Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'll be Home for Christmas

This has been a different kind of Christmas for our family this year.  There has been no time to decorate, send out Christmas cards, or finish all the shopping.  But, we are together, and that it the best Christmas present I could ever ask for. 
I've learned in recent months that "Home is where the heart is". Really, it's true.  It doesn't matter if it's in an apartment in good ole' College Station, my folks house, a crummy old hotel room, or even in some stables with a hay filled manger for a crib... You can be "home" anywhere. 
I know that my Redeemer lives!  I know that he loves ME, Jessica Lynn Payne. He loves me enough to suffer and die for all my sins and weaknesses, so that I can conquer death and live again with my family in Heaven.  

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." -St. Luke 2:14




Monday, December 20, 2010

Fresh from Heaven




There really is something so special about having a newborn in the house. There is absolutely no doubt that they come straight from heaven. The little sounds they make, the cute faces, the tiny tiny toes, their little beating heart... they are perfect.  I feel like this time around I'm not as anxious and worried about messing something up... this time I'm trying to just enjoy the newborn stage.  Which isn't too hard with a sweet baby like Maggie.  :)
That being said... Maggie Ila is doing great! She just keeps getting chubbier and chubbier everyday! I love it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


After I got married, I couldn't imagine life without my sweetheart.  Sometimes I would wonder how I ever made it without him.  It was a feeling of completion.  We are an eternal family.  We are forever.  

I got the same feeling after I had my little Rachel, and now with my Maggie...  I just can't imagine life without them.  

Oh, and what a great life it is. 

New favorite toys

If you are looking for Rachel these days, you're most likely to find her stealing a pacifier, sitting in the car seat, or climbing on the bouncer.


Every time I look at this picture I laugh out loud!  Look at those wide eyes!  What a stinker!

Instead of telling her to get out of the bouncer, I finally ran and got the camera and told Rachel to smile... she doesn't ever smile when I tell her to anymore... but this time was different... she had triumphed and she knew it!

Mommy Tradition

I decided when I was pregnant with Rachel that I was going to get my nails done. I mean the works... manicure, pedicure... even a cutesy design.  Seriously worth every penny. When you are feeling crummy in the hospital, there is nothing like looking down and seeing pretty toes. Or for all you pushing mommies out there, it's something pretty to look at while you push. :) Anyway, just a suggestion...


Friday, December 10, 2010

the sweetest part

Our Maggie Ila is here. Not too many moms can say they were in the delivery room with their daughter but I can!! What an amazing experience!! There was an excitement in the air and I was so gitty that I probably annoyed Jessica. I put on the scrubs with hat and mask. The doctor had me wait in the hallway for a minute then invited me in. While I was walking in the doctor's steady hands were at work cutting a small incision. I walked around the curtain to Jessica's head. Jessica was wide eyed and I could tell she was a bit nervous. I grabbed her hand and told her it won't be long and the baby will be here. I peeked over the curtain again and the doctor had Maggie’s head out in less than 5 minutes. I told Jess the head was out and all she could say is "Really, I can't feel a thing." Then the doctor told us that Jess will feel a release of pressure and Maggie was born. We heard a good strong cry and I started tearing up because she was HERE. The sweetest part of the birth was after the nurses wiped her off a little. Maggie was still upset and crying as they then handed her to me. I took her to her mother and laid her by her cheek. Jessica just said, "Hi, sweetheart." And lil' Maggie instantly calmed down and stopped crying. lil' Maggie knew right away her mama's voice and that she was OK. From start to finish the whole procedure took about 15 minutes. I witnessed a miracle on November 30th at 7:19. A loving Heavenly Father sent down a beautiful baby girl to our family. I know I am just the Nana but she is still family. I felt really blessed to be a part of a special time for my Jessica. I know I was not as good as Tyler would have been but I tried to hold down the role the best I could. Jessica, you are amazing Mother and I am blessed to have you for a daughter. Thank you for allowing me to be with you on this special day.

Photobucket-posted by the "Nana"
Maggie Ila Payne
November 30, 2010 @ 7:19am
8 pounds 4 ounces
20 1/2 inches long






I feel like the luckiest Mommy on earth!  I love my girls. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Be Still, My Soul

There was a time after I had my little Rachel when I thought that I'd never in a million years have another baby.  I know to many of you that sounds just horrible.  But, it's the truth.  I would replay over and over again the traumatic experience of having Rachel... the fear, the anxiety, the not knowing, the hurt, the awful awful doctor, the big nasty cut across my belly...  I would relive every detail, and it was like I could almost feel it happening again...

But then one night I layed Rachel down in her crib, and just stared at her.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  I quickly ran and got Tyler... and together we just gazed at our little miracle. And in that moment, with tear-filled eyes, I turned to Tyler and whispered... "It was all worth it."
Those five words pierced my very soul. They empowered me. It was one of the strongest confirmations of spirit I've ever felt before in my life. And I knew that I would and could do it all over again with the Lords help. I wasn't going to let anything stop me.

As the big day draws closer, I'm beginning to get more and more nervous.  Am I ready for this again?  Can I do this without Tyler holding my hand?... oh I want to squeeze his hand so badly... Then I think of that moment... "It was all worth it."
I remember the peace I felt rush into me after saying those words, and for a moment, my soul is still. 

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rachel lately...

I think a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Take that sewing machine!

I finally finished Rachel's Christmas present! I can't wait to see the reaction Christmas morning. I must say I'm pleased with how it turned out.  It felt good to conquer my sewing phobias... it doesn't take 10 minutes to remember how to thread the bobbin anymore! WHOOP!

Thanksgiving Baking

Rachel and I had fun Thanksgiving morning making lots of yummy treats!  A few weeks ago FedEx delievered a big brown box with my name on it!  I thought... want the heck is this?  I opened it and soon found out that in was a KITCHENAID!!! Ahhh!!!  Tyler surprised me.  That sly dog! He did such a good job.  I've always wanted one, but could never justify spending that kind of money on a kitchen mixer.  After all, my wooden spoon works just fine.  But I have to say, the kitchenaid is nice.  Best batch of snickerdoodles I've ever made. :) Plus, it's purple! I love purple.... something about the color- it's so mysterious and sexy.  And well, since it's always a mystery has to whether or not my cooking will taste good I figure it's a good color for me.  And sexy... of course, can you think of a better word to describe me?  haha. Just Kidding!
Anyway, Rachel and I had a good time oooing and awwing over it.  It was a fun Thanksgiving morning. Maybe now that I've got a kitchenaid, I'll be one of the "hip" stay-at-home moms! doubt it. hahaha!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Thoughts

I like Mormon Messages.  They make me smile. This one was a good one...

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for...
my 2 baby girls
the temple
the smell of my softball glove
taking pictures
the book of mormon
blue bell ice cream
my body
the prophet
my amazing husband
Texas A&M
cool whip
texas country
baby feet
disney movies
my bed
pool days
brownie batter
toes in the sand
road trips
hair straightener
my testimony
green green grass
blue skies
the gym
love letters
primary songs
IBC root beer
date nights
power tools
small acts of kindness
my Savior
love love love
the gospel
pillow fights
birthday cards
rubber duckies
and so much more.
What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Football Fever

Football is a huge deal in my family.  It always is. Every Saturday from September to January is packed full of college football.  It has been this way ever since I could remember.  Everyone in the house knows not to call, disrupt, or ask stupid questions during the LSU football game, or else Dad will bite your head off. Correction: My dad just informed me that it's okay to text. ha-ha. The funny thing is, I'm being completely serious.  If we won we could all be happy, if we lose we all stay away from Dad for a while.  
When I went off to Texas A&M I never thought I'd be able to root for a team not wearing purple and gold.  Well, I was wrong.  Sorry Dad, I bleed maroon!  I am a full fledged, fightin Texas Aggie!!! WHOOP!!!!  I love being an Aggie.  There is simply nothing like it, and there is no explaining it- you've just gotta go and see for yourself.  
That being said-  WE BEAT THE HELL OUTTA #8 NEBRASKA last night!!!!!!!!!!!! I think the Aggie football team is back- wrecking crew and all.  Last night Kyle Field went over it's maximum capactiy with a record breaking 90,079 people! Amazing.  I wish Tyler and I could have been there. 



I have one thing left to say...


Saturday, November 20, 2010

He would be proud...

I was at Kohl's today and a lady stopped me to tell me how cute I looked... she said that she couldn't even tell I was pregnant from the back.  I could have kissed her. What a nice thing to say to a complete stranger.  She has no idea how much she made my day. So much better than, "Wow, you look like your about to pop!" haha.
If Tyler had said that I would have just rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah, uh-huh."  Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves?  Why are complements from our loved ones ignored or brushed off? Why is it an act of congress to get out from behind the camera and snap a few of myself? Sometimes I think I automatically tune them out without realizing it. This is something I definitely need to work on.

It's funny how I can look at a picture from a year ago, and say, "I wish I looked that good right now." When at the time all I wanted was 5 more pounds shaved off.  I just couldn't see the good in "the now". I can't tell you have many times "I'm fat" have come out of my mouth since I was 13 years old.  It's awful.  I was never fully aware of how harmful it was until I got married and then had a daughter of my own.  I never ever want to hear my sweet girl utter those words. But how can I expect her not to when I am constantly saying ugly things about myself? It got to a point in our marriage where I was no longer allowed to use the word fat, chubby, or plump! haha.  It's true.  My poor husband.  Instead we made a deal that I would say something that I wanted to fix and how I would accomplish it... So instead of "Look at this! (while I grab a roll from my midsection in disgust)"... I say, "No more pop-tarts." haha.

Yesterday, Tyler requested I make a blog post with pictures of me so he could see my belly and new haircut. I said... well, I'll send you an email, but I am not blogging it.  Unfortunately the computer was being slow last night and he didn't receive either.  But, after thinking about it, I decided to do a blog post. Even if they aren't the best pictures in the world and the lighting is all off... I know it will make him smile when he receives it in the mail.  And you know what?  It's making me smile too.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Mountain Man

Yesterday was the day.  The day I've been waiting for for the past month- Did he pass the first phase?  
YES, He did!
I can't describe the feeling... I felt sooooo... light.  Like a huge weight had been lifted off of me.  I think I even contemplated jumping on the scale! THAT didn't last long! Ha! Seriously though I can't even explain it- it was certainly more than a feeling. 

Today was his 8 hour pass. I don't even know how to do today justice.  I will try.  All last night I slept with my phone.  I knew he wouldn't call until the next day, but I just couldn't help it.  I was so excited.  Then the morning came.  I stalled as long as I could... watching cartoons, doing laudry, doing dishes... then Rachel and I made our way to the gym, when we were through with that it was only 9:30! AHHH!  So, when we got home I blasted some country music and threw all the toys out of the toybox and tried to focus on anything but the lump of a cell phone in my pocket. Didn't work.  Needless to say, the phone call finally came.  It was amazing to hear his voice.  The things he told me.  The things he has been through.  I knew it would be tough, but when you hear about it from him, you just can't imagine.  I'm so happy that he passed. What gratitude I feel!  What a great thing to celebrate!  Especially around Thanksgiving.  
Hanging up the phone for the last time tonight was so hard, but it was time.  Time to get back to work.  I don't know what it is about Ranger School.  Sometimes I think there is no explaining it.  Way to Go Tyler! Don't let the Bastards get you down.  You'll be home in no time. 



I just love this picture.  A friend of mine took it at IBOLC graduation this summer.  These two have been buddies since fish year at Texas A&M.  I think he looks so handsome in that uniform! very classy. :)

If you wanna send some love to the mountains here's his new address:
2Lt William Tyler Payne
5th Ranger Training Battalion
RN#358, Company B
Camp Frank D. Merrill
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Thursday, November 18, 2010

so ready...

I'm ready to...
wear my wedding ring again
paint my toenails without taking long breaks between each toe
have a long, can barely move afterwards workout
not pee my pants every time I laugh too hard, sneeze, or cough
look in the mirror and see the un-swollen me again
wear normal clothes
sleep comfortably
play with my girls without being completely wasted afterwards
wear my converse again

but mostly...
I'm so ready to hold my sweet Maggie girl...  

come on body- I know your tired, funny-looking, and stretched to the max... just give me 11 more days.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sudden Urge

oh my goodness, I'm trying really really hard to be good right now... but the urge! I think I'm starting to twitch! I love love love extra big, extra long, comfy, cozy pajama pants. I feel like I need 10 pairs of them along with some slippers for the hospital and recovery days... goodness gracious I think I'm going to give in.
I mean... LOOK! at these...


and oooo fuzzy socks!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It comes natural to us girls...




Anything is possible with the right pair of shoes on. yep, its true. Shoes are a powerful thing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Nana!

We had a celebration on Monday! It was our Nana's birthday! Complete with a birthday sign, balloons, noise makers, flowers, a yummy dinner, and birthday cake! WOO! One great thing about being with my folks right now is getting to spend time with my Mom. And Rachel just adores her Nana. She gets so excited every time she gets home from work.


Rachel was completely intrigued with the noise makers! She couldn't get any noise to come out, so she improvised and pretended to make noise come out herself! Look at that concentration... she is such a hoot! (and if you're wondering why she's always half dressed in pictures... well, I don't really have a good excuse, it just seems to be a part of life right now... haha)

I love this girl...

Happy Birthday Nana! May all your Nana wishes come true!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Busy bee

I figured I'd never get done with all the projects I've been working on... I won't even start about the dadgum sewing projects I've started, I swear that machine hates me... anyways, here are a few of the projects we've done...
Bow Holder- No more sifting through a basket to find the right bow! Believe it or not, I have an another bow hanger on the other door that my sister-in-law gave me...haha... Can you tell I like making bows? So what? :)


The unfinished guys...found that stool at a garage sale for one buck! He was pretty sad when I first saw him, but I think he cleaned up well. Still want to put the girls names on the steps..


Wall Bookshelves! love them! Only 5 bucks each to make!


My first experience with Mod Podge.. pretty nifty stuff. Cut out the A&M sign with a jigsaw and then used the Mod Podge to make the glitter stick. Also, made some wall plaques and then painted over the top with Mod Podge to make it canvas-like. I think they are pretty cool. I love the one in Rachel's room. Every time she wakes up she see's her Daddy. I like that.


The baby room is definitely my favorite room in the house. Took forever for me to decide on the wall color! I just love to go sit in there and read with Rachel. The toy box that we built from last year is still my favorite. :)


And now the big one! We built a bed! Always wanted one, so I thought, what the heck? lets do it!
Unfortunately it wouldn't fit in our room! haha, after all that work! I'm so excited to get into our own place and set it up! This is what it looks like all together... I found plans for the wall bookshelves as well as the bed at her site is amazing and will totally inspire anybody to get to work in the garage!
It has always been a dream of mine to make furniture for our home. I don't know why, I just love seeing things Tyler and I built together. I also love being able to paint it any color I want! I am so grateful that Tyler likes to build stuff too, or else I'd never get past hammering two pieces of wood together. What a guy! Seriously though, what man doesn't like an excuse to buy power tools? And a wife that encourages it? haha. Our projects don't always turn out the way we want. Sometimes we end up getting REALLY REALLY frustrated... but then a project turns out good.. and all the bad ones don't seem to matter anymore. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soliderman Update

So, I know you're all dying to know how Tyler is doing...haha... at least I am!...
He is through with Pre-Ranger and is now in his second week of Benning Phase. I got a letter from him last week, and he sounded like he was in good spirits. He definitely still has his sense of humor about him. He also got a good friend that he met this summer during IBOLC (Officer Infantry Training) as his "battle buddy". That made me feel so good! Anyway, he gave me an address so I can finally write him!! WAHOOEY!!
I thought I'd share it, I know he'd love any letters ya'll send him.

2LT William Tyler Payne
4th Ranger Training Battalion
RN#, Company C
10850 Schneider Road
Fort Benning, GA 31905

He gets a new address for every phase, so I'll be sure to update when he heads to the Mountains. Thank you all for your sweet comments. They always make my day! I am so blessed to have good friends. Hope you're having a Happy Monday!

Jess Payne

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let me Explain...

Being in a new ward, as well a new town, I often get asked the question... "So, what does your husband do?" After trying to explain myself and our family's current situation, I see the person's expression go from engaged and curious to confused and "I'm sorry I asked". One day I hope to be able to answer this question feeling completely sure and confident. However, I'm not counting on it anytime soon. I'm sure all you other army wives out there can sympathize with this feeling.

Anyway, my immediate answer to this question is, "He is in the Army. He is at Ranger School." That being said, I'm going to try and explain what the heck Ranger School is hoping that the cloud of confusion will be lifted from both you and me. Yes, I am still confused. Welcome to my life. haha.

So in order to fully answer this question I did what any normal person would do, I googled it. Here is the explanation I came up with. I hope I do it justice...

First of all, Army Ranger School is comparable to Navy EOD training or Marine Recon. He is not training to be a Chuck Norris of the Walker Texas Rangers.
Ranger School is an extremely intense 62 day combat leadership course consisting of 3 phases: Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Swamp Phase ranging between 18 and 22 days long. Each Ranger candidate is evaluated, tested, and then scored determining whether or not they are allowed to continue on to the next phase. Candidates can expect to get an average of 2 MREs and 3 hours of sleep a day. Ranger School is designed to push soldiers to their physical and mental breaking points. Approximently 50% of each Ranger class is "recycled" at least one time, meaning that they have to completely redo the phase they failed. Only about one third of each Ranger class actually graduates and becomes "Ranger Qualified". There are many rumors floating around about Ranger School that I'm not sure of, but there is one thing that I am sure of... Sometimes it's just luck of the draw, who's in your platoon, and who your Ranger Instructor is... there are many outcomes you simply have no control of.

During the course the only form of contact with loved ones is through written letters as well as one brief phone call after each phase stating if you passed. OH- and they receive one 8-hour pass after the Benning phase to see family(if they are close by), do laundry, take a nap, and resupply. I am so looking forward to a good long talking to at that time. Many people have told me not to expect more than one letter a week. So far, that has been accurate.

As if Ranger School wasn't long enough some regular Army soldiers as well as all Army National Guard Soldiers (which is what Tyler is) are required to pass a 2 week long Pre-Ranger course which is basically designed to weed out as many candidates as possible before letting them go on to Ranger School. During Pre-Ranger, candidates have to perform and pass the same tests as the first 2 weeks of Ranger School. The tests of the first week alone being: RAPT test (push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and a 5 mile run), combat water survival assessment, land navigation, 12 mile road march, familiarization of the M240B and M249 machine guns, the Darby mile, and the Malvesti obstacle course.

If there is still confusion, there is a new Discovery channel series called "Surviving the Cut" that goes into the intense world of military elite forces training, and one of the episodes is dedicated to Ranger School. I thought it was pretty interesting. Tyler thought it was pretty funny. If anything, it makes for a fun FHE activity followed by a crazy obstacle course around the house (thats what we did anyway...haha)
So there you go, that’s all I got.
I feel better now.

Sometimes, I just marvel at what these men go through every day. I can't describe how proud I am of my husband. I wonder what he's doing right now.

Lastly, I want you all to know that it has been a huge matter of faith for me to publish this post. It has been sitting in the drafts pile for a while, and I just keep going over it again and again in my brain. Please don’t misunderstand; I have complete confidence in my husband’s abilities. I know that if there is anyone out there capable of completing this course it is Tyler Payne. After all, you can ask any of the Payne boys; he is the Alpha Male. Haha. However I’m also realistic enough to know that something could go wrong; a infected spider bite, some weird swamp germ, looking over his shoulder at a buddy during a ruck march and stepping into a hole breaking his ankle… it’s like John Wayne says in “Big Jake”… “Your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault”… things just happen. But, I also know that this is what the Lord wants us to do right now, spider bite or no spider bite.

Friday, November 5, 2010


There was a lesson given in Sunday school the week that Tyler left that has stuck with me ever since. Which is incredible because we're studying Isaiah, and I never know what the heck the guy is talking about! I have a long way to go before becoming a master scriptorian, obviously.  But there were a few scriptures that spoke to me, enlightened me, made me happy, and gave me strength...

Isaiah 40: 28-31
  28 ¶ Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

  29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
  30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
  31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

There are mornings where I lay in bed listening to Rachel wake up thinking, "How in the heck am I going to do this?"  It feels like my body is telling me, "OK Jess, I've had it. I'm not moving today." Does anyone else's bodies talk to them?... well mine does...(that was supposed to be a joke)... haha, anyway, and then I think of these verses.  He giveth "POWER to the faint and weary"! Then, my favorite part, "They shall mount up with wings as eagles"... I kept repeating that line over and over again in my mind... what do you think that means?... 
Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered, "How did I ever make it through that?"  There are several instances where I've looked back and wondered that.  Then, I think of that line, "They shall mount up with wings as eagles.."   
I know now... It's because I was being carried.  I was flying. 

 It brought me back to moments in my life where I truly felt like a could fly... I even gave it try! HA! didn't work, but I think I got as close as you can get...( I just had the line from "Toy Story" go through my brain..."Oh, what? What? These are plastic. He can't fly.They are a terillium-carbonic alloy,and I can fly"... haha... just call me Buzz Lightyear)... okay I am now officially blabbing... 


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do you see it?

The resemblance I mean? Can I just say that I love love love pigtails? Every time I go to do Rachel's hair I think, "I outta try something new.....naaa!" Pigtails win.



Monday, November 1, 2010

A Father's Love

George Strait-"A Love Without End, Amen":

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye 
Fighting was against the rules and it didnt matter why 
When Dad got home I told that story just like Id rehearsed 
Then stood there on those trembling knees and waited for the worst 

And he said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love 
A secret that my daddy said was just between us 
He said daddies dont just love their children every now and then 
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen 

When I became a father in the spring of 81 
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my fathers son 
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end 
I took my daddys secret and I passed it on to him 

And I said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love 
A secret that my daddy said was just between us 
I said daddies dont just love their children every now and then 
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen 

Last night I dreamed Id died and stood outside those pearly gates 
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake 
If they knew half the things I've done theyll never let me in 
Then somewhere from the other side I heard those words again 

And they said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love 
A secret that my daddy said was just between us 
You see daddies dont just love their children every now and then 
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen

One of my all-time favorite songs. Many of my thoughts have been centered on "A Father's Love" today.  There really is nothing in the world like the love of a Daddy. Or the love of our Father in Heaven.  
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trade or Treat

I had been looking forward to our ward's Fall Festival for weeks... for several reasons... to visit with people and eat yummy chili, but mostly to see how Rachel would like the whole "Halloween experience".  Plus, I couldn't wait to see how her costume, that I MADE! (well, the tutu and bows) turned out.  As you can see, I'm pretty proud of myself- I don't normally make those sort of things- but it was so easy, and hardly any sewing!  Thanks Meredith for showing me how it's done! (and for letting me copy your daughters costume! hehe)

I was so excited to see her reaction to the whole thing... Would she freak out? Would she try and start a fire? Would she want to stop and eat every piece of candy she was given?  Well... she didn't do any of that... instead she'd walk up to a trunk, say "tik teak", and then offer one of her candies for one of their's.  She was insistent.  She just had to bargain for the good stuff.  I tried to explain that it was all free, but she just kept trying to trade.  Well, it was either trade or grab and run, like she was getting away with something... (she does that a lot)...

our cute pumpkins


my little zebra!
She loved the jack-o-lanterns. Completely fascinated.  Even kissable.

She loves getting attention from the older girls at church.  You can just see it in her eyes... already her role-models




Halloween is exhausting!  Thank goodness for Nana's who come to the rescue and chase down crazy little zebras. ;)