Saturday, January 29, 2011


Here's my latest attempt at some family pictures... 


Momma bear and cub
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Daddy and Mags... How could you not wanna kiss those cheeks?Photobucket

Rachel's "Go ahead and try to make me cooperate" face...  jeez I love that girl.

Ranger school graduation post is up and coming... waiting on a few more pictures! 
One more thing left to say...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pop's magic touch

I try to be one of those Moms who has their kiddos on a schedule.  I'm not talking about a super strict "you will do this at 7:35 am followed by this at 8:05" type schedule.  I'm just saying I like getting into a groove, a routine. Oh, I love me a good routine.  But my goodness I struggle with newborns at night. I try to keep little Maggie awake and stretch out her feedings so that we both can get some sleep! But when it's time to wake her up all I can do is whisper in her ear, "Maggie, sweetie, time to wake up". I do okay for a little while, but somehow no matter how hard I try I end up cuddling with her or rocking her instead of keeping her awake.  Tyler always makes fun of me when this happens... then I just hand her over- "Here you do it then!" 
Thank heavens Pop is around to fill in for a little while.  He is the master of entertaining babies and night-time schedules.  I got to give him props- it's pretty amazing.  We came to visit when Rachel was 6 weeks old and he told us to go to bed and he'd get Rachel to sleep through the night (he guaranteed 6 hours!).  Tyler and I rolled our eyes and quickly went to bed before he changed his mind.  But morning came and he did it, a full 6 hours. 
I love watching him talk to little Maggie.  She just zones in on his deep voice.  You can tell she is completely entranced.  I've listened in on a few of their conversations; they go everywhere from farts to world politics. And if that doesn't work, he dances with her.  A-mazing.  And you know what? Although Maggie is breastfed, she still sleeps 5-6 hours straight at night. I think it's just gotta be Pop's magic touch.    

Sunday, January 16, 2011

got one

Little Miss Maggie has been smiling for weeks, and I finally pulled out my camera in time to catch one. She must've been waiting for the good news. This is what happened when I told Mags that her Daddy is a Army Ranger... 
We're all smiling pretty big around here. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

get this thing off my head

One of the first things that popped into my brain as soon as we found out Rachel was a girl---
 must. have. bows. 
It doesn't matter if you've got them dressed head to toe in pink, people still think they are boys. Come on people, PINK! jeez. Anyway, I figure a good 'ole Texas sized bow ought to do the trick. Plus, bows are too much fun.  So pretty.   
They say "choose your battles". Well, this is a battle I fight constantly. And I will continue to fight it gosh dang it! Rachel still rips bows off her head. Now, her little sister is jumping on the "get this thing off my head" bandwagon... 




survival mode

I thought about it last night and realized that my newborn picture-taking opportunities are quickly flying by.  Why is it that taking pictures have been on the back burner lately?  I think there are times when you enter "survival mode".  It's that little switch that turns on that allows you to throw cheerios at your toddler while you feed the baby.  That rationalizing voice saying, go ahead and throw that load of laundry on the floor for one more night. So, while I laid in bed contemplating about what I was going to accomplish today, I thought I would try and get some Maggie pictures taken even if there were cheerios all over the floor. 
But, newborn pictures are tricky. You've gotta catch that window when they aren't hungry, gassy, tired, or are trying burp; and then you've gotta position them just right.  And of course, once I finally had the chance to take some pictures, it wasn't one of those moments. Oh well, I took about 200 pictures with all different camera modes while Maggie cried. At least I got some practice, right?


Then she finally fell asleep... Now, I did take a ton of sleeping baby pictures.  Gosh, I love to watch her while she sleeps. So cute. Just wait until I catch that big Maggie smile. Oh, her smiles are so big! They make my day every single time. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cotton Bowl 2011

If you're familiar with college football you'd know that LSU played A&M at the Cotton bowl this year. And as many of you probably already know, I come from a family full of fanatical LSU tiger fans. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to attend LSU, and even got accepted my senior year of high school. But, the Jessica in me wanted to make my own path, and I began entertaining the idea of going to Texas A&M and joining the Corps of Cadets.  I had some decisions to make. It was between my top three...  Would I go with my roots and attend LSU? Would I leave it up to athletics and take a wrestling scholarship? Or would I take a new path and go for Texas A&M? Well, ya'll already know the answer.  I went to Texas A&M!!!!!!!! And it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I love Aggieland.  
So, now that I've explained myself a bit, you know that this was more than just a football game, it was a family feud.  I can't believe I'm even writing this dumb post considering the outcome of the game.  I am a sore loser.  But, the party was AWESOME.  We had been planning it for weeks, and my brother (who is on his mission) has even been excited to hear about it.  Friday morning, my grandma came over and made a huge pot of gumbo with my Dad.  oooo gumbo... so so good. Anyway, it was a fun day. Some my Aggie friends even came to help me root for the maroon and white! 

Here is an excerpt from my brother's letter this week:
"Woo hoo Geaux Tigers! Sounded like quite the game and a great time. Dad, you better be able to re-create that gumbo masterpiece. You made my mouth water while describing to me that monsterous stew. Nobody out here knows what that is, especially my latino friends. They always ask me what my favorite dish is and i list off a few favorites namely, steak, gumbo, jumbalaya, and my dads burgers. They get all confused and i lose all hope that i will have to wait till after my mission to fill my craving for some fiery hot, greasy, seasoned to perfection road-kill stew. And yes dad, i know how to pronounce roux. I cant spell it but it eats good."
I just love reading my brothers letters... I miss him. Don't worry Mike, we'll have some road-kill stew ready for you when you get home.

Sorry, but taking pictures was the furthest thing from my mind from my mind during the game.  I didn't even bother fixing Rachel's post-nap hair.  So, this is all you get...

Monday, January 10, 2011

We love Gamma!!

Grandma Payne came to visit the girls and I last week.  We had so much fun going on walks, talking, and baking homemade bread. All Rachel wants to do these days is read books, and I'm pretty sure she read her about a million books while she was here. Rachel was in heaven. I felt so spoiled to get her all to myself! Even when we go up to Weatherford everyone is always competing for "mommy/grandma time".  So, I felt quite lucky. And being a Mom never felt so easy!  That is until she left, and reality set in. Oh dear. I guess she had to go home sometime right? 
Anyway, the girls and I loved having her, especially Miss Rachel.  She ran around saying "Gamma, Gamma" every time she wanted her attention.  I even caught her saying it this morning. Thank you Gamma for coming to visit us! 
(please excuse my blahness of my pictures lately, I'm stuck inside most of the time and still haven't figured out this whole indoor lighting thing!)   
We caught little miss Maggie sound asleep in this position... I think she must practicing her bungee jumping skills... thats my girl! 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

can't find the words...

I've been thinking about what I was going to write in this post for a couple weeks now.  Every time I sit down to write about this moment in our family's history a flood of feelings and emotions just overwhelm me. To the outside world it may seem silly to make such a deal out of being apart for two months, but for me, it was what had happened in those two months. I wanted to be able to do it justice so that we could look back and read about it one day. I even prayed for some inspiration. 
I finally decided that certain things are too special to try to put into words. I think the pictures speak for themselves... 

Rachel and Pop went up the stairs and down the escalator about a million times before Tyler's flight arrived
We're ready! 
He snuck up on us... I didn't even see him coming
that hug, oh that hug  
first time to see baby Maggie  
The FOUR of us!   

Me and my Soldier

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rachel proof?

It may be possible to kid proof a house, but I'm not sure it's possible to Rachel proof one.  It doesn't matter what I do, she finds a way to climb. Last week she not only had a big gash under her eye, but two scratches on her nose, and bruises on her forehead and cheek.  Everywhere I go people ask me, "How did that happen?" and my honest answer follows- "I have no idea."
This particular incident happened the the night Tyler decided he was going to make the Thanksgiving dinner he missed out on.  Right when we were about to sit down to a nice turkey dinner complete with rolls, mashed potatoes, and apple pie, we see Rachel tumble from the kitchen island hitting a chair on her way down.  At first we thought she'd need stitches, but after further assessment we decided it wasn't bad enough for all that.  So, after about a million little butterfly bandages that wouldn't stay on, some liquid band-aid stuff, and lots of screaming the situation was finally under control.
Sometimes I think this child is going to give me a heart attack.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our Merry Christmas

My favorite part of Christmas this year was simply watching Rachel. I think she was constantly experiencing sensory overload with all the lights, people, music, stories, and junk food.  She was in heaven.  This was the first Christmas where I felt like I was finally a grown-up.  Instead of waking up Christmas morning excited about was I going to get, all I could think about was what Rachel was going to get, and what her reaction would be. Oh, and what a reaction there was!  I loved watching her jaw drop, and all the "OOO's!!".  Thats one of the things I love about having a toddler, it's like you get to experience everything again for the first time.  
And if you're wondering whats Christmas-ee about Rachel's messy face- It's our family tradition to have enchiladas on Christmas, and my Mom made Rachel her very own bowl of beans.  Definitely a tradition Rachel approved of.