Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heaven in Our Own Backyard

I can think of so many reason why we love living in NWA and I have a new one to had to my large list: Crystal Bridges Museum. Andrew and I took Little Man there today and we had a wonderful time. The grounds are beautiful, the architecture is breathtaking, the restaurant is delicious and the art pieces are AMAZING! I kept mentioning to Andrew I felt like we were on vacation, it's just hard to believe this piece of heaven is just a few minutes away from our home. One thing Andrew and I have always had in common is our love of the arts, now we can work on passing that along to Miller. We are obviously Walmart lovers in this household and we are grateful for what the Waltons have brought to our community!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

When You Have A Million Mile Long To Do List...

...go ahead and update your blog instead (because that is way more fun).

Chris Stinson posted a couple of pics from M's party on his blog yesterday. They turned out great and he said there are lots more to come (the photobooth pics will be so fun to see as well as the rest of the decor and pics of our friends and family). I am one excited Momma and cannot wait to see the rest. I will post them all as soon as I get them in my hands but here is one I just can't help but share...

This week has been crazy!! We are preparing for our scholastic audit, Colors Day is next week, we have a big pep rally tomorrow and I have some Razzberry Ink items on my to do list.

Miller has had a very VERY big week! He started clapping, pointing to items, high-fiving, climbing the stairs (my worst nightmare) and the greatest new trick...saying still my heart. The two sweetest sounds I have ever heard in my life are Andrew telling me he loved me one summer night 12 years ago and my little man calling for me.

Hoping for a semi-restful weekend with my boys and dear friends after a Red Dog victory Friday night.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Full On Obsessed

So, as many of you that read this know me well, you know when I find something I like, I full on obsess over it!! Well I have an new obsession I stumbled upon this morning. I have now been sitting in the school parking lot for 20 minutes reading (as my to do list for school is possibly close to 85 miles long). A friend from college, Ashley U., posted on FB a link to a blog called and the post was entitled "Why Teachers are Complete Psychos". This girl nailed it. I was laughing so hard I was in tears. I started reading some previous posts and cannot stop. Elizabeth and I were already saying this morning we needed to share this with our faculty (we are in the middle of preparation for an extremely large audit from the state department next week. When I was talking to the kids about it on Monday, one of my sweet babies raised her hand and asked "Is this what Mr. W is calling Dooms Day?", priceless). I CANNOT quit reading and have realized this girl is my long lost sister or scarily can read my mind. This blog is inspiring, informative and comforting (I am so glad knowing other teachers can want to put their sweethearts in a headlock one moment, than a second later either be belly laughing over one of their extremely inappropriate jokes or tearing up because their heart has swollen over a student's ah ha moment). *dear friends, when I say inappropriate jokes think the screen shot of the text convo I had with one of my kids after M's party that I sent you, ba ha ha!! I highly highly recommend this blog to all my teacher friends, all my friends who constantly hear stories about my babies, parents or anyone that needs a good laugh or insight on education. Read, read, read it!! I know what I will be doing during lunch today! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 16, 2012

Things I've Learned in My First Year as a Momma baby boy is ONE!! I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I teared up no less than 85 times on Saturday! What a little miracle he is and what joy he has filled our lives with. Saturday was a perfect day. His party was just as I had envisioned it. He had the best time!!! I was so excited at how happy he seemed all day. We celebrated with tons of family and friends, including what looked like someone's entire future kindergarten class. People kept commenting on how many babies there were at the party. I cannot wait to see all the pics Chris Stinson took (sidenote: one of the absolute best things you can spend your money on for a birthday party is a photographer. You do not have to worry about making sure all the moments are captured. I highly highly recommend it). On Sunday I felt like I had a little bit of the wedding blues: first birthday style. I couldn't believe it had gone by so quickly!! The great news is we have lots of our buddies' birthday parties coming up so I can get my party planning fix in with theirs. This year as flown by faster than any year I can remember. As a teacher my greatest hope for my students is to learn things in my room they can take with them as life tools. This year I have felt like a true learner. Here are a few things I have learned in my first year as Miller's momma:

1. This lesson I think has been the most important: Every family is different, do what is best for your's. It's seems like there is always a battle with moms over co-sleeping vs. putting baby in their own room, working mom vs. stay at home mom, paci vs. self-sooth, when to feed a baby , the list goes on and on and on. It's funny because we constantly remind our world that everyone is different, unique, but we sometimes forget to apply that to raising a child. I have learned not to judge moms for the choices they make (well, I don't think I will ever agree with breastfeeding at the point a child can ask for it, ha!). We all do what is best for our family and our children will benefit from that.

2. Read, pray, sing and dance with your baby from day one. Do it daily, do it often. Miller loves to bust a move with us, he has quite the booty shake. Praying nightly not only shows him important habits but reminded myself and Andrew the importance as well.

3. Celebrate everything!! Everything: big or small!! It's okay to tear up in happiness over all the little milestones.

4. Travel with your will wear you out but is completely worth it. Take your baby places you might think would be too noisy or too busy (well maybe not Walmart on a wintery Sunday). It can be stressful to get a baby packed up and interupt a nap or bedtime but watching Miller enjoy sporting events, the beach, a restaurant has be so fun. We love watching his face as he takes it all in.

5. There is nothing wrong with asking for help from family and friends. They want to help! I have always felt guilty asking friends and family for favors, don't want to put anyone out but I realized they hope you will ask. I worried about taking up my dear friend Steph's Sunday afternoon to watch M while we took the 4 hour class to join our church. I laugh now thinking about it. She said "I got to snuggle with him for hours while he slept, gave him a bottle and caught up on some good shows." Who wouldn't want to spend some time with a sweet newborn?! I worry about asking my mom or MIL for help...duh, he's their grandson, they want to.

6. Not all pregnancies are normal and not all babies arrive healthy. I did not realize how often this was the case. I learned a lot during our stay in room 20. Our media and government spend a lot of time bashing our medical system but my goodness we are lucky to have the health care we have in the United States and if you live in NWA, we are extremely blessed to have the amazing doctors and nurses of Parkhill, Willow Creek NICU and Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics (and there are a lot more we hear great things about). I also learned a c-section is not so bad, in fact if you know in advance it's pretty awesome!!

7. My fabulous husband is an incredible father! He and Miller are peas in a pod. I love watching them together. He has been our rock this year. PTL for him!!

8. You will receive lots of unsolicited parenting advice. If you like the advice, use it. If not, nod your head, say thank you and continue what you were doing.

9. God is good. It's hard to imagine how people can remain non-believers when they see an ultrasound and hear a baby's first cry and giggle.

10. Lastly, there are never too many kisses, hugs, snuggles, tickles or I love yous. Never, never, never too many!!

I am sure there are lots more lessons I have learned this past year but I am crashing from lack of sleep from party planning. Hopefully I will have pics to show later in the week.Ali - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 8, 2012


A fantastic NYE with my boys

Back in the gym but at 5:00am. Not because it's my NY resolution but because in less than a week I can no longer say "I just had a baby"

My baby sister turns 20 tomorrow and is headed down to Arkansas Tech after staying with us for a few weeks.

M enjoyed his first Bulldog basketball game...and of course witnessed a victory and celebrated with one of his favorite players after.

Pancakes made a debut in Miller's breakfast this morning. He loved them!

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!! We are prepping for Miller's FIRST Birthday and finishing up a Razzberry Ink order. Can't wait to celebrate my little man's big day!!

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