Friday, November 30, 2012

Cutest Buddies Ever

I think these are the two cutest FL Gator fans ever!
And I had to include this picture of HK. This is what happens when you try to “share” her cheese dip at a Mexican place. There are not a lot of foods she likes to eat but she is VERY serious about her cheese dip and does not like to share!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A big reason this marriage works

When we last checked in on the blog all the Healds were in their jammies on a lazy Friday-after-Thanksgiving morning. Girls on/by the couch with an ipad, Jared on the ground with a pad of paper, me in the rocking chair with my computer. We were talking about plans for a long, lazy weekend…and that makes Jared and I both just a wee bit antsy! The reality is that neither one of us can sit still for any decent length of time.


I keep laughing thinking of this picture in my mind because less than 2 hours later we were across town buying special chalk paint because in that small amount of time I’d talked Jared into letting me redo the kitchen table and chairs. We spent the afternoon outside with the girls playing as I prepped and painted while Jared cleaned out all his tools in the garage.


(table before – see how yucky the top looks compared to the leaves that never get used? Totally time for a makeover!)

By the time Friday ended the table, 4 chairs and their 2 coats of paint were drying. Saturday morning we got up, talking more about Jared building us a wall of built-ins in the family room. See that pic above? Tan colored wall, couch, bookcase, art work…it was all just like that when we went to bed Sat. night. My dad had come up Saturday afternoon and Jared talked to him about maybe staying a few days after Christmas and working on those built –ins. Then we went to bed.

Sunday morning we got up and dressed for church. Long story short we forgot until we were leaving that the carseats were all pulled apart and in the foyer. By the time we had them together and in the car we would have been 20 minutes late for church and we just gave up. The girls were upset so I stayed downstairs calming them down. Next thing I knew Jared was in his sweats headed into the garage and would soon be making all sorts of loud noises out there.

What does this have to do with our marriage? The moral of this story is that neither Jared or I can stand to sit still and once we have something on our mind we want to do we’re all in to get it done! Sometimes it does cause a few tense moments but we’ve (most of the time) learned to have patience with one another. Here’s a quick rundown of Sunday starting at 9am.

-have discussion about what it would take to install the not yet built built-ins. Begin to move while still talking. Take everything off walls, move couch, onload current bookcase, unhook all cables, phone etc. Putty holes in the wall.

-toss Matney in the car and I head to Lowe’s for paint while Jared heads into the garage. Grab paint and supplies and come home. Stick the turkey in the oven (we hadn’t had Thanksgiving yet), find the girls some toys and haul my almost 8 month pregnant behind up and down a ladder to paint the wall. Check the turkey every 30 min to baste.


-finish painting wall, clean up paint, start cooking sides, etc. Bring dad in from outside and take the turkey out of the oven. Jared starts coming in and out with the bottom cabinets they’ve built.


The girls were very excited for the chaos and for new places to play. In the left picture they were “home in bed” and in the picture on the right they were in a cave hiding from Captain Hook.

And this is when I started really laughing. 24 hours earlier, heck, 12 hours earlier we had a clean house, were talking about working on bulit-ins once the Christmas tree came down and now it looked like a bomb had exploded! And see the table and chairs? I am still debating painting the legs or leaving them brown. I rubbed the edges of the table and chairs with sandpaper before I waxed them so that the original dark wood color shows through. Decisions, decisions….


-the guys worked a few more hours outside. I tried to keep the girls out of their way (HK REALLY wanted to be “outside with the boys”). Pretty soon they were attaching things to the wall and making sure the fit was correct.


- and this is when I got REALLY excited! The base cabinets will have doors and shelves, the top cabinets will have shelves and be bookcases and then the TV will go in the middle. I know there is a lot of work left to do building the cabinets, adding doors, trim, etc but in my mind Ta da!!!!


By 7pm the girls were trying to talk Jared into letting them sleep in the boxes. It didn’t work, they should have paid attention and noticed he had on ear phones and was ignoring them! We all called it a night. Dad drove back home and we all were in bed asleep by 8:30.

So now it is 1030:pm on Monday and I am downstairs helping when needed and blogging while Jared works. Y’all, my husband is a rock star! A few years ago he had a few random tools and was not so handy. He’s read books and watched videos and taught himself everything. He was even out in the masses at 4:30am Black Friday to get a drill at Home Depot.

In a lot of ways Jared and I are very different. He’s a morning person, I’m not. He loves to travel, I like to be close to home. We don’t like the same tv shows or music or food, etc. Many times during the past 8 years we’ve talked about needing things we can do together that we both enjoy and I think we’ve finally found one! Our communication skills while planning could use some work still but we’ve both really enjoyed coming up with something, planning it and then seeing it turn into reality. Plus, Jared discovered he loves to build and is really good at it and I love any excuse to paint, organize and take a trip to Homegoods!  It is a total marriage win-win!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome Back Ellie the Elf!

We have raised at least one child in this house to only appreciate Thanksgiving because it means that Ellie, our Elf on the Shelf, is coming back. A week or two ago Matney started talking about how much she missed Ellie and how glad she was that it was almost Thanksgiving because that meant that Ellie was about to be back. Thanksgiving, Elf, what??? Good thing Matney has such a great memory or Ellie might have been late this year.


We woke up this morning to find a fun North Pole Breakfast and Ellie the Elf!


Ellie seems very excited to see the girls again but reminded them that she has a job to do while she is here….and they need to remember to always be kind and well mannered.



Matney was very excited and wanted her picture taken with Ellie, who was hanging out on the table in a cup.



Halle Kate didn’t care so much about anything except the candy cane. She LOVES peppermint anything.


Now that we have had some sugar breakfast we’re all hanging out in our jammies for the morning. Perfect way to start the day!


*If you are not familiar with the Elf on the Shelf there is a book and a small elf doll– basically, from Thanksgiving to Christmas your elf  shows up from the North Pole each morning and you have to find him/her when you wake up. You can’t touch them or they will lose their magic. They hang out watching you each day and then fly back and give a report to Santa each night. The first year we had Ellie she was pretty dull and just hung out on different bookshelves, etc. She seems to get more creative and into more mischief each year so we can’t wait to see what stunts she pulls this year. Matney’s favorite from last year was the marshmallow fight between Ellie and several other toys from the playroom!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Evelyn at 30 weeks

Belly Shot at 29 weeks

We are 3/4 of the way done with this (last!) pregnancy and I cannot even begin to imagine how big I will be at 40 weeks! Oh my! I am already 12lbs heavier than when I delivered Halle Kate a few years ago. I see LOTS of early morning Jillian Michaels in my future. Being past the sick part of pregnancy during the holiday season is not good for my backside!
Sleep is getting hard. Of course, a few mornings ago I woke up to Jared pushing on my belly making Evelyn kick. It was before 5:30am. He was impressed she was so awake. Hmmm, wonder why she was up? I know why I was awake!
There will be a post soon about all the room changes upstairs. The girls are now in one room and it is going great. The nursery is almost done. Everything is ready except the painter can’t get here to until after Thanksgiving which is why I haven’t finished the rooms/put pictures up. I am so very excited to have gotten everything finished before the holidays so that we (ok, I) can relax and enjoy the next month.
The girls are anxious for Ellie, our Elf on the Shelf, to return after Thanksgiving. Thanks to Pintrest I found some really cute “North Pole Breakfast” ideas for the morning after Thanksgiving and Ellie’s arrival. It is a great excuse for me craft and something I hope we turn into a fun family tradition.
We have so many things to be thankful for this year but without a doubt we are so much more than grateful for another healthy year in our family. Now, let the Christmas season begin!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Card Outtakes

We headed to a local park after church today to take pictures for our Christmas card. This was outfit choice number 3 for the girls. The first pick HK flipped out about because didn’t like the shirt. Choice 2 M never even got all the way on before she was screaming that it was “too scratchy”. Why was choice 3 the winner? It wasn’t a dress, had no pink, was made of soft cotton material and they were seriously threatened by a mean old mama.

I thought I’d do a quick run down of a photo session with a 3 and 4 year old. We thought taking them to a pretty pond would be a great idea – here goes….


First things first. Take some bread and feed the geese.


Try to sit on Mama. Make Mama fall over. Hope there is no goose poop where I landed.


Hmmmm, is this white bread? We never get white bread.


Great big sister advice – “Quick Halle Kate, bury your head. We can stay longer if we refuse to look at the camera.”


We’re finally all looking but the sun’s too bright.


At least one child is required to have a meltdown.


And what’s a trip to the pond unless you try to swim?


“Wow! This is white bread. I think I’m hungry.”


Whoo hooo, white bread! We are starving!!!!


The parents have lost all control.


Daddy goes a little crazy.


Forget the photos, let’s play in the leaves.


Say cheese! Point for the kiddos again!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


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A few years ago Jared got an Ipad from his office for Christmas and I was sad because he normally got a Macy’s gift card. Many many times in the past few years have I thought about how wrong I was to not like that Ipad. Why? Not because I ever use it but because it is fabulous way to entertain the girls! It stays on my desk downstairs and I whip it out when I’m really desperate. Always works like a charm!
And no, Matney is not supposed to wear shoes on the bed! She’d put them on for school on a rare morning that we weren’t late (yet) and then ended up on my bed. They came off as soon as I noticed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

(Life Changing) Trip to WR

I am not sure where to even start with this post. The past 4 days have been the biggest whirlwind of emotions.
I took a trip back home to Warner Robins last weekend. I wanted a chance to see a few people one last time before Ev is born and I don’t travel further than Target for the next year! Jared kept the girls so that I could go alone (And I hear they were very happy campers. Literally. They had hotdogs, cheetos and marshmallows for dinner and watched tv from a tent in the living room. Can’t imagine why they think Dad is more fun that me!).
I saw some of my all time favorite people (several who are pictured and some who were not. I’m just impressed I remembered my camera at all!) and please, next time remind the pregnant girl that horizontal stripes are not my friend at this stage in the game!
Some of you may recognize Evelyn Adams. She was the dean of students at Wesleyan College when I was in school (and probably the only reason I ever graduated!). Her house caught fire in May and I hadn’t seen her since then. After lunch I was able to go by and see how they are rebuilding. If you were at the wedding shower she co-hosted at her house you’ll remember all their antiques….they lost everything. So sad! The new place is beautiful and I’ll pass along the lecture she gave me about making sure you have heat detectors installed in your attic. Ev, I promise I am getting one!
I didn’t want to tell her I was pregnant until we were in person so she was quite shocked to see my belly waddle walk up. Even sweeter – telling her the baby’s name! I love that baby Evelyn’s name is associated with people/places that mean so much to me…..
Like Loretta and Evelyn’s the store! Loretta was my grandmama’s best friend and worked at  Evelyn’s since before I was born. For my entire life Loretta has been there watching me grow and throwing me under the check out counter to keep me from getting in trouble with Grandmama. I love that! Spending time with her makes me think about our girls and wonder who knows them now that will be still loving on them when they are mamas of their own. Such a fun time to catch up with her!
I have 9 cousins on my dad’s side of the family and I have always been closest to Christina. Our parents spent A LOT of money when we were in middle and high school on long distance phone bills. We talked all the time! She is from Atlanta and now lives in WR and we hardly ever manage to see one another.
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I ended up staying over night (thanks again Jared) and had breakfast with another few of my favorite people.  Donna, Darla and Mr Grumpy Terry came out to breakfast. Don’t you love that Terry is laughing? I was pinching him from behind!
And this is totally random but it’s making me laugh so I’ll share. I have often told Jared I am worried that he’s about to go “all Mr. Terry” on me. What might that mean? Here is one hysterical example so that you can laugh too. Darla used to throw a big Christmas party every year and decorated with lots of candles. Mr Terry doesn’t really like candles. One year after the party he told Darla to go to bed because he’d clean up. Such a sweet husband, right? When Darla woke up the next morning her entire house was covered in a white dust. Want to guess? Mr. Terry had taken the fire extinguisher and put out all the candles. Well played, Terry. Well played. From what I understand there have been never been candles burning in the Stahl house again. HAHAHAHA!
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And then….then, then, then….right now I still don’t have the words or the space or the time to explain what happened next except to say that by the most amazing circumstances I was introduced to a woman and her family who would impact my life, Darla’s and many others in matter of days. It started months ago with a blog and then moved to a website and a need and kind hearted friend who offered to help….and then late on Saturday night came together via a great big God who was weaving it all together but none of the individuals involved had any idea what was about to happen.
I have contacted many of you this week to help, or you’ve seen my facebook posts, and I cannot say thank you enough to those of you who have reached out. My new friend Bethany seems to be trying to put into words the past few days so I’ll leave you with the link to her blog and let you follow from there. There has only been one other time that I have truly felt like I am “walking on Holy ground” in a situation except for right now in this place. It has been the most extraordinary week.
The Hartman family blog is and if you click now she’s just posted today so you can read along as she documents her family’s journey. I am humbled and ever so thankful to be a part of all that I have witnessed these past few days. And I pray that I will remember each of the times I’ve said "" because they have each been an instance of something so much more than circumstance that confirms we are so very loved and never alone.

Robots vs Pirates


The time change had Matney getting up at 4 something am last week….which resulted in her being a little more than cranky before bedtime. After one realllllllly rough day for all 3 girls in the Heald house we put her to bed early. When I came back downstairs I found HK and her Daddy playing with her current favorite guys. Robots, pirates and a spider.




While Jared went upstairs to say goodnight to Matney HK played school and the guys were her students. All of a sudden she yanked up tick toc croc and tossed him in the bag. I asked why she did that and she said that “he was very mean and ate somebody. He is in time out”. Ha!


Then Daddy came back down and they played together.


Then Jared called me over and asked HK who the robot shown below was. HK said “the mommy robot because it has a mean face”. eeek! Jared got such a good laugh out of that . I told this that when I said it had been a rough day I meant a ROUGH day and that it was past time for this mama to have a some time alone!


PS- those are stacking robots and when she picked up the “mean face” mommy and shook it there was something in it making noise, the tiniest baby robot….because all mommies need a baby in their belly.