the first year.

in pictures, of course.

march 17, 2009.

april 2009

may 2009

june 2009

july 2009

august 2009

september 2009

october 2009

november 2009

december 2009

january 2010

february 2010

march 17, 2010

this first year has gone by way, way, way TOO fast. i’m thankful and overwhelmed at what the Lord has done in not only tyler’s life, but mine as well.

children are truly a blessing.


fun with numbers

i read an article yesterday about saving money with coupons and sales. it said if you can save at least $25 dollars a week on groceries, that it would save you $1200 a year. that’s a lot of money.

when we go to the grocery store, we typically save at least $35 dollars, if not more, meaning we’re saving around $1600 a year. that makes me happy. especially considering we’re a healthy eating family.

couponing is fun. :)

drink organic milk.

a couple of years ago, actually about 4, i read an article about what was in the milk i was drinking. it made me sick to my stomach. i let my parents read the article. it even made my dad sick to his stomach. it was at that moment, we decided to become an organic milk drinking home. it was challenging at first, because organic milk was more expensive. sometimes twice as much if it’s not on sale and there are no coupons, but, it was a choice that we knew we needed to make.

most people are aware that cows are fed all sorts of chemicals, but don’t care enough to think that when you buy regular milk, you ingest those chemicals. your body absorbs them and reacts accordingly. there have been studies after studies showing the negative effects of these chemicals in children and adults. there are so many stomach issues caused from these. some studies have shown a link to causing cancer.

my question for people when they act like it’s no big deal is always,

“would you willingly eat this?”

i know you’re probably thinking…they put this on the ground. but, they put a TON of it and then the cows eat it. and then we drink the milk that comes from them. it’s been proven that this is one of the pesticides in the non-organic milk mass-produced.

GLUFOSINATE: this is a chemical also found in non-organic milk. what comes to mind when i see a word like this is, clearly that is man made and probably not natural. in fact, it’s not. if you google glufosinate, you’ll be surprised at all of the unhealthy side effects caused from this chemical.

CONTAMINATED SEWAGE SLUDGE: i chose not to include a picture here, for obvious reasons. this sludge is used for the land the cows feed off of. normally, i wouldn’t be opposed to the “nasty” to be used as fertilizer. my problem with this is the fact that it’s contaminated with all types of chemicals that the government is fully aware of. they choose to remain quiet about this factor, knowing good and well that the chemicals in this sludge could harm an individual if taken.

ANTIBIOTICS & HORMONES: this is probably the most common term used in association with organic and non-organic milk. what should concern you is, that not only are TONS and TONS of chemicals being injected into cows to produce TONS and TONS of milk, the government also doesn’t require companies to check for all the chemicals to be clean in the milk. meaning, if they put 25 different chemicals into the cows, they are only required by law to check for 5 of them. so drink up, non-organic drinkers! enjoy those chemicals and antibiotics.

i don’t mean to sound harsh, actually i do. i hope i’ve offended you. because it breaks my heart when people tell me it’s ok. it’s not ok. it’s not ok for anyone. i realize it’s expensive. but you, as a person, are worth more. and come on, paying $1 to $2 more on the grocery bill isn’t going to break the bank. it kills me that so many americans have health issues, but never attribute their problems to the food they might be eating. just think that if the milk has all these chemicals in it, what else does everything else have?

though, you may never willingly eat fertilizer (that is harmful and can cause death if swallowed, as written on the labels), you do every single time you are drinking non-organic milk.

just some food for thought.

two boys.

many of you know tyler, have met him, and have been swooned by his awesomely good looks and his baby charm. however, tyler isn’t the only boy that has played a significant part in my life.  many of you probably have never seen or met ethan, my almost 13-year-old cousin. ethan will always hold a piece of my heart. he came to live with us when he was about eight months old and stayed until he was four. even after he moved back in with my aunt, his mom, he was still at my house at least 4 days a week. he grew up sleeping in my bed with me. i changed his diapers, fed him, and become somewhat of a mother to him. we shared, and still share, a special bond. now that he’s “grown up” and i don’t see him as often, it makes the times i do even more special. i still smile knowing that he’s not afraid to tell me he loves me in front of his friends. we’ll see how that changes when he gets to high school.

so…it’s not surprising that when i see ethan with tyler, it makes my heart so happy. it takes me back to when ethan was a baby.

such special times, with two very awesome boys. it’s hard for me to believe that ethan will be 13 in two weeks, that i’m going to be 25 this year, and that tyler is already a year old. i’m thankful i got to spend so much time with ethan and that i get to spend so much time with tyler. i wouldn’t want it any other way.

storytime, part 2.

for the first part of this two-part post scroll down. then come back up to read this one. :)

tyler’s birthday party story…(or one of them)

d, greg and i hit the ground running from the moment tyler woke up yesterday (and by running, i mean, hobbling, my poor foot is still swollen enough for two feet.) packing stuff up, getting food in the oven, checking things off the to-do list. everything was going great. we piled in the car, with so much that i couldn’t see tyler in his carseat a foot away from me. it.was.awesome. there were gift bags to my left, balloons at my feet, and the bbq that my sister had cooked in a warming tray on my lap. it was claustrophobia at its finest. i just kept staring out the window, telling myself we were almost there. we had to make 3 stops before we arrived at the party location, we had to get ice at the gas station, meet a friend of greg’s to drop something off, and stop by party city to get some mylar balloons. we were doing great. we had made it to all three locations on time and everything was going smoothly. and then…d got out so i could hand her the bbq, when a major catastrophe was upon us. i handed her the bbq, stepped out of the suv, and then suddenly felt wet all over. and by all over, i mean ALL OVER. apparently, the bbq leaked all over me and the heat from holding it masked the wetness i wasn’t feeling. ggrrrrrreaaatt. my blouse (which was new and i had saved specifically for this event) was covered from my belly button down, and it literally covered my pants front to back. i looked like i has sporadically peed all over myself. d started crying. she felt awful. i laughed, and without really knowing what to do proceeded to walk into party city. yes, people stared. yes, i was sticky. and yes, i cared. but i didn’t have a lot of time to think about that, because we had to hurry and get the balloons and get going. after walking to the back of the store in the goth/halloween department and truly assessing the situation i was in, i knew i would have to hobble up to the target (which was a real hike when you have a brace on your ankle) and buy myself a new outfit. humph, i thought to myself. i didn’t want to spend money on new clothes right now.

in a panic and hurry, my sister and i walked the mile (a slight exaggeration) to target, walked straight in, grabbed a pair of jeans and looked for two seconds, literally, before d found a black t-shirt for me to try on. i ran (or walked) to the dressing room and struggled to take off my current jeans and try on the new ones. in the midst of trying on jeans, i realized my legs were sticky. very, very sticky. so sticky that the blue dye in the jeans was sticking to my leg. sick, i know. what could a girl do at this point?? i frantically tried the shirt on, it worked. and walked out of the dressing room and straight to the cashier. once i bought the items, i walked into bathroom, grabbed some paper towels, wet them and walked into the handicap bathroom stall. after bathing myself, i quickly got dressed and left.

it wasn’t until i was in the car, on the interstate, that i realized, i just spent $12.oo on a shirt that i didn’t even like. it was so blah. i was in such a hurry that i just put it on long enough to make sure it fit, not realizing how un-nicole it was. it was a shirt my sister would typically wear. simple. plain-jane. t-shirt like. so, i went from wearing a shimmering, caribbean blue, awesomely-springy shirt to a black, square-shaped shirt. again though, what could a girl do? i relinquished that at least my purple toe-nail polish felt like me, and that it would add some much needed pizazz to the otherwise boring outfit.

all in all…moral of the story: don’t let someone you love carry the bbq. just wrap it in a towel and put it in the back, or in the floor, just NEVER and i mean NEVER let someone you love carry it.

storytime, part 1.

throughout the past few days, i’ve thought of so many childhood memories that i could, should and will share. then there’s tyler’s birthday party, which has its own stories. so…because i couldn’t make my mind up i’m gonna share one childhood memory and the funniest of all the birthday party stories. it will literally make you laugh out loud (or it should).

childhood memory

when i was eight, my sister and i, as well as my cousin, spent the summers at my mema and grandaddy’s house. i loved their house. they had a huge backyard, good for riding bikes, pretending to have a massive log cabin, and playing hide-and-seek. the next door neighbor did as well. and one afternoon, while we were frolicking, pretending to make much of nothing, we noticed a rose in the very back of the neighbor’s property. the three of us couldn’t stop thinking about it, and after a couple of hours deliberating, we decided my cousin would climb the fence and pick it. it was the prettiest rose i’d ever seen, big bloom, deep red color. we immediately ran and showed my grandmother. (you’d think we would have kept it a secret…but when you’re 8 that kind of stuff doesn’t really occur to you all the time.) she smiled and agreed that the flower was just as pretty, and then her countenance changed. she knew that rose didn’t come from her garden of beautiful flowers, her roses weren’t red. she also knew right where it came from, ms. barbara williams’ woods. barbara was the old lady who lived next door with her daughter. when i was eight, she was the wrinkly, meanest, hunchbacked old lady that you always avoided for fear she’d hurt you. if my sister, cousin or i ever got too close to her magnolia tree in her front yard (which, by the way, was technically on both her and my grandparents property) she would call and tattle on us to my grandmother. we pretty much despised her as children.

so…when my grandmother told us that we would have to go and apologize to ms. barbara for climbing her fence and picking the rose from her yard. we were mortified. i’m positive that d and i didn’t sleep that night. we didn’t even like seeing ms. barbara, let alone, talk to her. so, the next morning, my grandmother pushed us out the door, watched us walk up her driveway and onto her doorstep. (during the walk, we’d convinced my cousin to do all the talking. mainly because, my sister was 6 and i was too nervous to form sentences. in return for not talking, i compromised that i would ring the doorbell.) i rang the doorbell, and waited for ms. barbara to come to the door. after what seemed like an eternity, there she was, hunchbacked and all. my cousin explained how we had plucked the beautiful flower from her woods the day before, that we were eternally sorry, and that we would never, ever, do it again. then, we waited, for the lash, the hitting, but it never came. instead, ms. barbara said, “oh, honey, you didn’t need to come all the way over here just to tell me that. i would never have known. but thank you for telling me and yes, please don’t be climbing my fence.”

didn’t need to come tell you? are you kidding?? we took ten steps off ms. barbara’s doorstep before we sprinted back to my grandmother’s kitchen. once there, we explained that she didn’t even care, and that it was pointless to have gone over there. then, my grandmother explained…the roses were planted in the back of ms. barbara’s woods to remember her first dog, who had died many years ago. she had planted it way back in the woods so her current dog couldn’t get to it.

it wasn’t until after we left the kitchen and wondered back into the woods to play that we realized ms. barbara had been nice to us and let us off so easy. then, being 8, we blamed it on the fact that she didn’t even remember the dog or plant. and then went on playing house.

being 8 is fun, even when you have to apologize.

birthday cake.

tomorrow, tyler will get to rip into his first cake, his smash cake, but because his birthday was on wednesday, we decided to go ahead and let him practice with a chocolate cupcake. he loves sweet things, so we were hopeful he would make the mess that most one-year-olds make. you know, icing all over the face and hands?

well….instead of talking about how tyler did…why don’t i just show you?

it was all going ok…the sis put his hands in the icing, to which he put them on his face and legs (i secretly cheered that he keep making a mess, i was hopeful for an awesome picture.). everything was going great…

until this. the sis gave him a bite of chocolate cake. CLEARLY, he didn’t like it.

and once he proceeded to gag up the cake, he then made a sour face for the next five minutes. to reiterate it again, he DID.NOT.LIKE.IT.

but, after the sis cleaned the sheet up, he decided to try what was on his face…and he loved it.

so, all in all, it was a semi-success.

can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow.

or to see how all of the decorations d and i have been working on for the past couple of weeks will look.

p.s. need homemade, crafty decorations on the cheap? hobby lobby will be your best friend. we spent 15 dollars for a boo-koodle of stuff.


the red-boxed item, shown below, has to be the most unappealing thing i’ve seen in a while.  and, while i’m sure that eggplant quiche would, in fact, taste delicious, i’m not sold from this picture alone.