Monday, April 30, 2012

catching up and stuff

I bought into my community's food co-op this week.
[it was my first time]
I split it with my neighbor and still got all of this...  (plus a few other un-photographed fruits)
You can look to see if there is a co-op in your area by going to
The bread is to die for!
And I just think it is a lot of fun to get random, surprise fruits and veggies, to learn to incorporate into our meals!

Plus, we already use Town and Country for our organic meat products--
so if I can find someone to bring me toilet paper and toothpaste, I may never have to visit the grocery store again!!

Now on to our weekend festivities.

April is a busy month of birthdays in the Erwin house.

3 in 11 days, to be exact.

This weekend we celebrated Lance turning 31.

Saturday night, we hired a sitter.
{{AKA:  Aunt Allison}}
And we headed to down town to eat.

Since I have the picture, I'll share::
I had planned on wearing the skirt-- but my sister didn't like it...
So I sent a test run to 3 gal pals who all chose the shorts.
Lance chose the boyfriend jeans...
  he won.

Back to our date...

I planned to take Lance to The Woodshed Smokehouse, a new restaurant by Tim Love...
but an hour and a half wait was more than we cared to endure.

So we headed into Sundance Square and had us a little P.F. Changs.

Afterwards, we listened to a some live music from 8.0 and mosied around B&N.

We weren't out long...
But we enjoyed our time together.

Sunday Lance had to work.
We ate our breakfast on the porch and the neighbor kids all played.

They rode bikes...
They hunted rolly pollies...
They played in the neighbor's pool...

It was all fun and games, until one little boy accidentally ran over Maddox with his bike.
I mean... took.  him.  down.

It was a terrible fall--
Maddox's head went slamming into the sidewalk...
and the little boy locked up his brakes-- causing black tire marks all down his arm.
His knees, and elbows, and forehead were covered in road rash.

He cried for a little bit,
but we cleaned him up and he still wanted to play.

So he did.
All.  Day.  Long.

Once Lance got home we all went to the park.
I learned to bat for the first time...
and even scored a home run!!

Afterwards, we had a birthday dinner with the boys...
Complete with Mexican food, cupcakes, and my battle wounded soldier.

Today, we took it easy.

Both kids have snotty noses and neither will are eating or sleeping all that well.

We played at one of the parks in our neighborhood for an hour and Beckham experienced his first sucker!

My mom was in the area, so she stopped by and picked up Maddox to go home with her.
It was his first time to stay the night with her, without me or any cousins and though he really wanted to go-- he is his mother's child.

He would cry...
and then laugh at himself for crying.

I would tell him he was free to go or stay and he would decide to stay but then cry because he wanted to go.
He went.
And we face time'd earlier and he told me what great of a time he was having.
We were glad.

And it was nice to have a little quality time with B Baby too.

We don't get a lot of one on one bonding with him.

And the best part of all...
There will be no little legs crawling into my bed around 1:00am.

And on that note--
I am off to bed!

Friday, April 27, 2012

To my boys...

I am so proud of you, every day.
In the tiniest things you do...
Just the fact that you are breathing amazes me--
but everything you learn and do--
every time you act from your heart or reflect good...
every time you are you...

I am proud.
Stay covered in joy, son...
it looks good on you.

Get dirty.
Play outside.
Have shins covered in bruises...
be a boy.

But don't be afraid to be sensitive too.
It is okay to cry.
It may seem un-masculine while you are younger...
but it is a great trait to have as a husband and father.

A lot.
And surround yourself with people who enjoy this too.

Love your brother.
One day your daddy and I will be gone and you will need him.
Start as his best friend and end that way too. 

Learn how to use basic tools.

Ask your dad for help.

Learn to play an instrument...
your daddy and I both wish we had this talent.

Learn to love guns.
There is already an arsenal of them with your name on them...
you might as well know what they do.

Practice.  Practice.  Practice.
At everything you want to be better at.

Use your words...
Communication is key.

From the time you were born, you were in a competition against the world--
"Is he crawling??"  "Is he walking??"
"Oh, mine was already reading at 3."
you are all just about even.
There will be places that you excel and places that your friends do too.
Be supportive.
Be positive.
Try not to compare yourself.
Everything is not a race.

You are one of a kind.

You are interesting.
You are funny.
 I miss you when I am not with you...
and I dream about all that you will become.
But even though you are my child, I see plenty of room for improvement--
so keep moving forward.

Be a leader.
Make the right decision.
Be proud to see others mirror you...
Don't follow the crowd.
Don't fold to peer pressure.

Use your manners.

Have a firm handshake.
Never use it while sitting down.
And always make eye contact.

Open a savings account and save your money.
Give to others when you can.
One will give you a sigh of relief when something unexpected falls into your lap,
the other will give you joy in your heart.

You are a part of me.
Made out of my flesh...
Everything you do reflects on me.
And I, the same to you.
Let's promise to respect each other, and keep each other in mind when we make rash decisions.

Learn the art of complimenting.
But don't over-use it to where it loses its value.

Don't settle.

Iron your clothes, shave your face,
use your smell goods, and brush your teeth.
The first impression you give people, will go a long way.

Play sports.
I don't care if you are good.
Just be a part of a team.
Win.  Lose. 
Practice with your dad.
We will wear your school colors and scream the loudest from the stands.
Sports will hold you accountable and make you strive to be better.

Don't drink and drive.
Or better yet...
Don't drink.


Be kind.
Take up for the underdog.
Take up for yourself.
You better never start a fight...
but if you find yourself in the midst of one, one day...
your daddy says, "you better finish it."

Never stop telling me that you love me.
And understand...
no matter what you do--
what mistakes you make--
how angry I may be at you.
My love for you is unconditional.

Pray about it.
When you are tempted.
When you are frustrated.
When you see no end in sight.
Find your knees.
{{Psalm 91:4}}

Open doors for strangers.
Be confident... but not cocky.
Feel worthy of the greatest things...
but humble enough to get them yourself.

Eat well.
Not only as in 'good for you'...
but with an open pallet.
Experience fine dining...
And eat burned chicken out of love.

Help me cook.
Help me clean.
There will come a time that you will need this bit of knowledge,
and just because you have a penis, does not mean you are above it.

Speaking of penis.
Be gentle.
One day I will explain what those "two little bugs" below your peatie, do...
but until then,
leave them alone.

As long as you are honest with me, I will trust you.
But the first time I have to track you down in my night gown (and believe me I will) because you wouldn't answer my phone call--
the party will be over.
{figuratively and literally}

Don't have sex with girls you don't love.
And never pressure anyone into anything they don't want to do.
One day your wife will want to know "your number"...
Have a respectable answer.

Don't say "I love you" unless you mean it.

However, don't take someone loving you for granted- even if you don't love them back.
It takes a lot of courage for others to share their feelings.
Handle such information with care. 

Don't date girls that you wouldn't eventually marry.
Sometimes casual things turn into permanent things.
Trashy girls, do not make good mommas.
Pick your loves wisely,
they will determine how close I get to be to my grandbabies.

Examine her family before you say 'I do'.
They will be your family too.

Clean up your mess.
Don't act entitled.

Work hard.
Read books.
Be punctual.
Keep your word.


Get a job and enjoy it.
It really doesn't matter what it pays--
do it passionately.
Even the parts you don't like.
You aren't above mopping floors, and by doing it well--
you will be noticed.

Learn how to dance.
A simple half-step in your kitchen, can put an argument to rest.

Don't smoke.

Say you are sorry first.

Be nice to waitresses...
and give a good tip.

Surround yourself with people of good morals.
You absolutely are who you hang out with.
{{I Corinthians 15:33}}

Don't ink your body until you are at least 25...
maybe 30?
Just ask your dad.
If it doesn't have an eternal-emotional meaning to you--
you will regret it.

Be romantic, even if it feels forced to you.
Flowers, foot rubs, and random notes are things I desire from your daddy--
and I hope to breed into you.

Take your time.
Enjoy life.
Savor the little things.
You will be an adult in no time.
Reality hits hard.

Be kind.

I am your momma.
You will always be my baby.
I will always love you with all that I have.

My home will always be open to you...
and my phone just a ring away.

There will always be a kiss waiting for you,
a hug yearning for you...
and uplifting words when you need to hear them.

Remember your daddy too.
He will never be too old to play catch,
or talk sports.
Talk to him when life throws you curve balls,
because most likely, he has been in your shoes.

Together, Daddy and I have put many, many hours of thought, conversation and love into raising you...
and we have only just begun.
We have prayed for the man that we hope you become and strive daily to mold you into him.

Be proud to look in the mirror...
It is your life to live.

Forever and always.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today was just fine

Today I will throw pictures of splashing in the front yard...
of sharing avocados...
and popsicles...
coloring with sidewalk chalk...
and lots of smiles
in your face--

And I will leave out my PMS.
Unnecessary tears over the song "Temporary Home"...
And my 'Love and Respect' book that I found myself diving into, trying to prove what I need from my husband but just realizing what he needs from me.

Just look at the pictures.

My house is clean....
Dinner was ready for the boys before I left for work--
work was easy-peasy...
and my husband cleaned up their mess before I came home.  (he hears me?!?!)

Today was just fine.

Tomorrow I have a date with my mom (who is on strike) and I am looking forward to it!!

And if all goes as planned, I will be sitting in Florida in 20 days.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beckham's first birthday

Today, Beckham is one year old.

He came into this world quiet and observant, looking around the room-- waiting on his cue to cry--
and over the past year, he has stayed on this curve.
Easy, simple and attentive.

He has a hot temper when things don't go his way, just like his mommy...
but mostly he is quiet and inquisitive, more like his daddy.

He is my serious boy, but if you know where to look, he has a major tickle bug too.

He loves his mommy bunches...
He is a big fan of his daddy...
But he adores his big brother... and we are pretty sure that he thinks they are the same age!

He loves to eat.

He loves his baths.

He loves to be outside.

And when he is tired... he loves his binky, snuggy, fan, and to be left alone.

I asked Maddox the other day if he even remembered life before we had Beckham, and he thought for a minute and said yes, he thought so.
Then he paused again and said that he liked it best with him here.

And I agree.

I knew from the minute we locked eyes, that we were soul mates and I can't explain how you can love another child as deep as endlessly as you do the first...

but you do.

Happy birthday Beckham Harold.

It is time to open presents!
(he was too spent after the party yesterday... so we saved them for tonight!)

While we unwrap-- you can enjoy a few pics from the party!


Happy birthday, little one.
I love you so.

Friday, April 20, 2012

birthday re-cap

I had a phenomenal birthday!

We typically do not celebrate very big for our birthdays, and that's the way I like it.
It is the way I was raised.

When we were younger, we got to pick out whatever dinner we wanted and my mom would make us a cake.

My brother always chose Tbone steak and I always chose a slew of vegetables that may or may not go together!

As adults, Lance and I typically do something similar for each other, and rarely buy presents.
This year, he told me that he was taking me out... and he already had a babysitter!!

It changed my entire week, waiting to see what he had up his sleeve.
It is so unlike Lance to take an initiative on things like this, and follow through without guidance, so I found it kind of sexy, to be honest!

He had told Maddox about my birthday too and Maddox was so disappointed when I had gotten up and made oatmeal for everyone before he awoke, because he wanted to make me a bowl "of my favorite cereal" and bring me breakfast in bed.
He said, "I would say, happy birthday beautiful, now eat your breakfast up."

He is such a romantic.
(and the thought was so much nicer than the cereal and milk that would have sure to have been spilled across my floor, had he mastered his plan!)

He did spend his entire day, revolving everything he could about celebrating me!
{like the birthday castle he made me out of legos}

Lance came walking in the house with a new pair of TOMS that I had mentioned wanting, a few months ago.
He also got me the sweetest card.
{And I cried like a baby reading it!}

We had dinner at Bob's Steak and Chop House, and it was beyond fabulous.
I did sneak a cell phone pic of my salad while Lance was in the restroom {sorry about the quality}...
because I knew better than to embarrass him and take one while he was there...

However, once back to the car, Lance did pull out a paper napkin from his pocket and said, "I took this from the restroom for your blog."
He knows me well.

When Lance made reservations, they asked if we were celebrating anything and he told them it was my birthday.
And though I was stuffed, they insisted we take our complimentary dessert to go.
Normally I would choose what I thought Lance would like, but he insisted I go with whatever I wanted...
Amaretto, chocolate swirl cheesecake, with toasted almonds.
All to myself...

After dinner, we ran by Grapevine Mills mall to return my TOMS for a smaller size.
I gasped out loud when I read this sign, and thought it was worth a picture.
And though this post was suppose to recap my birthday...
I must share...
Beckham will be one in 2 days.

Recently, he has transitioned from my mild-mannered baby, who rarely makes a peep of unhappiness--
to my quick-tempered, high maintenance baby who squeals when things do not go his way.
{it is 8:30 and he is already back down for a nap.}

Which is cute, since today is full of running-arounds for tomorrow morning's bash.
[I pray for an easy day.]
And not to leave Maddox out, I want to share 2 little Maddox'isms.

**First, a not-so-funny Maddox'ism, worth remembering...
Lance and I have followed the journey of this dad and his son's battle with cancer, here, on his aunt's blog.
Together, we have shed a few tears over this little tyke and a few days ago-- he finally gave up his battle and went to beautiful kingdom of Heaven.
As I read his dad's final entry, I started sobbing but I wanted to read it to Lance too.
I was sitting at the kitchen table and Lance was just over the 1/2 wall in the recliner where I could not see him.
Maddox suddenly burst into tears, crying so hard we could hardly make out what he was saying.
Finally he said, "that thing is so sad."  We said, "what thing, buddy?" and he said, "whatever you are reading."
I felt terrible that he understood what I was reading to Lance but before I could bring it down to 3 1/2 year old level, he busted out again between sobs, "it made my daddy not brave, and I never want my daddy to not be brave."
It was then that I realized Lance's cheeks were saturated with tears, and it was probably the first time that Maddox has seem his daddy cry.
It was sweet and sad all at the same time.
I adore his tender heart.
[and yes mom, I won't read anything like that around him again.]

**And I will finish on a funny one!
Yesterday I was using Siri on my phone to help me remember something.
Maddox asked, "who are you talking to?'
To which, I replied, "Siri".
As if that completely cleared it up for him, he said, "oh. I first I thought it was God. But now I know it was just his mom."
I am off to the shower...
I can't wait to see how cute Beckham's breakfast table looks tomorrow at his birthday party!
next post...
I would like to tell you that I am going to start using my real camera again soon, so that you can get a few better quality pictures than these you have seen from my iPhone lately...
but since Picnik closed yesterday, don't hold your breath!

Do, however, keep your eye out for me discounted PSE or lightroom...
[I missed out on a steal that Kristen found me a few months ago... would'a, could'a, should'a.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tomorrow is my birthday

28 is the age.

Lance says he has something planned for tomorrow,
and since all that I had planned was laundry upon laundry...
I am excited for the evening!

Today, I spent my morning at the park with one of my most favorite people in the world and her two girls.

We make our selves laugh so hard that we have to hold our cheeks and hold up a hand begging for a break... every single time we are together.

And when we don't have anything new that's funny to say, we retell old funny stories, and we laugh like they're new, just the same.

We had a picnic...
our kids played...
yeah, we find it funny that we made our big kids swing like the babies!

It was all-day happy hour at Sonic...

I had a cherry vanilla coke.

And because Candace is liable to call me out... I had a BLT too.
Post my PB&J.

Back home, I spent a little time digging deep into a new path for my "going back to school", that I am always talking about, and I am getting gitty just thinking about it again.

This one is more expensive--
but so doable--
And exciting--
and I am thankful for Whitney, and all of her information...
I can not wait to get started!

Work tonight was busy...
But Lance called and said the boys wanted to take me to dinner since they wouldn't be there to celebrate tomorrow.

It was sweet...
but between you and I, I didn't cook dinner before I left and this may have been his way to not have to either.

Either way,
it was a nice gesture.

I walked into Applebee's to 6 big brown eyes, a card and a potted plant.
Maddox picked it all out (even the smiley face stick that he insisted Lance buy to put in it), he kept telling me I was beautiful (even though I am a hot mess tonight) and he wrote his own name in my card, which was very special to me.

Beckham had plans to be anything but sweet.

He screamed...
like sccrreeaaammed...
he raked his food into the floor, in the manner of a bratty 2 year old...
he refused to stay in the highchair...
he cried...
Lance got pissed.
I laughed.
(nice role reversal, huh?!)

We traded walking him around...

I tried nursing him in the bathroom.  (nope, still not weaned)

And eventually, I ate my celebratory dinner alone.
As Lance had to wait in the car with the most exhausted baby of all time, because it wasn't fair to ruin everyone else's meal.
The boy just needs two naps a day-- and one just won't cut it-- now we know.

It was the thought that counts...

And even though Lance said it was our worst outing ever...
I know we have had worse!

I usually don't make big to-dos out of my (or Lance's) birthday...
however, it was so sweet for him to try!

He's a keeper.

I can't wait for tomorrow.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It feels like home.

This was one of my favorite weekends in a long time.

But I will be honest, it got off to a bumpy start.
Friday my kids could not get it together.
I remember being quite overwhelmed... but 3 days later, I can't tell you why.

Well, I do remember the tack that pierced straight through the bottom of my foot... not quite into my heel (into the tougher meat) and not into the arch of my foot (where I would have to have called Care Flight to survive it) but directly in between.  It hurt... really bad.  And it went in, flush, so I had to muster up the courage and pull it back out.
I cussed and cried.
Maddox cried.
I am not sure Beckham stopped crying on Friday, so it is safe to say that he cried with us, as well.

When I feel like I am losing at home, I load up and head out.

And in this case, it was to the mall.

Lance met me when he got off and we had a great time together.

I went in search for smaller shorts-- that didn't fit like underwear-- but we left with some of the best popcorn I have ever eaten (buffalo wing flavor) and four pairs of shoes.

Slow your roll... they were CHEAP!
(like one pair was $5.)

Saturday we went to my nephew's baseball game.
His team did so good,  he did awesome-- and Maddox was over-joyed to watch him play.

Maddox insisted we make Dane a sign, and though I was afraid it would embarrass him-- I was wrong!!
Dane was grinning so big when he saw his fans in the crowd!

After the game, we went to my BFF's little girl's 5th birthday party.

We laughed, we talked and our kids played so hard.
[you know I love my Wendy.]

Sunday, Lance had to work.

We had another birthday party for sweet baby Gracelyn.

Kimberly bought the cake from Creme De La Creme, and it was beyond amazing.
I still can not get over, however, that our tiny baby infants-- are one.
Well mine's not...
He has a few more days.
And within that 6 days period, when someone asks how old he is... you can bet your bottom dollar I will answer, "eleven months."
I am holding on, y'all!

So.. back home, we waited for Lance.

Our neighborhood has a community FB page and a man posted about trying to get together for a recreational softball game.

Lance loves softball.
{But Lance loves any sport, honestly.}

So as hard as he tried to push for the game to be on Saturday, he lost and it was set for Sunday.

Due to rain, earlier in the day, the game was pushed back to 5:00 and Lance was so excited to get to play.

Me and the boys loaded into the stroller and walked down to watch.
Other moms were there with their kids too...
some played.
For my husband's sake, this mom, did not.
He's the one in the back with his hand up.

Lance made a couple of good catches and I heard someone joke that it was going to make it into the highlight real... in which I laughed-- "more like the Advil bottle."
I know he is going to be so sore today!

We had so much fun, and finally, after living here for 5 years, we met a few of our neighbors.

The craziest thing happened.
We met this couple who were so sweet.
The more we talked, the more we realized we had in common.
Lance and the husband knew quite a few of the same people throughout the firefighting community-- and it seemed we all had a lot in common.
Our kids are the exact same age (their's, both girls) and we started talking about meeting to play sometime.
The mom finally asked my name, and when I told her 'Holly'... she realized that I was the mom who emailed her about child care this summer!

Remember the class that I 'have to have'...
well it is offered this summer and I could knock it out in a month.
My mom told me to go ahead and sign up for it,
although she wasn't quite sure if she could help with with child care just yet.
My sister told me to sign up and she would help me when she could as well...
but doesn't know her schedule to be sure.
I'm sure my Nana would help a day here or there...
Probably Candace and Kimberly too.
But I had responded to this mom's offer, just to have a back-up plan.
(genuinely knowing, I would probably never have the courage to follow through, since I have major trust issues when it comes to my kids!)

But she was so sweet... and I felt so great about the whole ordeal!

I probably can't afford 4 days a week with her, but it was nice to meet her, like her, want to be-friend her... before realizing she was who I had contacted.
Maybe I can use her 2 days a week... and get family-help the other 2, so no one gets burned out!

We left the park, and Lance and the other dads played baseball with the boys outside, while I made dinner.

Just sitting at the table, eating dinner with my little family, I got weepy.

We are most likely never going to be rich...
Or have the nicest of nicest things.
And i am okay with that.

My kids know they are loved.
And for that, I feel blessed beyond measure.

They have a daddy who would rather play cars with them than a round of golf...  who changed careers, not necessarily because he wanted to, but because it was a better quality of life for our kiddos... and a man who has no problems confessing and showing his love for all of us... or changing diapers.

They have a momma, who works the crazy hours that no one else wants, making down to the dime exactly what she has to make, to get by...  turning down more hours, for more time with the boys.  Who works hard to keep a clean house, laundry done, and happy bellies.

We understand life is easier when there is more money in your bank account. 
(Believe me, we have lived on both sides of this margin)  But somewhere in the middle seems to work best for us.

Our boys have parents who have chosen "time together" over bigger paychecks, many times...
because to us, it is more important.

Lance just laughs and rubs my back when I get misty eyed and can't explain it.

I don't really know why I loved this weekend so much, except...
it just felt like home.