me at all. We broke up twice and when we broke up for good I was distraught. I remember telling my mom I wished I was dead. I know....really intense. But teenage angst always is, right? I had watched enough Dawson's Creek to know that my feelings were perfectly normal. Um, yeah.

The summer after we broke up (the summer before my senior year of high school), was SO hard. I was now a full time lifeguard at Briarwood and trying to work with my ex boyfriend who I was still so in love with was really hard. It didn't help that we both kept analyzing things and going back and forth about if it had been the right thing to do to break up. At one point I just came in from the lifeguard stand, starting crying hysterically, and had to call a sub and go home (I know, redic, right?).

Well, one night, some of my girlfriends decided I needed a little cheering up and so they took me to a Better Than Ezra concert at Hal and Mal's. Guess who was there? Briarwood's other head lifeguard......

Peyton Herrington
[This picture was taken that night, the VERY first time Peyton and I (coincidentally) hung out outside of work--over 5 years ago! I'm so glad I have this; I treasure it so much.]

We talked and he hugged on me and we swayed back and forth to the music all night long.

After that night, Peyton and I grew closer and closer and began doing things outside of work. I would call Peyton at all hours of the night just to cry about this guy who broke my heart. And he was such a good listener. I was still mourning my previous relationship and he was SO hung up on another girl. Even though we laid under the stars in my parents backyard (sometimes getting a little closer than most "friends" would) and told each other our deepest hurts and most cherished dreams, we told everyone (and each other) that there was "nothing there". We were always very affectionate; I distinctly remember Peyton holding me in his arms as I sobbed about this other boy. At the time I didn't think "This is the type of man you need. Someone so solid. Someone who will be your rock.", but that was so true. And in time, I realized it.Because over the course of my senior year in high school (Peyton's senior year at Ole Miss) we became so much more than best friends and confidants. We started to fall in love. He was everything I could have hoped for. Everything I ever needed. But....

there was so much to iron out. When we kissed for the first time, I cried for several reasons. The first thing I said was "Now, I've really messed up my chances with (old boyfriend)" and I sobbed because I also felt like I jeopardized one of the most important friendships I had ever had. Most importantly, Peyton wasn't a Christian. He was searching so hard, but that wasn't enough for me to feel okay about what had happened. I had been praying for him (earlier in the year, I had actually prayed really hard that something would "work out" when he took out a girl who was the chaplain of her sorority), but I started praying even harder.

I remember reading Romans 8:28 the night we kissed ("For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him") and claiming it that night. I was so unsure how God was going to work now that I had just destroyed my chances at reuniting with my ex, ruined a very valuable friendship, and probably really hurt my witness. I kind of get teary thinking about what a great God we serve......if anybody had told me, amidst my sobs that night, that THIS MAN would be my husband, that he would be to the most amazing father to our daughter, that he would find Christ and his faith would grow to become an inspiration to me.....I would have laughed out loud, just like another Sarah did when God promised her her son.

Not long after we started dating, I said a horrible thing to Peyton. I told him I didn't know if I would ever be able to love him the way I loved my old boyfriend. And, there in the pool house, he wrapped his arms around me and just let me cry. I'm so thankful he didn't just run away at that point.

Of course, I grew to love him so much MORE than I've ever loved anyone. But those early days were hard days. I'm so thankful he stood by me. And I do not ever regret that other relationship. It taught me so much. I'm so so thankful, though, that God had a better plan for me than I had for myself.