Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little Turkeys

We are thankful for our little turkeys this Thanksgiving. Last week, Ethan had his Thanksgiving Feast at his new school. They worked so hard to get him ready for it and he stood up on stage with all of the other boys and girls and danced along to the songs just like they did! Mommy had tears in her eyes watching her big boy!

After the program, he was way too cool to look at the camera for Mommy...

but decided that brother would look better wearing his turkey hat.

We had such a wonderful time at his school and absolutely loved that Mimi was able to share the experience with us. It is times like these that make me realize exactly why we left Texas and returned to our family. We miss our far away family, but sharing these moments with aunts, uncles, and grandparents are priceless!

Here is a 1 minute video of our little turkey singing and dancing to the J-O-Y song. About 30 seconds into the video, the little guy beside him blocks his view and Ethan let him know that he didn't like it one bit! I am so thankful for his new school and Ms. Connie and Ms. Traci. He loves them so much that he even asks to go to school now!! ( I have tried to upload it for a week now without any luck, but I will keep trying!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Pickin' Time

"Our" backyard is an oasis. Ethan and Lucy cannot get enough of it! There are tons of plants, flowers, and fountains for Ethan to play in and with and an abundant number of birds and squirrels that drive Lucy crazy. The other day Ethan went on a hunt to pick one of every color of flower in the front and back yard.

While brother was busy picking flowers, this little guy was happy as a clam following after him in Mommy's arms.


I love this picture, the look on his face is just priceless! He is such a big boy!

Halloween occurred at a very crazy time in our life this year. Two weeks after our cross country move, I'm out looking for a Halloween costume. I truly didn't plan on too much coming from it, though. There are episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that scare Ethan so I could only imagine what it would be like to go out Trick-or-Treating with him as he walks past all the ghouls and goblins. That being the case, we opted to spend Halloween helping Uncle Gary and Aunt Lynn pass out candy at their house(they just happen to live in the same neighborhood that we are trying to find a house in). Well, much to my surprise, he really got into it and kept asking to "go out dere" with the other trick-or-treaters when they came to the door. Aunt Lynn was all about it and jumped on the opportunity to take him trick-or-treating! I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures of his very first trick-or-treating experience. Never once did he even act bothered by the other costumes that he saw and we didn't even wake up that night. Silly Mommy didn't know what she was talking about!
Our little fireman

He wouldn't let anyone put candy in his bag, he would take it from their hand, look at it, then put in his bag himself. And the best part...when we returned to the house, he wanted to share his candy with the other trick-or-treaters. That's my kind of Halloween, no cavities!

House Hunting

It's a buyer's market...at least that's what people keep saying. Ben and I have never bought a house. We've built 2 of them and I now know why. We are picky. He wants this, I want that, and no house has it. All of our stuff is in storage, we have 2 small children, we are staying with family, and the holidays are around the corner. I WANT A PLACE TO CALL HOME!! YESTERDAY!!

We truly plan on this being our final move...we have said this before...but THIS IS IT! Selling a house after you have children is ridiculous! Having said that, we are trying to find the perfect house that we will not outgrow when our kids are teenagers but not so big that when they are grown and gone we won't know what to do with the empty space. Oh, and the Atlanta market has been hit hard and the only homes out there are short sales and foreclosures which more often than not means that it needs work. We finally found our forever house, went under contract, met with contractors about the work that needs to be done, and the home inspection comes back with MOLD. Wonderful! Now we get to start over. Just what we wanted to do. Sadly, though, my head has already moved into this house and even though the work was going to delay us moving into the house longer than I wanted, I was still excited about the prospect of raising our family in this home. So, either the bank(it's a bank-owned foreclosure) will remediate the mold or we will have to find another house.

Praying that God shows us the way soon.

The Big Move

Ethan riding the elephant at Maw-Maw's house after our long trip

In 2004, Ben and I relocated for the "last" time, built a house for future children, and built a life for ourselves in Rockwall, Texas. We were blessed with a family of friends met through church and work, most of which were at the same life stage that we were. Fast forward a few years and we have stood by and watched most of our friends add little ones to their own family, us included as well. How wonderful it has been to stand by each others' sides and share these special life moments!

Although we missed having our family close to us, the family that we built through these relationships has been priceless. Fast forward once more to June 2010- Ben and I had just found out that we were adding another blessing to our family and began reminiscing about our own childhoods and how wonderful it was to have grown up close to our family. I most especially remember how close I have been to my grandparents and the countless hours and weekends spent with them.

It was during the course of that conversation that I felt a nudging. I didn't like the nudging. I didn't want to feel the nudging. I didn't want to acknowledge the nudging. After ignoring it for as long as I could, I brought it up to Ben. He had been homesick for quite some time so when I told him that I thought that he might have the right idea to move back home, he was thrilled! Ben put in his transfer request at work and once it was approved, we put the house on the market right away, knowing that it would take forever to sell in such a poor economy. Four months later, we had an offer on the house and closed right after the holidays. Since Atlanta did not have a place for Ben to office out of yet and Caden was 4 months from his due date, we rented a house in Rockwall until the time came to move. Although our move to Atlanta was pushed back several times, we finally got the green light at the end of September 2011. This was such a bittersweet time. We were excited to know that our boys were going to grow up having a relationship with their family and not just seeing them on holidays, but I was so sad to leave the family of friends that we had built over the years in Texas.

I knew that this was the right thing for our family and I knew that it was the right time to go, but that didn't make it any easier to leave the people that I have come to love and call family.

Three short weeks later, our fantastic Texas family threw us an amazing Going Away party. Then movers came and we packed our bags and spent our last couple of days in town with Aunt Leigh Ann. The Thursday before we left, Mom flew to Texas to help with the boys. We spent our last night in town saying goodbye some of the people we love and bright and early the next morning we were on the road, Me, Mom, and the boys in my car, and Ben and Lucy in his. Ethan and Caden were troopers! It was a long day, but they were fantastic and we made it to Maw-Maw's house in Alabama.

After spending the night at Maw-Maw's, we drove the last few hours to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon and got settled in at Ben's sister's house. Ben's sister, Wanda, has been so gracious and a true blessing to us. We have turned her house upside down and she is nothing but smiles. They spend countless hours loving on our boys and entertaining them. We love you both and will never be able to repay you for this time! Hopefully your house will still be standing when we leave :-)

Finally, 16 months later we are here and getting settled into a routine.

Caden Cuteness