photos {scrap studio}

I finally took pictures of my newly remodeled scrap studio. I love this place :) I tried to put a lot of detail in the comments at Flickr, if you're interested. You can find all of the photos here.

photos {beach vacation}

Here are some shots from our beach vacation last month...

Matt reading on the beach.

The boys at the Japanese Steakhouse - scraggly bunch, huh?
Spencer & Grant rough-housing in the pool.
Alex, Grant & Spencer messing around in the sand.
Matt & Britt at Creek Ratz. Cute with their matching shirts, huh?


{welcome football season}

It's that time of year again...finally!!! Tonight is the kickoff to college football. Our Gamecocks are playing NC State. Of course, we're expected to win and all the fans are just praying that we can pull it off without too much trouble. Our real test will be in two weeks when we play Georgia. They are always our first conference game, but this year they are ranked #1 going into the season. Not #1 in the division, not #1 in the SEC, but #1 in the country! We're coming off a TOUGH run from last season (five straight losses), but we DID beat Georgia last year.



photos {30th birthday surprise party}

Warning! This is long. If you don't care about the details, but still want to see pictures, click here.

I must confess, they really got me. I had very tiny suspicions that they might be up to something, but not enough to make me seriously think it would happen. So, let me back up...

As usual, I gave Matt a hard time about planning something for my birthday – asking who he had called, etc. We were just going to go out to eat at Charanda’s since he had to work the next morning. The plan was only for Scott, Cameron, Tara & Warren to join us. At the last minute, Sherry was going to come too and asked us to pick her up (the first thing that I thought was a little off). She also told us not to drive around back because of some hanging tree limb (sadly, this did not raise the suspicion that it probably should’ve).

So, when we got to Sherry’s I wanted to take something inside to her and Matt acted like he was going to stay in the car. I looked at him like he was nuts. Considering the “something” was a gift revealing that I was pregnant, I told him to come inside with me. When Sherry opened the door, I was floored. There were tons of friends and family yelling surprise. I broke into tears immediately. I remember seeing Mom and Michelle first and that is probably what set me off. I didn’t even know they were coming into town! Then I remember seeing Maggie, then Sydney, then Sarah. Gradually I started putting together who all was there – Lissa, Greg, Hank, Teddy, Brigitte, Scott & Cameron – even Kim & Mark had came down! It was like little surprises over and over again as I realized who all was there.

After that settled a little, I was able to see that Sherry & Matt threw me a FIESTA. The entire house and back porch were decorated in a seriously festive manner. I loved it! And of course the menu was Mexican!

Now that everyone had surprised me, it was my turn. I still had the gift to give Sherry. I had bought supplies to make the exact same thing for Michelle and Mom but I didn’t bring them – not knowing they were in town. So, I gave the gift to Sherry and then passed it on. Of course, everyone freaked out in a serious manner. It was really awesome to be able to share it with everyone like that.

Eventually, the evening calmed down a little bit and we ate, enjoyed some cold beverages (luckily, Matt had told Scott to bring me some O’Doul’s), and just hung out. We had a piƱata (Dora the Explorer!) that the kids enjoyed. The night passed quickly and I felt really blessed to be surrounded by friends and family. I do wish that Spencer could’ve been there, but other than that, it was pretty near perfect.


{14 weeks}

here we are...at 14 weeks. The baby can do all sorts of things now - squint, frown, grimace, pee, suck his/her thumb... lots of movements in general. The size is about like a lemon now (3.5 inches or so). The spleen and liver should start working some of their magic this week. There might be some hair sprouting already too!

as for me...not much of a change. still no official weight gain. the relief from the constant fatique hasn't come, but i've also caught myself a little cold so that might make it more difficult to tell.


photos {rat}

this rat was spencer's reward for making straight a's again (2nd year in a row). the main reason we gave in to his odd request is because he rarely asks for anything. however, the little rodent (named flip) only lived a few months.

photos {father's day}

Matt's Dad

Spencer (and Rio) helping Matt with his gifts.

photos {living history}

At the end of third grade, Spencer’s class performed the Living History of South Carolina. They each dressed up as a character in our state’s history and recited a mini-biography of their importance. Spencer did two different parts and did very well – memorizing most of his lines.

photos {neighbors}

hanging out with some neighbors back in june. spencer was helping to teach gryffin (the little boy) to catch & throw a baseball using one of his old gloves. very cute.

photos {awards day}

Awards Day from the end of last year...

Spencer's award from the assistant principal (for Social Studies)

Spencer & his teacher, Mrs. Martinez
Spencer and his best friend (this year), Ryan

photos {maggie's 10th birthday}

I made a surprise visit down to my sister's house one weekend in May (only she and her husband knew I was coming). I was able to surprise Maggie for her birthday & Mom for Mother' s Day. I also helped get ready for Maggie's Hannah Montanta Dance Party. It was a a lot of fun!!!

photos {backyard baseball}

spencer practicing his pitching using a pitchback net (as matt watches in the background, and i risk getting hit with the ball to get this picture).

photos {music program}

a few snapshots from a music program that spencer's class did at the end of last school year.


photos {carolina baseball game}

back in may we took spencer to a carolina baseball game for the first time. this was their last season playing at sarge frye field (they are building a new baseball stadium) so it was good to go this year. though it was really hot, we had a good time and saw lots of home runs! go cocks!
i usually end up liking family photos taken in the stands at a carolina sporting event... i have no idea why, but they usually make me happy. maybe it's because our clothing always matches, or because our excitement comes through, but it's definitely something. this is my computer desktop right now.

photos {jimmy buffett}

Back in April I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert with a few friends (Matt had to work). The guy in this picture is a HUGE Buffett fan. This was my 4th but he's been to so many concerts, it's ridiculous! His wife is on the right (they are Dalton's parents that started the foundation). My friend/neighbor Tara is on the left. She has a hubby who is not a big concert fan either.

This is me with Matt's niece, who met up with us at the concert.


{first day of school}

the first day of 4th grade! here are a couple of pictures his mother took. we had *meet the teacher* yesterday and she seems very nice. he also had *baseball evaluations* yesterday and did well with that - so we'll be back into that routine soon also.


{13 weeks}

Today is the first official day of the second trimester! Yay - we made it!!! 13 weeks gone. One third of the way done.

The baby is the size of a peach or fist (depending on your preferred analogy). The intestines are making their way into the abdomen (who knew they started out in the umbilical cord???). The vocal cords are forming, though it'll be another 6 months before we hear those at work. The baby now has fingerprints - that's kind of cool! If it's a girl, she already has 2 million eggs in her ovaries (but it's a little early to be thinking about grandbabies!).

As for me - still no official weight gain (gained back the one pound I had lost) but this morning I noticed that the needle on the scale was trying to move up one...so I have a feeling that first official pound is not far away. Considering the expansion of my midsection, I'm amazed the scale is showing more. Still loving some popsicles & ice cream. Craving lots of fruits & juices. Nothing much else to report...


layout {fall festival}

i just completed this layout tonight. pictures are from spencer's school fall festival three years ago. the most amazing thing about this page is that i did an 8.5x11 page even though this will probably go in our "everyday" album which is 12x12...trying to let loose a little bit! i chose primary colors from the photos and a pagemaps sketch (pretty much how all of my layouts start).

{12 weeks}

I'm at 12 weeks now...first trimester is almost over! 196 days to go (that makes it sound like a long, long time). The baby's reflexes are really developing now and the intestines are growing quickly. Nerve cells are rapidly multiplying and the brain synapses are forming (anyone know what that actually is???). He/She is just over 2 inches - about the size of a lime.

Rumor has it that I should start feeling human again soon as I make my way into the 2nd trimester. I don't want to get overly excited, but I think I may have been less tired the last couple of days. Of course, waking up this morning with a killer headache didn't help me feel at ease, but I popped one of those pills that doctor prescribed and it helped -- it's just a dull headache now, as opposed to the throbbing it was earlier.

I haven't gained any weight yet but I definitely eat a lot. I can't eat much in one sitting like I used to, but I eat more consistently throughout the day. I'm having a mid-morning snack of celery & cream cheese right now. I have switched to decaf coffee but find that I don't have much of a taste for coffee like I used to. I drink mostly juice in the mornings now.


layout {fishing party}

here is a layout that i did last week. it's of spencer's fishing birthday party from three years ago. the cute paper is sweetwater and the letter stickers are actually kind of fuzzy (very cool) and i think i got them in the target dollar spot. gotta love that.

i made two cards like this from the leftovers. i have enough fishermen in my family that i'll get good use of them. i can add a sentiment when i decide to use them (happy birthday, happy father's day, etc).


photos {frog float}

The actual Frog Float - in April. It turned out to be a great fundraiser and fantastic publicity for the foundation. More photos here.

photos {frog float press conference}

Back in March, we had a press conference for the Frog Float (in April). The mayor came and spoke. The local TV station was there and it got the foundation some great publicity. More pictures here.

{11 weeks}

So, I'm 11 weeks along. The baby is only 1.5-2 inches long, but is almost fully formed. He/She is getting teeth under the gums and the bones are hardening. Though I can't feel it, the baby is also kicking and stretching. (Picture and info is from babycenter.com). We went to the doctor last week, hoping to hear the heartbeat. Unfortunately, the doctor was unable to find it (he said there is only a 30% chance this early on). So, I have to wait 4 more weeks, but he guaranteed me we'd be able to hear it then!

Since I haven't posted much on here yet, I thought I would address the most frequently asked questions:

How are you feeling? Overall, pretty good. I haven't been sick, which is great, obviously. But I've been very tired - a new level of exhaustion. I hear it should get better soon so I'm patiently waiting.

When are you due? February 24th

Are you going to find out what you're having? Yes, definitely. If I could find out today, I would. But unfortunately, we have to wait 2 more months.

What do you want? or Do you have a feeling about what it is? Of course, we just want a healthy baby. I certainly don't have a "feeling". Matt definitely wants a girl and I think that combined with people thinking we *should* have a girl (since we already have Spencer covering the boy department), I'm tending to lean that way.

I think that covers the basics...



if you haven't tried wordle yet - check it out. super fun. since i haven't officially posted about my pregnancy here yet, i made a "new baby" wordle.

{random questions}

Found these on another blog and I'm a sucker for this stuff...

1. What kind of shoes are you wearing? black Nine West heels

2. Have you ever slapped someone? I don't think so...

3. Do you use a daily face cream? If so what do you use? Arbonne (their RE9 anti-aging line)

4. What's your favorite restaurant? Mexican hole-in-wall type places with yummy food

5. What's your favorite thing to order at your favorite restaurant? #1 Combo (trust me, it's usually the same in any hole-in-the-wall place)...Cheese enchilada, beef taco, & rice

6. What would you order to drink at your favorite restaurant? If I weren't pregnant, either Dos Equis Lager or Corona Light.

7. Could you make that same favorite dish at home? no way jose, Mexican food never tastes as good when you try to make it at home.

8. What did you get in trouble for, when you were a kid? Depends on the age, but probably talking too much (in school)

9. What really gives you the creeps? Creepy people :)

10. Did you have a nickname in middle school or high school? Not really


layouts (spencer's 5x7 album}

i have a 5x7 album where i scrap a wallet or 3x5 photo of every professional portrait of spencer. even though there are only a few to add each year, i still tend to get behind. but tonight i got all caught up! they are super simple, but do the job. i also had found a couple of old shots that hadn't made it into the book so i did those too. though it's not much, it felt good to scrap something.


my sister just called and i have to brag! my two nephews (age 15 and 11) are in illinois right now (with my sister and brother-in-law, of course). they are on shooting teams and are currently at the national championship. my younger nephew, teddy's team came in 2nd in the country. but the cooler part - his individual score was the highest in the country!!! seriously, how freakin' cool is that???

congrats teddy!!!

click here to see a post with a picture of him

edit: my sister just sent me this picture. teddy's team is at the bottom kneeling in white shirts.