Saturday, August 30, 2008

We have us a FOOTBALL fan!

Emma attended her first Football game ever last night and what a great game it turned out to be. Not only did we win 21-19, but it was extra special to me because it is the school where I work. We looked like the Griswald's moving into the stadium last night. We had 2 chairs, a wagon, a diaper bag, our camera bag, a blanket and the "itty bitty's" pillow. It was so much fun to put her down in that wagon and drag her through the crowd.

Our kids put up a good fight and their hard work paid off at the end. It was so awesome to watch them get so pumped up and to see the pride in their eyes as they came to the sideline at the end of the game and sang the school song to the crowd. Many laughed, some cried and some just danced around with joy screaming and hollering. You see, last year we only won one game the entire season and our kids were devastated. Needless to say, I am so PROUD of our Ranger Boys!

Emma could not get enough of the band, cheerleaders or drill team. She would just clap and stare so intently when they would pass us by.

She was such a little trooper at the game. She wanted to be out on that field so bad it was killing her. She just kept saying, "ball, ball, ball".

This is Micheala and Emma sitting on the sideline watching the game. Micheala is the daughter of another AP at my school and she is just the cutest and sweetest little thing. Emma really took a liking to her and wanted to be a big girl and do everything Micheala did.

The HOTY and Emma left the game at half time because it was 45 minutes past her bedtime. Of course she was fast asleep before they ever got out of the stadium parking lot, but she had her little self a good ole time. Oh, and I must admit...she was the cutest little cheerleader in sight!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thankful for 12 weeks

Today is the 12 week marker for us in our pregnancy and we are feeling very Thankful today. Only about 26 1/2 to go... I will deliver 10 days early because I will have a scheduled C-section. I think my stomach has popped out this week because I am feeling and looking a little different (I love to rub it all the time). My last pregnancy and this one have been wonderful to me and I am feeling great. We will be going next Friday for some preliminary testing to detect any chromosome disorders and if this test comes back normal we are going to avoid the amniocentesis. We are looking forward to adding this baby to our family and for the "itty bitty" to have a sibling. I know that she will be an amazing big sister and probably a bossy one too. To God Be the Glory!

In the meantime, I will continue to pray for my friends who are struggling to conceive.

Off to Friday Night Football...Go Rangers, Beat the Bulldogs!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rah Rah Rah

Guess where we will be every Friday night for the next few months? You got it...Friday Night Football. I could not have the "itty bitty" show up for her first football season without the proper attire. I searched high and low for a cheerleader outfit that would be our school colors and I wanted it to look somewhat official. I even searched through the old Cheerleader closet at school and I came across some retired uniforms. My good friend and colleague Therese had a great idea...she mentioned she could probably make it out of some old uniforms. A couple weeks later and here she is...I brought it home this evening for the final fitting and Therese will finish it up tomorrow. Didn't she do a great job? She even sewed the Varsity tag back on the top. Thank you Therese ~ I love it!

Emma really had a good time when I put it on her and she could not wait for her Daddy to get home, so she could show him. I can not wait to see her at the Football game on Friday night.
Oh, by the way...we are the Rangers, the Mighty Mighty Rangers!

I will have to post some more pictures of her after the game Friday night. Yep, I have lots of Football duty this year & my sweet family will be joining me. Hip Hip Hooray! In the meantime, I hope you are all having a "Rangeriffic" week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Sweet Husband

While I was praying for all the kids on the way to school this morning, look who was praying for me...the HOTY! It was a long to school around 6:30 and finally made it back to my office around 9:30 and this email was waiting on me. He will probably be embarrassed that I shared it with you, but I could not resist.

Laura Ann,

I wanted you to know that I said a prayer this morning asking God to make this a Great year for you at work. The similarities between what you and all of the children are facing this year, is ironic. It is all very different and new to you, just as it is to them. You will both face new challenges, learn to “play well with new classmates” and experience a great many highs and lows. Through it all, you have to trust in yourself and trust in our Lord. I know you already know these things, but I thought I would take a moment to remind you:

That you are the Best at what you do!
You have the ability and privilege to positively impact so many.
While often times seemingly thankless, you are sincerely appreciated by more than not.
You are a child of the Most High God! If God be for you, who dare be against you?

I love you with my whole heart! I hope and pray that you will have a wonderful school year!

As many of you know today was the first day back at school with the kiddos! Overall it was a good day. I am sure many of you know that I am currently a High School Assistant Principal and I will be over the Senior this year. Our school currently has about 2500 students and 640 of those are Seniors, so it is a rather busy place. There is never dull moment around there and the kids are just...something else. I will share a story with you that sticks out in my mind today.

I am standing in the middle of the commons at school and students are approaching left and right asking me where certain classrooms are and I am quickly pointing them in the right direction. I would say I fielded about 50 questions per passing period today and there are 7 periods in a day (I'll let you do the math). In between 5th and 6th period today I had 2 young men approach me and show me their schedules and ask me where the Ag (Agriculture) class was? It is a little hard to explain, so I said, "oh, I will just show you". On our walk out to the Ag Department I decided to strike up conversation with these two I asked, "oh, are ya'll going to show an animal". The one kid laughed and looked at his buddy and said, "I don't know about him, but I'll show you my anaconda". Uh, at that time I either had to decide to respond or act as if I had not understood what he said. I decided to just ignore it and point them on their way. It is one of those things if I had corrected him for it, he would have said something like, "oh Miss, why you so perverted? I really have an anaconda" must choose to fight their battles wisely when dealing with Highschoolers. Can you believe this? I don't know why I was so shocked... this is my 14th year in education and I feel as if I have heard it all. I would have NEVER said something like this to my school administrator. Shame on him!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What more could a girl want?

I am sure many of you will be surprised to learn that we got a pool. We really did not share the news with anyone, so I decided I would post the pictures for you all this evening. The general contractor finally finished up this morning, so we invited him to stick around and enjoy the first swim with us. It was really hard deciding on the perfect pool and amenities we wanted it to have, but it seems we ended up with one that will meet all of our needs. We wanted to make sure it was kid friendly, safe and somewhat shaded. You are all welcome to come and swim anytime! Emma and the general contractor below.

I decided to let the "itty bitty" wear this bathing suit that has been tucked away in her drawer since... before she was born. Her Daddy would never let her wear this anywhere, so I thought it would be fine in the back yard. Even after I put it on her he said, "see, little girls should not wear stuff like this...I mean it is not even cute". However, she thought she was really cute in it.

There was one point when all 3 of us got in the pool and Emma just thought that was the greatest thing ever. We could not stop laughing and I am sure the neighbors next door couldn't either if they were looking out there 2nd floor window. I kept asking the HOTY to go next door and ask the neighbor to take a picture of all 3 of us. Of course he was like NO we just took lots of pictures of the baby girl.

My cousins Hunter & Camryn actually gave me this pool for my Birthday and we finally opened it. Thank you cousins, I love it!

This is when she was pointing to us, requesting that we all get in for a swim.

I think she was posing for us here...I am not real sure what she was doing.

Today was a great day. We finished the evening off with a home cooked meal, yummy made from scratch Meatloaf (thanks to MiMi, one of Lianna's blog friends), homemade mashed potatoes, homemade macaroni & cheese (elbow noodles and Velveeta), croissant rolls, fresh tea and Neiman Marcus cake for dessert. I must was on of the best meals we have had in a while. The HOTY said it was the best meatloaf he had ever eaten and his 2nd favorite meal that I cook ~ roast, potatoes & carrots takes the Grand Champion prize.

My Handprints

The "itty bitty" has an orange folder that comes home in her backpack from MDO on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The HOTY and I sat down with her and looked through the folder and here are the 2 things she pulled out. She had the biggest smile on her face and was so full of pride when we began talking to her about how wonderful she had done. We kept telling her to tell us what they were and how beautiful they were. She proceeded to sit the paper down on our bed and she put her little hands together, rubbing them back and forth and said, "wash wash". Of course we both laughed and just thought it was so clever of that is what stuck in her mind...she had to wash up after doing this little project. I have attached both of her papers below.

The purple one reads:
My Handprints
Some day when I grow big and tall
My handprints will be big, not small
But you will still have prints of mine
To keep beside you all the time.

From the looks of it, one might think MDO is going well. For us, it has been a struggle to walk away and leave our baby girl scared and crying in the mornings. The HOTY has had a really hard time with this and has wanted to quit 2 times more than me (and we have only been 2 times). We have decided to change the hours Emma will attend from 9-12 opposed to 7:30-12, and she will still only go on Tuesday and Thursday. That is the plan for next week and we will see if that works out any better for all of us.

In the meantime, I would like to ask all of you to pray for some of my dear friends and family that will be facing a much bigger challenge than us in the morning. Robin, Kristi, Mrs. Jenny and my SIL of the year, Stacey will be taking their sweet baby's to Big School for the 1st time tomorrow. Ally, Karsen & David will all be going to Kindergarten in the morning and my nephew, Hunter will be going to 1st grade (he went to private Kindergarten).

Lord, we just ask that you wrap your arms around all these Mommies and their sweet babies tomorrow as they walk them in the front doors of our public schools. We pray that they will be embraced with love and comfort from their teachers and their peers that will surround them this school year. Lord we ask that each of them feel safe in the morning and at all times throughout this school year. We asked that each of them are placed in a positive environment where they are able to learn and Lord, I pray that the teachers of these children will be Godly men and women of integrity. I pray that these children will find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight of God and their teachers and classmates. I pray that they are surrounded by Godly people that will lift them up to the highest. Heavenly Father, I pray a hedge of protection over all of these children and their families as they embark on a new journey in the morning. Thank You that they have the opportunity to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

This is my prayer for all of my Mommy friends tomorrow and for all the students and parents all over the world. I will turn off my radio in the morning on my 30 minute commute to work and I will pray for all the students in my life as an educator, a friend, a family member and most of all, a believer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The 4th Frazier has a Name...

After many late night talks, lots of list, searching books and websites...we have finally picked out 2 names that we both agree on and like for our baby that is on the way. For some reason it has been much harder to pick out a name for this baby then it was for Emma Caroline. Especially with me being an educator, because I constantly think of kids I have encountered in the past. There were many names that I immediately had to mark off because of students that just did not leave good impressions on me. Then there are the names of neighbors, co-workers, friends, family and friends of friends that you have to mark of the list also. When we talk about names, we constantly keep in mind that they are not going to stay little forever and we want our children to be able to have adult names that are appropriate as well. Then there are those people that combine names too...but we did not think Laurtis or Curura would be too cute either. Needless to say...the search was long and daily we would look over list and talk about names. For any of you that know the HOTY, he is very he would think of every way possible that they could be made fun of or what other kids would joke with them about if we gave them certain names. I would list those, but I don't want to offend we will keep them to ourselves (you can only imagine). I guess you can say the HOTY is responsible for first names in our picks and I am responsible for the middle names. I know that the Paparazzi (Darla) will call me immediately when she reads this post and she will either say something like this, "Oh, I love them" or "Please don't name them that". I can always count on her to keep it real with me. So here we go....if you like them, feel free to share a comment...if not, follow your Mama's advice...if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Elyse Claire
Gavin Thomas
Elyse is Hebrew and means my God is an oath and Claire means famous.
Gavin is Celtic and means little hawk and Thomas is a biblical name and was also my Dad's first name. We thought this would be a great way to honor him, while keeping his memory alive.
Now we will wait patiently until we find out if it will be a boy or a girl. I really think the HOTY is hoping for a son. He has been on his laptop searching boy bedding all last night and he is back at it again this morning. He is in hot pursuit of some Firetruck vintage bedding...many of you probably do not know...but he went through the Fire Academy after High School and is a State Certified Firefighter, however he never pursued that career.
Needless to say, I have a feeling if it is a boy...he will be the Lead Decorator around here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Made It ~ First Day

Today was Emma's first day of Mother's Day Out (she will be spending 4 hours there on Tuesday and Thursday only). We got up extra early to spend some time with her, feed her breakfast and talk to her about the big day. The entire way to the little school I prayed out loud for her and to her this morning and she talked back to me the whole time ~ I think she was saying her own little prayer.

Daddy followed us the entire way to the school, so he could be a part of the big day.

Immediately when we walked in, she wiggled to get out of her Daddy's arms to get down and play with this little motorcylce that was in the gym.

The diagnostician at my school was dropping her sweet baby off this morning too, so she was kind enough to get this shot of all of us.

I could not resist getting a picture of the "itty bitty's" name on her cubby. She shares with another student who is there on Monday, Wednesday & Friday and it is hers on Tuesday & Thursdays.

Yes, we made it through the first day. She did great when we left, she did not cry at all. However, I had a couple people check on her that took their children in later and they said she was on her teachers hip and she was crying. She did cry on and off during the day, but they say that is normal. I am not sure that is normal for we will give it another try on Thursday and see how things work out.

The Mommy in me wants to NEVER go back...I just can not stand the thought of her crying or being afraid during the day. The other part of me wants her to have the social interaction with kids her own age. The HOTY and I agreed to 4 weeks before we would make a decision. I will just have to continue to pray and give it time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Best 14 months ever!

Our baby girl turned 14 months old on Friday. Every month on her Birthday since she was born we have taken her picture, so that we can always remember exactly what she looked like at that time. We post these on her baby website (password is curtis) and I have worked really hard to keep the website up to date, if you go there you will find it under the bullet...Monthly Milestones. These are just some of the ones we took this weekend that I wanted to share with you.

This is the sweetest little face I have ever seen. She is trying to look over at the waterfall.

Looking at an airplane flying over ~ one of her new words that she learned last Wednesday.

Now you see why we are so in love with her...she is the cutest little thing ever. I know, every Mommy thinks that about their baby.

She wanted to put her feet in the water so bad and I just could not resist.

Of course, the HOTY was a little concerned about her falling in.

Yep, she is looking up at another airplane flying over.

I just loved this one of her and her Daddy. Emma is walking, but she is still a little shaky and this bridge had a slope to it, so Daddy helped her out.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fish ~ Fish ~ Fish

Fish ~ Fish ~ Fish...that is what we heard all day from the "itty bitty" when we took her for an outing to the Aquarium and to have some lunch. Emma is a lover of animals, all kinds...not just dog~dogs. Needless to say, we had a heck of a time prying her away from the aquarium and all the exhibits. She would scream not to leave when we would pick her up to move on to see the next thing. I am convinced she would have stood there all day if we would have let her.
We also took her on a train ride which she hated and she was not happy on this carousel ride either. We were really surprised because she is not normally afraid of anything.
Perhaps she would have been happy if we let her stand up and ride, but her Daddy is a rule follower (so she had to be seated and strapped in).
We enjoyed a nice lunch where Emma ate fish, shrimp, zucchini, squash and green beans. She is a great eater. We do not normally give her sweets, but we decided to order this "do it yourself" Sundae...which was so cute. You got 4 ramekins filled with sprinkles, little M&M's, chocolate and cool whip to decorate it to your liking....she was in heaven with this thing.

And of course she had to tell the fish bye-bye again. There were all sorts of things to see here. Emma's favorite were the fish and the white tigers.
Our battery went dead on our camera, so this is all we were able to capture. We had a great day and Emma seemed to really enjoy herself and all there was to see. Thanks to the HOTY, this was all his idea...good job Daddy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What is Mrs. Brown doing this evening?

Jurors in Houston ruled Thursday that the wife of megachurch pastor Joel Osteen did not assault a flight attendant during an alleged outburst on board a Continental Airlines flight in December 2005. Above, Joel and Victoria Osteen appear at a news conference after the verdict.

Praise God...I was so excited this evening when I turned the news on and saw that Victoria & Joel were all smiles. For me, no matter how this would have turned out...I would have still loved and respected them the same.

The Osteens and Lakewood Church are very near and dear to the hearts of me and the HOTY. I attended church there with my friend Tedra for over a year and as soon as I met Curtis, we began attending together. Curtis was baptized as a child, however he was rebaptized by Joel a month before we were married. Joel prayed with the HOTY and I before our wedding and also when we were desiring to have a child. We have so many fond memories of them and Lakewood and the utmost respect for the way they serve God. We no longer attend Church at Lakewood, but we love the work they are doing and the people they are reaching worldwide. To God be the Glory!

So really... what do you think Sharon Brown is doing this evening? Do you think she is at Barnes & Noble picking up a copy of...

I would LOVE to hear your comments on this one!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Drama Queen & Shoe Inventory

Okay, so last week when I went to the Dr. for my check up I had to go alone because the HOTY had a visitor in his office that he could not get away from. I must admit, it was a little lonely without him and the "itty bitty". When we all got home that afternoon, I was so excited to share the ultra sound pictures with them. The picture below shows you exactly how Emma felt about it. She immediately started screaming and crying and trying to crumble it up. The truth is...I don't really think that was the issue, but it sure was funny when she did it.

Here is Emma and her cousin Camryn when we went to lunch last weekend. They were so cute riding down the road side by side. They have not really done this is just alot of trouble to move car seats around, but today the HOTY moved our seat out of our car to the truck so they could enjoy each others company. I kept looking back there thinking...oh my goodness this is what our life is going to be like soon with 2 little ones. It is going to be lots of work, but we are looking forward to it.

We go tomorrow for the orientation at the little school my baby is suppose to start next week, so I thought I better do inventory of her clothes, bows and shoes. Well, I think we are going to be just fine and there is no need to run out and purchase anything. The bows are out of control, the clothes are bulging in the closet and my child that prefers to go barefoot has 10 pairs of shoes. Which ones are your favorites?I was talking to my friend Tedra the other day on my drive home and I was sharing with her that I had mixed feelings and reservations about Emma starting this little school. I started saying....well, I am worried about her eating lunch there...are they going to help her...she can't open a lunch kit alone...uh, what about when they sit her at a table...she will crawl to the other end to get the juice cup or snack of another kid...what about her nap...then I had to admit...I am also worried about her losing her bows, getting stains all over her clothes and coming home with one shoe...I know, I know...that is bad. I have even read The Last Lecture...and I am worried about STUPID stuff like that...shame on me! The truth is... I should be thankful that we are able to attend this little school that has a 2 year waiting list, I should laugh about the missing bows, cherish the stained clothes and let her wear mismatched shoes if she looses one. After all, we are blessed and healthy...that in itself is all that matters.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lots Going On...

Lets see... seems as if this past week has been packed with things to do around here. I feel like I have not blogged in forever and maybe because I haven't. Well, the truth is...I have made a huge effort not to blog when my baby girl is awake...because it is just not fair ~ yep, she gets all the attention. Lots to talk about so here I go...

Visited the Dr. last week on Thursday and Baby Frazier is doing great. He/she is now 1 inch long and has a heart beat of 174. I am thinking it might be a girl, just because the "itty bitty's" heartbeat was 173 during our 2nd visit with her. There just seems to be lots of similarities in this pregnancy and the last. I feel great and to be honest with you the only symptom I have is being tired. I am very tired in the evening and get in bed around 8PM these days...crazy, huh? My poor HOTY probably thinks he is single again...Emma hits the bed at 7:30, me at 8:00 and everything gets pretty quiet around here after that. Well, lets not forget the occasional whining of Beamer (the weenie dog) that wants to go outside and chase bugs for the evening.

Speaking of babies...great news, our cousins Melissa & Sean are expecting TWINS ~ so we will be doubly blessed with two more beautiful babies. Melissa is due 2 weeks after me, but I am certain she will deliver before me since there are 2. To be quite honest with you, I am happy about that...I have said over and over...I really want her to be in the spotlight because they have waited so long to be parents. I look forward to the family Christmas' that are yet to come where babies are that is what I am talking about!

About the "itty bitty"...she will be 14 months old on Friday and is chatting up a storm and mimicking our every move around here (we are up to 46 words now). Last night a baby spoon got stuck in the garbage disposal and the HOTY turned it on and when it made the horrible grinding noise he turned it off and moaned "hmmmm...mmm...mmmm" sort of Wife has done it again. Well, low and behold...yep, Emma starts saying, "hmmm...mmm....mmmm" like my Mommy has done it again. Oh and lets not forget the bad habit she has formed where anytime we say stuff she says, "what?" of course we politely correct her and say, "it's ma'am". She thinks she is really big these days and likes to try and stand on her push car copying Little Miss Brook who did this last time she was over. The issue is, she is 6 inches shorter than Brook and about as sturdy as Bambi learning to walk...the combination calls for lots of falls to say the least. Emma now thinks the baby is growing in her tummy...we ask her where the baby is and she rubs her belly, crazy kid. Something that she is doing now that keeps us cracking up is she constantly says, "tickle, tickle, tickle" while tickling us under the chin in the cutest little voice we have ever heard. This kid keeps us on our toes and laughing hysterically.

So, we have orientation this Friday night for Emma to begin a little Mother's Day out program 2 days a week for a total of 8 hours. The HOTY and I are both a little hesitant about this because she just seems so little to us, but we have committed to giving it a try. We feel like it will be wonderful for her to interact with others her own age and the structure will be great for her as well. I will keep you posted on this adventure....don't be be surprised if we change our minds.

Well, I will be adding some pictures this evening and I am going to try and blog again if I can keep my eyes open...thought I would try and entertain you with this in the meantime.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bring it on Edouard!

What more could a girl ask for? A free day & 1/2 off to spend with my precious baby girl, the HOTY who came home and removed everything from the outside that could break a window & a living room full of plants, yard decorations, tables and 2 sets of patio furniture. My house looks CRAZY right now. But we are ready...bring it on Edouard, bring it on!

Yes, the HOTY crammed 8 chairs, 2 big tables, a side table, plants, a clock, a cross, swings, and ice chest, plant stands, drink bucket, rugs and much more into this area and he did it so neatly. It was much simpler to bring it in the back door, opposed to down the side of the house and into the garage.

We had to make sure the "itty bitty's" house was protected too, making sure all the swings, trapeze bars, tire, periscope and binoculars were safe & sound.

We have just had constant rains and wind this morning, no big deal. However, as I sit at the computer, I have my eyes on these 2 Super-sized pine trees across the street at the neighbors house. I keep thinking I might see them snap any minute.

So here is the deal...Edouard is suppose to introduce himself formally in our "neck of the woods" around 2PM, so we will see what he is all about then. For now, I will keep my eyes on the "itty bitty" and the super-sized pines across the way.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shower of Smiles, Tears and Hope

Wow ~ this is Marla and she looked BEAUTIFUL today for her baby shower to welcome Baby Peyton. The shower was just across the street from Marla's home at Julia's, so we all got to see the nursery and it is a dream nursery, for sure. Marla has done an amazing job decorating and it is certainly fit for a Princess.

Could not help but capture this moment of Nana with her 2 Girly Girls, Camryn (my niece) & Emma (my heart). Camryn was so cute and sweet today, she kept stopping in front of me and saying, "LaLa, take my picture and smiling"... she is quite the ham and oh so sweet to her little cousin.

Marla got so MUCH stuff...this shower was 4 1/2 hours long and I bet she spent 2 1/2 opening gifts. She got great stuff too... monogrammed stuff, bows, soft blankies, swings, clothes and so much more. There were a few cards that brought us all to tears...sweet Marla would laugh and cry, but you can see it on her face...she is full of HOPE and so looking forward to holding that sweet baby girl in her arms.

This was one of my favorite gift sets at the one, only, wonderful, favorite sis-n-law gave her this matching bib, burp cloths, bow & onsie monogrammed set and it was the cutest thing ever! When Marla opened this, I turned to my SIL and said, "oh, I would be totally fine with another girl".

One of the walls in Peyton's bedroom... we are counting the days to see you, meet you, love you, kiss you, hug you, hold you, smell you, listen to you, touch you and welcome you to our family sweet girl. You are already so blessed!

The countdown is on and we are all waiting and ready. We will continue to pray for Marla to have a wonderful delivery and a full term healthy baby.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Celebrating New Life

It is with great joy that we prepare to go to a baby shower tomorrow to "CELEBRATE NEW LIFE" that God is blessing Dwain and Marla with in less than 6 weeks. Dwain is Curtis' first cousin and they have grown up and remained very close over the years. We are all anticipating the arrival of Miss Peyton Sterling Carnes soon. While the girls are showering Marla with lots of love and gifts, the boys are headed to the course for a round of golf and fun.

Peyton is going to be one very special little girl that brings lots of love, hope and laughter into the lives of Marla and Dwain that they both so deserve and have longed for. It will be a very happy day for all of us in the Carnes family to see the two of them hold that sweet little girl when she is born.

Marla & Dwain lost their first born child Sterling Scott Carnes in a drowning accident in March 2007. The HOTY and I talk about it all the time and we still can not believe that Sterling is gone. We all miss him very much.

Sterling with his Daddy & Mommy

Me & Sterling dancing at my Wedding

In spite of all that Dwain and Marla have been through in the past year and 5 months, they still have the best attitude and outlook on life. Marla is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people I have ever met in my life and she is constantly doing for others. I will never forget how hard it was for me to have my baby shower in April, one month after Sterling had gone to be with the Lord. My heart was still breaking for Marla and everyone was still grieving for Sterling. However, my wonderful Mother-in-Law insisted that we have my shower and there was sweet Marla sitting right in front of me the whole time filled with joy for me and excited about Emma's arrival. She helped hand me every gift, talked to me and explained how wonderful each item was going to be and how much I would use and love it. I was just amazed by her strength and faith. I must admit... if I would have been walking in her shoes, I would have been buried under the covers in my bed still...but no, there she was "CELEBRATING NEW LIFE" with me.

So today, the "itty bitty" and I wanted to do something extra special for Marla, so we took on a little project. We decided to make our own gift bags. Emma got to finger paint all the gift bags today and it was exciting to watch her as the HOTY captured the moment.

We started out with Pink Paint

We attempted to put hand prints all over the bag

Cleaning up in the sink...she had so much fun

I decided to put the Polka dots on after Emma finished painting

We look forward to "CELEBRATING NEW LIFE" with Marla & Dwain tomorrow and can not wait to meet Peyton soon.

As a family we have so much to be thankful for... especially me...I inherited the most amazing family when I married the HOTY. These people have taken me in and loved me as if they have known me my entire life and not one day goes by that I do not Thank God for the gift he has given me when it comes to the Carnes family.

God has been very good to all of us this year... with the arrival of Peyton, Melissa & Sean's pregnancy and our pregnancy. We will have babies everywhere soon. While we will continue to CELEBRATE and be thankful, we will never forget the 2 little lives that left way too soon.

Hailey & Sterling ~ You will always be missed, forever loved and never forgotten!