Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Morning

Santa really did come to our home. The kids were worried Santa wouldn't be able to deliver his presents with the christmas tree on the deck. He even ate the cookies and drank the milk. The big surprise was a new mountain bike for each of them. They were so excited. We're at a magical age right now with the kids. I want to bottle them up.
I was thinking back to that morning and asking myself if Christmas was pretty much ruined since it was not a "picture perfect" Christmas with all the renovations going on in our house. The dishwasher in the dining room? Check. The tree on the deck? Check. No stove to bake cookies? Check. But, taking care of my babies and being home with my family was the best gift. I told David how thankful I was to be able to hold and hug my children on Christmas morning regardless of the chaos we are dealing with. We were together. That's all that matters to me. Looking back reminds me to be grateful for the little things.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tracking Santa

On Christmas Eve we got home late from Oma and Opa's house. The kids were pretty wired and David and I knew we had a LONG night ahead of us. We tracked Santa using NORAD and we could see that his sleigh was REALLY close! Summer's reaction to his coming our way was priceless. We told them Santa couldn't stop unless they were asleep. It worked. The kids ran into their beds to make sure he wouldn't miss our home. So magical.

Christmas Tree

I wished I could say that I decorated our home for Christmas. In reality, we only hung our stockings by the fireplace, put up the Advent Calendar, switched the kids' beddings with Santa sheets... and yes, we did get our Christmas Tree. When your living room looks like this in December, the only option to put the tree is to put it elsewhere. The kids voted the deck. Last weekend Summer begged us to get our tree. I was in shock (and denial) that Christmas was only a week away! I wished I could make the clock stop. My hope is that we finish the renovations in time for next Christmas, only 364 days left.
Summer and Forrest loved helping me put the lights up on the tree.

For the record, Summer was very happy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Reindeer

Forrest's Kindergarten class had their Christmas party and each kid got their own reindeer "ears". It was pure adorable. I am so grateful to be able to go to his class as a parent helper. Lots of candy, hot chocolate and frosting were consumed. After the kids made their crafts they went outside for story time. I came home with these pictures of Forrest that I will treasure forever. I love this little reindeer so much. He has grown so much this year. It was a touching moment for me to watch him interact with his classmates. I am the luckiest mommy to be able to sit in the front row to watch him grow through boyhood. He is sweet, funny and thoughtful, all wrapped into the cutest little person ever.
I love you, Forrest. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

By My Side

She is utterly baffling to me.
Total confidence, sassy and beauty squeezed into a petite little body.
My Summer is really growing up. Sometimes when I look at her I still think of her as my little baby. She likes to follow me around in the house and watch me do whatever I am doing at that moment. She likes to dress up the same way I do. If I'm wearing boots, she will wear hers. If I'm wearing my hair down, she'll leave her hair down. It's adorable. I can see in the corner of her eyes she's absorbing in everything I do. I can only hope I am doing the right things and that I am guiding her in the right direction. One of the things we like to do together is to dance. I turn on the music on the computer and we just let it go. She does cartwheels and it's quite a funny sight with me dancing around her. Summer, I love it when I find you by my side.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Too Quiet

When the house gets too quiet, I know something is up. I went upstairs looking for the kids and found both of them sitting on the couch, snuggled next to each other. I had started to take out the Christmas books from our holiday boxes to put them on the table in the playroom and then got distracted. My sweet Summer and Forrest couldn't wait any longer. My camera was on the desk nearby and I just snapped this one of them together.
If one of them is sad and feels like I'm not giving the attention they need because I'm dealing with the other child, they say, "Mom, stop what you're doing. I need some love and attention". How could I not respond to that? It stops me in my tracks every time. I sometimes feel torn with two little ones constantly needing me and all I can do is pray that I'm giving each of them what they need.
Summer and Forrest, when you read this someday...
I hope you'll know that you have ALWAYS been sooo loved.
I love YOU.
p.s. Summer was concerned about the girl with a broken arm in the picture and wanted to show it to me.
I love her heart.
p.s.s. Thank you to my dear friend Kelly Mercer for designing my blog header. To say that I love it would be an understatement.

Monday, November 26, 2012





Every year for Thanksgiving we head to Kure Beach to be with David's side of family, his parents from Seattle and his sister and her family from Dallas. We've gone to the same beach house since 2010. It's a really fun place for the cousins. I am SO thankful for the time we had together. I wish we were not so far away from each other. It makes the Thanksgiving week more special to be together. Each Thanksgiving I take a picture of the cousins "jump" at the beach so we could remember what they look like each year.
They're growing up way too fast.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Good Boy

Forrest is such a GOOD boy.
Each day after school when my Forrest hops into our car I always ask him to tell me how his day at school was. The majority of days he flashes me the world's biggest smile and says, "it was awesome!" It's pretty cute. If he's had a hard day he'll show a half smile or some tears and then we can talk about it.  My heart is happy that most days his smile is big and bright.
I went to Forrest's Kindergarten parent-teacher conference this past Wednesday afternoon. The teacher went through all of his academic progress which is right on track. He's a smart boy and works hard so I was happy to see his class work reflected that. His teacher then looked at me in the eyes and told me what a good, GOOD, sweet boy Forrest is. I'm sure she tells most of the parents this but it took me quite by surprise. I know he's kind and sweet but you never know what happens when they leave you. My emotions really caught me by surprise. The more she talked about my Forrest's sweet personality the more my eyes started to well up with tears. I kept thinking, "oh no, don't do this, Joy... this is embarrassing!" But it was to no avail. The tears came. She went on and on about how Forrest treats the other children in the class and how kind and caring and helpful he is. To me this is SO much more of importance than any of the other things on that report card.
As a mom I work so much with my kids and sometimes I just feel like it's going in one eye and out the other with them. And some days I feel like I'm a completely lousy mom. There are so many ups and downs on this "mom roller coaster". I think that was what made me cry - all of the TIME and TALKS I have with them are paying off even just a little bit. You do your best with them and then you push them out into the world and hope for the best. It's scary and rewarding and some days heartbreaking all at the same time. Each morning as Forrest opens the car door at the carpool lane to go to his classroom, I always stop him and give him a big hug and say, "work hard AND..."
He then has to finish the quote.
He smiles and says, "... BE NICE".
This morning I took these pictures of my Forrest when he was home sick from school. His first one. He woke up this morning running a fever and was so, so sad to miss the fall festival at school today. I think he's all better with some lego love. I love my sweet Forrest. I'm glad he's mine.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Kitchen Reno

Here I am. In my own kitchen. Don't mind me taking this picture, I'm taking a break from using the garage sink washing dishes because we haven't had a kitchen for a month. We are only doing construction on the weekends because... well, let's say it's the only time we can be home.
Our house projects are in full swing. These things take time and prep! I've been running around like a crazy person comparing flooring, subway tile, and pieces of quartz. If you don't want to read about our house projects and decor, I suggest you stop reading this blog.
When David and I first married 11 years ago, we set a goal to have a little piece of North Carolina to call home. We saved. And we saved. And we saved some more. After looking, waiting and saying many prayers... we did it! And after 8 years of home ownership, we still feel so blessed. When we first saw this home, we fell in love with the location. The lot our house sits on is just under an acre and backs up to the woods. We love that our children have a safe place to play and run and explore. It reminds us of our own childhood homes we grew up in. What we did not love was the interior of the house. We knew down the road we would be able to make these changes. We took our time putting our two heads together, figuring out what was working for us and what was not working for us.
We're starting at the heart of the home. The kitchen. Our small kitchen lacks some serious storage. We ordered cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling and lots of drawers. Things are coming along swimmingly. We just need to install the flooring, assemble and install the cabinets, paint, new lighting and order a couple of stools. Then... bam! We'll have a brand spankin' new kitchen. I can't wait to show all the "befores"... and obviously, I have a lot planned for the "afters".

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Summer the Flamenco Dancer

 The red satin rose. It "made" her outfit and she LOVED wearing it. So cute!

Captain America Forrest

The mask. I mean, c'mon, it doesn't get any cuter.

Happy Halloween 2012

You can see this picture was taken without my flash which I (darn) forgot to turn on while hurrying after the 1st trip around the neighborhood trick-or-treating... at least I got something to remember this.
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


On October 1st, Summer and Forrest started begging that we get our halloween decorations out. It's such a big deal to them that it makes it worth it for me. The kids think it's so fun to get all the decorations out and put them in the "correct spots". Forrest is loving the Halloween tree. The ornaments are taken off and on 100 x's a day. It's on our coffee table and that doesn't stop him. I found the pumpkin lanterns at the target dollar section and had David help me hang them up. At night when we turn the dining room lights on they light up. It's pretty cute to see how something so simple can be soo fun for the kids.
The trick or treat sign is new. I got them at etsy of all places. The sign didn't have holes for hanging on the front door wreath but I knew if I had David drill holes in them and use jute rope I could make it work.
As for Halloween... we are super excited. Our theme is "red" this year and I can't wait to dress my kids up...

Monday, October 15, 2012

My very own Jack-o-Lantern

A few nights ago I woke Summer up in the middle of the night and we had our "cheerios date" once again. She was soo excited as I carried her down the stairs in the dark. We talked about how second grade was going. She loves her teacher and she loves school. I am so, so happy. I told her how much I loved her and gave her a big kiss and hug. She told me that she loved me so much that "cats and fireworks were exploding out of her heart." It was a serious moment but I just bursted out laughing. Cats and fireworks? She then started laughing too. It was really funny. I then told her that we didn't need to get any pumpkins this year to carve jack-o-lanterns. She kind of looked sad and asked me why.  I then told her to go look in the mirror and give herself a big smile. She got it and we both laughed some more and then I carried her back upstairs and tucked her into her bed. I love this girl more than anything. Even more than cats and fireworks.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Aunt Jan

On our way to Asheville from Atlanta we visited Aunt Jan and her farm. It is always special to get together. It was a first for Summer and Forrest to visit their Aunt's house. Summer could not believe her eyes when we first drove onto her driveway. Right in front of her were horses on her farm. A true treat for Summer! It is so cute to see how proud Summer is riding Phoenix. She was very proud to be able to ride on her own. She pats Phoenix, looks at him, and says, "good horsey". Forrest was just happy to sit on the fence. He loves playing with Roxy, their little dog. We had a fabulous time and feel so fortunate to have this time with Jan and her family. It won't be the first or last. A big thank you to Jan for loving Summer and being so sweet with her.

Friday, October 12, 2012


We just returned from 4 fabulous days in Atlanta. David had a business meeting Monday in Asheville and Tuesday in Morganton after our trip to Atlanta. What a good husband and daddy. We were lucky enough to be able to go to while I was off from classes for fall break that same week. We had so much fun. Four full days of exploring Atlanta. Forrest LOVED Legoland. He didn't want to leave the park. Summer wanted to buy the whole American Girl store. We decided to leave our car at the hotel the next day and take the Marta train to the aquarium. The best decision. Ever. David and I got to have some time together while the kids were entertained by the city. Summer and Forrest both loved the aquarium. I don't know which Summer and Forrest loved more... riding the train or watching the fish tank. It was a perfect fall break vacation.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I walked in the front door this afternoon and the light coming in this kitchen window was so pretty. These roses opened up today and they are so pretty and smell so good.
I couldn't resist taking out my camera and getting just one picture before my "to-do list" taking over.
I put Summer to bed this evening thinking she was completely asleep and as I was closing her door she said, "love you, mama". It doesn't get better than that.
p.s. Happy 11th Anniversary to my David.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Friends

One of the cutest things for me to see as a mom has been my kids developing little friendships. Meet Miss Cova. She is Summer's partner in crime. My friend Kelly (Cova's mom) has three kids, two are about the same ages as Summer and Forrest. These girls do almost everything together. I had Cova over yesterday and it was so cute to watch the two of them interact. Whenever they see each other they run straight into a hug. Together they laugh at almost anything. They are learning the art of friendship. One of my favorite lines from Winnie the Pooh is when Pooh says to Christopher Robbin, "the best part of the day is when you and me become we". I think that sums-up these two little buddies.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey Dude

You're my dude. And as you grow up, I promise to build you up to be all things fantastic and amazing.
I love you more than life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Schultz Kids

The first thing Summer and Forrest usually do the minute we walk in after school is start taking their school uniforms and shoes off to change into "cozy clothes". There's always a trail of clothes from our garage door to their bedrooms. Then they come down to the kitchen table to finish their homework. After I check their homework and they've had their afternoon snack, they take off for outside. I wasted no time getting right down to business when I saw a little package on our front porch. I quickly opened it, loaded my card and zoom lens into the camera. To say that I am excited would be an understatement. I'm glad i got this one. The wait was worth it.
I love these little Schultz kids.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Boys Club

I sold my old camera. I ordered a new one. And then it got recalled. That is the reason for me not taking many photos this summer. I see things as photographs in my mind and not being able to capture them is the worst. My new camera is finally being sent out today. I am so anxious to get it. I have had my camera on my phone which is what I have had to rely on. I also ordered new lens and I cannot wait to play with it.
Isn't this cutest thing ever? It melts me. The picture above is of my Forrest hanging out with his daddy one morning building an airplane out of legos. He calls it "The Boys Club". I personally think it's incredibly cute. He loves, talks and dreams of legos. He's the sweetest little boy around. It's true. I want to just bottle him up. I'll post some of my pictures from my phone from this summer. I don't want them to get lost on my computer. My little kids are growing up too fast.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Are Learning

When I picked up Summer from school the other day, I could tell she was having a rough day. Summer definitely has her moments at home with me but at school and other places with adults, she is usually very attentive and is a pleaser. Summer rode the whole way home in the backseat in silence. Usually she is upbeat and talkative and I am always trying to keep my eyes on the road and at the same time watching the mirror for her hands signing about her day. I knew something was wrong when she sat in her booster seat pouting her little face. When we got home I went into her backpack to find her folder and there I found her behavior sheet. The teacher had changed her color and wrote that she was talking a lot in class that day. I took her out on the porch for a little talk. After dinner we had a talk about it again with David. This whole parenting thing can be tricky... knowing how to correctly handle all the different situations you find yourself in. After she calmed down Summer decided that it would be nice to write an apology note to her teacher and to deliver it to her at school the next morning. I couldn't believe how excited Summer was to do this for her. She sat at her desk for a very long time and colored pictures for her and then wrote her own note. We then put the note and a bag of swedish fish (that Summer insisted on including) into a bag. Summer gave her teacher the note the next morning and gave her teacher a big hug and said she was sorry. This is not the first incident of having to apologize nor will it be the last. My hope, however, is that all of these little experiences will add up and that she will learn from them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer & Forrest's Bathroom

I switched up the kids' bathroom a bit. The little chevron rug was one I found at T.J. Maxx of all places. My very favorite item is the drawing Summer first drew of our family when she was 4. I put it in a large frame above the toilet. I love it because I love that these drawings are one of a kind, treasured pieces. I have a couple more frames I would like to hang on the other side of the bathroom. I also changed out the kids' bathrobes. It's perfect and I love how happy the colors are in this little space. My dream would be to put up crown molding but that will have to wait. For now, it's just perfect.