Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

Love you so, so much Riley Claire! You’re my best friend and the reason my heart beats. Can’t wait to share 2011 with you!


Sunday, December 26, 2010


Dear Riley,

I can’t wait to tell you about your Christmas in 2010. You were so lucky to get so many presents that you love!

Your first gift came from Aunt Morgan a few days early. I just couldn’t let you wait another week to open it!


(Zebra print bed comforter with hot pink sheets!)

Next we went to Papa and Gigi’s house where you received your most favorite gift from none other than my Mom. Very surprising.


(Disney Princess dress-up clothes; the only one you care about right now however, is Snow White)

Then, we came home and waited on Santa Claus. He left you so many presents!


You received a Disney princess table and chairs, Disney princess shoe boutique (which went really well with the dress-up clothes), a travel writing table, two Snow White dolls, clothes, and Etch-a-Sketch, a princess tiara, a drum set, two puzzles, a Pillow Pet, Pocahontas DVD, a Leap Frog DVD, and a water color book. You also had a stocking full of goodies. Notice a theme with all the Disney princess presents? It’s because you LOVE Snow White! When you dress up in Snow White’s clothes, you walk around and tell everyone that your name is Snow White, not Riley. It’s cute!

Your Daddy and I hope you had the best Christmas! Ours was great just watching you enjoy your gifts. We were very blessed this Christmas season when a family very close to my heart is hurting so much.

Love you Riley!

Love, Mama

Merry Christmas 2010!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Who do you think you look like?

Dear Riley,

When Aunt Morgan and I were younger, I can always remember asking the adults in our family, “Who did I look like when I was little?”


Well, I don’t know. I think you look a little like me.


You can be the judge.

John Deere Green

Dear Riley,

Grandad loves his tractors. I loved to ride on the tractor with him anywhere he went when I was little. I just didn’t like to get splashed with mud.


You however, don’t like the tractor at all.

rc tractor

This is so far the only picture you’ve had on the tractor with Grandad because of the fact this is the only time you’ve been on the tractor. You don’t like; it’s too noisy I guess.

One day you will come around!

Love, Mama

Riley Claire–Two years, three months Newsletter

Dear Riley,

I thought you would FOR SURE be potty trained when you turned two because you are pretty smart. Boy was I wrong. Three months into the second year, we are no closer. You just aren’t interested in anything but standing on your potty. It makes a very nice stool. No pun intended.

You are as rambunctious as ever, running, jumping and climbing all over the place. Look what happened to me when I was about your age:


(Jumped from one end of the couch to the other. Came up a little short.)

Your energy level is always on high, which is a good thing. I know what it’s like to have a negative energy level, so it’s very refreshing to see you so bouncy and happy all the time.


I’ve probably told you before, but you are still very caring. If I cry, you want to know why and you give hugs and kisses. If I have a band-aid on, you want to kiss it to make it “All better!” When your Daddy is sick, you are a “sick girl” too.

You love to help me in any way you can. I’m sorry to report, I have taken advantage of your helpfulness and put you to work. You always empty the dishwasher of the silverware and put them in the right drawer. You are always willing to put anything in the trash can, dirty diapers included. The only chore you don’t like doing is cleaning up your toys.


You love to help me cook. You think the spot on the counter in the picture above is your seat. Anytime I am cooking or fixing something, you want to sit there. See all those spices? You take them all out and line them up and then put them all back in the cabinet.


Your Daddy and I spent an entire evening shopping for your Christmas presents. We can’t wait until you can open them! It’s hard to not let you tear into them right this minute! We’ll be patient and continue our Christmas morning tradition.

Love you so much sweet girl!

Love, Mama

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Fireplace

The fireplace at Grandmom and Grandad’s is the center of the house. Not in the center of the house, but THE center of the house. Especially in wintertime, household activities revolve around the fireplace. Grandad always builds the fire early in the morning. Grandmom is always adding wood to it or poking the fire, trying to keep the fire blazing. And the rest of us try and stay out of their way while they are doing it. Pictures are taken in front of the fireplace, and memories are made while staying warm in front of it. We complain that the fire makes the house too hot, but on those really cold mornings, we are all guilty of warming our backsides at the fireplace.




Cruising by the fireplace


Timothy; with the fireplace in the background.


Braxton playing.


Riley posing.

bringing in wood4

“Throwing a piece of wood on.”


In front of the fireplace.


Again, in front of the fireplace.

The fireplace is where PJ used to keep warm on cold nights. The fireplace is where the porch swing would bang if you were swinging too high. In front of the fireplace you can always find my Grandmom, keeping her feet warm. The fireplace is where someone will always warm their hands after coming inside on a cold winter day. The fireplace is where the little ones love to “throw a piece of wood on.” The fireplace is where the wood crackles, reminding you that you are home and safe. The fireplace is where memories are made.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Big-girl Bed

Dear Riley,

On November 30, 2010, you slept in a twin sized bed for the very first time. Your new bed came from Grandad’s house and has been in the family for many years. I think it is so pretty. I should also mention, the sheets you are sleeping on are the same sheets Aunt Ma and I slept on when we were younger. My sheets were The Little Mermaid and Aunt Ma’s sheets were The Lion King.

You weren’t too jazzed with idea when I mentioned to you that the new bed would be where you would be sleeping. All you wanted to do was jump on your new bed. “Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce.” You really say that.

When I put you to bed I went through our nightly routine: kisses, “I love you”, “See you in the morning”, “Sleep tight”, “Sweet dreams”, tucked your two babies in, made sure you have your favorite blanket, and more kisses. I turned the light off and shut the door. I thought to myself, “That was easy, let’s see if it lasts.” Not 1 minute later, here you came out of your room.

I told you, “Get back in your bed!”  (The next morning you told your Daddy I said this to you. You little tattle-tail!)

So again, we went through our nightly routine. This time, you fell asleep in your big-girl bed!


You didn’t stay in your bed the whole night, or any nights since then. But, you will go to sleep in your bed by yourself, so I think that’s progress.

And besides, I love waking up to you standing by our bed wanting to sleep with us.

Love you,



Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let It Be


Listen to this song when you are sad or happy. It’s a great song.

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.
Let it be, let it be, .....
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, .....

By: The Beatles


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look at what my Grandad made!

My Grandad, there isn’t anything he can’t build or fix! I really believe that! He restored an old trunk that looks so amazing (and I want it by the way!), and he also restored a cedar chest that was a wedding present to my Mother from my Dad. They weren’t married all that long, but I’m grateful to have that cedar chest. Really, I love that thing. Henry hates it, but it’s not going anywhere!

Anyway, Henry and I have been in the need for more storage space for our clothes. Henry has so many plain white t-shirts and I have a lot of what my family calls “everyday clothes”. One day this summer, I spotted a garage sale on the side of the road. Right in the middle of the sale was a good size chest of drawers. I coaxed my thrifty Aunt into going to check the garage sale out and find out exactly how much the chest was…. $20, I’ll take it.




The chest wasn’t in bad shape, but I knew no matter what shape it was in, my Grandad could fix it for me! And did he ever!


Even Riley approves!


I can’t tell you how nice it is not to have to cram all of our clothes into a tiny, Wal-Mart chest. However, that tiny, Wal-Mart chest found a new home in Riley’s room!

Riley Claire - 2 years, 2 months Newsletter

Dear Riley,

How are you? I pray as you read my letters that you are well, that you are loving, being loved, and laughing. I pray you are happy and enjoying life the way it was meant to be enjoyed.


This month you have started to assert your ever-evolving preferences: from flavor of drink, food, or writing utensil, to who you want to go see.  You know what you want and you ask for it, sometimes more like demand, depending on how necessary the object is at the moment. Your favorite drink is milk, your favorite food is French fries (no matter how many healthy alternatives I offer), and your preferred writing utensils are colored pencils. Colored pencils also make for exceptional drum sticks. You even clap them overhead and chant, "1, 2, 3, 4" before you begin your drum solo. Riley, you usually want your Grandad when you ask for someone. A lot of the time you want Aunt Ma, and you love your PawPaw. I am forever thankful that you get to grow up knowing Grandmom and Grandad, and even more grateful that you get to spend whole days with them nestled around the fireplace.

I love coming home from work to see you every day. You usually greet me with a big hug and "I miss you!" Nothing could warm my heart more than you missing me throughout your day. I am already looking forward to summertime.


I love you so much! I constantly question myself if I am a good mother or not. As you know, I didn't have a good mother, or much of any mother for that matter. My birthday was this past weekend and I never heard from her the entire weekend. I still am unable to 100% sort my feeling out regarding her. While I want a mom to be there for me, to listen to my problems, and to enjoy and desire my company, I have had to realize that will never happen for me.

In the depths of my heart I never want you to experience that feeling. The only thing that comforts me is knowing I am able to do everything in my power to prevent you from ever feeling like that. We may not always have the resources (like this year, no time!) to do extravagant parties and gifts, but you'll always be loved beyond any possible doubt. I am determined to give you the mother I never had or will ever have. I am so excited what our lives have in store for us, together.002

I love you,

Love, Mama

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Snow White


I posted a few weeks ago about a Saturday night where you and I ate popcorn and watched Snow White, one of my favorite movies ever.

Well, little did I know I created a monster that night. Somehow, you have become addicted to Snow White. Seriously. Two days ago, you begged to watch Snow White 3 different times, all before 1:00. I turned the movie on for you 3 different times. For the most part, Snow White keeps you entertained for a solid 30 minutes, sometimes longer. On some days this is a welcome relief, it’s also a pain to have to watch Snow White over and over and over again. Not to mention, you are CONSTANTLY harassing your Daddy and me to “Watch Snow White!” Literally, you would only watch Snow White if we would let you.

When the movie comes on, you like to point out the castle, the mean queen (“She mean".”), Snow White and the Prince. You sometimes get upset when Snow White cries, and in the video below you will see just how upset you get when the bunny rabbits try to comfort her. Every time you watch this scene, you scream like this. Every.time. Instead of singing “High ho, high ho!” you sing “Bye ho, bye ho!” It’s really pretty cute.

Riley, I truly wouldn’t want to watch any other movie with you. Maybe one day I will love Snow White as much as you do. Pocahontas (another childhood favorite of mine) comes out on DVD at the end of November. Move over Snow White, we WILL be watching Pocahontas at least once a week! I really love that movie!

Love, Mama

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

Dear Riley,

Don’t get mad, you were a bumble bee last year and we made you wear the same costume again this year. Bad parents of the year award, right here.

This was Halloween 2009:

riley1sthalloween riley1sthalloween1 riley1sthalloween2 Again, we just went to Broadway Square Mall and walked around letting you trick-or-treat. You actually said “Trick-or-treat”, well at least WE knew what you were saying.

027 How dare we wake you up from a nap to go TRICK-OR-TREATING! World’s worst parents, for sure!

 042 You were such a big girl! You didn’t need much help with your bucket, and only a few reminders to say “Thank you!”

043 Oh, you see that black dot on your face? There were many face-painting booths set up. After watching a few little girls get their face painted you decided you were ready. We stood in line to let a really nice lady paint your face. We decided on a spider to kinda go along with your costume.

037 You were doing pretty well up until this point. You then decided the paint brush hurt and you hopped down and came running.

038 So this was your spider. Scary!

034-1 One end of The Mall had a Sky Jump apparatus. The guys tether you to two poles, strap you in, and you bounce on a small trampoline. You cried when at first we weren’t going to let you do this. Your Daddy made a special trip to the ATM to get $7 for you to Sky Jump. I was convinced you wouldn’t do it; boy was I wrong! See, you are normally a big scaredy cat (I mean that in the sweetest way possible). Anyway, you loved the Sky Jump, and you went REALLY high! It was awesome to see you being so independent; I am still astonished you did this!



Happy Halloween! I can’t wait to share many, many more with you! My little bumble bee!


Love, Momma

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun Weekend!


We are coming off an amazing weekend, and right now it’s only Saturday. To start things off, Braxton and Aunt Morgan spent the night Friday night.

010 This means you were a wild little girl from the moment you saw Braxton! You love to show-off your toys to him. You two play so well together right now, and you especially since you aren’t around kids all day. You are totally different with him; playing with toys you haven’t cared about since they came home from the store. Last night there was also a lot of jumping on the bed!

Saturday morning was the Rose parade right down the street from our apartment. Of course, we were there, your Daddy too!


One float threw some candy for all the kids to pick up, and somehow we ended up with candy cigarettes. Braxton approved. You, Riley, did not.

031 Oh, I almost forgot. You were probably the only little girl to get put in time-out at the parade. Sometimes, YOU DON’T MIND!

035 You can thank your Dad for this gem of a picture.

After the parade, Aunt Morgan and I took you and Braxton to Moore Farms in Flint, Texas. Moore Farms is a cute little pumpkin patch and corn maze. When we first got there we hopped on the hay ride. Fun!

113-1 Eventually, the hay ride took us over to the pumpkin patch. We jumped out and started searching for the perfect pumpkin.

114 115 116 117 Braxton helped too!

123 126 There were photo opportunities all over Moore Farms!

128 Although finding willing participants for pictures is sometimes challenging.


We also checked out the hay bale maze. This maze was a little more suited for you and Braxton. Aunt Morgan was a little afraid of letting you two loose in the 5 acre corn maze130 131It didn’t take long for you to go missing in the hay bale maze. I have to say I panicked for a minute when you went missing. Luckily, you came running, scared of course, when I was calling your name.

134 143 There was a “sand box” filled with corn for you and Braxton to play in. This was a big hit!

145 Braxton loved petting the baby hog. Yes, wild hog.


It really was a great day! I am so thankful Aunt Morgan and I had you and Braxton so close together. We get to spend so much time together. One thing for sure, there is never a dull moment!