Sunday, December 5, 2010


For Halloween this year, we had a horse-crazy little girl who wanted to be a horse, and a big sister who decided to be a cowgirl. I thought we were going to wind up with Daphne from Scooby-Doo, and a horse (which was a little bit weird), but I was trying not to be a Halloween costume control-freak and let them decide. Anyway, Lilly decided on her own she wanted to be a cowgirl, so I was very excited to make her a cowgirl costume.

The 5th & 6th grade boys at our church were all cowboys and we thought it would be a cute picture. Lilly has decided to be "nervous" in pictures now--especially with big boys, so this is the face I usually get now. Hopefully it will pass SOON.

Showing off the best candy--suckers!!!

Julie and I had a Groupon & decided to take our girls to the Hermitage one day. I was not thinking they would have that much fun, but Lilly absolutely loved it and has been asking when we are going back. She loved the headphones and the guided tour they had for kids to listen to. She was really sad when we were done and there were no more numbers to punch into her little player.

Mamie showing off her headphones

Frances & Lilly

Highlight of Mamie's day--seeing the big horses.

And four very tired girls after walking all over the grounds.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


For my mom's 70th birthday, my sister and I planned a trip for all three of us to Savannah. We tried to plan it BEFORE the birth of John Houston, so that keeping my girls wouldn't be a problem while I was gone, and also because I wanted to be here to see his arrival. With plane tickets purchased and reservations made for months, I got the call from Kim the day before we left that she was being induced the next morning. It was so frustrating, but luckily I have some wonderful friends (and family :) who stepped up and took my girls for me and allowed us to have a wonderful time. We ate a LOT of great food, took in all the beautiful historic sights, and just enjoyed being together.
My sweet sister and mother

One of the beautiful squares

One of the only pictures with all 3 of us--the poor valet took 3. In the first one, I am making this stupid face, telling him to hold the button down, in the second, my mom's eyes were closed, and in the third, my sister is making a funny face. So, I am taking one for the team and posting the ugly shot of myself.

The line outside Paula Deen's restaurant starts lining up at 7:30 in the morning. No thanks.
And, need I say more?

The Mercer house--from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

John Houston

The girls have a new baby cousin! John Houston arrived early on September 23rd, just after I boarded a plane and flew to Savannah to celebrate my mom's birthday. I was so sad to miss his arrival, but I know we'll have plenty of time to see the little guy :) He's a cutie and the girls are crazy about him.

Hollis is a proud big brother!


Our class at church went camping this September at the most beautiful campground I have ever been to. It was planned on a weekend when Jon had to work, but I still wanted to take the girls. My friend Julie's husband had to be out of town that weekend also, so we took our girls and shared a campground. It was so much fun--I can't wait to go next year. I didn't get many pictures--I was a little shorthanded keeping up with 2 kids beside a lake without a daddy ;-)

Mamie had to bring her horses, of course

Swimming in the lake

The only thing I hate about camping...the laundry aftermath.


My big girl started kindergarten this year. It was very hard for me to believe that she was old enough to go, but she was dying to start school. She has loved every second of it.

Lilly and Mrs. Austin

Walking in on the first day with her new tote bag :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the end-of-summer blues

With Lilly starting kindergarten last week, I feel like we tried to cram in as much as we could during the end of July and beginning of August. We have been swimming, having playdates, going to the library, watching movies, sleeping in, baking together, cuddling and being lazy on the couch in our pajamas all day long because it was a million degrees outside...
Here are a few pictures of some of the things we've done and places we've gone the past few weeks.

My brown little swimmers ready to hit the pool. They have both started wanting to carry their own pool bag.
Hatcher Dairy
This tour is fabulous and I highly recommend going. It is $6 per person, but well worth it. It was so hot the day we went, I thought I was going to DIE, but we still made it to the end. They get to feed the cows, pet all kinds of animals (goats, a pony, a donkey, sheep), and I learned a lot about dairy cows and dairy farming. We already drank Hatcher milk before the tour, but after going and seeing it all firsthand, it makes you not want to ever buy anything but local dairy products again. And they give you chocolate milk and homemade butter and crackers at the end of the tour. DELICIOUS.

Mamie ready to feed the cows. I never knew that they don't have upper teeth in the front and can't bite you. Don't know how I missed that fact when I took animal science.

Mamie, the only one who won't actually drink milk, would have milked that cow all day if I had let her.

My apologies for posting this picture, but it was the most memorable part of the tour for both of my girls. This was all my girls wanted to tell Jon about when he asked about the dairy farm. At first Lilly got all upset and almost started crying for the poor cow when she saw "them," thinking that something horrible must be wrong with this poor mama cow's udders. When I told her it was a boy cow and that was just his "private parts," it suddenly became the most hilarious thing either one of them had ever seen.

Kindergarten Prayer Lunch
Ashley, Tressa, Emily, and I planned to get all four of our about-to-be-kindergarteners together for a special prayer lunch the week before school started. We didn't know when we planned it that Ashley's doctor would be deciding to induce her early and that she would be in the hospital! We were sad that she and Cal missed it, but it was a happy occasion to miss out on something :) Ellie, Livi, and Lilly (try saying that three times fast ;-) had a fun time together and I am thankful for friends who can keep it together and pray for our girls going to kindergarten because I was a mess.

We got sentimental thinking about how we took pictures like this of them propped up in a chair together when they were just weeks old.

We are so proud of all our kindergarteners and know they will do great and have a wonderful year!

Williamson County Fair
Living in Lebanon (home of the great Wilson County Fair) for the past few years, we had never been to the Williamson County Fair. We decided to take the girls this year and loved it. It is so nice and small--it was really easy to take little ones. The only thing that was a major disappointment to Mamie was no pony rides. She asked when she could ride the ponies the entire time we were there. No ponies. Maybe next year... They still had a lot of fun and the little farmer exhibit was adorable. I wish I had gotten pictures.

First Canoe Trip
We have been wanting to take the girls canoeing for a long time, Jon and I used to go almost every weekend before we were married and love it. I finally got them some life jackets and he decided to take them last Sunday. I stayed home and he called me when they got close to the take-out to come pick them up. They loved it. I wish we had some of the pictures from Jon's phone to post. They were so cute swimming in the Harpeth and sitting in the boat. I hope it's the first of many family canoe trips.

Coming round the bend in the river--from the bridge on Moran Rd.

The only thing missing is a fat, black, happy dog.

Baby Drew Stiles Holland
Born on August 5th, weighing 6 lbs 11 oz (i think :) to Ashley and Jason. Lilly has baby brother envy and she and Mamie tell me every hour or so that we need a baby boy and that they wish they were Cal and Lexi so they could have a baby brother. Sorry kids!
He is the tiniest cutest little thing I have ever seen!

chattanooga girls' trip...WITH kids!

Last year, my college roommates and I spent a weekend in Chattanooga at Casey's house without the kids. This summer, we thought it would be fun to get all of our little ones together for a weekend and do something fun like the aquarium. It was so much fun seeing all of them together and watching them play like they have always been little friends. It was chaos, but fun. We even had a sitter one night so we could go out and eat ALONE! Thanks Casey for opening your house to six little ones! You are a brave hostess :)

Henley, Stella, Lilly, Will, Mamie (John was in the stroller and Quinn was at home with Courtney's mom for the weekend)

It was honestly a coincidence--all of the girls had yellow bows on the first day!


Outside the butterfly exhibit

About to see the penguins

They all loved the shark cage

This picture just cracked me up--The look on Mamie's face in there knocking on the glass is hilarious to me.

Mamie LOVED watching the charks come by. I could have stood there all day.

Lilly and sweet little Stella. You could tell Lilly really enjoyed being the "big kid" for the weekend. She tried to act like a little mommy.

TROUBLE, PARTY OF 5, your table is ready.

3 hot mamas

(literally, it was very hot :)

Casey had a craft project for the kids on Saturday morning. They all got to make visors to wear to the pool.

Mamie showing off not only her sporty new visor, but also her crazy case of bed head

Stella and Will hard at work peeling stickers

What can I say? It's fabulous!

Courtney got all the kids these adorable matching shirts.

We love Chattanooga and all our new friends!

Thanks for a great weekend, girls!