Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My sweet James, You turn one year old tomorrow and I'm drawn back to this blog, which has no mention of you up until now. I'm obviously not very good at blogging, but I do treasure the memories here. The past year has been one of my favorites. You have brought so much love, life, and laughter into our little family. You have captured a part of my heart that I didn't realize existed; your sweet nature constantly catches me off guard and your snuggles are sought after from me, daddy, and most of all, your big sister. I know the two of you won't always get along, but man do you love and adore each other right now. Nothing makes my heart flutter like the two of you squealing as you chase each other around the house. Your smiles light up your whole face and I can't get enough of your giggles. You have such a calm spirit and I cant wait to see what God has planned for your life. We love you little man, Jamey boo, frogman; we have been blessed beyond belief. Love, Mommy

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Half a Decade Away

Five years ago today, I woke up in our new house in Augusta. My whole family came up to help Andrew and I move in and we had spent the previous days unpacking, assembling furniture, painting, and putting up chair-rail in the new house. I spent most of the previous day in the guest room with my dad, helping paint and watching him painstakingly cut chair-rail to make it fit JUST right. I made a trip to Home Depot with him to get more materials and he joked that he was glad I had the brains to go to college, because I wasn't so good with knowing my way around a hardware store. That night we ordered pizza and enjoyed it sitting on the few pieces of furniture and the floor since we didn't have a table yet. Daddy fell asleep with my then 8 year-old brother watching old movies they had picked up at Wal-Mart (we didn't have cable yet). The next morning my daddy woke up and headed home along with my youngest brother. He told my mom not to wake me...he'd see me in a couple of days when we got back home. They headed to the Waffle House, through Atlanta to pick up his paycheck, and were going to make it home in time to help Gavin work on his truck that afternoon.

I don't remember exactly what time the phone call came, but it was my youngest brother and we couldn't tell exactly what was going on but he was scared and something was wrong with Daddy. My mom and I were freaking out, but Andrew pulled it together and got us in the car and we sped to Atlanta faster than I have ever ridden before in my life. When we made it to the hospital two hours later, we faced the worst news we could have ever imagined. Daddy didn't make it...the strongest man I knew was gone and to say we were at a loss would be a major understatement. It was determined a case of Sudden Death where his heart just misfired and never restarted. My little brother thought he had fallen asleep at the wheel and was somehow able to undo his seatbelt, crawl into daddy's lap and stop not only a huge Dooley truck, but the horse trailer they were towing behind 4 lanes of Atlanta traffic. Not only did he save his own life that day, but the lives of countless others on the only 8 years old. God was there.

It's been 5 years and some days it feel like 20 and other feels like yesterday. They say everything gets easier with time and that's not a thought I truly subscribe to. True, day to day gets easier to get through, but when it hurts just as bad as that day. Peyton being here as helped some...I feel connected to him when she makes an expression that reminds me of him or I see her being such a "daddy's girl," like I was. But it has also brought the hurt out in new's hard to know how much he would have loved this little girl and not have him here to show her. I wonder if I will ever be able to explain to her who he was and what an amazing father he was.

He would be so proud of his family...he always was. He told each of us he loved us more times than we could ever count. He made nightly rounds to kiss us good night if we were all under one roof and morning rounds to tell us to be safe and he loved us. In the end, it was found that his heart was too big....and that makes perfect sense to me.

We wouldn't have made it this far without the strength of each mom has carried us when each of us were too weak to do it ourselves. Andrew has picked me up and cheered me up more times than he ever bargained for. Gavin has taken over so many of the "man" jobs...he's my on call guy for anything car-related and he helps my mom keep the farm running at home. My youngest brother has had his fair share of struggles but is growing into a young man that my daddy would be proud to call "son." My grandparents, who have since lost their second son, have shown me that God's grace is sometimes all that will get you through...but it WILL get you through. How proud he would be.

I hate that his death has allowed me to know the grief that exists in this world, but it has changed me profoundly. I don't stress about little things nearly as the big picture...not much makes my list of "important." A clean house is nothing compared to extra time spent crawling around with Peyton or cuddled up on the couch watching movies with Andrew.

On my darkest days, I remind myself how fortunate I was to know this type of love, even if just for 21 years. When I need persective, I think of my brothers who only got 17 years and 8 years and little girls who never know their fathers. I will always be thankful for my daddy and will always wish he were here. Love you Daddy.

Jimmy Ray Hamby
August 18, 1955 - April 3, 2005

Friday, March 19, 2010

Time for Photos

During Andrew's week off, he picked up the camera and snapped some great shots of our sweet baby girl. I think it renewed his love for it, which hopefully means more and more awesome photos to all his spare time of course ;)

She is growing so much it astounds me. She is now saying Da-da very clearly and actually recognizes Andrew as da-da. And she has a word for daisy which is hard to discern from da-da, but sounds something like daaa----zzzee. HAHA. Still holding out on ma-ma :( She loves playing patti-cake and will vigorously clap her hands whenever she hears the words. She is eating all kinds of regular food now....last night she enjoyed a grilled cheese from Zaxby's! The time change has thrown her for a loop...but a good one! She is sleeping later in the mornings which thrills me and still napping great throughout the day. Still holding strong at two teeth on the bottom. Crawling, pulling up on everything, and cruising all over the place. I doubt walking will be too far off, but I'm ok with sticking with crawling for now :) She'll be 10 months tomorrow...where has the time gone?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our next move

Since last March, on Match Day, we have been eagerly awaiting the time where we would start making concrete plans to move to Birmingham for Andrew’s Radiology residency. This intern year of General Medicine has been HARD and one of the few things that kept us going was knowing that UAB had a spot waiting for us and this year would end and Birmingham would hold new beginnings.

We started looking at houses seriously at the end of 2009. We went for our first trip after Christmas and left disappointed, discovering that it was going to be much harder to find a house we loved and would fit in that was also in our price range. I have scoured internet listings almost daily and went back for trip #2 with Andrew’s mom in February. Again, we left really discouraged about our findings and hit the internet listings hard. Andrew had a week of vacation in early March and we knew this would be our best chance to find a house and get things settled with both of us involved. We contacted our Realtor and set up showings of near 40 houses. This time we had expanded our location radius and bumped up our price point a little....fortunately we started seeing some houses we could see ourselves living in. At the end of the first day, we had narrowed down our choices to two houses we loved and could see ourselves living in. After dinner and lots of “talking it over,” we decided on one in Hoover, AL based on it’s full brick construction, fantastic location with great schools/shopping, and proximity to Andrew’s work. We went back the next morning for the last look over, took lots of video and pictures, and wrote up an offer. We headed back to Thomaston to enjoy the rest of the week and prayed that it would all work out. Late Tuesday night, we sat in my living room playing phone tag with our Realtor, trying to negotiate a price. At midnight, we were emailing signed contracts and went to bed knowing we had a great house in a great location at a fair price. We couldn’t feel more blessed.

Here are a few pictures we took:

This is the view from the outside. The house sits up on a hill and covers three lots to make up a nice sized corner lot. The driveway starts on one street and curves up and around to exit on the side street.

Front entrance. We absolutely love the beautiful wooden door.

View of living room from front door with dining room at far side.

Living room with large window looking across the street.

Dining room connecting living room and kitchen.

Beautifully re-done kitchen. I would have never chosen the wall colors, but absolutely love them.

This is the den that is connected to the kitchen. I envision this being Peyton’s play area as well as our less formal living area.

Den, again, with beautiful sliding glass doors that look out onto the patio and backyard.

Hall bath that has been completely renovated. This bath has a tub/shower combo with new tiles.

Looking out of hall bath into guest room.

Guest room.

Master. A little smaller than we are used to, but the beautiful hardwoods make up for it :)

Master with master bath.

Master bath, completely renovated as well with new tiled shower.

Office. I didn’t get a great picture of this room, but this will be Peyton’s room after a new coat of paint. It is across from the Master at the end of the hallway.


Shed for all of Andrew’s yard things ;)

Back patio perfect for grilling

We are super excited and can’t wait to have keys in hand. Please pray for a easy closing (end of April/early May). Next task....a job for me and daycare for Peyton!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Heart my Mac

Got a new mac this week and I'm in love with it. Finally I am able to do something with the video that has been sitting on my camera's Hard drive for the past year. Attempts on the PC were just sub-par.

Now in less than 45 minutes, I am publishing my first project, making a triumphant return to the blog. Enjoy, b/c 4 more months of intern year remain, you may not hear from me for a while.

Work Hard, Play Hard. Go Mac.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On the Move

Sweet Peyton turned 9 months old this past weekend and had her 9 month check-up on Monday. She weighed in at 18lbs 8 ounces and 26inches which puts her in the 50% for weight and the 75% for height. Her doctor commented that she was long, lean and muscular. She works daily on building muscles by crawling WAY too fast and getting into WAY too many things she isn't supposed to. Just today, I have already had to utter the words "no-no" 50 gazillion times. They are well used around this house and it is evident that she knows exactly what they mean. Unfortunately, that doesn't correlate into her not doing said just results in a mischievous look when she is caught in said action. Some of her favorite activities lately are...

* crawling as fast as she can to Daisy's water bowl and splashing her hand and whatever toy she might be holding repeatedly into the water. When mommy says "no-no Peyton," she quickly splashes one more time for good measure (and to prove whose boss, I guess) and then happily trails water all the way back to me.

* crawling to the paper shredder and quickly grabbing and scattering all the papers on top all around the kitchen floor. You would think this would teach us to shred immediately instead of continually piling them on top....but you would be wrong.

* pulling up on the tv cabinet and banging her blocks against the tv in rhythm to whatever cartoon music might be on.

* feeding herself ANYTHING! she would much rather feed herself than eat off a silly spoon which results in some messy meals and some questionable finger foods.

* she is eating more and more "real" food as opposed to baby food and I love being able to share some of my favorites with her. Peaches, mandarin oranges, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and cinnamon apples are among some of her new loves. The downside? I have to share my favorites. Haha! She may or may not have already been introduced to the true miracles of life like ice cream and frostys ;)

* The squealing has died down a little which makes for somewhat more pleasurable public experiences for us and all those around us.

Because she is so on the move, I had Andrew put our pack & play together for me to have to use during the day. Because she is sleeping so well in her crib, I didn't want to confuse her using that for a contained play area as well as her "sleeping place." She has done pretty well and it allows me to walk out of the room without fear of her destroying the house or herself. She is super cute when she is in it....

Friday, January 22, 2010

8 months

I'll spare you the "I'm sorry for not keeping up the blog." Truthfully, I've been crazy busy. Between managing Peyton full-time, trying to get this house in order to be listed, looking for homes in Birmingham, traveling for continuing ed and work requirements, and trying to keep mine and Andrew's spirits up during what has become a 4 week stretch of 18+ hour work days at the hospital, I just am plum tired! But knowing that I will regret not doing more updates of Peyton and her recent we go.

She has changed so much over the past two months. She is mobile now and boy is she tough to keep up with. She is still sleeping really well and her daytime naps are my few hours to catch up on laundry, cleaning, etc. Now that she can crawl wherever she wants, she will play until she gets tired and then come find me wherever I am. It is so cute to look up from whatever chore I am doing and see her little face smiling back at me. She loves eating yogurt now and she is getting very good at feeding herself puffs and yogurt bites. She would much rather have good food rather than boring old milk so I have to try hard to get her to drink up! She is still drinking from all sippy cups which has made my dish washing much easier! She also has her first tooth coming in! So exciting...we thought she was going to be toothless forever :) I'm going to do the rest in bullet style because let's be honest....I wrote this days ago and quit when I just wasn't feeling it....

*Peyton loves her new ducky tub. She will sit in there, splash her feet and play with her toys. She is super cute when she tries to "save" all her toys from the water..she can't hold them all but she sure tries!

*She loves her paci and has a recent habit of falling asleep with one in her mouth and holding another for safe measure

*She is still sleeping really well and as of the past few weeks, will actually fall asleep when I put her down without much crying. Frees up a little more time for mom :)

*She loves to squeal! Everywhere! She especially likes to do this in stores/restaurants when she sees other babies...I guess she is going to be social?

*She looks like her daddy more and more every stinkin day! People say she looks like me, but only the ones who don't know Andrew. I am trying to come to terms with this. I mean, I did carry her for 9 months have have her cut out of my stomach....:)

*Daisy loves this new stage of Peyton trying to feed herself finger foods....and it does save me a little sweeping ;)

*She can now crawl, pull up, and is starting to walk behind her push toys...which means I am burning a lot of extra calories trying to keep up with her.

*She is also very type-A...again, totally her daddy. She knows what she wants and if she can't have out! And, the frustration....goodness! Oh well, maybe the next kid will take after me!

*That's probably enough for now...and I've got to get some actual important things checked off my list today!