Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Well Documented Life

I realized today that from the time Emmalee was born until now (approximately 12 weeks) I have taken over 1,000 pictures! A THOUSAND PICTURES! Granted, Anna Kate probably took a quarter of those, mostly of her own face.  I think that the amount of pictures taken since my second child was born is a direct reflection of the rebel within me. Oh, you didn’t know? I have a rule breaker just trying to escape! You know the rule, the one about second children? Everyone always says that the second child gets the shaft compared to the first child. They say that the second child doesn’t get paid attention to and that you never take pictures of them. Well I refuse!
I may not take a picture of them every day, but I have tried to document both of their lives. Anna Kate takes it upon herself frequently to capture her own life, as well as her sister’s life. What has all of this effort resulted in? 1,000 pictures in less than 3 months. I hope that one day my babies will know how much they mean to me. Maybe if my actions don’t speak loudly enough the humongous amount digital images I captured will be proof!

Below are several pictures showing what we have been up to for the last few weeks:

 Blowing Bubbles
 Helping Mommy Bake
Supervising the construction of the pony fence
The other supervisor
Pops and Grammy cut down an enormous tree by their house
Beach trip with Dranmama and Drandaddy

Burying the babe, a family tradition

Before the ride went up and down...
After the ride went up and down
LOVE ice cream!

This is the life!

Sweet Sisters

Visit Dranmama at work day, heading up to the slide
Playing with baby sis

Dranmama and baby sis at SU Baseball game
AK and Uncle Buddy at Old Timer's game at SU
Jump Drandaddy Jump!

2 things to point out about this picture:
#1This is the way that she dresses when she stays home with here Daddy
#2 This is how exhausted she is when she stays home with her Daddy
Pushing baby sis at Daddy's PeeWee Football Game
Look at that hair and sweet face!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Girls

It's been an interesting few weeks with the girls! On Emmalee's side there has been an enormous amount of eating, sleeping, and pooping. (That's what Anna Kate says Emmalee does all the time anyway) On Anna Kate's side there has been playing, bossing, and mothering of her new baby sister. When it comes to me, just exhaustion. I have enjoyed every single tired second with my girls though.

Anna Kate has taken on the roll of big sister head on. It was made perfectly clear in the hospital that Emmalee was HER baby and anyone who wanted to see her/ hold her had to go through Big Sis. This is actually better than I thought it was going to turn out. I thought that AK would be extremely jealous of her baby sister and wouldn't want to have anything to do with her. It has turned out to be the exact opposite. She wants to help with EVERYTHING! This includes when Emmalee is crying, AK tries to bring her to me (i.e. she picks her up and calls for me to come and get her). I think that Emmalee is going to have to be a tough cookie to make it out of babyhood alive at our house!

AK does love her baby sister and her baby sister already loves her. AK is one of the only people that Emmalee consistently follows with her eyes around the room. I guess she's already looking up to her Big Sis.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Letters From Momma

Dear Anna Kate,

Today may be the day that you become a big sister. I know that you have been waiting on this day for a very long time. I hope that you continue to be excited about your role as a big sister. Sometimes you will not be happy about it, but remember that as long as you have a sibling, you have someone who loves and admires you. You will always have a friend.

Being a big sister is a very big responsibility. From now on, whether you like it or not, you will always have someone watching you. There is forever someone who will look up to you, depend on you, and most likely get on your nerves. You might not have asked for it, but it's the curse of being born first. It is very important for you to always remember the influence that you have on your brothers and sisters lives.

I pray that you have a kind and compassionate heart that is willing to help others, especially those closest to you; your siblings. That being said, it is also just as important for you to let your brothers and sisters make their own decisions and their own mistakes. It isn't your job to boss them around and tell them what they should and should not do. Leave that to Momma and Daddy. It is your job, however, to be a good/positive role model who is also a good friend.

Your sister is a very lucky girl to have you. I pray that even in bad times that you both remember what a special, lifelong bond siblings have.

I love you always,

Dear Emmalee Rae,

We are patiently awaiting your arrival sweet pea! You are two days late. I can see that being born on your Aunt Casey's birthday would be perfect already, because she is always on her own schedule just like you.

Everyone is very excited to meet you. We all wonder what or who you will look like; what your temperament will be like. Your big sister, Anna Kate, has been asking to hold and cuddle you for weeks now. Let me tell you, you are definitely blessed with an amazing big sister.

I want you to know that you have been prayed for from the moment that you were conceived. Momma and Daddy love you and cannot wait for that love to multiply when we are holding you in our arms. We have prayed for your health and for a safe delivery. We have also prayed that you will grow into a beautiful Christian young woman.

I cannot speak for your Daddy's personal prayers, but I know that I have prayed that you see the Godly example that we try to set every day and that you would desire to have that same relationship with Jesus. I pray that you are smart, funny, outgoing, kind hearted, compassionate, and caring. I pray that you have a sweet spirit and a servant's heart. I pray lastly that you are strong and independent.

I cannot wait to meet you and to see what the Lord has in store for your life.

I love you always,

Monday, August 15, 2011

And She's Still Here...

By she, I mean me. Yep, you guessed it. No baby yet. Still waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Anna Kate keeps saying, “Baby Sister, come out!” I am also screaming the same thing, only on the inside. I am so ready to be able to sleep on my stomach! I’m not even a stomach sleeper really, it’s just because I haven’t been able to! I guess I’m ready to see the new little monkey too!  
 Here are a couple of shots of Me, Kyle and AK on her "possible" last day as an only:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy With My Now

Working in a college town, I come in contact with students every day. I know that a lot of you are or have been teachers, so you’re in contact with students as well. I love to see the hustle and bustle of all of the students when school starts back. You can tell the difference in students that are seasoned college attending professionals and incoming fresh meat. Some look excited. Many look scared. I was walking down the street a minute ago and overheard a conversation between a group of girls. They were discussing their plans for the evening (which were amazingly similar to my Thursday night plans many moons ago). Part of their plans involved getting ready, going out, needing someone to drive them home and hoping that it was the cute guy that they had been eyeing. Like I said, minus a couple of things, their plans were remarkably similar to my “youth”.
This scenario got me to thinking. Many people can never get away from their past. They don’t want to grow up. They want to relive the “glory days” of their youth over and over. They don’t want to accept responsibility that they signed up for or ,these days, responsibility that was thrust upon them by poor decision making. Unlike those people, hearing the college girls’ plans made me seriously thankful for where I am in my life.
It’s easy to get caught up in what we think is “wrong” in our lives, or things that we think are hard times. Money, children, bills, stress, work, EXHAUSTION! When I take a step back though, I am reminded of what I really have. I have a wonderful husband who works hard every day to provide the life that he thinks his family deserves. I have a beautiful daughter and one on the way that are healthy and happy. We have wonderful families that love us and provide selfless support to us every day. I have a home that has a roof to shelter me, food in the cupboard, and most importantly to me right now, AC. I have a car to get to a good job.  
Although college was a wonderful experience, I do not look back at those days longingly. The way I see it, when I was in college I was working toward having what I have now. I wouldn’t trade a second of my current life to “go back”. I am most definitely happy with my now. Feeling of the day: Thankful and Blessed.

Monday, August 8, 2011


No...not those projects! I am speaking of several craft projects that I thankfully finished (or almost finished) this weekend. I have been working on a shoe organizer for Anna Kate for about a week and a half/two weeks. I looked around to purchase one for her and her baby sister, but none of them really fit my needs. I needed something small enough so that I could actually see her shoes in the holder, but that was also narrow enough so that I could hang 2 of them on the back of her closet door.So...I made one. As the project went along I found somethings that worked better than others, so the pockets got better as I went along. Here are a few pictures of the shoe organizer (not trimmed or completely finished, but the bulk of the work is done and I'm SO pleased!)

Anna Kate's Shoe Organizer
Sock Holder
Shoe Pockets
The next project that I really wanted to complete was a monogrammed layette for Emmalee to wear home from the hospital.  I had no idea if I was going to get to it, but  I did. I was supposed to add a ribbon where the onesie and fabric meet, but I thought that the fabric was busy enough not to need it. Plus, I kind of like it without it!

The next project was another onesie. It's monogrammed, but not completed.  I've got to add ruffles to the butt of the onesie. The ruffles weren't essential though, so I left it for my "if I get to it, I get to it" pile of projects.
Last, I cut out and embroidered Emmalee's autograph pillow for when we're in the hospital. It's not trimmed either (are we seeing a pattern?). I've got to sew it together tonight and stuff it. I am very pleased with how it turned out. Let's hope I don't screw it up when I assemble it!

I don't know if you can tell but there's a huge white "E" embroidered on the background.

Thanks Grammy and Pops for your help with AK while I worked on this stuff! I really appreciate it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One Week

That phrase could be talking about many different things. However, today, it is referring to the fact that in one week (more or less) we will be welcoming our newest addition to the Jackson family. I’m not nervous about the birth. I’m not even particularly nervous about Anna Kate accepting her sister right away. What I am nervous about is the complacency that has come with having a 2 year old.

Do any of you know what I’m talking about? When Anna Kate was born we had almost EVERYTHING a baby needs prepped and ready to go. (Although we did have to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart on the way home from the hospital for miscellaneous items that we didn’t “know” we would need). We had a bag packed for her, we had our stuff packed for the hospital and I had been riding it around for approximately a month prior to Chick’s arrival. We were ready.

For the past 2 days (keep in mind again, it’s only a week/week and a half away) I have been and still am putting off packing my hospital bag. I don’t remember what we need to have in Emmalee’s diaper bag. (These days we sometimes leave the house without anything for Anna Kate because she’s so low maintenance and potty trained!) We haven’t used a bottle in over 9 months. Do I even remember all the work that goes into baby bottle feeding? We have NOT ONE bottle nipple for the bottles that Emmalee will need when I am pumping and we’re bottle feeding her. (All of the old nipples are for older babies or we cut them for Anna Kate to use as she got older.) We still haven’t assembled her baby swing.

I was hoping to make Emmalee’s coming home outfit, who in the world knows if that will happen! Is it starting to sound a little like I’m overwhelmed?

On a positive note, the whole entire house is clean. I have most of our clothes washed (let’s not talk about the folded and put up part). She will have a place to sleep that is warm and dry when she comes home, which is in a crib in my bedroom for easy feeding. Her car seat is installed and ready for action.

Maybe we’re more prepared than I thought. I guess I just need to brush up on my detail oriented baby parenting skills!

For your enjoyment...My Girls

Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo Shoot!

My very talented (and sweet) cousin Jerri Lynne Hammond recently offered to shoot maternity pictures for us. I was thrilled. It was something that I didn't have professionally done with Anna Kate and I later regretted. We shot yesterday afternoon, in the BLAZING sun! While Jerri Lynne made it as fun as possible, it was not a pleasant experience for this hormonal pregnant girl. Kyle was also "thrilled" about the experience. (insert dripping sarcasm here) He complained more than AK did! All in all though, I think that it went really well. It is definately something that I am glad we decided to have done. JL put up a few of the shots, from what I've seen so far I am very pleased! They are truly my style!

Notice how incredibly umcomfortable Kyle is!
(He was that way the whole time!)
To see more of her work search for Jerri Lynne Photographs on FB.

Thanks Jerri Lynne for sharing your amazing talents with us! We love you!