Thursday, August 13, 2009

alaska in pictures

Our trip to Alaska June 21-27 this summer was fantastic. It was just the 2 of us and we had such a great time. We were in awe of our surroundings, but most of all, we grew in love and admiration for each other. Here are some of our photos. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

11 years

Happy Anniversary! It's been 11 years, I can't believe it. There's something about 11 years on the 11th. I like stuff like that. I know I'm weird and that's ok. Here we are hiking on a glacier a couple of weeks ago on our anniversary trip (for 10 years) to Alaska. It was great. More to come on that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

way behind....

Since I last blogged, we have had a LOT going on! (thus the reason for the lack of posts.) We have had Mother's Day, Mother's Day Tea at preschool, last day of preschool for Nora Kate, last day of school for Samuel (which I will have to blog about later as we have pictures in our new camera, AND he got an award for straight A's for the ENTIRE year!!). We have had Nora Kate's birthday, my family visiting for Nora Kate's birthday, Josh's family visiting for Nora Kate's ballet recital, field trips, field trips, and more field trips.... I barely remember May it went by so fast! These are pictures from Nora Kate's ballet recital. It was so much fun and she loved being in the spotlight. You can see in the pictures that she was pretty full of herself! I personally love the one of her in the dressing room. It was buzzing with excitement in there! She couldn't wait to get on the stage. Next year she wants to take ballet and tap!

We are getting ready to leave for our 2 week trip to visit family in OH, KY, & MN; then Josh and I will take our trip to Alaska to celebrate our 10 year anniversary (which was last year, so I guess we are really celebrating 11 years. Our anniversary is July 11, so it is 11 years on the 11th!!) I'm sure I will have a lot to blog about after this trip!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

new blog

I am excited to tell you that I have started a new blog! This one is called 'Love Hazel' and will be mostly for sharing the things I have sewn or am in progress of sewing. I may occasionally have a different type of crafty thing in there, but that will mainly be it. I love to sew and have been doing a whole lot of it over the last few months to a year and will be excited to share that with you through this outlet. There is also a link on that blog to my etsy shop that I started in March, also called, Love Hazel. This blog will continue to focus mainly on family stuff. If you are interested in what I am sewing or crafting, please check it out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

when did this happen?

My little boy climbs trees now. Tall trees. He is so sweet, and funny, and sweaty, and dirty... and so handsome. And best of all, he has a really good heart. 5 more days of 2nd grade. I can't believe how fast he is growing up. I love him.

Friday, April 17, 2009

another giveaway

There's another giveaway on wondermommy! More fabric and patterns too! Check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm hooked...

I'm hooked. In January my neighbor told us at our monthly neighborhood bunco how she had been saving so much money with 'couponing', yes, I think it's a verb. I was slightly interested, but not so much. Then, a couple of weeks ago a friend told me how they were having triple coupons at Harris Teeter that week from Wednesday through the following Wednesday. Now this got me thinking.... wow, if I had some coupons I could probably save quite a bit.... So, I bought the Sunday paper and clipped my coupons then off to Harris Teeter I went on Tuesday. I have to say that I was a little leary as I usually shop at Walmart except for meat and some produce because the prices there are consistently lower and Harris Teeter (or Harris Cheater as I sometimes refer to it) is one of our most expensive grocery stores, but I took my chances. I was instantly very suspicious of everyone in the store upon walking in as they were obviously there to get all the good deals I was after. (hello? can you say paranoia?!) I became very competitive and took a quick look at my list and decided the toothpaste was a deal not to be passed up and went there first. After getting that in my cart I was slightly relieved. It turned out that out of 3 possible free items, I was only able to get one as the others were out of stock, but I was ok with that. Anyway, I ended up getting all the above items for $33.71 and this includes tax. I saved $30 in coupons!! I have to say that I was thrilled! I came home and told my neighbor about my savings and she said, "That's good, you'll get better." She bursted my bubble just a tad as I thought I had just outwitted the supermarket world with my savings, but I was still very excited! So, I am following a few local websites and blogs that post the weekly good deals with sales and coupons and if there is anything that I **need** (this is key), then I will go take advantage of that deal. I have been saving my receipts this month so I will have to add up all my coupon savings at the end of the month to see how I do. It definitely makes grocery shopping more exciting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We had a great Easter. It was very low key, which was nice. We tried to really reflect on what the season is actually about. In fact, the kids didn't make any big deal about the Easter Bunny at all. We had to remind them Saturday night to get their baskets to set out. We watched 'Passion of the Christ' Saturday night as Samuel had been wanting to watch it and this seemed like a good time. A very somber movie, but one that everyone should watch. It was my second time to see it and I knew it would wipe me out emotionally as it did the first time. The scene that stands out to me the most, the scene I just about cannot take, is when Jesus is so badly beaten and he is carrying his cross and he falls down. This actually happens many times, but in one scene in particular, Mary sees him fall, then flashes back to when Jesus was a little boy and he was running and fell down, and she runs to him to help him and comfort him, then she flashes back to present and runs to Jesus as He has just fallen.... Nora Kate was in the room, but thankfully not really watching the movie. She saw me crying and went and got a tissue, then wiped the tears off my face. It was very sweet. "I wipe your tears off, Mommy". So, here are the kids Easter Sunday morning. We went to church. It is amazing to see all the people that come out for church on Easter Sunday, but who don't normally go. It would be wonderful if all those people came all the time. After church we just came home and cooked our own Easter lunch of ham (which had been cooking in the crock pot all morning), green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes. Josh made 'resurrection rolls' with the kids while I cooked. We then just relaxed the rest of the day and started researching for our upcoming trip to Alaska that we just booked! It was nice.

Hope everyone else had a great Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Daddy Daughter Dance 3-28-09

Our church hosted a Daddy Daughter Dance at the end of March. Nora Kate had been looking forward to it since January when they announced it. She got a new dress, and we curled her hair, and..... Daddy gave her a beautiful toddler size wrist corsage (you have never seen anything cuter) which she refused to wear but carried as a small bouquet....
From what I understand, they had a fabulous time and it was a very special night for both of them. Josh took her to her favorite restaurant, a local Mexican place (Fiesta Mexicana -yum!) where she got an order of her beloved guacamole and soft taco. At the dance they were together for a little while until Nora Kate found her friend Rachel.... Josh said it was just like getting ditched by your date at the prom....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

turning 8

I can't believe my little buddy has turned 8. His birthdya was 2 weeks ago today on March 25. Half price parties on Wednesdays at Pump-it-Up made it the perfect year to have his party on his actual birthdate. The kids all had a great time.

The theme was 'Army', as it was for his 5th birthday also.
He got to sit in the big birthday throne to open up his gifts. LOTS of cool stuff for the birthday boy.
I think he had a really great day and that is what we were going for. Can't believe he is 8, that seems so old...... next will be 9, then 10, and then..... the days crawl by, but the years fly.

Friday, March 27, 2009

wondermommy giveaway

Wondermommy is having a fabric giveaway! There is nothing I like more than fabric, and Anna Maria Horner is one of my favorites! Check it out. You can still enter through the beginning of April! (I tried to post a picture with this one, but alas, I am so tech challenged! You will have to go to her website to check it out for yourself!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

missing you...

Abigail Opal Rush Porten
June 5, 1994 - February 27, 2009 It was 2 weeks ago today that we had to say goodbye to our little Abby. She had been having reoccurring breathing issues for over a year, and on Thursday Feb 26, she appeared to have suffered a stroke. She began falling and not able to stand or walk very well. She was walking into corners and just standing there. It was pitiful to watch. Harder to watch than to say goodbye.... at least that's what I thought until we actually had to say goodbye....

She started out as my dog, August 4, 1994. She was my first purchase after I graduated from college and was officially 100% on my own. We lived in my little apartment together in Louisville and had a lot of good times. When Josh and I got married, she became 'his' dog and I was just chopped liver to her! We loved her so much over the almost 15 years that she was with us, so although I am still very sad and daily shedding tears over her still, I wanted to leave this little tribute...

Abby, we will always remember:

-your siren bark
-how you hogged the bed
-how you did your 3 tricks you knew all in a row
-teaching you how to swim in our pool in TX after you fell in and almost drowned
-how you were such a great squirrel chaser
-your interest in groundhogs
-how you loved popcorn
-how I had you wear newborn infant socks outside in the snow when you were little
-your great escape when we lived in Lexington, KY
-how you used to steal our socks
-playing with your baby and green frog
-how you always sat on the back of the couch to look out the window
-how much we loved you, and
-how much love you gave us. We miss you old girl.

This picture and the picture above were taken on the day she died. You can see in this picture how she was struggling to stand. The picture of her with Nora Kate was taken in January. You can definitely see a difference.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I forgot this...

You can buy that book here. It's so worth the 10 bucks.

I am reading this:

If you have a boy, I strongly recommend that you read it too! It is fantastic and I am learning so much about how to relate to my 'wild one' and also what is going on in that head of his! Get it and read it! Also great for teachers. I am thinking of buying a copy as an end of the year couldn't you have taken it a little easier on my sweet boy gift for my son's second grade teacher.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a LOVEly weekend

Expressions of love. A joyful, love-filled, easy-going weekend. Cookies, cards, flowers, cheesecake, a nap on Saturday, and I could go on. Josh and I enjoyed a nice quiet dinner Friday night without the kids, and complete with live piano music. I loved when they played the St. Elmo's Fire theme song, and 'Don't Go Changin'... or is it called 'I Love You Just the Way You Are'? It was all I could do not to go throw myself across the top of the piano and start singing into my spoon. Well, not really, but it was very enjoyable never-the-less and I think it gave you a good visual! Josh got the kids a couple of activity books. Princess for the princess and spy training activities for our mysterious detective. It was a great weekend. Spread some love.

Monday, February 2, 2009

heartfelt story

This is a story I have been following for a few months. I came across it somewhere in blog world, but the story has been on national news programs as well. This beautiful woman, Stephanie, and her husband were in a horrific plane crash back in August. Stephanie, aka Nie Nie, had apparently become somewhat of a celebrity in blog world for her positive attitude and creative spin on parenting, and many other things. She was badly burned from the crash and was in a coma for months. I am not sure of all the specifics, but she is apparently home now and has started blogging again. In just the most recent posts she is telling a little of what she is going through now on a daily basis with her recovery and rehab. I don't know if it's because of my background in rehab or just that it's truly of human interest, but I find it heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting to actually hear her display her heart on this matter. I have prayed for her and her family many times over the last few months, and I truly wish her the best. It is a miracle she is alive. Here is her blog: (I have to learn how to do that thing where you replace the web address with a word that you can click on..... I still have so much to learn with computers.....)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So I guess it took a snow storm in NC for me to finally post on my blog again! I think I had a breakdown after Christmas and all the stress that came with it and I have completely neglected my blogging. So here you see a real rarity.... a snowstorm in Raleigh, NC!!! It's hard to say how many inches we got as it was different everywhere but I would say we had anywhere from 2 inches in some places to 4 or 5 in a lot of other places. It was snowing when we got up and continued until about 1 or 1:30pm. The weatherman said it began around 3am. Very exciting! They say it only happens every few years so who knows when or if we will see it again. With the rate at which we move, we won't be here for the next one! They were out of school yesterday and today, and karate and ballet were cancelled for Samuel and Nora Kate. Anyway, the kids had a ton of fun and I mean ALL the kids in the neighborhood. Everyone was out playing. We made snow angels, had snowball fights, tried to sled, tried to build a snowman (wrong kind of snow), and played with our beach toys in the snow. Josh even had to shovel the driveway. It was great!