Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I love short work weeks!

So I have time to blog tonight... Princess Adelyn is sleeping sweetly, and her daddy is on his way home from the Bama-Auburn basketball game (Roll Tide), and I am lounging in my PJ's. God has been so good to me. I can't say that enough. Look at this precious memory I snapped last night:

Adelyn LOVES books. I love that she loves books. And I love it when her daddy reads to her. Such a sweet picture, isn't it? Oh, in other Adelyn news... She has her third tooth now! She has had her two front bottom teeth since Christmas, but she now has her first top tooth! Interestingly, though, it's not one of the two front teeth... It's the one to her left of the front two teeth. I wonder if that's common....? Hmmm...

I have a short work week this week... Yippee!!! I worked my usual Monday and Tuesday shifts, but I am off the rest of the week. I would normally be working Friday night, but the marriage conference at Church of the Highlands is this weekend, so I took vacation! I am so looking forward to it! I have never heard Joe McGee speak in person, but I have a feeling I will laugh a lot and learn a lot! Last year's retreat was awesome, so the bar has been set pretty high... But I am certain I will not be disappointed.

So, a few days off means lots of time to work on projects and stuff! YEA!!! Adelyn and I went shopping this morning to get a couple of things to finish my window project. The weather was once again gorgeous, so Adelyn got to ride in her stroller a lot. It's funny, because now that she is sitting up so well, she doesn't want to lie back in the stroller the way she's supposed to. So she sits straight up with no backrest and smiles and talks to everyone we encounter. She makes so many friends everywhere we go. It would seem that she may be more of an extravert than her mommy. We have quite the social butterfly on our hands. Oh, I love her so much!!!

While we were out, we went to Hobby Lobby. My Grandma Jenny is the most fantastic quilter in the entire world. For real. She makes the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen, all hand-pieced, all hand-quilted. She does it the old-fashioned way, and they are just simply amazing. When I was a little girl and spent the night with Grandma, she was always working on a quilt. Back then she taught me how to sew, but I did very little of it. But for the last several years, I have wanted to learn to make a quilt. Not with a machine, but the way Grandma Jenny does it. So I asked her last week if she would help me make a quilt so I could learn how, from start to finish. She said she would teach me to make a quilt if I would get my own fabrics, to be sure that I liked the colors and patterns and such. So I bought most of my fabrics today! Not all of them came from Hobby Lobby... Some came from the Ashville House Quilt Shop, not far from Oneonta. But here's what I got:

I am making a blue and brown quilt... Can you tell??? The backing, border, and the background (there's a special term for the background, but I can't remember it now) will be off-white. I have very special plans for this quilt, but they are top-secret, so I can't share them. But I bought extra fabric, just in case I love it so much I decide to make two! Ha!

Guess what else I found! A sweet little consignment shop in Ashville, when I was on my way to the quilt shop. I got these cute dresses and sweater for Adelyn:

They are all Gymboree, and they all had the tags still on them! Only the white and blue one is small enough for her to wear this spring/summer; the others are for next fall and winter! I love a good bargain.

Tomorrow will be another fun day; I can feel it! I'll be working on my window again. I think I'll have it finished by tomorrow evening! However, I still haven't decided which of the many blank walls it will adorn... So we have some decisions to make here at the Lowros house. We may have to find some of the furniture pieces we are missing before we know where the window will look best. But hopefully that'll be soon.

Off to bed now! My alarm clock (Adelyn) will go off at 8:00a.m., whether I get my nap out or not! Good night and be blessed!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Weekend

What a beautiful weekend we have had!!! Hasn't it been just outrageously gorgeous?!?! Such a beautiful gift from God! I hope you enjoyed it as much as the Lowros family did! Here's a glimpse of what we did to take advantage of the pleasant weather...

Saturday morning, I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep... Which is absurd, because I didn't get home from work until after 11:00 Friday night, and then didn't fall asleep until nearly 1:00. But oh well--the inability to sleep allowed me to get an early start on the pretty day, and I threw on some jeans and headed out to find some yard sales. I was hoping to find something used that I could turn into something fabulous for all those projects I wrote about on Friday... Not a whole lot of luck finding the kinds of things I set out looking for, but I did get a brand new Venus Divine razor still in the package, and a couple of unopened bottles of the kind of body wash and that Tyler likes to use, so my time was not wasted. I stopped to get breakfast for Tyler and me at Chick-fil-A on the way back home, and I got in the house just in time to get sweet Adelyn out of her crib as she was waking up at 8:15! I just LOVE seeing my baby girl when she is just waking up in the morning. I think that's when she's her sweetest!

After eating and feeding Adelyn, we headed up to Oneonta to spend the rest of the weekend. Tyler helped Ashley and Phillip work a little bit in the building they have bought and will be turning into her optometry clinic as soon as she gets her license later this year, but since I had Adelyn, we had a girls' morning together. First we went to my Grandma Jenny's house, and then we did a little bit more "yard sale-ing", as people in Oneonta like to call it. Adelyn racked up on that trip! A couple of new toys that cleaned up nicely with a Clorox wipe, and she was tickled pink! Still nothing fun for my house projects, though... We met Tyler, Ashley, Phillip, my parents, and Phillip's parents for lunch, and then my mom and Adelyn and I headed back out for just one more yard sale... So glad we did! Besides the 48-inch inflatable beach ball (still in the original packaging) and the beautiful wrapping paper that I got, I also spotted this little treasure (well, it's actually a pretty large treasure):

A real-deal wooden window! I didn't mind the yucky cardboard backing (it had obviously gotten wet somehow) with the dried flowers glued to it, because it was only stapled on there, and it was already starting to pull away from the frame of the window. So that's what it looked like when I bought it, and this is what it looked like after I took the backing off:

Not bad, huh? A beautiful window in really good shape! I have big plans for this window. (I have already started working on it, but it still needs a few finishing touches before I use it to fill an empty wall. I won't post any more pictures of it until it is done, but hopefully that won't be long!) I just have to decide where to put it. As you can tell from the pictures in my last post, I have bare walls in the foyer which are in dire need of something pretty. But there's another wall that needs something big on it as well. It's the wall opposite the windows in our master bedroom. I realized after posting those photos Friday that I had left that entire wall (which is loooooong and blank) out of the photos. It wasn't visible in either one! Trust me, though... It needs help. So anyway, I'll keep you posted on the window project progress.

A quick ride on the Kawasaki Mule with Tyler and Adelyn (it put her right to sleep), a trip home to Kimberly for Daddy and Tyler (to transport Tyler's new toy--his dirt bike--to Oneonta where he has more fun places to ride it), dinner at Catfish Cabin in Albertville with my Mama and Daddy, and then we all came back to their house and called it a day.

I spent most of today out in Daddy's shop (with the big door open to let the pretty weather in)working on my window while Mama enjoyed Adelyn's company, and Daddy and Tyler rode the dirt bike and the Mule. When we got back home tonight, we were all three exhausted but feeling so loved after a gorgeous, fun weekend. God has been so good to us, hasn't He?

Have a great Monday, everybody! The weekend was over too soon!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Projects Galore!

I don't know if it's that spring-time is coming, or all the cute do-it-yourself decorating blogs I've been hooked on lately, or just the fact that we have lived in our house for 20 months now and it's still not decorated... Or maybe some combination of all of the above factors... But lately I am totally in the mood for projects! There are so many things I want to get done around the house to finish making it our home. We LOVE our house! But it needs some finishing touches, for sure.
First things first--the entryway!

We need a table or bench or something in this space to make it more welcoming and home-y! (Not to mention the bare walls that could use some love.) We have been looking (and looking and looking) for something that belongs here ever since we first moved in. It really was at the top of our list to get the entryway furnished... However, we have had such trouble finding something we love that we can also afford. We've considered building something ourselves, using some old leftover wood from my parents' shop. I've also been looking around at yard sales and thrift stores for pieces I can use as-is or fix up and make into something perfect for the space. One way or another, this entryway is going to get a makeover... Soon! And I am excited about it!

Another room in our house that needs a little help (well, they all do, but I am trying to focus on just a few at a time) is our guest bathroom:

I LOVE our guest bathroom! It is really quite large to be a second bathroom, and I think the tilework and fixtures are beautiful! I just need to add some color. Should be an easy fix. When we moved in, all we had were brown towels... So we used what we had! Maybe now is the time to decide on a color palette. You can kinda see the shower curtain and candles on the hanging shelf in the pictures... What do you think? Stick with the reds and oranges and browns I already have, or change color schemes? I am torn. I hate to go buy a new shower curtain when I have a perfectly good one already, but maybe I want a new look. Oh, and sorry about the color in the bathroom photos... Everything looks a tad more yellowy-orange with the flash on. My bathroom is really not that orange.

Next, there's the master bedroom:

We need some serious personality in our bedroom! Like the entryway, it's quite bare. I love our comforter, but maybe it's too dark. I am a huge fan of espresso, but I am thinking about getting something a little lighter. I would love to find some cream or burlap-colored bedding and then accent with some pops of green or blue. Also, we obviously need something on the wall! We haven't decided whether we want a headboard or something on the wall in lieu of a headboard. And we need some bedroom furniture. You can't see it in the pictures, but we have a chest of drawers in the corner to the right of the window on the right. It's a hand-me-down from my grandmother that my parents built when they owned their furniture manufacturing business, which was when I was a little kid. It's not what we want long-term, but it's all we have for now.

OBVIOUSLY, we have a lot to do! Lots of fun projects for me to work on! I am excited, but I have my work cut out for me. I would love to do a lot of it myself, i.e. buy old pieces and fix them up, so I can learn to re-paint and re-finish and re-upholster and all that other fun stuff. I guess we'll just have to see what I find and what I end up doing! But one thing's for sure... I'm going to do something.

And as though that's not enough stuff to do and projects to work on, our landscaping needs a major re-do as well! We spent a pretty penny on some beautiful greenery and flowers for our flower-bed last year when I was pregnant with Adelyn, and Tyler, Ashley and Phillip spent hours digging and planting to make it look beautiful... And then when we were in the hospital at the beginning of June when Adelyn made her arrival, just about everything died in the heat. Now, after an unusually cold Alabama winter (that is still not officially over), this is all we are left with:
We are looking forward to making it look beautiful for spring and summer! Anybody out there have a green thumb?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bama Baby and Our Valentine

Almost a week since my last post... I'll just have to hit the high spots, as I am about to fall asleep at the late, late hour of 8:00pm. Adelyn has already had her bath (thanks to her Daddy) and her supper (squash for the main course, apple sauce for dessert, followed by the usual formula), and she's been sleeping for about 20 minutes now. We are so, so blessed. This is what we get to see when we go into the nursery:

So peaceful. I will be sleeping like that in about 30 minutes... I hope.

Anyway, since my last post, Adelyn has enjoyed her first Bama basketball game! Roll Tide! (Again, I am a bigger Duke basketball fan, but I can't afford tickets to a game at Cameron Indoor... So Coleman Coliseum it is!) Thanks to the company that Tyler's dad works for, we usually enjoy pretty decent seating arrangements when we go to Bama games (regardless of sport). This time, we had four front-row, center court tickets... Not too shabby! Plus, Ashley and Phillip got to come with us. Adelyn was able to sport some new Bama gear (given to me by my sweet tech Angie, who is--gasp--an Auburn fan) that didn't fit during football season, and let me tell you... Everybody in the place noticed our sweet Bama Baby! One sweet old couple even asked if they could take a picture of her! Of course, who could blame them? She is just too stinkin' adorable!

Roll Tide, Baby!

Changing gears... Yesterday was our first Valentine's Day with our new little Valentine! Such a sweet Valentine's Day this year! Tyler and I exchanged gifts, but we had more fun with Adelyn and her gifts. She got a monkey and a balloon! And she loved them both! Balloons fascinate her, so every now and then we get one to have around the house for a couple of days. And the monkey was something she went "bananas" over (haha) one day a couple of weeks ago when my mom brought her to visit me at work. She talks to that monkey like it's a real person! Here's a picture of Adelyn with her new fun toys:
But I couldn't pick just one, so here's another cute one:
But THIS is my absolute favorite! "Is there a monkey on my back?"
I love it!

Have a blessed day, everybody!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lower the crib mattress!

We woke up this morning with a beautiful white yard! I love waking up to this on my day off:
The snow is melting pretty quickly, now that the sun has come out, but it is always pretty while it lasts!

Adelyn and I have just been hanging out today. She is so much fun to spend my days off with! Today has been the perfect weather day that gives you an excuse to just stay in your pj's and relax a little bit. Adelyn played hard this morning, so she was ready when nap-time came around! Is this not the sweetest thing you have ever seen in your entire life?!

But after she woke up, she was full of energy again, and she has officially started pulling up on her own! I didn't get a picture, because I was too busy rushing over to her to make sure she didn't fall... But she did pull up on the edge of her Moses basket, pictured here:

The sides of the basket aren't all that sturdy (just heavy canvas), so she couldn't quite get her balance very well after pulling up... Hence the need for Mommy to rush over and prevent a face-first dive onto the hardwood floor. But she has figured out how to pull herself up on inanimate objects, so Tyler and I are going to have to be on our toes and always watching her while she plays. Or better yet, maybe it's time to get the Pack-n-Play back out! We used it a lot when she was first born, kind of as a bassinet out in the living room during the day (because she always slept in her crib at night). So I guess it's time to take the top part out of the Pack-n-Play and turn it into a play-pen... At least when I can't be right there hovering over her constantly. Lowering the mattress in her crib is probably in the near future, too. Right now, she's still short enough that she wouldn't be able to get over the rails, but at this age, they grow so fast; it could be any day now! Yikes!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Church and Snow... My favorites!

It was so good to be in church tonight! It's a long drive from our house to our church, so things have to work out just right in order for us to make it on Wednesday nights... But we have decided that it's worth the extra time and effort to get our spiritual food in the middle of our crazy work weeks.

Tyler and I have been attending Church of the Highlands for over four years now. When we met, Tyler had been going there for a year or two already, and when we started dating he invited me to come with him. We actually met at the Church at Brook Hills, where I had been going by myself for a while. He normally went to Highlands but just happened to be at Brook Hills the day that we met. I guess he felt sorry for me, being there by myself and all, so he told me I was welcome to come to church with him and his friends anytime I didn't feel like going to church alone... And when a cute boy asks you to go to church with him, you go! Right? Haha!

So Tyler and I have been attending Highlands since the middle of the fifth year of the church, which was born on February 4, 2001. When we started attending Church of the Highlands, they were still meeting in the Mountain Brook High School auditorium. Boy, has it grown! Since then, Highlands has added multiple off-site campuses and built a large main campus off of Grants Mill Road. It is a wonderful place! Pastor Chris Hodges is a gifted teacher with a heart for the lost, and the Lord has truly blessed his ministry. So many lives have been changed... Mine is one of them!

Tyler and I have been very blessed to have met so many precious people through our small group experiences at Highlands, and it truly has come to feel like home to us! Some of our closest friends are people we met in the living room of Everitt and Ruthie Simmons's house for the small group that they host for young married couples. In fact, in the fall of 2009, we were in Everitt and Ruthie's group with eight other couples. Of the nine couples in that group, five of the wives became pregnant with our first children during that small group semester! It was such a blessing to have four other girls who were pregnant at the same time I was! It was so sweet. We understood each other. Now, we have five precious babies, all born within less than four months of each other! First came Laney Marie Marshall (daughter of James and Ashley), then Adelyn (our princess), then Everett Ross Aldridge (son of Jon Ross and Rachel), then Samuel James Claassen (son of Steve and Laura Gail), then London Alexandra Bagwell (daughter of Brian and Kristen). They are all so, so special to us! It has been so much fun watching them all grow, and it will be even more fun to watch them grow up to be world-changers together!

I got off-track again... Church. Where was I? Oh, I remember... Tyler and I have been blessed with so many godly friendships through our church, and we have grown so much spiritually in the last four and a half years, and we officially became members of the church on Sunday--the day of the 10th anniversary celebration of Church of the Highlands! We finally attended the Church 101 membership class and joined the church! We love our church!

So now I'm back where I started! It was so good to be in church tonight! Blake Lindsey, the campus pastor at the Riverchase campus, brought a great message on fulfilling your God-designed destiny, and afterwards we ran into some old small group friends (and a couple of babies, too!). And on top of that, it was snowing!!! Church and snow... Two of my favorites, all in one night! What a great evening!

When we left for church at 6:15, it just had begun to snow... When we got home, our yard looked like this:

Jesus Loves Me! :-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Early Valentine's Day!

I could get used to the kind of weekends we've been having lately! Today was another splendid Saturday! Tyler and I woke up this morning to the sweet sounds of a gorgeous eight-month-and-two-day-old girl chattering in the room across the hall. Soooo much better than an alarm clock! Even if it was slightly earlier than I would have liked to be getting up... But only slightly. Tyler got up and cooked breakfast (yes he did... and it was yummy!) while I played with Adelyn for a few minutes and then fed her some pears and oatmeal (one of her favorite breakfasts). It was while I was playing peek-a-boo with Adelyn that Tyler noticed it was snowing!!! (If you know me very well, you know that I am probably snow's number one fan. I will never, ever, EVER get tired of snow! I know we've had more of it this year than usual, but I will never grow weary of that beautiful white stuff... It is just so pretty! And of top of that, it really does remind me of how much Jesus loves me and what He did for me! Isaiah 1:18 says, "...Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow..." Isn't that great news?!?! Call me silly or romantic or dramatic or what you will, but I kinda believe in my heart that one of the reasons God created snow is so that He could remind us of His love for us!)

Okay, that was a long parenthetical statement... I get sidetracked. Sorry... Back to this glorious Saturday. The snow didn't stick, and it didn't last all day, but it was enough to make me giddy anyway! After breakfast, Tyler took Adelyn to Tuscaloosa to visit his parents while I went to my friend Sheri's house to play with make-up! She is selling Mary Kay now and needed some guinea pigs to practice on. It was great; I didn't even have to put any make-up on to go to the party, because she had everything I needed there!

Since Tyler and Adelyn were still gone when I left Sheri's house, I had a rare opportunity to do some shopping--by myself! So, of course, I did just that. And I had such a good shopping day! I found some great deals and sales on things I have been wanting and needing, and Tyler bought me the perfect Valentine's Day present--a new watch, which I have been needing for a long time! (He found out about it later! Haha!!! He was actually pretty excited about that, because he got the thanks, but he didn't have to do the shopping.) AND it was on sale! AND I had a coupon! Perfect! Here's a picture of it; didn't Tyler do a good job?!?!

I love it! I'm going to go ahead and start wearing it, even though it's a little early.

Good news! Just as a follow-up to last Saturday's post, we found Tyler the two pairs of shoes that were all he was lacking after last weekend's shopping trip for him. (He and Adelyn joined in on the sale fun I was having as they were on their way home from Tuscaloosa.) Now he has something different to wear to his finance committee meetings! YAY, Tyler!

Later on this evening, Tyler and I watched some college basketball while Adelyn took a nap. Duke won big, which always makes us smile, and Bama beat Tennessee, which also always makes us smile, regardless of the sport. (That's not a very good attitude, is it? I must confess that while I would consider myself a huge Crimson Tide football fan, I much prefer Duke basketball to Bama basketball. Still, as a Bama fan overall, it is good to see the Tide beat Tennessee. But I love all of my friends who are fans of the Vols! You know who you are! Please don't be mad at me.)

More play-time with Adelyn, then supper, and THEN... I did something I haven't done since looong before my sweet baby girl was even on her way. I went to the gym. Yes, I did. It's time to lose those last few pounds that have long overstayed their welcome. They are a stubborn few pounds, but then again, if I don't work to get them off, I can't complain. Or I could complain, but it wouldn't do any good; it'd be no one's fault but my own. Up until this point in my life, I have never been good at exercising on a consistent basis, but with the Lord's help (and an accountability partner--Sheri), I believe I can do it this time! Prayers are appreciated!

Off to sleep now! Exciting day tomorrow! Church of the Highlands celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week, and tomorrow's service (as well as all the other services this month) promises to be a very special celebration with surprises all around! Plus, the Lord will be there! I am excited!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm too young for this...

Along with the countless absolutely wonderful changes that have taken place in my life since I found out I was pregnant with my sweet Adelyn, there is one change that has not been so fabulous: Gray hair. A lot of it. I mean, before I got pregnant, I would find a gray hair every once in a while, but nothing like this. For the last month, I have noticed a drastic increase in the amount of yucky gray hair that seems to like to grow around my temples. It is kinda embarrassing, you know?

So today I did one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world... I got a hair cut! AND color! For me, having my hair messed with is the most relaxing feeling possible. I love it! It's right on up there with watching someone draw and/or write. (I LOVE watching people draw or write. It's one of those things that just puts me in a very peaceful state where I could almost go to sleep, but I won't because I don't want that feeling to go away... But that's another story for another time. And yes, I know you all probably now think I am Hair appointments are like a special kind of therapy for me. And today I had an extra-long appointment since I needed so much done! For the first time, I got both highlights and lowlights. Very subtle, but enough blending to hide the grays and hopefully prevent them from being so obvious when they rear their ugly heads again. I feel like a new girl!

So, all you other mommies... Did you notice a change in your hair after you had your babies? Or am I just special? :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We have a waver!

Remember how I said that it's something new every day with Adelyn? It's so true! I can't believe how much she's learning! It is amazing that when babies start learning and catching on to new things, they catch on to new things more and more... And they do something new literally every day! It is so exciting and fun to wake up each morning and wonder what she'll do next!

Yesterday morning, when I was leaving my mom's house to go to work, Adelyn waved bye-bye to me for the first time! She had been waving for a couple of weeks, but not for any particular reason; she just liked moving her hand that way, I guess. But yesterday, I said "Bye-Bye" to her as I was walking out the door, and she waved at me! I was so excited! Of course, I told everybody at work when I got there. They are so sweet; they were excited to hear about it! Then, I decided to go to my mom's on my lunch so I could visit with her and Adelyn for just a few minutes. {Side note: It is SUCH a blessing that my mom is able to keep my sweet baby girl! God had His hand all over this... I work in the same town that I grew up in, and my parents still live there. So all I have to do is drop her off on my way to work, and pick her up before I go home! My mom brings her to see me anytime that she has to run errands in town, and my parents' house is close enough to my work that I can go see Adelyn on my lunch break if I want to! It is a fabulous arrangement, and I love it! We are so blessed... But back to the story.} Adelyn joined us at the table while I ate leftovers from Sunday night supper, and we played just a little bit before I left. This time when I left, she waved again! But not only that, she also said "ba-ba-ba-ba"! It was the sweetest thing!

No pictures of Adelyn waving yet... But I do have a picture of the two of us doing something we both love to do--READ! I think she is going to be a reader like her mommy! YAY!

This is such a fun age... Hey, speaking of age, Adelyn will be eight months old in two days! WHAT?!?!