Thursday, December 30, 2010

this one's a doozy

Did I spell that right?  doozy?  That's a weird word, but it says a lot.  I typed that to imply that if you don't plan to sit still for a while, you may not want to start reading this entry... and to identify the types of days that can sneak up on you, and suddenly it's 8pm and you want to be in bed already.  A doozy.  adj.  not necessarily a negative term, but one that describes an extra-ordinary event or series of events  a time period, in this case.

get your own presents, Mom
Merry Christmas! 
Can people not say this any more?  As Brad and I were driving home from my sister's house in Texarkana, I was thinking about this.  A woman in a children's store in Arkansas looked at me like I was a little nuts when I wished her a "Merry Christmas" as I checked out on December 23.  Was that weird?  I've found myself actually forgetting to say it to people this year, which is very unlike me.  At least the lady in Dillards smiled when we said it to her.  I guess it's out of the ordinary.

and yes, her hair is long enough for bows! Brad doesn't like them, and keeps taking them out
Christmas in Texarkana was different.  Malia and Bill kind of live in the country, outside of town.  There were lots of people, which meant lots of cooking.  The boys got bored sometimes... they went in the back yard and "shot stuff" or "burned stuff."  Addison was spoiled rotten; when we got home she suddenly couldn't remember how to play by herself! Malia and Bill are going to have a baby!  She's due June 28th, and I'm super excited for them.  Everyone got too many presents (none of which I'm sorry for, by the way), and Christmas dinner was great.  I hope you enjoyed yours as well!

the ribbon is way more fun than the present

I'm not sure I should be working.  I mean, I like my job.  I like the people I work with.  It's perfect for someone who wants to have their child right there with them, and who wants to be involved in things in our children's ministry, but I may need an attitude adjustment.  And a clear head.  And a desk all to myself.  :)  (I usually share a desk with whoever else is passing through the office.  This week, though, the preschool has been out, so I got tons of work done, even today when I had to take Addison with me!)  Here is my delima, for all the blogosphere, or whatever, to read: I know that the Lord is the Great Provider, and He will provide us with the means to provide Addison with what she needs as she needs it.  As Brad says, I don't have to work right now, but in my mind I go back to this "Provider" personality of our sweet savior and remind myself that maybe this is Him providing for us for later.  I'm still in doubt, but I'll go back next week, and the next, until I'm clear about it one way or another.  I kinda feel like someone helping in a ministerial capacity should probably know, though.  I'm praying for clarity.

My child is moving!  In the last two weeks she's started sitting up on her own, and rolling from back to front (she's been rolling from front to back for a couple of months).  This has led to all sorts of new adventures: rolling across the floor to get to something she wants.  (Brad found her tucked in next to the fireplace last night when he stepped away for a moment.)  Doing a face-plant from the sitting position onto the floor in order to roll to a toy she can't reach.  (It's pretty funny to watch her do this; like some sort of contortionist.  But she won't do it if she can see you watching her.)

Addison has started making this new, annoying noise.  (I'm making it right now to demonstrate, but you can't hear me.)  It's almost like she's trying to leave me a gift in her diaper to change, but she's not.  I think it's her way of expressing dislike for something.  Or maybe she just likes the noise.  Either way, it's not fun to hear, but she's doing it a lot.

Is she or isn't she?  I've thought she was teething a couple of times in the last 2 months.  Now, though, she's smacking her gums, and drooling even more than before (which is remarkable), and not sucking on her paci, but biting it.  Addison has woken up after only 45 minutes of naps the last two days, and she can't seem to get settled down.  And sometimes early from night-time sleep.  I rock and rock her, or sing to her, or walk with her, or jostle her, or do all of it, and she's not happy.  That is VERY unlike my sweet-natured gal.  In fact, as I type, my almost-six-month old is swinging in one of those infant swings (but not asleep, mind you) because my arms were falling asleep trying to get her settled back down.  We had to deal with this a lot at night in her first two months, but she weighed significantly less back then!  I can only assume-and desperately hope-that this unhappy, slightly grumpy, definitely sleepy girl will go back to her "usual" self once this tooth comes through?  Is it too much to hope?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

3rd Annual Cookie Swap

Well today Addison and I hosted our Cookie Swap - my 3rd, her 1st.  Addison genuinely loves anything where people are around, so she had a ball.  (Lots of people holding her and telling her she was cute - I think we have a Priss Pot on our hands!  We'll have to work on that later.)  We had 11 adults, 7 kids, and a ton of sweets!  Several of our friends could not make it, and we missed them, but hopefully they can make it next year. 

Brad's not a fan of Addison & Henry here 

I love having this little get-together for my friends every year... really I love just getting together and having time to sit around and talk.  The good food is a bonus.  I do love hosting it too!  I love pulling out all my Christmas stuff to serve on, wrapping my cabinets like Christmas presents, and baking some yummy snacks for us to munch on.  If you love the TV show "Friends" like I do, picture Monica here, dreamily saying, "I am always the hostess."  I'm not always the hostess, and that's good, but I enjoy it when I am.  I didn't really do a very good job this year with this: I didn't describe the "swap" part of the party on the evite; I didn't tell people how many cookies to bring, and I forgot to have people bring copies of their recipes!  (I'm exceptionally bummed about this last part, because I want to know how to make some of these, and now I can't remember who brought what to ask!)  Here are some pictures of the kids... we forgot before some people left, and then had a hard time getting everyone on the couch together.  Oh well.
Reese, Clayton, Henry, and Addison

Emma & Savannah

I think it looks like Addison is seriously considering something Reese is explaining

  My new hobby (sort of) has been sewing.  I've had a sewing table set up in our den for two months, working on various projects.  A dress, a onesie with a Christmas tree on it, a few bows, etc.  None of them are fantastic, but I've enjoyed playing around.  Brad keeps reminding me that I can find "those things" at a store, but it has been fun!  This dress here was my first "big project," and while I was working on the sleeves I guess the word fun didn't really come to mind.  It turned out pretty cute though.  When I was confused about a couple of aspects of the pattern, I kept picturing that "Saved by the Bell" episode where they sew clothes for Lisa, and someone (maybe Kelly?) sews herself into a sleeve.  That's an oldie but a goodie. 

Addison and I have been singing and dancing to all sorts of Christmas carols lately.  She seems to like them, but then she likes any kind of music.  It's putting me in the Christmas spirit, though.  I bought my last present today, and mailed my cards yesterday, so all that's left is to enjoy this special time of year!

I hope whenever you're reading this, and whatever you're doing, you're having a fantastic day, and a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well, December has rushed in like nothing else, hasn't it?  I guess it always does this, but I'm typically surrounded by calenders and lesson plans and schedules and football season that spills into basketball season, so I was a little more aware of the speeding time bomb that is the holiday season.  haha!  This year it's been diapers and giggles and drool and pulling Addison's feet out of her mouth.  Needless to say, I haven't really paid a lot of attention to calenders!
November was busy, and Addison is now quite an experienced traveller!  The week before Thanksgiving we headed to Nashville for the National Youth Workers Convention with Brad.  We met some new folks, saw some old friends, and spent a few days roaming around downtown Nashville.
Brad & Addie with our friend Sam & his daughter Lindley
 We were in town for barely 24 hours before we turned around to head to Callaway Gardens for Thanksgiving.  We met Britton and Brian and the boys, along with Missy and Pop for a weekend of fun!  We had lots of good food and lots of fun, and came home pretty worn out.

Three of the McPhersons were sick, so it was inevitable we would get the funk that's been going around their house.  I got it this week, and am praying that Brad and Addie stay in the clear.  I started my new job as children's ministry assistant this week, and, other than feeling crummy, enjoyed the company and the change of pace... I missed the mornings with my gal, though. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

No Harness for us, thank you very much

Well, yet another prayer has been answered!  Last week at Addison's 4 month check up, her doc said he "definitely felt something" when he did the hip portion of her physical exam, so we scheduled an ultrasound to check for congenital hip displacement.  This is apparently routine for breech babies, but for a number of reasons we didn't get it done earlier like some many babies do.  If they have it, babies are fitted with a harness of sorts, that basically holds the hips in place so that the ligaments and everything grows together "correctly." 
So I read a little about it online (my friend Denise said Brad should put a parental lock on "WebMD"), worried about it just enough to ask my friends for prayer for it, and then proceeded to pray the condition away.  We went this morning and the ultrasound showed nothing out of the ordinary.  Yay and praise God!

I should have known there was nothing wrong; she can eat her toes and isn't fazed by anything!
Last week our friend Lindsey came to take some portraits of Addison and our family.  She did an amazing job!  All the pictures are beautiful!  This may be my favorite one: Rosco is all in Addie's face, and she's not worried about it at all.  I think Brad and I fussed about this more than she did!  Our laid-back gal is a trooper
So I'm reading the book Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls.  It's really fantastic; a memoir, but one that's written as if you're sitting down listening to someone talk-- my favorite kind of book to read.  The other day I read something that's had me thinking about the human condition.  A mom is talking to her daughter about animals on a ranch, and she says, "Animals act like they hate to be penned up, but the fact is, they don't know what to do with freedom.  And a lot of times it kills them." 

The freedom this quote makes me think of is that which we receive through God's goodness and grace.  We were created to live in communion with God, but He provides us with the freedom to choose Him.  Don't get me wrong: I realize humans know what to do with freedom.  The problem is that we are sinful by nature and therefore often choose a path that leads us away from a walk in intimacy with Christ.  So we, whether by following a religion or on our own, design a "right" way of living and walking.  We make a list of "dos" and "don'ts," and often make our lives about following that list instead of devotion to the One who created the freedom we're allowed to enjoy.  This is what I kept thinking about while reading Walls' quote, "they don't know what to do with freedom... it kills them."  I think so often we kill the joy to be found in true communion with Christ.  And, perhaps even worse, we make our Relationship with Him about that list and show the world around us, which is filled with people desperate for someone to point them to Jesus, that a life with Him is limited.  How untrue!  A life with Christ is based on freedom beyond what we can imagine on our own! 

So, whether I'm making sense or not, my prayer is to learn to embrace the freedom found in Christ.

Monday, November 8, 2010

When did November get here???

No seriously- when did November get here?  Time has been absolutely flying by!  How do I already have a four month old?  Addison is huge and growing by the second!  This is her a week ago... notice the rolls?  She's longer than she was that day, and she's not as chubby.  These growth spurts are out of control!

Halloween was fun with Trunk or Treat at church.  Brad missed it; he left on the 30th for a mission trip to Haiti.  We missed him.  Our gal was a pink, glow-in-the-dark skeleton.  (The mohawk is natural-haha)    

 With Daddy in Haiti, Addie and I hit the road with Brad's mom to go meet the latest cousin, Jake.  It was a too-short visit with Britton and her clan, but we enjoyed it.  Here are some pictures we snapped with the boys.

Playing with Will

Here's Ben.  Notice Addie's nervous look?
Addison and Jake are only 3 months apart
I love this - a pj pic!  Look at all the sleepy heads!
The boys were so good with Addison.  They are all so precious.  Poor Matt had a fever and bad cough while we were there, so we tried to keep him away from the babies.  Addison was worn out from the week without her Daddy, trying to keep up with the big boys, and long drive home!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poop Clothes

I warn you: the information you are about to read may be disturbing.

I questioned putting this out there, for everyone / anyone who actually reads this thing to read and see.  My friend and partner in poop told me that it was too good not to put here, so alas, I'm disclosing my child's poop fiascos on the internet.  (We'll save it for her rehearsal dinner.)

Yesterday started out as an adventerous Friday; I should have known it would be interesting.  We hit Coffee Cup for breakfast with Brad, then Addison and I were headed to a corn maze and park in Milton for some fun with the "Big Kids."  Addie thoroughly enjoyed checking out all the running and playing everyone else got to do; she and I took notes on all that she'll be able to do next year at this fun park!
There were lots of pictures taken.  Of course, by the time the mommies started snapping these, the kiddos were getting hot, and we had a couple of melt downs on our hands.
We handled the meltdowns, loaded everyone in their cars, and hit McDonalds.  (Addie did not have a Happy Meal.)  As we were leaving, I noticed my child doing her business while I was holding her. 
              (I'd like to pause here to mention that it goes against everything in me to
              discuss these details in public.  Forgive the disgusting-ness.  I'm pretty sure,
              however, that anyone reading this has had a similar situation or you will.)
Lindsey, her daughter Emmy, and I were walking to the car as I felt the situation in my child's diaper grow.  I started changing her in the back of Lindsey's car (sorry friend!), and everything fell apart.  We had a massive poop disaster!  It was on my arm, all in Addie's jeans, up her back, etc.  It was ridiculous.  I had just repacked her diaper bag and forgotten to include an extra onesie... Oops.  She rode home in only her diaper.  We got home and Brad was like "Why is my child naked?"  It was laundry day, big time.

Fast forward to today.  I had our gal dressed up (please note the adorable jean jacket! how cute !) and we headed to Foley for some shopping at the outlets with my friend Ali.  I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, so we got there early.  After
a couple of hours, and Addison's "second
breakfast," we were in Gymboree.  The
saleswoman was absolutely the worst person to
work in a children's store.  She glared at
everyone, was not helpful, and was rude to us
as we were checking out.  Ali and I were standing
in line deciding our final purchases when I noticed
that we had a similar situation to yesterday.  I adjusted how I was holding Addie, hoping to avoid a disaster, when my little pooper started making a face.  (You know... the face.)
About the time I told Ali I was going to skip check out and head to a restroom, Ali said "umm, Maile, I can see it."  Now, you have to understand the slow-motion timing of this.  As I realized how much my child was producing, Ali saw it, and as she told me I felt it drip onto my shoe.  That's right- MY SHOE!!!  This is a new level of gross.  As a new mom, I feel like I've had a ton of gross, but on my shoe?  IN THE STORE???  Good grief!  It actually dripped on the floor of the Gymboree, in front of the extremely rude-and-unhelpful-sales woman!  I was immediately apologetic, and asked for something to clean it up, but Addison was not finished.  My sweet friend Ali stayed behind to handle clean up and checkout, while Addison and I went to ruin a bathroom.  And ruin it we did!  When all was said and done, we'd spent 20 minutes in the restroom, almost emptied our wipe container, and both Addison and I changed clothes.  (Good thing we were at a mall!)  Ali is such a good friend, she actually rinsed our poop clothes while I was changing Addison!!!  Wow.  (I will accompany you and your future child to the mall and rinse your poop clothes one day, friend!)
I'm not sure how much you can tell from the picture, besides the highlighter-yellow stain, but that is poop dripping to my knee.  (Again, I aplogize for the graphic-ness.  I just don't think anyone would believe me without pictures.)  To top everything off, I realized in the middle of clean-up that I'd mistakenly walked out of the store with an un-paid-for outfit in my stroller!  I had to got back to the scene of the crime to return it!  Augh the walk of shame!
Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Yep, that's a lot of poop..."  You'd be right, but that wasn't all of it.  Within 3 hours Addie had messed up yet another outfit of hers.  By that time we were all so worn out and tired of poop that I just stripped her and we headed home... that's right Addie came home naked two days in a row!  Just imagine what Brad had to say about that!

All clothes are soaking in Oxiclean as I type and it'll be a fun night of laundry... AGAIN!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Phew! What a week!

Phew! What a week!  This post will be mostly about the pictures, to show off all of the exciting things Addie has been doing over the past 8 days...
Sunday: Baby dedication at church.  It was such a special morning!  I may be cheesy, but I was super excited that she got to wear the gown and bonnet I wore when I was dedicated.  Our gal slept through the dedication in the first service, and hollered through the second service.  Oh well; she looked pretty cute. 

Wednesday: Normal day and trip to church.  I snapped some cute pictures of Rosco checking things out when we got home. Doesn't he look like a giant???
Thursday: Addison and I made our first plane trip!  We flew to my parents' to spend the weekend visiting them.  With the exception of a few hairy moments, Addie was a very good traveller.  She didn't like the 3 hour layovers in Atlanta, but lets face it: who does???

Addison and Granddaddy after we landed.
Meeting Tutu!

Friday: my brother, Andrew took a weekend away from his busy senior year at the Citadel to come meet Addison.  How cute are they?

Saturday: we took Addison to find a pumpkin patch.  It was a little too sunny for good pictures.  Oh well.

Sunday: Britton, Brad's sister, gave birth to Baby Jake!  We're so thankful for our 4th nephew/cousin!  Jake and Britton are both doing well, and I'm sure, looking forward to heading home tomorrow!

Monday: we came home. Phew!  What a busy week!  The last leg of our trip was pretty exhausting for both of us. Addison and I missed her Daddy, and he aparently missed us... he was out of clean clothes! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Everyone has a story...

No, for those of you "Today Show" devotees out there, this is not in reference to Kathy Lee Gifford's song and segment that they do daily (which, by the way, is my least favorite part of the entire 4 hour long "Today Show;" I turn it off the last 30 minutes in protest).  During our Bible study Wednesday night, Cheryl Killam encouraged everyone to get their "story" down.  As she shared her testimony with the group, I was struck by how much my own story has changed since the last time I've shared it publicly.  Given the challenge to not only be prepared to share my testimony, but even to write it down, here I am. 

I don't have a particularly exciting story to share.  I'm blessed to have parents devoted to following Christ and building whatever church we found home in at the time.  I made a public profession of faith very young to our sweet minister at the time, Pastor Leaper, right after my baby brother was born, and was baptized just before I turned 8 in Calvary Baptist Church in Augsburg Germany.  To quote my sweet husby, I had a "drug problem" growing up: whenever the church doors were open, I was "drug" to church.  My dad was active duty Army, so we moved around a lot.  Besides my family and their faith, the only constant was our church attendance, wherever that happened to be.  I was involved in every children and youth function possible.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy it; I can remember a couple of times in high school where my mom wanted me to stay home on a Wednesday night to study for a test or catch up on homework or something, and I wanted to go to church.  (It helped that all my best friends were there, and my boyfriend, haha; Mom had me figured out.)  Some of these friends and I were involved in a small group, where we were challenged and encouraged at that young age to seek out the Lord's best for our lives and not that making decisions for our lives without God's help often results in settling.  The Lord was gracious enough to place wise adult mentors in that small group and others who were patient and honest and thought-provoking.  I began to understand something at 17 that a lot of adult Christians have never figured out: our relationship with Christ is not all about what happens when we die, but instead involves all that He has in store for us here on earth.

That in mind, I went to Samford University.  I was far from my family (8 hours!), car-less, and knew 2 people.  There, for maybe the first time in my life, I developed a group of very close girl friends around me, instead of just my sister plus one or two girls.  Just like in high school, most of my close friends were guys, but over time a definite pattern emerged that revealed who just "happened" to be there when I needed help or support or some fun time, and who seemed to "get" me.  Looking back, it's obvious that the Lord was building a group that even now I can visit or call and they understand what I'm saying before I finish my sentence.  (Example: "Are you there God, it's me Maile."  How ridiculous is that?  They get it.)  And so as I battled normal growing pains and the abnormal stuff that came up, God was faithful and provided through the friends He placed around me. 

My sweet husband snuck into my life my junior year.  Brad and I had been friends for a while, in the group sorta way where you know the kind of person someone is, and have mutual friends but don't hang out one on one a lot.  As we ran into each other more and more often, and our friendship developed, my sister called home and told my parents I was falling in love.  It took a couple of tries to get us on the same page: I liked him but he wasn't really available, then later he asked me out and I was clueless.  Finally, right before Brad graduated, we got it right.  I think the Lord provided us both with clarity about where our relationship was going pretty early on.  On the outside, Brad was not really anything like the kind of guy I thought I would marry: he doesn't like crowds, he watches ENDLESS amounts of sports, he doesn't enjoy the idea of parties dressing up or anything like it.  All the important stuff that I prayed for have been met abundantly, though: he seeks after God's heart, wants to glorify Him in all things, works hard to meet the needs of our family, and seeks to learn more constantly.  I am so blessed to be his wife.

After we were married about a year, the Lord began to work in Brad's heart to make him a little discontent with his job.  He loved what he was doing, but as other churches contacted him about possibly moving there, Brad was definitely interested.  I, on the other hand, was loving my job, and my best girl friend was moving back to Birmingham with her new husband.  I rebelled and basically told God that we were going to stay in Birmingham and do His work there.  This rebellion thing was new for me, and while I knew it was wrong, I didn't really know what to do with it.  I was adament about staying put, and I hardened my heart towards helping Brad with what he was dealing with.  I was at a Beth Moore conference about a month into this battle when a woman sitting next to me approached me.  She walked up and didn't introduce herself; I had never seen her before, and haven't since.  All she did was hand me a card with the words written "Just Go!" and a portion of a verse from Jeremiah that talks about trusting in God's faithfulness.  Wow.  I was overwhelmed with my unfaithfulness in the midst of uncertainty, and with God's desire to meet us where we are.  I went home in tears that day and told Brad that I would go wherever he felt led, no questions.  We moved to Dothan four months later and spent two extremely happy years there. 

Brad and I now live in Pensacola, his home town.  He's a youth minister in his home church.  Although he once told me that he didn't think he'd ever want to be a youth minister, he loves what he's doing and is so good at it.  It's been so cool to watch how God has changed Brad's heart towards his role in different ministries in the past few years.  About 9 months after moving here I had a miscarriage.  Brad was leaving for a trip the day we lost the baby.  There was no way he could have gotten out of it, and I was home alone.  I thought I could deal with the pain, emotional and physical, on my own.  Thankfully the Lord knew better.  My sister and her husband were in Orange Beach for the weekend with my grandmother, so I went and spent some time with them.  What a blessing they were.  My crazy, loud-mouthed brother in law told jokes and got my mind off of myself, then let Malia love on me and listen while I poured my heart out about how empty I felt.  I've never felt empty like that before or since.  In the months that followed, getting pregnant again was not easy.  It took 7 months and medication and lots of prayer.  Really, I believe that the process was more about my heart being ready to be a Mama than my body.  "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart..."  it's true.  I claimed that, and many other verses, as Brad and I went about our days as usual.  I knew that the desire we had for a family was provided by Him, and that He would fuflill it one way or another.  We have a precious 3 month old. 

My mom has never really had consistent women friends, so I never saw how important that could be for women.  I hate to use "Grey's Anatomy" in sharing my testimony, but you need a "person."  You know- a friend who you can call about the most random, ridiculous questions, but also who will take you completely seriously when need be.  Someone who doesn't question your quirky husband, or your need to spend a certain number of hours each week with teenagers.  God has blessed the my life, especially the last 10 years, with more than one person, and I am constantly thankful.  From family and friends to walk with us while we made life changing decisions, to girls who shared the struggles of fertility, Brad and I have been blessed beyond measure. 

While my story may not be exciting or troubling, it is a story of God's faithfulness, mercy, and grace.  You know that old phrase "But for the grace of God..."  It describes so much of my life.  There's no reason other than God's grace that I should have been spared the struggles that others around me have faced.  Nothing in my life has been earned, but rather has been one blessing after another.  Mine is a life thus far characterized too often by half-hearted attempts at glorifying the One who was, who is, and will be.  My prayer is that as I grow and learn as a child of God, and as I figure out what the heck I'm doing in regards to being Brad's wife and Addison's mama, that my heart is drawn toward Christ; that I will be like David, a "man after God's own heart;" that my relationship with Christ will be the defining one in my life.  Most of all I pray that as a result of this relationship I can encourage and point others to Him.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall is Finally Here!

Autumn- how I love thee!  Let me count the ways:

1) The changing weather!  The high was only 75 yesterday, and it was great!  This morning was crisp and cool (the 50s!) and fabulous.  I love how one day it'll be warm, the next day cool, then back again. I love how you can show up for a football game wearing shorts and be comfortable, and the second the sun goes down you're kicking yourself because you should've worn jeans and a sweatshirt.  (Five years of coaching to back this up.)  
2) The changing leaves!  I spent most of our "growing up" years in North Carolina, where late October/early November created some of the most beautiful colors God ever designed!  Fall was something to enjoy, even as little kids.  Now, I admit that living in Florida does not always provide for four distinct seasons, but I take what I can get.  So I get excited when the temperature dips a little, pull out the oxford shirts, light a harvest-smelling candle, prepare to do battle with Brad on whether he can blow it out or not, and pretend that when I look out my window I'll see some new glorious shade of orange or red. 
No, she did not wear the hat to bed, but it was too cute to not add for the pictures this morning!
3) The changing decorations!  Yes, I am a dork: I have entirely too many plates and serving pieces, and I thoroughly enjoy changing them out so I can look at all my "pretties."  Fall means switching out my bright stuff for the browns and reds.  On October 1st, Addie wore her Halloween pjs and I got out the Yankee Candle from last year.  (Brad was not home so we could enjoy the candle.)  I got out all our pumpkin decorations over the weekend and re-set the table and china cabinet in honor of my favorite season.  I love looking at and planning decorations so much that I even enjoy how outrageously early the stores begin decorating for Christmas! 

4) Football.  Yes, Brad-I like football... just not for 48 hours straight! 

5) My birthday... I will be 29 this year.  Yikes!  Brad made the mistake of asking me why I was giving him a hard time about turning 30.  "Won't you be 30 in October?"  NOPE!  While 30 may not sound ancient to me, I don't want anyone making me older.

6) Fall in Pensacola also means Tour of Tables!  This is an event that our church puts on for the community each year, by women for women.  Fifty tables are set up in our fellowship hall, decorated by different women from our church, and more than 400 folks enjoy dinner, fellowship, and a guest speaker.  They also provide a lunch "tour," so even more people can hear the speaker.  In addition to the tables we eat and serve from, decorators from different design studios around town present their own tables around the church as well.  I enjoy picking out all the stuff for my table, borrowing some peices from friends and Brad's mom, and putting something together that I may or may not use in the future.  Addison came with me Monday to put my table together and help do some things for the ladies in charge.  She was a little worn out by the time we came home, but she was definitely the cutest decorator there!
Two years ago the speaker was Candace Cameron-- DJ Tanner from "Full House!"  She was a fabulous speaker.  Last year Pam Tebow spoke, and yesterday we heard the ceo of the publishing company that creates magazines like Southern Lady.  Phyllis Hoffman DePiano was funny and encouraging and a great speaker for an occasion like Tour of Tables.  I got to catch up with some sweet friends who I haven't spent time with in a while, and get to know a few new ones.  It was a great evening!
Here is a picture of Addison this morning.  She's wearing an outfit that 3 middle school guys from the youth group bought her... does anyone else find it hilarious that some 8th grader boys did this?