Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remembering Memaw

My mom's mom, Memaw, left this world this past Thursday. Mrs. Martha Jane Cole Westmoreland.
Mother of 5. Grandmother to 11. Great-grandmother to 11 more. 

So, this Memorial Day weekend, we spent lots of time with family remembering my sweet grandmother.

Here she is holding Annette when she was just a couple of weeks old.

And holding Annette and cousin Landon about a year later.

Lauren flew in from Dallas (where she is doing her last internship). My Aunt Carol and her husband, Phil, and sons, Cole and Jacob all flew in from the east coast as well.  The rest of our huge family lives just a few minutes from each other here in central AR. So nice to have everyone in the same place at the same time.

Some of the pretty flowers sent to my mom's house.

For three days, we played at my mom's house. We swam. We ate. We talked and talked, and hugged and hugged some more. We remembered our matriarch... the mother of us.

Below is a picture of my mom holding Charlie while she is sitting in her brother, Frank's, lap : )
It was a full house....  Like always. Like we like it.

Here is a picture taken several years ago of my mom, her 3 sisters, and my Memaw. Don't know why my Uncle Frank, their one brother, didn't make this shot. Proof that we should be much more intentional about getting group pictures!

I am so blessed to have such wonderful aunts and uncles that have always been a big part of my life.
I can't count the memories I have with Memaw and the Westmoreland 5. 
Easter egg hunts, Lake Conway trips, South Carolina beach trips, shopping outings, church Sundays, fishing, hunting, sleepovers, hair playing, Spades playing, coloring, movie watching, bar-stool spinning, weddings, birthdays, and so many more. 

Thanks, Memaw, for raising 5 energetic children. Our lives have all been so much fuller because of you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ballet recital

All ready for her big debut as a ballerina.

Robinson was CROWDED. We were glad to find some seats near some buddies.

Charlie was very attentive for about 10 minutes. Luckily, Annette's class was one of the earliest numbers. And lucky that he could run around the lobby with his Daddy through several of the other numbers.

The Candyland themed stage

I cried. Actual tears. It was so precious watching my brave girl do her best on a big stage. She did all the moves just right and was more than confident. So proud of her!!

After the big dance, the girls got some goldfish as a treat. Big deal :) Annette was pumped.

After watching a few more friends perform, I snapped some pictures on the Robinson stairs. With my iPhone. I was irate when I realized I forgot my big camera as we were pulling into the parking deck. Talk about a time when I would have LOVED to take some nice pictures. Oh well. I had to get over it as we showed up with just a few minutes to spare. 

 Then, we headed out for ice cream with sweet Ruthie who came to support our young performer.

Special friends. And a very special, special memory. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I dropped every single bit of responsibility I have in the world and flew off to Vegas for 6 nights with Isaac.

I can't thank my wonderful parents and in-loves (in-laws:) enough for taking over kid duty while Isaac and I were away. They were more than wonderful.

It was a delightfully carefree, relaxing trip.

We ate delicious meals. Cleaned up after none of them. We relaxed by the pool. And read and talked and read some more. I read over a thousand pages. Aesthetic stance. And guess who finally got on the Hunger Games wagon?!! Isaac read the first two and loved 'em. I mean, who wouldn't? After typing that paragraph, I'm realizing how my views of 'a super fun vacation' have changed a bit over the years....Reading for lengthy uninterrupted amounts of time is one of my top highlights of the trip. While the rest of the city was going strong all night, I was asleep by 11:00 every night. REST!!! What a treat and a rarity these busy days. Sisters, I hear you calling me Sour Grams as you read this.

The wonderful views at the Bellagio. 

Brunch at Jasmine's in the Bellagio, overlooking the fountains

And then, the other nice views ; )

This was my third time to come with Isaac on his annual work trip here. Yet, I skipped the last two trips because of our two young kiddos.

Not much had changed.

Almost everything in Vegas is still big and shiny. Or gaudy.

We went to Top Chef Judge Tom Colicchio's restaurant, Craftsteak. 

We went to several other AMAZING places to eat as well.
There were also some business events with Isaac's work peeps. A lady was doing Yoga poses inside this inflatable ball. Entertaining?  Interesting. 

And here is a blurry picture of Isaac and I in the lobby of our busy, massive, fun hotel. Can't believe it's the only picture we took. 

Despite the lack of pictures of me and my man, Isaac and I had a fabulous time on our getaway. 
I was just so lazy. So lazy that I didn't even ask anyone besides the concierge to take a decent pic of us. 

Now, a couple of off-topic things.

My mom's mom, my Memaw, passed away very early this morning. She was almost 88 years old and a very, very special lady. She was loved deeply by our family. I'll be posting more about her in the days to come. 

Also, Annette had her first ballet recital tonight, so I'll be posting about that soon, too.

Good Night and
love on those grandmothers. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dance pics, Reading Words, and Other Randoms

Our past week.....

Ballet pictures.
Annette's recital is next Thursday : ))

I tried the cheese zucchini roll ups from Pinterest. Pretty good, but wish I had added some more seasoning to the them before grilling them. http://realmomkitchen.com/7904/cheese-stuffed-zucchini-rolls/
Might be fun to try other types of cheese, too. 

Annette has figured out how to sound out (and blend) simple CVC words. (rat, pig, etc.)

She has known all the letter sounds for over a year, but has just figured out how to use that info to blend three sounds together to make a word. Her phonemic awareness skills are coming right along ; )
She can match the CVC words to their corresponding picture. I just hand-made this activity. I used some pictures from coloring books, and then drew the other ones. The pocket chart deal is from when I taught school. You can find them at Knowledge Tree and Mardel. The desktop kind, like this one, are easier to use at home in my opinion. And Annette likes playing 'school' with the thing. 

As long as she still thinks that learning reading skills is fun, I'll keep introducing her to stuff. But, I'd much rather her associate reading with fun and excitement than try to push more reading skills at this early age.

SO FUN teaching her.

Here we are at last night's Razorback game at Dickey Stephen's Park with some friends.

And this is our Ice Cream Truck Money Jar. Somehow it traveled safely on the back of my car all the way down busy University.  What luck?!?

Hoping for more luck as we head to Vegas tomorrow morning!!!
Not that I care a bit about gambling. I'll be spending my time reading 3 new books and a pile of magazines as I soak up the sun... After I sleep in and enjoy H&M and Zara and eating at fun restaurants with my hubs. 

Thank you, grandparents, for taking over kid duty while we get away for the next 6 nights :)
We are excited!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day. It takes a Village.

After 3 years, I still have a hard time each May realizing that I am a 'mother' and am a recipient of the Happy Mothers Day wishes.

I love that my family takes special time and thought to appreciate me. Feels really nice. Yet, I also feel silly. Not exactly sure why. I generally enjoy the spotlight. Too much sometimes. Perhaps I still feel pretty amateur in the motherhood? My faults too apparent? Maybe it's Isaac giving me hand-picked flowers and a more-kind-than-I-deserve note. He does so much to take care of our family. More than me in a lot of ways. So it feels weird that my teammate is giving me an entire day's worth of praise. Luckily, I know it will be his turn next month ;)

I'm one of the first to admit that being a mother is a difficult job at times, but I am not too blind to see all the help I get from my people. They say it takes a village to raise a kid (don't they?), and that's a welcome truth in my case. Our village is pretty awesome. More awesome that I could ever be on my own. Our church family and AMAZING neighbors. Our babysitters and Mother's Day Out teachers. (Thank you Isaac for  supporting the babysitters and mothers day out :) Isaac's kind parents. My wonderful mother and father who watch my kids so often. And my kid's aunts and uncles and cousins. And then all of our friends, many of whom are raising kids right along side us. Oh, and then there is the Maker of it all. In whom I put all my hope.

So I can't listen to the mother's day wishes without telling Isaac, and our families, and our sweet babysitters, neighbors, and friends that they make being a mother a whole lot more fun and a lot more doable.

My pretty bouquet from Ike and the kids.  This mason jar filled with pretty hydrangeas and other flowers from our yard still makes me smile. 

After church, we headed over to my parent's house. Isaac's parents were in Fayetteville visiting some family, so we will have to give Nonnie her Mother's Day love another day soon.
My agile husband ;)

Below, my mom is letting the kids pick some of her newly potted flowers. 

 Mattie, Mom, Me, Lauren, and our Annette

Blessed. Blessed. Blessed.

So there. Thank you, Village.