Beach Lessons

We spent last week at Fripp with my family. When I got home, so many little thoughts kept sneaking into my head so I started writing again...

1. Sand follows you home as the tiniest reminder of memories.

2. My best friends are related to me.

3. Sleeping in the bed with my boys is both precious and painful.

4. Kids will poop on the beach. In. Their. Bathing Suit.

5. Seashells look different in a small 3 year old hand.

6. When even one person is missing, the beach house is too quiet.

7. Not having cell service is sometimes a blessing.

8. Dodgeball can be a contact sport and, according to Taylor, requires stretching.

9. A group of well-organized teenage girls can beat a group of well-jocked men. See number 8.

10. Rummicube is different without Nana.

11. Lollipops and jello are appropriate breakfast foods.

12. When served correctly, goldfish can be served as an appetizer.

13. Comfort sometimes comes just in seeing someone's face.

14. The grill was worth it...thanks guys.

15. Just when I think I know my family, we go back to Fripp and my eyes are opened.

16. Quite simply, love is family.


Blood, Sweat and Tears...

Actually just sweat...but Sweat, Sweat, Sweat just doesn't have the same ring to it. Our car has been a disaster for the better part of 3 months and since May is the new December, I just haven't had time or felt like tackling a task this large. Until today. Not sure what came over me, but I'd had enough.

I got the boys down for their nap and headed outside with my "supplies" which consisted of a bucket of warm water, an old rag, and toothpicks. Yes, you read toothpicks. I really wanted to get in the tiny cracks. I started by cleaning out the "stuff" first...

~1 half eaten sucker
~2 matchbox cars
~3 church bulletins
~2 Sharpie markers
~My driver's license (I didn't even know it was missing. oops)
~2 water bottles (half full)
~2 empty water bottles
~a beach towel
~my name tag for work (again, didn't realize it was missing...)
~4 books from Chick-fil-A

We literally could have gone camping for a week out of that car. We would have food, water, toys, a means by which to put our initials in our clothes to make sure nobody accidentally picked them up at the bath house, a towel (also for the bath house), reading material, and a prayer list.

It took me THREE hours. I cleaned and conditioned the seats, vaccummed, Armor All'd all the other stuff, washed the outside, scrubbed the tires...

2 hours later it rained. Mother Nature sure has a way of stickin' it to me.


Listen-Close Lexicon Part Two

A while back, I wrote about some funny words the boys mispronounce. I do correct them (sometimes), but sometimes I just smile. My brother used to say "thog" for frog and "thun" for fun and he turned out perfectly fine. Well mostly fine...

Tottee= Cocky "Mama, I gave Tottee a pound!" or "Tell Tottee to stay over der"

Pitle= Pickle

= attitude "I don't have a tattitude, I'm a nice boy"

Diet Tote= Diet Coke "Mama, give me a sip of yours diet tote"

Yours= your See Diet Tote...They both always say yours instead of your..no idea.

Doat= goat "Tum here doat. Tum here nudder doat" Bryson and Liz took the boys to the zoo and they visited with the doats for a while.

Untle= Uncle "Untle Bryson, Untle Tater, Untle Barry, Untle Andy..."

Titty Tat
= Kitty Cat

Gotta tell you the whole story about the last one...months ago, we were leaving the neighborhood only to see the neighbor's cat perched on a fence post. I stopped and pointed this out to the boys...Jackson's response was, "Mama, I love a titty tat." Nearly wrecked the car. I hope this doesn't predict the kind of women he will bring home to Mama. One can only pray...starting now.



The 10 people that actually read this blog have been bugging me for an update...so instead of just writing about what's be going on, I'll just show you.

April was...


Playing Baseball in the yard...

Learning how to play hopscotch...

Pictures in a tree...

Bug catching...

Marching for Babies...

May to follow....


The Greatest Show on Earth

We took the boys to the circus for the first time Sunday, March 15th. We were scheduled to go opening night, but I had the flu and was too busy laying in bed planning my funeral. Anyhoo, Mom and I hit the Wal-Mart before we went and found these $3 light sticks and two boxes of candy (which I smuggled in inside the diaper bag on the advice of a church friend no less, hehehe).

Tradd loved it...Jackson? Not so much. I literally was having to restrain him for the first 15 minutes. He was standing on my lap, pointing to the top of the arena crying, "Mama, let's go home now!" Lee and I switched boys and he settled in with Daddy.

The circus hasn't changed since I was a kid...still the lions, motorcycles in the big ball, and the elephants. Yes, the elephants made a lasting impression on the boys. For the next few days, when someone asked them about the circus, they promptly reported, "We saw big elephant poop." Great.


Most of you know that I don't have a sister...I have sister-in-laws, best friends, and a wonderful mother, but no sis. My replacements? My cousins, Ally, Nicole, Elizabeth, and Lauren-Summers are my sisters. We share an unusual closeness...a certain sisterness stirs around us. We have laughed together until we've peed our pants, have held each other when tears came, and have stood witness to each other's lives. They know my heart inside and out...actually they are my heart.

As with every mother, the day my children were born is burned into my mind. I remember each moment and each face...especially one. The day before I was to have the boys, I spoke with my cousin Nicole over the phone (she lived in Las Vegas at the time) and we were both upset that she would not be in South Carolina when the boys were born. I remember crying together on the phone...happy and sad all at the same time. The next morning, I tried to call her, but she didn't answer. Little did I know that after we got off the phone that day she bought a plane ticket to come home. She flew through the night...for me. When I saw her face peek around the curtain, I was overwhelmed. A perfectly wonderful day was made more perfect because she was there.

2007 brought Nicole her own miracle. This time we shared her pregancy over the phone. All the while, I was saving my pennies to buy a plane ticket for October. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss her moment. In July, Nicole traveled home to go Fripp Island on our family vacation...and we joke now that Hudsen was determined to be a Carolina Girl from the beginning. Hudsen Blease Hold was born July 14th, 2007 after spending only 27 weeks in the womb. She weighed a mere 2 pounds 7 ounces.

Hudsen spent the next 58 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She benefited from technolgy and a staff of nurses and doctors that were remarkable. To give back, Nicole has decided to join in the effort to raise money for the March of Dimes. No one is working harder than the March of Dimes to understand the cause of prematurity and birth defects. Premature birth touches half a million babies and their families every year.

On April 25th, I will walk with my sister and her miracle. The "March for Babies" walk that we will be participating in, offers hope by raising funds for lifesaving research, education and innovative programs that offer solutions for babies born too soon or with birth defects. We would love for you to walk with us as we honor Hudsen and babies like her who are simply born too soon. Please visit www.marchforbabies.org/hudsensbigbrothers to sign up to walk with us or to help us reach our fundraising goals.


Happy Birthday! Love Letter: Month 36

Dear Jackson and Tradd,

Today at 1:09pm I was standing in line at a concession stand. You were huddled with Daddy in section 12 trying to stay warm...I wanted to be with you at that exact moment, but I missed it. Today was your third birthday and we took you to your first Carolina Baseball game of the season (certainly not your first game...that was 33 months ago). We wanted to do something special with you two, but I wanted to hold your hands when 1:09 and 1:10 came to close my eyes and think back to the first time I ever laid eyes on you.

Your daddy and I did have our moment though. After we finally ate our lunch and made our way far, far away from section 12-where the sun doesn't shine- we settled into new seats in the sunshine. You climbed into our laps and in minutes you were both fast asleep. So there we sat holding you like we did that first day...as warm as we could get you and as close to our bodies as possible. We talked about what we were doing at that very moment 3 years ago...by now it was almost two o'clock. Daddy said I was just out of the operating room and he had just walked out to introduce you to everyone. We talked about how you have transformed physically from 5 pounds to 30, from inches to feet...but mostly how you have transformed our hearts. We do not deserve you. You two have changed the way that we love each other. Everytime I look at you I see him...so in loving you I am loving him more. As a side note, your Daddy has become this big ball of mushiness since you were born so I had to change the subject before either of us started crying right there in the stadium.

Next year, I will hold your hands at 1:09 and 1:10, but after today I will stop and hold your daddy's hand, too. And we will remember together...

Happy Birthday, Sweet Angels.



i heart picnics

One day last week (when we thought spring was here only to realize it was a tease) the boys and I had a picnic in the backyard. We packed a lunch of turkey sandwiches and climbed into "the clubhouse". We listened to the birds and planes and waited patiently for the rabbit,who occasionally lives in our yard, to make an appearance. We talked about their upcoming birthday, for which Jackson told me he wanted a rainbow, and I answered the question that hangs over the three of us alldayeveryday24/7, "Mama, where's Daddy?" To which I answer, "Work"..."Yeah, he's at wurt" one replies. We soaked in the sunshine and the company. Picnics should be a part of every single day...


Open Your Eyes

This is what happens when I try to take pictures of two "almost" three year olds...I eventually just gave up.


Love Letter: Month Thirty-five

Dear Tradd and Jackson,
A few days ago you turned thirty-five months old. Don't worry...I never say it in months when people ask me because I know it would sound kind of freakish, I always round up to three. Three years old sounds so old compared to thirty-five months. It's weird that parents do this. Before I had you I never understood why parents spoke in months..."How old is your baby?"..."Oh, he's 16 months old." And there I would stand counting on my fingers trying to figure out how old the kid was. To be honest, I found it quite annoying...until I too became a month counter. Funny the things we say we will never do until....well, we do.

Your little brains have been working overtime for the past few months. You are trying to create conversations and are very determined to "Do myself, Mama!" I am also amazed at your memories. We will do something one time and a few weeks later something will come up in one of your conversations and you go right back to it like it just happened yesterday. I hope that stays with you because I do not remember much about my childhood. I have these little pockets in my mind that are very vivid, but it often takes someone reminding about a popular toy or TV show to jog me. It's funny because when I was growing up, everyday I thought about being a Mommy and now that I am one, everyday I think about being a kid.

One of the things that I've been thinking a lot about lately is what you will remember about your childhood. Will you remember that our house was spotless? Will you remember that dishes never piled up in our sink? No...you will remember your daddy wrestling with you on the floor of your bedroom and playing puzzles with mama on the kitchen floor. You will remember saying the blessing together at our table holding hands and building tents out of bed sheets. One of the hardest things about being home with you is giving myself permission to just BE with you. One day, when you both leave for college, I will sit in a house with spit-shined floors and clean dishes and wish for hand prints on the windows and dried food on the table. I will have plenty of time for a perfect house...now I just want a perfectly happy one.





Scene: Tradd lays naked on the changing table as I prepare to diaper him and put on his jammies. His tiny hand rests "down there"....

Tradd: Mom, my nut.

Me: Your what?

Tradd: MY NUT (Louder and with great expression)

Me: Son, that's your testicle.

Tradd: No. It's my nut, Mom.

Me: Ok...just don't touch it.

These are the conversations I have to have...
and they are 3.
Folk, this is going to get interesting.


Snow Day

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
Long Nap.
A perfect day.


A "short" Walk Down Memory Lane

Well, after two years, I finally did it. I ordered pictures of the boys off Shutterfly. I know you are thinking, "Big deal", but I need you to realize that these are the first pictures I have EVER ordered. EVER. This is how pathetic I am...and I only felt the pressure because Shutterfly was going to cancel my 600+ prepaid pictures if I didn't order before February. So 418 pictures later and I have only gotten through May of 2007. It's not looking good.

Anyhoo, the point in me telling you this is that after I had the pictures arranged in the photo album the four of us sat down on the couch and walked the boys through their short little lives. Here are a few of their responses...

"Look at that sweet baby"

"That's me, Mama?" (To which I said yes to both boys because I truly can't tell)

"Daddy holds me, Mama?"

"Where's me?"

As I sat on the couch between my two precious boys, I thought of how many times we will look at these pictures before they have children of their own. And how one day I will be showing this same book to their wives and children. And by then the walk down memory lane will be wonderfully long.